The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) streamlined the federal government’s guidance on administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards by creating 2 CFR 200. This regulation is intended to ease administrative burden, strengthen oversight over federal funds and reduce the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. NCHRP Project 20-111J ”Successful Practices for State Transportation Research Office's Complying with 2 CFR 200” provided a guide for successful practices related to implementing the guidance. The resulting guide has been reviewed by many state departments of transportation (DOTs), but they need assistance in applying the 2 CFR 200 regulation. Additional effort is needed to assist state agencies with deployment. This project will collect and review state DOT research manuals, policies and procedures, develop templates, and provide general research management practices for state DOTs.
The objective of this research is to implement the findings of NCHRP 20-111J for five selected DOTs and to produce a comprehensive document on best practices for complying with 2 CFR 200 for state DOT research programs. These best practices should describe how to deal with the areas identified by state DOT staff for compliance with 2 CFR 200. The best practices will be based on information gathered from document reviews and interviews. The document will be flexible enough for use by state DOT research managers with varying levels of research program management experience.
The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
The research plan should: (1) include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution; (2) address the manner in which the proposer intends to satisfy the project objectives; (3) be divided logically into detailed tasks that are necessary to fulfill the research objectives and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables; and (4) incorporate opportunities for the project panel to review, comment, and approve milestone deliverables.
The research plan should build upon NCHRP 20-111J and at a minimum should incorporate the following concepts, tasks, or deliverables:
1. Gather, document, and assess current information from state research manuals, procedures, templates, and procurement practices as they relate to 2 CFR 200 topics. The team will also review the FHWA guidance posted at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/cfo/2cfr200guidance_b.cfm and use this as a basis for the Task 2 gap assessments.
2. Evaluate and provide a gap assessment on the state practice by comparing research manuals and supporting documents (including research contracts, templates, and other guidance for each state) against preferred practices documented in the NCHRP 20-111J report. Include a review of all research program processes and documentation, including published or posted guidance. This gap assessment will also include potential improvements to research administration documents and processes.
3. Provide a virtual state meeting with state transportation agency staff to present recommended changes to comply with 2 CFR 200 based on the NCHRP report.
4. Produce a larger, virtual peer exchange/webinar near the end of the project to share how the states made changes to comply with 2 CFR 200. The peer exchange will be open to other states.
5. Final deliverables should include, at a minimum (1) a final report that shall include a checklist of key steps and processes; (2) a PowerPoint-style presentation describing the background, objectives, and implementation approach; and (3) a presentation of the findings at the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee Meeting.
Status: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work