Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
We write to provide you with an update on our efforts to to request assistance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in ensuring the influx of critical COVID-19 relief does not negatively impact the future Indirect Cost (IDC) rates of Tribal Nations. As you know, USET SPF transmitted a letter to OMB in May seeking guidance permitting the exclusion of COVID-19 relief funding from IDC rates. Since then, USET SPF, along with others in Indian Country, has engaged in direct advocacy with OMB and cognizant agencies around this issue.
At a recent meeting of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Contract Support Costs Workgroup, OMB indicated that it has concluded it has the authority to provide this exception and plans to issue a decision soon. In addition, representatives from the Interior Business Center (IBC) said that agency is currently delaying action on rate proposals based on 2020 data pending OMB approval of the exception. USET SPF member Tribal Nations that have submitted proposals including COVID-19 relief funds in the base should follow up with IBC (or the Cost Allocation Services office in Health and Human Services) and inform the agency that you wish to exclude those funds. OMB has further recommended that Tribal Nations not miss any submission deadlines waiting for OMB's decision, but that they should exclude CRF funds from the base in their proposals.
USET SPF continues to monitor this situation and will provide updates, including official OMB guidance, as they become available.
For more information, please contact Liz Malerba, USET SPF Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.