SustainAbility Solutions Africa (SSA) is proud to offer training on United States Government (USG) Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as USAID funding rules and regulations.

The requirements associated with managing USG grants and cooperative agreements can sometimes be a source of major frustration to recipient finance, technical and management staff. However, we believe that such frustration is primarily due to a simple lack of understanding of the financial and compliance requirements that are really not that difficult to meet – if – they are presented and explained in a clear and logical manner.

SSA has successfully provided training to over a thousand recipient and audit staff who seek to properly manage or audit USG funding. This training has been provided to recipient and audit organizations receiving/auditing HHS/CDC, USAID and MCC funding in Southern, East and West Africa as well as in Europe.

The training is usually conducted over two consecutive days with a possible third day depending on the needs of the recipient organizations. It is our experience that – considering the amount of detail that first time recipients need to absorb – any additional training or strengthening is better achieved by working directly with recipient staff in their office environment.

What topics are discussed?

The experienced training facilitator will use tailored powerpoint presentations, group exercises, team scenario analysis and live question and answer sessions to explain and clarify the most relevant issues (.e.g., timekeeping, travel, cost share, joint and common (indirect) costs, cost principles, approval processes, audit findings and recommendations, sustainability, appeal processes, etc).

The material is presented and discussed in a lively manner to ensure comprehension and retention.

An example of a training agenda looks as follows:

USG 2-day Course Agenda

The workshop facilitator will encourage participants to raise problems they are having and to ask questions that will help them clarify/resolve their unique and individual challenges.

We include below indicative issues that are covered in the training:

1. Introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the USG/Recipient officials who play a major part in the successful implementation/completion of the project.

Specific issues:

        • Who must I contact when prior approval is required?
        • How can I apply for possible additional funding if I am achieving my targets?
        • Who can help me with financial management questions?
        • Who can approve / change my targets and budget?
        • How do I carry over funding to the next year and who approves this?

2. HHS/CDC Grants Policy Statement review

The Notice of Award will refer to the HHS/CDC Grants Policy Statement (GPS) as an authoritative document that needs to be understood and complied with.  The facilitator will explain and cover the most important parts of this document so that it’s contents and requirements become clear.

This session will allow groups discussion during which it is expected that both financial as well as program staff share their experiences in working with GPS requirements.

Specific issues:

        • What requirements are there for an application budget?
        • What happens in a Business Management Review?
        • How will CDC assess my Financial and other Management systems?
        • What  specific requirements apply to my Notice of Award?
        • What terms and conditions flow down to my sub-recipients?
        • How do I meet my cost share objectives?
        • When do I as a foreign recipient need to be audited?

3. Cost Principles

During this session SSA discusses the various cost categories that form part of the rules under either OMB-A122, OMB A-21, OMB A-87 or FAR 31.2. We will assess which rules apply to the different participating organizations to avoid confusion for the participants. There will also be an in-depth discussion on the three absolute fundamental cost concepts of Reasonability, Allocability and Allowbility

Specific Issues:

        • Can I charge a staff function to the project?
        • How much can I increase salaries this year?
        • What needs to go on my timesheet if I only work part time on the project?
        • Can I charge overtime to the project?
        • Do I need to keep a log book for my project vehicle?
        • Can I buy new computers for my staff?
        • How much can we charge for travelling to the project sites?
        • Can we top up the salaries of the Government officials who work on our project?

4. Administrative requirements

During this session SSA discusses the various administrative requirements that form part of the rules under 45 CFR74. Much of the content/issues that form part of this authoritative document will have already been raised or discussed in previous sections. We will ensure that all relevant rules are covered.

Specific Issues:

        • Our funding is under “Special Award Conditions”. What does this mean?
        • What kind of certifications and representations do I need to give next year?
        • How do I know if my financial systems are compliant? What is required?
        • How much funding can I keep in my bank account?
        • What services and donations can I use to meet our cost share requirement?
        • How do I revise my programme and budget?
        • What happens during close-out of my project?
        • How do I need to account for program income?

5. Non-Federal Audits

This session covers the options and processes for meeting this very important requirement.  Most recipients will receive funding that triggers the need for this unique US Government-related audit.  The facilitator will explain how to understand the type of audit you must have and how to prepare for it. 

Earn CPE Credits

For Certified Public Accountants wanting to earn Continuing Professional Education Credits (‘CPE’), SustainAbility Solutions is registered with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Accountants.  All participants will receive a certificate of attendance enabling you to claim 8 CPE credits for each day of the Workshop (for a total of 16 or 24 credits for the two or three days). No advance preparation is required.