As many of our Blog subscribers know, I recently had an opportunity to attend the 2015 NIH SBIR/STTR conference in Seattle. It offered unique insights into many of the processes that go in to submitting proposals and managing projects under the SBIR/STTR programs. These are insights that may not be emphasized or express themselves fully in the funding opportunity announcements.Read More
DCAA Compliance Blog
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When a company is dealing with the DoD or NASA, it is usually very clear that their accounting systems are required to not only be compliant with FAR regulations but must be capable of passing a DCAA audit. When dealing with other agencies, such as the NSF, DOE or HHS (mainly the NIH division) it may not be as demanding that the system be capable of meeting these difficult regulations. It may even be less risky as to whether or not the agency will monitor the accounting system in the form of an audit. The agency usually requires audits for awards over $500,000 or $750,000 but they normally put the burden of audit on the awardee. Sometimes the agency may not have time to follow-up to make sure that the awardee is getting the independent audits done and the awardee may come away with a “false sense of security” that they are doing things in a correct manner and within the guidelines allowed by the agency. In fact, the awardee may be violating terms of the award and just does not know it. I have heard of instances where small companies went many years with awards that required the independent “Yellowbook” audits but did not perform them and thought they were in compliance. In one instance I saw one of these companies receive a letter finally from the DOE stating they did not have records of the audits from the previous 8 years and they were requesting these documents be sent to the agency within 30 days or face termination of current funding. Imagine the panic within this organization as they had not done any audits for the last 8 years!Read More
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their Omnibus SBIR/STTR solicitation this week. There are several agencies within HHS that have topics including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The NIH is the only participating organization with a budget large enough to qualify for STTR awards so the NIH can give out either SBIR or STTR awards. The other organizations will only be issuing SBIR topics. The earliest submission date will be March 5th, 2013 and the solicitation will remain open until January 8th, 2014. As many of you are aware, the HHS has the second largest SBIR budget of the 11 agencies that fund SBIR topics. You can find the solicitation here.