Feedback on Circular A-21 Invited

Seven years ago the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released “Circular A-21,” a document that established key principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements between the Federal Government and educational institutions.  The principles were designed to ensure that the Federal Government covered its fair share of these institutions’ total costs. But the document’s requirements also created administrative burdens that this Administration believes could likely be reduced without undermining the effectiveness of the Circular.

An interagency task force under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is focusing on possible improvements to Circular A-21 with the goal of recommending to the NSTC and OMB specific revisions and clarifications. The task force’s work is part of the Administration’s larger effort to minimize unnecessary economic and related burdens through review and reform of regulatory processes.

To assist it in its work, the A-21 Task Force is seeking input from faculty and staff at educational institutions, members of relevant professional societies, and others including the general public. For further information and to submit comments, please read the formal Request for Information (RFI) submitted by the National Institutes of Health on behalf of the Task Force at: To read a blog about this effort posted by Sally Rockey, NIH's Deputy Director for Extramural Research and a co-chair of the A-21 Task Force, see:

Responses to this RFI must be submitted by July 28, 2011, so please spread the word to your professional colleagues and others with an interest in this topic.

Questions about the RFI itself can be directed to:

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kelsey Cook is a Senior Policy Analyst at OSTP and a member of the A-21 Task Force

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