Contractor means an entity that receives a contract as defined in § 200.22 Contract.

 


COFAR Frequently Asked Questions

What clarification can OMB and COFAR provide regarding changes to the term contractor and the elimination of the term vendor?

• In existing guidance, the COFAR has found that some confusion results from the fact that OMB Circular A-133 makes a distinction between subrecipients and “vendors” while other circulars describe either subawards or “subcontracts”.

• For purposes of the Uniform Guidance, when a non-Federal entity provides funds from a Federal award to a non-Federal entity, the non-Federal entity receiving these funds may be either be a subrecipient or a contractor. The term contractor is used for purposes of consistency and clarity to replace areas in the previous guidance that referred to vendors, though substantively in the previous guidance, these two terms have always had the same meaning.

• Section § 200.330 Subrecipient and Contractor Determinations, as well as section 200.22 Contract and 200.92 Subaward provide guidance on making subrecipient and contractor determinations. This language was largely taken from existing guidance in OMB Circular A-133 on subrecipient and vendor determinations.

• As described in the Uniform Guidance in the sections noted above, it is the substance of the award that determines how it should be treated, even though the pass-through entity or non-Federal entity receiving the award may call it by a different name.

• So, if a pass-through entity makes an award that it calls a “contract”, but which meets the criteria under section § 200.330 to be a subaward to a subrecipient, the non-Federal entity must comply with the provisions of the Uniform Guidance relevant to subawards, regardless of the name used by the pass-through entity to refer to the award agreement.

• Likewise, any Federal awards that meet the criteria under section § 200.330 for the non-Federal entity to be considered a contractor, whether the non-Federal entity providing the funds calls it a “vendor agreement” or a “subcontract”,


What clarification can OMB and COFAR provide regarding changes to the term contractor and the elimination of the term vendor?

• In existing guidance, the COFAR has found that some confusion results from the fact that OMB Circular A-133 makes a distinction between subrecipients and “vendors” while other circulars describe either subawards or “subcontracts”.

• For purposes of the Uniform Guidance, when a non-Federal entity provides funds from a Federal award to a nonFederal entity, the non-Federal entity receiving these funds may be either be a subrecipient or a contractor. The term contractor is used for purposes of consistency and clarity to replace areas in the previous guidance that referred to vendors, though substantively in the previous guidance, these two terms have always had the same meaning.

• Section 200.330 Subrecipient and Contractor Determinations, as well as section 200.22 Contract and 200.92 Subaward provide guidance on making subrecipient and contractor determinations. This language was largely taken from existing guidance in OMB Circular A-133 on subrecipient and vendor determinations. 6

• As described in the Uniform Guidance in the sections noted above, it is the substance of the award that determines how it should be treated, even though the pass-through entity or non-Federal entity receiving the award may call it by a different name.

• So, if a pass-through entity makes an award that it calls a “contract”, but which meets the criteria under section 200.330 to be a subaward to a subrecipient, the non-Federal entity must comply with the provisions of the Uniform Guidance relevant to subawards, regardless of the name used by the pass-through entity to refer to the award agreement.

• Likewise, any Federal awards that meet the criteria under section 200.330 for the non-Federal entity to be considered a contractor, whether the non-Federal entity providing the funds calls it a “vendor agreement” or a “subcontract”, the non-Federal entity must comply with the provisions of the Uniform Guidance relevant to a contractor.