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Making Changes to an Approved Sponsored Project Budget (Rebudgeting)

 

Background

The daily monitoring of expenditures and budget control is exercised in the administering unit of an award by the Principal Investigator (PI) and with the assistance of departmental staff. The terms and conditions applicable to the award will be listed on the Award Synopsis distributed by Sponsored Projects.

Review of Proposed Budget Change

When it becomes apparent that a change in budget allocations may become necessary, departmental staff and the PI should review the terms and conditions of an award to determine if prior approval of the change is required by the sponsoring agency. In addition, PIs should take under consideration the established cost principles contained with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, UCI’s Cost Accounting Standards Board Disclosure Statement (DS-2) statement, and UCI’s Budgeting and Charging Administrative Expenses to Sponsored Projects policy. If the proposed change would violate these established cost principles, the change should not be made.

In general, resources referenced for terms and conditions of federal awards will include the sponsor’s notice of award, policy documents issued by the sponsor, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110, and if appropriate, the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) terms and conditions, including any agency-specific FDP terms and conditions.

Some common policy documents issued by federal sponsors include:

Please note that the above list is not all inclusive and a specific award should be reviewed to determine the applicable terms and conditions. Also note that federal contracts generally do not reference a specific document, and the clauses within the contract itself govern the award.

For non-federal awards, most likely only the sponsor’s notice of award and policy documents issued by the sponsor will apply.

Requesting Prior Approval

When a change in project budget requires prior approval from the sponsoring agency, a request should be drafted seeking prior approval from the sponsor before a change has been made. This request should include:

  • the cost categories affected,
  • the proposed change in budgetary allocations, and
  • the technical justification requiring such changes.

Requests are drafted by the PI, with a concurrence endorsement by an authorized official within Sponsored Projects prior to submission to the sponsor.

If approval for the change in budget is granted, Sponsored Projects records the approval within the office of record award file, and then informs the campus community of such approval. This notification is completed by use of our electronic award synopsis distribution process, and notification is sent to not only the Principal Investigator, but their departmental staff, dean’s office (if applicable), and the Contracts and Grants Accounting office, as well.

File Documentation

When a change in budget is made under the authority of the Principal Investigator granted by the terms and conditions of an award, the planned change in approved budget should be documented in the departmental award file. This documentation should include a description of and justification for the expense. In addition, the award file must include the PI's approval of such costs.

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