An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

EPA Grants

Pre-Award Compliance for Non-Profit Organizations

EPA assistance awards (grants and cooperative agreements) to non-profit organizations are an important mechanism for delivering environmental protection to the public. EPA's Office of the Inspector General, however, has issued numerous audit reports documenting instances of non-profit recipients that have inadequate administrative systems to manage EPA funds or lack the capability to successfully perform the project scope of work. The Office of Grants and Debarment has identified similar issues in conducting post award monitoring activities.

Evaluating Capability Prior to Award

EPA recognizes that it is preferable to evaluate and address administrative system and programmatic capability issues before, rather than after, an assistance agreement is awarded. The procedures to evaluate the capability of non-profit applicants are based on existing regulatory requirements.

Specifically, 2 CFR 200.205 and 2 CFR 200.336 authorize EPA request and review records from an applicant to assess risk, including an evaluation of their:

  1. Financial stability;
  2. Quality of management systems and ability to meet the management standards prescribed in this part;
  3. History of performance. The applicant's record in managing Federal awards, if it is a prior recipient of Federal awards, including timeliness of compliance with applicable reporting requirements, conformance to the terms and conditions of previous Federal awards, and if applicable, the extent to which any previously awarded amounts will be expended prior to future awards;
  4. Reports and findings from audits performed under Subpart F—Audit Requirements of this part or the reports and findings of any other available audits; and
  5. The applicant's ability to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements imposed on non-Federal entities.

2 CFR 200.205 and 2 CFR 2002.207 also authorize EPA to impose special conditions as needed.

Further, 2 CFR 200.338 provides EPA with remedies to address recipients that mismanage assistance agreements either administratively or programmatically.

Finally, under 2 CFR Part 180 and Part 1532, EPA may suspend or debar applicants or recipients that pose a serious business risk to the government.

Verifying Capability after Award Recommendation

After receiving notification from the EPA Program Office that an application has been recommended for funding that exceeds the pre-award threshold of $200,000, the EPA Grants Management Office (GMO) must:

Imposing Pre-Award or Special Award Conditions

After reviewing the completed Administrative Capability Questionnaire and checking the EPA's grantee compliance database, the EPA GMO must impose pre-award conditions under section 10(b), or special award conditions under section 10(d), of the EPA Order if the applicant lacks the necessary administrative capability.  If the EPA GMO determines that the applicant has demonstrated the necessary administrative capability, pre-award or special award conditions are not required.