Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (05/16/2012)

Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011 or the GRANT Act - Establishes new standards to promote transparency in the awarding of federal grants.

(Sec. 3) Requires each executive agency, in awarding grants, to use and make publicly available merit-based selection procedures that promote competition and that may be tailored to the particular requirements, objectives, and authorities of the agency. Exempts from such requirement agencies awarding block grants or formula grants for which federal funds are required to be allocated in accordance with a distribution formula prescribed by law or regulation.  Requires such merit-based selection procedures to include: (1) advance notification of the grant opportunity; (2) a clear statement of the purpose, duration, and eligibility requirements of the grant; and (3) a description of the manner in which applications or proposals for the grant will be evaluated, ranked, and selected for award.

Requires an executive agency to conduct an evaluation of the ability of a prospective grantee to successfully carry out a grant, including an evaluation of the grantee's financial capability, past performance, and integrity.

Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to upgrade any public website for finding and applying for grant opportunities so that such website may serve as a central point of information for applicants for competitive grants. Requires an executive agency to post on such website information about a grant opportunity, including: (1) the purpose of the grant, (2) the time period for the performance of the grant, (3) the amount of funds available for the grant, (4) a statement of eligibility requirements, (5) evaluation factors or criteria for ranking grant applications, (6) disclosure of the process and standards for preventing conflicts of interest, and (7) the deadline for submitting grant applications.

Requires an executive agency to: (1) post on the website information on each competitive grant awarded by such agency, including a copy of the final grant agreement; (2) post a forecast of all grant solicitations that the agency expects to issue for the following calendar year; and (3) provide a grant applicant, upon request, with a timely debriefing explaining the basis for the agency's decision to approve or disapprove an application for a grant over $100,000.

Requires: (1) OMB to issue and disseminate to agencies not later than 60 days after enactment of this Act guidance for establishing merit-based selection procedures, and (2) executive agencies to establish merit-based selection procedures not  later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.

Requires the Comptroller General (GAO) to report to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on guidance issued by OMB and actions taken by executive agencies to establish merit-based selection procedures.

(Sec. 4) Requires the OMB Director to: (1)  issue guidance to executive agencies for identifying undisbursed funds remaining in grant accounts, and (2) provide information on such undisbursed funds and actions to be taken with respect to such funds.

Requires GAO to report on the federal grants workforce.

(Sec. 5) Requires the OMB Director to submit a plan for improving the single audit process.