Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 124 / Friday, June 27, 2003 / Notices 38401 Since the beginning of the strike, impact of the proposed action. The State reassignment of oversight agency for OCNGS has been operated by Senior official had no comments. audit. Reactor Operator licensed personnel. As DATES: The final revisions are effective Finding of No Significant Impact a result, both types of licensed for fiscal years ending after December personnel are unavailable for the On the basis of the environmental 31, 2003, and early implementation will requalification written examinations assessment, the Commission concludes not be permitted with the exception of and operating tests until the strike is that the proposed action will not have the amendment to the definition of over. a significant effect on the quality of the oversight agency for audit in Circular human environment. Accordingly, the Environmental Impacts of the Proposed A–133, section _.105. The amendment Commission has determined not to to the definition of oversight agency for Action prepare an environmental impact audit is effective July 28, 2003. The NRC completed its evaluation of statement for the proposed action. For further details with respect to the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: the proposed action and concludes that proposed action, see the licensee’s letter Recipients should contact their there are no significant environmental dated May 30, 2003. Documents may be cognizant agency for audit or oversight impacts associated with the extension of examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the agency for audit or Federal awarding the completion date for the operator NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), agency, as may be appropriate in the requalification program from June 30, located at One White Flint North, Public circumstances. Subrecipients should 2003, to 90 days following resolution of File Area at O–1 F21, 11555 Rockville contact their pass-through entity. the strike, but no later than December Federal agencies should contact Terrill 31, 2003. Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records are accessible W. Ramsey, Office of Federal Financial The proposed action will not Management, Office of Management and significantly increase the probability or electronically from the Agencywide Budget, 202–395–3993. consequences of accidents, it will make Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August no changes to the types of effluents that may be released off site, and there is no Reading Room on the Internet at the 12, 2002, OMB proposed revisions (67 significant increase in occupational or NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/ FR 52545) to OMB Circular A–133, public radiation exposure. Therefore, reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who ‘‘Audits of States, Local Governments, there are no significant radiological do not have access to ADAMS or who and Non-Profit Organizations.’’ The environmental impacts associated with encounter problems in accessing the Office of Management and Budget the proposed action. documents located in ADAMS, should (OMB) is issuing final revisions to With regard to potential contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by Circular A–133, ‘‘Audits of States, Local nonradiological impacts, the proposed telephone at 1–800–397–4209 or 301– Governments, and Non-Profit action does not have a potential to affect 415–4737, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizations.’’ The revisions will (1) any historic sites. It does not affect increase the threshold for audit from Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day $300,000 to $500,000, (2) increase the nonradiological plant effluents and has of June, 2003. no other environmental impact. threshold for cognizant agency for audit For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. from $25 million to $50 million, and (3) Therefore, there are no significant Peter S. Tam, nonradiological environmental impacts make related technical changes to Senior Project Manager, Section 1, Project facilitate the determination of cognizant associated with the proposed action. Directorate 1, Division of Licensing Project Accordingly, the NRC concludes that agency for audit and provide for Federal Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor agency reassignment of oversight agency there are no significant environmental Regulation. impacts associated with the proposed for audit. [FR Doc. 03–16295 Filed 6–26–03; 8:45 am] The Single Audit Act Amendments of action. BILLING CODE 7590–01–P 1996, 31 U.S.C. 7502(a)(3), provide for Environmental Impacts of the the Director of OMB to review the single Alternatives to the Proposed Action audit threshold on a biennial basis and As an alternative to the proposed OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND increase it as appropriate. The audit action, the NRC staff considered denial BUDGET threshold established in 1997 required of the proposed action (i.e., the ‘‘no- all non-Federal entities (States, local Audits of States, Local Governments, governments, and non-profit action’’ alternative). Denial of the and Non-Profit Organizations application would result in no change organizations) that expend $300,000 or in current environmental impacts. Thus, AGENCY: Office of Management and more in a year in Federal awards to have the environmental impacts of the Budget. an audit conducted in accordance with proposed action and the alternative ACTION: Revision of OMB Circular No. Circular A–133. The revision increases action are similar. A–133. the audit threshold from $300,000 to $500,000. This increase relieves almost Alternative Use of Resources SUMMARY: The Office of Management 6,000 entities from the audit The action does not involve the use of and Budget (OMB) is issuing final requirements of Circular A–133 while any different resources than those revisions to Circular A–133, ‘‘Audits of only exempting from audit less than one previously considered in the Final States, Local Governments, and Non- half of one percent of Federal awards Environmental Statement for OCNGS, Profit Organizations.’’ The purpose of expended (in dollars) by entities dated December 1974. these revisions is to (1) increase the currently conducting Circular A–133 threshold for audit from $300,000 to audits. Agencies and Persons Consulted $500,000, (2) increase the threshold for The revision increases the threshold On June 9, 2003, the NRC staff cognizant agency for audit from $25 for cognizant agency for audit from $25 consulted with the State official, Mr. million to $50 million, and (3) make million to $50 million. This change will Rich Pinney of the New Jersey related technical changes to facilitate reduce the number of non-Federal Department of Environment and Natural the determination of cognizant agency entities with a cognizant agency for Resources, regarding the environmental for audit and provide for Federal agency audit assignment from approximately 38402 Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 124 / Friday, June 27, 2003 / Notices 1,000 to 500. This revision will allow throughout the year rather than relying Availability of Revised Circular Federal agencies to provide more solely on a once-a-year audit. OMB has prepared an updated focused attention where there is the Monitoring activities may take various version of Circular A–133, as amended greatest risk in terms of Federal awards forms; however, a first monitoring tool herein. It is available electronically on expended, but still provide each non- should be identifying to the grantee the the OMB Home Page at http:// Federal entity with an assigned Federal award information (e.g., Catalog www.omb.gov and then select ‘‘Grants oversight agency for audit from which to of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Management’’ followed by ‘‘Circulars.’’ request technical advice. The revision title and number, award name, name of also changes the base years for Federal agency) and applicable Dated: June 23, 2003. determining cognizant agency for audit compliance requirements. Other Augustine T. Smythe, assignments. (Currently, the cognizant monitoring tools include reviewing Acting Director. agency for audit determination is based grantee financial and performance 1. OMB hereby amends Circular A– on the amount of Federal funding in the reports, performing site visits to review 133 by replacing $300,000 with year immediately preceding each five- financial and programmatic records and $500,000 in the following sections: year audit cognizant period. This observe operations, and arranging for § ll.200(a); § ll.200(b); revision changes the base year to the agreed-upon procedures engagements § ll.200(d); § ll.230(b)(2); and second year preceding the five-year for certain aspects of grantee activities, § ll.400(d)(4). audit cognizant period to allow such as described in § _.230(b)(2) of 2. OMB hereby amends Circular A– sufficient time to make cognizant Circular A–133. Factors such as the size 133 by replacing $25 million with $50 agency for audit determinations before of awards, the complexity of the million in section § ll.400(a), first the start of the audit cognizance period.) compliance requirements, and risk of sentence. Finally, the revision changes the grantee non-compliance as assessed by 3. OMB hereby amends Circular A– definition of oversight agency for audit the grantor may influence the nature 133 by replacing section § ll.400(a), to permit Federal agencies to make and extent of monitoring procedures. third, fourth, and fifth (parenthetical) reassignments. Federal laws or regulations may impose sentences with the following: § ll.400 monitoring requirements specific to a Responsibilities. Response to Comments Federal program. The 2003 OMB (a) * * * The determination of the OMB received 43 comment letters: Circular A–133 Compliance Supplement predominant amount of direct funding Eight from Federal agencies, seven from clarifies the guidance to auditors related shall be based upon direct Federal State governments, four from to subrecipient monitoring. awards expended in the recipient’s universities, five from non-profit It should also be noted that the fiscal years ending in 2004, 2009, 2014, organizations, 14 from certified public Federal Government has the authority to and every fifth year thereafter. For accountants, and five from individuals. audit and/or investigate any entity example, audit cognizance for periods Nearly all comments focused on raising suspected of using Federal funds ending in 2006 through 2010 will be the audit threshold: 28 were in favor improperly, regardless of the amount of determined based on Federal awards and 10 opposed. Of the 10 that were funds involved. Allegations of fraud expended in 2004. (However, for 2001 opposed to raising the audit threshold, should be directed to the Federal through 2005, the cognizant agency for two were from Federal agencies; two awarding agency’s Office of Inspector audit is determined based on the were from one State; one from a General fraud hotline phone numbers predominant amount of direct Federal university; and five from individuals. which are available on the Internet at awards expended in the recipient’s Opposition centered on concerns over http://www.ignet.gov. fiscal year ending in 2000). specific programs and the perceived Nine comments addressed the lack of accountability over Federal * * * * * increase from $25 million to $50 million 4. OMB hereby amends Circular A– funds that would fall below the new of the threshold for cognizant agency for 133, section § ll.105, by adding at the threshold. On the other hand, several audit. Seven commenters (two Federal end of the definition of oversight agency commenters suggested raising the and five non-Federal) supported the for audit: ‘‘A Federal agency with threshold to $1 million to further increase and two Federal agencies oversight for an auditee may reassign alleviate the burden on non-Federal opposed. One concern was that the oversight to another Federal agency entities expending smaller amounts of reduction in the number of cognizant Federal funds. OMB believes that, which provides substantial funding and agency for audit assignments would because the revisions only exempt an agrees to be the oversight agency for reduce Federal agency monitoring of additional one-half of one percent of audit. Within 30 days after any audit quality. OMB is actively working Federal dollars expended from audit with Federal agencies to strengthen reassignment, both the old and the new while providing administrative relief to quality control reviews of audits by oversight agency for audit shall notify approximately 6,000 entities, the risk to selecting a statistical sample of single the auditee, and, if known, the auditor Federal funds does not outweigh the audits to measure audit quality across of the reassignment.’’ benefits to grant recipients. OMB, Federal programs. This work is expected [FR Doc. 03–16355 Filed 6–26–03; 8:45 am] however, appreciates the comments to improve our ability to measure and BILLING CODE 3110–01–P about reduced accountability and improve audit quality. concerns expressed by several Four comments concerned the commenters that raising the audit technical changes. One Federal agency OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND threshold could provide more (which opposed all of the proposed BUDGET opportunities for fraud. revisions to Circular A–133) expressed It is important to note that Circular A– concern about accountability over Use of a Universal Identifier by Grant 133 audit is only one of many Federal funds. As noted above, OMB Applicants monitoring tools available to oversee the believes that the revisions to Circular AGENCY: Office of Management and administration of and strengthen A–133 provide an appropriate balance Budget. accountability over Federal grants. between administrative relief and the ACTION: Notice of final policy issuance. Grantee monitoring should occur risk to Federal funds.
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