Implementation of some sponsored programs may require that a significant portion of the work be conducted by a person or persons not affiliated with The University of Mississippi. In such cases UM, when designated the official or prime recipient and fiscal agent of the grant or contract, issues a subcontract for the portion of work to be performed by the non-affiliated party. Usually the PI/PD must indicate in the proposal any intent to subcontract a portion of the project. Most funding agencies require written approval before a subcontract is issued. Sponsor regulations that apply to the prime recipient of an award may also apply (or “flow down”) to any subcontractors and must be referenced in the subcontracts accordingly.
Federal regulations, including OMB Circular A-110, stipulate clauses that must be passed down to subcontractors. The prime recipient is responsible for ensuring that the subcontractors are informed of and comply with these guidelines and regulations. Standard clauses in federal subcontracts include, but are not limited to, the following:
- records and retention; and
- certification of assurances.
The PI/PD should use the Request To Issue Subcontract Under an Externally Funded Program form to request that a subcontract be issued. Information provided on the form includes the subcontractor’s technical and administrative representatives’ contact information and documentation of the basis for the “sole sourcing” of the subcontract. This request, along with a statement of work and budget, should be submitted to the ORSP.
Upon receipt of this request, the ORSP assists the PI/PD in the development of the subcontract and ensures that the subcontractor has supplied appropriate financial information. This assistance ranges from designing subcontracts to reviewing proposed subcontracts to ensure compliance with sponsor guidelines. ORSP staff work with the PI/PD and the proposed subcontractors to design and negotiate acceptable subcontract wording in keeping with sponsor guidelines and regulations and UM policies and procedures.
PIs/PDs and the ORSP should document the basis for the “sole sourcing” of any subcontractor not named as a partner in a joint submission to the sponsor and considered a component of the approved project at the time of the award.
The ORSP processes subcontracts and affixes the signature of the university’s authorizing official, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs, to approved subcontracts after they have been signed by the subcontractor and UM has received required documentation (e.g., audit certifications).
Subcontractors send their invoices for payment to the ORSP Contracts and Grants Accountant, who reviews each invoice with regard to federal and state regulations and conditions specified in the award. If an invoice is acceptable, the Accountant attaches and signs an approved Certification for Payments to be Made under a Subcontract form and forwards the certificate and invoice to the PI/PD for approval. The PI/PD is responsible for approving all invoices with regard to the subcontractor’s performance. The PI/PD then sends the form and invoice to Procurement Services to be paid. Procurement Services will not pay a subcontractor’s invoice without both signatures (ORSP C&G Accountant and PI/PD) on the certification form.
Subcontractors are also involved in the close-out process of grants and contracts. The PI/PD is responsible for receiving final programmatic and other reports in a timely manner so that UM final financial, programmatic, and other reports can be filed as required by the sponsor (see Section 7.9 on reports and Section 7.14 on program termination and close-out).