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Mailing Address:

500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: (202)334-3994
Fax: (202)334-1369

FDP Brochure 2012

FDP Brochure 2016


Payroll Certification


OMB Circular A-21 requires institutions to confirm, on an after-the-fact basis, that payroll changes to sponsored programs are commensurate with the effort provided. The A-21 requirements (section J.8) are overly complicated, burdensome and out of date. Regulations require institutions to distribute thousand of “effort reports” to be approved and returned even when there is no change to the payroll data. More importantly, there is widespread recognition that the regulations are not an effective means of assurance. This working group will examine ways to simplify the regulations and find and effective and efficient means to assure that the distribution of salaries and wages to sponsored agreements is appropriate.


Survey payroll certification practices at FDP institutions
Identify current issues within section J.10 of OMB Circular A-21
Develop whitepaper which contains a set of core payroll certification principles.


Pilot Completion Letter to George Mason University
Pilot Completion Letter to Michigan Technological University

Payroll Certification Proposal
(January 2011)

Effort Reporting – How Universities Meet the Current Federal Requirements, Council on Governmental Relations, June 1, 2005 (PDF)
Side-by-side Comparison of Proposed Revisions to Current A-21 Section J.10 – September 2005 (PDF)
Proposed Revision to OMB Circular A-21 (Section J.10) – April 2005 (PDF)
Streamlining of the Payroll Certification Requirements Workshop – August 23-24, 2004 (PDF)

Lessons Learned, Rich Andrews 

Michigan Tech Update January 2012
Michigan Tech Update May 2012
Michigan Tech Update August 2012
Michigan Tech Update May 2013
Michigan Tech Update January 2014

George Mason Update Sept. 2011
George Mason Update May 2012
George Mason Update May 2013
George Mason Update January 2014


University of California Update January 2014

Meeting Minutes

January 2004


Committee Mailing List – FDP-PAYCERT-L@LSW.NAS.EDU




Debbie Rafi (Co-chair)


Office of Naval Research