NIH recently issued Guide Notice NOT-OD-18-107 alerting the community that they are now strengthening enforcement of the longstanding closeout requirements. The notice informs the community that, in accordance with the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act and HHS policy, NIH will initiate unilateral closeout – i.e. closeout without receipt of acceptable final reports – for all awards that fail to meet closeout requirements within 120 calendar days. This initiative is paying off – as NIH has unilaterally closed a backlog of over 5,000 grant payment accounts over the past year.
Failing to meet the standard closeout requirements may adversely affect future funding decisions. Failure to correct recurring reporting problems may cause NIH to take one or more actions that may include, but are not limited to, corrective actions, withholding of further awards, suspension or termination. A post with additional information from Mike Lauer, NIH Deputy Director of Extramural Research can be found here.