About USAID Standard Provisions

As noted in Regulations - Overview, federal awarding agencies need to impose more requirements on recipients than those contained in 2 CFR 200. These are often required by legislation and/or executive orders that apply specifically to the awarding agency. USAID does this via a set of standard provisions that it includes in all award agreements.

USAID's standard provisions are presented in distinct sets, appropriate to the type of award and recipient. Currently, they are the following:

  • SPs for US Nongovernmental Organizations (ADS 303maa);
  • SPs for non-US Nongovernmental Organizations (ADS 303mab); and
  • SPs for Fixed Amount Awards to Nongovernmental Organizations (ADS 303mat).

Each set of SPs is presented in two groups: Mandatory Provisions (designated by the letter "M" in the numbering system) and Required as Applicable (designated by the letters "RAA"). The "M" provisions are applicable to all awards, while the "RAA" provisions are required only under specific circumstances, which are defined in a brief applicability statement preceding the text of each provision.

USAID's policy (stated at ADS 303.3.13) requires AOs to include in the agreement only those provisions that actually apply to the award. So, while there are 26 "RAA" provisions in the set for US NGOs, one wouldn't expect to see all of those provisions appearing in any given award.

It's up to the AO to select the appropriate RAA provisions, but recipients would do well to carefully review the AO's selections and make sure they agree with them, before signing an award agreement.

Beware: USAID can change the text of the SPs without notice.
The version of the standard provisions that is attached to your award agreement is the version by which you are bound, regardless of what changes USAID may subsequently make to the text of a provision. Smart award administrators maintain copies of each SP that is incorporated into the agreement, to assure that they have a record of the version of the provision that was applicable at the time it was incorporated into the award agreement.

Keep in mind that a newer version of an SP has no effect on your agreement unless/until it is incorporated into the agreement by a formal modification. If you become aware of a newer version of a standard provision that is more suitable to your purposes, you need to ask the AO to modifiy the agreement to incorporate the newer version. See more at Basic Facts about Funding Agreements.

What do pass-through entities need to know about the USAID SPs?

When the recipient is a pass-through entity ("PTE" - i.e., one that makes subawards under its primary award from USAID), it must incorporate all applicable SPs in the subaward agreements, using the version that is appropriate to the subrecipient's status (US or non-US NGO) and type of award (cost reimbursable or fixed amount). For more detail on this and other matters important to PTEs, see Subawards.

The standard provisions are discussed in greater detail in study guides available for free download from this site.
Study Guide for US SPs (USAID)
Study Guide for non-US SPs (USAID)
Study Guide for Fixed Amount Award SPs (USAID)

And a sortable cross reference (Google Sheet) comparing the texts of US and non-US SPs is available here. (Use filter views in Sheets.)

See also: Notes on ADS Series 300

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