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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
In 1984, Public Law 98-169 authorized the transfer of responsibilities of the Federal Program Information Act from the Office of Management and Budget to the General Services Administration (GSA). The transfer took place in July 1984. These responsibilities include the dissemination of Federal domestic assistance program information through the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, pursuant to the Federal Program Information Act, Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 98-169. GSA now maintains the Federal assistance information database from which program information is obtained. The Office of Management and Budget serves as an intermediary agent between the Federal agencies and GSA, thus providing oversight to the necessary collection of Federal domestic assistance program data.
As the basic reference source of Federal programs, the primary purpose of the Catalog is to assist users in identifying programs that meet specific objectives of the potential applicant, and to obtain general information on Federal assistance programs. In addition, the intent of the Catalog is to improve coordination and communication between the Federal government and State and local governments.
The Catalog provides the user with access to programs administered by Federal departments and agencies in a single publication. Program information is cross referenced by functional classification (Functional Index), subject (Subject Index), applicant (Applicant Index), deadline(s) for program application submission (Deadlines Index), and authorizing legislation (Authorization Index). These are valuable resource tools that, if used carefully, can make it easier to identify specific areas of program interest more efficiently.
Other sections of the Catalog provide users with information on programs added and deleted since the last edition of the Catalog, a crosswalk of program numbers and title changes, regional and local offices, intergovermental review requirements, definitions of the types of assistance under which programs are administered, proposal writing, grant application procedures, and additional sources of information on Federal programs and services.
Programs selected for inclusion in the Federal assistance data base are defined as any function of a Federal agency that provides assistance or benefits for a State or States, territorial possession, county, city, other political subdivision, grouping, or instrumentality thereof; any domestic profit or nonprofit corporation, institution, or individual, other than an agency of the Federal government.
A "Federal domestic assistance program" may in practice be called a program, an activity, a service, a project, a process, or some other name, regardless of whether it is identified as a separate program by statute or regulation. It will be identified in terms of its legal authority, administering office, funding, purpose, benefits, and beneficiaries.
"Assistance" or "benefits" refers to the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value, the principal purpose of which is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute. Assistance includes, but is not limited to grants, loans, loan guarantees, scholarships, mortgage loans, insurance, and other types of financial assistance, including cooperative agreements; property, technical assistance, counseling, statistical, and other expert information; and service activities of regulatory agencies. It does not include the provision of conventional public information services.