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Organizational Prior Approval System (OPAS)

Changing Grant Terms and Conditions

Funding agencies delegate some authority to institutions to approve certain administrative actions. These agencies require grantees to assure that adequate institutional reviews and approvals are in place for decisions that affect the management of federally supported projects. All approvals must be documented. To provide these assurances, Colgate has established an Organizational Prior Approval System (OPAS).

The Principal Investigator/Project Director is authorized to make charges to grants that agree with the approved budget. Before incurring any charges that deviate from the awarded budget, the PI/PD must consult the Associate Provost, who will approve expenditures if they:
  • are allowable under OMB Circular 21 (revised 5/10/2004) “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions;  
  • are consistent with the terms and conditions of the award and with sponsor and Colgate University policies;    
  • do not constitute a change in project scope;  
  • are reasonable, necessary, and allocable to the project.

To request administrative changes, submit an OPAS form to the Associate Provost, who must review and sign it and will obtain any additional required signatures.

An OPAS form is required for any change to grant terms and conditions including the categorical budget. Examples of changes and requests that require OPAS forms:

  • pre-award spending authority;  
  • no-cost time extensions;  
  • changing budget lines within the categorical budget;  
  • change in the Principal Investigator.

Once reviewed and approved by the Associate Provost, the request will be submitted to the funding agency by the Grants Office, if required. The signed OPAS form is retained in the Assistant Controller’s grant file for three years following submission of the final financial report.