The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a directive to implement the requirement for grant applicants to provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003.
OMB has determined that there is a need for improved statistical reporting of Federal grants and cooperative agreements. Use of the DUNS number government-wide will provide means to identify entities receiving those awards and their business relationships. The identifier will be used for tracking purposes, and to validate address and point of contact information. The DUNS number already is in use by the Federal government generally to identify entities receiving Federal contracts and by some agencies in thier grant and cooperative agreement process. Among existing numbering systems, the DUNS is the only one that provides the Federal government the ability to determine hierarchical and family-tree data for related organizations.
The DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the government wide electronic portal (Grants.gov). By using the Grants.gov portal, entities will be able to store in a central repository organizational information that does not change from application to application. The DUNS number will be one of those stored elements. The DUNS number will supplement other identifiers required by statute or regulation, such as tax identification numbers. It is our intent over time to use the DUNS number throughout the grants life cycle.
Organizations should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one as soon as possible if there is a possibility that they will be applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003.