U.S. Treasury Guidance

Pre-Award Requirements for Municipalities Receiving Direct Funds

Updated: April 16, 2021

Required for all cities and towns over 50,000 people; NCLM recommends all cities and towns follow same guidance

On April 15, 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department issued the following guidance:


Prior to the formal launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program, those entities that are eligible to receive a direct payment of funds from Treasury under the program should prepare certain information in advance as outlined below. By undertaking these preparatory steps, eligible entities will be better positioned to receive payments from Treasury in a more timely manner after the program is launched.

Direct payment from Treasury will be made to:

  • States (defined to include the District of Columbia)

  • Territories

  • Tribal governments

  • Counties

  • Metropolitan cities


All Federal financial assistance recipients must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) database at SAM.gov. As a result, all eligible entities receiving direct payment from Treasury under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program will need a DUNS number and an active SAM registration to receive payment. The DUNS and SAM registration process may take several business days to complete. Therefore, Treasury recommends that eligible entities begin those registration processes if they have not already completed them.

As soon as possible, these governments should take the steps below:

  1. Ensure the entity has a valid DUNS number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify an organization and is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. The federal government uses the DUNS number to track how federal money is allocated. A DUNS number is required prior to registering with the SAM database, which is outlined below. Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge.
    If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.

  2. Ensure the entity has an active SAM registration. SAM is the official government-wide database to register with in order to do business with the U.S. government. All Federal financial assistance recipients must register on SAM.gov and renew their SAM registration annually to maintain an active status to be eligible to receive Federal financial assistance. There is no charge to register or maintain your entity SAM registration.
    If an entity does not have an active SAM registration, please visit, SAM.gov to begin the entity registration or renewal process. Please note that SAM registration can take up to three weeks; delay in registering in SAM could impact timely payment of funds. Click here for a quick overview for SAM registration

  3. Gather the entity’s payment information, including:

    • Entity Identification Number (EIN), name, and contact information

    • Name and title of an authorized representative of the entity

    • Financial institution information (e.g., routing and account number, financial institution name and contact information)

Note to non-metropolitan cities and towns: Eligible Non-entitlement Units of Local Government will receive a distribution of funds from their respective state government. “Non-entitlement units of local government” are defined in 42 U.S.C. 5302(a)(5) that are not metropolitan cities. For these Non-entitlement units of local government, Treasury will allocate and pay funds to state governments, and the state will distribute funds to non-entitlement units of local government in proportion to population. Non-entitlement units must have a valid DUNS number to meet reporting the requirements under the program. If an entity does not have a valid DUNS number, please visit https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ or call 1-866-705-5711 to begin the registration process.

Program guidance for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund will be released in the coming weeks. Please continue to check this website for further updates.

View the U.S. Treasury's full announcement here.

Read: NLC's letter to U.S. Treasury

March 25, 2021

The National League of Cities wrote a letter to the U.S. Treasury on March 25, urging that guidance on the American Rescue Plan be in agreement with the principles central to municipal leadership and recovery. This includes requests regarding broadband, infrastructure and other critical allowable uses for ARP funds. The letter additionally shared many of our cities' and towns' most pressing questions. 

That document can be read here