Post-Award Grants Management
Monitoring Report Form and/or Checklist
Pre-Award Grants Management
Although the actual mechanics of grant administration will likely be delegated by you to on-staff grant specialists, the responsibility to manage a successful granting agency are ultimately yours alone. The greatest care must be exercised in this arena, as the successful administration of the grant funds entrusted to your agency may well be the most important task associated with the position. By using the suggestions outlined in this module and those found in the links provided, you will be exercising the diligence necessary to achieve success.
Grant Application and Establishment
Program establishment is one of the most important stages in administering federal funds because it is the foundational step from which all the other processes will follow. Creating a well-structured and financed administering agency with defined roles and responsibilities, either through executive order or statute, will be critical for success. As well, the agency must be knowledgeable about the federal laws, terms and conditions which govern the various grant programs which it will apply for and administer. And, it will need leaders and staff that understand those laws and conditions, as well as the needs, priorities and objectives of the applicant(s), in order to translate those into a well-designed application.
Developing the Application
Concept Paper and Staffing
Audits are performed to ascertain the validity of an organization’s ability to operate effectively. There are four (4) common types of audits in grants management: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 Audit; Independent Audits and Financial Statements; the federal agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) Audit; and, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit.
Federal staff rouutinely visit sites to evaluate grantee and subgrantee compliance with grant requirements and procedures. This section helps the grantee understand and provide leadership in three critical areas: 1) subgrantee monitoring, 2) the administrative requirements that federal agencies set for grantee organizations, and 3) the ethical principles to which all federally funded programs must adhere.
A growing number of SAAs are following the lead of the federal government and requiring prospective and current grantees to use an electronic “e-grants” management system, while other states are broadening the use of these types of systems to include more than the traditional grant management functions. For example, states like Pennsylvania and Texas announce funding opportunities and accept applications and program and fiscal reports online. The grant management systems are then used to register, submit and certify, then manage grants. Pennsylvania’s system also includes an online tutorial for prospective applicants.
Omni Circular 2 CFR Part 200
The new Omni Circular impacts all Federal agencies and non-Federal entities (states, local governments, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations) that receive Federal awards as a recipient or subrecipient and their auditors. It combines eight (8) previously separate sets of OMB guidance into one (1). It also co-locates all related OMB guidance into Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). And, the CFR has the force and effect of law.
Information about the new Circular can be found below. It is also the subject of the NCJA webinar, Getting to Know the New Omni Circular 2 CFR Part 200. NCJA members may download the webcast for free. Nonmembers may access it for $35.
Federal Laws, Regulations and Guidance
Listed here are significant pieces of legislation which govern and impact the administration of federal funds.
Cash Management Improvement Act
The CMIA provides the general rules and procedures for the efficient transfer of federal financial assistance between the federal government and the states (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Territories of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Island.
Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977
Federal grants are defined and governed by the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, as incorporated in Title 31 Section 6304 of the U.S. Code.
Hot Topics in Grants Management
COFAR: Frequently Asked Questions
In November 2014, the COFAR made revisions and updates to the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 110-3 Effective Dates and Disclosure Statements (DS-2s); 110-5 Effective Dates, Applications, and DS-2s; and 431-1 Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs. In addition, they have made an edit to the lead-in paragraph to the FAQs. Updated FAQs are available here.
No single issue is more critical to the proper administration of an SAA’s job performance than the management of the award and the monitoring of federal funds to eligible grantees. If properly executed, the agency will thrive, programs will flourish and promising practices will advance. If not, the agency will suffer, not only in reputation, but also in the ultimate denial of sufficient funds to promote positive programs.
States such as Maryland prepare a statewide Crime Control & Prevention Plan for the Governor every three years. Plans like these serve as roadmaps for specific steps to take to improve public safety and guides decisions regarding the allocation of grant funds, and articulates the reasons for funding decisions.