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Preparing the Grant Application

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  1. Preparing the Grant Application Mary Echols Seema Rao Miya Smith 5/19/09

  2. TOPICS • Application • Bundling Assurances/Certifications • EPA Cost Review – Level of Detail • Common Snags and Errors

  3. APPLICATION

  4. Application • Application for Federal Assistance, (SF424) • Detailed Budget/Budget Narrative • Work Plan/Air Planning Agreement • Certifications/Assurances

  5. Application Con’t • Any Program Specific Requirement • Section 105 • Estimated Budget by Work Plan Component • National and Regional level hold backs • Local/State Agency level hold backs • Match and/or Maintenance of Effort Satisfied (Section 105)

  6. Application Reminders • Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) • Submit Application to the State Clearinghouse for Review • Indicate pre-award, in-kind services, non-recurrent costs, and program income on application

  7. Section 105 Timeline FY2010-2011

  8. Bundling of Assurances&Certifications for States

  9. Certificates and Assurances • Lobbying and Litigation Certificate • http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/form/Lobbying.pdf • Non-Construction Assurance • http://www.epa.gov/ogd/forms/adobe/SF424B%20Page%201.pdf • http://www.epa.gov/ogd/forms/adobe/SF424B%20Page%202.pdf

  10. Certificates and Assurances Con’t • Pre-Award Compliance Form 4700-4 • http://www.epa.gov/ogd/forms/adobe/4700-4.pdf • Note: Key Contact Form is not a part of Bundling • Bundling is not applicable to Local Agencies

  11. EPA COST REVIEW

  12. Cost Review • Template for grants under 40 CFR Part 35 Subpart A • Section 105 • Template for project grants • PM2.5 • NATTS • Regional Haze • Diesel

  13. Cost Review for Part 35 Recipients - Section 105 • Provides an alternative to the detailed justifications for personnel and travel • Available to state and local agencies • Systems and procedures provide necessary and appropriate internal controls • Internal Controls Assurance • Assurance of acceptable system • Submitted one time, updated only when travel or personnel systems change • Explain in application costs greater than 10% from prior year’s application

  14. EPA Cost Review • Determine whether the budget is reasonable from a programmatic perspective • Consider the technical necessity for and price reasonableness of proposed budget

  15. EPA Cost Review Terms • Eligible– Permitted by statute, program guidance or regulations • Reasonable – Does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances at the time the decision was made to incur the cost • Allowable – Necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award • Allocable – Incurred specifically for the award; treated the same no matter when or where applied and consistent with the recipients’ policies, regulations, and procedures, and necessary to the overall operation of the organization

  16. Object Class Categories • Personnel • Fringe Benefits • Travel • Equipment • Supplies • Contractual • Other • Indirect Charges • Program Income

  17. Personnel • Applicant must identify all staff positions by: • Title • Annual Salary • Percentage of Time • Any individual placed in this budget category must be an employee of the applicant organization, not a contractor or consultant

  18. Fringe Benefits • Costs for personnel employment other than direct income • Should not be combined with staff salaries • i.e., Employer’s portion of FICA insurance, retirement, sick leave, holiday pay, vacation costs, etc. that will be paid by the recipient.

  19. Travel • Estimated budget for each trip should list: • Travel Destination • Purpose of Trip • Number of Travelers • Mode of Transportation • Estimated Cost for Each Trip

  20. Travel Con’t • Applicant’s budget supported by descriptive work plan statement of needs and benefits of travel • Travel and per diem costs are those costs for travel and subsistence which are directly related to the grant • Such expenses are allowable only when travel is directly related to the proposed project and will provide benefit to it • Review travel costs to ensure that the destination and the number of trips planned are necessary to complete the scope of work, and that the number of travelers is consistent with the trips’ purposes

  21. Cost Review • Equipment • Supplies • Contractual • Other • EPA In-Kind Services • Subgrants • Program Income • Indirect Costs

  22. Equipment: • Equipment is defined as a tangible, nonexpendable personal property with a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or greater and a useful life of more than one year.

  23. Equipment: • Applicant must identify in their budget each equipment item and its unit cost. • EPA evaluates the following: • Is it more economical to rent or lease the equipment? • Has the same equipment been authorized for this project/program in past years? • Are equipment costs reasonable and necessary compared to the proposed work plan? • What will be the disposition of the equipment once the project is completed?

  24. Supplies: • Supplies are consumable, expendable, and of relative low unit cost.

  25. Supplies: • Applicant must identify categories of supplies (e.g., laboratory supplies or office supplies) and their cost. • EPA evaluates if supply costs are reasonable and necessary compared to the proposed work plan.

  26. Contractual: A Contract means a mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish the supplies or services and the buyer to pay for them.

  27. Contractual: • Include the following in contractual budget category: • Each proposed contract and specify its purpose, duration and estimated cost. • Each proposed consultant including purpose, duration and estimated cost. • Applicant must comply with EPA’s regulations on procurement (40 CFR 31.36 for State and Local Government Agencies).

  28. Contractual: • EPA reviews the following: • Does the proposed contract appear necessary to carry out the objectives of the project and is the cost reasonable? • If the applicant is proposing a sole source contract, did their workplan include a justification? • If a consultant is proposed for the project, does the consultant rate exceed the daily salary rate for a Level 4 federal executive?

  29. Other: • Costs that do not fit in the previous budget categories but are directly related to the project including postage, printing and reproduction, conference room rentals, subgrants, EPA In-Kind Services, publication, telephone, etc.

  30. Subgrants: • A Subgrant is an award of financial assistance made under an EPA grant or cooperative agreement by the Recipient to an eligible subrecipient.

  31. Subgrants: EPA reviews the following: • Is the subgrant for an eligible recipient? • Is the Applicant using the subgrant to transfer or delegate their responsibility for successful completion of their EPA assistance agreement? • Will the Applicant monitor the performance of their subgrantee to ensure compliance with federal grant requirements? • Subgrants may not be used to circumvent procurement requirements or EPA competition policies.

  32. EPA In-Kind Services: In-kind assistance is non-monetary support which EPA may provide to a recipient in addition to or in lieu of monetary support. (example: Recipient’s use of an EPA contractor to support carbonyl monitoring efforts)

  33. EPA In-Kind Services: Benefits the Recipient: • Saves money and time by having EPA transfer anything of value, such as equipment or services, to a recipient.

  34. EPA In-Kind Services: • If the recipient requests IKS: • Provide written request to EPA PO; • Include rationale for why EPA should procure or provide this support instead of the recipient; and • Include the value of the IKS in the total budget costs.

  35. Program Income: Program Income is gross revenue earned by the Recipient from activities supported by the grant or cooperative agreement. Examples of program income include registration fees collected, income from the sale of products under a grant, and rental fees generated from equipment purchased with EPA grant funds.

  36. Program Income: • EPA reviews the following: • Has the Applicant explained how program income will be used? • If yes, how will it be used? Options include: • Will it be deducted from the total allowable cost? • Will it be used to expand or support the project? • Will it be used to meet non-federal cost share or match requirement?

  37. Indirect Costs: Costs that are not readily identifiable with a particular project or activity but are necessary to the general operation of the organization and the conduct of its grant activities.

  38. Indirect Costs: Examples of Indirect Costs: • Depreciation and use allowances; • Facilities rental, operations and maintenance; • General administration; and • Sponsored project administration.

  39. Indirect Costs: • Applicant needs to submit to EPA: • Indirect Cost Rate Proposal; or • Cost Allocation Plan

  40. COMMON SNAGS AND ERRORS

  41. Common Snags and Errors • Inaccurate calculations • Insufficient budget detail or inadequate justification for costs • Does not support work plan • Budget not consistent between SF424A, Object Class Category, and/or work plan • An inflated project budget as compared to general operating expenses

  42. RECAP

  43. Recap • Application • Bundling Assurances/Certifications • EPA Cost Review – Level of Detail • Common Snags and Errors