FY 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program Local Solicitation Webinar
During this July 2022 webinar, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) personnel provided information about the FY 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program - Local Solicitation funding opportunity. The presenter discussed the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity; reviewed its eligibility requirements; and addressed frequently asked questions.
BJA Fiscal Year 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance
Grant Program - Local Solicitation Webinar
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar “BJA Fiscal Year 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program - Local Solicitation” hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
At this time, my pleasure to introduce Brenda Worthington, Associate Deputy Director with the Bureau of Justice Assistance for some welcoming remarks and to begin the presentation. Brenda?
BRENDA WORTHINGTON: Good afternoon. My name is Brenda Worthington, and I’m an Associate Deputy Director in the BJA Programs Office. On behalf of BJA Director Karhlton Moore and BJA Principal Deputy Director Kristen Mahoney, I welcome you to this Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Solicitation webinar. Thank you so very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us today.
This program, our flagship program, is named in honor of New York City police officer Edward Byrne. Officer Byrne was shot and killed in 1988 while protecting a witness who had agreed to testify in a court case against local drug dealers. He was only 22 years old. BJA is absolutely honored to administer the Byrne fundings to communities nationwide in memory of Officer Byrne. If you’d like to learn more about Officer Byrne, we have several links, including the recent BJA blog post in the Resources section of our presentation toward the end.
I will now toss this over to Darius Locicero, who’s the Division Chief in the Programs Office. Darius has been a Division Chief Lead on the JAG program since the program’s inception in its current form, which was back in fiscal year 2005. Since then, he’s assisted the department with making over 22,000 direct local JAG awards, and that was for a total of over $7 billion. Quite a feat. And thank you so much, Darius. Take it away.
DARIUS LOCICERO: Thanks, Brenda, and good afternoon, everyone. I’m just gonna go through some high-level overview information and then pass it over to my colleague in a couple of minutes here.
As Brenda noted, we are here to specifically talk about local JAG and kind of hone in on some programmatic items as well, some overview items, but local JAG posted this year on June 22nd of 2022. And as you can see on the screen, there are two different places to apply: Grants.gov, just like last year, with a deadline of August 3rd, and in JustGrants with a deadline of August 8th. This year, there are over 1,100--1,198 eligible applicants for local JAG, and it totals in available funding over $92.8 million. Just like last year, we also have two categories set up for local JAG. Category 1, which would be less than $25,000 applicants, and Category 2, which is $25,000 or more. So, when you are applying, please make sure that you are applying for the appropriate category. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a reference to our JAG webpage, which has our JAG allocations list. It has our fact sheet, our FAQs, and our technical report. JAG webpage is updated regularly, and I would strongly encourage all of you to stop by and take a look at that and all the resources we have on that page. We will be posting all these slides after the webinar, so you will also be able to see them as well.
So just a quick high-level overview of JAG. It’s BJA’s flagship program. It’s still a leading source in federal criminal justice funding for state, local, and tribal jurisdictions. Up until very recently, there were eight broad statutory program areas included. You’ll see them in the solicitation—law enforcement, prosecution and courts, prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, and technology improvement, crime victim and witness programs, and mental health programs, and related law enforcement and corrections programs.
All of you, many of you are probably very familiar with the program areas that you’ve been applying to the JAG program for years. Some of you may be less familiar. Tarasa, who I’m gonna hand this off to in a minute, will go into some more depth on some items, but I wanted to note that this year, or very recently, there was a ninth program area added as part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and that happened shortly after the solicitation posted. So, that’s why in the solicitation, you’ll still only see eight program areas. But this is a big change, not only because it’s adding a program area, which is related to the implementation of state crisis intervention, court proceedings and related programs or initiatives, but there’s also language in that that adds in civil proceedings to criminal proceedings. So, there are some changes that we will be posting more information about that to our JAG FAQs and other places in the near future.
So, without further ado, I’m gonna pass it off to my colleague, Tarasa Napolitano. Tarasa’s the State Policy Advisor, who’s also the Program Lead for the JAG program, and I’ve worked with Tarasa for many years now on JAG, and she also serves as State Policy Advisor for state JAG awards in Florida and Alabama, as well as a number of local JAG awards and some other programs. So, without further ado, Tarasa, I’ll pass it over to you. Thanks.
TARASA NAPOLITANO: Thank you, Darius, and hello, everyone. One second. I’m gonna tee up the next slide here. So, Darius kind of hit an overview of the program.
Now we’re kind of gonna get into some more detail on what some of the items you’ll see in the solicitation this year. The first we’re gonna touch on is the areas of emphasis.
These are key areas of priority that are included in the JAG solicitation each year. These are administration priorities that address the current climate within the criminal justice system. So, these often change from year to year or every few years. They aren’t stagnant as the current program areas are. This year, we actually have six, so I’m gonna take a brief moment to go into each of these and kind of give an overview of what the areas of emphasis are this year.
The first is combating hate crimes or sometimes called bias-motivated crime. These are criminal offenses motivated by some sort of bias towards victims on the basis of either race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. So BJA is encouraging JAG recipients to use funding to prioritize efforts to address hate crimes and hate incidences, to also increase public awareness, and expand the reporting of hate crimes to enhance the capacity of law enforcement and prosecutors to prevent and address hate crimes through education and training and tools to investigate and prosecute hate crime cases.
The second area of emphasis this year is promoting public trust between communities and criminal justice agencies. For many communities, recent high-profile incidences of excessive use of force has contributed to a strained relationship and a lack of confidence in law enforcement, courts, and prosecutors. BJA encourages state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to use JAG funding in support of projects that aim to partner with the police and the community to advance constitutional policing practices that create transparency and accountability that’s necessary for public trust.
The third area of emphasis is reducing violent crime. In June of 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety to stem the flow of firearms used to commit violence. Recognizing that violent crime and the drivers of that crime vary from community to community, BJA encourages JAG grantees to invest funds to tailor programs and responses to state and local crime issues through the use of data and analytics and by leveraging funding with other programs such as the PSN program or perhaps partnering with ATF, FBI, or DHS, and also partnering with other law enforcement organizations and prosecutors.
The fourth area is the community violence intervention. This is also known as CVI. It’s a program at BJA. In April of ’21, we just talked about the Biden-Harris Administration announcing the strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime. So, investments in the community and intervention efforts to combat the gun violence and epidemic, CVI is an approach that uses evidence-informed strategies to reduce violence through tailored community-centered initiatives. BJA encourages JAG recipients to invest JAG funds to tailor programs and responses to CVI in an effort to build strong, sustained partnerships with community residents and organizations to support CVI work in communities most impacted by violent crime.
And the fourth one is—or the fifth one, I should say, is addressing COVID-19, criminal justice challenges in sustaining innovations. So, during the pandemic, we saw an increase in court backlogs due to shutdowns, resulting in mitigations, including state and local tribal agencies, creating innovative ways to administer justice. While many of these innovations had an upfront cost, they hold significant potential to be cost-saving and effective over time. It’s important for agencies to sustain innovation that improves both the efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system operation. BJA encourages recipients to utilize funds for continued innovation, sustainment, and sustainment activity and to continue addressing the court backlog cases.
And the final area of emphasis is the crime analysis and investigations area. This is—so, law enforcement agencies that have robust analysis and capabilities are better able to focus their limited resources in ways that directly improve public safety while protecting the rights of civilians. BJA encourages JAG recipients to use funds to support crime analysis efforts, including the hiring of cybercrime analysts and investigators, as well as cybercrime training for state and local law enforcement and emergency dispatch personnel.
I know that was an earful. I just want to add one thing while this is up. In addition to the June 2021 DOJ-issued guidance regarding threats against election workers, DOJ wants the task force to address the rise in such threats. BJA also sent a letter to FAA directors clarifying that JAG funds can be used to detect and deter and protect threats of violence against election workers, administrators, officials, and those associated with the electoral process. So, just keep that in mind as well that that’s another use of JAG funds.
I think we’ve kind of covered this a little bit, but just to clarify the difference between the statutory program areas versus the areas of emphasis, the statutory areas—any funding through JAG must fit one of these program areas. It’s statutorily required to have a nexus of one of the nine that Darius mentioned earlier, and these programs are consistent from year and year and do not change unless the legislation changes, which we saw this year. But it is typically not a common thing that changes from year to year. The second is the areas of emphasis. This does change from year to year. We will see some consistencies over time, but these have more flexibility. You’re also not required to use JAG funding for these areas of emphasis. This is more of a suggestion to kind of highlight some different ways that JAG funding can be used.
Other uses of funds. So, these were added to the solicitation based on Biden’s Executive Order to advance effective and accountable policing and strengthen public safety. So, you’ll see these other uses of JAG funds in the solicitation this year. I’m not gonna read them all to you; however, I would like you to read them and to familiarize yourself with different ways and maybe some creative ways to use your JAG funding. This includes the purchasing of managed access systems, other mitigation technologies, the purchase of fentanyl and methamphetamine detection equipment, and obviously purchasing drug-detection K9s. That has always been allowable. This includes training of K9s. So all of that is allowable through JAG.
So, to support efforts to seal and expunge criminal history information in accordance with state laws and policies also can be used to attract and retain an all-inclusive law enforcement workforce. JAG funds can be used to support virtual reality de-escalation training, gunfire detection technology, purchase remote restraint devices that enable law enforcement to restrain an uncooperative subject without requiring the infliction of pain, data-sharing, and sex offender monitoring. All of these are allowable through JAG funding, and for additional purposes, you can click the link here. These slides will be sent to you or I think posted on the webpage, so you will have access to these links.
Eligibility. So, JAG is eligible to units of local government. State and local units of local government and state administering agencies can both be recipients of JAG funds only in terms of units of local government. Only those that are listed on the JAG allocations list are eligible to apply under the solicitation. Here, you can see the definition of a unit of local government, and if you do not meet this definition, then you would not qualify for or be eligible for an award. This year, we did make the transition from DUNS to UEI. An application must be submitted by an applicant with this UEI number that’s associated with your local government. We do have more information on our JAG FAQ document, which is posted on the JAG webpage and I will provide those links later in the presentation.
What I did want to note in terms of SAM and UEI—I’ll go back to this really quickly. In terms of SAM and UEI, SAM has seen an increase in traffic and backlog. So, if you are not registered in SAM, please do so as quickly as possible so that you can submit your application. What was taking maybe 7 days is now taking 10 to 14. So, keep that in mind when you’re applying this year.
Disparate jurisdiction. So local awards, local jurisdictions have the possibility of being disparate. This means that that jurisdiction has been identified as having a disparity, meaning that the—and here we kind of explain it—it may exist between the funding of a county and a city. And this happens when, let’s say, the city is incurring the crime data and reporting the crime data that the, let’s say the county is also sharing some of those costs that the county is not getting the benefits of those reports that would lead to the funding through the formula. So, we identify those as disparate and—there are actually three different types of disparity that exist, and all of them are explained in the JAG Technical Report, which is on the BJA website. It links here, and if you want to see how that determination is made. Disparate units of local government are shaded gray on the allocations list, and if you are a disparate, then you will need to identify a fiscal agent. So, one jurisdiction needs to be responsible for applying for the award, submitting the application, and for serving as the fiscal agent, doing all of the reporting and post-award.
An MOU must be signed by each agency and accompany the application. If you don’t have it all signed at the time of the application, that is OK. We can collect it post-award. However, in order to access funds, you will need to have an MOU signed by all of the jurisdictions in the disparity. The MOU will outline who’s going to be the fiscal agent and how the money is going to be distributed. It is up to the jurisdiction in the district to decide how they want to distribute the funding. So, we do provide kind of a guideline. You’ll see—and I’ll show you an example, a screenshot on the next slide—in those gray areas, you will see individual allocations. Those are just suggestions, so you do not have to go by those. So, if you decide that you want to split something 50/50 with the funding amount 50/50, you absolutely can and that would be outlined in the MOU that both of you would sign.
And also, lastly, other agents outside of the fiscal agent in a disparity will be considered subawards. So, if you’re not the fiscal agent, then you would be considered a subaward. And the fiscal agent will be responsible for monitoring those subawards.
And here you can see an example of what I was explaining. So, those shaded in gray are the disparate jurisdictions. So, you can see here, Allegheny County and the first one Allegheny County and Cumberland City are slated to share a joint allocation of $13,000. So, you can see here, there’s a direct allocation and those can be split either way. There’s a star here, but you can split those—the jurisdiction can decide how they would like to distribute those funds. Those in the white down here at the bottom are direct allocations. So, they are not in a disparate group and they will receive the direct allocation in white.
OK, information for units of local government that do not appear on the allocations list. So, if you are a local jurisdiction and you do not see your jurisdiction, your city or county listed or your tribal organization listed on the allocations list, it’s possible that you were not eligible. And so, the way that the JAG formula works is it’s based on FBI crime data and since it’s population data, that is—works out how we split the formula funding from state and local, and then it’s further divided with crime data from the FBI. So, any jurisdiction that falls below $10,000 is not eligible for a direct award through BJA. So, what we do is we send a list of those that fall below that $10,000 threshold. We send that list to the SAA, the State Administering Agencies. In addition, that funding that falls below that threshold is added to the state award for distribution to local entities or state police. So, if you are not eligible for—or you see that you’re not on the allocations list, I would encourage you to follow up with your State Administering Agency to see what you can do to qualify for a subaward through the state.
Some of the requirement highlights this year in the solicitation, much of this is the same as last year. So, you’ll see in order to submit through Grants.gov, you need to have the SF-LLL, which is a lobbying disclosure. You’ll also need the SF-424, which has been standard for as long as I can remember now. So those two need to be submitted in order to submit in Grants.gov. Then you will go to JustGrants and submit there, so there’s a two-step process. Once in JustGrants, you’ll be able to submit the program attachments, including the program narrative. The program narrative should include a narrative of the program that you intend to fund through JAG. And obviously, the bigger the programs, the higher the funding amount, the more detail we would expect to see. Another attachment would be the Budget Detail Worksheet. This is a mandatory attachment. This has to be included in order for us to process the application. So even if you have no idea what you intend to use the funding for, I encourage you to just put something on a budget, whether it just be an estimate. We can always change it post-award, but we cannot process an application without a budget. So, we do need that attached. So, label an attachment budget.
One thing to note this year is the NIBRS, the National Incident Based Reporting System. We had a 3% set-aside for those to become compliant, and we have removed that this year in the solicitation. So I know that you’re all muted, but I’m sure you’re cheering on the other side. Ha ha! We actually—all 50 states are certified compliant now. So you should be—if you are local that is not certified, please follow up with your state to become certified, but you will no longer be required to set aside part of your JAG application or JAG funding for the purposes of becoming compliant.
The next attachment required is the Financial Management Questionnaire. So, this is actually, I think, included in the JustGrants web form, so you should be able to fill that out, but there’s also links here but if you’d like to see—fill that out as a separate attachment if you can. I will tell you, we specifically look for if you have subawards in your application. Question number 25 asks if you have subaward procedures and policies in place, and if you click no, and you have subawards, then we have to deny this application. So, I would encourage you to if you don’t have policies and procedures to put them in place, if you plan on having subawards, first of all. And then secondly, make sure that if you do have them and you have all of those procedures in place that you’re checking the right box, because it can cause some delays on processing and getting your funding.
The last requirement here is the Chief Executive Certification. So, this is still continued to be required in years past. This must be signed by the highest elected official, and for a county, we would typically see a Chairman of the Board. For a city we would expect to see a mayor, for state a governor. So, this role, this signature authority cannot be delegated. So, unless you can prove that you have city or state or local ordinances that gives this authority to another entity or seat, then we have to process it with the highest elected official in mind. So, keep that in mind. If you do not have it signed, you can still submit it with your application or don’t worry about submitting your application. Submit that anyway, and we will follow up post-award to get this, so don’t stress out and withhold your application because you don’t have this.
Some other requirements—administrative costs. So, part of the JAG statutes state that you are committed to use 10% of your JAG awards for administrative purposes, grant administration purposes. So, this 10% applies to the total award amount. In a different situation, each of the disparates could use 10% or the fiscal agent could use 10%. However, the total of administrative costs cannot exceed 10% of the total award amount. So, bear that in mind when you include administrative costs. Also, they must be tracked separately. So, when we come out for monitoring, we are gonna check to make sure that you’re keeping track of your administrative costs.
Trust funds. So, you do have the option under JAG to draw down all of your funds in advance. You can do so, however, in order to do that, the funds have to be placed in a trust fund, a trust fund account. There are some exceptions to this rule, and you can click on—they’re noted in the 2 CFR 200 here. So, you can link on that if you feel that you might be in that exception. However, I have not come across any. So, bear that in mind, if you are drawing down advance that it should be in a trust fund account.
Performance reporting. So, we will continue the same as last year. There are no changes here. Performance progress reports will be continued to be submitted through the PMT. We have not made the transition of combining everything into JustGrants yet.
We do not have that functionality. So, you will continue to report quarterly in the PMT, the Performance Management Tool, and then semi-annually. If your award is over $25,000, you will upload the PMT report to JustGrants semi-annually. If your award amount is less than $25,000, you will upload that report annually. So, the only difference is that $25,000 threshold, so whether you’re gonna do semi-annually or annually in JustGrants. Other than that, reporting is staying the same.
Prohibited expenditures. So, these are items that are delineated by the JAG statute as prohibited under JAG. So, these are items that cannot be purchased without a waiver. Meaning you write a letter on agency letterhead signed by the authorized representative asking for—and it has to prove that there’s extraordinary and exigent circumstances that would warrant the purchase of any these items. So, I do want to note, most of you are probably already familiar with this, but because we do still get questions, I do want to note that if a vehicle is used for the purpose of patrol—including motorcycles, SUVs, ATVs—if these are used for patrol purposes, they are allowable as long as they’re used for patrol. So, I just want to make that note. Anything outside of that will require a waiver and also UEI. So not UEIs. I’m sorry. UAVs, UASs, drones. Drones are unallowable for any program at BJA right now. So, this isn’t just JAG-specific, but we wanted to add this in here because sometimes we did see a lot of these requests previously. So, we just want to make note that we are not approving these requests at this time, but we will keep you posted if guidance changes. Oh, and I did want to make note, BJA is aware of the new EO, which might impact prohibited expenditures, but there will be no changes at this time. So, we will continue with this guidance until further notice.
And the last two pages here, I just have some resource links that I think would be really helpful for you. The BJA website, the JAG website. The JAG webpage I cannot implore you enough to use this as a resource for yourself. Here, you will find links, frequently asked questions, your allocations, eligibility information, reporting information, technical report information. So, anything and everything you want to know about JAG is on the webpage. So, I really encourage you to take a look there. And we also have some links to the chief certifications and staff contact list as well. So, and please note that it does matter if your award is over $25,000 or under, you would have a different grant manager or state policy advisor. So, keep that in mind when you’re selecting the contact list. And if you do need assistance in submitting your application this year, we do have the contact information. Like I said, it is a two-step process. So, you’ll have the first step in Grants.gov, and we have a hotline here for customer service support.
Then the second step is JustGrants. Again, help desk service information, emails, times and dates that they’re available, and then any other solicitation requirements that you may have questions on outside of that technical NCJARS is always on standby waiting to answer your questions, and they are a phenomenal resource. And anything they cannot answer, they reach out to me or Darius directly. So, I definitely would encourage you to reach out to them if you have any questions, programmatic questions in those locations.
And with that, I am finished with the JAG portion. If you have any questions, please put them in the Q&A or chat. Brenda and Darius are there, and I will as soon as I stop talking, I will go over there and answer any questions that you have. And anything that we do not get to, we can print out and we will get back to you after the training today. So, bear that in mind. Please ask your questions, any that you have. And with that, I will pass it over to Jeff Tynes. He works in our OAAM office, and he’s going to be presenting on JustGrants today. So, I thank you so much for your time.
JEFF TYNES: Thank you very much, Tarasa. Good afternoon. Welcome everyone to this training session on application mechanics, submitting an application. My name is Jeff Tynes, and I am an Instructional Designer with the JustGrant’s Training Team, and I’ll be presenting the material that we’ll review today.
So, the purpose of today’s discussion will be to discuss some of the onboarding steps, including a discussion about entity roles. We’ll also go through the steps of application submission, which will include going through Grants.gov, as well as having to locate and submit your application. And finally, we’ll go over some ways to navigate through the system and some locations where there are resources that we’ve created to help you.
I will begin by taking a look at the onboarding process. Now, if you’re new to JustGrants, we’ve created a visual roadmap to help you be aware of some of the steps that you’re going to need to get through the grant process. Grantees will want to first register with SAM.gov and that will include designating an E-Biz point of contact in SAM.gov, and making note of your Unique Entity Identifier, which is called the UEI. To locate an opportunity for funding, which is also referred to here as a solicitation, you’ll want to open up the Grants.gov website, and then search and select the funding opportunity that you’d like to apply to. During the process of beginning your application in Grants.gov, you’re going to be required to complete a couple of forms. Those include the SF-424 and the SF-LLL, all done in Grants.gov.
It’s important to know that if you do not have those final budget figures, as she just noted and you have not determined the amount of funding, you are welcome to submit preliminary figures and then update your entries in JustGrants prior to submitting your complete application to the DOJ.
Now while the information that you include in the SF-424 in Grants.gov is going to be sent to JustGrants, you will be able to later come and edit that information in JustGrants. Now, the SF-LLL will be sent from Grants.gov to JustGrants as a PDF file, so you will not need to revisit that information again. The bulk of the application will be actually entered in JustGrants. It’s here where you’ll be putting in proposal narratives, proposal abstracts, budget detail worksheets, goals, objectives, timelines. And the person that will be identified in SAM.gov as your E-Biz point of contact automatically becomes the JustGrants Entity Administrator. And that is the person that is listed in Grants.gov as the Application Submitter will automatically become the application submitter in JustGrants. Now if either of those people are not intending to continue in those roles in JustGrants, they can be reassigned once they’ve logged into the system.
Since February of this year, all nonfederal Grants.gov users are going to be required to use login.gov credentials when they sign it to Grants.gov. Now, this was a change to the Grants.gov sign-in process designed to improve user security and it was done to comply with Executive Order 14-028 to improve the nation’s cybersecurity. Login.gov will allow users to access multiple government websites, including Grants.gov, with a single username and password. If you need to link your Grants.gov account with your login account, it’s a three-step process. Click the login.gov button on the Grants.gov login screen. Complete the login process on login.gov using your login.gov username, and you create your account. That will then direct you back to Grants.gov to log in with your Grants.gov username and password and that will link the two accounts. Grants.gov will remove that username password login option. So, you need to take care of that.
Now, as of April 4th of this year, entities will no longer see or be able to use their DUNS number anywhere in SAM.gov. Instead, the Unique Entity Identifier, the UEI, is now the official government-wide identifier used for federal awards. The UEI is a 12-character alphanumeric value used within SAM.gov and other government awarded financial systems to identify unique entities. The users will need to submit the Sam UEI when they want to search Entity registrations, exclusions, contract opportunity awards by entity identifier. And your SAM registration is going to continue to require the annual renewals as before with DUNS. Now, this change to the UEI system was done to simplify the process of registering organizations that wish to do business with the federal government. Entities now will no longer need to use a third party to obtain an identification number or to get support.
As a reminder, JustGrants uses SAM.gov as the primary source of agency information and applying for and managing DOJ grant funding. JustGrants pulls information from SAM. This is done to reduce the burden on award recipients from having to manually update that information across multiple systems and at the same time it allows DOJ to validate the information it receives from recipients.
Now, to find your UEI in SAM.gov, you need to log into your account, and then you locate the active bubble in the Entity Management widget. Select it to open your current SAM.gov registration record. Now, your UEI will be displayed on the left of the screen. Again, the DUNS number will no longer appear here in SAM.gov. You’re no longer able to locate your SAM.gov account using your DUNS number. Now, when you move into JustGrants, once you open up your entity profile menu option, your entity information is displayed. Now, in JustGrants, your DUNS number is still available. It’s in the center top row, and the UE is directly below it. Now, if you did register in SAM.gov after April 4th, you will not see a DUNS number in this location.
Now we’ve created an additional roadmap to help you with your JustGrants onboarding. This will help you visualize each of the steps needed in JustGrants when you bring onboard a new user. Now, first, that Entity Administrator is going to need to log into the DIAMD system to set up the users. DIAMD is a user management section of JustGrants. The only information that’s required to create new users is their first and last name and email address. That email address will become their username and then the user will be able to select their own password during registration. Now, once that user is created, the Entity Administrator can then assign one or more roles to that user, depending on the general work the user intends to do in the system. We’ll discuss those roles in just a moment. Then the new users will receive a registration email once the Entity Administrator has invited them to register. The user needs to open up the link in that email and follow the steps it contains to register in JustGrants, including setting up their password and multi-factor authentication. This is the first step of registration. The second step is actually logging into the JustGrants system.
Even though a new user becomes registered in the system, they will not be active and visible in JustGrants until they log into the system at least once. This also provides them a very good opportunity to test their username and password. Now, once the new user is registered in and has logged, then the Entity Administrator can begin assigning that user to specific awards and applications.
So, as you can see, the Entity Administrator plays a key role in getting this process started. Your Entity Administrator will be the only person able to manage other users. That will include inviting new users to JustGrants, assigning their roles, and assigning users to specific applications and awards. Now, if you have an entity that’s already been onboarded with JustGrants, you want to ensure that the appropriate users in your organization have added the role of Application Submitter and authorized representative before they apply for funding opportunities in Grants.gov. Both roles, as we’ll discuss in a moment, will be needed to apply and submit a grant application for any DOJ funding.
Now, once invited to JustGrants, all users will receive a registration email that they need to complete within 72 hours. After that, it will expire. If it does expire, the Entity Administrator can generate a new one through the DIAMD system. A user’s email address becomes their username, and then every user can set up their own password. Then users will be able to set up multi-factor authentication as one of the steps that they need to complete to register. Then every time the user logs into JustGrants, they’ll need to click a button to have a secondary authentication sent to them.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the various roles in JustGrants and their particular responsibilities. There are two things to keep in mind with user roles in JustGrants. First is that the user role provides for specific access in JustGrants. You can do and see specific things based upon the role that you have. Second thing to keep in mind is that users can have more than one role assigned to them based upon the type of work that they’re expected to do in JustGrants.
We talked a good bit about our Entity Administrator here, and the basic tasks for that person. In addition to managing users and keeping the entity profile information current, they also have read-only access to all applications and awards in JustGrants, providing them a bird’s-eye view of everything. If the Entity Administrator also needs to take part in managing an award or an application, then that person can be assigned an additional role that would allow them to do that.
Your Grant Award Administrator will generally handle all programmatic requirements. Those will include submitting performance reports, initiating and submitting GAMs, and initiating an award closeout. There is also an alternate Grant Award Administrator role, but currently that role is limited to initiating and not submitting grant award modifications.
Your Application Submitter is the only role that is able to enter data into your application and then certify it and submit it on behalf of your entity. The authorized representative—this is the only role that can accept or decline an award on behalf of your entity, that needs to be assigned to someone in your organization that has the legal authority to enter into a binding agreement with the Department of Justice and is legally authorized by your organization to agree to the awards terms and conditions.
Finally, your financial manager is the person that will submit the federal financial reports on behalf of your organization.
So, user with the Application Submitter role, that’s the only person in JustGrants again that can submit your application. And this Application Submitter profile is automatically created when the application is submitted from Grants.gov. The person who is submitting the information in Grants.gov becomes assigned to that application in JustGrants. As I noted a few moments ago, if another person is going to be doing the information in JustGrants, then your Entity Administrator can go in and reassign the application to the new person. Your Application Submitter will identify the forms that are needed to submit your application. They’ll be the one that completes the web-based budget form. They’ll complete and certify the application on behalf of your entity and then submit it.
Now, if a member is assigned only as Application Submitter, they’re not going to be able to see any funded awards in JustGrants. But again, it is possible to assign an additional role to the user with Application Submitter if that’s what your organization prefers.
So again, your Authorized Representative—this is the person authorized to enter into legal agreements on behalf of your entity and because this Authorized Representative is selected from a list of active users during the application, that person needs to be on-boarded prior to the submission of the application.
And again, back to your Entity Administrator who manages all the users and roles in JustGrants. Keep in mind, there’s only one Entity Administrator in JustGrants, but it’s a good idea to discuss who might act as a backup Entity Administrator if your primary goes on vacation, extended leave, or leaves your organization. It’s best if prior to leaving for any amount of time, the acting Entity Administrator reassigns the role to another user so any of the functions and features of that particular role are always available to you.
Now, there are a few key points relating to submitting an application for funding with the JAG office. Applications are submitted in two steps using two separate systems. First, all applicants for funding with DOJ start in Grants.gov to locate that funding opportunity, and then all applicants submit that SF-424 and SF-LLL in Grants.gov. Once that information is submitted, it’s validated, and then it’s automatically transferred to JustGrants. Again, most of that application is submitted in JustGrants, and it’s here where you upload your budgets, provide additional verification for your organization’s entity, and you upload your proposal narrative and provide all the required documentation that’s associated with the solicitation.
Now, there are two distinct categories under FY 2022 Local JAG Program. And if your local government is eligible for an award amount less than $25,000, please ensure an application is submitted under category 1. Now, if your unit of local government is eligible for an award of $25,000 or more, please ensure that the application is submitted under category 2.
Now, when applying in Grants.gov, it’s important to select the correct UEI. Many organizations are associated with multiple UEI numbers in SAM.gov, so you need to make sure to select the correct one to submit your application, as some of your organization’s UEIs may be eligible for JAG funding and some may not. For an example, you might say, city “x” submits an application to apply based upon the formula allocation for city of “x” and the UEI is registered in SAM for city of “x.” Now, this applicant would meet the eligibility requirements of JAG and they’d be eligible to receive an award. But in another example, city of “x’s” police department may submit an application to apply based on the formula allocation for city of “x,” and their UEI is registered with SAM for city of “x” with a “Doing business as” listed for the city of “x” police department. Now, the applicant meets the eligibility requirements of JAG and is eligible to receive an award, but the city of “x” police department submits an application, and it’s based on the formula allocation for city of “x” and the UEI is registered for SAM for the city of “x” police department, then the city of “x” police department is not a law enforcement district or judicial enforcement district established under applicable state law with an authority to independently establish a budget and impose taxes. And in this case, the applicant would not meet the eligibility requirements of JAG and would not be eligible to receive an award.
So, let’s move right into taking a look at the application submission process starting in Grants.gov. Now, this part of the Grants life cycle involves completing and submitting those web-based forms, as well as the attachments that are requested based upon specific requirements of your solicitation. The process of submitting an application in JustGrants begins in Grants.gov. Once you find that funding opportunity, then you submit your SF-424, SF-LLL in Grants.gov, and that is the extent of the application requirements in Grants.gov.
Now, aside from those two forms, again, most of your application is completed in JustGrants. You will have two different application submission deadlines: one will be for the Grants.gov portion, and the second will be for JustGrants. Now, again, most of the application requirements are submitted in JustGrants. Each solicitation will have an application submission deadline in Grants.gov. After this date, the solicitation will be removed from Grants.gov and no one will be able to apply any further. So, it is highly recommended that you check the due date in Grants.gov and try to submit early. We recommend as a minimum at least 72 hours prior to the deadline. That’s going to provide you with enough opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit them if necessary.
Once the application has been submitted and validated in Grants.gov, then it’s sent to JustGrants for completion. That may take a couple of days for Grants.gov to complete those validations and release them to JustGrants. And once in JustGrants, you’ll see there’s its own submission deadline, and this allows you additional time to complete the application past the Grants.gov deadline. Submitting early in both systems, we highly recommend it. For example, if you have a due date in Grants.gov of April 1st, and the JustGrants deadline is April 7th and you submit March 15th, you still actually will have until April 7th to submit the final application in JustGrants. Now, your JustGrants submission should include all the items required in the solicitation, and the JustGrants application submission is final.
Now, we mentioned earlier, and I will highlight again, that it is OK to enter preliminary information in Grants.gov if you haven’t fully determined your budget or project scope. You’re gonna have an opportunity to edit and update all of those entries in JustGrants, and it won’t be necessary to return to Grants.gov to update any of that information.
Now, some of the ways that JustGrants streamlines this process is that you’re provided with the ability to use a web-based budget detail worksheet. And not only is this more efficient, but it’s also creating a shared structure and narrative for all DOJ, and that streamlines the validation of your budget and allows the process of clearing new budgets to happen much quicker. Your organization, specifically that Entity Administrator, is also going have more control over users and award assignments, and it will not require intervention from DOJ to make updates to those assignments. Again, that Entity Administrator defaults to your E-Biz point of contact, but as we saw, that can be reassigned.
So, again, the Grants.gov login process is separate from JustGrants. Grants.gov provides access to funding opportunities from a number of government agencies and is not managed by the DOJ. Now, there is a training video from Grants.gov available on their website, and there are many screenshots and training available there, but if you do have questions that you need answered about Grants.gov, you need to reach out to them specifically for support. Now you’ll begin by selecting the option at Grants.gov that you want to apply. You’ll see a workspace icon that allows you to access those funding opportunities. Take a look at that here.
Now, to search for that opportunity, you use the Search Grants tab at the top of the page that allows you to filter the search to locate grants specific to your needs. You can look for grants based upon opportunity status, funding instrument type, eligibility, category, and agency. You can take some time to review all those options.
Now, once you find the opportunity that you’re interested in, you select the opportunity number to view the requirements. Now, once you open the grant opportunity to review the information it includes and the synopsis and search history and related documents and package tabs to see if it fits. If you choose to apply, you click the apply button. Then you’ll need to log in or create a Grants.gov account. Once again, keep in mind that the person’s name and email that you put here in section F on the SF-424, this is the person that becomes the Application Submitter and that transfers to become the Application Submitter in JustGrants. Again, this is the only person that can complete the application in JustGrants, so if you do need to change that later, the Entity Administrator can go in and reassign this role.
Now, if you go to the Track My Application section on Grants.gov, you can track everything for status. You can check that your application has been received, validated, rejected with errors, retrieved by the agency, and you’ll get an agency tracking number.
Now, a couple of important things to keep in mind. Just because you receive a confirmation that your application was received, it’s still possible to receive a notification that your application was rejected. Confirmation of application does not mean approval. When it comes to your SF-424 and SF-LLL, it’s best to have those documents completed way before your deadline, so if there’s any changes or errors, you can get those in and it does not cause a rejection. Now, you will receive a tracking number and that will connect your application to JustGrants, and that will allow you to know that the system knows that your application belongs to you.
Once the application moves from Grants.gov to JustGrants, the bulk of application work begins. Now, some information must be submitted directly into JustGrants, such as the applicant disclosure of duplication in costs, and other information will be uploaded to JustGrants as attachments. Some of the attachments you will include are the budget worksheet and narrative, Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire, the Program Narrative, and the Chief Executive Certification. Please note that an attachment of some sort will need to be uploaded here, and if the applicant does not yet have a budget to provide, they should upload a placeholder attachment. BJA will have a withholding special condition and the grantee can submit an updated budget post-award as was noted earlier.
Now, the Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire will appear in the application, and you will need to select a link to open the questionnaire, complete the questions within it. Now, the Program Narrative, this is an uploaded file in JustGrants. To upload your Program Narrative, be sure that you are in the Program Narrative section of the application, where you’ll see an upload button. When selected, you’ll either be able to drag and drop the file into JustGrants, but you can search your local computer for the file.
It’s very important that once you upload it, you’re sure that the file category is displayed as Proposal Narrative. That category is how JustGrants tracks and stores critical attachments. So, if the file category is changed, JustGrants will not file the attachment correctly, and it will not recognize that you’ve included your Proposal Narrative.
Now, the Chief Executive Certification is included in the application component section of the application. Applicants are commonly not able to get this signed prior to the due date for the solicitation. We want to reiterate that you should still submit your application on time. We will add a withholding and get a signed certification from you post-award.
Now, let’s take a look at award acceptance. Now, with previous grant management systems, processed award acceptance involved using a file upload. It’s very important to note that JustGrants does not work this way. You need to follow the steps we’re gonna show and recognize that JustGrants does not process an award acceptance using file uploads. Instead, it’s a fully digital process. It uses the Authorized Representative’s electronic signature to complete.
Now, for any awards that have a status of Pending Award External Assignee, your Entity Administrator is going to need to open up the award and review the current assignees for each of the roles and make any updates. Now, if the Entity Administrator who’s currently logged in is not the person that’s listed as the Entity Administrator for the award, you need to reach out to technical support to have some assistance.
Now, once the award has been opened by using that “Begin” button in the Entity Administrator’s task list, then the Assigned Contributors page will open and you can check to see if all the roles are correct. And if they are, click the “Submit” button at the bottom. But if you need to update, select the title of the role that needs to be assigned from the Assigned Contributors dropdown list, highlighted here in red. A new role will populate the list if a contributor is not already assigned. Select the user that you want. Click “OK.” When all the roles have been assigned as you like, you click “Submit,” and all of those updates will be made.
Now, it’s the Authorized Representative who’s the one who can accept or decline the award on behalf of your entity. Again, that’s the person that needs to be legally authorized by your organization to accept the award terms and conditions. Now, once the authorized representative opens an award, all sections of the award will be displayed. They can open each section by selecting the carats to the left of the section title and drill down. Each section has a confirmation checkbox associated with it. Checking the box indicates an acceptance of the entire section. Now, once all sections have been confirmed by selecting the associated checkboxes, the accept button will be activated and you’ll be able to accept the award. Now, should your organization choose to decline, it is not necessary to check any confirmation boxes.
Now, after you’ve submitted your application, you’re probably wondering what’s next. Once that application for the solicitation has been reviewed, then the entity will be notified before September 30th. You need to keep in mind who your Entity Administrator is and your Authorized Representative. They’re going to be notified if the deadline for applications has changed.
Now, the system will also notify the Application Submitter, the Entity Administrator, Authorized Representative when the application has been received in JustGrants from Grants.gov. And the Entity Administrator receives a notification when the award notification has been sent. Now, if you’ve submitted your application, the status becomes submitted, but you may see a banner that indicates it is past due, but that banner indicates the submission deadline is passed and not that your specific application is past due if you have submitted it.
As you work with your application in JustGrants, you will see one or more status codes associated with the application. Now, if you see a pending DIAMD onboarding status, that means either the Entity Administrator or Application Submitter hasn’t completed the registration process. Every new user must successfully log into JustGrants to validate their registration. You may also see the status of New, which indicates the application has been received from Grants.gov and it’s waiting for a user to be assigned. If you see an application status of Pending-DIAMD onboarding for more than 24 hours after the users have completed registration, that may be an indicator that additional actions are required by the Entity Administrator. Those can include things like the user email address is associated with another UEI, or you may have an invalid email address provided in section F of your 424. So, you want to check with your entity—user information, confirm the current users and their roles, and then reach out to the JustGrants support desk.
Now, when both the Entity Administrator and Application Submitter have been fully onboarded and the Application Submitter assigned to the application, the status changes to Pending-Draft. This is a working status. And at this time, the Entity Administrator will need to invite and register the Authorized Representative. From Pending-Draft status, there are several possible next steps. If the application is canceled, the next status will be Resolved-Canceled. If the deadline is passed and it’s no longer possible to submit an application on the solicitation, the status automatically becomes Resolved-Deadline Passed. If you’ve canceled the application due to the fact that it’s a duplicate, then Resolved-Duplicate status will be associated. But if you choose to withdraw the application, your status will become Resolved-Withdrawn. Now, finally, once you’ve submitted your application, the status will display as Application Submitted in the Application Submitted status, and DOJ will complete all of its internal reviews and make funding decisions.
Now, the system is also going to notify the Application Submitter, Entity Administrator, and Authorized Representative when the application has been received in JustGrants from Grants.gov. The Entity Administrator receives notifications on when the award notification status changes and the Entity Administrator and Authorized Representative are notified if the application deadline passes. Now, if you’re not receiving notifications, you should check your spam folder before you reach out to the support help desk.
We hope you’ve gained insight from the material we presented today. Before we close, we do have some resource information that we have here. I see that we’re a little short on time, so I’ll kind of accelerate through these. This presentation will be made available after today’s session for you to review some of this information. But quickly, there’s technical support available. There’s an OVW specialized help desk as well as the standard JustGrants technical support desk. You can see the hours, telephone numbers, and email addresses available here.
We want to make sure that you’re aware of the JustGrants training site. This website, a resources website, is at justicegrants.usdoj.gov. And this website contains a lot of useful information: guides, videos, information like frequently asked questions and glossary terms. If you go to that training list, you’ll see a list of topics. Once you select the topic, you can drill down to find the resource information that applies to you. We have put together a list of links here that provide some additional resources for you in building and submitting your application. And we want to make you aware that there are a number of JustGrants training sessions with a Q&A offered each week. Now, the link here at the top has specifics on each, but generally, Post-Award Management sessions are on Mondays. On Tuesdays, we have Entity Management sessions. Wednesdays, we hold our Application Mechanics session. That’s focused primarily on submitting an application and a lot of the information we covered today. And Thursdays, we have Award Acceptance. These are repeated sessions, by the way, so you’re welcome to attend them as often as you’d like.
And with that, I’ll wrap things up and thank you very much for coming. We hope that we’ve been some help, and I’ll turn the presentation back over for any final remarks.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thanks so much. With that, we are out of time today. Just want to remind attendees that the PowerPoint recording and transcript for today’s webinar will be posted to the BJA website, so you will get a notice to the email you’re registered with when those deliverables are posted. So, keep an eye out for that.
So, on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and our panelists, we want to thank you for joining today’s webinar. This will end today’s presentation.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.