FY 2023 Invited to Apply - Byrne Discretionary Community Project Funding/Byrne Discretionary Grants Program
During this webinar, which was held on February 16, 2023, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) personnel provided information about OJP's FY 2023 Invited to Apply - Byrne Discretionary Community Project Funding/Byrne Discretionary Grants Program opportunities. The webinar also featured a JustGrants Training Team member who highlighted information about the JustGrants system and how to apply for funding.
Transcript also available as a PDF
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar. OJP “FY 2023 Invited to Apply – Byrne Discretionary Community Project Funding/Byrne Discretionary Grants Program,” hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, it's my pleasure to introduce Erich Dietrich, Division Chief within the Bureau of Justice Assistance, for some welcoming remarks and to begin the presentation. Erich?
ERICH DIETRICH: Hi. Hello, everybody. Again, welcome and thank you for joining the Byrne Discretionary Grant Application webinar. My name is Erich Dietrich and I'm the program lead for this program in BJA. And I will be delivering the presentation, so I also would like to recognize some of my colleagues who are—as panelists with the other offices.
So we have Jackie O'Reilly as a panelist. She is representing OJJDP. And we also have Jeff Nelson and Anne Hamilton who are both with OVC, the Office for Victims of Crime. And we also have Natasha Parrish who is representing NIJ. So welcome and, well, I will start with the introduction to the Office of Justice Programs. And then I will move into an overview of the Byrne Discretionary Grant Program, followed by the solicitation requirements. And I will also cover a few post-award considerations that are common for people to ask about even during the application process. And then we will turn it over to Eulana Williams with the JustGrants training team, and she will go into in-depth details on how to submit your application in Grants.gov in JustGrants. And then at the end, we'll have some time for some questions and answers.
So what is the Office of Justice Programs? The Office of Justice Programs provides grant funding, training, research, and statistics to the criminal justice community. OJP is one of three grant-making components of the Department of Justice along with OVW, Office of Violence Against Women, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS. And under Office of Justice Programs, we have various program offices including BJA, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice NIJ, Office for Victims of Crime OVC, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention OJJDP, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, or the SMART Office. And under Byrne Discretionary, BJA, NIJ, OVC, and OJJDP are issuing awards separately under four different solicitations.
BJA’s mission is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support state, local, and Tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. BJA works with communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations to reduce crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement, and promote a safe and fair criminal justice system.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, OJJDP, provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to youth delinquency and victimization. OJJDP helps states, localities, Tribes develop effective and equitable juvenile justice systems that create safer communities and empower youth to lead productive lives. OJJDP's priorities include treating children as children, serving children at home with their families, and in their communities, and opening opportunities for system-involved youth.
The Office for Victims of Crime, OVC, was established in 1988 through the amendment of the Victims of Crime Act, VOCA, of 1984. And OVC is charged by Congress with administering the Crime Victims Fund, or the Fund. Through OVC, the Fund supports a broad array of programs and services to that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives. OVC also provides the largest amount of federal funding for victims of human trafficking.
The National Institute of Justice, NIJ, is the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. It is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels.
At this point, we're going to drop a poll in the chat. If you would like, we'd be interested in hearing if this was your first time applying for funding from OJP, and if you answered no, if you've had any previous experience submitting an application in JustGrants.
Well, it looks like we have quite a few first timers for OJP, so welcome to the extended OJP family. And also quite a few people haven't submitted in JustGrants before, too. So it's a good thing we're going to cover all of that in this presentation. So, I will go ahead and move on.
So the FY23 Byrne Discretionary Grant Program, as mentioned, BJA, OVC, OJJDP, and NIJ, are funding a total of 268 projects divided up by topic area. So, we have four different solicitations open. And you received your invitation from the program office that will be administering your project. And we have here the opportunity ID numbers for the four separate solicitations. So the one tip that I wanted to provide immediately is to make sure that when you're starting an application on Grants.gov that you are searching by the opportunity ID number that is for the particular program office to make sure that you apply the first step of the application you applied to the correct solicitation.
So, I'm going to start with probably the most frequently asked question that we've received over the past couple of years since this program began, and that's, "Why do I have to apply again?" The simple answer for that is that's because Congress appropriated the funds and that's why you have to submit another application, but I know it can, kind of, be confusing. So on this slide, I have a—just a very brief overview of how the congressional appropriation process works. So the Congressional Offices, sometimes last year, I know they solicited, you know, community project ideas from their constituents, but what a lot of you probably don't know is that when they evaluate these projects, they do so under very general guidelines under existing federal grant programs among the different federal agencies. And then in some cases, they will run the projects by the federal agency to determine if there is an allowability, but then, you know, ultimately, they decide on the projects that they want to fund, and then when they appropriate them in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, they are authorized under the heading of a grant program. And so that's why we need the second step, from you, we need the grant application, because once they authorize and appropriate the funds as—under the heading of a grant program, we will need to administer it as a grant.
The Byrne Discretionary Grant Program, here—this is the overview, this is language directly from solicitation, and most of this language comes from the Public Law. So in the Public Law, $229,551,000 is for discretionary grants to improve the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and to assist victims of crime other than compensation. And this bolded underlined part for our purposes is very important, which shall be used for the projects and the amounts specified under the heading Byrne Discretionary Community Grants/Byrne Discretionary Program. So in this particular case, that is very important for this project. The funds can only be used for those projects and in those amounts specified in the Public Law.
This is an image from that Joint Explanatory Statement, which I just—well, I didn't read it, but that is what's referenced in that page. The Joint Explanatory Statement is referenced in the comms part of public law, and that's where the details of the funded projects are. So this is a page from where the OJP projects, the Byrne Discretionary Projects, begin. You'll see it's got the name of the project, the name of the recipient, and it has the amount. And that's where we go to when it comes to allowability and eligibility for this program. Again, eligible applicants are limited to those that were identified as recipients in the joint explanatory statement for the project's designated funding. And I'll stress this again, funding shall be used for the projects and in the amounts specified. It's important to point out this is a non-competitive grant program. I know when a lot of you were told you need to submit a grant application, you're thinking you're competing, but you're not. This is noncompetitive. Only the recipients listed in the JES can apply and receive funding and only for those projects and those amounts that were listed. And OJP cannot approve any changes to the purpose of the project either now during the application phase or once this becomes a grant award during the life of the project. You can't change the project that was funded.
The Period of Performance. So OJP will issue awards with a period of performance start date of December 29th, 2022, which is the date of the public law enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, unless you request a later start date. So if you do not have any need to potentially reimburse for costs obligated on or after that date, then you can submit in your application a different start date as long as it's the first day of the month and as long as it's no later than October 1, 2023. Applicants can request up to a 48-month project period. And I didn't have this on the slide, but you should make the corresponding end date of your project the last day of the month.
Costs incurred on or after the project start date but prior to issuance of an award and approval of the project budget by OJP may be reimbursable but are incurred at the applicant's own risk. What this means is that if you, you know, if you wanted to obligate funds prior to having complete access to the grant, you're doing so at your own risk because we need to eventually clear your budget and any costs that were going to be reimbursed would have to be in that approved budget. We have application deadlines here. I have a note on here to make sure if you have not registered in the System for Award Management, or if your registration has expired or is about to expire, make sure that you are starting that process if you haven't already started today or as soon as you can, because of the delays with the transition to the UEI from the DUNS last year, and also a change in vendor with GSA, the SAM process is delayed. And so we're telling folks they should be doing this at least 30 days before the Grants.gov deadline to make sure that they can become active and apply.
The first deadline date is to submit in Grants.gov by 8:59 p.m. on March 23rd, 2023. And then the second step of the application will be to submit in JustGrants by 8:59 p.m. on March 27th, 2023. But, again, we encourage you to start well before and get your application in because technical issues can happen at any time, but they tend to happen closer to deadlines. I will say another common question we get is, "Are we going to extend the solicitation?" We most likely will not. We most likely will open up other opportunities in future solicitations if somebody is not able to submit by the deadline. The reason for that is that we cannot process any awards until the deadline, until the solicitation closes. But there will be another opportunity to apply, if for some reason you cannot apply under this first deadline.
I'm going to go over the mandatory application components. We'll start with the SF-424 and the SF-LLL, which are completed in Grants.gov. And that's the first step of the application process. And then in JustGrants, you'll complete the abstract, proposal narrative, the budget, financial management questionnaire, and the disclosures. And then there's two optional—there's actually three, I only have two on the slide. There's two optional application attachments that will be required depending on the costs and activities. And then there is also the third, which is not on this slide, is if your agency is designated as DOJ high risk, there's another attachment you would need to attach to the application. Of course, all of the information about these attachments is in the solicitation.
And starting with the SF-424 form in Grants.gov, this is one of the forms that you will fill out there. I will not go over the complete details on the form, most of it is self-explanatory. But I will say, if you haven't completed one of these before, there's a link on the slide which takes you to a PDF document on Grants.gov, which has every box from the SF-424 and explains what should be in the box. I will also say that only the highlighted fields are the required fields. You do not have to enter any information in the fields in Grants.gov in this form that they're not highlighting.
A few ones that we wanted to point out, Box 8f, is the POC name and email address, and you should enter the person there who is going to be responsible for completing the full application in JustGrants, because once the application is transferred to JustGrants, that person is going to receive the email and they will be registered in JustGrants, if they are not already, as the application submitter.
Box 15, this is very important for this particular program because that project title is in the JES, is Public Law, you do have to enter that project title exactly as it is in the public law, and that goes in Box 15, which is descriptive title of the applicant's project. That should be the project title that is in the public law in that JES statement for your project. And then Box 18a, that's the estimated cost box, and you would put the cost which is the appropriated amount, exactly, in Box 18a which is the estimated federal cost. You should not put any nonfederal or any other costs in the SF-424 or in your budget.
One thing I should point out is that for many of you who have already submitted your SF-424 in Grants.gov, first of all, thank you. But also, once you're in JustGrants, you can edit any of the information you entered in the SF-424. So if you're worried about you had made a mistake, maybe you didn't enter your project title exactly, you can change that in JustGrants, in the Application Information page.
Disclosing of lobbying form, it's pretty self-explanatory. This is completed in Grants.gov, but the most common question is, "What do we put in Box 10a and 10b, which is the name of lobbying registrant and the individual performing services. If your agency did not pay funds—its own funds, if you did not pay an outside lobbyist to lobby the government or Congress for this project, that you can just enter "Not Applicable" or N/A in these boxes. You only need to enter information in here if your agency used its own funds to hire a lobbyist, and that lobbyist came to the federal government in Congress and lobbied for this particular project. And if that is the case, then you would enter that firm and that individual's information in this box. I have a remind up here that, of course, using federal funds for lobbying or fundraising is strictly prohibited. So, this disclosure form is related to your use of your own funds to hire an outside lobbyist, and it's limited to just this particular project.
I'll now move on to the application components in the JustGrants system. I'll start with the abstract. The abstract is either cut and pasted from a word document right into a text field in the JustGrants application or you can type it directly in there. Below that, on this slide, it has the instructions right from the solicitation on what you should include for a good abstract. The Application Resource guide which is linked, too, in the solicitation as an example. The most important part, abstracts will be released publicly on our website and on usaspending.gov, so do not enter any personal information in the abstract. No names, email addresses, phone numbers because it will be released publicly.
Proposal narrative, this will be an attachment in JustGrants. So you will create the file in word or PDF following the instructions and then you will attach it to your application in JustGrants. The proposal narrative should have the four sections here that are listed on this slide, and they're also in the solicitation, and you can see the solicitation for the full instructions. This is a noncompetitive program, so you're not going to get booted if you don't use the 12-point font. Doesn't—you're not going to get booted if you go over the page limit. I think the most important thing to say about the proposal narrative is, even though it's not competitive, we need to understand the activities, the goals and objectives of your project, you know, exact—so that we can understand what—obviously what it entails, but also make sure that the activities you're proposing are consistent with the project that was listed in the joint explanatory statement, which is the reminder here at the bottom, the proposal narrative must align with the project title that was listed in the JES, Joint Explanatory Statement.
At this point, before I go into the budget, I'm going to get to the other frequently asked question that we get. Well, understanding that things have changed maybe since you've submitted your proposal to Congress, can you make changes based on whatever activities or costs that you include in the Congress when you apply now through the grant funding? Can you apply for different activities or costs than what you originally did? And the answer is it depends. The grant can only fund activities that clearly support the project identified in JES. So to—but to the extent, the modified activities and costs supporting the project, you may include them in the grant application.
So, I have a very simple example here, but there's such a wide variety of programs. I can't really go into a lot of details, but I think this will illustrate it for you. So this is an example of a project. So the project title from the JES is Procurement of Body-Worn Cameras. So let's say when you submitted your proposal to Congress, you had a certain number of body-worn cameras. And now that you've gotten more detailed quotes, you realize that it was too high or too low. Can you change the number of body-worn cameras? Of course. Can you change the type of accessories that will go along with the body-worn cameras? Yes. There's nothing in the title of this project that specifies a certain camera or accessory or functionality changes. These are all changes that you can make based, you know, if things have changed since you applied to Congress, because under the project title, these type of changes would be certainly allowable. But an unallowable change will be something that is not supported by the project title.
So let's say the vendor is trying to talk you into adding in in-car cameras with the funding. Well, you can't get in-car cameras with the funding because the project title is Procurement of Body-Worn Cameras. You couldn't pay overtime for officers just to use the body worn cameras because the title of the project is procurement of them, it's not use of the cameras. If the project title were different, maybe those things would be allowable. But because this is a project title from the Public Law, this is what the cause would have to be used for. And I would say the same guidance is going to apply post-award. If you need to make changes to your project post-award, this will be the same guidance to the extent that the changes you need to make post-award are in support of the project title that was in the Public Law, they would be allowable, but if they are not in support of the project, then they would not be allowable.
Moving on to the Budget. This is an important section. I think you—most likely, you're going to spend more time on the budget in the JustGrants application than you will the other components. And it's also important for us to be able to clear your project potentially pre-award to help you out down the road. This is just an overview. Like I said, because this is being administered as a grant, all grants need to comply with various federal and agency laws and regulations related to grants.
So, all costs must be reasonable, allocable, and necessary to the project, and cost must meet the allowability requirements in the DOJ Grants Financial Guide and also 2 CFR Part 200 Cost Principles. There's also a reminder on the slide that federal funds cannot be used to supplant what needs replaced local or state funds that are used for the same purpose. This would also have some language from the solicitation. I'm not going to read it all, but please refer to the budget section in the solicitation for other costs that might be strictly unallowable.
So in JustGrants, there is a web-based budget form. You will enter your costs in this form. You will not be enter—I mean you can certainly include an attachment, but we will not be reviewing the attachment. We'll be reviewing the web-based form. It needs to be embedded in that in JustGrants. On the right here of the slide, there's an image taken from the web-based form. It has the various categories. And what you will do and Eulana will go into more detail on this. But you're going to expand the arrow next to each of these categories. You'll be able to add project years in each category, and then you'll enter your itemized cost in the appropriate category and adding years as necessary for the entire project.
You must provide a detail narrative for each cost in each category, including the breakdown of costs as needed. And I'll give an example of that on the next slide. At this point, it's fine to costs your estimates. It's understanding that the actual costs might be different, and that's fine. At this point, you may have some estimates you need to do. The important things to make sure that you have a justification and some sort of criteria for showing how you came up with the cost.
Do not include non-federal or match costs in the budget, only federal costs. Match is not required for this project. Just do not include any of them in the budget. You might be incurring them outside of the federal funds. You might be contributing your own funds to the project, and that's perfectly fine. There's no reason for them to be in the application budget because they are not required.
The other tip is the federal request amount in your budget must equal your appropriation amount exactly because of that statement in the Public Law, funds are going to be used for the project in the amount designated. We are going to issue your award in that appropriate amount exactly. If your budget doesn't match it, we won't be able to clear the award—potentially clear the budget pre-award and you'll have to make changes later on. And also please refer to the solicitation and the application guide for full details on the budget.
So I mentioned the process is called Budget Clearance. So OJP needs to clear your application budget. And ideally, we would do this when we process the applications so that when you receive the award, there will not be any holding conditions. If we cannot clear your budget pre-award, we will add a withholding condition that will prevent you to access funds until we can clear it afterward, which will require more changes to your budget. So these are a few tips to help you potentially get your budget cleared pre-award by entering the information correctly in the web-based budget form in JustGrants.
The first tip that I have is what I just stressed. The federal request amount in the JustGrants application must equal your appropriation amount exactly. If you are $1 off in your budget and in your request compared to the appropriation, we will not—unfortunately, our system does not give us the flexibility to clear your budget pre-award and we will have to send it back to you post-award to get you to correct that. So, that's the number one tip. Detailed justification in the narrative section for each category. This is particularly important for us so we can kind of understand how the costs are supporting that particular project that was appropriated funding. So we need some sort of narrative to explain the cost and explain how it's contributing to your project. Provide a breakdown of cost, so this—I'll give an example of this. For—it's very common in the fringe section. So if you have personnel costs in your budget, you will include the compensation in the personnel section. And then in the fringe section, you will include the fringe benefits if you wanted to use federal funds for that. So you will include your total fringe right for your agency. Let's say it's 35% will be listed in the itemized cost and you will apply that to the total compensation. But then in the narrative, we will want to see the—what the components rates are so we understand what that total fringe rate is comprised of. So that's why I need a breakdown of costs in the narrative. You would want to provide a breakdown of what the fringe rate includes and you would include that in the narrative section of the budget. It would be similar for procurement contracts and subawards and for other costs sections. Any costs that you enter and there's maybe just a single line item and it doesn't give you an opportunity for the computation basis, in the narrative you would provide a breakdown of what the different components of that cost are so that we know what it is.
Do not include any unallowable costs or costs that do not support the projects. So I'd refer you to the solicitation and to other lists of unallowable costs and also reminds you of the fact that any cost you can use to contribute to that project title as listed in the JES. Include costs in the proper category. For example, if there is a cost associated with a subrecipient, if you have a partner agency that you're going to be passing funds on to and they have personnel costs, you would not include the personnel costs for the subrecipient in the personnel section of the budget you would include it in the subaward section of the budget, and then you would provide a breakdown of that sub award. That's just one example of properly classifying your costs within the budget. Feel free to reach out to your program office when you have budget questions. Before you submit in JustGrants, we can actually go into your application in JustGrants when it's partially finished. And we can look at your budget to see what you've entered. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your program office.
Financial Management Questionnaire—used to be referred to as the Financial Capability Questionnaire— is a mandatory attachment for all applicants. And this is not built into JustGrants. This is a PDF web-based—this is a PDF form that you will fill out and attach to your application in JustGrants. This form is used to evaluate applicants' risk. So it's important that we get accurate information in this form and it should be filled out by somebody in your agency who is very familiar with your financial management practices and your internal controls. So for example, the Finance Director, Chief Financial Officer or similar position, that's the person who should be filling out this form. I've included a link here on the slide directly to this form because you have to kind of click a couple places in the solicitation before you can find it. If you go to this link here, it takes you directly to that PDF form and then you can fill it out from there. But, again, this is a required attachment for you to submit.
This is, if applicable, if you are using indirect costs, if you have indirect costs in your budget, there's two different ways where it would be allowed. One is if you have a current, unexpired federally approved indirect cost rate with your caucus and federal agency. And if that's what you are using to charge indirect costs or propose to charge indirect cost to the budget, you must attach a copy of the agreement to your JustGrants application. On the other hand, if you're an agency that is eligible to use and elects to use the de minimis 10% indirect cost rate agreement for the 2 CFR 200, then you don't need an add attachment, but you do need to include a statement in the budget narrative, an indirect section that says that your agency is eligible to use and is electing to use the de minimis rate, the 10%.
And then on this slide, I also have the definition of Modified Total Direct Cost, MTDC. This is the method by which you need to apply the de minimis 10% rate. And it's got the definition here. It's also in the Financial Guide. There's another common budget issue is if somebody's using an indirect cost rate, they're not properly charging it according to the base, according to what kind of rate it is.
This is another attachment that may be applicable depending on the type of project you're proposing. The Research and Evaluation Independence and Integrity. This is for projects that involve research or evaluation. If your project involves research or evaluation and, again, see the solicitation for it will link you to some guidance on what that is in definitions, so you can determine whether you have research and evaluation. But if it does, you will need to look at the application guide and you will need to create an attachment that addresses the independence and integrity. It's basically two paragraphs, a1 and a2, and you need to address the information that you request in there. You would complete that document and then you would attach it to your JustGrants application. I also have a tip on the slide for research projects involving human subject research, which takes you to a link on NIJ page. That's not for the application process, but it's useful information post-award if your project involves research.
The last—well, I wouldn't say the last step, but you can do it any time, but the application submitter, before they can submit, they would have to complete the disclosures and insurances which are built into JustGrants application. So the one is the Applicant Disclosure of Duplication in Cost Items, which is basically a question that the application will need to answer either yes or no. In most cases, you're going to answer no because this is asking if you have any pending federal applications for the exact same cost items in this application, that means the exact same costs, same cost in number type. You're not applying for two different funding for different sources of funding for the exact same cost. So if you do not have that duplication, then you would answer no in this section. And then the application submitter will also complete basically review and accept the DOJ certification standard assurances and also certifications regarding lobbying, et cetera. And I have a link here to the FY23 OJP general conditions, which may be useful to you, but it basically has a list of the general award conditions that we expect to apply to all of our awards.
At this point, that pretty much covered all of the required application attachments. Not in full details, I'll still refer you to the solicitation in the application resource, but I wanted to cover a few post-award considerations because we frequently get questions about this even at the application stage.
So Access to Funds. First of all, OJP will process awards on a rolling basis. We will start as soon as we can. We will prioritize our award processing after the solicitation closes. Our official response is the notifications will be sent out no later than the end of the federal fiscal year, which is September 30th. But if you contact your program office, you know, sometime after solicitation closes, we can give you a better idea of when we will actually be issuing the awards, which we hope to be well in advance that time.
Once the award is made, in order to access your funds, the following actions must be completed. You must accept the award. The authorized representative will accept the award in JustGrants. Well, if there's any withholding the work conditions, we will have to remove those. For example, if the budget wasn't cleared pre-award, we may have to make some revisions to the budget so we can clear the budget post-award and remove the hold. Your entity will need to be registered in the U.S. Treasury's Automated Standard Application for Payments or ASAP system, which is what is used for drawdowns. If it's already registered, then you won't need to do that again. You'll just have to link the—we will just have to link your award to that, to your current account. And then if there's any delinquent reports associated, for example, the award is backdated, you might have to submit a backdated federal financial report. I also mentioned here a common question, you cannot make advance payments against the award unless it's for 10 days of your cash needs. So, if you're going to drawdown in advance, you need to only take down what you need for 10 days. But if you are making payments on a reimbursement basis, you can pretty much just make drawdowns based on whatever your particular agency's needs are, quarterly or monthly or however you do your drawdowns on a reimbursement basis.
This slide has information on procurement. So federal grants have various procurement requirements, which are in the Financial Guide in 2 CFR. Probably the most important is competition, free and open competition. States and territories do not need to follow the federal grants requirements for free and open competition, so they need to follow their own standards. Almost all of their own standards are applicable to grants. There's a few sections of the federal requirements where states and territories follow, but it's not the competition section. But all other grantees must follow all of the procurement standards in 2 CFR, and that includes the requirement for free and open competition. And your grantees will need to, except for states and territories, must request prior written approval from OJP before they execute a sole source that's a noncompetitive contract over $250,000.
NEPA is the National Environmental Protection Act, and it requires federal agencies to see if there's any environmental or impacts before you make a decision. In this case, it's issuing grant awards. So if your project is one that would potentially have a NEPA impact, there may be an additional hold and an additional steps you need to take post-award so we can determine whether there is an impact or not. And if there is impact, we'll have to have a—an environmental assessment conducted. So this could be projects involving construction, renovation, use of chemicals, drug disposal. These are the type of projects that may require some sort of NEPA approval process post-award. It'll have a link on the slide to the full NEPA guidance that's on the BJA website. We will, like I said, if a project involves a NEPA activity, there will be holding conditions, and then you will have to work with—we will help you post-award to address whatever needs to be addressed, whether it's getting categorical exclusion or completing an environmental assessment.
Reporting requirements for your grant when it's logged, it's similar to other awards, you're going to have quarterly federal financial reports you're going to submit in JustGrants, and you're going to have semi-annual performance reports, which will also be submitted in JustGrants. Changes, you can make—you can request changes post-award, I mentioned that a little bit earlier. And in JustGrants, we use Grant Award Modifications, or GAMs, to make changes to grants. This could include a budget modification, a change in project scope. You are eligible for an up—for up to one time up to 12 months project period extension. Of course, if you're seeking a noncompetitive contract, just a sole source approval, and then there's a programmatic cost GAM, which is for other costs that may require prior approval. As I mentioned with the change scope, you can request changes in scope as long as the change of the scope and the change of the costs are consistent with that project title that is listed in the JES. We cannot change the project title. We cannot change the purpose of the project in any way that doesn't support the project title that was in the JES.
At that point, that completes my portion of the presentation. I know my colleagues have been answering a lot of questions in the chat. So, I think at this point, our plan was to move on to Eulana and she will continue on with the JustGrants portion, and then we'll have some verbal Q&A at the end.
EULANA WILLIAMS: All right. Good afternoon, everyone. Can you all hear me?
DARYL FOX: Yes, we can hear you.
EULANA WILLIAMS: All right. Awesome. All right. And I'll go ahead and share my screen. All right. Awesome. Well, good afternoon, everyone, and thank you again for having us. My name is Eulana Williams, and I, along with Lisa Hartman and Liane Christopher, are here today to provide you with foundational knowledge about submitting your application in Grants.gov and JustGrants.
So, we're going to go over a few entity onboarding reminders in this next slide. So, if you're new to JustGrants system, here is a visual roadmap that can help you be aware of the steps that are needed to get through the grants process. Grantees will first want to register with SAM.gov, designate an E-Biz point of contact in SAM.gov, and make note of your Unique Entity Identifier or your UEI. Now, to locate an opportunity for funding, also known as the solicitation, you will need to open Grants.gov, search and select the funding opportunity for which you would like to apply. Now, during the process of beginning your application in Grants.gov, you will be required to complete certain forms. You'll becomplete the SF-F2—excuse me, 42F. Here we go 424, and then SF-LLL in Grants.gov. Excuse me. It's important to know that if you do not have final budget figures or have not yet determined the amount of funding, you are welcome to submit preliminary figures and update your entries in JustGrants prior to submitting the complete application at DOJ.
Now, while the information you include in the SF-424 in Grants.gov will be sent to JustGrants, you will be able to adjust and edit that information in JustGrants. The SF-LLL will be sent from Grants.gov to JustGrants as a PDF file. And you will not need to complete that form again. Now, the bulk of the application is entered in JustGrants. It is here that you will enter a proposal narrative, proposal abstract, budget detail worksheet, goal, objective, and timeline. The person that is identified as the SAM.gov E-Biz point of contact will automatically become the JustGrants entity administrator. And the person that is listed in Grants.gov as the application submitter will automatically become the application submitter in JustGrants. Now, if either of these people are not intending to fulfill these roles in JustGrants, they can be reassigned once they have logged in to JustGrants. As of February 21st of last year, all non-federal government—federal Grants.gov users must log in or use Login.gov credentials to sign into Grants.gov. This change to the Grants.gov sign-in process, it improves user security and complies with Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity. Login.gov allows users to access multiple government websites, including Grants.gov with a single username and password. To link your existing Grants.gov account with Login.gov, you can follow this three-step process.
First, you want to click the Login.gov button on the Grants.gov log in screen. Second, complete the log-in process on Login.gov using Login.gov username, which is an email address and password or create an account. Third, you will be directed back to Grants.gov to log in with your Grants.gov username and password, and this will complete the account-linking process.
Effective Monday, April 4th, 2022, entities can no longer see or use the DUNS number anywhere in SAM.gov. The new Unique Entity Identifier, or UEI, will be the official government-wide identifier used for federal awards. Now, the UEI is a 12-character alpha-numeric value and it's used within SAM.gov and other government award and financial systems to identify a unique entity. Users will need the SAM UEI to search entity registrations, exclusions, and contract opportunities awards by entity identifier. Do note that your SAM registration will continue to require an annual renewal. The UEI simplifies the process of registering an organization to do business with the federal government. Entities no longer need to use a third party to obtain an identification number or get support. And as a reminder, JustGrants uses SAM as the primary source of agency information in applying for and managing DOJ grant funding. JustGrants automatically pull up entity information from SAM, thereby reducing the burden on award recipients to manually update information across multiple systems and helps DOJ validate information from recipients.
Now, to find your UEI in SAM.gov, you will need to log into your account and locate the active bubble in the Entity Management widget. Select it to open your current SAM.gov registration record. Now the UEI is displayed on the left of this screen. Now, you are no longer able to locate your SAM.gov account using a DUNS number. In JustGrants, once you open the entity profile menu option, your entity information is displayed. JustGrants retain the DUNS number and it is in the center top row. Your UEI is directly below it. Now, do note that if you registered in SAM.gov after April 4th, you will not have a DUNS number and this section will not appear. Now, let's take a look at a roadmap that can help you visualize each of the steps that are needed in JustGrants when you are onboarding a new user. First, the entity administrator will log into DIAMD to set up each new user.
Now, DIAMD is the user management section of JustGrants. The only information required to create a new user is the first name, last name, and an email address. The email address will become the username and the user will select their own password during the registration process. Once the new user is created, the entity administrator will assign one or more roles to that user depending on the general work the user intends to do in JustGrants. Now, we'll talk a little bit more about those roles in a minute. New users will receive a registration email once the Entity Administrator has invited them to register. The user will need to open a link in the email and follow the steps to register in JustGrants, including setting up a password and multifactor authentication. Registration is step one.
Step two is to actually log into JustGrants. Now, even though a new user is registered, they are not active users in JustGrants until they have logged into the system at least one time. This is a good time to test their username and their password. And then once the new user is registered and have logged in, the Entity Administrator will be able to assign that user to specific awards and applications.
Now, here are listed some quick tips to help ensure success when accessing and using JustGrants. We recommend that you use Chrome or Microsoft Edge to access JustGrants. Internet Explorer does not provide the optimal experience in JustGrants. So if you had users with hyphenated names and they cannot access JustGrants, they should open a ticket with our technical support desk and we will provide information about support at the end of this presentation. For entities that have already have a JustGrants account prior to applying in Grants.gov, the Application Submitter should be sure to use the email associated with their JustGrants account to apply for funding in Grants.gov. If you will be applying for or managing awards with multiple UEI's, you will need to associate a unique email address with each account. And each time you log into JustGrants, you will need to complete the multifactor authentication. You have to click "Send Code" on the screen in order to send the code to your phone.
Now, let's take a moment to review the roles that play an important part in their area. Now, there are two things you want to keep in mind with user roles in JustGrants. The first one is that a user role provides for specific access in JustGrants. You can do and see specific things because of the role you are in. Secondly, users can have one or more than one role assigned to them, based upon the type of work that they will need to do in JustGrants. Now, we have talked quite a bit about the Entity Administrator role and what the basic tasks are for that person. In addition to managing users and keeping the entity profile information current, they have also read-only access to all applications and awards in JustGrants. They have a bird's-eye view of everything. If the Entity Administrator will also need to take part in managing awards or applications, that person can be assigned additional roles, so allow them to do that as well. The Grant Award Administrator generally handles programmatic requirements, including submitting performance reports, initiating and submitting GAMs, and initiating award closeout. There's also an alternate Grant Award Administrator role that's available. However, that particular role is limited to initiating, but not submitting grant award modifications at this time. The Application Submitter is the only role that can enter data into an application, certify and submit it on behalf of your entity. The Authorized Representative is the only role that may accept or decline an award on behalf of the entity. And this role must 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 award terms and conditions. And then the Financial Manager submits federal financial reports on behalf of the organization.
Now, there are three roles involved in an application submission. The Application Submitter role will be the only person in JustGrants that will be able to submit an application. And an Application Submitter profile is automatically created in JustGrants when the application is submitted in Grants.gov. The person submitting the information in Grants.gov is then assigned to the application in JustGrants. If another person will enter application information in JustGrants, the Entity Administrator will need to reassign the application to the next person. Then you have the Application Submitter who identifies the forms needed to submit an application, completes the web-based budget form, completes and certifies the application on behalf of your entity, and submits the application in JustGrants. Now, if a member is assigned only the Application Submitter role, they will not be able to see funded awards in JustGrants. It is possible to assign multiple roles to the user with the Application Submitter role, if that is what your organization prefers to do. Then the Authorized Representative, that person is authorized to enter into a legal agreement on behalf of the entity. Because the authorized representative is selected from a list of active users during the application process in JustGrants, that person must be onboarded prior to submitting the application.
The Entity Administrator manages users and roles in JustGrants. There can only be one Entity Administrator in JustGrants at a time. It would be best, however, to discuss who might act as a backup entity administrator in the event the primary entity administrator goes on vacation, or if they're on extended leave, and you want to do this prior to leaving the organization for any amount of time, because then the acting entity administrator must be reassigned that role.
Now, onto—let's see. Let me just take a moment. I want to make sure—I thought I heard someone that—we do thank you for any questions that you may have. Please make sure that if you do have questions throughout the presentation to post them in the Q&A chat. And we do have people monitoring the chat to make sure that we answer those questions. So now, we'll talk about the Entity Administrator. And we have a few demonstrations that we would like to show you today that shows you what the task will be for them. So we're going to take a look at this first demonstration on how to add a member to the system.
DEMO: In order to set up new users, also called members in JustGrants, your Entity Administrator must invite them. From the JustGrants homepage, the Entity Administrator can open the entity users menu, which shows all users registered and logged into the system. The top of the screen is a button to manage users which only the Entity Administrator will see. Click this button to open the task for JustGrants and DIAMD. Again, only the Entity Administrator sees the DIAMD tile. They could also see the DIAMD tile when they log in. So if they like, they can go straight to DIAMD upon log in. Now, to invite a new member, you want to use that invite member tile. Once it opens, you'll need to enter the email address and confirm the email address.
Next, you'll want to enter the first and last name, and you'll want to make sure that the entries here are accurate. You will not be able to edit this information in the future. So if any of the information here is not accurate when you submit it, you'll actually need to return and then remove the member and start over again. Now, once the member information has been entered, it's time to assign roles. You can use the dropdown menu to select the roles to assign to each new member. It's a really good idea at this point to assign as many roles as you think might be used in the future, even if they will not be performing that role initially. New member will not be able to be assigned as a Grant Award Administrator, for example, unless they had that role assigned earlier in their profile. Once you've done this, you click submit and that will generate an email to the new user at the email address you entered at the top of the profile. In a moment, I'll show you what new members will need to do with that email once they receive it.
EULANA WILLIAMS: So, once a new member is invited, they will then need to register their JustGrants account. And we're going to take a look at what that process looks like right now. So once a member has been invited, they will get an email at the address that will set up in the member profile. The member will then need to take action within 72 hours of receiving the invitation or it will expire. If the invitation expires and an Entity Administrator, they can invite them and we can show you what that looks like in a moment. But this is what the invitation email looks like. It has quite a bit of information in it. There's links to JustGrants, trainings, news and updates, and then other frequently asked questions. And then to register, all the member will need to do is just to click the "here" link in this first paragraph. And then on this next slide, then you'll see another demonstration of what happens next.
DEMO: That link will take them here where the new member will need to set up password security questions using a dropdown list and entering the answer in the field below. There's an option as well to write a custom question, but be sure to record the questions and answers for future reference. The next step is to set up individual passwords, type and confirm. Then JustGrants uses multifactor authentication with a number of different options. Logging into JustGrants, users will have to verify their login information in one of these ways. Set up a separate authenticator, usually using an app on their phone, such as Google Authenticator or they can have a code sent to their phone, or even have a voice call in which a call is generated with a spoken password. This type of multifactor authentication is there to protect your data and means each user should have their own account rather than sharing an account within an office. Each type of multifactor authentication has its own set up path, but in this case, we're going to use text messaging as it's the most common. Receive a text, enter the phone number for your mobile phone and select send code. Then check your text for the code and enter it here and then select verify. Once you have verified the code, you select finish or you can select a second verification office. Once the registration is finished, use the link in the invitation email to log into JustGrants, then select the JustGrants tile to log in. Remember, you are not fully registered in JustGrants until you log in that first time. So once you see this email confirming your multifactor authentication, go ahead and log into JustGrants.
EULANA WILLIAMS: Awesome. So that completes this section on onboarding. I just want to give you an opportunity if there are any questions in the chat, you know, just, please go ahead and post those in there, and if there's any that need to be highlighted. So I don't see anything just yet, but we'll also have another opportunity to—oh, I'm sorry. There we go.
LISA HARTMAN: I'm sorry, Eulana. We will address all the questions at the end of the presentation.
EULANA WILLIAMS: Certainly. Awesome. Well then, we'll go ahead and move forward. So now, we're going to take a look at the application submission process. And on this slide, you'll see the grant's lifecycle and what that involves. It involves completing and submitting web-based forms, as well as the attachments that are requested based on the requirements in the published solicitation. Now, as we saw with the roadmap earlier, the process of submitting an application in JustGrants begins in Grants.gov. Once you locate a funding opportunity with DOJ, you will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in Grants.gov. Now, that is the extent of the application process in Grants.gov. Now, aside from those two documents, the SF-424 and the SF-LLL, most of your application is entered in JustGrants and your entity information is populated based upon the entries made in SAM.gov and the ones that were used in Grants.gov.
Now, do note that you will have two application submission deadlines. One is for Grants.gov and the other is for JustGrants. And each solicitation has an application submission deadline in Grants.gov. Now, after this date, the solicitation is removed from Grants.gov and no one will be able to apply any longer. So it's highly recommended that you check the due date in Grants.gov and try to submit at least 72 hours prior to the deadline to provide you with enough time to correct any errors and resubmit if necessary. So, once the application has been submitted and validated in Grants.gov, it will be sent to JustGrants for completion and that can take several days for Grants.gov to complete validation and then release it to JustGrants. JustGrants has its own submission deadline that allows additional time to complete the application past the Grants.gov deadline. So submitting early in both systems is definitely recommended.
For example, if you have a due date in Grants.gov that's April 1st, the JustGrants deadline is April 7th. And if you submit it on March 15th, then you still have time until April 7th to submit that JustGrants application. So the JustGrants submission should include all items that are required in the solicitation and the JustGrants applications submission is then final. Again, it is okay to enter preliminary information in Grants.gov if you haven't fully determined your budget or your project scope, but you will be able to edit and update all your entries in JustGrants. It is not necessary to return to Grants.gov to make those updates there.
Within JustGrants, you will find a streamlined process where you can use a web-based budget detail worksheet that is both more efficient and establishes a shared structure and a narrative for all of DOJ. Now, this streamlined process means it's a quicker validation of your budget to be cleared a lot faster. Your organization, specifically your assigned Entity Administrator, has more control over users and award assignments and does not require intervention from DOJ to make updates to those assignments. The Entity Administrator defaults to your organization's E-Biz point of contact, but as we saw earlier, that person can reassign the responsibilities to another person as needed.
So the Grants.gov log in is separate from JustGrants. Now, Grants.gov provides access to funding opportunities from multiple government agencies and is not managed by DOJ. Now, we will provide a training video from the Grants.gov website in a moment as well as show you some screenshots of the site. However, if you have questions about Grants.gov, you will need to contact them for support. Now, you will apply by selecting the opportunity in Grants.gov for which you'd like to apply. You will login using the email address you want to receive notifications, and then there is a workspace icon that will allow you access to funding opportunities. Now, once you have determined a funding opportunity and applied, you will receive notifications from Grants.gov confirming the receipt of the SF-424 stating whether the SF-424 and SF-LLL were validated and submitted or if they were rejected with errors. The notification will include an explanation for any errors. And this is why it's a good idea to submit in Grants.gov at least 48 hours prior to that deadline to give you the time that you need to correct any errors. Now, you will not be able to correct errors or continue with the application process once the deadline in Grants.gov has passed. All right, the Grants.gov training. This includes instructions on how to register in Grants.gov. The various user roles associated with the system and then how to search for a federal grant and how to begin the application process. So what's coming up next is going to be a short video from Grants.gov that covers an overview of what the registration process looks like.
DEMO: Registering in Grants.gov involves several easy steps. First, after navigating to the registration page, begin by completing a few form fields. You will be asked for your name, email address, and phone number as well as a username and password. You will next be asked to confirm your email address. Click the "Send Temporary Code" button and check your email account for the Grants.gov message with the numerical code. Use this code to confirm your email address. If you don't see the message in your inbox, check your spam folder. At the end of the registration process, you will have an option to create a profile. If you only want to receive Grant.gov emails and subscribe to funding opportunities, you can forgo creating a profile. Applicants will want to add either an individual applicant profile or an organization applicant profile. To create an organization applicant profile, the applicant must enter the organization's Unique Entity Identifier or UEI, along with a profile name and a title. The UEI is not applicable to individual profiles. Grantors who are registering with Grants.gov will need to contact an agency representative to request that they be affiliated with the agency.
EULANA WILLIAMS: So the Office of Justice Programs or OJP Grant Application Resource Guide provides guidance to assist OJP grant applicants in preparing and submitting applications for OJP funding. It addresses a variety of policies, statutes, and regulations that apply to many or in some cases, all OJP program applicants or to grants and cooperative agreements awarded in Fiscal Year 2022. Now, there are instructions in this guide on how to apply and links to the Grants.gov resources. Locate funding opportunities offered by DOJ managing offices, OJP, OVW, and the COPS Office at this link on the JustGrants Resources website. You can find training on the Grants.gov support page. A link to that page is provided in the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide. And then Grants.gov training includes instructions on how to register in Grants.gov, the various user roles associated with that system, and how to research or how to search for a federal grant and how to begin the application process.
Now, to search for an opportunity, you can use the search grants tab at the top of the page. You can filter the search by opportunity ID and not by the solicitation title to make sure you are applying to the correct solicitation for this year. Once you find an opportunity you would like to explore, select the opportunity number to view the requirements. Once you open the grant opportunity, review the information included in the synopsis version history, related documents, and package tab to see if the opportunity is one that would benefit your organization. If you choose to apply, select the apply button. You will need to log in or create a Grants.gov account to apply.
Now, keep in mind, the person's name and email that you put into SECTION (8F) on the SF-424 form, the name entered in this field becomes the person automatically assigned
the Application Submitter role for this application in JustGrants. The Application Submitter is the only person who can complete the application in JustGrants. Now, if you want to change who the application submitter, it's the entity administrator will need to reassign this role after it has been submitted in Grants.gov.
Now, if you go to the Track My Application section, you can track everything for your status information. You can check if your application has been received, validated, rejected with errors, retrieved by agency and the agency tracking number assigned. Keep in mind and that just because you received a confirmation that your application has been received, you may also receive a notification that your application has been rejected. Confirmation of the application does not mean it has been approved. When it comes to your SF-424 and SF-LLL, it is best to have those documents completed way before the deadline so that if there is any changes or updates that are needed, you would have time to get those in, and it doesn't cause for a rejection. Now, you will have a tracking number that will connect JustGrants to your application, that way the system knows that your application and that grant belongs to you.
Once the application is moved from Grants.gov to JustGrants, the bulk of the application work begins. Now, there are certain web-based forms that must be submitted directly into the system, your proposal abstract and solicitation. For those who are return users, you will need to submit your goals, objectives, deliverables, and timeline just like before. Make sure your budget information is included in the budget detail form and lastly, your disclosure of duplication in cost items. We'll now take a look at the application submission process.
DEMO: So, starting in the "My Work List" section, you'll want to locate the application that you'd like to submit. Now since we're starting in My Work List and not in the Applications Menu, the application opens automatically in edit mode. That means you will not have to click that begin button to start. You'll navigate through the solicitation using the navigation menus that are there on the right-hand side or you can go to the bottom of the page and use the continue button to the bottom right of the screen. You can also click the “Save” button and save your edits. Or if you'd like, to leave the application, you can click the “Cancel” button and that will return you to the homepage but it will not save any edits that you may have made. And that's important to understand that each application will require different information. So, the menu options that you see on the right here will vary based upon the solicitation requirements. You may see more or fewer options in each application.
Now, you want to review the standard applicant information. Now, this comes from the information that you submitted while you completed the information in Grants.gov. And you can scroll down to the areas affected by project fields, and at least one entry will be required. You can select the "Add" button and you can enter this location information using the ZIP code or other common entries like county names or states. You can add as many entries as needed.
Next, you want to scroll down to the application type. Now, the application type information is populated from the SF-424 but you will be given an opportunity here to edit that if needed. Now, the type of applicant, the executive order, the delinquent data information, all of that is available here as an editable field, so you can update it as needed. Now, scrolling back up using the menu options, we're going to move to the next step. Now, the next step here using the navigation on the right is to confirm the authorized legal representative. Now, most applications will have a single entry here. But if you are applying for funding from the COPS office, you'll need to add two. The authorized representative, that's the person allowed to enter into agreements, the Department of Justice, and the person that will certify the award acceptance. Once that's selected, you can confirm the representative.
Next, you're going to want to verify your legal name and address. And this is information that's actually populated for museum.gov entries. Now, if you do find anything here that needs to be updated, you'll need to do that on SAM.gov. Once those updates are made on SAM.gov, usually it takes about 24 hours before those updates will populate in JustGrants. Now, for the proposal abstract, you can either type or copy and paste your narrative entries. Now, this is a required field. You can also upload documents, or if you like to, you can enter goals. Now, when you select the "New Goal" link, you'll see that fields that you will need to complete automatically populate for each goal.
Again, I'll highlight that all fields that have red asterisks are required fields. Now, you can enter in goal statements as a narrative, you can enter in objectives and deliverables. Or if you'd like to remove any of those elements, you can simply use the trash can beside it and it will remove them. Now, in this demonstration, we're going to briefly display each section of a budget detail worksheet. Now again, the specific categories that you see here, they're going to vary from office to office and from application to application. They're based upon the requirements determined by that specific solicitation. So it's very unlikely they will match yours. As you pass through each one, you'll notice that a green check appears to the left that indicates only that that section has been visited. It is not indicated that it is completed. You'll find that the information here works very similar from category to category allowing you to either enter in narratives directly or upload files much as you could in the earlier sections that we viewed.
There's a simple upload showing that you can either attach a file or you can locate a file within your JustGrants account and attach it and those can be PDF, Microsoft Word or Excel files. Now, we're moving to the Memorandum of Understanding section and other supportive documents where you again can see that you can upload files that you need. Now, if you do use an Excel file for the time being, we do recommend that you do not use macro-enabled Excel files. Now, in the additional application components section, there are options for file uploads that are based upon the categories of documents requested and the disclosures and assurances section you'll need to complete each of those subsections but unlike in this test example, your SF-LLL will already be populated in this section. It's important to know that as we review each of these sections again, green checks appear indicating only that those areas have been visited not that they are completed. Now, once you've moved through and feel that you've completed all the sections to your satisfaction, you open the certify and submit section and then you can open the carets next to each section to visually review your entries. Now when you are ready, you can click the final review and certification of application, confirmation check box and then you can click "Submit." Now, if there's required information missed in the application, you will not be able to submit it and we'll go over that process of how to complete that information and submit it in just a second.
EULANA WILLIAMS: So if you could—we'll take a look at some of the application submission tips. But if you happen to click more than once then it will submit multiple submissions and you will be asked to withdraw any duplicates. Okay. You want to make sure you pay attention to the attachment categories you select when uploading files into JustGrants application. The JustGrants will place those files in this section of the application that corresponds to the attachment category. For example, if you upload a proposal narrative, you will need to select a proposal narrative category in order for JustGrants to accept it as such. If you choose the file category other by mistake, JustGrants will place that file in the other section of the application and will not recognize that you uploaded a proposal narrative. If you upload a file using the wrong category, you will need to locate the file where it's stored, delete it and upload it again using the correct file category. You can print all of the web-based entries in JustGrants by opening the actions menu and selecting "Print." The print option does not print any file attachments. You will need to print those separately from your work station or shared drive.
Keep in mind that when you are in the areas affecting section of the application, you can only put in 10 entries. You can provide more detail in a narrative as needed and if you are awarded then you will be able to expand the affected areas.
In many text fields in JustGrants, you can copy and paste text from Microsoft Word or Excel. This is a way to use existing content to build your application. Beware though that your pasted text may not format exactly the same way as it did in Word or Excel. You should always check to be sure it looks the way you want it. And you can either reformat issues in using the text editor in the field or you can copy from Word and paste without formatting to reduce this issue. And then you want to pay attention to required sections. You must complete the application in the way that JustGrants presents it. So, for an example, if your application contains web-based fields, JustGrants will not allow you to submit your budget as [INDISTINCT] at the last step in application submission, you will be presented with the certify and submit accordance list displaying all application materials.
Now, JustGrants will call out any errors with a red triangle in accordion that contains any errors. All right. So, with application validation errors, you will see a red triangle next to any validation errors. You will open that list of errors by clicking the caret next to it. Open it to expand the list. Second, the error message list will report back any validation errors that you will need to resolve in the application. Then you will need to open the application to resolve any errors and then you can check the certification of application confirmation checkbox and then submit. Now, after you have submitted your application, you are probably wondering, "What's next? What happens next?" Once all the application for the solicitation has been reviewed then the entity will be notified which all happens before September 30th. Now, please remember who your Entity Administrator and Authorized Representatives are for they will be notified when the deadline for the applications will be changed. The system will also notify the Application Submitter, Entity Administrator and Authorized Representative when the application has been received in JustGrants from Grants.gov and the Entity Administrator will receive notification of when the award notification has been sent. If you have submitted your application, the status will be submitted. You may also see a banner that indicates that it is past due. Now, this banner indicates that the submission deadline has passed, not that your application is past due.
Now, we have hoped that you have gained some insight from the materials that we've presented today. Before we close, we would like to provide you with some additional resources that we have created to help guide you through this process. Now, embedded within the presentation are links to all of the information that we covered today. The Justice Grants website houses all of the training materials that you'll need to work your way through JustGrants. We have placed direct links here to all application mechanics, resources which can all be found on the Justice Grants website. For JustGrants technical issues, they should be sent to JustGrants Technical Support. For grant application status, check the website from the DOJ managing offices, COPS, OJP, and OVW. Now, if you are an applicant or award recipients for an OVW award and you need assistance, you want to contact the OVW support desk at [email protected] usdoj.gov or you can call (866) 655-4482. Now, to contact the JustGrants technical support desk, you can send an email to the JustGrants support email. You can also give them a call at (833) 872-5175 and that's Monday through Friday between 7:00 and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Okay. And on the weekends and holidays as well. Please use the JustGrants support email, the phone line for any issues that you may have when working in JustGrants.
Now, we did talk a lot about the online site for training materials but I just wanted to show you what the JustGrants training website looks like. You can find a lot of information about JustGrants right at the justicegrants.usdoj.gov. And we're going to focus on the training link today but just take some time to look through the website and you'll be able to find all kinds of useful information. Once you open up the training link, you're going to see a list of training topics displayed. Once you have selected the topic that you wanted to explore, you can—you will open up a page with training resources dedicated to that particular topic.
Typically, you'll find a Job Aid Reference Guide or what we JARGs and links to step-by-step videos. These are very short videos and they're meant to be used while you're working, all right? So, you don't have to feel like you need to set aside a whole lot of time to sit down and view these videos but they're really helpful if you're right in the middle of a task in JustGrants and you just want to verify what your next steps are.
Now, the Job Aid Reference Guides, they're going to give you step-by-step instructions, they'll have screenshots to help walk you through the different tasks. You can print these out or you can just keep them and view them on your screen. It just depends on how you like to work but they're also a great reference if you're in the middle of something you're trying to work out on a task and you just want to verify what you're supposed to do next. You'll also find quick reference guides that will walk you through step-by-step instructions to specific tasks. There are two new quick reference guides in the performance reporting topic that you may want to check out. It's navigating to a performance report and completing a question set and submitting a performance report. So, those are something that you might want to take a look at.
Now the links that are provided here will give you additional resources for building and submitting your application. Now we offer virtual Q&A series every week. You can use the link shown here for specifics. We have our Post-Award Management sessions. They are typically held on Mondays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, we have our Entity Management sessions. And those are primarily focused on topics for entity administrators. And that's held between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Then we have Wednesdays in the middle of the week. We hold our Application Mechanics session. And that's primarily focused on topics for submitting an application. And that's held from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. On Thursdays, we offer the award acceptance session. And that goes from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Now all of the classes are set to Eastern Standard Time. And note that these upcoming sessions are repeated sessions that don't cover any new or updated material. So, if you've attended any one of these sessions, you don't have to continue to keep coming to them. However, you are more than welcome to come and visit any of the sessions anytime you need assistance.
Now before we review any last-minute questions and close off the session today, we just want to make sure that, you know, we've provided you with enough information. I believe there may be a survey associated with attending today. So, please make sure that you provide feedback on our presentation today if possible. And so that brings us to the end of our presentation. And I know we have a Q&A section. So, I'm going to turn it back over. Let's see here.
DARYL FOX: Thanks, Eulana, so much.
EULANA WILLIAMS: Thank you. Have a good day.
DARYL FOX: [INDISTINCT] your portion to—just before we get to the questions, a couple of items I'll just mention. There was a lot of questions about if this presentation would be shared. Yes. The PowerPoint, recording, and transcript for today is going to be posted to the BJA website usually in about seven to 10 days or so, ideally earlier. Everybody that's registered today will receive an email where they can locate those items. So, do be on the lookout for that. If you do have a question, please put it in the Q&A box. I know our panelists had been feverishly answering those. So, hopefully those answers have been helpful to you. But, you know, with the time remaining today, we'll
just go ahead and pull out some of those, more of the common questions that have been asked for the panel. And the...
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: And I can do that. Hello, everyone. This is Liane Christopher. Daryl, I can review some of the questions that are still here.
DARYL FOX: Certainly.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. Thank you. Looks like this one is just answered but we'll ask anyway. “Is the application's filing name on Grants.gov our organization name?” And the answer is yes, that's correct. To confirm this, we just want to start to prove projects within the scope of our approved applications. And that is the correct answer there. Here's a new question. “Is this grant subject to review by state under Executive Order 12372 process?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: I might need to add.
ERICH DIETRICH: This program is subject...
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Yup.
ERICH DIETRICH: ...to that. Yes. It is subject to that...
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you.
ERICH DIETRICH: ...as long as your state participates in it.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. There are a couple of questions around the start date which we can summarize verbally here as well. And that start date can be December 29th, 2022, or later. Here's a new question. “When do we need to send our application or project to the state [INDISTINCT] enter government review? It does say it is subject to EO. It's only for certain types of projects.”
ERICH DIETRICH: I answered that in the chat, but the CFDA listing is where it's listed whether a particular grant program is subject to the EO or not. And this grant program is subject to the EO. And if your state participates in it, then when you are completing the Grants.gov portion of the application, you would submit whatever is required by your single point of contact in your state. And then you would enter that box, the SF-424 that you did present that, and that you did submit that information to your SPOC and you would enter the date in the box.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: [INDISTINCT] through a few chat questions that came in. Here's a two-part question. “If we want to use our hoard over 24-month period, do we submit a budget for each year on JustGrants.gov?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes. If you submit a two-year project period, then you would—when you fill out the web-based form, you would have year one and you would enter the cost for year one. And then you would submit and then you would add year two and you would have the cost for year two.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. And follow up. “How do we request reimbursements for project expenses?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Reimbursement requests will be submitted—well, drawdown requests will be submitted in the U.S. Treasury ASAP system. So, if you would submit the request once you have accessed the funds and it's accepted as you need reimbursement for a cost that you incurred, you would make the drawdowns in the ASAP system. And then you would report your expenditures and correlate financial reports.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. This question is around points of contact. “How do we know who our single point of contact is for a particular state?”
ERICH DIETRICH: You can Google the SPOC. There's a list of them on the White House website. If you can't find that, then reach out to me. They should also be on your state's—your state should have a website with the SPOC contact information. Some states don't participate in the EO process. And if they're not listed on that link, that means that they don't participate.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. Another question around reimbursement. “You've likely covered it and how you described it before with the drawdown, but can we also request reimbursements on a monthly basis?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Okay.
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes. The duration of reimbursement is up to your agency. Frequency of reimbursement, I'm sorry.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: “Are we allowed to charge our federally negotiated indirect cost rate?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes, you are. You would include that indirect cost in your application budget and you would attach your current rate agreement with the Cognizant Federal Agency to your application. And then once your budget is approved, then you'll be able to incur indirect costs.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: And Brenda, thank you for a follow-up detail. The SPOC is also listed in the solicitation. That is helpful, too. Thank you. “For BJA, where can we find the
exact project title?” And I imagine that ties to the same question around the point of contact and SPOC. So within the solicitation is the best place to look.
ERICH DIETRICH: The exact project title is in the joint explanatory statement, which is linked to in solicitation. And then we also had a link to a PDF document that's posted on our website that has it as a list of all the project titles.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: “Do we have to follow a bid process when getting quotes, if we need to get multiple bids, such as state bids?”
ERICH DIETRICH: It depends on the amount of the purchase or the contract in question. You can refer to the 2 CFR guidance in the financial guide, the links on the page I had about procurement to see what extent. But generally, free and open competition is required for grant-funded purchases. But there is a threshold under which you can follow different procedures for just obtaining quotes versus issuing an RFP.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. I'm going between the Q&A and the chat. And I think we're caught up, so there aren't any new questions that haven't already been answered. Actually, two more came in. Let me just go back down. And we appreciate everyone that's new that's here. Thank you for your questions. “Do we need to register with Grants.gov first and then JustGrants.gov? We already have our UEI.”
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: The answer is yes. Yes.
ERICH DIETRICH: You will. You will need to register in Grants.gov first because you complete the first part of the application in Grants.gov. And then once you transition to JustGrants, you will get invited to register in JustGrants.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: “Will we receive instructions on how to submit monthly invoices for payment?”
ERICH DIETRICH: You don't need to submit monthly invoices. You'll submit payment requests online, and they'll be made via automated fund transferring to your bank account.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: “And the length of time for that deposit to go through?” That was a follow-up question also.
ERICH DIETRICH: It should be, a couple of days, it’s an electronic transfer.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: “Is there a tutorial for draws within ASAP?”
ERICH DIETRICH: I'm not sure about that. I would assume so, but I'm not sure.
LISA HARTMAN: I can speak to that. The ASAP website does offer tutorials on ASAP. They have kind of extensive training. So, what you want to do is go to https://ASAP.gov and you'll find tutorials there.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Again, we appreciate the new questions. These are great. “I just created my UEI through SAM.gov, and Grants.gov is stating my UEI is not found when I tried to create a workspace to complete the first step. What is the length of time it takes to register my UEI? Is that typically a couple of days with time?”
LISA HARTMAN: The UEI is something that is applied for from SAM.gov. And my understanding is that it has been—that that process has been lengthier than it has in the past. So, the best option is to apply for UEI as soon as it makes sense for you, because it may take some time. And I'm not sure what that length of time is right now.
BRENDA WORTHINGTON: Okay. This is Brenda Worthington. We've been seeing at least three weeks turnaround on those. So definitely, it's very important to submit and obtain that UEI number as soon as possible. And then once the UEI number is assigned to ensure that the SAM registration is then subsequently submitted.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Okay. “When should we register with ASAP.gov? Is it after the application has been approved?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Yes. It's after the award is accepted. After the award is accepted, the Entity Administrator, which is the same e-biz point in contact, will receive an automated message inviting them to register in ASAP.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. And the link has been provided in the chat. Thank you.“ Do using federal cooperative opportunities such as federal supply service via GSA meet with solicitation requirements? Or is that the threshold dependent as well?” The question is around federal supply service via the GSA. Does that meet the solicitation requirements if you are using a federal cooperative opportunity?
ERICH DIETRICH: I'm not sure about that. I know that previously bid—piggybacking on a previously bid contract is allowable. I think we probably need some more information.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. At the moment, we're caught up. We have a few more minutes. So, we can watch both the chat and Q&A to see if anything else was added.
DARYL FOX: And Liane, I can—just something that was mainly asked in the beginning part of the presentation. “How does one know they're listed in the JES and eligible to apply the amount appropriated and the projects associated?” I want to go ahead and put the link in. That was answered in the chat and obtained—contain a full list of eligible applicants, projects, and amounts. I'll put that in the chat right now for everybody.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: And another great question. “Can one person have multiple roles?”
LISA HARTMAN: In JustGrants, they absolutely can. One person can be assigned all six roles if needed, and you can have multiple people assigned the same role with the exception of the entity admin. Only one person can have that. That person can have any or all of the additional roles as well.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Okay. Another one came up. Thank you. “It was mentioned that if you were in a state or municipality, you were subject to their purchasing rules. If your municipality allows purchasing cooperatives, is that allowed?”
ERICH DIETRICH: If I said that municipality then I misspoke when I was talking about competition, the states and territories are the ones that are exempt from the federal competition requirements. Cities and other—any other type of entity is subject to the federal requirements. But as to the type of purchase that you are discussing, if it was—there's different—there's various pools where they can pool and piggyback off of a previously competed contract. I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to or not, but we—I think we would have to have some more information about that.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: A couple more. Thank you for all your great questions. “How can you know if eligible for the 10% indirect cost?”
ERICH DIETRICH: The—you can list—you can look in—on the requirements for the 2 CFR or in—it's actually in the financial guide. But essentially, if your agency does not currently have a rate agreement with the federal agency, most likely you are eligible to claim the de minimis rate.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Okay. Thank you. Both the Q&A and the chat for the links provided, a lot of good resources there. It looks like things have been covered. And then one further question around purchasing. "If the purchasing contracts have been approved by the State Attorney General's Department, would that be okay?”
ERICH DIETRICH: Again, I think I'd have to have more information to be able to answer that. Elaine, you can email me separately so I can get some more information.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: “And can you talk a little more about the benefit of claiming the de minimis rate if you are a nonprofit?”
BRENDA WORTHINGTON: Hi. This is Brenda Worthington. So, the benefit of claiming the de minimis is that there is quite a bit of paperwork involved in obtaining a federally approved indirect cost rate agreement from your Cognizant Federal Agency. So, the de minimis allows you to be able to still claim and recoup indirect costs based on your modified total direct costs without having to go through that lengthy process.
LIANE CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. So, we are caught up on both [INDISTINCT] answered questions and we're close to the time. Any final questions? Okay. Thank you, Daryl. Thank you, Erich.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thank you. So, on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the other Office of Justice Program offices and the JustGrants team, thank you for joining today's webinar. This will end today's presentation.
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