The Project Safe Neighborhoods FY 2023 Grant Announcement
During this webinar, which was held on March 9, 2023, Bureau of Justice Assistance personnel provided information about the FY 2023 Project Safe Neighborhoods Formula Grant Program opportunity.
Transcript also available as a PDF
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to today's webinar, the “Project Safe Neighborhoods FY 2023 Grant Announcement,” hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, it's my pleasure to introduce Kate McNamee, Senior Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, for some welcoming remarks and to begin the presentation. Kate?
KATE MCNAMEE: Thank you so much, Daryl, and good afternoon everybody. Happy to be here with you today to share information about the FY 23 PSN Grant Announcement. Welcome to our new Fiscal Agents. My understanding is that we have some new folks on board who will find this particularly useful as they put the application together on behalf of your PSN district. Next slide, please.
I want to provide a brief overview of OJP, which is one of the three grant-making components of the Department of Justice. The Bureau of Justice Assistance, BJA, where my colleagues Steve and I spend our days and some of our nights, is one of the bureaus within OJP. Next slide, please.
I've also included BJA's mission statement which, in a nutshell, states that we are here to provide grant support and expert assistance to communities wishing to improve their public safety practices. We collaborate with communities, governments, and non-profit entities with the goal of promoting a safe and fair criminal justice system. Next slide, please.
Our Director, Karhlton Moore, was appointed by President Biden in 2022 and oversees our efforts to achieve this goal. BJA is made up of four distinct offices, and today I represent the BJA Policy Office, and Steve Fender is my counterpart in the BJA Programs Office, and you will hear from him in a couple minutes. Next slide, please.
So, BJA has five strategic focus areas, and they are listed here. And I can truthfully say that PSN touches on each of these areas in a variety of ways. Next slide, please.
So, in pursuit of those five areas, we fund diverse projects. We stay in close contact with criminal justice practitioners to share reliable information on what works. We create toolkits and publications to share the knowledge far and wide, and we are constantly engaged in outreach and partnership with major criminal justice organizations so that information is shared across the public safety field. Next slide, please.
So this brief webinar will cover a lot of ground today. I will provide an overview of the [FY] 23 PSN Grant Program, including its goals and objectives. I'll fully describe who is eligible to apply and how your funding allocation is determined and where that information can be found. The application submission process will be discussed along with resources that are available to assist you in completing the process. My colleague Steve and also Brandy Donini-Melanson will then respectively discuss budget and cost considerations as well as specific information that the Executive Office for United States Attorneys would like to highlight. We'll then open things up for Q&A. Next slide, please.
PSN is one of DOJ's primary violence reduction programs and is intended to create and foster safer communities through the support of ongoing coordination and formal partnership among state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. This process is coordinated by each U.S. attorney in all 94 districts. Next slide, please.
The goals of the PSN are to establish these partnerships among relevant law enforcement agencies, while also emphasizing and cultivating trust and engagement with the communities they serve, especially those most affected by violent crime. PSN is not a cookie-cutter program. It is designed to be tailored to the local needs of each district, and therefore the use of local intelligence and data to identify those who are most likely to experience or engage in violence is of central importance. Next slide, please.
PSN was redesigned in May 2020 to emphasize four main design features: Community Engagement to foster trust and collaboration; Prevention and Intervention to reduce the effects of violence in at-risk communities; Focused and Strategic Enforcement that identifies key drivers of violence without negatively disrupting the community; and Accountability for engagement and the results of these efforts. Next slide, please.
The PSN solicitation for FY 22 established the following objectives for each PSN team. First, they're expected to implement one or more effective strategies to prevent, respond to, and reduce violence in their district. Second, the grant funding they receive must be used to support the strategy developed by the PSN team. This could include prevention, intervention work, personnel costs, equipment costs, and other allowable costs that support the strategy's success. Steve will more specifically discuss allowable costs later in this webinar. Next slide, please.
Now this is very important. PSN is unique as a program, as eligible applicants must be PSN teams Fiscal Agents who have been certified by the relevant district's United States Attorney's Office. Fiscal Agents can be state, local government agencies, educational institutions, or state-based, or community-based organizations, Indian tribal governments and nonprofit organizations. The solicitation is not open to the general public applicants. You must be district-certified Fiscal Agent. Districts often use their state administering agencies as their certified Fiscal Agent, which BJA recommends due to SAAs experience with federal funds management and the awareness of other resources that could benefit the PSN initiative. BJA maintains a list of SAAs on its website. Obtaining a certification is extremely important as BJA will not consider any Fiscal Agent for funding who lacks this certification and this documentation at the time of their application. And all recipients and sub-recipients must forego any profit or management fee. Next slide, please.
As always, BJA hopes to make 93 awards, one to each U.S. Attorney's District, based on the formula in the solicitation. The formula is calculated based on a district's population and violent crime rate. Sometimes it takes a little while for the formula to be calculated, and we are in that situation this year as we are trying to get the solicitation out early. And applicants should base their funding request on last year's allocation, which is listed on the PSN page on the BJA website. BJA will support project periods of up to 36 months, beginning October 1st, 2023. Certified Fiscal Agents may use up to 10% of the allocation to support the administration of the award. And an important flag authorizing legislation includes a requirement that 30% of PSN funding must be used to support gang task forces in regions experiencing significant or increased presence of criminal transnational organizations engaging in high levels of violent crimes, firearms offenses, human trafficking, or drug trafficking. We have an FAQ document on the BJA PSN webpage that goes into this issue, and we have tried to be very broad in our definition and approach to this aspect of the funding allocation. But please let us know if you have any questions—or any questions arise while you put your funding strategy together. Next slide, please.
Deliverables include periodic progress reports to BJA and if there is a research partner involved, a final analysis report so that we can share those findings with the PSN community for the benefit of all. Next slide, please.
Due to the requirements of our system, JustGrants applications must follow a two-step process for submission. The first step is to submit an SF-424 in lobbying form at Grants.gov. The applicant will then submit the full application, including all attachments to [email protected]. There is a considerable amount of information about this available in the solicitation as well as point of contact should you need assistance. Next slide, please.
OJP has also developed an Application Checklist, which leads you through the process and is available on the OJP website. Next slide, please.
We released this solicitation on February 7th and the first step in Grants.gov is due April 4th with the full application due April 11th. Those dates are non-negotiable. Next slide, please.
These are the big steps that you'll need to take ahead of time. Identifying everything you need to complete in terms of forms; completing the web-based budget form; completing the application to include certifying the information you are submitting; and then pressing the submit button. Next slide, please.
Support is available from JustGrants, including tutorials in specific training events, and more information and guidance is available on its website. Next, please.
We require a short abstract that describes your PSN strategy partners and what you know about your crime rate and crime drivers, where the strategy will be deployed in your jurisdiction. Next slide, please.
For your Program Narrative, it must respond to the requirements of the solicitation. We expect to receive information that describes the issue you're addressing, how you will address it with the funding allocation, and how you will adhere to the gang task force set aside requirements. These questions you see on the slide are listed in the solicitation and means to guide you through providing that information. Next slide, please.
Maybe we might have skipped—okay, here we go. The Program Narrative should also discuss the performance metric data collection process that will be used, including total collected, how the information will be used to tweak and guide the project, and data reporting. This is in line with the accountability program elements established for PSN. And now I will turn things over to my colleague Steve Fender to go over some specific costs and administration information. Steve?
STEPHEN FENDER: Thanks, Kate. When preparing your budget for your 2023 PSN application, please keep in mind that you'll use the web-based form in JustGrants, not the Excel document of earlier years. This is also where you'll document your 10% administrative costs that Kate mentioned a few slides before. And if you intend to charge indirect, please be sure those expenses are calculated correctly and an up-to-date indirect cost rate agreement is provided if applicable. Also, when you submit your application, you need to complete the Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire that includes the applicant disclosure of risk status. For our nonprofit applicants, please take a look at the guidance that we provide here as it relates to Disclosure of Executive Compensation that may be required. And please take a look at the OJP Resource Guide that's linked in the solicitation if this applies to you.
And finally, if you have questions about submitting your application, we provided a link here with an online training that you can use if needed. Next slide, please.
Thank you. When preparing your application, you should be aware of a few unallowable costs for PSN. These include prizes and awards, entertainment, trinkets, or any type of monetary incentive, client stipends, gift cards, and food and beverage costs. Please do not include any of these costs in your budgets or subaward budgets as they will not be approved. Next slide, please.
For 2023, all subawards require BJA approval post award. So when the Selection Committee—it makes the funding decision and they determine who will be funded for your district using the [FY] 23 dollars, you will then need to draft two documents, a subaward budget, and a summary of the proposed subaward program. The budget should include a description of all costs by line item with a Budget Narrative for each extent. The summary should explain the proposed project, the connection of all costs included to violent crime reduction, and whether the program is going towards the required 30% gang set aside funding that Kate mentioned previously. You should also include language that states that all costs were approved by the PSN Selection Committee. And you can find more information about that in the solicitation as well. Once these two documents are complete, submit them using a subaward authorization scope cam in JustGrants. And as a reminder, this would need to be completed at post award only. So no, you won't be able to submit a grant adjust modification free award. But for those on the call now that are awarded, we will need to review and approve all subawards post award only. Next slide, please.
When preparing your application budgets for direct costs and subaward, it is important to remember the difference between subawards and subcontracts, because there are very different administrative rules for the different agreement types. The difference also affects how those entities that are funded are selected and monitored. The agreement documents are also likely to be different as subawards must pass through award conditions that will be on the primary award that you will receive. And this is not a requirement for contracts. You'll need to make the determination of which agreement is appropriate for the PSN grant funds based on the nature of the funded activity. And if you have any questions, we have a few resources here that can help. Please see the links here to the training, tool kits, and checklists for more information on how to make these determinations. These are great resources and what I used to help make the determinations for you when grantees call and ask me. So I recommend strongly that you take a look at these as they're great documents.
Finally, for any non-competitive procurements that you may be aware of at the time of application, we have a provided sole source checklist and fact sheet here on the slide for your review. Please look at those closely and let us know if you have questions about any potential non-competitive or sole source procurement at the time of application. Next slide, please.
And here we have Kate's contact information, should you have any questions about the content provider of the PSN Program. And here we have my contact information. For those on the line who are not familiar with me, I've talked to many of our grantees and many are on the line today. But if you have questions, there's my contact information. Next slide, please.
Okay. For those needing application assistance we provide here additional resources if you run into any problems, please contact the OJP Response Center as needed via email, phone, or web chat with the links and information you see here. The Response Center's hours of operations are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Next slide, please.
Here we have some additional recommended resources as questions arise while submitting the application. These include required trainings, the DOJ Financial Guide, the aforementioned OJP Grant Application Resource Guide, and the link to the FY 22 allocations that Kate mentioned that will be used for submitting your application. And just want to slow down here. So if you're new to applying for PSN and you have to put it in an award amount, you'll go to this link and you'll see the allocation by your district, and that's the amount you'll apply for. So then that's last year's funding because we don't have the formula already yet. So if you're first time applying and you're wondering how much to submit for, that's where you'll find that information. And if you have questions about that, email while using the slide that I just went through. Next slide, please.
Okay. I'm now going to turn it over to Brandy for the next portion of the presentation. Brandy?
BRANDY DONINI-MELANSON: Thanks much, Steve. So I'm going to cover some background and highlights, particularly for those new to PSN. Next slide.
Every U.S. Attorney's Office, just as a basic, and a lot of folks on the call already or on the webinar are already familiar with some of these details. But it's important for new folks to know that every U.S. Attorney's Office has a written PSN strategic plan that outlines and addresses the most pressing, violent crime issues and drivers in the district. And the strategic plans are district specific. It includes district-specific goals, strategies, action items along with performance measures. And although some districts may experience similar violent crime problems and challenges, the plans, as Kate had mentioned earlier, are really tailored to address the unique issues in each district. And the PSN strategic plan is really a foundational element to Project Safe Neighborhood and the PSN formula grant.
So additionally, every U.S. Attorney's Office should utilize a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team to help develop and implement the PSN strategic plan goals and strategies. And the U.S. Attorney's Office leads the team. And when I say PSN team, the —U.S. Attorney's Office is part of that team. And as I just mentioned, it leads it. And the team is really another foundational element of PSN and it's absolutely critical to the PSN formula grant. So I've covered the team in the past, but again, for those new to PSN, I want to cover that again. Specifically, every U.S. Attorney's Office should have a team that works collaboratively to devise, refine, and implement strategies with the overall purpose of reducing violent crime. And the team is convened by the U.S. Attorney's Office and, as I had mentioned earlier, it helps develop the annual strategic plan and identify goals and strategies. It also helps to prioritize the projects for the PSN grant funding.
And then, although we refer to the team as the PSN team, districts have the discretion to use a different name, and I've heard it called a number of things, the PSN Leadership Team, the Violent Crime Reduction Team, Violent Crime Reduction Working Group, a PSN Steering Committee, a PSN Task Force. So, it really ranges based on the district dynamic. Some districts may even co-lead an existing violent crime working group with another law enforcement agency and then they might consider that particular group as part of their team. But the bottom line is, regardless of what the team is called or how it’s structured, all team members really need to have a basic understanding about an ability to effectively address the most pressing violent crime issues and drivers in the district. And as I had mentioned or alluded to, there’s really no one team model. However, all should include internal and external individuals from diverse and varied disciplines.
So for example, here are some types of team members. You've got U.S. Attorney's Office Staff, federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. You'll have some state/ local prosecutors. You might even have the Department of Youth Services, probation, parole, correctional staff, maybe even city/state government directly involved in violence prevention work as part of sort of a coalition, youth serving organizations, re-entry workers. So the list goes on and it really is dependent on the district dynamics and who's involved in violence prevention work there.
So the next item on the slide is the PSN team should set the priorities for grant-funded projects. And it's also recommended that the PSN strategic plan, as I had mentioned, be used to help the team with this tasking. And so let me drill down on that a little bit, particularly as it relates to setting priorities for grant-funded projects. And so what I mean is that the PSN—essentially the PSN team should review the annual plan and any updates that have happened. And then they should also determine based on the problems and goals, they really need to highlight specific ones that could benefit from grant funding. And this is really going to be important because some districts have really large pots of money and some have really small pots of money. And so it's really important that the PSN team looks at the plans and figures out realistically how should we be prioritizing the funding based on the limited amount we have and then the district issues that we're experiencing.
So let me give you an example of what I mean when it comes to prioritizing a grant-funded project. So essentially, what the team could do is they could go back and look at their assessment and they could say 60% of grant funding should be served to improve enforcement strategies. They could also say specifically to address violence in the city of whatever city that might be, Richmond, for example. They could also further say violent crime is high in that city. Because violent crime is high in that city, resources really need to be surged to that location. Now, you can also—the team can further say projects that focus on improving equipment, software technology, and training gaps to improve the enforcement strategies should be further prioritized. And I think you get to this because when you're doing your strategic plan assessment, you're able to see that these are real gap areas. So you're able to really dive in and prioritize certain things. And again, this is really important when you have small pots of money, you have to figure out what really is going to be the best course of action.
And let me give you another example of prioritizing a grant project. For instance, the team could say 40% of grant funding should be surged for youth violence prevention to build out protective factors among those with greater risk factors in the city of whatever, Newport News, for example. I came from Virginia originally. And resources are particularly lacking for violence prevention in this area. So again, that's another way that you can think about prioritizing. You could also further say as it relates to prevention that projects you really want to—the team really wants to focus on projects building—on building evidence-based protective factors as defined. And I think this is important by the CDC or youth.gov. And I'm going to give you some resources here in a minute that helps you better understand some prevention topics.
So I say all that to say, I think it's important that you really understand that the team sets those priorities. And you can be really specific without running into this issue, these ethical quandaries that we run into, because I think at least from a U.S. Attorney's perspective and other federal employees, you're not able, and I'll get to this a little bit at the—I guess you'll see it on the last item on the slide, you can't actually say who gets funding. It's important to know that that's the decision of the Selection Committee, but you can really help to define the priorities to make sure that it really—the funding is going to address the issues that the Project Safe Neighborhood team has identified are most important.
Okay. So let me get back to the violence prevention. Just a couple tips for those districts who are thinking about funding or prioritizing projects on violence prevention. I strongly recommend reviewing sources of evidence-based prevention approaches. I'd strongly recommend that you take a look at your local and state Department of Education and Public Health surveys, that gives you some really good information that also helps you highlight some risk behaviors. I'm going to include some links in the chat that might help you become a little more familiar with violence prevention concepts. And I think it's just again, really important that if you're going to think about funding prevention, it's important that you have some understanding about a lot of those terms. So I'm going to pop some information. It's a lot, so I would just recommend that you copy and paste it into a Word document.
Hopefully this will work out okay putting it in the chat. Let's try this here. It might be at the limit. Looks like I might not get all of it in. Do you have additional questions? Actually, it looks like I got a number of them in here. I do have a lot of resources on this. You'll see just copy and paste. And I have some that weren't able to make it into this link. If it's something you're interested in, send me a note. I'm happy to send you my full list. So let's get to the next item. The next item is—actually, go back a slide, I still have to cover—there we go. The PSN should further discuss project-specific elements. So in addition to prioritizing your projects, you are also going to want to talk about project-specific elements. And this is important because it helps the Fiscal Agent and the Selection Committee when they make subaward.
And so, for now, I just want to elaborate a little bit on project-specific elements. And so when the team is prioritizing the focus, they should also identify some other details. For instance, if the team wants to prioritize funding for violence prevention projects, they could also discuss whether or not projects should utilize specific types of evidence-based program. Whether there is a preferred age group that should be targeted, whether there is a preferred geographical area in a city, which as you do your assessment, you're going to have a better sense as to risk. And we all know that, in certain schools perhaps that type of work might be a focus or within a specific city, there might be a need to do some focus work. So, I think it's important you can think about
doing a little—a more prioritized focus for your project or you could take a broader approach where you do sort of a broader scoping and see what people come back with. So there's a couple of different ways to do it. I think it really comes down to what your assessment has revealed, what your problems, your gaps have looked like. But I think it's just important to know that the PSN team has a lot of ability to really sort of prioritize. And there's a lot of ways you can do that.
And I also just want to throw another thought. You may want to consider looking at language from your state and local public health and public safety agencies, because some of the language I have found at least in my former district of Massachusetts, that both the state public safety and the public health agencies, they funded grant programs for violence reduction and prevention. And the language that they used was really helpful when thinking about your Project Safe Neighborhoods focus. And knowing and understanding that is also helpful particularly if you want to prevent duplication of efforts. So I encourage you to take a look at what you've got for your own state programs. And I'm just going to pop here in the link. Again, this is not going to be relevant to your specific district per se, but I think it's useful to see what I'm talking about a little bit. So I just put in the chat here some information from Massachusetts that shows you the public safety grant program and the public health program. And for those who are State Administering Agents or Fiscal Agents, you know all about this and you're going to be well suited to help advice the PSN teams on this type of work.
Let's get to the last item on the slide. And as I mentioned, it's imperative that the selection of the subrecipients and/or contractors is made by individuals who are not acting on behalf of the federal government and are not otherwise conflicted. And so, again, it's just imperative that the PSN team has a Selection Committee, federal employees, and individuals who are otherwise conflicted. And I think Kate and Steve had mentioned this perhaps, they're prohibited from deciding subrecipients or contractors and this is because conflicts can arise with the standards of ethical conduct for employees, and particularly around favoritism and endorsements. And if U.S. Attorney's Office particularly have questions about Selection Committee, reach out to me. We have a lot of guidance to help you navigate the Selection Committee. And I'm sure Kate and Steve would be happy to answer questions on that as well. So, next slide.
So the PSN team has done all of this work to figure out how to prioritize. Now, let's have a conversation with the Fiscal Agent and the Selection Committee, or perhaps your Fiscal Agent and your Selection Committee has been part of this conversation. So perhaps you've already included them in these conversations. That's great. But if this is a conversation that you have separate from the PSN team, you're going to want to talk through your project specific priorities and you're going to want to talk about the elements, and you're going to want to talk a little bit about sort of the scope and statement of the work and help the Fiscal Agent and Selection Committee make their decisions. Now, as I mentioned already, the U.S. Attorney's Office and other PSN team members should not tell the Fiscal Agent or the Selection Committee that grant funding should go to X agency, but they can share some insight about potential eligible entities, particularly if the Fiscal Agent, the Selection Committee just don't have the familiarity with sort of the universe of potential eligible entities. So that can be helpful and useful for the Fiscal Agent, Selection Committee is to have a conversation about that. Okay.
So you're also going to want to talk about timeline for the Selection Committee to identify subrecipients and contractors. And you're going to want to talk about the subaward process and how the Fiscal Agent will initiate the process. For instance, do you need to initiate or does the Fiscal Agent need to initiate a formal request for proposals? Is the competitive process going to be important, not necessary? What needs to go into the RFP? Are there certain clauses? What's the process? So these are sort of conversations that you should be having together. I wouldn't recommend it be one person makes those decisions or be responsible. It's really important that the team or the U.S. Attorney's Office at a minimum have those conversations with the Fiscal Agent, Selection Committee.
And the other point is you want to discuss the method of notifying subrecipients and other details related to the subaward process. For instance, who's going to make those notifications? What's that going to look like? Essentially the Fiscal Agents are going to have a lot of the administrative duties. But it's important that everybody's on the same page about what that's going to look like. And I also want to flag what you'll see on the slide here is the U.S. Attorney's Office should not assume the responsibilities of the Fiscal Agent, but the U.S. Attorney's Office can offer programmatic assistance for Fiscal Agent. It's really important to know that you have the ability to offer that programmatic assistance to the Fiscal Agent. And along those lines, the U.S. Attorney's Office is authorized to provide the Fiscal Agent with written project related information as discussed by the PSN team and Selection Committee to assist the Fiscal Agent complete the Proposal Narrative and subaward summaries for BJA. So you're not writing the grant, but you are providing information to help with the Proposal Narrative. And we've cleared that with our GCO folks. It's important because the Fiscal Agent cannot do this by themselves. They oftentimes they need that type of programmatic assistance from the PSN team.
And I think, as I alluded to, really a best practice is to just memorialize project specific details in writing to help the Fiscal Agent. And again, the U.S. Attorney's Office can take the lead in drafting that for the PSN team members.
One item I want to flag before I close here is if the PSN team plans to prioritize funding for projects that produce materials like curriculums or curricula, or publications, or public service announcements, graphics, or other similar items, those projects are going to require clearance before they can be disseminated or used. So those are things that the team is thinking about prioritizing. I think it's important to know that clearance will be required because if you need to do a solicitation, that's important to put into the program, the solicitation as well, and maybe this, I'm getting ahead a little bit, but it's really important that you understand and that the people applying are interested in those types of projects know that there is a clearance piece to that ahead of time. So they're not frustrated later by going through that particular process. And so we can always help you, EOUSA and BJA can help you provide further guidance on that if it's of interest. And for U.S. Attorney's Offices that would like more customized guidance, I do this all the time. I'm happy to talk to folks, provide some issue spot with you, give you some further direction that's really customized to a dynamic. So always feel like you can call me. I'm happy to help you. And that's all I have. And there's my contact.
DARYL FOX: Great. Thank you so much, Brandy. And thanks to Kate and Stephen for their insights as well. Just a couple of things before we begin the Q&A portion, the PowerPoint, recording, and transcript for today will be posted to the BJA website, so you'll receive an email when those are posted to the email you registered with today. Several people have been asking for that full list, Brandy. If you agree, we can probably perhaps create...
BRANDY DONINI-MELANSON: Yes.
DARYL FOX: ...a file and post that along with the other deliverables for this webinar to the site as well.
BRANDY DONINI-MELANSON: That works.
DARYL FOX: Okay. If you do have a question, please go ahead and enter that in. If you can, on the far bottom right, three dots, QA, send to all panelists. We'll get those queued up as we go today. I see several on the chat, but if you would like to put those in the Q&A as well. So I know there was one question initially about peer review, Kate, and I think that was answered, but is there anything you want—you could just elaborate on for that?
KATE MCNAMEE: We are always recruiting for peer reviewers. PSN is not a Competitive program. It does not receive peer review because it is a Formula program. But we have lots and lots of discretionary competitive grant programs that need great practitioner reviewers and researcher reviewers. So I can put it in the chat, the instructions, and I'll share that with everyone.
DARYL FOX: Thank you. Question came in. “MOU's and Letters of Support are new this year, are they required or are they optional?”
KATE MCNAMEE: I think they're very helpful to us. They're not required, especially if you haven't identified your subrecipient yet. But if you have them, we will gladly accept them.
DARYL FOX: “When calculating the 30% gang set aside award requirement, does one first deduct 10% admin and then calculate 30% on the remaining award funds?”
KATE MCNAMEE: I believe Steve might have answered that already in the chat, right, Steve?
STEPHEN FENDER: After you take out your admin then calculate the 30%. And Daryl if it's okay, I've got a couple here, questions I just want to get through. I think I've answered up to here, so. “Are selection team members required to complete registration forms or conflict of interest disclosure prior to participating in the competitive application review process?” So BJA doesn't require it. What we do, you should—it's the best practice to have them determine conflict of interest because what we—one of our requirements for a Selection Committee member is that they're non-federal and non-conflicted. So a good way to ensure the Selection Committee member doesn't have a conflict is to have them sign a form. So our requirement is they are not conflicted, but we don't have a form that--to provide about that. I hope that answers your question. And, Barry, I see your question here. So supply item—any computer software could be a supply item if it was—so Barry asked, “Is computer software considered a supply item?” And it would be if it was less than $5,000 for documents for budgetary purposes.
Mike. “Do we anticipate funding allocations to come before the application due date?” No, that seems unlikely. If you could go ahead and just apply with a [FY] 22 amount and we'll make those changes, we will revise them. So, “Can PSN funding be used to support capital projects?” Oh, sorry. The chat moved on me. Built or building renovation. So for PSN all costs may be a violent crime related, I think we would—generally construction would be unallowable expense. But if you have some minor renovations, we could review that if your application is funded, we can review those potential minor renovations expenses. Again, I'd go back to violent crime related non-construction.
“What is Intel software?" Well, that would be…okay. Well, so supplies versus equipment will be classified based upon the dollar amount to bear, if you have $100,000 software, you can just put that as equipment with a robust Budget Narrative. We'll be glad to review that.
Tracy. “Do you know when this will be out there?” I'm not sure what that means. But if you're referring to the current solicitation that's open, you can submit your application at this time.
Yes, this presentation is going to be recorded and the link was right in the chat. This will be available. Okay. Can we use PSN funding for a gun buyback initiative? Kate, I'll let you handle that one.
KATE MCNAMEE: We evaluate that on a case-by-case basis. Gun buyback initiatives generally aren't regarded by the research and evaluation field as very effective ways to drive down violent crimes. So, if you propose it, we will discuss it with you and see, you know, see how it's appropriate to your PSN strategy.
STEPHEN FENDER: And I see a question here. “Can PSN funds be used towards LPR's, License Plate Readers?” Yes. That is an allowable cost as long as you make the connection, your application, subaward authorization documents of the direct connection between that equipment and violent crime reduction.
I have a question. “For equipment contracts required to be approved prior the same way as subawards?” So in this case, you would have a contract. Presumably, if you had a premium contract for equipment, if that was going, for instance, if your entity was buying the equipment, in that case it would be a subaward. But as long as the subaward, regardless of the nature of the financial agreement, it would need to be approved. It would be considered somewhat by BJA because I don’t think that your organization would buy equipment directly, so then you'd likely be giving that money to another entity and then that would be a subaward. If that doesn't answer your question, send me an email. We'll talk about it. Yes, Daryl. The answer to that is yes. Mia, send me an email and I'll answer your question. It sounds like you may want to fund some research which would—let's talk about that—your—that specific situation further.
DARYL FOX: Thanks, Stephen. One more last one, mentioned the PSN conference funds that were required to account, are those separate from the 10% admin?
STEPHEN FENDER: Yes. You still have your 10% admin and then set aside the travel costs for three people within your budget. Kate, you want to handle that last question there for Mary?
KATE MCNAMEE: Oh, sure. Mary, it's funny you ask this. We actually have a solicitation on the street as of today. It's called the Smart Policing Initiative, and it provides up to $800,000 for projects focused on violent crime reduction, especially those using evidence-based and innovative approaches to violent crime reduction. So please take a look.
DARYL FOX: Okay. That seems to be all the questions in queue. Is there anything in closing, any of the panelists wanted to mention before we close out the program?
KATE MCNAMEE: Well, a big thank you to Steve and Brandy for their contributions today. And we are always here to answer any questions that you might have during the application process and thereafter, so don't hesitate to reach out. And a big thank you to Daryl too for running the show today. Thank you, Daryl.
DARYL FOX: Thank you so much. 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.
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