Leslie A. Kirwan, Secretary
Effective Date: October 28, 2008
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this Administrative Bulletin is to provide interim guidance on the uniform guidelines and procedures to ensure that all state agencies comply with state law governing federal grants, G.L. c.29, 6B. The provisions of 815 CMR 2.00 and 815 CMR 6.00 govern the administration of subgrants.
This bulletin covers a process that is currently under review by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF) and elements are subject to change.
Any financial assistance available to a state agency from the United States government, either directly or through an intermediary. For the purposes of this Bulletin "federal grant" does not mean federal financial assistance provided pursuant to Titles XVIII, XIX or XXI of the Social Security Act or other reimbursements received for state entitlement expenditures and credited to the General Fund; nor does it mean federal financial assistance from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant, the Child Care Development Fund block grant, or the Social Service block grant; nor does it mean federal financial assistance from the United States government for direct payments to individuals, or for other purposes as provided in G.L. c. 29, 2E; c.90, 34; c.92; or c.151A, 48.
Documents which a state agency prepares to secure a grant award from a federal program in which the agency is not currently participating.
Reapplication or Renewal Application
Documents which a state agency prepares to secure continued participation in a federal grant program for which the original term is expiring.
Federal grant for which a state agency prepares a single application for funding which the grantor agency will distribute over a period of years defined in the application and subsequent award letter.
Federal funding for which the allocation methodology is strictly determined in federal statute or regulation, and for which a state agency prepares a single application and receives subsequent years' allocations without reapplication.
Notification of Intent to Apply for a Federal Grant
Any state agency intending to submit a grant application or a renewal application must notify the Secretary of the appropriate Executive Office, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs collectively "the reviewers") at least 30 days before sending the application to the appropriate federal agency.
If the agency has prepared a Request for Appropriation for the grant under this Bulletin, it may comply with the 30 day notice requirement by providing a copy of the Request for Appropriation to the reviewers, along with a copy of the grant application or reapplication.
However, if the information contained in the Request for Appropriation is materially incomplete or incorrect at the time of the actual grant application, the agency must then provide the reviewers with a Notification of Intent to Apply for a Federal Grant ("Notification of Intent"), along with a copy of the grant application or reapplication.
Agencies that have not prepared a Request for Appropriation must provide the reviewers with a Notification of Intent, along with a copy of the grant application or reapplication.
The state agency filing the application is responsible for clarifying or resolving any matters to which any of the reviewers objects. If none of the reviewers has disapproved the application within 30 days of receiving a Request for Appropriation or a Notification of Intent, the applicant state agency may submit the grant application or reapplication to the federal grantor agency.
Grants categorically exempt from the prior review requirement are:
(a) federal grants to institutions of higher education, including research grants;
(b) research grants to individuals, agencies, or institutions, not exceeding fifty thousand dollars annually and not creating new programs or expanding existing programs or commitments of state resources;
(c) any federal grant funds not exceeding five thousand dollars annually; and
(d) federal grants to the state for costs and damages resulting from natural disasters, civil disobedience, or other occurrences for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency. Grants that appear in the General Appropriation Act do not require prior review by the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means.
Request for Federal Grant Appropriation
No state agency may expend federal grant funds without an appropriation by the General Court, unless otherwise provided by law. Every agency expecting to make expenditures from a federal grant during the ensuing state fiscal year must submit a Request for Federal Grant Appropriation ("Request for Appropriation") to ANF for each such grant.
Requests for Appropriation are required for all federal grants, including new grants, grants requiring reapplications or renewals, ongoing multi-year grants, and formula grants. ANF will evaluate the Requests for Appropriation and may modify them at his discretion. ANF will include those he approves in the Governor's budget recommendation for the ensuing fiscal year.
Multi-Year and Formula Grants
State agencies do not need to obtain annual reapproval from the reviewers under this Bulletin for the continuation of funding in the second and subsequent years of either an ongoing multi-year grant or a formula grant, since this continued funding is not an application or a reapplication. Instead, recipients of such grants must notify the reviewers of the subsequent year funding amounts, to ensure that subsequent years' funding is consistent with information contained in the original notification to the reviewers.
Recipients of formula grants must also provide the reviewers with updated descriptions of the program and the federal formulas that determine the Commonwealth's share of funding, as necessary. When a multi-year grant or formula grant is expiring and an agency intends to reapply for it, it must comply with the notice requirements in this Bulletin. Agencies receiving either multi-year grants or formula grants must comply with the annual appropriation request requirements in this Bulletin.
Management of Expenditure and Revenue Accounts
No state agency may expend federal grant funds until the agency has submitted the official notice of approval from a federal grantor agency to ANF and the Comptroller, regardless of the existence of an appropriation for the grant in the General Appropriation Act.
This official notification is usually in the form of a so-called grant award letter approving a state plan, application, or reapplication; confirming multi-year grant funding in a certain amount for a particular year; or allocating a formula grant in a certain amount. This information is necessary to ensure that the records of projected federal receipts and expenditures in the state accounting system are accurate.
State agencies must use sound business practices and comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations in managing obligations and expenditures undertaken in anticipation of receipt of federal grant funds. If a state agency learns that actual federal grant receipts during the current or ensuing fiscal year may be less than the amounts previously projected, it must immediately take appropriate steps to control spending and provide written notice to ANF and the Comptroller. The notice must include revised projections of federal grant receipts for the current and ensuing fiscal years.
Receipt of Federal Funds
To assure compliance with the federal Cash Management Improvement Act, all draws of federal funds must be processed through the Commonwealth's Automated Central Draw process, under the supervision of the Comptroller. The Comptroller may delegate draw authority directly to a state agency if he determines that either federal restrictions or currently available payment mechanisms are inconsistent with efficient use of the Automated Central Draw process.
The State Treasurer processes all requests for federal funds on behalf of all state agencies. State agencies are responsible for working with the Comptroller and the Treasurer to ensure that federal funds are received in a timely fashion and in compliance with all federal and state regulations. State agencies must inform the Comptroller of impending changes in processes or in codes that may affect future requests for federal funds.
ANF provides standard forms to assist agencies in the fee setting process.
ANF Secretary Approval and Effective Date
This Administrative Bulletin published by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance shall be effective as of the date specified below:
Leslie A. Kirwan, Secretary
Effective Date: October 28, 2008
This information provided by the Executive Office for Administration & Finance.