Trial Court Grant Policy
is the purpose of this policy to support creativity and innovation
in identifying and addressing problems that cannot be resolved with
existing resources, but might be suitable areas for seeking grant
funds. It is important to emphasize the need for adequate planning
and quality control in all activities relating to administering
grants that involve the resources and personnel of the Trial Court.
funded in whole or in part with grant money are not independent
of court operations and should not be created simply in reaction
to a notice of availability of funds, whatever the source. It is
the policy of the Trial Court to be proactive in its pursuit of
any supplemental funding sources. Trial Court personnel should identify
problems that cannot be solved with current resources, engage in
broad-based planning to address those problems, and carefully consider
whether grants are an appropriate resource to pursue, given their
the purposes of this policy, a grant is an award of financial assistance
for which the Trial Court, or a subdivision thereof, has made application
to a public or private entity and is subject to requirements imposed
by the awarding agency. These requirements include, but may not
be limited to, implementing an agreed upon program, being accountable
for the use of those funds to accomplish a court-related purpose,
and providing cash or in-kind matching funds or other contribution
of court resources.
Administrative Office of the Trial Court will be the fiscal agent
through which all accounts must be established and all transactions
processed for all grants where a court or administrative office
is the applicant and court personnel are the primary participants
in the planned project. The only exception to this may be projects
in which the court is one of several partners or, where the court,
because of its status as a government entity, is not the most appropriate
applicant for a particular funding source. Such exceptions will
be considered on a case-by-case basis, however, exceptions will
be granted only in instances where court personnel and resources
are not the primary implementers of a project.
existence of grant funds does not exempt court personnel or project
staff from conducting project activities in accordance with Trial
Court policies and procedures which govern fiscal processes, hiring
of personnel, employee travel, etc. Regulations and reporting requirements
of the funding agency are in addition to, not a replacement for,
Trial Court policies and procedures.
AOTC recognizes the additional effort that must go into grant projects
at all stages of the process to ensure their proper implementation
and ultimate success. This policy and the procedures that follow
are intended to clarify and streamline that process where possible.
personnel are encouraged to take advantage of the expertise now
available in the AOTC Planning and Development Department by contacting
Grant Specialist Sandy Souza as early in the grant program planning
The Grant Specialist is responsible for:
as a facilitator in project planning and implementation
out appropriate grant funding sources
departments and appropriate individuals of specific funding opportunities
in preparing applications, meeting the funding agency's requirements
and maximizing the court's potential for receiving funding
as a clearinghouse for information on all grant programs
training in grant writing and grant management
that grant requirements are met by reviewing all progress reports
as a liaison to Fiscal Affairs, Legal, Human Resources and other
guidance in following the necessary Trial Court fiscal, legal, contractual,
human resources and information technology procedures for grant
applications for projects initiated by AOTC departments on time
and in accordance with the funding agency's instructions
a timely response for any necessary approvals
The initiating Court Department, Division or Office is responsible
problem areas that might be addressed using grant funds
in broad-based planning that will ensure that the operational personnel
and cooperating agencies essential to implementing the program are
involved at the earliest stages
the Grant Specialist of needs and project plans
projects in such a way that activities can be institutionalized
in the future should they result in successful programs, since grants
are usually a source of temporary funding or for
primarily starting or testing new initiatives
with the Grant Specialist throughout the planning, application and
partnerships that strengthen the project, but with careful awareness
of potential conflicts
a Project Director as the primary contact person
applications on time and in accordance with the funding agency's
a copy of the final grant application to the Grant Specialist and
the Administrative Office of the appropriate department
grant funds in accordance with the same policies and procedures
as those required of state funds
the project in accordance with regulations and deadlines of the
copies of all progress reports and evaluations to the Grant Specialist
when filed with the funding agency
C. The Administrative Office
of each Department is responsible for:
up an internal mechanism for distributing information on funding
the content/direction of a grant initiative to ensure that it is
in keeping with the goals of the department, especially in areas
where there are no over- arching guidelines, and to verify that
there are sufficient court resources (e.g. staff, space) to accomplish
a timely response for approvals to the AOTC and to the initiating
Court Department, Division or Office
D. The AOTC is responsible
overall policies supporting specific programs or national initiatives
and communicating these to all departments
applications recommended or submitted by Departmental Administrative
Offices, Office of the Jury Commissioner and Office of the Commissioner
as the fiscal agent for all grant projects that involve court personnel
except in circumstances noted in the General Policy above
a timely response for any necessary approvals
make the most effective use of the grant expertise available to
Trial Court personnel, the Grant Specialist shall be notified of
project planning as early in the process as possible, especially
when a source of potential funding has not been identified.
Notify the Grant Specialist of plans by completing the attached
"Grant Intent Notification" and mailing, faxing or e-mailing as
an attachment to: Sandy Souza, Grant Specialist, Planning and Development,
AOTC, Two Center Plaza, Boston, MA 02108; Fax: 617-227-9738; firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. If a specific grant program has been identified as a potential
funding source, attach description of funding agency, grant requirements,
eligibility statements, deadlines, etc.
3. Obtain approval of Administrative Office of Department, as appropriate,
and attach letter of approval with signature of Chief Justice.
4. Schedule planning meeting(s) as appropriate with the Grant Specialist
to review drafts of application and budget.
5. Budget information for technology must be requested from and
meet configuration requirements of the Trial Court's Information
6. Budgets for all grants must include Indirect Costs on all personnel
and contractual expenses (Subsidiaries AA, CC, JJ, HH, MM) at a
rate of 10%. Fringe benefits for any personnel must be included
at the rate determined each fiscal year by the Commonwealth.
7. Send copy of final, signed application to the Grant Specialist.
Where application is filed online, an electronic copy may be sent
either on disk or by e-mail to email@example.com.
1. Send copy of award letter, acceptance requirements and/or other
notification to the Grant Specialist or, if application is not funded,
send copy of any response from the funding agency regarding review
2. Send copy of any special conditions, regulations, contracts,
report forms, revised budgets or other requirements of the funding
agency to the Grant Specialist.
3. The Grant Specialist distributes copies of award information
to appropriate Department, Division or Office.
4. AOTC Fiscal Affairs assigns account number and sets up account
for each grant. No expenses may be incurred until an account
is in place. This process will vary depending upon the
source of grant funds:
federal funds directly from a U.S. government agency
•the Grant Specialist files "Notification of Intent to Apply for
a Federal Grant" with the Massachusetts Legislature with a copy
of the application initiating a 30-day review period by the Legislature
before the account can be created
budget analyst processes ASTA and AA forms to set up the account
accesses funds via PAPRS ( Phone Activated Paperless Request System)
and notifies Grant Specialist when a request for draw down of funds
b) federal or state funds from another state agency
agency submits ISA (Intergovernmental Service Agreement) and ASTA
form to AOTC for signature and assignment of allocation account
number by AOTC Fiscal Affairs Dept.
agency completes AC form to fund the account
new ISA and AC must be completed should grant activities extend
into another state fiscal year
c) from a private entity
Fiscal Affairs submits letter and grant award information to the
Office of the State Comptroller to establish a trust account
funds are received by check, it must be payable to the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts and submitted to grantee's budget analyst for processing
into grant account
C. Grant Implementation
A BCR (Budgetary Control Register) and other fiscal records must
be maintained at court or office site of grantee.
All encumbrances, purchases and payments are processed and submitted
in accordance with the same Trial Court fiscal procedures as are
in effect for state funds.
Authorized signature forms must be completed and filed for all MMARS
and payroll documents for all grant related activities.
All grants will be subject to audits by the Trial Court Internal
Audit staff and any audits which the funding agency may require.
Any revenue collection received in conjunction with the grant must
be paid into the General Fund of the Commonwealth in accordance
with Section 3 of Chapter 29A of the General Laws.
Positions for any personnel to be hired with grant funds must be
posted and filled according to the Trial Court's Personnel Policies
and Procedures and the Trial Court's Affirmative Action Policy.
Personnel must be advised that grant-funded positions are only funded
for the duration of the grant funding.
All computer related equipment and software purchases must be approved
by AOTC's IT Department and conform to IT Department specifications.
The grantee's First Justice (or other department head, as appropriate)
must submit a completed "Request
and Competitive Bid Form Equipment Purchase" (PDF)
and a letter to the IT Department stating what equipment is being
requested and its purpose and software needs, as well as the networking
connections that will be required. The letter must specify the Purchase
Order number to be billed, the shipping location, and the individual
who should receive the invoice for payment.
3. Equipment will be ordered by the IT Department with approximately
3-4 weeks for delivery, and arrangements made for installation.
All contracts must follow the contract procedures outlined in the
AOTC Fiscal Affairs Department Budget and Operating Procedures.
The Project Director must submit a description of services to be
provided, any deliverables required of the vendor or contractor,
any other project specific requirements, and a completed "Request
and Competitive Bid Form Contractual Agreement" (PDF)
to the Contract Log within Fiscal Affairs.
3. The AOTC Legal Department will review the contract as submitted
or draft one, as necessary, and ensure that applicable state and/or
federal requirements are included.
4. After final review by the Legal Department and verification that
funds are available by Fiscal Affairs, the contract is sent to the
vendor or consultant for execution and then to the grantee for the
signature of the appropriate authority.
5. One original of the fully executed contract will be returned
to the vendor or consultant and a copy returned to the grantee.
Programmatic and fiscal reporting are the responsibility of the
grantee and must be filed in accordance with the funding agency's
format, content requirements and deadlines.
Evaluations are to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with
the funding agency's requirements.
3. Copies of all reports, budget revisions and evaluations must
be sent to the Grant Specialist when submitted to the funding agency.