760 CMR 29.00:
COMMUNITY SERVICES BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM

29.01: Effective Date
29.02: Definitions
29.03: Administration of CSBG
29.04: Purpose and Designation of an Eligible Entity and Areas to be Served
29.05: Corrective Action, Termination and Reduction of Funding
29.06: Requirements for Board of Directors
29.07: Community Action Plan, Funding Application, and Financial and Personnel Procedures
29.08: Citizen Access
29.09: Monitoring of CAAs and Other Eligible Entities
29.10: State Accountability and Performance Measures
29.11:Severability

29.01:Effective Date

760 CMR 29.00, as amended, is effective on,1999. It supersedes the regulatory text previously promulgated on April 18, 1997, and amended on October 30, 1998.

29.02:Definitions

CAA. A Community Action Agency.

CSBG. The Community Services Block Grant program established by section 671 et seq. of the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, as amended (the CSBG Act).

Department. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Director. The Director of the Department.

Eligible Entity. An entity

(1) that is an eligible entity described in section 673(1) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Coats Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998) as of the day before such date of enactment or is designated by the process described in section 676A (including an organization serving migrant or seasonal farmworkers that is so described or designated); and

(2) that has a tripartite board or other mechanism described in section 676B, subsection (a) or (b), as appropriate.

Secretary. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The State. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

29.03:Administration of CSBG

The Department has been designated by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve as the lead agency under the CSBG Act. The CSBG shall be administered in accordance with 760 CMR 29.00, the CSBG Act and other applicable federal and state laws and with guidelines or information memoranda issued from time to time by the Department. The Department shall offer CAAs and other eligible entities an opportunity to comment on proposed guidelines prior to official issuance when the Department deems such opportunity to comment reasonable and appropriate.

29.04:Purpose and Designation of an Eligible Entity and Areas to be Served

(1) Purpose. A CAA or other eligible entity shall have the following responsibilities:

(a) to fulfill the purposes of the CSBG program within the area which it is designated to serve.

(b) to provide substantive comment on projects proposed to be built,

operated or both by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts within its designated area in order for the projects to meet the needs of low income persons and city(ies) or town(s) whenever reasonably possible.

(c) to assure access to its programs for all low income persons in its designated service area.

(2) Areas to be Served. A CAA or other eligible entity may conduct CSBG funded

programs and activities only in the city(ies) or town(s) included in its designated service areas which are not included in another CAA or other eligible entitys designated service area.

(3) Designation of Eligible Entities in Unserved Areas.

(a) The existing CAAs in Massachusetts are eligible entities which receive

CSBG funding to carry out programs and activities in their designated service areas. If a city or town has not been, or ceases to be served by an existing CAA under the CSBG, the Department may at any time initiate a process for the designation of a CAA or other eligible entity pursuant to provisions of applicable federal and state law, including the CSBG Act and M.G.L. c. 23B 24 and in accordance with 760 CMR 29.04(3).

(b) The procedure for existing CAAs or other eligible entities shall be as follows:

1. The Department will notify in writing and request written applications from:

a. any private nonprofit organization that is geographically located in the unserved area, that is capable of providing a broad range of services designed to eliminate poverty and foster self-sufficiency, and that meets the requirements of the CSBG Act; and

b. any private nonprofit eligible entity that is geographically

located in an area contiguous to or within reasonable proximity of the unserved area and that is already providing related services in the unserved area.

2. Requirement. In order to serve as the areas designated

eligible entity, an entity described in 760 CMR 29.04(3)(b)1.b. shall agree to add additional members to the board of the entity to ensure adequate representation:

a. in each of the three (3) required categories

described in the CSBG Act and 760 CMR 29.06, by individuals who reside in the community comprised by the unserved area; and

b. in the category relating to low income individuals, by members

that reside in the neighborhood to be served.

3 Special Consideration. The designation shall be granted to an

organization of demonstrated effectiveness in meeting the goals and purposes of the CSBG. Priority may be given to eligible entities that are providing related services in the unserved area, consistent with the needs identified by a community-needs assessment.

4 No Qualified Organization in or Near Area. If no private, nonprofit

organization is identified or determined to be qualified under 760 CMR 29.04(3) to serve the unserved area as an eligible entity, an appropriate political subdivision may be designated to serve as an eligible entity for the area. In order to serve as the eligible entity for that area, the political subdivision shall have a board or other mechanism as required in section 676B(b) of the CSBG Act and 760 CMR 29.06.

(c) The Department will establish timeframes, selection criteria and

submission requirements for the applications, including but not limited to descriptions and evidence of management and organizational capacity, neighborhood support, local impact, and service delivery/coordination plans. If more than one satisfactory application is received pursuant to a request made under 760 CMR 29.04(3)(b), the Department shall consider the applications and determine which CAA or other eligible entity is the most capable of serving the best interests of the low income population.

(d) During the process the Department shall solicit comments from the

chief elected official and/or other local official(s) of a city or town in which it intends to designate a CAA or other eligible entity, and from the Massachusetts Community Action Program Directors Association, Inc.

29.05:Corrective Action, Termination and Reduction of Funding

(1) Determination. If the Director of the Department determines, on the

basis of a final decision in a review pursuant to section 678B of the CSBG Act and 760 CMR 29.09 that a CAA or other eligible entity fails to comply with the terms of a Department funding agreement, or the Annual Consolidated CSBG State plan, to provide services under the CSBG Act or to meet appropriate standards, goals, and other requirements established by the State (including performance objectives), the Department shall:

(a) inform the entity of the deficiency to be corrected;

(b) require the entity to correct the deficiency;

(c) 1. offer training and technical assistance, if appropriate, to

help correct the deficiency, and prepare and submit to the Secretary a report describing the training and technical assistance offered; or

2. if the Department determines that such training and technical assistance are not appropriate, prepare and submit to the Secretary a report stating the reasons for the determination;

(d) 1. at the discretion of the Department (taking into account the seriousness

of the deficiency and the time required to correct the deficiency), allow the entity to develop and implement, within 60 days after being informed of the deficiency, a quality improvement plan to correct such deficiency within a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Director of the Department; and

2. not later than thirty (30) days after receiving from an eligible entity a proposed quality improvement plan, either approve such proposed plan or specify the reasons why the proposed plan cannot be approved; and

(e) after providing adequate notice and an opportunity for a hearing,

initiate proceedings to terminate the designation or reduce the funding of the eligible entity unless the entity corrects the deficiency.

(2) Review. A determination to terminate the designation or reduce the funding of an eligible entity is reviewable by the Secretary in accordance with the CSBG Act.

(3) Federal Requirements. The procedures set forth in 760 CMR 29.05 are intended

to be carried out consistent with the protections and procedures provided in the CSBG Act, as it may be amended, and any applicable federal regulations. In the case of a conflict, the federal requirements shall prevail.

29.06 Requirements for Board of Directors

(1) A CAA or other private, nonprofit eligible entity shall administer the CSBG through

a tripartite board as described in Section 676B(a) of the CSBG Act and 760 CMR 29.06. The board shall consist of at least 15 members total. The board shall be selected by the CAA or other eligible entity and composed to assure that -

(a) Representatives of Low Income Persons - Representatives of low income

persons are selected in accordance with democratic procedures adequate to assure that they represent the low income persons in the neighborhood served by the CAA or other eligible entity. Among the selection procedures which may be used, either separately or in combination, are:

1. Nominations and elections within the neighborhoods;

2. Selection at a meeting of low income persons such that the date, time,

and place of such a meeting have been adequately publicized;

3.Selection on a small area basis (such as a city block or town) of

representatives who in turn select members for the CAA or other eligible entitys board of directors;

4. The CAA or other eligible entitys board may recognize a group(s) or

organization(s) composed primarily of low income persons and representing the interests of the low income population, of which the membership may select one or more representatives to the CAA or other eligible entitys board. Persons at or below 175% of the poverty line shall be permitted to vote in these selection processes. A CAA or other eligible entity may request a waiver from this eligibility requirement of 175% of the poverty line in order to establish residency or other criteria as a basis for eligibility. The CAA or other eligible entity must submit the request in writing to the Director including specific justification. The Director may grant such a waiver for good cause shown.

(b) Representatives of Business, Industry, Labor, Religious, Law Enforcement,

Education, or Other Major Groups and Interests. The CAA or other eligible entity board shall select organizations representing business, industry, labor, religious, law enforcement, educational or other major groups and interests in the neighborhood. Once an organization is selected and indicates its agreement to be represented it shall choose the person to represent it on the board.

(c) Public Officials - One third of the board shall be elected public officials

holding office on the date of selection, or their representatives, except that membership of appointive public officials or their representatives may be counted under the terms of 676B(a)(2)(a) of the CSBG Act.

(2) An eligible entity which is a public organization shall administer the CSBG through

a tripartite board or another mechanism specified by the State as described in section 676B(b) of the CSBG Act and 760 CMR 29.06.

(3) Residency Requirement - Each member of the board selected to represent a specific neighborhood within the CAA or other eligible entity's designated service area shall reside in the neighborhood he/she represents.

(4) By-law Requirements - The by-laws of the CAA or other eligible entity shall include the following:

(a) The total number of seats on the board and the allotment of seats

to public officials, representatives of low income persons, and representatives of business, industry, labor, religious, law enforcement, educational or other major groups or interests.

(b) Procedures for selecting board members in accordance with 760 CMR 29.06(1) through (3).

(c) A description of any performance standards, including standards of conduct and attendance standards for members of the board, the violation of which may be grounds for removal.

(d) A description of specific procedures to be followed in the case of removal of board members, provided that only representatives of public officials and not the public officials themselves may be removed, while such public officials continue to hold office.

(e) Procedures for selecting new board members in the case of a vacancy on the board. For the purpose of 760 CMR 29.06(4)(e), there is a vacancy on the board when a member has been removed from the board; when a member notifies the board of his/her resignation; when a member dies; when a member who is a public official leaves or is removed from office; or, in the case of a representative of a public official, when the appointing official leaves or is removed from office.

1. With respect to representatives of low income persons, the by-laws

shall include one of the following two (2) methods for filling a vacancy:

a. the selection procedure under 760 CMR 29.06(1) may be repeated, or

b.the remaining low income representatives may select a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term. In the latter case, the person selected must, to the maximum extent possible, represent the same constituency as the original representative.

2. When the seat of a representative of a group is vacant, the

board shall ask the organization which made the selection to select another representative to serve the remainder of the term. In the event that the organization chooses not to select a new representative, the board shall choose another organization to name a representative of the group.

3. When the seat filled by the representative of a public official is vacant, the board shall request that the public official name a replacement.

(f) A description of the selection and service of an alternate member of the board shall include, at a minimum, the following:

1. An alternate shall be elected/selected in the same manner and at the same time as a representative.

2. Representatives of public officials may not select an alternate to substitute for them.

3. The selection of an alternate shall be reflected in the records of the CAA or other eligible entity showing the membership of the board of directors.

4. No alternate may be counted toward a quorum or cast a vote when the person, for whom he or she is an alternate, is present at a meeting.

5. No alternate may hold office on the board of directors.

(g) Procedures regarding board meetings, shall include at a minimum:

1. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of a number of members equal to fifty percent (50%) of the non-vacant seats on the board.

2. Frequency and Notice of Meetings. The board shall meet on a regular basis. The board shall meet at least six (6) times annually. The meetings shall be scheduled for the convenience of its members and for the general public. The CAA or other eligible entity shall provide notice (in writing) of any meeting and an agenda to all members at least seven (7) days in advance. The CAA or other eligible entity shall provide public notice of its meetings at least five (5) days in advance.

3. Open Meetings. All meetings of the board shall be open to the public.

Executive sessions relating to programs, activities, and other matters funded by CSBG, should be held according to the procedures and for the purposes set forth in the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law (M.G.L. c. 39 23B).

4. Minutes. The board and its committees shall keep written minutes

for each meeting. Minutes shall be made available to the public upon request. The board shall make available to the public, upon request, translations of the minutes in the appropriate language, if a significant portion of the low income population does not speak English and speaks such language. Copies of minutes of each meeting of the board shall be submitted to the Department within ten (10) days after the date of the meeting at which they were approved by the board.

29.07:Community Action Plan, Funding Application, and Financial and Personnel Procedures

(1) Community Action Plan. As a condition for funding in accordance with

the CSBG Act, each CAA or other eligible entity shall develop and submit a Community Action Plan to the Department for review and approval. The Community Action Plan (and any subsequent amendments) shall be approved by the CAA or other eligible entitys board of directors prior to submission to the Department.


(2) Documents and Funding Application.

(a) The Department shall annually notify the CAA or other eligible entity of the amount of funds to be received in accordance with the Annual Consolidated CSBG State Plan, and of any special conditions for funding.

(b) Not later than sixty (60) days before the beginning of the CSBG

program year, the CAA or other eligible entity shall submit a funding application and any other necessary documents, in conformance with all requirements of the Department. The application shall include, in a form prescribed by the Department, but shall not be limited to:

1. A workplan with administration and program objectives and activities for the CAA or other eligible entity to accomplish during its CSBG program year. The plan shall describe in relevant detail each project to be funded; and

2. A CSBG budget

(3) Financial Procedures. Each CAA or other eligible entity shall maintain written

financial procedures which conform to applicable federal and state requirements. These procedures (and any amendments thereto) shall be approved by the CAA or other eligible entitys board of directors and a copy of same shall be submitted to the Department. These procedures shall be reviewed and amended by the CAA or other eligible entity as necessary at least once every two (2) years.

(4) Personnel Procedures. The CAA or other eligible entitys personnel policy shall

include, but not be limited to, procedures for hiring, conducting an annual evaluation of, and the suspension and termination of the executive director/CEO.

29.08: Citizen Access

(1) Documents Available for Inspection. The following documents shall be made

available for inspection by a member of the public upon request:

(a) Funding application submitted to the Department for CSBG funds;

(b) The CAA or other eligible entitys current Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, board membership list, and Community Action Plan;

(c) All contracts (including, but not limited to, contracts for funding, consulting, and goods and services) pertaining to CSBG funds;

(d) All final reports (including audits) submitted to the Department on projects funded with CSBG funds;

(e) Minutes of the meetings of the board of directors and its committees; and

(f) Position title, salary range, and job description for all CSBG-funded positions.

(2) Document Availability and Fees . Any such document(s) shall be made available

to a member of the public, upon his or her request, at a reasonable time as agreed by the CAA or other eligible entity and by the person requesting the information. If such person wishes copies of the documents and it is feasible to provide such copies, the CAA or other eligible entity may charge a reasonable fee, not to exceed actual costs, for the copying of such documents.

29.09 Monitoring of CAAs or Other Eligible Entities

In General. In order to determine whether CAAs or other eligible entities

meet the performance goals, administrative standards, financial management requirements, and other requirements of the State, the Department shall conduct the following reviews:

(a) A full on-site review of each such entity at least once during each

three (3) year period.

(b) An on-site review of each newly designated entity immediately after the completion of the first year in which such entity receives funds through the Community Services Block Grant.

(c) Follow-up reviews including time-specified return visits to eligible

entities, and their programs, that fail to meet the goals, standards, and requirements established by the State.

(d) Other reviews as appropriate, including reviews of programs that have had other Federal, State, or local grants (other than assistance provided under this subtitle) terminated for cause.

29.10 State Accountability and Performance Measures

Performance Measurement. All CAAs and other eligible entities in the Commonwealth shall participate in a performance measurement system as prescribed in Section 676(b)(12) of the CSBG Act and approved by the Department.

20.11:Severability

The provisions of 760 CMR 29.00 are severable, and if any provision is held unconstitutional or a violation of statute by any court of competent jurisdiction, or shall otherwise cease to be effective, all other provisions of 760 CMR 29.00 shall remain in effect.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY
760 CMR 29.00: M.G.L. c. 23B.