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Community Compact Information Technology Grant Program FAQ

Answers to your frequently asked questions about the Community Compact IT grant program.

Table of Contents

What is the Community Compact IT Grant program?

The Community Compact IT Grant Program is a competitive grant program to drive innovation at the local level via investments in technology.

Grants will support the implementation of innovative and transformative IT projects by funding one-time capital needs such as technology infrastructure, upgrades and/or purchases of equipment or software. See below for eligibility specifics.

What is the deadline to apply for the Community Compact IT Grant Program?

Applications will be accepted from August 15, 2018 until September 15, 2018. Projects awarded grants must be completed before or by January 30, 2020.

What is a Compact Community?

Compact Communities are communities who have applied to enter into a Best Practice Community Compact with the Baker-Polito Administration. To find out more information about the Community Compact program please visit www.mass.gov/ccc.

What if my Community Compact already includes an IT best practice with tech assistance or a grant?

You are still eligible to apply for this Information Technology grant program.

What if my Community Compact didn’t include a technology best practice?

As a Compact Community, you are still eligible to apply for this Information Technology grant program.

What kind of IT projects are eligible?

Grants will support the implementation of innovative and transformative IT projects by funding one-time capital needs such as technology infrastructure, upgrades and/or purchases of equipment or software. Incidental costs related to the capital purchase such as one-time planning, design, installation, implementation and initial training are eligible. In order to maximize the impact of this grant program across the Commonwealth, we kindly request that each grant application be limited to one project. We realize that technology initiatives can be multi-faceted and require multiple components to be successful, but if possible please limit requests to one project (or one component of one project) that would have the most significant impact on your community and be the most sustainable in the long term.

What kind of IT costs are NOT eligible?

On-going maintenance, operational costs or support are NOT eligible. Feasibility studies are NOT eligible. See below regarding eligibility of Software-as-a-Service/Cloud Service.

Is Software-as-a-Service eligible?

Software-as-a-Service costs such as subscription costs, cloud hosting costs, on-going maintenance, operational costs or support are NOT eligible.

IT start-up costs related to Software-as-a-Service, such as design, consulting, planning, and implementation on the municipality’s end MAY be eligible.

In order for the IT start-up cost of a Software-as-a-Service/Cloud Service to be eligible for this program, the municipality must be able to end their relationship with the Software-as-a-Service/Cloud Service provider and still retain something tangible (intellectual property or data) which can be used in continuing operations, i.e.:

  • the municipality must retain ownership of the data in the cloud
  • this data must be extractable in an open usable form; and
  • the generated data:
    • must be valuable to the municipality, and
    • will continue to be of value to the public and/or municipality after extraction.

Examples:

  1. A vendor provides vendor-owned proprietary GPS units for all school buses in the community as well as a web based tool that uses publicly available mapping and traffic information to generate the best possible bus routes. The GPS units ensure accurate routing while also tracking the time taken to complete each route each day. The daily tracking data from the school buses is fed back into the web based tool to further refine bus routes. Should the relationship with the vendor end the community retains the tracking data and optimized bus routes as an asset.
  2. The community moves employee time management to a web based solution. The solution tracks employee time and attendance as well as their daily tasks and provides managers with a dashboard view of their entire team as well as aggregate statistics about absenteeism, productivity, and the time needed to complete tasks. The transformation of individual data points to aggregate data generates an asset and that information should be extractable and useful even if the tool was no longer in use.

What size grants will be awarded?

This is a competitive grant program. Grant requests of any size up to $200,000 will be considered.  A local match is not required.  Applications will be evaluated based in large part on the impact of the proposed project on the community.  For example, a small community’s low-dollar funding request may support a project that would have a big impact on that community.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the amount needed for their program and at a level of support that can be successfully implemented by the project completion deadline. 

Can communities have a joint application to the Community Compact IT Grant Program?

Yes, multi-community applications are encouraged. Two or more communities can apply to undertake an IT project together if all participating communities are Compact Communities. The participating communities should complete a joint application. The application should be submitted by the community that will be the project lead.

How do I access the application?

The application will be found here on August 15, 2018. You will need a passcode to fill out the IT Grant application. If your community is eligible for this IT Grant program, your community’s Chief Municipal Executive (Mayor or City Manager in a City, Selectboard Chair or Town Manager/Administrator in a Town) received a passcode by email.

Where do I get my passcode to access the online application?

If your community is eligible for this IT Grant program, your community’s Chief Municipal Executive (Mayor or City Manager in a City, Selectboard Chair or Town Manager/Administrator in a Town) received a letter from the Lieutenant Governor on August 15, 2018 that contained the passcode.

If you have questions not answered above or need assistance with your community’s passcode, please contact the Division of Local Services by sending an email to Sean Powers at powersse@dor.state.ma.us.

Contact

Phone

Call Sean Powers: (617) 626-2345

Online

Email Sean Powers: powersse@dor.state.ma.us
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