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FY09 NOAA Grants Federal Program Officer


NOAA Grants asks for an Annual Grants Plan from each Line Office by the 30th day ... Discretionary NOAA can exercise judgment in selecting the recipient to whom ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FY09 NOAA Grants Federal Program Officer

FY09 NOAA Grants Federal Program Officers
Training Workshop
  • Rimas T. Liogys
  • Director, Grants Management Division
  • October 23, 2008

FY09 FPO Workshop
  • Logistics
  • Overview
  • GMAC
  • GMD

Grants Management Advisory Committee (GMAC)
  • Purpose
  • The Grants Management Advisory Committee (GMAC)
    of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
    Administration (NOAA) is established to review
    NOAA grant activities and assist in establishing
    open channels of communication among the line
    offices, program offices, grant recipients,
    Grants Management Division (GMD), and the
    Department of Commerce (DOC), in order to ensure
    that the grant process meets the NOAA
    programmatic mission requirements. Decisions
    about grants administration/policy will be made
    at the lowest level possible, i.e., GMAC level.

Grants Management Advisory Committee (GMAC)
Members Line Offices
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • JoAnna Grable joanna.grable_at_noaa.gov
    301-713-1364 x118 
  • National Ocean Service (NOS)
  • Jane Piercy- jane.piercy_at_noaa.gov (301)713-3050
  • Office of Atmospheric Research (OAR)
  • Sharon Schroeder sharon.schroeder_at_noaa.gov (301)
  • National Environmental Satellite, Data,
    Information Service (NESDIS) Ingrid Guch-
    ingrid.guch_at_noaa.gov (301) 713-9208
  • National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Sam Contorno - samuel.contorno_at_noaa.gov (301)
    713-3557 x150
  • UnderSecretary, Office of Education (OE)
  • Sarah Schoedinger - sarah.schoedinger_at_noaa.gov
    (704) 370-3528

GMD Organization Chart
FPO Deadlines There are a few deadlines of
which all FPOs should be aware
  • June 30
  • Guaranteed processing if submitted by June 30.
    NOAA Grants (GMD) accepts grant applications from
    Federal Program Officers (FPO) throughout the
    year. Since GMD only guarantees processing and
    obligation for those grant applications that are
    sent to GMD by June 30, NOAA managers want all
    grant applications prepared and sent to GMD by
    June 30.
  • After June 30, notify your GMD specialist, GMAC
    rep, and Budget Officer for their carry-over
    list. If you, as an FPO, know that your grant
    application will be sent to GMD after June 30,
    you should contact your GMD specialist and your
    Grants Management Advisory Committee (GMAC)
    representative with this information. You should
    also provide your budget officer with the project
    codes and dollar amount for the grant. Your
    budget officer will include them on a carry-over
    list which gets submitted to NMFS Budget
    Execution Office. Corrections and updates to the
    carry-over list can be made throughout the 4th
    quarter by your budget officer.

FPO Deadlines Continuing with a few deadlines
of which all FPOs should be aware
  • Annual Grants Plan
  • NOAA Grants asks for an Annual Grants Plan from
    each Line Office by the 30th day after the
    Appropriations Act has been signed. As an FPO,
    you should provide to your GMAC representative
    the number and dollar amount of your intended
    grants, and when they will be submitted to GMD.

FPO Deadlines Continuing with a few deadlines
of which all FPOs should be aware
  • Competitive Announcements
  • By April and October each year, send your
    prepared Federal Funding Opportunity notices to
    FALD and GMD. Using Grants Online, all
    competitive announcements are sent to FALD and
    GMD for the June and December omnibus Federal
    Register notice.
  • Any single announcement must be sent to your GMAC
    representative for clearance. Based on the
    acting AGO directors July 9, 2008, memo, in
    order to publish your single announcement, a
    justification for why it should be published
    separately must be cleared through your AA.

Performance Measures
  • Using accurate performance measures
  • Assists FPOs in predicting the timing of grants
    to GMD, and GMDs signature date.
  • This in turn
  • Allows Budget folks to assess quarterly
    obligations. Accurate performance measures allow
    for fewer variances.
  • Creates a better work plan for GMD. GMDs work
    loads are based on receipt of grants from the
    program offices.

Performance Measures
  • Rule of Thumb
  • Timing is estimated based on expected receipt of
    application or start date.
  • GMD never gets more than 60 days to review and
    process an application.
  • Applications are signed 30 days before start
  • Measures depend on the type of grant.
  • Program Offices have 90 days to process New
    Awards, and GMD has 60.
  • Program Offices have 75 days to process
    Continuations, and GMD has 45.
  • Program Offices have 45 days to process
    multi-year releases without changes, and GMD has

Performance Measures
  • Examples
  • If you expect a new award on May 1,
  • Add 90 for the date to GMD
  • Add another 60 for the obligation date
  • If you expect to receive a request on May 1 for
    funds under a multi-year with no anticipated
  • Add 45 for the date to GMD
  • Add another 15 for the obligation date

Performance Measures
  • Table of Timeframes

NOAA 2008 Grants Workshop
Federal Program Officer Responsibilities
NOAA Grants Workshop October 23 24, 2008 Silver
Spring, Maryland
Lamar Dwayne Revis Grants Management Division
Questions Addressed Today
  • Types of Financial Assistance
  • Program Officer responsibilities in the award

What is Financial Assistance?
  • Grant/Cooperative Agreement a transfer of
    money, property, services or anything of value to
    a recipient in order to accomplish a public
    purpose of support or stimulation that is
    authorized by federal statute.
  • Contract a legal instrument reflecting a
    relationship between NOAA and a business,
    organization, or individual whenever the
    principal purpose is the acquisition, by
    purchase, lease or barter, of property or
    services for the direct benefit or use by the
    federal government.

Grants vs. Contracts
  • If the principal purpose of the award is to meet
    the needs of a non-federal entity carrying out an
    activity that Congress has decided to assist, as
    a matter of public policy by statute, then this
    is a Grant or Cooperative Agreement.
  • If the principal purpose of the award is to
    acquire goods or services that will be used by
    NOAA to carry out its public mission, then this
    is a Procurement Contract.

Types of Grants
  • Discretionary NOAA can exercise judgment in
    selecting the recipient to whom the federal funds
    are awarded.
  • Non-Discretionary Determined by statute and is
    limited to specifically named recipients or a
    particular class of recipients.

Discretionary Grants

1. Competitive 2 Institutional 3. Non-Competi
tive 4. Broad Area Announcement
Non-Discretionary Grants
  • Congressionally Mandated (Hard Earmark)
  • Congressionally Directed (Soft Earmark)
  • 3. Formula / Allotment (ex. Coastal Zone
    Management NMFS Section 404)

Types of Applications

1. New 2. Continuation 3. Multi-Year 4.
Required Grant Forms

  • SF-424 Application for Assistance
  • SF-424A Non-Construction Budget
  • SF-424B Assurances
  • SF-424C Construction Budget
  • SF-424D Assurances for Construction

Required Grant Forms (cont.)

  • SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
  • CD-346, Applicant for Funding Assistance (Name
    Check for officers and key personnel of
    nonprofits and for-profits)

Required Grant Forms (cont.)
  • 8. CD-511, Certification Regarding Debarment,
    Suspension, a Drug-Free Workplace, and Lobbying
  • 9. Project and Budget Narratives

NOAA Review Process Performance Metrics
Most Common Application Problem

Budget Inconsistencies Applicants must ensure
the mandatory budget narrative fully explains and
expounds upon the funding amounts, per line item,
shown on the SF 424a.
Recommendation Package to GMD

  • Internal program office memo summarizing process,
    timeline, and team findings.
  • Funding recommendation memo from selecting
    official to Grants Management Division Director.
  • Funding recommendations and justification
    attachment (including justification for funding
    proposals out of rank order).

Recommendation Package (cont.)

4. List of proposals received, recommended, and
not recommended for funding. 5. List of reviewers
and scores. 6. NEPA memo from the selecting
official for the record. 7. Copy of the Federal
Register notice.
Required Grants Online Documentation

Minimum Requirements Checklist Program Officer
Checklist Procurement Request National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Approval

Clearance Steps for Recommended Applications

Program Officer submits recommendation to
selecting official Program Officer submits
procurement request through Budget officials and
the NOAA Management and Budget Office National
Environmental Policy Act Office clearance Federal
Assistance Law Division (FALD) clearance
(depending on type of grant) Grants Management
Division clearance
Final Grant Processing Steps
  • Grantee is registered to use Grants On-line.
  • Award is accepted by grantees Authorized
  • Funding draw downs may commence after the award
    is signed by the Grants Officer, recipient is
    registered with the Automated Standard
    Application for Payments (ASAP) and after account
    is validated by the Finance Office.

Program Office Teams

Federal Program Officers (FPOs) Technical Program
Officers Program Office Staff / Contractors Merit
Reviewers Managers / Core Team / Selecting
Official Budget Teams
Contractor Grant Functions

Contractors may Serve as the Program Officer on
a request for applications or application. Serve
as competition manager and complete
negotiations. Must reassign final actions to a
Program Officer who will communicate directly
with FALD, the Grants Office, applicants, or
What Offices/Entities Are Involved?

Grants Management Division Federal Assistance Law
Division DOC Office of General Counsel NOAA
Management and Budget Office Grants Management
Advisory Council Grants On-line Grants.gov Nationa
l Environmental Policy Act Office
Helpful Websites
  • http//oamweb.osec.doc.gov/GMD interimManual.html
  • http//www.Grants.gov
  • http//www.ASAP.gov
  • http//www.ofa.noaa.gov/grantsonline/gol_training
  • http//www.ago.noaa.gov/grants/Budgtgud.pdf

Key Steps to Finding NOAA Funding Opportunities
and Developing Successful Grant Proposals
NOAA Grants Workshop October 23-24, 2008 Silver
Spring, Maryland
Lamar Dwayne Revis Grants Management Division
Questions Addressed Today
  • Which programs in the federal government provide
  • How can you get detailed information on NOAA
    grant programs?
  • What forms and documents must be submitted?
  • What are key ways to increase chances of
    submitting a successful proposal?

Grants.gov Background
  • Grants.gov is a single government-wide source for
    information about grant programs
  • One of 24 E-government initiatives
  • Includes gt1,000 grant programs from 26 federal
    grant-making agencies
  • 460 billion in annual awards
  • Administered by Department of Health and Human

Origins and Purpose
  • Federal Financial Assistance Management
    Improvement Act of 1999, also known as Public Law
  • Goals
  • Improve effectiveness and performance of Federal
    financial assistance programs
  • Simplify Federal assistance application and
    reporting requirements
  • Improve the delivery of services
  • Facilitate greater coordination among those
    delivering services

Support Resources
  • On-line user support, tutorial, and training
  • Frequently asked questions
  • User guide
  • Toll-free phone number
  • Help Center e-mail

Finding Grant Opportunities
Basic search Browse by category Browse by
agency Advanced search E-mail alert notification
Search Screen

Basic Search
Basic searches use Keywords Funding opportunity
numbers Catalog of federal domestic assistance
Basic Search

Category Search

23 Categorical Search Options
  • All Categories of Funding Activity
  • Agriculture
  • Arts (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA)
  • Business and Commerce
  • Community Development
  • Consumer Protection
  • Disaster Prevention and Relief
  • Education
  • Employment, Labor and Training
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Food and Nutrition

23 Categorical Search Options
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Humanities (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA)
  • Information and Statistics
  • Income Security and Social Services
  • Law, Justice and Legal Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Other (see text field entitled "Explanation of
    Other Category of Funding Activity" for
  • Regional Development
  • Science and Technology and other Research and
  • Transportation

Advanced Searches
  • Includes
  • Flexibility to search on numerous criteria
  • Active and archived documents
  • Funding opportunity number
  • Dates and time frames
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number
  • Funding activity category
  • Funding instrument type
  • Agency

E-mail Subscription Service
  • To receive notification of funding opportunities,
    you need
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number
  • Agency
  • Category of activity
  • Instrument type
  • Eligibility

Sample E-mail Notification about a Coastal
Related Opportunity -------- Original Message
-------- Subject Grants.gov Opportunities
Posting Update Date Wed, 07 Feb 2007 003545
-0500 (EST) From notifier_at_grants.gov To
James.L.Free_at_noaa.gov DOI Department of the
Interior U. S. Geological Survey 2007 National
Spatial Data Infrastructure Cooperative Agreement
Program Category 4 Extension Modification
1 http//www.grants.gov/search/search.do?modeVIEW
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
An index of all programs
and their Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
numbers are at www.cfda.gov
Main Catalog Web Site

Catalog Search Page

Entire Catalog List

Catalog Keyword Search

Coastal Keyword Search Results (76 Total Listings)

Getting Ready to Apply
  • Once you have found an opportunity that you want
    to apply for
  • Grants.Gov and Grants Online (NOAA)
  • DUNS
  • CCR
  • Credential Service Provider ORC
  • Grants.gov (e-business point of contact and
    authorized representative)

Getting Registered
Grant.gov Opportunity Announcement Screen
Contains Three Buttons
Synopsis Full announcement How to apply
Full Announcement Format
  • I. Funding opportunity description
  • II. Award information
  • III. Eligibility information
  • Application and submission information
  • V. Application review information
  • VI. Award administration information
  • VII. Agency contacts
  • VIII. Other information

Full Announcement Format (cont.)
V. Application review information VI. Award
administration information VII. Agency
contacts VIII. Other information All federal
agencies are required to follow this format.
Specific Announcement Sections
  • I. Funding Opportunity Description
  • A. Program Objective
  • B. Program Priorities
  • C. Program Authority
  • D. Cost Principles

Specific Announcement Sections
  • Award Information
  • A. Funding Availability
  • B. Project / Award Period
  • C. Type of Funding Instrument

Specific Announcement Sections
  • Eligibility Information
  • A. Eligible Applicants
  • B. Cost Sharing or Matching

Specific Announcement Sections
  • IV. Application and Submission Information
  • A. Address to Request Application Package
  • B. Content and Form of Application Submission
  • C. Submission Date and Time
  • D. Intergovernmental Review
  • E. Funding Restrictions
  • F. Other Submission Requirements

Specific Announcement Sections
  • V. Application Review Information
  • A. Evaluation Criteria for Letters of Intent
  • B. Evaluation Criteria for Full Applications
  • C. Review and Selection Process
  • D. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

NOAA Standard Evaluation Criteria
1. Importance and/or relevance and
applicability of proposed project to the program
goals (40 points) 2. Technical/scientific merit
(30 points) 3. Overall qualifications of
applicants (15 points) 4. Project costs (10
points) 5. Outreach and education (5 points)
Specific Announcement Sections
  • VI. Award Administration Information
  • A. Award Notices
  • B. Administrative and National Policy
  • C. Reporting
  • Agency Contacts
  • Other Information

Apply Feature
  • Allows users to
  • Download application packages based on Catalog of
    Federal Domestic Assistance number, Funding
    Opportunity Number, or Competition Number.
  • Complete application packages off-line
  • Submit application packages
  • Track the status of submitted applications
  • Receive updates on application package changes

Application Package
Required Grant Forms
  • SFs-424 Application for assistance
  • SF-424A Non-construction budget
  • SF-424B Assurances
  • SF-424C Construction budget
  • SF-424D Assurances for Construction

Required Grant Forms
  • 6. SF-LLL (if activities are being reported)
  • CD-346 (by non-profits or for-profits only)
  • CDs-511 and 512 Certification regarding lobbying
  • 9. Project and budget narratives

User Roles
  • The e-business point of contact (POC) determines
    who is allowed to submit grant application
    packages on behalf of an organization.
  • The authorized organization representative (AOR)
    has the ability to submit applications on behalf
    of an organization.
  • The application author (AA) prepares grant
    application packages but does not have signature
    authority to submit the applications.

Increase Your Chances of a Successful Grant
  • Anticipate federal announcements of major
  • NOAA typically announces every June and December
  • Follow and address submission guidance stated in
  • Pay close attention to FFO Sections IV and V
  • - Section IV content and form of application
  • - Section V application review information
  • (used verbatim by merit review

Increase Your Chances of a Successful Proposal
  • Provide sufficient and consistent budget
  • Clearly state the resulting impact of your
    project and products
  • Maintain Grants.gov registration
  • Study on-line grant writing resources (Grants.gov
    and www.cfda.gov)
  • Look into technical assistance/grants writing
    from Congressional offices, non-profits, etc

Grant Writing Resources
Proposal development www.grants.gov/resources/rela
tedlinks.jsp http//
/grant_proposal.html Logic model development
(outcomes impacts) www.uwex.edu/ces/lmcourse/
Successful Grants Management
  • NOAA Grants Federal Program
    Officers Training Workshop
  • October 23-24, 2008

Todays Topics
  • Statutory authorities
  • Selection memos (competitive, BAA, and
    non-competitive awards)
  • Merit reviews
  • Federal employees as grant recipients
  • Grants v. contracts

FALD Staff
  • Division Chief
  • Michelle McClelland, mmcclelland_at_doc.gov,
  • FALD staff assigned to NOAA
  • Dinah Flynn, Senior Counsel, Dinah.Flynn_at_noaa.gov,
  • Jeff Joyner, Senior Counsel, Jeff.Joyner_at_noaa.gov,
  • Ed Sharp, Senior Counsel, esharp_at_doc.gov,

Statutory Authority
  • Grants Online is no longer automatically
    inserting statutory authorities into the P.O.
    checklist and the CD-450 based on what is in the
    CFDA listing. FPOs will have to include that
  • FALD has the CFDA numbers, statutes cited, and
    brief descriptions at www.ogc.doc.gov/FALD_Statu
  • This site is linked in the Grants Online PO
  • FALD can be contacted for assistance.

Selection Memos
  • This section will look at selection memos for
  • Competitive awards
  • Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) awards
  • Non-competitive awards

Selection Memos (cont.)
  • Selection memos should explain why the program
    office has decided to spend taxpayer funds the
    way it has.
  • Justifications have to be consistent with the
    requirements the awards are operating under
    (whether its the Federal Funding Opportunity
    (FFO), BAA, or Grants Manual).
  • The memos should be written so that the reasons
    for awards can be understood by the readers, who
    could be from GC or IG offices or the general

Selection MemosCompetitive Awards
  • For competitive selection memos, an explanation
    of a selection is needed when picking out of rank
  • Justification must be based only on the selection
    factors that are listed in the notice.
  • The selection factors are NOAA standard
    requirements, which cannot be changed.

Selection MemosCompetitive Awards (cont.)
  • The selection factors for research awards are
  • 1. Availability of funding.
  • 2. Balance/distribution of funds a.
    Geographically b. By type of institutions c.
    By type of partners d. By research areas e. By
    project types.
  • 3. Whether this project duplicates other projects
    funded or considered for funding by NOAA or other
    Federal agencies.
  • 4. Program priorities and policy factors.
  • 5. Applicant's prior award performance.
  • 6. Partnerships and/or Participation of targeted
  • 7. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA
    staff to make a NEPA determination and draft
    necessary documentation before recommendations
    for funding are made to the Grants Officer.

Selection MemosCompetitive Awards (cont.)
  • The selection factors for fellowships are
  • 1. Balance/Distribution of Funds
  • a. Across academic disciplines
  • b. By types of institution
  • c. Geographically
  • 2. Availability of funds
  • 3. Program-specific objectives
  • 4. Degree in scientific area and type of degree

Selection MemosCompetitive Awards (cont.)
  • When justifying a selection out of rank order the
    factor being used should be listed and then
  • DO NOT WRITE The project ranked 12th is picked
    because of geography.
  • INSTEAD WRITE The project ranked 12th is being
    picked over the project ranked 11th because of
    Selection Factor 2.a, Balance/distribution of
    funds geographically. Project 11 is from the
    Pacific coast, from which three other funded
    projects originate, while Project 12 is the only
    one from the Gulf of Mexico.

Selection MemosCompetitive Awards (cont.)
  • If program priorities and policy factors
    (Selection Factor 4 for research awards) are the
    basis for the out-of-order selection, cite the
    specific section in the FFO where the
    priority/factor is listed. If the program
    priority or policy factor is not listed in the
    FFO, it CANNOT be used as a basis for the

Selection Memos Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
  • BAA awards are issued on an individual basis
    they are not ranked in comparison to other
    applications that a program may also have under
  • The selecting official must explain why the award
    is being made. This DOES NOT MEAN justifying the
    award in terms of the selection factors used in

Selection Memos Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
  • DO NOT WRITE This project received good
    reviews and meets a NOAA mission. A great
    number of BAA award justifications have used
    essentially that language.
  • DO NOT USE non-competitive justifications for BAA
  • INSTEAD Explain why the program office decided
    that this proposal is worth being funded. Since
    the decision is completely at NOAAs discretion,
    a clear reason should be offered.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • The Grants Manual provides six options for
    justifying issuing non-competitive awards (See
    Chapter 8, pages 7 and 8) 
  • (1) Only One Source Identified.
  • (2) Unusual and Compelling Urgency.
  • (3) International Agreement.
  • (4) National Security.
  • (5) Public Interest.
  • (6) Congressional Direction.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • To justify an award under 1, Only One Source
    Identified, the FPO should indicate whether an
  • 1. Has proprietary information
  • 2. Has made a substantial investment in
    the activity
  • 3. Is proposing a unique or innovative
    idea, method or approach.
  • 4. Is the only organization known to
    possess the capability to perform, and how you
    determined that.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • If the justification under 1, Only One Source
    Identified, is that the applicant
  • a. Has proprietary information, the FPO
    should base the justification on his/her own
    expertise or someone he/she has consulted
  • b. Has made a substantial investment in the
    activity, the FPO should describe the nature and
    amount of the investment.  Receipt of prior
    Federal awards is not applicant investment
  • c. Is proposing a unique or innovative idea,
    method or approach, the FPO should explain the
    nature of the approach and describe why it is
  • d. Is the only organization known to possess
    the capability to perform, the FPO should explain
    how he/she came to this conclusion, e.g.,
    consultation with potential recipients or
    scientists research in scientific journals or,
    describe what search was attempted or possible
    recipients contacted.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • To justify an award under 2, Unusual and
    Compelling Urgency, the FPO should explain the
    unforeseen events that need to be addressed
    within a limited time frame.
  • EXAMPLES red tide event disaster recovery
    seasonal research needs.
  • It is NOT to be used to address administrative
    errors or poor planning.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • To justify an award under 3, International
    Agreement, the FPO should consult with the
    General Counsel to determine if the document
    being cited is an international agreement or
    treaty as described in the Manual.
  • To justify an award under 4, National Security,
    the Secretary of Commerce must determine in
    writing that public disclosure of the project
    would compromise the national security. This is
    not a delegable determination.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • To justify an award under 5, Public Interest,
    the explanation must
  • 1. Be written by the Head of Operating Unit
    (at NOAA, AAs or above)
  • 2. Provide a rationale for why it is not in
    the public interest to have a competition, NOT
    why it should be funded.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • DO NOT WRITE I have determined that it is in
    the public interest to issue this award because .
    . .. This does not address why competition is
    not necessary.
  • DO NOT WRITE I have determined that it is not
    in the public interest to have a competition.
    This does not provide a reason.
  • DO NOT WRITE I have determined that it is not
    in the public interest to have a competition
    because this is the only organization that can
    accomplish this work. This justification comes
    under 1, Only One Source Identified, and would
    have to meet the standards of that justification.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • To justify an award under 6, Congressional
    Direction, the Operating Unit CFO/Budget Officer
    determines that congressional direction to
    issue an award to a specific recipient, project,
    or both has been expressed in writing in the
    House report, the Senate Report, and/or the
    Conference Report.
  • The recipient is then listed on a Grants
    Matrix document that is included with other award
    information in Grants Online.
  • The matrix also lists a project description, a
    statutory authority allowing a grant to be
    awarded and an award amount.
  • All that is needed for this justification is a
    memo from the CFO/Budget Officer transmitting the
  • NOTE If the matrix does not list the
    recipient but only the project, it will not meet
    the requirements of this justification. This
    problem arose in NMFS in 2008 and required that a
    project be justified in some other way.

Selection Memos--Non-competitive Justifications
  • Awards listed on the matrix are soft earmarks,
    meaning they are identified by Congress in report
    language as something it would like to see
    awarded (therefore an earmark) but havent been
    listed in an actual appropriations law (therefore
    soft). NOAA is not legally bound to issue the
    awards, but is constrained by a desire to comply
    with Congressional will.
  • Hard earmarks are different They are listed
    in an appropriations law and are therefore
    legally required to be awarded.
  • Other definitions of hard and soft earmarks
    are used in the budget office depending on
    whether or not a project was requested in the
    Presidents budget. However, for purposes of
    this non-competitive justification, the
    definitions listed above are the ones that

Merit Reviewers and Objectivity
  • FPOs and grants administrators must insure that
    reviewers are objective.
  • Reviewers must express their views based on their
    individual expertise in the subject matter they
    are dealing with.
  • FPOs cannot be reviewers for the projects they
    are managing.
  • If possible, reviewers should not be in the chain
    of command of the selecting official.

Merit Reviewers and Conflicts of Interest
  • Reviewers must reveal potential conflicts to
    determine if they should carry out evaluations of
  • If there is a conflict, the most desirable
    alternative would be to use a different reviewer.
  • Reviewers identities must be provided to GMD and
    FALD to enable those offices to make assessments
    about potential conflicts.
  • NOTE a conflict of interest on the part of a
    reviewer could be a basis for challenging a
    funding decision in court.

Can Federal Employees Receive Grants?
  • Under the terms of the Federal Grant and
    Cooperative Agreement Act, the answer is no. By
    definition, grants (and cooperative agreements)
    are awards that Federal agencies make to
    non-Federal organizations or individuals.
  • HOWEVER, sometimes agencies will offer funds to
    other agencies under terms that look like grants
    (that is, the offering agency wants to support
    something the receiving agency is doing and is
    not buying goods or services).
  • The QUESTION is since the transfer would
    constitute and augmentation of its appropriation,
    can the requesting agency receive the money?
  • The ANSWER is the requesting agency can receive
    the money ONLY IF there is a law that allows it.

Can Federal Employees Receive Grants (cont.)?
  • If such a law exists, the award of funds would be
    by an interagency transfer and NOT by a grant (or
    cooperative agreement).
  • To determine if such a law exists, the General
    Law Division should be consulted for a

Can Federal Employees Receive Grants (cont.)?
  • As a slight variation of the question, can NOAA
    employees receive NOAA grants (or cooperative
    agreements)? Again, the answer is no, since the
    funds would be staying inside the government.
  • HOWEVER, sometimes, if there are no statutory
    limitations, NOAA competitions are open to NOAA
    employees to compete for the funds against
    outside applicants.
  • If the NOAA employee wins such a competition, a
    budget transfer inside NOAA is made. A grant
    (or cooperative agreement) is not issued.

Assistance v. Procurement
  • Procurement Contracts -- Principal purpose is to
    acquire property or services for the direct
    benefit of the federal government. Contracting
    authority is inherent.
  • Financial Assistance -- The transfer of anything
    of value for a public purpose of support or
    stimulation authorized by law.
  • No inherent authority
  • Must be explicit statutory authority to make a

Assistance v. Procurement Decision Process
  • To ensure that the appropriate instrument is
    selected, NOAA should ask the following
  • Is the primary purpose of the award to acquire
    goods or services that will directly benefit or
    be used by NOAA to further a specific NOAA
    mission or requirement?
  • Yes then the award instrument should be a
  • No then use a grant or cooperative agreement.
  • Is the work to be performed by the recipient for
    its own purposes and primarily NOAA is supporting
    this effort with financial or other assistance?
  • Yes then the award instrument should be a grant
    or cooperative agreement.
  • No then the award instrument should be a
  • The decision whether to use a contract or a
    financial assistance agreement is not based on
    the type of recipient (e.g., university,
    non-profit, or for-profit organization), activity
    (research, sponsorship), or who is to benefit.
    It is based on the principal purpose of making
    the award.

Assistance v. Procurement Decision Process (cont.)
  • Take an example of these two
    situations regarding sponsorships
  • 1. An applicant is hosting a conference on how
    communities can better prepare for
    hurricanes and requests funding from NOAA to
    administer it.
  • 2. NOAA is hosting a conference on how
    communities can better prepare for hurricanes
    and awards funds to an organization to administer
    the conference.
  • In the first situation, NOAA is supporting an
    activity the recipient wants to carry out. In
    the second situation, NOAA is paying a recipient
    to do work it wants done.
  • This means that, in the first situation, the
    award is a grant, in the second a procurement
    contract, even though in both circumstances the
    outcome of the activity is to benefit the public.

NEPA and the FPO Everything you were afraid to
ask Need to Know
  • Philip L. Hoffman
  • Cooperative Institute Program Manager (Acting)
  • OAR Labs and Cooperative Institutes

Let me tell you . . . . .
  • History of NEPA its not just about fuzzy
  • NEPA Requirements Yes, Martha, NOAA has to do
  • NEPA and the FPO You, yes you, are our first
    line of defense (should you choose to accept the

The History of NEPA
  • It all started with the Cuyahoga River Fire of 22
    June 1969 (Or did it?)
  • Actually, it began with the building of the
    Interstate system
  • Officially the National Environmental Policy Act
    of 1969 (42 USC 4321 et. Seq.)
  • Signed by Pres. Nixon 1 January 1970

What is the idea (of NEPA)?
  • The purposes of this Act are
  • To declare a national policy which will encourage
    productive and enjoyable harmony between man and
    his environment
  • to promote efforts which will prevent or
    eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere
    and stimulate the health and welfare of man
  • to enrich the understanding of the ecological
    systems and natural resources important to the
  • and to establish a Council on Environmental
    Quality. (42 USC 4321)
  • Yeah, OK, but how do you really do that as a
    federal agency?

How do you do (NEPA that is)?
  • Go to the books NAO 216-6 ( 5 Implementing
  • a)  define the proposed action
  • (b)  consider the nature and intensity of the
    potential environmental consequences of the
    action in relation to the criteria and guidance
    provided in this Order to determine whether the
    action requires an EIS, EA, or CE
  • (c)  prepare a CE memorandum, as appropriate
  • (d)  prepare an EA or initiate planning and for
    an EIS where an EIS is known to be appropriate
  • (e)  prepare a FONSI (which ends the NEPA
    environmental review process for actions found
    not to have a significant impact on the quality
    of the human environment) or initiate planning
    for an EIS/SEIS based on the EA

How do you do (NEPA that is)?
  • An FPO wont likely do the CE memo or FONSI, but
    you need to look for them and know why they are
    there, and what they should contain.
  • CE memo for things that have been shown to have
    no impact Computer modeling fisheries
    monitoring S-K planting dune grass project or
    program planning Charting and mapping
    Restoration of ecosystems w/o excavation
  • EA One level up larger scope projects, often
    more expensive, but with no significant impact
  • If it Says EIS . . . . .

The Long Form CE Memo
The CE Memo Abbreviated format
What should you look for in reviewing NEPA?
  • Remember NEPA is a FEDERAL responsibility.
  • Is there a NEPA document attached to the
    Application? It may be buried in the narrative
  • Is the document scope adequate to the project at
  • Does the document actually describe the project?
  • Is there evidence the PI has permits? Often,
    especially for in-water, you need ESA, MMPA,
    and/or U.S. Army Corps permits to do work.
  • Anything with whales, installing permanent or
    moored instruments, Pacific salmon, seals,
    commercial fisheries or restoration should
    trigger this.

What should you look for in reviewing NEPA?
  • Big projects often need more NEPA, but size and
    dont necessarily force NEPA decisions.
    Controversy is also a big driver.
  • If NOAA has the lead, and the applicant is just
    part of a larger NOAA effort, it is likely that
    NOAA has done NEPA you may just have dig a bit
    to find it.
  • Sometimes applicants will be working with other
    federal agencies, and you can get their NEPA as

Programmatic NEPA documents living life in the
easy lane
  • Programmatic NEPA documents cover the actions of
    a whole area or program they describe the
    Program impacts across the board.
  • They cover groups of similar actions, or
    repetitive actions over several years.
  • Also written for program with grants as one
  • Some require annual Suppliments attesting to
    project compliance.

Current Programmatic NEPA Grants documents
  • Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program
  • FWCA
  • Community Based Restoration Program
  • Pelagic Fisheries Research Program

The Bottom Line
  • NEPA allows federal agencies to safeguard the
    environment by leveraging the actions and
    resources of others.
  • NEPA is an important part of what NOAA does to
    meet its environmental obligations to the general
  • FPOs are integral to the success of NEPA
    implementation in NOAA.

Who you gonna call (NEPA Busters)!
  • Steve Kokkanikas - NOAA NEPA Coordination
  • Program Planning Integration , 301-713-1622
  • NMFS Aileen Smith (301)713-2239
  • NOS Sanctuaries John Armor, (301) 713-3125
    OCRM Helen Farr (301) 713-3155
  • NESDIS Stan Chan (301) 713-9208
  • CI Program Philip L. Hoffman Acting (301)

Who you gonna call (NEPA Busters)!
  • https//www.intranet.nepa.noaa.gov/grants.html

  • Grants Management Reviews
  • October 23-24,
  • Silver Spring,
  • Carol Jean Pendleton
    Management Specialist

  • APPLICATION PACKAGE a set of documents
    required from both the applicant and the FPO
    which must be submitted to the Grants Office in
    order to make a financial assistance award.
  • RECIPIENT will complete and submit an application
    package in Grants .gov. The forms will include
    the SF 424, SF 424A or SF 424C, SF 424B or SF
    424D, CD 511 and SF-LLL, if applicable. And a
    Project Description and Budget Justification and
    any requested documents covering the award.
  • PROGRAM OFFICER will submit the completed P.O.
    Checklist, forward the CD 435 (Procurement
    Request) to the Budget Officer for approval and
    forward the award to the appropriate NEPA

  • Grants Management Specialist receives and reviews
    the award packages in Grants Online as they are
    submitted by the line offices. An award package
    will include the following from the Program
  • Identifies Grant Type

    A Grant is a transfer of money,
    property, services, or anything of value to
    accomplish a public purpose.
  • Cooperative Agreement includes substantial
    involvement which is the collaboration,
    participation, or intervention by DOC/NOAA in the
    management of the project between DOC/NOAA and
    the recipient during the performance of the
    activity. A Special Award Condition is required
    for cooperative agreements.

  • Statutory Authority - Is the grant-making
    authority for the proposed activity. There is a
    Guidance link in Grants Online for further
  • Project Description/Abstract - This should be a
    very brief summary (no more than a few sentences)
    of the proposed activity. It will be entered
    into the NOAA Grant System and used by the Grants
    Office for congressional notification (through
    the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental
    Affairs) at the time of the award.
  • Basis of Selection

    Competitive Awards made after the proposals are
    reviewed and selected as the result of a program
    solicitation that has been published in the
    Federal Register.

  • A Competitive Selection must be reviewed by the
    Federal Assistance Law Division (FALD) prior to
    the submission to the Grants Office. The
    following must be included with every competitive
    application package submitted to the Grants
    Office 1. A copy of the selection
    recommendation and the review clearance by FALD.

    2. A copy of the published
    Federal Register.
  • The Selection Recommendation Package includes
    1. A recommendation Memo
    signed and dated by Selection Official.

    2. An
    explanation of the selection criteria used to
    evaluate, score, and rank each of the
    applications received.
    3. Summary of the results of the review
    (number of applications received, reviewed and

  • 4. Certification that all applications
    considered were received by the deadline
    established in the announcement.
    5. A signed DOC approved conflict
    of interest form (CD 571) for all non-Federal
  • Non-Competitive - Awards made with
    discretionary funds can be approved only in
    unusual and extraordinary circumstances.
    A Justification Memo and three (3) independent
    merit reviews must be provided by the Federal
    Program Office with the application package.

    1. Justification Memo - The
    guidelines for the criteria required for the Memo
    is outlined in the DOC Manual, Chapter 8, Section
    F. Non competitive awards are based on only of
    the following factors

  • (1) Only one source identified
    Unusual and Compelling Urgency
    (3) International
    (4) National Security

    (5) Public Interest
  • Congressionally Directed (soft earmarks) -
    Only the NOAA CFO/Budget Officer (or designee)
    may approve this exception for the
    non-competitive Congressionally Directed
    awards for each line office. After the current
    fiscal year of appropriation has been passed by
    Congress, the issuance of one Memorandum and a
    budget/grants matrix is required to identify all
    congressionally directed projects and amount of
    A copy of
    the Memo with a copy of the Matrix must be
    submitted by the FPO for each Congressional
    Directed Award.

  • In addition, three (3) merit/technical reviews
    are required. Please Note If negative
    issues are stated in the reviews, the Federal
    Program Officer must address them before the
    award(s) are sent to the Grants Office.
    Federal Program Officer cannot submit a merit
    review for an award that they are processing.
  • Institutional Awards - Can be a grant or
    cooperative agreement under which funds should be
    initially awarded based on competition with the
    intent to maintain a long term partnership
    between DOC/NOAA and the recipient. Awards can
    be made on a Non competitive basis if recipient
    continues to perform satisfactory and submits the
    appropriate application documents required. They
    should not exceed a five (5) year period.

  • Formula/Allotment - Awards made to
    organizations for which eligibility has been
    limited to law to a particular class of
    applicants and applicant meets the statutory
    requirements. Typically there is a
    formula or allotment established that identifies
    each applicant and the amount of funding. Two
    Formula/Allotment based programs are Coastal
    Zone Management and National Marine Fisheries
    Section 404.
    All programs must submit to the
    Grants Office a Memo explaining the basis for the
    allocation, an allocation plan with the
    distribution of funds and one technical/merit
    review of the proposed application in accordance
    with the Grants Manual.
  • Congressionally Mandated - Awards are hard
    earmarks, are not discretionary because they are
    mandated by law. Funds are identified in the
    appropriations act.

  • Performance/Progress Report Frequency - NOAA
    standard progress reports are semi-annually
    (every 6 months) from the start date issued on
    the award. If FPO determines that annual reports
    are sufficient to meet the needs of the FPOs
    review and monitoring of the recipients
    progress, the FPO must prepare a Programmatic
    Special award Condition for the annual reports.
  • Conflict of Interest The FPO must identify
    any person(s) if the person was a former DOC
    employee and is working for the applicant or was
    involved in the merit review and/or selection
    process. A Guidance link is provided to assist
  • Matching Requirements - A match may be
    required by statute and must be provided unless
    there is statutory exception that applies.

  • Waiver of administrative and cost-related prior
    approval requirements.

    If the proposed award supports research and
    recipient is covered under 15 CFR Part 14
    (educational institutions, non profit, for profit
    and individuals), the recipient may be entitled
    to expanded authorities to initiate changes
    without prior approval by the Grants Officer.

  • The FPO may add a special award condition if
    the award supports research. The special award
    condition includes the following changes that can
    be made without prior approval

    1. Incur pre-award costs
    up to 90 days prior to the start of the award.

    Extend the award period once up to 12 months and
    3. Carry forward unobligated
    balances to the next budget period.

  • Transfer Information If award includes any
    Federal funds transferred from another Federal
    Agency, the FPO must provide a copy of the
    transfer documentation from the other Federal
    Agency such as an Interagency Agreement which
    should include (1.)
    Transferring agencys statutory authority for
    grant-making. (2.) Scope of activity to be
    covered by the transferred funds. (3.)
    Fiscal year bounds of funds (no year funds vs.
    fixed year funds).

  • Programmatic Special Award Conditions - Federal
    Program Officer must include any programmatic
    restrictions that need to be placed on the award
    such as cooperative agreement, progress reports,
    or NEPA. If program office has requested
    Programmatic Special Award Conditions requiring
    data to be supplied, additional reports, etc.,
    the conditions must have OMB approval.

  • SF 424 - The Grants Specialist reviews the
  • Legal Name and Address

    Employer Identification name
    and address EIN
    number and Duns Number
    Type of Applicant -
    determines the type of administrative regulations
    and cost principles applicable to the Recipient.
    (examples State, University, Non Profit)
    Project dates -
    Awards must start at the first of the month and
    end on the last day of the month and correspond
    with the funding period.

    Please Note For Multi year Awards, the
    entire period of the award is entered.
  • Congressional Districts - Of the applicant
    and program/project.

  • Federal Funding - The amount requested
    during the first year of funding budget period.

    Please note For multi-year
    funding, the entire total of the multi- year
    award is entered.
    Non Federal
    Funding can be broken down by categories and be
    provided by Applicant, State, Local, and Other
    (3rd Party contributions).

    Non-Federal share can be a required match from
    the regulations or statute or

    Cost sharing can be voluntary or at
    the request of the Program Office. Match can
    be Cash or In Kind - Volunteer services
    (employees donates reasonable value time).
    Donated Land, buildings and/or Equipment (Fair
    Market Value).

    In Kind must be
    necessary, allowable, documented and have a
    reasonable value.
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