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Maria Martinez, M.Ed.

College Access Challenge Grant Manager

Grant Management and
Effective Communication


Community Action Partnership of
Utah
Conference on Poverty

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

College Access Challenge Grant



A
formula grant program
designed
to foster
partnerships among Federal, State and local government
entities and philanthropic organizations to significantly
increase the number of low
-
income and
underrepresented students who are prepared to enter
and succeed in postsecondary education


The
CACG, has been extended through the Health
Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation
Act


Recently awarded $1,423,500


Awarded 13 Subgrants at nearly $700,000

Beginning the Project/Grant



Connect with the funder’s program officer


Attend any necessary trainings


Know which regulations you are working off of


Know local, state, federal or organizational requirements


Buy a binder and begin documentation


Notify partners and staff, publicize the award


Proceed with hiring procedures


Set up the grant in an electronic accounting system

Regulations


Questions to consider:



Can we keep
the interest you earn from
funds
you receive?


Can we use
funds for meeting/food costs?


Do
we have to acknowledge the funder in printed materials?
Do new hires need to be approved by grant funder/manager
?


Do we need to get various quotes from vendors?




Office of Management and Budget (OMB)


OMB oversees and coordinates the Federal
government’s administration procurement, financial
management, information, and regulatory policies


OMB issues circulars which define the required process
and policies that grantees must adhere to. Circulars
include Administrative Rules, Cost Principles, and A
-
133
Audit Regulations for:


State, Local, or Indian Tribal Governments


Non
-
Profit Organizations


Institutions of Higher Education


Hospitals


http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_default/

What Trumps What….

w
hen rules conflict?





















Your Opinion

Grant Management



Grantees must realize the relationship they are entering
into. Your application/proposal and subsequent grant
award notification is a legally binding contract. Grant
managers need to ensure to:


Follow all of the terms and conditions of the grant award


Fulfill all reporting requirements on time throughout the
project period


Make written requests for changes to the award in a timely
manner and when necessary


Account for grant revenue and expenditures


Ensure high standards of ethics when conducting grant
management process

Program Administration



Keep in touch with funding agency




Meet with staff, particularly budget staff, regularly


Review expenditures at least once a month



Complete all necessary reports



Use a binder to maintain records of grant activities and
budget expenditures

Organizational Management


Include in binder:


Request for Proposal (grant application)


The proposal and submission forms


The award letter (Grant Award Notification or GAN)


Grant agreement and budget


Contract amendments and modifications


Quarterly or annual performance reports


Personnel time and effort worksheets


Evaluations forms and data


Correspondence with grantor


Other necessary information




General rule of thumb

“If it isn’t documented, it
didn’t happen”

Internal Control




The agency is responsible for internal control but all
employees should recognize that it is an individual
responsibility.


Internal control is a culture, should not be merely an
annual project/activity.


Must have separation of duties

Five Internal Control Standards




Control Environment


Risk Assessment


Control Activities


Information and Communications


Monitoring

Internal Control Standards


Control environment


Management and employees
should establish and maintain an environment of integrity and
ethical values throughout the organization. Should set a
positive and supportive attitude toward internal control and
conscientious management.


Risk assessment


Relevant risks associated with grant
objectives should be identified and analyzed for possible
effect. This includes both external and internal risks.


Control activities


Internal control activities should be
effective and efficient in accomplishing the agency’s control
objectives. This includes policies

and procedures such as
approvals, authorizations, verifications, reconciliation,
performance reviews, and maintenance of records

Internal Control Standards



Information and communication


Information
should be recorded and communicated in a broad sense
with information flowing down, across, and up the
organization. Should also include external stakeholders
that may have an impact on the grant’s goals.


Monitoring



Should assess the quality and
performance over time and ensure that the finding of
any audits or other reviews are promptly resolved.


Time and Effort Reporting



Document your time and effort in either hours or
percentages, or both


Have monitoring process in place, which includes
obtaining appropriate signatures


Avoid lack of missing timesheets


Account for total activity of all employees


Record time at least monthly, after activities

Evaluations


A number of federal programs require that evaluation of a
grant program be conducted on a regular basis. If your grant
does not require an evaluation it would be a good point to
implement one.


An evaluation is meant to help improve the quality of your
program. The purpose of an evaluation should be to
determine if:


Your program is complying with federal and state law, regulations
and policy


Assess the extent to which the program is/is not reaching its goals
and objectives


Administrators and staff should be provided with appropriate
feedback in order to improve performance


Consider
convening a grant oversight committee



Budget Management

When managing expenditures costs should follow the
AARN

rule:


A
llocable

A
llowable

R
easonable

N
ecessary

Allocable



Expenses
can be associated with the project with a high
degree of accuracy.


Questions to consider:


Are the costs specifically for the award/program?


Is the cost shifted from another award? (Not allowed
.)


Are
costs in the approved budget?




Allowable


All expenses should be allowable based on
organization’s applicable cost principles and award
terms.


Questions to consider:


Is the cost prohibited by OMB or other rules at the state or
funder level?


Reasonable



Costs should reflect what a “prudent person” would pay
in like circumstance.


Questions to consider:


Do the costs reflect sound business practices?


Are costs consistent with market prices?

Necessary



Costs required to complete all activities that are aligned
to the project’s scope and objectives


Questions to consider:


Is the cost necessary for the performance of the award?


In Compliance/Audits



Auditors will notify your agency on which programs are
being audited


Usually have some time to get all documents together


Unannounced audits can occur



Triggered by an anonymous complaint


Sometimes following up on negative information in a report or
newspaper


Failure to Comply



Could lead to termination of current grant award or
withholding of future awards.


Specific costs or entire grant may be disallowed.


Could require grant funds to only be provided on a
reimbursement basis.


Could be deemed high risk.


Final Thoughts



Your grant
manager/funder’s
role is to help you
succeed,
involve them in your grant management process.



Fostering
a positive relationship with grant
manager/funder
is imperative for future grants
.

Contact



Maria Martinez, M.Ed.

College Access Challenge Grant Manager

Utah System of Higher Education


mmartinez@ushe.edu

801
-
366
-
8454

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