There is still plenty of time to start and submit your application for the FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The application period will close on Friday, December 5, 2014, at 5 p.m. E.S.T. Make every effort to submit your application early as no application will be accepted, for any reason, after the official close of the application.
The following information is provided to help ensure your organization has every opportunity to submit a competitive application with the best chance for funding.
Cost Share Calculations
AFG’s authorization from Congress contained a change in the language as to how an applicant’s cost share must be calculated. Historically, cost share was calculated based solely on the cost of the total project, multiplied by the applicants cost share percentage. The AFG authorization requires that an applicant’s cost share be calculated based on the applicable cost share percentage of the “grant” (federal share) awarded. The AFG Program Office has made available a “cost share calculator” to assist applicants with identifying the appropriate cost share for their application. View the FY 2014 AFG Cost Share Calculator tool now.
Submitting Preparer Information
FEMA requires that all applicants disclose the name, address and contact information of the person or organization, to include contracted grant writers, who are responsible for preparing the AFG application. Please ensure that this information is accurate at the time of submission. As a reminder, all applicants must attest that all information contained within the application, including preparer information, must be true, complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. If you contract with a grant writer, and they either refuse, or provide advice to not list them in the preparer information section of the application, please notify the AFG program office.
Regional Application: Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Requirement
FY 2014 regional awardees will be required to produce, upon FEMA’s request, a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), or similar document. This document will serve to demonstrate that all parties identified as part of the application have agreed to participate in the application, understand their roles and responsibilities as part of any award, and to further identify the distribution and use of any grant funded assets or services. The MOU must be signed and dated by all participating entities. Additional guidance regarding the requirement for MOU’s may be found in the FY 2014 AFG Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Attention To Detail and Completeness of Your Application
AFG is one of the most highly competitive grant programs offered through the Federal government. It is important to ensure the accuracy of the information submitted as part of your application, to include, but not limited to, your department’s demographic information, call volume, equipment and vehicle inventories, comprehensive budget breakdowns, as well as the required narrative statements.
Importance of Closing out Grants in a Timely Manner
Grant regulations require that grantees complete the closeout report for their grant within 90 days of the close of the period of performance, or the availability of the AFG closeout module. Grantees who fail to complete their closeout report, including the request for reimbursement for all eligible grant expenses, may forfeit the ability to seek reimbursement at a later date. FEMA recently provided notification to all 2002-2009 grantees with open, or pending, closeout reports requesting prompt attention. As a reminder, failure to complete the required closeout reports may also impact future awards to your organization.
DHS to Adopt Revised Code Of Federal Regulations (CFR): The Super Circular
The Office of Management of Budget (OMB) published federal government-wide regulation (known as a Super Circular) on administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements on December 26, 2013. The “Super Circular” provides guidance on administrative aspects for federal grants (e.g., how grants are awarded, managed, audited and closed out). The government-wide framework for grants management is intended to reduce administrative burden for non-federal entities receiving federal awards while reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse. DHS is expected to publish regulations that will make the regulations applicable to FEMA grants issued on or after December 26, 2014. AFG applicants and grantees are encouraged to make themselves familiar with the new regulations as some may directly impact their organization. The AFG Program Office and Regional Fire Program Specialists are available to answer any questions regarding how the “Super Circular” may impact you.