U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

2019 OJP Grant Application Resource Guide (November 30, 2018)

The 2019 Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Grant Application Resource Guide ("Guide") provides guidance to assist OJP grant applicants in preparing and submitting applications for OJP funding, and information that may help potential applicants making the decision whether to apply for funding. It addresses a variety of policies, statutes, and regulations that apply to many (or in some cases, all) OJP program applicants, or to grants and cooperative agreements awarded in fiscal year (FY) 2019. Some OJP programs may have program solicitations that expressly modify a provision of this Guide; in such cases, the applicant is to follow the guidelines in the solicitation as to any such expressly-modified provision.

The provisions of this 2019 Guide apply to only those OJP applications submitted in response to OJP solicitations (published by OJP's various program offices*) that expressly incorporate this Guide by reference.

* OJP's program offices include the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking.

Contents

Programmatic Information

Evidence-Based Programs or Practices

OJP strongly emphasizes the use of data and evidence in policy making and program development in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. OJP is committed to:

  • improving the quantity and quality of evidence OJP generates,
  • integrating evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions within OJP and the field, and
  • improving the translation of evidence into practice.

OJP considers programs and practices to be evidence-based when their effectiveness has been demonstrated by causal evidence, generally obtained through one or more outcome evaluations. Causal evidence documents a relationship between an activity or intervention (including technology) and its intended outcome, including measuring the direction and size of a change, and the extent to which a change may be attributed to the activity or intervention.

Causal evidence depends on the use of scientific methods to rule out, to the extent possible, alternative explanations for the documented change. The strength of causal evidence, based on the factors described above, will influence the degree to which OJP considers a program or practice to be evidence-based.

The OJP CrimeSolutions.gov website is one resource that applicants may use to find information about evidence-based programs in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

Information Regarding Potential Evaluation of Programs and Activities

The Department of Justice has prioritized the use of evidence-based programming and deems it critical to continue to build and expand the evidence informing criminal and juvenile justice programs to reach the highest level of rigor possible. Therefore, the applicant should note that OJP may conduct or support an evaluation of the programs and activities funded under the solicitation. Recipients and subrecipients will be expected to cooperate with program related assessments or evaluation efforts, including through the collection and provision of information or data requested by OJP (or its designee) for the assessment or evaluation of any activities and/or outcomes of those activities funded under the solicitation. The information or data requested may be in addition to any other financial or performance data already required under the program.

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Financial Information

Financial Management and System of Internal Controls

Award recipients and subrecipients (including recipients or subrecipients that are pass-through entities[1]) must, as described in the Part 200 Uniform Requirements[2] as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.303:

  1. Establish and maintain effective internal control over the Federal award that provides reasonable assurance that [the recipient (and any subrecipient)] is managing the Federal award in compliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award. These internal controls should be in compliance with guidance in "Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government" issued by the Comptroller General of the United States and the "Internal Control Integrated Framework", issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).
  2. Comply with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal awards.
  3. Evaluate and monitor [the recipient’s (and any subrecipient’s)] compliance with statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of Federal awards.
  4. Take prompt action when instances of noncompliance are identified including noncompliance identified in audit findings.
  5. Take reasonable measures to safeguard protected personally identifiable information and other information the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity designates as sensitive or [the recipient (or any subrecipient)] considers sensitive consistent with applicable Federal, state, local, and tribal laws regarding privacy and obligations of confidentiality.

To help ensure that the applicant understands the applicable administrative requirements and cost principles, OJP encourages prospective applicants to enroll, at no charge, in the DOJ Grants Financial Management Online Training, available at https://ojpfgm.webfirst.com/. (This training is required for all OJP award recipients.)

Also, the applicant should be aware that OJP collects information from applicants on their financial management and systems of internal controls (among other information) which is used to make award decisions. The applicant may access and review the OJP Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire that OJP requires all applicants (other than an individual applying in his/her personal capacity) to download, complete, and submit as part of the application.

[1]  For purposes of the solicitation, the phrase "pass-through entity" includes any recipient or subrecipient that provides a subaward ("subgrant") to a subrecipient (subgrantee) to carry out part of the funded award or program.

[2] The "Part 200 Uniform Requirements" means the DOJ regulation at 2 C.F.R Part 2800, which adopts (with certain modifications) the provisions of 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

If the solicitation does not require a match, and a successful application proposes a voluntary match amount, and OJP approves the budget, then the total match amount incorporated into the approved budget becomes mandatory and subject to audit.

If the solicitation includes a cost sharing or matching requirement, then the solicitation will specify one of the following three match scenarios – (1) cash or in-kind, 2) cash only, or 3) match based on federal award amount) – in order to indicate the cost sharing or matching requirement that will apply to applications submitted in response to the solicitation. If the solicitation requires match, applicants should read closely the match requirement section that corresponds to the type of match specified in the "Cost Sharing or Match Requirement" section in the solicitation. (Note: Indian tribes and tribal organizations that otherwise are eligible for an award may be able to apply certain types of funds received from the federal government (for example, certain funds received under an Indian "self-determination contract") to satisfy all or part of a required "non-federal" match..

  1. Cash or in-kind* (*see solicitation for match (recipient's share) percentage)

    Federal funds awarded under the solicitation may not cover more than [*percent] of the total costs of the project. An applicant must identify the source of the [*percent] non-federal portion of the total project costs and how it will use match funds.

    If a successful applicant’s proposed match exceeds the required match amount, and OJP approves the budget, the total match amount incorporated into the approved budget becomes mandatory and subject to audit. ("Match" funds may be used only for purposes that would be allowable for the federal funds.) Recipients may satisfy this match requirement with either cash or in-kind services. See the DOJ Grants Financial Guide Postaward Requirements at https://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/PostawardRequirements/chapter3.3b.htm for examples of "in-kind" services. The formula for calculating the match is:

    Federal Award Amount ÷ Federal Share Percentage = Adjusted (Total) Project Costs

    Required Recipient’s Share Percentage x Adjusted Project Cost = Required Match

    Example: 90%/10% match requirement: for a federal award amount of $500,000, calculate match as follows:
    $500,000 ÷ 90% = $555,555
    10% x $555,555 = $55,555 match

    Example: 75%/25% match requirement: for a federal award amount of $350,000, calculate match as follows:
    $350,000 ÷ 75% = $466,667
    25% x $466,667 = $116,667 match

    Example: 50% match requirement: for a federal award amount of $350,000, calculate match as follows:
    $350,000 ÷ 50% = $700,000
    50% x $700,000 = $350,000 match

  2. Cash only* (*see solicitation for match (recipient's share) percentage)

    Federal funds awarded under the solicitation may not cover more than [*percent] of the total costs of the project being funded. An applicant must identify the source of the [*percent] non-federal portion of the total project costs and how it will use match funds.

    If a successful applicant’s proposed match exceeds the required match amount, and OJP approves the budget, the total match amount incorporated into the approved budget becomes mandatory and subject to audit. ("Match" funds may be used only for purposes that would be allowable for the federal funds.) Recipients must satisfy this match requirement with cash only. The formula for calculating match is:

    Federal Award Amount ÷ Federal Share Percentage = Adjusted (Total) Project Costs

    Required Recipient’s Share Percentage x Adjusted Project Cost = Required Match

    Example: 90%/10% match requirement: for a federal award amount of $500,000, calculate match as follows:
    $500,000 ÷ 90% = $555,555
    10% x $555,555 = $55,555 match

    Example: 75%/25% match requirement: for a federal award amount of $350,000, calculate match as follows:
    $350,000 ÷ 75% = $466,667
    25% x $466,667 = $116,667 match

    Example: 50% match requirement: for a federal award amount of $350,000, calculate match as follows:
    $350,000 ÷ 50% = $700,000
    50% x $700,000 = $350,000 match

  3. Match based on federal award amount* (*see solicitation for match (recipient's share) percentage and dollar/cents figure)

    Federal award funds require a [percent*] match from non-federal sources.

    For each federal dollar awarded, the recipient must provide [dollar or cents figure] toward the project. If a successful applicant’s proposed match exceeds the required match amount, and OJP approves the budget, the total match amount incorporated into the approved budget becomes mandatory and subject to audit. ("Match" funds may be used only for purposes that would be allowable for the federal funds.) The formula for calculating match is:

    Federal Award Amount x Required Recipient’s Share Percentage = Required Match

    Example:: For a federal award amount of $350,000, match would be:
    $350,000 x 50% = $175,000 match or
    $350,000 x 10% = $35,000 match

See the DOJ Grants Financial Guide Postaward Requirements at 2018 salary table for SES employees https://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/PostawardRequirements/chapter3.3b.htm for additional information on cost sharing and match.

Limitation on Use of Award Funds for Employee Compensation; Waiver

With respect to any award of more than $250,000 made under a solicitation, a recipient may not use federal funds to pay total cash compensation (salary plus cash bonuses) to any employee of the recipient at a rate that exceeds 110 percent of the maximum annual salary payable to a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) at an agency with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System for that year.[3] The 2018 salary table for SES employees is available on the Office of Personnel Management website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/salary-tables/18Tables/exec/html/ES.aspx. Note: A recipient may compensate an employee at a greater rate, provided the amount in excess of this compensation limitation is paid with non-federal funds. (Non-federal funds used for any such additional compensation will not be considered matching funds, where match requirements apply.) If only a portion of an employee's time is charged to an OJP award, the maximum allowable compensation is equal to the percentage of time worked times the maximum salary limitation.

The Assistant Attorney General for OJP may exercise discretion to waive, on an individual basis, this limitation on compensation rates allowable under an award. An applicant that requests a waiver should include a detailed justification in the budget narrative of its application. An applicant that does not submit a waiver request and justification with its application should anticipate that OJP will require the applicant to adjust and resubmit the budget.

The justification should address, in the context of the work the individual would do under the award, the particular qualifications and expertise of the individual, the uniqueness of a service the individual will provide, and the individual’s specific knowledge of the proposed program or project. The justification should also provide a statement that explains whether and how the individual’s salary under the award would be commensurate with the regular and customary rate for an individual with his/her qualifications and expertise, and for the work he/she would do under the award.

[3] OJP does not apply this limitation on the use of award funds to the nonprofit organizations listed in Appendix VIII to 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

Prior Approval, Planning, and Reporting of Conference/Meeting/Training Costs

OJP strongly encourages every applicant that proposes to use award funds for any conference-, meeting-, or training-related activity (or similar event) to review carefully—before submitting an application—the OJP and DOJ policy and guidance on approval, planning, and reporting of such events, available at https://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/PostawardRequirements/chapter3.10a.htm. OJP policy and guidance:

  1. encourage minimization of conference, meeting, and training costs;
  2.  require prior written approval (which may affect project timelines) of most conference, meeting, and training costs for cooperative agreement recipients, as well as some conference, meeting, and training costs for grant recipients; and
  3. set cost limits, which include a general prohibition of all food and beverage costs.

Costs Associated with Language Assistance (if applicable)

If an applicant proposes a program or activity that would deliver services or benefits to individuals, the costs of taking reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to those services or benefits for individuals with limited English proficiency may be allowable. Reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to services or benefits may include interpretation or translation services, where appropriate.

For additional information, see the "Civil Rights Compliance" section under "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements - FY 2018 Awards" in the OJP Funding Resource Center at https://ojp.gov/funding/index.htm.

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Application Elements and Formatting Instructions

An applicant should anticipate that if it fails to submit an application that contains all of the specified elements, it may negatively affect the review of its application; and, should a decision be made to make an award, it may result in the inclusion of award conditions that preclude the recipient from accessing or using award funds until the recipient satisfies the conditions and OJP makes the funds available.

Moreover, an applicant should anticipate that an application that OJP determines is nonresponsive to the scope of the solicitation, or that OJP determines does not include the application elements designated in the solicitation as critical, will neither proceed to peer review, nor receive further consideration.

OJP strongly recommends that applicants use appropriately descriptive file names (e.g., "Program Narrative," "Budget Detail Worksheet," "Timelines," "Memoranda of Understanding," "Résumés") for all attachments. Also, OJP recommends that applicants include résumés in a single file.

Please review the "Note on File Names and File Types" under the "How To Apply" section to be sure applications are submitted in permitted formats.

Complete the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form (SF)-424)

The SF-424 is a required standard form used as a cover sheet for submission of pre-applications, applications, and related information. Grants.gov and the OJP Grants Management System (GMS) take information from the applicant’s profile to populate the fields on this form. An applicant with a current, active award must ensure that its GMS profile is current. If the profile is not current, the applicant should submit a Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN) updating the information on its GMS profile prior to applying.

The Federal Award amount requested on the SF-424 should be for the full period of performance expected for the completion of the proposed project and should match the totals listed within the Budget Summary at the end of the Budget Detail Worksheet.

NOTES:

Type of applicant: If the applicant is a for-profit entity, select "For-Profit Organization" or "Small Business" (as applicable).

Section of SF-424

Current OJP Award Recipient

New OJP Applicant Entity*

Box 8a (Legal Name)

Enter the same legal name that appears on the prior year award document (which is also the legal name stored in OJP’s financial system).

Enter the official legal name.

Box 8b (Employer Identification Number (EIN))

Enter the EIN exactly as it appears on the prior year award document.

Enter the EIN.

Box 8c (Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number

Enter the entity’s active registration DUNS number.

Enter the entity’s DUNS number.

Box 8d (Address)

Enter the entity’s address, as it appears on the prior year award document or subsequently approved Change Grantee Address GAN.

Enter the entity’s address.

* A new applicant entity should attach official legal documents to its application (e.g., articles of incorporation, 501(c)(3) status documentation, organizational letterhead) to confirm the legal name, address, and EIN entered into the SF-424. OJP will use the System for Award Management (SAM) to confirm the legal name and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number entered in the SF-424; therefore, an applicant should ensure that the information entered in the SF-424 matches its current registration in SAM. See the How To Apply section for more information on SAM and DUNS numbers.

Note on Program Evaluations

An applicant that proposes to use award funds through the solicitation to conduct project evaluations should be aware that certain project evaluations (such as systematic investigations designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge) may constitute "research" for purposes of applicable DOJ human subjects protection regulations. However, project evaluations that are intended only to generate internal improvements to a program or service, or are conducted only to meet OJP’s performance measure data reporting requirements, likely do not constitute "research." The applicant should provide sufficient information for OJP to determine whether the particular project it proposes would either intentionally or unintentionally collect and/or use information in such a way that it meets the DOJ definition of research that appears at 28 C.F.R. Part 46 ("Protection of Human Subjects").

"Research," for purposes of human subjects protection for OJP-funded programs, is defined as "a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge." 28 C.F.R. 46.102(d).

For additional information on determining whether a proposed activity would constitute research for purposes of human subjects protection, applicants should consult the decision tree in the "Research and the protection of human subjects" section of the "Requirements related to Research" webpage of the "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements - FY 2018 Awards," available through the OJP Funding Resource Center at https://ojp.gov/funding/index.htm. Every prospective applicant whose application may propose a research or statistical component also should review the "Data Privacy and Confidentiality Requirements" section on that webpage.

Budget Preparation and Submission Information

All applicants should use the Excel version of OJP’s Budget Detail Worksheet when completing the proposed budget in an application, except in cases where the applicant does not have access to Microsoft Excel or experiences technical difficulties. If an applicant does not have access to Microsoft Excel or experiences technical difficulties with the Excel version, then the applicant should use the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) version.

Both versions of the Budget Detail Worksheet can be accessed at https://ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Forms/BudgetDetailWorksheet.htm.

Detailed Computations and Allowable Costs

The Budget Detail Worksheet should provide the detailed computation for each budget line item, listing the total cost of each and showing how it was calculated by the applicant. For example, costs for personnel should show the annual salary rate and the percentage of time devoted to the project for each employee paid with grant funds. The Budget Detail Worksheet should present a complete itemization of all proposed costs for the full period of performance expected for the completion of the project. Applicants should put all costs within one Budget Detail Worksheet and should not submit separate worksheets for each year of the project. The Budget Summary at the end of the Budget Detail Worksheet should match the amounts entered into the SF 424, with regard to the total federal amount requested and match requirement (if applicable).

For questions pertaining to budget and examples of allowable and unallowable costs, see the DOJ Grants Financial Guide at https://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/index.htm.

Narrative Justification for Every Cost

The Budget Detail Worksheet should include a thorough and clear description of every cost listed in the "Narrative" section for each budget category. OJP expects proposed budgets to be complete, cost effective, and allowable (e.g., reasonable, allocable, and necessary for project activities).

An applicant should demonstrate in the narrative how it will maximize cost effectiveness of award expenditures in particular to justify the proposed costs in relation to potential alternatives to achieving the same project goals. For example, the narrative should detail why planned in-person meetings/trainings are necessary versus webinars or remote meetings.

The narrative should be mathematically sound and correspond clearly with the line item computations provided in the Budget Detail Worksheet. The narrative should explain how the applicant estimated and calculated all costs, and how those costs are necessary to the completion of the proposed project. .As with the Budget Detail Worksheet, the Budget Narrative should describe costs by year.

Information on Proposed Subawards (if any) and Proposed Procurement Contracts (if any)

Applicants for OJP awards typically may propose to make subawards. Applicants also may propose to enter into procurement contracts under the award.

Whether an action – for federal grants administrative purposes – is a subaward or procurement contract is a critical distinction as significantly different rules apply to subawards and procurement contracts. If a recipient enters into an agreement that is a subaward of an OJP award, specific rules apply – many of which are set by federal statutes and DOJ regulations; others by award conditions. These rules place particular responsibilities on an OJP recipient for any subawards the OJP recipient may make. The rules determine much of what the written subaward agreement itself must require or provide. The rules also determine much of what an OJP recipient must do both before and after it makes a subaward. If a recipient enters into an agreement that is a procurement contract under an OJP award, a substantially different set of federal rules applies.

OJP has developed the following guidance documents to help clarify the differences between subawards and procurement contracts under an OJP award and outline the compliance and reporting requirements for each. This information can be accessed online at https://ojp.gov/training/training.htm.

In general, the central question is the relationship between what the third-party will do under its agreement with the recipient and what the recipient has committed (to OJP) to do under its award to further a public purpose (e.g., services the recipient will provide, products it will develop or modify, research or evaluation it will conduct). If a third party will provide some of the services the recipient has committed (to OJP) to provide, will develop or modify all or part of a product the recipient has committed (to OJP) to develop or modify, or will conduct part of the research or evaluation the recipient has committed (to OJP) to conduct, OJP will consider the agreement with the third-party to be a subaward for purposes of federal grants administrative requirements.

This will be true even if the recipient, for internal or other non-federal purposes, labels or treats its agreement as a procurement, a contract, or a procurement contract. Neither the title nor the structure of an agreement determines whether the agreement -- for purposes of federal grants administrative requirements -- is a subaward or is instead a procurement contract under an award. The substance of the relationship should be given greater consideration than the form of agreement between the recipient and the outside entity.

  1. Information on proposed subawards

    A recipient of an OJP award may not make subawards ("subgrants") unless the recipient has specific federal authorization to do so. Unless an applicable statute or DOJ regulation specifically authorizes (or requires) subawards, a recipient must have authorization from OJP before it may make a subaward.

    A particular subaward may be authorized by OJP because the recipient included a sufficiently detailed description and justification of the proposed subaward in the Program Narrative, Budget Detail Worksheet, and Budget Narrative as approved by OJP. If, however, a particular subaward is not authorized by federal statute or regulation, and is not approved by OJP, the recipient will be required, post-award, to request and obtain written authorization from OJP before it may make the subaward.

    If an applicant proposes to make one or more subawards to carry out the federal award and program, the applicant should—

    1. identify (if known) the proposed subrecipient(s),
    2.  describe in detail what each subrecipient will do to carry out the federal award and federal program, and
    3. provide a justification for the subaward(s), with details on pertinent matters such as special qualifications and areas of expertise.

    Pertinent information on subawards should appear not only in the Program Narrative, but also in the Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative.

  2. Information on proposed procurement contracts (with specific justification for proposed noncompetitive contracts over $250,0004)

    Unlike a recipient contemplating a subaward, a recipient of an OJP award generally does not need specific prior federal authorization to enter into an agreement that -- for purposes of federal grants administrative requirements -- is considered a procurement contract, provided that (1) the recipient uses its own documented procurement procedures and (2) those procedures conform to applicable federal law, including the Procurement Standards of the (DOJ) Part 200 Uniform Requirements (as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.317 - 200.326). The Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative should identify proposed procurement contracts. (As discussed above, subawards must be identified and described separately from procurement contracts.)

    The Procurement Standards in the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, however, reflect a general expectation that agreements that (for purposes of federal grants administrative requirements) constitute procurement "contracts" under awards will be entered into on the basis of full and open competition. All noncompetitive (sole source) procurement contracts must meet the OJP requirements outlined at https://ojp.gov/training/subawards-procurement.htm. If a proposed procurement contract would exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, a recipient of an OJP award may not proceed without competition unless and until the recipient receives specific advance authorization from OJP to use a non-competitive approach for the procurement.

    An applicant that (at the time of its application) intends (without competition) to enter into a procurement contract that would exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, should include a detailed justification with its application that explains to OJP why, in the particular circumstances, it is appropriate to proceed without competition.

    If the applicant receives an award, sole source procurements that do not exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold must have written justification for the noncompetitive procurement action maintained in the procurement file. If a procurement file does not have the documentation that meets the criteria outlined in 2 C.F.R. 200, the procurement expenditures may not be allowable. Sole source procurement over the simplified acquisition threshold must have prior approval from OJP using a Sole Source Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN). Written documentation justifying the noncompetitive procurement must be submitted with the GAN and maintained in the procurement file.

[4] Consistent with the provisions of Office of Management and Budget memorandum, OMB M-18-18, dated June 20, 2018, and entitled, "Implementing Statutory Changes to the Micro-Purchase and the Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance," DOJ will allow recipients (and any subrecipients) of awards made under the solicitation to use a simplified acquisition threshold of $250,000 and a micro-purchase threshold of $10,000, for federal grants administrative purposes.

Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if applicable)

Indirect costs may be charged to an award only if:

  1. The recipient has a current (unexpired), federally approved indirect cost rate; or
  2. The recipient is eligible to use, and elects to use, the "de minimis" indirect cost rate described in the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.414(f).

An applicant with a current (unexpired) federally approved indirect cost rate is to attach a copy of the indirect cost rate agreement to the application. An applicant that does not have a current federally-approved rate may request one through its cognizant federal agency, which will review all documentation and approve a rate for the applicant entity, or, if the applicant’s accounting system permits, applicants may propose to allocate costs in the direct cost categories.

For assistance with identifying the appropriate cognizant federal agency for indirect costs, please contact the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-0786 or at ask.ocfo@usdoj.gov. If DOJ is the cognizant federal agency, applicants may obtain information needed to submit an indirect cost rate proposal at https://ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Resources/IndirectCosts.pdf.

Certain OJP recipients have the option of electing to use the "de minimis" indirect cost rate. An applicant that is eligible to use the "de minimis" rate and wishes to use the "de minimis" rate should attach written documentation to the application that advises OJP of both (1) the applicant’s eligibility to use the "de minimis" rate, and (2) its election to do so. If an eligible applicant elects the "de minimis" rate, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. The "de minimis" rate may no longer be used once an approved federally negotiated indirect cost rate is in place. (No entity that ever has had a federally approved negotiated indirect cost rate is eligible to use the "de minimis" rate.) For the "de minimis" rate requirements (including information on eligibility to elect to use the rate), see the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, at 2 C.F.R. 200.414(f).

Tribal Authorizing Resolution (if applicable)

An application in response to the solicitation may require inclusion of information related to a tribal authorizing resolution. A tribe, tribal organization, or third party that proposes to provide direct services or assistance to residents on tribal lands should include in its application a resolution, letter, affidavit, or other documentation, as appropriate, that demonstrates (as a legal matter) that the applicant has the requisite authorization from the tribe(s) to implement the proposed project on tribal lands. In those instances when an organization or consortium of tribes applies for an award on behalf of a tribe or multiple specific tribes, the application should include appropriate legal documentation, as described above, from all tribes that would receive services or assistance under the award. A consortium of tribes for which existing consortium bylaws allow action without support from all tribes in the consortium (i.e., without an authorizing resolution or comparable legal documentation from each tribal governing body) may submit, instead, a copy of its consortium bylaws with the application.

Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire (including applicant disclosure of high risk status)

Every OJP applicant (other than an individual applying in his or her personal capacity) is required to download, complete, and submit the OJP Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire (Questionnaire) at https://ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Resources/FinancialCapability.pdf as part of its application. The Questionnaire helps OJP assess the financial management and internal control systems, and the associated potential risks of an applicant as part of the pre-award risk assessment process.

The Questionnaire should only be completed by financial staff most familiar with the applicant's systems, policies, and procedures in order to ensure that the correct responses are recorded and submitted to OJP. The responses on the Questionnaire directly impact the pre-award risk assessment and should accurately reflect the applicant’s financial management and internal control system at the time of the application. The pre-award risk assessment is only one of multiple factors and criteria used in determining funding. However, a pre-award risk assessment that indicates that an applicant poses a higher risk to OJP may affect the funding decision and/or result in additional reporting requirements, monitoring, special conditions, withholding of award funds, or other additional award requirements.

Among other things, the form requires each applicant to disclose whether it currently is designated "high risk" by a federal grant-making agency outside of DOJ. For purposes of this disclosure, high risk includes any status under which a federal awarding agency provides additional oversight due to the applicant’s past performance, or other programmatic or financial concerns with the applicant. If an applicant is designated high risk by another federal awarding agency, the applicant must provide the following information:

  • The federal awarding agency that currently designates the applicant high risk
  • The date the applicant was designated high risk
  • The high risk point of contact at that federal awarding agency (name, phone number, and email address)
  • The reasons for the high risk status, as set out by the federal awarding agency

OJP seeks this information to help ensure appropriate federal oversight of OJP awards. An applicant that is considered "high risk" by another federal awarding agency is not automatically disqualified from receiving an OJP award. OJP may, however, consider the information in award decisions, and may impose additional OJP oversight of any award under the solicitation (including through the conditions that accompany the award document).

Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

Each applicant must complete and submit this information. An applicant that expends any funds for lobbying activities is to provide all of the information requested on the form Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) posted at https://ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Resources/Disclosure.pdf. An applicant that does not expend any funds for lobbying activities is to enter "N/A" in the text boxes for item 10 ("a. Name and Address of Lobbying Registrant" and "b. Individuals Performing Services").

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Application Attachments

Applicant Disclosure of Pending Applications

Each applicant is to disclose whether it has (or is proposed as a subrecipient under) any pending applications for federally funded grants or cooperative agreements that (1) include requests for funding to support the same project being proposed in the application under the solicitation, and (2) would cover any identical cost items outlined in the budget submitted to OJP as part of the application under the solicitation. The applicant is to disclose applications made directly to federal awarding agencies, and also applications for subawards of federal funds (e.g., applications to State agencies that will subaward ("subgrant") federal funds).

OJP seeks this information to help avoid inappropriate duplication of funding. Leveraging multiple funding sources in a complementary manner to implement comprehensive programs or projects is encouraged and is not seen as inappropriate duplication.

Each applicant that has one or more pending applications as described above is to provide the following information about pending applications submitted within the last 12 months:

  • The federal or State funding agency
  • The solicitation name/project name
  • The point of contact information at the applicable federal or State funding agency
Sample Disclosure of Pending Applications Table

Federal or State Funding Agency

Solicitation Name/Project Name

Name/Phone/Email for Point of Contact at Federal or State Funding Agency

DOJ/Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office)

COPS Hiring Program

Jane Doe, 202/000-0000; jane.doe@usdoj.gov

Health and Human Services/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Drug-Free Communities Mentoring Program/  North County Youth Mentoring Program

John Doe, 202/000-0000; john.doe@hhs.gov

Each applicant should include the table as a separate attachment to its application. The file should be named "Disclosure of Pending Applications." The applicant’s Legal Name on the application must match the entity named on the disclosure of pending applications statement.

Any applicant that does not have any pending applications as described above is to submit, as a separate attachment, a statement to this effect: "[Applicant Name on SF-424] does not have (and is not proposed as a subrecipient under) any pending applications submitted within the last 12 months for federally funded grants or cooperative agreements (or for subawards under federal grants or cooperative agreements) that request funding to support the same project being proposed in this application to OJP and that would cover any identical cost items outlined in the budget submitted as part of this application."

Research and Evaluation Independence and Integrity

If an application proposes research (including research and development) and/or evaluation, the applicant must demonstrate research/evaluation independence and integrity, including appropriate safeguards, before it may receive award funds. The applicant must demonstrate independence and integrity regarding both the research and/or evaluation project proposed in response to the solicitation, and any current or prior related projects.

Each application that proposes research and/or evaluation should include an attachment that addresses both i. and ii. below.

  1. The applicant is to document research and evaluation independence and integrity by including one of the following two items:
    1. A specific assurance that the applicant has reviewed its application to identify any actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest (including through review of pertinent information on the principal investigator, any co-principal investigators, and any subrecipients), and that the applicant has identified no such conflicts of interest — whether personal or financial or organizational (including on the part of the applicant entity or on the part of staff, investigators, or subrecipients) — that could affect the independence or integrity of the research, including the design, conduct, and reporting of the research.

      OR

    2. A specific description of actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest that the applicant has identified — including through review of pertinent information on the principal investigator, any co-principal investigators, and any subrecipients — that could affect the independence or integrity of the research, including the design, conduct, or reporting of the research. These conflicts may be personal (e.g., on the part of investigators or other staff), financial, or organizational (related to the applicant or any subrecipient entity). Some examples of potential investigator (or other personal) conflict situations are those in which an investigator would be in a position to evaluate a spouse’s work product (actual conflict), or an investigator would be in a position to evaluate the work of a former or current colleague (potential apparent conflict). With regard to potential organizational conflicts of interest, as one example, generally an organization would not be given an award to evaluate a project, if that organization had itself provided substantial prior technical assistance to that specific project or a location implementing the project (whether funded by OJP or other sources), because the organization in such an instance might appear to be evaluating the effectiveness of its own prior work. The key is whether a reasonable person understanding all of the facts would be able to have confidence that the results of any research or evaluation project are objective and reliable. Any outside personal or financial interest that casts doubt on that objectivity and reliability of an evaluation or research product is a problem and must be disclosed.

  2. In addition, the applicant is to address possible mitigation of research integrity concerns by including, at a minimum, one of the following two items:
    1. If an applicant reasonably believes that no actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest (personal, financial, or organizational) exist, then the applicant should provide a brief narrative explanation of how and why it reached that conclusion. The applicant also is to include an explanation of the specific processes and procedures that the applicant has in place, or will put in place, to identify and prevent (or, at the very least, mitigate) any such conflicts of interest pertinent to the funded project during the period of performance. Documentation that may be helpful in this regard may include organizational codes of ethics/conduct and policies regarding organizational, personal, and financial conflicts of interest. There is no guarantee that the plan, if any, will be accepted as proposed.

      OR

    2. If the applicant has identified actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest (personal, financial, or organizational) that could affect the independence and integrity of the research, including the design, conduct, or reporting of the research, the applicant is to provide a specific and robust mitigation plan to address each of those conflicts. At a minimum, the applicant is expected to explain the specific processes and procedures that the applicant has in place, or will put in place, to identify and eliminate (or, at the very least, mitigate) any such conflicts of interest pertinent to the funded project during the period of performance. Documentation that may be helpful in this regard may include organizational codes of ethics/conduct and policies regarding organizational, personal, and financial conflicts of interest. There is no guarantee that the plan, if any, will be accepted as proposed.

      OJP will assess research and evaluation independence and integrity based on considerations such as the adequacy of the applicant’s efforts to identify factors that could affect the objectivity or integrity of the proposed staff and/or the applicant entity (and any subrecipients) in carrying out the research, development, or evaluation activity; and the adequacy of the applicant’s existing or proposed remedies to control any such factors.
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How To Apply (Grants.gov)

Applicants must register in and submit applications through Grants.gov, a primary source to find federal funding opportunities and apply for funding. Find complete instructions on how to register and submit an application at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/support.html. An applicant that experiences technical difficulties during this process should call the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at 800-518-4726 or 606-545-5035, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except on federal holidays.

Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, processing delays may occur, and it can take several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation of registration and a user password. OJP encourages applicants to register several weeks before the application submission deadline. In addition, OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, in order to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

OJP strongly encourages all prospective applicants to sign up for Grants.gov email notifications regarding the solicitation(s) of interest at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/manage-subscriptions.html. If the solicitation is cancelled or modified, individuals who sign up with Grants.gov for updates will be automatically notified.

Browser Information: Grants.gov was built to be compatible with Internet Explorer. For technical assistance with Google Chrome, or another browser, contact Grants.gov Customer Support.

Note on Attachments: Grants.gov has two categories of files for attachments: "mandatory" and "optional." OJP receives all files attached in both categories. Attachments are also labeled to describe the file being attached (e.g., Project Narrative, Budget Narrative, Other). Ensure that all required documents are attached in the correct Grants.gov category and are labeled correctly. Do not embed "mandatory" attachments within another file.

An applicant must use the Add Attachment button to attach a file to its application. Do not click the paperclip icon to attach files. This action will not attach the files to the application. After adding an attachment, select the View Attachment button to confirm you attached the correct file. To remove the file, select the Delete Attachment button.

An application can be checked for errors via the Check Application button on the Forms tab of the Manage Workspace page. The button is active if the set of forms in the workspace matches those required in the application package. If you receive a Cross-Form Errors message after clicking the Check Application button, refer to the Cross-Form Errors help article for more detailed information about this validation error.

Note on File Names and File Types: Grants.gov only permits the use of certain specific characters in the file names of attachments. Valid file names may include only the characters shown in the table below. Grants.gov rejects any application that includes an attachment(s) with a file name that contains any characters not shown in the table below. Grants.gov forwards successfully submitted applications to the OJP Grants Management System (GMS).

Characters

 

Special Characters

 

Upper case (A – Z)

Parenthesis ( )

Curly braces { }

Square brackets [ ]

Lower case (a – z)

Ampersand (&)*

Tilde (~)

Exclamation point (!)

Underscore (__)

Comma ( , )

Semicolon ( ; )

Apostrophe ( ‘ )

Hyphen ( - )

At sign (@)

Number sign (#)

Dollar sign ($)

Space

Percent sign (%)

Plus sign (+)

Equal sign (=)

Period (.)

 

*When using the ampersand (&) in XML, applicants must use the "&" format.

GMS does not accept executable file types as application attachments. These disallowed file types include, but are not limited to, the following extensions: ".com," ".bat," ".exe," ".vbs," ".cfg," ".dat," ".db," ".dbf," ".dll," ".ini," ".log," ".ora," ".sys," and ".zip." GMS may reject applications with files that use these extensions. It is important to allow time to change the type of file(s) if the application is rejected.

All applicants are required to complete the following steps:

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS Number) and SAM

Every applicant entity must comply with all applicable SAM and unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number) requirements. SAM is the repository for certain standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identification number provided by the commercial company Dun and Bradstreet. More detailed information about SAM and the DUNS number is in the numbered sections below.

If an applicant entity has not fully complied with the applicable SAM and unique identifier requirements by the time OJP makes award decisions, OJP may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and may use that determination as a basis for making the award to a different applicant.

Applying as an Individual (if applicable)

(This information is only applicable if an individual is eligible to apply under the solicitation.)

An individual who wishes to apply in his/her personal capacity should search Grants.gov for funding opportunities for which individuals are eligible to apply. Use the Funding Opportunity Number (FON) to register. (An applicant applying as an individual must comply with all applicable Grants.gov individual registration requirements.)

Enter the FON at https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/IndCPRegister to complete the registration form and create a username and password for Grants.gov. (An applicant applying as an individual should complete all steps below except 1, 2 and 4.)

Registration and Submission Steps (Grants.gov)

  1. Acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number). The Office of Management and Budget requires every applicant for a federal award (other than an individual) to include a "unique entity identifier" in each application, including an application for a supplemental award. Currently, a DUNS number is the required unique entity identifier.

    This unique entity identifier is used for tracking purposes, and to validate address and point of contact information for applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. It will be used throughout the life cycle of an OJP award. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. Call Dun and Bradstreet at 866-705-5711 to obtain a DUNS number or apply online at https://www.dnb.com/. A DUNS number is usually received within 2 business days.

  2. Acquire or maintain registration with SAM. An application cannot be successfully submitted in Grants.gov until Grants.gov receives the SAM registration information. Once the SAM registration/renewal is complete, the information transfer from SAM to Grants.gov can take as long as 48 hours. OJP recommends that the applicant register or renew registration with SAM as early as possible.

    Any applicant for an OJP award creating a new entity registration in SAM.gov must provide an original, signed notarized letter stating that the applicant is the authorized Entity Administrator before the registration will be activated. To learn more about this process change, read the FAQs at https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/office-of-systems-management/integrated-award-environment-iae/sam-update. Information about the notarized letter is posted at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/answer.do?sysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&sysparm_search=kb0013183.

    Information about SAM registration procedures can be accessed at https://sam.gov/portsal/SAM/.

  3. Acquire an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and a Grants.gov username and password. Complete the AOR profile on Grants.gov and create a username and password. An applicant entity’s "unique entity identifier" (DUNS number) must be used to complete this step. For more information about the registration process for organizations and other entities, go to https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html. Individuals registering with Grants.gov should go to https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration.html.

  4. Acquire confirmation for the AOR from the E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC). The E-Biz POC at the applicant organization must log into Grants.gov to confirm the applicant organization’s AOR. The E-Biz POC will need the Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) password obtained when registering with SAM to complete this step. Note that an organization can have more than one AOR.

  5. Search for the funding opportunity on Grants.gov. Search using the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number and Assistance Listing title and the funding opportunity number from the solicitation.
  6. Select the correct Competition ID. Some OJP solicitations posted to Grants.gov contain multiple purpose areas, denoted by the individual Competition ID. If applying to a solicitation with multiple Competition IDs, select the appropriate Competition ID for the intended purpose area of the application. If the solicitation does not have multiple competition IDs, skip this step.
  7. Access Funding Opportunity and Application Package from Grants.gov. Select "Apply for Grants" under the "Applicants" column. Enter your email address to be notified of any changes to the opportunity package before the closing date. Click the Workspace icon to use Grants.gov Workspace.
  8. Submit a valid application consistent with the solicitation by following the directions in Grants.gov. To preview the application prior to (or after) submitting, go to the View Application tab in Workspace. For additional information, review the View Application Tab help article and Attachments Tab help article.

    Within 48 hours after submitting the electronic application, the applicant should receive two notifications from Grants.gov. The first will confirm the receipt of the application. The second will state whether the application has been validated and successfully submitted, or whether it has been rejected due to errors, with an explanation. It is possible to first receive a message indicating that the application is received, and then receive a rejection notice a few minutes or hours later. Submitting an application well ahead of the deadline provides time to correct the problem(s) that caused the rejection. Important: OJP urges each applicant to submit its application at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, to allow time to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. Verify the application deadline (date and time) in the solicitation.

Go to https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html for further details on DUNS numbers, SAM, and Grants.gov registration steps and timeframes.

Note: Application Versions

If an applicant submits multiple versions of the same application, OJP will review only the most recent system-validated version submitted.

Experiencing Unforeseen Grants.gov Technical Issues

An applicant that experiences unforeseen Grants.gov technical issues beyond its control that prevent it from submitting its application by the deadline must contact the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/support.html or the SAM Help Desk (Federal Service Desk) at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/home.do to report the technical issue and receive a tracking number. The applicant must email the contact identified in the Contact Information section on the title page within 24 hours after the application deadline to request approval to submit its application after the deadline. The applicant's email must describe the technical difficulties, and must include a timeline of the applicant’s submission efforts, the complete grant application, the applicant’s DUNS number, and any Grants.gov Help Desk or SAM tracking number(s).

Note: OJP does not automatically approve requests to submit a late application. After OJP reviews the applicant's request, and contacts the Grants.gov or SAM Help Desks to verify the reported technical issues, OJP will inform the applicant whether the request to submit a late application has been approved or denied. If OJP determines that the late application submission was due to the applicant's failure to follow all required procedures, OJP will deny the applicant’s request to submit its application.

The following conditions generally are insufficient to justify late submissions:

  • Failure to register in SAM or Grants.gov in sufficient time (SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete. The information transfer from SAM to Grants.gov can take up to 48 hours.)
  • Failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and apply as posted on its website
  • Failure to follow each instruction in the OJP solicitation
  • Technical issues with the applicant’s computer or information technology environment, such as issues with firewalls or browser incompatibility

Notifications regarding known technical problems with Grants.gov, if any, are posted at the top of the OJP Funding Resource Center at https://ojp.gov/funding/index.htm.

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How To Apply (GMS)

An applicant must submit its application through the Grants Management System (GMS), which provides support for the application, award, and management of awards at OJP. Each applicant entity must register in GMS for each specific funding opportunity and should register immediately to meet the GMS registration deadline for this funding opportunity, especially if this is the first time the applicant is using the system. Find complete instructions on how to register and submit an application in GMS at ojp.gov/gmscbt/. An applicant that experiences technical difficulties during this process should email GMS.HelpDesk@usdoj.gov or call 888-549-9901 (option 3), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including on federal holidays. OJP recommends that each applicant register immediately to prevent delays in submitting an application package by the deadline.

Note on File Types: GMS does not accept executable file types as application attachments. These disallowed file types include, but are not limited to, the following extensions: ".com," ".bat," ".exe," ".vbs," ".cfg," ".dat," ".db," ".dbf," ".dll," ".ini," ".log," ".ora," ".sys," and ".zip." GMS may reject applications with files that use these extensions. It is important to allow time to change the type of file(s) if the application is rejected.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS Number) and System for Award Management (SAM)
Every applicant entity must comply with all applicable SAM and unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number) requirements. SAM is the repository for certain standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identification number provided by the commercial company Dun and Bradstreet. More detailed information about SAM and the DUNS number is in the numbered sections below.

If an applicant entity has not fully complied with the applicable SAM and unique identifier requirements by the time OJP makes award decisions, OJP may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and may use that determination as a basis for making the award to a different applicant.

If the applicant entity already has an EIN, the SAM registration will take up to two weeks to process. If the entity does not have an EIN, then the applicant should allow two to five weeks for obtaining the information from the Internal Revenue Service when requesting the EIN via phone, fax, mail or Internet. For more information about EIN, visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/taxpayer-identification-numbers-tin.

Registration and Submission Steps (GMS)

All applicants should complete the following steps:

  1. Acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number). In general, the Office of Management and Budget requires every applicant for a federal award (other than an individual) to include a "unique entity identifier" in each application, including an application for a supplemental award. Currently, a DUNS number is the required unique entity identifier.

    This unique entity identifier is used for tracking purposes, and to validate address and point of contact information for applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. It will be used throughout the life cycle of an OJP award. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. Call Dun and Bradstreet at 866–705–5711 to obtain a DUNS number or apply online at https://www.dnb.com/. A DUNS number is usually received within 2 business days.

  2. Acquire or maintain registration with SAM. Any applicant for an OJP award creating a new entity registration in SAM.gov must provide an original, signed notarized letter stating that the applicant is the authorized Entity Administrator before the registration will be activated. To learn more about this process change, read the FAQs at https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/office-of-systems-management/integrated-award-environment-iae/sam-update. Information about the notarized letter is posted at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/answer.do?sysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&sysparm_search=kb0013183.

    Information about SAM registration procedures can be accessed at https://sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/index.jsf.

  3. Acquire a GMS username and password. New users must create a GMS profile by selecting the "First Time User" link under the sign-in box of the GMS home page. For more information on how to register in GMS, go to ojp.gov/gmscbt. Previously registered applicants should ensure, prior to applying, that the user profile information is up-to-date in GMS (including, but not limited to, address, legal name of agency and authorized representative) as this information is populated in any new application.

  4. Verify the SAM (formerly CCR) registration in GMS. OJP requires each applicant to verify its SAM registration in GMS. Once logged into GMS, click the "CCR Claim" link on the left side of the default screen. Click the submit button to verify the SAM (formerly CCR) registration.

  5. Search for the funding opportunity on GMS. After logging into GMS or completing the GMS profile for username and password, go to the "Funding Opportunities" link on the left side of the page. Select the appropriate program office and solicitation title.

  6. Register by selecting the "Apply Online" button associated with the funding opportunity title. The search results from step 5 will display the "funding opportunity" (solicitation) title along with the registration and application deadlines for this solicitation. Select the "Apply Online" button in the "Action" column to register for this solicitation and create an application in the system.

  7. Follow the directions in GMS to submit an application consistent with this solicitation. Once the application is submitted, GMS will display a confirmation screen stating the submission was successful. Important: In some instances, an applicant must wait for GMS approval before submitting an application. OJP urges each applicant to submit its application at least 72 hours prior to the application due date.

Note: Application Versions

If an applicant submits multiple versions of the same application, OJP will review only the most recent system-validated version submitted.

Experiencing Unforeseen Grants.gov Technical Issues

An applicant that experiences unforeseen GMS technical issues beyond its control that prevent it from submitting its application by the deadline must contact the GMS Help Desk or the SAM Help Desk (Federal Service Desk) at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/home.do to report the technical issue and receive a tracking number. The applicant must email the contact identified in the Contact Information section of the solicitation within 24 hours after the application deadline to request approval to submit its application after the deadline. The applicant's email must describe the technical difficulties, and must include a timeline of the applicant's submission efforts, the complete grant application, the applicant's DUNS number, and any GMS Help Desk or SAM tracking number(s).

Note: OJP does not automatically approve requests to submit a late application. After OJP reviews the applicant's request, and contacts the GMS Help Desk to verify the reported technical issues, OJP will inform the applicant whether the request to submit a late application has been approved or denied. If OJP determines that the untimely application submission was due to the applicant's failure to follow all required procedures, OJP will deny the applicant's request to submit its application.

The following conditions generally are insufficient to justify late submissions:

  • Failure to register in SAM or GMS in sufficient time (SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete)
  • Failure to follow GMS instructions on how to register and apply as posted on the GMS website
  • Failure to follow each instruction in the OJP solicitation
  • Technical issues with the applicant's computer or information technology environment, such as issues with firewalls
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Application Review Information

OJP is committed to ensuring a fair and open process for making awards. OJP reviews each application to make sure that the information presented is reasonable, understandable, measurable, and achievable, as well as consistent with the solicitation. (For invited applications, OJP reviews for consistency with the invitation letter and invited applicant guidance). Applications for statutory formula awards will be reviewed to ensure statutory requirements have been met.

The following paragraphs are applicable to applicants for competitive funding:
Peer reviewers will review the applications submitted under the solicitation that meet basic minimum requirements. For purposes of assessing whether an application meets basic minimum requirements and should proceed to further consideration, OJP screens applications for compliance with those requirements. Although specific requirements may vary, the following are common requirements applicable to all solicitations for funding under OJP programs:

  1. The application must be submitted by an eligible type of applicant.
  2. The application must request funding within programmatic funding constraints (if applicable).
  3. The application must be responsive to the scope of the solicitation.
  4. The application must include all items designated as "critical elements."

Refer to the solicitation document for the list of the critical elements.

Peer review panels will evaluate, score, and rate applications that meet basic minimum requirements. OJP may use internal peer reviewers, external peer reviewers, or a combination, to assess applications on technical merit using the solicitation's review criteria. An internal reviewer is a current DOJ employee who is well versed or has expertise in the subject matter of the solicitation. An external peer reviewer is an expert in the subject matter of a given solicitation who is not a current DOJ employee. Peer reviewers' ratings and any resulting recommendations are advisory only, although reviewer views are considered carefully. Other important considerations for OJP include geographic diversity, strategic priorities, and available funding, as well as the extent to which the Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative accurately explain project costs that are reasonable, necessary, and otherwise allowable under federal law and applicable federal cost principles.

Generally, the following paragraphs are applicable to all applicants:
Pursuant to the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, before award decisions are made, OJP also reviews information related to the degree of risk posed by the applicant. Among other things to help assess whether an applicant that has one or more prior federal awards has a satisfactory record with respect to performance, integrity, and business ethics, OJP checks whether the applicant is listed in SAM as excluded from receiving a federal award.

The evaluation of risks goes beyond information in SAM, however. OJP itself has a framework in place for evaluating risks posed by applicants for competitive awards. OJP takes into account information pertinent to matters such as —

  1. Applicant financial stability and fiscal integrity
  2. Quality of the applicant’s management systems, and the applicant’s ability to meet prescribed management standards, including those outlined in the DOJ Grants Financial Guide
  3. Applicant's history of performance under OJP and other DOJ awards (including compliance with reporting requirements and award conditions), as well as awards from other federal agencies
  4. Reports and findings from audits of the applicant, including audits under the Part 200 Uniform Requirements
  5. Applicant's ability to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements, and to effectively implement other award requirements.

Risks associated with all DOJ High Risk grantees5 are taken into account during the pre-award risk scoring, and each applicant with a DOJ High-Risk designation will be considered for funding on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature and severity of the issues that led to the DOJ High Risk designation, status of progress in addressing corrective actions, and demonstrated ability to manage grant funds and achieve grant goals and objectives.

Absent explicit statutory authorization or written delegation of authority to the contrary, all final award decisions will be made by the Assistant Attorney General, who may take into account not only peer review ratings and OJP program office recommendations, but also other factors as indicated in this section.

[5] A "DOJ High Risk grantee" is a recipient that has received a DOJ High-Risk designation based on a documented history of unsatisfactory performance, financial instability, management system or other internal control deficiencies, or noncompliance with award terms and conditions on prior awards, or that is otherwise not responsible.

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Federal Award Administration Information

Federal Award Notices

Award notifications will be made by September 30, 2019. OJP sends award notifications by email through GMS to the individuals listed in the application as the point of contact and the authorizing official (E-Biz POC and AOR). The email notification includes detailed instructions on how to access and view the award documents, and steps to take in GMS to start the award acceptance process. GMS automatically issues the notifications at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on the award date.

For each successful applicant, an individual with the necessary authority to bind the applicant will be required to:

  1. Log in.
  2. Execute a set of legal certifications and a set of legal assurances.
  3. Designate a financial point of contact.
  4. Thoroughly review the award, including all award conditions.
  5. Sign and accept the award.

The award acceptance process requires a physical signature on the award document by the authorized representative. The fully-executed award document must then be scanned and submitted to OJP.

Administrative, National Policy, and Other Legal Requirements

The applicant should consult the "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements - FY 2018 Awards," available in the OJP Funding Resource Center at https://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/LegalOverview/index.htm. In addition, the applicant should examine the following two legal documents, as each successful applicant must execute both documents before it may receive any award funds. (An applicant is not required to submit these documents as part of its application.)

The webpages accessible through the OJP Funding Resource Center are intended to give applicants for OJP awards a general overview of important statutes, regulations, and award conditions that apply to many (or in some cases, all) OJP grants and cooperative agreements awarded in FY 2019. OJP awards typically also will include additional award conditions. Those additional conditions may relate to the particular statute, program, or solicitation under which the award is made; to the substance of the funded application; to the recipient's performance under other federal awards; to the recipient's legal status (e.g., as a for-profit entity); or to other pertinent considerations.

Awards will include a condition (the specific terms of which will govern the award) related to verification of employment eligibility. The condition will, generally speaking, require the recipient (and any subrecipient) that accepts the award to verify the employment eligibility of any individual hired under the award, consonant with 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(1).

Awards will include a condition (the specific terms of which will govern the award) related to competition requirements set forth at 2 C.F.R. § 200.319. The condition will, generally speaking, prohibit recipients (and any subrecipients) from procuring goods and services with award funds by means of any competition that disadvantages or excludes vendors on the basis of their having (or their having had) a prior or existing contractual relationship with the federal government.

Information Technology (IT) Security Clauses

The applicant is reminded that:

  • receipt of an OJP award does not provide authorization for the recipient to operate a system on behalf of OJP;
  • the recipient is not authorized to be in custody of DOJ Information; and
  • for awards (grants or cooperative agreements) that will include the design, development, or implementation of an IT system or website, the following metadata must be provided to the OJP Office of the Chief Information Officer prior to the recipient being permitted to access funds:
    • System/Website Name
    • Description
    • URL
    • Awarding Program Office
    • Award Number
    • Hosting Information (location, provider)
    • 508 compliance (yes or no)
    • Product/Technologies Used

An applicant is not required to submit metadata with the application. This information is included as an alert that successful applicants for awards that meet the criteria listed above will be required to submit the metadata as one of the conditions of the award. The full list of OJP IT Security Clauses which are applicable to OJP awards is provided on the OJP Funding Resource Center at https://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/LegalOverview/index.htm

Post-Federal Award Reporting Requirements

Awards that exceed $500,000 will include an additional condition that, under specific circumstances, will require the recipient to report (to FAPIIS) information on civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings connected with (or connected to the performance of) either the OJP award or any other grant, cooperative agreement, or procurement contract from the federal government. Additional information on this reporting requirement appears in the text of the award condition posted on the OJP webpage at https://ojp.gov/funding/FAPIIS.htm.

Data on performance measures. In addition to required reports, each award recipient must provide data that measure the results of the work done under the award. To demonstrate program progress and success, as well as to assist DOJ in fulfilling its responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, Public Law 111–352, OJP will require any award recipient, post award, to provide performance data as part of regular progress reporting. Award recipients will be required to access OJP’s performance measurement page at ojp.gov/performance for an overview of performance measurement activities at OJP.

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Other Information

Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552 and 5 U.S.C. § 552a)

All applications submitted to OJP (including all attachments to applications) are subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and to the Privacy Act. By law, DOJ may withhold information that is responsive to a request pursuant to FOIA if DOJ determines that the responsive information either is protected under the Privacy Act or falls within the scope of one of nine statutory exemptions under FOIA. DOJ cannot agree in advance of a request pursuant to FOIA not to release some or all portions of an application.

In its review of records that are responsive to a FOIA request, OJP will withhold information in those records that plainly falls within the scope of the Privacy Act or one of the statutory exemptions under FOIA. (Some examples include certain types of information in budgets, and names and contact information for project staff other than certain key personnel.) In appropriate circumstances, OJP will request the views of the applicant/recipient that submitted a responsive document.

For example, if OJP receives a request pursuant to FOIA for an application submitted by a nonprofit or for-profit organization or an institution of higher education, or for an application that involves research, OJP typically will contact the applicant/recipient that submitted the application and ask it to identify -- quite precisely -- any particular information in the application that the applicant/recipient believes falls under a FOIA exemption, the specific exemption it believes applies, and why. After considering the submission by the applicant/recipient, OJP make(s) an independent assessment regarding withholding information. OJP generally follows a similar process for requests pursuant to FOIA for applications that may contain law enforcement-sensitive information.

Provide Feedback to OJP

To assist OJP in improving its application and award processes, OJP encourages applicants to provide feedback on the solicitation, the application submission process, and/or the application review process. Provide this feedback to OJPSolicitationFeedback@usdoj.gov.

IMPORTANT: This email is for feedback and suggestions only. OJP does not reply from this mailbox. Any prospective applicant that has specific questions on any program or technical aspect of a solicitation must use the appropriate telephone number or email listed on the front of the solicitation to obtain information. These contacts are provided to help prospective applicants directly reach an individual who can address their specific questions in a timely manner.

To Become an OJP Peer Reviewer

If you are interested in being a reviewer for OJP grant applications, please email your résumé to ojpprsupport@usdoj.gov. (Do not send your résumé to the OJP Solicitation Feedback email account.) Note: Neither you nor anyone else from your organization or entity can be a peer reviewer in a competition in which you or your organization/entity has submitted an application.

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