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

Award Condition: "Methods of Administration" - Requirements applicable to States (FY 2017 Update)

Posted: September 2017

The following award condition is specifically incorporated by reference in a number of OJP awards to States made during or after FY 2017. (To determine whether this condition applies to a particular OJP award to a State, refer to the conditions that accompany the award document.)

Award Condition

An OJP award is a form of "federal financial assistance."  As a result, the recipient of an OJP award, and any subrecipient of that award (at any tier), must comply with certain civil-rights-related requirements in addition to those that may otherwise apply.  General information on the civil rights laws that apply to every OJP award, and on the nondiscrimination provisions that apply to some OJP awards, is available at: https://ojp.gov/about/ocr/statutes.htm

The recipient's monitoring responsibilities for this award include monitoring of subrecipient compliance with applicable federal civil rights laws.  The recipient must establish and implement written Methods of Administration (also referred to as "MOA") designed to ensure recipient and subrecipient compliance with these civil rights laws. 

In addition, OJP strongly encourages the recipient to describe in detail (within its Methods of Administration) the steps the recipient will take to help ensure that subrecipients comply with any nondiscrimination provision applicable to the OJP award.  If the recipient's Methods of Administration provide such a description, OJP's Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") will consider that as strong evidence of a satisfactory plan for monitoring subrecipient compliance with any such applicable nondiscrimination provision.

The recipient must submit its Methods of Administration to the OJP OCR at CivilRightsMOA@usdoj.gov within 90 days after the date the recipient accepts this award.

The Methods of Administration must be in writing and must contain the following four primary elements:

I. Policy and Procedures for Addressing Complaints of Impermissible Discrimination

The recipient must provide a detailed description of its written policies and procedures for addressing any complaint of discrimination that violates a federal civil rights law applicable as a result of the OJP award, and (if the recipient chooses to address an applicable nondiscrimination provision in its Methods of Administration) for addressing a complaint of discrimination in violation of a nondiscrimination provision applicable as a result of the OJP award.  These policies and procedures must encompass complaints of impermissible discrimination received from the recipient's (or any subrecipient's) employees, and also such complaints received from program participants/beneficiaries, or prospective program participants/beneficiaries.  Each policy is to--

  1. Designate a coordinator responsible for overseeing the process for handling and addressing any complaint of impermissible discrimination.
  1. Require that recipient employees, subrecipients, and subrecipient employees be notified of-- (1) the types of impermissible discrimination, and (2) the recipient's policy and procedures for handling any such complaints of impermissible discrimination.
  1. Establish written procedures for submission/receipt of complaints of impermissible discrimination.
  1. Establish procedures designed to ensure that any complaint of impermissible discrimination is-- (1) investigated internally, and/or (2) referred to an appropriate agency for investigation and resolution, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (e.g., if a complaint is submitted by an employee) or the OJP OCR.
  1. Establish procedures designed to ensure that any person who submits a complaint of impermissible discrimination is notified promptly that a complaint also may be filed with OJP's OCR, by submitting a written complaint to the following address: Office for Civil Rights; Office of Justice Programs; U.S. Department of Justice; 810 Seventh Street N.W.; Washington, DC 20531.
  1. Provide for appropriate training of recipient staff on the responsibility to refer -- promptly -- complaints of impermissible discrimination, or potential issues of impermissible discrimination, to the recipient's designated coordinator.
  1. Provide for prompt notification to program participants/beneficiaries and prospective program participants/beneficiaries, and also to the recipient's (and any subrecipient's) employees, of the types of discrimination that are impermissible as a result of the OJP award, and of the procedure for submitting a complaint of such discrimination to the recipient (or to a subrecipient, if applicable).
  1. Provide that any subaward must include requirements designed to ensure that the subrecipient will have appropriate procedures in place for responding to complaints of impermissible discrimination (including procedures with respect to coordination, submission/receipt, training, notification, and investigation).

As parts of its records for the OJP award, the recipient must retain file copies of these policies and procedures. (Some sample policies and procedures are available on the OCR Sample Documentation page.)

II. Notification to Subrecipients of Civil Rights Requirements

The recipient must provide a detailed description of-- (1) the way(s) it will notify prospective subrecipients of the civil-rights-related award requirements that will apply to any subaward of this OJP award, and (2) the manner in which all applicable civil-rights-related award requirements will be incorporated into the subaward, including the subaward agreement. 

As part of its records for the OJP award, the recipient must retain file copies of each executed subaward agreement (including all provisions that pertain to civil-rights-related award requirements) and any certifications and assurances executed by a subrecipient with respect to civil-rights-related requirements. In addition, the recipient must retain file copies of any program announcements (or program "solicitations") in which it advised prospective subrecipients of civil rights laws that would apply to a subaward, and of any nondiscrimination provision that would apply to a subaward.

III. Protocol for Monitoring for Subrecipient Compliance with Civil-Rights-Related Award Requirements

The recipient must provide its protocol for monitoring subrecipient compliance with civil-rights-related award requirements.  At a minimum, the protocol must describe the methods to be used by the recipient for such monitoring.

As part of its records for the OJP award, the recipient must retain file copies of any checklists or monitoring forms that it uses during desk audits or onsite monitoring visits of subrecipients, along with any progress reports that address a subrecipient's compliance with civil rights laws.  (A sample Civil Rights Compliance Checklist is available.)

IV. Methodology for Training Subrecipients on Civil-Rights-Related Award Requirements

The recipient must provide a narrative description of the methodology it will use to train subrecipients on all applicable civil-rights-related award requirements. The recipient must train each subrecipient at least once during the period of performance of the award. 

As part of its records for the OJP award, the recipient must retain file copies of all training materials used to train subrecipients on applicable civil-rights-related award requirements. (Certain sample materials are available from OJP's OCR upon request.)

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