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FVPSA Frequently Asked Questions General Questions

Family Violence Prevention Services Grants for Domestic Violence Shelters and Supportive Services (FVPSA)
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can I contact if I need FVPSA information and/or clarity on FVPSA related matters?

NC CFWYI is committed to providing high quality, efficient, and effective sub-recipient customer service through guidance, support services, collaboration, compliance and technical expertise during the life of the grant.  Our success relies upon the success of our grantees in providing services to communities across the state and in complying with all federal and state guidelines. We are here to help you!

FVPSA Support Contacts:

Jacqueline “Jackie” Jordan, FVPSA Coordinator-jacqueline.jordan@doa.nc.gov

Direct Office Number-919-733-9689

Talal Foz, FVPSA Coordinator Support talal.foz@doa.nc.gov

Direct Office Number-919-715-9735

FVPSA “general” email service account: NCFVPSA@doa.nc.gov 

  • When is the FVPSA grant award funding cycle?

FVPSA grants funds are awarded by the DOA-NC CFWYI during the federal fiscal year reporting period. (October 1st thru September 30th). FVPSA funds must be used during this time frame. Funds that are not used by September 30th must be returned

  • When is the FVPSA grant application cycle? (This information is subject to change during 2019)

Technical assistance is provided by FVPSA staff to assist with clarity of expectations

Applicable to 2018 Prevention Service Applicants ONLY

FVPSA “PREVENTION” grant applications will be available in June

FVPSA “PREVENTION” grant application deadline is June 12, 2018

Applicants will be notified by the email address provided on application of grant award eligibility by August 31st

PLEASE NOTE:

“Shelter” Service Programs will not have to submit an application to receive funds from October 1, 2018-September 30,2019

  • When is the FVPSA grant contract/contract amendment cycle?

FVPSA grant recipients will be required to complete and submit a contract/contract amendment in order to receive reimbursement of funds. The contract/contract amendment process is initiated upon notice of the FVPSA funding allocation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The notice normally occurs during the month of October. Be mindful that the notice can occur later than October depending upon many factors. Technical assistance is provided by FVPSA staff to assist with clarity of expectations and to expedite the process.

  • When can a FVPSA grant recipient expect payments and how will be funds be disbursed?

All grant awards are contingent upon the North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement receiving the specified grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Family Violence Prevention Services Act grant funding period is October 1st-September 30th and eligible applicants will receive funds during the time frame. Eligible applicants will be required to submit monthly expenditure reports that provide accountability of the FVPSA funds. FVPSA funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis. Reimbursements are based on many factors which include availability of funds, allowable costs, and compliance (fiscal + programmatic). FVPSA grant recipients must be able to provide adequate documentation that will verify and support the reimbursement cost on each report

  • Why is a monthly report required for reimbursement and when is it due?

FVPSA funds require accountability to ensure that the funds are being used as intended. FVPSA grant recipients must submit a monthly expenditure report that provides details of how funds are spent on allowable costs. Funds cannot be issued until accountability has been verified. Technical assistance is provided by FVPSA staff to assist with clarity of expectations

The monthly reimbursement reports are due by the 10th of each month and can be sent by email to: ncfvpsa@doa.nc.gov ​​​​​​​

Monthly report submission must include: monthly expenditure report + summary page+ supporting documentation for the expenses listed on the monthly expenditure report and summary page. The monthly reporting documents can be written on to assist with clarity.

  • When emailing the monthly reimbursement reports be sure to include the following processes to assist with expediting the review process by FVPSA staff:

  • Email subject line: Program name + County location +month of reimbursement request
  • Label each attachment clearly to assist with processing
  • Supporting documents should have clear indications of the cost associated with the monthly expenditure line items

  • What can I do if want to transfer funds during the grant cycle?

Budget Transfer Request Deadline is July 31st

Funds can be transferred by completing and submitting a budget transfer request form aka BTR. Technical assistance is provided by FVPSA staff to assist with clarity of expectations

The time frame for transfer of funds is October 1st thru July 31st.

The BTR submission process must include the following forms:

  • actual budget forms submitted with the contract/contract amendment
  • the monthly expenditure report that will be affected by the transfer of funds
  • BTR form with adequate justification.

PLEASE NOTE: The BTR deadline of July 31st can be amended under special/unique circumstances to eliminate reversion of funds.

  • What is the FVPSA quarterly report and when is it due?

FVPSA grant recipients are required to provide quarterly report information pertaining to services and activities. The quarterly report should include ALL service grant activities (not just FVPSA service/grant activities) during the quarterly report time frame. FVPSA grant recipients must be able to provide adequate documentation and a methodology that will verify and support the numbers provided in the report

Technical assistance is provided by FVPSA staff to assist with clarity of expectations

  • 1st Quarter is due by January 15th
    • Covers October, November, December services and activities
  • 2nd Quarter is due by April 15th
    • Covers January, February, March services and activities
  • 3rd Quarter is due by July 15th
    • Covers April, May, June services and activities
  • 4th Quarter is due by October 15th
    • Covers July, August, September services and activities

  • What is meant by the term “unduplicated” count?

Unduplicated count is the number of individuals receiving services, not units of service. An eligible participant’s name can be counted only once each year per each section –  FVPSA/domestic violence supportive services.

The count starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th.

An eligible participant can be counted in more than one section, but only once in each section. Grantee must keep a separate unduplicated list for FVPSA/domestic violence supportive services.

Unduplicated Count for FVPSA/domestic violence supportive services is the unduplicated number of eligible persons served one or more of the FVPSA/domestic violence supportive services.

Technical assistance is provided by FVPSA staff to assist with clarity of expectations

  • What is the difference between outcomes and outputs?

Outcomes vs. Outputs

An output details what your program does, whereas an outcome defines changes that have taken place because of your program’s work.

Example: Maybe people who participated in your program’s services stopped unhealthy eating habits and started exercising, received their GED, or got a job. A solid description of outcomes tells what change occurred, and how much change occurred over what period of time

  • What tool is used to assist with FVPSA grants oversight?

2 CFR 200

2CFR200-Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

The purpose of 2 CFR part 200 is to streamline the Federal government’s guidance on administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title02/2cfr200_ma...

Can the FVPSA funds be used to host a meeting, training or conference?

Yes.  Federal grant funds may be used to host a meeting or conference if doing so is:

  1. Consistent with its approved application or plan;
  2. For purposes that are directly relevant to the program and the operation of the grant, such as for conveying technical information related to the objectives of the grant; and
  3. Reasonable and necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of the approved grant.

What are examples of “technical information” that may be conveyed at a meeting or conference?

Examples of technical information include, but are not limited to, the following, each of which must be related to implementing the program or project funded by the grant:

  • Specific programmatic, administrative, or fiscal accountability requirements;
  • Best practices in a particular field;
  • Theoretical, empirical, or methodological advances in a particular field;
  • Effective methods of training or professional development; and
  • Effective grant management and accountability.

What factors should a grantee consider when deciding whether to host a meeting or conference?

Grantees should consider whether a face-to-face meeting or conference is the most effective or efficient way to achieve the desired result and whether there are alternatives, such as webinars or video conferences, that would be equally or similarly effective and more efficient in terms of time and costs than a face-to-face meeting.  In addition, grantees should consider how the meeting or conference will be perceived by the public; for example, will the meeting or conference be perceived as a good use of taxpayer dollars?

Are there conflict-of-interest rules that grantees should follow when selecting vendors, such as logistics contractors, to help with a meeting or conference?

Grantees, other than States, must, as appropriate, comply with the minimum requirements in 34 CFR 74.42 and 80.36(b)(3) and should follow their own policies and procedures (or their local or State policies, as applicable) for ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest in the procurement process. 

Using Federal Grant Funds to Pay for Food

When a grantee is hosting a meeting, can the FVPSA funds be used to pay for food, beverages, or snacks?

Generally, there is a very high burden of proof to show that paying for food and beverages with Federal funds is necessary to meet the goals and objectives of a Federal grant.  When a grantee is hosting a meeting, the grantee should structure the agenda for the meeting so that there is time for participants to purchase their own food, beverages, and snacks.  In addition, when planning a meeting, grantees may want to consider a location in which participants have easy access to food and beverages.   

While these determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis, and there may be some circumstances where the cost would be permissible, it is likely that those circumstances will be rare.  Grantees, therefore, will have to make a compelling case that the unique circumstances they have identified would justify these costs as reasonable and necessary. 

If program offices have questions, they should consult with their program attorney.

Can FVPSA funds be used to pay for food and beverages during a reception or a “networking” session?

In virtually all cases, using grant funds to pay for food and beverages for receptions and “networking” sessions is not justified because participation in such activities is rarely necessary to achieve the purpose of the meeting or conference. 

Can a grantee enter into a contract with a hotel under which Federal grant funds will be used to provide meals, snacks, and beverages as part of the cost for meeting rooms and other allowable conference-related costs?

Federal grant funds may only be used for expenses that are reasonable and necessary.  In planning a conference or meeting and negotiating with vendors for meeting space and other relevant goods and services, grantees may only pay for allowable costs.  If a hotel vendor embeds food and beverage costs into a hotel contract for meeting space, the grantee should work with the hotel to have the food and beverage costs identified and “backed out” of the contract, and have the price they are paying for meeting space appropriately adjusted to reflect the fact that food and beverages are not being purchased. The fact that food and beverages are embedded in a contract for meeting space does not mean that the food and beverages are being provided at no cost to the grantee.  

What if a hotel or other venue provides “complimentary” beverages (e.g., coffee, tea) and there is no charge to the grantee hosting the meeting? 

The grantee has an obligation, under these circumstances, to confirm that the beverages are truly complimentary and will not be reflected as a charge to the grant in another area.  For example, many hotels provide complimentary beverages to all guests who attend a meeting at their facility without reflecting the costs of those beverages in other items that their guests or, in this case, the grantee purchases.  As noted above, it would not be acceptable for a vendor to embed the cost of beverages in other costs, such as meeting space.  

Can indirect cost funds be used to pay for food and beverages?

The cost of food and beverages, because they are easily associated with a specific cost objective, such as a Department grant, are properly treated as direct costs, rather than indirect costs.  As noted above, Federal grant funds cannot be used to pay for food and beverages unless doing so is reasonable and necessary.

Can Federal grant funds be used to pay for alcoholic beverages?

No.  Use of Federal grant funds to pay for the cost of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited.

Can a grantee use non-Federal resources (e.g., State or local resources) to pay for food or beverages at a meeting or conference that is being held to meet the goals and objectives of its grant?

Grantees should follow their own policies and procedures and State and local law for using non-Federal resources to pay for food or beverages, including its policies and procedures for accepting gifts or in-kind contributions from third parties.  However, if non-Federal funds are used to pay for food at a grantee-sponsored meeting or conference, the grantee should make clear through a written disclaimer or announcement (e.g., a note on the agenda for the meeting) that Federal grant funds were not used to pay for the cost of the food or beverages.  Grantees should also be sure that any food and beverages provided with non-Federal funds are appropriate for the grantee event, and do not detract from the event’s purpose. 

Can grantees provide meeting participants with the option of paying for food and beverages (e.g., could a grantee have boxed lunches provided at cost for participants)?

Yes.  Grantees may offer meeting participants the option of paying for food (such as lunch, breakfast, or snacks) and beverages, and arrange for these items to be available at the meeting.   

Using Federal Grant Funds to Pay for Costs of Attending a Meeting or Conference Sponsored by ED or a Third Party

Can FVPSA funds to pay for the cost of attending a meeting or conference?

If attending a meeting or conference is necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of the grant, and if the expenses are reasonable (based on the grantee’s own policies and procedures, and State and local laws), Federal grant funds may be used to pay for travel expenses of grantee employees, consultants, or experts to attend a meeting or conference.  To determine whether a meeting or conference is “necessary,” grantees should consider whether the goals and objectives of the grant can be achieved without the meeting or conference and whether there is an equally effective and more efficient way (in terms of time and money) to achieve the goals and objectives of the grant (see question #3).  To determine whether the expenses are “reasonable,” grantees should consider how the costs (e.g., lodging, travel, registration fees) compare with other similar events and whether the public would view the expenses as a worthwhile use of Federal funds.

What should a grantee consider when planning to use Federal grant funds for attending a meeting or conference?

Among other considerations, grantees should consider how many people should attend a meeting or conference on its behalf.  The number of attendees should be reasonable and necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives of the grant.  The grantee should also determine whether it is necessary to attend the entire meeting or conference, or whether attending only a portion of the meeting or conference is reasonable and necessary.

What travel expenses may be paid for with Federal grant funds?

Grantees may use Federal grant funds for travel expenses Federal grant funds may be used to pay expenses for transportation, per diem, and lodging if the costs are reasonable and necessary.  Grantees should follow their own travel and per diem rules and costs when charging travel expenses to their Federal grant.  As noted in the cost principles, grantees that do not have travel policies must follow: 

…the rates and amounts established under subchapter I of Chapter 57, Title 5, United States Code (“Travel and Subsistence Expenses; Mileage Allowances”), or by the Administrator of General Services, or by the President (or his or her designee) pursuant to any provisions of such subchapter shall apply to travel under sponsored agreements (48 CFR 31.205-46(a)).

See 2 CFR Parts 220, 225, and 230.

What is the dollar threshold for Single Audit requirements (200.501)?

A non-Federal entity that expends $750,000 or more during the non-Federal entity’s fiscal year in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions Subpart F of the Uniform Guidance.

 

MOU vs. MOA

Both types of agreements are built upon a commitment to a common goal or outcome.   

An MOU is a way to clarify shared understanding and commitment to a position or a project. It establishes the intentions of the parties relative to a common goal. The MOU does not grant rights and does not involve a legal or enforceable commitment between the parties. Rather, the purpose of the MOU is to establish common ground.

The MOA can be seen as the next step in deepening a collaboration. An MOA goes beyond common ground to clearly define the role of each party toward an agreed upon objective. An MOA is enforceable in a court of law. It grants rights to the parties and establishes the specific responsibilities and actions to which each of the parties is committing, while clarifying the specific goals and objectives that motivate each party's commitment to the collaborative project

FVPSA Reversions:

Grant funds are issued on a reimbursement basis to grantees.

In an effort to deter reversions of the FPVSA issued grant funds, NC CFWYI-FVPSA has implemented the following guideline:

When a grantee has monetary reversions of more than $2,000, or 10% of the total grant award (whichever is the higher amount) that grantee will be assessed to evaluate the grantee’s ability to expend any future FVPSA issued grant funds. 

Such assessment may result in a reduction of any future FVPSA grant funds or possible non-issuance of future FVPSA grant funds if reversion of funds occurs more than one grant cycle.

An example has been provided for guidance below.

FVPSA grantee receives a grant award in the amount of $24,000 during the grant cycle (October 1st thru September 30th)

If said grantee reverts more than $2,000 or $2,400 of the $24,000 issued during the grant cycle, an assessment will be conducted to reduce funds.

If said grantee reverts more than $2,000 or 10% of the total grant award (whichever is the higher amount) more than one grant cycle, it is possible that the grantee will no longer receive FVPSA funds.