Office of Justice Programs: Lapse in Federal Government Funding

Tue, Oct 01, 2013

 

Dear OJP Award Recipient –

Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations to fund Federal government operations expire at midnight EDT on Monday, September 30, 2013.  However, consistent with the Department of Justice Contingency Plan (http://www.justice.gov/jmd/publications/doj-contingency-plan.pdf), a determination has been made that the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has sufficient resources to remain operational through Friday, October 4, 2013.  This means that OJP staff will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period.  Likewise, OJP systems* and services will be available.

*Please note that under the normal payment system schedule associated with end of the fiscal year activities, there are no grant payments between September 25th and October 2nd.  Payments requested through the Grant Payment Request System (GPRS) from September 25th through October 2nd will be paid October 3rd.

We are providing the following information, in question and answer format, regarding the availability of OJP systems and services should the lapse continue past October 4, 2013. Please note that should the lapse continue past October 4, 2013, OJP will not have sufficient resources to remain operational and will therefore convert to a furlough and shut down status, ceasing all operations.

Continuation of Grantee Activities under Existing Grants after October 4, 2013

  1. Will I be able to continue activities and projects already funded under my existing OJP grants or cooperative agreements during a period of a funding lapse?

Response:  Yes. The exception to this guidance would be if Federal employee involvement is critical to the project being carried out or proceeding to the next step.  For example, under a cooperative agreement, there may be actions that a Federal employee has to take for a project to continue; that is, the project has arrived at a decision point that requires Federal government approval or other determination in order for the project to proceed to the next step.  This is a determination that shall be made by OJP when necessary and OJP would notify the grantee of this determination.

 

  1. Will grantee-sponsored events (such as conferences, meetings, and trainings) scheduled during the period of a funding lapse be affected?

Response:   No. Grantee-sponsored events (e.g., conferences, meetings, trainings) scheduled during a potential funding lapse generally will not be affected and can proceed as planned, if already approved by OJP as applicable.  The exception to this guidance would be if Federal employee participation in these meetings or training is critical in order for these events to proceed.  This could include Federal employee involvement to carry out the event or provide oversight/guidanceThis is a determination that shall be made by OJP when necessary and OJP would notify the grantee of this determination.

 

Grantee Requests for Payments after October 4, 2013

 

  1. Will I be able to request payments and draw down funds during a period of a funding lapse?

Response:  No.  The following payment request systems will not be available to users during a period of a funding lapse –

  • Grant Payment Request System (GPRS)
  • State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Payment System
  • Border Prosecution Initiative Payment System (BPS)
  • Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Payment System

 

Grants Management System (GMS) and Grant Administration Activities after October 4, 2013

 

  1. Will the Grants Management System (GMS) and the GMS Help Desk be available during a period of a funding lapse?

Response:  No. The Grants Management System (GMS) will not be available to users.  Users will not have access to apply for funds, submit progress and Federal Financial Reports (FFRs), request grant adjustment notices, submit closeout actions, or respond to on-site monitoring issues for resolution.  Likewise, the GMS Help Desk will not be available to users. 

 

  1. Will the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s (OCFO) Customer Service Desk or my OJP grant manager be available to answer questions or provide assistance during a period of a funding lapse?

Response:  No.  The OCFO Customer Service Desk and OJP grant managers will not be available during the period of a funding lapse.

 

  1. Will I be able to submit Federal Financial Reports (FFRs), progress reports, or performance measurement reports?

Response:  No.  The Grants Management System (GMS) will not be available to accept progress reports and Federal Financial Reports (FFRs) during a period of a Federal government funding lapse.  Please note:  To provide adequate time to grantees to prepare and submit their Federal Financial Reports (FFR) due on October 30, 2013 for the period July 1–September 30, the deadline will be extended by the number of days GMS is not available due to the funding lapse.

Systems and tools that support the submission of OJP performance measurement data will not be available (such as, the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Performance Measurement Tool (PMT) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Data Reporting Tool (also referred to as DCTAT or the Data Collection and Technical Assistance Tool)).

 

OJP On-site Monitoring Visits and Enhanced Desk Reviews Scheduled During a Lapse

 

  1. Will an OJP programmatic or financial on-site monitoring visit or enhanced programmatic desk review scheduled during the period of a funding lapse still occur?

Response:  No.  All on-site monitoring visits and enhanced programmatic desk reviews scheduled during the period of a funding lapse will be postponed or cancelled.  Please expect your OJP grant manager or an OCFO financial monitor to contact you to reschedule the monitoring.

Recovery Act Recipient Reporting

  1. As a Recovery Act funding recipient, will I be required to report to FederalReporting.gov during the current recipient period of October 1 -14, 2013? 

Response:  Yes.  The FederalReporting.gov and their Help Desk will not be impacted by a Federal government lapse in funding and will remain open and fully operational during the October Reporting Cycle and Continuous QA.  Please note that beginning with the October reporting cycle, the Help Desk will no longer receive live calls, rather will use email as the sole method to receive requests for assistance.  The Help Desk email address is FederalReportingHelpDesk@ratb.gov.

 

Applying for OJP Open Solicitations after October 4, 2013

  1. Will I be able to submit funding applications for open solicitations through the Grants Management System (GMS) during a period of a funding lapse?

Response:  No.  The GMS will not be available to accept funding applications.  To provide adequate time for an applicant to prepare and submit an application, OJP will extend deadlines for open solicitations that are impacted by a Federal government funding lapse.  Please note that currently, OJP does not have any open solicitations in Grants.gov.

 

OJP Website and OJP-Sponsored Website after October 4, 2013

 

  1. Will I be able to access information from the OJP website and other OJP-sponsored websites?

Response:  Yes. These websites will be available, but will not be updated during the period of a funding lapse. 

 

Questions about this Guidance

1. If I have a question relating to this guidance or the impact of a funding lapse on my grants, who can I contact to assist me?

Response:  OJP employees will be available to assist you while OJP is in operation through October 4, 2013.  Please contact your OJP grant manager using contact information provided in your award document.  If your grant manager is not available, please contact the grants management help desk at GMSTier2@usdoj.govPlease note that after October 4, 2013 while in a lapse of appropriation, OJP staff will not be available to respond to questions.

We realize the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation.

Maureen A. Henneberg
Director
Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice