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Administrative Staff Reports

April 14, 2017

Administrative Staff Reports

April 14, 2017

Grants Officer

Major projects completed –

The Formula Grant programs (MCD, Goodwill MLC and RSU 14) received feedback on the first quarterly reports and a list of items that needs to be provided along with the Q2 Grant Progress Report.

A meeting was scheduled with LearningWorks to discuss the recruitment and retention rates and what can be done to improve both and what the best options are for the program for the future AmeriCorps Grant applications. A more detailed strategic analysis needs to be done by all parties concerned - the program, the organization and the Commission depending on how successful the program will be with summer recruitment for the minimum time positions.

The grants officer is working with Take 2 on a possible 7-month no-cost extension and to improve recruitment rates.

LearningWorks audit is still ongoing. The Grants Officer needs to do a site visit every Wednesday to access the Member files as LW's policies prohibit the removal of member and client hard files from the premises. Checking member files is a laborious and time-demanding process as each and every one of the more than a hundred member files for the grant years 2015-16 and 2016-17 needs to be checked in a very careful manner.

Grants Task Force Meeting was held on April 14, 2017. A poll was conducted to change the regular GTF meeting days to Friday upon request from the Task Force members.

The Grants Officer continues to process all financial and accounting reports, program reimbursements, grant contracts, budget modifications, slot changes, supplemental grant award amendments, etc..  in Advantage, PurchasingMaine, OnCorps and eGrants (State and Federal  Accounting and Grant Management Online Systems). She also helps the programs with various questions on AmeriCorps procedures and regulations.

The Grants Officer prepared a detailed timeline to prepare for the three upcoming grant competitions. (ME Opioid Initiative, AC Formula Continuations, AC Rural Competition)

Issues to be aware of –

Uncertainty over the federal budget for the current year has already started affecting operations.

CNCS will release allocations to Commissions after Congress makes a determination regarding appropriations and funding availability beyond the period of the current Continuing Resolution.

According to the official notification from CNCS, the National Grants notification deadline has changed. While CNCS expected to make award announcements regarding the 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Competition no later than Friday, April 7; the AmeriCorps grant decisions will not be announced until they know what funds will be available for grant awards for the remainder of FY 2017.

Even though the Grants Officer has prepared a detailed Grant Application timeline for all three competitions (ME Opioid Initiative, AC Formula Continuations, AC Rural Competition) at this point all dates are tentative and subject to change until more information is available from CNCS.

ME Opioid Initiative is an off-cycle award with very tight deadlines. There is only one potential applicant and that applicant would need financial support from Maine Health and Human Services to match the grantee share to apply for the grant. At this time, we have no further information on whether or not Maine Health and Human Services is committed to providing funding for the proposed grant application. The final deadline for the Narrative is April 26th. The application will be processed by the MCCS staff and will be shared with Grant Task Force for review on the same day. The GTF Consensus Meeting is scheduled for Friday April 28th or May 1st AM and the Executive Committee meeting for final approval is on Monday May 1st PM. GTF will need at least one other Committee Member to help review the grant narrative or the financial strength analysis as not all GTF members will be able to accommodate the rigid schedule.

Major focus of effort in the new month –

Completing the LearningWorks Compliance Report has priority.

The semi-annual Grant Progress Reports for all programs are due to CNCS by the end of the month. The Q2 GPRs are due to MCCS from the programs by the 20th.

If AmeriCorps funding is approved by the Congress, the next few months will be very busy with upcoming Grant Competitions.