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CSBG IM # 133 Application for FY 2014 Funds for States and Territories

Published: June 20, 2013
Audience:
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447


COMMUNITY SERVICES BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM
Information Memorandum

Transmittal No. 133

Date: June 20, 2013

TO: States and U.S. Territories

SUBJECT: Application for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG) Funds Based on the Availability of CSBG Funds

RELATED REFERENCES: Community Services Block Grant Act, Title VI, Subtitle B, of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended; Human Services Amendments of 1994, P.L.103-252; the FY 1996 CSBG Appropriation Legislation, P.L.104-134; C.F.R. Title 45, Part 96; Coats Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998, P. L. 105-285, Department of Health and Human Services Block Grant Regulations and Current Poverty Income Guidelines.

PURPOSE: To inform States and U.S. Territories of the CSBG application requirements for FY2014.  CSBG applications shall be submitted to the Office of Community Services (OCS) by September 1, 2013 if an application which covered two fiscal years was not submitted in the prior year.

BACKGROUND: Under the statutory requirements of the CSBG Act, States and Territories must prepare and submit an application and State plan for CSBG.  The State CSBG plan not only is a critical document for Federal monitoring and oversight purposes, but also provides a framework for accountability and oversight at the State and Territory levels.  OCS strongly encourages States to use the submission of State CSBG plans as an opportunity to document State standards and performance goals for CSBG resources.  There is an increased focus on performance measurement, fiscal accountability, and collaborative community services across multiple Federal programs. OCS encourages States and Territories to use the CSBG plan as a tool for describing State leadership and technical assistance approaches.

States and Territories have the option of submitting CSBG applications annually or bi-annually (plans may cover one or two fiscal years) either in electronic versions or official paper copy.  Use of some electronic versions, with the exception of pdf, will require a separate submittal of the lead agency designee original signature and certification pages.

CONTENT OF APPLICATION: OCS accepts CSBG applications based solely on the determination that the application is complete.  A complete CSBG application includes: (1) specific assurances certified by the designee of the lead agency; (2) a narrative State plan; (3) evidence that legislative and public hearing requirements were met; (4) an Annual Report; and (5) several administrative certifications.

(1) Each application shall contain assurances and certifications by the designee of the lead agency.  Assurances should contain the language precisely as it appears in subsections 676(b)(1) through (13) of the CSBG Act. Certifications must show original signatures.

(2) Evidence that the hearing requirements were met -- include documents which confirm that a legislative public hearing on the State plan was conducted as required by subsection 676(a)(3) and that the plan was made available for public inspection and review as required by 676(a)(2)(B).  Legislation requires States to conduct a legislative hearing once every three years, and public hearings must be held in conjunction with development of the State plan.

(3) State CSBG Plan Guide: A plan – a narrative description of the manner in which the State will carry out the required legislative assurances.  It is important that the narrative plan addresses each of the assurances in the outlined format entirely.  Sufficient information should be included to adequately describe the proposed use and distribution of the CSBG 90 percent pass-through, funds to be used for administrative purposes, and any funds to be used for training and technical assistance and discretionary purposes.  The plan should also include: (1) a statement of goals and objectives, (2) information on the specific types of activities to be supported, (3) discussion on areas and categories of individuals to be served, and (4) an explanation on the criteria and method used for the distribution of funds to the State’s local eligible entities.  Please refer to the model plan for the expected requirements.

Please review the State plan to ensure that all of the required assurances are addressed in the outline format provided.  It is advised to not assume that any assurance is self-explanatory.
   
(4)  As of October 1, 2001 (Federal FY 2002), all States and the local eligible entities were required to participate in a performance measurement system.  Please provide performance measurement information to OCS as a part of your State Annual Report.

State Annual Reports must be submitted by March 31, 2014 for FY 2013 activities.  The Annual Report is a narrative description of how the State and the local eligible entity met its goals and objectives, as well as provide information on the types of projects supported with FY 2013 CSBG funds.  Annual Reports must contain performance measurement outcome data which address the implementation of the national goals and measures.

States are requested to provide the most recent CSBG Information Survey submission with their FY 2014 CSBG State plans.  We recognize that many State programs have different program years; however, to the extent possible, reports should address the use and distribution of the FY 2013 allocation (CSBG grant awards received October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013).  The report should cover 12 months based on the most recent program year.

The Annual Report shall contain: (1) information on the measured performance of the State and eligible entities in promoting self-sufficiency, family stability, and community revitalization; (2) an accounting of the expenditure of CSBG funds, including those funds spent on administrative costs by the State and eligible entities; (3) an accounting of funds spent by the eligible entities on the direct delivery of local services; (4) information on the number of and characteristics of CSBG clients based on data collected from the eligible entities; (5) a summary of training and technical assistance offered by the State to eligible entities to correct deficiencies; and (6) summaries of the planned and actual uses of CSBG funds.

(5)  Administrative Requirements – Please indicate the date of the last audit undertaken and the period for which the audit covers in compliance with the Single Audit Act.  Include the required certifications regarding Anti-Lobbying, Drug Abuse, Debarment and Suspension and the Environmental Tobacco Smoke, also known as the Pro-Children Act of 1994, P.L. 103-227.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The following additional information should be useful in the development of your application: 

o Waivers – OCS must approve waivers, in writing, before block grant funds can be used for construction purposes (reference Section 678F(a)(2) of the CSBG Act).  If a State anticipates the need for a waiver, a waiver request may be submitted as a separate part of the FY 2014 application.  Waiver requests must be submitted to OCS by the State.  If you anticipate the need for a waiver request, such requests should address the requirements referenced in Section 678F(a)(2) of the CSBG Act and OCS Information Memorandum #60 dated February 6, 2002.

o Proportionate Share of Funding – States are required to provide each eligible entity, currently in good standing within the State, its proportionate share of any CSBG funding received by the State.  A decision by a State not to provide a proportionate share in funding to an eligible entity will be considered as a reduction of funding under Sections 676(b)(8) and 678C of the CSBG Act and subject to the notice and hearing requirements set forth therein. 

o Collaboration with Faith-Based Organizations – Section 679. Operational Rule.

"(a) Religious Organizations Included as Nongovernmental Providers. – For any program carried out by the Federal Government, or by a State or local government under this subtitle, the government shall consider, on the same basis as other non-governmental organizations, religious organizations to provide the assistance under the program, so long as the program is implemented in a manner consistent with the Establishment Clause of the first amendment of the Constitution.  Neither the Federal Government nor a State or local government receiving funds under this subtitle shall discriminate against an organization that provides assistance under, or applies to provide assistance under, this subtitle, on the basis that the organization has a religious character.

(b) Religious Character and Independence.
(1) In General. – A religious organization that provides assistance under a program described in subsection (a) shall retain its religious character and control over the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs.
(2) Additional Safeguards.  –  Neither the Federal Government nor a State or a local government shall require a religious organization--
(A) To alter its form of internal governance, except (for purposes of administration of the community services block grant program) as provided in section 676B; or
(B) To remove religious art, icons, scripture, or other symbols; in order to be eligible to provide assistance under a program described in subsection (a).
(3) Employment Practices. –  A religious organization's exemption provided under section 702 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-1) regarding employment practices shall not be affected by its participation in, or receipt of funds from, program described in subsection (a).

(c) Limitations on Use of Funds for Certain Purposes. –
No funds provided directly to a religious organization to provide assistance under any program described in subsection (a) shall be expended for sectarian worship, instruction, or proselytization.

(d) Fiscal Accountability. –
(1) In General. – Except as provided in paragraph (2), any religious organization providing assistance under any program described in subsection (a) shall be subject to the same regulations as other nongovernmental organizations to account in accord with generally accepted accounting principles for the use of such funds provided under such program.
(2) Limited Audit. – Such organization shall segregate government funds provided under such program into a separate account.  Only the government funds shall be subject to audit by the government.

(e) Treatment of Eligible Entities and Other Intermediate Organizations. – If an eligible entity or other organization (referred to in this subsection as an 'intermediate organization'), acting under a contract, or grant or other agreement, with the Federal Government or a State or local government, is given the authority under the contract or agreement to select nongovernmental organizations to provide assistance under the programs described in subsection (a), the intermediate organization shall have the same duties under this section as the government."

Applications should be mailed to:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
Attention: Community Services Block Grant Program
370 L'Enfant Promenade S.W., 5th Floor West
Washington, D.C. 20447

If providing an official paper copy, please send an original of the State’s FY 2014 CSBG application.  Electronic versions may be forwarded. The OCS does not have adequate storage capacity in which to receive plans via e-mail at this time. Use of some electronic versions will require a separate submittal of the lead agency designee original signature and certification pages.

Current program and fiscal staff contact information should be included with the State application. If you need additional information, contact your assigned OCS’ CSBG Program Manager.  A list which identifies your OCS contact person and the respective telephone number may be found at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs.


_________/s/____________   
Jeannie L. Chaffin
Director
Office of Community Services
 

Attachments:
- Outline for Model CSBG Application
- CSBG Program Manager Listing
- Information Contact Form
- Poverty Guidelines
- Federal Certifications

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/csbg-model-state-plan

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/csbg-model-plan-certific...