CSBG DCL-2021-29 CARES Spending Notice FY 2021

Publication Date: September 21, 2021

Community Services Block Grant

Dear Colleague Letter

DCL#: CSBG-DCL-2021-29

DATE: September 21, 2021

TO: CSBG States and Territories

SUBJECT: CSBG CARES Spending Schedule Advisement


Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Community Services (OCS) released Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Dear Colleague (DCL) 2021-28 on September 15, 2021, detailing the obligation and expenditure deadlines for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.

Since the release of CSBG-DCL-2021-28, several CSBG grantees have contacted OCS to express concern that they will not be able to fully obligate state controlled administrative or discretionary funds before the end of this fiscal year. We know how important it is for grantees to be able to utilize administrative funds for staffing, oversight and monitoring, training and technical assistance, and special initiatives and programs, among other activities and needs. Given this, OCS is exploring all available strategies to allow states additional time to fully obligate these funds.

However, we strongly encourage states that have not obligated all CSBG CARES funding to do so by September 30, 2021. States may consider making use of contracts as well as other vehicles to obligate their remaining administrative and discretionary funds, including a direct obligation of any remaining balances to eligible entities within the state. What constitutes a valid obligation of CSBG funds is determined according to the states’ laws and procedures for obligating their own funds, so we also encourage grantees to confer with state fiscal and legal staff to explore options for obligating funds for staffing resources.

Please note that OCS and the Office of Grants Management (OGM) can provide additional time to liquidate validly obligated administrative and discretionary expenditures as long as the obligation occurs on or before September 30, 2021, and is consistent with state laws and procedures. Upon request, OCS and OGM will provide an extended period to draw down and liquidate funds. As an example, this means a grantee could, based on their state rules and procedures, enter into contract with an entity now for services furnished in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 in order to obligate funds, and then the grantee could draw down the funds/liquidate them throughout FY 2022 based on need/invoices/a pre-identified payment schedule. 

OCS will continue to contact CSBG grantees by email and phone to provide additional information and to obtain information that may be needed for the strategies we are exploring to provide states with additional time to fully obligate their CARES Act administrative and discretionary funds. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your Program Specialist.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. OCS looks forward to continuing to provide high-quality services to OCS grantees.

Charisse Johnson

Director, Division of Community Assistance
Office of Community Services

Current as of: