CSBG Dear Colleague 2020-17 Annual Report - OMB Approval and Updated Timeline

Publication Date: April 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On February 28, 2020, the Office of Community Services received Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Annual Report. This OMB-approved version of the CSBG Annual Report expires on February 28, 2023.

The CSBG Annual Report serves as the requirement for an annual report as stipulated in Section 678E of the CSBG Act. The CSBG Annual Report includes the following four modules:

State Administration (Module 1): Completed by State CSBG Administrators - aligns with the CSBG State Plan. It includes information on state administration of CSBG funding, including information on distribution of funds to eligible entities, use of state administrative funds and discretionary funds for training and technical assistance as well as information on the progress of organizational standards for eligible entities; and, the state's progress meeting accountability measures related to state monitoring, training and technical assistance, and other critical areas.

Agency Expenditures, Capacity, and Resources (Module 2): Completed by eligible entities; reviewed, evaluated, and analyzed by state CSBG lead agencies - includes information on eligible entity funds usage on the direct delivery of local services and strategies and capacity development and administrative costs.

Community Level (Module 3): Completed by eligible entities; reviewed, evaluated, and analyzed by State CSBG Lead Agencies - includes information on the implementation and results achieved for community-level strategies.

Individual and Family Level (Module 4): Completed by eligible entities; reviewed, evaluated; analyzed by State CSBG Lead Agencies - includes information on eligible entity services provided to individuals and families, demographic characteristics of people served and the results of the services.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Submission

OCS will open the On-Line Data Collection system (OLDC) for submission of the FY 2019 CSBG Annual Report on May 18, 2020. Submissions are due July 17, 2020. The Network should maintain existing state data collection and reporting processes during this time.

Module 1

Given the short timeframe and the additional activities related to the coronavirus and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, OCS decided not to make updates to Module 1 for the newly OMB-approved version for FY2019 submissions. Postponing this update will allow OCS to provide training and technical assistance (T/TA), and give states more time to familiarize themselves with the new version.

SmartForms Release

In preparation for FY2019 submissions, OCS anticipates releasing SmartForms by May 8. Based on prior year experience, OCS decided to hold the release of SmartForms until we finalized FY2018 data and completed testing of OLDC.

Finalizing FY2018

OCS is attempting to normalize the Annual Report process, this includes SmartForms containing prior year data, and errors and warnings. Therefore, it is integral that we finalize FY2018 data to the best of our ability prior to the release of SmartForms. OCS also believes this aligns with our objective of preparing states in submitting complete data in the forefront, in order to lessen the review period after submission. It is OCS’ goal that this will lead to a more timely completion of the Congressional Report.

Testing

As noted above OCS determined it is important to complete testing before releasing SmartForms. There were changes made to the XML to help ensure a smoother submission of Modules 2 and 4. Last year, OCS released SmartForms prior to testing and a number of states tried to submit using the older forms; this resulted in the XML upload failing. The data then had to be transferred to the correct SmartForm and resubmitted causing additional burden to both states and the eligible entities. OCS believes that releasing the SmartForms after testing will ensure that states receive the correct SmartForms, and in turn, result in a smoother submission process.

We appreciate your continued collaboration in these efforts. If you have questions, please contact your assigned OCS CSBG Program Specialist.

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

 

/s/
J. Janelle George
Acting Deputy Director
Office of Community Services

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