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CSBG Dear Colleague Letter FY 2016 1st Quarter Allocations Update, State Plan Review Process, and State/Federal Accountability

Published: October 22, 2015
Audience:
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Category:
Dear Colleague Notices

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

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/programs/csbg

Community Services Block Grant
Dear Colleague Letter

Re: CSBG FY2016 1st Quarter Allocations Update, State Plan Review Process, and State/Federal Accountability

Date: October 22, 2015

Dear Colleague: 

The purpose of this message is to provide you with an update on allocations of Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding during the first quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 and to provide an update on the Model State Plan Review process.

FY 2016 CSBG Funding Allocations

Based on the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by Congress and signed by the President on September 30, 2015, CSBG funds will be allocated through December 31, 2015 based on the previous year's CSBG allocation.  A chart outlining the amounts allocated to all States, Territories, and Tribes through December 31, 2015 is attached.  Final FY 2016 award amounts will be determined after passage of a full year appropriation.

State Plan Review Process and Federal Accountability

First, we congratulate all of you on the timely submission of your FY 2016 CSBG state plans through the newly automated Online Data Collection System (OLDC).  While this was a significant change in work process, we believe that the online submission of CSBG plans will be a long-term improvement for CSBG.

As you know, our new Federal and State accountability measures have been initiated with this plan review cycle.  The Federal accountability measures are tied to the critical roles and responsibilities of OCS, and, where applicable, align with the State measures.  The Federal accountability measures indicate OCS’s effectiveness and efficiency as well as OCS’s impact on improving the performance of State Lead CSBG Offices.

Like the State measures, the Federal measures address such efficiency and effectiveness characteristics as timeliness, accuracy, standards, and stakeholder satisfaction in the following critical activities:

  • State plan review and acceptance;
  • Distribution of funds;
  • Grant monitoring and corrective action;
  • Data collection, analysis, and reporting;
  • Organizational standards;
  • Training and technical assistance; and
  • Communications.

Our office has been working hard to establish a baseline for a key measure, the State plan review and acceptance, and we will be reporting on our baseline at the end of the review process.

Notification and Follow Up

A significant new strategy is underway to promote transparency and to provide States with feedback regarding the plan review process.  All grantees should either receive an award letter within the next week or will receive an e-mail with information on the status of the state’s plan review.  For the first time, many grantees will receive written information about the plan review process and requests for further information, as needed. 

During the plan review process, OCS staff noted areas where further technical assistance might be beneficial to grantees.  As a result, over the next few months, many grantees will be invited to participate in customized technical assistance conference calls on a few key topics, including organizational standards implementation; state plan development and public hearings; and monitoring and corrective action procedures.

Federal state plan reviewers noted that a significant number of the State plans were not certified by the correct authorizing official or the plan did not include clear documentation of the delegation of authority.  If you are contacted regarding this issue, please respond as quickly as possible so that your award can be issued. 

If you have questions about the status of your CSBG plan once your letter is received, please contact your designated program specialist.  A Federal CSBG contact list is provided below:

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/csbg-staff-assignments-by-region

Thank you for your continued partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Children and Families.  We look forward to continued work with you to strengthen the CSBG network and provide strong accountability and leadership to positively impact America’s low-income families and communities.

Sincerely,

Jeannie L. Chaffin                                                                             Seth Hassett
Director                                                                                             Director, Division of State Assistance
Office of Community Services                                                           Office of Community Services

Last Reviewed: October 27, 2015