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LIHEAP AT 2017-2 Performance Data Form FY 2016

Published: December 19, 2016
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Action Transmittal

LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY
ASSISTANCE

Action Transmittal

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of Energy Assistance
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap

Transmittal No. LIHEAP-AT-2017-02            Date: December 19, 2016

TO: LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) STATE GRANTEES AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

GUIDANCE
INTENDED FOR:
     X   STATES
                                      TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS
                                      TERRITORIES

SUBJECT: LIHEAP Performance Data Form for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

RELATED REFERENCES: Section 2610(b) of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended; ACF’s annual LIHEAP Performance Data Form, as approved by OMB (Control No. 0970-0449; Expiration Date – October 31, 2017)

PURPOSE: To advise State LIHEAP Grantees that the deadline for submitting the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 (for the period of October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016) is January 31, 2017.

To advise about submission Performance Data Form for FY 2016 using the ACF Online Data Collection (OLDC) system, a component of Grant Solutions. OLDC report forms can be accessed at: https://home.grantsolutions.gov/home/

To advise State LIHEAP Grantees that Sections V, VI, and VII are now required.

To advise State LIHEAP Grantees about technical assistance that is available through Office of Community Services (OCS) in completing and submitting the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016.

To advise State LIHEAP Grantees that APPRISE will present a webinar. The recording of the webinar will be posted to the LIHEAP Performance Management Website.

BACKGROUND: State LIHEAP Grantees are required to submit their LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 to OCS so that OCS may prepare the LIHEAP Report to Congress for FY 2016. This report is in response to Section 2610(b) of the LIHEAP statute which requires the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit, no later than June 30 of each federal fiscal year, a Report to Congress on LIHEAP for the prior federal fiscal year. The completeness, accuracy, consistency, and timeliness of responses to data collections are required to:

  1. Provide reliable and complete fiscal and household data to Congress in the Department’s LIHEAP Report to Congress for FY 2016;
  2. Respond to questions from the Congress, Department, OMB, White House, and other interested parties in a timely manner; and report LIHEAP performance results as part of the Administration’s annual Congressional Justification.

Like the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2015, Sections I, II, III, and IV of the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 collect LIHEAP data on sources and uses of funds, average benefits, and maximum income cutoffs for 4-person households for each type of LIHEAP assistance provided by each State for FY 2016. For FY 2016 grantees are required to complete these sections.

Sections V, VI, and VII of the LIHEAP Performance Data Form collect LIHEAP data on energy burden targeting, restoration of home energy service, and prevention of loss of home energy service. Using FY 2016 data, these sections are required for grantees to submit in OLDC by January 31, 2017.

Like the LIHEAP Household Report for FY 2016, State LIHEAP grantees are required to submit their LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 through OLDC which is available at https://home.grantsolutions.gov/home/.

As with the LIHEAP Household Report for FY 2016, we have contracted with APPRISE to assist State grantees in completing their LIHEAP Performance Data Form. APPRISE also will contact States, if necessary, to correct data errors and/or missing data identified through OLDC. The goal of the technical assistance available from our office and our contractor, APPRISE, is to assist grantees with both identifying and resolving issues in order to facilitate successful and timely submission of data through OLDC.

OLDC has built-in validations in the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 to help grantees ensure that data submitted to OCS is accurate. Once all data is entered and the Form is validated in OLDC, State LIHEAP grantees will be notified of validation issues, if any. The OLDC system will not allow grantees to submit their LIHEAP Performance Data Form if it contains certain validation issues. There are two types of validations in OLDC – "Warnings" and "Errors":

  1. A "Warning" notifies the grantee of a possible inconsistency or mistake in the data. Grantees are encouraged to double check the fields described in the "Warning" to make sure all information is correct and include a note in the ‘notes’ section of the form to explain the inconsistency, if necessary. Grantees will be able to "Certify" and "Submit" the report without changing any data that led to a "Warning."
  2. An "Error" notifies the grantee of a mistake that must be corrected prior to the report being submitted to our office. OLDC will not allow a report to be "Certified" and "Submitted" until the Error has been addressed.

CONTENT: The deadline to submit the LIHEAP Performance Data Form is January 31, 2017. We will notify those States that fail to meet the deadline of January 31, 2017. This date may be extended for States that request an extension before the deadline and if our office agrees to a reasonable extension. There may be States that fail to submit their Performance Data Form or respond in a timely manner to our requests for clarification of their data. Those States will be noted as having incomplete data in the LIHEAP Report to Congress for FY 2016 and in responses to fiscal data requests. In addition, we will consider such failure as a violation of Section 2605(b)(16) of the LIHEAP statute regarding State cooperation with ACF data collection and reporting.

Webinars

On December 20, 2016 at 3 PM EST and January 5, 2017 at 3 PM EST, our contractor, APPRISE, will host two webinars for State grantees on how to complete and submit the FY 2016 LIHEAP Performance Data Form. A reminder notice will be sent in advance of the webinars with instructions on how to join the webinars. The recordings of the webinars will later be posted to the LIHEAP Performance Management website (https://liheappm.acf.hhs.gov/).

Staff in the OCS are available to assist States with using OLDC to submit the Performance Data Form. For questions regarding accessing OLDC, contact your LIHEAP regional liaison.

Our contractor, APPRISE, is also available to help any State grantee who needs assistance with data collection, reporting, or submission of their 2016 LIHEAP Performance Data Form. If you have questions, or would like assistance, please contact:

Reporting Tips

Please review the following reporting tips as they will enhance the quality and timeliness of submitting and finalizing State-reported LIHEAP data to our office:

  1. Meet the reporting deadline. If necessary, contact our office before the deadline if the data will be delayed. We will consult with your office to establish a reasonable alternate date. Timely follow up in meeting this alternate date will help in compliance with the LIHEAP statute’s Assurance (16) that deals with cooperation in the federal collection and reporting of LIHEAP data to Congress. We will work with States that seek help in a timely manner in completing and submitting their data reports.
  2. Read and review the reporting instructions. Contact our office to clarify any instructions that are not clear. Understanding the reporting instructions will minimize our need to contact you for clarification or correction of your State’s reported data, saving both our agencies time and effort. This also will enhance our timeliness in compiling, editing, and reporting the data.
  3. Cross check for consistency. Check that the types of LIHEAP assistance reported on the LIHEAP Household Report and LIHEAP Performance Data Form match each other. Also, the types of LIHEAP assistance provided in FY 2016 need to be consistent with what is indicated in the State Plan for FY 2016, as amended. Indications of unobligated funds carried over to the next FY in the Performance Data Form should match the State’s FY 2016 Carryover & Re-allotment Report.
  4. Use the ‘notes’ section. Clarify data in the ‘notes’ section of the Form to explain why there may be missing or incomplete data and what is being done to rectify the problem(s).

Important Points

  1. "Uses of Funds" represent a State’s obligation of LIHEAP funds, not expenditure of LIHEAP funds. In some cases, obligated block grant funds are not actually expended until after the end of the FY.
  2. Report the annual or annualized maximum income cutoff for a 4-person household in effect on October 1, 2015 for each type of LIHEAP assistance provided in FY 2016.
  3. Exclude the U.S. Department of Energy’s weatherization assistance funds in reporting on obligated LIHEAP weatherization assistance funds, if any, in Section IV, A. 4 of the Form.
  4. Report on all funds used to provide "other LIHEAP assistance." For the most part, this would include "other crisis assistance" to provide furnace or air conditioner repairs or replacements.
  5. Report on all funds obligated for "Other Permitted Uses of LIHEAP Funds." This would include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households that were provided a nominal non-crisis LIHEAP payment to increase the amount of SNAP benefits that they received. Report these obligations in Section IV, B. 6 of the Form.

SUBMISSION: LIHEAP data is submitted through ACF’s Online Data Collection (OLDC) system, a component of Grants Solutions. After signing into OLDC, select the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016. When completing the Report in OLDC, changes and updates will only be recorded when "Save" is clicked. Therefore, it is important to regularly click "Save" to retain newly recorded information and prevent the loss of information. The instructions for completing the Report are built into the Report itself through hyperlinks

The staff members who completed and submitted the LIHEAP Household Report for your State may be different from the staff member who will complete and submit the LIHEAP Performance Data Form. Consequently, the State LIHEAP Director may need to set up an additional OLDC account if someone else will be completing and submitting the Form.

Once the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 has been submitted, we will notify a State of any reporting deficiencies not identified or resolved through OLDC and request a plan for remedial action. At the same time, we will continue to work with States that seek help in completing their reports.

The deadline for all grantees to submit their LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016 is January 31, 2017. Please submit the form in OLDC at: https://home.grantsolutions.gov/home/

INQUIRIES TO: For questions regarding accurate completion of the LIHEAP Performance Data Form, contact:

Leon Litow, Lead Energy Assistance Program Specialist
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services
Administration for Children and Families, HHS
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447
202-401-5304 (Voice)
202-401-5661 (Fax)
llitow@acf.hhs.gov

For questions regarding accessing OLDC, contact your LIHEAP regional liaison.

/s/
Lauren Christopher
Director
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services

Last Reviewed: June 14, 2019