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According to the Uniform Guidance (§200.305 Payment), payments to recipients of Federal financial assistance awards fall into two broad categories: (1) payments to State recipients (§200.305(a)); and, (2) payments to all other recipients (§200.305(b)).


Contents

State recipients of Federal financial assistance (§200.305(a)) 

States receive Federal financial assistance payments as outlined in their Treasury-State Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA) Agreement. 

For states, payments are governed by Treasury-State CMIA agreements and default procedures codified at 31 CFR Part 205 “Rules and Procedures for Efficient Federal-State Funds Transfers” and TFM 4A-2000 Overall Disbursing Rules for All Federal Agencies.

States follow their Treasury-State CMIA Agreement for major Federal programs listed in the agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to outline how the State (1) disburses Federal funds, and (2) calculates interest on those funds prior to disbursement by the State. [1] Under this agreement, States receive Federal financial assistance payments in advance of cash outlays, with the understanding they will expend those funds according to the criteria established in the agreement. 

For those programs not listed as major in the agreement, the State follows the default procedures in Subpart B—Rules Applicable to Federal Assistance Programs Not Included in a Treasury-State Agreement in 31 CFR 205.[2]  §205.33 directs State recipients to draw-down and disburse Federal financial assistance funds in anticipation of immediate cash needs of the State for work under the award.

A State must minimize the time between the drawdown of Federal funds from the Federal government and their disbursement for Federal program purposes. A Federal Program Agency must limit a funds transfer to a State to the minimum amounts needed by the State and must time the disbursement to be in accord with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the State in carrying out a Federal assistance program or project. The timing and amount of funds transfers must be as close as is administratively feasible to a State's actual cash outlay for direct program costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs. States should exercise sound cash management in funds transfers to subgrantees in accordance with OMB Circular A-102 (For availability, see 5 CFR 1310.3.).

The language in Subpart B is very similar to the Uniform Guidance requirements for advance payments to non-State recipients (§200.305(b)):

For non-Federal entities other than states, payments methods must minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds from the United States Treasury or the pass-through entity and the disbursement by the non-Federal entity whether the payment is made by electronic funds transfer, or issuance or redemption of checks, warrants, or payment by other means.

To summarize, for State recipients of Federal financial assistance, the default payment method is often referred to as advance payment. An advance payment is the draw-down of Federal award funds by the recipient in anticipation of “immediate cash requirements” in paying allowable direct and indirect costs for work under the Federal award. The time-frame for “immediate” is not quantified; rather, it is based on the recipient's financial system and written procedures. The intent is to minimize the amount of Federal interest the recipient may earn on drawn funds, which could, if unchecked, result in the need for the recipient to repay the Federal government for that interest.

Non-State recipients of Federal financial assistance (§200.305(b))

Non-State recipients receive payments from Federal financial assistance awards via three possible methods: (1) Advance; (2) Reimbursement; and, (3) working capital.

Advance payment (§200.305(b)(1)) 

Advance payments are mandatory for non-State financial assistance recipients who meet certain criteria:

The non-Federal entity must be paid in advance, provided it maintains or demonstrates the willingness to maintain both written procedures that minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and disbursement by the non-Federal entity, and financial management systems that meet the standards for fund control and accountability as established in this part. Advance payments to a non-Federal entity must be limited to the minimum amounts needed and be timed to be in accordance with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the non-Federal entity in carrying out the purpose of the approved program or project. The timing and amount of advance payments must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements by the non-Federal entity for direct program or project costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs. The non-Federal entity must make timely payment to contractors in accordance with the contract provisions. [emphasis added]

Reimbursement payment (§200.305(b)(3))

Reimbursement  is the appropriate payment method when: (1) the criteria for advance payment cannot be met; (2) past performance history of the recipient results in the specific condition to reimburse only (formerly "high risk" designation); or, the non-State recipient requests reimbursement as the payment method. It may also be used on construction projects.

Reimbursement is the preferred method when the requirements in paragraph (b) cannot be met, when the Federal awarding agency sets a specific condition per §200.207 Specific conditions, or when the non-Federal entity requests payment by reimbursement. This method may be used on any Federal award for construction, or if the major portion of the construction project is accomplished through private market financing or Federal loans, and the Federal award constitutes a minor portion of the project. When the reimbursement method is used, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity must make payment within 30 calendar days after receipt of the billing, unless the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity reasonably believes the request to be improper.

Working capital payment (§200.305(4))

A third payment option for non-State recipients is the working capital payment method . This method addresses those financial assistance recipients who cannot meet the criteria for advance payments, nor have sufficient funds to make a cash outlay first before drawing down Federal funds (i.e., reimbursement).

 If the non-Federal entity cannot meet the criteria for advance payments and the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity has determined that reimbursement is not feasible because the non-Federal entity lacks sufficient working capital, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity may provide cash on a working capital advance basis. Under this procedure, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity must advance cash payments to the non-Federal entity to cover its estimated disbursement needs for an initial period generally geared to the non-Federal entity's disbursing cycle. Thereafter, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity must reimburse the non-Federal entity for its actual cash disbursements. Use of the working capital advance method of payment requires that the pass-through entity provide timely advance payments to any subrecipients in order to meet the subrecipient's actual cash disbursements. The working capital advance method of payment must not be used by the pass-through entity if the reason for using this method is the unwillingness or inability of the pass-through entity to provide timely advance payments to the subrecipient to meet the subrecipient's actual cash disbursements.

Other considerations

The 3-day rule

A common deadline attributed to advance payment timing (i.e. for immediate cash needs) is three (3) days. This is not found in either 31 CFR 205 or 2 CFR 200. Thompson Grants, a well-regarded company offering training and information on Federal financial assistance, published a short article on this rule a few years ago.[3] In short, the three-day rule comes from the SF-425, which directs recipients to report excess Federal cash-on-hand if the recipient has not expended it within three business days. According to the article, the reason is, again, related to the earning of interest by recipients on Federal funds.

Grantees drawing down funds should put them in an interest-bearing account, and any interest earned should be refunded to the federal government.

2 CFR 200.305 provides instructions on when this interest must be repaid to the Federal government.

Repayment of Federal interest

Under the Uniform Guidance (200.305(b)(9)), non-State recipients of Federal financial assistance awards who earn interest on Federal funds in excess of $500 per year must be returned to the Federal government annually. Amounts up to $500 may be retained by the recipient for administrative expenses.

Interest earned amounts up to $500 per year may be retained by the non-Federal entity for administrative expense. Any additional interest earned on Federal advance payments deposited in interest-bearing accounts must be remitted annually to the Department of Health and Human Services Payment Management System (PMS) through an electronic medium using either Automated Clearing House (ACH) network or a Fedwire Funds Service payment. 

In Conclusion

Payments to recipients of Federal financial assistance awards are meant to be made in a manner that makes those funds available for immediate use on award activities. For recipients in good standing, access to those funds should be reasonably accessible to minimize delays in completing the work. The chief concern is Federal interest earned on Federal funds between disbursement by the Federal program and expenditure by the recipient, which is restricted by the Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA).



[1] §205.6   What is a Treasury-State agreement? (https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=cb97ae172a0a04802dcd9ee212f510ae&mc=true&n=pt31.2.205&r=PART&ty=HTML#se31.2.205_16)

[2] Subpart B of 31 CFR 205 can be viewed at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=cb97ae172a0a04802dcd9ee212f510ae&mc=true&n=pt31.2.205&r=PART&ty=HTML#sp31.2.205.b. 

[3] The Truth Behind the Three-Day Rule. Thompson Grants. February 9, 2011. http://fundingattractions.blogs.thompson.com/2011/02/09/the-truth-behind-the-three-day-rule/


While there is no legal limit on how many times a Federal financial assistance award can be amended to continue or renew support for a project, there are risks in funding additional project years by amending an existing award versus issuing a new award for each continuation or renewal period. The risks of funding continuations or renewals of a project by amending an existing award include:

  • Reduced accountability and enforcement over time in regards to cash management, compliance and performance monitoring, and record keeping.    
  • Unnecessarily exposing older awards to audit and investigation findings, as amending such awards prevents us from disposing of those records as allowed by the Federal records disposition schedule
  • Increasing the likelihood that obligated but unexpended funds will expire (generally no longer available for reobligation by FWS) or cancel (no longer available for expenditure by the recipient or reobligation by FWS).

To reduce or eliminate these risks, the FWS Financial Assistance Policy and Oversight (FASO) Division, Policy Branch recommends to our programs that they issue new awards each Federal fiscal year to continue or renew support for a recipient’s core mission, function or initiative.  The FASO-Policy Branch expects to issue FWS policy to this effect in the future.

However, this recommendation does not prevent FWS programs from providing support for multi-year projects (projects that have an expected period of performance longer than one year; may be funded incrementally over time) or partnership agreements (cooperative agreements under which multiple activities will be developed and carried out in cooperation with the FWS; may be funded incrementally over time), as long as the FWS and recipients of such awards take measures to avoid losing funds due to funds cancellation.

Please see 'Time Limits on Financial Assistance Appropriated Funds' for more information on Federal funds availability, expiration and cancellation. 

Understanding the legal time limits for appropriated federal funds is integral to proper and efficient management of financial assistance (hereafter, 'FA') awards. A substantial percentage of funding used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's FA programs is from the annual Resource Management appropriation set by Congress, so a good grasp of this concept is important.

A little Background on Appropriations

Each year Congress passes an appropriations bill which authorizes the federal government to expend public funds in specified ways. This is a constitutional requirement, often referred to as the ‘power of the purse’, which means the federal government cannot spend federal funds without express congressional approval.

Included in the annual appropriations bill is the time limit Congress establishes for expenditure of the specified funds. This is referred to as the ‘period of availability’[1] or 'period of obligational availability'.[2]

Unless otherwise stated in the bill, appropriations are available for one federal fiscal year. This means those funds must be properly expended by the relevant governmental entity by the end of the current federal fiscal year. Some appropriations have longer or shorter periods of availability, specifically determined in the bill. For example, Resource Management funds appropriated to FWS are authorized for two-year periods of availability.

Excerpt from the FY2017 Appropriations Bill:

For necessary expenses of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, as authorized by law, and for scientific and economic studies, general administration, and for the performance of other authorized functions related to such resources, $1,255,004,000 (reduced by $1,000,000) (increased by $1,000,000), to remain available until September 30, 2018. [3]

Two separate fund time limits to consider

The Service's program offices that award financial assistance awards need to be aware of both the expiration and cancellation time limits related to federal appropriations. 

Expiration

Appropriated funds expire following their period of availability as established in the Appropriations Bill. 

An appropriation account expires “[a]t midnight on the last day of an appropriation’s period of availability” and is “no longer available for incurring new obligations.” [4]

Those funds which remain unobligated following their period of availability are considered expired. Deobligated funds after their period of availability are also considered expired. In each case, those expired funds are no longer available for use by the program office. The only expired funds that are "protected" are those which have been obligated to FA awards within their period of availability. These funds remain available to the recipient for drawdown ("liquidation") for eligible expenses for the period of performance of the award, or the appropriation's cancellation deadline (see below), whichever is earlier.

In practical terms, this means that FY2017 appropriated Resource Management funds are available for obligation on financial assistance awards until September 30, 2018. Any funds not obligated, or any portion of those obligated funds that are deobligated after midnight on September 30, 2018 expire. In both cases, expired unobligated Resource Management funds are lost to the program [5].

Cancellation

Following their expiration, obligated appropriations remain available for five federal fiscal years for liquidation. Any remaining obligations left unliquidated after the fifth year are cancelled and returned to the U.S. Treasury. 

The expired appropriation remains available for 5 years for the purpose of paying obligations incurred prior to the account’s expiration and adjusting obligations that were previously unrecorded or under recorded. 31 U.S.C. § 1553(a). After 5 years, the expired account is closed and the balances remaining are canceled. 31 U.S.C. § 1552(a).[6]

Looking back to our example above, the FY2017 Resource Management funds obligated to FA awards have a five-year period following the appropriation's expiration before being cancelled. This means that these funds are available to the recipient to liquidate project costs until September 30, 2023. After this date, however, those funds are canceled, even though obligated, and the program office must then take steps to backfill the cancelled funds on the FA award; typically with newer appropriations. This, as you can see, is not good. It means the program office is essentially paying a portion of the project twice. 

Federal Awarding Agency compliance with appropriation time limits

Federal awarding agencies are directed by congressional law to expend appropriated funds properly and within the legally set time-frame.

Federal agencies spend appropriated funds properly via application of what is know as "the bona fide need rule", which establishes that an appropriation is available for obligation only to fulfill a genuine, or bona fide, need of the period of availability for which it was made. [7] 

How this works with grants and cooperative agreements

With FA awards, the bona fide need rule is met at the time of the award's obligation. 

An agency's compliance with the bona fide need rule is measured at the time the agency incurs an obligation. In the grant context, the obligation occurs at the time of award. [8]

With FA awards, expenditures against the obligation, even though after the appropriation expiration itself, are valid for the award’s entire period of performance (which could be more than one year), or the cancellation of the appropriation, whichever is earlier. Unless, of course, a specific legislation states otherwise.

Briefly stated, the "obligational event" for a grant generally occurs at the time of grant award. Therefore, this is when the grantor agency must record an obligation under 31 U.S.C. § 1501(a)(5), not when the grantee draws down the funds or when the grantee incurs its own obligations. See B-300480, Apr. 9, 2003, affd, B-300480.2, June 6, 2003.[9]

An appropriation account expires “[a]t midnight on the last day of an appropriation’s period of availability” and is “no longer available for incurring new obligations.” However, an expired appropriation “remains available for 5 years for the purpose of paying obligations incurred prior to the account’s expiration and adjusting obligations that were previously unrecorded or under recorded.” Following the five-year period, the account is closed, and “[a]ny remaining balance (whether obligated or unobligated) in the account shall be cancelled and shall thereafter not be available for obligation or expenditure for any purpose.” This means that the funds are “returned to the general fund of the Treasury.” “Collections authorized or required to be credited to ... [the] appropriation account, but not received before closing of the account ... shall be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.” In the event that obligations or adjustments to obligations that should have been charged to an account are discovered after the account is closed, they “may be charged to any current appropriation account of the agency available for the same purpose” as the closed account as long as they are “not chargeable to any current appropriation account of the agency.” Congress may exempt appropriations from these rules through specific legislation. [10]



Visual Aids


HT: https://www.adr.gov/adrguide/afmc.html


Frequently Asked Questions

How does this apply to Inter-/Intra-Agency Agreements (IAAs) and the Economy Act?

The Economy Act (31 U.S.C. § 1535-1536) gives broad authority to Federal government-wide engagement in inter- and intra-agency reimbursable agreements, which result in a more economical or convenient transaction for the customer agency over the use of commercial services. Under these agreements, the bona fide need rule, as explained above, still exists. In other words, the appropriation year time limits on the funds is still in place within these agreements, and the bona fide need is met at the time the requesting agency obligates those funds in a financial assistance award 

For example, if NOAA issues appropriated funds to a FWS program via an IAA, and the FWS program issues an FA award with those funds, the FWS program must obligate the funds prior to the expiration date of the appropriation for NOAA funds obligated from the IAA. 



References

[1] Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, Vol. II, p.10-39 (Feb. 2006).

[2] Ibid., Vol. I, p.1-37 (Jan. 2004).

[3] H.R.5538 - Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5538/text.

[4] Congressional Research Service. (2010). Interagency Contracting: An Overview of Federal Procurement and Appropriations Law, 5-6. (Publication No. R40810). Retrieved from https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/ADA529123.xhtml.

[5] In special situations, the Service may request from DOI's Division of Financial Management (DFM) a special exception to use expired funds.

[6]Ibid., Vol I, p.1-37.

[7] "The BFN Rule "which establishes that an appropriation is available for obligation only to fulfill a genuine or bona fide need of the period of availability for which it was made. Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Finance and Litigation (2004). Financial Assistance and The Bona fide Need Rule: Severability No Longer An Issue, 1 (Federal Assistance Law Division: It's the Law, Vol. 16). Retrieved from http://2010-2014.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2012/march/financial_assistance_and_the_bona_fide_need_rule_severability_no_longer_an_issue.pdf.

[8] Ibid., p. 2.

[9] Principles, Vol. II, p.10-107.

[10] CRS "Interagency Contracting", pp.5-6.

 

Standardizing and Simplifying the Government’s Data on Federal Spending

Summary: 
Following a robust engagement with stakeholders, DATA Act standards have been finalized to provide a foundation to improve the quality and consistency of data available.

The Federal Government produces a large quantity of spending data, but it is housed in disconnected and siloed systems under various formats using different standards. These fragmentations limited the public’s ability to gain a complete picture of Federal spending. Providing clear and consistent, or standard, information on how taxpayer dollars are spent is a critical component to a transparent democracy and open government that drives opportunity, economic growth and innovation. 

Over the past 15 months, the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) and the Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) have taken significant steps to achieve this goal by implementing the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (“DATA Act”).  In May 2015, OMB and Treasury began the release of 57 standard data definitions (“data standards”), launched a multi-faceted pilot program focused on reducing financial assistance recipient and contractor burden, and issued formal policy guidance for Federal agencies.

Today, we are pleased to announce that, following a robust engagement with stakeholders, all 57 data standards have been finalized, providing a foundation to improve the quality and consistency of data available on USAspending.gov. By standardizing what is published on USAspending.gov and providing context and a user friendly format, we have taken an important step to provide valuable, usable information on how tax dollars are spent, who they are spent on, and for what purpose.

Today’s announcement is the product of this ongoing engagement with the public, including a town hall meeting last year, a webinar on data standards and DATA Act efforts in April, and the release of our online, open source collaboration website in December 2014. Our efforts to improve the quality of USAspending.gov’s data build on the strong foundation of Federal and non-Federal collaboration that started many years ago. Leveraging this work, OMB and Treasury have partnered with recipients of Federal funding, those interested in furthering open government initiatives, and industry professionals, to solicit feedback in every step of the implementation process. This ongoing engagement has shaped, and will continue to shape, our implementation path for the DATA Act.

While today marks a key milestone in our efforts to improve the quality of Federal spending data, there is still more work to be done. For example, we will continue to work with Federal agencies to help them begin to implement the DATA Act reporting requirements.  Moving forward, we will also continue to engage our stakeholders as we work to implement these standards, develop a process to periodically review and, if necessary, update these standards, and work with recipients of Federal funds to identify opportunities to streamline recipient reporting burden.

The power of Federal spending data is only as strong as the utility of that data.  Today, with these final data standards, we have made significant progress towards providing clear, high quality information of how taxpayer dollars are spent and a more open and transparent government.  

David Mader is the Acting Deputy Director for Management at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management.

David Lebryk is the Fiscal Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.


Management Concepts Blog Posthttp://blogs.managementconcepts.com/three-ways-data-act-standards-will-help-government-act-using-data/#.Vf6iCCBVhBc

 

Service Policy  232 FW 1 was signed on Friday 17 October 2014.  This policy requires all Service personnel who work with financial assistance to receive a Service specific financial assistance training.  All WSFR employees are required to complete the WSFR specific Basic Grants Management training.  All other Service financial assistance personnel must take the Service Basic Financial Assistance training.

Division of Policy and Directives Management just published 519 FW 2, Compliance Summary Requirements for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program. This chapter replaces what was 523 FW 1, last updated in 1992. The chapter summarizes the most common statutes, Executive Orders, and policies applicable to the grants that WSFR administers.

The policy includes and exhibit that describes each requirement in more detail, explains what its effect is on WSFR grant management, and provides links to where you can find additional information. You can find the policy at: http://www.fws.gov/policy/519fw2.html

The WSFR Toolkit has been updated to reflect the new policy.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories for federal financial assistance for conservation activities that benefit the nation’s most imperiled species.

The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF), authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, provides grants to support voluntary conservation projects for listed species and species that are candidates for listing. For fiscal year 2015, the President’s budget requests $50 million in grant funding for the CESCF to be derived from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses part of the revenue from offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters to conserve irreplaceable lands throughout the nation.

The President has proposed permanent full funding for the LWCF, which has helped pay for more than 40,000 recreational and other conservation projects across the country in its 50-year history. Congress has appropriated full funding only once before.

 The Service is seeking proposals in three categories: Recovery Land Acquisition Grants, which provide funds for the acquisition of habitat in support of approved and draft species recovery plans; Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants, which provide funds to support the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) that protect habitat for listed species while providing for economic growth and development; and HCP Land Acquisition Grants, which provide funds to acquire habitat for listed species associated with approved HCPs.

To receive a CESCF grant, a state or territory must have a current cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior and contribute at least 25 percent of the total project cost, or 10 percent when two or more states or territories undertake a joint project. Proposals must be submitted electronically through grants.gov or to the appropriate Service regional offices by January 23, 2015.  

For more information and application requirements, contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Recovery and State Grants, 5275 Leesburg Pike MS: ES, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; tel: 703-358-2171. The CESCF is number 15.615 in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

Learn more about the grants, including details of grants awarded in FY 2014, at www.fws.gov/endangered/grants.

See full announcement

The announcement of availability and request for applications for the FY 2015 Clean Vessel Act Grant Program is posted on Grants.gov (CFDA 15.616). Applications are due by December 3, 2014.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides  $5.6 million through competitive State Wildlife Grants (SWG) to 12 States for conservation projects. (News Release)

An addendum to the 2011 National Survey titled "Target Shooting by Hunters and Their Use of Shooting Ranges: 1975, 1991, and 2011" is available. It is an analytical report using 2011 Survey data describing the extent of target shooting and shooting range use by hunters. It has trend data going back to 1975. Demographics and types of weapons used are covered.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director announced that more than $16.6 million will be awarded to 21 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program in 2014.  (News Release).

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program announces the publication of the annual Request for Applications (RFA) for the Fiscal Year 2015 Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG), Tier 1 and Tier 2 on Grants.gov (CFDA 15.622).  Applicants are encouraged to contact their WSFR Regional office staff for assistance with preparing and submitting applications. The deadline for submitting proposals is September 19, 2014.

August 19, 2013

Contacts:
Laury Parramore
Laury_Parramore@fws.gov 
(703) 358-2541
cell: (703) 589-6947

Kim Betton
Kim_Betton@fws.gov
703/358-2081



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced more than $6.9 million in competitive grants to six states and one U.S. territory for projects to support recreational boating through the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Tier II program. The Service also will release approximately $400,000 to six states willing to match a smaller grant program known as BIG Tier I. 
 
“The BIG program is one of many ways we support access and provide quality outdoor opportunities for the nation’s recreational anglers and boaters,” said Assistant Director Hannibal Bolton of the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. “These grants also spur major construction projects, create jobs and provide much-needed economic benefits.”
 
Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and gasoline.

“The Boating Infrastructure Grant program provides critical federal funding that is leveraged by states and marinas to create and maintain docks and other infrastructure that increase access for America's boaters to get out on our nation’s waters,”  said Thomas Dammrich, chairman of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.  “The Council commends the Service for its extraordinary effort in opening up a second grant application cycle for this year, allowing some of that money to be put to work quickly to help rebuild boating infrastructure damaged and destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.”

Along with $13.5 million in BIG funds provided in April, the Service awarded a total of nearly $21 million through this program in Fiscal Year 2013. BIG Tier II grants will be made for efforts in Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In addition, the Service will release approximately $400,000 to six states:  Florida, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin through BIG Tier I. Using Tier I grant funds, states make awards through their own competitive processes.

For more information about the BIG Tier II projects, visit:http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/GrantPrograms/BIG/BIG_Funding.htm
 
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) is a 75-year partnership to benefit fish and wildlife and provide Americans with access to the outdoors through a self-imposed investment paid by manufacturers and users of gear bought by anglers, boaters, hunters and shooters and managed by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies. Fishing and hunting licenses and a motorboat fuel tax also support fish and wildlife. For 75 years, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has provided more than $14 billion for fish and wildlife, supplied jobs for many Americans, and benefitted local economies through boating, fishing, hunting and shooting activities.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program training team is excited to announce the release of a new e-learning course titled The Grants Management Process. This course will be offered as a pre-requisite for all those who will participate in the Project Leader's (PLC) and Basic Grants Management (BGM) courses. This is the second WSFR e-learning course developed in cooperation with the  National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) Division of Knowledge Resources and Technologies (KREATE). 

The purpose of this e-learning course is for students to arrive at the PLC and BGM courses with basic knowledge of the WSFR Program and the Grants Management Process. This will allow more time in the instructor led portion of the courses to be devoted to the most significant subject matter.

 

This new on-line course incorporates a game board approach that takes learners on a journey through each life phase of a grant. The course is fun and engaging while accomplishing established learning objectives. A Certificate of Completion can be printed for all those who successfully complete the course. Certificates must be presented to the classroom instructor at the Project Leader's and Basic Grants Management Courses. We hope you will enjoy this new e-learning tool.

Check out the course here:  http://nctc.fws.gov/courses/WSFR/GMP/content/index.html

Note: iPad users should open the URL and create a Bookmark on the Home Screen. Then, click on the Home Screen bookmark to open the course.

The FWS Financial Assistance Wiki (FAwiki) is now available for your use.  Its web address is:http://fawiki.fws.gov

What is a Wiki?  A Wiki is a website developed by many users providing content to develop a knowledgebase.  In this instance, it is FWS Financial Assistance. 

 In the past we often cataloged our institutional FA (grant and cooperative agreement) knowledge by using: 1) Guidance, 2) Email (archives and message threads), and 3) Employee experience (subject matter experts).  The FA Wiki does not replace your existing sources of information and guidance (such as the FAPO and FA Systems Intranet websites, document archives, etc.).  The FAwiki allows FWS to bring those resources together into one tool that documents and preserves the information in a manner that is accessible to everyone.  The collaboration ability of a wiki affords all partnerships a vehicle for input. The FAwiki is a recently developed knowledge base built to contain FWS Financial Assistance policies, laws, rules, guidance, and best practices for individuals who have grant program and/or cooperative agreement management or grantee/recipient responsibilities.  It provides a lasting, accessible knowledge base of guidance for our respective Financial Assistance managers, specialists, and award recipients. 

The FWS FAwiki is topic rather than guidance based.    The general Topic Organization is:

Topic

Definition

Applicable Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning Aids

Related Topics

Related Pages

Grant Program Specific Guidance

Comments

At this time the content of the FAwiki is incomplete.  As additional FWS Financial Assistance partners contribute program specific content, a more complete and robust reference tool will evolve.  The current content is from FWS-wide Financial Assistance guidance for grants and cooperative agreements and WSFR grant program guidance. The information from these sources was the most readily available to the wiki developers. This content is currently being refined and arranged into an efficient organization of financial assistance reference materials. 

Additional FWS program specific guidance will be placed in the FAwiki knowledgebase as more financial assistance partners participate in the wiki environment. All FWS Financial Assistance Programs may use the FAwiki to store and distribute current guidance and historically significant information for their program managers, specialists, and financial assistance partners/recipients.

We invite you to visit the FAwiki and consider the possibilities for your program(s).  Questions, comments, and suggestions about the FAwiki can be submitted from within the wiki by clicking on the e-mail link found at the bottom of every page. Or, contact Steve Leggans, WSFR Information Management Branch Chief via e-mail or 304-876-7463; or contact Scott Knight, WSFR National Training Coordinator via e-mail or 304-876-7465.  

Please let your staff members know that the FWS's Financial Assistance Wiki is now available at http://fawiki.fws.gov