FAQs on Byrne-JAG Funds:
1 Q. How long from submission to execution of an agreement will it take before counties can file claims for payment?
1 A. The claim for payment process will be similar to the current OTP quarterly invoice process. The first quarter for JAG expenditures will be October 1 – December 31, 2009. Counties may submit requests for reimbursements once they have received a signed copy of the grant award agreement.
2 Q. How long do counties have to spend these funds?
2 A. The annual expenditure period is October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010, although extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
3 Q. Are the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office eligible to receive any of these JAG funds?
3 A. No. JAG funds cannot be used to reimburse these types of expenditures. Probation supervision, on the other hand, is an allowable expenditure.
4 Q. Can JAG funds be used for for-profit agencies that provide treatment services?
4 A. Yes. There are currently no restrictions that prohibit the use of for-profit treatment providers.
5 Q. Can JAG funds be used to pay for treatment services to parolees?
5 A. Yes. There are currently no restrictions prohibiting treatment for parolees who are eligible for OTP programs. However, JAG funding is not allowed to be used for the parole agents who may be supervising OTP parolees.
6 Q. Must OTP funds be spent out entirely before JAG funds can be used for treatment services (other than personnel)?
6 A. Other than for personnel, there are no provisions that require OTP funds to be spent before JAG funds.
7 Q. Does a county have to issue pink slips, or actually go through a lay-off and rehire process, if the Byrne-JAG funds are going to be used for currently employed staff?
7 A. Yes, with some qualification. In order for a county to use JAG funds for county staff, either a pink slip (or some type of official statement indicating the position would have been lost absent the JAG funds), or a lay-off and rehire process will be required. Please provide a copy of the documentation for the action.
8 Q. Is an existing vacant position hire considered a new position hire?
8 A. Researching answer.
9 Q. What are the recommended program options if a county admits clients under OTP funding, this funding is exhausted mid-treatment, and the county cannot split funding with JAG?
9 A. This should be clarified in the RFA and the subsequent All-County Letter from ADP.
10 Q. Will rollover of JAG funds into FY 10-11 be allowed, since by the time a county receives approval and works through the authority process to accept the funds, it will have lost at least a quarter of the year?
10 A. Extensions of the expenditure period may be requested based on extenuating circumstances. Also, counties will be allowed to bill for services provided as of Oct. 1.
11 Q. To what extent (if any) will the requirements of the Cal-EMA Recipient Handbook govern the local level management of the JAG funds? Will County AOD programs be required to comply with the provisions of this Handbook, i.e. the requirement that all contracts must be awarded through a bid process, or that all contracts over $50,000 must have prior CalEMA approval?
11 A. The provisions of the Recipient Handbook are required of all new programs funded through Cal-EMA. However, not all of these provisions will necessarily apply. This needs further clarification.
12 Q. On pages 8 and 9 of Part I Section F: Reporting Jobs Data – Does the maintenance of auditable documentation include budget comparisons, formal lay-off reports, minutes of budgetary meetings, timecards AND employee activity reports? OR are any one of these types of documentation considered sufficient for audit purposes?
12 A. Researching Answer.
13 Q. Page 9, recommended documentation: do these standards apply to our contracted providers, or just to county positions?
13 A. The recommended documentation is standards for the county positions.
14 Q. On page 3 of Part I Section E: Funds and page 19, Part II, Section C: Project Budget – References are made to ‘…must budget funds for an 18-month grant period…’ and ‘…budget must cover the entire grant period.’ We read this to mean that these funds are to be budgeted to support services over the whole period. Is that correct? Must the JAG dollars be spent over the 18 month period and cannot expended sooner?
14 A. The recipient must budget for 18 months period. Although, the recipient can modify if needed and close out if funds are spent prior to March 31, 2009.
15 Q. Page 14, FFATA requirements: is that signage (like the road construction signs you see on the highway: “This project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act”)? Does this apply to the county, or to CalEMA?
15 A. Researching Answer
16 Q. Per the application: All applicants must budget for a minimum of one Cal EMA sponsored training session during the grant year. Applicants must also include sufficient per diem and travel allocations for at a minimum of two project staff from each participating agency (who) must attend each training conference. Where is this training, and for how long? Are there any requirements/restrictions on who can or should attend?
16 A. Recipient agencies must budget for 2 employees for one-day session training in Sacramento.(Note: CADPAAC is planning to schedule this training in conjunction with our January 2010 Quarterly Meeting.)
17 Q. “Participating Agency” is defined in the JAG OTP application as an organization that receives grant funds through an Operational Agreement to participate in achieving the goals of a project… For our county the above requirement would require sending staff from 10 to 12 contract providers or department partners or a minimum of approximately twenty participants – a considerable allocation of staffing and funds. That would include the DA, PD Probation, etc. Is this the intent of the Funding Agency?
17 A. This requirement is for the implementing agency, not the participating agency.
18 Q. The budgeting for Administrative Costs (5% or 10%) is not clear…can we or can’t we? It states it’s up to CalEMA.
18 A. This only applies to indirect costs, not to direct administration costs (see section 2220).
19 Q. Regarding the RFA’s Public Website requirement for transparency, whose responsibility will that be: CalEMA, ADP or the County?
19 A. Cal EMA is responsible for the FRA’s website requirement for transparency.
20 Q. For county-operated services, is funding allowed? How does it work for county employees planned to be paid through the grant in FY 10/11? We don’t have documentation that jobs will be lost in the future.
20 A. Yes, funding is allowed for county operated services. However, funds can only be used for new jobs or jobs that have or will be lost.
21 Q. Cover Page vs. Page 22 – There seems to be a discrepancy between being able to incur costs as of 10/1/09 (per cover page) vs. language in the RFA that we can’t incur costs prior to grant agreement (page 22).
21 A. Recipients can incur costs at their own risk. Once grants are finished the recipient can claim reimbursement back to October 1, 2009.
22 Q. Page 13 – regarding GPRA Measures, can you provide some further clarification on how to report GPRA information?
22 A. Researching Answer.
23 Q. Can we bring back an employee 1 FTE and account for their cost with JAG if they do other duties in addition to JAG-OTP? (The idea of the grant is to retain staff, but I am not sure if I have enough for an Office Assistant to do nothing but JAG.)
23 A. Yes, an employee can be rehired or new can jobs can be created. Please provide functional timesheets for all services provided under JAG.
24 Q. Regarding the Goals on page 16, item 2(a): Do all four goals need to be addressed? If yes, since there is overlap in the activities and objectives, can they be combined?
24 A. Yes, they may be related as long as all four goals are met.
25 Q. Is there a specific format necessary for the Operational Agreements?
25 A. No. The format provided was a sample. Any format would be appropriate.
26 Q. For example, can a county use the standard MOU format they already use for inter county department agreements?
26 A. Yes. Any format would be appropriate.
27 Q. If a county has a contract with an independent contractor for greater than $50K for the entire agency operations (i.e. an IT contractor), is this required to be reported if the cost of that contract allocated to the JAG dollars does not exceed the $50K?
27 A. Yes, please correspond with section 3000 of the Recipient Handbook.
28 Q. The RFA (page 4, last bullet under program requirements) reads: “…..CalEMA may limit the expenditure of funds provided…for administrative costs.” This seems to conflict with other provisions of the RFA, i.e. Item 10, page 28, which references 10% of personnel costs or 5% of total project costs. Which is the case?
28 A. Page 28, Item 10 refers to indirect costs versus administrative costs. Please use the correct category.
29 Q. Regarding Operational Agreements, we have 15 contracts with 11 providers. DBH’s Contracts Unit has all the elements required in O.A. However, each contract is approximately 50 pages in length. How should we proceed? Would one copy (example) of a contract work for the Proof of OA?
29 A. The Operational Agreements must be submitted only on the summary form provided within the RFA.
30 Q. If JAG funds are deposited into departments’ Alcohol & Drug budgets but tracked separately with a program code, will this meet the requirement that we not commingle funds? Is this applicable, as it appears that counties are reimbursed for services?
30 A. Not applicable. Only reimbursement costs must be tracked separately, so there is no commingling of funds.
31 Q. We are planning to blend 15 contracts into one overall budget and program. Is this appropriate, or do we need to have separate program descriptions and budgets?
31 A. The recipient agencies must each list the program description and budget for application.
32 Q. The budget template will need to be accessed on the website, as it was not included in the application. Am I reading this correctly that I would need to submit two budgets, one if the grant is not approved and the job losses that would follow, and one with the JAG included?
32 A. The recipient agency must provide linked budget pages and only one budget.
33 Q. Since the attachments and forms refer to the Substance Abuse Offender Treatment Program (OTP), is it safe to assume that we can expand upon our already-approved OTP plan that we have with the State?
33 A. No, this is a new program and the recipient agency must complete a new application for JAG – OTP.
34 Q. In the RFP there are many proposed performance measure items by activity. What is unclear is whether we need to choose from them in our application as measures we will be using in evaluating our funds. Or can we make our own, different from any that are suggested, or is it both?
34 A. The recipient agency must report performance measures for evaluation.
35 Q. The application requires Certification of Assurance of Compliance forms to be included (CAL EMA2-104). However in the forms portion of the online form data base there are many varieties of these, CALEMA2-104 a-e or f. Which do we need to use? Just the main 104, or all of them?
35 A. The Certification of Assurance is available on the forms page of the RFA. Click on the link in the RFA Standard Certification.
36 Q. The RFA gives different reporting dates: Dec. 15 for the OMB reporting period; and Jan. 15 for the JAG program performance measurement reporting. Is there a way to reconcile these so we have a single reporting period, rather than having to prepare two reports a month apart?
36 A. No, these are federal reporting guidelines and cannot be amended at this time.
37 Q. On page 5, in the Registration section, the recipient is required to obtain a DUNS number and register with CCR. Many counties already have multiple DUNS numbers (i.e. for various departments). Which number should the county use?
37 A. If the county already has a DUNS number, use that number. If it has multiple DUNS numbers, use the one assigned to the department that is applying for the JAG funds (i.e. AOD, Behavioral Health, etc.)
38 Q. Is the purchase of incentives an allowable expense?
38 A. Researching Answer
39 Q. Is the purchase of food for a graduation ceremony an allowable expense under JAG funds?
39 A. No, no food or beverages can be purchased with JAG funds.
40 Q. As we are including the purchase of software and support in our budget under the “Equipment” category, should we subtract the total amount we have budgeted for software and support or only the amount for the software?
40 A. Equipment is $5000 or more. If less than this amount, then please budget under operating expense.
41 Q. The Recipient Handbook says that reports are due 30 days after close of quarter. Which reports?
41 A. Yes, this is referring to the Forms 201.
42 Q. The Special Conditions form says 10 days. Is this another report?
42 A. Yes, this is referring to the OMB Report.
43 Q. Section 2161 of the Recipient Handbook provides CBO requirements to have a Fidelity Bond or equivalent employee dishonesty insurance contract. Is this for contractors that we will fund though the Operational Agreements?
43 A. No, The requirement only applies to the implementing agency.
44 Q. Is Form Cal EMA 2-104 required to be completed by County agency, or is there an exemption?
44 A. Form Cal EMA 2-104 is a requirement that must be completed by the county, and there is no exemption. The county Chair of BOS, County Manager or Fiscal Officer should complete this form.
45 Q. Is it necessary in the application to include the “Noncompetitive Bid Request Form (Cal EMA 2-156)?
45 A. The Cal EMA form 2-156 should be completed if bidding for a sole source contract.
46 Q. Is it necessary in the application to include the “Out of State Travel Request” (Cal EMA 158)?
46 A. The Cal EMA form 158 should be completed if you are going to pay for out of state travel with these funds.
47 Q. Is the BOS required to submit the county application?
47 A. No, only the Certification of Assurance.
48 Q. Is the documentation of jobs and jobs saved required for contractors?
48 A. The report of jobs created or surrendered must be reported for JAG funds.
49 Q. Will the County be required to seek noncompetitive bid approval from Cal EMA?
49 A. No, these are not contracts. They are Operational Agreements (refer to Section 4000 within the RFA).
50 Q. What funding sources should we select on the Grant Award Face Sheet?
50 A. Please type in JAGR.
51 Q. Is there more that one funding source?
51 A. No, there is only one funding sounce, which is JAGR.
52 Q. Is a match required?
52 A. No there is no match required for the JAG –OTP.
53 Q. Counties use the RFA process to request the JAG program funds from Cal EMA. What about the service providers that counties contract with to provide program services?
53 A. No, providers do not use this process (please see section 4000 of the handbook).
54 Q. Is it a requirement to complete both the Project Narrative and Project Summary?
54 A. Yes, both forms must be completed.
55 Q. The Project Narrative and Project Summary forms are blank documents without templates or headings. Is that correct?
55 A. The blank forms are formatted with the font and margins.
56 Q. Should we frame the grant for existing or new OTP services?
56 A. Please frame the grant for new OTP services.
57 Q. How would you like us to enumerate the goals, such as “Enhance Treatment services”?
57 A. Only enumerate objectives from your objectives to the meet the goals, like the sample provided in the RFA.
58 Q. Do you have any idea what it means in the RFA under the Application Appendix section in the checklist when they ask for Recovery Act Special Conditions? There’s not a form in the forms section that you can bring up to fill in.
58 A. Page 32. At the top of that page there is a link you can copy and paste into your browser. This brings you to the main forms page for CalEMA. The Recovery Act Special Conditions is yet one more assurance and certification form (5 pages) that must be printed and signed.
59 Q. The following questions relate to the fiscal reporting for ARRA funds. The most pressing question is about the 12/15 report deadlines and how/what is to be submitted, particularly if we do not have approved plans yet:
- Is the CFDA number for Byrne Grant 16.803 or 16.804?
- Do we need to submit a fiscal report for the December 15 deadline even it will be a 0 cost and may not have an approval by then?
- Are the fiscal deadlines in the RFA, for the sub recipient meaning “The County”?
- Are the fiscal reports to be prepared by completing a hardcopy form or through a website access? Entity and address the report has to be submitted if hardcopy form?
- What are the data requirement of the fiscal report? When will the information on the reporting information be posted in the website mentioned in the RFA (www.recovery.ca.gov) and (www.recovery.gov)?
59 A. Pending
60 Q. Section 2161 of Recipient Handbook talks about requirements for CBOs to have a Fidelity Bond or an equivalent employee dishonesty insurance contract. Is this required for contractors that we will fund through Operational Agreements?
60 A. Pending
- What are counties doing with Prop. 36 clients who are currently in treatment programs? Are counties continuing Prop. 36 services, discontinuing services, transitioning clients, discontinuing clients?
Several counties are looking at moving some clients into PC 1000 type programs, which are supported by client fees. Although these programs are 100% revenue offset, most have fee reductions for indigient/lower income. According to a recent survey, responding counties reported that they offer PC 1000 programs ranging from 3-6 months, at a cost of about $400-$600, although some go as high as $1,000. Services typically include a combination of educational groups, process groups, individual sessions, minimum random drug testing, and requirements to attend self-help meetings.
As decided by the Judges in Riverside County:
- Prop 36 is now referred to as PC 1210.1, or 1210 for short. As long as a defendant who has been referred to 1210 keeps checking in weekly to stay on the waiting list for treatment, he/she will have as long as necessary to complete that treatment, i.e., the twelve month time limit will be waived.
- There will be no drug testing done while a defendant is on a wait list and is not receiving treatment.
- How are clients being notified of changes?
- What are counties doing about new eligibles?
- What are local DA’s, PD’s and Judges saying about Prop. 36 reductions? Doing about it?
- Are dedicated calendars shutting down, or are judges willing to continue them?
- For counties that are going to allow providers to develop fee-for-service Level One programs (PC 1000 like), have they started that process? Are they going to do RFPs, or just open it to their existing providers?
- Do any counties have AOD treatment in high schools?
- We’ve decided that we want the playing field to be level with our providers. My HHSA and AOD director are interested in this question: Do we have the ability to standardize the fees they charge (given that their expenses end up meeting their revenue)?
Agree the playing field needs to be level so you don’t get weird competition for clients. We’ve had a standardized fee schedule in our county for both PC 1000 & DUI almost from the beginning of the programs. The fee does need to pay for the program services since they won’t get public funds. This is difficult for some to wrap their heads around since many CBOs get public money & back into it, rather than determine the true cost of the service.
We just announced to our providers that we are going to a fee for service for Prop. 36 clients beginning on July 1, 2009, even if they give us the money back. So with this, we are looking at a standardized fee for all of our Court Ajudicated Referral programs for exactly the same reason: to keep the clients from picking and choosing which program they want to go to based on who was the cheapest. This provides for a level playing field.
I’ve asked my providers to give me a fee structure that meets their needs. Once I receive this from all of them I am going to come up with what will pay the bills for all of them and use that as the standard. I know that most of them have always backed into their budgets over the past years so this is the opportunity for them to get it right.
Q. What is the standard that programs use to determine a positive etg test? Our lab says anything over 500 ng is definitely alcohol consumption. Under 500 ng cannot be defended in court. We are trying to determine what to do with clients who test at 100ng, 450ng, etc.
- Our County is in the process of blending our A/D and M/H intake packets. Are there any other counties who have already completed this task? Both MH and AOD realize that the intake packets are nothing short of a small novel. Any blending of forms, releases, etc. would be very beneficial to the client and counselor/therapist.
In a way, yes, we are ‘blending’ intake processes. In Avatar (Netsmart), we have created a single set of programs for both MH and AOD admissions and progress notes. We use a single ‘Bubble Sheet’ for all BHD Program setups. For Admission there are two workflows depending on the program (MH and AOD). MH programs are opened using this workflow; called a ‘Bundle’ in Avatar:
- Admission Part II
- CSI Admission
- Emergency Contact Information
- Family Registration (for UMDAP)
For AOD programs, we follow the following path:
- Admission Part II
- CalOMS Admission
- Emergency Contact Information
- Family Registration (for UMDAP)
So, the processes are similiar, but MH admission requires CSI data and AOD admission requires CalOMS data.
Our goal is to standardize the workflow between all programs in the EMR for both MH and AOD as well as between systems of care.
- Our laboratory that performs our Etg tests informed us that only readings over 500dl are valid in court (i.e. they would give professional testimony of difinitive consumption of alcohol.) We are, therefore, creating a policy for clients who test positive, but under 500dl. Do any counties have a policy for positive test results that are under the lab’s legal threshhold? We are considering using the first lower reading as a written warning but not a violation. Any subsequent positive tests would be considered violations (as clients had been given lists of all foods, etc. to avoid that contain alcohol.)