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3.10 OJP/COPS Office Conference Approval, Planning, and Reporting

Policy Overview

All conferences (defined broadly to include meetings, retreats, seminars, symposia, events, and group training activity) conducted by cooperative agreement recipients or contractors funded by OJP/COPS Office must receive written prior approval. An approved award budget is not a prior approval. All prior approval requests for conferences costing $100,000 or less and not exceeding any cost thresholds must be submitted a minimum of 90 days in advance of the start date. All conferences costing more than $100,000 or exceeding any one cost threshold must be submitted a minimum of 120 days in advance of the start date. See the Prior Approval Required section for more information.

In addition, cooperative agreement recipients and contractors conducting conferences that cost more than $20,000 must report actual conference expenses within 45 days after the last day of the event. See the Post-Event Reporting section for more information.

No hotel/venue or audio-visual contracts may be entered into before such prior approval has been obtained in writing from OJP/COPS Office.


Conferences conducted by grant recipients do not require prior approval. However, grant recipients must ensure compliance with the food/beverage, meeting room/audio-visual, logistical planner, and programmatic planner limitations and cost thresholds. (Note – if the award number does not have a "K" in the last 4 characters, then the award is a grant.)

Cooperative Agreements

Cooperative agreement recipients must receive written prior approval for all conferences. Cooperative agreement recipients may not proceed with a conference until appropriate approval has been received, must comply with the approval process regarding logistical conference planning (see section on logistical conference planning), and must keep their program manager informed of all decisions being made during the conference planning process. (Note – if there is a "K" in the last 4 characters of the award number, then the award is a cooperative agreement.)


Contract recipients must receive written prior approval for all conferences.

Cost Thresholds

Cost thresholds and limitations are in place for the following items:

  • Meeting room/audio-visual services (lesser of $25 per day per attendee or $20,000)
  • Logistical planners (lesser of $50 per attendee or $8,750)
  • Programmatic planners (lesser of $200 per attendee or $35,000)
  • Food and beverage (generally not allowed)
  • Refreshments (generally not allowed)

While there are exceptions to these thresholds and limitations, they are rare and require extraordinary justification as well as approval outside and above OJP/COPS Office. See the Conference Costs and Prior Approval Required sections for more information.

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