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OJP Grant Application Resource Guide

Description

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Grant Application Resource Guide ("Guide") provides guidance to assist OJP grant applicants in preparing and submitting applications for OJP funding. It addresses a variety of policies, statutes, and regulations that apply to many (or in some cases, all) OJP program applicants, or to grants and cooperative agreements awarded in fiscal year (FY) 2021. Some OJP programs may have program solicitations that expressly modify a provision of this Guide; in such cases, the applicant is to follow the guidelines in the solicitation as to any sSF-424 stepuch expressly modified provision.

Contents

 

How To Apply

Applicants will submit the SF-424 and the SF-LLL in Grants.gov and the FULL application including attachments in JustGrants.

Applicants must register in and submit the SF-424 and the SF-LLL through Grants.gov, a primary source to find federal funding opportunities and apply for funding. Find complete instructions on how to register and submit an application on the Grants.gov Support page.

Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; DOJ encourages applicants to register several weeks before the application submission deadline. Processing delays may occur, and it can take several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation of registration and a user password.

All prospective applicants should sign up for Grants.gov email notifications regarding the solicitation(s) of interest. If the solicitation is cancelled or modified, individuals who sign up with Grants.gov for updates will be automatically notified. All applicants are required to complete the following steps:

Applying as an Individual An individual who wishes to apply in their personal capacity should search Grants.gov for funding opportunities for which individuals are eligible to apply. Use the Funding Opportunity Number (FON) to register. (An applicant applying as an individual must comply with all applicable Grants.gov individual registration requirements.)

Enter the FON at https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/IndCPRegister to complete the registration form and create a username and password for Grants.gov. (An applicant applying as an individual should complete all steps below except 1, 2 and 4.)

DOJ encourages individuals to obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the IRS, rather than using a social security number as a unique identifier.

OJP Application Submission Steps

Step 1: Obtain a DUNS number/Confirmation number

Obtain your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number first; you cannot complete any of the steps below without it.

It can take up to 2 business days to obtain the DUNS number.

Call DUN and Bradstreet at 866-705-5711 to obtain a DUNS number or apply at www.dnb.com.

Step 2: Register with SAM database/Confirm SAM number

Organizational Entities Only - System of Award Management (SAM) registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete.

If you do not have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the process can take up to 5 weeks. If you have an EIN, the process can takes up to 2 weeks.

SAM registration procedures can be accessed at www.sam.gov.

The person registering with SAM will be the designated SAM E-Business Point of Contact, who can assign the people who submit applications for the organization (your Authorized Organization Representatives). You must have a DUNS number to submit a SAM registration. In addition, you must review your SAM registration once a year.

Step 3: Acquire an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and a Grants.gov username and password.

Complete the AOR profile on Grants.gov and create a username and password. An applicant entity's "unique entity identifier" (DUNS number) must be used to complete this step. For more information about the registration process for organizations and other entities, visit the Grants.gov registration page. Individuals registering with Grants.gov may visit the Applicant Registration page.

Step 4: Acquire confirmation for the AOR from the E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC).

The SAM E-Biz POC at the applicant organization must log into Grants.gov to confirm the applicant organization's AOR. The E-Biz POC will need the Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) password obtained when registering with SAM to complete this step. Note that an organization can have more than one AOR.

Step 5: Search for the funding opportunity on Grants.gov.

Search using the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number and Assistance Listing title and the funding opportunity number from the solicitation.

Step 6: Select the correct Competition ID.

Some DOJ solicitations posted to Grants.gov contain multiple categories, denoted by the individual Competition ID. If applying to a solicitation with multiple Competition IDs, select the appropriate Competition ID for the intended category of the application. If the solicitation does not have multiple competition IDs, skip this step.

Step 7: Access Funding Opportunity and Application Package from Grants.gov.

Select "Apply for Grants" under the "Applicants" column. Enter your email address to be notified of any changes to the opportunity package before the closing date. Click the Workspace icon to use Grants.gov Workspace.

Step 8: Complete and Submit the SF-424 and SF-LLL via Grants.gov.

Within 48 hours after submitting the SF-424 and SF-LLL, the applicant should receive two notifications from Grants.gov. The first will confirm the receipt of the SF-424 and SF-LLL. The second will state whether the SF-424 and SF-LLL has been validated and successfully submitted, or whether it has been rejected due to errors, with an explanation. It is possible to first receive a message indicating that the application is received, and then receive a rejection notice a few minutes or hours later. Submitting the SF-424 and the SF-LLL well ahead of the Grants.gov deadline provides time to correct the problem(s) that caused the rejection.

Important: DOJ urges each applicant to submit the SF-424 and the SF-LLL at least 72 hours prior to the Grants.gov due date, to allow time to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. Verify the application deadline (date and time) in the solicitation.

Step 9: Register the Entity Administrator (E-Biz POC) and the Application Submitter with DOJ's Justice Grants System (JustGrants).

New Entity without a JustGrants Account

Within 24 hours of JustGrants receiving an application from Grants.gov, the user submitting the application in Grants.gov and SAM E-Biz POC will receive an email to register for a JustGrants account. The email is from DOJ's secure user management system (DIAMD) and will include instructions on how to create an account.

To ensure that you receive these emails and that they are not flagged as spam, we recommend adding "[email protected]" to the trusted sender list in your email settings.

The E-Biz POC at the applicant organization serves as the Entity Administrator and must log-in to JustGrants to confirm the entity's profile and add users. The user who submitted the application in Grants.gov serves as the Application Submitter. Within minutes of completing your JustGrants account registration, the Application Submitter and the E-Biz POC (Entity Administrator) users will receive an email from JustGrants with a link to the application started in Grants.gov.

Application Submitters and E-Biz POC Users with a JustGrants Account

Step 10: Review and Invite the Authorized Representative, as needed

The Entity Administrator will need to log-in to JustGrants to review the Authorized Representatives associated with the Entity. If an Authorized Representative needs to be invited, the Entity Administrator will need to invite the individual to receive a JustGrants account. Note that an organization can have more than one Authorized Representative, as long as those individuals have documented authority to sign an agreement with the federal government. These actions are required before an application can be submitted.

Within minutes of being invited to be an Authorized Representative, the individual will receive an email from [email protected] with instructions on how to create an account in DOJ's secure user management system.

Once the Authorized Representative receives the email and completes the steps to create an account, the Authorized Representative will be available in JustGrants.

Review the "JustGrants User Roles Guide" to become familiar with the various JustGrants Entity User roles.

Step 11: Complete and Submit the JustGrants Application

The Application Submitter will need to complete the application by entering data into web-based forms, uploading attachments, and accepting assurances and certifications. The Application Submitter will also need to select the Authorized Representative(s).

Once all sections are completed, the application submitter will submit the application.

Upon successful submission of an application, the Application Submitter, Entity Administrator, and Authorized Representative will receive an email from JustGrants confirming submission of the application.

Experiencing Unforeseen Technical Issues

An applicant that experiences unforeseen technical issues beyond its control with SAM.gov, Grants.gov, or JustGrants, which prevents it from submitting its application by the deadline, must contact the appropriate customer support to report the technical issue and receive a tracking number.

Applicants experiencing difficulties with Grants.gov or SAM.gov must contact the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline or the SAM Help Desk (Federal Service Desk) to report the technical issue and receive a tracking number.

Applicants experiencing difficulties with JustGrants must contact the JustGrants Support Desk at [email protected] or 833–872–5175 Monday through Friday between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET) and Saturday, Sunday, and Federal holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

The applicant must email the contact identified in the Contact Information section on the title page within 24 hours after the application deadline to request approval to submit its application after the deadline. The applicant's email must describe the technical difficulties, and must include a timeline of the applicant's submission efforts, the complete grant application, the applicant's DUNS number, and any SAM tracking number(s), Grants.gov Help Desk, JustGrants Support Desk Ticket Numbers.

Note: OJP does not automatically approve requests to submit a late application even in the event of technological difficulties. After OJP reviews the applicant's request, and contacts the SAM.gov, Grants.gov, JustGrants Support Desk to verify the reported technical issues, OJP will inform the applicant whether the request to submit a late application has been approved or denied. If OJP determines that the late application submission was due to the applicant's failure to follow all required procedures, OJP will deny the applicant's request to submit its application.

The following conditions generally are insufficient to justify late submissions:

  • Failure to register in SAM or Grants.gov in sufficient time (SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete. The information transfer from SAM to Grants.gov can take up to 48 hours.)
  • Failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and apply as posted on its website
  • Failure to follow each instruction in the OJP solicitation
  • Technical issues with the applicant's computer or information technology environment, such as issues with firewalls or browser incompatibility

Notifications regarding known technical problems with Grants.gov and JustGrants, if any, are posted at the top of the OJP Funding Resource Center.

See JustGrants Training on Application Submission for training videos and a job aid reference guide.

Application Elements and Formatting Instructions

An application that OJP determines is nonresponsive to the scope of the solicitation, or that OJP determines does not include the application elements that must be included in the application submission in order for the application to meet the basic minimum requirements will neither proceed to peer review, nor receive further consideration.

Complete the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form (SF)-424)

The SF-424 is a required standard form required for submission of pre-applications, applications, and related information. Grants.gov uses information from the applicant's profile to populate the fields on this form. In Section F of the SF-424, please include the name and contact information of the individual who will complete application materials in JustGrants. JustGrants will use this information (email address) to assign the application to this user in JustGrants.

The Federal Award amount requested on the SF-424 should be for the full period of performance expected for the completion of the proposed project and should match the totals listed within the Budget Summary at the end of the Budget Worksheet.

NOTES:

Type of applicant: If the applicant is a for-profit entity, select "For-Profit Organization" or "Small Business" (as applicable).

Section of SF-424

Current OJP Award Recipient

Box 8a (Legal Name)

Enter the legal business name exactly as it appears on the matching System for Award Management (SAM) record for your organization.

Box 8b (Employer Identification Number (EIN))

Enter the EIN exactly as it appears on the matching SAM record for your organization.

Box 8c (Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number

Enter the entity's active registration DUNS number exactly as it appears on the matching SAM record for your organization.

Box 8d (Address)

Enter the entity's mailing address exactly as it appears on the matching SAM record for your organization.

OJP will use the System for Award Management (SAM) to confirm the Legal name, EIN, Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and Mailing Address entered in the SF-424; therefore, an applicant should ensure that the information entered in the SF-424 matches its current registration in SAM. If the current registration in SAM does not match the SF-424, OJP will default to the SAM record for the applicant organization as the correct one. See the How To Apply section for more information on SAM and DUNS numbers.

Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

Each applicant must complete and submit this information. An applicant that expends any funds for lobbying activities is to provide all of the information requested on the form Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) which is completed in Grants.gov as part of initiating your application submission. An applicant that does not expend any funds for lobbying activities is to enter "N/A" in the text boxes for item 10 ("a. Name and Address of Lobbying Registrant" and "b. Individuals Performing Services").

Budget Preparation and Submission Information

 
  1. Detailed Computations and Allowable Costs

The Budget Worksheet should provide the detailed computation for each budget line item, listing the total cost of each and showing how it was calculated by the applicant. For example, costs for personnel should show the annual salary rate and the percentage of time devoted to the project for each employee paid with grant funds. The Budget Worksheet should present a complete itemization of all proposed costs for the full period of performance expected for the completion of the project. Applicants should put all costs within one Budget Worksheet and should not submit separate worksheets for each year of the project. The Budget Summary at the end of the Budget l Worksheet should match the amounts entered into the SF 424, with regard to the total federal amount requested and match requirement (if applicable).

For questions pertaining to budget and examples of allowable and unallowable costs, visit the DOJ Grants Financial Guide.

 
  1. Narrative Justification for Every Cost

The Budget Worksheet should include a thorough and clear description of every cost listed in the "Narrative" section for each budget category. OJP expects proposed budgets to be complete, cost effective, and allowable (e.g., reasonable, allocable, and necessary for project activities).

Applicants must use the most cost effective systems in meeting project goals. For example, the narrative should detail why planned in-person meetings/trainings are more cost effective ultimately than versus webinars or remote meetings.

The narrative should correspond clearly with the line item computations provided in the Budget Worksheet. The narrative should explain how the applicant estimated and calculated all costs, and how those costs are necessary to the completion of the proposed project. As with the Budget Worksheet, the Budget Narrative should describe costs by year.

 
  1. Information on Proposed Subawards (if any) and Proposed Procurement Contracts (if any)

Applicants typically may propose to make subawards as well as to enter into procurement contracts under the award.

OJP has developed the following guidance documents to help clarify the differences between subawards and procurement contracts under an OJP award and outline the compliance and reporting requirements for each.

a. Information on proposed subawards

A recipient of an OJP award may not make subawards ("subgrants") unless the recipient has specific federal authorization to do so through 1) an applicable statute or DOJ regulation specifically authorizing (or requiring) subawards, or 2) authorization from OJP before it may make a subaward.

A subaward may be approved by OJP through the application review process if the recipient included a sufficiently detailed description and justification of the proposed subaward in the Program Narrative, Budget Worksheet and Budget Narrative. If, however, a subaward is not authorized by federal statute or regulation, and is not approved by OJP, the recipient will be required, post-award, to request and obtain written authorization from OJP before it may make the subaward.

If an applicant proposes to make one or more subawards to carry out the federal award and program, the applicant should—

1. identify (if known) the proposed subrecipient(s),

2. describe in detail what each subrecipient will do to carry out the federal award and federal program, and

3. provide a justification for the subaward(s), with details on pertinent matters such as special qualifications and areas of expertise.

Pertinent information on subawards should appear not only in the Program Narrative, but also in the Budget Worksheet and Budget Narrative.

b. Information on proposed procurement contracts (with specific justification for proposed noncompetitive contracts over $250,000

Unlike a recipient contemplating a subaward, a recipient of an OJP award generally does not need specific prior federal authorization to enter into an agreement that -- for purposes of federal grants administrative requirements -- is considered a procurement contract, provided that (1) the recipient uses its own documented procurement procedures and (2) those procedures conform to applicable federal law, including the Procurement Standards of the (DOJ) Part 200 Uniform Requirements (as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.317 - 200.326). The Budget Worksheet and Budget Narrative should identify proposed procurement contracts. (As discussed above, subawards must be identified and described separately from procurement contracts.) Please see the DOJ Financial Guide and OJP's Subawards and Procurement Contracts under OJP Awards for more information.

 
  1. Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if applicable)

Indirect costs may be charged to an award only if:

  1. The recipient has a current (unexpired), federally approved indirect cost rate; or
  2. The recipient is eligible to use, and elects to use, the "de minimis" indirect cost rate described in the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.414(f).

An applicant with a current (unexpired) federally approved indirect cost rate is to attach a copy of the indirect cost rate agreement to the application in JustGrants. An applicant that does not have a current federally-approved rate may request one through its cognizant federal agency, which will review all documentation and approve a rate for the applicant entity, or, if the applicant's accounting system permits, applicants may propose to allocate costs in the direct cost categories.

Certain OJP recipients have the option of electing to use the "de minimis" indirect cost rate. An applicant that is eligible to use the "de minimis" rate and wishes to use the "de minimis" rate should attach written documentation to the application that advises OJP of both (1) the applicant's eligibility to use the "de minimis" rate, and (2) its election to do so.

For assistance with identifying the appropriate cognizant federal agency for indirect costs, please contact the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-0786 or at [email protected]. If DOJ is the cognizant federal agency, applicants may obtain information needed to submit an indirect cost rate proposal at https://ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Resources/IndirectCosts.pdf.

For information on de minimis indirect cost rates, see the DOJ Financial Guide.

Tribal Authorizing Resolution (if applicable)

For solicitations requiring inclusion of information related to a tribal authorizing resolution, proper documentation, as described below, should be submitted with the application. A tribe, tribal organization, or third party that proposes to provide direct services or assistance to residents on tribal lands should include in its application a resolution, letter, affidavit, or other documentation, as appropriate, that demonstrates (as a legal matter) that the applicant has the requisite authorization from the tribe(s) to implement the proposed project on tribal lands.

In those instances when an organization or consortium of tribes applies for an award on behalf of a tribe or multiple specific tribes, the application should include appropriate legal documentation, as described above, from all tribes that would receive services or assistance under the award. A consortium of tribes for which existing consortium bylaws allow action without support from all tribes in the consortium (i.e., without an authorizing resolution or comparable legal documentation from each tribal governing body) may submit, instead, a copy of its consortium bylaws with the application.

Application Attachments

Applicant Disclosure of Pending Applications (Duplication in Cost Items)

Each applicant is to disclose whether it has (or is proposed as a subrecipient under) any pending applications for federally funded grants or cooperative agreements that (1) include requests for funding to support the same project being proposed in the application under the solicitation, and (2) would cover any identical cost items outlined in the budget submitted to OJP as part of the application under the solicitation. The applicant is to disclose applications made directly to federal awarding agencies, and also applications for subawards of federal funds (e.g., applications to State agencies that will subaward ("subgrant") federal funds).

Each applicant that has one or more pending applications as described above is to provide the following information about pending applications submitted within the last 12 months:

  • The federal or State funding agency
  • The solicitation name/project name

Each applicant will submit the Disclosure of Pending Applications (now called Applicant Disclosure of Duplication in Cost Items) in JustGrants.

Applicant Disclosure and Justification –Grantees Designated as High Risk by DOJ[1]

An applicant that is designated as a High Risk Grantee by DOJ is to submit a separate attachment to its application, information that OJP will use, among other pertinent information, to determine whether it will consider or select the application for an award under this solicitation. The file should be named "DOJ High Risk Grantee Applicant Disclosure and Justification." (See, also, Application Review Information, for a brief discussion of how such information may be considered in the application review process.)

OJP may remove from consideration or not select for award a "DOJ High Risk Grantee" applicant that is determined to pose a substantial risk of program implementation failure. In making such determinations, OJP will consider one or more of the following factors: the applicant's lack of sufficient progress in addressing required corrective actions necessary for removal of the DOJ High Risk Grantee designation; the nature and severity of the issues leading to or accompanying the applicant's DOJ High Risk Grantee designation; or the applicant's expected ability to manage grant funds and achieve grant goals and objectives.

In the attachment, the applicant is to provide any additional information or justification – especially with regard to corrective actions yet to be implemented (as of the application date) – that may help demonstrate how the applicant has addressed or otherwise mitigated such uncorrected matters, such that any negative impact on the proposed program and its implementation would be immaterial or would be significantly reduced or eliminated. (To the extent that the applicant believes that any of the information provided pursuant to this disclosure may be confidential in nature, the applicant should specifically identify it.)

[1] A "DOJ High Risk Grantee" is a recipient that has received a DOJ High-Risk designation based on a documented history of unsatisfactory performance, financial instability, management system or other internal control deficiencies, or noncompliance with award terms and conditions on prior awards, or that is otherwise not responsible.

Research and Evaluation Independence and Integrity

If an application proposes research (including research and development) and/or evaluation, the applicant must demonstrate research/evaluation independence and integrity, including appropriate safeguards, before it may receive award funds. The applicant must demonstrate independence and integrity regarding both the research and/or evaluation project proposed in response to the solicitation, and any current or prior related projects.

Each application that proposes research and/or evaluation should include an attachment that addresses both i. and ii. below.

i. The applicant is to document research and evaluation independence and integrity by including one of the following two items:

  1. A specific assurance that the applicant has reviewed its application to identify any actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest (including through review of pertinent information on the principal investigator, any co-principal investigators, and any subrecipients), and that the applicant has identified no such conflicts of interest — whether personal or financial or organizational (including on the part of the applicant entity or on the part of staff, investigators, or subrecipients) — that could affect the independence or integrity of the research, including the design, conduct, and reporting of the research.

OR

  1. A specific description of actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest that the applicant has identified — including through review of pertinent information on the principal investigator, any co-principal investigators, and any subrecipients — that could affect the independence or integrity of the research, including the design, conduct, or reporting of the research. These conflicts may be personal (e.g., on the part of investigators or other staff), financial, or organizational (related to the applicant or any subrecipient entity). Some examples of potential investigator (or other personal) conflict situations are those in which an investigator would be in a position to evaluate a spouse's work product (actual conflict), or an investigator would be in a position to evaluate the work of a former or current colleague (potential apparent conflict). With regard to potential organizational conflicts of interest, as one example, generally an organization would not be given an award to evaluate a project, if that organization had itself provided substantial prior technical assistance to that specific project or a location implementing the project (whether funded by OJP or other sources), because the organization in such an instance might appear to be evaluating the effectiveness of its own prior work. The key is whether a reasonable person understanding all of the facts would be able to have confidence that the results of any research or evaluation project are objective and reliable. Any outside personal or financial interest that casts doubt on that objectivity and reliability of an evaluation or research product is a problem and must be disclosed.

ii. In addition, the applicant is to address possible mitigation of research integrity concerns by including, at a minimum, one of the following two items:

  1. If an applicant reasonably believes that no actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest (personal, financial, or organizational) exist, then the applicant should provide a brief narrative explanation of how and why it reached that conclusion. The applicant also is to include an explanation of the specific processes and procedures that the applicant has in place, or will put in place, to identify and prevent (or, at the very least, mitigate) any such conflicts of interest pertinent to the funded project during the period of performance. Documentation that may be helpful in this regard may include organizational codes of ethics/conduct and policies regarding organizational, personal, and financial conflicts of interest. There is no guarantee that the plan, if any, will be accepted as proposed.

OR

  1. If the applicant has identified actual or potential apparent conflicts of interest (personal, financial, or organizational) that could affect the independence and integrity of the research, including the design, conduct, or reporting of the research, the applicant is to provide a specific and robust mitigation plan to address each of those conflicts. At a minimum, the applicant is expected to explain the specific processes and procedures that the applicant has in place, or will put in place, to identify and eliminate (or, at the very least, mitigate) any such conflicts of interest pertinent to the funded project during the period of performance. Documentation that may be helpful in this regard may include organizational codes of ethics/conduct and policies regarding organizational, personal, and financial conflicts of interest. There is no guarantee that the plan, if any, will be accepted as proposed.

Disclosure of Process Related to Executive Compensation

An applicant that is a nonprofit organization may be required to make certain disclosures relating to the processes it uses to determine the compensation of its officers, directors, trustees, and key employees.

Each applicant nonprofit organization must state at the time of its application (question 9c in the "OJP Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire") whether or not the applicant entity believes (or asserts) that it currently satisfies the requirements of 26 C.F.R. 53.4958-6 (which relate to establishing or invoking a rebuttable presumption of reasonableness of compensation of certain individuals and entities).

A nonprofit organization that states in the questionnaire that it believes (or asserts) that it has satisfied the requirements of 26 C.F.R. 53.4958-6 must then disclose, in an attachment to its application (to be titled "Disclosure of Process Related to Executive Compensation"), the process used by the applicant nonprofit organization to determine the compensation of its officers, directors, trustees, and key employees (together, "covered persons").

At a minimum, the disclosure must describe in pertinent detail the following:

(1) the composition of the body that reviews and approves compensation arrangements for covered persons;

(2) the methods and practices used by the applicant nonprofit organization to ensure that no individual with a conflict of interest participates as a member of the body that reviews and approves a compensation arrangement for a covered person;

(3) the appropriate data as to comparability of compensation that is obtained in advance and relied upon by the body that reviews and approves compensation arrangements for covered persons; and

(4) the written or electronic records that the applicant organization maintains as concurrent documentation of the decisions with respect to compensation of covered persons made by the body that reviews and approves such compensation arrangements, including records of deliberations and of the basis for decisions.

For purposes of the required disclosure, the following terms and phrases have the meanings set out by the IRS for use in connection with 26 C.F.R. 53.4958-6: officers, directors, trustees, key employees, compensation, conflict of interest, appropriate data as to comparability, adequate documentation, and concurrent documentation.

Applicant nonprofit organizations should note that following receipt of an appropriate request, OJP may be authorized or required by law to make information submitted to satisfy this requirement available for public inspection. Also, a recipient may be required to make a prompt supplemental disclosure after the award in certain circumstances (e.g., changes in the way the organization determines compensation).

Under certain circumstances, a nonprofit organization that provides unreasonably high compensation to certain persons may subject both the organization's managers and those who receive the compensation to additional federal taxes. A rebuttable presumption of the reasonableness of a nonprofit organization's compensation arrangements, may be available if the nonprofit organization satisfied certain rules set out in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations with regard to its compensation decisions

Financial Information

Financial Management and System of Internal Controls

To better understand the applicable administrative requirements and cost principles, OJP encourages prospective applicants to enroll, at no charge, in the DOJ Grants Financial Management Online Training. (This training is required for all OJP award recipients.)

Award recipients and subrecipients (including recipients or subrecipients that are pass-through entities[2]) must, as described in the Part 200 Uniform Requirements[3] as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.303:

  1. Establish and maintain effective internal control over the Federal award that provides reasonable assurance that [the recipient (and any subrecipient)] is managing the Federal award in compliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award. These internal controls should be in compliance with guidance in "Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government" issued by the Comptroller General of the United States and the "Internal Control Integrated Framework", issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).
  2. Comply with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal awards.
  3. Evaluate and monitor [the recipient's (and any subrecipient's)] compliance with statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of Federal awards.
  4. Take prompt action when instances of noncompliance are identified including noncompliance identified in audit findings.
  5. Take reasonable measures to safeguard protected personally identifiable information and other information the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity designates as sensitive or [the recipient (or any subrecipient)] considers sensitive consistent with applicable Federal, state, local, and tribal laws regarding privacy and obligations of confidentiality.

[2] For purposes of the solicitation, the phrase "pass-through entity" includes any recipient or subrecipient that provides a subaward ("subgrant") to a subrecipient (subgrantee) to carry out part of the funded award or program.

[3] The "Part 200 Uniform Requirements" means the DOJ regulation at 2 C.F.R Part 2800, which adopts (with certain modifications) the provisions of 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire (including Applicant Disclosure of High Risk Status)

Every OJP applicant (other than an individual applying in his or her personal capacity) is required to download, complete, and submit the OJP Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire (Questionnaire) as part of its application. The Questionnaire helps OJP assess the financial management and internal control systems, and the associated potential risks of an applicant as part of the pre-award risk assessment process. It is helpful to have financial staff most familiar with the applicant's financial systems complete this questionnaire.

A pre-award risk assessment that indicates that an applicant poses a higher risk to OJP may affect the funding decision and/or result in additional reporting requirements, monitoring, special conditions, withholding of award funds, or other additional award requirements.

The form requires each applicant to disclose whether it currently is designated "high risk" by a federal grant-making agency outside of DOJ. For purposes of this disclosure, high risk includes any status under which a federal awarding agency provides additional oversight due to the applicant's past performance, or other programmatic or financial concerns with the applicant. If an applicant is designated high risk by another federal awarding agency, the applicant must provide the following information:

  • The federal awarding agency that currently designates the applicant high risk
  • The date the applicant was designated high risk
  • The high risk point of contact at that federal awarding agency (name, phone number, and email address)
  • The reasons for the high risk status, as set out by the federal awarding agency

An applicant that is designated "high risk" by another federal awarding agency is not automatically disqualified from receiving an OJP award. OJP may, however, consider the information in award decisions, and may impose additional OJP oversight of any award under the solicitation (including through the conditions that accompany the award document).

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Solicitations with a cost sharing or matching requirement. The solicitation will specify one of three match scenarios – (1) cash or in-kind, 2) cash only, or 3) match based on federal award amount) that will apply to applications submitted. Applicants should read closely the match requirement section of the solicitation. (Note: Indian tribes and tribal organizations that otherwise are eligible for an award may be able to apply certain types of funds received from the federal government (for example, certain funds received under an Indian "self-determination contract") to satisfy all or part of a required "non-federal" match.

Voluntary match. If a successful application proposes a voluntary match amount, and OJP approves the budget, then the total match amount incorporated into the approved budget becomes mandatory and subject to audit.

For information on cost sharing and match, see the DOJ Grants Financial Guide.

Pre-agreement Costs (also known as Pre-award Costs)

Pre-agreement costs are defined as costs incurred by the applicant prior to the start date of the period of performance of the federal award. OJP does not typically approve pre-agreement costs. Should there be extenuating circumstances that make it appropriate for OJP to consider approving pre-agreement costs, the applicant may contact the point of contact listed in the solicitation for the requirements concerning written requests for approval. See the section on Costs Requiring Prior Approval in the DOJ Grants Financial Guide Post Award Requirements for more information.

Limitation on Use of Award Funds for Employee Compensation for Awards over $250,000; Waiver

With respect to any award of more than $250,000 made under a solicitation, a recipient may not use federal funds to pay total cash compensation (salary plus cash bonuses) to any employee of the recipient at a rate that exceeds 110 percent of the maximum annual salary payable to a member of the federal government's Senior Executive Service (SES) at an agency with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System for that year.[4] The 2021 salary table for SES employees is available on the Office of Personnel Management website.

[4] OJP does not apply this limitation on the use of award funds to the nonprofit organizations listed in Appendix VIII to 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

See the DOJ Financial Guide for more information on Employee Compensation.

Prior Approval, Planning, and Reporting of Conference/Meeting/Training Costs

OJP strongly encourages every applicant that proposes to use award funds for any conference-, meeting-, or training-related activity (or similar event) to review carefully—before submitting an application—the OJP and DOJ policy and guidance on approval, planning, and reporting of such events.

Costs Associated with Language Assistance (if applicable)

If an applicant proposes a program or activity that would deliver services or benefits to individuals, the costs of taking reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to those services or benefits for individuals with limited English proficiency may be allowable. Reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to services or benefits may include interpretation or translation services, where appropriate.

For additional information, see the "Civil Rights Compliance" section under "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements – FY 2021 Awards" in the OJP Funding Resource Center.

Application Review Information

OJP is committed to ensuring a fair and open process for making awards. OJP reviews each application to make sure that the information presented is reasonable, understandable, measurable, and achievable, as well as consistent with the solicitation. (For invited applications, OJP reviews for consistency with the invitation letter and invited applicant guidance). Applications for statutory formula awards will be reviewed to ensure statutory requirements have been met.

The following paragraphs are applicable to applicants for competitive funding:
Applications that meet basic minimum requirements, will undergo a merit based review process in accordance with OJP peer review policy and procedures using the stated review criteria in the solicitation.

OJP screens applications to ensure they meet the basic minimum requirements prior to conducting peer review. Although specific requirements may vary, the following are common requirements applicable to all solicitations for funding under OJP programs:

  • The application must be submitted by an eligible type of applicant.
  • The application must request funding within programmatic funding constraints (if applicable).
  • The application must be responsive to the scope of the solicitation.

The application must include all items necessary to meet the basic minimum requirements.

Refer to the solicitation for the list of all items that must be included in the application submission in order for an application to meet the basic minimum requirements.

Reviewers' ratings and any resulting recommendations are advisory only, although reviewer views are considered carefully. Other important considerations for OJP include geographic diversity, strategic priorities, and available funding, as well as the extent to which the Budget Worksheet and Budget Narrative accurately explain project costs that are reasonable, necessary, and otherwise allowable under federal law and applicable federal cost principles.

Generally, the following paragraphs are applicable to all applicants:
Pursuant to the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, before award decisions are made, OJP also reviews information related to the degree of risk posed by the applicant. Among other things to help assess whether an applicant that has one or more prior federal awards has a satisfactory record with respect to performance, integrity, and business ethics, OJP checks whether the applicant is listed in SAM as excluded from receiving a federal award.

The evaluation of risks goes beyond information in SAM, however. OJP itself has a framework in place for evaluating risks posed by applicants for competitive awards. OJP takes into account information pertinent to matters such as —

  1. Applicant financial stability and fiscal integrity
  2. Quality of the applicant's management systems, and the applicant's ability to meet prescribed management standards, including those outlined in the DOJ Grants Financial Guide
  3. Applicant's history of performance under OJP and other DOJ awards (including compliance with reporting requirements and award conditions), as well as awards from other federal agencies
  4. Reports and findings from audits of the applicant, including audits under the Part 200 Uniform Requirements
  5. Applicant's ability to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements, and to effectively implement other award requirements.

Risks associated with all DOJ High Risk grantees[5] are taken into account during the pre-award risk scoring, and each applicant with a DOJ High-Risk designation will be considered for funding on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature and severity of the issues that led to the DOJ High Risk designation, status of progress in addressing corrective actions, and demonstrated ability to manage grant funds and achieve grant goals and objectives.

Absent explicit statutory authorization or written delegation of authority to the contrary, all final award decisions will be made by the Assistant Attorney General, who may take into account not only peer review ratings and OJP program office recommendations, but also other factors as indicated in this section.

[5] A "DOJ High Risk grantee" is a recipient that has received a DOJ High-Risk designation based on a documented history of unsatisfactory performance, financial instability, management system or other internal control deficiencies, or noncompliance with award terms and conditions on prior awards, or that is otherwise not responsible.

Federal Award Administration Information

Federal Award Notices

Generally, award notifications are made by the end of the current Federal fiscal year, September 30th. OJP sends award notifications by email through JustGrants to the individuals listed in the application as the application submitter and the authorizing official (E-Biz POC and AOR). The email notification includes detailed instructions on how to access and view the award documents, and steps to take in JustGrants to start the award acceptance process.

For each successful applicant, an individual with the necessary authority to bind the applicant will be required to:

  1. Log in.
  2. Execute a set of legal certifications and a set of legal assurances.
  3. Thoroughly review the award, including all award conditions.
  4. Sign and accept the award.

The award acceptance process is electronic in JustGrants. Award notifications are sent to the Entity Administrator, Authorized Representative, and Application Submitter. If the individuals who will be assigned the Grant Award Administrator and Financial Manager for this award are not already users of JustGrants, those individuals will need to be invited to gain access and log into JustGrants in order to assign the necessary roles for award acceptance. Training and resources on Entity Management and onboarding users into JustGrants is located at https://justicegrants.usdoj.gov/training-resources/justgrants-training/entity-management#lq1efh.

Administrative, National Policy, and Other Legal Requirements

The applicant should consult the "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements – FY 2021 Awards," available in the OJP Funding Resource Center. In addition, the applicant should examine the following two legal documents, as each applicant must execute both documents before submitting the application.

The webpages accessible through the Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements – FY 2021 Awards are intended to give applicants for OJP awards a general overview of important statutes, regulations, and award conditions that apply to many (or in some cases, all) OJP grants and cooperative agreements awarded in FY 2021. OJP awards typically also will include additional award conditions. Those additional conditions may relate to the particular statute, program, or solicitation under which the award is made; to the substance of the funded application; to the recipient's performance under other federal awards; to the recipient's legal status (e.g., as a for-profit entity); or to other pertinent considerations.

Awards made in the form of cooperative agreements include a condition in the award document that sets out the nature of the "substantial federal involvement" in carrying out the award and program. Generally stated, under OJP cooperative agreement awards, responsibility for the day-to-day conduct of the funded project rests with the recipient. OJP, however, may have substantial involvement in matters such as substantive coordination of technical efforts and site selection, as well as review and approval of project work plans, research designs, data collection instruments, and major project-generated materials. In addition, OJP often indicates in the award terms and conditions that it may redirect the project if necessary.

In addition to an award condition that sets out the nature of the anticipated "substantial federal involvement" in the award, cooperative agreements awarded by OJP include an award condition that requires specific reporting in connection with conferences, meetings, retreats, seminars, symposia, training activities, or similar events funded under the award.

Information Technology (IT) Security Clauses

The applicant is reminded that:

  • receipt of an OJP award does not provide authorization for the recipient to operate a system on behalf of OJP;
  • the recipient is not authorized to be in custody of DOJ Information; and
  • for awards (grants or cooperative agreements) that will include the design, development, or implementation of an IT system or website, the following metadata must be provided to the OJP Office of the Chief Information Officer prior to the recipient being permitted to access funds:
    • System/Website Name
    • Description
    • URL
    • Awarding Program Office
    • Award Number
    • Hosting Information (location, provider)
    • 508 compliance (yes or no)
    • Product/Technologies Used

An applicant is not required to submit metadata with the application. This information is included to inform successful applicants that meet the criteria listed above that they will be required to submit the metadata as a condition of the award. The full list of OJP IT Security Clauses which are applicable to OJP awards is provided on the OJP Funding Resource Center.

General Information about Post-Federal Award Reporting Requirements

The Department of Justice (DOJ) requires award recipients to submit both financial and program reports. These reports describe the status of the funds or the project, compare actual accomplishments to objectives, and provide other pertinent information. For information on specific requirements, reporting periods, and submission deadlines see the DOJ Grants Financial Guide. Award documents may also include information regarding reporting requirements specific to the particular award.

Awards that exceed $500,000 will include an additional condition that, under specific circumstances, will require the recipient to report to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) information on civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings connected with (or connected to the performance of) either the OJP award or any other grant, cooperative agreement, or procurement contract from the federal government. Additional information on this reporting requirement appears in the text of the award condition posted on the OJP webpage.

Programmatic Information

Evidence-Based Programs or Practices

OJP strongly emphasizes the use of data and evidence in policymaking and program development in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. OJP is committed to:

  • improving the quantity and quality of evidence OJP generates,
  • integrating evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions within OJP and the field, and
  • improving the translation of evidence into practice.

The OJP CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov website is one resource that applicants may use to find information about evidence-based programs in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

Information Regarding Potential Evaluation of Programs and Activities

OJP may conduct or support evaluations of the programs and activities funded under its solicitations. Recipients and subrecipients will be expected to cooperate with program related assessments or evaluation efforts, including through the collection and provision of information or data requested by OJP (or its designee) for the assessment or evaluation of any activities and/or outcomes of those activities funded under a grant award. The information or data requested may be in addition to any other financial or performance data already required under the program.

Note on Project Evaluations

An applicant that proposes to use award funds through the solicitation to conduct project evaluations should be aware that certain project evaluations (such as systematic investigations designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge) may constitute "research[6]" for purposes of applicable DOJ human subjects protection regulations. However, project evaluations that are intended only to generate internal improvements to a program or service, or are conducted only to meet OJP's performance measure data reporting requirements, likely do not constitute "research." The applicant should provide sufficient information for OJP to determine whether the particular project it proposes would either intentionally or unintentionally collect and/or use information in such a way that it meets the DOJ definition of research that appears at 28 C.F.R. Part 46 ("Protection of Human Subjects").

For additional information on determining whether a proposed activity would constitute research for purposes of human subjects protection, applicants should consult the decision tree in the "Research and the protection of human subjects" section of the "Requirements related to Research" webpage of the "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Grants and Cooperative Agreements - FY 2021 Awards," available through the OJP Funding Resource Center. Every prospective applicant whose application may propose a research or statistical component also should review the "Data Privacy and Confidentiality Requirements" section on that webpage.

[6] "Research," for purposes of human subjects protection for OJP-funded programs, is defined as "a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge." 28 C.F.R. 46.102(d).

Other Information

Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552 and 5 U.S.C. § 552a)

All applications submitted to OJP (including all attachments to applications) are subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and to the Privacy Act. By law, DOJ may withhold information that is responsive to a request pursuant to FOIA if DOJ determines that the responsive information either is protected under the Privacy Act or falls within the scope of one of nine statutory exemptions under FOIA. DOJ cannot agree in advance of a request pursuant to FOIA not to release some or all portions of an application.

In its review of records that are responsive to a FOIA request, OJP will withhold information in those records that plainly falls within the scope of the Privacy Act or one of the statutory exemptions under FOIA. (Some examples include certain types of information in budgets, and names and contact information for project staff other than certain key personnel.) In appropriate circumstances, OJP will request the views of the applicant/recipient that submitted a responsive document.

Provide Feedback to OJP

To assist OJP in improving its application and award processes, OJP encourages applicants to provide feedback on the solicitation, the application submission process, and/or the application review process. Provide this feedback to [email protected].

IMPORTANT: This email is for feedback and suggestions only. OJP does not reply from this mailbox. Any prospective applicant that has specific questions on any program or technical aspect of a solicitation must use the appropriate telephone number or email listed on the front of the solicitation to obtain information. These contacts are provided to help prospective applicants directly reach an individual who can address their specific questions in a timely manner.

To Become an OJP Peer Reviewer

If you are interested in being a reviewer for OJP grant applications, please email your résumé to [email protected]. (Do not send your résumé to the OJP Solicitation Feedback email account.) Note: Neither you nor anyone else from your organization or entity can be a peer reviewer in a competition in which you or your organization/entity has submitted an application.