Essentials of Grant Management Communication! Communication! Communication!
Keys to Award Management • What documents make up your award package • Reporting – taking responsibility for results • Managing the funds – advance or reimbursement • Who is your grant management team – Grant officer? Project officer? Administrator? • Keep the doors of communication open
The Grant Officer (GO) He or she is legally responsible for all aspects of your grant and has sole authority for the award, amendment, suspension, or termination of a grant. Grant Officers help ensure that both the donor and the grantees fulfill all the requirements, regulations, and policies associated with the grant. The GO is the control point for all official communication that may affect the budget, the project scope, or the terms and conditions of the award.
The Project Officer (PO) Project Officers are responsible for monitoring overall progress and are the grantees’ primary points of contact during the performance of a grant. In a cooperative agreement, the PO has technical expertise that helps to ensure the success outcomes of a project. A PO may not direct a grantee to do something not in the approved award especially if there are costs associated with the direction.
How to increase organizational accountability and credibility • Know your role and responsibilities as a grantee • It is important to read and understand everything in the agreement before signing as the recipient organization will be held accountable for anything specified in the agreement documents. • Communicate – ask your Grant Officer or Project Officer if you need something clarified or changed
How to build trust • A grant agreement is the legal basis by which the U.S. Government is able to provide assistance (foreign or domestic) to support an NGO project • Amendments can be made by a grant officer, who will discuss any changes with the recipient. The recipient can request changes, such as the period of performance or specific budget items, by submitting a written request to the GO in advance. Apply independent controls – Assess – Audit regularly
How to increase organizational accountability and credibility Generally the award is based on a statement of the work to be accomplished and the approved budget. If the approach is not working as you proposed or if you learn things during the implementation that could improve your organization’s performance outcomes, advise your grant team right away.
How to increase organizational accountability and credibility Both the statement of the work and the proposed and approved budget are projections – it is anticipated that there will be some fluctuation – in USG grants up to 10% is allowed without additional grant officer authorization Only the costs justified in the approved budget are allowed – don’t assume that saving money on one item allows you additional unauthorized expenditures. Communicate regularly – use formal (performance and financial reporting) and informal contacts
Some distinctions of Government Awards • Who can sign – only a warranted grant officer can authorize, amend, suspend, or terminate a U.S. Government Award • A government assistance award may be a grant or it may be a cooperative agreement, another name for a grant in which you may anticipate significant support or involvement from one or more U.S. employees to help you ensure the success of your project
Some distinctions of Government Awards • A DUNS Number requirement -- all USG financial assistance recipients are required to be registered with Dunn and Bradstreet and receive an identifier unique to their organization. • Anti-terrorism requirements
Standard USG (SF 424) Budget The Office of Management and Budget has established the following object categories for an assistance budget: Personnel Fringe Travel Equipment (not common) Supplies Contractual Other Direct Indirect
You can find many forms available online on one of MEPI’s websites. The main site (in English only) is located at www.mepi.state.gov. Sites focusing on countries covered by regional offices in Tunis www.medregion.mepi.state.gov and AbuDhabi http://www.abudhabi.mepi.state.gov/