After your team has won a grant, what do you look for when reviewing the documentation? During eCivis' November webinar with ICMA, "Managing a Grant Without a Dedicated Team," the hosts offered important questions that you should ask during the review process. Mary Modelski, Division Chief, Auditor, for the County of Alameda, posed these four questions:
When Reviewing Grant Documentation, Ask:
- When does the grant start and end? Knowing this is key to alloting the right amount of time to draw down funds and close out the grant properly. "In many cases, you may receive the grant in a couple months or maybe even six months," says Modelski, so you'll want to budget appropriately. "You also want to know when the grant ends to make sure that you're using it appropriately and in the right time frame."
- What does the grant cover? And what does it not cover? "Are there costs that are not allowable, or are there provisions that are required for reporting?" asks Modelski.
- What are the reporting requirements and frequency? You might have your own story of miscommunication between departments on reporting requirements: for instance, discovering that reporting was done on a semiannual basis when it was supposed to be quarterly. Be absolutely clear about "when you have to submit the reports, to whom do you have to send the reports, and what the reports entail," says Modelski.
- If there's a matching requirement, what does that entail? Who's helping with the match requirement? The county, a department, a joint power? In addition, "you need to make sure that [the matching entity is] included in any reporting requirements," says Modelski, or if the matching entity "has separate reporting requirements that you [also] need to take into consideration."
More helpful takeways from the webinar can be found here, our article on publicizing your grant-funded project's success. If you would like to attend our next ICMA webinar, join us on December 10 for our expert-led panel topic on solving grant challenges of small communities. In the meantime, your internal auditor might want to check out the following free article on the OMB's Uniform Guidance: