AVA/OVW Conference Call – January 2014
AVA held their regular monthly conference call with OVW earlier this month to discuss various issues relating to STOP administration and changes involved with the passage of VAWA 2013. Please keep in mind that these conversations occurred prior to the recent announcement by OVW to postpone the annual conference. Below is a summary of those discussions by topic.
FY 2014 Applications:
AVA asked for clarification about the potential for FY 2014 STOP application extension requests. Since VAWA 2013 requires Implementation Plans to be submitted as part of the STOP application, as well as the fact that the Annual Administrators Meeting and Annual Reports are both occurring near the projected application deadline date, OVW will consider short-term extension requests.
Request for extensions should be drafted on company letterhead, signed by the agency point of contact, and emailed to your program manager. The request should outline the need for the extension, e.g. in addition to competing deadlines, the agency might need additional time for their plans to go through the state approval process. The request should also identify a specific date for the extension, e.g. two weeks to and including April 3, 2014. OVW recommended that administrators avoid seeking lengthy extensions because that could create additional delays in processing and accessing funds due to competing deadlines and other duties of the OVW Program Managers. OVW is hopeful that most states will be able to meet the proposed current due date of March 20, 2014; however, a 2-week extension by a handful of states should not create significant challenges in keeping with the award schedule.
Grant Program Email Addresses:
AVA inquired about the Notice to OVW FY 2014 Applicants about Grant Program Email Addresses that was sent out on 12/31/13. OVW indicated that this email only impacts changes to the shared mailboxes for discretionary programs/applications and it does not impact STOP or SASP Formula.
Annual Administrator’s Meeting:
After this call, OVW announced that the annual administrator’s conference has been postponed.
AVA asked if there were any new developments on this issue that might impact STOP awards. Michelle indicated there is no new information available on PREA. Guidelines for administrators are being developed regarding how states and territories will be able to use STOP funds in those jurisdictions where the Chief Executive (governor) is unable to certify PREA compliance by the May 15, 2014 deadline.
Thurston Bryant is the federal PREA officer. The federal PREA officer will be sending out a letter to all states that includes a certification form similar to the assurances STOP administrators sign. STOP administrators should reach out to their state PREA officer to see if letter has been submitted.
OVW is still working on the PREA compliance penalty and how it will impact STOP funding. Each state must submit a letter from their Chief Executive Officer (governor) as to how they intend to move forward, e.g. forfeit 5%, use it toward compliance, etc. The Governor will only have to do this once and it will apply to all federal programs impacted by this mandate. When completed, the OVW FAQs and additional resources will address the statutory splits and how PREA penalties impact that distribution.
Definition of Prevention:
AVA asked if there have been any new developments regarding the definition of “Prevention.” OVW indicated that it is still being worked on and will be addressed in the revised STOP FAQs. AVA indicated that some jurisdictions like New York, statewide coalitions have been working on prevention for several years using the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services definition of prevention under the DELTA awards. OVW indicated that once decisions are made, administrators will be notified and a conference call or webinar will likely be held to clarify implementation issues.
Other Information from OVW:
Michelle reported that significant progress has been made in the planning and development of a webinar series for new administrators that will replace the day of presentations and information previously shared at the Annual Administrator Meeting. Please keep in mind these webinars will be for a combined audience of administrators and coalition directors. The only webinar that will not be shared will be the one convened by OVW Grants Financial Management Division (GFMD). For the GFMD webinar there will be one specifically for administrators and another for coalition directors. OVW envisions 90-minute webinars over the next two months that will be recorded and posted on the ALSO website. This five-part training program will include presentations by the following entities:
- Introduction and General Presentation by OVW Staff
- Grants Financial Management
- Grant Management System
- Office of Civil Rights
- Office of the Inspector General`
AVA continues to work with OVW and others to help administrators in their work on the STOP and SASP programs. Please feel free to contact AVA with any issues you would like us to address.