AVA/OVW Conference Call – June 2015
Conference Call Meeting between AVA & OVW
Date: Monday, June 1, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
OVW Staff: Associate Directors Michelle Brickley and Amy Loder and Program Managers Kim Galvan, Paule Tessier, Kevin Sweeney, and Omar Mohammed
AVA Board Members: MaryEllen Garcia, Michelle Bynum, Bill Schaefer
AVA Coordinator: Dorene Whitworth
Debrief on conference and follow-up discussions. AVA relayed that everyone we talked to thought it was a positive experience, full of good information and provided good opportunities to network. Also, the breakout system seemed to work well. MaryEllen voiced that it was helpful to sit with those state administrators who had similar sized offices. Michelle Brickley observed that the smaller, intimate group allowed for more involvement in conversation – administrators were able to ask questions that were important to them. Breakouts sessions were beneficial as well. ALSO will summarize evaluations and the summary will be available to AVA.
Since the Florida conference, OVW has been involved in some early discussions about a joint meeting for next year – possibly to include VOCA and FVPSA. Some thoughts are that the individual conferences could be held in the same location and then perhaps bring folks together for part of the meeting to cover cross-over issues. This will involve significant coordination among the federal agencies and TA providers. The goal would be to proceed under this joint concept before there is a change in administration. AVA offered to assist in these efforts in any way they can.
Addressing STOP Purpose areas
Administrators are looking for guidance because of the challenges presented by multiple individual populations, multiple victimization, specific set-asides, etc. This is in addition to the ever-expanding list of purpose areas. VAWA priorities are continually evolving. AVA asks for guidance of whether it would be acceptable to focus on a few purpose areas and populations within legislative mandates – the concept of doing a few things well as opposed to doing everything.
Michelle Brickley indicated that states can prioritize the purpose areas they choose to focus on. They are not required to fund projects under all purpose areas. However, they still need processes in place showing their outreach efforts across the board for all populations including underserved and culturally specific. OVW recognizes that if those outreach efforts don’t result in applications, states can certainly fund based on the needs within their state, keeping in mind the culturally-specific formulas and underserved definitions.
OVW agrees that STOP has many complexities especially with the addition of PREA, culturally specific definitions, 20% set-aside for sexual assault, etc. STOP is the largest of OVW’s programs.
In regard to PREA, it was discussed that certifications or assurances have been requested from states for FY 2015. The deadline for these to be submitted to the PREA Resource Center by the Governor of each state and territory was May 15. How PREA will impact the state or territory’s FY 2015 STOP award will be based on what their Governor submits. Basically the same process will be repeated annually as long as STOP is designated a program bound by the PREA regulations. AVA will continue to monitor the efforts to exempt VAWA from PREA certification.
OVW discussed that allocations are not yet available. Once they are available, many states will receive two allocation amounts. One will be the FY 2015 STOP allocation. The other will identify an additional amount distributed to states and territories resulting from other states that forfeited their PREA funds (PREA bonus if you will). OVW will offer some guidance language when these are sent out.
The PREA bonus funds should be allocated just like STOP monies, e.g. formula breakdowns for prosecution, law enforcement, victim services and courts. However, that figure will not count toward the percentage of PREA penalty of the state’s FY 2015 award. In other words, the 4.75% PREA penalty will be calculated using the FY 2015 allocation not the additional bonus funds received as a result of forfeited funds from FY 2014. OVW is working on how all this will be tracked and reported on, and how best to update the PREA allocation chart. MaryEllen, AVA Secretary, offered to send OVW some ideas on what might work to capture the necessary information.
AVA inquired into the status of the changes to the Muskie forms. OVW reported this is still a work in progress and OVW does not yet have an estimated completion date. OVW has the information previously forwarded by AVA but asked that if AVA learns of any new concerns from administrators to please pass those along to them.
Michelle asks for an updated list of the AVA Board of Directors and membership. AVA will send the Board list but membership renewals are currently underway and that list will not be available for a few months.
The internal transition at OVW has not yet been completed. Michelle Brickley will keep us updated.
Next Meeting: July 6th @ 11:00 EST