AVA/OVW Conference Call Summary – January 2018
AVA/OVW CONFERENCE CALL SUMMARY
JANUARY 8, 2018
11:00 – 12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)
OVW Staff: OVW Associate Director Amy Loder, STOP Program Managers Latonya Eaddy and Kevin Sweeney, SASP Team Lead Melissa Schmisek
AVA Board Members: MaryEllen Garcia, Cecilia Miller, Julia Fuller-Wilson, Jade Palin, Michelle Bynum, Debbie Tanaka, Diana Fleming
AVA Executive Director: Barry Bryant
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION
Special Condition #41
AVA shared with OVW that numerous Administrators have inquired about Special Condition #41 (GAN approval prior to use of administrative funds to attend training and technical assistance events and/or registration costs). Many Administrators are not familiar with submitting GANS, as they may not receive/administer discretionary funding where GANs are necessary.
AVA will prepare a draft GAN to assist Administrators and asked OVW if they would like to review it prior to distribution. OVW would like to review it prior to the release to Administrators. When considering travel requests from administrators, OVW will consider several key factors, including:
- how much funding the state/territory has on-hand
- similar prior events already attended
- how the training is related to the award
- if training is appropriate/beneficial,
- determine if there are other available trainings that are geared more toward the award, etc.
- (In a subsequent AVA/OVW conference call, it was determined that AVA will not prepare a draft GAN for administrators to use in the future.)
AVA asked if this Special Condition applies to in-state travel or only out-of-state travel and if there is a threshold level.
OVW responded that if travel is to conduct implementation planning meetings in-state, a GAN is not required and there is no threshold level.
OVW expressed that if Administrators have questions regarding this special condition or other issues, they can reach out to their Program Manager.
Special Condition #1
AVA inquired about Special Condition #1 (remedies for non-compliance or for materially false statements).
OVW stated that it is a new Special Condition on all OVW and OJP awards and that as long as states/territories are in compliance and truthful and follow the Special Conditions, there would not be any consequences.
AVA followed-up with a question asking if it had any reference to Sanctuary Cities and OVW replied that if it does, they are not aware of it.
AVA thanked OVW for the email they sent to Administrators regarding the status of Implementation Plans (IP) and expressed that while several states’/territories’ IPs were approved, a significant number of Administrators did not have their IPs approved or did not know the status. AVA also shared that Administrators submitted their IP early and identified themselves as states/territories that need access to STOP funds immediately but have not received any questions or inquiries and are still awaiting approval and the release of funding.
OVW mentioned that for the 2014 IPs, OVW was not as stringent on the review and now have a much more tedious review where each IP is reviewed by their Program Manager, and then either the OVW SASP Team Lead or OVW Associate Director, which often times is escalated to the OVW Attorney. In the meantime, the Program Manager reaches out to the Administrator for further clarification, as necessary. OVW stated there were only 2-3 states/territories that identified that they were in an immediate situation. OVW asked if service providers are laying off staff due to the delay in the approval of IPs and the release of STOP funds and AVA responded that they are not aware but it may be inevitable if it continues to be prolonged.
OVW explained that states/territories that utilized the checklist and template provided were more likely to have their IP approved promptly.
AVA suggested that OVW may want to consider having a panel discussion on IPs during the March 2018 STOP Administrator Meeting in Atlanta, focusing on the steps that take place after OVW receives the IPs, their review process and the rubric. OVW replied that they would like to debrief prior to having a panel discussion and March 2018 may be too soon but are open to the idea for the following STOP Administrator Meeting in 2019.
Meaningful Partnerships with Coalitions
AVA inquired about meaningful partnerships with coalitions and if coalitions have the same requirement. OVW stated that the coalitions funding is very limited and is only used for operations.
“To the courts” vs. “for court purposes” wording
AVA stated that the language of “to the courts” versus “for court purposes” presents additional challenges.
OVW suggested that we refer to the October 2017 Frequently Asked Questions, page 21 regarding funding allocation. OVW indicated that any state/territory that will not be able to expend this court set aside portion of VAWA funding should get a letter from their court administrating agency stating that they will not use the funding. After securing this letter and requesting and getting permission from their OVW Program Manager, VAWA administrators can reallocate this portion of funding for other allowable purposes. AVA shared an example of where a state has gone through that process and how they obtained approval to reallocate funding.
VAWA Funding Categories
AVA advocated for the flexibility for Administrators in determining where funding is most needed in their state/territory. OVW replied that they need to abide by the statutes and reiterated how funding can be reallocated and that only the sexual assault set-aside cannot be reallocated.
OVW stated that Administrators should reach out to their Program Managers or the OVW Associate Director if they have ongoing challenges or concerns getting their Implementation Plan approved.
Next Call:April 9, 2018 at 11:00am EST.