AVA/OVW Conference Call Summary – November 2016
Monthly Conference Call between AVA & OVW
Date: Monday, November 7, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
OVW Staff: OVW Associate Director Amy Loder, STOP Program Managers Latonya Eaddy, Kim Galvin and Omar Mohammed
AVA Board Members: Michelle Bynum, MaryEllen Garcia and Cecilia Miller
AVA Executive Director: Dorene Whitworth
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS
AVA inquired into whether OVW could provide notification of discretionary awards to STOP administrators. It was discussed that the list of discretionary awards available on the OVW website has historically been outdated and this information would be extremely helpful to administrators especially during the implementation planning process. It appears now that the 2016 awards are already up on the website so the problem may be resolved. AVA will send a notification to administrators with the link to the information on the OVW site to let them know where they can find the list of discretionary awards in their state.
It appears that some email postings are going to the authorized official or GMS point of contact but not necessarily to the actual STOP administrator if they are not listed in GMS. Amy acknowledged that she inadvertently sent a notification recently to authorized officials only which didn’t include the points of contact. Normally she sends information to both the authorized official and the point of contact with a copy to ALSO and AVA. She did say it is critical that administrators keep the GMS contact information current as they get quite a few bounce backs. AVA asked if there could be a second point of contact listed so states can add in the STOP administrator if they are not identified as the primary point of contact. Amy relayed that you can have an alternative point of contact that won’t necessarily have access to GMS but if requested, can be included in the email pull. All notifications also go to ALSO for distribution. Amy will raise the issue with discretionary grant program managers to see if they are including the points of contact. In some cases the authorized official and the point of contact are the same person.
The final narrative close-out report is not currently included in GMS so administrators often believe they’ve satisfied all mandates for closing out their award when in actuality they are missing this final step. The GMS screen appears as though everything is complete. Unfortunately, the award cannot be closed until the OVW program manager reviews and approves this final narrative report. AVA asked if GMS could be modified to include this narrative report. OVW discussed that the GMS system is a complex program that cannot be easily modified. Amy suggested that perhaps there could be a change made to the close-out instructions. This will be discussed on an upcoming webinar. It was also discussed that Melissa Schmisek offers an instruction page for SASP which is very helpful. The STOP team offered to review Melissa’s instruction sheet to see if something similar could be developed for STOP.
STOP conference planning
Currently the planning for the annual conference involves internal discussions only. They are targeting the end of March or early April time frame. ALSO will be coordinating with AVA and STOP administrators in the near future regarding topics for the conference. And while no decision has yet been made, AVA was appreciative that they are considering the potential of states being allowed to bring 2 people.
During a recent peer-to-peer meeting, AVA learned that some STOP awards were being frozen during the process of satisfying any OCFO audit findings. OVW had not heard that this was occurring and was concerned. While AVA was uncertain how long the awards were or had been frozen, Dorene offered to reach back out to those states to get additional information on the rationale for the funds being frozen. OVW also recommended that the STOP administrator reach out to their program manager at OVW since OVW doesn’t necessarily receive the details of OCFO audits while they are occurring. OVW is, however, working with the OCFO to be included in future audits where the STOP program is involved.
AVA inquired into parameters and requirements of the RSCCA awards, e.g. is the award for 4 years from approval, will the administrator need to apply annually, etc. Amy discussed that this program is so new that they are still working out the details; however it may be that a state would certify annually that they are in compliance. More information will be available on this once a final determination is made. Statutorily the longest any state can receive this funding is 4 years from year of first receipt. The amount will most likely change each year because it is anticipated that only $2M will be appropriated annually so the individual awards will reduce as more states become eligible. Amy recommends that administrators reach out to Marnie and Jen at OVW Legal when modifying their statutory language.
AVA discussed that there are some early conversations starting up about VAWA reauthorization and while we recognize OVW is not involved with reauthorization, AVA will keep the lines of communication open on the progress of these conversations.
Next Call: December 5th at 11:00 EST.