AVA/OVW Conference Call Summary – October 2018


OCTOBER 15TH, 2018

11:00 – 12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)


OVW Staff:Amy Loder, Kevin Sweeney, Omar Mohammed, Melissa Schmisek, Frances Cook, Sherry Ann Moore


AVA Board Members/Staff: Jade Palin, Michelle Bynum, Cecilia Miller, MaryEllen Garcia, Barry Bryant



Welcome and Introductions – Team members from both OVW and AVA announced their presence on the call and greeted one another. The conference call officially started around 11:03 am.


Muskie Report – Any updates or changes this year?
indicated that there will not be any changes to what administrators are currently using.


  • Special Condition regarding imminent breach of personally identifiable information?
    • Special Condition #5 – OVW Attorney Advisor, Frances Cook gave an overview of the history of this issue. She shared what OVW is looking for from VAWA administrators.
    • Frances shared that the main concern with this special condition is that administrators ensure that subgrantees have procedures in place to address what to do if there is an imminent breach of personally identifiable information (PII).  Additionally, if a breach does occur, the subgrantee must inform VAWA administrators and then State/Territory administrators must inform OVW of said breach.
    • Frances indicated that she will draft a document that defines “imminent breach” and provide that to AVA and or to administrators.  Frances will also secure more detail from her contacts within the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties regarding exactly what information VAWA administrators would need to provide to OVW if a breach does occur.
    • Frances and Amy will talk more about the possibility of OVW conducting a brief webinar for VAWA administrators specific to this special condition.
    • Michelle asked for clarification on a slight language change to special condition 51.  There is a change in the use of the word “must” vs “shall”, and Michelle asked if this change gave administrators more leeway or less.
    • Frances explained that this change was made to make the language more consistent with other special conditions that most commonly use the word “must”.


  • STOP Annual Conference Update – Amy provided the following detail
    • This will be a joint conference with state coalitions and tribal coalitions.
    • Scholarships will be available.
    • Will SAA be allowed to send more than one staff? – OVW will be in a better position to answer this question after conference request forms are approved


  • Tribal Consultation Meeting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in August
    Sherry Ann 
    explained that OVW is required to consult with tribes each year with respect to VAWA, and that they have certain areas that they address in their consultation, including:

    • How OVW administers tribal funds and programs as it relates to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking,
    • Enhancing safety of indigenous women
    • Strengthening federal response to both crimes
    • How can we improve our administration of OVW Tribal grants?
    • Share with Tribal Coalitions how states administer STOP funding. The goal is to make partnering between VAWA administering agencies, state coalitions, and tribal coalitions more meaningful.  The joint conferences should make these partnerships more purposeful.


All Tribal Coalitions were recently invited to DC to brainstorm about the most effective ways to ensure that funding gets to those areas with the greatest need.  OVW is using feedback from Tribal coalitions to create FAQs that administrators can use as a guide.   They hope to send the FAQs out this week.

Cecilia asked if OVW would be providing feedback to administrators if they hear from Tribal coalitions that there is a lack of partnering with VAWA state/territory administrators?

Sherry Ann indicated that if there are concerns, OVW would reach out to states, one on one.

Amy added that OVW is in the process of identifying Tribal TA providers who could provide technical assistance to VAWA administrators.

OVW encouraged all administrators to attend the consultations to learn, first hand, what is being discussed.  OVW will make sure that administrators are aware of upcoming meetings with Tribal coalitions.  The 14thannual Tribal Consultation meeting will again be a two-day event, held the third week in August and the location will be announced at the STOP Annual meeting in April of 2019.

Cecilia and MaryEllen shared how they believe administrators would highly value an announcement of the importance of attending these meetings, particularly if it comes from Amy.

Sherry Ann shared that a summary report of past Tribal consultation meetings can be found at: OVWconsultation.org.


  • Other Discussion
    For future AVA/OVW conference call, AVA will share with OVW:

    • If the agenda item was generated by an AVA Board member
    • If the agenda item comes from multiple VAWA administrators
    • The specific state or territory that posed the question/agenda item, if the state administrator is comfortable with that.  



Adjourn –The conference call ended at approximately 11:58am EST.

Next call – January of 2019 and OVW will provide the exact date.