AVA/OVW Conference Call – February 2015
Summary of Conference Call Meeting between AVA & OVW Date: Monday, February 2 at 11:00 AM EST.
OVW Staff: Associate Director Michelle Brickley and Program Managers Kim Galvan and Omar Mohammed
AVA Board Members: Liz Greb, MaryEllen Garcia and Michelle Bynum
AVA Coordinator: Dorene Whitworth
Michelle Brickley offered the following solicitation schedule for STOP and SASP:
STOP estimated release date 3/26/2015 – due 5/7/2015
SASP estimated release date 3/12/2015 – due 4/23/2015
The solicitation will seek updated demographics and other required information, but no new implementation plan is necessary unless the state/territory has experienced significant changes since the one approved last year.
Document of Collaboration – revisions
Michelle discussed that they’d like to see two changes to AVA’s form. They would like to see language clarifying that the implementation plan submitted (if a new one is submitted) is the state’s final plan as opposed to a final draft as this caused confusion last year. And, OVW would like to see a line that identifies which discipline (pros., LE, VS, etc) is being represented on each form. Dorene indicated she will be happy to work with Marnie Shiels on this and present the changes to the AVA board and then OVW for final approvals.
Implementation Plans on Websites
OVW questioned whether there should be a mandate that a state/territory’s implementation plan be posted to their website. The rationale behind this is to make the information available to the general public. Dorene indicated that AVA has been discussing creating a page on AVA’s website that will contain all plans or links where appropriate. AVA discussed that some state approvals for posting their plans might prove challenging since many administrators do not have authority to post directly to their website. AVA offered to reach out to states to see if they are already posting theirs or if posting their IP would be problematic. It was suggested that as an alternative, perhaps states could provide a link to AVA’s page once the plans are available if their state doesn’t approve the posting of their actual plan. No final decision was made at this time on this topic.
OVW still has not received conference approval for the STOP Meeting. One of the challenges they are now facing are numerous personnel changes in the DAG’s Office. Their former DAG has resigned. In the meantime, OVW is holding calls with ALSO so they will be prepared to move forward when anticipated approvals come through. However, they are hesitant to spend too much time on the planning for something that may or may not happen.
OVW will issue a letter with the tentative dates and a draft agenda to allow administrators to initiate their own approval process. They will also send out a Save-the-Date email that indicates the conference is pending approvals.
In the days since this call, OVW did in fact receive conference approvals so the conference dates of April 28-29 are firm and ALSO has sent out a save-the-date. Additionally, on February 12, Michelle Brickley sent out an email with the letter so administrators can initiate their travel approval process. AVA also asked ALSO for a draft agenda as many administrators will need this for travel approvals.
AVA asked for an update regarding the addendum or other document that will allow states to report on VAWA 2013 Reauthorization changes for STOP. AVA discussed that based their poll, 9 out of 21 states responding (43%) had spent at least some of their FY 2014 monies in calendar year 2014 and will need to report on any of the STOP changes as a result of VAWA 2013 criteria. Administrators are also asking if OVW has created a list that identifies exactly what additional information will need to be tracked as a result of VAWA 2013.
OVW reported that a decision on how best to accommodate those states that need to report VAWA 2013 data is still being worked on. Michelle Brickley reiterated that the position that was responsible for leading this effort remains vacant so the other program managers are trying to help with this process. For the March 30, 2015 progress reporting deadline OVW is anticipating that the bulk of the changes necessary are on the state administrators form rather than the subgrantee form so they may try to make accommodations within the existing form, i.e. using the narrative portion this year. Once a decision is made, Muskie will hold informational conference calls to let everyone know how best to report the information. Michelle indicated she was not aware of a definitive list of new information that needs to be tracked under the VAWA 2013 criteria.
In recognizing that the expenses under FY 2014 in calendar year 2014 may be minimal, AVA asked whether a waiver would be offered for this year on reporting this information. That might be an option until the Muskie can be thoroughly revised. OVW will not be able to offer a waiver but will work to get information out as soon as possible since the due date is fast approaching. AVA discussed that some states may need to complete their reports as early as March 15 in order to secure internal approvals before they can be submitted to OVW.
Again, in the days following this call, AVA has learned that OVW has developed a one pager to provide guidance to Administrators on how they should report and what they should report on. OVW stated that this only impacts the Administrators form. Muskie will be sending a blast message with the dates of the upcoming webinars along with the guidance document.
PREA efforts remain challenging for most administrators. AVA asked whether there is a specific due date for the worksheet. OVW outlined that there is no specific due date; however, the penalty monies can’t be released until the worksheet has been submitted and OVW program managers have had an opportunity to review and approve the worksheet. AVA also inquired into whether there will be an expectation of tracking specific information under PREA efforts or whether any additional follow-up will be required. OVW is currently working on this. At this time it may be more of a verbal inquiry or discussion during a site visit or perhaps the program managers will reach out for a status update via email.
Both AVA and OVW recognize that there are tremendous challenges for developing a form to gather information under the PREA compliance efforts because the information will vary considerably from state to state depending on what their audit outlines they need to do. OVW will continue to work on this.
AVA inquired into the process for requesting a GAN to move from monies from the undesignated category to a different category (e.g. law enforcement, victim services, etc.) so funding is available? OVW discussed that it is dependent on each state’s needs. Some states are still holding meetings with their Corrections Department and may be unaware of the compliance needs of the DOC. And, it’s difficult at times for administrators to get a firm commitment from Corrections in their state. If a PREA worksheet is submitted and approved and then at a later date during the award period an administrator needs to make changes to that form, that will need to be done via a GAN, so that OVW is kept aware of how PREA funds are being used and which disciplines (LE, victim services etc.) are supporting the PREA activities.
AVA discussed that they’ve received positive comments from administrators in those states that have been visited by Director Hanson and other OVW representatives as part of their national tour. Administrators report that they are pleased with the opportunity to show the benefits of the VAWA funding on the local level. OVW agreed that they feel the national tour is going well.
AVA holds monthly meetings with OVW usually early in the month (as schedules allow). Please let us know if you have a specific topic you’d AVA to include during its next call with OVW scheduled in early March.
Dorene Whitworth, Coordinator
Association of VAWA Administrators
1788 Colavita Way
Reno NV 89521