I hope all of you are doing well and staying safe and healthy. It is nearing the end of Year 1 of the 2021-2023 VOCA Grant cycle. I just wanted to take some time to give everyone some specific instructions regarding revisions for Year 2, a timeline for those revisions, and some updates regarding VOCA funding moving forward. Please feel free to send this email to anyone in your agency, who is affiliated with the grant, that may or may not be on my VOCA emailing list.
- Revisions process starts today and is due by 11:59 PM on June 30th, 2022. If we do not receive revisions by that date, or a request for an extension, we will consider your Year 2 budget final.
- This is the last week to submit any amendments (outside of personnel name changes) for our current Year 1 grant.
- Closeout of Year 1 grant is due by July 15th. All progress reports are due by July 30th. Please contact your grant analyst regarding any questions regarding the closeout process.
As you all know, we have been working with our GMS developers at making improvements, with the hopes of refining our amendment process and the overall functionality of the system. We have also made some changes regarding the budget in hopes that it will lower the administrative burden we are all experiencing. Please take this opportunity to take a good look at your budget and come up with a solid forecast with how you see your agency spending these funds over the next year. You can move things between categories during revisions however, once Year 2 budgets are finalized, no funds will be able to be moved between categories with the exception of personnel/fringe, and training/travel.
- The revision process will be completed via an amendment request this year. We have created an amendment ledger on Excel that should be much more user friendly than the current word document you all are using now. Attached is a video with instructions on how to fill out that ledger. Your grant analyst will upload this amendment ledger to the “files” section of your grant by 5/31/2022.
- UOVC will be shifting every personnel line item to a “Total Grant Position Fund.” This is similar to the way you are currently billing salaried employees. Each position is awarded a total amount of funding for Year 2 based off of your current pay rate and hours. Once that dollar amount is expended for the year, your agency will have to pick up any additional costs. You will still be required to track your hours and provide timesheets in a desk review. The benefit of this change is not needing to add additional lines for new employees, changing hours or rates. In your budget and on your ledger, you will not enter the amount of hours or pay rate. Please refer to the attached training video for more information. PDF copies of the slides used in these training videos are attached to this email as well.
- UOVC will not allow any excess funding to rollover from Year 1 to Year 2 of this current cycle.
- Please remember to upload copies of resumes for new staff, training information (agenda of proposed training), and a written justification of every alteration of your grant.
- We also encourage you to consider taking advantage of the match waiver, to further lower your administrative burden, while it is still available on a nationwide level.
- We have created a Q&A Document for all general questions, that is attached to this email. We would like as many questions as possible to be submitted on this form for the sake of transparency. Please submit all general questions regarding this year’s revisions process on the form.
- If you plan on changing your Goals and Objectives, please reach out directly to your grant analyst regarding options in that process.
- If you are an agency that bills on a monthly basis, we strongly suggest switching to a quarterly billing cycle to lower administrative burden, if possible. If you are required to bill monthly, due to audit findings or a risk assessment, you will have to continue billing on a monthly basis.
- Please adhere to all limitations set forth during our RFP training. Here is a link to our RFP instructions from last year. RFP Instructions. We may consider some movement of funding into the personnel category if the agency can justify that it is to maintain current staff, however, direct client aid such as mental health therapy, emergency funds, and housing funds should have little to no movement.
Year 2 Guidance:
Due to the drastic drop in VOCA funding, we will be implementing some practices that have differed from previous year’s standards.
- Amendment requests will be more restrictive in Year 2. We will be taking each request on a case by case basis.
- UOVC will generally not approve any amendments that move funds between categories, however, we may consider amendments that move funds between personnel and fringe or adjustments between travel and training.
- Amendments will be restricted after the end of the 3rd quarter. You will only be able to request amendments that are pertaining to personnel/fringe name changes.
- UOVC would rather our subgrantees deobligate/revert funding as opposed to amending awards to spend unused funding on non-essential items.
- Any deviations or exceptions to these practices will be at the sole discretion of UOVC staff.
VOCA Funding Outlook:
I would like to wrap up this email by providing some updates regarding the projection of our 2023-2025 RFP. This current 2021-2023 cycle was awarded at a total amount of $43,000,000 for both years combined. Due to the decrease in VOCA funding on the federal level, we will be awarding somewhere around $20-24 million dollars for the 2023-2025 RFP. We have not received our 2022 award yet, so that projected amount is not finalized. However, based on the funding cap, we do not anticipate a major increase in our 2022 VOCA award so we strongly suggest that our current subgrantees seek additional funds for the 2023-2025 funding cycle that are outside of VOCA as funding could be cut by 35 – 50%. Due to the VOCA Fix passing last year, we remain hopeful that VOCA funding will increase in the future.
In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of your hard work and dedication to serving crime victims in the state of Utah. Your positions and services are invaluable. We look forward to continuing a collaborative and positive working relationship for many years to come.
VOCA Program Manager
Utah Office for Victims of Crime