News and Events
Ohio Connect$: February 22, 2022
Ohio Connect$ - Tuesday, February 22, 2022
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
At OBM, we strive to be partners in delivering efficient and effective services in a transparent manner. The Ohio Checkbook provides transparency into all state revenue and spending as well as data voluntarily provided by some schools, local governments, and pension funds. I encourage you to visit the website when you have an opportunity. Any Checkbook questions on local spending can be directed to Questions from Ohio Checkbook.
The Monthly Financial Report for January 2022 is now available on the OBM website.
State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Final Rule
On January 6, 2022, the U.S. Treasury issued the Final Rule for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program of ARPA. The Final Rule, which takes effect on April 1, 2022, provides additional clarity and flexibility for recipients. The most notable change is the ability to elect a standard allowance of up to $10 million for revenue loss rather than completing the calculation. This allows many local governments to elect to use their entire allocation as revenue loss by electing the standard allowance. What does this mean? This means those local governments could use their full allocation up to $10 million toward typical general government expenditures such as road paving, payroll, parks and recreation needs, facility renovations, vehicles, equipment, etc. In addition, the Treasury has communicated minimal reporting requirements when using funds for revenue loss.
OBM provided an update on the Final Rule on January 24, 2022. A recording of the webinar, along with the slides, can be found at Ohio Grants : Helpful Resources.
The Treasury also conducted a webinar on the implementation of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) Final Rule. The following links are to that webinar recording and the slide deck.
WEBINAR: State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: An Introduction to the Final Rule - YouTube
State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds – U.S. Treasury Webinars
The U.S. Treasury has also posted a series of recorded webinars to assist recipients to understand and comply with relevant reporting requirements and assist recipients in accessing Treasury's Portal. The following webinars are currently available to view:
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes billions of dollars in competitive funding available to cities, towns, and municipalities across dozens of new and existing federal grant programs. On January 31, the White House released the first edition of is Bipartisan Infrastructure Law guidebook to help state and local governments navigate infrastructure funding opportunities. The guidebook serves as a one-stop-shop on the law and contains the most comprehensive information to date on the more than 375 programs included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The guidebook is organized by how state and local governments approach spending at the programmatic level (instead of the awarding agency) and is categorized under transportation, energy and the environment, broadband and other programs. Each grant program has a dedicated page providing critical information on key dates, amount of funds appropriated, eligible recipients, use of funds, description and length of grant and other federal programs that could be leveraged.
This guidebook will be updated frequently as more details on programs become available. In addition, guidebook data can be searched on the site or downloaded as a .csv file to allow for filtering and sorting within Excel. The guidebook and accompanying data can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/build/.
Tax Implications of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a fact sheet containing frequently asked questions related to the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFR). The FAQs are provided for states and local governments to address taxability and reporting of payments from the funds.
The information includes the use of funds for disaster relief payments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, providing premium pay, bonuses, and unemployment payment incentives. For more details, local governments are encouraged to review the IRS fact sheet.
Transition from the DUNS Number to the Unique Entity ID
On April 4, 2022, the federal government will transition away from the use of the DUNS Number and toward the new Unique Entity ID as the primary means of entity identification for federal awards government-wide. If you are registered in SAM.gov, you've already been assigned a new Unique Entity ID. It's viewable in your current SAM.gov entity registration record. Go to fsd.gov and select the green Help on UEI Transition button to learn more. Be aware, current grant recipients including those receiving American Rescue Plan Act Fiscal Recovery Funds are still required to obtain a DUNS number and register it at SAM.gov.
Renewing in SAM
OBM wants to remind those that are registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) that is free to renew each year. There are several professional renewal services posing as the SAM that send e-mails indicating your registration is about to expire. These services have a redirect link and charge a fee to complete your renewal. These services use publicly viewable information from the SAM.gov site to gain your trust in their e-mail communication notifying you that it is time to renew. You should never pay a fee to renew your registration. Carefully review all expiration e-mail notices that indicate your SAM is about to expire. Do not follow any redirect links, you should go directly to https://sam.gov/content/home to renew. Be aware of the use of email addresses designed to trick you. These services typically create email addresses which are similar to legitimate government email addresses. They could also display a different email address in the "From" header than what they use for the "Reply-To" email address. As always, you should be alert to email messages which are poorly written, with misspellings and awkward sentence structure. The extra vigilance is worth the effort.
Second Annual Ohio Grants Summit
Thanks to everyone that joined us for the second annual Ohio Grants Summit! With over 700 participants and hundreds more viewing on The Ohio Channel, the Summit provided a unique day of grant learning opportunities. Sessions included:
- Ohio Broadband, Emerging Issues in Federal Funds;
- Allowable Uses of Fiscal Recovery Funds on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure;
- Preparing for a Single Audit and Accounting for COVID Funds, Federal Procurement; and
- Compliance and Legal Considerations with Fiscal Recovery Funds.
If you missed the event or want to watch it again, the recordings and slide decks are now at: Ohio Grants : Grants Summit 2021.
OHIO EPA WEBINAR
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency conducted a webinar on February 3 to discuss water and wastewater infrastructure funding with a special emphasis on the new federal infrastructure bill. If you missed this webinar, the recording can be found at https://youtu.be/ivf2HcFbnNs.
Upcoming Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Webinars
If you are interested in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding, you may find FEMA's upcoming webinar series helpful. Next month FEMA is hosting an informative webinar series that will bring together subject-matter experts and practitioners to provide technical information, best practices, and tools and resources for submitting a successful HMGP application. The webinars are being designed for leaders in states, local communities, as well as private sector entities, private non-profit organizations, and individuals.
Register today for the webinars you would like to attend, as there is a 1,000 person limit per webinar. Once capacity is reached, registration will be closed. If you are unable to attend, the webinars will be recorded and posted on FEMA.gov at a later date.
HMGP 101 Program Overview: This webinar provides an overview of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, including program requirements and how to complete a successful application.
Thursday, March 10, at 2:30-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Nature-Based Solutions: This webinar provides an overview of how to incorporate nature-based solutions into mitigation projects, the benefits of these solutions, and examples of successful projects.
Thursday, March 17, at 2:30-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Benefit-Cost Analysis 101: This webinar will provide an overview of the fundamental concepts of benefit-cost analysis (BCA), with specific instructions on completing a BCA – an HMGP application requirement – using the FEMA BCA Toolkit.
Thursday, March 31, at 2:30-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Stay tuned! FEMA plans to host additional helpful HMGP webinars in the coming months.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding Ohio Connects, we would like to hear from you. Please e-mail email@example.com.
Ohio Connect$: November 8, 2021
Ohio Connect$ - Monday, November 8, 2021
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
Thank you to the finance officials and local government partners that attended our Regional meetings: Ohio Dollars and Sense. I also want to express my appreciation to the Ohio Grants Partnership, Ohio Department of Development, and all the presenters at these meetings.
Please join me and the Ohio Grants Partnership at the Second Annual Grants Summit on December 7, 2021. We hope you can make this informative all day virtual event. Registration and event details are down below.
Last week we released the Preliminary Revenue Data. To view the summary, please follow this link to the OBM website.
Current Funding Opportunities
The FY 2021 Assistance To Firefighters (AFG) Grant
The FY 2021 AFG application period opened today at 8:00 a.m. ET and closes on Friday, December 17, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET. You can view the FY 2021 AFG grant application now by reviewing the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on the AFG website.
If you are interested in learning how to apply for funding under the AFG program, they are hosting a series of workshops covering the AFG application process. The workshops will cover important information and reminders about cost share requirements, program priorities, eligible costs, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing your application. To learn more, visit: FEMA.gov.
Fire Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the NOFO, call or email the Fire Grants Help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firstname.lastname@example.org.The Fire Grants Help Desk is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET.
Ohio Grants Portal
Did you know the Ohio Grants Portal has some current funding opportunities for local government on their website? Click Ohio Grants website to learn more about the below opportunities:
- Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program through the Ohio Department of Development
- Ohio Broadband Expansion Program
Federal Procurement Requirements for Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
Many local governments may be navigating the world of grants management for the first time. Local governments, particularly smaller ones, may have only one or two federal funding experiences such as occasional support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after a disaster declaration. If the Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) that were provided to local governments from the CARES Act, were your first opportunity to receive and manage grant funds, it is important to note that CRF management emphasizes the key concepts of allowability, tracking, reporting, and monitoring sub-grants. However, many of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) requirements that follow federal funding were not applicable to the CRF.
Local governments that are now receiving Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act need to know that most of the federal Uniform Guidance applies to this funding. In particular, recipients should pay attention to those related to procurement (2 CFR 200.318 through 200.327). We should not assume that local laws and regulations surrounding procurement suffice for meeting the federal regulations. A good rule of thumb is to always follow the most restrictive requirements, federal or state.
The Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200.320) requires specific procurement methods based on the dollar amount of the purchase, for example:
Informal Procurement Methods (under $250K)
- Micro-purchases ($10k or less) – This requires procurement to be distributed equitably and only requires the solicitation of price or rate quotes.
- Small purchases (above $10k and below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) of $250k) – This requires price or rate quotes obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources. A good rule of thumb for adequate number of sources is three.
Formal Procurement Methods (exceed $250k)
- Sealed Bids – This requires bids to be publicly solicited, and a firm fixed price contract is awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid conforms materially and is the lowest in price.
- Proposals – This method is used when either a fixed price or cost-reimbursement type contract is awarded and is used when conditions are not appropriate for the use of sealed bid.
All procurement must be conducted in a manner to provide full and open competition (2 CFR 200.319). Contractors that develop plans, specifications, and/or bids are excluded from competing for that procurement. In addition, competition cannot be restricted through unreasonable requirements, such as requiring unnecessary bonding or experience or specifying a "brand name."
Furthermore, the Uniform Guidance requires all recipients to have and use documented procurement procedures consistent with state and local laws and regulations.
Local governments are encouraged to review the uniform guidance procurement requirements here prior to committing their CLFRF. Procurement can be a tricky area, especially to those that may be new to managing federal grants. The Ohio Grants Partnership at the Ohio Office of Budget and Management can help navigate the requirements if you have questions. Our July 29 webinar included procurement information. The recording can be found here. Also, feel free to reach out to us at out to us at email@example.com.
Transition from the UEI Number to the Unique Entity ID
On April 4, 2022, the federal government will transition away from the use of the UEI Number and toward the new Unique Entity ID as the primary means of entity identification for federal awards government-wide. If you are registered in SAM.gov, you have already been assigned a new Unique Entity ID. It's viewable in your current SAM.gov entity registration record. Go to fsd.gov and select the green Help on UEI Transition button to learn more. Please note: Current grant recipients including those receiving American Rescue Plan Act Fiscal Recovery Funds are still required to obtain a UEI number and register it at SAM.gov.
OHIO GRANTS SUMMIT
To register click this link: grants-summit-winter-2021.eventbrite.com.
UPCOMING CONFERENCES 2021
County Auditors Association of Ohio (CAAO)
The CAAO will be hosting their 2021 Winter Conference, November 17-19, 2021. For more information, please follow the link to the CAAO website.
County Treasurers Association of Ohio
The County Treasurers Association of Ohio (CTAO) will be resuming their in-person Fall Conference & Annual Meeting November 17-19, 2021, at the Dublin Marriott Hotel. There will be 2 1/2 days of continuing education courses, a full slate of vendors looking to interact with county treasurers, along with some fun, social activities. They also will be updating their members on all their advocacy efforts, and the association will be electing their new Slate of Officers for the coming year.
The members are excited to be gathering again and are looking forward to an informative meeting.
County Commissioners Association of Ohio and County Engineers Association of Ohio
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio and County Engineers Association of Ohio invite you to the 2021 Annual Winter Conference on December 8-10, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.
Did you know the Ohio Council of County Officials has launched their website and it has links to all the county government officials sites? Stay connected by following this link: http://ohiocountyofficials.com/
Ohio Connect$: August 12, 2021
Ohio Connect$ - Thursday, August 12, 2021
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
OBM is excited to announce a series of regional meetings for local government leaders and finance officials: Ohio Dollars and Sense. Presentations from OBM's Grants Partnership and the Ohio Department of Development will cover topics including the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and several grant programs in the state budget: Broadband, Brownfields and Demolitions, Water and Sewer Projects, and more! To register, please click the location where you plan to attend:
Last week, Ohio's Bond Rating and Outlook was elevated to its highest level in 42 years! Governor DeWine noted this positive marketplace milestone; "the state of Ohio's financial management is solid and our economy is surging forward."
We released the Preliminary Revenue Data last week. To view the report follow this link July 2021.
OBM is working diligently to oversee implementation of the new state budget as well as providing coordination and guidance on the federal relief funds flowing through the state. I appreciate your partnership! Please don't hesitate to reach out to our team if we can be helpful to you!
Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds – NonEntitlement Units of Local Government
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) appropriates $19.53 billion of Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to states for distribution to "non-entitlement units of local government" (NEUs). The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) is facilitating the allocation and distribution of these funds to Ohio's eligible NEUs. The funds will be distributed in accordance with the Treasury's Guidance on Distribution of Funds to Nonentitlement Units of Local Government.
To meet the Treasury requirements, OBM requires eligible NEUs to register for funding at https://grants.ohio.gov/fundingopportunities.aspx and provide the following information prior to distribution:
- Organizational information to include the UEI number, Entity's Taxpayer Identification Number, contact information for both an Authorized Representative and Grant Contact, and payment details;
- Top-line total annual operating budget amount as of January 27, 2020;
- Sign and upload award terms and conditions agreement provided in funding opportunity; and
- Sign and upload assurance of compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided in funding opportunity.
The listing of eligible NEUs and maximum allocation amounts as well as the recording of the July 9, 2021 webinar on the NEU registration process can be found at Ohio Grants: Funding Opportunities. The registration will be available until September 4, 2021. After that date, an NEU will be considered unresponsive, meaning the Treasury authorizes the state to reallocate funds from unresponsive NEUs to responsive NEUs that have not exceeded the funding cap. NEUs wishing to decline funds should not complete the registration process. An NEU that does not want the funding may transfer funds back to the state. The NEU should notify the Ohio Grants Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate the desire to decline funding and transfer funds back to the state.
As always for questions or assistance, feel free to reach out to the Ohio Grants Partnership at email@example.com.
Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) - Assistance Listing Number and Compliance & Reporting Requirements
On May 28, 2021, the Treasury published the Assistance Listing for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) on SAM.gov. The final CFDA/Assistance Listing Number for the program is 21.027. The assistance listing, available at SAM.gov, includes helpful information including program purpose, statutory authority, eligibility requirements, and compliance requirements for recipients. The CFDA/Assistance Listing number is the unique 5-digit code for each type of federal assistance, and can be used to search for program information, including funding opportunities, spending on usaspending.gov, or audit results through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse. Note: This number is different from the Coronavirus Relief Funds. To expedite payments and meet statutory timelines, Treasury issued initial payments under the existing Coronavirus Relief Fund CFDA/Assistance Listing number of 21.019. If you have already received funds or captured the initial CFDA number in your records, you should update your systems and reporting to reflect the final CFDA number 21.027.
The Assistance Listing published on SAM.gov also provided important details as to which Uniform Guidance sections are applicable to the program. Recipients should be aware that the majority of the Uniform Guidance is applicable, which is different from the Coronavirus Relief Funds. In particular, recipients should be aware of new requirements such as those related to procurement, which can be found in 2 CFR 200.318 through 200.327. Feel free to reach out to the Ohio Grants Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org as we are always happy to help.
OBM hosted four webinars in our Ohio Connect$ series. The July 29 webinar provided more in-depth information on the American State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, Authoritative Guidance from the U.S. Treasury, and compliance requirements for procurement and reporting. The June 24 webinar provided detailed information on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to include the NEU distribution process. The April 29 webinar provided initial allowable cost information on ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, as well as an update on the Governor's Executive Budget, local government eligibility for Public Assistance Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and additional information on Coronavirus Relief Funds. The May 18 webinar provided additional details on the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds including provisions and requirements from the U.S. Treasury Interim Final Rule and Frequently Asked Questions document, which were released on May 10. If you were unable to attend these webinars, the recordings are available on the Ohio Grants Partnership website.
Subscribe to Ohio Connects
Do you have staff or colleagues that would like to receive Ohio Connects? They can subscribe to Ohio Connect$ by following the link to sign up. To view previous editions of our quarterly newsletter, please follow this link to Ohio Connect$.
Ohio Connect$: May 28, 2021
Ohio Connect$ - Friday, May 28, 2021
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
The state operating budget process continues to move forward, currently in Senate deliberations. We will communicate information about the final budget after it is passed and signed by Governor DeWine.
Last week, I was honored to be invited to the spring conference of the County Treasurers Association of Ohio to provide updates on the state of our economy and budget.
As we begin to close out the state's fiscal year, I want to thank you for your steadfast leadership and genuine partnership in public finance!
Please reach out to your OBM team if there is anything we can do to help you.
Monthly Financial Report
The Office of Budget and Management publishes a detailed financial report each month that provides an economic overview and detailed information about state revenues and expenditures. To view the latest report follow this link: April 2021.
OHIO CONNECT$ WEBINARS
Spring Webinar Series
OBM has hosted two of the three scheduled webinars in our spring series. The April 29 webinar provided initial information on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, as well as an update on the Governor's Executive Budget, local government eligibility for Public Assistance Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and additional information on Coronavirus Relief Funds. The May 18 webinar provided additional details on the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds including provisions and requirements from the U.S. Treasury Interim Final Rule and Frequently Asked Questions document which were released on May 10. If you were unable to attend these webinars, the recordings are available on the Ohio Grants Partnership website.
Registration is now available for the next webinar on June 24, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. by clicking here. This webinar will provide a more in-depth discussion on eligible use of funds and nonentitlement local government unit funds.
Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds – Guidance and Information
On May 10, the U.S. Treasury launched the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Implementation materials released include a fact sheet; allocations and allocation methodologies for states, nonentitlement units, territories, counties, and metropolitan cities; information on tranching of funds; and an interim final rule to implement the funds. These materials can be found on the U.S. Treasury's Website. The interim final rule is currently open for public comment until July 16, 2021. If you wish to comment on the interim final rule, visit the Federal Register and click "Submit a Formal Comment." Note that comments received are posted publicly.
The Ohio Grants Partnership is available to assist with any questions regarding Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds; however, for authoritative guidance you can always contact the U.S. Treasury at SLFRP@treasury.gov.
Application for Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
With the launch of the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds, those eligible to receive a direct allocation from the U.S. Treasury (does not include non-entitlement local units of government) may now request their allocation through the Treasury Submission Portal. The portal is located at https://home.treasury.gov/policyissues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/state-and-local-fiscalrecovery-fund/request-funding.
To complete a submission on behalf of your jurisdiction, you will be required to go through an identity process through ID.me in order to get your log-in credentials to the portal. The process requires a smart phone and proof of identity. At a minimum, you will be required to provide your date of birth, social security number, take a picture of an identifying document such as your driver's license, and utilize your phone to do a facial scan and take a photo of yourself. Occasionally, registrations are sent through a secondary validation process which will require additional documentation to validate your identity and a video interview with an ID.me representative.
Once access is gained to the Treasury Submission Portal, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Jurisdiction name, taxpayer ID number, UEI Number, and address.
- Authorized representative name, title, and email.
- Contact person name, title, phone, and email.
- Funds transfer information, including recipient's financial institution, address, phone, and routing number and account number.
- Completed certification document (to be signed by the authorized representative). Treasury has recommended the individual that will be doing the reporting in the future be the one that acquires credentials through ID.me to access the portal. For questions about the Treasury Submission Portal or for technical support, you may e-mail the U.S. Treasury support team at email@example.com.
Non-Entitlement Unit of Local Government Funds
The U.S. Treasury released allocation information and guidance for distributing ARPA funds to non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs) on May 24. OBM is currently evaluating the Treasury guidance and determining the best approach for meeting the requirements. OBM will communicate more information very soon. In addition, it is important to note the funds must first be appropriated by the legislature prior to any distribution.
There are a few steps that an eligible NEU can take now to prepare to request funds:
- Obtain or confirm your local government's valid UEI number
- Gather your local government's payment information:
- Local government name, Entity's Taxpayer Identification Number, UEI number, and address
- Authorized representative name, title, and email
- Contact person name, title, phone, and email
- Confirm your local government's top-line budget total (defined as your local government's total annual operating budget, including the general fund and other funds, in effect as of January 27, 2020)
- Review and have an authorized representative ready to sign the following:
The U.S. Treasury has advised that local governments should register in SAM.gov as soon as possible. Although this registration may not hold up a future distribution, it will be required after receiving the award. OBM remains committed to keeping NEUs informed on this funding and is working as quickly as possible to navigate this process in alignment with U.S. Treasury guidance.
Resources to Help Local Governments Plan for Recovery from the Pandemic
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently published three guides focused on providing local governments with solutions, resources, and case studies to effectively respond to and plan for recovery from COVID-19 pandemic impacts. OBM wanted to share this information as many of you may have started planning recovery efforts, evaluating needs for uses of Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, and building grant capacity to best manage the additional funds. These guides provide examples from different representative community types and links to other valuable resources.
Ohio Connect$: April 15, 2021
Ohio Connect$ - Thursday, April 15, 2021
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
I want to thank all of you for your incredible efforts over the last year of unprecedented challenges. The state operating budget for fiscal years 2022-2023 is currently in General Assembly deliberations. On March 31, 2021, Governor DeWine signed the two-year Transportation budget, which will continue our commitment to invest in Ohio's roads, bridges, and essential infrastructure. Furthermore, we are all eagerly awaiting guidance on the new federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which will infuse billions of dollars into our state and local communities. We look forward to working closely with you to ensure prudent management of these public funds.
The OBM and Ohio Grants Partnership's ongoing efforts to provide technical assistance and guidance will continue with a spring webinar series on the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Additional details are available in this newsletter.
Finally, we strive to provide transparent and useful information regarding state revenue and spending on the OBM website. I encourage you to explore the reports and let us know what is helpful to you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our most recent OBM Monthly Financial Report was posted this week.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me or any member of the OBM staff with questions or for assistance in support of your mission on behalf of Ohio's communities and citizens.
The Ohio Grants Partnership will be leading a spring webinar series to provide more information on the American Rescue Plan, answer questions you may have on Coronavirus Relief Funds or CARES Act reporting. Save the following dates!
- April 29, 2021
- May 18, 2021
- June 24, 2021
Please stay tuned for additional information on registration and meeting times.
AROUND THE STATE
The Department of Transportation Program Resource Guide
The Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Program Resource Guide is intended to provide a "one-stop shopping" document to ODOT's constituents – local governments, transportation advocacy groups, planning organizations, and Ohio's citizens.
ODOT is one of Ohio's largest state agencies, with 12 regional district offices, that administer several different funding programs. It can be challenging to interact efficiently with a large agency and the Program Resource Guide provides customer-friendly overviews on specific state and local roadway, bridge, safety, and other mobility-focused resources.
Transportation projects and needs are growing at a faster rate than the funding available to meet those needs. The guide provides an overview of available transportation infrastructure funding sources, how to access them, and contact names for assistance in securing funds to address the issues crucial to the continued development of Ohio communities.
Please click the following link Program Resource Guide | Ohio Department of Transportation to access the most recent document.
American Rescue Plan Act Funding
As you are likely aware, the latest COVID-related federal response bill, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, was enacted on March 11, 2021. This is the sixth federal bill appropriating funds to respond to and recover from the pandemic. You can find the full text of the ARP here: https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr1319/BILLS-117hr1319enr.pdf
We are still awaiting detailed guidance from U.S. Treasury regarding allowable uses for the new State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. In general, we know the law allows the funds to be used through December 31, 2024 to:
- Respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.
- Provide premium pay to essential employees or grants to employers to provide premium pay. Premium pay cannot exceed $13 per hour or $25,000 per worker.
- Provide government services affected by a revenue reduction resulting from COVID-19. The revenue reduction is relative to revenues in the fiscal year prior to the pandemic (this is the "revenue loss" provision).
- Make investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
Counties and metro cities will receive funding directly from the U.S. Treasury, while smaller cities and villages ("non-entitlement units of local government") will receive funds through the state. The amounts to be provided to each local government will be stipulated by the U.S. Treasury. Therefore, the state will not be establishing formulas to disburse funds to local governments.
The payments to local governments will be split in two – 50% within 60 days of the enactment of the law and the remaining 50% "not earlier than 12 months after" the first payment.
OBM's Grants Partnership team will share additional information, once we receive guidelines from U.S. Treasury. We will email the contacts we have in our system from the Coronavirus Relief Fund reporting, publish articles in this newsletter, and schedule webinars to discuss the funding and answer questions.
Coronavirus Relief Fund Monitoring
The Office of Budget and Management, as the prime recipient of Coronavirus Relief Funds from the U.S. Treasury, is required to conduct monitoring activities of their subrecipients to ensure compliance with the federal financial assistance requirements and guidance. Members of the Ohio Grants Partnership recently begun reaching out to subrecipients who were selected for a monitoring visit. This process is expected to continue through December 31, 2021 and beyond. Monitoring activities include inspecting records which may include any of the following:
- general ledger and subsidiary ledgers used to account for (a) the receipt of Coronavirus Relief Fund payments and (b) the disbursements from such payments to meet eligible expenses related to the public health emergency due to COVID-19;
- budget records for 2019 and 2020;
- payroll, time records, human resource records to support costs incurred for payroll expenses related to addressing the public health emergency due to COVID-19;
- receipts of purchases made related to addressing the public health emergency due to COVID-19;
- contracts and subcontracts entered into using Coronavirus Relief Fund payments and all documents related to such contracts;
- grant agreements and grant subaward agreements entered into using Coronavirus Relief Fund payments and all documents related to such awards;
- all documentation of reports, audits, and other monitoring of contractors, including subcontractors, and grant recipient and subrecipients;
- all documentation supporting the performance outcomes of contracts, subcontracts, grant awards, and grant recipient subawards;
- all internal and external email/electronic communications related to use of Coronavirus Relief Fund payments; and
- all investigative files and inquiry reports involving Coronavirus Relief Fund payments.
It is important to note that OBM will not be reviewing all documentation. However, please be aware that all documentation related to Coronavirus Relief Funds must be maintained in accordance with U.S. Treasury Office of Inspector General requirements of five years after final payment is made using Coronavirus Relief Fund monies by the state. OBM will provide a monitoring assessment report once activities have concluded and will work with subrecipients to resolve any issues noted. Finally, OBM is required to review Single Audit reports of subrecipients of Coronavirus Relief Funds that originated from OBM and follow-up on any issues identified. Please feel free to reach out to the Ohio Grants Partnership at email@example.com with any questions.
Centralized Funding Opportunity Publication
The Ohio Grants Partnership is continuing to work on providing a "front door" to local governments and others seeking grants from the state. On March 10, 2021, the partnership introduced functionality to state agency partners to allow them to directly publish their funding opportunities to Ohio Grants: Funding Opportunities. There have already been an increase in opportunities published on the site, and it is expected to continue to increase in the coming months as more agencies adopt use of the site so check back often. The goal is to provide a centralized listing of available and archived funding opportunities across the state. Please stay tuned for additional updates on this important initiative in future editions of Ohio Connect$.
How Much Federal Spending Did You Have Last Fiscal Year?
Did you know if you expend $750,000 or more in federal funds in a single fiscal year that you must have a Single Audit? It is important to remember that the expenditure of Coronavirus Relief Funds should be included in determining if you qualify. For the first time, many local governments may find themselves qualifying for a Single Audit due to expending Coronavirus Relief Funds. The U.S. Treasury has allowed the use of Coronavirus Relief Funds to cover the expenses of an audit conducted under the Single Audit Act, subject to the limitations set forth in 2 CFR 200.425, to cover a reasonably proportionate share of the costs of audits attributable to the Coronavirus Relief Funds. If you now qualify for a Single Audit, it is imperative to contact your auditors to make arrangements. This is particularly important for those that are on a biennial audit schedule for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 as the Single Audit must be conducted on an annual basis.
Ohio Connect$: February 12, 2021
Ohio Connect$ - Friday, February 12, 2021
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
Last week, Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted presented the Governor's Executive Budget "Blue Book" for Fiscal Years 2022-23 to the General Assembly. The Governor's budget plan includes a $1 Billion Investing in Ohio Initiative, an aggressive plan to accelerate growth and ensure the state's economic vitality. To view Governor DeWine's press conference announcing the Executive Budget please click here. The Executive Budget and accompanying fact sheets are posted on www.budget.Ohio.gov. For more information on the recommendations in Fiscal Years 2022-2023, please click here.
All of us in public service and government finance have been working so very hard throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that our teams and citizens have the resources they need. Ohio has started distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide. For more information on public health, please click here.
Thank you for your expertise and stewardship within our communities and local government.
AROUND THE STATE
Coronavirus Relief Funding Extension
On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was enacted, providing an extension on the use of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds provided to state and local governments from the CARES Act through December 31, 2021. Subsequently, the Ohio Controlling Board held a special meeting on December 30, 2020 and approved OBM's request to extend the state's deadline for local subdivisions to incur expenses to their Coronavirus Relief Funds likewise through December 31, 2021 and to extend the date by which local subdivisions must pay any unexpended balance of money in the subdivision's local Coronavirus Relief Fund to the state treasury to December 31, 2021. The US Treasury submitted final guidance to the federal register on January 15, 2021 and OBM formally updated our accompanying guidance. The updated guidance was emailed to all in the OBM Grants system and is also available by clicking here. All other programs such as the Public Library Assistance program can find the guidance under the archived opportunity located here.
The extension of time also required OBM to extend reporting requirements and eliminated the need for a final report on February 1, 2021. Any cash on hand reported on the cycle 7 report due on January 5, 2022 must be returned to OBM no later than December 31, 2021. There is no longer a requirement to return funds on February 1, 2021.
Below is a table of CRF reporting periods and due dates:
||January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021
||April 6, 2021
||April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021
||July 6, 2021
||July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021
||October 6, 2021
||October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021
||January 5, 2022
Remember the Grant Contact listed on the registration is the person provided access to the grants portal to complete the financial status reports. The grants portal can be accessed at grantsportal.ohio.gov. Several local governments have not filed reports that were due on October 20, 2020 and January 6, 2021. If you are experiencing issues accessing the portal, please contact the Ohio Grants Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONNECTING WITH OUR LOCAL PARTNERS
OBM Local-Regional Financial Summits
In January, OBM hosted several Regional Finance Summits with our local government partners in the SW (Middletown), SE (Athens) and NW (Perrysburg) regions of Ohio. Members of OBM's leadership presented on the current budget, the Monthly Financial Report, Grant Programs for Local government, and other resources to assist you. Please click below to access the video and/or download the presentation from the event.
Monthly Financial Reports (MFR)
As a reminder, the Office of Budget and Management publishes a detailed financial report each month that provides an economic overview and detailed information about state revenues and expenditures. To view the February 10, 2021 report, click here.
GRANTS ADMINISTRATION UPDATE
Coronavirus Relief Fund Registration
OBM is aware of several local governments that received Coronavirus Relief Funding through the County Auditor, but that have not yet followed the requirements of HB 481 and HB 614 by submitting a copy of the resolution to OBM and/or registering with OBM. The registration is still open to allow those that need to get caught up with the requirements to register, click here. The resolution can be submitted to OBM via e-mail at email@example.com. Jurisdictions registering for the first time should ensure they immediately access the Grants Portal to get the late reporting requirements fulfilled. The grant contact on the registration will get a log-in upon approval of the application. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Ohio Grants Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org. Guidance, job aids, training, and other helpful information is available on the Ohio Grants Partnership Funding Opportunities.
SAM Renewal Alert
Local governments that received a UEI and registered it with SAM for the first time to receive the Coronavirus Relief Funds may be receiving a notification in the coming months to renew their registration. SAM requires a renewal annually and the renewal process is FREE.
Be aware that fraudsters are looking for all angles to take advantage of the current pandemic and the increase in federal funds being distributed. At the beginning of the pandemic, a federal granting agency alerted the State of a fraudulent website that has the look and feel of the System for Award Management (SAM) site. Be sure to stay clear of this fraudulent website: https://sam-gov.org/. It also is important to note that it is free to renew your SAM registration. Carefully review all expiration e-mail notices that indicate your SAM is about to expire. Do not follow any redirect links, you should go directly to https://sam.gov/SAM/ to renew. OBM has been alerted to a company in Florida that sends e-mails from Renewal Support (email@example.com) and indicates your SAM registration is about to expire. Another company OBM was alerted to out of Texas is also sending out notifications that mimic the SAM logo and look official. These e-mails are sent from Renewal Support (firstname.lastname@example.org). These e-mails typically have your specific registration information in areas like the subject line or within the body that are gleaned from the pubic search in SAM.gov. This information may make a reader believe it is an official e-mail from SAM, but it will redirect you to a professional renewal service to update your registration for a fee. Updating the SAM is easy and free, so please do not pay someone to update your information.
If you have any issues or concerns navigating the SAM process, please feel free to reach out to the Ohio Grants Partnership at email@example.com.
Additional COVID Relief Funding
OBM continues to follow discussions in Congress regarding potential additional relief funding for state and local governments. Although the US Treasury relaxed requirements on obtaining a UEI and having it registered with the federal SAM system, it is possible that may not happen again. All are encouraged to prepare for the potential future receipt of federal funds and to get a UEI and have it registered. This is a requirement for the receipt of federal funds, to include funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Ohio Grants Partnership has developed step by step instructions located here to assist with the process. Remember, you should never pay anyone to obtain and register your UEI. If you need help connecting with the correct federal partners, please reach out to the Ohio Grants Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding Ohio Connect$, we would like to hear from you, please e-mail email@example.com.
Ohio Connect$: October 30, 2020
Ohio Connect$ - Friday, October 30, 2020
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
I hope that you will find this second edition of Ohio Connect$ helpful as we work together to target resources to the COVID-19 public health emergency. I know that calendar year 2020 has been challenging, and public finance professionals across our state continue to be critical in fighting the virus and helping our citizens who have been impacted.
The impact of the pandemic on our state and local budgets is an ongoing challenge. OBM closely reviewed the revenue data for the first quarter of the state's fiscal year. As you know, revenues for the first few months of fiscal year 2021 were boosted by the effects of federal stimulus, pent-up spending demand, and the overall resiliency and Ohioans great efforts to fight off COVID-19 across all our communities. The link to the latest edition of the OBM Monthly Financial Report is below in the Economic Update section.
Ohio was in a strong position at the onset of the pandemic, and our economic recovery depends on our public health efforts. I am grateful to serve with each of you. Thank you for your continued service and stewardship of the hard work of Ohio's taxpayers and please do not hesitate to reach out to my team if we can assist you.
AROUND THE STATE
Coronavirus Relief Fund Resources
House Bill 614 provided the third installment of Coronavirus Relief Funds to County, City, Village and Township governments in Ohio. All three installments have provided $1.175 billion in funding to assist local governments with necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency. The Office of Budget and Management has conducted several webinars and provided guidance to assist with appropriate use of these funds. OBM published the "CRF Guide to Subgranting Funds" and "How to Use Coronavirus Relief Funding to Impact Ohio Communities" to provide further assistance as local governments make funding decisions. These documents along with the guidance and link to the US Treasury guidance and FAQ
are available at https://grants.ohio.gov/fundingopportunities.aspx#funding-opportunities-coronavirus-relief. Additional training webinars also can be found at https://grants.ohio.gov/helpfulresources.aspx#helpful-resources-citizen-grant-training.
The Auditor of State has also issued an Advisory Memo on the Use of Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to Support Small Businesses and Provide Housing Assistance which can be found at http://ohioauditor.gov/resources/Covid19/AOS_Advisory_CARES_Act_100720.pdf.
Coronavirus Relief Fund Reminders
With the third installment of Coronavirus Relief Funds from HB 614 going out in early October, OBM would like to remind those jurisdictions receiving funds from HB 481, HB 614, or through Controlling Board action are required to register and report on the use of those funds on the grants portal. Registration is still available until November 30 and can be found under the Coronavirus Relief Fund Local Government Assistance Program funding opportunity at https://grants.ohio.gov/fundingopportunities.aspx#funding-opportunities-welcome. Once the registration is approved, the Grants Contact listed on the registration will be provided an e-mail with log-in information to the grants portal to report spending. Also, in accordance with language in HB 481 and HB 614 jurisdictions are required to submit a resolution to their County Auditor and OBM to receive funds. If your jurisdiction has not yet submitted your resolution to OBM, please do so soon via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we are less than a month away from the required redistribution of CRF among local governments. Below is a summary of the redistribution process. The most important step to take right now is to encumber your CRF allocations before November 20 if you do not want any of your CRF to be redistributed.
- Subdivisions must return to the county treasury unencumbered funds as of November 20, 2020 – this will include funds distributed under HB 481, HB 614, and Controlling Board (an estimate of the allocations so far is available here: https://grants.ohio.gov/Documents/Coronavirus_Relief_Fund/Estimated_Payment_Allocations_for_Locals.pdf).
- If a subdivision is located in more than one county, it must return the unencumbered funds to multiple counties, apportioned and returned according to the cumulative amount of money the subdivision received from each county.
- The returned funds will then be redistributed November 25, 2020 to eligible subdivisions within the county.
- The subdivisions that can receive funds under the redistribution exclude the following:
- Any subdivision that returns unencumbered funds
- Any subdivision that failed to adopt the required resolution or ordinance (and therefore should never have received funds)
- Any subdivision that received a "direct payment" from the Federal Government under Section 5001 of the CARES Act
- 25% of the returned funds goes to the county if it did not receive a direct payment from the federal government and did not return unencumbered funds
- the remainder is paid to other eligible subdivisions within the county based on population.
- If less than 25% of the municipal corporations and townships within the county qualify for redistribution, then the county is to receive 50% of the returned funds if it qualifies to receive funds under the redistribution.
- County auditors are required to report to OBM the amount of the unencumbered balance paid to the county treasury by each subdivision making such a payment, the amount distributed to each subdivision receiving a redistribution of the previously unencumbered funds, and, if no subdivision made such a payment to the county treasury, that no such payments were made.
- Subdivisions must return unencumbered CARES Act funding to the state by February 1, 2021. The CARES act only authorizes expenses incurred until December 30, 2020. During the period from December 30, 2020, to February 1, 2021, subdivisions are permitted to hold open their local coronavirus relief funds for accounting purposes only and not to incur additional expenses.
Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance Update
On October 1, OBM updated the Coronavirus Relief Fund Local Government Assistance Program guidance document to reflect recent updates published by the US Treasury guidance and Frequently Asked Questions and to align with HB 614. The updated guidance can be found at https://grants.ohio.gov/Documents/Coronavirus_Relief_Fund/Coronavirus_Relief_Fund_Guidance_Updated_2020-10-01.pdf. Notable updates include:
- Changes in reporting to align with the additional liquidation period granted until February 1, 2021 as a result of HB 614;
- Revisions to references from HB 481 that were amended by HB 614 such as the new return of funds date and redistribution dates;
- Inclusion of new FAQs as a result of frequent questions such as encumbering of funds for obligations such as payroll and how to handle interest earnings;
- Added due dates for County Auditor reporting of distributions back to OBM; and
Updated the personnel costs section and FAQs based on new US Treasury guidance regarding "presumed" public safety and public health personnel costs.
Reporting of Coronavirus Relief Funds
The US Treasury Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for monitoring and oversight of the receipt, disbursement, and uses of the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The US Treasury OIG provided reporting requirements to prime recipients on July 31, 2020 and August 28, 2020 (OIGCA-20-025 and OIG-CA-20-028). As the prime recipient, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management put together supplemental guidance which is intended to assist recipients that received funding from the State of Ohio and have a subsequent reporting requirement. This guidance can be found https://grants.ohio.gov/Documents/Coronavirus_Relief_Fund/CRF_Grants_Portal_Guidance_Document_2020-10-02.pdf.
Coronavirus Relief Funds received by local governments through OBM as the result of HB 481, Ohio Controlling Board action, and HB 614 are required to complete reporting to the Office of Budget and Management in the grants portal at grantsportal.ohio.gov. The Grant Contact entered on the initial registration was provided access via e-mail when the registration was completed with OBM. This reporting is critical as it assists the State as the prime recipient to complete reporting back to the US Treasury. OBM is requiring two interim and a final financial status report:
- The first interim report was due October 20, 2020 for activity through September 30, 2020.
- The second interim report is due January 6, 2021 for activity from October 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any unobligated funds reported on this report must be returned to OBM no later than February 1, 2021.
- A final close-out report is due February 10, 2021 to report final liquidation activities that occurred from January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2021. Any cash on hand reported on this report must be returned to OBM no later than February 1, 2021.
Those required to complete reporting should refer to the Reporting Guidance Document, Reporting Job Aid, and Reporting Training Webinar available at https://grants.ohio.gov/fundingopportunities.aspx#funding-opportunities-coronavirus-relief. Any questions regarding reporting can be directed to the Ohio Grants Partnership at email@example.com.
Single Audit Requirements
Did you know if you have federal expenditures of $750,000 or more in a single fiscal year that you are required to have a single audit? Many local governments may be receiving federal funds for the first time and may not realize this requirement. The total federal expenditure amount for the fiscal year is determined on a cash basis and is for all federal sources, to include Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Funds and Coronavirus Relief Funds. Federal funds that are received and expended as a subgrant from another local government or entity also count towards the total federal expenditures. This could be a significant impact to those that do not already receive a single audit, particularly governments that currently have a two-year audit.
Monthly Financial Reports (MFR)
As a reminder, the Office of Budget and Management publishes a detailed financial report each month that provides an economic overview and detailed information about state revenues and expenditures. To view the October 13, 2020 report, please click here.
OBM has seen an influx of questions regarding the subgranting of Coronavirus Relief Funds to other entities. It is important to remember several things when determining to subgrant funds:
- Entities cannot merely transfer or donate funds to another entity or organization. These actions are considered subgranting funds and there are responsibilities spelled out in 2 CFR 200.331, which require a notice of award, review of a subrecipient's audits and follow-up on issues with funds awarded, evaluating risk of the subrecipient, and monitoring the activities and use of funds. The entity subgranting the funds still ultimately remain responsible on the use of the funds.
- Funds that are subgranted to another entity do not lose their identify. In other words, they remain federal and carry the same requirements as when they were awarded to your jurisdiction. Those requirements must be passed down to the subrecipient.
- An entity cannot subgrant funds to avoid a single audit. The expenditure of the funds to the subrecipient will count as federal expenditures for the fiscal year.
- Transactions that are made on behalf of another entity are considered a subgrant and should be recorded as federal receipts and expenditures on the subrecipient's ledger. See Auditor of State Bulletin 2000-008 at https://ohioauditor.gov/publications/bulletins/2000/2000-008.pdf for additional guidance.
These considerations should not deter a jurisdiction from subgranting if that is the best option. Subgranting funds is a great way to achieve program goals that a government would be unsuccessful at achieving on its own. The following are some recommended practices:
- Involve legal counsel in developing the notice of award;
- Subgrant to those that have previous grants experience or a track record with funds when possible;
- Run a reimbursement program and require supporting documentation prior to making payment;
- Find a way to track the subgrant programmatic and financial activity;
- Define specific outcomes on the use of funds;
- Establish a budget and narrative on use of funds up front;
- Be available to answer questions and provide help; and
- Identify specific eligible use of funds to include administrative costs.
OBM has published a basic guide to assist with subgranting funds. It can be found at https://grants.ohio.gov/Documents/Coronavirus_Relief_Fund/CRF_Guide_to_Subgranting_Funds_2020-08-19.pdf.
Ohio Grants Summit
The Office of Budget and Management's Ohio Grants Partnership held the first Ohio Grants Summit on September 15, 2020. The Summit offered a free day of training and information on managing and applying for grants to assist local governments and non-profits who seek or receive grant funds from the state. The Summit had nearly 1,000 participants throughout the day either in the session or viewing the livestream on the Ohio Channel. If you happened to miss the Summit, the recordings and PowerPoint presentation are available by clicking here.
Winter Safety Awareness
Most of us are enjoying the beautiful colors and temperatures that the fall season brings. Before we know it the colder weather will be here and being prepared is important. Did you know that Winter Safety Awareness week is November 15-21, 2020? The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA) provides tools and resources to assist Ohio's schools and citizens to prepare for colder weather. To learn more, click here.
Ohio Connects Partnerships
In August, the Office of Budget and Management held the first virtual meeting with the Ohio Connects Editorial Board. The board is comprised of the following members:
Ed Albright, Ohio Municipal League
Jon Azoff, Treasurer of State's Office
Jesse Carroll, Ohio Auditor of State's Office
James Coyne, Ohio Auditor of State's Office
Betty Dever, County Auditors Association of Ohio
Kevin Furyk, County Treasurers Association of Ohio
Jim Kennedy, Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Charlotte Kirschner, Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Teri Lester, Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Pete LuPiba, Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Mark Margolies, Treasurer of State's Office
Stacie Massey, Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Keary McCarthy, Ohio Mayors Alliance
Ralph Meacham, County Auditors Association of Ohio
Melvin Striblin, Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Jill Thompson, County Auditors Association of Ohio
Ohio Connect$: June 19, 2020
Ohio Connect$ - Friday, June 19, 2020
MESSAGE FROM OBM DIRECTOR KIM MURNIEKS
Every day brings news and data that affect our financial well-being, from markets and management to the budgets of Ohio's citizens and communities. During this global pandemic, it is increasingly clear that leaders need current information available to effectively administer the taxpayers' public offices and works.
In December 2019, Governor Mike DeWine convened his Cabinet outside the Statehouse for the first time, and in the Mahoning Valley. During that same week, I hosted a roundtable of local fiscal officials from the region in Columbiana County. One of the key results of this session was that The CFO Newsflash newsletter I implemented on the state level was a crucial and relevant tool to conduct the work of public finance. And that a "local governments version" of this ideal communication was needed and requested by our colleagues. I am grateful for that winter day in northeast Ohio and the local and state leaders who have stepped up and agreed to partner with OBM by serving on our editorial board of Ohio Connects.
Ohio Connects will include practical content and timely information. Please call or email our team and me any time. I hope Ohio Connects directly supports your critically important, frontlines job!
AROUND THE STATE
CARES Act - Coronavirus Relief Fund Local Government Assistance Program
The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) will be disbursing $350 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding to counties to distribute to cities, villages, and townships next week. In accordance with the provisions of Ohio HB 481, the funds will be allocated using the Local Government Fund methodology. To receive funding, each local jurisdiction must pass a resolution agreeing to comply with the provisions of the federal CARES Act, send copies of that resolution to your county and OBM, and register in OBM’s grants management portal by providing your local government’s contact for the grant and your UEI number. Additional information, including the portal to register, can be accessed via the Ohio Grants Partnership website http://Grants.Ohio.gov. Guidance and draft resolutions can be found under the Attachments section of the Funding Opportunity. Please contact OBM at grants.obm.ohio.gov with questions or for additional information. Resolutions also can be emailed to OBM at the same email address.
OBM will be hosting a webinar on June 24, 2020 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Coronavirus Relief Fund Local Assistance Program as a result of HB 481. This session will provide an overview of the process as directed in HB 481, discuss the fund's requirements and eligible uses, introduce recipients to the Ohio Grants Partnership and available resources, and provide answers to some frequently asked questions that have been received.
Details and registration for the webinar are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coronavirus-relief-fund-local-assistance-guidance-hb-481-tickets-110003547572.
The session will be recorded and available on the Ohio Grants Partnership website (http://Grants.Ohio.gov) a few days after the event.
OBM Response to COVID-19
Please see the attached Narrative on how the Ohio Office of Budget and Management is responding to and working closely with all levels of government during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monthly Financial Reports (MFR)
The Office of Budget and Management publishes the Monthly Financial Report to the Office of Governor Mike DeWine. This detailed monthly report provides an economic overview of the previous month's performance. To view the June 10, 2020 report, please click here.
Preliminary Revenue Data (PRD)
The Preliminary Revenue Data is released prior to the Monthly Financial Report, which provides a high-level overview of revenue received by the state for the previous month. To view the latest PRD dated June 8, 2020, click here.
Ohio Grants Partnership
On April 21, 2020, Director Murnieks released the Ohio Grants Partnership policy which formally established the Ohio Grants Partnership team within OBM. The Ohio Grants Partnership's mission is to maximize the value of grant funding by strengthening accountability, transparency, collaboration, fiscal integrity, and utilizing innovation to create efficiencies.
The efforts of the Ohio Grants Partnership had already begun prior to the pandemic; however, now more than ever, it is critical to streamline implementation of COVID-19 grants, ensure oversight and coordination of applications to maximize the State of Ohio's ability to receive grant-related revenue, build relationships with our federal and local partners, and reduce redundant administrative processes.
The initial focus of the Ohio Grants Partnership will be federal grants related to COVID response and recovery. When fully implemented, the grants partnership will serve as a centralized repository for grants-related resources and funding opportunities including the administration of a centralized website, to make it easier for local governments and other subrecipients to find funding information and ultimately, to apply for grants. The partnership's website, grants.ohio.gov, has recently been launched and offers helpful resources related to grants administration. As the site is a work in progress, please check back often for updates.
Grant Training Now Available in Ohio Learn
Many of you may be receiving federal funds for the first time, or receiving a larger amount and maybe from a different source as a result of COVID-19. The Ohio Grants Partnership recently released its first training course: Managing Federal Funds for COVID-19. The course is intended to be a high-level overview of grants administration, with some details specific for COVID-19 funding, to assist those that are new to grants administration or who have limited experience. To access the course, please visit the partnership website at https://grants.ohio.gov/helpfulresources.aspx#helpful-resources-citizen-grant-training. Details can be found on how to take the course in Ohio Learn for credit or the course can be viewed directly as well. Ohio Learn offers the ability to retain training transcripts, which can demonstrate grant professional development for staff and could assist when applying for federal funds from the state.
Grant Management Best Practices
It is very easy to compare the current federal grants situation to the times of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Although different circumstances, the same situation of large amounts of federal funds distributed quickly with reporting regulations and audits to follow. Many local entities may not have received, or received very little federal funds related to ARRA. In addition, ARRA did not have a presidentially declared emergency at the same time activating the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program. As your government starts to receive federal funds from multiple sources, it is important to keep several things in mind:
- Ensure funds related to COVID legislation are kept separate for reporting purposes. It is a best practice to establish a separate fund or unique identifier in your accounting system to track your activity for each grant award. Federal funds should be treated as Special Revenue and should not be deposited into your General Revenue Fund. Ensure all revenue and expenditures related to the grant award stay in the same fund and have the unique identifier if established.
- With multiple funding sources that support the same or similar costs, it is imperative that costs are not submitted to more than one federal program.
- Carefully review the guidance from your awarding agency for allowable costs, restrictions on use of funds, match or maintenance of effort requirements, and reporting requirements. Be prepared to support activity, to include reporting such as job numbers or other programmatic activity. Make sure you support your activity reported, to include job numbers or other programmatic activity. Make sure you retain records for future audit purposes.
- Make sure your government fiscal office is reconciling financial and programmatic reported amounts to supporting documentation. Again, make sure all information is retained for future audit purposes.
- Refer to the uniform guidance (2 CFR 200) in addition to program specific guidance often. Always follow the most restrictive requirement (state, local, federal) to ensure you are always in compliance.
- It is important to note that the increase in funding for COVID could have an influence on whether or not your entity is required to have a single audit (federal expenditures over $750,000 in a fiscal year), or if you already qualify for a single audit then which programs are audited.
UEI Number and SAM Registration
In order to receive federal funds, an entity must have a UEI number and be actively registered in the System for Award Management (SAM). The Ohio Grants Partnership has provided helpful instructions to help those that are new to this process navigate this requirement. See the Ohio Grants Partnership website at https://grants.ohio.gov/helpfulresources.aspx#helpful-resources-DUNS-SAM-registration for more details. If your government is expecting to receive funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund as part of SB 310, it is important to obtain a UEI number if your government does not have one and become actively registered in SAM. This process could take a few weeks so any government anticipating funds should start this process as soon as possible.
Beginning in December 2020, the federal government is moving away from utilizing the UEI # and will be assigning Unique Entity Identifiers (UEI). UEI’s will be automatically assigned to all SAM registrations (active and inactive) and legacy UEI #’s will be phased out. As the Ohio Grants Partnership becomes aware of information specific to this process it will be shared on our website and in future newsletters.
SAM Registration Alert
Be aware that fraudsters are looking for all angles to take advantage of the current pandemic and the increase in federal funds being distributed. A federal granting agency alerted the State of a fraudulent website that has the look and feel of the System for Award Management (SAM) site. Be sure to stay clear of this fraudulent website: https://sam-gov.org/. Please share this information with others in your government as you deem appropriate.
It also is important to note that it is free to renew your SAM registration. Carefully review all expiration e-mail notices that indicate your SAM is about to expire. Do not follow any redirect links, you should go directly to https://sam-gov.org/ to renew. OBM has been alerted to a company in Florida that sends e-mails from Renewal Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) and indicates your SAM registration is about to expire. The e-mail has information in areas like the subject line that are gleaned from the pubic search in SAM.gov. This information may make a reader believe it is an official e-mail from SAM, but it will redirect you to a professional renewal service to update your registration for a fee. Updating the SAM is easy and free, so please do not pay someone to update your information.
Ohio Grants Summit
Please join us for the first Ohio Grants Summit on September 15, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This unique opportunity provides a day of information sharing, discussion, and learning from grant management professionals and state agency representatives. Due to the current pandemic situation, the summit was moved to September 15 and has become virtual. Participants that already registered were notified and will not need to re-register. Please see the attached flyer promoting the event. Registration is available at https://ohio-grants-summit-2020.eventbrite.com/ If you have any questions, please contact the Ohio Grants Partnership at email@example.com.
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