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DATE: May 22, 2002
DIRECTIVE: OLDER WORKER BULLETIN 02-8
TO: ALL SENIOR COMMUNITY SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (SCSEP) GRANTEES
SUBJECT: PROGRAM YEAR 2002 PLANNING INSTRUCTIONS AND ALLOTMENTS

1.        Purpose: This bulletin provides SCSEP grantees with grant application instructions and procedures for Program Year (PY) 2002 (July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003); instructions for developing plans for extensions of the current grant (Section 8); and instructions for applying developing plans for private sector projects (Section 9). The final awards will be determined based on availability of funds and the results of the responsibility and grant application reviews described at 20 CFR sections 641.205 and 641.206.

Please note that Attachment V is the grant application package which must be submitted in its entirety. The package consists of the completed attachments II, III and optional IV.


2.        References: Title V of the Older Americans Act (OAA), as amended by PL 106-501; and the SCSEP regulations at 20 CFR Part 641, which were published on May 17, 1995.

3.        Background: The Fiscal Year 2002 appropriation for Title V of the OAA is $445,100,000. This funding will be used to support 61,000 authorized SCSEP positions and will result in approximately 100,000 people being served during the program year beginning on July 1, 2002.

4.        The PY 2002 Program Allotments: Attachment I provides the State funding levels and authorized positions.

The unit cost used to compute the number of positions is $7,153. As provided in the authorizing legislation, the appropriation is allocated on the same “level of activity” basis as the 2000 allocation (see Section 506 (c)(1)).

5.        Revised Grant Application Procedures: All SCSEP grantees, except those that are “Unified Plan” participants, must submit a grant application to be funded. The application package shall include SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, a project narrative, a project budget, assurances, special clauses and conditions. (See Attachments II and III for Application Instructions.) Some sections of the narrative are optional. A detailed cost breakout is required. State agencies that are Unified Plan participants must follow the instructions in Section 10.

a. Grant Application Intergovernmental Reviews:
Grantees must share their applications on an intra-State basis. As required at OAA section 502(d), Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) should be provided with a copy of the SF- 424, Application for Federal Assistance. The SF-424 should be submitted through the intergovernmental clearance procedures established by Executive Order 12372, which implements the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) system. Any comments received should be sent to the address indicated below.

b.Grant Application Package. All SCSEP grantees must prepare and submit
four (4) original signed copies of their grant application package using the forms and instructions in Attachments II and III.

c. Acceptable Methods Of Submission. Due to the erratic mail delivery in the Washington, D.C. area, in addition to using the U.S. Postal Service or overnight delivery, applicants should submit their applications via E-Mail. In submitting by by E-Mail, the return receipt option must be utilized in order to verify receipt of the application (see instructions below); and, an originally signed signature sheet, along with a copy of the grantee's E-Mail/written verification of receipt, must follow via overnight mail. E-mailed applications will be accepted in Microsoft WORD only.

Prior to sending the E-Mail, click on "file," go to "properties, return notification," and then click on "mail receipt." The sender will automatically receive an E-Mail notification when the E-Mail message is opened.

Please note that faxed applications will not be accepted.

d. Contents of the Grant Application Package. (Attachment V) When submitted,the, the four (4) copies of the application package will consist of:

  1. SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance (4 copies with original signatures);
  2. A Project Narrative;
  3. A Budget (the SF-424 A form), with a detailed budget break out;
  4. For those grantees that propose to conduct an OAA Section 502(e) private sector project with their allocated funds, the completion of an additional an additional section of the application is required (See Attachment IV).
  5. Assurances and Certifications (See Attachment V).
  6. Special Conditions/Clauses (See Attachment V).
_____________

6.         Distribution of SCSEP Positions. In line with requirements for an equitable distribution of program positions, Grantees will be expected to decrease the number of positions that are in over-served areas and increase the number of positions that are in under-served areas. For this purpose, the most recent equitable distribution report should be considered. To the extent feasible, no current participant should be adversely impacted by shifts in the locations of positions. New positions should be placed in under-served areas.

7.        Responsibility Review/Grant Application Review. The Department will conduct a pre-award responsibility review and an application review pursuant to 20 CFR Sections 641.205 and 641.206. Applicants will not be designated as grantees for PY 2002 if:

  1. They fail to meet the critical responsibility tests of 20 CFR Section 641.206(b) and the similar test found at Section 514 (d) of the amended Older Americans Act;
  2. They substantially or persistently fail to meet any of the responsibility tests of 20 CFR Section 641.206(c) or are otherwise deemed non-responsive;
    or
  3. Their application does not generally meet the requirements of 20 CFR part 641.
Where appropriate, applicants will be advised of the Department's concerns by letter which will include corrective action(s) specified as a funding condition, and a time frame for the completion of the corrective action.

8.        Extension of the Current Grant. Grantees that anticipate having funds available at the conclusion of the present grant period may apply for an extension. The extension may be for up to 60 days. Under these circumstances, there will be two grants in operation at the same time – the extended PY 2001 grant, and the new 2002 grant.

To apply for an extension, submit the following documents:

  1. A letter requesting an extension;
  2. A statement that provides an estimate of funds remaining as of June 30, 2002;
  3. If a Budget modification is required, a revised budget information form that reflects how the funds will be spent during the entire grant period. (Generally, the extensions will not require a new budget.);
  4. A brief explanation of program narrative changes if any; and
  5. National grantees must identify States where the unused funds will be spent.

9.         Private Sector Employment Projects: Attachment IV provides Instructions for projects that will be implemented under the authority of OAA section 502(e) utilizing the funds included in Attachment I. (See 20 CFR section 641.326 and OAA 502(e)(1)). Please note there is a new brief application package. There is a check off point at the bottom of the form, which requires those applicants that do not want to conduct such an effort to check off.

10.        Unified Plans. Those States that have included the State SCSEP portion in the State Unified Plan pursuant to the Work Force Investment Act need not prepare a grant application package. They must provide the following information: a one page Budget Summary, the 424 Sections A and B based on the allotment found in Attachment 1; a statement identifying the number of authorized positions, the number of unsubsidized placements to be made and the number of people to be served. If a Section 502(e) private sector employment project is desired a proposal based on attachment IV should be submitted.

11.        SCSEP Regulations. The final SCSEP Regulations dated May 17, 1995 apply.

12.        Performance Goals. Unsubsidized placements continue to be an important program objective. During the last complete program year, over 21, 000 SCSEP participants were placed into unsubsidized jobs. The requirement in the 2000 Amendments that SCSEP grantees place at least 20 percent of their participants into unsubsidized jobs, and last year's Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goal of 26 percent, were both exceeded nationally with a rate in excess of 34 percent. In addition, the program and GPRA performance indicator for persons served exceeded the 140 percent customer service target level. More than 100,000 people were served.

For the upcoming program year grantees are advised that the overall SCSEP GPRA goal has been increased to 37 percent. The GPRA measures are used for all Federal programs and are intended to improve the performance of federally funded programs. Failure by the SCSEP program to meet this goal will result in the Department implementing a corrective action plan. In addition, the programs reputation for always meeting the unsubsidized placement goal may be damaged.

When preparing PY 2002 grant applications, all applicants should carefully consider approaches that will improve their unsubsidized placement rates. While it may not be possible for every grantee to achieve 37 percent, small improvements by all grantees can help meet this challenge.

13.        Administrative Waiver Requests. Administrative costs are limited to 13.5 percent pursuant to the Act at section 502(c)(3)(A) and (B) and 20 CFR Part 641. The limit may be raised to 15 percent of the Federal share if it can be justified. Such requests should be based on the legislative provisions of the OAA. General statements that "costs have increased ” are not adequate justification unless supporting information is provided. The applicant must identify which costs have increased, why they have increased, and how these costs relate to program operations. For instance, it would be appropriate to identify increased administrative costs that are due to serving non-English speaking individuals as justification. We have consistently approved requests that are based on the additional administrative costs of operating section 502(e) private employment projects. We are also aware that implementing programs in rural areas or accommodating position locations for equitable distribution plans can result in increased administrative costs. Grantees should not assume that Federal reviewers will be aware of these circumstances, however. The requests should explain how such activities affect costs. Some State grantees that receive small allocations have qualified for the increase on the basis of that alone. These situations may seem self- evident; still, grantees seeking a waiver on this basis should make their claims clear.

14. Action Required. Grantees should comply with the following timetable:
  1. The SF- 424, Grant Application form should be provided to the Office on Aging and the Area Agencies on Aging.
  2. The FY 2002 Grant Application Package is due on May 31.
    (If you have trouble meeting this date please advise us).
  3. Grant extension requests are due as soon as possible.

Please mail or deliver the four completed application packages to:

    Mr. Erich W. (“Ric”) Larisch
    U. S. Department of Labor/ETA
    200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Rm. N-4641
    Washington, D.C. 20210

15. Inquiries. Questions may be directed to the Division of Older Worker Programs at (202) 693-3842.


_____________________________   _____________________________
ERICH W. ("RIC") LARISCH   SHIRLEY M. SMITH
Chief   Director
Division of Older Worker Programs   Office of Adult Services


____________________________
LORRAINE SAUNDERS
Grant Officer
Division of Federal Assistance




ATTACHMENTS I. 2002 Allotment
II. Instructions for the SF-424
III. Instructions for the Grant Application
IV. Instructions for Section 502(e) Projects
V. Grant Application Package