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EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION
ADVISORY SYSTEM

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Washington, D.C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

TDNO

DATE

May 22, 2003

ADVISORY : Older Worker Bulletin No. 03-05

TO : State Senior Community Service Employment Program Grantees

FROM : ____________ _________

John R. Beverly, III Ria Moore Benedict

Administrator Chief

Office of National Programs Division of Older Worker Programs

______________

Lorraine Saunders

Grant Officer

SUBJECT : PROGRAM YEAR 2003 PLANNING INSTRUCTIONS AND

ALLOTMENTS FOR STATES

1. Purpose: This bulletin provides SCSEP state grantees with grant application instructions and procedures for Program Year (PY) 2003 beginning July 1, 2003 and instructions for extensions of the current grant.

NOTE: The past practice of using general SCSEP funds to operate a section 502(e) program will not be permitted this year. Plans for competition under the special private sector set-aside under Section 506(a)(1) will be issued in a separate bulletin. Section 506(a)(1), states the Secretary shall first reserve not more than 1.5 percent of the total amount of such sums for the purpose of entering into agreements under section 502(e), relating to improved transition to private employment. Therefore, the Department of Labor will use up to 1.5 percent of the total appropriation to fund the selected 502(e) projects.

Also, the past practice of excluding $500.00 of an individuals income will not be permitted this year. The income threshold is established under section 516(2), which defines low-income as not more than 125 percent of the poverty guidelines . . . .

2. References: Title V of the Older American Act Amendments of 2000, Pub. L. 106-501; and the SCSEP regulations at 20 CFR Part 641.

3. Background: The Fiscal Year 2003 appropriation for title V of the OAA is

$442,306,200, which is a reduction of approximately .0065 from Fiscal year 2002. This funding will be used to support over 61,000 authorized SCSEP community service positions and will result in approximately 100,000 people being served during the program year beginning July 1, 2003.

4. The PY 2003 Program Allotments: Please see the Attachments for the State funding level and authorized positions.

5. Grant Application Procedures: All SCSEP grantees, except the State unified plan participants, must submit a grant application package in order to be funded. Regular grant application packages must include a SF- 424, Application for Federal Assistance, an SF-424A, project budget including a detailed cost breakout, a project narrative, assurances, special clauses and conditions.

Due to the enactment of the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act, the requirements in the Final Unified Planning Guidance (65 FR 2464) have been superceded by the provisions of the new law. Thus, States submitting Unified Plans must modify any package to include the information required under this planning guidance.

6. Grant Application Intergovernmental Reviews: Grantees should share applications on an intra-State basis, Agencies on Aging (AAA) should be provided with a copy of the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance. In addition, procedures established by Executive Order 12372 which implements the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) system should be followed, unless the State SPOC has waived this requirement. Any comments received should be sent to the Division of Older Worker Programs. All SCSEP grantees must prepare and submit one (1) original with original signature and two (2) copies of the SF-424 and SF- 424A utilizing the forms and instructions in the Attachments.

7. Methods of Submission: In addition to using the U.S. Postal Service or overnight delivery, applicant may also submit their applications via e-mail. If submitting by e-mail, the return receipt option must be used in order to verify receipt of the applications (see instructions below). In addition an originally signed signature sheet, along with a copy of the grantees e-mail/written verification of receipt must follow via overnight mail. E-mailed applications will be accepted in Microsoft Word only. The respective Federal Representatives and e-mail addresses are listed in the Attachments.

8. Contents of the Grant Application Package: A complete grant application package must contain an original and 2 copies of the following:

  1. Project Narrative or Technical Proposal.
  1. SF-424, application for Federal Assistance (1 original with original signature and two copies).
  1. A Budget (the SF-424A form), with a detailed budget break out.
  1. Assurances and Certifications.
  1. Special Conditions/Clauses.
  1. Required attachments: Audit report and Corrective Action Plan, if applicable.

*Clean copies of the forms may be obtained from the SCSEP Website: http://www.doleta.gov/seniors/. Click on Bulletins and Memos and look for Government Forms.

9. Distribution of SCSEP positions: To the extent possible, grantees will be expected to

decrease the number of positions 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 and any known changes should be considered. To the extent feasible, no current participant should be adversely impacted by shifts in locations of positions

As vacancies occur, new positions should be placed in under-served areas.

Note: Census 2000 information on eligible persons by county will soon be available for SCSEP grantees. This information must be used to develop new equitable distribution reports and it will impact the State Senior Employment Coordination Plans. (Please see OW Bulletin 03-3) While it may be too late for grantees to incorporate the new information into their PY 2003 applications they are encouraged to describe any plans they have to accommodate the new information and the impact it may have on the distribution of positions in their State.

10. Eligibility Review/Responsibility Review/Grant Application Review: The Department will conduct a pre-award eligibility review, responsibility review and a grant application review under 20 CFR 641.206 and 514(c) (d). Applicants will not be

designated as grantees for PY 2003 if:

  1. The applicant fails to meet for the eligibility test of sections 514(c) of the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act
  1. The applicants do not meet the responsibility tests of section 514(d) of the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act.
  1. The applicant does not generally meet the requirements of 20 CFR Part 641 and the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act.

Where appropriate, applicants will be advised of the Departments 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(s).

11. Extension of Current Grant: Grantees that anticipate having funds available at the conclusion of the present grant period may apply for an extension for up to 60 days. Under these circumstances, there will be two grants in operation at the same time the extended PY 2002 grant and the new PY 2003 grant.

To apply for an extension, grantees should submit the following documents:

  1. A letter requesting an extension and the reasons for the request.
  1. A statement that provides an estimate of funds remaining as of June 30, 2003;
  1. 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.);
  1. A brief explanation of program narrative changes if any; and
  1. Grantees must identify where and how the funds will be spent under the extension.

12. Unified Plan: Due to the enactment of the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act, the requirements in the Final Unified Planning Guidance (65 FR 2464) have been superceded by the provisions of the new law. Thus, States submitting Unified Plans must modify any package to include the information required under this planning guidance.

13. SCSEP Regulations: The final SCSEP Regulations dated May 17, 1995 apply unless superseded by new final regulations or by a provision in the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act.

14. Performance Goals: The current SCSEP Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goal is 37 percent. The 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. Both outcomes exceeded national goals with a rate in excess of 34 percent. In addition, the program and GPRA performance indicator for persons served exceed the 140 percent customer service target level. More than 110,000 people were served.

For the upcoming program year, grantees are advised the overall SCSEP GPRA goal will continue to be thirty-seven (37) percent. The GPRA measures are used for all Federal programs and are intended to improve the performance of federally funded programs. When preparing PY 2003 grant applications, all applicants should carefully consider approaches that will improve their unsubsidized placement rates. To further enhance the overall performance of the program the Department will negotiate the unsubsidized goal of each grantee. All performance results will be posted on the website.

In the aggregate, failure by the SCSEP program to meet the GPRA goal of 37 percent will result in the Department implementing a corrective action plan. While it may not be possible for every grantee to achieve 37 percent, small improvements by all grantees can help meet this challenge.

15. Administrative Costs: Administrative costs are limited to 13.5 percent under the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act at section 502(c)(3). The limit may be raised to 15 percent of the Federal share if it can be justified. Such request should be based on the legislative provisions of the 2000 Amendments to the Older American Act. General statements that costs have increased are not adequate justifications. 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 are also aware that implementing programs in rural areas or increased administrative cost. Grantees should not assume that Federal reviewers will be aware of these circumstances. The requests should explain how such activities affect costs.

16. Schedule: Grantees should comply with the following timetable:

  1. The SF- 424 and SF- 424A Grant Application form should be provided to the State Office Aging and the Area Agencies on Aging.
  1. The PY 2003 Grant Application is due in this office thirty (30) days from the date of the bulletin. Grantees are encouraged, however, to submit their applications as soon as possible.
  1. Any requests for extensions are due in this office no later than June 1, 2003. (If you have trouble meeting this date, please advise us). Grantees that will expend their total funding by June 30, 2003, should notify their Federal representative immediately. (See attachments for Federal representative assignments).

Please mail or deliver the completed application packages to:

Ms. Ria Moore Benedict

Chief, Division of Older Workers Program

U.S. Department of Labor/ETA

200 Constitution Ave., N.W.

Room N-4641

Washington, D.C. 20210

17.Inquiries: Questions may be directed to your respective Federal representative at (202) 693-3842.

Attachments:
Instructions

  PY 2003 Older American Allotments

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