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Friday, December 2, 2011

Thompson Announces Changes to Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Thompson Announces Changes to Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Urges Applicants to Familiarize with Notification Timeline, Changes to Award Procedures

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that changes have been made to the Fiscal Year 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program award procedures, according to U.S. Representative Glenn 'GT' Thompson. General information, including modifications to the 2011 award process and a projected notification timeline, are provided below.

“We anticipate that award announcements will start sometime around the beginning of the new year and continue on a rolling basis through 2012 until all AFG funds have been awarded,” said Rep. Thompson. “As FEMA moves forward with grant notifications, I urge all applicants to familiarize themselves with the award notification process and other new procedural modifications in order to avoid unnecessary delays. Specifically – remember to monitor the email that was used to submit the grant application.”

GENERAL INFORMATION:
· If your application is approved for award, the primary contact will receive a single e-mail notification from firegrants@dhs.gov; a copy of this message will be sent to the organization’s AFG Mail Center. This is only notification that the applicant organization will receive.

· No preliminary questionnaires will be sent to applicants that are being considered for award.
In previous years, FEMA Grants Management Specialists (GMS) distributed questionnaires to applicants that were being considered for award. From now on, GMS will contact only those applicants from whom clarifying information is needed.

· Applicants will be required to formally ACCEPT or DECLINE their awards within 30 days of the date of notification. The award will not be final until the primary contact formally accepts the award using the e-Grant Application system. Instructions on how this must be done will be provided in the Award Notice.

· If the primary contact does not formally accept or decline the award within 30 days of award notification, the grant funds will be de-obligated automatically and returned to FEMA.

· BEFORE accepting an award, applicants should read the entire Award Package and Articles of Agreement carefully, with special attention to Articles 4 and 5. If you requested multiple activities, your award may differ from your original request because some activities may not have been recommended for funding. Read Articles 4 and 5 in your Articles of Agreement for an explanation of any special conditions or changes required. Do not formally accept the award until you understand all of these requirements. If you have questions or wish to negotiate changes to the Articles of Agreement, contact the GMS listed in the “Negotiation Comments” section of Article 4 BEFORE accepting the award. Once you formally accept the award you are bound by its conditions and requirements.

· If you believe you have preaward expenses or grant-writer fees that are eligible for grant funding, you must discuss these with a GMS BEFORE accepting the award to determine their eligibility. Furthermore, if you feel that further negotiation is required regarding your funding level, you will need to discuss that with a Grants Management Specialist prior to accepting your award.

NOTIFICATION TIMELINE:
It is expected that AFG award announcements will begin in December 2011 and then will continue on a rolling basis into 2012 until all AFG funds have been awarded. You may want to check the AFG Mail Center for messages once a week to look the e-mail notice from firegrants@dhs.gov concerning your application. All applicants will be notified of the decision made on their submission regardless of whether they will receive an award.

REMINDER:
If your organization still has not registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), please go to https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx and complete the registration. Awardees that have not completed the CCR registration process, or have not completed the required annual renewal and revalidation of CCR data, will not be able to draw grant funds.

PROJECTED GRANT APPLICATION PERIODS:

· FY 2011 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants: Late December 2011 to late January 2012

· FY 2011 Fire Prevention and Safety Grants: Early spring 2012

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