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5.0 The Grantmaking Agency

5.1    Grantmaking Authority

Where a Federal or District statute, rule or regulation has conferred grantmaking authority on an Agency, it may apply for a grant or subgrant and make a grant or subgrant to a recipient where the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value in order to accomplish a public purpose. Only those Agencies with grantmaking authority, provided in a specific, identifiable statutory provision, may award grants.  Without such authority, an Agency should assume that it does not have grantmaking authority.  Agencies that desire such authority must seek and obtain it from the Council of the District of Columbia.

Where an Agency applies for a grant from a Federal instrumentality, it shall include in its application a request for the maximum indirect cost recovery (administrative fee) associated with administering the grant.

 

5.2    Point of Contact and Training

Every Agency with grant-making authority shall appoint a Grant Officer, Coordinator or Supervisor as the point of contact for that Agency’s grant-making activities and forward the name of that person to OPGS.  That Officer or Administrator shall already possess at least the minimum training and qualifications necessary to administer the Agency’s program or the Agency shall commit the resources necessary to obtain such knowledge and/experience for its point of contact prior to placing that person in charge of its grant-making activities.  At a minimum, that person shall be conversant with: (1) the uniform administrative requirements for grants;1 (2) the local provisions governing subgrants2 and (3) the Subrecipient Monitoring Manual (“SMM”)3 prepared by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer for information on post-award monitoring requirements.

 

5.3    Agency Procedures

Each Agency shall have written policies establishing procedures for administering and monitoring grants and subgrants. In those circumstances where an Agency policy or procedure must be established by formal rulemaking pursuant to the District of Columbia Administrative Procedures Act (DCAPA),4 the Agency shall do so through the DCAPA’s notice and comment procedure. All written procedures shall be in place before any awards are made by the Agency and shall be available for inspection and review. These procedures shall ensure that all solicitations:

  • Incorporate a clear and accurate description of the service to be funded. Such description shall not, in competitive awards, contain features that unduly restrict competition in accordance with Section 8.2 of this Manual.
  • Identify all requirements that the grantee must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating proposals.

Prior to the award of any grant or subgrant every grantee shall:

  • Submit an affidavit indicating whether the entity has complied with the filing requirements of District of Columbia tax laws, and whether the entity has paid taxes due to the District of Columbia, or is in compliance with any payment agreement with the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR). The affidavit shall be in a form approved by the Director of the OTR and shall acknowledge the penalty provided by law for making false statements;
  • Obtain certification from OTR that the entity has complied with the filing requirements of District of Columbia tax laws, and that the entity has paid taxes due to the District of Columbia, or is in compliance with any payment agreement with OTR;
  • Submit an affidavit indicating that they are current on all taxes, including Unemployment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation premiums; and,
  • Not be debarred from procurements by the federal government, the Government of the District of Columbia or any governmental entity.

If the Agency becomes aware of circumstances casting doubt on an entity's ability to perform a grant or subgrant successfully, it shall immediately inform the entity and furnish the relevant information in writing to that entity.

 

5.4     Appearance of a Conflict of Interest

The Agency shall ensure that no individual in a decision-making capacity shall engage in any activity, including participation in the selection of a grantee, the administration of an award, or an activity supported by award funds, if the appearance of a conflict of interest would be involved.  An appearance of a conflict of interest would arise when the individual, any member of the individual's immediate family, the individual's partner; or an organization that employs, or is about to employ, any of the aforementioned, has a financial or personal interest in the firm or organization selected for grants or subgrants.  The officers, employees, or agents of the Agency and Review Panel members making the awards will neither solicit on behalf of themselves, their immediate family members, their partners, or any organization that employs or is about to employ any of these people, nor accept gratuities, favors, employment, or anything of monetary value from grantees, potential grantees or applicants.

The grantmaking officer shall analyze each planned grant or subgrant process in order to identify and evaluate potential conflicts of interest as early in the grantmaking process as possible and avoid, neutralize, or mitigate significant potential conflicts in advance of the solicitation.  The grantmaking officer shall seek to prevent the existence of conflicting roles that might bias a grantor's judgment and shall seek to prevent unfair competitive advantage.  The grantmaking officer shall seek counsel from the District’s Ethics Officer and the assistance of appropriate technical specialists in evaluating potential conflicts and in developing and implementing any precautionary measures for inclusion in the grant agreement approved by the Agency’s Director.

 

5.5     Records and Disputes

The Agency shall maintain records sufficient to detail the significant history of each award. Where applicable, these records shall include, but are not limited to, the following: solicitations, evaluation criteria and materials, rationale for the method of the award, selection of agreement type, grantee selection or rejection, and the basis for the award amount.  The Agency shall keep such records for a period that is the greater of; 1) three (3) years, or 2) the time required by the applicable law, regulation or agreement governing the funding of such grant.

Where applicable, the Agency shall have published grievance procedures (i.e., either available on its website or preferably in its Request for Applications (“RFA”)) to receive, administer and resolve disputes relating to their award(s) and that all applicants and potential recipients are made aware of those procedures.


1 See, OMB Circular A-102 and 2 CFR 215 et. seq.
2 See, 1 DCMR 50 et. seq. at Appendix No. 3.
3 See, Appendix No. 12.
4 D.C. Official Code 2-501 et seq. (2006 Rpl.)