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7.0 NOFA and the Application Process

7.1    NOFA and RFA

Before making a grant or subgrant, the Agency shall prepare and disseminate a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)5 as follows:

(a) The NOFA shall include a brief description of the purpose for which funds are available, criteria for eligible applicants, and the time and location at which the Request for Application (RFA)6 may be obtained and submitted.

(b) The NOFA shall be forwarded to Office of the Secretary (Office of Documents and Administrative Issuance) for publication in the D.C. Register no later than 14 days prior to the release of the RFA.  An Agency may submit the NOFA for publication less than 14 days prior to release where it determines there is good cause to do so. Also, District Agencies are required to provide their NOFAs and RFAs to the Office of Partnerships and Grant Services (OPGS) for inclusion in its Grants Information Data System (GIDS), publication in the weekly Funding Alert and posting on the District’s Grants Clearinghouse of the OPGS website no later than three (3) business days prior to publication on the following Monday.  In addition, an Agency may choose to disseminate a NOFA by publishing it in local newspapers and community newsletters, direct mailing to all prospective applicants or any other reasonable form of distribution.

The Agency then shall prepare the RFA which shall include:

(a) The specific provisions set forth in Section 7.2.

(b) A description of the purpose of the program, including a definition of the type and range of services or activities that a grantee or subgrantee shall carry out under a grant or subgrant. The RFA shall require the applicant to propose measurable goals, objectives and timeframes, target recipients, and provide a plan of formal evaluation for each specific service proposed by the applicant.  The RFA shall include a “Purpose of Program” section which specifies the time period for which all services will be funded and any special requirements emanating from the authorizing statute, federal grant agreement or regulations.

(c) Where applicable, the criteria for scoring applications including, but not necessarily limited to: justification of the need for grant funds, if desirable; soundness of proposed service delivery plan; adequacy and reasonableness of proposed resources; and, required and demonstrated capability for managing the proposed project.

(d) A reasonable deadline for submitting applications. Thirty (30) days is considered reasonable unless circumstances warrant a shorter period of time.  Pursuant to an Agency rule or policy, Agency Directors may shorten or extend the time in the RFA within which applicants may submit a response to the RFA.

To the extent possible, NOFAs and RFAs should be made available online for easier public access and cost savings.  OPGS is hereby designated the clearinghouse for the Government of the District of Columbia’s grant programs.  NOFAs and RFAs can be submitted to OPGS to be posted on its website at


7.2    Specific RFA Provisions

The RFA shall include the following terms and conditions:

  • Funding for this award is contingent on continued funding from the grantor.  The RFA does not commit the Agency to make an award.
  • The Agency reserves the right to accept or deny any or all applications if the Agency determines it is in the best interest of the Agency to do so.  The Agency shall notify the applicant if it rejects that applicant’s proposal.  The Agency may suspend or terminate an outstanding RFA pursuant to its own grantmaking rule(s) or any applicable federal regulation or requirement.
  • The Agency reserves the right to issue addenda and/or amendments subsequent to the issuance of the RFA, or to rescind the RFA.
  • The Agency shall not be liable for any costs incurred in the preparation of applications in response to the RFA.  Applicant agrees that all costs incurred in developing the application are the applicant’s sole responsibility.
  • The Agency may conduct pre-award on-site visits to verify information submitted in the application and to determine if the applicant’s facilities are appropriate for the services intended.
  • The Agency may enter into negotiations with an applicant and adopt a firm funding amount or other revision of the applicant’s proposal that may result from negotiations.
  • The Agency shall provide the citations to the statute and implementing regulations that authorize the grant or subgrant; all applicable federal and District regulations, such as OMB Circulars A-102, A-133, 2 CFR 180, 2 CFR 225, 2 CFR 220, and 2 CFR 215; payment provisions identifying how the grantee will be paid for performing under the award; reporting requirements, including programmatic, financial and any special reports required by the granting Agency; and compliance conditions that must be met by the grantee.
  • If there are any conflicts between the terms and conditions of the RFA and any applicable federal or local law or regulation, or any ambiguity related thereto, then the provisions of the applicable law or regulation shall control and it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to ensure compliance.

The RFA shall require the applicant to disclose in a written statement, the truth of which is sworn or attested to by the applicant, whether the applicant, or where applicable, any of its officers, partners, principals, members, associates or key employees, within the last three (3) years prior to the date of the application, has:

  • been indicted or had charges brought against them (if still pending) and/or been convicted of (a) any crime or offense arising directly or indirectly from the conduct of the applicant’s organization or (b) any crime or offense involving financial misconduct or fraud, or
  • been the subject of legal proceedings arising directly from the provision of services by the organization  If the response is in the affirmative, the applicant shall fully describe any such indictments, charges, convictions, or legal proceedings (and the status and disposition thereof) and surrounding circumstances in writing and provide documentation of the circumstances.

As part of the application packet, the applicant shall also submit a Statement of Certification, signed by an individual grant recipient or, if an organization, by the duly authorized officer of the applicant organization, the truth of which is sworn or attested to by the applicant, which states:

  • The individuals, by name, title, address, and phone number who are authorized to negotiate with the Agency on behalf of the organization;
  • That the applicant is able to maintain adequate files and records and can and will meet all reporting requirements;
  • That all fiscal records are kept in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and account for all funds, tangible assets, revenue, and expenditures whatsoever; that all fiscal records are accurate, complete and current at all times;  and that these records will be made available for audit and inspection as required;
  • That the applicant is current on payment of all federal and District taxes, including Unemployment Insurance taxes and Workers’ Compensation premiums. This statement of certification shall be accompanied by a certificate from the District of Columbia OTR stating that the entity has complied with the filing requirements of District of Columbia tax laws and has paid taxes due to the District of Columbia, or is in compliance with any payment agreement with OTR;
  • That the applicant has the demonstrated administrative and financial capability to provide and manage the proposed services and ensure an adequate administrative, performance and audit trail;
  • That, if required by the grantmaking Agency, the applicant is able to secure a bond, in an amount not less than the total amount of the funds awarded, against losses of money and other property caused by fraudulent or dishonest act committed by any employee, board member, officer, partner, shareholder, or trainee;
  • That the applicant is not proposed for debarment or presently debarred, suspended, or declared ineligible, as required by Executive Order 12549, “Debarment and Suspension,” and implemented by 2 CFR 180, for prospective participants in primary covered transactions and is not proposed for debarment or presently debarred as a result of any actions by the District of Columbia Contract Appeals Board, the Office of Contracting and Procurement, or any other District contract regulating Agency;
  • That the applicant has the financial resources and technical expertise necessary for the production, construction, equipment and facilities adequate to perform the grant or subgrant, or the ability to obtain them;
  • That the applicant has the ability to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule, taking into consideration all existing and reasonably expected commercial and governmental business commitments;
  • That the applicant has a satisfactory record performing similar activities as detailed in the award or, if the grant award is intended to encourage the development and support of organizations without significant previous experience, that the applicant has otherwise established that it has the skills and resources necessary to perform the grant.  In this connection, Agencies may report their experience with an applicant’s performance to OPGS which shall collect such reports and make the same available on its intranet website.
  • That the applicant has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics;
  • That the applicant has the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills to implement the grant, or the ability to obtain them;
  • That the applicant is in compliance with the applicable District licensing and tax laws and regulations;
  • That the applicant complies with provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act; and,
  • That the applicant meets all other qualifications and eligibility criteria necessary to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.
  • The grantee agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Government of the District of Columbia and its authorized officers, employees, agents and volunteers from any and all claims, actions, losses, damages, and/or liability arising out of this grant or subgrant from any cause whatsoever, including the acts, errors or omissions of any person and for any costs or expenses incurred by the District on account of any claim therefore, except where such indemnification is prohibited by law.

The OPGS, from time to time, may establish additional required certifications for Agencies and grantees.

The grantee shall provide in writing the name of all of its insurance carriers and the type of insurance provided (e.g., its general liability insurance carrier and automobile insurance carrier, workers’ compensation insurance carrier, fidelity bond holder (if applicable)), and, before execution of the award, a copy of the binder or cover sheet of their current policy for any policy that covers activities that might be undertaken in connection with performance of the grant, showing the limits of coverage and endorsements.  All policies, except the Workers’ Compensation, Errors and Omissions, and Professional Liability policies, that cover activities that might be undertaken in connection with the performance of the grant, shall contain additional endorsements naming the Government of the District of Columbia, and its officers, employees, agents and volunteers as additional named insured with respect to liability abilities arising out of the performance of services under the award.  The grantee shall require their insurance carrier of the required coverage to waive all rights of subrogation against the District, its officers, employees, agents, volunteers, contractors and subcontractors.

The applicant shall provide a copy of its most recent and complete set of audited or unaudited financial statements available for their organization.  If audited financial statements have never been prepared due to the size or newness of an organization, the applicant must provide, at a minimum, an Organizational Budget, an Income Statement (or Profit and Loss Statement), and a Balance Sheet certified by an authorized representative of the organization, and any letters, filings, etc. submitted to the IRS within the three (3) years before the date of the grant application.  The applicant shall also submit evidence of being a legally-authorized entity (e.g. 501(c)(3) determination letter) and a current business license, if relevant for the applicant’s business status and any correspondence or other communication received from the IRS within the three (3) years before submission of the grant application that relates to the applicant’s tax status.

    5 For a NOFA example, see Appendix No. 7.
    6 For an RFA example, see Appendix No. 8.