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FAQs - Grants Process

Q: What kind of funding is available?

A: Primarily funds available through NDDES are federal dollars allocated to the state and passed-through to sub-recipients to be used to build core capabilities across the five mission areas of Prevent, Protect, Mitigate, Respond, and Recover.

Q: Who is eligible to apply to NDDES for a grant?

A: Eligibility is dictated by the federal granting agency. In general, sub-recipients may be local or tribal government agencies, hospitals, and certain other nonprofit organizations located in North Dakota.

Q: How long do we have to spend the money?

A: The period of performance (length of time a sub-recipients has to accomplish the sub-award activities) varies, but are typically 12 to 30 months.

Q: How are allocations determined?

A: Allocations vary depending on the grant. Some obligations are formula based, others are competitive based, and still others are based on the ability to match federal funding.

Q: What is "match" and how do I meet the requirement?

A: Some federal grants require a local "match". That means the sub-recipient must provide some of the dollars needed to accomplish the grant project. The amount of match can vary from 20 to 50 percent of the total project cost. Match can be either hard (cash) or soft (in-kind) depending on the grant. In-kind match can include such things as the value of time spent on the project by employees or volunteers, donation of land or other property, use of space for meetings. All match must be verifiable and must be eligible under the grant program.

Q: When can I begin project activities?

A: Project activities may begin only after the sub-recipient's authorized official signs and returns to NDDES the Notice of Grant Award accepting the terms and conditions of the sub-award. In cases where the project requires an Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) review, activities may begin only after approval of the EHP by the federal granting agency.

Q: How does the grant process work as far as getting reimbursed for expenditures?

A: The sub-award funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis. This means that the sub-recipient must pay for project costs upfront and then apply to NDDES for reimbursement. Sub-recipients must submit the Financial Reimbursement Request Detail form (SFN 54169) and all supporting documentation when requesting reimbursement.

Q: What are the supporting documents needed to get reimbursed?

A: All requests for reimbursement must include the signed and dated Financial Reimbursement Request Detail form (SFN 54169), copies of invoices, proof of payment, and copies of quotes (see Reimbursement Processing Checklist). Exercise reimbursement requests must also include a copy of the after action report (HSEEP) and Improvement Plan (IP). Training reimbursement requests must also include a roster of those attending the training along with an outline of the training course. Planning reimbursement requests must include a copy of the planning document. Additional documentation may be required.

Q: Where can I find the Reimbursement Processing Checklist?

A: The Reimbursement Processing Checklist is on the NDDES website at www.nd.gov/des/uploads/resources/896/reimbursement-processing-checklist.doc.

Q: What is accepted as "proof of payment"?

A: Cancelled checks, signed auditor's Warrant, or treasurer's ledger statement constitute proof of payment.

Q: Why do I need to provide proof of payment?

A: DES "reimburses" only. Proof of payment ensures that the request is a reimbursement not an advance.

Q: How long does it take to get reimbursed?

A: If all the required documentation is submitted with the reimbursement request it will take 7 to 10 days for completion of the request.

Q: After a grant has been approved, may we make changes in the grant?

A: Generally, changes in the intent of an award are not allowed. On a limited basis DES may consider some changes; however, the sub-recipient will have to document justification for such an adjustment to the grant.

Q: Can changes be made in the grant budget?

A: Changes are allowed within a grant's budget on a limited basis. The entity must request those changes in writing along with a written justification for the adjustment. Entities may NOT move funds between grant awards such as from a Planning grant to an Equipment grant. Not all requests will be allowed.

Q: What happens when all my grant funds have been expended?

A: DES will issue a Closeout Letter to the sub-recipient. The sub-recipient's Authorized Official must sign, date, and return a copy of the Closeout Letter to DES. In addition, sub-recipient must complete the Inventory Equipment Form (www.nd.gov/des/uploads/resources/877/inventory-form-1-13-14.xlsx) and return it to NDDES. NDDES will then send equipment tags to the jurisdiction that must be placed on the equipment purchased with federal grant funds.

Q: What happens to grant funds that aren't expended?

A: Once the spending cycle of a grant has been reached all sub-awards are closed and any remaining funds are de-obligated. NDDES will then solicit applications for the de-obligated funds from interested entities which can accomplish its proposed project and spend the funds in a short period of time - typically 60 to 90 days.

Q: Are extensions available on grant funding?

A: Extensions can be granted on a limited basis as long as the federal deadline is not violated. Extensions are granted only under special circumstances. The jurisdiction must justify and request the extension in writing.

Q: Why am I required to keep documentation after my grant is closed?

A: Federal law requires that documentation (all financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the award) be retained by each organization for at least three years from the date the grant is closed at a federal level.

Q: Why are project status reports required?

A: Project status reports are necessary to provide NDDES the tools to meet its federal reporting and monitoring requirements.

Q: What is NIMS Compliance?

A: States, territories, tribal nations, local governments, and response agencies must adopt and implement National Incident Management System (NIMS) concepts. This is demonstrated in policies, standard operating procedures, and coordinated response with partner agencies.

Q: I still have not received my training certificate for a course I took on the EMI Web site. What should I do?

A: If you have inquiries regarding certificates or EMI online courses, please contact the Emergency Management Institute's Independent Study Office at: (301) 447-1200 or e-mail them at: Independent.Study@fema.dhs.gov.

Q: Who has to take NIMS and ICS training?

A: All emergency services related disciplines such as emergency management, emergency medical services (EMS), fire service, hospitals, law enforcement, public health, public works, and others must take NIMS and Incident Command System (ICS) training. The level of NIMS/ICS training necessary depends on the role the individual fills during a response. Recommendations are as follows:

  • IS 700: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction should be taken by individuals with emergency management responsibilities including prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
  • IS 800: National Response Framework, An Introduction should be taken by government executives, private-sector and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) leaders, and emergency management practitioners. This includes senior elected and appointed leaders, such as Federal department or agency heads, State Governors, mayors, tribal leaders, and city or county officials - those who have a responsibility to provide for effective response.
  • ICS 100: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS should be taken by persons involved with emergency planning, response, or recovery efforts.
  • ICS 200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents should be taken by persons involved with emergency planning, response, or recovery efforts.
  • ICS 300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents should be taken by individuals who may assume a supervisory role in expanding incidents.
  • ICS 400: Advanced ICS Command and General Staff - Complex Incidents should be taken by senior personnel who are expected to perform in a management capacity at an incident or event. This includes individuals who may serve as Incident Commander or as members of the Command or General Staff, Area Command, or Multi-agency Coordination Group/Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
  • Note: IS 700, IS 800, ICS 100 and ICS 200 are prerequisites for ICS 300 and ICS 400.

Q: What training do I need to be an ICS instructor?

A: ICS Instructor Requirements for North Dakota can be found on our website. To view click here. An instructor's qualifications must be verified by the agency sponsoring the training.

Q: Some grants require implementation of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). What are the HSEEP practices that meet those expectations?

A: HSEEP defined practices for exercise program management, design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning include the following:
  1. Conducting an annual Training and Exercise Plan Workshop and developing and maintaining a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (TEP).
  2. Planning and conducting exercises in accordance with the HSEEP guidelines.
  3. Developing and submitting to the grantor (NDDES) an After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) using the current HSEEP template.
  4. Tracking and implementing corrective actions identified in the AAR/IP.

This site updated as of 12/1/2015.