Frequently Asked Questions & Fast Track Answers

DRAFT - WORK IN PROGRESS TO BE UPDATED

Actions To Take Now - Track Costs

FEMA is authorized to provide PA funding for Emergency Work,including emergency protective measures and debris removal under Sections 403 & 407 of the Stafford Act.

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What is Policy on Donated Labor and Supplies and Where can we get Donated Resource information? 

What is Policy on Donated Labor and Supplies and Where can we get Donated Resource information? 


Answer: Please see FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) – Under Chapter 2: Public Assistance Policy, Section V. Costs Eligibility, Subpart L. Donated Resources Value of Resources. 44 CFR 13.24 addresses how donated resources are to be valued. The following instructions are based on that part of the CFR: 1. Volunteer Labor: The value of volunteer labor is discussed in 44 CFR 13.24 (c) (1). The rate placed on volunteer labor should be the same rate (plus reasonable fringe benefits) ordinarily paid for similar work within the applicant's organization. Premium rates will not be used. If the applicant does not have employees performing similar work, the rate should be consistent with those ordinarily performing the work in the same labor market. To determine the value of volunteer labor, the labor rate should be multiplied by the total number of volunteer labor hours. Credit may be given for volunteer labor in any field reasonably required for emergency work, including the work of volunteer equipment operators. FEMA 2018 PAPPG Link - https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1525468328389- 4a038bbef9081cd7dfe7538e7751aa9c/PAPPG_3.1_508_FINAL_5-4-2018.pdf

Your Community and Businesses Can Offer Supplies. Click Link

COVID-19 Offer of Medical Supplies or Equipment


What is the Disaster Incident Date? From what date should I begin tracking costs for this incident? 

What is the Disaster Incident Date? From what date should I begin tracking costs for this incident? 

Answer: The COVID-19 incident start date is January 20, 2020. The period will still ultimately decided

Time Limitations for Completion of Work

Emergency medical care costs are typically only eligible for up to 30 days from the declaration date unless extended by FEMA.

Under the COVID-19 Declarations, eligible emergency medical care costs are eligible for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, as determined by HHS.


 Where do I register for the FEMA Grants Portal sight? 


 Where do I register for the FEMA Grants Portal sight? 

Answer: If you DO NOT have an account in the FEMA Grants Portal, please send an email to your STATE Recovery Staff to request an account. Provide the primary contact name, jurisdiction/potential applicant, phone number and email address. You will then receive an automated email invitation from the FEMA Grants Portal. After the account activation is completed you will be requested to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form for COVID-19 for your State Declaration DR-xxxx or EM-xxxx

A jurisdiction/applicant that hasn’t participated in a federally declared disaster event since 2017 in all probability will not have an account

Only one point of contact should be listed but the applicant can assign multiple users. It is best practice to keep applicant account users to a minimum.

Access should be granted within 24-48 hours. Please check your junk mailbox as invitations sometimes appear there.

If we previously registered for the Grants Portal but lost our login/password, how should we proceed?

 There is a Forgot your Password at the login screen and you would use your e-mail for a password rest. If you know you have an account but cannot remember your login then you should send an email to your STATE Recovery Staff and they can assist further.

The Grants Manager and Grants Portal tool is a two-part, online platform that is used to formulate and track award packages. Grants Manager is the internal platform used by FEMA specialists, while the Grants Portal is the external platform used by applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients to manage their projects.

Applicants can use the Public Assistance Grants Portal to:

  • Register for and update an applicant profile
  • Submit a Request for Public Assistance
  • Upload project documentation
Go to YouTube FEMA PA Grants Portal - Grants Manager Channel to view how to use Grants Portal

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIJp91Ds2IaVlR1t8uXcEKg

Login for Applicants, Recipients, and Subrecipients



Emergency Work   

Emergency work, as authorized by Sections 403, 407, and 502 of the Stafford Act, which provide for the removal of debris and emergency protective measures,such as the establishment of temporary shelters and emergency power generation regulations define emergency work as “work which must be done immediately to save lives and to protect improved property and public health and safety, or to avert or lessen the threat-of a major disaster.” Debris can have immediate impacts such as blocking emergency routes, and can also inhibit a community's overall recovery and prevent the safe return of residents to their homes if they were evacuated. Managing the debris removal process is a fundamental challenge in responding to any disaster, and is guided by a number of regulatory requirements

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Debris Removal

Debris removal activities, such as clearance, removal, and disposal, are eligible as Category A if the removal is in the public interest based on whether the work:

• Eliminates immediate threats to lives, public health, and safety;

• Eliminates immediate threats of significant damage to improved public or private property; or

• Ensures economic recovery of the affected community to the benefit of the community at large.

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FEMA Public Assistance Grant (Project) Processes

FEMA new delivery model xxxxxxxxxxxxthorized to provide PA funding for Emergency Work,including emergency protective measures and debris removal under Sections 403 & 407 of the Stafford Act.

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Roles and Responsibilities

Multiple layers of government work in partnership to administer the PA Grant Program once a disaster has been declared. Each entity must work together to meet the overall objective of a quick, efficient, and effective program delivery.

FEMA's primary responsibilities are to determine the amount of funding, participate in educating the applicant on specific program issues and procedures, assist the applicant with the development of projects, and review the projects for compliance.

  • FEMA: The federal awarding agency authorized to manage the program.
  • Recipients: The State, Territorial, or Tribal government that receives funding under the disaster declaration and disburses funding to approved subrecipients.
  • Applicants: Entities submitting a request for assistance under the recipient's federal award.
  • Subrecipients: Applicants who have received a subaward from the Recipient and is then bound by the conditions of the award and subaward.

The Life of a PA Grant

The PA Program follows FEMA's common set of phases known as the Grants Management Life Cycle:

Pre-Award: Applicants work with the Recipient and FEMA to develop the award package for a grant.
Award: FEMA approves the award package and allocates funding.
Post-Award: Funds are released to the Recipients who must maintain, monitor, and report upon.
Closeout: FEMA administers performance evaluation, financial and appeal reconciliation, final reporting activities, appeal resolution and debt actions.
Post-Closeout: As necessary, FEMA performs debt collection actions, audit, and other adjustments may continue after grant closeout.

FEMA Public Assistance Eligibility Issues

FEMA new delivery model xxxxxxxxxxxxthorized to provide PA funding for Emergency Work,including emergency protective measures and debris removal under Sections 403 & 407 of the Stafford Act.

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What Costs Are Not Reimbursable By FEMA Public Assistance or a Duplication of Benefits

FEMA cannot provide assistance for

Provide assistance under PA that is covered by another funding source.

Duplicate assistance provided by HHS, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or other federal agencies.

This includes funding provided by the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement Program; the Public Health Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement; the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases; and grants available from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Provide PA funding for emergency medical care costs if they are covered by another source, including private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or a pre-existing private payment agreement.

The Applicant must be able to provide documentation verifying that insurance coverage or any other source of funding, including private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, has been pursued or does not exist for the costs associated with emergency medical care and emergency medical evacuations.  

Each applicant will need to agree to the stipulation in the grant conditions of all FEMA awards that funding is not also being received from another funding source.  FEMA is coordinating with HHS to share information about funding from each agency to assist in the prevention of duplication of benefits.

Are Private Non-Profits eligible under this Covid-19 disaster?

Are Private Non-Profits eligible under this disaster?


 Answer: Private nonprofits (PNPs) can be eligible under this disaster. To see if you qualify, refer to applicant eligibility information in the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) – Under Chapter 2: Public Assistance Policy, Section II. Applicant Eligibility, Subpart D. Private Nonprofit Organizations FEMA 2018 PAPPG Link - https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1525468328389- 4a038bbef9081cd7dfe7538e7751aa9c/PAPPG_3.1_508_FINAL_5-4-2018.pdf


If County or State haven’t declared yet for Major Declaration, should/can we Request Assistance?

If County or State haven’t declared yet for Major Declaration, should/can we Request Assistance?

Answer: You are not required to declare to receive FEMA Public Assistance. The Governor’s Declaration covers all cities, counties, and municipalities in the State however, you may do so if you choose. Use the Request for Public Assistance protocols for Covid-19

The national emergency declaration authorized Public Assistance Category B reimbursement for emergency protective measures. It does not include additional categories of assistance, such as infrastructure repair and replacement, which are needed after typical natural disasters. This enables FEMA to eliminate many application steps that are designed for those categories, including: eliminating exploratory calls, recovery scoping meetings, and most site inspections; and reducing documentation requirements to the minimum needed to support Category B reimbursement.

Should a local entity claim their costs and have the county act on their behalf?

Should a local entity claim their costs and have the county act on their behalf?

Answer: All local entities claiming costs that are there responsibility and not the counties should apply for assistance separately from the county

Reimbursement Documentation Requirements

FEMA new delivery model xxxxxxxxxxxxthorized to provide PA funding for Emergency Work,including emergency protective measures and debris removal under Sections 403 & 407 of the Stafford Act.

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What Documentation is Required for PA Grants

Answer :

What type of documentation do I need?

All of the documentation pertaining to a project should be filed together with the corresponding Project Worksheet and maintained by you as the permanent record of the project. These records become the basis for verifying your final project costs, and, for small projects, will be used as discussed in Chapter 5 to sample and validate your estimated project costs.

Documentation is the process of establishing and maintaining accurate records of events and expenditures related to your disaster recovery work. The information required for your documentation basically describes the "who, what, when, where, why, and how much" for each item of disaster recovery work.

How should I maintain my records?

There are many ways to maintain your records. What is important is that you have the necessary information readily available, and that this information is in a usable format. It is important that you accurately document the events and expenses incurred in disaster response and recovery.

Accurate documentation will help you to:
  • Recover all of your eligible costs.
  • Have the information necessary to develop your disaster projects.
  • Have the information available, which the State and FEMA will need to see, to validate the accuracy of your small projects.
  • Be ready for any State or Federal audits, or other Federal program reviews.
  • Provide Federal compliance data by maintaining all information on the alternatives that were considered for projects where an environmental or historic assessment was required.


May I use my own records system?

Absolutely. If you already have a system you want to use, just be sure to compile your documentation according to the Project Number, which your Public Assistance Coordinator will assign to your Project Worksheet. You should keep all documentation for three (3) years following the State's closure of your grant. Under the "Single Audit Act," there is a possibility of an audit by State auditors and/or the FEMA Office of Inspector General.


Documentation Information below from FEMA website. (Will open in a new window)

Grant Compliance - Regulations & Policy

FEMA new delivery model xxxxxxxxxxxxthorized to provide PA funding for Emergency Work,including emergency protective measures and debris removal under Sections 403 & 407 of the Stafford Act.

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Should I follow my local, state or federal procurement requirements? 

Should I follow my local, state or federal procurement requirements? 


Answer: It is recommended to utilize whatever is the most stringent between your local, state and federal procurement requirements. Insure you are documenting what method is being utilized for procurement and the reasoning in which it was chosen. Please see FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) – Under Chapter 2: Public Assistance Policy, Section V. Costs Eligibility, Subpart G. Procurement and Contracting Requirements


What are the Procurement Requirements and where can we get contracting and procurement information from FEMA? 

What are the Procurement Requirements and where can we get contracting and procurement information from FEMA? 


Answer:

Procurement requirements differ between state versus non-state entities and by normal versus emergency/exigent circumstances. Procurement requirements for the COVID-19 Declarations are:

States and territorial governments are required to follow their own procurement procedures as well as the Federal requirements for procurement of recovered materials and inclusion of required contract provisions per 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317, 200.322, and 200.326.

In accordance with the March 17, 2020, memorandum from David Bibo, Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), local governments, tribal governments, nonprofits, and other non-state entities may proceed with new and existing non-competitively procured contracts.

SLTT governments may contract with medical providers, including private for-profit hospitals, to carry out any eligible activity described in the Eligible Emergency Medical Care Activities section below.

The aforementioned memorandum and other information related to exigent and emergency circumstances procurement is available on the FEMA website at www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/03/20/procurement-under-grants-under-exigent-or-emergency-circumstances.

Please see – Procurement and Contracting Requirements outlined in the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) – Under Chapter 2: Public Assistance Policy, Section V Cost Eligibility, 1. Procurement Standards, and 2. Contracts. FEMA’s Procurement Guidance for Recipients and Subrecipients Under 2 C.F.R. Part 200 (Uniform Rules) provides additional details regarding Federal procurement and contracting requirements


FEMA 2018 PAPPG Link - https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1525468328389- 4a038bbef9081cd7dfe7538e7751aa9c/PAPPG_3.1_508_FINAL_5-4-2018.pdf Also, The 


Procurement Disaster Assistance Team (PDAT) has created and compiled the resources below to help you avoid common mistakes when procuring with federal disaster grant funds. Procurement Disaster Assistance Team link - https://www.fema.gov/procurement-disaster-assistance-team Hands-On Resources: • 2018 

PDAT Procurement Compliance Checklist for Public Assistance Applicants • 2019 PDAT Contract Provisions Template • Modelo de Disposiciones Contractuales (2019 PDAT Contract Provisions Template in Spanish)


What happens if an applicant doesn't follow the procurement rules?

If an applicant fails to comply with any term of an award (including the contracting requirements discussed in this Fact Sheet), whether stated in a Federal statute or regulation, an assurance, in a State plan or application, a notice of award, or elsewhere, FEMA may:

• Temporarily withhold payment, or take more severe enforcement action;

• Disallow all or part of the cost of the activity or action not incompliance;

• Wholly or partly suspend or terminate the applicant's current award;

• Withhold further awards; or

• Take other remedies that may be legally available.

Are there any procurement actions that are prohibited by FEMA?

Noncompetitive contracts. Given the Federal contracting requirements or full and open competition, applicants must avoid awarding noncompetitive contracts unless the exceptions in FAQ #4 above apply.

Cost plus percentage of cost contracts. Cost plus percentage of cost contracts are strictly prohibited. Such contracts have four elements:

3. Payment is based on a pre-determined percentage rate;

4. Percentage rate is applied to actual performance costs;

5. Contractor entitlement is uncertain at the time of contracting, and;

6. Contractor entitlement increases commensurately with increased performance costs.17

Debarred or suspended contractors. Applicants must not employ disbarred or suspended contractors. In addition, applicants must report contractors who demonstrate a lack of integrity, ethical lapses, or perform inadequately. Applicants should check against the General Services Administration list of debarred and suspended contractors

at: https://www.epls.gov/.

Conflicts of interest. The procurement regulations forbid awarding contracts "if a conflict of interest, real or apparent, would be involved." 18Conflicts of interest arise when an applicant's employee, officer, or agent (or their immediate families or partners) has a financial or other interest in who receives the contract award. FEMA will also find a conflict of interest when an organization that employs (or is about to employ) any of the above parties has a financial or other interest in the award.

Duplicative costs. The Stafford Act and its implementing regulations forbid FEMA from reimbursing duplicative costs.

Contingency clauses. When procuring property and services under a grant, an applicant must follow the same policies and procedures it uses for procurements from its non-Federal funds. Therefore, while it is acceptable if the contract scope of work indicates that activities will be carried out consistent with FEMA laws, regulations, and eligibility guidelines, contracts may not be contingent upon the issuance of a Presidential declaration or FEMA's approval or obligation of funds.

Excessive Costs. To be eligible for reimbursement, costs incurred must be reasonable, allocable, and allowable.19Further, applicants must perform a cost or price analysis in connection with every procurement action including contract modifications.

17

Grantee or subgrantee profit. It is acceptable for applicants to pay reasonable fees or profit to cost- type contractors. However, no applicant can ever be in a position to receive a profit or fee itself for work procured pursuant to a Federal grant. FEMA will not fund any fee or profit to the applicant.