What is the role of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS) in Homeland Security Grant Programs?
The AZDOHS is the State Administrative Agency (SAA) authorized by the Governor of Arizona to serve as the “pass-through” agency for United States Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) Homeland Security grant funding. AZDOHS manages USDHS grant programs for eligible local, Tribal and state agencies within Arizona.
Are there limits on contractor/consultant and instructor fees?
Reimbursement limits for all contracted, consulted and/or instructional personnel are currently set at a maximum of $450 per day. Specific information is available in the AZDOHS Subgrantee Agreement, Section VII "Applicable Federal Regulations" – "Consultants."
Can a grant be modified?
Stakeholders seeking to modify an approved project must submit a Grant Modification Request Form to AZDOHS.
The process for reviewing and approving a modification request is included in the request form.
Can a grant performance period be extended?
Stakeholders seeking additional time to complete their project must submit a Grant Extension Request Form to AZDOHS.
The process for reviewing and approving an extension request is included in the request form. Any grant extension request must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the end of the performance period.
Can an agency hire persons with Homeland Security Grant Program funding?
Government agencies can use approved HSGP funding to hire and employ, or contract with personnel. Supplanting regular full-time employees (FTEs) is not permitted with federal homeland security grant funding.
Grant close-out requirement
All stakeholders are required to submit the following:
- Final Quarterly Programmatic Report within 15 days of the end of the performance period
- Final Reimbursement Request Form and all supporting documentation within 45 days of the end of the performance period to receive reimbursement for expenses
- Equipment List due with the final Quarterly Programmatic Report
How are Homeland Security Grant Program applications submitted?
All HSGP applications are submitted electronically to AZDOHS. The application process for each specific grant program is available at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov.
How do government agencies learn about Homeland Security Grant Program opportunities?
Interested parties are encouraged to visit the AZDOHS website at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov for grant funding opportunities and information. Government agencies can request to be placed on the AZDOHS e-mail distribution list at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov to receive information on grant funding opportunities and announcements. AZDOHS conducts annual “Grant Information Seminars” prior to each Fiscal Year grant program. These seminars are normally held in the latter part the year.
How do eligible entities apply for Homeland Security Grant Program funding?
Grant applications for the core group of HSGP grants are available on the AZDOHS website at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov. Each grant program has a specific application and process. The AZDOHS website includes the application, grant-specific FAQs, a timeline with application submittal deadlines and the contact name for the assigned Strategic Planner.
How do stakeholders receive reimbursement for grant-approved activities?
AZDOHS, upon receiving all required documents from the stakeholder and verifying their eligibility status, develops a Reimbursement Request Form for that specific project. This form is then electronically transmitted to the stakeholder. When requesting reimbursement for expenses incurred on a project, the stakeholder completes and mails the form to AZDOHS along with supporting documentation and proof of payment. Only completed reimbursement request packets, upon review and verification of the submitted claim, will be processed. The average processing time for a complete reimbursement request is 30-45 days from receipt of a complete reimbursement request packet. Reimbursement request packets should be mailed to AZDOHS at 1700 W. Washington Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
How is a Homeland Security Grant Program application selected for funding?
- All HSGP applications undergo a multi-step review, recommendation and funding process:
- Applications submitted to AZDOHS and received on or prior to the application deadline are reviewed by the respective Strategic Planner to ensure completeness and adherence to grant guidance. Each individual application represents a “project.”
- Applications eligible for grant funding are forwarded to the respective RACs for further review.
- The RACs meet to review each application from agencies within their region. The applications are prioritized in accordance with the USDHS National Priorities, the State Homeland Security Strategy and the Target Capabilities Assessment. Recommendations are made on each project to:
- Upon completion of this process projects are compiled from all regions. The grant applications representing those projects are forwarded to the Senior Advisory Council (SAC) for review. The SAC reviews the grant applications and may provide additional input to the Director of AZDOHS.
- The Director of AZDOHS has the final authority for funding decisions.
- AZDOHS notifies all grant applicants if their project was awarded full funding, partial funding or did not receive funding.
If a stakeholder has a grant approved for local or regional training, how is this accomplished?
Stakeholders can accomplish approved training as follows:
The stakeholder may coordinate and host FEMA approved training.
Stakeholders may choose to transfer their approved training grant funding to the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), via a Memorandum of Understanding, which will authorize specialized ADEM training staff to coordinate and provide local training.
All training must comply with the subgrantee agreement and conform to the $450 maximum daily rate limit for contractors, consultants and instructors.
If an agency receives a grant award letter from AZDOHS, what are they required to do?
Funded agencies, also known as “Stakeholders” are required to sign and return specific grant award documents including a grant contract called the “Subgrantee Agreement.” These documents must be completed and on file at AZDOHS before an agency is eligible for grant reimbursement. The award letter includes the following information and directives:
- Verification of full or partial funding for the project
- Title of the grant project
- Assigned Subgrantee Agreement number
- Total dollar amount awarded for the grant
- Performance period of the grant
- Instructions on obtaining, completing and submitting the required documentation to AZDOHS
- Environmental and Historical Preservation (EHP) requirements
- Any approved changes from the original grant application
What can Homeland Security Grant Program funding be used for?
HSGP funding shall be used in areas for projects that enhance Arizona's capabilities. The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) is a core assistance grant program that provides funds to build capabilities at the state, local, Tribal, and territorial levels and to implement the goals and objectives included in the State Homeland Security Strategy and initiatives in their State Preparedness Report (SPR). Under SHSGP, activities must support terrorism preparedness by building or enhancing capabilities that relate to the prevention of, protection from, response to, and recovery from terrorism (to be considered eligible). However, many capabilities which support terrorism preparedness simultaneously support preparedness for other hazards. Grantees must demonstrate this dual-purpose for any activities implemented under this program that are not explicitly focused on terrorism preparedness.
What Homeland Security Grant Programs are managed by AZDOHS?
AZDOHS has responsibility over several USDHS grant programs. The core group of grant programs is the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) and represents the majority of homeland security grant funding awarded within Arizona. The HSGP grant program consists of:
- State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP)
- Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) (Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas only)
- Citizen Corp Program (CCP)
- Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS)
AZDOHS also has responsibility for several specialized homeland security grant programs with specific performance periods, application procedures and deadlines. These programs include:
- Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP)
- Urban Area Security Initiative Non-Profit Security Grant Program (UASI NSGP) (Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas only)
- Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC)
- Operation Stonegarden (OPSG)
- Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP)
- Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Program
- Border Interoperability Demonstration Program (BIDP)
What if a stakeholder completes a project prior to the end of the grant performance period?
If a stakeholder fully completes a project prior to the end of the grant performance period, they may:
- Submit a Quarterly Programmatic Report marked “Final”
- Submit a final Reimbursement Request Form and all supporting documentation to receive reimbursement for expenses
- Submit an Equipment List (if applicable)
What if a stakeholder has not used all of their approved grant funding?
Unexpended grant funds revert back to AZDOHS in two formats:
- At the end of the grant performance period by notification on the final Quarterly Programmatic Report.
- Prior to the end of the grant performance period, a stakeholder advises AZDOHS that they are reverting unexpended grant funding.
Unexpended grant funding is reallocated to other projects in accordance with AZDOHS grant funding recommendation procedures.
What is a Grant Information Seminar?
AZDOHS staff provides detailed information on the following:
- Overview of the Homeland Security Grant Program
- Overview of the current grant guidance
- Instructions on completing the grant application
- Funding amounts allocated for each grant program
- Timelines including grant application due dates
- Grant award and reporting requirements
AZDOHS staff is available at these seminars for questions and individual contact regarding the Homeland Security Grant Program and the other specialized grant programs.
What is a Regional Advisory Council (RAC)?
AZDOHS has created five (5) homeland security regions within Arizona. Each Region has a Regional Advisory Council (RAC) consisting of up to 14 members made up of local first responder personnel, elected officials, state representatives, community members, and Tribal representatives (if applicable). The RACs provide local and regional input on grant funding which is relevant and necessary to their Region. The five Homeland Security Regions and the counties they represent are:
- North (Apache, Coconino and Navajo counties)
- West (La Paz, Mohave and Yavapai counties)
- Central (Maricopa county)
- East (Gila, Graham, Greenlee and Pinal counties)
- South (Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties)
What is an “Equipment List”?
An Equipment List is a current record of all equipment funded by homeland security grant funds. The Equipment List must:
- Be maintained during the performance period of the grant
- Be updated when equipment is added, changed or disposed of
- Be submitted to AZDOHS if changes occur
- Be submitted to AZDOHS upon the end of the grant performance period
What is required of the stakeholder after the completion of the grant performance period?
The stakeholder is required to do the following:
- Must continue to track and maintain all equipment during the agency-specified life cycle of that equipment
- Must maintain grant records in compliance with federal records retention requirements for six years and three months.
What is the methodology for allocating Homeland Security Grant Program funding to the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs)?
HSGP regional funding is based on a Threat, Risk, and Vulnerability Assessment.
What is the role of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS) in Homeland Security Grant Programs?
The AZDOHS is the State Administrative Agency (SAA) authorized by the Governor of Arizona to serve as the “pass-through” agency for United States Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) Homeland Security grant funding. AZDOHS manages USDHS grant programs for eligible local, Tribal and state agencies within Arizona.
What is the Senior Advisory Council (SAC)?
The Senior Advisory Council (SAC) consists of up to 18 members representing local government officials, elected officials and other key figures throughout Arizona. The Council provides advice to the Director of AZDOHS regarding issues that relate to Homeland Security.
What is the Site Monitoring Program?
AZDOHS staff conduct scheduled site grant monitoring visits with stakeholders to review the progress of the project, offer any assistance if needed, and ensure compliance with the scope of the project and grant requirements.
What is the time period for utilizing Homeland Security Grant Program funding?
HSGP funding has a standard period of performance of 12 months. The HSGP funding cycle is typically October in one year to September of the following year.
What ongoing documentation is a stakeholder required to submit to AZDOHS regarding their project?
All stakeholders are required to submit Quarterly Programmatic Reports to AZDOHS. These reports provide AZDOHS with information on the progress the stakeholder is making on the grant funded project. Quarterly Programmatic Report forms are available at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov. Also, an updated Equipment List is required if changes occur.
Who is eligible to receive Homeland Security Grant Program funding?
Government agencies (local, Tribal, state and specialty districts) within Arizona.
At the completion of the grant performance period, what is an OPSG agency required to do?
All stakeholders are required to submit the following within specified time periods after the end of the performance period:
- E-mail the Final Quarterly Programmatic Report to AZDOHS at [email protected]. Required within 15-days.
- Mail the Final Reimbursement Request Form and all supporting documentation to AZDOHS. Required within 45-days.
- E-mail the Property Control Form (Equipment List) (if applicable) to AZDOHS at [email protected]. Required within 45-days.
- E-mail the Grant Funded Typed Resource Report (GFTRR) form to AZDOHS at [email protected]. Required within 45-days.
Can Operation Stonegarden funds be used for detention and transport costs?
No, detention and transport costs are not currently covered under the Operation Stonegarden program in Arizona.
Can Operation Stonegarden funds be used for field training?
No, training is not an allowable expense under the grant, except for backfill and overtime costs related to attending US Code Title 19 training for Port-of-Entry Operations provided by CBP Office of Field Operations.
Can our agency be reimbursed for costs related to salaried (“exempt”) law enforcement personnel working OPSG?
Exempt law enforcement officers (those compensated as salaried as opposed to hourly) may work and be reimbursed for OPSG operations under the following criteria:
- If they are acting in a non-supervisory role participation in OPSG must be in compliance with the United States Code of Financial Regulations (CFR) number 2 CFR Part 225 – Cost Principles for State, Local and Tribal Governments (OMB Circular A-87)
- Appendix A.C.1.e “Be consistent with policies, regulations, and procedures that apply uniformly to both Federal awards and other activities of the governmental unit.”
- In compliance with the agency’s local Human Resources/Personnel policies related to exempt employees and overtime allowability
- The subrecipient policy must be pre-approved by AZDOHS.
Do all operations need to be pre-coordinated with the Border Patrol Sector?
Yes, all OPSG operations must be pre-coordinated with the respective Border Patrol Sector Station. Activities that are not pre-coordinated as stipulated by your Border Patrol Sector Station are not eligible for reimbursement.
Does equipment purchased with Operation Stonegarden funds require labeling?
When practicable, all equipment items purchased with Homeland Security grant funds, including Operation Stonegarden funds, are required to display a decal or other marking that states "Purchased with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security". Please refer to the following link for more information: Equipment Marking Fact Sheet.
If an agency purchased a vehicle under OPSG, may this vehicle be used for purposes other than Operation Stonegarden?
No, the vehicle is to be used exclusively for OPSG purposes. There is one exception to that rule; if necessary, the OPSG vehicle can be used in the case of a serious life/safety emergency.
If an agency was approved to purchase equipment to outfit vehicles (i.e. cameras, license plate readers), may this equipment be installed in a vehicle that is used for routine patrols?
Yes, as long as that vehicle will also be used on at least an intermittent basis for OPSG activities.
If an agency was awarded funding to purchase an item of equipment, but due to circumstances, would prefer to purchase a different item of equipment with the funding, how should that agency proceed?
Mid-cycle grant modifications under OPSG are discouraged. Instead, that agency should forgo the purchase and allow the funding to revert to the county OPSG working group for their county by making note of this on their next Quarterly Programmatic Report (funds that are unspent at the end of the grant performance period also revert to the county OPSG working group). When the grant performance period is complete, the county OPSG working groups will meet to reallocate the reverted fallout funding. All agencies will have an opportunity to apply for and compete for this funding with the other OPSG law enforcement agencies in the county.
If money is remaining after purchasing all of the approved equipment, may that agency be approved for a modification to purchase another type of equipment?
No, if an agency incurs a savings on a grant from the awarded amount, the remaining amount of funds will go back to the county OPSG working group for reallocation.
Line Item Budget Cost Overruns (“The 10% rule”)
The 10% rule allows agencies to exceed expenditures on an individual line item within their grant by up to 10% of the total grant amount or $25,000, whichever is less, as long as there is a corresponding under- expenditure of another line item within the grant to offset the over-expenditure. This applies to the mileage line item and the overtime line item on mileage and overtime grants and it applies to different items of equipment on equipment grants.
For example, if a law enforcement agency was awarded a grant for $112,000, with a $100,000 line item for "overtime" and a $12,000 line item for "mileage" expenses, the agency is permitted to exceed either their overtime or mileage expenditures by $11,200 as long as they under-expend from the other line item by an equal amount to offset the over-expenditure. In other words, the agency is still required to stay within the overall grant amount of $112,000.
The same rule applies to equipment grants (each separate type of equipment is considered a "line item"). An agency is authorized to utilize the 10% (or $25,000 rule, whichever is less) without prior approval from AZDOHS or the OPSG working group. Agencies must not change the budget listed in their reimbursement request cover sheet when executing the 10% rule. Modifications that exceed the 10% or $25,000 limit must be approved by the OPSG Working Group.
May an agency exceed the approved quantity limit on a type of equipment if the agency is able to find a lower priced quote on the equipment?
No, an agency will only be reimbursed for up to the quantity of equipment items as sub awarded by AZDOHS. If an agency incurs a savings on a grant, the remaining amount of funds will go back to the respective county OPSG Working Group for reallocation.
What are some common items that are requested but are not allowable under the grant?
Some of the common items that are often requested, but are not allowable under the grant are: weapons and weapon mounted systems, drug detecting canines, infrastructure hardening items, and non 4x4 vehicles.
What is the applicable guidance on the use of dispatchers?
Dispatcher overtime is allowable under the grant program; however OPSG participants need to be aware that there are strict requirements for their use under OPSG. Dispatcher's overtime is only reimbursable for dispatchers working in direct support of peace officers working OPSG operations. The ratio of dispatchers to officers must be in alignment with the law enforcement agency's local policy. This policy and any related expenditures should be reasonable (i.e. one dispatcher for each OPSG officer working would not normally be considered "reasonable"). Dispatchers should also be utilized strictly for dispatch duties while working Operation Stonegarden, and should not be assigned to perform administrative tasks not directly related to dispatch duties. Dispatcher overtime must be in an approved Operations Order.
What is the normal performance period for OPSG funds?
The performance period for OPSG Overtime/Mileage grants and Equipment grants will be determined by AZDOHS and is based on FEMA grant funding criteria. Agencies normally submit their Operations Plans to their respective county Sheriff in the spring proceeding the awarding of funds in the fall. Funds are usually awarded in the August/September timeframe, depending on final award and approval of Operations Orders from the CBP/BP and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
What is the policy on grant extensions?
Grant period extensions for overtime and mileage grants will not be accepted because the new grant year funding is usually available for overtime and mileage by the time the previous year's grant expires. Grant period extensions on equipment grants only may be considered if there is strong and adequate justification. Extension requests up to 3-months require AZDOHS approval. Extension requests for more than 3-months require approval by the county OPSG Working Group. The Extension Request Form can be round at the following link: https://azdohsgrants.az.gov
What is the primary purpose of Operation Stonegarden?
The primary purpose of Operation Stonegarden is for high-visibility, uniformed patrols in marked patrol vehicles along routes from the international border into the United States and for certain outbound operations or in accordance with approved operational deployments. Agencies should also be careful to ensure that OPSG grant funds are not used to supplant inherent routine patrols.
What is the Quarterly Programmatic Reporting requirement on this grant?
Quarterly Programmatic Reports are required for each and every individual grant, including mileage/overtime grants and equipment grants. A separate report is due for each quarter covered by the grant period listed in the subgrantee agreement, regardless of whether any expenditure against the grant occurred during the quarter. Reports are due on the 15th day of the month after the end of each quarter:
October 1st through December 31st: Due January 15th
January 1st through March 31st: Due April 15th
April 1st through June 30th: Due July 15th
July 1st through September 30th: Due October 15th
The Quarterly Programmatic Report template can be found at: https://azdohsgrants.az.gov
What is the reimbursement rate for mileage?
The Arizona State reimbursement rate for mileage is currently $.445 per mile. This amount is designed to cover both fuel and maintenance costs for vehicles used in support of OPSG operations.
What is the role of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS) in the Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG)?
Through a written agreement with the Sheriffs of the four counties in Arizona that share an international border with Mexico, AZDOHS administers the OPSG grant.
What is the role of the County Sheriff in OPSG?
Apart from participating in OPSG operations and activities, the County Sheriff's departments of each of the border counties anchor the Operation Stonegarden Working Groups that meet to allocate funding. The County Sheriff's offices are also in charge of preparing and submitting the county level Operations Plans for Operation Stonegarden each year. These Operations Plans are used to set the overall policy for Operation Stonegarden within a county and also serve as the request or application for Operation Stonegarden grant funding to the Federal Government.
What is the role of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP)/Border Patrol (BP) in OPSG?
Border Patrol is the lead agency for operations under the Operation Stonegarden program. Consistent with grant guidance, OPSG funded activities and equipment shall support the Border Patrol mission. All OPSG activities must be pre-coordinated with your local Border Patrol Station OPSG Coordinator.
What is the role of the Operation Stonegarden Working Group?
The primary function of the Operation Stonegarden Working Group as designated in the OPSG Oversight Committee Operating Principles is to meet to allocate available OPSG funding. In making allocation decisions, the OPSG Working Groups take into account various factors, including the need for funding to certain agencies based on the illicit activity occurring in an area and the impact that the funding will have in that area in combating transnational threats. Other items such as the available manpower of an agency, past performance under OPSG, past compliance with reporting requirements and grant guidelines, the quality of the OPSG plan/equipment request and other factors all can be taken into account by the OPSG working group in making allocation decisions. The OPSG Working Groups meet on an as needed basis.
The Working Groups consist of representatives from:
- Border County Sheriff
- Border Patrol
- Up to two (2) municipal law enforcement agencies (two-year term) Tribal law enforcement agency (if applicable) (two-year term) Arizona Department of Public Safety
- Arizona Department of Homeland Security
What type of equipment may be requested by an agency in an Operation Stonegarden Operations Order?
Any equipment that is allowable under the Operation Stonegarden section of the Federal Authorized Equipment List (AEL) found at https://www.fema.gov/authorized-equipment-list may be requested on the Operations Order. Additional items, such as non-CBRNE off-road 4x4 vehicles, ATV trailers and spike strips that are not on the AEL have also been awarded a waiver by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and are eligible under the OPSG grant. Operations Orders that include items that are not on the AEL should be discussed with AZDOHS and Border Patrol prior to submittal.
What types of costs are allowable under the OPSG grant?
Overtime, mileage, travel and equipment expenses are the primary categories of funding for OPSG. The overtime line item of a grant can also be used for expenses such as dispatcher overtime costs, costs to bring a part-time law enforcement officer up to 40 hours full-time status and costs to pay reserve AZ POST- certified law enforcement officers. Overtime for specific classifications of employees must be in an approved Operations Order. All law enforcement officers working OPSG activities must be AZ POST- certified law enforcement officers. FEMA Grants Program Directorate Information Bulletin #321 includes other costs that could be allowable under OPSG: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/government/grant/bulletins/info321.pdf.
What types of “employee related expenses” (ERE) or benefit costs can be charged to the Operation Stonegarden grant?
ERE/benefits are allowable if they are reasonable, are required by law or local policy, and are costs that are associated with an officer's participation in OPSG. They must be an ERE/benefit cost that increases based on the overtime hours worked as a result of participation in OPSG activities ("Variable Expenses"). Benefit costs that are a flat fee per employee ("Fixed Expenses") are not an allowable reimbursement.
Where can an agency obtain more information on the Operation Stonegarden Grant Program?
For further questions, please contact William D. Seltzer, OPSG Strategic Planner at (602) 542-7044 or [email protected].
Who is eligible to receive Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) Grant Program funding?
State, municipal, county and Tribal law enforcement agencies in Arizona with AZ Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) certified law enforcement officers who are able to work patrols in support of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP)/Border Patrol (BP) mission are eligible. Grant recipients must submit an Operations Plan to their respective Sheriff of a county that borders Mexico to be eligible for funding. The County Sheriff has final approval authority on which agencies are to be included as part of the consolidated Operations Order for a county. Traditionally, the OPSG grant is reserved for agencies within 100 miles of the border and where there is a strong Border Patrol presence to coordinate OPSG activities.
Can I include tips to the house cleaning staff or tips on cab/Uber/Lift rides on my travel reimbursement request?
Incidentals include such things as baggage handling tips, house cleaning staff tips, cab fare tips, etc.,. The incidentals are a part of the total Meals and Incidentals rate for the day and that rate cannot be exceeded.
Can I rent a car if I am going out of town for a training/conference?
SAAM Topic 50, Section 15: Travel by Individually Operated Motor Vehicle policy 4.1 states that "a traveler may use a rented motor vehicle for official State business if it is the most cost effective, economical or only available means of travel." Furthermore, 2 CFR 200 § 200.403 states that a cost must (a) Be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the Federal award and be allocable thereto under these principles and (c) Be consistent with policies and procedures that apply uniformly to both federally-financed and other activities of the non-Federal entity."
Stakeholders should take these policies into consideration when determining whether it is necessary and reasonable to rent a vehicle for out of town travel. We strongly suggest that stakeholders conduct a cost-benefit analysis and provide that to the AZDOHS for pre-approval. Even if stakeholder management may determine that the cost is justified, the AZDOHS will conduct a review and may deny these charges during the reimbursement process (unless otherwise pre-approved).
Do I need to send a copy of my purchase order?
As standard practice, the AZDOHS does not require purchase orders in reimbursement packets; however, the AZDOHS reserves the right to obtain all documentation regarding reimbursable expenses. Therefore, stakeholders should retain all supporting documentation in regards to expenses.
Do I need to send a copy of the packing slip?
Typically, AZDOHS does not require a packing slip or proof of receipt in the reimbursement packet, but may require it if the packet is submitted at the end of the POP or within the 45 day window after the POP ended. This is to make sure that the product was received before the POP ended.
Do I submit for the actual gas used or for mileage?
Stakeholders will be reimbursed for mileage if a personally owned, department or fleet vehicle for a day or long-term trips was used. Stakeholders will be reimbursed for fuel only on a daily or weekly rental such as renting from a private company like AVIS, National etc., or if the vehicle is a fleet vehicle that is rented for the day or longer and a charge for that particular vehicle was invoiced.
Does my organization need to pay for expenses first?
Yes. Stakeholders are required to pay for their expenses out of other non-federal funds and then submit for reimbursement to AZDOHS. Per the Subrecipient Agreement section IV. b) "this grant is on a reimbursement basis only and is conditioned upon receipt of proof of payment and applicable, accurate and complete reimbursement documents, as deemed necessary by the AZDOHS, to be submitted by the Subrecipient."
How can I get more information about how to put together my packet for submission?
Reimbursement instructions and the reimbursement form are always sent via e-mail to the financial point of contact as indicated in your application. Additionally, stakeholders can find the reimbursement instructions on our website at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov, under General Information, Reimbursement Instructions for Homeland Security Grant Program.
How do I identify this payment in my EFT?
Normally, in the body of the EFT payment, you should be able to see your Subrecipient agreement number and amount that was paid by the EFT. NOTE: if you have multiple awards for multiple years, (not only from AZDOHS, but other State agencies) you might see several payments combined into one EFT.
How do I need to arrange the items that are included in my request?
When submitting reimbursements, please place the supporting documentation (invoices, proof of payment, etc.) in the order in which they appear on the reimbursement request form. We encourage stakeholders to separate the supporting documentation with a paperclip, different color paper, or some other means for each category (POETE) on the reimbursement form.
How is the Homeland Security Grant Program funding disbursed?
The HSGP is a reimbursement grant program. Government agencies must expend funds for their approved Homeland Security projects (Planning, Organization, Equipment, Training and/or Exercise) prior to requesting reimbursement from AZDOHS.
How long will it take to get reimbursed?
The average processing time for a reimbursement request is 30 – 45 days from the receipt of a complete reimbursement request packet.
I am on a strict diet and the food at the training/conference did not fit my dietary needs. Can I be reimbursed for my meal since I bought it somewhere else, even though a meal was included in the conference/training registration?
Under Topic 50 – Travel of the State Accounting Manual, Section 25 Meals and incidentals parts 18 – 18.3 states that meals satisfying special dietary needs will generally be provided by airlines, conferences, etc., if requested. It is the traveler's responsibility to make, on a timely basis, the necessary arrangements for such special needs. If the traveler's request for a meal satisfying a special dietary need is denied (typically by the conference people), in order to claim a reimbursement for an expenditure related to a meal that otherwise would have been provided without cost to the traveler, the traveler must provide a statement that details and certifies, to whom the request was made, by whom the request was denied and the reason given for the denial.
I am requesting cell phone charges in my reimbursement packet. I’m not sure if they are invoiced in advance, or for the previous month. I want to know how I can make sure I am submitting for the correct reporting period.
As an example, specifically, with Verizon bills, the dates shown on the "Quick Bill Summary" page are for the previous month and Verizon always bills a month in advance. The current amount due for the upcoming month can be found just above the Total Amount Due on the Quick Bill Summary just to the right of "Total Current Charges Due by (Date)." These dates can be found on the individual "Summary" pages.
It is important to note that stakeholders, whom have been awarded grants that include cell phones, mobile wireless devices, etc., should contact their provider and understand how these expenses are billed.
I have not had any expenditure for the month. Do I still need to submit a reimbursement request form for the month?
No. Stakeholders are only required to submit reimbursements when they have incurred expenses. These reimbursements should be sent either monthly or at least quarterly if expenses have been incurred.
I have travel-related expenses and the subgrantee agreement states that I will only be reimbursed per the State of Arizona Accounting Manual. Where can I find information regarding allowable travel rates?
Stakeholders can find all travel related information at the General Accounting Office website at: https://gao.az.gov/publications/saam. Topic 50 contains information on Travel. If you have questions regarding Meals and Incidental expenses (commonly referred to as per diem) refer to section 25. Questions regarding allowable Hotel and Lodging expenses can be found in section 30. Expenses regarding Conferences, Conventions & Meetings can be found in section 40. All of the reimbursement rates can be found in section 95. Stakeholders are encouraged to contact the AZDOHS with questions prior to expenditure of funds especially when dealing with travel.
I ordered equipment towards the end of the performance period of my grant but received it after the period of performance ended, can I still be reimbursed?
No. The equipment must be ordered and received (or installed) by the end of the period of performance (POP) in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
My agency was awarded training and equipment expenses, but the equipment was more expensive than the quote. Is it okay if I expend more in my equipment line items and forgo some of the training that we were awarded?
Project modifications that conform to the following conditions do not require AZDOHS, RAC, UASI or OPSGWG review and action.
- Does not exceed 10% (in aggregate) of the total award amount.
- Is less than $25,000.00
- Is within approved budget categories.
Do not amend the budget in the reimbursement request form. The subrecipient may expend funds up to 10% or $25,000, whichever is less, in excess of the budgeted amount for approved budget categories without a modification request as long as the agency under expends by a corresponding and equal amount from the remaining approved budget categories.
The authorized signer is out of the office today and I want to get this request submitted. Can I sign as the preparer and the authorized signer?
No. The reimbursement form must be signed by the preparer and another authorized signer. Accordingly, the State of Arizona Accounting Manual (SAAM) states the following:
Topic 05 Internal Controls; Section 05 General Internal Controls:
2. All transactions—payroll, disbursements, purchases; personnel actions, etc.—should be approved by a designated person. Any person designated an approval authority over any transaction should:
2.1. Be at the level of management appropriate for such authority.
2.2. Have the requisite operational, procedural and financial expertise to determine the appropriateness of the transactions over which he has approval authority.
The hotel I stayed at did not offer free Wi-Fi and I had to pay for it. Can I still be reimbursed for the expense?
Subject to the provisions and limitations outlined, the following may sometimes be reimbursed; Hotel Internet, Wi-Fi or hot spot connections if it can be demonstrated and documented that the Internet needed to be used for the purposes of the performance of the grant and was, indeed, used for State business. See travel policy (topic 50) section 30 – Hotels, Motels and Lodging part 9.2.
We have a new finance/programmatic contact who will be taking over grant duties. What are our next steps and how can we ensure that they know how to put together the reimbursement request form?
Our main priority at the AZDOHS is to make sure that our stakeholders are well informed of our processes and procedures and to reimburse them in the most expeditious manner possible. We recommend contacting the AZDOHS to inform us of these changes. We will require contact information such as name, position, e-mail address and phone number. Secondly, the AZDOHS has developed new Subrecipient training. We will contact the new employee and conduct a one-on-one programmatic and/or fiscal training which will provide them with the tools necessary to guarantee success. The new contact can refer to the AZDOHS website at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov, under the General Information, Reimbursement Instructions for Homeland Security Grant Program.
What dates do I put in the reporting period field of my reimbursement request form?
These dates are at the stakeholders' discretion. As a suggestion, the "from" date could be the date when the first expense was encumbered and the "to" date could be when the final payment was made. If stakeholders are only submitting one reimbursement for the entire period of performance, then these dates could also be that entire period. Note: Both dates must be within the period of performance (POP) of the grant. As a reminder, per the Subrecipient agreement, you are required to submit reimbursements at least quarterly when expenses have been incurred.
What documents other than the invoice are required when I am requesting payment for a credit or purchasing card purchase?
Stakeholders will need to submit a copy of the credit card statement which shows the charges as well as proof of payment that the credit card statement was actually paid in full. This ensures that the AZDOHS is reimbursing actual cash outlays and not obligations to pay.
What type of documentation is required for reimbursement?
Planning & Organization
If stakeholders are charging personnel (other than overtime and backfill), Time and Effort (T&E) reports will be required. A T&E report indicates the actual time that an employee devoted to Homeland Security Grants; and, therefore the amount of his/her salary that can be allocated to such grants. Stakeholders must use the AZDOHS T&E form which can be found at https://azdohsgrants.az.gov under “Grant Programs Forms.” This form must account for 100% of the employee’s time and must be signed by the employee and a supervisor.
In addition to T&E reports, any personnel charges must also include payroll records for personnel expenditures (including backfill, overtime and employee related expenses (ERE)).
Invoices and proof of payment are required. Quotes cannot be submitted in lieu of invoices. In some cases stakeholders may be required to submit packing slips or receiving documents as proof of receipt as well as Purchase Orders. Stakeholders are prohibited from obligating funds before the period of performance begins or after it ends. All equipment must be received and invoiced by the last day of the period of performance. We may require copies of purchase orders or packing slips in situations where there may be ambiguity on whether the obligation was made outside of the period of performance or the equipment was not received and invoiced.
If the training was sponsored the following is required: Agenda, duration, location, number of participants, sign-in roster, AZDOHS/DEMA Reimbursement Pre- Approval form (if training is scheduled/coordinated through DEMA).
If the training/conference includes travel the following is required: Agenda, registration receipt, hotel receipt showing a $0 balance, documentation showing the hotel was conference/backup conference hotel, per diem request broken down by meal in compliance with the Arizona General Accounting Office travel policy rates, transportation receipts (i.e. airfare, shuttle/cab fare, etc.), and payroll records (if backfill/overtime expenditures are requested).
Exercise expenditures require the following: Agenda, sign-in-roster, AZDOHS/DEMA Reimbursement Pre=Approval Request form and an Exercise After-Action Report (AAR)/Implementation Plan (IP). As a reminder, exercises must be conducted in compliance with HSEEP guidance.
When should I submit for reimbursement?
A reimbursement packet should be submitted no more than monthly and no less than quarterly for expenses that have been incurred. If no expenses have been incurred, then no reimbursement request is required (more details).
Where do I send my request?
Requests should be mailed to:
Arizona Department of Homeland Security
1700 W. Washington Street, Suite 210
Phoenix, AZ 85007
The AZDOHS does not accept electronic submissions of reimbursement requests.
Who do I contact when I have questions?
For programmatic question, please contact your designated Regional Strategic Planner. For financial question, please contact your designated Finance Project Specialist. Contact information can be located on the Contact Us / Staff Directory page.
Why can’t I get reimbursed based on federal rates?
Yes, these are federal grants, however; the SAAM requires that even when the travel is related to a federal grant, state rates are still used:
SAAM Topic 50; Section 05, Policy 12.1: “Even when the travel is financed using monies that were provided by the Federal Government or some other organization, individual, program, or funding source; employee reimbursements for meals and lodging are limited to State rates.”
Even though these are Federal grants, the AZDOHS is the State Administrative Agency (SAA). We are charged with the responsibility of administering funds, and pursuant to section XXIII (Governing Law and Contract Interpretation part a) of the Subrecipient Agreement, This Agreement shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Arizona. Therefore, subrecipients will need to follow the reimbursement guidelines established by the General Accounting Office.
Why do reimbursement rates for travel, meals and incidentals keep changing?
The State of Arizona's General Accounting Office (AZGOA) is in the process of updated rates more in- line with the federal reimbursement rates. You are encouraged to check the AZGOA website for updates, as rates may change.
Why doesn’t the year to date field auto-populate after I enter the current period amount on the request form?
Occasionally reductions in reimbursements occur and therefore the reimbursement form must be updated to reflect the denial. The year-to-date field is intended to be inclusive of any amount that may have been denied in previous reimbursement requests. Stakeholders will be notified via e-mail of any reductions in reimbursement requests and should make corrections to their current period and or year-to-date amounts.
Why don’t you accept electronic submission of reimbursements?
The AZDOHS and the State are looking into web-based systems for grants management. This solution; however, will take some time to procure and implement, in the meantime, stakeholders must submit reimbursements in hard copy. Submitting reimbursements via e-mail, which is the only platform that is currently available, is not an option due to the possibility of the e-mail getting lost in transition.
Will I receive a check or electronic funds transfer (EFT) (Otherwise known as Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposits)?
Stakeholders who are not setup to receive ACH deposits will receive payment by check. Stakeholders wishing to receive payment by ACH must complete an ACH Vendor Authorization form (GAO-618 ACH Vendor Authorization) which can be located at https://gao.az.gov/publications/forms under "ACH and Vendor Forms."