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Introduction

This part of the PTFP website takes you through preparing the reports and other documents that have to be submitted during the life of your grant, explains how to request an amendment or extension of your grant if you need one, and summarizes close-out requirements. Everyone involved with the project in your organization should know that this information is here and how to find it; you may wish to bookmark this site to make it easy to find while your grant project is being completed. (You may also download and print out this material.)

In addition, you should read your Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Award (CD-450) very carefully and keep it handy throughout the Grant Award Period. It includes important information that does not appear here.

Please note that failing to provide required information on time and in full not only creates unnecessary problems for your organization, but also puts it out of compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant award. Being out of compliance can result in suspension of payments, termination of the award, establishment of an Account Receivable for any Federal funds paid out to your organization, and denial of grants to your organization in the future.

Do not hesitate to contact your PTFP Program Officer whenever you have questions. The name of your Program Officer is given in the Special Award Conditions of your grant award document (CD-450); contact information is here.

Many of the requirements for construction grants and planning grants are the same, but there are differences in how they are prepared and what they include. Please click on the appropriate link below to take you to the specific requirements for the type of grant you have.

Construction Grant Reporting Requirements

Planning Grant Reporting




Many of the reports and other documents can be prepared and submitted through the PTFP Online Reporting and Tracking System (PORTS).

Housekeeping Items

Construction Schedule

Special Award Conditions

Notes on Competitive Bidding

Quarterly Performance Reports

Financial Status Reports

Labeling Equipment

Amendments

Extensions

Audits

Close-Out Requirements


Where to Send Reports and Requests

While completing your grant, you will have contact with PTFP and the Grants and Agreements Management Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Both are part of the Department of Commerce.

As noted, your Program Officer’s name is given in the Special Award Conditions of your grant award document (CD-450). Your Grants Specialist’s name is also given there with contact information. Following the directions given here will help to ensure that the appropriate person sees your submissions as soon as possible.

Your PTFP Program Officer should be your initial contact for all programmatic aspects of your grant award. These include Construction Schedules, Quarterly Performance Reports, Amendment Requests, Extension Requests, and the following when required by a Special Award Condition:

  • Initial Lien,
  • Insurance Certification,
  • Site Rights Certification,
  • Local Matching Funds Certification,
  • FCC Authorizations, and
  • Internal Revenue Service Documents.
Please note: Documents required by Special Award Conditions must be submitted on paper and addressed to:

          [Program Officer's Name]
          NTIA/PTFP
          Room 4812
          U.S. Department of Commerce
          1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
          Washington, DC 20230

______________________

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) — the Federal Grants Office — is responsible for all administrative and financial reporting aspects of your grant. The following should be submitted there:

  • Financial Status Report (SF-425)
  • Signed copies of the Financial Assistance Award (CD-450)
  • Signed copies of an Amendment to the Financial Assistance Award (CD-451)
  • Documents to comply with a Special Award Condition on your Financial Management System (if imposed)
  • Executed liens (those that have been filed and stamped in a recording office in your state after review by PTFP and NIST), if any
They should be addressed to:

          [Grants Specialist's Name]
          National Institute of Standards and Technology
          Grants & Agreements Management Division
          100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1650
          Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1650

We suggest you also send a copy of the Financial Status Report (SF 425) to your PTFP Program Officer.


Correct Names and Addresses

You should make sure that the address on file with PTFP and NIST is current and correct. If you did not do so during the application process, please supply both with a valid street address for your organization.

If your organization changes the person named in the Financial Assistance Award (CD-450) as the Contact responsible for administering the grant, be sure to inform PTFP and NIST of the change immediately and in writing.

Please always put your full grant number – e.g., 99-99-N99999 – on anything you send to PTFP or NIST.




The Construction Schedule is the timetable of how you plan to complete your project. All equipment must be installed and operational, and all expenditures approved for the project must be incurred by the end of the Grant Award Period. As you prepare your Schedule, you should anticipate and allow for normal delays that may happen in a project of your kind.

You should keep in mind that your project was funded because of the urgency of need expressed in your application. Completion of the project should reflect the same sense of urgency. Your organization is expected to begin work on the project promptly and to complete it within the Grant Award Period specified in the award document.

NTIA has found that the greatest single cause of the inability of grantees to complete their projects within the authorized Grant Award Period is a delay in starting equipment procurement. If you anticipate a delay of more than a week or two while equipment is researched for the writing of bid specifications, you should discuss the matter with your Program Officer as you prepare your Construction Schedule.
Your Construction Schedule is due at PTFP thirty (30) days after the start-date on page 1 of your grant award (CD-450).

Your Construction Schedule must be sufficiently detailed to allow PTFP to be sure that all necessary steps to complete the project are planned and scheduled. PORTS provides a matrix to be filled in. The Schedule should contain projected dates for the following items:

  • When advertising for bids on equipment items will begin.
  • The deadline for the receipt of bids.
  • When purchase orders/contracts for equipment will be issued.
  • When installation of equipment will begin.
  • When installation will be completed.
  • When testing of equipment will begin.
  • When testing will be completed.
  • When all equipment authorized in the grant will be operational.
  • When the following documents will be submitted to NTIA/PTFP if required by a Special Award Condition in the award document:
    • The initial lien (due sixty days after the start of the Grant Award Period).
    • Certification of insurance coverage (due sixty days after the start of the Grant Award Period).
    • Attorney's letter certifying the site rights (due six months after the start of the Grant Award Period; sooner if possible).
    • Letter certifying the local matching funds (due six months after the start of the Grant Award Period; sooner if possible).
    • Auditor's certification regarding financial management system (send to NIST).
    • Any document(s) needed to comply with a Special Award Condition that is unique to your project.
  • When any action or activity unique to your project will begin and when it will be completed.
  • When Quarterly Performance Reports will be submitted.
  • When Financial Status Reports (SF-425s) will be sent to NIST.
  • When the Close-Out will be submitted.
  • Any other important information affecting the speedy completion of the project.
We suggest that you keep a printed copy of your Construction Schedule at hand to refer to as a checklist as the project proceeds.




Sample Construction Schedule


Anytown State University                            NTIA/PTFP Grant No. 99-99-N99999
Anytown, State                                                                         Station WPS (FM)

CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE

Milestone Date  
Project start date 10/01/XX  
Submit construction schedule 10/08/XX  
Prepare specs for transmitter 11/05/XX  
Submit insurance certification 11/10/XX [include only if specified in award document]
Submit initial lien 11/16/XX  [include only if specified in award document]
Prepare specs for studio equipment 11/19/XX  
Request for bids on transmitter 12/14/XX  
Request for bids on studio equipment 12/21/XX  
Open bids for transmitter 01/18/XX  
Submit Quarterly Performance Report 1/21/XX  
Open bids for studio equipment 02/04/XX  
Award transmitter contract 02/08/XX  
Award studio equipment contract(s) 02/22/XX  
Special Award Condition: Site Rights 03/20/XX [include only if specified in award document]
Special Award Condition: Local Match 03/20/XX [include only if specified in award document]
Mail SF-425 to NIST  04/12/XX  
Submit Quarterly Performance Report 04/19/XX  
Begin studio equipment installation 04/19/XX  
Studio equipment installation completed 05/19/XX  
Begin transmitter installation 05/31/XX  
Submit Quarterly Performance Report  07/17/XX  
Transmitter testing begins 07/26/XX  
Transmitter installation completed 08/18/XX  
Grant Award Period ends 09/30/XX  
Submit Quarterly Performance Report 10/16/XX  
Mail final SF-425 to NIST 10/16/XX  
Submit Close-Out 12/15/XX  



Your award document may contain Special Award Conditions that require the submission of documents to NTIA/PTFP before Federal funds are released to your organization. Such Special Award Conditions are generally printed at the end of the award document and begin: "No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient has submitted to NTIA...".

The most common Special Award Conditions relate to liens, insurance coverage, site rights, local matching funds certification, FCC authorizations, your organization's financial management system, and the Internal Revenue Service. These are discussed in order below, but other Special Award Conditions may be included in the Grant Award as circumstances require. Please note that the Department of Commerce may impose Special Award Conditions at any time during the grant award period. For each Special Award Condition:

  • include the Special Award Condition in your Construction Schedule with an indication of when you expect to meet it, and
  • report on your progress in fulfilling the Condition in your Quarterly Performance Reports.


NTIA/PTFP retains a priority reversionary interest in all equipment acquired pursuant to the project. The interest extends from the beginning of the Grant Award Period through a ten-year period following the completion of the project. In order to secure the Federal interest, all construction grant recipients are required to submit lien documents as part of closing out their grants.

In addition, a Special Award Condition may require your organization to file an initial lien for your project. If one is required, Federal funds cannot be released until the lien has been submitted to PTFP, approved by NIST, filed as your state requires, and a certified copy returned to NIST.

When an initial lien is required for a PTFP project, it is usually requested in a Special Award Condition placed in the award document and stated in language similar to the following:

No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient has executed and recorded a document establishing that the Federal government has a priority lien on any facilities purchased with funds under this award during the period of continuing Federal interest.

Most grant recipients use a UCC-1 (Uniform Commercial Code) financing statement. A chattel mortgage may also be used. UCC-1 forms differ slightly from state to state. They are usually available from an attorney, a bank's loan department, or an office supply store. They are available online in some states. (If your state requires liens to be filed in more than one recording office, be sure you prepare the appropriate number of forms to send to PTFP.)

Completing the UCC-1

Enter your organization's name and address as the "Debtor". Enter the following in the section for the "Secured Party":

     NTIA/PTFP
     Room 4812
     U.S. Department of Commerce
     1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
     Washington, DC 20230

In the section designated for the description of the items covered by the lien, enter the following:

This financing statement covers all equipment to be acquired under National Telecommunications and Information Administration Grant No. [enter complete grant number; e.g., 99-99-N99999]. A copy of the project's equipment list is attached and is incorporated into this lien by reference. The term of this priority lien shall extend for a period of ten years following [fill in the project expiration date from the face sheet of the award document], during which time the Federal Government retains a priority reversionary interest in the equipment on the attached list.

Attach a copy of the approved equipment list from your award document. If a signature is required by your state, the lien document should be signed as the "Debtor" by your organization's Certifying Representative and sent to your Program Officer at the address shown here.

PTFP will review the lien and forward it to NIST. NIST will sign the lien form for the "Secured Party" — if a signature is required — and return it to you for filing as specified by your state’s law. (Note that the lien form must be sent to PTFP before you file it, even if your state’s form does not require the Secured Party to sign it.)

A copy of the filed lien, with the recording office stamp clearly visible, must be returned promptly to your Grants Specialist at the address shown here.

Additional Liens

You may be required to provide revised liens prior to the completion of your project if your grant award is amended to include additional or materially different equipment. In many jurisdictions, the lien can be revised by executing an amendment to the original UCC-1. The forms to amend the original filing have different designations in various jurisdictions. In many states, the amendment version is called a UCC-2 or a UCC-3.

Follow the same procedures to file a revised UCC form as outlined for the initial lien.




All grantees are required to maintain adequate insurance coverage on the equipment purchased under a PTFP grant so that, in the event of loss, they will be able to continue the project by promptly replacing equipment.

Some grant awards include a Special Award Condition for insurance coverage. If yours does, your organization must certify that all equipment to be purchased with PTFP funds will be insured. When an insurance certification is required for a PTFP project, the Special Award Condition is usually stated in language similar to the following:

No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient has certified that the grantee maintains protection against common hazards through adequate insurance coverage or other equivalent undertaking, except that, to the extent the grantee follows a different policy of protection with respect to its other property, the grantee may extend such policy to apparatus acquired and installed under the project. The grantee shall certify that it has purchased flood insurance (in communities where such insurance is available) if the facilities will be constructed in an area that has been identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as having special flood hazards. Certification shall be in the form of a letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, or Risk Manager of the recipient organization.

Send the certification to your Program Officer at the address shown here.




As indicated in the section on liens, the Federal government has an interest in PTFP-funded equipment for ten years after the completion of a project. To ensure that inadequate site rights will not hinder a grantee's ability to provide long-term public telecommunications services, NTIA requires grantees to have adequate rights to each site on which such items of major fixed equipment as a broadcast transmitter or a tower are or will be installed. Some grant recipients are required by NTIA/PTFP to provide evidence of leases or ownership of such sites.

When site rights certification is required for a PTFP project, it is requested in a Special Award Condition placed in the award document and stated in language similar to the following:

No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient provides to NTIA an opinion letter from its attorney describing the ownership or leasehold interest the recipient has in all sites on which the recipient will locate major fixed equipment, such as broadcast transmitters or towers (whether or not funded by this grant project). The attorney's opinion letter shall comply with the requirements provided by the NTIA. If the recipient fails to submit the required certification letter by [date], this grant award may be terminated.

As stated in the Special Award Condition, if the required attorney's letter regarding the site rights is not submitted to NTIA/PTFP in final form by the deadline stipulated, the grant award may be terminated. Grantees should work with their local attorneys to develop acceptable lease or ownership agreements. NTIA expects grantees to have at least the following for a ten-year period at each site involved:
  1. The right — whether by fee simple title, long-term lease, or the option or rights of renewal to obtain the same — to occupy the site(s).
  2. The right to construct, maintain, operate, inspect, and remove the project equipment without any impediments in the site contract(s) or local zoning laws, or any other known impediments.

In addition, nothing under local law or enforceable contract should prevent the Federal government from entering the property and reclaiming or securing grant-funded property.

Exceptions

The letter should address specifically any exceptions to the general provisions above and to the statements in the sample letter below. It should identify and fully explain any circumstances that support the conclusion that those exceptions do not materially interfere with the grantee's and the Federal government's ability to protect the grant property and the continued operation of the project for the duration of the Federal interest period.

If your rights are subject to restrictions that might prevent occupancy for the full ten-year period, your counsel must certify that the Federal interest in the equipment is fully protected. For example, a lease may allow the lessor to terminate occupancy in certain events (non-payment or other default), or its term may be less than the full ten years (without a renewal clause). In these situations, counsel must certify that:

(a)      If the lease allows the lessor unilaterally to terminate the lease for cause and evict the lessee, the lessor must provide adequate advance notice in writing of such action. Preferably, the lease will provide reasonable opportunity to "cure" problems, and sufficient time to relocate the facilities without a break in the broadcast service. The requisite period of time may vary with the nature of the facility and local real estate market, but the advance notice period would typically be 60 to 120 days.

(b)      A lessor's lien, if any, on the grant-funded property remains subordinate to the Federal lien on the property. A lessor's right, if any, to remove property in an eviction situation is subject to an obligation to hold and to protect that property for disposition by the Federal government.

(c)      If the lessor has rights that exceed those outlined in (a) or (b), above, or has other rights that interfere with the operation of the project (such as termination of needed services), local law or enforceable contract ensures that these rights are exercised reasonably. Reasonableness includes adequate prior notice to the grantee and cooperation or consultation with the grantee to minimize damages.


A SUGGESTED LETTER OF CERTIFICATION


(ATTORNEY LETTERHEAD)

NTIA/PTFP Grant No.: 99-99-N99999

I, (attorney name), certify that I am legal counsel to (grantee name) and that it has major fixed equipment at the following site(s):

Site     Use of Site                                          Status                     Lessor Name

               [Transmitter, microwave, etc.]   [Own, lease, option]           

I recognize that the Federal Government has an interest in the project from the award date through a period ten years after project completion. For [each of] the above site[s], I certify that, during the Federal interest period:

  1. The grantee has the right by [fee simple title, long-term lease, or the option or rights of renewal to obtain the same] to occupy the above site[s].
  2. The grantee's right to construct, maintain, operate, inspect, and remove the project equipment is not subject to any impediments in the site contract[s] or local zoning laws, or any other known impediments.
  3. Under local law or enforceable contract, nothing prevents the Federal government from entering the property and reclaiming or securing grant-funded property.,

[Discussion of any possible exceptions].

Signature of legal counsel

We would like to emphasize what is NOT necessary. NTIA does not require that the recipient's attorney conduct a title search. Nor does NTIA expect that the attorney will perform research into the real estate laws and zoning regulations of the communities in which the project's major fixed equipment is located. In fact, no special research should be required to satisfy this Special Award Condition. NTIA merely expects that the attorney will read carefully the site document in question and, based upon that reading, determine whether the document conforms to NTIA's requirements. Attorneys may, if they wish, state the limitations of their research in the opinion letter.





Some grant awards include a Special Award Condition for the local share of the project’s total project cost. If your award does, your organization must certify — normally within six months of the project start date — that the required local matching funds are in hand. When this certification is required, the Special Award Condition is usually stated in language similar to the following:

No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient has certified to the NTIA that it has the non-Federal share in hand. If the recipient is not able to certify that the entire non-Federal share of this grant is available by [date], this grant award may be terminated. Certification shall be in the form of a letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Financial Officer of the recipient organization.

The local funds must be available to be expended when the certification is made to NTIA because Federal regulations require grant recipients to expend the local matching share of the total project funds simultaneously with the Federal share, in the proportion of the grant. For example, if the Federal and local shares of your project are each 50%, you must spend a local dollar for each Federal dollar you spend.

The letter of certification should be sent to your Program Officer at the address shown here. Please submit two copies.




If your project requires authorization from the Federal Communications Commission before it can be built and you did not have that authorization in hand when your PTFP application was negotiated, a Special Award Condition was imposed stating that no Federal funds can be released until the necessary authorization has been issued and copies supplied to NTIA/PTFP. When a project is very large and requires a number of FCC authorizations, the Special Award Condition may be worded to allow Federal funds to be released for parts of the project as the various authorizations are issued by the Commission.

You should keep your PTFP Program Officer informed about the status of your FCC application and any actions the Commission takes apart from issuing a required authorization. Please note, however, that NTIA/PTFP cannot intervene on behalf of your organization with the FCC.

Send the copies of FCC documents to your Program Officer at the address shown here.




This condition — imposed by NIST — requires that a Certified Public Accountant certify that your organization's financial management system meets the requirements and standards prescribed in 15 CFR Part 14, Subpart C, Section 14.21. The certification should be sent to your Grants Specialist at NIST at the address shown here, not to your Program Officer.




If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had not ruled on your organization's non-profit status when you submitted your PTFP application or when that application was negotiated, a Special Award Condition was imposed:

No funds from the Federal share of this grant shall be released until the recipient has submitted to the NTIA a copy of the Internal Revenue Service certification of its non-profit status.

To meet this condition, send your Program Officer two copies of the IRS certification at the address shown here.




All acquisitions made as part of an NTIA/PTFP grant must be done through open competitive bidding. As the Office of Management and Budget puts it, "All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition." NTIA strongly urges you to avoid time-consuming and costly disputes with potential contractors and vendors by familiarizing yourself with the rules and procedures governing competitive bidding. Among the many points to consider are the following:

  • In the award document, the Special Award Condition on “Pre-Award and Procurement Documents.”
  • Read carefully--and have your procurement officer read carefully--the rules and regulations about competitive bidding of both your state and the Federal government. Federal purchasing regulations are contained in 15 CFR 24, which was included in the packet of award documents. If you do not have copies of these regulations, make certain that you acquire and read them before you put any items out to bid.
  • You may not subgrant any funds or contract with any organization that has been excluded from, or is ineligible for, participation in Federal assistance programs. The Federal Excluded Parties System can be accessed at www.epls.gov.
  • When you purchase any item as part of the grant project, be certain that you follow all Federal procurement guidelines, as well as any state guidelines and procedures to which your organization is subject.
  • Take special care to make clear to prospective bidders the code of standards they are to follow, as spelled out in the OMB circular.
  • All procurement transactions must be handled competitively. Practices that may result in restrictive bidding include the following:
    • placing unreasonable requirements on prospective bidders;
    • requiring unnecessary experience or excessive bonding;
    • engaging in organizational conflicts of interest; and
    • specifying a brand name product, or describing the item to be procured in such a way that all but one manufacturer are excluded. When a "brand name or equal" description is used, the specifications should state the specific features of the brand name product that bidders must meet.
    • Specifications are best set forth in terms of functions to be performed or the performance required. Specifications probably are restrictive if they specify how a given function must be carried out and only one manufacturer's equipment does it that way. Copying specifications supplied by a vendor or manufacturer is almost certain to provoke a bid protest unless that vendor or manufacturer is excluded from bidding. A bid protest can result in a time-consuming, lengthy delay in completing your grant project and may cause a delay in your ability to draw grant funds. Awarding a purchase contract to the low bidder does not "prove" that restrictive bid specifications were not used.
  • Maintain detailed records relating to all procurement. Be especially careful to document:
    • the rationale for the procurement,
    • the reason why a particular bid was rejected, and
    • the reason why a particular bid was accepted.
  • In the event of a protest on any bid specification, make certain that you are aware of all the local administrative remedies available to you within your organization and state for resolving bid protests.

Please do not automatically refer bid protests to the Federal government for resolution. The Federal government limits its role in resolving bid protests to cases in which violations of Federal law or regulations have occurred, and/or the recipient's organization has failed to review the complaint properly.

It is your responsibility to learn what you can and cannot do with regard to bidding procedures.




 

Quarterly Performance Reports (sometimes called Quarterly Technical Reports) give you, PTFP, and the Grants Office (NIST) a way to follow your progress in completing your project. They are due within thirty days after the end of each calendar quarter, as follows:


For the Quarter Your Report is due
October 1 to December 31 no later than January 31
January 1 to March 31 no later than April 30
April 1 to June 30 no later than July 31
July 1 to September 30 no later than October 31

Begin by selecting “Performance Report” on the PORTS home page. (Note that you cannot do this before the first day of the month in which the report is due.)

Each Report has three parts, which must be completed in the following order: an updated Construction Schedule, an updated Equipment List, and a Performance Report Summary. The last step is to review what you have prepared and submit it.

1. Updating the Construction Schedule

   Begin by selecting “Performance Report” on the PORTS home page. (Note that you cannot do this before the first day of the month in which the report is due.)

   Check either the box “Use my most recently submitted Construction Schedule” or the link to make updates on the Construction Schedule already in the system.

       You should almost always click on the Update Construction Schedule link because three months will have passed and you should have updates to the schedule to show completed milestones or milestones with revised completion dates.

   When you click the Update Construction Schedule link, the milestones will appear with fields to enter either a Revised Date or a Completed Date. You can also enter new milestones if needed. The entries you make will be included in your Report when submitted.

   To update milestones, click the edit button at the end of the row and insert a revised date or a completed date. Click the update button after each entry.

       Note that pre-determined milestones (Quarterly Performance Reports, Financial Status Reports, Close-outs, etc.) cannot be revised; they can only be completed.

       Revised Close-out and end of Grant Award Period dates require an approved extension of the Grant Award Period and adding new milestones.

       Note also that once a Completed Date has been entered, it cannot be changed.

   To add new milestones, type the new milestone into the first box. The Original Date is automatically set for the current date; to change the date, either use the + or - buttons, or type the new date in the Original Date box.

       Once entered, click the “ADD” button.

   When you finish making entries on the Construction Schedule, click on the Performance Report link in the left-hand tool bar.

        Do NOT click the “Submit to PTFP” button unless you have been instructed to submit a Revised Construction Schedule.


2. Updating the Equipment List

    Your Equipment List should already be in PORTS:

    If no purchases have been made, click the box for “Use my most recently submitted Equipment List”.

    If equipment has been purchased, click the Update Equipment List link.

        Use the “Expand” button to open the items to make entries. You should complete as much of the purchases side of the list as possible for each purchase completed — the Actual Item (e.g., Speakers, Antenna, etc.), the Description (i.e., manufacturer and model number), the Quantity, and the Total Cost. Inventory and serial numbers can be entered now or later.

        When you finish making entries on the Equipment List, click on the Performance Report link in the left-hand tool bar

    Next, review the information you have entered and check both boxes (“Use my most recently submitted Construction Schedule” and “Use my most recently submitted Equipment List”). While dates won’t change, the changes you just entered will appear in the Report you are about to finish.

    The Date and Reporting Period should be changed only if you are filing a make-up report from an earlier quarter. Current date and reporting period will be pre-filled.


3. Performance Report Summary

    TEXT BOX. Here type (or cut-and-paste from another file) a summary of the activities of the reporting period. It does not have to be long, but it should give PTFP and the Grants Office a clear picture of what has been accomplished. Describe any problems that have arisen and the actions taken or planned to solve them.

     If no milestones have been completed, explain why, and also explain why the projected completion date for any milestone has been revised.

    If you want to attach additional information, click the “Yes” box; a standard file link will appear for you to enter your document.

    If you do not want to attach additional information, click the “No” box.

       Either the “Yes” or “No” box must be clicked to continue.

    When you are finished with the Text Box, click the “continue” button.


4. Review and Submit the Report

    Your report should now be complete and ready for a final review before you submit it.

   If any required entry is missing, a reminder will be generated to prompt you.

    If all required information has been entered, a “Confirmation Page” will appear. This page allows you to review your report.

    If everything is correct, choose the button “Click to Confirm this Report” to finalize it in PORTS and send it to your Program Officer.

        If you need to make corrections, you can use the back key to return to the page needing corrections.

        Clicking the button “Click to Cancel this Report” will delete what you have entered and you will need to start over.

 



You must submit a Financial Status Report (SF-425) to NIST for the six-month periods ending March 31 and September 30, or any portion thereof whether there was any financial activity or not. The reports are due no later than April 30 and October 31, respectively. A final Financial Status Report must be submitted within ninety days after the expiration of the Grant Award Period. If your PTFP Grant Award Period began on October 1, your first Financial Status Report is for the period ending March 31.

We suggest you also send a copy of the Financial Status Report (SF 425) to your PTFP Program Officer.

Please note carefully: Failure to submit the required financial status reports on time or to respond promptly to requests or inquiries from NIST may result in (1) the temporary suspension of the ability to draw down grant funds or (2) suspension of the Grant Award for non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant.

Financial Status Report forms (SF-425) are included in your award documents. Completed reports should be sent to NIST at the address shown here. Questions about completing the SF-425 should be directed to your Grants Specialist.



You must mark permanently all equipment included in the project to ensure accurate identification and accurate reference to inventory records.

A non-removable label (or other means of identification) should be attached to the equipment where it can be seen easily. The label should contain your organization's inventory number plus the last five digits of the NTIA/PTFP grant award number.

Transmission antennas should be assigned an inventory number. It should be posted in the transmitter shelter with an appropriate identification.



Your organization has been awarded a PTFP grant to purchase a specific number of specific items of equipment at an agreed-upon Total Project Cost. If the project can be completed for less than the cost estimated in the award document, then both your organization and the Federal government have saved money. (Funds returned to PTFP in this way are awarded as grants in subsequent grant rounds.)

After purchasing and installing all equipment on the approved equipment list you are NOT authorized to spend any remaining Federal funds. Similarly, if the approved equipment list includes two Acme 1400's and they actually cost only half of what was expected, you are NOT authorized to buy three or four as part of the grant project.

Amending an Award

Changes or additions can be made to the approved equipment list only with prior written approval from PTFP. No matter what anyone may say, if you do not receive written approval from PTFP, the request for an amendment has not been approved.

Requests for amendments must be submitted in writing to PTFP through PORTS or on paper. The request cannot be combined with a Quarterly Performance Report, an extension request, nor any other submission. The request should state clearly what changes you wish to make and the reasons for them. All relevant cost figures must be included. We suggest that you first call your Program Officer and discuss the need for amending the grant award. If submitted on paper, the request should be clearly identified as an Amendment Request.

Amendments may be approved if they are integral to, and within the scope of, the originally approved project. Requests that would result in the expansion of the scope of the project as awarded usually will not be approved. Requests will be reviewed to determine whether the amendment is the result of changes in engineering approach, desire to implement new technology, or is necessary for the operation of equipment originally approved in the grant.


Your written amendment request should contain a statement along the following lines:

 

The changes requested in this amendment will be accomplished at no additional cost to the Federal government. Any increase in the total cost of the project caused by the requested amendment will be covered from local funding sources.

Or:     

We have tentatively identified some funds within the grant that may be available to help with this change, but we are prepared to pay any increase in the total cost of the project from local resources and the change will be accomplished at no additional cost to the Federal government.

When an Amendment Is Not Required

NTIA expects that, as a result of the competitive bidding process, there will be differences in manufacturer and/or model number in the equipment purchased versus the equipment approved in the award document. There probably will also be some minor fluctuation in prices. Amendments for these changes are not necessary as long as the equipment purchased is equivalent in quantity and quality to what appears in the award document equipment list. Please contact your Program Officer if you have specific questions.

Unauthorized Expenditures

Equipment that does not appear in the award document or has not been the subject of an approved amendment will be removed from the project by NTIA/PTFP at close-out. If this occurs you may be required to refund Federal funds previously paid to your organization.





The Grant Award Period is the time during which your organization can obligate Federal funds to complete the approved project. The Grant Award Period for your grant appears on the first page of the award document. All Federal funds must be obligated and all equipment must be installed and operational by the end of the Grant Award Period.


Requests for extensions must be submitted in writing to PTFP through PORTS or on paper. The request cannot be combined with a Quarterly Performance Report, an amendment request, or any other submission. An extension request should reach PTFP at least three weeks before the end of the Grant Award Period. This will allow your request to be given full consideration before the Grant Award Period expires. Before submitting your request, NTIA suggests that you call your Program Officer and discuss the need for extending the Grant Award Period. If submitted on paper, the request should be clearly identified as an Extension Request.

Your request should be supported by a full explanation of what has happened to make an extension necessary. Generally PTFP looks for causes beyond the grantee's control, such as failure of a vendor to meet delivery dates, and it may request supporting documentation (copies of correspondence, etc.) to accompany the request. It does not look favorably on simple inactivity on the part of the grantee. After reviewing it, PTFP forwards the request to the NIST with a recommendation for approval or denial.

If you do not receive written approval from NIST, the request for an extension has not been approved.

Extensions of the Grant Award Period will usually be for three, six, nine, or twelve months.



Non-profit organizations, government agencies, Indian tribes, and educational institutions expending more than $500,000 in Federal funds from all sources during a one-year period are required to have an audit conducted in accordance with Federal guidelines as stated in OMB Circular A-133, dated June 30, 1997 (if you do not have a copy, you can get one by going to www.whitehouse.gov/omb and clicking on <Circulars>). These audits are performed in one of two ways. An NTIA/PTFP-specific audit may be performed if the organization receives Federal funds solely from NTIA. If the organization receives funds from more than one Federal source during the year that the audit is conducted, an organization-wide audit must be performed. Note that Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funding is not considered a Federal source.

In brief, OMB Circular A-133 requires that all such recipients obtain regular audits, preferably annually, but at least once every two years. Copies of the audits must be provided to each Federal agency that provides funds to your organization. The copy of the audit reports to be provided to the Department of Commerce should be sent to the following address:

                                Mr. William F. Bedwell. Jr.

                                   Office of Audits - Regional Audits

                                   Office of Inspector General

                                   U.S. Department of Commerce, Suite 2342

                                   401 West Peachtree Street, NW

                                   Atlanta, GA 30365

 

No matter which Federal agency is officially to receive the audit, all PTFP grant recipients should send a copy of the audit transmittal letter to their NIST Grants Specialist.

Audits performed in response to CPB qualification requirements will not necessarily conform to the Federal government auditing standards required by Circular A-133. The CPB requires a "standard" financial statement audit. While such an audit will certainly serve as the basis for the A-133 audit, further tests of the accounting records will have to be completed in order to bring the audit into compliance with A-133. We urge you to review the A-133 requirements with your accountant as early as possible.

 

**        Grantees should review Section D of the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions. Section D discusses audits. Any questions about audits should be directed to NIST.



You are required to provide PTFP with full close-out documentation for your project within ninety days following project completion or the expiration of your Grant Award Period, whichever comes first. As the closing date of your award approaches, you will receive a reminder e-mail from NTIA/PTFP. It will direct you to the Close-Out Requirements section of this website, which contains complete instructions to assist you in preparing your close-out. If you complete your project early, you should proceed to that website without waiting for the reminder because the 90-day close-out period starts at the end of the month in which construction of your project is completed and the equipment is operational.

It is essential that you maintain careful records throughout the award period and that you respond promptly to the close-out instructions so that you do not encounter unnecessary delays in preparing your close-out materials.


Click here for complete Close-Out instructions and guidance.

Your organization’s responsibility to the Federal government through the Department of Commerce does not end when NIST informs you that your Close-Out has been accepted. For details of the post-project responsibilities, click here.


NOTICE

We have estimated that each response to this collection of information will take on average 14 hours for grant recipients to prepare the construction schedule and the quarterly performance reports. Our estimates include the time to read the instructions, look through existing records, gather and maintain required data, and actually complete and review the response. If you have any comments on this estimate or on how we can improve the collection and reduce the burden it causes you, please write to the Office of Policy Coordination and Management, NTIA, Room 4892, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. Your comments will also be accepted via the Internet if you send them to ptfp@ntia.doc.gov. You are not required to respond to a collection of information sponsored by the Federal government, and the government may not conduct or sponsor this collection, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number or if we fail to provide you with this notice.

OMB Approval No. 0660-0001 — Expires October 31, 2012


All planning grant recipients must submit a Project Schedule, Quarterly Performance Reports, and Financial Status Reports. Preparing them is covered in this section. Other aspects of administering your grant — Special Award Conditions, amendments, extensions, etc. — are also covered. Here are links to take you to the details of preparing the required reports and to other important information:

Housekeeping Items

           Where to Send Reports and Requests

           Correct Names and Addresses

           Duplicate Copies and Grant Numbers

Project Schedule

Special Award Conditions

           Consultants/Contractors

           Certification of Local Matching Funds

           Financial Management System

           Internal Revenue Service

Notes on Competitive Bidding

Quarterly Performance Reports

Financial Status Reports

Amendments

Extensions

Audits

The Final Report

Close-Out Requirements



Where to Send Reports and Requests

While completing your grant, you will have contact with PTFP and the Grants and Agreements Management Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, (NIST). Both are part of the Department of Commerce.

Some of the reports and requests you have to prepare for your grant should be addressed to your PTFP Program Officer and others to your NIST Grants Specialist. As noted, your Program Officer’s name is given in the Special Award Conditions of your grant award document (CD-450). Your Grants Specialist’s name is also given there with contact information. Following the directions given here will help to ensure that the appropriate person sees your submissions as soon as possible.

Your PTFP Program Officer should be the initial contact for all programmatic aspects of your grant award. The following reports and other documents are submitted to NTIA/PTFP:

          Required from all Planning Grant recipients:

                     Project Schedule

                     Quarterly Performance Reports

          When required by a Special Award Condition:

                     Consultants/Contractors

                     Certification of Local Matching Funds

                     Internal Revenue Service Certification

          When required by circumstances as the project is completed:

                     Amendment Requests

                     Extension Requests

They should be addressed to:

         [Program Officer's Name]

          NTIA/PTFP

          Room 4812

          U.S. Department of Commerce

          1401 Constitution Avenue, NW

          Washington, DC 20230

______________________

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) — the Federal Grants Office — is responsible for all administrative and financial reporting aspects of your grant. The following should be submitted there:


    * Financial Status Report (SF-425)

    * Signed copies of the Financial Assistance Award (CD-450)

    * Signed copies of an Amendment to the Financial Assistance Award (CD-451)

    * Documents to comply with a Special Award Condition on your Financial Management System (if imposed)

They should be addressed to:

          [Grants Specialist's Name]

          National Institute of Standards and Technology

          Grants & Agreements Management Division

          100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1650

          Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1650

           

Correct Names and Addresses

Please make sure that the address on file with PTFP and NIST is current and correct. If you did not do so during the application process, please supply both with a valid street address for your organization.

If your organization changes the person named in the Financial Assistance Award (CD-450) as the Contact responsible for administering the grant, be sure to inform PTFP and NIST of the change immediately and in writing.

Duplicate Copies and Grant Numbers

Please get in the habit of sending anything submitted in paper form to PTFP in duplicate!


Please always put your full grant number — e.g., 99-99-N99999 — on anything you send to PTFP or NIST.


The Project Schedule is modeled on the Construction Schedule, except that the items listed relate to the steps in the specific planning process, timetable, and activities required to meet the objectives of the grant award. All approved activities and expenditures must be completed by the end of the Grant Award Period.

Your grant application identified your project's major objectives and procedures and provided a preliminary project timetable. NTIA suggests that you reiterate and keep in mind the specific objectives for your project as you revise and outline the planning process in a revised Project Schedule to accomplish your project objectives within the award period, including step-by-step procedures and when you expect activities to be completed. You should contact your Program Officer if you have questions regarding the Project Schedule.


As you prepare your Schedule, you should keep in mind that your project was funded because of the urgency expressed in your application. Completion of the project should reflect the same sense of urgency. Your organization is expected to begin work on the project promptly and to complete it within the Grant Award Period specified in the award document.


You can prepare and submit your Project Schedule online through PORTS. It is due at PTFP thirty (30) days after the start-date on page 1 of your grant award (CD-450). If you prepare it on paper rather than in PORTS, please send two copies to PTFP.


Your Project Schedule must be sufficiently detailed to allow PTFP to be sure that all necessary steps to complete the project are planned and scheduled and also to allow it to track progress as the project goes forward. If you prepare your Schedule online, PORTS provides a matrix to be filled in. The Schedule should contain projected dates for the following items:

    * When development of survey materials and forms will begin.

    * When local advisory committee meetings will begin.

    * When advertising for Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from contractors will

       begin.

    * The deadlines for the receipt of proposals.

    * When contracts for contractors/consultants will be issued.

    * When onsite visits will be held.

    * When any surveys will be completed.

    * When ongoing meetings will all parties will take place.

    * When the following documents will be submitted to NTIA/PTFP if required by

      a Special Award Condition in the award document:

          o Resumes from consultants and contractors.

         o Letter certifying the local matching funds (due six months after the start of the

             Grant Award Period; sooner if possible).

          o Auditor's certification regarding financial management system (send to

             NIST).

          o Any document(s) needed to comply with a Special Award Condition that

             is unique to your project.

    * When Quarterly Performance Reports will be submitted.

    * When Financial Status Reports (SF-425s) will be submitted to NIST.

    * When the Close-Out will be submitted.

    * Any other important information affecting the speedy completion of the

      project.

As noted above, you can prepare your Project Schedule online through PORTS. If you prepare it on paper, please send it to PTFP in duplicate.


We recommend that you keep a printed copy of your Schedule at hand to refer to as a checklist as the project proceeds.



Sample Project Schedule


Anytown Foundation, Inc.               NTIA/PTFP Grant No. 99-99-N99999

Anytown, State


Project Schedule


    Milestone                                                         Date

Project start date                                                10/01/XX

Submit Project Schedule                                    10/08/XX

Prepare RFPs for consultants                            10/15/XX

Request proposals from consultants                  10/19/XX

Develop survey methods                                    10/22/XX

First meeting of the Advisory Committee           11/08/XX

Open proposals from consultants                       11/19/XX

Special Award Condition: Consultants               11/24/XX [include only if specified in

                                                                                                 award document]

2nd meeting of the Advisory Committee            12/12/XX

Award consultants’ contracts                             12/15/XX

First meeting with technology consultant           12/28XX

Distribute survey materials                                 01/08/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report               01/21/XX

3rd meeting of the Advisory Committee             02/12/XX

Special Award Condition: Local Matching                                [include only if specified in

    Funds                                                              03/31/XX      award document]

Review and analyze survey results                    04/10/XX

Meeting of the Advisory Committee to discuss

    survey results                                                  04/15/XX

Mail SF-425 to NIST                                          04/19/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report               04/19/XX

Schedule additional meetings with all parties     04/19/XX

Begin onsite visits                                              05/19/XX

Review technological options with

    technology consultant                                     06/15/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report               07/17/XX

Review and analyze research findings

    and technological recommendations               08/10/XX

Begin drafting Final Report                                08/14/XX

Advisory Committee meeting to

    approve Final Report                                       09/20/XX

Grant Award Period ends                                   09/30/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report               10/16/XX

Mail final SF-425 to NIST                                   10/16/XX

Submit Close-Out, including Final Report          12/15/XX



Your award document may contain Special Award Conditions that require the submission of documents to NTIA/PTFP before Federal funds are released to your organization. Such Special Award Conditions are generally printed at the end of the award document and begin: "No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient has submitted to NTIA...".

The most common Special Award Conditions relate to consultants and/or contractors, local matching funding, your organization's financial management system, and the Internal Revenue Service. These are discussed below, but other Special Award Conditions may be included in the Grant Award as circumstances require. Please note that the Department of Commerce may impose Special Award Conditions at any time during the grant award period.

For each Special Award Condition:

    * include the Special Award Condition in your Project Schedule with an

       indication of when you expect to meet it, and

    * report on your progress in fulfilling the Condition in your Quarterly Performance Reports.



Many planning projects make use of consultants or contractors to perform some or all of the studies required for the project. If this Special Award Condition is included in your Grant Award, two copies of the resume(s) and/or proposal(s) of any such consultants and contractors must be submitted to NTIA/PTFP for approval before the project may proceed. The materials should be sent to your PTFP Program Officer at the address shown here. Approval is not official until you receive it in writing from the Grants Officer.


Please note that this condition is in addition to the consultant/contractor requirement stated in applicable OMB circulars.


Some grant awards include a Special Award Condition for the local share of the project’s total project cost. If your award does, your organization must certify — usually within six months of the project start date — that the required local matching funds are in hand. When this certification is required, the Special Award Condition is usually stated in language similar to the following:

 

No funds from the Federal share of this grant award shall be released until the recipient has certified to the NTIA that it has the non-Federal share in hand. If the recipient is not able to certify that the entire non-Federal share of this grant is available by [date], this grant award may be terminated. Certification shall be in the form of a letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Financial Officer of the recipient organization.

The local funds must be available to be expended when the certification is made to NTIA because Federal regulations require grant recipients to expend the local matching share of the total project funds simultaneously with the Federal share, in the proportion of the grant. For example, if the Federal and local shares of your project are each 50%, you must spend a local dollar for each Federal dollar you spend. The letter of certification should be sent to your Program Officer at the address shown here. Please submit two copies.


This condition — imposed by NIST — requires that a Certified Public Accountant certify that your organization's financial management system meets the requirements and standards prescribed in 15 CFR Part 14, Subpart C, Section 14.21. The certification should be sent to your Grants Specialist at NIST at the address shown here, not to your Program Officer.



If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had not ruled on your organization's non-profit status when you submitted your PTFP application or when that application was negotiated, a Special Award Condition was imposed:

 

No funds from the Federal share of this grant shall be released until the recipient has submitted to the NTIA a copy of the Internal Revenue Service certification of its non-profit status.

To meet this condition, send your Program Officer two copies of the IRS certification at the address shown here.


All acquisitions made as part of an NTIA/PTFP grant must be done through open competitive bidding. As the Office of Management and Budget puts it, "All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition." NTIA strongly urges you to avoid time-consuming and costly disputes with potential contractors and vendors by familiarizing yourself with the rules and procedures governing competitive bidding. Among the many points to consider are the following:

    * In the award document, the Special Award Condition on “Pre-Award and Procurement

       Documents.”

    * Read carefully--and have your procurement officer read carefully--the rules

      and regulations about competitive bidding of both your state and the Federal

      government. Federal purchasing regulations are contained in 15 CFR 24,

      which was included in the packet of award documents. If you do not have

      copies of these regulations, make certain that you acquire and read them

      before you put any items out to bid.

    * You may not subgrant any funds or contract with any organization that has

       been excluded from, or is ineligible for, participation in Federal assistance

       programs. The Federal Excluded Parties System can be accessed at

       www.epls.gov.

    * When you purchase any item or service as part of the grant project, be certain that you follow all Federal procurement guidelines, as well as any state guidelines and procedures to which your organization is subject.

    * Take special care to make clear to prospective bidders the code of standards

       they are to follow, as spelled out in the OMB circular.

    * All procurement transactions must be handled competitively. Practices that

      may result in restrictive bidding include the following:

          o placing unreasonable requirements on prospective bidders;

          o requiring unnecessary experience or excessive bonding;

          o engaging in organizational conflicts of interest; and

          o specifying a brand name product, or describing the item to be procured in

             such a way that all but one supplier are excluded.

 

**        Specifications are best set forth in terms of functions to be performed or the performance required. Specifications probably are restrictive if they specify how a given function must be carried out and only one potential supplier does it that way. Copying specifications supplied by a vendor is almost certain to provoke a bid protest unless that vendor is excluded from bidding. A bid protest can result in a time-consuming, lengthy delay in completing your grant project and may cause a delay in your ability to draw grant funds. Awarding a contract to the low bidder does not "prove" that restrictive bid specifications were not used.

    * Maintain detailed records relating to all procurement. Be especially careful

       to document:

          o the rationale for the procurement,

          o the reason why a particular bid was rejected, and

          o the reason why a particular bid was accepted.

    * In the event of a protest on any bid specification, make certain that you are

      aware of all the local administrative remedies available to you within your

      organization and state for resolving bid protests.

Please do not automatically refer bid protests to the Federal government for resolution. The Federal government limits its role in resolving bid protests to cases in which violations of Federal law or regulations have occurred, and/or the recipient's organization has failed to review the complaint properly.

It is your responsibility to learn what you can and cannot do with regard to bidding procedures.



Quarterly Performance Reports (sometimes called Quarterly Technical Reports) are due at PTFP within thirty days after the end of each calendar quarter. The Reports let PTFP and NIST follow your progress in completing your project. Your report should provide updates and revisions to the Project Schedule and activities accomplished, brief summaries of meetings, copies of status reports regarding the work of consultants, copies of planning studies, and so on.


The dates the Quarterly Performance Reports are due at PTFP are as follows:


           For the Quarter                          Your report is due at PTFP

           October 1 to December 31         no later than January 31

           January 1 to March 31                no later than April 30

           April 1 to June 30                        no later than July 31

           July 1 to September 30               no later than October 31


The Project Schedule submitted at the start of the project should serve as the matrix for your Reports whether prepared online through PORTS or on paper. As shown in the sample below, if dates on your Schedule are not met, you should show a revised date in the column provided with an explanation for any substantial revision in the narrative.


Reports submitted on paper should show the complete PTFP grant number, be identified as a Quarterly Performance Report, and state the reporting period. Reports are expected to include the following:

    * Comparison of actual accomplishments during the reporting period with the

      goals established in the Project Schedule for that reporting period.

    * Description of any problems that have arisen or reasons why the established

      goals have not been met.

    * Actions taken to remedy any failures to meet goals.

While the Schedule and narrative should reflect the current status of the project, NTIA is not seeking a complete history of the project in each quarterly report. When you address pending issues from prior quarters, you should condense the prior information and emphasize the updated material.

Using the format shown here will help you, your Program Officer, and your Grants Specialist follow your progress in completing the project.

Sample Quarterly Performance Report


Anytown Foundation, Inc.                                     NTIA/PTFP Grant No. 99-99-N99999

Anytown, State

Quarterly Performance Report

Period Ending December 31, 20XX

Prepared January 19, 20XX

Performance Report Summary:

Although there have been slight delays, the project is essentially on schedule, and we have every expectation that it will be completed by the end of the Grant Award Period. The initial meetings of the Advisory Committee were very productive and have gotten the whole project off to a good start.

                                                                                  Original          Revised         Completed

                       Milestone                                          Date            Date                Date

Project start date                                                       10/01/XX                                10/01/XX

Submit Project Schedule                                           10/08/XX                               10/09/XX

Prepare RFPs for consultants                                   10/15/XX                               10/15/XX

Request proposals from consultants                         10/19/XX                                10/18/XX

Develop survey methods                                           10/22/XX                                11/02/XX

First meeting of the Advisory Committee                   11/08/XX        11/15/XX        11/10/XX

Open proposals from consultants                              11/19/XX                                11/20/XX

Special Award Condition: Consultants                      11/24/XX                                11/22/XX

2nd meeting of the Advisory Committee                    12/12/XX                                12/12/XX

Award consultants’ contracts                                    12/15/XX                                12/14/XX

First meeting with technology consultant                   12/28XX         01/03/XX

Distribute survey materials                                        01/08/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report                      01/21/XX

3rd meeting of the Advisory Committee                    02/12/XX

Review and analyze survey results                           04/10/XX

4th meeting of the Advisory Committee to discuss

    survey results                                                         04/15/XX

Mail SF-425 to NIST                                                  04/19/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report                      04/19/XX

Schedule additional meetings with all parties            04/19/XX

Begin onsite visits                                                     05/19/XX

Review technological options with technology

    consultant                                                               06/15/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report                      07/17/XX

Review and analyze research findings and

   technological recommendations                              08/10/XX

Begin drafting Final Report                                        08/14/XX

Advisory Committee meeting to approve Final

   Report                                                                     09/20/XX

Grant Award Period ends                                          09/30/XX

Submit Quarterly Performance Report                      10/16/XX

Mail final SF-425 to NIST                                          10/16/XX

Submit Close-Out, including Final Report                 12/15/XX

[signature]

Richard Who

Executive Director

Note: If you prepare your Report on paper, the summary may be placed after the milestones, just above the signature. Send two copies of the Report to your Program Officer at the address shown here.



You must submit a Financial Status Report (SF-425) to NIST for the six-month periods ending March 31 and September 30, or any portion thereof whether there was any financial activity or not. The reports are due no later than April 30 and October 31, respectively. A final Financial Status Report must be submitted within ninety days after the expiration of the Grant Award Period. If your PTFP Grant Award Period began on October 1, your first Financial Status Report is for the period ending March 31.


Please note carefully: Failure to submit the required financial status reports on time or to respond promptly to requests or inquiries from NIST may result in (1) the temporary suspension of the ability to draw down grant funds or (2) suspension of the Grant Award for non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant


Financial Status Report forms (SF-425) are included in your award documents. Completed reports should be sent to NIST at the address shown here. Questions about completing the SF-425 should be directed to your Grants Specialist.



Amendments of the approved planning budget can be made only with prior written approval from NIST. It should be understood that neither the Federal grant amount nor the Federal percentage can be increased. No matter what anyone may say, if you do not receive written approval from NIST, the request for a budget amendment has not been approved.


Requests for amendments must be submitted in writing to PTFP through PORTS or on paper. The request cannot be combined with a Quarterly Performance Report, an extension request, nor any other submission. The request should state clearly what changes you wish to make and the reasons for them. We suggest that you first call your Program Officer and discuss the need for amending the grant award. If submitted on paper, the request should be clearly identified as an Amendment Request.


Amendments may be approved if they are integral to, and within the scope of, the originally approved project. Requests will be reviewed to determine whether the amendment is necessary for successful completion of the approved planning objectives. Requests will be reviewed by PTFP and a recommendation made to NIST, which will make the final decision.


Your written amendment request should contain a statement along the following lines:

 

The changes requested in this amendment will be accomplished at no additional cost to the Federal government. Any increase in the total cost of the project caused by the requested amendment will be covered from local funding sources.

Or:     

We have tentatively identified some funds within the grant that may be available to help with this change, but we are prepared to pay any increase in the total cost of the project from local resources and the change will be accomplished at no additional cost to the Federal government.

When an Amendment Is Not Required

Adjustments for minor changes — up to 10% of the budgeted line item amount — do not require an amendment. Please contact your Program Officer if you have any questions.

Unauthorized Expenditures

Please note that, after completing the approved planning activities, you are NOT authorized to spend any remaining Federal funds. A planning activity expense that does not appear in the award document or has not been the subject of an approved amendment will be removed from the project by NTIA/PTFP at close-out. If this occurs you may be required to refund Federal funds previously paid to your organization.


The Grant Award Period is the time during which your organization can obligate Federal funds to complete the approved project. The Grant Award Period for your grant appears on the first page of the award document and is normally for one year. All Federal funds must be obligated and all planning activities completed by the end of the Grant Award Period.

A request to extend the Grant Award Period may be granted for good cause or unusual circumstances. Requests must be submitted in writing to PTFP through PORTS or on paper. The request cannot be combined with a Quarterly Performance Report, an amendment request, or any other submission. An extension request should reach PTFP at least three weeks before the end of the Grant Award Period. This will allow your request to be given full consideration before the Grant Award Period expires. Before submitting your request, we suggest that you call your Program Officer and discuss the need for an extension. If submitted on paper, the request should be clearly identified as an Extension Request.

Your request should be supported by a full explanation of what has happened to make an extension necessary. Generally PTFP looks for causes beyond the grantee's control, such as failure of a contractor to meet delivery dates, and it may request supporting documentation (copies of correspondence, etc.) to accompany the request. It does not look favorably on simple inactivity on the part of the grantee. After reviewing it, PTFP forwards the request to NIST with a recommendation for approval or denial.

If you do not receive written approval from NIST, the request for an extension has not been approved.

Extensions of the Award Period for a planning project will usually be for three or six months.



Non-profit organizations, government agencies, Indian tribes, and educational institutions expending more than $500,000 in Federal funds from all sources during a one-year period are required to have an audit conducted in accordance with Federal guidelines as stated in OMB Circular A-133, dated June 30, 1997. (If you do not have a copy, you can get one by going to www.whitehouse.gov/omb and clicking on <Circulars>.) These audits are performed in one of two ways. An NTIA/PTFP-specific audit may be performed if the organization receives Federal funds solely from NTIA. If the organization receives funds from more than one Federal source during the year that the audit is conducted, an organization-wide audit must be performed. Note that Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funding is not considered a Federal source.

In brief, OMB Circular A-133 requires that all such recipients obtain regular audits, preferably annually, but at least once every two years. Copies of the audits must be provided to each Federal agency that provides funds to your organization. Copies for the Department of Commerce should be sent to the following address:

                                Mr. William F. Bedwell. Jr.
                                Office of Audits - Regional Audits
                               Office of Inspector General
                                U.S. Department of Commerce, Suite 2342
                                401 West Peachtree Street, NW
                                Atlanta, GA 30365

No matter which Federal agency is officially to receive the audit, all PTFP grant recipients should send a copy of the audit transmittal letter to their NIST Grants Specialist.

Public broadcasters should note that audits performed in response to CPB qualification requirements will not necessarily conform to the Federal government auditing standards required by Circular A-133. The CPB requires a "standard" financial statement audit. While such an audit will certainly serve as the basis for the A-133 audit, further tests of the accounting records will have to be completed in order to bring the audit into compliance with A-133. We urge you to review the A-133 requirements with your accountant as early as possible.

 

**        Grantees should review Section D of the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions. Section D discusses audits. All questions about audits should be directed to NIST.



The most important thing to come out of your planning project is a Final Report on the results obtained. Its submission is part of closing out your grant, but it needs to be considered and prepared before the end of the Grant Award Period to be sure that everything needed has been completed. The report should contain the following elements:

 

     An executive summary covering the major findings and conclusions. (It is worth noting again that it is perfectly acceptable for a planning project to conclude that a station or nonbroadcast facility should not be constructed.)

 

     A detailed explanation of the planning process you used.

 

     A detailed discussion of the results and conclusions of the planning process. The Report should answer the questions given in PTFP’s guidelines for preparing broadcast and nonbroadcast planning project applications.

     Here are the questions PTFP expects broadcast planning projects to answer:

      a. What will be the mission/purpose of the station? How was that decided?

 

      b. What types of station ("Alternative Technologies") were considered – Low-Power FM, full-power AM or FM, repeater with local origination capability? What are the pros and cons for each type in your situation? Which type did you choose? Why?

 

      c. Will the station be built by and licensed to your organization or another organization? If the latter, the Final Report should document that the organization is (i) eligible to apply for and receive a Construction Permit for the proposed station from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and (ii) committed to the construction and long-term support and operation of the station.

 

      d. If the proposed licensee is not experienced in broadcasting, what source of broadcast expertise will the licensee have available to assist it in the operation of the station?

 

      e. How will the licensee oversee the operation of the station? Will the station have an advisory board or committee? How will its members be chosen? Is there to be any participation by the general public?

 

      f.  What financial resources will be available to support the cost of (i) constructing the proposed station and (ii) the long-term operation of the completed station? Documentation — with dollar-commitment estimates, even if conditional — from possible supporters of both types of expense should be included with the Final Report.

 

      g. Have sites been found for studios, offices, the transmitter, and a tower? Does the proposed licensee own them or will it buy or lease them? If the latter, does it have a commitment from the present owner(s) to sell or lease? If sites have not been found, what is being done to find them?

 

      h. What engineering resources will be available for (i) the construction of the proposed station and (ii) the long-term maintenance of station equipment for its operation and continued useful life?

 

      i.  What staffing plans have been developed? How many and which positions will be paid? How many and which will be volunteer positions? Will there be any student positions? How many and in what capacity? If experienced professionals will not be hired, how will the staff be trained?

      j.  What programming plans have been developed?

 

      k. What evidence is there that the population of the expected coverage area is interested in the proposed station?

 

      l.  What evidence is there that other organizations in the coverage area would welcome the station and see it as a potential aid to their work? Have they pledged any type of support?

      m.If you requested Priority 1A or 1B for your project, is the proposed coverage area

           currently unserved by a public radio or television station?

 

      n. If you requested Priority 4A for your project, will the proposed station address underserved needs in the projected coverage area in a way that significantly differentiates its service from what is already available?

 

      o. When will an application for a Construction Permit be submitted to the FCC?

     Here are the questions PTFP expects nonbroadcast planning projects to answer:


      a. What the comprehensive needs assessment determined.

 

      b. The precise goals and objectives for the proposed nonbroadcast system, flowing from the needs assessment.

 

      c. What types of nonbroadcast technical systems ("Alternative Technologies") were considered — fiberoptic interconnection, satellite distribution, datacasting on a portion of a digital television signal, educational broadband system, other microwave or web-based internet services? What are the pros and cons for each type in your situation? Which type have you selected? Why?

 

      d. Project staffing. If your project is for distance learning, you should have determined how many staff would have to be dedicated to the proposed system in order to operate, maintain, and administer it. Staff training also fits under this heading. You should show how you intend to provide sufficient – and continuing – training to the faculty who will be using the system, either as teachers or as mentors.

 

      e. What sort of advisory group is desirable to ensure that the nonbroadcast distance learning system will continue to serve the needs of its users? How will it be formed?

 

      f.  What sources of funding will be available for two purposes: (i) to provide the non-federal share of a PTFP project implementation proposal, if relevant, and (ii) to support the eventual nonbroadcast system adequately over the long term?

 

      g. If Federal Communications Commission authorization is required to construct your facility, when will an application for a Construction Permit be submitted to the FCC?



The documentation to close-out a PTFP grant must be submitted within 90 days of the completion of the grant project or the expiration of the Grant Award Period, whichever comes first. As the closing date of your award approaches, you will receive a reminder email from NTIA/PTFP. It will direct you to the Close-Out Requirements section of this website, which contains complete instructions to assist you in preparing your close-out. If you complete your project early, you should proceed to that website without waiting for the reminder because the 90-day close-out period starts at the end of the month in which your project is completed. Failure to submit your Close-Out within the 90-day period puts your project out of compliance with the terms and conditions of the award and can result in termination of the award, establishment of an Account Receivable for all Federal funds disbursed for the award, and denial of future grants to your organization.


Click here for Close-Out instructions and guidance.


Your organization’s responsibility to the Federal government through the Department of Commerce does not end when NIST informs you that your Close-Out has been accepted. For details of the post-project responsibilities, click here.


NOTICE

We have estimated that each response to this collection of information will take on average 64 hours for planning grant recipients to prepare the project schedule, the quarterly performance reports, and the final report. Our estimate includes the time to read the instructions, look through existing records, gather and maintain required data, and actually complete and review the response. If you have any comments on this estimate or on how we can improve the collection and reduce the burden it causes you, please write to the Office of Policy Coordination and Management, NTIA, Room 4892, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. Your comments will also be accepted via the Internet if you send them to ptfp@ntia.doc.gov. You are not required to respond to a collection of information sponsored by the Federal government, and the government may not conduct or sponsor this collection, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number or if we fail to provide you with this notice.

OMB Approval No. 0660-0001 — Expires October 31, 2012


Revised 05/17/10 Reporting Requirements

 
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