State and Local Implementation Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions

Date: 
October 03, 2014
  1. Why did NTIA establish SLIGP? 

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act) directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish a grant program to assist state, regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions with identifying, planning, and implementing the most efficient and effective means to use and integrate the infrastructure, equipment, and other architecture associated with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to satisfy the wireless broadband and data services needs of their jurisdictions.  SLIGP also supports and facilitates the states’ consultations with FirstNet which the Act created as an independent authority within NTIA to oversee the design, construction, and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network that is based on a single, nationwide network architecture.

  1. How do I apply? 

The application period is now closed for SLIGP.  NTIA made the vast majority of SLIGP awards between July and September 2013.

  1. Who is the state designated point of contact?

The Act mandates that each Governor designate a single officer or governmental body to serve as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for FirstNet.  To find out who the SPOC is for your state visit the FirstNet website.

  1. How are localities and tribes able to access the funds necessary to ensure their needs are addressed?

Localities and tribes are encouraged to work collaboratively with their respective states to ensure they are part of the overall process of planning for the nationwide public safety broadband network.

  1. How long is the grant period?

The period of performance for SLIGP awards is three (3) years.

  1. What activities must SLIGP grant recipients complete by the end of the grant period?

As described in the Federal Funding Opportunity, grant recipients must complete the following activities by the award end date: 

(1) establish or enhance a governance structure to consult with FirstNet;

(2) develop procedures to ensure local and tribal representation when the state is consulting with FirstNet;

(3) conduct education and outreach for all relevant stakeholders that will be involved in the public safety broadband network;

(4) identify potential public safety users for FirstNet;

(5) develop a standard Memorandum of Agreement appropriate for the grantee state to facilitate the possible sharing of infrastructure with FirstNet;

(6) develop staffing plans to involve local and tribal stakeholders in a future data collection in consultation with FirstNet; and

(7) prepare a comprehensive plan as part of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP), or a plan complementary and similar to the SCIP, describing the public safety needs that the grantee expects FirstNet to address, plus relevant milestones. 

  1. When should I request a budget modification?

As outlined in the Department of Commerce’s Standard Terms and Conditions section A.04 you should request a budget modification if you need to:

  1. Reallocate more than 10 percent of the total project budget (federal and non-federal funds) among direct cost categories
  2. Transfer of funds of any amount into or out of the “indirect” cost category
  3. Transfer of funds of any amount into a cost category that has $0 or does not exist in the current approved budget (federal and/or non-federal share)

To submit a budget modification please email the following documents to your Federal Program Officer (FPO):

  1. Outline the budget modification request with a copy to SLIGP@ntia.doc.gov
  2. Revised SF-424A
  3. Revised detailed budget (please highlight the changes in an additional column)
  4. Revised budget justification

You can also reference the PowerPoint presentations from the SLIGP Winter 2014 Workshops (Slides 27 -30).

  1. May a recipient request an extension of time for the grant period of performance? 

Yes, recipients may request a no-cost extension to the three-year period of performance.  However, such requests may not occur until the final year of the grant period, must contain sufficient justification to warrant an extension, be recommended by the Federal Program Officer, and be approved by the Grants Officer.  If approved, grantees will have more time (up to 12 months), but no additional funds, to complete performance.

  1. What are allowable costs?

Allowable costs are those costs described in and consistent with the principles identified in the applicable OMB circulars and in the grant program’s authorizing legislation as detailed in the Federal Funding Opportunity.  Allowable costs must be reasonable, allocable, necessary to the project, and conform to generally accepted accounting principles.

Allowable costs may include categories such as: (1) personnel costs; (2) costs associated with planning meetings with statewide stakeholders; (3) travel costs for state, local, and tribal representatives to attend planning meetings; (4) costs to develop, modify, or enhance statewide plans and governance structures; (5) costs for communications, education, and outreach activities with state, local, tribal, and regional stakeholders; (6) costs to develop standardized Memoranda of Agreement and other types of agreements to facilitate access to and use of existing infrastructure; (7) costs to identify potential public safety users for the public safety broadband network; (8) administrative services costs, equipment costs, and supplies necessary to manage the grant program; and (9) reasonable proposal expenses, which include costs related to preparing an application and pre-award costs to attend FirstNet technical assistance workshops, if they are incurred after the publication date of the Federal Funding Opportunity and prior to the date of the issuance of the grant award from NTIA.

  1. What are unallowable costs?

Funds awarded under the SLIGP may not be used for activities related to site preparation, broadband deployment, installation, construction, lobbying costs, contingency fees, or the acquisition of equipment used to provide wireless broadband services.

Please note that costs ineligible for SLIGP may not be included as a part of the matching non-federal cost share.

  1. What is the minimum non-federal matching share? 

Under the Act, the federal share of the cost of any activity carried out under the grant program may not exceed 80 percent of the eligible cost of carrying out grant activities.  Thus, NTIA expects that SLIGP grant recipients will provide at least 20 percent non-federal matching funds toward the total eligible project cost.  Please note that the requirement is 20 percent of the total project costs, not 20 percent of the federal share awarded. 

Recipients may use indirect costs and allowable in-kind costs to help achieve the 20 percent matching requirement. 

  1. What is the difference between the first and second funding phases? 

With first phase funding, recipients must focus on activities related to governance, consultation with FirstNet, engagement of all relevant stakeholders, education and outreach to stakeholders, and identification of potential users of the public safety broadband network. In the second phase, recipients may continue phase one activities and/or engage in the collection of data requested by FirstNet in preparation for the public safety broadband network.

  1. When will phase two of SLIGP begin?

NTIA is coordinating closely with FirstNet regarding what data needs to be collected by the states and territories in preparation for the public safety broadband network.  Once FirstNet identifies its specific needs, NTIA will request a revised budget from recipients, and, upon programmatic approval, will recommend that the Grants Office release the second phase funding to commence data collection activities.  When approved by the Grants Office, the state or territory may begin phase II.  The timeline for this process has not yet been determined.

  1. If a state declines to apply for a SLIGP grant, or is unable to receive the funds for any reason, is it ineligible to benefit from the nationwide public safety broadband network to be deployed by FirstNet?

No, FirstNet is required to consult with every state and territory in preparation for the nationwide public safety broadband network.

  1. Did sequestration have an impact on SLIGP?

Sequestration cut approximately $3.5 million in funding in FY 2013 from NTIA’s State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP).  NTIA reduced the amount awarded for each grant to accommodate this cut in funding.

  1. Who can I contact at NTIA if I have questions? 

Grantees with questions may contact the general SLIGP inbox at sligp@ntia.doc.gov.