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Key Concepts for AmeriCorps. Session Objectives Provide an opportunity for participants to network in program specific group Discuss key fiscal and grant.

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Presentation on theme: "Key Concepts for AmeriCorps. Session Objectives Provide an opportunity for participants to network in program specific group Discuss key fiscal and grant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Key Concepts for AmeriCorps

2 Session Objectives Provide an opportunity for participants to network in program specific group Discuss key fiscal and grant compliance issues that could impact group Discuss tools and information that can support grantees in addressing key issues

3 Group Table work Create list of key issues that grantees want to discuss

4 Basics of Financial Management Accounting System with Detailed Chart of Accounts Proper Documentation of Expenditures Appropriate Time and Activity Reporting Procedures to Ensure Costs are Allowable Written Allocation Plan Regular Review of Budget to Actual Expenses Strong Internal Controls Written Policies and Procedures Risk Based Monitoring Effective Member Management

5 Federal Financial Report May be Coming Soon The Office of Management and Budget may direct federal agencies to start using the long- planned Federal Financial Report in The new form essentially combines the 269 report grantees provide to their funding agencies with the 272 report grantees send to the Payment Management System at HHS. If the directive comes soon, Corporation grantees may start using the form for the report due at the end of October 2008.

6 Federal Financial Report (FFR) The purpose of the FFR is to give recipients of grants a standard format for reporting the financial status of their grants. This is part of Federal Financial Assistance Act. CNCS is working on implementation and will provide detailed forms and instructions.

7 Common Audit Findings Members start earning hours before they sign their contracts Member timesheets dont add up to the number of hours certified on the exit form. Programs claim staff costs based on budget amounts and not actual time spent on the grant Match is not sufficiently documented

8 Common Audit Findings Programs are not conducting mid-term and end-of-term evaluations. Grantees claim match for costs not in the approved budget. Programs are not conducting background checks when appropriate. Grantees/programs are not reconciling their general ledger to the FSR.

9 Member Management Issues Member Eligibility Member Contracts Criminal Background Checks Member Orientations Member Evaluations Living Allowance Documenting & Certifying Member Hours

10 AmeriCorps Members Eligibility Requirements Statutory U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien (Note an I-9 Form is not sufficient documentation) At least 17 years old (16 if Youth Corps) High School diploma or GED or agree to obtain one

11 Member Performance Reviews Grantees must conduct and keep a record of at least a midterm and end-of-term written evaluation of each member's performance for Full and Half-Time members and an end-of-term written evaluation for less than Half-time members. The evaluation should focus on such factors as: –Whether the member has completed the required number of hours; –Whether the member has satisfactorily completed assignments; and –Whether the member has met other performance criteria that were clearly communicated at the beginning of the term of service.

12 Managing Members Ensure there is a signed member contract Conduct appropriate Criminal Background Checks for their type of service There is documentation that members have received an orientation Receive two evaluations per year (one for less than full time Members and none for EAP)

13 Living Allowance Equally distributed over the term of service Cannot be paid on an hourly basis or in lump sums Cannot be docked as a disciplinary measure It can be garnished in some states (e.g. for child support) Federal share can never be more than 85% of the minimum living allowance - for current grants awarded in There is a change for grants that were applied for in 2008 Professional Corps living allowance may exceed the maximum, but the grantee pays 100% - no CNCS funds It is taxed

14 Documenting & Certifying Member Hours Programs should have written policy for member hours. All member hours should be properly documented on clear, legible, time sheets that are completed in pen without the use of white out. Timesheets should be signed by BOTH Member and supervisor. Prior to certification of award, individual should be sure that members have completed and documented required hours.

15 New Overall Match Requirements As part of the Corporations 2008 appropriations, Congress changed the requirements for matching AmeriCorps grants. In general, the new requirements will apply to the grants that were submitted in January of In most cases, programs funded in 2007 or earlier (and which do not receive 2008 funding) must continue to meet the 15% and 33% match requirements.

16 After WBRS is retired WBRS will be phased out and grantees will utilize My AmeriCorps Portal Grantees/subgrantees will no longer have to enter member hours Grantees will complete Financial Status Report in EGrants (or Federal Financial Report when implemented)

17 Guidance on Incorrect Certification of Member Education Awards Program are responsible for ensuring certification on end-of term forms are correct. Incorrect certifications can lead to full repayment to the National Service Trust by the Program

18 Group Activity 1.Discuss change in Match requirement, member issues and life after WBRS 2.Create a list of questions/issues to discuss 3.Create a list of tools that would assist you address issues

19 We will gather in this room with this same group on Thursday at 10:45 to wrap-up and discuss issues and questions

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