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Section 3: Grant Agreement

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Introduction

The Traffic Safety Program Grant Agreement is a legally binding document when fully executed by both parties. The Traffic Safety Program Grant Agreement consists of the document and all attachments such as the terms and conditions, detailed objectives, performance measures and activities, and the approved budget.

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Grant Agreement Purpose

The purposes for developing formal grant agreements are to:

  • produce a clearly defined problem statement,
  • produce a clearly specified work statement,
  • clearly define respective roles and responsibilities,
  • achieve understanding among all parties,
  • reach consensus, and
  • ensure accountability.
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Grant Agreement

The grant agreement is typically used when the beneficiary of a project is a state agency other than the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), a local jurisdiction (such as a city or county), or a non-governmental entity (such as the Texas Bicycle Coalition or the Texas District and County Attorneys Association). Any amendment to the grant agreement must be in writing and fully executed by all parties in accordance with signature delegation authority.

Traffic safety grant agreements and amendments up to $100,000 can be activated if approved by a district engineer or the Traffic Operations Division (TRF) director, who may delegate according to TxDOT policy. A district engineer also recommends grant agreements and amendments of $100,000 or greater prior to the final approval signature of the TRF division director or his or her designated alternate. An assistant executive director, the deputy executive director, or the executive director can approve grant agreements for any dollar amount. The Traffic Operations Division - Traffic Safety Section (TRF-TS) director can also approve a grant of any dollar amount in the absence of the assistant division director and division director.

NOTE: Up to $100,000 means the TxDOT reimbursement portion of the grant agreement or contract award. For multi-year grants resulting in a grant agreement, the TxDOT reimbursable amount will be the total dollar amount for the three-year period. For example, a yearlong (one-year) grant with a TxDOT reimbursable total of $75,000 could be approved by a district engineer; however, a three-year grant with a TxDOT budget of $75,000 per year would have to be forwarded to TRF-TS for approval as the total budget exceeds $100,000.

When a district engineer approves a Traffic Safety Program grant agreement or amendment, TRF-TS must receive the original grant agreement or amendment within ten working days after the document is printed and executed.

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Grant Period or Term of Contract

The grant period or term of contract is the time during which the subgrantee or performing agency may incur reimbursable costs to carry out the project. The grant period or term of contract should be long enough to allow the project to be completed. Traffic safety grant agreements are usually executed on October 1 (or upon approval, if after October 1) and end on September 30.

NOTE: Project activity begins and costs can be incurred on the day of grant execution.

Currently, the annual Traffic Safety Program Request for Proposals (RFP) is for either a yearlong (one-year) or three-year (multi-year) grant agreement. A multi-year grant will be in effect for three years and end on September 30. For example, a multi-year grant awarded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 would start on October 1, 2011 and would continue until September 30, 2014, subject to availability of funding and adequate subgrantee performance. A one-year grant would start on October 1, 2011 and end on September 30, 2012.

A multi-year grant agreement will contain all proposal information that was submitted and approved for a three-year period, but will be reflected in the grant agreement as three one-year increments. Each individual year will have specific goals, performance measures, objectives and targets proposed by the subgrantee and finalized in the grant agreement through the proposal negotiation process.

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Project Period

The grant agreement may include one or more projects to be completed. Thus, the grant period or term of contract may differ from the project period, or the two may coincide. If the two periods differ, the difference is to be identified in the project description and delineated in the Action Plan. The terms of the grant establish the grant period.

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Grant Agreement General Terms and Conditions

The Grant Agreement General Terms and Conditions will be included in all grant agreements. It provides the terms and conditions governing the grant and certifies that a subgrantee will comply with the applicable regulations, policies, guidelines, and requirements, including 49 CFR, Part 18 and 2 CFR, Part 225 (Office of Management and Budget [OMB] Circular A-87); or 49 CFR, Part 19 (OMB Circular A-110) and 2 CFR, Part 220 (OMB Circular A-21); or 49 CFR, Part 19 (OMB Circular A-110) and 2 CFR, Part 230 (OMB Circular A-122), as they relate to the application, acceptance, and use of federal or state funds for the project. The “General Terms and Conditions” further explain other federal and state acts and laws that a subgrantee must adhere to with the awarding of federal and state moneys for grant expenditure.

NOTE: Potential subgrantees are required to become familiar with the contents of the “Grant Agreement General Terms and Conditions”, because failure to do so will not excuse nonperformance or noncompliance once a grant has been awarded.

Click on the following link to view the Grant Agreement General Terms and Conditions.

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Reimbursement

Reimbursement will be made only for costs incurred during the grant period. The incurrence of costs depends on the accounting system used.

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If...

Then cost is incurred when...

an accrual accounting system is used,

a recorded liability exists. (Examples include invoices, bills of lading, vouchers of individual travel performed, and cash receipts of expenses incurred. Advances for anticipated costs are prohibited.)

a cash accounting system is used,

a cash disbursement has been made.



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Legal Authority

For local grants, the agreement must be made with the unit of local government or political subdivision of the state, not with an operating division or function of the local governmental unit or political subdivision of the state. Likewise, for statewide grants, the agreement is made with the parent agency, not a bureau or division. Please ensure that the organization, when entered into the Traffic Safety Electronic Grant Management System (eGrants), adheres to the following examples.

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Incorrect

Correct

Austin Police Department

The City of Austin

County Health Department

Travis County

Statewide Grants

Incorrect

Correct

Emergency Medical Services Division

Texas Department of State Health Services

DPS Motorcycle Safety Bureau

Texas Department of Public Safety



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Attachments

Attachments referenced in the grant agreement must be properly labeled and attached. A document that is incorporated into the agreement by reference must be identified and retained in an accessible location. Merely attaching a document does not necessarily make it a part of the agreement. If an attached document is treated as material to the agreement, it must be referenced and incorporated.

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Grant Agreement Process

For traffic safety proposals, the following steps should be followed in the grant agreement process.

  1. The TxDOT TRF-TS section director approves the projects in eGrants that are on the approved project list and changes the status of the proposal from “Proposal Submitted” to “Proposal Approved”.
  2. The TxDOT eGrants administrator creates the grant agreement, uploads it into eGrants and changes the status of the proposal from “Proposal Approved” to “Notification to Subgrantee”. eGrants then sends a notification to the subgrantee administrator and the project manager about the grant agreement process.
  3. The subgrantee administrator logs into the eGrants system, accesses their proposal, and completes the following steps:
    1. clicks on “Print Grant Agreement”. This will bring up a pdf file of the grant agreement created and uploaded by TxDOT.
    2. obtains the necessary signature.
    3. changes the status in eGrants from “Notification to Subgrantee” to “Subgrantee Signature Complete”.
    4. sends the completed package to the assigned project manager (TxDOT district Traffic Safety Specialist [TSS] for local projects or TRF-TS for statewide projects).
  4. For local projects with a TxDOT amount less than $100,000.00 (the sum of all three years for a multi-year proposal), the TxDOT project manager (Traffic Safety Specialist) reviews the Grant Agreement document signed by the subgrantee and completes the following steps:
    1. If any discrepancies are noticed, the project manager sends the document back to the subgrantee for corrections.
    2. If the grant agreement looks good, the TxDOT project manager sends the grant agreement to the District Engineer (DE) for signature.
    3. Once the grant agreement is signed, the project manager sends the completed package with original signatures to TRF-TS.
  5. For statewide projects and local projects with TxDOT amount greater than or equal to $100,000.00 (the sum of all three years for a multi-year proposal), the TxDOT project manager reviews the grant agreement, sends the package to TRF for the division director’s signature, and changes the status in eGrants to “Grant Agreement Verified by Project Manager”.
  6. The TxDOT TRF-TS section director reviews the signed agreement and changes the status to “TxDOT Signature Complete”. A notification is then sent to notify the subgrantee administrator and project manager that the grant agreement has been executed.
  7. The TxDOT eGrants Administrator scans and uploads the executed grant agreement into eGrants and changes the status to “Grant Awarded”.
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Electronic Signatures

TRF-TS is working on a system to allow for an electronic signature format to allow subgrantees to sign grant agreements, amendments, etc. electronically in lieu of having to print out grant agreements and obtain physical signatures as outlined above. Once the electronic signature format is available, subgrantees will be notified and instructions will be available on the eGrants Help Page.

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Process Overview

An overview of the eGrants proposal process can be found in the eGrants Proposal Process Workflow.(flow chart).

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