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Section 6: TxDOT Approval

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TxDOT Review

When the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) signatory executes a grant agreement by signing it, he or she is certifying that the agreement:

  • is legal and payable
  • includes all required and applicable provisions
  • complies with all applicable federal, state, and TxDOT regulations and laws
  • has received federal approval when such approval is required
  • has been budgeted with available funds
  • funding has been authorized by the Texas Transportation Commission as part of the Highway Safety Performance Plan (HSPP).

Therefore, before approval, project directors will review all grant agreements for form and content, applicable provisions, eligibility of costs, consistency, and accuracy.

NOTE: If the prospective subgrantee is a first-time, non-governmental subgrantee to be provided traffic safety funding, or if the subgrantee is unfamiliar with handling federal grant funds, then it will be necessary to request a pre-negotiation or pre-award audit in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 or 49 CFR, Part 19 (OMB Circular A-110). This audit can be requested in writing to TxDOT’s Audit Office (AUD). The project director should follow and complete a grant or Interagency Cooperation Contract (IAC) review checklist for each grant submitted for approval.

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When Problems Are Found

If the district or the Traffic Operations Division (TRF) detects problems with a grant agreement or IAC, the agreement or IAC is returned for resolution of the problems before signing.

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Changes During Review and Approval

A change made during the approval process could jeopardize the mutual agreement unless all parties acknowledge and accept the change. Therefore, any proposed change must be discussed with all parties before the change is made.

If the proposed change is one that changes the maximum amount payable, the description of the project, or another significant element of the project, the agreement is to be returned to the subgrantee for resolution. Minor or nonsubstantial changes to the agreement (changes that do not increase the maximum amount payable or alter the description or another significant element of the project) should be initialed by both signatories to the agreement. Exceptions to this requirement would be items in the header or footer or that are merely identifying individuals by either name or position title.

Ideally, this acknowledgement will be approved prior to the grant delivery meeting. For local grants, after it is signed, the acknowledgement is returned to the district, which retains a copy in district files and forwards the original to TRF. For state projects, the TRF Traffic Safety Section (TS) handles this task.

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TxDOT Signature Authority

For information on TxDOT signature authority, see Chapter 1, Section 4, of this manual. Also Chapter 3 of the TxDOT Legal Manual and the GSD Contract Services website describes signature authority for the Texas Traffic Safety Program. (Note: The Legal Manual and the GSD Contract Services website are accessible online only through the TxDOT network).

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Originals

Normally one original agreement document is prepared and kept in the TxDOT file of record. While it is acceptable to reproduce signed or unsigned grant agreements, signatures must be original on the file of record copy. Grant agreements submitted for TxDOT approval without original signatures will not be processed.

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