Q1.What is the difference between discretionary grants and mandatory (aka: formula) grants?
A1. There are two main types of grants: discretionary and mandatory. Discretionary grants permit the agency to exercise judgment in selecting recipients through a competitive grant process. Mandatory grants are required to be awarded if the recipients meet certain predetermined conditions.
Q2. If I received a discretionary grant award last year am I guaranteed to receive funding from that grant program again this year?
A2. No, discretionary grants permit the agency to exercise judgment in selecting recipients through a competitive grant process, and grants are awarded based on availability of funds.
Q1. What is supplanting?
A1. Supplanting is an effort to take the place of or to serve as a substitute for something.
Q2. If my state is approved for and awarded Border Enforcement Grant funding, may I use this funding to supplant the states Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program?
A2. No, the Border Enforcement Grant program is not intended to take the place of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, but rather enhance it. They are two separate yet distinct grant programs.
APPEALS OF AWARD DETERMINATIONS
Q1. If my state is not approved for grant funding or receives significantly less grant funding than requested, can I appeal the funding decision?
A1. No, there is no appeals process as funding is discretionary.
IMPACT OF DE-OBLIGATION OF AWARDED FUNDS
Q1.If my state does not use all of the awarded funds, and has to de-obligate these funds in the next fiscal year after they were awarded, will that have an impact on my state receiving future awards?
A1. Yes, a state's ability to expend awarded funds within the grant performance year will be considered and impact recommendations for funding of future awards.
MAINTENANCE OF EXPENDITURE
Q1. If the only entity within a State that applies for a grant is a local government, must a MOE be calculated?
A1. Yes. In this case, only the BEG eligible expenditures of this local government agency would be included in the MOE calculation.
Q2. If a State agency receives BEG funding in FY 2006 but does not receive funding in 2007, must the expenditures in FY 2006 be included in the MOE calculation for the subsequent year?
A2. No. The MOE is calculated using only the two fiscal years (federal or state) ending prior to October 1, 2005.
Q3.Once calculated, will the State's MOE always remain the same?
A3. The MOE may change if:
- a new State agency begins receiving BEG funding;
- a previous BEG-funded State agency terminates it participation in the BEG program;
- a BEG-funded agency begins conduction a new BEG-eligible type of activity; or
- a BEG-funded agency terminates a BEG-eligible type of activity previously conducted under the BEG program
Q4. What expenditures must be included in the MOE calculation?
A4. All BEG participating State agency expenditures (exclusive of Federal funds) for any BEG-eligible type of activity for which funding is being requested must be included in the calculation. However, any expenditure included in the State's MOE calculation for the MSCSAP must be excluded.
Q5.What are BEG-eligible types of activities?
A5. Any activities conducted to achieve the FMCSA's BEG national priorities are BEG-eligible types of activities. This includes activities designed to increase the number of commercial vehicle inspections (including HM inspections), financial responsibility checks, driver license checks or operation authority checks in Border States focusing on international traffic; ensuring southern Border States are meeting all requirements to allow access to Mexico domiciled carriers beyond the border commercial zones; improving the capability to conduct CMV safety inspection at remote sites near the border; and, developing appropriate telecommunication systems and coordination procedures with federal inspection agencies and others.
Q6. What about expenditures for activities conducted away from the border?
A6. If these activities are for the primary purpose of ensuring foreign and international motor carrier and driver compliance with all FMCSA (or State compatible) rules and regulations, or Congressional requirements for Mexican motor carriers to operate in the United States, the expenditures must be included in the MOE consistent with the principles identified above. The location of the activity is irrelevant.
Q7. What type of documentation must a State provide FMCSA concerning its calculation of the MOE?
A7. Although the State is responsible for calculating an MOE, documentation is not required to be provided to FMCSA as a condition of participation in the BEG program. States have calculated a MOE and agree to maintain the MOE level of expenditure. The State is responsible for maintaining and providing documentation of the MOE calculation in the case of a Federal or Federally-requested audit.
Q8. What happens if a Federal audit determines the MOE is higher than the original calculation?
A8. A final decision will be made by the Division Administrator based on circumstances and findings. Federal BEG funds or other federal funds may be withheld to cover the difference.
Q9. What happens if a Federal audit determines the MOE is lower than the original calculation?
A9. The Division Administrator will determine if the State is entitled to an additional reimbursement. The decision will consider the availability of BEG funds for the particular fiscal years in question, any legal requirements, and any other issues deemed appropriate by the Division Administrator. In no case will a reimbursement to be made for a fiscal year using funding appropriated for a different fiscal year. For example, a State cannot be reimbursed for an FY 2006 activity using FY 2007 BEG appropriated funds. If FY 2006 appropriated funds available for allocation or reallocation in FY 2007, then the State may be reimbursed using the available FY 2006 funds provided the reimbursable activities were included in the State's approved BEG plan.
Q10. If a commercial motor vehicle inspector's salary and fringe benefits are included in the BEG MOE calculation, and the inspector is reassigned to a position that does not involve BEG activities, can the State recalculate the MOE to exclude the inspector's salary and fringe benefits?
A10. No, the MOE calculation is based on expenditures incurred for BEG eligible activities during the two fiscal years ending before October 1, 2005. All appropriate State expenditures for those two fiscal years must be in the MOE calculation.
Q11. Are all MCSAP-eligible activities eligible for BEG funding?
A11. Although the BEG program uses MCSAP as a guide to determining the eligibility of BEG activities, certain MCSAP-eligible activities may not be BEG-eligible activities. For example, conducting compliance reviews or new entrant audits on Canadian motor carriers is not a BEG-eligible activity. BEG-eligible activities must be consistent with the FMCSA established BEG program priorities.
Q12. If the State only used 100 percent federally-funded BEG funds in FY 2004 and FY 2005 for its border enforcement program, how will the State calculate it's MOE?
A12. In this case the MOE for the State would be $0. All the funding the State received in FY 2004 and FY 2005 for border enforcement activities was 100 percent federally-funded. Federal funds are excluded from the BEG MOE calculation.
Q13. Must an entity (an individual or organization other than a State) calculate and agree to an MOE?
A13. No. SAFETEA-LU provides that only a State or its political subdivisions must comply with the maintenance of expenditure requirement.