I.    PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a broad, statewide, comprehensive strategy involving the administration of grants to maximize the value of grant funding secured by state agencies and local governments in Ohio, to strengthen federal, state, and local grant partnerships, and to positively impact the lives of Ohioans. This policy, and its future amendments and supporting policies, will include guidance regarding the development, implementation, oversight and coordination of grant applications and funding to maximize the State of Ohio’s ability to receive grant-related revenue, to streamline the state grant process, and reduce redundant administrative processes.

 

II.            Policy

It is the policy of the State of Ohio to maximize the value of grant funding and make the best use of taxpayer resources through strengthening accountability, increasing transparency, promoting collaboration, reducing administrative overhead and burden on state agencies, boards, and commissions,  ensuring fiscal integrity, and utilizing innovation to maximize efficiencies. These goals are established by the following actions:  

 

  1. Ohio Grants Partnership

The Ohio Grants Partnership was created by the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) to support the efforts of this policy, future amendments, or future policies. The partnership’s vision is to be the leading resource for the Ohio grants community to help build its capacity to successfully apply for and manage grant programs; and in doing so ensure Ohio receives its fair share of federal resources while optimizing the use of funds received and prioritizing to achieve the greatest result.

 

The partnership serves as the main grant coordinating resource for State of Ohio agencies, boards, and commissions. The partnership also supports the Ohio grants community to include local governments, non-profits, and other recipients of funding from state partners. As part of this effort, the partnership supports the following functions:

 

  1. Enterprise Grants Forum

The partnership hosts, at least quarterly, Enterprise Grants Forum meetings for state agency partners to promote the strengthening of statewide accountability in grants.

 

  1. Enterprise Grants Forum Advisory Committee

The partnership coordinates an Advisory Committee of state partner representatives which provides guidance and recommendations on various grant initiatives or topics that have statewide impact.

 

  1. Training and Outreach

The partnership provides opportunities for training and support of all partners to include local governments, non-profits, and others that receive grant funding from the State of Ohio.

 

  1. Centralized Resource for Funding Opportunities and Grant Related Resources

OBM seeks to serve as a centralized repository for grants-related resources and funding opportunities (grants.ohio.gov), including the administration of a centralized website.  Once established, state agencies, boards, and commissions will submit their funding opportunities and information regarding the award process to OBM in the format prescribed by the Director.

 

  1. Single Point of Contact for State Grant Applications

The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) shall begin the process of being designated as the State of Ohio’s single point of contact for grant applications to the federal government for state agencies, boards, and commissions under the authority of the Governor.  The purpose of seeking this designation is to ensure collaboration between state agencies, boards, and commissions and general awareness of grant opportunities.  Upon the effective date of its designation as the single point of contact, all applications must be submitted through OBM unless an exception has been made.

 

  1. Collaboration of Federal Funding

OBM serves as a centralized resource to assist agencies, boards, and commissions with guidance on the tracking and management of federal funding. OBM will serve, as needed, to provide collaboration amongst state agency partners to ensure a grant’s funding strategy aligns with the Governor’s office, state initiatives, and is the best use of federal funds. OBM recognizes federal grants, especially those funded through special legislation due to national events, require special treatment for reporting purposes and collaboration to ensure no duplication of costs. When deemed appropriate, OBM will establish an oversight committee and/or serve as the coordinator for state reporting to the federal government for larger federal grant packages that are awarded to multiple state partners. OBM may require state partners to provide additional details such as award documents, agency reporting, or funding plans to assist with this effort.

 

  1. Grant-related Letters of Support

OBM will serve as the centralized resource for the grant application process (grants.ohio.gov). Additionally, OBM shall serve as the reviewer and signatory of all grant-related letters of support requested by entities including local governments, associations, colleges and universities, or individuals. OBM will liaison to the Governor’s Office to discuss such requests for support to ensure alignment with Administration policy objectives. OBM shall document and maintain records regarding all letters of support issued in accordance with this policy.

 

  1. Future Grants Related Standardization Opportunities

OBM continues to review additional areas of the grants administration process to assess where agencies would benefit from additional standardization, including but not limited to monitoring and risk assessment, financial reporting, and cash management activities. Additional statewide guidance and policies regarding grants administration will be disseminated.

 

III.        Local Outreach Strategy

Local governments sometimes find it difficult to navigate the grants administration processes. Many townships, cities, counties, and other local government partners face difficulty when searching for information about various federal and state funding opportunities.  OBM will use the Ohio Grants Partnership to adopt a centralized approach for local governments in order to avoid duplicative work and provide guidance in applying for funding opportunities, to assist them in maximizing their limited resources while helping their communities.

 

Inquiries regarding this policy may be directed to:

 

Ohio Grants Partnership

Office of Budget and Management

30 E. Broad Street, 35th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

e-mail: grants@obm.ohio.gov