Gustav-Ike Parish Outreach Representatives and other OCD-DRU staff members will,
from time to time, send updates, clarifications, further guidance, etc. to parish and
municipal officials. These communications are gathered here for future reference.
June 1, 2015
Katrina/Rita Anniversary Events
As we near the 10-year anniversaries of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we’d like to know what, if any, ceremonies you are planning to commemorate the storms and the recovery work that has taken place over the last 10 years. In addition to us wanting to have a comprehensive list of activities going on statewide, we may be able to assist by providing data relevant to your grant or geographic region.
OCD-DRU is currently gathering data and will be providing an overview of the CDBG-DR funds invested in Katrina/Rita recovery in housing, infrastructure, economic development and planning programs.
If you are planning an event, please let us know by emailing Angela Vanveckhoven at email@example.com.
June 1, 2015
Deadlines for Request for Payment
As the state’s Fiscal Year (FY15) ends June 30, OCD-DRU is asking all grantees to submit their Requests for Payment to DRU as requested to avoid delays in payments:
- Please immediately submit all Requests for Payment for any and all expenditures incurred to date in order to bring expenditures current with project projections.
- Please submit invoices for expenses incurred in June (June 1-30) no later than Friday, July 3, so that they may be forwarded to OFSS for payment by July 17, 2015.
Please share these deadlines with all CDBG disaster recovery staff as well as any subcontractors. It may be necessary to start compiling documentation now and preparing the invoices in order to meet these deadlines.
The sooner invoices are received, the sooner OCD-DRU staff can review and either process for payment or
return for additional documentation. Therefore, please review the RFP’s to ensure all documentation is included and is consistent with OCD-DRU Finance procedures for RFPs. If an RFP is returned or there is a delay in receiving the additional documentation and clarification, OCD-DRU cannot guarantee a timely payment.
Payment delays will also occur if the above deadlines are not followed. OCD-DRU, in partnership with the State’s Office of Finance & Support Services, urges grantees to process all reimbursement requests for expenditures through June 30, 2015, within the above schedule, in order to assist in closing the books for the fiscal year.
For expenditures occurring on or after July 1, 2014, please submit these expenditures on a separate payment request form; expenditures after July 1, 2015 will be applied to the state’s next Fiscal Year (FY16).
OCD/DRU requests that all grantees expedite their submittals through their normal process, either electronically or by hard copy, to meet the July 11 date.
As always, we appreciate your cooperation in these year-end efforts. Thank you!
May 28, 2015
Guidance on Duplication of Benefits Policy
On Oct. 13, 2014, OCD-DRU sent an E-blast to all disaster recovery grantees informing them that HUD requires the state and all sub-recipients to have a separate Duplication of Benefits (DOB) Policy. The E-Blast is repeated below and the samples that were provided – i.e. OCD-DRU’s policy along with a template that could be used by grantees in developing a DOB for their local jurisdiction – are also linked.
For clarity and follow-up:
- Each grantee with active projects as of Oct. 13, 2014 is required to have a separate, stand-alone DOB policy as part of its core documents.
- Grantees should follow their local procedure for adopting a policy, which may include a) having the local governing body (police jury, council) formally pass a resolution or b) having the parish administrator, mayor or appropriate official sign and distribute a local policy. The grantee should ensure the process for adopting the DOB policy is consistent with other required CDBG policies or core documents that have been adopted by the grantee, such as procurement policies, citizen participation plan, etc.
- Because this is a compliance issue, please e-mail a copy of the adopted DOB policy and the resolution, if applicable, to your Outreach Representative. If the policy has not yet been adopted, then please e-mail the date by which the policy will be adopted and whether or not the process requires approval by your local governing body. Once it is adopted, please forward as requested.
- Please respond upon receipt of this E-blast. OCD-DRU must provide a report to HUD within the next 90-days that documents compliance with this requirement.
If you have any questions, please contact your Outreach Representative at your earliest convenience.
Duplication of Benefits Policy – E-Blast Dated October 13, 2014
OCD-DRU has recently adopted a Duplication of Benefits (DOB) policy for our agency. Additionally, based on guidance from HUD, each of our grantees and direct sub-recipients must also adopt their own DOB policy and procedure. To help you formulate your policy, we are providing the attached Sample DOB Policy for your use.
Each grantee and direct sub-recipient must adopt a DOB Policy and Procedure to be included with their Disaster Recovery CDBG files. Grantees that have provided Disaster CDBG funds to a sub-recipient should pass the Sample Policy to the sub-recipient for adoption for their project or program.
If you have questions or would like technical assistance in creating your DOB policy and what it is and why you need it, please contact your outreach representative.
April 28, 2015
Guidance for Disaster Recovery CDBG Recipients on Site-Specific Environmental Documents
Federal guidelines and OCD-DRU’s policies and procedures require that all homebuyer files within any CDBG-DR housing program should include the site-specific environmental documents, including the Compliance Checklist for 24 CFR 58.6. This policy applies to any new files, as well as retroactively to any homebuyer files already held by the parish.
An environmental review is required for any housing program that includes new construction, reconstruction, major or minor rehabilitation or demolition.
It is equally important that each applicant receiving a housing program grant be made aware, at the time of the grant closing, that flood insurance is required for the life of the structure. In the case of a loan through a housing program, an applicant must maintain flood insurance for the life of the loan.
Please be sure that your homebuyer files contain the necessary environmental documents, and that you are communicating to your applicants the necessity of having flood insurance on their homes.
For additional information on the Environmental Review process, see OCD-DRU Administrative Manual,
Section 9 titled Environmental Review at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dr/manual/version3.2/Section-9-Ver3.2.pdf or http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dr/manual/Sec9/Exhibits-Section9-Ver2.0.pdf for exhibits.
If you have any questions or require Technical Assistance specific to these environmental requirements, please contact OCD-DRU’s Environmental Officer, Ann Herring at 225-219-9620. As always, if you need any additional information, please work with your OCD-DRU Outreach Representative.
February 18, 2015
Guidance for Disaster Recovery CDBG Recipients on Administrative Settlement Requirements (related to Uniform Relocation Act procedures)
Please read the below information and apply this guidance when acquiring property for a project involving disaster recovery CDBG funds (NOTE: this guidance applies even if the CDBG-DR funds are not the source of funds used for the acquisition):
Documentation of negotiation proceedings and any supporting documents must be submitted to OCD-DRU for review and approval prior to the reimbursement of any property when the purchase price is higher than the fair market value. Support for administrative settlements must include a written decision from the recipient that describes both the advantages and also the disadvantages of available options that justifies the proposed increase.
Be reminded that the use of CDBG-DR funds that are in excess of fair market value and are not approved prior to disbursement by OCD-DRU will be disallowed.
These requirements are detailed in Section 10, Clause 6.1.7 of the Disaster Recovery Grantee Administrative Manual, which can be found on the OCD-DRU website at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dr/dradmin-manual.htm.
If you have any questions, please contact your Outreach Representative or your OCD-DRU Analyst.
Guidance for Disaster Recovery CDBG Recipients on changes to Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (CEA)
Please note the revised language below will be added to all new CEAs and amendments to require that all program requirements are passed down to sub-recipients, contractors, and beneficiaries;
Section I, labeled “Scope of Agreement,” part B, as follows (revised language is in blue):
B. Implementation of Agreement
Grantee’s rights and obligations under this Agreement are as a grant recipient as set forth in 24 CFR 570.501. Grantee is responsible for complying with said regulations and for implementing the Program in a manner satisfactory to the OCD and HUD and consistent with any applicable guidelines and standards that may be required as a condition of the OCD’s providing the funds, including but not limited to all applicable CDBG Program Administration and Compliance requirements set forth by this Agreement and the Statement of Assurances (attached hereto as Appendix A) executed by Grantee and made a part hereof. The OCD’s providing of Grant Funds under this Agreement is specifically conditioned on Grantee’s compliance with this provision and all program and CDBG regulations, guidelines and standard.
In the event that Grantee, in the use the Grant Funds, has one or more sub-recipients, Grantee is responsible for ensuring that Grantee’s policies and program documents are compliant with all laws, regulations, executive orders and other requirements that apply to the use of the Grant Funds made available through this Agreement.
In addition, Section I.D.7 has been changed to include language as follows:
D. Statement of Work
Grantee shall be responsible for implementing the recovery activities in compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations and all Program requirements. It shall be Grantee’s responsibility to require that all of its contractors, and all tiers of their subcontractors, all sub-recipients, if applicable, and all beneficiaries, if applicable, adhere to all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and all Program requirements, and to conduct all necessary monitoring for such compliance. As to laws and regulations which apply to the use of CDBG funds, Grantee has prior to the execution of this Agreement executed the Statement of Assurances, attached hereto and incorporated herein as Appendix A, reflecting compliance with those listed laws and regulations, which shall be deemed to be requirements of this Agreement. As to any other laws and regulations which may apply to construction projects, Grantee is responsible for determining the applicable laws and regulations and ensuring compliance therewith.
As between the Parties to this Agreement, Grantee, as the administrator of the recovery efforts of the Parish, bears sole responsibility for implementing such recovery efforts.
Grantee shall be responsible for implementation of infrastructure improvements in compliance with any applicable federal and state procurement and bid laws and regulations and in adherence with the Louisiana Public Works Act.
If you have any questions, please contact the OCD-DRU Contracts Specialist at 225-342-0856.
January 23, 2015
Compliance Issues Update
In March 2014 OCD-DRU sent communication to our grantees describing the most frequent types of concerns and findings identified by our agency during on-site monitoring reviews of grantees and sub-recipients. Also noted was where to find information related to these issues in the CDBG Regulations and in the OCD-DRU Grantee Administration Manual, so that grantees and sub-recipients could take corrective actions before their next monitoring visit.
Below is an update based on the results of OCD-DRU’s monitoring visits throughout 2014, along with the appropriate references in the Grantee Administration Manual to address the issues. Please use these to ensure that your disaster recovery CDBG work is in line with HUD regulations and ready for on-site monitoring.
- Use of Other Reference Resources:
Quite often this past year, grantees/sub-recipients have indicated that, in implementing their disaster recovery CDBG program/project, they have referred to guidance from the state’s regular CDBG program or materials provided by the Louisiana Municipal Association. The disaster recovery CDBG program, while similar to the regular CDBG program, has many different requirements, and the official documents that need to be used are the OCD/DRU Disaster Recovery CDBG Grantee Administration Manual and HUD regulations 24 CFR Part 570.
Concerns and findings continued to include:
- Lack of complete procurement policies and procedures that comply with 24 CFR Part 85.36 or, for non-profit entities, 24 CFR Part 84.40. A sample of a procurement policy can be found in Exhibit 6-1 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Failure to obtain OCD/DRU approval when only one bid is received. See Section 6, subsection 10.0 in the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Use of RFP and RFQ evaluation criteria that has the effect of limiting free and open competition. See Exhibit 6-8 in the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Failure to include all CDBG assurances in each contract. See Exhibit 5-6 in the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Awarding an administrative consultant contract and an A/E contract to the same firm. Even if the procurement for both complied with procurement procedures, this situation is seen as a real or perceived conflict under 24 CFR Part 570.489(h) that must be addressed prior to the award of such contracts.
- Failure to assure that potential contractors are not on the Federal Debarment list prior to the award of a contract. See Section 6, subsection 13.1 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Lack of evidence of a “good faith effort” identifying efforts to reach out to minority and women owned businesses when procuring goods and services. See 24 CFR Part 85.36 and Section 8 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Not properly advertising procurement solicitations to ensure that all potential bidders know that the project is funded with Disaster CDBG funds. See Section 6 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Lack of evidence that the entity’s Labor Compliance Officer reviewed weekly payrolls. See Section 7 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Failure of the prime contractor to collect weekly payrolls from subcontractors. See Section 7 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Uniform Relocation and Acquisition:
Failure to follow the proper property acquisition procedures as required by 49 CFR Part 24, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federally-Assisted Programs, and Section 10 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Lack of financial policies and procedures. See Section 5, subsections 2 and 8 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Failure to deposit CDBG Disaster Recovery funds in a non-interest bearing account. See Section 5, subsection 4.3.1 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
- Failure to perform a budget to actual reconciliation or not comparing expenditures to the approved CEA/Application budget. See Section 5, subsection 8.1.
- Records Management:
Lack of a records management system to properly account for all required CDBG compliance requirements. See Section 4 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
As always, if you have questions or need technical assistance, please contact your OCD-DRU Outreach Representative.