Grant Guideline, Notice

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 195 (Tuesday, October 8, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 195 (Tuesday, October 8, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53793-53808]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-21951]
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STATE JUSTICE INSTITUTE
Grant Guideline, Notice
AGENCY: State Justice Institute.
ACTION: Grant Guideline for FY 2020.
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SUMMARY:  This Guideline sets forth the administrative, programmatic,
and financial requirements attendant to Fiscal Year 2020 State Justice
Institute grants.
DATES: October 8, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Mattiello, Executive
Director, State Justice Institute, 11951 Freedom Drive, Suite 1020,
Reston, VA 20190, 571-313-8843, [email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the State Justice Institute Act
of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10701, et seq.), SJI is authorized to award grants,
cooperative agreements, and contracts to state and local courts,
nonprofit organizations, and others for the purpose of improving the
quality of justice in the state courts of the United States.
    The following Grant Guideline is adopted by the State Justice
Institute for FY 2020.
Table of Contents
I. The Mission of the State Justice Institute
II. Eligibility for Award
III. Scope of the Program
IV. Grant Applications
V. Grant Application Review Procedures
VI. Compliance Requirements
VII. Financial Requirements
VIII. Grant Adjustments
I. The Mission of the State Justice Institute
    SJI was established by State Justice Institute Authorization Act of
1984 (42 U.S.C. 10701 et seq.) to improve the administration of justice
in the state courts of the United States. Incorporated in the State of
Virginia as a private, nonprofit corporation, SJI is charged, by
statute, with the responsibility to:
     Direct a national program of financial assistance designed
to assure that each citizen of the United States is provided ready
access to a fair and effective system of justice;
     Foster coordination and cooperation with the federal
judiciary;
     Promote recognition of the importance of the separation of
powers doctrine to an independent judiciary; and
     Encourage education for judges and support personnel of
state court systems through national and state organizations.
    To accomplish these broad objectives, SJI is authorized to provide
funding to state courts, national organizations which support and are
supported by state courts, national judicial education organizations,
and other organizations that can assist in improving the quality of
justice in the state courts. SJI is supervised by a Board of Directors
appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Board is statutorily composed of six judges; a state court
administrator; and four members of the public, no more than two of the
same political party.
    Through the award of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements,
SJI is authorized to perform the following activities:
    A. Support technical assistance, demonstrations, special projects,
research and training to improve the administration of justice in the
state courts;
    B. Provide for the preparation, publication, and dissemination of
information regarding state judicial systems;
    C. Participate in joint projects with federal agencies and other
private grantors;
    D. Evaluate or provide for the evaluation of programs and projects
to determine their impact upon the quality of criminal, civil, and
juvenile justice and the extent to which they have contributed to
improving the quality of justice in the state courts;
    E. Encourage and assist in furthering judicial education; and;
    F. Encourage, assist, and serve in a consulting capacity to state
and local courts in the development, maintenance, and coordination of
criminal, civil, and juvenile justice programs and services.
II. Eligibility for Award
    SJI is authorized by Congress to award grants, cooperative
agreements, and contracts to the following entities and types of
organizations:
    A. State and local courts and their agencies (42 U.S.C.
10705(b)(1)(A)).
    B. National nonprofit organizations controlled by, operating in
conjunction with, and serving the judicial branches of state
governments (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(1)(B)).
    C. National nonprofit organizations for the education and training
of judges and support personnel of the judicial branch of state
governments (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(1)(C)). An applicant is considered a
national education and training applicant under section 10705(b)(1)(C)
if:
    1. The principal purpose or activity of the applicant is to provide
education and training to state and local judges and court personnel;
and
    2. The applicant demonstrates a record of substantial experience in
the field of judicial education and training.
    D. Other eligible grant recipients (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(2)(A)-(D)).
    1. Provided that the objectives of the project can be served
better, the Institute is also authorized to make awards to:
    a. Nonprofit organizations with expertise in judicial
administration;
    b. Institutions of higher education;
    c. Individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations (for-profit
organizations must waive their fees); and
    d. Private agencies with expertise in judicial administration.
    2. SJI may also make awards to state or local agencies and
institutions other than courts for services that cannot be adequately
provided through nongovernmental arrangements (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(3)).
    E. Inter-agency Agreements. SJI may enter into inter-agency
agreements with federal agencies (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(4)) and private
funders to support projects consistent with the purposes of the State
Justice Institute Act.
    SJI is prohibited from awarding grants to federal, tribal, and
international courts.
III. Scope of the Program
    SJI is offering six types of grants in FY 2020: Project Grants,
Technical Assistance (TA) Grants, Curriculum Adaptation and Training
(CAT) Grants, Partner Grants, Strategic Initiatives Grants (SIG)
Program, and the Education Support Program (ESP).
    The SJI Board of Directors has established Priority Investment
Areas for grant funding. SJI will allocate significant financial
resources through grant-making for these Priority Investment Areas (in
no ranking order):
     Opioids and the State Court Response--SJI is supporting a
comprehensive strategy for responding to the challenges facing state
courts in addressing the national opioid crisis. Projects that address
this Priority Investment Area will inform the work of the Conference of
Chief Justices/Conference of State Court Administrators (CCJ/COSCA)
National Opioid Task Force.
     Human Trafficking and the State Courts--Through the Human
Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative, addressing the impact
of federal and state human trafficking laws on the state courts, and
the challenges faced by state courts in dealing with cases involving
trafficking victims and their families.
     Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Elder Issues--Assisting
the state courts in improving their oversight responsibilities through
electronic
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reporting, visitor programs, and training.
     Juvenile Justice Reform--innovative projects that have no
other existing or potential funding sources (federal, state, or
private) that will advance best practices in handling dependency and
delinquency cases; promote effective court oversight of juveniles in
the justice system; address the impact of trauma on juvenile behavior;
assist the courts in identification of appropriate provision of
services for juveniles; and address juvenile re-entry.
     Reengineering to Improve Court Operations--Assisting
courts with the process of reengineering, regionalization or
centralization of services, structural changes, and improving
performance. This includes the innovative use of remote technology to
improve the business operations of the courts, and provide for the
transaction of court hearings without an appearance in a physical
courtroom.
     Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices--Assisting courts in
taking a leadership role in reviewing fines, fees, and bail practices
to ensure processes are fair and access to justice is assured;
implementing alternative forms of sanction; developing processes for
indigency review; and transparency, governance, and structural reforms
that promote access to justice, accountability, and oversight. Projects
that address this Priority Investment Area will inform the work of the
Conference of Chief Justices/Conference of State Court Administrators
(CCJ/COSCA) National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices.
     Family and Civil Justice Reform--Americans deserve a civil
legal process that fairly and promptly resolves disputes for everyone.
Runaway costs, delays, and complexity are denying people and businesses
the justice they seek. SJI is promoting court-based solutions to
address increases in self-represented litigants, including domestic
relations cases which are overwhelming court dockets. Specific focus is
on making courts more user-friendly to individuals, families, and
businesses, and implementing the recommendations of the Family Justice
Initiative and Civil Justice Initiative.
     Self-Represented Litigation--promoting court-based
solutions to address increase in self-represented litigants;
specifically making courts more user-friendly by simplifying court
forms, providing one-on-one assistance, developing guides, handbooks,
and instructions on how to proceed, developing court-based self-help
centers, and using internet technologies to increase access.
     Language Access and the State Courts--improving language
access in the state courts through remote interpretation (outside the
courtroom), interpreter certification, and courtroom services (plain
language forms, websites, etc.).
     Emergency Preparedness and Cybersecurity--State courts
must be prepared for both man-made and natural disasters, pandemics,
and other threats. In addition, the increase in cyberattacks on court
operations is impacting the ability to provide access to the courts.
SJI is interested in supporting projects that address these areas,
including innovative approaches to ensuring courts are prepared to
respond to disasters and attacks on electronic systems. Beyond physical
security of courthouses, SJI will assist the state courts in preparing
for, and responding to, the increase in natural disasters (such as
hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires), and man-made disasters
including denial of service and ransomware attacks on court case
management systems, websites, and other critical information technology
infrastructure.
A. Project Grants
    Project Grants are intended to support innovative education and
training, research and evaluation, demonstration, and technical
assistance projects that can improve the administration of justice in
state courts locally or nationwide. Project Grants may ordinarily not
exceed $300,000. Examples of expenses not covered by Project Grants
include the salaries, benefits, or travel of full- or part-time court
employees. Grant periods for Project Grants ordinarily may not exceed
36 months.
    Applicants for Project Grants will be required to contribute a cash
match of not less than 50 percent of the total cost of the proposed
project. In other words, grant awards by SJI must be matched at least
dollar for dollar by grant applicants. Applicants may contribute the
required cash match directly or in cooperation with third parties.
Prospective applicants should carefully review Section VI.8. (matching
requirements) and Section VI.16.a. (non-supplantation) of the Guideline
prior to beginning the application process. Funding from other federal
departments or agencies may not be used for cash match. If questions
arise, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult SJI.
    As set forth in Section I., SJI is authorized to fund projects
addressing a broad range of program areas. Funding will not be made
available for the ordinary, routine operations of court systems.
B. Technical Assistance (TA) Grants
    TA Grants are intended to provide state or local courts, or
regional court associations, with sufficient support to obtain expert
assistance to diagnose a problem, develop a response to that problem,
and implement any needed changes. TA Grants may not exceed $50,000.
Examples of expenses not covered by TA Grants include the salaries,
benefits, or travel of full- or part-time court employees. Grant
periods for TA Grants ordinarily may not exceed 12 months. In
calculating project duration, applicants are cautioned to fully
consider the time required to issue a request for proposals, negotiate
a contract with the selected provider, and execute the project.
    Applicants for TA Grants will be required to contribute a total
match of not less than 50 percent of the grant amount requested, of
which 20 percent must be cash. In other words, an applicant seeking a
$50,000 TA grant must provide a $25,000 match, of which up to $20,000
can be in-kind and not less than $5,000 must be cash. Funding from
other federal departments and agencies may not be used for cash match.
TA Grant application procedures can be found in section IV.B.
C. Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grants
    CAT Grants are intended to: (1) Enable courts or national court
associations to modify and adapt model curricula, course modules, or
conference programs to meet states' or local jurisdictions' educational
needs; train instructors to present portions or all of the curricula;
and pilot-test them to determine their appropriateness, quality, and
effectiveness, or (2) conduct judicial branch education and training
programs, led by either expert or in-house personnel, designed to
prepare judges and court personnel for innovations, reforms, and/or new
technologies recently adopted by grantee courts. CAT Grants may not
exceed $30,000. Examples of expenses not covered by CAT Grants include
the salaries, benefits, or travel of full- or part-time court
employees. Grant periods for CAT Grants ordinarily may not exceed 12
months.
    Applicants for CAT Grants will be required to contribute a match of
not less than 50 percent of the grant amount requested, of which 20
percent must be cash. In other words, an applicant seeking a $30,000
CAT grant must provide a $15,000 match, of which up to $12,000 can be
in-kind and not less
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than $3,000 must be cash. Funding from other federal departments and
agencies may not be used for cash match. CAT Grant application
procedures can be found in section IV.C.
D. Partner Grants
    Partner Grants are intended to allow SJI and federal, state, or
local agencies or foundations, trusts, or other private entities to
combine financial resources in pursuit of common interests. SJI and its
financial partners may set any level for Partner Grants, subject to the
entire amount of the grant being available at the time of the award.
Grant periods for Partner Grants ordinarily may not exceed 36 months.
    Partner Grants are subject to the same cash match requirement as
Project Grants. In other words, grant awards by SJI must be matched at
least dollar-for-dollar. Partner Grants are initiated and coordinated
by SJI and its financial partner. More information on Partner Grants
can be found in section IV.D.
E. Strategic Initiatives Grants
    The Strategic Initiatives Grants (SIG) program provides SJI with
the flexibility to address national court issues as they occur, and
develop solutions to those problems. This is an innovative approach
where SJI uses its expertise and the expertise and knowledge of its
grantees to address key issues facing state courts across the United
States.
    The funding is used for grants or contractual services, and is
handled at the discretion of the SJI Board of Directors and staff
outside the normal grant application process (i.e., SJI will initiate
the project).
F. Education Support Program (ESP) for Judges and Court Managers
    The Education Support Program (ESP) is intended to enhance the
skills, knowledge, and abilities of state court judges and court
managers by enabling them to attend out-of-state, or to enroll in
online, educational and training programs sponsored by national and
state providers that they could not otherwise attend or take online
because of limited state, local, and personal budgets. The program only
covers the cost of tuition up to a maximum of $1,000 per course. More
information on the ESP program can be found in section IV.E.
IV. Grant Applications
A. Project Grants
    An application for a Project Grant must include an application
form; budget forms (with appropriate documentation); a project abstract
and program narrative; a disclosure of lobbying form, when applicable;
and certain certifications and assurances (see below). See www.sji.gov/forms for Project Grant application forms.
1. Forms
a. Application Form (Form A)
    The application form requests basic information regarding the
proposed project, the applicant, and the total amount of funding
requested from SJI. It also requires the signature of an individual
authorized to certify on behalf of the applicant that the information
contained in the application is true and complete; that submission of
the application has been authorized by the applicant; and that if
funding for the proposed project is approved, the applicant will comply
with the requirements and conditions of the award, including the
assurances set forth in Form D.
b. Certificate of State Approval (Form B)
    An application from a state or local court must include a copy of
Form B signed by the state's chief justice or state court
administrator. The signature denotes that the proposed project has been
approved by the state's highest court or the agency or council it has
designated. It denotes further that, if applicable, a cash match
reduction has been requested, and that if SJI approves funding for the
project, the court or the specified designee will receive, administer,
and be accountable for the awarded funds.
c. Budget Form (Form C)
    Applicants must submit a Form C. In addition, applicants must
provide a detailed budget narrative providing an explanation of the
basis for the estimates in each budget category (see subsection A.4.
below).
    If funds from other sources are required to conduct the project,
either as match or to support other aspects of the project, the source,
current status of the request, and anticipated decision date must be
provided.
d. Assurances (Form D)
    This form lists the statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements
with which recipients of Institute funds must comply.
e. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (Form E)
    Applicants other than units of state or local government are
required to disclose whether they, or another entity that is part of
the same organization as the applicant, have advocated a position
before Congress on any issue, and to identify the specific subjects of
their lobbying efforts (see section VI.A.7.).
2. Project Abstract
    The abstract should highlight the purposes, goals, methods, and
anticipated benefits of the proposed project. It should not exceed 1
single-spaced page.
3. Program Narrative
    The program narrative for an application may not exceed 25 double-
spaced pages. The pages should be numbered. This page limit does not
include the forms, the abstract, the budget narrative, and any
appendices containing resumes and letters of cooperation or
endorsement. Additional background material should be attached only if
it is essential to impart a clear understanding of the proposed
project. Numerous and lengthy appendices are strongly discouraged.
    The program narrative should address the following topics:
a. Project Objectives
    The applicant should include a clear, concise statement of what the
proposed project is intended to accomplish. In stating the objectives
of the project, applicants should focus on the overall programmatic
objective (e.g., to enhance understanding and skills regarding a
specific subject, or to determine how a certain procedure affects the
court and litigants) rather than on operational objectives.
    The applicant must describe how the proposed project addresses one
or more Priority Investment Areas. If the project does not address one
or more Priority Investment Areas, the applicant must provide an
explanation why not.
b. Need for the Project
    If the project is to be conducted in any specific location(s), the
applicant should discuss the particular needs of the project site(s) to
be addressed by the project and why those needs are not being met
through the use of existing programs, procedures, services, or other
resources.
    If the project is not site-specific, the applicant should discuss
the problems that the proposed project would address, and why existing
programs, procedures, services, or other resources cannot adequately
resolve those problems. In addition, the applicant should describe how,
if applicable, the project will be sustained in the future through
existing resources.
    The discussion should include specific references to the relevant
literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make
all grant
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reports and most grant products available online through the National
Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive. Applicants
are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and Digital
Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search should
include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported by SJI.
Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources begin
with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the results of
their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous work into
their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate from
prior work.
c. Tasks, Methods and Evaluations
    (1) Tasks and Methods. The applicant should delineate the tasks to
be performed in achieving the project objectives and the methods to be
used for accomplishing each task. For example:
    (a) For research and evaluation projects, the applicant should
include the data sources, data collection strategies, variables to be
examined, and analytic procedures to be used for conducting the
research or evaluation and ensuring the validity and general
applicability of the results. For projects involving human subjects,
the discussion of methods should address the procedures for obtaining
respondents' informed consent, ensuring the respondents' privacy and
freedom from risk or harm, and protecting others who are not the
subjects of research but would be affected by the research. If the
potential exists for risk or harm to human subjects, a discussion
should be included that explains the value of the proposed research and
the methods to be used to minimize or eliminate such risk.
    (b) For education and training projects, the applicant should
include the adult education techniques to be used in designing and
presenting the program, including the teaching/learning objectives of
the educational design, the teaching methods to be used, and the
opportunities for structured interaction among the participants; how
faculty would be recruited, selected, and trained; the proposed number
and length of the conferences, courses, seminars, or workshops to be
conducted and the estimated number of persons who would attend them;
the materials to be provided and how they would be developed; and the
cost to participants.
    (c) For demonstration projects, the applicant should include the
demonstration sites and the reasons they were selected, or if the sites
have not been chosen, how they would be identified and their
cooperation obtained; and how the program or procedures would be
implemented and monitored.
    (d) For technical assistance projects, the applicant should explain
the types of assistance that would be provided; the particular issues
and problems for which assistance would be provided; the type of
assistance determined; how suitable providers would be selected and
briefed; and how reports would be reviewed.
    (2) Evaluation. Projects should include an evaluation plan to
determine whether the project met its objectives. The evaluation should
be designed to provide an objective and independent assessment of the
effectiveness or usefulness of the training or services provided; the
impact of the procedures, technology, or services tested; or the
validity and applicability of the research conducted. The evaluation
plan should be appropriate to the type of project proposed.
d. Project Management
    The applicant should present a detailed management plan, including
the starting and completion date for each task; the time commitments to
the project of key staff and their responsibilities regarding each
project task; and the procedures that would ensure that all tasks are
performed on time, within budget, and at the highest level of quality.
In preparing the project time line, Gantt Chart, or schedule,
applicants should make certain that all project activities, including
publication or reproduction of project products and their initial
dissemination, would occur within the proposed project period. The
management plan must also provide for the submission of Quarterly
Progress and Financial Reports within 30 days after the close of each
calendar quarter (i.e., no later than January 30, April 30, July 30,
and October 30), per section VI.A.13.
    Applicants should be aware that SJI is unlikely to approve a
limited extension of the grant period without strong justification.
Therefore, the management plan should be as realistic as possible and
fully reflect the time commitments of the proposed project staff and
consultants.
e. Products
    The program narrative in the application should contain a
description of the product(s) to be developed (e.g., training curricula
and materials, websites or other electronic multimedia, articles,
guidelines, manuals, reports, handbooks, benchbooks, or books),
including when they would be submitted to SJI. The budget should
include the cost of producing and disseminating the product to the
state chief justice, state court administrator, and other appropriate
judges or court personnel. If final products involve electronic
formats, the applicant should indicate how the product would be made
available to other courts. Discussion of this dissemination process
should occur between the grantee and SJI prior to the final selection
of the dissemination process to be used.
    (1) Dissemination Plan. The application must explain how and to
whom the products would be disseminated; describe how they would
benefit the state courts, including how they could be used by judges
and court personnel; identify development, production, and
dissemination costs covered by the project budget; and present the
basis on which products and services developed or provided under the
grant would be offered to the court community and the public at large
(i.e., whether products would be distributed at no cost to recipients,
or if costs are involved, the reason for charging recipients and the
estimated price of the product). Ordinarily, applicants should schedule
all product preparation and distribution activities within the project
period.
    Applicants proposing to develop web-based products should provide
for sending a notice and description of the document to the appropriate
audiences to alert them to the availability of the website or
electronic product (i.e., a written report with a reference to the
website).
    Three (3) copies of all project products should be submitted to
SJI, along with an electronic version in HTML or PDF format.
Discussions of final product dissemination should be conducted with SJI
prior to the end of the grant period.
    (2) Types of Products. The type of product to be prepared depends
on the nature of the project. For example, in most instances, the
products of a research, evaluation, or demonstration project should
include an article summarizing the project findings that is publishable
in a journal serving the courts community nationally, an executive
summary that would be disseminated to the project's primary audience,
or both. Applicants proposing to conduct empirical research or
evaluation projects with national import should describe how they would
make their data available for secondary analysis after the grant period
(see section VI.A.14.a.).
[[Page 53797]]
    The curricula and other products developed through education and
training projects should be designed for use by others and again by the
original participants in the course of their duties.
    (3) SJI Review. Applicants must submit a final draft of all written
grant products to SJI for review and approval at least 30 days before
the products are submitted for publication or reproduction. For
products in website or multimedia format, applicants must provide for
SJI review of the product at the treatment, script, rough-cut, and
final stages of development, or their equivalents. No grant funds may
be obligated for publication or reproduction of a final grant product
without the written approval of SJI (see section VI.A.11.f.).
    (4) Acknowledgment, Disclaimer, and Logo. Applicants must also
include in all project products a prominent acknowledgment that support
was received from SJI and a disclaimer paragraph based on the example
provided in section VI.A.11.a.2. in the Grant Guideline. The ``SJI''
logo must appear on the front cover of a written product, or in the
opening frames of a website or other multimedia product, unless SJI
approves another placement. The SJI logo can be downloaded from SJI's
website: www.sji.gov.
f. Applicant Status
    An applicant that is not a state or local court and has not
received a grant from SJI within the past three years should indicate
whether it is either a national non-profit organization controlled by,
operating in conjunction with, and serving the judicial branches of
state governments, or a national non-profit organization for the
education and training of state court judges and support personnel (see
section II). If the applicant is a non-judicial unit of federal, state,
or local government, it must explain whether the proposed services
could be adequately provided by non-governmental entities.
g. Staff Capability
    The applicant should include a summary of the training and
experience of the key staff members and consultants that qualify them
for conducting and managing the proposed project. Resumes of identified
staff should be attached to the application. If one or more key staff
members and consultants are not known at the time of the application, a
description of the criteria that would be used to select persons for
these positions should be included. The applicant also should identify
the person who would be responsible for managing and reporting on the
financial aspects of the proposed project.
h. Organizational Capacity
    Applicants that have not received a grant from SJI within the past
three years should include a statement describing their capacity to
administer grant funds, including the financial systems used to monitor
project expenditures (and income, if any), and a summary of their past
experience in administering grants, as well as any resources or
capabilities that they have that would particularly assist in the
successful completion of the project.
    Unless requested otherwise, an applicant that has received a grant
from SJI within the past three years should describe only the changes
in its organizational capacity, tax status, or financial capability
that may affect its capacity to administer a grant.
    If the applicant is a non-profit organization (other than a
university), it must also provide documentation of its 501(c) tax-
exempt status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service and a copy
of a current certified audit report. For purposes of this requirement,
``current'' means no earlier than two years prior to the present
calendar year.
    If a current audit report is not available, SJI will require the
organization to complete a financial capability questionnaire, which
must be signed by a certified public accountant. Other applicants may
be required to provide a current audit report, a financial capability
questionnaire, or both, if specifically requested to do so by the
Institute.
i. Statement of Lobbying Activities
    Non-governmental applicants must submit SJI's Disclosure of
Lobbying Activities Form E, which documents whether they, or another
entity that is a part of the same organization as the applicant, have
advocated a position before Congress on any issue, and identifies the
specific subjects of their lobbying efforts.
j. Letters of Cooperation or Support
    If the cooperation of courts, organizations, agencies, or
individuals other than the applicant is required to conduct the
project, the applicant should attach written assurances of cooperation
and availability to the application, or send them under separate cover.
Letters of general support for a project are also encouraged.
4. Budget Narrative
    In addition to Project Grant applications, the following section
also applies to Technical Assistance and Curriculum Adaptation and
Training grant applications.
    The budget narrative should provide the basis for the computation
of all project-related costs. When the proposed project would be
partially supported by grants from other funding sources, applicants
should make clear what costs would be covered by those other grants.
Additional background information or schedules may be attached if they
are essential to obtaining a clear understanding of the proposed
budget. Numerous and lengthy appendices are strongly discouraged.
    The budget narrative should cover the costs of all components of
the project and clearly identify costs attributable to the project
evaluation.
a. Justification of Personnel Compensation
    The applicant should set forth the percentages of time to be
devoted by the individuals who would staff the proposed project, the
annual salary of each of those persons, and the number of work days per
year used for calculating the percentages of time or daily rates of
those individuals. The applicant should explain any deviations from
current rates or established written organizational policies. No grant
funds or cash match may be used to pay the salary and related costs for
a current or new employee of a court or other unit of government
because such funds would constitute a supplantation of state or local
funds in violation of 42 U.S.C. 10706(d)(1); this includes new
employees hired specifically for the project. The salary and any
related costs for a current or new employee of a court or other unit of
government may only be accepted as in-kind match.
b. Fringe Benefit Computation
    For non-governmental entities, the applicant should provide a
description of the fringe benefits provided to employees. If
percentages are used, the authority for such use should be presented,
as well as a description of the elements included in the determination
of the percentage rate.
c. Consultant/Contractual Services and Honoraria
    The applicant should describe the tasks each consultant would
perform, the estimated total amount to be paid to each consultant, the
basis for compensation rates (e.g., the number of days multiplied by
the daily consultant
[[Page 53798]]
rates), and the method for selection. Rates for consultant services
must be set in accordance with section VII.I.2.c. Prior written SJI
approval is required for any consultant rate in excess of $800 per day;
SJI funds may not be used to pay a consultant more than $1,100 per day.
Honorarium payments must be justified in the same manner as consultant
payments.
d. Travel
    Transportation costs and per diem rates must comply with the
policies of the applicant organization. If the applicant does not have
an established travel policy, then travel rates must be consistent with
those established by the federal government. The budget narrative
should include an explanation of the rate used, including the
components of the per diem rate and the basis for the estimated
transportation expenses. The purpose of the travel should also be
included in the narrative.
e. Equipment
    Grant funds may be used to purchase only the equipment necessary to
demonstrate a new technological application in a court or that is
otherwise essential to accomplishing the objectives of the project. In
other words, grant funds cannot be used strictly for the purpose of
purchasing equipment. Equipment purchases to support basic court
operations will not be approved. The applicant should describe the
equipment to be purchased or leased and explain why the acquisition of
that equipment is essential to accomplish the project's goals and
objectives. The narrative should clearly identify which equipment is to
be leased and which is to be purchased. The method of procurement
should also be described.
f. Supplies
    The applicant should provide a general description of the supplies
necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives of the grant. In
addition, the applicant should provide the basis for the amount
requested for this expenditure category.
g. Construction
    Construction expenses are prohibited.
h. Postage
    Anticipated postage costs for project-related mailings, including
distribution of the final product(s), should be described in the budget
narrative. The cost of special mailings, such as for a survey or for
announcing a workshop, should be distinguished from routine mailing
costs. The bases for all postage estimates should be included in the
budget narrative.
i. Printing/Photocopying
    Anticipated costs for printing or photocopying project documents,
reports, and publications should be included in the budget narrative,
along with the bases used to calculate these estimates.
j. Indirect Costs
    Indirect costs are only applicable to organizations that are not
state courts or government agencies. Recoverable indirect costs are
limited to no more than 75 percent of a grantee's direct personnel
costs, i.e. salaries plus fringe benefits (see section VII.H.3.).
    Applicants should describe the indirect cost rates applicable to
the grant in detail. If costs often included within an indirect cost
rate are charged directly (e.g., a percentage of the time of senior
managers to supervise project activities), the applicant should specify
that these costs are not included within its approved indirect cost
rate. These rates must be established in accordance with section
VII.H.3. If the applicant has an indirect cost rate or allocation plan
approved by any federal granting agency, a copy of the approved rate
agreement must be attached to the application.
5. Submission Requirements
    a. Every applicant must submit an original and one copy, by mail,
of the application package consisting of Form A; Form B, if the
application is from a state or local court, or a Disclosure of Lobbying
Form (Form E), if the applicant is not a unit of state or local
government; Form C; the Application Abstract; the Program Narrative;
the Budget Narrative; and any necessary appendices.
    Letters of application may be submitted at any time. However,
applicants are encouraged to review the grant deadlines available on
the SJI website. Receipt of each application will be acknowledged by
letter or email.
    b. Applicants submitting more than one application may include
material that would be identical in each application in a cover letter.
This material will be incorporated by reference into each application
and counted against the 25-page limit for the program narrative. A copy
of the cover letter should be attached to each copy of the application.
B. Technical Assistance (TA) Grants
1. Application Procedures
    Applicants for TA Grants may submit an original and one copy, by
mail, of a detailed letter describing the proposed project, as well as
a Form A--State Justice Institute Application; Form B--Certificate of
State Approval from the State Supreme Court, or its designated agency;
and Form C--Project Budget in Tabular Format (see www.sji.gov/forms).
2. Application Format
    Although there is no prescribed form for the letter, or a minimum
or maximum page limit, letters of application should include the
following information:
    a. Need for Funding. The applicant must explain the critical need
facing the applicant, and the proposed technical assistance that will
enable the applicant meet this critical need. The applicant must also
explain why state or local resources are not sufficient to fully
support the costs of the project. In addition, the applicant should
describe how, if applicable, the project will be sustained in the
future through existing resources.
    The discussion should include specific references to the relevant
literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make
all grant reports and most grant products available online through the
National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive.
Applicants are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and
Digital Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search
should include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported
by SJI. Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources
begin with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the
results of their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous
work into their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate
from prior work.
    b. Project Description. The applicant must describe how the
proposed project addressed one or more Priority Investment Areas. If
the project does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the
applicant must provide an explanation why not.
    The applicant must describe the tasks the consultant will perform,
and how would they be accomplished. In addition, the applicant must
identify which organization or individual will be hired to provide the
assistance, and how the consultant was selected. If a consultant has
not yet been identified, what procedures and criteria would be used to
select the consultant (applicants are expected to follow their
jurisdictions' normal procedures for procuring consultant services)?
What specific tasks would the consultant(s) and court staff undertake?
What is the
[[Page 53799]]
schedule for completion of each required task and the entire project?
How would the applicant oversee the project and provide guidance to the
consultant, and who at the court or regional court association would be
responsible for coordinating all project tasks and submitting quarterly
progress and financial status reports?
    If the consultant has been identified, the applicant should provide
a letter from that individual or organization documenting interest in
and availability for the project, as well as the consultant's ability
to complete the assignment within the proposed time frame and for the
proposed cost. The consultant must agree to submit a detailed written
report to the court and SJI upon completion of the technical
assistance.
    c. Likelihood of Implementation. What steps have been or would be
taken to facilitate implementation of the consultant's recommendations
upon completion of the technical assistance? For example, if the
support or cooperation of specific court officials or committees, other
agencies, funding bodies, organizations, or a court other than the
applicant would be needed to adopt the changes recommended by the
consultant and approved by the court, how would they be involved in the
review of the recommendations and development of the implementation
plan?
3. Budget and Matching State Contribution
    Applicants must follow the same guidelines provided under Section
IV.A. A completed Form C--Project Budget, Tabular Format and budget
narrative must be included with the letter requesting technical
assistance.
    The budget narrative should provide the basis for all project-
related costs, including the basis for determining the estimated
consultant costs, if compensation of the consultant is required (e.g.,
the number of days per task times the requested daily consultant rate).
Applicants should be aware that consultant rates above $800 per day
must be approved in advance by SJI, and that no consultant will be paid
more than $1,100 per day from SJI funds. In addition, the budget should
provide for submission of two copies of the consultant's final report
to the SJI.
    Recipients of TA Grants must maintain appropriate documentation to
support expenditures.
4. Submission Requirements
    Letters of application should be submitted according to the grant
deadlines provided on the SJI website.
    If the support or cooperation of agencies, funding bodies,
organizations, or courts other than the applicant would be needed in
order for the consultant to perform the required tasks, written
assurances of such support or cooperation should accompany the
application letter. Letters of general support for the project are also
encouraged. Support letters may be submitted under separate cover;
however, they should be received by the same date as the application.
C. Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grants
1. Application Procedures
    Applicants must submit an original and one copy, by mail, of a
detailed letter as well as a Form A--State Justice Institute
Application; Form B--Certificate of State Approval; and Form C--Project
Budget, Tabular Format (see www.sji.gov/forms).
2. Application Format
    Although there is no prescribed format for the letter, or a minimum
or maximum page limit, letters of application should include the
following information.
    a. For adaptation of a curriculum:
    (1) Project Description. The applicant must describe how the
proposed project addresses one or more Priority Investment Areas. If
the project does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the
applicant must provide an explanation why not. Due to the high costs of
travel to attend training events, the innovative use of distance
learning is highly encouraged.
    The applicant must provide the title of the curriculum that will be
adapted, and identify the entity that originally developed the
curriculum. The applicant must also address the following questions:
Why is this education program needed at the present time? What are the
project's goals? What are the learning objectives of the adapted
curriculum? What program components would be implemented, and what
types of modifications, if any, are anticipated in length, format,
learning objectives, teaching methods, or content? Who would be
responsible for adapting the model curriculum? Who would the
participants be, how many would there be, how would they be recruited,
and from where would they come (e.g., from a single local jurisdiction,
from across the state, from a multi-state region, from across the
nation)?
    (2) Need for Funding. The discussion should include specific
references to the relevant literature and to the experience in the
field. SJI continues to make all grant reports and most grant products
available online through the National Center for State Courts (NCSC)
Library and Digital Archive. Applicants are required to conduct a
search of the NCSC Library and Digital Archive on the topic areas they
are addressing. This search should include SJI-funded grants, and
previous projects not supported by SJI. Searches for SJI grant reports
and other state court resources begin with the NCSC Library section.
Applicants must discuss the results of their research; how they plan to
incorporate the previous work into their proposed project; and if the
project will differentiate from prior work.
    The applicant should explain why state or local resources are
unable to fully support the modification and presentation of the model
curriculum. The applicant should also describe the potential for
replicating or integrating the adapted curriculum in the future using
state or local funds, once it has been successfully adapted and tested.
In addition, the applicant should describe how, if applicable, the
project will be sustained in the future through existing resources.
    (3) Likelihood of Implementation. The applicant should provide the
proposed timeline, including the project start and end dates, the
date(s) the judicial branch education program will be presented, and
the process that will be used to modify and present the program. The
applicant should also identify who will serve as faculty, and how they
were selected, in addition to the measures taken to facilitate
subsequent presentations of the program. Ordinarily, an independent
evaluation of a curriculum adaptation project is not required; however,
the results of any evaluation should be included in the final report.
    (4) Expressions of Interest by Judges and/or Court Personnel. Does
the proposed program have the support of the court system or
association leadership, and of judges, court managers, and judicial
branch education personnel who are expected to attend? Applicants may
demonstrate this by attaching letters of support.
    b. For training assistance:
    (1) Need for Funding. The applicant must describe how the proposed
project addresses one or more Priority Investment Areas. If the project
does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the applicant
must provide an explanation why not.
    The discussion should include specific references to the relevant
literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make
all grant
[[Page 53800]]
reports and most grant products available online through the National
Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive. Applicants
are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and Digital
Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search should
include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported by SJI.
Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources begin
with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the results of
their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous work into
their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate from
prior work.
    The applicant should describe the court reform or initiative
prompting the need for training. The applicant should also discuss how
the proposed training will help the applicant implement planned changes
at the court, and why state or local resources are not sufficient to
fully support the costs of the required training. In addition, the
applicant should describe how, if applicable, the project will be
sustained in the future through existing resources.
    (2) Project Description. The applicant must identify the tasks the
trainer(s) will be expected to perform, which organization or
individual will be hired, and, if in-house personnel are not the
trainers, how the trainer will be selected. If a trainer has not yet
been identified, the applicant must describe the procedures and
criteria that will be used to select the trainer. In addition, the
applicant should address the following questions: What specific tasks
would the trainer and court staff or regional court association members
undertake? What presentation methods will be used? What is the schedule
for completion of each required task and the entire project? How will
the applicant oversee the project and provide guidance to the trainer,
and who at the court or affiliated with the regional court association
would be responsible for coordinating all project tasks and submitting
quarterly progress and financial status reports?
    If the trainer has been identified, the applicant should provide a
letter from that individual or organization documenting interest in and
availability for the project, as well as the trainer's ability to
complete the assignment within the proposed time frame and for the
proposed cost.
    (3) Likelihood of Implementation. The applicant should explain what
steps have been or will be taken to coordinate the implementation of
the training. For example, if the support or cooperation of specific
court or regional court association officials or committees, other
agencies, funding bodies, organizations, or a court other than the
applicant will be needed to adopt the reform and initiate the training
proposed, how will the applicant secure their involvement in the
development and implementation of the training?
3. Budget and Matching State Contribution
    Applicants must also follow the same guidelines provided under
Section IV.A. Applicants should attach a copy of budget Form C and a
budget narrative that describes the basis for the computation of all
project-related costs and the source of the match offered.
4. Submission Requirements
    For curriculum adaptation requests, applicants should allow at
least 90 days between the Board meeting and the date of the proposed
program to allow sufficient time for needed planning. Letters of
support for the project are also encouraged. Applicants are encouraged
to call SJI to discuss concerns about timing of submissions.
D. Partner Grants
    SJI and its funding partners may meld, pick and choose, or waive
their application procedures, grant cycles, or grant requirements to
expedite the award of jointly-funded grants targeted at emerging or
high priority problems confronting state and local courts. SJI may
solicit brief proposals from potential grantees to fellow financial
partners as a first step. Should SJI be chosen as the lead grant
manager, Project Grant application procedures will apply to the
proposed Partner Grant.
E. Education Support Program (ESP)
    The Education Support Program (ESP) supports full-time state court
judges and court managers to attend courses that enhance the knowledge,
skills, and abilities which they could not otherwise attend because of
limited, state, local, or personal budgets. The National Judicial
College (NJC) and the National Center for State Courts/Institute for
Court Management (ICM) will administer the ESP program separately, in
partnership and with funding from SJI.
    a. Covered Costs. The ESP program only covers the costs of tuition
up to a maximum of $1,000 per award. Awards will be made for the exact
amount requested for tuition. Funds to play tuition in excess of
$1,000, and other costs of participating in a course such as travel,
transportation, meals, materials, and transportation to and from
airports (including rental cars) at the site of the educational
program, must be obtained from other sources or be borne by the ESP
award recipient.
    b. Eligible Recipients. Because of the limited amount of funding
available, only full-time judges of state or local trial and appellate
courts; full-time professional, state or local court personnel with
management and supervisory responsibilities or on a professional
management career track; and supervisory and management probation
personnel in judicial branch probation offices are eligible for the
program. Senior judges, part-time judges, quasi-judicial hearing
officers including referees and commissioners, administrative law
judges, staff attorneys, law clerks, line staff, law enforcement
officers, and other executive branch personnel are not eligible.
Applicants will be limited to one ESP award every other fiscal year
(i.e., if awarded an ESP in FY 2020, the applicant will remain
ineligible until FY 2022), unless the course specifically assumes
multi-year participation as part of a certificate program.
    c. Eligible Courses. Awards are only for courses presented by the
NJC and ICM in a U.S. jurisdiction to participants in the U.S. or U.S.
Territories. These courses are designed to enhance the skills of new or
experienced judges and court managers. Participation during annual or
mid-year conferences or meetings of a state or national organization
does not qualify for ESP purposes, even though the conference may
include workshops or other training sessions.
     d. How and When To Apply.
    For NJC Courses: To seek an ESP to attend an NJC course, simply
find the course you wish to attend on the NJC website: www.judges.org/courses, and click ``register.'' During the registration process, the
website will ask whether you need a scholarship to attend. Simply
follow the online instructions to request tuition assistance. If you
have any questions about this process, you may contact NJC Scholarship
Coordinator Brenda Pardini, at [email protected] or 800-225-8343. The
NJC reserves the right to apply additional selection criteria.
    For ICM Courses: To seek an ESP to participate in the ICM Fellows
Program, submit a completed application to ICM Education Program
Manager Amy McDowell, at [email protected]. If you have questions
about this process, you may contact her at 757-259-1552 or via email.
To seek an ESP to participate in an ICM course, find the course you
wish to attend on the ICM website: www.courses.ncscs.org, and click
``register.'' During the registration process, the website will ask if
you need
[[Page 53801]]
a scholarship to participate. Follow the online instructions to request
tuition assistance. If you have any questions about this process, you
may contact ICM Director of National Programs Margaret Allen, at
[email protected] or 757-259-1581. ICM reserves the right to apply
additional selection criteria.
    e. Responsibilities of ESP Award Recipients. Recipients are
responsible for disseminating the information received from the course,
when possible, to their court colleagues locally, and if possible,
throughout the state. The NJC and ICM may impose additional
requirements on recipients.
V. Application Review Procedures
A. Preliminary Inquiries
    SJI staff will answer inquiries concerning application procedures.
B. Selection Criteria
1. Project Grant Applications
    a. Project Grant applications will be rated on the basis of the
criteria set forth below. SJI will accord the greatest weight to the
following criteria:
    (1) The soundness of the methodology;
    (2) The demonstration of need for the project;
    (3) The appropriateness of the proposed evaluation design;
    (4) If applicable, the key findings and recommendations of the most
recent evaluation and the proposed responses to those findings and
recommendations;
    (5) The applicant's management plan and organizational
capabilities;
    (6) The qualifications of the project's staff;
    (7) The products and benefits resulting from the project, including
the extent to which the project will have long-term benefits for state
courts across the nation;
    (8) The degree to which the findings, procedures, training,
technology, or other results of the project can be transferred to other
jurisdictions;
    (9) The reasonableness of the proposed budget; and,
    (10) The demonstration of cooperation and support of other agencies
that may be affected by the project.
    b. In determining which projects to support, SJI will also consider
whether the applicant is a state court, a national court support or
education organization, a non-court unit of government, or other type
of entity eligible to receive grants under SJI's enabling legislation
(see section II.); the availability of financial assistance from other
sources for the project; the amount of the applicant's match; the
extent to which the proposed project would also benefit the federal
courts or help state courts enforce federal constitutional and
legislative requirements; and the level of appropriations available to
SJI in the current year and the amount expected to be available in
succeeding fiscal years.
2. Technical Assistance (TA) Grant Applications
    TA Grant applications will be rated on the basis of the following
criteria:
    a. Whether the assistance would address a critical need of the
applicant;
    b. The soundness of the technical assistance approach to the
problem;
    c. The qualifications of the consultant(s) to be hired or the
specific criteria that will be used to select the consultant(s);
    d. The commitment of the court or association to act on the
consultant's recommendations; and,
    e. The reasonableness of the proposed budget.
    SJI also will consider factors such as the level and nature of the
match that would be provided, diversity of subject matter, geographic
diversity, the level of appropriations available to SJI in the current
year, and the amount expected to be available in succeeding fiscal
years.
3. Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grant Applications
    CAT Grant applications will be rated on the basis of the following
criteria:
    a. For curriculum adaptation projects:
    (1) The goals and objectives of the proposed project;
    (2) The need for outside funding to support the program;
    (3) The appropriateness of the approach in achieving the project's
educational objectives;
    (4) The likelihood of effective implementation and integration of
the modified curriculum into ongoing educational programming; and,
    (5) Expressions of interest by the judges and/or court personnel
who would be directly involved in or affected by the project.
    b. For training assistance:
    (1) Whether the training would address a critical need of the court
or association;
    (2) The soundness of the training approach to the problem;
    (3) The qualifications of the trainer(s) to be hired or the
specific criteria that will be used to select the trainer(s);
    (4) The commitment of the court or association to the training
program; and
    (5) The reasonableness of the proposed budget.
    SJI will also consider factors such as the reasonableness of the
amount requested; compliance with match requirements; diversity of
subject matter, geographic diversity; the level of appropriations
available to SJI in the current year; and the amount expected to be
available in succeeding fiscal years.
4. Partner Grants
    The selection criteria for Partner Grants will be driven by the
collective priorities of SJI and other organizations and their
collective assessments regarding the needs and capabilities of court
and court-related organizations. Having settled on priorities, SJI and
its financial partners will likely contact the courts or court-related
organizations most acceptable as pilots, laboratories, consultants, or
the like.
C. Review and Approval Process
1. Project Grant Applications
    SJI's Board of Directors will review the applications
competitively. The Board will review all applications and decide which
projects to fund. The decision to fund a project is solely that of the
Board of Directors. The Chairman of the Board will sign approved awards
on behalf of SJI.
2. Technical Assistance (TA) and Curriculum Adaptation and Training
(CAT) Grant Applications
    The Board will review the applications competitively. The Board
will review all applications and decide which projects to fund. The
decision to fund a project is solely that of the Board of Directors.
The Chairman of the Board will sign approved awards on behalf of SJI.
3. Partner Grants
    SJI's internal process for the review and approval of Partner
Grants will depend on negotiations with fellow financiers. SJI may use
its procedures, a partner's procedures, a mix of both, or entirely
unique procedures. All Partner Grants will be approved by the Board of
Directors.
D. Return Policy
    Unless a specific request is made, unsuccessful applications will
not be returned.
E. Notification of Board Decision
    SJI will send written notice to applicants concerning all Board
decisions to approve, defer, or deny their respective applications. For
all applications (except ESP applications), if requested, SJI will
convey the key issues and questions that arose during the review
process. A decision by the Board to deny an application may not be
appealed, but it does not prohibit
[[Page 53802]]
resubmission of a proposal in a subsequent funding cycle.
F. Response to Notification of Approval
    With the exception of those approved for ESP awards, applicants
have 30 days from the date of the letter notifying them that the Board
has approved their application to respond to any revisions requested by
the Board. If the requested revisions (or a reasonable schedule for
submitting such revisions) have not been submitted to SJI within 30
days after notification, the approval may be rescinded and the
application presented to the Board for reconsideration. In the event an
issue will only be resolved after award, such as the selection of a
consultant, the final award document will include a Special Condition
that will require additional grantee reporting and SJI review and
approval. Special Conditions, in the form of incentives or sanctions,
may also be used in other situations.
VI. Compliance Requirements
    The State Justice Institute Act contains limitations and conditions
on grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements awarded by SJI. The
Board of Directors has approved additional policies governing the use
of SJI grant funds. These statutory and policy requirements are set
forth below.
A. Recipients of Project Grants
1. Advocacy
    No funds made available by SJI may be used to support or conduct
training programs for the purpose of advocating particular non-judicial
public policies or encouraging non-judicial political activities (42
U.S.C. 10706(b)).
2. Approval of Key Staff
    If the qualifications of an employee or consultant assigned to a
key project staff position are not described in the application or if
there is a change of a person assigned to such a position, the
recipient must submit a description of the qualifications of the newly
assigned person to SJI. Prior written approval of the qualifications of
the new person assigned to a key staff position must be received from
the Institute before the salary or consulting fee of that person and
associated costs may be paid or reimbursed from grant funds.
3. Audit
    Recipients of SJI grants must provide for an annual fiscal audit
which includes an opinion on whether the financial statements of the
grantee present fairly its financial position and its financial
operations are in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles (see section VII.I. for the requirements of such audits).
4. Budget Revisions
    Budget revisions among direct cost categories that: (a) Transfer
grant funds to an unbudgeted cost category, or (b) individually or
cumulatively exceed five percent of the approved original budget or the
most recently approved revised budget require prior SJI approval (see
section VIII.A.1.).
5. Conflict of Interest
    Personnel and other officials connected with SJI-funded programs
must adhere to the following requirements:
    a. No official or employee of a recipient court or organization
shall participate personally through decision, approval, disapproval,
recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise in
any proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other
determination, contract, grant, cooperative agreement, claim,
controversy, or other particular matter in which SJI funds are used,
where, to his or her knowledge, he or she or his or her immediate
family, partners, organization other than a public agency in which he
or she is serving as officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee
or any person or organization with whom he or she is negotiating or has
any arrangement concerning prospective employment, has a financial
interest.
    b. In the use of SJI project funds, an official or employee of a
recipient court or organization shall avoid any action which might
result in or create the appearance of:
    (1) Using an official position for private gain; or
    (2) Affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the
integrity of the Institute program.
    c. Requests for proposals or invitations for bids issued by a
recipient of Institute funds or a subgrantee or subcontractor will
provide notice to prospective bidders that the contractors who develop
or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, and/or
requests for proposals for a proposed procurement will be excluded from
bidding on or submitting a proposal to compete for the award of such
procurement.
6. Inventions and Patents
    If any patentable items, patent rights, processes, or inventions
are produced in the course of SJI-sponsored work, such fact shall be
promptly and fully reported to SJI. Unless there is a prior agreement
between the grantee and SJI on disposition of such items, SJI shall
determine whether protection of the invention or discovery shall be
sought.
7. Lobbying
    a. Funds awarded to recipients by SJI shall not be used, indirectly
or directly, to influence Executive Orders or similar promulgations by
federal, state or local agencies, or to influence the passage or defeat
of any legislation by federal, state or local legislative bodies (42
U.S.C. 10706(a)).
    b. It is the policy of the Board of Directors to award funds only
to support applications submitted by organizations that would carry out
the objectives of their applications in an unbiased manner. Consistent
with this policy and the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 10706, SJI will not
knowingly award a grant to an applicant that has, directly or through
an entity that is part of the same organization as the applicant,
advocated a position before Congress on the specific subject matter of
the application.
8. Matching Requirements
    All grantees other than ESP award recipients are required to
provide a match. A match is the portion of project costs not borne by
the Institute. Match includes both cash and in-kind contributions. Cash
match is the direct outlay of funds by the grantee or a third party to
support the project. In-kind match consists of contributions of time
and/or services of current staff members, new employees, space,
supplies, etc., made to the project by the grantee or others (e.g.,
advisory board members) working directly on the project or that portion
of the grantee's federally-approved indirect cost rate that exceeds the
Guideline's limit of permitted charges (75 percent of salaries and
benefits).
    Under normal circumstances, allowable match may be incurred only
during the project period. When appropriate, and with the prior written
permission of SJI, match may be incurred from the date of the Board of
Directors' approval of an award. The amount and nature of required
match depends on the type of grant (see section III.).
    The grantee is responsible for ensuring that the total amount of
match proposed is actually contributed. If a proposed contribution is
not fully met, SJI may reduce the award amount accordingly, in order to
maintain the ratio originally provided for in the award agreement (see
section VII.D.1.). Match should be expended at the same rate as SJI
funding.
    The Board of Directors looks favorably upon any unrequired match
contributed
[[Page 53803]]
by applicants when making grant decisions. The match requirement may be
waived in exceptionally rare circumstances upon the request of the
chief justice of the highest court in the state or the highest ranking
official in the requesting organization and approval by the Board of
Directors (42 U.S.C. 10705(d)). The Board of Directors encourages all
applicants to provide the maximum amount of cash and in-kind match
possible, even if a waiver is approved. The amount and nature of match
are criteria in the grant selection process (see section V.B.1.b.).
    Other federal department and agency funding may not be used for
cash match.
9. Nondiscrimination
    No person may, on the basis of race, sex, national origin,
disability, color, or creed be excluded from participation in, denied
the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under any
program or activity supported by SJI funds. Recipients of SJI funds
must immediately take any measures necessary to effectuate this
provision.
10. Political Activities
    No recipient may contribute or make available SJI funds, program
personnel, or equipment to any political party or association, or the
campaign of any candidate for public or party office. Recipients are
also prohibited from using funds in advocating or opposing any ballot
measure, initiative, or referendum. Officers and employees of
recipients shall not intentionally identify SJI or recipients with any
partisan or nonpartisan political activity associated with a political
party or association, or the campaign of any candidate for public or
party office (42 U.S.C. 10706(a)).
11. Products
a. Acknowledgment, Logo, and Disclaimer
    (1) Recipients of SJI funds must acknowledge prominently on all
products developed with grant funds that support was received from the
SJI. The ``SJI'' logo must appear on the front cover of a written
product, or in the opening frames of a multimedia product, unless
another placement is approved in writing by SJI. This includes final
products printed or otherwise reproduced during the grant period, as
well as re-printings or reproductions of those materials following the
end of the grant period. A camera-ready logo sheet is available on
SJI's website: www.sji.gov/forms.
    (2) Recipients also must display the following disclaimer on all
grant products: ``This [document, film, videotape, etc.] was developed
under [grant/cooperative agreement] number SJI-[insert number] from the
State Justice Institute. The points of view expressed are those of the
[author(s), filmmaker(s), etc.] and do not necessarily represent the
official position or policies of the State Justice Institute.''
    (3) In addition to other required grant products and reports,
recipients must provide a one page executive summary of the project.
The summary should include a background on the project, the tasks
undertaken, and the outcome. In addition, the summary should provide
the performance metrics that were used during the project, and how
performance will be measured in the future.
b. Charges for Grant-Related Products/Recovery of Costs
    (1) SJI's mission is to support improvements in the quality of
justice and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues
faced by all courts. SJI has recognized and established procedures for
supporting research and development of grant products (e.g., a report,
curriculum, video, software, database, or website) through competitive
grant awards based on merit review of proposed projects. To ensure that
all grants benefit the entire court community, projects SJI considers
worthy of support (in whole or in part), are required to be
disseminated widely and available for public consumption. This includes
open-source software and interfaces. Costs for development, production,
and dissemination are allowable as direct costs to SJI.
    (2) Applicants should disclose their intent to sell grant-related
products in the application. Grantees must obtain SJI's prior written
approval of their plans to recover project costs through the sale of
grant products. Written requests to recover costs ordinarily should be
received during the grant period and should specify the nature and
extent of the costs to be recouped, the reason that such costs were not
budgeted (if the rationale was not disclosed in the approved
application), the number of copies to be sold, the intended audience
for the products to be sold, and the proposed sale price. If the
product is to be sold for more than $25, the written request also
should include a detailed itemization of costs that will be recovered
and a certification that the costs were not supported by either SJI
grant funds or grantee matching contributions.
    (3) In the event that the sale of grant products results in
revenues that exceed the costs to develop, produce, and disseminate the
product, the revenue must continue to be used for the authorized
purposes of SJI-funded project or other purposes consistent with the
State Justice Institute Act that have been approved by SJI (see section
VII.F.).
c. Copyrights
    Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of a SJI
award, a recipient is free to copyright any books, publications, or
other copyrightable materials developed in the course of a SJI-
supported project, but SJI shall reserve a royalty-free, nonexclusive
and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use, and to
authorize others to use, the materials for purposes consistent with the
State Justice Institute Act.
d. Due Date
    All products and, for TA and CAT grants, consultant and/or trainer
reports (see section VI.B.1 & 2) are to be completed and distributed
(see below) not later than the end of the award period, not the 90-day
close out period. The latter is only intended for grantee final
reporting and to liquidate obligations (see section VII.J.).
e. Distribution
    In addition to the distribution specified in the grant application,
grantees shall send:
    (1) Three (3) copies of each final product developed with grant
funds to SJI, unless the product was developed under either a Technical
Assistance or a Curriculum Adaptation and Training Grant, in which case
submission of 2 copies is required; and
    (2) An electronic version of the product in HTML or PDF format to
SJI.
f. SJI Approval
    No grant funds may be obligated for publication or reproduction of
a final product developed with grant funds without the written approval
of SJI. Grantees shall submit a final draft of each written product to
SJI for review and approval. The draft must be submitted at least 30
days before the product is scheduled to be sent for publication or
reproduction to permit SJI review and incorporation of any appropriate
changes required by SJI. Grantees must provide for timely reviews by
the SJI of website or other multimedia products at the treatment,
script, rough cut, and final stages of development or their
equivalents.
g. Original Material
    All products prepared as the result of SJI-supported projects must
be
[[Page 53804]]
originally-developed material unless otherwise specified in the award
documents. Material not originally developed that is included in such
products must be properly identified, whether the material is in a
verbatim or extensive paraphrase format.
12. Prohibition Against Litigation Support
    No funds made available by SJI may be used directly or indirectly
to support legal assistance to parties in litigation, including cases
involving capital punishment.
13. Reporting Requirements
    a. Recipients of SJI funds other than ESP awards must submit
Quarterly Progress and Financial Status Reports within 30 days of the
close of each calendar quarter (that is, no later than January 30,
April 30, July 30, and October 30). The Quarterly Progress Reports
shall include a narrative description of project activities during the
calendar quarter, the relationship between those activities and the
task schedule and objectives set forth in the approved application or
an approved adjustment thereto, any significant problem areas that have
developed and how they will be resolved, and the activities scheduled
during the next reporting period. Failure to comply with the
requirements of this provision could result in the termination of a
grantee's award.
    b. The quarterly Financial Status Report must be submitted in
accordance with section VII.G.2. of this Guideline. A final project
Progress Report and Financial Status Report shall be submitted within
90 days after the end of the grant period in accordance with section
VII.J.1. of this Guideline.
14. Research
a. Availability of Research Data for Secondary Analysis
    Upon request, grantees must make available for secondary analysis
backup files containing research and evaluation data collected under an
SJI grant and the accompanying code manual. Grantees may recover the
actual cost of duplicating and mailing or otherwise transmitting the
data set and manual from the person or organization requesting the
data. Grantees may provide the requested data set in the format in
which it was created and analyzed.
b. Confidentiality of Information
    Except as provided by federal law other than the State Justice
Institute Act, no recipient of financial assistance from SJI may use or
reveal any research or statistical information furnished under the Act
by any person and identifiable to any specific private person for any
purpose other than the purpose for which the information was obtained.
Such information and copies thereof shall be immune from legal process,
and shall not, without the consent of the person furnishing such
information, be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose in any
action, suit, or other judicial, legislative, or administrative
proceedings.
c. Human Subject Protection
    Human subjects are defined as individuals who are participants in
an experimental procedure or who are asked to provide information about
themselves, their attitudes, feelings, opinions, and/or experiences
through an interview, questionnaire, or other data collection
technique. All research involving human subjects shall be conducted
with the informed consent of those subjects and in a manner that will
ensure their privacy and freedom from risk or harm and the protection
of persons who are not subjects of the research but would be affected
by it, unless such procedures and safeguards would make the research
impractical. In such instances, SJI must approve procedures designed by
the grantee to provide human subjects with relevant information about
the research after their involvement and to minimize or eliminate risk
or harm to those subjects due to their participation.
15. State and Local Court Applications
    Each application for funding from a state or local court must be
approved, consistent with state law, by the state supreme court, or its
designated agency or council. The supreme court or its designee shall
receive, administer, and be accountable for all funds awarded on the
basis of such an application (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(4)). See section
VII.B.2.
16. Supplantation and Construction
    To ensure that SJI funds are used to supplement and improve the
operation of state courts, rather than to support basic court services,
SJI funds shall not be used for the following purposes:
    a. To supplant state or local funds supporting a program or
activity (such as paying the salary of court employees who would be
performing their normal duties as part of the project, or paying rent
for space which is part of the court's normal operations);
    b. To construct court facilities or structures.
    c. Solely to purchase equipment.
17. Suspension or Termination of Funding
    After providing a recipient reasonable notice and opportunity to
submit written documentation demonstrating why fund termination or
suspension should not occur, SJI may terminate or suspend funding of a
project that fails to comply substantially with the Act, the Guideline,
or the terms and conditions of the award (42 U.S.C. 10708(a)).
18. Title to Property
    At the conclusion of the project, title to all expendable and
nonexpendable personal property purchased with SJI funds shall vest in
the recipient court, organization, or individual that purchased the
property if certification is made to and approved by SJI that the
property will continue to be used for the authorized purposes of the
SJI-funded project or other purposes consistent with the State Justice
Institute Act. If such certification is not made or SJI disapproves
such certification, title to all such property with an aggregate or
individual value of $1,000 or more shall vest in SJI, which will direct
the disposition of the property.
B. Recipients of Technical Assistance (TA) and Curriculum Adaptation
and Training (CAT) Grants
    Recipients of TA and CAT Grants must comply with the requirements
listed in section VI.A. and the reporting requirements below:
1. Technical Assistance (TA) Grant Reporting Requirements
    Recipients of TA Grants must submit to SJI one copy of a final
report that explains how it intends to act on the consultant's
recommendations, as well as two copies of the consultant's written
report.
2. Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grant Reporting
Requirements
    Recipients of CAT Grants must submit one copy of the agenda or
schedule, outline of presentations and/or relevant instructor's notes,
copies of overhead transparencies, power point presentations, or other
visual aids, exercises, case studies and other background materials,
hypotheticals, quizzes, and other materials involving the participants,
manuals, handbooks, conference packets, evaluation forms, and
suggestions for replicating the program, including possible faculty or
the preferred qualifications or experience of those selected as
faculty, developed under the grant at the conclusion of the grant
period, along with a final report that includes any
[[Page 53805]]
evaluation results and explains how the grantee intends to present the
educational program in the future, as well as two copies of the
consultant's or trainer's report.
C. Partner Grants
    The compliance requirements for Partner Grant recipients will
depend upon the agreements struck between the grant financiers and
between lead financiers and grantees. Should SJI be the lead, the
compliance requirements for Project Grants will apply, unless specific
arrangements are determined by the Partners.
VII. Financial Requirements
A. Purpose
    The purpose of this section is to establish accounting system
requirements and offer guidance on procedures to assist all grantees,
sub-grantees, contractors, and other organizations in:
    1. Complying with the statutory requirements for the award,
disbursement, and accounting of funds;
    2. Complying with regulatory requirements of SJI for the financial
management and disposition of funds;
    3. Generating financial data to be used in planning, managing, and
controlling projects; and
    4. Facilitating an effective audit of funded programs and projects.
B. Supervision and Monitoring Responsibilities
1. Grantee Responsibilities
    All grantees receiving awards from SJI are responsible for the
management and fiscal control of all funds. Responsibilities include
accounting for receipts and expenditures, maintaining adequate
financial records, and refunding expenditures disallowed by audits.
2. Responsibilities of the State Supreme Court
    a. Each application for funding from a state or local court must be
approved, consistent with state law, by the state supreme court, or its
designated agency or council.
    b. The state supreme court or its designee shall receive all SJI
funds awarded to such courts; be responsible for assuring proper
administration of SJI funds; and be responsible for all aspects of the
project, including proper accounting and financial record-keeping by
the subgrantee. These responsibilities include:
    (1) Reviewing Financial Operations. The state supreme court or its
designee should be familiar with, and periodically monitor, its sub-
grantee's financial operations, records system, and procedures.
Particular attention should be directed to the maintenance of current
financial data.
    (2) Recording Financial Activities. The sub-grantee's grant award
or contract obligation, as well as cash advances and other financial
activities, should be recorded in the financial records of the state
supreme court or its designee in summary form. Sub-grantee expenditures
should be recorded on the books of the state supreme court or evidenced
by report forms duly filed by the sub-grantee. Matching contributions
provided by sub-grantees should likewise be recorded, as should any
project income resulting from program operations.
    (3) Budgeting and Budget Review. The state supreme court or its
designee should ensure that each sub-grantee prepares an adequate
budget as the basis for its award commitment. The state supreme court
should maintain the details of each project budget on file.
    (4) Accounting for Match. The state supreme court or its designee
will ensure that sub-grantees comply with the match requirements
specified in this Grant Guideline (see section VI.A.8.).
    (5) Audit Requirement. The state supreme court or its designee is
required to ensure that sub-grantees meet the necessary audit
requirements set forth by SJI (see sections I. and VI.A.3. below).
    (6) Reporting Irregularities. The state supreme court, its
designees, and its sub-grantees are responsible for promptly reporting
to SJI the nature and circumstances surrounding any financial
irregularities discovered.
C. Accounting System
    The grantee is responsible for establishing and maintaining an
adequate system of accounting and internal controls and for ensuring
that an adequate system exists for each of its sub-grantees and
contractors. An acceptable and adequate accounting system:
    1. Properly accounts for receipt of funds under each grant awarded
and the expenditure of funds for each grant by category of expenditure
(including matching contributions and project income);
    2. Assures that expended funds are applied to the appropriate
budget category included within the approved grant;
    3. Presents and classifies historical costs of the grant as
required for budgetary and evaluation purposes;
    4. Provides cost and property controls to assure optimal use of
grant funds;
    5. Is integrated with a system of internal controls adequate to
safeguard the funds and assets covered, check the accuracy and
reliability of the accounting data, promote operational efficiency, and
assure conformance with any general or special conditions of the grant;
    6. Meets the prescribed requirements for periodic financial
reporting of operations; and
    7. Provides financial data for planning, control, measurement, and
evaluation of direct and indirect costs.
D. Total Cost Budgeting and Accounting
    Accounting for all funds awarded by SJI must be structured and
executed on a ``Total Project Cost'' basis. That is, total project
costs, including SJI funds, state and local matching shares, and any
other fund sources included in the approved project budget serve as the
foundation for fiscal administration and accounting. Grant applications
and financial reports require budget and cost estimates on the basis of
total costs.
1. Timing of Matching Contributions
    Matching contributions should be applied at the same time as the
obligation of SJI funds. Ordinarily, the full matching share must be
obligated during the award period; however, with the written permission
of SJI, contributions made following approval of the grant by the Board
of Directors, but before the beginning of the grant, may be counted as
match. If a proposed cash or in-kind match is not fully met, SJI may
reduce the award amount accordingly to maintain the ratio of grant
funds to matching funds stated in the award agreement.
2. Records for Match
    All grantees must maintain records that clearly show the source,
amount, and timing of all matching contributions. In addition, if a
project has included, within its approved budget, contributions which
exceed the required matching portion, the grantee must maintain records
of those contributions in the same manner as it does SJI funds and
required matching shares. For all grants made to state and local
courts, the state supreme court has primary responsibility for grantee/
sub-grantee compliance with the requirements of this section (see
subsection B.2. above).
E. Maintenance and Retention of Records
    All financial records, including supporting documents, statistical
records, and all other information pertinent to grants, sub-grants,
[[Page 53806]]
cooperative agreements, or contracts under grants, must be retained by
each organization participating in a project for at least three years
for purposes of examination and audit. State supreme courts may impose
record retention and maintenance requirements in addition to those
prescribed in this section.
1. Coverage
    The retention requirement extends to books of original entry,
source documents supporting accounting transactions, the general
ledger, subsidiary ledgers, personnel and payroll records, canceled
checks, and related documents and records. Source documents include
copies of all grant and sub-grant awards, applications, and required
grantee/sub-grantee financial and narrative reports. Personnel and
payroll records shall include the time and attendance reports for all
individuals reimbursed under a grant, sub-grant or contract, whether
they are employed full-time or part-time. Time and effort reports are
required for consultants.
2. Retention Period
    The three-year retention period starts from the date of the
submission of the final expenditure report.
3. Maintenance
    Grantees and sub-grantees are expected to see that records of
different fiscal years are separately identified and maintained so that
requested information can be readily located. Grantees and sub-grantees
are also obligated to protect records adequately against fire or other
damage. When records are stored away from the grantee's/sub-grantee's
principal office, a written index of the location of stored records
should be on hand, and ready access should be assured.
4. Access
    Grantees and sub-grantees must give any authorized representative
of SJI access to and the right to examine all records, books, papers,
and documents related to an SJI grant.
F. Project-Related Income
    Records of the receipt and disposition of project-related income
must be maintained by the grantee in the same manner as required for
the project funds that gave rise to the income and must be reported to
SJI (see subsection G.2. below). The policies governing the disposition
of the various types of project-related income are listed below.
1. Interest
    A state and any agency or instrumentality of a state, including
institutions of higher education and hospitals, shall not be held
accountable for interest earned on advances of project funds. When
funds are awarded to sub-grantees through a state, the sub-grantees are
not held accountable for interest earned on advances of project funds.
Local units of government and nonprofit organizations that are grantees
must refund any interest earned. Grantees shall ensure minimum balances
in their respective grant cash accounts.
2. Royalties
    The grantee/sub-grantee may retain all royalties received from
copyrights or other works developed under projects or from patents and
inventions, unless the terms and conditions of the grant provide
otherwise.
3. Registration and Tuition Fees
    Registration and tuition fees may be considered as cash match with
prior written approval from SJI. Estimates of registration and tuition
fees, and any expenses to be offset by the fees, should be included in
the application budget forms and narrative.
4. Income From the Sale of Grant Products
    If the sale of products occurs during the project period, the
income may be treated as cash match with the prior written approval of
SJI. The costs and income generated by the sales must be reported on
the Quarterly Financial Status Reports (Form F) and documented in an
auditable manner. Whenever possible, the intent to sell a product
should be disclosed in the application or reported to SJI in writing
once a decision to sell products has been made. The grantee must
request approval to recover its product development, reproduction, and
dissemination costs as specified in section VI.A.11.b.
5. Other
    Other project income shall be treated in accordance with
disposition instructions set forth in the grant's terms and conditions.
G. Payments and Financial Reporting Requirements
1. Payment of Grant Funds
    The procedures and regulations set forth below are applicable to
all SJI grant funds and grantees.
    Request for Reimbursement of Funds Grantees will receive funds on a
reimbursable, U.S. Treasury ``check-issued'' or electronic funds
transfer (EFT) basis. Upon receipt, review, and approval of a Request
for Reimbursement (Form R) by SJI, payment will be issued directly to
the grantee or its designated fiscal agent. The Form R, along with the
instructions for its preparation, and the SF 3881 Automated Clearing
House (ACH/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form for EFT) are available
on the Institute's website: www.sji.gov/forms.
2. Financial Reporting
    a. General Requirements. To obtain financial information concerning
the use of funds, SJI requires that grantees/sub-grantees submit timely
reports for review.
    b. Due Dates and Contents. A Financial Status Report is required
from all grantees for each active quarter on a calendar-quarter basis.
This report is due within 30 days after the close of the calendar
quarter. It is designed to provide financial information relating to
SJI funds, state and local matching shares, project income, and any
other sources of funds for the project, as well as information on
obligations and outlays. A copy of the Financial Status Report (Form
F), along with instructions, are provided at www.sji.gov/forms. If a
grantee requests substantial payments for a project prior to the
completion of a given quarter, SJI may request a brief summary of the
amount requested, by object class, to support the Request for
Reimbursement.
3. Consequences of Non-Compliance With Submission Requirement
    Failure of the grantee to submit required financial and progress
reports may result in suspension or termination of grant reimbursement.
H. Allowability of Costs
1. Costs Requiring Prior Approval
    a. Pre-agreement Costs. The written prior approval of SJI is
required for costs considered necessary but which occur prior to the
start date of the project period.
    b. Equipment. Grant funds may be used to purchase or lease only
that equipment essential to accomplishing the goals and objectives of
the project. The written prior approval of SJI is required when the
amount of automated data processing (ADP) equipment to be purchased or
leased exceeds $10,000 or software to be purchased exceeds $3,000.
    c. Consultants. The written prior approval of SJI is required when
the rate of compensation to be paid a consultant
[[Page 53807]]
exceeds $800 a day. SJI funds may not be used to pay a consultant more
than $1,100 per day.
    d. Budget Revisions. Budget revisions among direct cost categories
that (i) transfer grant funds to an unbudgeted cost category or (ii)
individually or cumulatively exceed five percent (5%) of the approved
original budget or the most recently approved revised budget require
prior SJI approval (see section VIII.A.1.).
2. Travel Costs
    Transportation and per diem rates must comply with the policies of
the grantee. If the grantee does not have an established written travel
policy, then travel rates must be consistent with those established by
the federal government. SJI funds may not be used to cover the
transportation or per diem costs of a member of a national organization
to attend an annual or other regular meeting, or conference of that
organization.
3. Indirect Costs
    Indirect costs are only applicable to organizations that are not
state courts or government agencies. These are costs of an organization
that are not readily assignable to a particular project but are
necessary to the operation of the organization and the performance of
the project. The cost of operating and maintaining facilities,
depreciation, and administrative salaries are examples of the types of
costs that are usually treated as indirect costs. Although SJI's policy
requires all costs to be budgeted directly, it will accept indirect
costs if a grantee has an indirect cost rate approved by a federal
agency. However, recoverable indirect costs are limited to no more than
75 percent of a grantee's direct personnel costs (salaries plus fringe
benefits).
    a. Approved Plan Available.
    (1) A copy of an indirect cost rate agreement or allocation plan
approved for a grantee during the preceding two years by any federal
granting agency on the basis of allocation methods substantially in
accord with those set forth in the applicable cost circulars must be
submitted to SJI.
    (2) Where flat rates are accepted in lieu of actual indirect costs,
grantees may not also charge expenses normally included in overhead
pools, e.g., accounting services, legal services, building occupancy
and maintenance, etc., as direct costs.
I. Audit Requirements
1. Implementation
    Each recipient of a Project Grant must provide for an annual fiscal
audit. This requirement also applies to a state or local court
receiving a sub-grant from the state supreme court. The audit may be of
the entire grantee or sub-grantee organization or of the specific
project funded by the Institute. Audits conducted using generally
accepted auditing standards in the United States will satisfy the
requirement for an annual fiscal audit. The audit must be conducted by
an independent Certified Public Accountant, or a state or local agency
authorized to audit government agencies.
2. Resolution and Clearance of Audit Reports
    Timely action on recommendations by responsible management
officials is an integral part of the effectiveness of an audit. Each
grantee must have policies and procedures for acting on audit
recommendations by designating officials responsible for: (1) Follow-
up, (2) maintaining a record of the actions taken on recommendations
and time schedules, (3) responding to and acting on audit
recommendations, and (4) submitting periodic reports to SJI on
recommendations and actions taken.
3. Consequences of Non-Resolution of Audit Issues
    Ordinarily, SJI will not make a subsequent grant award to an
applicant that has an unresolved audit report involving SJI awards.
Failure of the grantee to resolve audit questions may also result in
the suspension or termination of payments for active SJI grants to that
organization.
J. Close-Out of Grants
1. Grantee Close-Out Requirements
    Within 90 days after the end date of the grant or any approved
extension thereof (see subsection J.2. below), the following documents
must be submitted to SJI by grantees:
    a. Financial Status Report. The final report of expenditures must
have no unliquidated obligations and must indicate the exact balance of
unobligated funds. Any unobligated/unexpended funds will be deobligated
from the award by SJI. Final payment requests for obligations incurred
during the award period must be submitted to SJI prior to the end of
the 90-day close-out period.
    b. Final Progress Report. This report should describe the project
activities during the final calendar quarter of the project and the
close-out period, including to whom project products have been
disseminated; provide a summary of activities during the entire
project; specify whether all the objectives set forth in the approved
application or an approved adjustment have been met and, if any of the
objectives have not been met, explain why not; and discuss what, if
anything, could have been done differently that might have enhanced the
impact of the project or improved its operation. These reporting
requirements apply at the conclusion of every grant.
2. Extension of Close-Out Period
    Upon the written request of the grantee, SJI may extend the close-
out period to assure completion of the grantee's close-out
requirements. Requests for an extension must be submitted at least 14
days before the end of the close-out period and must explain why the
extension is necessary and what steps will be taken to assure that all
the grantee's responsibilities will be met by the end of the extension
period.
VIII. Grant Adjustments
    All requests for programmatic or budgetary adjustments requiring
Institute approval must be submitted by the project director in a
timely manner (ordinarily 30 days prior to the implementation of the
adjustment being requested). All requests for changes from the approved
application will be carefully reviewed for both consistency with this
Grant Guideline and the enhancement of grant goals and objectives.
Failure to submit adjustments in a timely manner may result in the
termination of a grantee's award.
A. Grant Adjustments Requiring Prior Written Approval
    The following grant adjustments require the prior written approval
of SJI:
    1. Budget revisions among direct cost categories that (a) transfer
grant funds to an unbudgeted cost category or (b) individually or
cumulatively exceed five percent (5%) of the approved original budget
or the most recently approved revised budget (see section VII.H.1.d.).
    2. A change in the scope of work to be performed or the objectives
of the project (see subsection D. below).
    3. A change in the project site.
    4. A change in the project period, such as an extension of the
grant period and/or extension of the final financial or progress report
deadline (see subsection E. below).
    5. Satisfaction of special conditions, if required.
    6. A change in or temporary absence of the project director (see
subsections F. and G. below).
[[Page 53808]]
    7. The assignment of an employee or consultant to a key staff
position whose qualifications were not described in the application, or
a change of a person assigned to a key project staff position (see
section VI.A.2.).
    8. A change in or temporary absence of the person responsible for
managing and reporting on the grant's finances.
    9. A change in the name of the grantee organization.
    10. A transfer or contracting out of grant-supported activities
(see subsection H. below).
    11. A transfer of the grant to another recipient.
    12. Pre-agreement costs (see section VII.I.2.a.).
    13. The purchase of automated data processing equipment and
software (see section VII.H.1.b.).
    14. Consultant rates (see section VII.I.2.c.).
    15. A change in the nature or number of the products to be prepared
or the manner in which a product would be distributed.
B. Requests for Grant Adjustments
    All grantees must promptly notify SJI, in writing, of events or
proposed changes that may require adjustments to the approved project
design. In requesting an adjustment, the grantee must set forth the
reasons and basis for the proposed adjustment and any other information
the program manager determines would help SJI's review.
C. Notification of Approval/Disapproval
    If the request is approved, the grantee will be sent a Grant
Adjustment signed by the SJI Executive Director. If the request is
denied, the grantee will be sent a written explanation of the reasons
for the denial.
D. Changes in the Scope of the Grant
    Major changes in scope, duration, training methodology, or other
significant areas must be approved in advance by SJI. A grantee may
make minor changes in methodology, approach, or other aspects of the
grant to expedite achievement of the grant's objectives with subsequent
notification to SJI.
E. Date Changes
    A request to change or extend the grant period must be made at
least 30 days in advance of the end date of the grant. A revised task
plan should accompany a request for an extension of the grant period,
along with a revised budget if shifts among budget categories will be
needed. A request to change or extend the deadline for the final
financial report or final progress report must be made at least 14 days
in advance of the report deadline (see section VII.J.2.).
F. Temporary Absence of the Project Director
    Whenever an absence of the project director is expected to exceed a
continuous period of one month, the plans for the conduct of the
project director's duties during such absence must be approved in
advance by the Institute. This information must be provided in a letter
signed by an authorized representative of the grantee/sub-grantee at
least 30 days before the departure of the project director, or as soon
as it is known that the project director will be absent. The grant may
be terminated if arrangements are not approved in advance by SJI.
G. Withdrawal of/Change in Project Director
    If the project director relinquishes or expects to relinquish
active direction of the project, SJI must be notified immediately. In
such cases, if the grantee/sub-grantee wishes to terminate the project,
SJI will forward procedural instructions upon notification of such
intent. If the grantee wishes to continue the project under the
direction of another individual, a statement of the candidate's
qualifications should be sent to SJI for review and approval. The grant
may be terminated if the qualifications of the proposed individual are
not approved in advance by SJI.
H. Transferring or Contracting Out of Grant-Supported Activities
    No principal activity of a grant-supported project may be
transferred or contracted out to another organization without specific
prior approval by SJI. All such arrangements must be formalized in a
contract or other written agreement between the parties involved.
Copies of the proposed contract or agreement must be submitted for
prior approval of SJI at the earliest possible time. The contract or
agreement must state, at a minimum, the activities to be performed, the
time schedule, the policies and procedures to be followed, the dollar
limitation of the agreement, and the cost principles to be followed in
determining what costs, both direct and indirect, will be allowed. The
contract or other written agreement must not affect the grantee's
overall responsibility for the direction of the project and
accountability to SJI.
State Justice Institute Board of Directors
Hon. John Minton (Chair), Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Kentucky,
Frankfort, KY
Daniel Becker (Vice Chair), State Court Administrator (ret.), Utah
Administrative Office of the Courts, Salt Lake City, UT
Hon. Gayle A. Nachtigal (Secretary), Senior Circuit Court Judge,
Washington County Circuit Court, Hillsboro, OR
Hon. David Brewer (Treasurer), Justice, Supreme Court of Oregon, Salem,
OR
Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York (ret.); Of
Counsel, Latham & Watkins, LLP, New York, NY
Hon. Chase Rogers, Chief Justice (ret.), Supreme Court of Connecticut;
Partner, Day Pitney, LLP, Hartford, CT
Hon. Wilfredo Martinez, Senior Judge, 9th Judicial Circuit of Florida,
Orlando, FL
Marsha J. Rabiteau, President & CEO, Center for Human Trafficking Court
Solutions, Bloomfield, CT
Hernan D. Vera, Principal, Bird Marella P.C., Los Angeles, CA
Isabel Framer, President, Language Access Consultants LLC, Copley, OH
Jonathan D. Mattiello, Executive Director (ex officio)
Jonathan D. Mattiello,
Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 2019-21951 Filed 10-7-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-SC-P