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Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund
Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures below are provided to assist investigators and their organizations as they carry out AKSSF projects; they are updated periodically, so check back often. Please note that this is not a list of program requirements; your subaward agreement/project terms and conditions document includes all program requirements and should be thoroughly reviewed to ensure compliance with your award.

Federal grant regulations for all types of entities except commercial/for-profit organizations changed beginning with the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015 Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) award (and all other federal awards made on or after December 26, 2014). Your organization must follow the grant regulations current at the time of the federal award that funds each of your projects. Section VII.A.3 of your subaward agreement or section VI.A.3 of your project terms and conditions document states which PCSRF award (year) funds your project and section VII or VI, respectively, lists applicable regulations. However, all organizations (with the exception of commercial/for-profit organizations) are subject to the revised audit requirements at 2 CFR 200 beginning with its first fiscal year starting on or after December 26, 2014.

For guidance on issues not covered below, please review the relevant federal regulations (located at OMB's site for projects awarded from pre-FFY15 PCSRF awards or located at 2 CFR 200 for projects awarded from FFY15 or later PCSRF awards) or contact AKSSF staff.

Guides

Policies

Match Forms for In-Kind Donations, Volunteers, etc.

Please review the Non-Federal Match Guidance (PDF 62 kB) document for match information and to determine which of the following match forms to use:

Reporting Requirements

The following reports are required for all AKSSF projects:

Semiannual Performance Reports (SARs) SARs are required for every SAR reporting period during which the project is open. SARs are due by May 20 for the period of November 1 - April 30 and by November 20 for the period of May 1 - October 31. SARs shall be filled out on the AKSSF online report submission system. Photos and/or videos of the project from the reporting period must be uploaded with each SAR (or an explanation if none are available). If the AKSSF completion report (described below) is submitted by the due date of the final SAR, the final SAR will not be required.

Completion Reports (CRs) A completion report on AKSSF's template is due within 60 days of the end of the project period and shall be filled out on the AKSSF online report submission system.

PCSRF Performance Metrics (metrics) Metrics are required by NOAA to capture the results of projects as they relate to one of three PCSRF objectives (Salmon Recovery Planning and Watershed Assessments (P&A); Salmon Habitat Protection and Restoration (HP&R); and Salmon Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation RM&E)). A project's objective is determined by AKSSF and is listed on the SOW. Two sets of metrics are required: preliminary metrics are due 30 days after the start date of the project and should capture the entire anticipated results; final metrics are due 60 days after the end date of the project and should capture actual results. The appropriate metrics template is available for download on the AKSSF online report submission system at http://www.akssf.org/Personnel and should be uploaded there when complete. AKSSF and NOAA reserve the right to change objectives at any time, which may result in additional required metrics.

System Access A username and password will be supplied for new users to the AKSSF online report submission system before the first report is due.

Administrative and Indirect Costs

Nonfederal entities with NICRAs (applicable to projects funded under all PCSRF awards)
AKSSF allows for the recovery of indirect costs for non-federal entities with federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreements (NICRAs) when the rate is included in the approved statement of work budget. Documentation (i.e., the federally approved rate letter) must be uploaded to the proposal submission portal by the closing date/time of the CFP. The rate letter must be provided for each CFP (even if it was previously provided to AKSSF or ADF&G). Failure to provide sufficient indirect rate documentation for any of the funded entities in your proposal by the closing date/time of the CFP will not result in automatic rejection of your proposal. However, indirect cost recovery will not be allowed and proposers will not be allowed to increase direct costs to "compensate" for disallowed indirect. Once the project is approved, the federally approved rate letter must be provided for all approved provisional and final NICRAs applicable to the project period throughout the life of the project. When NICRAs are not approved for the period in question, indirect costs will not be reimbursed.

Federal Entities (applicable to projects funded under all PCSRF awards)
AKSSF allows for the recovery of indirect costs for federal agencies when the rate is included in the approved statement of work budget. In order to include indirect costs in their budget, federal entities must upload a memo on agency letterhead (or comparable documentation) to the proposal submission portal by the closing date/time of the CFP that provides their indirect rate and continue to provide updated documentation, as necessary, during the life of the project.

Nonfederal entities without NICRAs (applicable to projects funded under FFY15 and later PCSRF awards)
With the exception of governmental organizations that receive more that $35 million in direct federal funds, any nonfederal entity that has never received a NICRA may include a de minimis indirect rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) in their budget. Costs incurred by the organization must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. If used, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all federal awards until such time as the entity chooses to negotiate for a rate. Applicants wishing to use the 10% rate must submit a signed 2015 AKSSF 10% De Minimis Indirect Rate Form as their indirect rate documentation to the proposal submission portal by the closing date/time of the CFP. MTDC include all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and subawards and subcontracts up to the first $25,000 of each subaward or subcontract (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards and subcontracts under the award). MTDC exclude equipment, capital expenditures, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs, and the portion of each subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

Entities with expired NICRAs/governmental organizations receiving >$35 million in federal funds
If an entity has ever received a NICRA but does not have a current approved NICRA, or is a governmental organization that receives >$35 million in direct federal funds and lacks a NICRA, indirect may not be recovered.

Proposed NICRAs
If your entity has applied for, but not yet received, a NICRA, the proposed indirect rate may be included in your project proposal. Documentation of the proposed rate must be uploaded to the proposal submission portal by the closing date/time of the call for proposals. Indirect rates will be reimbursed retroactively to the start date of the project (or the start of the NICRA period, whichever is later) once the NICRA is received and AKSSF has been provided a copy of the federally approved rate letter. If the rate is not approved by the end of the project period, indirect costs will not be reimbursed. Budgeted indirect costs for indirect rates not approved by the end of the project may not be moved to other line items.

All recipients of AKSSF funds are responsible for ensuring that their contractors do not recover unallowable indirect costs.

AKSSF does not allow administrative or overhead expenses to be charged as direct expenses or be used to meet match requirements. Examples of typical administrative expenses include the following:

  1. Rent
  2. Utilities
  3. Building maintenance or cleaning
  4. Insurance
  5. Telephone service
  6. Postage
  7. Office supplies (e.g., folders, ink cartridges)
  8. Office furniture and equipment (e.g., chairs, desks, printers)
  9. Administrative staff
  10. Audit expenses (unless pre-approved in the original statement of work)
  11. Legal expenses
  12. Equipment depreciation
  13. Other services or items shared between multiple projects or not directly related to the execution of the project

Davis-Bacon

AKSSF projects are not subject to federal Davis-Bacon and related acts. Please contact the Alaska Department of Labor for more information on Alaska's Davis-Bacon Act.

Equipment Purchases

Recipients are encouraged, to the greatest extent possible, to purchase American-made equipment and products.

ADF&G PIs must receive advance approval to purchase equipment. Equipment is defined as an item valued at $5,000 or more and having a useful life of more than a year. Requests should be submitted to AKSSF at least 60 days in advance of the purchase. This typically provides enough time to obtain approval from NOAA. Late requests can be submitted, but you may not receive approval before the equipment needs to be purchased. Any equipment purchased prior to receiving approval is at the risk of the respective ADF&G division. Requests submitted after equipment has been purchased will not be accepted and the equipment expense will not be paid by AKSSF. Please contact AKSSF staff for more information.

Non-ADF&G PIs should request prior approval before purchasing equipment for items not approved in the original statement of work.

Food & Alcohol Costs at Meetings or Workshops

Alcohol purchases are not allowed. Meals or catering expenses are allowable for “working” breakfasts or lunches, provided costs are reasonable. As a guide to determining reasonable costs, please see the federal per diem rates. Meal per diem costs may not be claimed for participants provided breakfasts or lunches (i.e., no double funding of meal costs).

Foreign Travel

Travel to a foreign country, including Canada, must be approved in advance for all entities. Travelers shall comply with the Fly America Act, which generally requires the use of U.S. flag air carriers. Foreign travel requests should be submitted to AKSSF at least 60 days before making travel reservations. This typically provides enough time to obtain approval from NOAA. Late requests can be submitted, but you may not receive approval before you need to make reservations; any foreign travel conducted prior to receiving approval is at the risk of the funded entity. Foreign travel requests submitted after travel is complete will not be accepted and expenses associated with the travel will not be paid by AKSSF. In order to request a revision, please copy the template below into the body of an email, attach an airline itinerary (quote), and send it to Debbie Maas (debbie.maas@alaska.gov). In the subject line of the email, please insert the following text: Foreign travel request for project 4XXXX (insert project number).

Project Title:
AKSSF Project Number:
Destination (city and country):
Purpose of the travel (including the name of the event and the nature of your participation):
List of expenses (broken out by airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals per diem, etc.):

Don't forget to attach an airline itinerary. Requests will not be processed without one.

Funding to Federal Entities

Projects that provide funding to a federal entity are subject to approval by NOAA. Requests to partner with a federal agency should be submitted to AKSSF at least 60 days before the federal agency is scheduled to begin work on the project. This typically provides enough time to obtain approval. Based upon guidance from NOAA, personnel costs (i.e., salaries or fringe benefits) for permanent employees may not be funded. Personnel costs for non-permanent federal employees may be allowable if these employees were hired (or retained) specifically for the AKSSF project providing their salary. Contractual labor costs for non-federal employees are generally allowable. Please contact AKSSF staff for more information.

Programmatic Funding

Proposals may be submitted for individual projects only. Proposals to fund programs will not be considered.

Contracting/Subawarding/Fiscal Sponsorship

Contracts approved in the statement of work for the purpose of completing one or more specific tasks required by the project are allowable. If the contractor/vendor is not identified in the statement of work, you are required to contact AKSSF staff to request approval before contracting with that entity. The addition of contractual services to the statement of work also requires prior approval.

Subawarding any AKSSF funds to another entity is not allowable (i.e., competitively or non-competitively providing funds to another organization to perform a substantial, programmatic portion of the project). Fiscal sponsorship relationships are also not allowed (i.e., subrecipients must apply for and administer their own funds).

Revision or Extension Requests

If you would like to modify your project objectives or budget, you will need to submit a request to revise the statement of work. You will also need prior AKSSF approval if your total project budget is $100,000 or more and you would like to shift more than 10% of the total funding between line items (over the life of the project). Revisions (including no-cost extensions) are very time consuming and expensive; therefore, they will not be automatically granted, particularly for PIs with a poor track record of completing projects on time, for PIs that frequently request revisions/extensions, or for projects that do not appear to be making adequate progress. Revisions will not be approved unless compelling justification is provided. Having money left over near the end of a project or a proposed indirect rate that has not yet been approved are not sufficient justifications for a revision request.

Revision requests should be submitted at least 60 days before the project end date or the start of the revised activities (whichever is sooner). Revision requests not meeting these deadlines may be automatically denied (particularly near the end of a PCSRF grant award). However, if your request is approved, please allow 60 days for processing.

After the revision has been approved by ADF&G, subaward agreements may need to be revised. We can't control the speed at which outside entities sign and return subaward agreements; if you are working with an entity that tends to process agreements slowly, consider submitting your revision request ahead of schedule. Project expenditures outside the scope of the original agreement, and occurring between the ADF&G revision approval date and the date when the agreement is signed by all parties, are at the risk of the funded entity.

In order to request a revision, please copy the template below into the body of an email and send it to Cecelia Curtis (cecelia.curtis@alaska.gov). In the subject line of the email, please insert the following text: Revision request for project XXXXX (insert project number).

Project Title:
AKSSF Project Number:
Brief description of the revision request (e.g., extend project end date to XX/XX/XX, modify objective #2 to “reworded objective”):
Justification for the revision request (e.g., the circumstances that prevented completion of project objectives/tasks according to the original timeframe, the reason(s) for the objective change):
Narrative spending plan (provide an explanation of how all funds in all budgets will be spent by the existing or revised end date):
Will match be met by the original end date (extensions only)?:
Which budgets need to be extended (extensions to projects with multiple budgets only)?:

Change in Key Project Personnel

Changes to investigators require AKSSF approval. To request a change, please copy the template below into the body of an email and send it to Cecelia Curtis (cecelia.curtis@alaska.gov). In the subject line of the email, please insert the following text: Personnel change request for project XXXXX (insert project number).

Project Title:
AKSSF Project Number:
Brief description of the personnel change request: (e.g., replace [original PI] with [replacement] as principal investigator).
Brief description of the circumstances that led to this request: (e.g., Bill retired from ADF&G in May 2011. Following a competitive recruitment process, Tom was hired into Bill's former position).
Brief description of [replacement]'s skills, experience, and education that will allow him/her to successfully complete this project. Attach a resume or curriculum vitae, if available.

Scholarships and Education Stipends

Undergraduate scholarships or stipends are not allowed. Graduate research stipends are allowable, provided they meet the stipulations of federal regulations.

Funding Source Credit

When releasing information related to an AKSSF project, subawardees must include a statement that the project was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Displays produced by the project (e.g., signs, interpretive displays, posters) for which the above language would be impractical must include logos from both NOAA and ADF&G. Any publication produced by this project (except scientific articles or papers appearing in scientific, technical, or professional journals) must contain the following disclaimer:

This [report/video/website] was prepared by [subawardee/author name] under award [XXXXXXXXXXXXXX] from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, administered by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The grant number is included in your subaward agreement/project terms and conditions document, or you may contact AKSSF staff.