Sent on behalf of Marilyn M. Roberts, OVC Deputy Director
Dear VOCA Victim Assistance Administrators:
We are writing today to provide guidance on the process to request the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Director grant a full or partial waiver of the match requirements applicable to VOCA Victim Assistance subawards.
As you know, 28 C.F.R. § 94.118 requires subrecipients to “contribute (i.e., match) not less than 20 percent (cash or in-kind) of the total cost of each project." Matching requirements are automatically waived for subrecipients “that are federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribes, or projects that operate on tribal lands." Matching requirements are also automatically waived for subrecipients “that are territories or possessions of the United States (except for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), or projects that operate therein."
Upon request of the state administering agency (SAA), the OVC Director may, at their discretion, waive in part or in full the matching requirements, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 94.118(b)(3). Waivers are entirely at the OVC Director’s discretion, but the Director typically considers factors such as local resources, annual budget changes, past ability to provide match, and whether the funding is for new or additional activities requiring additional match versus continuing activities where match is already provided.
SAAs interested in requesting match waivers should coordinate with their OVC Grant Manager to submit a request to the OVC Director. Successful requests typically contain three components: a letter from the authorized official on the award, a list of the proposed waivers, and a summary of each subrecipient’s services and circumstances. Additional information on these components are detailed below.
Letter from the Authorized Official
- Letters should be on your organization’s letterhead, addressed to the OVC Director, and signed by the authorized official as recorded in the Grants Management System (GMS).
- The letter should discuss the SAA’s criteria for determining which subrecipients would be eligible for partial or full match waivers. SAAs are encouraged to discuss the processes and reviews that occurred to ensure that match waivers are requested only for those organizations in need of assistance.
- Any subawards partially funded by Federal awards should indicate the funding split.
- The SAA should state that the request is being submitted to the OVC Director in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 94.118(b)(3).
- SAAs are reminded to be sure that information provided to the SAA by its subrecipient, and conveyed to OVC, has been checked for accuracy before being sent to OVC. SAAs are encouraged to develop policies and procedures specifying their internal process to request match waivers from OVC.
- SAAs are requested to provide additional information when match waiver requests are made for Federal grant funds expiring in fewer than 9 months. The letter from the SAA should detail why a match waiver is necessary for subawards which will be closing shortly.
List of Proposed Waivers
- SAAs are asked to provide the following information, at a minimum, for each subaward where a match waiver is requested:
- VOCA Federal award number
- Subaward number
- Subrecipient’s legal name
- Subaward start and end dates
- VOCA funds awarded
- Funding split for awards partially funded by Federal awards (if applicable)
- Required match (pre-match waiver)
- Total project cost (pre-match waiver)
- Amount of cash match proposed (post-match waiver)
- Amount of in-kind match proposed (post-match waiver)
- Total match proposed (sum of cash match and in-kind match proposed)
- Amount of match the subrecipient provided during the prior grant year
- Effective match percentage (post-match waiver)
- Amount of match requested to be waived
- Total project cost (post-match waiver)
- For ease of review, OVC requests the subawards listed be in the same order as in the summary document, discussed below.
- OVC will generally not approve match waiver requests where the subrecipient does not provide at least the amount of match as provided during the grant year immediately preceding the grant year of the waiver request. OVC may make exceptions where good cause is shown.
- OVC prefers to receive this list in spreadsheet format. A sample document has been provided, however SAAs are not required to use this sample in submitting their requests.
Summary of Each Subrecipient’s Services and Circumstances
- SAAs are encouraged to briefly summarize the services provided by each subrecipient, the specific circumstances leading to the necessity of a match waiver, and any additional information that may assist OVC in determining that a match waiver is necessary to the success of the victim service programming. Successful SAAs may, when relevant, include information on the local economic climate, unsuccessful efforts to provide match, expansion in services offered creating a burden in meeting the match requirement, or the effect that denial of the match waiver may have on the subrecipient and the services it provides.
- OVC suggests SAAs not exceed 2 paragraphs per subaward, unless necessary to fully explain the unique circumstances of a request.
- The narrative for each subaward should state that “the SAA is requesting OVC approve the [full/partial] match waiver pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 94.118(b)(3)."
- For ease of review, OVC requests the subawards be listed in the same order as in the list of proposed waivers, discussed above.
OVC will respond to match waiver requests in writing as soon as a decision has been made. Letters from the OVC Director will specify each subrecipient covered by the waiver, the subaward number, and the amount of match required to be submitted by that subrecipient during the period of performance. The SAA is responsible for notifying subrecipients of their approved match waivers and confirming that subrecipients comply with the revised match amounts. SAAs are strongly encouraged to closely read OVC’s response letter and ensure that the information it contains is correct.
All match waivers approved by OVC are based on the following conditions:
- the awarded funds must be used to provide direct services to crime victims, and
- the 20 percent match requirement for the VOCA crime victim service providers must be negotiated and granted on a case-by-case basis.
Please direct questions or comments about the match waiver process to your OVC Grant Manager.