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Requesting a No-Cost Grant Extension
A National Background Check Program (NBCP) grantee State may request a no-cost grant extension if it requires additional time beyond the established expiration date (project end date) to fully complete the program plan and objectives proposed in its original grant application, or accomplish orderly phase-out of the project. This resource page provides the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of Acquisition and Grants Management (OAGM) guidelines for submitting such requests.
How do I know whether my State is eligible to request a no-cost grant extension?
When should my State submit a request for a no-cost grant extension?
To whom do I submit the request for a no-cost grant extension?
What are the requirements for submitting a request for a no-cost grant extension?
What happens after my State submits a request for a no-cost grant extension?
What if I have additional questions?
CMS has issued a memo altering the requirements for no-cost grant extensions (see Additional Resource 2). Since the memo was issued, fifth and sixth year extensions have also been made available. A grantee State that received a 24 month award under the first solicitation is eligible to request up to four, one-year no-cost grant extensions for a total grant length of 72 months. Grantee States that received 36 month awards under later solicitations are eligible to request a single one-year extension for a total grant length of 72 months. The fact that funds remain at the expiration of the grant is not, in itself, sufficient justification for a no-cost extension.
A written request must be submitted to the OAGM no later than 60 calendar days prior to the expiration date of the project period, but no earlier than 120 calendar days prior to the expiration date of the project period.
Grantee States should submit their requests to the OAGM Grants Specialist for the NBCP. Currently, the Grants Specialist for the NBCP is Karen Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), but this point of contact should be verified before submitting the request. The grantee State should also courtesy copy (cc:) its CMS Project Officer (PO) when submitting the request.
A request for a no-cost grant extension must include the following:
- A formal request by an authorized representative of the grantee State agency;
- Strong programmatic justification for an extension, including details regarding barriers to achieving the grantee State’s goals and what will be accomplished with an extension; grantee States may not use the fact that funds remain at the expiration of the grant as justification for a no-cost extension;
- Length of time for which the extension is requested (not to exceed 12 months);
- Project plan and objectives proposed for the extension, including a timeline;
- The amount of unexpended funds that will be available for use during the extension period;
- A detailed line-item budget (SF-424a), an Excel budget spreadsheet (see a sample illustration), and a budget narrative for the unobligated funds (including the breakdown of all costs); and
- The most recent SF-425.
The OAGM will review the request and follow up with the grantee State as needed. States whose requests are approved will receive a Notice of Award (NoA) signed and dated by the CMS Grants Management Officer (GMO). Only an approved NoA signed by the GMO is to be considered valid and official. Grantee States who take action on the basis of letters or emails from unauthorized officials, including, but not limited to the CMS PO or CMS Program Offices, do so at their own risk. Correspondence from unauthorized officials will not be considered binding by or upon CMS or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Please submit any questions you may have to your CMS PO and the OAGM Grants Specialist (Karen Johnson, email@example.com).
- National Background Check Program Solicitation FAQ. A compilation of Frequently Asked Questions about the National Background Check Program for Long-Term Care Facilities and Providers maintained by CMS. Accessed at: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/backgroundcheckqanda.pdf
- Review/Clearance of Class Deviation Requests for no-cost extensions for the CMS Nationwide Program for National and State Background Check Grants under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) memo. Accessed at: http://bgcheckinfo.cna.org/sites/default/files/public/Scanned_document_18-04-2013_13-17-27.pdf
- SF-424a - Budget Information (non-construction programs). Accessed at http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms/sample/SF424A-V1.0.pdf
- Illustration of a sample detailed budget and narrative justification with guidance for completing SF 424A: Section B for the budget period. Accessed at http://bgcheckinfo.cna.org/sites/default/files/public/sample_budget.docx