Your organization won a NY State or federal security grant. What should you do next?
Please click on one of the tabs below for specific information applicable to the appropriate stage of the post-grant process. (Site under construction, check back often for updates).
Before you get started, remember . . .
- This is a complex process. It’s easier if you take one step at a time.
- A common mistake is to underestimate the amount of time that each step will take.
- Keep good records and notes documenting your activities.
New York nonprofits are eligible for two security grants:
- the federal (DHS/FEMA) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) administered by NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES); and
- the New York State Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC) grant, administered by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.
NY DHSES Introduction to the NY State contracting process
Any change or project scope or objective will require FEMA’s prior written approval. NSGP is competitive, with applications recommended for funding based on the threat, vulnerability,
consequence, and mitigation recommendations set forth in the sub-recipients Investment Justification (IJ) application. Consequently, scope/objective changes will be considered on a
case-by-case basis, provided the change does not negatively impact the competitive process used to recommend NSGP awards.
A request of this nature must be submitted by the SAA to FEMA and must include the following:
- A written request from the NSGP subrecipient on its letterhead, outlining the scope or objective change, including the approved projects from the subrecipient’s IJ, the funds and relative scope or objective significance allocated to those projects, the proposed changes, and any resulting reallocations as a result of the change of scope or objective; An explanation why the change of scope or objective is necessary;
- Validation from the SAA that any deviations from the approved IJ are addressed in the vulnerability assessment submitted by the subrecipient at the time of application; and The subrecipient request must also address whether the proposed changes will impact its ability to complete the project within the award’s period of performance. Sub-
recipients may not proceed with implementing any scope/objective changes until the SAA receives written approval from FEMA.
Avoiding conflicts of interest.
- In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements. FEMA considers these actions to be an organizational conflict of interest. This applies to contractors that help an entity develop its grant application, project plans, or project budget. Example: Whoever completes your risk assessment cannot participate in the bidding process.
- Using state or local geographic preferences in evaluating bids or proposals is prohibited!
- These situations must be avoided because they are considered to be restrictive of competition:
- Requiring unnecessary experience
- Using brand names
- Allowing non-competitive pricing practices
- Using only contractors that are already on retainer
- Allowing organizational conflicts of interest
- Exhibiting arbitrary actions during the procurement process
When soliciting competitive bids or offers, you are encouraged to utilize more than one form of media to attract qualified bidders or offerors. In addition to using your local newspaper, you may advertise in other newspapers and trade journals, and notices can be posted online (including the NY State Contract Reporter).
- Reasonable period of time: a minimum of 3 days is recommended as the intent of advertising is to promote open, fair advertisement of the opportunity to provide services. If a newspaper comes out once a week, that meets the 3-day recommendation.
- What is not appropriate?
- to special interest groups;
- in religious periodicals;
- in another language; or
- through internally generated mailings and publications.
Sample ad language
A nonprofit organization in ____(your City) is seeking sealed bids for the sale and installation of security related enhancements.
The project includes: (in general, list all of the equipment you wish to have installed, i.e.) installation of Closed-Circuit Television equipment. The selection criteria will be based on (include your selection criteria, i.e.) knowledge of surveillance and security, adherence to projected work schedule, prior experience, references, and cost. Specifications and bid requirements can be obtained by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.” (*Use a generic e-mail address so you don’t attract unwanted attention). “All interested firms will be required to sign for the proposal documents and provide a primary contact, telephone, and email address. Bids will be accepted until ____ on _____________ and work is to commence by ________202_ and be completed by ________202_.” (*Your specified deadlines must be reasonable).
The same information must be provided to all interested parties. Bid costs must be detailed item by item (not a lump sum amount).
A sealed bid can be an e-mail that is retained until the pre-determined opening date;
- opened at one time before a committee who will certify the process;
- an established methodology for evaluating bids before the bids are opened (see bid matrix); and
- maintenance of a record of competitive procurement process.
Establishing a scoring matrix
NY State Procurement Rules require that awards must be made in accordance with a pre-determined process -evaluation criteria and scoring methodology, established before the bids are opened. You may award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder or on the basis of best value, which may include the following elements:
- Experience/qualifications of vendor
- Ability to conform with projected work schedule, etc.
- Scoring methodology and bid evaluations must be in writing.
Click to see CSI’s Sample Bidding Matrix.