1. #1
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    Default Amendment question

    I'm sure this has probably been asked, but I'll ask again.

    One of the grants I wrote was for radios. They found out after that they needed a couple of different ones than what was specified, so I filed an amendment for the additional radios and it was approved.

    The amount for the additional radios was $5000. Even after we spent that, we still have some excess funds available. So my question is, does the $5000 that we spent on the additional radios, that was part of the amendment count as spending excess funds, or can they still spend the excess funds on something non-fire prevention related?

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    I would venture that it was the infamous $5K that the additional radios were purchased with, but the FPS will have the final say on that.

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    Default Amendments...

    Explanation
    I had discussed this same question with my local grant advisor. The amendment is to your original project narrative. You redefined the "scope of your work." Essentially you resubmitted this portion of your grant, with some changes.

    How long did it take for you to receive your approval? I have had one pending for better than 3 weeks and am still awaiting approval.

    After we priced everything out, and worked through a competitive bid process we determined we were going to have way more than $5000 left over. We originally asked for 16 sets of turnouts, we were reduced to 12, I submitted an amendment requesting 16 since we have the funds, but the 4 additional sets would exceed $5000.
    Last edited by WrightofGCVFD; 11-29-2005 at 12:26 PM.
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    I guess I missed something here: were the radios in the amendment on top of buying the ones in the application or in place of some?

    If they were in place of, then you might still have the $5K to play with because you just changed brands/models/styles, etc. Depending on what the pricing difference was that is.

    If they were in addition to what was applied for, then you probably don't. The limit was imposed to keep people from playing games like what happened in the first few years of the program when there was no limit. Not saying you're playing games, just dealing with the after effects of those that did.

    Same reason that Wright might be limited to $5K to purchase those extra sets of PPE.

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    It's kinda convoluted. The narrative project focused on a radio based accountbility system, it included a new local fireground frequency, when we applied, we counted all the radios that would not accept the new frequency. After the grant was awarded and they decided on a vendor, they found out that several of the radios they were not planning on replacing (some truck radios that they originally thought would work), actually needed to be replaced to conform with the new system. I had not written for the truck radios, so I sent an amendment to add to it, basically telling the reason they needed the truck radios and detailing that the scope of the narrative couldn't be accomplished without them.....which is the truth.

    I got the amendment approved. What seems strange, is that according to the PG, if the money for the truck radios was to be counted against excess funds, then in reality I would not have needed to apply for an amendment because I could have used the excess funds. That's where my question comes in.

    I've fired off an email to the Help Desk for a final answer.

    Oh, and by the way, it took almost 6 weeks to get my amendment approved.

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    Don't wait for Helpdesk, go to the FPS for the answer. Helpdesk means well, but nearly everyone that I talked to that has dealt with them have been told something different. Some were even told that laptops and projectors weren't allowed under FP, when it's quite clear that they are. They are just mainly there for technical assistance. The FPS's are the ones in charge of the awards and applications.

    And you need to do an amendment for anything outside of the list of items on the application, so you needed to do the truck radio amendment anyway. I highly recommend it for any changes, that way when they come in for the audit and find you spent the money without asking, there are no surprises. It is not good to surprise your DHS auditor EVER. So even though the PG says that you CAN do it DON'T do it until they clear it. The FPS's have the final say on anything, so you want to make sure the lines of communication are utilized at all times. Even if it does take 6 weeks to hear back, it will save lots of time, money, and frustration at the audit. And prevent the stuff from leaving the station with them.

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    ... and to add to Brian's comments you will have established the proverbial "paper trail" by awaiting the amendment approval in WRITING. That way, you are not acting upon simply a phone conversation from a "person who might have been promoted or relieved of duties" and is most liley NOT the person performing your onsite inspection!
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    Got the answer from FPS. They say that yes, an amendment counts towards your excess funds......no biggie in the end..

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