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Due Date: August 21, 2000

Grant Awards to State Agencies on Aging for the Development of Model Performance Outcome Measurement Systems in State and Community Programs on Aging

Part I. Background Information and Program Priority

A. Statutory Authority

The statutory authority for awards made under this program priority is contained in the Older Americans Act, (42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), as amended by the Older Americans Act Amendments of 1992, Pub.L.102-375, September 30, 1992.

B. Eligible Applicants

Eligibility is limited to State Agencies on Aging, working in collaboration with one or more Area Agencies on Aging. For state agencies that function as a single planning and service area, applications must reflect substantial collaboration with one or more provider agencies.

C. Level of Funding

There are two separate competitions under this program instruction. For agencies currently involved in AoA’s performance outcomes measures project, we expect to award no more than 11 grants for up to $75,000 each.

For agencies not currently part of the ongoing project, we expect to award up to 15 grants for up to $45,000 each.

We also expect to make available up to $20,000 to each of ten agencies selected for cooperation with state health departments. The AoA has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS is an annual survey conducted in each state. We are developing an "optional module of state-sponsored questions" that relate to the performance measures under AoA’s performance outcome measures project. Our objective is for state aging agencies to make the $20,000 available to the state health agencies to support data collection for the BRFSS optional module. To be eligible for such consideration, applications must reflect evidence of commitment to collaboration by state health agency officials responsible for BRFSS data collection.

D. Program Priority Description

Model State Performance Outcomes Measurement Systems

1) Background

The 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA or the "Results Act") is significantly altering the way that the federal government does business. All federal agencies are now required to identify strategic, measurable outcomes and gear their work towards their achievement. Agency budget proposals are tied to GPRA measures, which are used to determine accomplishments. Through GPRA, Congress and the Executive Branch seek to ensure that desired, significant results are being generated by activities supported by federal monies.

The Administration on Aging began to build its budget requests in compliance with the "Results Act" concomitant with the implementation of the new National Aging Program Information System (NAPIS) and the State Program Report (SPR). GPRA performance plans for fiscal year 1999 and 2000 relied heavily on information from the NAPIS / SPR system.

The NAPIS / SPR system provides State-level aggregate information about the number of people who receive services under the Older Americans Act. It also provides information on the number of units of services they receive, the costs of services and – for certain "registered" services – about the characteristics of people served. In GPRA terms, this is program output information.

While output information describes programs, clients, and services, the Government Performance and Results Act actually requires information about program outcomes; that is, information about how services received have helped the people who receive them and about how funding for service systems is used to improve and modernize those systems.

To develop the required program outcome measures so that service outcomes can be determined, AoA has undertaken the Performance Outcome Measures Project, in partnership with the National Association of State Units on Aging and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Nineteen state and area agencies are collaborating on the project, the objective of which is to develop and field-test performance outcome measures suitable for ongoing use in determining the effectiveness of the aging network and the services we provide. An achievement of the project to date has been the development of consensus among project participants on outcome measures that are relevant to the performance of the aging network. Further information about the project, and documentation of the measures that have been developed, is available at the project website, www.gpra.net

These measures emphasize individual outcomes related to the health and psycho-social status of the people we serve – including their nutritional risk, physical functioning, emotional well-being, social functioning, and satisfaction with the services they receive. Other measures look at the benefits of services that support caregivers, and the degree that people are satisfied with the home care services they receive. We are also developing the means to measure the performance of the aging network in reducing barriers to services and building the capacity of the aging services system.

AoA has contracted with researchers and academics to help develop data-collection instruments in each of these areas that draw on the best research available. The participating agencies and national associations are full partners in the development of these instruments, and are now participating in the field-testing of performance outcome measures.

2) Project Objectives and Activities

The effort described in this program instruction is intended to build on AoA’s current performance outcomes measures project. The performance outcome measures we have been developing with our state and area agency partners rely on sampling methodology, rather than on the collection of information from each person who participates in our programs. The strategy of the Administration on Aging in regards to obtaining the information that is vital to program administration and budget decisions is to require only that information that cannot be obtained elsewhere, and to rely on statistically-valid sampling methodologies where possible.

Expertise on sampling techniques and methodologies for data collection and analysis on the basis of sampling are not widespread within the aging network.

The AoA, through this program instruction, seeks to support the development of state-based systems to measure outcomes based on statistically-valid sampling.

Grantee Responsibilities

Current grantees applying for continuation funding must:

  • Continue to collect data in areas they’ve covered over the initial years of the project;
  • Expand, if necessary, to a minimum of six, the number of measures they field-test;
  • Work collaboratively to continue to refine the current measures;
  • Work collaboratively to develop new measures in additional areas as determined by consensus of agencies involved in the project, federal staff and contractor staff; and
  • Agree to share data with the Administration on Aging for use in GPRA compliance.

New applicants agree to:

  • Adopt and test at least four measures previously developed under the project, and share the data. Please refer to the documentation at the website www.gpra.net for a documentation on the current performance outcome measures now being field-tested;
  • Participate in the refinement of existing measures and the development of any new measures.
    All applicants may apply for additional funding to support data collection of the "state sponsored optional module" of questions under CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System. Such applications must reflect evidence of collaboration with State health departments.

Support Contract

AoA has contracted with a national research corporation to support the efforts of the performance outcome measures project. This corporation provides research expertise in the development of the performance outcome measures; technical assistance to project sites in sampling and data collection methodology; tools – such as computerized data bases – for uniform data storage and transfer; and data analysis services for project sites and AoA. Current project sites have reported that the support and assistance available through AoA and the research corporation have been instrumental resources that have facilitated the development of meaningful measures and the collection of useful data.

Consistency of measurement methodology, sampling and data collection techniques is important to assure that data are comparable. Project sites selected are expected to implement performance outcome measures consistent with recommendations made by AoA and the research corporation, as developed through consensus among current project sites. Descriptions of sampling and data-collection methodologies, as well as the computerized tools developed under the project, are available at the website www.gpra.net

Part II. Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting the Application

Part II contains guidelines for State Agencies on Aging in preparing and submitting applications for funding under this program priority competition, "Developing Model State Performance Outcomes Measurement Systems in State and Community Programs on Aging." Application forms are also provided along with instructions for preparing the application package for submittal to the AoA.

A. General Information

1. Review Process and Considerations for Funding

a. Notification: All applicants will be notified of the receipt of their application and informed of the identification number assigned to it.

b. Expert Review: Applications that conform to the requirements of this program announcement will be reviewed and scored competitively against the evaluation criteria specified in Section F, below. This independent review of applications is performed by a panel consisting of qualified persons from outside the federal government and knowledgeable non-AoA federal government officials. The scores and judgments of these expert reviewers are a major factor in making award decisions.

c. Decision-Making Process: After the panel(s) review session, applicants may be contacted by AoA staff to furnish additional information. Applicants who are contacted should not assume that funding is guaranteed. An award is official only upon receipt of the Financial Assistance Award.

d. Timeframe: The State Agencies on Aging approved for funding will be notified within 30 days after the deadline for submitting their application.

2. Notification Under Executive Order 12372

This is not a covered program under Executive Order 12372.

B. Deadline for Submission of Applications

The closing date for submission of applications is 45 days after the issuance of the PROGRAM INSTRUCTION to which these guidelines pertain. Due Date: August 21, 2000

C. Grantee Share of the Project

Under this and comparable federal-state initiatives, the AoA does not anticipate making awards for the entire project cost and welcomes SUA participation in the funding of the project. State Agencies on Aging are invited to contribute a minimum of one (1) dollar, secured from non-federal sources, for every three (3) dollars received in federal funding. Thus, if the SUA requests federal support for $75,000, its match would be at least $25,000.

The non-federal share of total project costs for each budget period may be in the form of grantee-incurred direct or indirect costs, third party in-kind contributions, and/or project related income. Indirect costs may not exceed those allowed under federal rules established, as appropriate, by OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, and A-122.

D. Application Receipt Point

Applications can be either sent or hand-delivered to the address specified below. Hand-delivered applications are accepted during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Department of Health and Human Services
Administration on Aging
Office of Administration and Management
330 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 4257
Washington, D.C. 20201

E. Indirect Costs

As a state government agency, the SUA may include indirect charges (costs) in its budget as determined in accordance with HHS requirements.

F. Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by an independent review panel(s) of at least three individuals. These reviewers, experts in the field, are drawn from academic institutions, non-profit organizations, state and local government, and federal government agencies other than the AoA. Based on the specific programmatic considerations set forth above in this program announcement, the reviewers will comment on and score the applications, focusing their comments and scoring decisions on the criteria below.

In making final decisions, the Administration on Aging may take into account such factors as geographic distribution of project sites; coverage of minority and other priority populations; mix of urban, suburban and rural areas; and features of a state’s program of services under the Older Americans Act (to assure that services related to specific performance outcome measures are available in a given state).

Applications are scored by assigning a maximum of 100 points across four criteria:

1. Purpose and Need for Assistance Weight: 25 points

a. Does the proposed project proposal clearly and fully respond to the substantive components of the program announcement regarding the functions and activities of the program priority, "Model State Performance Outcomes Measurement Systems"?

b. Does the project proposal adequately and appropriately describe and document the key problem(s)/condition(s) relevant to its purpose? Is the proposed project justified in terms of the most recent, relevant, and available information and/or knowledge?

2. Approach /Method - Workplan and Activities Weight: 30 points

a. Is the project workplan clear and comprehensive? Does it systematically include specific objectives and tasks in a feasible and effective approach to accomplishing its purpose?

b. Is a well-ordered and sensible timeline for the accomplishment of tasks and objectives presented? Are the sequence and timing of events logical and realistic?

c. Are the roles and contributions of project staff, consultants, and collaborative organizations clearly defined and linked to specific objectives and tasks?

d. Does the workplan specify who would be responsible for such tasks as: leadership of the project; preparation of reports and products; communications with the AoA; and dissemination of project results/products?

3. Anticipated Outcomes and Dissemination Weight: 20 points

a. Are the expected benefits/results clear, realistic, and consistent with the objectives and purpose of the project? Are the anticipated outcomes of the project likely to be achieved and will they significantly contribute to the development of model state performance outcome measurement systems?

b. Does the proposal include a plan for dissemination which is likely to promote a timely awareness among interested parties of the project’s activities and events during salient stages of the project? Is this plan adequate for disseminating the project products to all appropriate audiences?

4. Level of Effort Weight: 25 points

a. Do the proposed Project director, key staff and consultants have the background, experience, and other qualifications required to carry out their designated roles? Is the time commitment of the proposed director sufficient to assure proper direction and management of the project? Is the time commitment of other key staff sufficient to assure completion of the tasks proposed for the project?

b. Is the budget justified with respect to the adequacy and reasonableness of resources requested? Are budget line items consistent with workplan objectives?

c. Are letters from participating organizations included, as appropriate, and do they express the clear commitment and areas of responsibility of those organizations, consistent with the workplan description of their intended roles and contributions?

G. The Components of an Application

To expedite the processing of applications, we request that you arrange the components of your application, the original and two copies, in the following order:

o SF 424, Application for Federal Assistance; SF 424A, Budget, accompanied by your budget justification; SF 424B (Assurances); and the certification forms regarding lobbying; debarment, suspension, and other responsibility matters; and drug-free workplace requirements. Note: The original copy of the application must have an original signature in item 18d on the SF 424.

o Project summary description;

o Program narrative;

o Organizational capability statement and vitae;

o Letters of commitment from participating organizations and agencies;

Beginning with the page for the project summary description, pages should be numbered sequentially. Please do not use covers or tabs. Do not include extraneous materials such as agency promotion brochures, slides, tapes, film clips, etc. It is not feasible to include such items in the review process. They will be discarded if submitted as part of the application.

H. Communications with the AoA

As appropriate, applicants will be notified (using the information provided by the SF 424, item 5) of the receipt of their application. Please contact the Office of Management by telephone at (202) 401-0838 if you are uncertain as to whether your application has been received for review. Applicants are advised that, prior to reaching a decision, the AoA will not release information to an applicant other than that its application has been received and that it is being reviewed. Once a decision is reached, the applicant will be notified as soon as possible of the status of its application.

I. Completing the Application

In completing the application, please recognize that the set of standardized forms is prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget and is not perfectly adaptable to the particulars of this program. If you need technical help in completing the forms, please call Al Duncker at (202) 619-1269. Please prepare your application consistent with the following guidance:

1. SF 424, Cover Page: Complete only the items specified in the following instructions:

Item 1. Preprinted on the form.

Item 2. Fill in the date you submitted the application. Leave the applicant identifier box blank.

Item 3. Not applicable.

Item 4. Leave blank.

Item 5. Provide the legal name of the applicant; the name of the primary organizational unit which will undertake the project; the applicant address; and the name and telephone number of the person to contact on matters related to this application.

Item 6. Enter the employer identification number (EIN) of the applicant organization as assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. Please include the suffix to the EIN, if known.

Item 7. Preprinted on the form.

Item 8. Preprinted on form.

Item 9. Preprinted on form.

Item 10. Leave blank.

Item 11. The title should describe concisely the nature of the project. Avoid repeating the title of the priority area or the name of the applicant. Try not to exceed 10 to 12 words and 120 characters including spaces and punctuation.

Item 12. Preprinted on form.

Item 13. Enter the desired start date for the project, September 1, 2000 and the end date for the project, one year later.

Item 14. List the applicant's Congressional District and the District(s), if any, directly affected by the proposed project.

Item 15. All budget information entered under item #15 should cover only the first 12 months of the project. The applicant should show the federal support requested under sub-item 15a. Sub-items 15b-15e are considered cost-sharing or "matching funds". Applicants should review cost sharing or matching principles contained in Subpart G of 45 CFR Part 74 before completing not just Item 15, but the Budget Information Sections A, B and C that follow. It is important that the dollar amounts entered in sub-items 15b-15f total at least 25 percent of the total project cost (total project cost is equal to the requested federal funds plus funds from non-federal sources).

In general, costs borne by the applicant and cash contributions of any and all third parties involved in the project, including sub-grantees, contractors and consultants, are considered cash matching funds. Most contributions from third parties will be non-cash (i.e. in-kind). Examples include volunteered time and use of facilities to hold meetings or conduct project activities. A third form of non-federal match, is projected program income derived from activities of the project such as participant fees and sale of publications. Only program income which is to be used as part of the qualifying match should be shown here.

Item 16. Preprinted on form.

Item 17. This question applies to the applicant organization, not the person who signs as the authorized representative. Categories of debt include delinquent audit disallowances, loans and taxes.

Item 18. To be signed by an authorized representative of the applicant organization. A document attesting to that sign-off authority must be on file in the applicant's office.

2. SF 424A - Budget Information

This form (SF424A) is designed to apply for funding under more than one grant program; thus, for purposes of this AoA program, most of the budget item columns/blocks are superfluous and should be regarded as not applicable. The applicant should consider and respond to only the budget items for which guidance is provided below.

Section A - Budget Summary and Section B - Budget Categories should include both Federal and non-Federal funding for the proposed project covering the first 12 months of the project period.

On line 5, enter total federal Costs in column (e) and total non-federal Costs (including third party in-kind contributions and any program income to be used as part of the grantee match) in column (f). Enter the total of columns (e) and (f) in column (g).

Section B - Budget Categories

Use only the last column under Section B, namely the column headed Total (5), to enter the total requirements for funds (combining both the federal and non-federal shares) by object class category.

A fuller explanation of the proposed budget should be provided in a "budget justification" section. In that budget justification, consider including an overall budget breakdown which shows in three columns all of the budget cost items by federal, non-federal, and total funds. The rest of this separate budget presentation should fully explain and justify each of the major budget items: personnel, travel, other, etc., as outlined below. The column for non-federal funds shown for any of the budget line items in the budget justification sheet reflects only cash match contributions (see instructions above for item 15 on the face sheet of the 424 Form). Third party in-kind contributions and program income designated as non-federal match contributions should be identified and justified separately from the justification for the budget line items. The full budget justification (allow up to four pages) should be included in the application immediately follow the SF 424 forms.

Line 6a - Personnel: Enter total costs of salaries and wages of applicant/grantee staff. Do not include the costs of consultants, which should be included under 6h - Other.

Justification: Identify the project director, if known. Specify the key staff, their titles, and time commitments in the budget justification.

Line 6b - Fringe Benefits: Enter the total costs of fringe benefits unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate.

Justification: Provide a break-down of amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs, such as health insurance, FICA, retirement insurance, etc.

Line 6c - Travel: Enter total costs of out-of-town travel (travel requiring per diem) for staff of the project. Do not enter costs for consultant's travel or local transportation.

Justification: Include the total number of trips, destinations, length of stay, transportation costs and subsistence allowances.

Line 6d - Equipment: Enter the total costs of all equipment to be acquired by the project. For state and local governments, including federally recognized Indian Tribes, "equipment" is non-expendable tangible personal property having a useful life of more than two years and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. For all other grantees, the threshold for equipment is $500 or more per unit.

Justification: Equipment to be purchased with federal funds must be justified as necessary for the conduct of the project. The equipment, or a reasonable facsimile, must not be otherwise available to the applicant or its sub-grantees. The justification also must contain plans for the use or disposal of the equipment after the project ends.

Line 6e - Supplies: Enter the total costs of all tangible expendable personal property (supplies) other than those included on line 6d.

Line 6f - Contractual: Enter the total costs of all contracts, including (1) procurement contracts (except those which belong on other lines such as equipment, supplies, etc.) and, (2) contracts with secondary recipient organizations including delegate agencies. Also include any contracts with organizations for the provision of technical assistance. Do not include payments to individuals on this line.

Justification: Attach a list of contractors indicating the name of the organization, the purpose of the contract, and the estimated dollar amount. If the name of the contractor, scope of work, and estimated costs are not available or have not been negotiated, indicate when this information will be available. Whenever the applicant/grantee intends to delegate a substantial part (one-third, or more) of the project work to another agency, the applicant/grantee must provide a completed copy of Section B, Budget Categories for each contractor, along with supporting information.

Line 6g - Construction: Leave blank since new construction is not allowable and federal funds are rarely used for either renovation or repair.

Line 6h - Other: Enter the total of all other costs. Such costs, where applicable, may include, but are not limited to: insurance, medical and dental costs; noncontractual fees and travel paid directly to individual consultants; local transportation (all travel which does not require per diem is considered local travel); space and equipment rentals; printing and publication; computer use; training and staff development costs. If a cost does not clearly fit under another category, and it qualifies as an allowable cost, then rest assured this is where it belongs.

Line 6i - Total Direct Charges: Show the totals of Lines 6a through 6h.

Line 6j - Indirect Charges: Enter the total amount of indirect charges (costs), if any. If no indirect costs are requested, enter "none."

Line 6k - Total: Enter the total amounts of Lines 6i and 6j.

Line 7 - Program Income/Third Party In-Kind Contributions: Estimate the amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project which you wish to designate as match (equal to the amount shown in Item 15 (f) on SF 424) and combine that with any third party in-kind contributions. Note: If program income is expected, but is not indicated as part of the matching funds, do not include that portion here or on Item 15 (f) of the SF 424 face sheet.

Non-match anticipated program income should be described in the Level of Effort section of the Program Narrative.

Section C - Non-Federal Resources

Line 12 - Totals: Enter amounts of non-federal resources that will be used in carrying out the proposed project. Do not include program income unless it is used to meet match requirements.

Section D - Forecasted Cash Needs: Not applicable.

Section E - Budget Estimate of Federal Funds Needed for Balance of the Project Complete this section since the total project period encompasses two funding periods.

Line 20 - Totals: Enter the estimated required federal funds (exclude estimates of the amount of cost sharing) for the period covering months 13 through 24 under column "(b) First," and leave blank the column "(c) Second." Please note that funding for project periods exceeding one year is contingent on the availability of funds.

Section F - Other Budget Information

Line 21 - Direct Charges: Not applicable

Line 22 - Indirect Charges: Enter the type of indirect rate (provisional, predetermined, final or fixed) to be in effect during the funding period, the base to which the rate is applied, and the total indirect costs.

Line 23 - Remarks: Provide any other explanations or comments deemed necessary.

3. SF 424B - Assurances

SF 424B, Assurances--Non-Construction Programs, contains assurances required of applicants. Please note that a duly authorized representative of the applicant organization must certify that the applicant is in compliance with these assurances.

4. Certification Forms

Certifications are required of the applicant regarding (a) lobbying; (b) debarment, suspension, and other responsibility matters; and (3) drug-free workplace requirements. Please note that a duly authorized representative of the applicant organization must attest to the applicant's compliance with these certifications.

5. Project Summary Description

The project summary description (page one) begins the substantive part of the application. It should be headed by two identifiers: (1) the name of the applicant organization as shown in SF 424, item 5 and (2) the program priority, namely, "Model State Performance Outcomes Measurement Systems." Please limit the summary description to one page with a maximum of 1,200 characters, including words, spaces, and punctuation.

Be specific and succinct. Outline the objectives of the project, the approaches to be used and the outcomes expected. At the end of the summary, list major products that will result from the proposed project (such as manuals, data collection instruments, training packages, audio-visuals, software packages). The project summary description, together with the information on the SF 424, becomes the project "abstract" which is entered into AoA's computer data base. The project description provides the reviewer with an introduction to the substantive parts of the application. Therefore, care should be taken to produce a summary which accurately and concisely reflects the proposal.

6. Program Narrative

The Program Narrative is the critical part of the application. It should be clear, concise, and, of course, responsive to the program priority as described above under Part I, Section D, pp. 2-5. The narrative should cover: (A) the project's purpose(s), relevance, significance, and responsiveness to the program priority; (B) the workplan/ approach(es) the project will follow to achieve its purpose(s); (C) the anticipated outcomes/results/benefits of the project and how these will be disseminated and utilized, and; (D) the level of effort needed to carry out the project, in terms of the project director and other key staff, funding, and other resources.

Please have the narrative typed, double-spaced, on one side of 8 1/2" x 11" plain white paper with 1" margins on both sides. All pages of the narrative (including charts, tables, etc.) should be sequentially numbered, beginning with "Objectives and Need for Assistance" as page number two (2). At the close of the project narrative, please identify the author(s) of the proposal, their relationship with the applicant, and the role they will play, if any, should the project be funded.

7. Letters of Commitment From Participating Organizations and Agencies

Include confirmation of the commitments to the project (should it be funded) made by collaborating organizations and agencies after the narrative section of the application.

J. Points to Remember

1. Please send an original and two copies of an application.

2. The summary description (1,200 characters or less) should accurately reflect the nature and scope of the proposed project.

3. Regarding cost sharing (see Section C above), you are requested to match $1 for every $3 requested in federal funding. Thus, if your request for federal funds is $75,000, the match or cost sharing is $25,000.

4. Be sure you are satisfied that your program narrative responds fully and cogently to the four (4) evaluative criteria which will be used by reviewers to evaluate and score all applications.

5. Do not include testimonial letters which endorse the project in general and perfunctory terms. In contrast, letters which describe and verify tangible commitments to the project, e.g., funds, staff, space, should be included.

6. Before submitting the application, have someone other than the author(s) carry out a trial run review based upon the evaluative criteria. Take the opportunity to consider the results of the trial run and then make whatever changes you deem appropriate.

7. Applications are due no later than 45 days after the issuance of the Program Instruction. They can be either sent or hand-delivered to the address specified below. Hand-delivered applications are accepted during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Department of Health and Human Services
Administration on Aging
Office of Administration and Management
330 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 4257
Washington, D.C. 20201

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