After your project is completed, please provide all reports, including financial reports to OSP. OSP will review and submit all documents (final report) required by agency to close-out the project. You need to be aware that adjustments relating to transfer of funds and equipment may be necessary.
Common issues in reporting:
- Timeliness and accuracy – Avoid incorrect data and data that cannot be identified to a particular line item. Please let OSP know if there is an acceptable explanation, OSP may request an extension from the agency.
- Compensation for employees – Requires adequate documentation, use CFCC forms. Although reports on employee compensation are not required, the PI has to maintain them, if there is a question or scrutiny by the agency. A full disclosure of hours worked by each employee has to be documented and maintained in a timely manner. This is imperative, especially if a significant amount of grant proposal is allocated to wages and salaries. OSP will assist the PI in developing documentary support for time and effort based on cost principles and other federal policies.
Completion of Project & Closeout
According to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB), “grants are considered closed when all work related to the grant agreement has been performed or on the date that the grant is officially supposed to end.” When the project is closed, please send all required reports to OSP, who will then review the reports and submit them to the agency. Please be aware that most agencies will not make final payments until they have received all reports.
There are three key features of closeout:
- Submitting all final performance, financial, and other required reports
- Adjusting the federal share of costs
- Settling any cash balances
Any unencumbered cash balance has to be refunded to the agency or be reflected by an accounting adjustment according to the agency instructions. If there is a balance owed to the program, please contact OSP to request a refund of the balance.
Although some aspects of grant management are not affected by the closeout, the rules applying to some responsibilities will continue to apply; and closeout does not relieve the grant program of compliance with the following requirements:
- The grantees responsibility for retaining records – The records have to be retained for three years.
- The federal government’s right to audit and disallow costs – In the absence of a final audit, the agency reserves the right to recover any disallowed costs as the result of a subsequent audit.
- CFCC’s accountability for property royalties and program income. (This is not very common in a community college setting.)
While the agencies expect a project to be closed by the completion date, you might need extra time to complete the project or you might need time to continue the project. There are various options you can choose from:
- No-Cost Time Extension – A request to the agency for time to complete the project without additional funds being involved. Requests may not be made for the sole purpose of spending remaining funds; however, you may spend the remaining funds during the no-cost extension period.
- Continuation of Project – A proposal has to be submitted first to OSP for review and submission. If the agency indicates that the continuation proposal will be funded, then work on the project may be continued. A request has to be made to OSP to authorize the establishing of a fund prior to the official award, so that work on the project may continue.
- Project has not Expired – The project has not expired; continuation of the project will be approved by the agency through incremental funding.
Please note that for all of the options mentioned above you have to obtain prior approval from OSP and provide written justification, which includes the following:
- The length of time for the extension
- A justification for the extension request
- A brief statement describing the work that has been completed
If it is a multi-year project:
- Check agency guidelines – Make sure that all required reports, including financial reports, have been submitted to the agency by the specified deadlines; this may affect your next period funding.
- For most federal grants, reports are due 90 days after the expiration date of the award.
- Ensure that the additional amount that will be funded has been included in original proposal. If not, you must request a continuation proposal.
- In some cases, there may be a reduction in the budget for multi-year projects after the first year. Then, you will have to work with OSP to create a new budget for funding.
Carry-forward – check agency guidelines
In a typical multi-year project, where the funding is distributed one year at a time, generally, the remaining funds from the previous year may be utilized for the next year. However, the funds may be mandated to be spent per year and have to be tracked and accounted for in the specified period or year. In which case, you will need prior approval to carry forward unused funds.
A request can be made to the agency for the continuation of project while you await funds.