Ask A Grant Program Specialist

image of government building with a dollar signEditor’s note:  In this recurring column, a COPS Office grant program specialist takes on commonly asked questions about managing your COPS grant. If you have a suggestion for a topic in a future column of “Ask a GPS,” please let us know at CPDispatch@usdoj.gov

Q: I was recently notified that I was selected to receive grant funding from COPS.  How do I accept my grant award document?

A: Accepting your COPS grant award is a very straightforward process; however, simple mistakes can delay the processing from a few days to several weeks.

A very common mistake is unauthorized individuals signing the award document on behalf of the agency. The highest ranking law enforcement and government executives that have ultimate financial and programmatic authority must sign the award document. For non-government institutions, the authorized officials who have programmatic and financial signature authority, as well as authority to sign contracts on behalf of the agency, should sign the award document.

When accepting your award document, there are five things to remember:

  1. The award document must be signed by the highest ranking signature authority.
  2. The award document must have original signatures. Stamped or scanned signatures will not be accepted.
  3. Unauthorized alterations to the award document are not allowed. This includes white out!
  4. The agency must submit the original award document. Copies of the award document will not be accepted.
  5. If your agency needs additional time to accept the grant award, please contact your state Grant Program Specialist. All requests are considered on a case by case basis.

When in doubt, contact your state assigned Grant Program Specialist. If your department makes a mistake to the award document, contact your GPS to request that a reprint be mailed to your agency.  If there has been a change in the law enforcement and/or government executives, that new executive holding the position may sign the award document, but must attach a Change of Information form icon: pdf. Finally, your office has 90 days from the date listed on the grant award to return the signed award to the COPS Office.

-John Wells
Grant Program Specialist
The COPS Office

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