Make the Most of 2012 Grants
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Comments
The grant funding available from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decreased by about $1 billion this year from the previous budget, but an $8.3 billion pot of unused, previously awarded funds is available. While many of the remaining fiscal year (FY) 2012 programs require terrorism preparedness focuses, the call for collaboration lends some programs to be applicable for communications projects.
During a webinar about 2012 DHS funding, moderator Dan Casion, manager of grant development and administration with the Grants Office, stressed the importance of states and local grantees coordinating with their state administrative agencies (SAA). The best way to identify what is available in your state is through the SAA. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all process; every state process is different,” he said.
The webinar host, the Grants Office, is a national grants development firm that provides federal, state and local information and grants development support to municipalities, nonprofits and industry partners.
The FY 2012 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) allocated $294 million to the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), $490.4 million to Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and $46.6 million to Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) grants. The FY 2011 grant budget had been significantly decreased from FY 2010.
The SHSP funds must support terrorism preparedness activities. While some preparedness can simultaneously support other hazards, if the activities are not explicitly focused on terrorism preparedness, the grantees must demonstrate dual use. The preparedness activities should be integrated across disciplines, agencies and levels of government, Casion said. The funding is distributed based on three factors: minimum amounts as legislatively mandated, DHS’ risk methodology and anticipated effectiveness based on strength of the investment justification (IJ).
The UASI offers funding to the 31 highest risk urban areas. The program is “intended to address the unique multidiscipline planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas,” Casion said. Again, activities must support terrorism preparedness.
OPSG focuses on states with international borders to enhance cooperation among law enforcement agencies. Awards will be distributed based on risk-based prioritization using a border risk methodology measuring threat, vulnerability, miles of border and other border-specific law enforcement intelligence. States and territories with international water borders also qualify.
All three programs have an application deadline of May 4, a two-year project period and an award date on or around Sept. 30. SAAs must submit applications on behalf of the eligible state, urban area or sub-recipients, and 80 percent of the award must be made available at the local levels.
The Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP), a previously popular industry program, is no longer funded as a discrete program. But all activities/costs allowed under the last solicitation are allowable and encouraged under FY 2012 HSGP, Casion said.
Other DHS FY 2012 programs that could cover communications equipment include:
• $6 million for the Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP)
• $10 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)
• $10 million for the Intercity Passenger Rail (Amtrak) Program
• $87.5 million for the Transit Security Grant Program
• $97.5 million for the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
• $339.5 million for the Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) Program
Another important note discussed during the webinar was the funding available from previous years. As of January 2012, nearly $8.3 billion in previously awarded grant funding is available for expenditure. To accelerate the spending of remaining FY 2007 – FY 2011 funds, DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are allowing grantees additional flexibility.
The $8.3 billion comes from a variety of programs that were granted funding, but the money was not used. The leeway in funding use seems to suggest that DHS is recognizing day-to-day tasks that also need funding. There is the potential for new state-specific programs to be made available. It’s important to keep in tune with the SAAs to understand what the funds are composed of and how they will be distributed at the local level, Casion said.
To increase flexibility and expedite the drawdown of grant funds, there will be a reprioritzation of funds from previous years to more urgent priorities, waivers for certain funding limitations, and building and sustaining core capabilities, such as maintenance/sustainment costs associated with previously purchased equipment, training and critical resources.
Eligible programs from FY 2007 – FY 2011 (also to include FY 2012 grants) include:
• Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP)
• Driver’s License Security Grant Program (DLSGP)
• Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
• Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP)
• HSGP — SHSP, UASI, OPSG, Metropolitan Medical Response Grants (MMRS) and Citizen Corps Program (CCP)
• Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP)
• Intercity Passenger Rail Security Grant Program (IPR)
• Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP)
• Non-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP)
• National Special Security Event (NSSE)
• Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
• Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP)
• Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP)
• Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP)
DHS/FEMA will reclaim funds from previous years not spent by the dates below:
• FY 2007 funds by June 2012
• FY 2008/2009 funds by September 2012
• FY 2010 funds by September 2013
• FY 2011/FY 2012 funds by the date on the award agreement
For more information, contact the Grants Office at or email
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