Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund: Supplemental Reporting Guidance for Tribes

TANF-ACF-PI-2021-05

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

TO:

Tribes and tribal consortia that are approved to integrate TANF in a P.L. 102-477 plan.

SUBJECT:

The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund.

REFERENCES:

The American Rescue Plan Act, Public Law 117-2; section 403(c) of the Social Security Act.

PURPOSE:

To provide supplemental reporting guidance to 477 tribes regarding the newly established Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund.

BACKGROUND:

On March 11, 2021, the President signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. Now Public Law 117-2, it establishes the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF) in section 403(c) of the Social Security Act (the Act).

On March 19, 2021, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued a “Dear Tribal Leader Letter” and invited tribes to consultation for this new funding. In the letter, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) shared plans that OFA would be awarding allotments directly to tribes and tribes would report quarterly. A consultation webinar was held on March 26, 2021 and written comments were due by April 2, 2021.

During the consultation process, concerns were expressed by 477 tribes about OFA’s proposal to require quarterly reporting because of the administrative burden it poses to tribes.

As a result of consultation, OFA has reconsidered its approach and will not require quarterly reports of tribes that integrate TANF in a P.L. 102-477 plan. However, requirements of the PEAF law, such as funds needing to be spent on non-recurrent, short-term benefits, and grantees needing to request allotments and reallotments, continue to apply. During the consultation process 477 tribes provided assurances that including funds in 477 would not interfere with 477 tribes complying with the requirements of the PEAF law. 

GUIDANCE:

The law sets forth specific requirements for allowable expenses, spending periods, and reallotment. These requirements provide the framework for the minimal reporting requirements for PEAF.

There are two allowable expenditures for PEAF: non-recurrent, short term (NRST) benefits and administrative costs. Funds may be used for non-recurrent, short term benefits as provided in section 403(c)(6)(A) of the Act and in Program Instruction (PI) TANF-ACF-PI-2021-02. The same cap will apply to administrative costs in the PEAF that a tribe negotiated for administrative costs in its approved 477 plan (§ 403(c)(6)(B) of the Act and PI TANF-ACF-PI-2021-02).

There are two spending periods for PEAF: after a grantee receives the initial award and after a grantee receives any funding through the reallotment process. A grantee has from April 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, the end of fiscal year 2022, to expend its initial award (§ 403(c)(6)(D)(i) of the Act). Any unspent funds will be made available for reallotment (§ 403(c)(4)(B) of the Act). A grantee must expend reallotted funds within 12 months of receipt of the reallotted funds (§ 403(c)(6)(D)(ii) of the Act).

In addition to the legislative requirements, these funds are bound by the requirements of the Uniform Guidance (45 CFR Part 75) including the financial reporting requirements provided in 45 CFR Part 75.341. Financial reports must be submitted no less frequently than annually.

Reporting

Given the requirements of the law and regulations, OFA is revising the ACF-196T form so that all tribal grantees, including 477 grantees, can use the form for PEAF financial reports. The Paperwork Reduction Act requires that any request for information from more than 9 respondents requires OMB approval. The ACF-196T will have OMB approval and therefore will be used for this purpose.

Along with the ACF-196T financial reporting form, OFA will provide instructions for completing the form that will account for minimal reporting requirements for 477 tribes, including:

  • 477 tribes will only have to report expenditures for two fields: NRST benefits and administrative costs. The ACF-196T will have columns, rows, and fields for other financial data but 477 tribes may disregard those fields in accordance with the form instructions.>
  • 477 tribes will only have to submit the ACF-196T up to four times over the life of the PEAF award:
    • Within 45 days of the end of fiscal year 2021, or no later than November 14, 2021.
    • Within 45 days of the end of fiscal year 2022, or no later than November 14, 2022. This report will be used to determine the funding reallotment.
    • Within 45 days of the end of fiscal year 2023, or no later than November 14, 2023.
    • Within 45 days of the end of the 12-month period following the receipt of reallotted funds.

477 tribes may submit the ACF-196T financial reporting form to their assigned Awarding Official Technical Representative (AOTR) at BIA, the lead agency for 477. BIA will process and subsequently transmit the reports to HHS.

INQUIRIES:

Please direct inquiries to your BIA Awarding Official Technical Representative (AOTR) who may work with the TANF Program Manager in your region.

 

            /s/

Susan J. Golonka
Acting Director
Office of Family Assistance

 

Files

Current as of: