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FY 2008 National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) Solicitation

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for funding to administer the 2008 National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP). This program furthers the Department’s mission to enhance the crime fighting and criminal justice capabilities of State governments by improving the accuracy, utility, and interstate accessibility of criminal history records and enhancing records of protective orders involving domestic violence and stalking, sex offender records, automated identification systems and other State systems supporting national records systems and their use for criminal history background checks.

Eligibility

The NCHIP application must be submitted by the agency designated by the Governor to administer the NCHIP program. States may choose to submit applications as part of a multi-state consortium or other entity. In such cases, please contact your BJS program manager for further information.

(See more information in the “Eligibility” section.)

Deadline

All NCHIP applications are due by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Friday, February 15, 2008.
(See "Deadline: Application")

Contact Information

For assistance with the requirements of this program announcement, contact Gerard Ramker at 202-307-0765 or e-mail askbjs@usdoj.gov. Include 2008NCHIP in the subject line.

This application must be submitted through the OJP Grants Management System (GMS). For technical assistance with submitting the application, call the GMS Helpdesk at 1-888-549-9901.

2008-BJS-1748


FY 2008 National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) Solicitation
CFDA Number 16.554

Contents:

PDF version of FY 2008 NCHIP announcement (152K)

    Help for using BJS products


Overview

BJS is publishing this notice to announce the continuation of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) in Fiscal Year 2008 to identify the program priorities and provide information on application requirements.

Program goals

The goal of the NCHIP grant program is to improve the Nation’s safety and security by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information and by insuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems. Achieving this goal is contingent upon accomplishing four objectives:

  • providing direct financial and technical assistance to States to improve their criminal records systems and other related systems in an effort to support background checks;
  • ensuring the infrastructure is developed to connect each State's records systems to FBI records systems and, in turn, to connect each State's background check databases to one another;
  • providing the training and technical assistance needed to insure that records systems are developed and managed to conform to FBI standards, as well as the most appropriate technologies and that States adhere to the highest standards of practice with respect to privacy and confidentiality; and,
  • assessing and measuring through systematic evaluation and standardized performance measurement and statistics, progress made implementing improvements in State and national records holdings and background check systems.

The NCHIP program serves as an umbrella for various record improvement activities and funding streams, each of which has unique goals and objectives. As a basic principle of this program, BJS strongly encourages States to ensure the integrated functioning of record improvement initiatives, regardless of the funding source. Also, BJS strongly encourages applicants to match and/or leverage the Federal funds provided with other resources to the maximum extent possible.

Authorizing legislation

In the past, appropriations for the NCHIP program have been made pursuant to the Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998, and the procedures for applying for NCHIP grants generally reflect the provisions of that Act. The NCHIP program implements the grant provisions of:

  • The Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998 (CITA), Pub. L. No. 105-251, 112 Stat.1871 (1998), codified at 42 USC Section 14601 et seq.;
  • The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act), Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat.1536 (1993), codified as amended at 18 U.S.C. Section 921 et seq.;
  • The National Child Protection Act of 1993 (NCPA), Pub. L. No. 103-209, 107 Stat. 2490 (1993), codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. Sections 3759, 5101 note, 5119, 5119a, 5119b, 5119c;
  • those provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (Omnibus Act), Pub. L. No. 90 351, 82 Stat. 197 (1968), codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. Section 3711 et seq., as amended; and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Violent Crime Control Act), Pub. L. No.103 322, 108 Stat. 1796 (1994), codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. Section 13701 et seq., which pertain to the establishment, maintenance, analysis, or use of criminal history records and criminal record systems;
  • relevant requirements of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, Pub. L. No. 103-322, 108 Stat. 2038, Megan's Law, Pub.L. No. 104-145, 110 Stat. 1345, and the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-236, 110 Stat. 3093; and,
  • The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-386, 114 Stat. 1464 (2000) and related laws pertaining to the identification, collection, analysis and interstate exchange of records relating to domestic violence and stalking (including protection orders).

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Deadline: Registration

The GMS registration deadline is February 15, 2008.

Deadline: Application

Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. eastern time, February 15, 2008, to be eligible for funding in FY 2008. Awards are expected to be made by July 1, 2008.

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Eligibility

The NCHIP application must be submitted by the agency designated by the Governor to administer the NCHIP program. States may choose to submit applications as part of a multistate consortium or other entity. In such cases, please contact your BJS program manager for further information.

Also, as required by Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998 (CITA) under 42 USC 14601(c), to be eligible to receive a NCHIP grant, the application must specifically assure that the State or Territory:

(1)        has the capability to contribute pertinent information to the national instant criminal background check system (NICS) established under section 103(b) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (18 U.S.C. 922 note).

(2)        is or will be following a comprehensive strategy for information sharing systems to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, with an emphasis on integration of all criminal justice components, law enforcement, courts, prosecution, corrections, and probation and parole. Further, the strategy must be developed in consultation with State and local officials with emphasis on the recommendation of officials whose duty it is to oversee, plan, and implement integrated information technology systems, and contain −

(A)       a definition and analysis of “integration” in the State and localities developing integrated information sharing systems;

(B)       an assessment of the criminal justice resources being devoted to information technology;

(C)       State and local resource needs;

(D)       Federal, State, regional, and local information technology coordination requirements; and,

(E)       statewide priorities for planning and implementation of information technology systems.

(3)        it coordinates the programs funded by NCHIP with other Federally-funded information technology programs, including directly funded local programs; and,

(4)        assures that the individuals who developed the grant application took into consideration the needs of all branches of the State Government and specifically sought the advice of the chief of the highest court of the State with respect to the application.

(See “Other Program Attachments”)

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Project Specific Information

The NCHIP program was initiated in 1995 and has encompassed evolving efforts to support State activities for the establishment of records systems and the collection and use of criminal history and related records. Since 1995 direct awards under the basic NCHIP (including awards to "priority" States and awards under the Advanced State Award program (ASAP)) have totaled over $500 million. In addition, $6 million was transferred to the FBI for implementation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and over $18 million was awarded to provide direct technical assistance to States, to evaluate the program, and to collect statistics and research data on presale firearm checks.

The National Sex Offender Registry Assistance Program (NSOR-AP) was added to NCHIP in FY 1998, with a $25 million appropriation having the goal of assisting States in upgrading sex offender registries consistent with Federal and State standards and providing data to the FBI’s National Sex Offender Registry. Starting in FY 1999, funding for State sex offender registries has been covered under the general NCHIP.

As part of the Violent Crime Control Act, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 authorized a total of $6 million for fiscal years 1996 through 1998 to improve processes for entering data on stalking and domestic violence into local, State, and national databases. The funds were incorporated into, and awarded under, the NCHIP program during those years. This program was re-authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-386, Section 8) at $3 million per year for fiscal years 2001 through 2006 and funding was re-instituted in FY 2002.  The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Pub. L. No. 109-162, Section 109) authorizes appropriations for the program at $3 million for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011. The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 ( Pub. L. no. 109-162, Section 109) authorizes appropriations for the program at $3 million for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2011.  BJS published a separate announcement for grants under these appropriations entitled, “FY 2008 NCHIP Stalking and Domestic Violence Records Improvement Program (SDVRIP),” which closed on December 14, 2007.

To date, all States, the District of Columbia, and 5 U.S. Territories have received funds under NCHIP. Detailed information about the history of the NCHIP program and its accomplishments are available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=4. NCHIP has provided support to States in the following areas:

  • Record improvement and support for courts.
  • Participation in the Interstate Identification Index (III).
  • Automation of records and fingerprint data.
  • National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • Sex Offender Registries.
  • Domestic violence records/protection orders.

Issues and needs to be addressed

Despite the tremendous progress made toward criminal record improvements since 1995, several significant shortcomings remain, including the following:

  • Most arrest records available through III – excluding those for the eight States participating in the National Fingerprint File (NFF) – are missing case outcome information in the FBI’s Criminal History File. Missing case disposition information also continues to plague many State record systems. It remains vitally important that the courts and prosecutors be major players in the development of improvements to criminal records systems. The involvement of these officials is key to helping ensure the timely and accurate transmittal of disposition information, including non-prosecution outcomes, to criminal record repositories.
  • Few States and territories submit records to any of the files contained in the NICS Index.
  • Several States and territories are not yet submitting records to the NCIC Protection Order File, and the FBI reports continued problems with the appropriate flagging of protection orders regarding the prohibition for firearm purchases.

This program announcement is intended to target FY 2008 NCHIP resources on these specific needs as identified in the following priorities.

Funding

All awards are subject to the availability of appropriated funds and any modifications or additional requirements that may be imposed by law.

Priority areas for grant funding

Through this competitive solicitation, BJS invites applications from States that (1) have clearly demonstrated a need for and the ability to expend NCHIP funds in a timely fashion; (2) propose projects that specifically and directly address one or more of the priority areas identified below; and, (3) to the maximum extent possible, propose to match and/or leverage the NCHIP award with other resources.

1. Updating and automating case outcomes from courts and prosecutors in Staterecords and the FBI’s Criminal History file.

Allowable costs may include activities such as:

a. automating the interface between the record repository and prosecutors, courts, and corrections, including the development of relevant information exchange package documentation based on the Global Justice XML Data Dictionary (GJXDM) and/or National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)

b. implementing improved criminal history record capture procedures, including complete arrest reporting and researching missing dispositions, provided that the captured data are subsequently included in the permanent automated database;

c. ensuring that records of all criminal events that start with an arrest or indictment are included in the database;

d. capturing data on domestic violence misdemeanor convictions;

e. capturing data on persons convicted of abuse of children, the elderly, and the disabled and/or stalking and domestic violence offenses (including protection orders and violations thereof);

f. implementation of, or upgrades to, record systems which facilitate immediate identification of disposition records, provided the records are accessible for State- or Federal-level criminal history inquiries;

g. reducing any backlog of missing dispositions;

h. implementing the Uniform RAP sheet format which relies on GJXDM and NIEM, including assisting the States in converting criminal history records to the standard interstate RAP sheet format or for developing electronic interchange capabilities related thereto;

i. conversion of manual or other non-automated records to electronic records;

j. submitting disposition information to the FBI via Machine Readable Data (MRD) format for supplying records on cartridge, tape and other available electronic means;

k. establishing more effective accuracy and information quality controls;

l. conversion of juvenile records to the adult system - Federal regulations allow the FBI to accept juvenile records if submitted by the State or local arresting agency;

m. upgrading equipment where directly related to improving availability of data and where appropriate given the level of data completeness and participation in national records systems (the ongoing and/or maintenance costs associated with any such equipment are allowable only for the first twelve-month period);

n. purchasing livescan equipment for local agencies where the funds can be justified on the basis of geographic, population, traffic, or other related factors, and only where the State has established an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and either has implemented or is implementing procedures to ensure that the AFIS is compatible with FBI standards (the ongoing and/or maintenance costs associated with any such equipment are allowable only for the first twelve-month period); and,

o. ensuring compatibility with Federal record systems, such as III, and to implement statewide integrated system strategies which interface all components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and corrections, to the extent that such expenditures improve the availability of criminal record data, including protection orders, and provided that any systems funded are compatible with FBI standards for national data systems, such as National Incident-Based Record System (NIBRS), National Crime Information Center (NCIC)-2000, NICS, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), the NCIC Protection Order File, and the National Sex Offender Registry. However, funds may not be used to support studies, analysis, design, or development of State integrated systems strategies.

2. Automating access to information concerning persons prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, including persons who: have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have been committed to a mental institution; are unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance; are the subject of protection or restraining orders; and/or have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Allowable costs may include activities such as:

a. identifying and developing access to data on persons prohibited from firearm purchases under the Gun Control Act (18 U.S.C. Section 922), as amended by the Brady Act; and

b. enabling the State to serve as a Point of Contact (POC) under the NICS system (including costs of equipment, software, personnel training, and development and implementation of related operating and administrative procedures). However, funds may not be used to cover ongoing costs of presale firearm background checks, but may be used to pay costs associated with capturing dispositions in response to a specific NICS inquiry, provided that the captured data are entered into the automated State and FBI system and serves to upgrade the permanent quality of the record systems.

3. Transmitting relevant State records to: (1) files in the NICS Index particularly including the Denied Persons file; (2) the NCIC’s Protection Order file; and/or (3) the NCIC’s National Convicted Sexual Offender Registry file.

Allowable costs may include activities such as:

a. programming or operational changes in records management necessary to comply with the requirements for NICS record-keeping and the reporting of transaction statuses;

b. participating in the NCIC Protection Order File, including assisting States to develop and enhance State registries that feed into the national database. Allowable expenditures may include costs of equipment, software, personnel training, and development and implementation of related operating and administrative procedures. Costs of regular operating expenditures are not covered under the program. State registry files supported with NCHIP funds must be compatible with the FBI file. Funds are only allowable to support development of local registries where data in such files are or will become directly accessible throughout the State and available to the FBI's national system. Funds may be used to purchase equipment and develop software to permit the disclosure of registry data in connection with background checks or other purposes as authorized by State or Federal legislation. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment for use by individual law enforcement officers;

c. participating in the NCIC National Convicted Sexual Offender Registry File, including assisting States to develop and enhance State registries that feed into the national system to ensure compliance with requirements set forth in State and Federal legislation (the Wetterling Act, Megan's Law, and the Lychner Act). Allowable expenditures may include costs of equipment, software, personnel training, and development and implementation of related operating and administrative procedures. Costs of regular operating expenditures are not covered under the program. Sex offender registry files supported with NCHIP funds must be compatible with the FBI file. Funds are only allowable to support development of local sex offender registries where data in such files are or will become directly accessible throughout the State and available to the FBI's national system. Funds may be used to purchase equipment and develop software to permit the disclosure of registry data in connection with background checks or other purposes as authorized by State or Federal legislation. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment for use by individual law enforcement officers; and,

d. establishing interfaces and/or information exchanges between criminal history records, sex offender registry, and civil protection order files to ensure that, consistent with State law, a complete data review is possible in connection with background checks for child care or other authorized purposes. Funds may be used to develop software to establish protocols to permit interface between the criminal history record system, the State sex offender registry, and related protection order files including files of civil protection orders.

Note: A State seeking funds to carry out efforts specifically targeted to improve the automation, reporting, completeness, and availability of restraining/protection orders, and/or domestic violence misdemeanor convictions must certify that it has or intends to establish a program that enters into the National Crime Information Center:

  • warrants for the arrest of persons violating protection orders intended to protect victims from stalking or domestic violence
  • arrests or convictions of persons violating protection orders or charged with domestic violence; and,
  • protection orders for the protection of persons from stalking, domestic violence, or other reasons.

4. Full participation in the Interstate Identification Index (III).

Allowable costs may include activities such as:

a. automating criminal record databases;

b. synchronizing records between the State and the FBI;

c.developing software and hardware necessary to enable electronic access to State records on an intrastate or interstate basis;

d. paying reasonable costs associated with the adoption and implementation of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact, including those associated with State review and enactment of the Compact, and the development and implementation of procedures (including purchase of equipment and development of software) necessary to facilitate operations pursuant to Compact protocols including those relating to participation in the FBI’s National Fingerprint File.

Finally, all applications must be responsive to this Program Announcement. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the evaluation criteria BJS will use in making funding decisions before deciding whether to submit an application for this competitive solicitation.

Match Requirement (cash or in-kind)

Please note that a grant made under the FY 2008 NCHIP program may not cover more than 80% of the total costs of the project(s) being funded. The applicant must identify the source of the 20% non-federal portion of the budget and how match funds will be used. Applicants may satisfy this match requirement with either cash or in-kind services. The formula for calculating required match is:

Award amount = Adjusted project costs X Recipient’s share = Required match
Federal share

Example: 80/20% match requirement

For federal award amount of $350,000, match would be calculated as follows:
$350,000 = $437,500 X 20% = $87,500 match
    80%

Applicants are encouraged to propose matching and/or leveraging the NCHIP award to the maximum extent possible with other resources in their application. The narrative should include a description of cash contributions, in-kind services, or activities, with accompanying fiscal implications, which will serve as the match for activities funded under NCHIP.

Award Period

FY 2008 NCHIP awards will be “new” awards as opposed to supplemental awards, and will be made for up to 12 months. Since the program builds on long term NCHIP activity, States will have the flexibility to begin funded activities immediately upon award or as late as October 1, 2008. All activities must be scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2009. FY 2008 projects may overlap with FY 2007 projects or may run consecutively.

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Performance Measures

To ensure compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, this program announcement notifies applicants that they are required to provide performance data used to measure the results of this program. The NCHIP program is continually assessing the status of State record-holdings and State participation in national records systems. BJS requires applicants to provide data to measure progress and achievements of the program through various mechanisms including the Records Quality Index, Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems, Firearm Inquiry Statistics data collection, and ongoing evaluation efforts.

To ensure accountability of these data, for which OJP is responsible, the following performance measures are provided:

Program Objective Performance Measures Data to be Provided by Grantees

Improve criminal history record systems in the States and territories to support background checks for the purposes of identifying ineligible firearms purchasers, as well as persons ineligible to hold positions involving the children, the elderly, or the disabled.

Percentage of recent state records which are automated.

Number of criminal history records, manual and automated, in the State’s criminal history file.

Number of fully automated records (records for which the master name index and entire criminal history are automated) in the State’s criminal history database.

Percentage of records accessible through Interstate Identification Index. Number of records available through the Interstate Identification Index (III) System (including arrests and case outcomes).
Number of quality records reported to the repository

Number of arrests reported to the repository by mail, fax, electronic and other means of submission; of these number communicated by automated interface.

Number of court dispositions reported to the repository by mail, fax, electronic and other means of submission.

Average elapsed time between arrest and final court disposition.

Number of applications for firearms transfers rejected for the presence of a prior felony conviction or other ineligibility factor. Number of applications for firearms transfers rejected for the presence of a prior felony conviction or other ineligibility factor.

Number of appeals and outcomes of appeals.

Number of retrievals by ATF and/or State and local law enforcement authorities.
Ensure that the infrastructure is developed to connect each State’s records systems to national records and in turn, to connect each State’s background check databases to one another. Number of States participating in the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint System (IAFIS). Number of records submitted to the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).
Number of States providing data to the FBI's National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR). Number of records in the FBI's National Convicted Sexual Offender Registry (NSOR) file.
Number of States providing an Interface between State sex offender registry and other systems/agencies. Interface between State sex offender registry and other systems/agencies.
Number of States participating in the FBI's protection order file (POF). Number of records submitted to the FBI's protection order file (POF).
Number of States submitting data to the FBI's Denied Persons File and/or other NICS Index Files. Number of records submitted to the Denied Persons File and/or other NICS Index Files (by type).

In developing proposed programs, applicants are strongly urged to review their State's Records Quality Index (RQI) report. The report is available at <http://www.sdcorp.net/RQI/cycle2results.jsp>.

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How to Apply

Grants Management System Instructions. Applications must be submitted through the online Grants Management System (GMS). We suggest that you begin the process early, especially if this is the first time you have used the system. Each application requires a separate GMS registration. To learn how to begin the online application process, go to http://www.ojp.gov/funding and refer to the GMS Application Procedures Handbook: a step-by-step guide for applying online. For additional information, please call the GMS Help Desk at 1-888-549-9901.

OJP released the Grants Management System (GMS) On-line Training Tool to assist grantees in administering their awards through the GMS. The On-line Training Tool at <www.ojp.gov/gmscbt>, provides step-by-step instructions to complete various functions within GMS, as well as the administrative policies associated with Grant Adjustment Notices, Progress Reporting, and Closeouts. Please note: OJP’s Grant Management System (GMS) does not accept executable file types as application attachments. OJP’s Grants Management System (GMS) downloads applications from Grants.gov and is the system in which OJP reviews applications and manages awarded grants.  These disallowed file types include, but are not limited to, the following extensions:  ".com",".bat",".exe", ".vbs",".cfg",".dat", ".db",".dbf",".dll", ".ini",".log",".ora", ".sys", and ".zip".

CFDA Number: The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for this solicitation is 16.554, titled “National Criminal History Improvement Program,” and the funding opportunity number is 2008-BJS-1748.

A DUNS number is required: The Office of Management and Budget requires that all businesses and nonprofit applicants for Federal funds include a DUNS (Data Universal Numeric System) number in their application for a new award or renewal of an award.  Applications without a DUNS number are incomplete. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of entities receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking purposes and to validate address and point of contact information. The DUNS number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, simple, one-time activity. Obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by applying online at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com. Individuals are exempt from this requirement.

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What An Application Must Include

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Standard Form 424;
  • Program Attachment #1: Budget Detail Worksheet and budget narrative;
  • Program Attachment #2: Program Narrative - including background and identification of needs, description of tasks to be funded, unexpended funds, and coordination activities;
  • Other Program Attachments – Can include documentation relating to court participation, one-year timeline, notification letter to the State Information Technology Point of Contact, and other written certifications; and,
  • Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (if applicable)

Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424). The SF 424 is a standard form used by most Federal agencies. It contains 18 items that are to be completed online in the Overview, Application Information, and Project Information sections of the OJP GMS.

Assurances and Certificates. Applicants are required to review, accept, and “sign off” on these assurances and certifications electronically through GMS. Please verify that the name, address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the authorizing official on these online forms are correct.

Assurances. The applicant must comply with assurances in order to receive Federal funds under this program. It is the responsibility of the recipient of Federal funds to fully understand and comply with these requirements. Failure to comply may result in withholding of funds, termination of the award, or other sanctions.

Certifications Regarding Lobbying: Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters; and the Drug-Free Workplace Requirement. Applicants are required to review and check off the box on the certification form included in their online application process. This form commits the applicant to compliance with the certification requirements under 28 CFR Part 69, “New Restrictions on Lobbying,” and 28 CFR Part 67, “A Government-Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government-Wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants).”

Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative (Attachment #1)

The Budget Detail Worksheet is available on the OJP website. The OJP Financial Guide governs the administration of funds, contains information on allowable costs, methods of payment, audit requirements, accounting systems, and financial records. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Comptroller’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-0786.

Match. There is a 20% cash or in-kind match requirement in connection with the FY 2008 NCHIP program. The narrative should include a description of cash contributions, in-kind services, or activities, with accompanying fiscal implications, which will serve as the match for activities funded under NCHIP. BJS will consider all documented efforts underway in the State which are designed to contribute to or meet NCHIP program goals to be allowable in support of the 20% match requirement. BJS will work with the States to insure that they properly identify and quantify all records improvement activities being undertaken within the State so as to include, where appropriate, these improvement efforts within the match definition. A waiver of the increased match requirement may be sought from the BJS director.

Budget Detail Worksheet. The budget should provide details for expenses in required categories (including match) and by individual task. A summary should be included with the 20% match clearly indicated as non-federal match. The application should identify those agencies to receive direct funding and indicate the fiscal arrangements to accomplish fund transfer. Applicants seeking supplemental funds in connection with protection order initiatives must also include additional documentation showing that State or local funding does not already cover these operations.

Budget Narrative. The budget narrative should detail costs included in each budget category for the Federal and the non-Federal (in kind and cash) share. The purpose of the budget narrative is to relate items budgeted to project activities and to provide justification and explanation for budget items, including criteria and data used to arrive at the estimates for each budget category. The budget narrative should also indicate amounts to be made available to subrecipient agencies (under Contractual/Contracts category) other than the direct award recipient.

Program Narrative (Attachment #2)

The program narrative must include the following three sections.

Section 1: Background and identification of needs

Accomplishments. Applicants must provide a detailed summary of the accomplishments achieved with funding under NCHIP. This section should describe, in quantifiable terms if possible, results achieved and advances made since the inception of NCHIP. Specifically address accomplishments relating to participation in each of the national databases and initiatives (i.e. III, NICS, NCIC Protection Order File, National Sex Offender Registry, IAFIS, mental health records, and livescan/AFIS capability). Where relevant, reference should be made to surveys and data quality audits. Reference should be made to the State’s Records Quality Index (RQI).

Progress on record improvement goals. This section should include a short update of current efforts relating to improvement of criminal history records, protection order data, or sex offender registries (including efforts supported under OJP and other Federal or State funded programs) and should discuss any evaluative efforts undertaken to identify the key areas of weakness in the State's criminal record system since submission of previous NCHIP applications.

Current Status in Specific Subject areas. Please describe the status of the State’s participation in each of the following subject areas in your application and include current number of records in each system, where applicable.

  • Interstate Identification Index (III). States that are not members of III at the time of application must identify the tasks remaining to permit III participation and indicate whether available funding is adequate and the planned month and year of participation in III. If available funding is not adequate, the State is expected to apply for NCHIP funding that will permit the State to participate in III.
  • Mental health records availability. States should indicate whether their mental health records are checked, either by the State POC or the FBI, during a NICS check. Where mental health records are accessible, please include the number of records currently available and any plans to improve availability. If mental health records are not currently accessible at the time of a background check, please describe factors which limit or prohibit exchange of mental health records.
  • Protection order files. States should indicate whether they submit information for inclusion in the FBI's NCIC Protection Order file. States that submit protection orders should indicate the number of active protection orders provided to the FBI. States that do not submit protection orders should describe the prohibiting factors and any plans to overcome them.
  • Sex offender registry. State applications should discuss the extent to which the State provides information to the FBI's NCIC Convicted Sexual Offender Registry file. States that do not submit sex offender information should describe the prohibiting factors and any plans to overcome them.
  • Denied persons file. State applications should discuss the extent to which the State provides information to the FBI's Denied Persons File in the NICS Index. States that do not submit information to this file should describe the prohibiting factors and any plans to overcome them.
  • NICS inquiries. The application must also discuss the extent to which dispositions requested in connection with a NICS inquiry have not been provided within the required time frame, and must identify any problems that are delaying instant responses to NICS inquiries and identify proposed solutions to these problems. Particular attention should be directed at needs of courts in connection with capture of disposition data.

Section 2: Description of tasks to be funded under NCHIP

Please describe the activities to be conducted with NCHIP funds over the project period and specifically address each of the priority areas (identified under Priority areas for grant funding). Dollar amounts must be included for each funded task.

Courts. In recognition of the importance of court reporting to the development of complete and accurate criminal records, all applications must describe tasks and indicate the level of funds that will be made directly available to the courts. Where no funds are provided for court-directed disposition reporting activities, a certification by the appropriate State court official declining participation must be included with this section.

Unexpended funds. The application should describe the specific reasons that previously awarded NCHIP funds remain unexpended.

Compatibility with other systems. The application should describe the extent to which proposed activities are compatible with NIBRS, NCIC 2000, NICS, IAFIS, and other applicable statewide or regional criminal justice information sharing standards or plans, including State anti-terrorism plans.

Section 3: Coordination

The administering NCHIP agency should coordinate efforts with relevant emergency management task forces and agencies to ensure that records development activities are compatible with security measures for preventing acts of terrorism. NCHIP activities will be coordinated with other OJP efforts authorized and funded under CITA.

To encourage coordination and information sharing among criminal justice systems, all OJP awards supporting information technology development are being special conditioned to require that a description of the project be submitted to the State Information Technology POC, if one has been designated. The name and address of the State POC can be obtained through the OJP Executive Council webpage. A copy of the correspondence can be submitted as part of Other Attachments (see below) or sent directly to BJS prior to fund drawdown.

There is no requirement that the point of contact concur with the information technology project. The intent of this condition is to facilitate communication within the State.

Other Program Attachments

The following documents are required and should be submitted as a single file attachment:

  • letter of support/commitment from the courts (if no funds are going to the courts); statement/memo indicating that funds are going to the courts (including amount of funds);
  • letter to the State Information Technology POC describing the current application request, as referenced above;
  • as required by CITA, the authorizing legislation for the NCHIP program, a statement certifying that: (1) the State is either currently participating in the Interstate Identification Index (III) or actively working toward such membership; and (2) has initiated, or will initiate, a comprehensive strategy for statewide information sharing which emphasizes the integration of all criminal justice system components, including law enforcement, courts, prosecution, corrections, and probation and parole;
  • NCHIP funds may be supplemented for a State that certifies that it has or intends to establish a program that enters into the National Crime Information Center (a) warrants for the arrest of persons violating protection orders intended to protect victims from stalking or domestic violence; (b) arrests or convictions of persons violating protection orders or charged with domestic violence; and (c) protection orders for the protection of persons from stalking or domestic violence. The Program Narrative must include documentation showing the need for grant funds and that State or local funding does not already cover these operations; intended use of supplemental grant funds including a plan of action to increase record input; and an estimate of expected results from the use of the funds; and,
  • a 1-year project timeline outlining each activity, completion time, and responsible party.

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Selection Criteria

States should understand that applications must respond to priorities identified and that full funding may not be possible for all proposed activities. For FY 2008, NCHIP grants will be made on a competitive basis. Completeness of the application in terms of all required information will be a key consideration for BJS. Awards will also be based on the following review criteria:

(1) Statement of the Problem as Described in the Program Narrative

  • the application proposes to address one or more of the priorities identified.

(2)  Project/Program Design and Implementation

  • the extent to which the application recognizes the role of the courts in ensuring complete records.
  • the extent to which the proposal appears reasonable in light of the State's current level of system development and statutory framework.
  • the technical feasibility of the proposal.

(3) Capabilities/Competencies

  • evidence of State progress in record quality improvement efforts.
  • the extent to which the State has fulfilled goals of previous NCHIP awards, including consideration of the total funds already awarded and expended funds from previous awards, and the State’s cooperation with BJS-sponsored NCHIP evaluation efforts.
  • the State commitment to the national record system as evidenced by membership in III and participation in the FBI's NFF, and the current status of development of its criminal records.

(4) Budget

  • the reasonableness of the budget, including the nature of the proposed expenditures  and their relation to the priorities identified herein.
  • the extent to which the applicant proposes to match and/or leverage the NCHIP award with other resources.

(5) Impact/Outcomes and Evaluation

  • the extent to which proposed project(s), by virtue of the State’s record numbers, levels of technical development, or operating procedures, will have a significant impact on availability of records throughout the national system.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed competitively with the final award decision made by the Director or designee of BJS. The application will be evaluated based on the requirements mentioned under the Selection Criteria.

Additional Requirements

We strongly encourage you to review the information pertaining to these additional requirements prior to submitting your application. Additional information for each can be found at the Office of Justice Programs website under Other Requirements.

  •  Civil Rights Compliance
  •  Confidentiality and Human Subjects Protections Regulations
  •  Anti-Lobbying Act
  •  Financial and Government Audit Requirements
  •  Funding to Faith-Based and Community Organizations
  •  Non-supplanting of State and Local Funds
  •  National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance
  •  DOJ Information Technology Standards
  •  Criminal Penalty for False Statements
  •  Suspension or Termination of Funding
  •  Single Point of Contact Review
  •  Rights in Intellectual Property
  •  Compliance with Office of the Comptroller Financial Guide


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