The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications from eligible State agencies to receive funding under the 2007 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.
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.
Tribal entities may apply for criminal record improvement grants under the Tribal Criminal
History Record Improvement Program (T-CHRIP). For further information on the TCHRIP
program, contact the program manager,
Steven Perry at 202-307-0777. (See "Who is Eligible to Apply")
All NCHIP applications are due by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on January 25, 2007.
(See "Deadline For Applications")
For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact Gerard Ramker, NCHIP Branch Chief, at 202-307-0765 or Gerard.Ramker@usdoj.gov.
This application must be submitted through the Grants Management System (GMS) online application system. For technical assistance with submitting the application, call the GMS Helpdesk at 1-888-549-9901.
PDF version of NCHIP 2007 announcement (71K)
BJS is publishing this notice to announce the continuation of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) in Fiscal Year 2007, identify the program priorities, and provide information on application requirements.
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 ensuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems. Achieving this goal is contingent upon accomplishing four objectives:
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.
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:
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. See "How to Apply" for additional GMS instructions.
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. eastern time, January 25, 2007, to be eligible for funding in FY 2007. Awards are expected to be made by July 16, 2007.
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.
Tribal entities may apply for criminal record improvement grants under the Tribal Criminal History Record Improvement Program (T-CHRIP). For further information on the TCHRIP, contact the program manager, Steven Perry, at 202-307-0777.
As required by the 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")
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 more than $506 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 reauthorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 [enacted as Division B of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-386, 114 Stat, 1464 (2000))] 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.
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 on the BJS website. NCHIP has provided support to States in the following areas:
Despite the tremendous progress made toward criminal record improvements since 1995, several significant shortcomings remain, including the following:
This program announcement is intended to target the limited FY 2007 NCHIP resources on these specific needs as identified in the following priorities
All awards are subject to the availability of appropriated funds and any modifications or additional requirements that may be imposed by law.
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.
Please note there is a minimum 20% cash or in-kind match requirement in connection with the FY 2007 NCHIP program. 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.
Match Requirement (cash or in-kind)
A grant made under this program may not cover more than 80% of the total costs of the project 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 match is:
Award amount = Adjusted Project Costs X Recipient's share = required match
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
FY 2007 NCHIP awards will be "new" awards (not 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,
2007. All activities must be scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2008. FY 2007
projects may overlap with FY 2006 projects or may run consecutively.
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 evaluation efforts.
To ensure accountability of these data, for which OJP is responsible, the following performance measures are provided:
|Program Objective||Performance Measures||Indicators to Assess Performance|
Improve criminal history record systems in the States and territories to support background checks for the
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.|
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 States in Interstate Identification Index (III) System
Number of records available through the Interstate Identification Index (III) System (including arrests and case outcomes).
Percentage of applications for firearms transfers rejected primarily for the presence of a prior felony conviction history
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
Number of States participating in the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS)
Number of records submitted to the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).
Number of State 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.
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 The Records Quality Index (RQI): Cycle 2 Results.
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, 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.
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 2007-BJS-1486.
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 Dun & Bradstreet. Individuals are exempt from this requirement.
Applicants must submit the following:
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 Detailed Worksheet (34K) may be found through the Internet in OJP Standard Forms & Instructions. The OJP Financial Guide, which governs the administration of funds, contains information on allowable costs, methods of payment, audit requirements, accounting systems, and financial records, is available on the OJP website. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Comptroller's Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-0786.
The program narrative must include the following three sections.
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 Sex Offender Registry. 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 Program priorities). 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 at the OJP Executive Council webpage. A copy of the correspondence can be submitted as an attachment (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.
The following required documents should be submitted as file attachments:
(1) Statement of the Problem as described in the Program Narrative
(2) Project/Program Design and Implementation
(5) Impact/Outcomes and Evaluation
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.
We strongly encourage you to review the information pertaining to these additional requirements prior to submitting your application. Additional information for each requirement can be found at Other Requirements for OJP Applications.