It is the purpose of this policy to support creativity and innovation in identifying and addressing problems that cannot be resolved with existing resources, but might be suitable areas for seeking grant funds. It is important to emphasize the need for adequate planning and quality control in all activities related to the administration of grants that involve resources and personnel of Charles County Government (County)
Projects funded in whole or in part with grant money are not independent of County operations and should not be created simply in reaction to a notice of availability of funds, whatever the source. It is the practice of the County to be proactive in its pursuit of supplemental funding sources. County personnel should identify problems that cannot be solved with current resources, engage in broad-based planning to address those problems, and carefully consider whether grants are an appropriate resource to pursue, given their temporary nature.
For the purpose of the policy, a grant is an award of financial assistance for which the County, or a department thereof, has made application to a public or private entity and is subject to requirements imposed by the awarding agency. These requirements include, but may not be limited to, implementing an agreed upon program, being accountable for the use of those funds awarded to the County to accomplish said program, and providing cash or in-kind matching funds or other contribution of County resources.
The Fiscal and Administrative Services Department will be the fiscal agent through which all accounts must be established and all transactions processed for all grants where a County Department is the applicant and County personnel are the primary participants in the planned project. The only exception to this may be projects in which the County is one of several partners or, where the County, because of its status as a government entity, is not the most appropriate applicant for a particular funding source. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, however, exceptions will be granted only in the instance where County personnel and resources are not the primary implementer of a project and no County funding is involved with the project.
The existence of grant funds does not exempt County personnel or project staff from conducting project activities in accordance with County policies and procedures which govern fiscal processes, hiring of personnel, employee travel, etc. Regulations and reporting requirements of the funding agency are in addition to, not replacement for, County policies and procedures.
The County recognizes the additional effort that must go into grant projects at all stages of the process to ensure their proper implementation and ultimate success. This policy and the procedures that follow are intended to clarify and streamline that process where possible.
County personnel are encouraged to contact the Grants Analyst at (301) 638-2404, for program grants and /or the Budget Analyst at (301) 645-0568, for capital grants as early in the grant program planning as possible.
This grant policy was based upon the Massachusetts Trial Court Grant Policy and with permission from the Administrative Office of the Massachusetts Trial Court.