Q. Implementation of Recovery Act Transit Grants

Answer

Do FTA’s Buy America requirements extend to ARRA funds?

Yes, Buy America requirements apply to ARRA funds because all of the provisions of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 apply.  Therefore, an applicant, in carrying out a procurement financed with Federal assistance authorized under the ARRA must comply with applicable Buy America requirements in 49 U.S.C. 5323(j) and 49 C.F.R. Part 661.

Will the states and UZAs be penalized if the vehicles are not delivered in time?

No.

Must grantees draw-down their FTA ARRA funds by September 30, 2015?  If yes, where is it in the statute?

Yes, although FTA ARRA grant funds remain available for obligation by FTA through September 30, 2010, obligated balances are available through September 30, 2015 to be disbursed (drawn-down) for grant expenses, after which time any remaining balance in the grant will be canceled.  This September 30, 2015 date is not in the ARRA statute.  However, 31 U.S.C. Section 1552, Procedures for Appropriation Accounts, provides that funds made available for a fixed period of time must be closed within 5 years of the end of the availability of the appropriation.  ARRA grant funds become unavailable for appropriation/obligation after September 30, 2010; thus, five years after that is September 30, 2015.

Can ARRA funds be deobligated and reobligated in a new grant?  

Deobligated funds are available for reobligation, in accordance with the ARRA redistribution requirements, to another ARRA eligible activity within that period.  Once the period of availability for obligation has expired, funds may not be reobligated. However, because ARRA funds are intended for “ready to go” projects, FTA does not anticipate many requests for deobligation and reobligation.  Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may or may not be granted.

Under what circumstances will FTA allow grant amendments and budget revisions to ARRA grants before March 5, 2010?

Before March 5, 2010, FTA will allow amendments to ARRA grants under the following circumstances:

  • To add previously unobligated ARRA resources to a grant;
  • To allow up to 10% of ARRA funds to be used for operating assistance, and
  • To allow the addition of a new scope that will be funded using cost savings from bids coming in under the previous estimate.

Before March 5, 2010, FTA will allow budget revisions to ARRA grants under the following circumstances:

  • Any budget revision that does not require prior FTA approval per 5010.1D;
  • To add an activity line item that will be funded using cost savings from bids coming in under the previous estimates.

Note:  Where a budget revision or amendment is being added as a result of cost savings, documentation should be included in the TEAM grant file.  Additionally, in order for adherence to these procedures to be accurately reflected in the grant records, budget revisions and grant amendment activities should be separate actions.  Please do not combine them in a single amendment.   

Under what circumstances will FTA allow grant amendments and budget revisions to ARRA grants after March 5, 2010?

 

After March 5, 2010, FTA will allow amendments to ARRA grants under the following circumstances:

  • To add any newly allocated ARRA resources to a grant;
  • To allow the addition of a new scope that will be funded using cost savings from bids coming in under the previous estimate.

 

After March 5, 2010, FTA will allow budget revisions to ARRA grants under the following circumstances:

  • Any budget revision that does not require prior FTA approval per 5010.1D;
  • To add an activity line item that will be funded using cost savings from bids coming in under the previous estimates. 

Are grantees required to actually pay out money before requesting reimbursement or could they actually request payments a few days in advance to meet immediate disbursement needs?

The FTA program operates on a reimbursement basis, which means an obligation must be incurred before a grantee can draw funds.  However, a grantee does not have to disburse local funds before requesting reimbursement from FTA.  Consistent with our current policy, grantees may request payments via the ECHO system for immediate project disbursement needs and must make payments on these obligations no later than three (3) days after receiving that Federal assistance.

Can we expect different Project Management Oversight Contractors (PMOC) for the ARRA projects or will we see the same faces we see now?

FTA will be using the existing contracts/contractors for ARRA PMOC activities.

For quick links to additional FTA resources, go to http://www.fta.dot.gov/index_9118.html

For more information on federal Recovery Act provisions, Answer Link

  • Last Updated Dec 13, 2016
  • Views 2
  • Answered By David Martin

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