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GMS FAQ

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The section numbers and names below match those in the CDBG proposal and application. 

Section 1: Applicant Contacts

  • The DUNS, Federal ID, CAGE Number, and SAMS Date fields are locked. How do I enter that information? 
    • That information will be populated by the system according to the record of the Applicant. The information may be updated through the Client record and the system will update the information in the proposal/application. 

Section 2: Project Information

  • How do I find legislator district numbers? 
    • Using Find My Legislator, enter an address and a listing of the elected officials, as well as a map of the districts, will populate. The list will identify the district of your State Representatives. Use the map to find the Congressional district number. Just above the map are three buttons: “Senate”, “House”, and “Congress”. If you toggle between them, the map will reset to show the different districts for each. The marker of the address you entered will remain. Click within the red border that contains the marker for your address and an info box will appear. For Congress it has several lines (the Senate and House maps just tell you the number) but the last row will tell you the district.
  • What district do I enter for U.S. Senator?
    • There are no U.S. Senate districts as both U.S. Senators represent the entire state. The U.S. Senator field will be removed from the proposal/application in the future. 
  • What do is the project address? 
    • This is the street address of the project location. For example, if the project is a community center the project address would be the street address of the community center building. If the project includes the wastewater treatment plant, the project address may be the plant or the applicant (Town/City Hall, Commissioner’s Office). If the project includes multiple streets or buildings, please use the address of the applicant (Town/City Hall, Commissioner’s Office).

Section 3: National Objective

  • What does “NO Justification” mean? 
    • This is an abbreviation for National Objective Justification. This field is the justification for the National Objective selected in the previous field.
  • What does “NO Census %” mean?
    • This is an abbreviation for National Objective Census Percentage. This field is the Low-Moderate Income (LMI) percentage for the project.
  • How do you enter multiple tracts within block groups? 
    • Enter the number of each tract separated by a comma. For multiple block groups, list the tracks for each block group together.

Sections 4-6: Project Description, Project Need, Financial Impact

  • What is the character limit for the Narrative sections?  
    • Each Narrative section has a character limit of 8,000 characters, the Summary of Work has a character limit of 2,000 characters. 
  • What are best practices for the Narrative sections? 
    • OCRA is encouraging Grant Administrators to do all of their work within a Word or other word processor prior to copying and pasting your final draft into the fields of the GMS.
    • Check that all of your narrative sections were properly copied to the text field, anything over 8,000 characters will not be included when you paste from your original document.
    • Review the text field to make sure line breaks are included in the proper places of your document after pasting from the original document.
  • What is the Summary of Work field?
    • The summary of work is replacing the Media section of the application. Grant Administrators should include a short narrative, less than 2,000 characters describing the proposed work that will be done. This should not be a bulleted list.


Section 7: Financials & GAP

  • Why does the screen flash when I enter information into the budget table? 
    • The system is running multiple formulas each time you enter information into the table and that is why the screen flashes.

Section 8: Public Hearing

  • All fields are marked with a required asterisk, do I need to provide dates for both public hearings at proposal? 
    • No. The first public hearing fields are required at proposal and the both public hearing fields are required at application. 

Section 9: Environmental Review

  • What do we do if we have a CEST project?  
    • CEST projects only need to contact DNR-DHPA (SHPO), DNR-DFW, and IDEM. Enter the date 1/1/1800 in all other fields for CEST projects.
  • What do we do if we do not contact/do not receive a response from an agency?  
    • Non-responses should be submitted as 1/1/1800.
  • What do we do if we receive multiple agency responses (tribes)? 
    • In this case you would enter the date of the last response you received.

Section 10: Readiness to Proceed

  • Why is the grant administrator signing off for the engineer/architect and/or attorney?
    • The grant administrator is marking complete sections that have been signed off by the engineer/architect and/or attorney on the signature page, which will be uploaded.  

Section 11: Uploads

  • What do we mean by Environmental Documentation?
    • Environmental information relating to the project. Do not upload agencies responses at this time. If there is no environmental information that needs to be included in the proposal/application, upload a PDF that states “no environmental documentation”. 
  • What do we mean by Site Control Documentation?
    • Site Control Documentation means any information that should be included in the proposal/application as it relates to the project. If there is no additional site control documentation to provide, upload a PDF that states “no site control documentation”. 
  • Do we have to use the detailed budget template?
    • You are not required to use the detailed budget template, however OCRA strongly encourages you to make use of the template.
  • How do you reference uploads?  
    • For the time being there are no reference guidelines we are encouraging you to use common sense when referencing uploads. OCRA will consider adding guidelines in the future as best practices of the new system can be determined. 
  • Do you need to re-submit uploads? 
    • Uploads submitted during proposal will be automatically carried over to the application for that round. Uploads from prior rounds will not carried over to future proposals or applications.
  • Are the required files the only ones I can upload to a proposal/application? 
    • No. Additional uploads may be included, and are encouraged, for a robust proposal/application. 
  • Where can I find the detailed budget template?
    • The detailed budget template can be found on OCRA’s CDBG website under the 2019 Rd. 2 section.
  • Where can I find the signature page? 
    • The signature page can be found on OCRA’s CDBG website under the 2019 Rd. 2 section.
  • What is the signature page? 
    • The signature page is a required upload with application submission. The new signature page replaces the sections of the applications where various community representatives verified information within the application.

Section 12: Utility Rates

  • What if the applicant does not have a stormwater rate? 
    • Applicants should enter 0.00 where they do not have an applicable utility rate.

Section 13: Legal

  • What can be used as authorization to submit at proposal? 
    • An email or letter from the Chief Elected Official can be uploaded at proposal in lieu of the signature page. 

General

  • Who do I contact about issues with the GMS?
    • Questions about the GMS should be sent directly to a member of Grant Services, the CDBG Program Manager, or CDBG Program Director.
  • What is the difference between “Home” and “Account Details” in the ribbon at the top of the page? 
    • “Home” will take a user to the welcome page where The Family of Business agencies and their different programs may be accessed. A new proposal/application can be created by clicking on one of the grant programs from the “Home” page.
    • “Account Details” Is where a user will find applications and grant records in progress. When a new application is created, it will be found on the “Account Details” page under “Grant Applications”. Any funded grants can be found on the “Account Details” page under “Grant Administration”. 
  • How do we go back to our proposals/applications in progress?
    • Previous and In Progress proposals/applications can be accessed by the “Account Details” button on the top ribbon. Under “Grant Applications” you will find Previous and In Progress records. You may need to update the list (using the downturned triangle) as it will automatically show the “Recently Viewed” list. 
  • The “Submit Application” button is red and will not let me submit. 
    • Once all sections are marked as “Completed” the button will change to blue and white. When the button is blue and white, the proposal/application is able to be submitted.
  • I submitted my application and the “Submit Application” turned back to red. Can I make an update and re-submit? 
    • No. Once the proposal/application is submitted, it may not be updated and re-submitted. 
  • How do I know which fields are required? 
    •  The required fields are indicated with a red asterisk (*). The system will check if the required fields for the proposal and application are complete, if not the system will display an error message of what needs to be done in order for the section to be considered complete. 
  • Why does the system issue an error message when I try to save a section? 
    • The system has identified required fields that are blank and must be filled in order for the section to be complete. 
  • Do I have to fill out the proposal/application sections in order? 
    • No, you may move between sections as needed. For example, you may complete a section and jump to Section 11: Uploads to upload necessary documents related to the section just completed. 
  • The layout and wording has changed in certain sections, do I need to update the content?
    • No, we will be doing some work to make a more visually appealing application and clarify some of the wording in some sections. However, these minor changes will not having bearing on your proposal or application. 

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