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The U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Fiscal Year 2024 Transit Security Grant Program

Release Date:
April 16, 2024

Download the NOFO.

All entities wishing to do business with the federal government must have a unique entity identifier (UEI). The UEI number is issued by the SAM system. Requesting a UEI using SAM.gov can be found at https://sam.gov/content/entity-registration.

Grants.gov registration information can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.  

Updates in Grant Application Forms:

The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number was replaced by a new, non-proprietary identifier requested in, and assigned by SAM.gov. This new identifier is the Unique Entity Identifier.

Additional Information can be found on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/forms/forms-development/planned-uei-updates

Table of Contents

Updates in Grant Application Forms:

A.    Program Description

  1. Issued By
  2. Assistance Listings Number
  3. Assistance Listings Title
  4. Funding Opportunity Title
  5. Funding Opportunity Number
  6. Authorizing Authority for Program
  7. Appropriation Authority for Program
  8. Announcement Type
  9. Program Category
  10. Program Overview, Objectives and Priorities
  11. Performance Measures

B.    Federal Award Information

  1. Available Funding: $83,700,000
  2. Period of Performance: 36 or 48 months   
  3. Projected Period of Performance Start Date(s):  09/01/2024
  4. Projected Period of Performance End Date(s): 08/31/2027 or 08/31/2028
  5. Funding Instrument Type: Grant

C.    Eligibility Information

  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Applicant Eligibility Criteria
  3. Subawards and Beneficiaries
  4. Other Eligibility Criteria/Restrictions
    1. National Incident Management System (NIMS) Implementation
  5. Cost Share or Match

D.    Application and Submission Information

  1. Key Dates and Times
  2. Agreeing to Terms and Conditions of the Award
  3. Address to Request Application Package
  4. Requirements: Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and Register in the System for Award Management (SAM)
  5. Steps Required to Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier, Register in the System for Award Management (SAM), and Submit an Application
  6. Electronic Delivery
  7. How to Register to Apply
  8. Submitting the Application
  9. Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission
  10. Content and Form of Application Submission
  11. Other Submission Requirements
  12. Intergovernmental Review
  13. Funding Restrictions and Allowable Costs

E.    Application Review Information

  1. Application Evaluation Criteria

F.    Federal Award Administration Information

  1. Notice of Award
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting
  4. Monitoring and Oversight 

G.    DHS Awarding Agency Contact Information

  1. Contact and Resource Information
  2. Systems Information

H.    Additional Information

  1. Termination Provisions
  2. Program Evaluation
  3. Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure
  4. Report Issues of Fraud, Waste, Abuse

 

A. Program Description

 

1. Issued By

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/ Grant Programs Directorate (GPD)

2. Assistance Listings Number

97.075

3. Assistance Listings Title

Rail and Transit Security Grant Program

4. Funding Opportunity Title

Fiscal Year 2024 Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP)

5. Funding Opportunity Number

DHS-24-GPD-075-00-99

6. Authorizing Authority for Program

Section 1406 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (Pub. L. No. 110-53) (6 U.S.C. § 1135)

7. Appropriation Authority for Program

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2024, Pub. L. No. 118-47, Title III, “Protection, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery”

8. Announcement Type

Initial

9. Program Category

Preparedness: Infrastructure Security

10. Program Overview, Objectives, and Priorities

a. Overview

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) is one of four grant programs that constitute DHS/FEMA’s focus on transportation infrastructure security activities. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by DHS to help strengthen the nation’s critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks. The TSGP provides funds to public transit agencies to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism. Examples of recent TSGP accomplishments include jurisdictions increasing their mass notifications and critical incident management systems enabling organizations and communities to quickly and effectively send emergency alerts and share critical information through multiple channels (e.g., text message, email, voice, desktop, social media). Other examples of TSGP accomplishments include organizations providing surge support (law enforcement personnel) for special events (e.g., Super Bowl, concerts) as well as tunnel hardening.

For FY 2024, DHS is focused on the criticality of information sharing and collaboration to building a national culture of preparedness and protecting against terrorism and other threats to our national security. DHS and its homeland security mission were born from the “failures among federal agencies and between the federal agencies and state and local authorities to share critical information related to the threat of terrorism” prior to the September 11, 2001, attacks. The threat profile has changed in the past two decades – we now face continuous cyber threats by sophisticated actors, threats to soft targets and crowded places, threats to our democratic election process and threats from new and emerging technologies. Information sharing and cooperation among state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities, and federal agencies, including all DHS officials, is just as vital, and perhaps even more vital, today. Therefore, for FY 2024, we have identified two priority areas related to some of the most serious threats that recipients should address with their TSGP funds. These two priority areas are enhancing cybersecurity and enhancing the protection of soft targets/crowded places. DHS also will continue to forge partnerships to strengthen information sharing and collaboration in each of these priority areas.

For FY 2023, 70 applications were received and 15 approved for funding. For a full list of recipients, please refer to Information Bulletin (IB) 490a.

b. Goals, Objectives, and Priorities

Goals: Protecting critical transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increasing the resilience of the transportation infrastructure itself.

Objectives: TSGP achieves this through the following objectives:

  1. Building and sustaining core capabilities (identified in the National Preparedness Goal) relevant to transit security and annual national priority areas (see priorities below);
  2. Addressing and closing gaps identified in transit agency vulnerability assessments and the agency’s Public Transportation Risk Assessment Methodology (PT-RAM), and updating the PT-RAM annually; and
  3. Continuously engaging in a process of emergency related planning, exercising, and training. Using this cycle to test plans; validate capabilities and identify gaps; inform investments; and continuously update plans to reflect organizational changes as well as findings from exercises and real-world events.

Priorities: Given the evolving threat landscape, DHS/FEMA continuously evaluates the national risk profile and set priorities that help ensure appropriate allocation of scarce security dollars. In assessing the national risk profile for FY 2024, two priority areas pose the most concern:

  1. Enhancing cybersecurity; and
  2. Enhancing the protection of soft targets/crowded places.

For more information about these priorities, see Section D.10.b.

Additionally, there are several enduring security needs that crosscut the homeland security enterprise. The following are second-tier priorities that help recipients implement a comprehensive approach to securing critical transportation infrastructure:

  1. Effective planning;
  2. Training and awareness campaigns;
  3. Equipment and capital projects; and,
  4. Exercises.

The table below provides a breakdown of these priority areas for the FY 2024 TSGP, showing both the core capabilities enhanced and lifelines supported, as well as examples of eligible project types for each area. More information on allowable investments can be found in the Funding Restrictions and Allowable Costs section below. As discussed in Section E, projects that sufficiently address one or more of the two National Priorities (enhancing cybersecurity or enhancing the protection of soft targets/crowded places) will have their final review scores increased by a multiplier of 20%.

 

FY 2024 TSGP Funding Priorities

All priorities in this table concern Safety and Security and Transportation Lifelines.

National Priorities

PrioritiesCore CapabilitiesExample Project Types
Enhancing Cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity
  • Intelligence and information sharing
  • Planning
  • Public information and warning
  • Operational coordination
  • Screening, search, and detection
  • Access control and identity verification
  • Supply chain integrity and security
  • Risk management for protection programs and activities
  • Long-term vulnerability reduction
  • Situational assessment
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Operational communications
Enhancing the Protection of Soft Targets/ Crowded Places
  • Operational coordination
  • Public information and warning
  • Intelligence and information sharing
  • Interdiction and disruption
  • Screening, search, and detection
  • Access control and identity verification
  • Physical protective measures
  • Risk management for protection programs and activities
  • Physical security enhancements at rail and bus stations located in historically eligible Urban Area Security Initiative urban areas
    • Security cameras (closed circuit television)
    • Security screening equipment and technology for people and baggage
    • Access controls: Fencing, gates, barriers, etc.
  • Use of visible, unpredictable deterrence, to include Operational Packages
    • Explosive Detection Canine Teams
    • Mobile Screening Teams
    • Anti-terrorism Teams
  • Directed/Surge Patrols on Overtime
  • Explosive Detection Canine Teams

 

Enduring Needs

PrioritiesCore CapabilitiesExample Project Types
Planning
  • Planning
  • Risk management for protection programs and activities
  • Risk and disaster resilience assessment
  • Threats and hazards identification
  • Operational coordination
  • Development of:
    • System-Wide Security Risk Management Plans
    • Continuity of Operations Plans
    • Response Plans/Station Action Plans
    • System-wide and/or asset-specific vulnerability assessments
      • Assessments should consider the impacts of climate change on investments to close identified security gaps
  • Efforts to strengthen governance integration between/among regional partners
Training & Awareness
  • Long-term vulnerability reduction
  • Public information and warning
  • Active shooter training, including integrating the needs of persons with disabilities
  • Security training for employees, to include:
    • Basic security awareness
  • Public awareness/preparedness campaigns
Equipment & Capital Projects
  • Long-term vulnerability reduction
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Operational communications
  • Interdiction and disruption
  • Screening, search and detection
  • Access control and identity verification
  • Physical protective measures
  • Intelligence and information sharing
  • Top Transit Asset List risk remediation
  • Protection of other high-risk, high-consequence areas or systems that have been identified through system-wide risk assessments
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive detection, prevention, response and recovery equipment
  • Security screening equipment and technology for people and baggage
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems detection technologies
Exercises
  • Long-term vulnerability reduction
  • Response exercises

c. Alignment to Program Purpose and the DHS and FEMA Strategic Plan

Among the five basic homeland security missions noted in the DHS Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2024, the TSGP supports the goal to Strengthen Preparedness and Resilience.

The 2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan outlines  three bold, ambitious goals in order to position FEMA to address the increasing range and complexity of disasters, support the diversity of communities we serve, and complement the nation’s growing expectations of the emergency management community. The TSGP supports Goal 3 to Promote and Sustain a Ready FEMA and Prepared Nation. We invite our stakeholders and partners to also adopt these priorities and join us in building a more prepared and resilient nation.

11. Performance Measures

Performance metrics for this program are as follows:

  • Percentage of funding allocated by the recipient to core capabilities to build or sustain the national priorities identified in the section above.

     

B. Federal Award Information

 

1. Available Funding for the NOFO: $83,700,000

2. Period of Performance: 36 or 48 months

The period of performance for capital infrastructure projects is 48 months. The period of performance for all other projects is 36 months.

Extensions to the period of performance are allowed. For additional information on period of performance extensions, please refer to the Preparedness Grants Manual (FM-207-23-001).

3. Projected Period of Performance Start Date(s): 09/01/2024

4. Projected Period of Performance End Date(s): 08/31/2027 or 08/31/2028

5. Projected Budget Period

There will be only a single budget period with the same start and end dates as the period of performance.

6. Funding Instrument Type: Grant

 

C. Eligibility Information

 

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are limited to the passenger rail, intra-city bus, and ferry systems identified in the table below. Eligibility does not guarantee grant funding.

2. Applicant Eligibility Criteria

Agencies eligible for the FY 2024 TSGP are determined based upon daily unlinked passenger trips (ridership) and transit systems that serve historically eligible Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) urban areas as indicated below.

Certain ferry systems are eligible to participate in the FY 2024 TSGP and receive funds under this program. However, any ferry system electing to participate (e.g., submit an application) under the FY 2024 TSGP will not be eligible to participate (e.g., submit an application) under the FY 2024 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) and will not be considered for funding under the FY 2024 PSGP. Likewise, any ferry system that participates in the FY 2024 PSGP will not be eligible for funding under the TSGP.

Sections 1405 (6 U.S.C. § 1134) and 1406 (6 U.S.C. § 1135) of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 require that high risk public transportation agencies that receive grant funding develop a security plan based on a security assessment. Additionally, the statutes direct that grant funds be used to address items in the security assessment or the security plan. To be eligible for the FY 2024 TSGP, transit agencies must have developed or updated their security plan. The security plan must be based on a security assessment, such as the Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE), which is performed by the Transportation Security Surface Inspectors of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This security assessment must have been conducted within the three years prior to receiving a FY 2024 TSGP award. A copy of the security plan and security assessment must be provided to DHS/FEMA upon request. Please see the Preparedness Grants Manual for more information on security plan requirements.

Entities providing transit security (e.g., city/county police departments, public transportation agencies’ police departments) for a public transportation agency must approve the security plan. The signature of a responsible official from the agency’s transit security provider serves as this approval. If there is more than one provider in the core service area, all transit security providers must review and concur with the plan. Associated documentation of this approval must be provided to DHS/FEMA upon request. In addition, agencies’ transit security providers are encouraged to review the Investment Justifications (IJs) prior to submission.

Each public transportation agency receiving funds through this program must also participate in a Regional Transit Security Working Group (RTSWG) or develop a RTSWG if one does not already exist. The RTSWG should serve as the forum for regional partners to discuss risk, planning efforts, and mitigation strategies. These discussions should be held regardless of funding to continue enhancing the overall security of the region. Regional working groups are a best practice for enhancing security and are encouraged for all jurisdictions.

An application submitted by an otherwise eligible non-federal entity (i.e., the applicant) may be deemed ineligible when the person that submitted the application is not: 1) a current employee, personnel, official, staff, or leadership of the non-federal entity; and 2) duly authorized to apply for an award on behalf of the non-federal entity at the time of application.

Further, the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and Signatory Authority (SA) must be a duly authorized current employee, personnel, official, staff or leadership of the recipient. They must provide an email address unique to the recipient at the time of application and upon any change in assignment during the period of performance. Consultants or contractors of the recipient are not permitted to be the AOR or SA of the recipient. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to keep their points of contact for the organization up-to-date and accurate in all federal systems.

FY 2024 Eligible TSGP Applicants

StateUrban AreaEligible System
AZPhoenix AreaCity of Phoenix Public Transit Department
Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority
Tucson AreaCity of Tucson Transit
CAFresno AreaFresno Area Express
Greater Los Angeles Area (Los Angeles/Long Beach and Anaheim/Santa Ana UASI Areas)City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Foothill Transit
Long Beach Transit
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Montebello Bus Lines
Omnitrans (San Bernardino)
Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)
Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus
Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
Sacramento AreaSacramento Regional Transit District
San Diego AreaNorth San Diego County Transit District (NCTD)
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
San Francisco Bay AreaAlameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit)
Altamont Corridor Express (ACE)
Central Contra Costa Transit Authority
Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain)
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency)
San Mateo County Transit Authority (SamTrans)
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit
Transbay Joint Powers Authority
Water Emergency Transit Authority
CODenver AreaRegional Transportation District
DC/ MD/ VAGreater National Capital Region (National Capital Region and Baltimore UASI Areas)Arlington Transit (ART)
City of Alexandria (Alexandria Transit Company)
Fairfax County Department of Transportation
Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
Montgomery County Department of Transportation
Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission
Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation
Virginia Railway Express (VRE)
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
FLJacksonville AreaJacksonville Transportation Authority
Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area (Miami and Fort Lauderdale UASI)Broward County Transit
Miami-Dade Transit
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail)
Orlando AreaCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority
Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit (SunRail)
Tampa AreaHillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART)
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
GAAtlanta AreaAtlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (ATL) Xpress
Cobb County Transit Service (CobbLinc)
Gwinnett County Transit (Ride Gwinnett)
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
HIHonolulu AreaCity and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services
ILChampaign-Urbana AreaChampaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
IL/INChicago AreaChicago Transit Authority (CTA)
Northeast Illinois Commuter Railroad Corporation (METRA)
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD)
PACE Suburban Bus
INIndianapolis AreaIndianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo)
KYLouisville AreaTransit Authority of River City
LANew Orleans AreaJefferson Parish Transit Administration
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA)
MABoston AreaMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
Springfield AreaPioneer Valley Transit Authority
MIDetroit AreaCity of Detroit Department of Transportation
Detroit Transportation Corporation
Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation
Lansing AreaCapital Area Transportation Authority
MNTwin CitiesMetro Transit
MOKansas City AreaKansas City Area Transportation Authority
Kansas City Streetcar
MO/ILSt. Louis AreaBi-State Development Agency (Metro)
Madison County Transit District
NCCharlotte AreaCharlotte Area Transit System (CATS)
NMAlbuquerque AreaSun Tran of Albuquerque
NVLas Vegas AreaRegional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Reno AreaRegional Transportation Commission of Washoe County
NYAlbany AreaCapital District Transportation Authority
Buffalo AreaNiagara Frontier Transportation Authority
Rochester AreaRochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
NY/ NJ/ CTNew York City/Northern New Jersey Area (New York City and Jersey City/Newark UASI Areas)Connecticut Department of Transportation
Connecticut Transit
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) (all components)
New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT)
New York City Department of Transportation
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
Westchester County Department of Transportation
OHCincinnati AreaSouthwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority
Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky
Cleveland AreaThe Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
Columbus AreaCentral Ohio Transit Authority
Dayton AreaGreater Dayton Regional Transit Authority
OREugene AreaLane Transit District
Portland AreaClark County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority (C-TRAN)
Portland Streetcar
Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots)
South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART)
Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (Tri-Met)
PAPittsburgh AreaPittsburgh Regional Transit
PA/ DE/ NJPhiladelphia AreaDelaware River Port Authority (DRPA)
Delaware Transit Corporation
New Jersey Transit
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
PRSan Juan AreaMetropolitan Bus Authority
Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (heavy rail)
RIProvidence AreaRhode Island Public Transit Authority
TNMemphis AreaMemphis Area Transit Authority
Nashville AreaNashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (WeGo Public Transit)
TXAustin AreaCapital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington AreaDallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T)
Trinity Railway Express (TRE)
El Paso AreaMass Transit Department City of El Paso
Houston AreaMetropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
San Antonio AreaVIA Metropolitan Transit
UTSalt Lake City AreaUtah Transit Authority
VANorfolk AreaHampton Roads Transit
Richmond AreaGreater Richmond Transit Company
WASeattle AreaCentral Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit)
King County Metro Transit Department (King County Metro)
Pierce County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation (Pierce Transit)
Snohomish County Transportation Benefit Area Corporation (Community Transit)
Washington State Ferries (WSF)
WASpokane AreaSpokane Transit Authority
WIMadison AreaMadison Metro Transit
Milwaukee AreaMilwaukee County Transit System

 

3. Subawards and Beneficiaries

a. Subaward allowability

Subawards are not allowed under the TSGP.

 

b. Beneficiaries or Participants

This NOFO and any subsequent federal awards create no rights or causes of action for any participant or beneficiary.

 

4. Other Eligibility Criteria/Restrictions

a. National Incident Management System (NIMS) Implementation

Prior to allocation of any federal preparedness awards, recipients must ensure and maintain adoption and implementation of NIMS. The list of objectives used for progress and achievement reporting is on FEMA’s website at https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/nims/implementation-training.

Please see the Preparedness Grants Manual for more information on NIMS.

5. Cost Share or Match

There is no cost-share requirement for the FY 2024 TSGP. Additionally, any voluntary cost share or match will not impact an application’s potential for funding.

 

D. Application and Submission Information

 

1. Key Dates and Times

a. Application Start Date: 04/16/2024

b. Application Submission Deadline: 06/24/2024 at 5 p.m. ET

All applications must be received by the established deadline.

FEMA’s Grants Outcomes System (FEMA GO) automatically records proof of timely submission and the system generates an electronic date/time stamp when FEMA GO successfully receives the application. The individual with the AOR role that submitted the application will also receive the official date/time stamp and a FEMA GO tracking number in an email serving as proof of their timely submission. For additional information on how an applicant will be notified of application receipt, see the subsection titled “Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission” in Section D of this NOFO.

FEMA will not review applications that are received after the deadline or consider these late applications for funding. FEMA may, however, extend the application deadline on request for any applicant who can demonstrate that good cause exists to justify extending the deadline. Good cause for an extension may include technical problems outside of the applicant’s control that prevent submission of the application by the deadline, other exigent or emergency circumstances, or statutory requirements for FEMA to make an award.

Applicants experiencing technical problems outside of their control must notify FEMA as soon as possible and before the application deadline. Failure to timely notify FEMA of the issue that prevented the timely filing of the application may preclude consideration of the award. “Timely notification” of FEMA means the following: prior to the application deadline and within 48 hours after the applicant became aware of the issue.

A list of FEMA contacts can be found in Section G of this NOFO, “DHS Awarding Agency Contact Information.” For technical assistance with the FEMA GO system, please contact the FEMA GO Helpdesk at femago@fema.dhs.gov or (877) 585-3242, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM Eastern Time (ET). For programmatic or grants management questions, please contact your Preparedness Officer or Grants Management Specialist. If applicants do not know who to contact or if there are programmatic questions or concerns, please contact fema-grants-news@fema.dhs.gov, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET.

c. Anticipated Funding Selection Date: No later than August 23, 2024

d. Anticipated Award Date: No later than September 30, 2024

e. Other Key Dates:

EventSuggested Deadline for Completion
Obtaining Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number

Four weeks before actual submission deadline  

 

Obtaining a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN)Four weeks before actual submission deadline 
Creating an account with login.gov Four weeks before actual submission deadline 
Registering in SAM or updating SAM registrationFour weeks before actual submission deadline 
Registering Organization in FEMA GOPrior to beginning application
Submitting complete application in FEMA GO One week before actual submission deadline

2. Agreeing to Terms and Conditions of the Award

By submitting an application, applicants agree to comply with the requirements of this NOFO and the terms and conditions of the award, should they receive an award.

3. Address to Request Application Package

Applications are processed through the FEMA GO system. To access the system, go to https://go.fema.gov/

4. Requirements: Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and Register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Each applicant, unless they have a valid exception under 2 CFR §25.110, must:

  1. Be registered in Sam.Gov before application submission.
  2. Provide a valid UEI in its application.
  3. Continue to always maintain an active SAM registration with current information during the federal award process. Note: Per 2 C.F.R. § 25.300, subrecipients are NOT required to go through the full SAM registration process. First-tier subrecipients (meaning entities receiving funds directly from the recipient) are only required to obtain a UEI through SAM, but they are not required to complete the full SAM registration in order to obtain a UEI. Recipients may not make subawards unless the subrecipient has obtained and provided the UEI.

Lower-tier subrecipients (meaning entities receiving funds passed through by a higher-tier subrecipient) are not required to have a UEI and are not required to register in SAM. Applicants are also not permitted to require subrecipients to complete a full registration in SAM beyond obtaining the UEI.

5. Steps Required to Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier, Register in the System for Award Management (SAM), and Submit an Application

Applying for an award under this program is a multi-step process and requires time to complete. Applicants are encouraged to register early as the registration process can take four weeks or more to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required submission deadlines. Please review the table above for estimated deadlines to complete each of the steps listed. Failure of an applicant to comply with any of the required steps before the deadline for submitting an application may disqualify that application from funding.

To apply for an award under this program, all applicants must:

  1. Apply for, update, or verify their UEI number and Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service;
  2. In the application, provide an UEI number;
  3. Have an account with login.gov;
  4. Register for, update, or verify their SAM account and ensure the account is active before submitting the application;
  5. Register in FEMA GO, add the organization to the system, and establish the AOR. The organization’s electronic business point of contact (EBiz POC) from the SAM registration may need to be involved in this step. For step-by-step instructions, see https://www.fema.gov/grants/guidance-tools/fema-go/startup;
  6. Submit the complete application in FEMA GO; and
  7. Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal awarding agency. As part of this, applicants must also provide information on an applicant’s immediate and highest-level owner and subsidiaries, as well as on all predecessors that have been awarded federal contracts or federal financial assistance within the last three years, if applicable.

Applicants are advised that FEMA may not make a federal award until the applicant has complied with all applicable SAM requirements. Therefore, an applicant’s SAM registration must be active not only at the time of application, but also during the application review period and when FEMA is ready to make a federal award. Further, as noted above, an applicant’s or recipient’s SAM registration must remain active for the duration of an active federal award. If an applicant’s SAM registration is expired at the time of application, expires during application review, or expires any other time before award, FEMA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a federal award to another applicant.

Per 2 C.F.R. § 25.110(c)(2)(iii), if an applicant is experiencing exigent circumstances that prevents it from obtaining an UEI number and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a federal award, the applicant must notify FEMA as soon as possible by contacting fema-grants-news@fema.dhs.gov and providing the details of the circumstances that prevent completion of these requirements. If FEMA determines that there are exigent circumstances and FEMA has decided to make an award, the applicant will be required to obtain an UEI number, if applicable, and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the federal award date.

6. Electronic Delivery

DHS is participating in the Grants.gov initiative to provide the grant community with a single site to find and apply for grant funding opportunities. DHS encourages or requires applicants to submit their applications online through Grants.gov, depending on the funding opportunity.

For this funding opportunity, FEMA requires applicants to submit applications through FEMA GO.

7. How to Register to Apply

a. General Instructions: 

Registering and applying for an award under this program is a multi-step process and requires time to complete. Read the instructions below about registering to apply for FEMA funds. Applicants should read the registration instructions carefully and prepare the information requested before beginning the registration process. Reviewing and assembling the required information before beginning the registration process will alleviate last-minute searches for required information.

The registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. To ensure an application meets the deadline, applicants are advised to start the required steps well in advance of their submission.

Organizations must have an UEI number, an EIN, and an active SAM registration to apply for a federal award under this funding opportunity.

b. Obtain an UEI Number:

All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a UEI number. Applicants must enter the UEI number in the applicable data entry field on the SF-424 form.

For more detailed instructions for obtaining a UEI number, refer to: SAM.gov

c. Obtain Employer Identification Number

All entities applying for funding must provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN can be obtained from the IRS by visiting: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

d. Create a login.gov account:

Applicants must have a login.gov account in order to register with SAM or update their SAM registration. Applicants can create a login.gov account here: https://secure.login.gov/sign_up/enter_email?request_id=34f19fa8-14a2-438c-8323-a62b99571fd3

Applicants only have to create a login.gov account once. For applicants that are existing SAM users, use the same email address for the login.gov account as with SAM.gov so that the two accounts can be linked.

For more information on the login.gov requirements for SAM registration, refer to: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/loginFAQ.jsf

e. Register with SAM:

All applicants applying online through FEMA GO must register with SAM. Failure to register with SAM will prevent an applicant from completing the application in FEMA GO. SAM registration must be renewed annually. Organizations will be issued a UEI number with the completed SAM registration.

For more detailed instructions for registering with SAM, refer to: https://apply07.grants.gov/help/html/help/Register/RegisterWithSAM.htm.

Note: Per 2 C.F.R. § 25.200, applicants must also provide the applicant’s immediate and highest-level owner, subsidiaries, and predecessors that have been awarded federal contracts or federal financial assistance within the last three years, if applicable.

i. Additional SAM Reminders

Existing SAM.gov account holders should check their account to make sure it is “ACTIVE.” SAM registration should be completed at the very beginning of the application period and should be renewed annually to avoid being “INACTIVE.” Please allow plenty of time before the grant application submission deadline to obtain an UEI number and then to register in SAM. It may be four weeks or more after an applicant submits the SAM registration before the registration is active in SAM, and then it may be an additional 24 hours before FEMA’s system recognizes the information.

It is imperative that the information applicants provide is correct and current. Please ensure that your organization’s name, address, and EIN are up to date in SAM and that the UEI number used in SAM is the same one used to apply for all other FEMA awards. Payment under any FEMA award is contingent on the recipient’s having a current SAM registration.

ii. Help with SAM

The SAM quick start guide for new recipient registration and SAM video tutorial for new applicants are tools created by the General Services Administration (GSA) to assist those registering with SAM. If applicants have questions or concerns about a SAM registration, please contact the Federal Support Desk at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/home.do or call toll free (866) 606-8220.

f. Register in FEMA GO, Add the Organization to the System, and Establish the AOR:

Applicants must register in FEMA GO and add their organization to the system. The organization’s electronic business point of contact (EBiz POC) from the SAM registration may need to be involved in this step. For step-by-step instructions, see https://www.fema.gov/grants/guidance-tools/fema-go/startup

Note: FEMA GO will support only the most recent major release of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

Users who attempt to use tablet type devices or other browsers may encounter issues with using FEMA GO.

8. Submitting the Application

Applicants will be prompted to submit the standard application information and any program-specific information required as described in Section D.10 of this NOFO, “Content and Form of Application Submission.” The Standard Forms (SF) may be accessed in the Forms tab under the https://grants.gov/forms/forms-repository/sf-424-family. Applicants should review these forms before applying to ensure they have all the information required.

After submitting the final application, FEMA GO will provide either an error message or a successfully received transmission in the form of an email sent to the AOR that submitted the application. Applicants using slow internet connections, such as dial-up connections, should be aware that transmission can take some time before FEMA GO receives your application.

For additional application submission requirements, including program-specific requirements, please refer to the subsection titled “Content and Form of Application Submission” under Section D of this NOFO.

9. Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission

All applications must be completed in FEMA GO by the application deadline. FEMA GO automatically records proof of timely submission and the system generates an electronic date/time stamp when FEMA GO successfully receives the application. The individual with the AOR role that submitted the application will also receive the official date/time stamp and a FEMA GO tracking number in an email serving as proof of their timely submission on the date and time that FEMA GO received the application.

Applicants who experience system-related issues will be addressed until 3:00 PM ET on the date applications are due. No new system-related issues will be addressed after this deadline. Applications not received by the application submission deadline will not be accepted.

10. Content and Form of Application Submission

a. Standard Required Application Forms and Information

Generally, applicants have to submit either the non-construction forms (i.e., SF-424A and SF-424B) or construction forms (i.e., SF-424C and SF-424D), meaning that applicants that only have construction work and do not have any non-construction work need only submit the construction forms (i.e., SF-424C and SF-424D) and not the non-construction forms (i.e., SF-424A and SF-424B), and vice versa. However, applicants who have both construction and non-construction work under this program need to submit both the construction and non-construction forms.

The following forms or information are required to be submitted via FEMA GO. The Standard Forms (SF) are also available at https://grants.gov/forms/forms-repository/sf-424-family.

  • SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance
  • Grants.gov Lobbying Form, Certification Regarding Lobbying
  • SF-424A, Budget Information (Non-Construction)
    • For construction under an award, submit SF-424C, Budget Information (Construction), in addition to or instead of SF-424A
  • SF-424B, Standard Assurances (Non-Construction)
    • o For construction under an award, submit SF-424D, Standard Assurances (Construction), in addition to or instead of SF-424B
  • SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

b. Program-Specific Required Forms and Information

The following program-specific forms or information are required to be submitted in FEMA GO:

  • IJs;
  • Detailed Budget(s); and
  • Five-Year Security Capital and Operational Sustainment Plan, if applying for Operational Packages (OPacks).

All applicants will submit their TSGP grant application and associated IJs, including detailed budgets and associated Memoranda of Understanding/Memoranda of Agreement, as a file attachment within prior to the application deadline.

i. Priority Investments

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity investments must support the security and functioning of critical infrastructure and core capabilities as they relate to achieving target capabilities related to preventing, preparing for, protecting against, or responding to acts of terrorism. Cybersecurity project requests must be in alignment with relevant cybersecurity assessment(s). Additional resources and information regarding cybersecurity and cybersecurity performance goals are available through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security AgencyCross-Sector Cybersecurity Performance Goals, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Soft Targets and Crowded Places

Soft targets and crowded places are increasingly appealing to terrorists and other violent extremist actors because of their relative accessibility and the large number of potential targets. This challenge is complicated by the prevalent use of simple tactics and less sophisticated attacks. Segments of our society are inherently open to the general public, and by nature of their purpose do not incorporate strict security measures. Given the increased emphasis by terrorists and other violent extremist actors to leverage less sophisticated methods to inflict harm in public areas, it is vital that the public and private sectors collaborate to enhance security of locations such as transportation centers, parks, restaurants, shopping centers, special event venues, and similar facilities. Additional resources and information regarding securing soft targets and crowded places are available through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

ii. Investment Justification (IJ)

As part of the FY 2024 TSGP application process, applicants must develop a formal IJ that addresses each initiative being proposed for funding, including a project’s management and administration (M&A) costs. An agency may submit up to eight IJs. Agencies may also submit up to five additional IJs for projects related to law enforcement providers that are not part of the public transportation agency. Law enforcement providers may only submit projects that support a transit system’s operational security capability and capacity. IJs must demonstrate how proposed projects address gaps and deficiencies (identified in a current vulnerability assessment) and must link to one or more core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal. Please see grants.gov for the IJ template.

Applicants may attach the vulnerability assessment or cite relevant sections/passages within an IJ to demonstrate the linkage between the project request and the identified vulnerability. IJs should also describe an agency’s current security posture to demonstrate why the proposed project is necessary and appropriate. IJs must demonstrate the ability to provide enhancements consistent with the purpose of the program and guidance provided by DHS/FEMA. Applicants shall submit a separate IJ for each proposed project. TSGP projects must be both 1) feasible and effective at reducing the risks for which the project was designed; and 2) able to be fully completed within the three-year period of performance. Applicants must ensure that IJs are consistent with all requirements outlined in this funding notice. Applicants must provide information in the following categories for each proposed investment:

  1. Background;
  2. Strategic and Program Priorities;
  3. Impact; and
  4. Funding/Implementation Plan.

Applicants must use the following file naming convention when submitting the IJs as part of the FY 2024 TSGP:

Region_Agency Name_IJ Number (Example: Chicago_CTA_IJ 1)

iii. Operational Packages (OPacks)

Applicants that meet basic OPack eligibility requirements may elect to pursue OPack funding for Canine Teams, Mobile Explosives Detection Screening Teams, and Anti-Terrorism Teams, for new capabilities as well as to sustain existing OPacks. Applicants pursuing both new OPacks and sustainment funding for existing OPacks must indicate in their IJs which option is the higher priority for their agency. Additionally, applicants pursuing either new teams or sustainment of existing teams must include the number of OPack teams already in place (either funded by the agency or by TSGP). In addition, recipients must commit to minimum training standards for all Federally funded OPack positions. For an application for an OPack to be considered eligible, it must include a Five-Year Security Capital and Operational Sustainment Plan. Please see www.grants.gov for the required template. Please refer to the Operational Activities section below for more information.

iv. Detailed Budget

Applicants must provide a detailed budget for the funds requested. The detailed budget must be submitted with the grant application as a file attachment within FEMA GO. The budget must be complete, reasonable, and cost-effective in relation to the proposed project. The budget should provide the basis of computation of all project-related costs, any appropriate narrative, and a detailed justification of M&A costs. A recipient may not obligate, expend, or draw down funds until a budget and budget narrative have been approved by DHS/FEMA. The budget detail worksheet may be used as a guide to assist applicants in the preparation of the budget and budget narrative. Note: Design and Planning/Engineering costs must be clearly identified in a separate line item in order for partial funding to be released prior to Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) review and approval. Please see the Preparedness Grants Manual for information on the EHP review process.

Detailed budgets must be submitted with the grant application as a file attachment within FEMA GO. Applicants must use the following file naming convention when submitting detailed budgets as part of the TSGP:

Region_Agency Name_IJ Number_Budget (Example: Chicago_CTA_IJ _1_Budget)

v. Sensitive Security Information (SSI) Requirements

A portion of the information that is routinely submitted in the course of applying for funding or reporting under certain programs or that is provided in the course of an entity’s grant management activities under those programs that are under federal control may be subject to protection under an SSI marking and must be properly identified and marked accordingly. SSI is a control designation used by DHS/FEMA to protect transportation security-related information. It is applied to information about security programs, vulnerability and threat assessments, screening processes, technical specifications of certain screening equipment and objects used to test screening equipment, and equipment used for communicating security information relating to air, land, or maritime transportation. Further information can be found at 49 C.F.R. Part 1520, Protection of Sensitive Security Information.

For the purposes of the TSGP, and due to the high-frequency of SSI found in TSGP-related IJs, all TSGP IJs shall be considered SSI and treated as such until they have been subject to review for SSI by DHS/FEMA. Therefore, applicants shall label all application documents as SSI in accordance with 49 C.F.R. § 1520.13.

11. Other Submission Requirements

a. Public Transit Risk Assessment Methodology (PT-RAM)

FEMA has spent the past several years working with TSA to develop and test a process for identifying risk and prioritizing investments unique to the suite of surface transportation security programs. To date, twenty-eight (28) Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) recipients have completed this process voluntarily with FEMA and TSA technical support. This process is now ready for full implementation with the FY 2024 TSGP. Recipients of FY 2024 TSGP funding will be required to provide a Public Transit Risk Assessment completed within the past three years or implement one in conjunction with their FY 2024 TSGP award. As noted, many potential recipients of FY 2024 TSGP funding have already completed the process and are considered compliant. For those that have not yet completed the process, technical assistance is available to assist with compliance during the period of performance of the FY2024 TSGP award. Please contact your FEMA headquarters Preparedness Officer following acceptance of your award to discuss the steps necessary for meeting this requirement.

12. Intergovernmental Review

An intergovernmental review may be required. Applicants must contact their state’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to comply with the state’s process under Executive Order 12372

(See https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12372.htmlIntergovernmental Review (SPOC List) (whitehouse.gov)

13. Funding Restrictions and Allowable Costs

All costs charged to awards covered by this NOFO must comply with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements at 2 C.F.R. Part 200, unless otherwise indicated in the NOFO, the terms and conditions of the award, or the Preparedness Grants Manual. This includes, among other requirements, that costs must be incurred, and products and services must be delivered, within the period of performance of the award. See 2 C.F.R. § 200.403(h) (referring to budget periods, which for FEMA awards under this program is the same as the period of performance).

Federal funds made available through this award may be used for the purpose set forth in this NOFO, the Preparedness Grants Manual, and the terms and conditions of the award and must be consistent with the statutory authority for the award. Award funds may not be used for matching funds for any other federal awards, lobbying, or intervention in federal regulatory or adjudicatory proceedings. In addition, federal funds may not be used to sue the Federal Government or any other government entity. See the for more information on funding restrictions and allowable costs.

a. Prohibitions on Expending FEMA Award Funds for Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services

See the Preparedness Grants Manual for information on prohibitions on expending FEMA award funds for covered telecommunications equipment or services.

b. Pre-Award Costs

Pre-award costs are not allowable and will not be approved, with the exception of costs resulting from pre-award grant writing services provided by an independent contractor that shall not exceed $1,500 per applicant, per award.

c. Management and Administration (M&A) Costs

M&A costs are allowed by the FY 2024 Annual Appropriation (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2024, Pub. L. No. 118-47, Title III, “Protection, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery,” Section 302). Recipients may use up to 5% of the amount of the award for their M&A and subrecipients may use up to 5% of the amount of they receive for M&A. M&A activities are those defined as directly relating to the management and administration of TSGP funds, such as financial management and monitoring. M&A expenses must be based on actual expenses or known contractual costs. Requests that are simple percentages of the award, without supporting justification, will not be allowed, or considered for reimbursement. M&A costs are not operational costs but are necessary costs incurred in direct support of the federal award or as a consequence of it, such as travel, meeting-related expenses, and salaries of full/part-time staff in direct support of the program. As such, M&A costs can be itemized in financial reports.

Other M&A cost examples include preparing and submitting required programmatic and financial reports, establishing and/or maintaining equipment inventory, documenting operational and equipment expenditures for financial accounting purposes, responding to official informational requests from state and federal oversight authorities, including completing the Civil Rights Evaluation Tool as required by DHS, and grant performance measurement or evaluation activities. If an applicant uses an outside consultant or contractor to provide pre-award grant writing services or post-award grant management services, additional considerations and restrictions shall apply as detailed below.

Additionally, funds may be used in the hiring of full-time or part-time staff, including contractors and consultants, to execute the following: 

  • Management of the current fiscal year award; 
  • Design and implementation of the current fiscal year submission meeting compliance with reporting/data collection requirements, including data calls; 
  • Information collection and processing necessary to respond to FEMA data calls; 
  • Travel expenses (domestic travel only) related to grant administration, in compliance with 2 C.F.R. Part 200; and 
  • Acquisition of authorized office equipment, including personal computers or laptops for M&A purposes

d. Indirect Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs

Indirect (F&A) costs (IDC) mean those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. IDC are allowable by the recipient as described in 2 C.F.R. Part 200, including 2 C.F.R. § 200.414. Applicants with a current negotiated IDC rate agreement who desire to charge indirect costs to a federal award must provide a copy of their IDC rate agreement with their applications. Not all applicants are required to have a current negotiated IDC rate agreement. Applicants that are not required to have a negotiated IDC rate agreement but are required to develop an IDC rate proposal must provide a copy of their proposal with their applications. Applicants who do not have a current negotiated IDC rate agreement (including a provisional rate) and wish to charge the de minimis rate must reach out to FEMA for further instructions. Applicants who wish to use a cost allocation plan in lieu of an IDC rate proposal must reach out to the FEMA Point of Contact for further instructions. As it relates to the IDC for subrecipients, a recipient must follow the requirements of 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.332 and 200.414 in approving the IDC rate for subawards. For information on procedures for establishing indirect cost rates, see the Preparedness Grants Manual.

e. Evaluation Costs

Evaluation costs are allowable. See Section H.2 “Program Evaluation” for more details.

f. Other Direct Costs

Costs generally need to fit within one of the categories listed below to be allowable under this program. Applicants who have questions about whether a potential cost is allowable or not under this program should contact their Preparedness Officer.

Specific investments made in support of the funding priorities generally fall into one of the following allowable expense categories:

  • Planning;
  • Operational Activities;
  • Equipment and Capital Projects;
  • Training and Awareness Campaigns; and
  • Exercises.

The following provides guidance on allowable costs within each of these areas:

i. Planning

Planning activities address the Soft Targets/Crowded Places; Cybersecurity; and Planning Priorities.

Relevant program funds may be used for the following types of planning activities:

  1. Development and enhancement of system-wide security risk management plans that ensure the continuity of essential functions, to include cyber;
  2. Development or further strengthening of continuity plans, response plans, station action plans, risk assessments, and asset-specific remediation plans;
  3. Development or further strengthening of security assessments, including multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional partnerships and conferences to facilitate planning activities;
  4. Hiring of full or part-time staff and contractors or consultants to assist with planning activities only to the extent that such expenses are for the allowable activities within the scope of the grant (not for the purpose of hiring public safety personnel); hiring of contractors/consultants must follow the applicable federal procurement requirements at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317-200.327;
  5. Materials required to conduct planning activities;
  6. Conducting risk and resilience assessments on increasingly connected cyber and physical systems, on which security depends, using the and related CISA resources;
  7. Planning activities related to alert and warning capabilities; and
  8. Other project planning activities with prior approval from FEMA.

ii. Operational Activities

Operational Activities address the Soft Targets/Crowded Places Priority.

FEMA encourages applicants to develop innovative operational approaches to enhance the security of transit systems. Projects that use visible, unpredictable deterrence, to include operational packages dealing with explosive detection canine teams, mobile screening teams, and anti-terrorism teams, directly support enhancing the protection of soft targets and crowded places. Implementation of one of the three OPack models discussed below complements existing security systems and provides an appropriate, practical, and cost-effective means of protecting assets.

Agencies may submit IJs to fund transit security police forces/law enforcement providers for patrols and activities on overtime, such as directed patrols, additional canine teams, mobile screening teams, or anti-terrorism team patrols. These activities must be dedicated to the transit environment and must be anti-terrorism in nature. Agencies must identify the type of activity, length of operation (hours), number of personnel, and cost based on length of operation and personnel. Agencies should also provide a risk-based justification for the request, to include linkage to a known event, such as hosting a significant regional sporting or political event; or a period of heightened awareness, such as a national holiday. Three OPack types have been developed to support operational activities and are available for funding under the TSGP:

  1. Explosives Detection Canine Teams (EDCTs). When combined with the existing capability of a transit security/police force, the added value provided through the addition of an EDCT is significant. EDCTs are a proven, reliable resource to detect explosives and are a key component in a balanced counter-sabotage program. The TSGP will provide funds to establish dedicated security/police force canine teams. Each canine team will be composed of one dog and one handler.
  2. Anti-Terrorism Teams (ATTs). The ATT capability provided through TSGP funding is for uniformed, dedicated transit patrols on a normal operational basis, rather than using teams only for a surge capacity as provided by FEMA in the past. ATTs do not supersede other local transit security forces; rather, they augment current capabilities. Each ATT will consist of four individuals, including two overt elements (e.g., uniformed transit sector law enforcement officer, canine team, mobile explosive screeners), and two discreet observer elements.
  3. Mobile Explosive Screening Teams (MESTs). The MEST OPack will allow recipients the flexibility to deploy combinations of certified explosive ordinance technicians with mobile explosive screening technologies, including during local National Special Security Events. This screening technology will be coupled with mobile explosive screening technologies. Each MEST should have a minimum of two members and one mobile explosive screening apparatus.

Note: Funds for canine teams may not be used to fund drug detection and apprehension technique training. Only explosives detection training for the canine teams will be funded.

Five-Year Security Capital Plan and Operational Sustainment
Applicant requests for OPack funding must include the submission of a Five-Year Security Capital and Operational Sustainment Plan in FEMA GO. This plan must include how the agency proposes to implement capital projects and demonstrate how the agency will sustain the operational investments (including officers hired with federal funding) and capabilities after grant funding has been expended. Requests for OPacks will not be funded if the applicant does not have a Security Capital and Operational Sustainment Plan.

Funding Availability For OPacks
OPacks have the potential to be funded for up to 36 months from the award date. The monetary figures presented below are stated in terms of cost per period of performance (which indicates actual/complete funding for a 36-month period). Additionally, any OPack costs after the period of performance (including expenses related to the maintenance, personnel, equipment, etc.) are the responsibility of the applicable transit system. Additional funding may be applied for in future grant cycles to maintain this operational capability, but future funding is not guaranteed and requires approval. If these positions are not sustained, the public transportation agency may not be eligible for this personnel support in the future. The table below identifies the maximum funding available for the different OPack types.

Available Funding for OPacks

Operational PackageMaximum Funding per Year (12 months)Maximum Funding per Period of Performance (36 months)
EDCT$150,000 per team$450,000 per team
ATT$500,000 per team$1,500,000 per team
MEST$600,000 per team$1,800,000 per team

OPack Requirements
TSGP OPack funds may be used for new positions or to sustain existing capabilities/programs (e.g., canine teams) already supported by the recipient. Applicants submitting IJs for both new OPacks and sustainment funding for existing OPacks must indicate in their IJs which funding the higher priority for their agency is. Additionally, applicants must provide the number of existing teams (EDCT, ATT, and MEST) already in place, regardless of how they are funded (e.g., in-house funding or FEMA funding). The below table identifies specific OPack requirements.

OPack Requirements

Operational PackageRequirements
Explosives Detection Canine Teams (EDCTs)Please refer to the Preparedness Grants Manual for detailed information regarding EDCTs for TSGP.
Anti-Terrorism Teams (ATT)

Specific for the Canine Team within the ATT:

  • Each canine team, composed of one dog and one handler, must be certified by an appropriate, qualified organization;
  • Canines should receive an initial basic training course and also weekly maintenance training sessions thereafter to maintain the certification;
  • The basic training averages 10 weeks for the team, with weekly training and daily exercising (comparable training and certification standards, such as those promulgated by the TSA Explosive Detection Canine Program), the National Police Canine Association (NPCA), the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), or the International Explosive Detection Dog Association (IEDDA) may be used to meet this requirement);
  • The individuals hired for the covert and overt elements must be properly trained law enforcement officers; and
  • Certifications should be on file with the recipient and must be made available to FEMA upon request.
Mobile Explosives Screening Team (MEST)Certifications should be on file with the recipient and must be made available to FEMA upon request.

Allowable Expenses for OPacks
The below table identifies allowable expenses for the various OPacks. Please see the inserted notes for clarification of certain allowable costs.

Allowable Expenses for OPacks

Operational PackageSalary and Fringe BenefitsTraining and CertificationEquipment CostsPurchase and Train a CanineCanine Costs b
  1. EDCT a
✓c
  1. ATT
  1. MEST
 ✓  d  
  • a - Travel costs associated with training for personnel, handlers, and canines are allowable
  • b - Canine costs include but are not limited to veterinary, housing, and feeding costs
  • c - One type of allowable training is training specific to the detection of common explosives odors
  • d - Equipment and other costs can include but are not limited to explosives detection; stainless steel search tables; consumables such as gloves, swabs, and alcohol; and land mobile radios

iii. Equipment and Capital Projects

Equipment and Capital Projects address the Soft Targets/Crowded Places; Cybersecurity; and Equipment/Capital Projects Priorities.

Priority projects include Top Transit Asset List (TTAL) risk remediation and protection of other high-risk, high-consequence areas or systems that have been identified through system-wide risk assessments. These costs include:

  1. Projects related to physical security enhancements at rail and bus stations in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) jurisdictions including security cameras, security screening equipment for people and baggage, and access control (e.g., fences, gates, barriers, etc.); and
  2. Projects related to cybersecurity of access control, sensors, security cameras, badge/ID readers, Industrial Control System (ICS)/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, process monitors and controls, etc. or passenger/vehicle/cargo security screening equipment support. Cybersecurity assessments are allowable.

Equipment Acquisition

Program funds must comply with FEMA Policy 207-22-0002, Prohibited or Controlled Equipment Under FEMA Awards. Program funds may be used for the following categories of equipment. A comprehensive listing of allowable equipment categories and types is found in the Authorized Equipment List (AEL). These costs include:

  1. Personal protection equipment;
  2. Explosive device mitigation and remediation equipment;
  3. Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) operational search and rescue equipment, logistical support equipment, reference materials, or incident response vehicles
  4. Interoperable communications equipment, including alert and warning capabilities;
  5. Components or systems needed to address flaws in the computerized systems that control generators, switching stations, and electrical substations as well as other threats to infrastructure critical to the U.S. economy;
  6. Detection equipment;
  7. Power equipment;
  8. Terrorism incident prevention equipment; and
  9. Physical security enhancement equipment.

Recipients and subrecipients may purchase equipment not listed on the AEL, but only if they seek and obtain prior approval from FEMA.

Unless otherwise noted, equipment must be certified as meeting required regulatory and FEMA-adopted standards to be eligible for purchase using program funds. Equipment must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act requirement for certification of electrical equipment by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and demonstrate compliance with relevant FEMA-adopted standards through a supplier’s declaration of conformity with appropriate supporting data and documentation per International Organization for Standardization/International Electro-technical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17050, Parts One and Two. Agencies must have all necessary certifications and licenses for the requested equipment, as appropriate, before its purchase.DHS adopted standards are found at DHS Implementation Statement Regarding Standard Terms and Conditions for Research Grants | Homeland Security

In addition, recipients that are using TSGP funds to support emergency communications equipment activities must comply with the SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants, including provisions on technical standards that ensure and enhance interoperable communications. For more information about SAFECOM, see the Preparedness Grants Manual.

Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

For information on sUAS allowability, please see the Preparedness Grants Manual.

Cybersecurity Projects

Program funds may be used for projects that enhance the cybersecurity of:

  1. Access controls, sensors, security cameras, badge/ID readers, ICS/SCADA systems, process monitors and controls (such as firewalls, network segmentation, predictive security cloud, etc.); and
  2. Passenger/vehicle/cargo security screening equipment (cybersecurity assessments are allowable).

When requesting funds for cybersecurity, applicants are encouraged to propose projects that would aid in implementation of all or part of the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, Version 1.1 (the “Framework”) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Framework gathers existing international standards and practices to help organizations understand, communicate, and manage their cyber risks. For organizations that do not know where to start with developing a cybersecurity program, the Framework provides initial guidance. For organizations with more advanced practices, the Framework offers a way to improve their programs, such as better communication with their leadership and suppliers about management of cyber risks.

DHS’s Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program is an example of a resource that assists in protecting U.S.-based public and private entities and combines key elements of capabilities under the “Detect” and “Protect” functions to deliver an impactful solution relative to the outcomes of the Cybersecurity Framework.

Specifically, ECS offers intrusion prevention and analysis services that help U.S.-based companies and SLTT governments defend their computer systems against unauthorized access, exploitation, and data exfiltration. ECS works by sourcing timely, actionable cyber threat indicators from sensitive and classified Government Furnished Information (GFI). DHS then shares those indicators with accredited Commercial Service Providers (CSPs). Those CSPs in turn use the indicators to block certain types of malicious traffic from entering a company’s networks. Groups interested in subscribing to ECS must contract directly with a CSP to receive services. Please visit http://www.cisa.gov/enhanced-cybersecurity-services-ecs for a current list of ECS CSP points of contact.

Capital (Construction) Projects Guidance
See the Preparedness Grants Manual for more information about TSGP Capital (Construction) Projects Guidance.

iv. Training and Awareness Campaigns

Training and Awareness Campaigns address the Soft Targets/Crowded Places; Cybersecurity; and Training and Awareness Campaign Priorities.

Training
Program funds may be used for the following training activities:

  1. Training Topics. Priority topics include active shooter training, security training for employees, and public awareness/preparedness campaigns.
  2. Training Workshops. Grant funds may be used to plan and conduct training workshops to include costs related to planning, meeting space and other meeting costs, facilitation costs, materials and supplies, travel, and training plan development. Recipients are strongly encouraged to use free public space/locations/facilities, whenever available, prior to the rental of space/locations/facilities. Training should provide the opportunity to demonstrate and validate skills learned, as well as to identify any gaps in these skills. Any training or training gaps, including those for children and individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs, should be identified in an After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) and addressed in the training cycle.
  3. Hiring of Full or Part-Time Staff or Contractors/Consultants. Full or part-time staff or contractors/consultants may be hired to support training-related activities. Hiring of contractors/consultants must follow the applicable federal procurement requirements at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317-200.327. Reimbursement of these costs should conform with the policies of the state or local unit§ of government or the awarding agency, whichever is applicable. Such costs must be included within the funding allowed for program management personnel expenses, which must not exceed 10% of the total allocation. Dual compensation is unallowable. That is, an employee of a unit of government may not receive compensation from their unit or agency of government and from an award for a single period of time (e.g., 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.), even though such work may benefit both activities. Personnel hiring, overtime, and backfill expenses are permitted under this grant only to the extent that such expenses are for the allowable activities within the scope of the grant.
  4. Overtime and Backfill Costs. The entire amount of overtime costs, including payments related to backfilling personnel, that are the direct result of attendance at FEMA and approved training courses and programs are allowable. Reimbursement of these costs should follow the policies of the state or local u§(s) of government or the awarding agency, whichever is applicable. In no case is dual compensation allowable.
  5. Travel. Domestic travel costs (e.g., airfare, mileage, per diem, and hotel) are allowable as expenses by employees who are on travel status for official business related, approved training, subject to the restrictions at 2 C.F.R. Part 200. International travel is not an allowable expense.
  6. Supplies. Supplies, items that are expended or consumed during the course of the planning and conduct of the training projects (s) (e.g., gloves and non-sterile masks), are allowable expenses.
  7. Funds Used to Develop, Deliver, and Evaluate Training, including costs related to administering the training, planning, scheduling, facilities, materials and supplies, reproduction of materials, and equipment are allowable expenses. Training should provide the opportunity to demonstrate and validate skills learned, as well as to identify any gaps in these skills. Any training or training gaps, including those for children and individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs, should be identified in the AAR/IP and addressed in the training cycle.

Recipients are encouraged to use existing training rather than developing new courses. When developing new courses, recipients are encouraged to apply the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) model of instruction design. Information on FEMA-approved training can found at http://www.firstrespondertraining.gov/.

Awareness Campaigns
Program funds may be used for the development and implementation of awareness campaigns to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime and for associated efforts to increase the sharing of information with public and private sector partners, including nonprofit organizations. DHS currently sponsors or supports a number of awareness campaigns. Please review materials, strategies, and resources at https://www.dhs.gov/dhs-campaigns before embarking on the development of an awareness campaign for local constituencies and stakeholders.

Note: DHS requires that all public and private sector partners wanting to implement and/or expand the DHS “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign (“campaign”) using grant funds work directly with the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE). This will help ensure that the awareness materials (e.g., videos, posters, trifolds, etc.) remain consistent with DHS’s messaging and strategy for the campaign and compliant with the initiative’s trademark, which is licensed to DHS by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Coordination with OPE, through the campaign’s office (seesay@hq.dhs.gov), must be facilitated by the FEMA HQ Preparedness Officer.

v. Exercises

Exercise activities address the Soft Targets/Crowded Places; Cybersecurity; and Exercises Priorities.

Program funds may be used for the following exercise activities:

  1. Funds Used to Design, Develop, Conduct and Evaluate an Exercise. This includes costs related to planning, meeting space, and other meeting costs, facilitation costs, materials and supplies, travel, and documentation. Exercises afford organizations the opportunity to validate plans and procedures, evaluate capabilities, and assess progress toward meeting capability targets in a controlled, low risk setting. Any shortcoming or gap identified, including those for children and individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs, should be identified in an effective corrective action program that includes development of improvement plans that are dynamic documents, with corrective actions continually monitored and implemented as part of improving preparedness through the exercise cycle.
  2. Hiring of Full or Part-Time Staff or Contractors/Consultants. Full or part-time staff may be hired to support exercise-related activities. In order to be eligible for reimbursement, the costs for hiring staff must conform to the policies of the non-federal entity and federal statutes, where applicable. See, e.g., 2 C.F.R. § 200.430(a). The costs for hiring contractors or consultants must comply with the applicable federal procurement standards at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317 – 200.327. The costs for hiring staff, consultants, or contractors to support exercise-related activities costs must be included within the funding allowed for program management personnel expenses, which must not exceed 10% of the total allocation. Dual compensation is never allowable, meaning, in other words, that an employee of a unit of government may not receive compensation from their unit or agency of government and from an award for a single period of time (e.g., 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.), even though their work may benefit both entities. Personnel hiring, overtime, and backfill expenses are permitted under this grant only to the extent that such expenses are for the allowable activities within the scope of the grant.
  3. Overtime and Backfill Costs. The entire amount of overtime costs, including payments related to backfilling personnel, which are the direct result of time spent on the design, development and conduct of exercises are allowable expenses. These costs are allowed only to the extent the payment for such services is in accordance with the policies of the state or unit§ of local government and has the approval of the state or the awarding agency, whichever is applicable. Dual compensation is never allowable.
  4. Travel. Domestic travel costs are allowable as expenses by employees who are on travel status for official business related to the planning and conduct of exercise projects, subject to the restrictions at 2 C.F.R. Part 200. International travel is not an allowable expense.
  5. Supplies. Supplies are items that are expended or consumed during the course of the planning and conduct of the exercise projects (e.g., gloves, non-sterile masks, and disposable protective equipment).
  6. Other Items. These costs include the rental of space/locations for exercise planning and executing, rental of equipment, etc. Recipients are encouraged to use free public space/locations/facilities, whenever available, prior to the rental of space/locations/facilities. These also include costs that may be associated with inclusive practices and the provision of reasonable accommodations and modifications to provide full access for children and adults with disabilities.

vi. Construction and Renovation

Construction and renovation costs to address items included in a security assessment or a security plan and that are in accordance with 6 U.S.C. § 1135(b)(1) are allowed under this program. For construction costs to be allowed, they must be specifically approved by DHS/FEMA in writing prior to the use of any program funds for construction or renovation. Additionally, recipients are required to submit a SF-424C Budget and budget detail citing the project costs. All proposed construction and renovation activities must undergo an Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) review, including approval of the review from FEMA, prior to undertaking any action related to the project. Failure of a grant recipient to meet these requirements may jeopardize Federal funding. See the Preparedness Grants Manual for additional information.

vii. Backfill, Overtime, and Hiring

Backfill, overtime, and hiring costs are allowed under this program only as described in this NOFO.

viii. Travel

Domestic travel costs are allowed under this program as described in this NOFO. International travel is not an allowable cost under this program unless approved in advance by DHS/FEMA.

ix. Maintenance and Sustainment

Maintenance and sustainment related costs are allowed under this program only as described in this NOFO and the Preparedness Grants Manual.

x. Authorized Use of Contractual Grant Writers and/or Grant Managers

A grant applicant may procure the services of a contractor to provide support and assistance for pre-award grant development services (grant writing) or post-award grant management and administrative services (grant management). As with all federal grant-funded procurements, grant writer or grant management services must be procured in accordance with the federal procurement standards at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317 – 200.327. Please see the Preparedness Grants Manual for additional information regarding procurement integrity, particularly the sections applicable to non-state entities that discuss organizational conflicts of interest under 2 C.F.R. § 200.319(b) and traditional conflicts of interest under 2 C.F.R. § 200.318(c)(1). States must follow the same policies and procedures it uses for procurements of its non-federal funds, pursuant to 2 C.F.R. § 200.317, which also applies 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.321, 200.322, 200.323, and 200.327.

As applicable to non-state entities, DHS/FEMA considers a contracted grant writer to be an agent of the recipient for any subsequent contracts the recipient procures under the same federal award in which the grant writer provided grant writing services. Federal funds cannot be used to pay a contractor to carry out the work if that contractor also worked on the development of such specifications unless the original contract was properly procured and included both grant writing and grant management services in the solicitation’s scope of work.

As applicable to all non-federal entities, regardless of whether an applicant or recipient uses grant writing and/or grant management services, the recipient is solely responsible for the fiscal and programmatic integrity of the grant and its authorized activities and expenditures. The recipient must ensure adequate internal controls, including separation of duties, to safeguard grant assets, processes, and documentation, in keeping with the terms and conditions of its award, including this NOFO, and 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

Grant Writers
Grant writing contractors may assist the applicant in a variety of ways, including preparing, writing, and finalizing grant application materials and assisting the applicant with handling online application and submission requirements in FEMA GO. Ultimately, however, the applicant that receives an award is solely responsible for all grant award and administrative responsibilities.

By submitting the application, applicants certify that all of the information contained therein is true and an accurate reflection of the organization and that regardless of the applicant’s intent, the submission of information that is false or misleading may result in actions by DHS/FEMA. These actions include, but are not limited to, the submitted application not being considered for award, temporary withholding of funding under the existing award pending investigation, or referral to the DHS Office of Inspector General. To assist applicants with the cost of grant writing services, DHS/FEMA is permitting a one-time pre-award cost of no more than $1,500 per applicant per year for contractual grant writing services as part of the recipient’s M&A costs. This is only intended to cover costs associated with a grant writer and may not be used to reimburse an applicant for its own time and effort in the development of a grant application. Additionally, an applicant may be required to pay this fee with its own funds during the application preparation and submission period; if the applicant subsequently receives an award, it may then request to be reimbursed once grant funds become available for that cost, not to exceed $1,500. If an applicant does not receive an award, this cost will not be reimbursed by the Federal Government. Applicants must understand this risk and be able to cover this cost if an award is not made.

If an applicant intends to request reimbursement for this one-time pre-award cost, it must include this request in its application materials, including in the Budget Detail Worksheet for each IJ. Failure to clearly identify this as a separate cost in the application may result in its disallowance. This is the only pre-award cost eligible for reimbursement. Recipients must maintain grant writer fee documentation including, but not limited to: a copy of the solicitation, such as a quote request, rate request, invitation to bid, or request for proposals, if applicable; a copy of the grant writer’s contract agreement; a copy of the invoice or purchase order; and a copy of the canceled check or proof of payment. These records must be made available to DHS/FEMA upon request.

Consultants or contractors are not permitted to be the AOR or SA of the recipient. Further, an application must be officially submitted by 1) a current employee, personnel, official, staff, or leadership of the non-federal entity; and 2) duly authorized to apply for an award on behalf of the non-federal entity at the time of application.

Grant Managers
Grant management contractors provide support in the day-to-day management of an active grant and their services may be incurred as M&A costs of the award. Additionally, recipients may retain grant management contractors at their own expense.

Consultants or contractors are not permitted to be the AOR or SA of the recipient. The AOR, or Authorized Official, is responsible for submitting programmatic and financial performance reports, accepting award packages, signing assurances and certifications, and submitting award amendments.

Restrictions Regarding Grant Writers and Grant Managers
Pursuant to 2 C.F.R. Part 180, recipients may not use federal grant funds to reimburse any entity, including a grant writer or preparer, if that entity is presently suspended or debarred by the Federal Government from receiving funding under federally funded grants or contracts. Recipients must verify that a contractor is not suspended or debarred from participating in specified federal procurement or non-procurement transactions pursuant to 2 C.F.R. § 180.300. FEMA recommends recipients use SAM.gov to conduct this verification. Further, regardless of whether any grant writer fees were requested, as applicable to non-state entities, unless a single contract covering both pre- and post-award services was awarded to the grant writer and procured in compliance with 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317 – 200.327, federal funds cannot be used to pay the grant writer to provide post-award services.

g. Unallowable Costs

Specific unallowable costs for the TSGP include:

  • Grant funds must comply with FEMA Policy 207-22-0002, Prohibited or Controlled Equipment Under FEMA Awards, and may not be used for the purchase of the following equipment: firearms, ammunition, grenade launchers, bayonets, or weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles of any kind with weapons installed. Additional prohibited equipment expenditures include items unrelated to grant allowable activities, such as general-use software, general-use computers, and related equipment (other than for allowable M&A activities or otherwise associated preparedness or response functions), general-use vehicles, and licensing fees;
  • Personnel costs (except as detailed above);
  • Activities unrelated to the completion and implementation of the TSGP; and
  • Other items not in accordance with the AEL or not previously listed as allowable costs.

h. Excess Funds

After completing the initial project proposed in the recipient’s application, some recipients may have unexpended funds remaining in their budgets. These excess funds may result from any combination of under-budget acquisition activities or competitive procurement processes. In such cases, excess funds must be returned to FEMA upon project completion.

E. Application Review Information

 

1. Application Evaluation Criteria and Review and Selection Process

a. Overview

Applications will first be screened for eligibility and then reviewed by subject matter experts on a National Review Panel (NRP). The NRP will evaluate and score each application based on the evaluation criteria outlined in the following sections. The NRP will then develop funding recommendations and project approvals that will be forwarded to an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will recommend funding decisions and projects that are presented to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Ultimately, final funding determinations are at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.

b. Pre-NRP Review Process

The Pre-NRP process consists of the initial application submission processing and download, eligibility checks, and the necessary panel preparations scheduled before formal NRP meetings hosted by FEMA. Applications that meet administrative and eligibility requirements outlined in this NOFO will be assigned to, and evaluated by, the NRP. All eligibility screens will be completed prior to the NRP convening.

c. NRP Review Process

Each application that meets the minimum requirements for application submission in accordance with the FY 2024 TSGP NOFO will be evaluated by the NRP. FEMA will invite partner agencies, including TSA, to participate in the NRP review process. The NRP will score and evaluate the entirety of eligible TSGP applications and produce a rank order listing of proposed projects with associated comments. The key output from the NRP will be a list of recommended projects for the Executive Committee to review.

d. Post-NRP Review Process

The Executive Committee will review the NRP’s scoring summary and funding recommendations. FEMA and TSA will then brief the final results of the Executive Committee’s review, recommended projects, and funding summary to senior DHS/FEMA leadership. Ultimately, final funding determinations are at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.

e. NRP Scoring Criteria

Applications will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • Risk Group Score. DHS/FEMA uses a comprehensive risk methodology to evaluate the risk to eligible passenger rail, intra-city bus, and ferry systems. The risk methodology produces a relative risk score, where risk is a function of threat x vulnerability x consequence, for each eligible transit agency. The threat component data of the methodology is provided by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). DHS/FEMA and TSA provide the vulnerability and consequence component data. Eligible transit agencies are grouped into 10 groups based on their risk score, with group 10 having the highest risk and group one having the lowest risk. The 10 groups translate into a 1–10-point scale (e.g., group 10 = 10 points, group 9 = 9 points, etc.).
  • Funding Priorities Score. Projects will be awarded up to seven (7) points based on the extent to which they align with the TSGP Funding Priority Areas outlined in this NOFO. Key factors included in establishing a Funding Priorities Score include, but are not limited to:
    • Is the project clearly focused on security (vs. safety or general operations)?
    • Is the project clearly linked to one of more vulnerabilities in a recent Threat & Vulnerability Assessment (TVA)?
    • Will the project measurably buy-down risk based on its linkage to the TVA and the agency’s current security posture?
  • Risk Mitigation Score. Projects will be evaluated based on the potential risk mitigation of the project (as determined by the information provided in the IJs). This score has several components and is calculated by the average of the applicable sub-components described below. The highest possible total score for risk mitigation is 28.
    • Cost effectiveness. Projects will be awarded up to 12 points based on the expected impact on security relative to the investment. The IJ should provide evidence of the security impact as justification for the strategic usage of the proposed budget. The project levels should be commensurate with the security impact, and the proposed solution should be reasonable and advantageous over other possible solutions.
    • Ability to reduce risk of catastrophic events. Projects will be awarded up to 12 points based on an applicant’s ability to reduce risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and all other types of hazards. The IJ should demonstrate an ability to reduce risk, provide evidence of the project’s security impact, the relationship with the applicant’s security plans and vulnerability assessments, the consequence of not funding the project, and a strategy to address specific areas of risk.
    • Sustainability without additional federal funds and leveraging other funding. Projects will be awarded up to two (2) points based on the extent to which an applicant exhibits a likelihood of success or continued success without requiring additional Federal assistance. The IJ should show potential for or confirmed additional funding in the form of a cash or in-kind match. It should also show a high likelihood of success or continued success without additional federal assistance, as well as offer a long-term sustainability plan.
    • Timelines. Projects will be awarded up to two (2) points based on an evaluation of an applicant’s ability to complete the proposed project within submitted timeframes and how quickly the project can be implemented once funding is received due to planning activities, contracting issues, construction requirement(s), or other such factors. The IJ should provide a timeline and schedule and demonstrate evidence of the ability to complete the project within the submitted timeline based on the proposed strategy, identified implementation challenges, management and resource plan, and reasonableness of the anticipated schedule.
  • Regional Collaboration Component Score. Projects will be given an additional 0-1.5 points based on the degree of collaboration with other regional partners.
  • National Priority Areas Score. Projects that sufficiently address one or more of the National Priority Areas will receive an additional 20% score increase.

DHS/FEMA headquarters grants management specialists will also conduct financial risk assessments using the following criteria:

  • Allowability, allocability, and financial reasonableness of the proposed budget and investment information; and
  • Whether a recipient meets the financial and legal requirements listed in 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

e. Financial Integrity Criteria

Prior to making a federal award, FEMA is required by 31 U.S.C. § 3354, as enacted by the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019, Pub. L. No. 116-117 (2020); 41 U.S.C. § 2313; and 2 C.F.R. § 200.206 to review information available through any Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-designated repositories of governmentwide eligibility qualification or financial integrity information, including whether SAM.gov identifies the applicant as being excluded from receiving federal awards or is flagged for any integrity record submission. FEMA may also pose additional questions to the applicant to aid in conducting the pre-award risk review. Therefore, application evaluation criteria may include the following risk-based considerations of the applicant:

  1. Financial stability.
  2. Quality of management systems and ability to meet management standards.
  3. History of performance in managing federal award.
  4. Reports and findings from audits.
  5. Ability to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements.

f. Supplemental Financial Integrity Criteria and Review

Prior to making a federal award where the anticipated total federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, currently $250,000:

  1. FEMA is required by 41 U.S.C. § 2313 and 2 C.F.R. § 200.206(a)(2) to review and consider any information about the applicant, including information on the applicant’s immediate and highest-level owner, subsidiaries, and predecessors, if applicable, that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through the System for Award Management (SAM), which is currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).
  2. An applicant, at its option, may review information in FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency previously entered.
  3. FEMA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 C.F.R. § 200.206.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

 

1. Notice of Award

Before accepting the award, the AOR and recipient should carefully read the award package. The award package includes instructions on administering the grant award and the terms and conditions associated with responsibilities under federal awards. Recipients must accept all conditions in this NOFO and the Preparedness Grants Manual as well as any specific terms and conditions in the Notice of Award to receive an award under this program.

See the Preparedness Grants Manual for information on Notice of Award.

FEMA will provide the federal award package to the applicant electronically via FEMA GO. Award packages include an Award Letter, Summary Award Memo, Agreement Articles, and Obligating Document. An email notification of the award package will be sent through FEMA’s grant application system to the AOR that submitted the application.

Recipients must accept their awards no later than 60 days from the award date. The recipient shall notify FEMA of its intent to accept and proceed with work under the award through the FEMA GO system.

Funds will remain on hold until the recipient accepts the award through the FEMA GO system and all other conditions of the award have been satisfied or until the award is otherwise rescinded. Failure to accept a grant award within the specified timeframe may result in a loss of funds.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

In addition to the requirements of in this section and in this NOFO, FEMA may place specific terms and conditions on individual awards in accordance with 2 C.F.R. Part 200.

In addition to the information regarding DHS Standard Terms and Conditions and Ensuring the Protection of Civil Rights, see the Preparedness Grants Manual for additional information on administrative and national policy requirements, including the following:

  • Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) Compliance
  • FirstNet
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS) Implementation
  • SAFECOM

a. DHS Standard Terms and Conditions

All successful applicants for DHS grant and cooperative agreements are required to comply with DHS Standard Terms and Conditions, which are available online at: DHS Standard Terms and Conditions.

The applicable DHS Standard Terms and Conditions will be those in effect at the time the award was made. What terms and conditions will apply for the award will be clearly stated in the award package at the time of award.

b. Ensuring the Protection of Civil Rights

As the Nation works towards achieving the National Preparedness Goal, it is important to continue to protect the civil rights of individuals. Recipients and subrecipients must carry out their programs and activities, including those related to the building, sustainment, and delivery of core capabilities, in a manner that respects and ensures the protection of civil rights for protected populations. 

Federal civil rights statutes, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, along with DHS and FEMA regulations, prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, limited English proficiency, or economic status in connection with programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from FEMA, as applicable. 

The DHS Standard Terms and Conditions include a fuller list of the civil rights provisions that apply to recipients. These terms and conditions can be found in the DHS Standard Terms and Conditions. Additional information on civil rights provisions is available at https://www.fema.gov/about/offices/equal-rights/civil-rights.

Monitoring and oversight requirements in connection with recipient compliance with federal civil rights laws are also authorized pursuant to 44 C.F.R. Part 7 or other applicable regulations.

In accordance with civil rights laws and regulations, recipients and subrecipients must ensure the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment.

c. Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) Compliance

See the Preparedness Grants Manual for information on EHP compliance.

d. National Incident Management System (NIMS) Implementation

See the Preparedness Grants Manual for information about NIMS implementation.

e. Mandatory Disclosures

The non-Federal entity or applicant for a Federal award must disclose, in a timely manner, in writing to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal award. (2 C.F.R. § 200.113)

Please note applicants and recipients may report issues of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or other criminal or noncriminal misconduct to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline. The toll-free numbers to call are 1 (800) 323-8603, and TTY 1 (844) 889-4357.

3. Reporting

Recipients are required to submit various financial and programmatic reports as a condition of award acceptance. Future awards and funds drawdown may be withheld if these reports are delinquent.

See the Preparedness Grants Manual for information on reporting requirements.

4. Monitoring and Oversight

The regulation at 2 C.F.R. § 200.337 provides DHS and any of its authorized representatives with the right of access to any documents, papers, or other records of the recipient [and any subrecipients] that are pertinent to a federal award in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, and transcripts. The right also includes timely and reasonable access to the recipient’s or subrecipient’s personnel for the purpose of interview and discussion related to such documents. Pursuant to this right and per 2 C.F.R. § 200.329, DHS may conduct desk reviews and make site visits to review project accomplishments and management control systems to evaluate project accomplishments and to provide any required technical assistance. During site visits, DHS may review a recipient’s or subrecipient’s files pertinent to the federal award and interview and/or discuss these files with the recipient’s or subrecipient’s personnel. Recipients and subrecipients must respond in a timely and accurate manner to DHS requests for information relating to a federal award.

See the Preparedness Grants Manual for information on monitoring and oversight.

G. DHS Awarding Agency Contact Information

 

1. Contact and Resource Information

a. Program Office Contact

FEMA has assigned region-specific Preparedness Officers for the TSGP. If you do not know your Preparedness Officer, please contact FEMA Grants News, who can be reached by e-mail at fema-grants-news@fema.dhs.gov OR by phone at (800) 368-6498, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET.

b. FEMA Grants News

FEMA Grants News is a non-emergency comprehensive management and information resource developed by FEMA for grants stakeholders. This channel provides general information on all FEMA grant programs and maintains a comprehensive database containing key personnel contact information at the federal, state, and local levels. When necessary, recipients will be directed to a federal point of contact who can answer specific programmatic questions or concerns. FEMA Grants News can be reached by e-mail at fema-grants-news@fema.dhs.gov OR by phone at (800) 368-6498, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET.

c. Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Award Administration Division

GPD’s Award Administration Division (AAD) provides support regarding financial matters and budgetary technical assistance. Additional guidance and information can be obtained by contacting the AAD’s Help Desk via e-mail at ASK-GMD@fema.dhs.gov.

e. Equal Rights

The FEMA Office of Equal Rights (OER) is responsible for compliance with and enforcement of federal civil rights obligations in connection with programs and services conducted by FEMA and recipients of FEMA financial assistance. All inquiries and communications about federal civil rights compliance for FEMA grants under this NOFO should be sent to FEMA-CivilRightsOffice@fema.dhs.gov.

f. Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation

GPD’s EHP Team provides guidance and information about the EHP review process to recipients and subrecipients. All inquiries and communications about GPD projects under this NOFO or the EHP review process, including the submittal of EHP review materials, should be sent to gpdehpinfo@fema.dhs.gov.

2. Systems Information

 

a. FEMA GO

For technical assistance with the FEMA GO system, please contact the FEMA GO Helpdesk at femago@fema.dhs.gov or (877) 585-3242, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM ET.

 

H. Additional Information

GPD has developed the Preparedness Grants Manual to guide applicants and recipients of grant funding on how to manage their grants and other resources. Recipients seeking guidance on policies and procedures for managing preparedness grants should reference the Preparedness Grants Manual for further information. Examples of information contained in the Preparedness Grants Manual include:

  • Actions to Address Noncompliance
  • Audits
  • Case Studies and Use of Grant-Funded Resources During Real-World Incident Operations
  • Community Lifelines
  • Conflicts of Interest in the Administration of Federal Awards and Subawards
  • Disability Integration
  • National Incident Management System
  • Payment Information
  • Period of Performance Extensions
  • Procurement Integrity
  • Record Retention
  • Termination Provisions
  • Whole Community Preparedness
  • Report issues of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
  • Hazard Resistant Building Codes
  • Other Post-Award Requirements

1. Termination Provisions

FEMA may terminate a federal award in whole or in part for one of the following reasons. FEMA and the recipient must still comply with closeout requirements at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.344-200.345 even if an award is terminated in whole or in part. To the extent that subawards are permitted under this NOFO, pass-through entities should refer to 2 C.F.R. § 200.340 for additional information on termination regarding subawards. Note that all information in this Section H.1 “Termination Provisions” is repeated in the Preparedness Grants Manual.

a. Noncompliance

If a recipient fails to comply with the terms and conditions of a federal award, FEMA may terminate the award in whole or in part. If the noncompliance can be corrected, FEMA may first attempt to direct the recipient to correct the noncompliance. This may take the form of a Compliance Notification. If the noncompliance cannot be corrected or the recipient is non-responsive, FEMA may proceed with a Remedy Notification, which could impose a remedy for noncompliance per 2 C.F.R. § 200.339, including termination. Any action to terminate based on noncompliance will follow the requirements of 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.341-200.342 as well as the requirement of 2 C.F.R. § 200.340(c) to report in FAPIIS the recipient’s material failure to comply with the award terms and conditions. See also the section on Actions to Address Noncompliance in the Preparedness Grants Manual.

b. With the Consent of the Recipient

FEMA may also terminate an award in whole or in part with the consent of the recipient, in which case the parties must agree upon the termination conditions, including the effective date, and in the case of partial termination, the portion to be terminated.

c. Notification by the Recipient

The recipient may terminate the award, in whole or in part, by sending written notification to FEMA setting forth the reasons for such termination, the effective date, and in the case of partial termination, the portion to be terminated. In the case of partial termination, FEMA may determine that a partially terminated award will not accomplish the purpose of the federal award, so FEMA may terminate the award in its entirety. If that occurs, FEMA will follow the requirements of 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.341-200.342 in deciding to fully terminate the award.

 

2. Program Evaluation

Federal agencies are required to structure NOFOs that incorporate program evaluation activities from the outset of their program design and implementation to meaningfully document and measure their progress towards meeting agency priority goal(s) and program outcomes.

OMB Memorandum M-21-27, Evidence-Based Policymaking: Learning Agendas and Annual Evaluation Plans, implementing Title I of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-435 (2019) (Evidence Act), urges federal awarding agencies to use program evaluation as a critical tool to learn, improve equitable delivery, and elevate program service and delivery across the program lifecycle. Evaluation means “an assessment using systematic data collection and analysis of one or more programs, policies, and organizations intended to assess their effectiveness and efficiency.” Evidence Act, § 101 (codified at 5 U.S.C. § 311).

As such, recipients and subrecipients are required to participate in a DHS-, Component, or Program Office-led evaluation if selected, which may be carried out by a third-party on behalf of the DHS, its component agencies, or the Program Office. Such an evaluation may involve information collections including but not limited to surveys, interviews, or discussions with individuals who benefit from the federal award program operating personnel, and award recipients, as specified in a DHS-, component agency-, or Program Office-approved evaluation plan. More details about evaluation requirements may be provided in the federal award, if available at that time, or following the award as evaluation requirements are finalized. Evaluation costs incurred during the period of performance are allowable costs (either as direct or indirect). Recipients and subrecipients are also encouraged, but not required, to participate in any additional evaluations after the period of performance ends, although any costs incurred to participate in such evaluations are not allowable and may not be charged to the federal award.

3. Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure

a. Build America, Buy America Act

Recipients and subrecipients must comply with the Build America, Buy America Act (BABAA), which was enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act §§ 70901-70927, Pub. L. No. 117-58 (2021); and Executive Order 14005, Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. See also 2 C.F.R. Part 184 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-24-02, Implementation Guidance on Application of Buy America Preference in Federal Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure.

None of the funds provided under this program may be used for a project for infrastructure unless the iron and steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in that infrastructure are produced in the United States.

The Buy America preference only applies to articles, materials, and supplies that are consumed in, incorporated into, or affixed to an infrastructure project. As such, it does not apply to tools, equipment, and supplies, such as temporary scaffolding, brought to the construction site and removed at or before the completion of the infrastructure project. Nor does a Buy America preference apply to equipment and furnishings, such as movable chairs, desks, and portable computer equipment, that are used at or within the finished infrastructure project but are not an integral part of the structure or permanently affixed to the infrastructure project.

For FEMA's official policy on BABAA, please see FEMA Policy 207-22-0001: Buy America Preference in FEMA Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure available at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_build-america-buy-america-act-policy.pdf  To see whether a particular FEMA federal financial assistance program is considered an infrastructure program and thus required to include a Buy America preference, please see Programs and Definitions: Build America, Buy America Act | FEMA.gov. and https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_build-america-buy-america-act-policy.pdf

b. Waivers

When necessary, recipients (and subrecipients through their pass-through entity) may apply for, and FEMA may grant, a waiver from these requirements.

A waiver of the domestic content procurement preference may be granted by the agency awarding official if FEMA determines that:

  • Applying the domestic content procurement preference would be inconsistent with the public interest.
  • The types of iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or of a satisfactory quality.
  • The inclusion of iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials produced in the United States will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25%.

For FEMA awards, the process for requesting a waiver from the Buy America preference requirements can be found on FEMA’s website at: "Buy America" Preference in FEMA Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure | FEMA.gov.

c. Definitions

For BABAA specific definitions, please refer to the FEMA Buy America website at: “Programs and Definitions: Build America, Buy America Act | FEMA.gov.”

Please refer to the applicable DHS Standard Terms & Conditions for the BABAA specific term applicable to all FEMA financial assistance awards for infrastructure.

4. Report issues of fraud, waste, abuse

Please note, when applying to this notice of funding opportunity and when administering the grant, applicants may report issues of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or other criminal or noncriminal misconduct to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline. The toll-free numbers to call are 1 (800) 323-8603, and TTY 1 (844) 889-4357.

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