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Open Public Meetings Act (Program Bulletin 94-2)

All meeting conducted by the board of directors or governing body of “eligible entities” under New Jersey’s Community Services Block Grant Community Action Program shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. This policy also extended to a public agency “community action advisory boards”.

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Definition of Income (Program Bulletin 08-04)

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Statistical Policy Directive 14. Since poverty is an income-based measure, one of the purposes of this policy bulletin is to examine methodical difference in the collection of income data in the Current Population Survey (CPS) – Definitions and Explanations issued by the Census Bureau.

This policy is effective with the fiscal year 2009/2010 application for FY’09 funds.

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Acceptable Forms of Income Verification (Program Memo 08-101)

To ensure that only eligible clients receive the benefit of the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG), the Office of Community Action is providing guidance to the NJ Community Action Agencies regarding what constitutes acceptable income documentation when determining income eligibility for household applying for the CSBG program.

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Tripartite Boards, Private (Program Bulletin 09-03)

CSBG Act state in section 678B (a) “(1) In order for a private, non-profit entity to be considered to be an eligible entity for the purpose of section 673(1), the entity shall administer the community services block grant program through a tripartite board described in the paragraph (2) that fully participants in development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the program to serve low-income communities.”

No fewer than 1/3 of the members shall be lower income members who reside in the neighborhood represented and be democratically selected.

One-third of the board members shall be elected public officials, holding office on the date of selection OR their representative OR appointed, by the elected officials, public officials OR their representative.

The remaining members are officials or members of major groups of interest in the community. They are normally representative from business, industry, labor, religious, law enforcement, and education.

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Zero Income Determinations (Program Bulletin 09-04)

This policy bulletin addresses the issue of how NJ Community Action Agencies determine income eligibility when households applying for the CSBG program claim to have no income.

This policy is effective with the fiscal year 20I0/2011 application for FY'10 funds.

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Child Support Services (Program Bulletin 11-03)

This policy bulletin addresses the issue that Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Eligible Entity shall inform custodial parents in single-parent families about the availability of child support service.

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Workforce Investment Act (Program Bulletin 11-04)

This policy bulletin addresses the issue of Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) grantees working with agencies on the NJ Employment and Training Commission Eligible Training Provider List when providing employment training programs & activities.

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Conflict of Interest (Program Bulletin 11-05)

This policy bulletin addresses the issue of services actually or appearing to be provided to "connected" individuals. Connected individuals include all persons who are or maybe related to Board Members or Staff by consanguinity/affinity, business or other relationship. These circumstances create or have the appearance of impropriety where services are being provided to Agency Employees, Volunteers, Board Members, their Relatives or other connected individuals who may be eligible for agency services. The eligibility determination for such individuals must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.

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Travel Reimbursements (Program Bulletin 14-01)

Travel related reimbursement with CSBG funds may not exceed any federal limits.

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Designation and Re-designation of CAAs (Program Bulletin 14-02)

This policy bulletin addresses the process by which the State will designate and re-designate eligible entities in un-served areas of the State in accordance with Section 676A of the CSBG Act. This policy is effective immediately.

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Recapture/Redistribution-Unexpended Funds (Program Bulletin 14-03)

This policy bulletin addresses the Congressional appropriation requirement that funds remain with each eligible entity for use and expenditure into the second fiscal year of the contract term.

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State Establishment of Org Standards (Program Bulletin 15-01)

In this policy, the Office of Community Action, Division of Housing and Community Resources of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs ("Office") adopts the "Organizational Standards for CSBG Eligible Entities under 678B of the CSBG Act" developed by the OCS-supported CSBG Organizational Standards Center of Excellence, and contained in Information Memorandum Transmittal No. 138 (1/26/15). These standards shall apply to all New Jersey CSBG eligible entities effective with FY I 6 funding, and the entities will be assessed annually for their compliance by a method and a schedule to be desc1ibed in the then current State Plan. In situations where an eligible entity does not meet a standard or set of standards, the Office's response may include, but not be limited to, provision of training, technical assistance, establishment of a quality improvement plan or a reduction or termination of funding. Any reduction or termination of funding must comply with the procedures mandated by CSBG Information Memorandum No. 116 (5/1/12) (See also, Program Policy Bulletin #14-04).

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Annual Report (Program Bulletin 15-02)

The US Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) annually requires State CSBG Grantees to report on performance outcomes, organizational standards and services provided by their Community Action Agencies ("CAA").

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Biennial State Plan (Program Bulletin 15-03)

The CSBG State Plan, submitted by NJDCA every two years, is the basic planning document used by the State in administering the CSBG program. The State Plan is included by reference in each CSBG grant agreement, and thus is binding upon all CSBG grantees. As part of the State Plan development process, the State requires input from each Community Action Agency.

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Corrective Act/Termination/Funding Reductions (Program Bulletin 15-04)

Program Policy Bulletin# 15-04 describes the legal basis and sources of authority for the step-by-step actions required for termination or reduction of funding/or cause to an eligible entity receiving CSBG funding from the State. This type of reduction in funding or termination of an entity's eligibility status is related to deficiencies in the activities of an individual eligible entity. This differs from a change in funding that is a result of a statewide redistribution of funds, and not related to performance deficiencies of a specific organization; this latter situation is not covered by this Program Policy Bulletin.

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Frequency of Income Re-Determinations (Program Bulletin 15-05)

The income level of client receiving CSBG-funded services should be re-determined at least annually following the initial determination of eligibility to ensure that the client remains eligible for CSBG funded services or benefits, i.e., income not exceeding 125% of the federal poverty line, as based upon household size. An eligible entity may choose, but is not required to adopt its own policy to review income more often than annually upon the occurrence of certain specified events.

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Petition by the Under Represented for Board Seat (Program Bulletin 15-06)

Pursuant to Section 676(b)(l0) of the Federal CSBG Act, eligible entities are required to establish procedures under which a low income individual, community organization, or religious organization, or representative of low-income individuals that considers its organization, or low-income individuals, to be inadequately represented on the board (or other mechanism) of the eligible entity to petition for adequate representation.

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Tripartite Board, Public (Program Bulletin 15-07)

A public organization eligible entity must administer its CSBG program through one of the following in order to meet the Sec. 676B (b) (42 USC 9910) Tripartite Board requirements: A tripartite board, as defined by 676B(b)(1); or all CSBG sub-grantees of the public organization must have a tripartite compliant board, as described in Sec, 676B(a); through utilization of County Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC), as defined in N.J.A.C.10:2 et.seq.; or another mechanism proposed by the public organization eligible entity and approved by the State that assures decision-making and participation by low-income individuals in the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of CSBG-funded programs.

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Creation of Technical Assistance Plans (TAP) (Program Bulletin 18-01)

The policy outline the circumstance and condition under which Non-Discretionary Community Services Block Grant (CSBG-ND_ grantees shall enter into Technical Assistance Plan (TAP) with the Office of Community Services (OCS), within the new Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (the Department) Division of Housing and Community Resources.

A TAP is a formal, written collaboration between a CSBG-NB grantee and the OCS for the purpose of providing needed, additional supports or for remediating a deficiency. This plan will be created collectively, with representative of the CSBG-ND grantee and the Department.

TAPs may be used to address concerns raised during the monitoring process, the audit review process, the performance data review process, and Organizational Standards compliance review, or when lapses in administrative function are discovered through other means.

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Mandatory Trainings for New Board Members (Program Bulletin 18-02)

All Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Non-Discretionary grantees must ensure that all new Members of the agency’s Board of Directions attend a Board Member Training session within six months of appointment, beginning with the effective date of this memo, February 16, 2018.

These trainings will be proved by staff of the Department at least three times per year, in North, Central and Southern locations. Each Regional Board Training will be provided on two different days, where one will be held in the evening and one will be held during the day.

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Creation of Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) (Program Bulletin 18-03)

This policy outline the circumstances and conditions under which Non-Discretionary Community Services Block Grant (CSBG-ND) grantees shall enter into a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) with the Office of Community Services (OCS), within the Department of Community Affairs’ (The Department) Division of Housing and Community Resources.

A QIP is a formal, written collaboration between a CSBG-ND grantee and the OCS for the purpose of remediating a deficiency or providing needed supports. This plan will be created collectively, with representative of the CSBG-ND grantee and the Department.

QIPs will be used after the unsuccessful implementation of a Technical Assistance Plan (TAP) pursuant to CSBG Policy #18-01. Issues addressed in a TAP may include concerns raised during the monitoring process, the audit review process, the performance data review process, an Organizational Standards compliance review, or lapses in administrative functions discovered through other means.

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State Policy for the mandatory use of EmpowOR (Program Bulletin 19-01)

In accordance with the 2019/2020 Annual New Jersey Community Services Block Grant State Plan, the Division of Housing and Community Resources, Office of Community Services (OCS), mandates CSBG ND grantees use of EmpowOR Software by Miles Technologies in order to meet the requirements of Section 678E of the Federal CSBG Grant Act for reporting of grant performance data. Grantees shall enter performance date at least weekly, and will submit quarterly performance reports from EmpowOR database directly to the DCA Grant Manager within 30 days of the end of each quarter. OCS staff will review outcomes with agency staff and post outcomes of each review on the grantee’s contract page within the Department’s System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE) system.

This policy is effective immediately.

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Financial Status Reports (FSR) and Advances (Program Bulletin 19-02)

This policy outlines the FSR process for reimbursement of program costs and the advance process for CSBG-ND grants. As of the date of this policy revision, and beginning with FFY2020 contracts, all CSBG-ND grantees shall bill, at minimum, once in each quarter during the term of the grant contract, and shall not receive expedited payment processing more than once in a contract term. Contracts designated as High Risk shall be permitted two expedited payments. Advances shall be provided to all grantees requesting an advance, expect where prohibited by the terms of a High Risk contract. Grantees subject to a debt offset per shall not receive advances until such time as reflects that the notification of debt offset has been removed. With the FFY2020 application, agencies will be required to upload a copy of the board meeting schedule for the upcoming year.

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Amendments/Revisions of grant contracts (Program Bulletin 19-03)

This policy outlines the amendment process for CSBG-ND grant contracts. As of the date of this policy and beginning with each grantee’s FFY2020 grant contract, each non-profit grantee shall be required to add additional allocation funds to the agency’s contract within 45 days of DCA’s announcement of funding availability and governmental grantees shall be required to amend contract documents with 90 days of such an announcement. Amendment requests will not be approved with a grantee’s registration is expired, but shall be processed upon the grantee’s demonstration that the agency’s account is once again active.

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Intra-State Allocation Formula (Program Bulletin 19-04)

Funds are distributed to CSBG grantees using a ‘Hold Harmless plus Formula’ policy as outlines in the New Jersey State CSBG plan and as approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services.

Ninety percent of each agency’s annual allocation is guaranteed from year to year to be proportionally identical to the prior year funding and remaining funds are distributed as follows: 2.5% is allocated according to the agencies engagement with partner agencies to leverage funds and 5% is allocated according to annualized change rates of individuals living at or below 125% of the federal poverty level in each agency’s catchment area and 2.5% is allocated according to the agency’s performance during the prior year’s contract.

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Monitoring Requirements (Program Bulletin 19-05)

The Federal CSBG Act requires state CSBG grantees to conduct regular monitoring reviews of their Eligible Entities (CSBG Non-Discretionary grantees) in order to determine whether the entities meet performance goals, administrative and financial management standards, and other federal and state requirements.

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New Jersey Community Action Agency Act (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-395)

This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Community Action Agency Act.”

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Corrective Action/Agency Termination (HHS Inform. Memo #116)

To ensure a consistent understanding of legal requirements and procedures for termination or proportional reduction of funding to eligible entities receiving CSBG funds.

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Tripartite Board Options/Guidance (HHS Inform. Memo #82)

This Information Memorandum addresses a number of policy questions that have arisen in recent years concerning the composition, role, and responsibilities of local community action agency tripartite boards. In addition, the Memorandum describes steps that may be taken by State CSBG lead agencies and State Community Action Associations to promote the continued viability and effectiveness of eligible entities through appropriately constituted and well-functioning tripartite boards.

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Services to Those Without Citizenship Docs (HHS Inform. Memo #30)

Guidance on the Interpretation of "Federal Public Benefit" Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), P.L. 104-193.

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