Closeout of Grant and Cooperative Agreement Awards

516 FW 7
FWM Number
Originating Office
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
7.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes policy and guidance to ensure that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employees close grant and cooperative agreement awards in a timely manner so that we can:
A. Use remaining balances of Federal funds for new obligations, when such actions are not otherwise restricted by law, and
B. Meet our responsibilities to monitor individual recipient and overall Federal financial assistance program performance so that we maintain accountability for the benefit of the American people.

7.2 What are the objective and scope of this chapter?

A. Objective: Our objective is to ensure Service employees working with grant and cooperative agreement awards:

(1) Close awards properly and in a timely manner,

(2) Consider notifying recipients in writing about award closures, and

(3) Reopen closed awards when necessary.

B. Scope: This chapter covers all Service programs that administer and manage grant and cooperative agreement awards.

7.3 What are the authorities for this chapter?

A. Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Post-Federal Award Requirements (2 CFR 200, Subpart D).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

C. Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public (5 CFR Part 1320).

7.4 Who is responsible for the closeout of grant and cooperative agreement awards? See Table 7-1.

Table 7-1: Responsibilities for Closeout of Grant and Cooperative Agreement Awards

These employees . . .

Are responsible for . . .

 A. The Director

Making sure the Service has policy in place on grant and cooperative agreement award administration.

B. The Assistant Director – Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) through the Division of Administration and Information Management (AIM), and the Branch of Financial Assistance Policy and Oversight (FAPO)

(1) Developing policy on the closeout of grant and cooperative agreement awards and keeping it up-to-date, and

(2) Monitoring the Service’s implementation of this policy.

C. Directorate members in Headquarters and the Regions

Making sure employees who issue, administer, and manage grant and cooperative agreement awards are aware of and follow the requirements in this policy.

7.5 When must the Service close an award? We must close awards no later than 1 year after the award project period end date.

7.6 What are the standards the Service must follow when establishing a project period end date?

A. We must:

(1) Set the project period end date for a date no later than when we expect the recipient to complete all project activities, and

(2) Not extend the project period end date to incorporate the required post-award reporting period or any real property maintenance/retention period required under the award terms and conditions.

B. The end of the project period and subsequent award closeout do NOT affect the recipient’s continued responsibilities related to real property maintenance, record retention, reporting, and disposition (see 2 CFR 200.344).

7.7 What does the Service need from the recipient to close an award? To close an award we must receive the following from the recipient:

A. All required final reports (see 516 FW 1 and 516 FW 2),

B. Any other reports or deliverables required under the award terms and conditions, and

C. A refund of any balance of unobligated cash paid to the recipient that they are not authorized to retain and use in other projects.

7.8 What do Service staff need to do to close an award? To close an award, staff must:

A. Verify we’ve received required reports, other deliverables, and any refunds due from the recipient;

B. Review the award file to make sure it is complete and all documents are properly executed. Document any issues and follow up with the recipient in writing, as needed;

C. De-obligate any remaining balance of unused Federal funds no longer needed for the approved program or project;

D. Close the award in the Contract/Financial Assistance Management System (PRISM); and

E. At the program’s discretion, send a written notice of award closure by letter, fax, or email to the recipient and a copy of any pre-closeout de-obligation amendment. If not already included in the award terms and conditions, the notice of award closure should also describe the recipient’s continuing responsibilities related to audits, property management, records retention, and reimbursement of Federal funds due to the Service as a result of corrections or other transactions, as applicable.

7.9 What must the Service do if the recipient doesn’t send the final reports due? We must take the steps required in 516 FW 1 and 516 FW 2. Noncompliance with reporting requirements may result in, but aren’t limited to, suspending funding, suspending other pending awards, and terminating an award.

7.10 What can the Service do if the recipient doesn’t refund unobligated cash due to the Federal Government? Any funds we’ve paid to a recipient beyond the amount to which the recipient is entitled under the terms of the award constitute a debt to the Federal Government. If not paid within 90 calendar days after demand, we may reduce the debt following the procedures in 2 CFR 200.345. We may also take one or more of the remedies for noncompliance, as appropriate (see 2 CFR 200.338). These actions include, but aren’t limited to, temporarily withholding cash payments, wholly or partly suspending or terminating the award, and withholding further Federal awards for the project or program.    

7.11 Does the Service have to complete a closeout for a terminated award? Yes. We must complete the closeout of a terminated award following the steps in section 7.8 above.

7.12 Can the Service reopen a closed award? Yes.

A. We may reopen a closed award if we need to adjust the amount of Federal funds obligated. Such adjustments may be the result of refunds, corrections, or other transactions that occur or are identified by the recipient or the Service, such as during a review or audit after award closeout. Some post-closeout adjustments may require prior program approval.

B. Programs may not reopen a closed award to continue a previously funded project.