The Federal regulations under 2 CFR 200, the Uniform Guidance, was adopted by Illinois in 2014 as the requirement for all grants. This includes state-only funded grants, federally funded grants, those which are pass-through funded, and those with any combination of state and federal funds.The Illinois law is called the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, or GATA. As a result, there is an ongoing centralization process to unify and streamline the way grants are handled across all state agencies, including the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Finding a Funding Opportunity (Grant)
Potential grantees will find IDHS's Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) on both the GATA Catalog of State Financial Assistance and on this website. Each IDHS division has a Grant Information webpage, with information about the programs and grants they authorize and monitor. (See links on the right.) All competitive and discretionary grants must have a NOFO. Non-competitive grants may be made available by the individual IDHS division and may or may not be posted.
Registration and Pre-Qualification
Prior to applying for any Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), every applicant must first be registered and prequalified through the following steps. This must be done on or before the application's due date or their application CANNOT be accepted.
- Apply for or update their DUNS number . This must be done yearly.
- Apply for or update their SAM registration and receive a SAM cage code. This must be done yearly.
- Be registered and in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State. (This is not required of governmental entities and schools.)
- Register with the GATA/CSFA system . The system will automatically check your registrations with the above mentioned systems. It will also check to see if your entity is on the federal excluded parties list and if your entity is on the State of Illinois Stop Pay/Compliance list. If your entity is not up-to-date on the registrations, or is listed on the federal list or Illinois Stop Pay/Compliance list, your application will not be accepted until these situations are resolved.
No applications can be accepted for review until these steps are successfully accomplished. (Only after your entity has completed the above registration/pre-qualification steps will a state agency be allowed to accept your grant application for consideration, and that application must still be submitted by the respective due date.)
Question & Answer Sessions
IDHS divisions may offer a question/answer document or a session where potential grantees may ask questions about the grant opportunity. If offered, each division will provide information about the question/answer session and links to any pertinent information will be in that division's Grant Information section.
Application and Budget
A single unified application form (pdf) has been designed for use with all grants. It will be used by all entities applying for any grant with any state agency. The specific conditions related to each grant will be addressed in the exhibit sections of the application, but the same form will be used by each state agency.
Applications must include a budget. The budget form is also standard. The budget for any IDHS grant will be submitted via the Community Service Agreement System (CSA System) that is already in use by IDHS staff and current grantee/providers. Each division's program and fiscal staff will work with grantees to negotiate a budget for the final grant award. The budget may need to be revised over the course of the grant approval process or during the ongoing award. Each division will work with its respective grantees if this happens. Please see the budget page for additional information.
Fiscal and Administrative Risk Assessment
Grantees must complete the Fiscal and Administrative Risk Assessment on the GATA/CSFA system- also known as the ICQ (short for Internal Controls Questionnaire). Be sure to click "submit" to submit your answers when complete. This is done only once per entity per fiscal year. While it does not have to be completed prior to submitting the application, this step must be done before an applicant or their application can be considered.
Programmatic Risk Assessment
Along with submitting an application, potential grantees must also submit a Programmatic Risk Assessment for each grant they apply. Staff cannot evaluate an application or a grantee without this assessment submitted. In some cases the Programmatic Risk Assessments questions on one grant may be exactly the same as those for another grant, but one assessment must still be answered for each specific grant. (A quick way to remember it is One ICQ per grantee, One Programmatic Risk Assessment per grant.)
Indirect Cost Rate
Most, but not all grants will include the potential for a grantee to claim an Indirect Cost Rate to help cover the administration costs related to the grant.
- For new grantees or new grants, this must be done within 90 days of the grant's effective date.
- For returning grantees, this must be done within six months following the end of the grantee's fiscal year.
- All grantees must make a selection.
For more information on understanding and identifying indirect costs and the Indirect Cost Rate Process, please see the GATA website training videos related to indirect costs.
The state requires that grantees use the CARS system, which is operated by CroweHorwath, to apply for and/or select their Indirect Cost Rate. Through the CARS system, grantees will follow one of these four courses of action:
- Claim to take no indirect costs, which means you cannot receive reimbursement for indirect costs during the fiscal year;
- Choose to take the De Minimis rate of 10% of Modified total Direct Costs;
- Declare your federally negotiated Indirect Cost Rate if you already have one, or;
- Choose to negotiate an Indirect Cost rate of your own.
Grant Selection, NOSA, and Grant Agreement
If your application is selected for funding, the results of the ICQ and Programmatic Risk Assessment may render conditions that will be included in your Notice of State Award (NOSA). The NOSA will be generated from GATA's CSFA system, and may be delivered via email from that system. (if you change staff or email addresses, be sure to update your GATA registration with that information or the correct person or email will not receive the NOSA.) These conditions may need to be addressed prior to the award becoming a firm grant agreement or they may be addressed over the course of the timeframe of the award. The proposed IDHS grantee must sign-off and return the NOSA to IDHS. Once the grantee accepts the IDHS grant and returns it, IDHS will also accept and the contracting process begins.