Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Round 4 Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant
(2014-2015)

Round 4 Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant(Round 4 SICG)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 17 counties will receive portions of $50 million in total funding to enhance their vital emergency communications systems. The Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant program is an entirely State-funded competitive grant supporting regional communications partnerships throughout the State. The partnerships, inclusive of local and state public safety agencies, will create interoperable emergency communications systems for first responders. Please refer to a Notice of Award  for a list of counties receiving the award.

Purpose:

To facilitate the development, consolidation, and/or improved operation of public safety communications to support and enhance statewide interoperable communications for first responders.

Eligible Applicants:

County governments, requesting funding for the benefit of the county as a single entity. Additional eligibility criteria are listed in the Round 4 SICG Request for Applications.

Source of Funds:

This grant program is supported by the Statewide Public Safety Communications Account.

  • Total Funding Available for SICG Grant: $50 Million

Schedule of Events:

  • Submission of Written Questions - May 15, 2015
  • Request for Applications Updates (if any) - March 3, 2015
  • Applications Due - May 15, 2015 by 5:00 P.M.
  • Notice of Awards

Documents:

Round 4 SICG Request for Application

Round 4 SICG Attachments:

Round 4 SICG Additional Documents:

Contact Information:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Who is eligible to apply for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG)?

    A: Any county government in New York State.

  2. Q: Can multiple counties apply together jointly or with one county as lead applicant and other counties as co-applicants?

    A:Counties must apply as a single entity.  While a county’s application can benefit other counties, only one applicant is allowed per application.

  3. Q: Can a consortium apply for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant?

    A: No. Only New York State county governments are eligible. 

  4. Q: Can a town, village, city, state authority, or agency; tribal nation; or other entities apply for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant?

    A: No. Only New York State county governments are eligible.  Counties must apply as a single entity.  While a county’s application can include projects which benefit cities/towns/villages within their county, only a single application per county will be considered.  Distribution of funds to these entities should be defined in the application, where appropriate.

  5. Q: Is the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant formula based or competitive?

    A: The Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant is a competitive grant.

  6. Q: Can a county apply for multiple projects? 

    A: Yes; but all projects must be submitted in one application package.  An application from an eligible county can involve multiple projects or uses, provided they comply with the grant components covered under this RFA, and subject to award limitations.  Please refer to the RFA for specific instructions.

  7. Q: Can you explain the new Emergency Management Training and Capability/Risk Assessment requirements?

    A: The purpose of the SICG Program is to facilitate the development, consolidation and/or operation of public safety communications to support statewide interoperable communications for first responders. Consistent with that objective, all grantees and subgrantees funded through this program agree to provide DHSES, upon request at any time during the life of the grant contract, such cooperation and information deemed necessary by DHSES to ascertain: (1) the nature and extent of any threats or hazards that may pose a risk to the grantee or subgrantee; and (2) the status of any corresponding grantee or subgrantee plans, capabilities, or other resources for preventing, protecting against, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from such threats or hazards

    Additionally, pursuant to Article 26 of the NYS Executive law, DHSES is authorized to undertake periodic drills and simulations designed to assess and prepare responses to terrorist acts or threats and other natural and man-made disasters. Funded grantees and subgrantees agree to attend and participate in any DHSES-sponsored conferences, training, workshops or meetings (excluding those identified by DHSES as voluntary) that may be conducted, by and at the request of DHSES, during the life of the grant contract.

  8. Failure to comply with any and all requirements in this section may result in the immediate suspension and/or revocation of the grant award.

  9. Q: Who must I designate as my County Interoperability Coordinator?

    A: Your County Interoperability Coordinator, which is designated / selected by a County, will serve as the single point of contact to oversee county’s interoperability efforts, coordinate interoperability and communication projects.  This person should be familiar with county interoperable communication at all levels.  If not already in place, this person must be identified within 120 days of potential notice of award.

    Failure to comply with any and all requirements in this section may result in the immediate suspension and/or revocation of the grant award.

  10. Q: If a county and a state agency or an authority has a partnership, does that constitute a consortium?

    A: No. A consortium must include two or more counties.  A state agency is not considered a county for purposes of a consortium.  However, applications which include agreements with state agencies on issues of interoperability, and benefit state agencies within the county’s jurisdiction, are encouraged.

  11. Q: Are matching funds required in order to receive an award?

    A: No. Matching funds are not required for this grant.

  12. Q: Is there a minimum and maximum dollar amount per award?

    A: For the Round 4 SICG award, allocations will be limited to $3.5 million dollars per successful application. There is no minimum single award amount.

  13. Q: Can a county apply to be reimbursed for a completed project?

    A: No. Only costs not yet incurred are eligible for this grant.

  14.  Q: Can the grant pay for projects currently in progress by paying for current and future project phase expenses?

    A: Yes.  Applications can include requests to fund future phases of interoperable communications projects currently underway within the county, provided the request is for allowable expenditures.

  15. Q: Can the grant pay for commercial network usage fees?
  16. A: As a recurring operational expense, such fees are not supported by this grant.

  17. Q: Can the grant be used to pay for staff salaries?

    A: No. This is not an eligible expense under the grant guidelines.

  18. Q: Does the recipient county have to share its awarded funds with other counties in the consortium? 

    A: No.  It is hoped that while the consortium as a whole will benefit from any award, individual awards will be disbursed to successful counties. 

  19. Q: Can County apply only for Objective (a) or (b) of the grant, development of governance and SOPs? 

    A: No. An application must address both objectives: (a) and (b).

  20. Q: Our County has existing MOUs with other counties/local agencies/State Agencies. Do we now have to develop SOPs? 

    A: No. MOUs, Letters of Understanding, or SOPs are all acceptable documents, provided they address interoperable communications procedures that are still in place within your county.  A document that is still relevant can be used to show support for this response in the RFA; no matter the date of agreement.

  21. Q: Does training and exercise need to be part of our proposed solution? 

    A: The strength of any communications program is the ability for consumers to be able to appropriately use the system.  DHSES believes this is best done through training and exercise of first responders on the County interoperable communication equipment. Proposals should include a well-defined multi-year training and exercise component.

  22. Q: Do we have to develop special training and exercise programs? 

    A: No. Any type of training (Tabletop, Functional Exercises, or Full Scale Exercises) that have an interoperable communications component as part of the exercise are acceptable to satisfy this requirement. Multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional training and exercises are preferable.

  23. Q: Are consultant fees eligible?

    A: Yes. Consultant fees for services provided which are consistent with the components of the grant are allowed.

  24. Q: Is Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) communication equipment eligible?

    A: Yes. Examples of PSAP communications equipment include: radio consoles, control stations, gateway equipment, site monitoring, etc.

  25. Q: Is Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call-taking equipment eligible?

    A: Yes. Please refer to the grant guidance for additional guidelines and standards.

  26. Q: Is programming of radios eligible?

    A: Yes, provided the appropriate interoperability channels are programmed at the same time and the programming of radios is a part of a larger project which includes technology implementation.

  27. Q: Are broadband related projects eligible for funding?

    A: No.  Public safety broadband is not an eligible expense in this round. Consideration will be given in future rounds of the grant, pending further guidance from the federal government (e.g. NTIA and FirstNet) and technical standards for the proposed nationwide system.

  28. Q: Which data systems are eligible for funding?

    A: Land mobile radio (LMR) based systems that support voice or voice and data are eligible.

  29. Q: Can OIEC provide me with technical assistance in the preparation of my grant application?

    A: As this is a competitive grant, technical assistance provided to the applications is limited to how to prepare the application: such as obtaining forms, formatting the application and where to send the application. Technical assistance from OIEC cannot relate to the substance/content of the application.

  30. Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about the grant?

    A: All substantive questions must be submitted in writing to grants@dhses.ny.gov