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Round 3 SICG (2013-2014)

Round 3 Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant
(Round 3 SICG)

The NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications, is pleased to announce the next round of the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant program. Round 3 SICG, will continue to aid county public safety organizations in enhancing emergency response and improving capability and performance results from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP), improvements in governance structures, operating procedures, infrastructure development, and addressing SAFECOM guidance from U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications (OEC).

In addition, it will focus on minimizing gaps in interoperable communications by aligning technology acquisitions with operational uses by first responders, which provides the foundation necessary to accomplish a high level of interoperability. Round 3 SICG will concentrate on improving operability and interoperability of communication systems for counties that did not receive SICG funding in the previous two rounds.

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 3 SICG Request for Applications.

Source of Funds: This grant program is supported by the Statewide Public Safety Communications Account.

Total Funding Available for Round 3 SICG: $75 Million

Schedule of Events:

  • Submission of Written Questions - August 12, 2013
  • Request for Applications Updates (if any) - August 14, 2013
  • Applications Due - September 30, 2013 by 5:00 P.M.

Documents:

Additional Information:

Contact Information:

  • Mailing Address:
    Robert Barbato
    Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications
    NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
    1220 Washington Avenue, Building 7A, Suite 710
    Albany, NY 12242

Round 3 Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (Round 3 SICG)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Who is eligible to apply for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG)?
  2. A: Any county government in New York State who has not previously been funded under the Statewide Interoperable Communication Grant program. See Question 10 for more information.

  3. Q: Can multiple counties apply together jointly or with one county as lead applicant and other counties as co-applicants?
  4. A: Counties must apply as a single entity. While a county's application can benefit other counties, only one applicant is allowed per application.

  5. Q: Can a consortium apply for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant?
  6. A: No. Only New York State county governments are eligible.

  7. Q: Can a town, village, city, state authority, or agency; tribal nation; or other entities apply for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant?
  8. 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.

  9. Q: Is the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant formula based or competitive?
  10. A: The Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant is a competitive grant.

  11. Q: Can a county apply for multiple projects?
  12. 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.

  13. Q: Can you explain the new Letter of Agreement requirement?
  14. A: This Letter establishes permission for New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) to utilize and transmit on the County radio channels. This agreement is entered into in order to implement cooperative use of Interoperable Radio Communications in times of emergency, assistance or other agreed cooperation. The Letter allows DHSES employees and authorized users to transmit on radio channels utilized by public safety radio systems established within the county; with the exception of law enforcement channels, which may be used under special needs and circumstances.

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

  15. Q: Can you explain the new Emergency Management Training and Capability/Risk Assessment requirements?
  16. 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.

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

  17. Q: Who must I designate as my County Interoperability Coordinator?
  18. 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.

  19. Q: Is it true that I cannot apply if I previously received a Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant Award?
  20. A: Yes. Only counties that have not previously received SICG awards (under Round 1 or Round 2) are eligible to apply.

    Eligible applicants include counties that have not previously applied, as well as counties that have previously applied but did not receive funds. See below for a list of eligible applicants.

    Round 3
    Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant
    (Round 3 SICG)

    List of Counties Not Funded Through Round 1 or Round 2 SICG

    1. Allegany
    2. Broome
    3. Cattaraugus
    4. Cayuga
    5. Chenango
    6. Columbia
    7. Dutchess
    8. Franklin
    9. Fulton
    10. Hamilton
    11. Herkimer
    12. Jefferson
    13. Lewis
    14. Livingston
    15. Montgomery
    16. Oneida
    17. Oswego
    18. Putnam
    19. Saratoga
    20. Schenectady
    21. Seneca
    22. St. Lawrence
    23. Westchester
  21. Q: What if my county did not receive a SICG award, but did receive a PSAP Round 1 Award?
  22. A: Counties that received a PSAP Round 1 Award, as long as they have not previously received SICG awards (under Round 1 or Round 2), are eligible to apply. This includes counties that have not previously applied, as well as counties that have previously applied but did not receive funds.

  23. Q: Besides an Interoperability Coordinator, what else is new in the eligibility criteria?
  24. A: Recipients of awards must make a good faith effort to comply with New York State Executive Law 15-A, regarding Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) within their contracts. Complete eligibility criteria are listed in "Part II, Eligibility" of the RFA.

  25. Q: If a county and a state agency or an authority has a partnership, does that constitute a consortium?
  26. 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.

  27. Q: Are matching funds required in order to receive an award?
  28. A: No. Matching funds are not required for this grant.

  29. Q: Is there a minimum and maximum dollar amount per award?
  30. A: For the Round 3 SICG award, allocations will be limited to $6 million dollars per successful application. There is no minimum single award amount.

  31. Q: Can the grant pay for reoccurring costs involved in communications projects?
  32. A: For the Round 3 Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant, reoccurring costs are not an eligible expense.

  33. Q: Can a county apply to be reimbursed for a completed project?
  34. A: No. Only costs not yet incurred are eligible for this grant.

  35. Q: Can the grant pay for projects currently in progress by paying for current and future project phase expenses?
  36. 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.

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

  39. Q: Can the grant be used to pay for staff salaries?
  40. A: No. This is not an eligible expense under the grant guidelines.

  41. Q: Does the recipient county have to share its awarded funds with other counties in the consortium?
  42. 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.

  43. Q: Can County apply only for Component (a) or (b) of the grant, development of governance and SOPs?
  44. A: No. An application must contain both components: (a) and (b). The maximum amount of for Component (b) cannot exceed 20% of the total requested funds. It is expected that at least 80% of the funds will be utilized for development, expansion and consolidation of LMR systems for public safety. Failure to satisfy both of these components renders your application ineligible. Please check your math and make sure your Budget Information Form numbers equal the percentages of component funding from your Application Cover Page.

  45. Q: Our County has existing MOUs with other counties/local agencies/State Agencies. Do we now have to develop SOPs?
  46. 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.

  47. Q: Does training and exercise need to be part of our proposed solution?
  48. 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.

  49. Q: Do we have to develop special training and exercise programs?
  50. 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.

  51. Q: Are consultant fees eligible?
  52. A: Yes. Consultant fees for services provided which are consistent with the components of the grant are allowed.

  53. Q: Is Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) communication equipment eligible?
  54. A: Yes, as long as equipment is a part of an LMR system. Examples of PSAP equipment include: radio consoles, control stations, gateway equipment, site monitoring, etc.

  55. Q: Is Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call-taking equipment eligible?
  56. A: Yes. Please refer to the grant guidance for additional guidelines and standards.

  57. Q: Is programing of radios eligible?
  58. 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.

  59. Q: Can the grant be used for narrowbanding equipment, such as narrowband capable subscriber units?
  60. A: Yes, as long as the purchase of narrowband equipment and subscriber units is a part of a larger project, and provided the appropriate interoperability channels are programmed at the same time.

  61. Q: Are broadband related projects eligible for funding?
  62. 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.

  63. Q: Which data systems are eligible for funding?
  64. A: Land mobile radio (LMR) based systems that support voice or voice and data are eligible.

  65. Q: Can OIEC provide me with technical assistance in the preparation of my grant application?
  66. 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.

  67. Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about the grant?
  68. A: All substantive questions must be submitted in writing to dhsesoiec@dhses.ny.gov.

Questions & Answers

Questions can also be mailed to:

Grant Administrator
Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications
NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 7A, Suite 710
Albany, NY 12242

 

Robert M. Barbato

Director

 

About the Office of Interoperable & Emergency Communications

Created through Executive Law section 717, the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (OIEC) is the principal state agency for all interoperable and emergency communications issues and oversees and directs the development, coordination and implementation of policies, plans, standards, programs and services related to interoperable and emergency communications, including those related to land mobile radio communications.