Chapter 2: Program and Grant Administration Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs)

Revision 19-0; Effective March 1, 2019

 

2.1 Overview

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) requires HHSC to develop and implement standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to ensure compliance with Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers (ILBOGS) is based on:

A CIL that receives funds from HHSC must meet the standards in applicable state and federal regulations, as well as those described in this chapter and in the following sections of Chapter 1: Basic Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs), of the ILBOGS:

A CIL must promote and practice an independent living philosophy including commitment to consumer control of the CIL, and including:

 

2.1.2 Guiding Principles

A CIL is a private nonprofit organization that is consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability and nonresidential, is designed and operated in the local community by people with disabilities, and provides an array of IL services.

A CIL must have written documentation that its board is the CIL's principal governing body, and has a majority of members who have significant disabilities.

 

2.1.3 Access to Community Services

Each CIL shall have written documentation that the CIL promotes increased availability and improved quality of community-based programs that serve individuals with significant disabilities, and removal of any existing barrier (architectural, attitudinal, communication, environmental or other type) that prevents the full integration of these individuals into society.

This documentation must demonstrate that the CIL performed at least one activity in each of the following categories:

 

2.1.4 Coordination with State IL Council (SILC)

Each CIL must submit to the State Independent Living Council (SILC) a copy of its Annual Performance Report for the State Independent Living Services Program (RSA-704 Part II). (See Chapter 4 , Reporting.) The SILC uses this information for reports (for example, to the Texas Legislature) as well as to monitor information contained within the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).

 

2.2 Board of Directors

The CIL must be chartered by the state of Texas as a nonprofit organization and must have a board of directors.

 

2.2.1 Board Responsibilities

The board must:

 

2.2.2 Board Orientation and Training

Each board member must receive training that covers board responsibilities and applicable CIL policies, to be provided within 90 days of his or her board appointment.

 

2.2.3 Board Minutes

Board meeting minutes must include, at a minimum, the following:

 

2.2.4 Insurance or Bonding

The CIL must observe sound business practices in securing bonding and insurance to provide adequate coverage for HHSC-funded projects.

Board members and staff members must be insured or bonded when required:

 

2.3 CIL Organization

2.3.1 Organizational Policies

A CIL must develop and follow policies and procedures that comply with:

The CIL board must ensure that organizational policies and procedures include:

Organizational policies and procedures must be:

Any changes or revisions must have board approval before becoming effective.

 

2.3.2 Organizational Budget

The CIL organizational budget:

The CIL must maintain an organizational budget that:

 

2.4 CIL Grant Information

2.4.1 HHSC Grant Awards

HHSC provides financial assistance that enables CILs to provide services for consumers.

 

2.4.2 CIL Responsibilities

The CIL must:

 

2.4.3 CIL Grant Application

HHSC provides financial assistance based on an approved grant application submitted by a CIL. The HHSC grant application is typically submitted every two years. The grant application consists of a grant work plan, a budget and other requirements. HHSC will communicate the deadline for submission of the application during the contract renewal process.

 

2.4.3.1 Grant Work Plan

The CIL prepares a grant work plan with goals, objectives, activities, and measurable outputs and outcomes and has the responsibility to fulfill the plan. The plan must be consistent with the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) at the time the grant application is prepared. If a new SPIL becomes effective after the grant application is prepared and requires changes to the work plan, the CIL must consult the Grant Award and Contract section to see if a contract amendment is required. (See 2.4.4, Grant Award and Contract.)

 

2.4.3.2 Grant Budget

A budget must be prepared for each year of the grant period. The grant budget reflects anticipated costs associated with the goals, objectives, activities and outcomes outlined in the grant work plan. Costs are budgeted under seven cost categories, which are described later in this section.

 

2.4.4 Grant Award and Contract

After approving the application, HHSC develops a bilateral contract. The basis of the agreement between HHSC and the CIL include:

The contract is effective for one year, with a one-year renewal option. Renewal requires submission of updates to certain sections of the application (for example, the budget, work plan and other information that has changed). Any commitment or expenditure of grant funds must be based on the approved application and signed contract, as well as on amendments and updates to the contract and application.

An amendment to the contract is required when a substantial change to the contract or work plan is made.

Changes to goals or objectives in the work plan require an amendment. Major changes to activities (for example, deleting an activity, adding a new activity or substantially altering an activity) may require an amendment. The CIL should consult with the contract manager when making such changes.

CILs are reimbursed for allowable budgeted expenses incurred and paid in the course of providing services consistent with the terms of the contract.

 

2.4.5 Special Grant Conditions

A CIL may be considered higher risk if HHSC determines that the CIL:

Based on these factors that indicate higher risk, the HHSC grant may include special conditions or restrictions, such as:

 

2.5 Financial Management

All CILs must comply with applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Department of Education General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) fiscal and accounting requirements. CILs must adopt those fiscal control and fund accounting procedures, as necessary, to ensure proper disbursement of, and accounting for, CIL funds.

The CIL maintains a sound fiscal management system that:

The CIL's policies and procedures for financial management should include methods for making payments, accounting for program income, approving budget revisions, determining legitimacy of costs and establishing fund availability.

The CIL must follow all state laws regarding prompt payment to its vendors.

 

2.5.1 Accounting System

2.5.1.1 Financial Information

The CIL must maintain an accounting system and records that:

 

2.5.1.2 Fund Accounting

Fund accounting is a system in which separate records are maintained for each funding source. When fund accounting is used, the chart of accounts must be carefully structured and must account for each program separately. For example, HHSC reimburses the CIL for specific line-item costs.

The CIL must define circumstances under which the chart of accounts may be revised and the frequency of board approval.

 

2.5.2 Financial Administration Authority

CILs must designate people who have financial administration authority to:

CIL policy approved by the board must indicate positions and areas of responsibility for financial administration. Positions with financial administration authority may include:

Those given financial administration authority must have sufficient experience in grant expenditures, including:

 

2.5.3 Funds Management

2.5.3.1 Request for Payment

CIL contracts are classified as cost reimbursement contracts, which means that CILs are reimbursed for allowable incurred costs. The CIL may request operating funds for no more than 30 days in advance or to be reimbursed for allowable costs already incurred.

CILs that meet the contract requirements may request advance payments, certifying that the amount requested will not exceed 30 days' operating funds. If advanced funds are not expended during the month of the request, they must be adjusted on the next request.

CILS must complete a Request for Advance or Reimbursement (RAR) at least every 90 days for the base grant contracts.

If the CIL does not meet the requirements of the contract, HHSC may:

 

2.5.3.2 Recoupment of Funds Paid

A contractor must respond promptly in settling claims when HHSC discovers an overpayment. If a contractor discovers an overpayment from HHSC, the contractor should self-report the overpayment to the contract manager immediately and arrange for reimbursement.

 

2.5.3.3 Payments Due

HHSC is obligated to pay only for goods and services that meet the requirements in the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers and on the service authorization.

 

2.5.3.4 Interest Income

The CIL must ensure that no more than $500 earned in interest on advance payments is retained for administrative expenses over the grant year.

 

2.5.3.5 Cash Management

CIL cash management policies must address:

Cash receipts and checks must be deposited promptly and recorded in the accounting system according to CIL policies. In addition:

Petty cash disbursements must be:

Checks for CIL purchases must be processed by completion of an order or request. CIL policy must identify those with authority to approve expenditures and sign checks.

The CIL must maintain proper custody over checks, including voided checks.

 

2.5.3.6 Bank Reconciliation

Bank accounts must be reconciled monthly by someone who does not disburse, receive or record receipt of funds.

Records must include:

All adjusting entries must be approved by management and promptly recorded by appropriate staff members.

 

2.5.3.7 Disbursements

All cash disbursements must be verified and entered into the CIL's accounting system.

 

2.5.4 Other Sources of Funds

In the grant application, the CIL provides information about other sources of funds used to support the CIL program, in addition to HHSC grant funds. These other sources of funds may include:

The CIL must determine the value of donated goods and volunteer services and show them as other sources of funds in the grant application. The value of donated goods must reflect the cost that would be incurred if the CIL were to purchase the items, and may not be reimbursed as either a direct or indirect cost. Donated goods and volunteer services must be allowable, reasonable, and necessary to the program in order to be reported. For guidance on how to value volunteer time, see 2.6.7 , Volunteer Program.

For more information about funding, see:

Program Income

Program income is gross income that is earned by the CIL and that is directly generated by a supported activity of the CIL grant award.

The CIL must ensure that program income is:

The CIL must maintain policies that:

Records must include:

 

2.5.5 Cost Principles and Approval

2.5.5.1 Authorization

All costs must be reasonable, necessary, allowable and allocable to the contract in accordance with 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).

If the CIL has questions about a specific cost that is not addressed in 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), the CIL should seek technical assistance from the contract manager.

 

2.5.5.2 Cost Allocation Plan

When costs are distributed between multiple programs or cost centers, a CIL must submit a cost allocation plan with the grant application to ensure that all costs are allocated properly. The CIL must pay particular attention to personnel, building costs and equipment. For details about cost allocation plans, see 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).

The CIL must:

 

2.6 Personnel

2.6.1 Staff Members with Disabilities

The CIL's organizational and personnel assignment practices, as documented in written board policy, must comply with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, including taking affirmative action to employ and promote qualified individuals with significant disabilities.

A CIL must also document that the majority of its staff members, including members in decision-making positions, are people with disabilities.

 

2.6.2 Staff Qualifications

CIL staff members must include specialists in developing and providing IL services and in developing and supporting a CIL. To the greatest extent possible, personnel should be available who are able to communicate:

 

2.6.3 Staff Training and Development

CILs must establish and maintain a program of staff development for those involved in providing IL services and, if appropriate, in administering the CIL program. Staff development programs should emphasize improving the skills of staff members directly responsible for providing IL services, including knowledge and practice of the IL philosophy. A CIL must provide training to its staff on how to serve unserved and underserved populations, including minority groups and urban and rural populations, as evidenced by in-service training records.

 

2.6.4 Human Resource Policies and Procedures

CILs must comply with federal and state employment laws in their human resource policies.

CIL policies must address:

The CIL must maintain an organization chart outlining the current structure of the CIL organization. The chart must:

The CIL must maintain personnel files that include, at a minimum:

 

2.6.5 Time and Effort Reporting

Time reporting must be based on documented payrolls approved by responsible officials of the organization. Salaries and wages must be supported by personnel activity reports reflecting the distribution of activity of each employee charged to the grant. The reports must:

Policy must address:

 

2.6.6 Fringe Benefits

The following are considered benefits if the costs are absorbed by all organizational activities in proportion to the amount of time or effort devoted to each:

Policy must address:

 

2.6.7 Volunteer Program

When a CIL uses a volunteer to fill a position that fulfills a critical function of the IL program, the CIL must provide:

These requirements do not apply to one-time, spontaneous or informal volunteer activities.

The value of volunteer services in positions that would otherwise require hired staff members is based on the work performed. CILs that already have employees performing these activities may use their own rate of pay to assess the value of volunteer services. If a CIL does not have employees in a similar position, it may use standard local compensation for such positions.

 

2.7 Procurement

CIL procurement policies must address:

 

2.7.1 Procurement Procedures

CILS must have written procurement procedures that address the requirements of 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB Circular A-110), including:

CILs must, on request, make available to HHSC pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc.

 

2.7.2 Asset and Inventory Management Policies

CILs must develop and follow policies and procedures that address asset purchase and inventory records, safeguarding assets, periodic conduct of inventory and disposition of HHSC-funded assets.

 

2.7.3 Disposition of Depreciable Assets

CILs must:

The AHA Estimated Useful Lives of Depreciable Assets may be obtained through:

The requirements in the Uniform Grant Management Standards must be followed if an item of equipment or a controlled asset is not:

If approval for disposition is not required, or approval has already been obtained from HHSC program staff members, sub-recipients must ensure that disposition of any equipment or controlled asset is in accordance with the terms of the contract, such as compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and any applicable federal guidance.

 

2.7.4 Contract Administration

All grant-funded contracts for goods or services must be in writing and include all terms and conditions.

Contracts must contain:

CILs must monitor contracts to ensure that goods and services are provided and paid according to contract terms and conditions.

 

2.8 Budget Categories

2.8.1 Salary and Wages

Employee compensation costs (or compensation for personal services) must be calculated in compliance with 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), and meet HHSC requirements.

A CIL must:

A CIL must not bill and receive reimbursement from funding sources for more than 100 percent of an employee's total salary or work time.

 

2.8.2 Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are allowances and services that the CIL provides to employees as additional compensation. Employer contributions for employees' health insurance, life insurance and retirement plans are examples of fringe benefits. Also included are items required by law for the benefit of employees, the employer's portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA, also known as Social Security), workers' compensation insurance and unemployment insurance.

A CIL must determine its responsibilities and comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including the following:

The percentage of costs for an employee's fringe benefits charged to the contract must not exceed the percentage of time or effort the employee devotes to the contract.

 

2.8.3 Travel

Travel-related expenses are budgeted and allowed on a cost-incurred basis if the costs are reasonable, necessary, allocable and substantiated by adequate documentation. Travel costs are limited to the rates and line items approved in the contract.

Travel expenses are allowable if they are incurred by the CIL's employees while performing official contract business. Travel expenses for consumers are included in the Other Costs category.

Travel-related expenses include:

Reimbursement for meals and lodging is allowed only for approved, overnight travel outside the designated headquarters (city limits). HHSC reimbursement for meals, lodging and mileage may not exceed the comptroller's established Travel Reimbursement Rates. If the CIL has a policy that sets travel reimbursement rates lower than the current state rates, budgeting and contract reimbursement cannot exceed the rate set by the CIL's policy.

If the CIL has a policy that sets travel reimbursement rates higher than the current state rates, the difference between the state's allowable contract reimbursement and the CIL rates may be made up from other funding sources.

According to 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), airfare costs in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent), or of the lowest commercial discount airfare, are unallowable except in special circumstances, which must be documented.

Out-of-state travel may be budgeted. The purpose and destination must be stated, and if available, supporting documentation must be maintained to justify the expense, including meeting or conference agendas.

If out-of-state travel is not budgeted, prior written approval from the HHSC contract manager is required and a formal budget revision may be required.

Budgeting and reimbursement requests for out-of-state travel must not exceed out-of-state per diem rates in the comptroller's established travel reimbursement rates. Allowability of out-of-state travel costs is determined based on comparing total costs for similar or comparable travel purposes available within the state.

Travel policy for local, in-state and out-of-state travel must address:

Records must include:

 

2.8.4 Equipment

Equipment includes articles of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost that:

The CIL must obtain prior HHSC approval to purchase equipment. Equipment purchased through the contract is owned by the CIL but is subject to an equitable claim by the state upon closing or terminating the contract. The CIL is accountable for equipment purchased through the contract. The CIL must bill equipment according to federal regulations found in 45 CFR Part 74 and 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).

The CIL must:

A CIL may include equipment rental or lease in the grant budget if:

Note: The authorized rental or lease of items classified as anything other than equipment should be included in the "Other Costs" line item of the contract budget.

 

2.8.5 Supplies

A consumable material or supply is any article that is not classified as equipment or intangible personal property and has a useful life of less than one year. Consumable materials and supplies charged by a CIL as a direct cost must include only the materials and supplies used to carry out the contract.

Material and supply items usually fall into one of the following categories:

The CIL must:

Controlled Assets

Controlled assets are items of real or personal property with an estimated life of greater than one year, but an acquisition cost of less than $5,000. These items are considered high risk and have a high potential for loss; therefore, controlled assets must be maintained in a contractor's inventory system and tagged accordingly based on specified acquisition costs.

CILs should review the Comptroller's State Property Accounting (SPA) User Manual for the most current listing of controlled assets. CILs must add items classified as controlled assets to their inventory list based on the acquisition costs noted in the SPA Manual.

 

2.8.6 Contractual

This budget category may include consumer services that are either subcontracted or else are janitorial, accounting and maintenance services, etc., that are addressed by a contract. CIL contracting policy must be followed in determining which services should be contracted.

 

2.8.7 Other Costs

Other costs are those that are not covered by the preceding cost categories. These typically include items such as building rent, utilities, postage and insurance. In addition, any travel costs paid to or on behalf of consumers are included in this cost category (bus passes, mileage reimbursement, etc.). Each cost must conform to federal and state regulations.

 

2.9 Records Management

CILs must establish records management policies and procedures that ensure compliance with the HHSC contract and applicable OMB and EDGAR recordkeeping requirements. CIL records must fully disclose and document:

 

2.9.1 Recordkeeping

The CIL record-keeping system must contain data concerning the grant program's funds, including information necessary to receive payment.

The CIL must ensure that funds are being spent and used in accordance with the grant award.

 

2.9.2 Required Documentation

Records must include, but are not limited to:

CILs must maintain the security and confidentiality of grant records including the adoption and implementation of policies and procedures that meet the requirements of 34 CFR 364.56 to safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and names.

 

2.9.3 Review of Records

The CIL must: