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SLFRF compliance: An overview of required programmatic data

Mar 24, 2022

On February 28, 2022, the Treasury Department released updated Compliance and Reporting Guidance for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program which provides support in response to the economic and public health impacts of COVID-19.

This guidance is meant to support recipients in complying with the final rule adopted on January 6, 2022, and provide clarification for each recipient’s compliance and reporting responsibilities under the SLFRF program. The rule’s effective date is April 1, 2022.

In addition to this guidance, recipients should also follow the award terms and conditions, the authorizing statute, the final rule, and other regulatory and statutory requirements, including regulatory requirements under the Uniform Guidance and related Compliance Supplement.

This article will review just the required programmatic data for the reporting requirements as it relates to the SLFRF, with the compliance and reporting guidance to be issued in separate articles.

As part of the reporting requirements related to the SLFRF program, recipients are required to report programmatic data in two different categories:

  1. Required programmatic data (other than infrastructure projects)
  2. Required programmatic data for infrastructure projects

Required programmatic data (other than infrastructure projects)

For all projects listed under the following expenditure categories, the information listed must be provided in each report.

  1. Public health and negative economic impact (Collection to begin in April 2022.)
    1. Brief description of structure and objectives of assistance program(s), including public health or negative economic impact experienced.
    2. Brief description of how a recipient’s response is related and reasonably and proportional to a public health or negative economic impact of COVID-19.
    3. Note: The final rule presumes that all enumerated eligible uses for programs and services, including COVID-19 mitigation and prevention programs and services, are reasonably proportional responses to the harm identified unless a response is grossly disproportionate to the type or extent of harm experienced.
  2. Capital expenditures (Collection began in January 2022, with additional optional fields to begin in April 2022; Optional fields will become required in July 2022.)
    1. Does this project include a capital expenditure? (Collection began in January 2022)
    2. Total expected capital expenditure, including pre-development costs, if applicable (Collection began in January 2022.)
    3. Type of capital expenditure, based on the following enumerated uses (This field is optional in April 2022; required in July 2022.):
      1. COVID-19 testing sites and laboratories, and acquisition of related equipment
      2. COVID-19 vaccination sites
      3. Medical facilities generally dedicated to COVID-19 treatment and mitigation (e.g., emergency rooms, intensive care units, telemedicine capabilities for COVID-19-related treatment)
      4. Temporary medical facilities and other measures to increase COVID-19 treatment capacity, including related construction costs
      5. Acquisition of equipment for COVID-19 prevention and treatment, including ventilators, ambulances and other medical or emergency services equipment
      6. Emergency operations centers and acquisition of emergency response equipment (e.g., emergency response radio systems)
      7. Installation and improvement of ventilation systems in congregate settings, health facilities, or other public facilities
      8. Public health data systems, including technology infrastructure
      9. Adaptations to congregate living facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, other long-term care facilities, incarceration settings, homeless shelters, residential foster care facilities, residential behavioral health treatment and other group living facilities as well as public facilities and schools (excluding construction of new facilities for the purpose of mitigating spread of COVID-19 in the facility)
      10. Mitigation measures in small businesses, nonprofits and impacted industries (e.g., developing outdoor spaces)
      11. Behavioral health facilities and equipment (e.g., inpatient or outpatient mental health or substance use treatment facilities, crisis centers or diversion centers)
      12. Technology and equipment to allow law enforcement to efficiently and effectively respond to the rise in gun violence resulting from the pandemic
      13. Affordable housing, supportive housing or recovery housing development
      14. Food banks and other facilities primarily dedicated to addressing food insecurity
      15. Transitional shelters (e.g., temporary residences for people experiencing homelessness)
      16. Devices and equipment that assist households in accessing the internet (e.g., tablets, computers or routers)
      17. Childcare, daycare and early-learning facilities
      18. Job and workforce training centers
      19. Improvements to existing facilities to remediate lead contaminants (e.g., removal of lead paint)
      20. Medical equipment and facilities designed to address disparities in public health outcomes (includes primary care clinics, hospitals or integrations of health services into other settings)
      21. Parks, green spaces, recreational facilities, sidewalks, pedestrian safety features like crosswalks, streetlights, neighborhood cleanup and other projects to revitalize public spaces
      22. Rehabilitations, renovation, remediation, cleanup or conversions of vacant or abandoned properties
      23. Schools and other educational facilities or equipment to address educational disparities
      24. Technology and tools to effectively develop, execute and evaluate government programs
      25. Technology infrastructure to adapt government operations to the pandemic (e.g., video-conferencing software, improvements to case management systems or data sharing resources), reduce government backlogs or meet increased maintenance needs
      26. Other (please specify)
    4. For recipients (other than Tribal governments) investing in projects with total expected capital expenditures for an enumerated eligible use of $10 million or more, as well as projects with total expected capital expenditures for an “other” use of $1 million or more, please provide a written justification. (This field is optional in April 2022; required in July 2022.)
    5. For projects with total expected capital expenditures of over $10 million, provide labor reporting as outlined for infrastructure projects. (This field is optional in April 2022; required in July 2022.)
  3. Use of evidence (Collection to begin April 2022.)
    1. The dollar amount of the total project spending that is allocated towards evidence-based interventions
    2. Indicate if a program evaluation of the project is being conducted
  4. Household assistance (Collection began January 2022)
    1. Number of households served (by program if recipient establishes multiple separate household assistance programs
  5. Small business economic assistance (Collection to begin April 2022.)
    1. Number of small businesses served (by program if recipient
      establishes multiple separate small businesses assistance programs
  6. Assistance to nonprofits (Collection to begin April 2022.)
    1. Number of nonprofits served (by program if recipient establishes multiple separate nonprofit assistance programs)
  7. Aid to travel, tourism, Hospitality or other impacted industries – Collection to begin April 2022.
    1. If aid is provided to industries other than travel, tourism and hospitality, describe if the industry experienced at least 8 % employment loss from prepandemic levels, or the industry is experiencing comparable or worse economic impacts as the national tourism, travel and hospitality industries as of the date of the final rule and rationale for providing aide to the industry.
    2. For each subaward:
      1. Sector of employer (Note: additional detail, including list of sectors, to be provided in the user guide posted to www.treasury.gov/SLFRP)
      2. Purpose of funds (e.g., payroll support, safety measure implementation)
  8. Education assistance (Collection began in January 2022.)
    1. The National Center for Education Statistics (“NCES”) School ID or NCES District ID. List the School District if all schools within the school district received some funds. If not all schools within the school district received funds, list the School ID of the schools that received funds. These can allow evaluators to link data from the NCES to look at school-level demographics and, eventually, student performance.
  9. Payroll for public health and safety employees (Collection began in January 2022.)
    1. Number of government FTEs responding to COVID-19 supported under this authority
  10. Rehiring public sector staff (Collection began in January 2022.)
    1. Number of FTEs rehired by governments under this authority
  11. Premium pay (both public and private sector) (Collection began in January 2022; with additional option field to begin April 2022.)
    1. List of sectors designated as critical to protecting the health and well-being of residents by the chief executive of the jurisdiction, if beyond those included in the final rule (Collection began January 2022.)
    2. Number of workers to be served (Collection began January 2022)
    3. Employer sector for all subawards to third-party employers (i.e., employers other than the State, local, or Tribal government) (Collection began January 2022.)
    4. For groups of workers (e.g., an operating unit, a classification of worker, etc.) or, to the extent applicable, individual workers, other than those where the eligible worker receiving premium pay is earning (with the premium pay included) below 150 percent of their residing state or county’s average annual wage for all occupations, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, whichever is higher, on an annual basis;or the eligible worker receiving premium pay is not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions:
      1. A brief written narrative justification of how the premium pay or grant is responsive to workers performing essential work during the public health emergency. This could include a description of the essential workers’ duties, health or financial risks faced due to COVID-19, and why the recipient government determined that the premium pay was responsive to workers performing essential work during the pandemic. This description should not include personally identifiable information; when addressing individual workers, recipients should be careful not to include this information. Recipients may consider describing the workers’ occupations and duties in a general manner as necessary to protect privacy (Collection began January 2022)
    5. Number of workers to be served with premium pay in K-12 schools (Collection will begin April 2022)
  12. Revenue Replacement (Collection began in August 2021.)
    1. As outlined in the final rule, recipients have the option to make a one-time decision to calculate revenue loss according to the formula outlined in the final rule or elect a “standard allowance” of up to $10 million, not to exceed the award allocation, to spend on government services throughout the period of performance. The option to make this one-time decision will be provided during the April 30, 2022, reporting deadline.
    2. For recipients electing the “standard allowance,” the Treasury will presume that up to $10 million, not to exceed the award allocation, in revenue has been lost due to the public health emergency and recipients are permitted to use that amount to fund “government services.” Please note that electing the standard allowance does not change a recipient’s total allocation. Recipients must elect to use this standard allowance instead of calculating lost revenue using the formula.
    3. For recipients calculating revenue loss according to the formula, the final rule permits recipients to choose whether to use calendar or fiscal year calculation dates. Recipients must use the same calculation time frame (calendar or fiscal year) throughout the award period.
    4. Recipients calculating lost revenue using the formula should report the following:
      1. Choice of fiscal or calendar year revenue loss (choice must remain consistent throughout award period)
      2. General revenue collected over the past 12 months as of the most recent calculation date, as outlined in the final rule.
      3. Calculated revenue loss due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
      4. An explanation of how the revenue replacement funds were allocated to government services

Required programmatic data for infrastructure projects

For all projects listed under the water, sewer and broadband expenditure categories, more detailed project-level information is required. Each project will be required to report expenditure data as described above and will also report the following information:

  1. All infrastructure projects (Collection began in January 2022.)
    1. Projected/actual construction start date (month/year)
    2. Projected/actual initiation of operations date (month/year)
    3. Location (for broadband, geospatial data of locations to be served)
    4. For projects over $10 million (based on expected total cost):
      1. A recipient may provide a certification that, for the relevant project, all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors in the performance of such project are paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing, as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (commonly known as the “Davis-Bacon Act”), for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a character similar to the contract work in the civil subdivision of the State (or the District of Columbia) in which the work is to be performed, or by the appropriate State entity pursuant to a corollary State prevailing-wage-in-construction law (commonly known as “baby Davis-Bacon Acts”). If such certification is not provided, a recipient must provide a project employment and local impact report detailing:
        1. The number of employees of contractors and sub-contractors working on the project;
        2. The number of employees on the project hired directly and hired through a third party;
        3. The wages and benefits of workers on the project by classification; and
        4. Whether those wages are at rates less than those prevailing. Recipients must maintain sufficient records to substantiate this information upon request.
      2. A recipient may provide a certification that a project includes a project labor agreement, meaning a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement consistent with section 8(f) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(f)). If the recipient does not provide such certification, the recipient must provide a project workforce continuity plan, detailing:
        1. How the recipient will ensure the project has ready access to a sufficient supply of appropriately skilled and unskilled labor to ensure high-quality construction throughout the life of the project, including a description of any required professional certifications and/or in-house training;
        2. How the recipient will minimize risks of labor disputes and disruptions that would jeopardize timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the project;
        3. How the recipient will provide a safe and healthy workplace that avoids delays and costs associated with workplace illnesses, injuries, and fatalities, including descriptions of safety training, certification, and/or licensure requirements for all relevant workers (e.g., OSHA 10, OSHA 30);
        4. Whether workers on the project will receive wages and benefits that will secure an appropriately skilled workforce in the context of the local or regional labor market; and
        5. Whether the project has completed a project labor agreement.
      3. Whether the project prioritizes local hires.
      4. Whether the project has a Community Benefit Agreement, with a description of any such agreement.
  2. Water and sewer projects (Required once the project starts.)
    1. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Number (if applicable; for projects aligned with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund) (Collection began in January 2022.)
    2. Public Water System ID number (if applicable; for projects aligned with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund) (Collection began January 2022)
    3. Median household income of service area (Collection to begin in April 2022.)
    4. Lowest quintile income of the service area (Collection to begin in April 2022.)
  3. Broadband projects (Collection began in January 2022.)
    1. Confirm that the project is designed to, upon completion, reliably meet or exceed symmetrical 100 Mbps download and upload speeds.
      1. If the project is not designed to reliably meet or exceed symmetrical 100 Mbps download and upload speeds, explain why not, and
      2. Confirm that the project is designed to, upon completion, meet or exceed 100 Mbps download speed and between at least 20 Mbps and 100 Mbps upload speed, and be scalable to a minimum of 100 Mbps download speed and 100 Mbps upload speed.
    2. Please note: additional programmatic data will be required for broadband projects beginning in July 2022 and will be defined in a later version of the Reporting Guidance.

How Wipfli can help

For those interested in more information regarding the compliance requirements of the SLFRF program, Wipfli regularly performs in-depth trainings on OMB’s Uniform Guidance. Our team is available to help you answer questions or help you navigate and of the complexities of the recovery funds program. Contact us to learn more.

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Author(s)

Josh M. Faivre, CPA
Manager, Audit
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