State Funding Compliance Conditions
The grant funds awarded by the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program are public funds that require accountability. The Office of State Budget and Management pass along certain regulations to which the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program, and its grantees, must adhere. These regulations as well as North Carolina Science Museums Grant program procedures are summarized below. Adherence to regulations is required even if they have changed during the contract period.
Tax-exempt Status Changes and IRS Form 990
A grantee must notify the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program of any changes in its tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3). It must also file the IRS Form 990 or 990-N annually.
In cases where a grantee is using a fiscal agent, the fiscal agent, as well as the grantee organization, is fiscally and legally responsible for all grant requirements.
A copy of the letter from the IRS stating that the application for tax-exempt status has been received or a copy of the application submitted to the IRS is required with your application support materials.
When the grant is awarded, the fiscal agent and grantee sign the grant agreement agreeing to all its terms. The fiscal agent receives the grant payment directly from the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program. It is strongly recommended that the fiscal agent handle the accounting for the grant by receiving all income and paying all expenses for the project. It is allowable to charge the grantee for this service or have the cost included in the budget as a grant expense. The fiscal agent can transfer the grant payments to the grantee who would then handle the grant expenditures, but the fiscal agent would still be responsible for these expenditures.
The fiscal agent and the grantee sign the final report certifying its accuracy. The fiscal agent is liable for the repayment of any grant funds not spent or misspent. The fiscal agent should be aware that receiving these additional grant dollars may increase its audit obligations to the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program and the Office of State Budget & Management.
If the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program determines that a grantee is not in compliance with its contract, then it shall give the grantee 60 days written notice to come into compliance. After that period, the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program shall terminate the contract if the grantee is still not in compliance and begin the process to retrieve unexpended funds or unauthorized expenditures and suspend payments pending negotiation of a plan of corrective action. The grant contract can be terminated by mutual consent with 60 days written notice to the other party, or as otherwise provided by law.
Management of Grant Funds
Grant recipients are sent a grant contract and an instruction page, which must be agreed to as part of the grant contract. Grantees must manage any funds received in accordance with federal regulations for administrative requirements and applicable cost principles. (Applicants with concerns about their ability to fulfill governmental regulations may, prior to applying for funds, contact the Grants Office for referral to locations where the complete requirements can be obtained.)
The Grant Award Letter specifies the grant amount and any special stipulations. Grant funds will not be available to the grant recipient until the grant contract is signed and returned to the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program.
Payment of state grant funds is made upon complete processing of the signed grant contract, any necessary budget revisions, any other required forms, and according to the state payment schedule in place at the time. Any payment is contingent upon the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program’s receipt and approval of all prior grant reports, including the Office of State Budget and Management’s NCGrants.gov report due onlineNCGrants.gov.
The grant recipient is obligated to maintain complete and accurate records of all activities connected with the grant, and these financial records must be available to state and federal officials for audit. The records are to be kept for five years from the date of submission of the final report or, if an audit is begun, for three years from the date when the audit is resolved, whichever is later. Also, the grantee must adhere to standard administrative and accounting practices.
Any grant money remaining unspent at the end of the grant period must be refunded.
By April 1 of the grant project period, the grantee must inform the staff if it will not be able to spend all of the grant funds. Refunds should be returned to the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program as soon as possible and no later than May 31 of the grant project period. If unspent grant funds are returned after this deadline and are reverted to the state budget office, the grantee may not be eligible to receive grant funds for the next fiscal year or future grants may be paid on a reimbursement basis.
At the end of the grant period, the grantee must submit a complete and accurate final report on the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program online report form describing the grant project, giving an accurate account of how grant funds were spent.
The report will include any specific reporting requirements described in the guidelines for the grant award. It will also include Project Descriptors and Individuals Benefiting for national report statistics. Non-government organizations and individuals are required to submit the Office of State Budget and Management’s report online at NCGrants.gov in addition to the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program’s final report.
Report Violations and Consequences
A late final report is a violation of the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program grant contract. A report is late when it is received after the report due date shown on the Grant Award Letter. Violations are taken into consideration when an organization applies for future grants. Funding may be denied or future grants may be paid on a reimbursement basis based on reporting practices.
An extension of the report due date may be requested in exceptional circumstances. Requests for final reporting extensions must be made in writing before the report due date. No funds will be paid until all previous reports due have been received and approved.
Any reports more than five weeks delinquent (not received or incomplete) may be turned over to the Attorney General’s office for collection. If a grantee’s grant contract must be turned over to the Attorney General’s Office for collection, the grantee will not be eligible for current or future grant funds for one fiscal year. Grantees must pay any collection agency costs involved in the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program’s obtaining a final report or grant refund.
Office of State Budget and Management
A grantee is subject to the requirements of General Statute 143C-6-23, “Use of State Funds by Non-State Entities,” and the rules for enforcing it, which are found in the North Carolina Administrative Code, Title 09, Chapter 03, Subchapter 3M for the “Uniform Administration of State Grants.” These requirements can be found in detail on the Office of State Budget and Management’s website,NCGrants.gov.
If the grantee receives funds from the State of North Carolina, including state or federal funds, from any source including the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program grant, then the grantee must file the appropriate online forms required by the Office of State Budget and Management at NCGrants.gov.
If the grantee receives less than $25,000, it must submit the online forms required under Level 1 Reporting. If the grantee receives at least $25,000 but less than $500,000, it must submit the online forms required under Level 2 Reporting. If the grantee receives $500,000 or more, it must submit the online forms and the “Yellow Book” audit required under Level 3 Reporting.
A grantee that receives less than $500,000 in state funds within any fiscal year of the grantee is not required to have an audit performed. However, the North Carolina Science Museums Grant program encourages all organizations to have basic financial statements for each fiscal year prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. These basic financial statements should be audited in conformity with generally accepted auditing standards on a regular basis. All financial records, including the financial records of any subgrantees, must be furnished to the Office of State Budget and Management, if requested, to provide full accountability for the use and expenditure of state funds.
Title to equipment purchased shall be vested in the grantee organization with the understanding that the equipment will be used for the project, or similar activities, for which it was obtained.