OHSP begins the process for distributing federal homeland security and preparedness grant funds approximately ten months before the money is even awarded to the state. In the major homeland security grant programs (State Homeland Security Program - SHSP and the Urban Areas Security Initiative - UASI) eighty percent (80) of the money is passed down to local units of government while twenty percent (20) is retained by the State. OHSP uses a risk-based funding formula inclusive of threat, vulnerability and consequence to distribute the 80 percent SHSP pass thru funding to the 21 counties. OHSP does not use a funding formula to distribute UASI funding; rather all project funding must be in direct support of the seven county northern New Jersey UASI region with actual project determinations developed by subject matter experts within nine subcommittees.
Under each federal funding cycle OHSP initiates an intense, comprehensive strategic planning process that engages approximately 600 state, county, and municipal subject matter experts to assist in the prioritization of OHSP's funding requests to the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA). Principal Points of Contacts (PPOCs) within our key partnering stakeholder state agencies, as well as all twenty one counties, and the UASI subcommittees convene strategic planning sessions with their respective working groups and core capability subcommittee members to review federal grant guidelines.
"Investment Justifications" (IJs) which ultimately are submitted by OHSP to DHS/FEMA for review and approval of the requested project funding. The IJs address and describe each initiative being proposed for funding, demonstrating why proposed projects are necessary and how they will address gaps and deficiencies in current projects and capabilities, and how the projects will provide homeland security and emergency preparedness enhancements consistent with the purpose of the grant program guidance provided by DHS/FEMA. Each proposed project must also be consistent with and conform to national and state priorities, the State and UASI Homeland Security Strategy, the State Preparedness Report, the National Preparedness Goal, as well as align with and be supportive of DHS/FEMA's 29 core capabilities. The IJs are ultimately compiled and submitted by OHSP to DHS/FEMA after which time we physically receive our formal award documents - typically around September/October each year. Subgrant award letters are then issued to the various state, county, municipal, and applicable non-governmental organizations based upon the projects that were contained in the IJs.After being signed by the Director of OHSP, a fully executed subgrantee agreement is forwarded by OHSP to the subgrantee. All subgrantees' expenditures are accounted for and tracked by OHSP via its web-based Grants Tracking System (GTS). Routine audits are performed by OHSP staff auditors. Local units of governments and non-governmental agencies are reimbursed for their approved expenditures once confirmed and reviewed in the GTS. State agencies receive their reimbursement via a transfer of appropriation through the state's NJCFS financial system.
Paradigm Shift - Reduced Funding to the States, Regional Threat/Hazard Assessments, Regional Projects
For the FY13 SHSP funding cycle, OHSP is requiring the 21 counties to form four Regional Executive Committees to identify their respective (manmade) threats and (natural/accidental) hazards. The REC governance structure along with the threat/risk data provides a strategic planning framework to allow the 21 counties within each of the four regions (Northwest, Delaware River, Shore and Urban Areas Security Initiative Region) to establish capability targets for each of the 31 core capabilities as well as monitor progress towards building, sustaining, and delivering capabilities and managing the risk they each face. This methodology is termed the Threat & Hazard Identification Risk Assessment/State Preparedness Report (THIRA/SPR).For FY13 SHSP, each county will receive a base allocation of $100,000 with the remaining funds formula allocated to each of the four regions (not to each of the counties as had been the practice from FY03 through FY12). Each region's allocation will be available to fund projects that fill regional gaps in terrorism prevention, critical infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness, and other core capabilities that are identified by each of the four preparedness regions in their respective THIRA/SPR assessments.