Words Count

The Thomas Howell Ferguson Blog

CARES Act Funding Overview Webinar

Our very own Steve Stevens had the opportunity to speak on the overview of the CARES Act Funding.  Check out the full webinar here, or you can read some of the notes from the session below.

CARES Act Local Government Program

  • Process for counties to receive CARES funding
  • Counties accessed disbursement using the DEM Grants Management System
  • Phase 1 agreements were sent out to counties for execution
  • DEM has communicated the requirements of the federal appropriation as administered by the US Treasury
    • Expenses must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020
    • Expenses must be unbudgeted as of March 27, 2020
    • Expenses must have been a direct correlation to COVID-19
  • Quarterly reports documenting expenses and projections are due beginning September 30, 2020
  • Funds not used by 12/30/2020 must be returned to the Treasury

Remaining Allocation

  • If the county requests their remaining 75% allocation, they must enter into a new funding agreement with the Division.

Requests for Reimbursement (RFR) of Expenses

  • Once a Phase 2 funding agreement is executed with the Division, they may submit Requests for Reimbursement (RFR) for expenses incurred beyond their Phase 1 funding.
    • RFRs processed by the Division must meet the following criteria:
      • Expenses must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020
      • Expenses must be unbudgeted as of March 27, 2020
      • Expenses must have a direct correlation to COVID-19
      • Any additional eligibility criteria as determined by the Division

RFR Approval
Reimbursement Approval

  • Once an RFR is approved by the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR), the Division will release the funds to reimburse eligible expenses
  • A county may submit RFRs as needed until they exhaust their allocated funding

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the CARES Act:

The guidance that follows sets forth the Department of the Treasury’s interpretation of limitations on permissible use of Fund payments.

What does expenditures incurred “due to” the public health emergency include?

  • The requirement that expenditures be incurred “due to” the public health emergency means that expenditures must be used for actions taken to respond to the public health emergency.

What costs meet the requirement of not being accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020?

  • A cost meets this requirement if either
    • The cost cannot lawfully be funded using a line item, allotment, or allocation within that budget, or
    • The cost is for a substantially different use from any expected use of funds in such a line item, allotment, or allocation

Covered Period
Costs incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020

  • Payments may only be used to cover costs that were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020 (the “covered period”).

Should I use CARES Act or FEMA PA for eligible expenses?

  • Counties should make a concerted effort to maximize their federal funding by utilizing FEMA PA for all eligible costs and reserving CARES Act funding for the non-federal match and other eligible CARES Act activities.

Is CARES Act funding only a funding of last resort?

  • There is no requirement that CARES funding be funding of last resort. So long as no duplication of sources of federal funding, you determine which funds to use, in accordance with program requirements.

What records should we retain for compliance?

  • General ledgers to account for receipt of funds and disbursements of payments
  • Budget records for 2019 and 2020
  • Payroll, time records, and human resource records to support expenses
  • Receipts of purchases
  • Contracts and subcontracts entered into
  • Grant agreements
  • All documentation of reports, audits, and other monitoring of contractors and subcontractors
  • All documentation supporting the performance of contracts and grant awards

What do eligible medical expenditures include?

  • COVID-19-related expenses of public hospitals, clinics, and similar facilities
  • Expenses of establishing temporary public medical facilities and other measures to increase COVID-19 treatment capacity, including related construction costs
  • Costs of providing COVID-19 testing, including serological testing
  • Emergency medical response expenses, including emergency medical transportation, related to COVID-19
  • Expenses for establishing and operating public telemedicine capabilities for COVID-19-related treatment

What do eligible public health expenditures include?

  • Expenses for communication and enforcement by the State or local governments of public health orders related to COVID-19
  • Expenses for acquisition and distribution of medical and protective supplies in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Expenses for disinfection of public areas and other facilities in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Expenses for technical assistance to local authorities or other entities on mitigation of COVID-19-related threats to public health and safety
  • Expenses for public safety measures undertaken in response to COVID-19
  • Expenses for quarantining individuals

What do eligible payroll expenses include?

  • Payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency

What do facilitating compliance measures with COVID-19-related expenditures include?

  • Expenses for food delivery to senior citizens and other vulnerable populations
  • Expenses to facilitate distance learning, including technological improvements, in connection with school closings
  • Expenses to improve telework capabilities for public employees
  • Expenses of providing paid sick and paid family and medical leave to public employees
  • COVID-19-related expenses of maintaining state prisons and county jails, including as relates to sanitation and improvement of social distancing measures
  • Expenses for care for homeless populations provided to mitigate COVID-19 effects

What do economic support expenditures include?

  • Expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures
  • Expenditures related to a State or local government payroll support program
  • Unemployment insurance costs related to the COVID-19 public health emergency if such costs will not be reimbursed by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act or otherwise

What do ineligible expenditures include?

  • The following is a list of examples of costs that would not be eligible expenditures of payments from the Fund.
    • Expenses for the State share of Medicaid
    • Damages covered by insurance
    • Payroll or benefits expenses for employees whose work duties are not substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency
    • Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any federal program, such as the reimbursement by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act contribution by States to State unemployment funds
    • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services
    • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
    • Severance pay
    • Legal settlements

Required Documentation
Maintain complete, accurate and adequate documentation to substantiate reimbursements.

Understand the County’s Responsibilities

  • Funds must be spent by December 30, 2020.
  • Expenditure of Funds are the County’s Responsibility, including Subrecipients
  • Quarterly Reports
  • Subrecipient Monitoring

Understand the Federal, State, and Local Requirements

  • Executed Agreement with FDEM
  • Performance under FDEM Agreement is subject to the Single Audit Act
  • Funds are considered federal financial assistance and are subject to the Single Audit Act
  • Subject to Florida Statutes, County Ordinances or Written Policies

Code of Federal Regulations – 2 CFR 200 Uniform Guidance
Key Takeaways

  1. Federal Single Audit Act
    • Required with Federal Award Exceeds $750,000 in a Fiscal Year
  2. Procurement Requirements
    • 2 CFR 200.318 – Procurement
  3. Contract Provisions
    • Appendix II to Part 200-contract Provisions
  4. Internal Controls Over Compliance
    • Written Policies and Procedures
    • Green Book Requirements
      1. Control Environment
      2. Risk Assessment
      3. Control Activities
  1. Audit Requirements
    • S. Treasury and FDEM have oversight responsibility – Right to Audit
    • County has the right to audit subrecipients
  2. Monitoring Internal and Subrecipients
    • Each county is responsible for complying with CARES Act, 2 CFR 200, State Statutes, Local Policy

COVID-19 Public Assistance Funding

  • By requesting Public Assistance through FDEM from FEMA, each county is eligible to receive reimbursements for COVID-19 related expenditures
  • Period of performance began January 27, 2020
  • State and local governments are required to follow their procurement procedures as well as the federal procurement procedures and inclusion of required contract provisions per 2 CFR 200.317, 200.322, and 200.326

For additional information, you can visit the FDEM site:  https://floridapa.org/site/CARES-Act.cfm.

For questions, please contact Steve Stevens at sstevens@thf-cpa.com.

Steve Stevens

Related Blog Posts