The Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund Act (Chapter 78, Laws of 1989) established a dedicated fund to improve records management and archival administration in New York’s local governments. The Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) is comprised of the fees collected by county clerks and the New York City Register for the recording of selected documents, and for the assignment by county clerks of index numbers for certain court cases. The Act authorizes the Commissioner of Education to provide training and technical assistance, administer a grants program for local governments, and appoint a Local Government Records Advisory Council (LGRAC) to advise on the operation of the LGRMIF program.
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Grants & Awards, Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF)
What is the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund Act?
What if I have a question that is not in this list of FAQs?
If you have a question not listed in this document, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will answer the question and add the question and answer to these FAQs.
Eligibility, Grants & Awards
Who can apply for a Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund Grant (LGRMIF)?
LGRMIF grants are intended for local governments in New York State. Any local government in the state can apply for an LGRMIF grant so long as it has no outstanding final grant reports or reimbursements to the state and so long as it has an Records Management Officer (RMO) and has adopted an appropriate State Archives records retention and disposition schedule by the application deadline. Note that housing authorities across the state as well as agencies of New York City are exempted from the requirement of having an RMO.
Pursuant to Chapter 508 of the Laws of 2014 (volunteer) fire companies and voluntary ambulance services, as defined in section 100 of the General Municipal Law, are now eligible to apply for LGRMIF grants. As these entities are not local governments under the Local Government Records Law, they are not at this time required to appoint a records management officer (RMO) or adopt State Archives records retention and disposition schedules.
Do we need to adopt a retention schedule and appoint a Records Management Officer every time we apply?
No, once you have done both, they continue year to year, though you will have to replace any Records Management Officer who leaves the position.
Can fire agencies apply for LGRMIF grants?
Fire districts are eligible to apply for LGRMIF grants because they are considered local governments and city and village fire departments can apply as units of their respective municipalities.
As stated above, (volunteer) fire companies and voluntary ambulance services, as defined in section 100 of the General Municipal Law, are now eligible to apply for LGRMIF grants.
Can a local government apply for more than one grant?
A local government may submit or be a party to only one Individual, Shared Services, or Demonstration grant application, unless the second application is for a project under the Disaster Management category or in the case of a county where the second application is focused entirely on the records of its community college. The maximum amount allowed for a Disaster Management project is $10,000 when an applicant applies for this as a second application.
Grants & Awards, Application
The RFP states that the lead applicant “must be responsible for the greatest percentage of the budget relative to the other collaborating members.” What do you mean by this?
That the lead applicant must be an active participant in the project and cannot act simply as a flow-through for grant funds to pass to other recipients.
The RFP states that the Commissioner of Education must approve storing records in a facility not maintained by the applicant. Does this include storing files on a BOCES or RIC server?
Yes, this includes storing an applicant’s electronic records on a BOCES or RIC server.
Does the Commissioner’s consent need to be obtained before the grant application due date?
No. Applicants simply need to indicate in the application their intent to obtain the Commissioner’s approval by the end of the grant project period.
We received a previous LGRMIF grant to digitizing records and were unable to digitize all of the records included in the grant. Can we now apply for funding to digitize the remaining records?
Yes, you may apply for a LGRMIF grant to complete the previous project.
Can a partner in a shared services application also submit an individual application?
Yes, but only if it is for a disaster management project and does not exceed $10,000
Our document conversion application will improve our current business process, does this make in ineligible?
No. The primary focus of your application must be on improved records management; improved business process is an expected secondary benefit.
What is the deadline for submission electronic applications? What is the deadline for submission of paper forms?
The deadline for submission of electronic applications is January 17, 2017. All electronic applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, January 17, 2017. The required paper signature forms that accompany your online application must also be postmarked no later than January 17, 2017.
Do we need a Board resolution in order to apply for a LGRMIF grant?
The State Archives does not require a board resolution. You may want to check with your Board, though, to see if it requires a resolution authorizing submitting an application.
Is there a character limit for sections of the Project Narrative in the eGrants system?
No. Applicants may go into as much detail as they need to justify and describe their projects.
Is there a time limit for how long I can work in the eGrants System.
The system will time out if there is no activity for 30 minutes, which means you could lose some or all of your work if you had not previously saved it. As a precaution, we advise you to write your Project Narrative and Project Budget on your own computer hard drive and cut and paste text into the online application, and be sure to hit the “Save” button often when working in eGrants.
How can my grantwriter gain access to the eGrants System?
Your password and username for accessing eGrants represent your institution. Your government’s RMO may disclose this information to a grantwriter, but we strongly urge all RMOs to retain responsibility for reviewing and submitting the final application.
When do I need to include a floor plan?
Inactive Records or Historical Records projects involving renovation to an existing facility or the installation of shelving, require the submission of a floor plan. A floor plan is also required when Minor Remodeling funds are requested.
May we submit faxes or copies of vendor quotes?
No, you must submit any materials from vendors or consultants as attachments in eGrants in one or more of the following formats: Microsoft Word (DOCX), Excel (XLSX), Portable Document Format (PDF), JPEG, BMP, or PNG.
Are photographs helpful for documenting the extent of a records problem?
Yes, but don’t provide too many, and don’t substitute photographs for a detailed description of the problem in the Project Narrative.
The information on the application sheet for my local government is inaccurate; how do I correct it?
To correct inaccurate information on the application sheet email, fax, or mail a completed standard data capture form to the State Archives, Grants Administration Unit.
Where do I find the standard data capture form?
The standard data capture form is accessed through the application checklist in the eGrants system. It is also available at: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/grants/grants_lgrmif.shtml
Do I need to a resolution from my board appointing a Project Director if the Project Director will not receive and grant funded compensation?
No. There is no requirement under the LGRMIF that the local board appoint the Project Director.
Grants & Awards, Categories
May I cooperate with other local governments on a demonstration grant project?
Yes, you may cooperate with other local governments on a multi-governmental demonstration project.
If I include other local governments in my demonstration grant application, does the application limit on funds increase?
No, the funding levels remain the same: $100,000 for a planning grant and $500,000 for an implementation grant.
If I want to apply with other local governments for a demonstration grant, why should I not just propose a shared services grant?
You can, but there are advantages to doing a multi-government demonstration grant, such as a higher funding limit and the ability to conduct a planning grant to better plan for the implementation. Shared services grants are capped at $150,000 as compared to $500,000 for demonstration grants. A demonstration grant will also give you more time to complete your project, since you have the option of proposing a two-year implementation grant. If you’re unsure which is the right choice for you, discuss it with your Regional Advisory Officer (RAO) or other Archives’ staff person.
Can I propose any type of demonstration project I want as long as it involves electronic records?
No, the Archives will accept applications for only specific demonstration projects that are outlined in the LGRMIF Grant Application Guide.
What do you mean by records management application (RMA) in a demonstration grant?
A records management application (RMA) is an add-on module to an electronic document management system (EDMS) or an electronic content management system (ECMS) that allows you to apply retention schedules to your electronic records and to ensure destruction of obsolete records within the system. The RMA will alert you when records retention periods have expired and will destroy records once you have approved their destruction, and it will also keep a record of all dispositions.
An ECMS or EDMS is a large robust electronic repository where you can manage all of your electronic records. These often have many add-on modules such as the RMA, workflow, and electronic forms.
If I’m interested in doing a demonstration grant, what are my first steps?
First, talk to your RAO or other Archives’ staff. You should consider doing a planning grant first, since there are many requirements you must meet in an implementation grant application, including the costs and technical requirements of your project.
What do you mean by the first time inactive records applications proposing to conduct a records inventory?
This is an application from any local government who has not received any previous LGRMIF grants and is now applying for an inactive records grant to complete an inventory and planning project.
Can we submit an application involving two distinct categories?
Yes, but indicate only one category on the Application Sheet and be sure to address the category requirements of both categories in addition to the General Application Requirements and any requirements for application type, such as Shared Services or Demonstration. Choose the predominant element of your project when indicating the category for your application.
Why did the Archives create this new demonstration grant type?
After surveying local government records programs and talking to local government records management officers and consulting with the Local Government Records Advisory Council, the State Archives has confirmed that electronic records management continues to be a huge challenge for local governments and is the weakest part of most local government records management programs. A new type of Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) grant is the demonstration grant, designed to help local governments tackle the challenging issue of electronic records management.
What is a demonstration grant?
The goal of the LGRMIF demonstration grants initiative is to fund projects that address electronic records management issues and produce results, best practices, and models that can be replicated, are scalable, or can be used more broadly in other governments or groups of governments of all types and sizes.
What requirements do I have to meet if I submit a demonstration grant application?
Demonstration Grant applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Demonstrate the benefits of the project and the benefits of the project to other local governments.
- Submit as part of the grant application a needs assessment whenever one is needed to prove the viability of a project.
- Include a detailed estimated five-year cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate the clear financial and administrative advantages of the demonstration project into the future. This analysis must provide information on upfront and continuing costs, including system maintenance, and show the source of all estimated costs.
- Provide detailed information about the governments, governmental departments, archives and records management functions, and records that will be the focus of the project.
- Demonstrate the proposed project is sustainable and will result in permanent, positive programmatic change.
Applicants for multi-government demonstration projects must also meet the following requirements:
- Demonstrate the mutual benefits of the project to all participants and the benefits of the project to other future consortia of local governments.
- Demonstrate how the grant project will establish a permanent cooperative relationship between governments that will result in sustainable programmatic change.
- Demonstrate how each local government in a consortium will maintain control over its own records.
- Articulate the proposed governance structure of this consortium describing the expected intergovernmental agreement that will be created, the bylaws that will be enacted for a proposed governance committee, and the proposed policies for running the consortium.
- Demonstrate the full participation and support of all members of the consortium for the duration of the project and for the long term.
- Demonstrate the ability and intention of the lead government to continue to lead this program into the future.
Applicants for multi-government demonstration projects must also meet the following administrative requirements:
- One of the local government participants must be designated to serve as the lead applicant and fiscal agent for the grant. The lead applicant and participating local government partners must be eligible grant recipients, as defined by the program statute or regulation.
- The lead applicant must be responsible for the greatest percentage of the budget relative to the other collaborating members.
- In the event a grant is awarded for a demonstration project, the award will be prepared in the name of the lead applicant only.
The lead applicant must meet the following additional requirements:
- Receive and administer the grant funds and submit the required reports to account for the use of grant funds.
- Ensure that each local government partner provides a letter of intent, signed by the respective chief administrative officer, explaining what the government will do in the course of the project; how funds, personnel, facilities, and tasks will be shared; and what benefits will be realized.
- Be an active member of the partnership.
- Not act as a flow-through for grant funds to pass to other recipients.
- Not subgrant funds to other recipients, though lead applicant is permitted to contract for services with other partners or consultants to provide services that the lead applicant cannot provide itself.
- Be responsible for the performance of any services provided by the partners, consultants, or other organizations and must coordinate how each will participate.
- Demonstrate the full participation and support of all participants. Note that this participation and support cannot be fulfilled merely by submitting the required Shared Services agreement forms, which only address the willingness of a local government to participate in a multi-government Demonstration grant project. Multi-government Demonstration application must include information about how the participants will continue to work together into the future
All demonstration implementation projects must achieve the following additional outcomes in the final year of an implementation grant. Planning grants must merely note the applicant’s intent to achieve the following.
- Develop a webpage or a subsite of a website to publicize the program developed by the grant, including enough information to allow other local governments or consortia of local governments to replicate the program.
- Develop a canned one-hour webinar that explains, in layman’s terms, the elements of the program and how the program was developed.
- Create and make available the governance documents of any consortium participating in a multi-government project, including the intergovernmental agreement for the consortium, the bylaws of its governance committee, and the policies for running the consortium. (Applicable only for the final year of an implementation project.)
- Create a set of policies and procedures, including, at minimum, system management and maintenance, training and support, auditing systems, system performance assurance, information governance, and security, and make these policies and procedures (minus any sensitive information) available for use by others. (Applicable only for the final year of an implementation project.)
- Publicize the results of the project through at least one public event, such as a one-day symposium or a presentation at a statewide or regional meeting of a local government, archives, or records management association.
- Indicate in all of these materials that the source of startup funding for the project was the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund, New York State Archives, State Education Department.
Demonstration grant projects sound like a lot of work. Can I get funding to conduct a needs assessment and plan out a scope of work?
Yes, there are two types of demonstration grants: planning and implementation. You may request up to $100,000 to conduct a planning grant. You can then base a future implementation grant on the results of the planning grant.
What if I need more than a year to complete such a complex demonstration project?
Demonstration grants that are implementation projects can last for one or two years, but planning projects can last for only one year. If planning a two-year implementation project, your initial grant must describe the full two-year project, include the estimated costs for the entire project, and submit a full budget for the first year of the project. For the second year, you will need to submit evidence that your project is progressing well along with the full budget for the second year, and, if necessary, an updated plan of work. If your project is essentially on schedule (or you can show how you will return to schedule) and if your budget is approved by a review panel, your project will be funded for a second year.
How much funding can I receive for a demonstration implementation grant?
You can receive up to $500,000 for one project, whether it takes one or two years to complete.
How much funding can I receive for a demonstration planning grant?
You can receive up to $100,000 for one project.
How much money does the Archives have available this year to fund demonstration grants?
The Archives has set aside $1.3 million dollars for demonstration grants. Any money not expended on the demonstration grants will be reallocated and used forshared services grants.
Grants & Awards, Budget and Personnel
Are there matching requirements on these grants?
No, but your application will be stronger when you show in-kind contributions to the project that illustrate how your local government will continue to support an activity started with grant funds.
What is the difference between professional staff (code 15), and support staff (code 16)?
Ultimately, you can decide, but generally someone doing professional level work, such as developing retention schedules, writing series descriptions, etc., would be code 15, while clerical or support work, such as boxing records, data entry, and reorganizing files, would be code 16.
Is funding available for developing a website?
Any website with a records component is eligible for funding. Keep in mind that no funding is available for maintenance, however, since the LGRMIF will only fund start-up costs.
What is the correct budget code to use for a vendor to implement an Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS)?
Vendor costs should be budgeted in code 40 Purchased Services, while ECMS software should be budgeted in code 45 Supplies and Materials.
Grants & Awards, Quotes and Vendors
Is it appropriate to request funding to microfilm or digitize records that could be destroyed according to a State Archives’ retention schedule but which we have decided to keep?
The reviewers are unlikely to recommend funding for records that have met their retention requirements. However, if you believe holding the records beyond their required retention period is the best course of action, you must make a strong case for why the LGRMIF should invest in records that could be destroyed.
We didn’t choose the lowest quote provided. How should we handle that?
If you choose a quote other than the lowest quote, justify why you did not choose the lowest one and explain what makes the one you chose more desirable. The reviewers will evaluate whether the case you make for a higher quote is justifiable or not. Compliance with SED's M/WBE requirements may be justification for not choosing the lowest quote.
Are quotes required for products and services on state contract or from a preferred vendor?
No. The requirement for three quotes for products and services over $10,000 does not apply for products and services that are on state contract or from a preferred vendor.
What if we have been working with a vendor to complete similar work? Do we still have to provide three quotes?
If you have a longstanding relationship with an existing vendor and your local government does not require you to re-bid for the services of this vendor periodically, then you can provide a quote from that vendor without providing two other quotes. Unless your government has no written procedures on procurement, your application must demonstrate compliance with these procedures by providing copies of the official procurement procedures you are following along with an explanation of how you will follow these during your proposed grants project. In the absence of any written procedures, you must provide a description of your standard procedures along with a separate written explanation of how you will be adhering to these.
When using a vendor quote, do we include the whole quote or just the page with the prices?
Include the entire, detailed quote. For Purchased Services over $10,000, also provide the Request for Quotes (RFQ) you distributed to vendors, even if the vendor is on state contract or is a preferred vendor.
What is the difference between a vendor quote and a bid?
A vendor quote is a price quote provided by a vendor for a specific product or service associated with your proposed project. Generally, it is in response to a Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP), or Request for Information (RFI) that you developed. Upon notification of a LGRMIF grant award you are required to follow state law and locally adopted procurement policies and procedures for the acquisition of project-related products and services. Depending on the product or service and amount awarded, this may require a formal competitive bid process or you may be able to purchase project-related products or services off state contract or from a preferred source vendor. For additional information on the procurement process, including competitive bidding and preferred sources, please refer to the Office of the State Comptroller’s Local Government Management Guide: Seeking Competition in Procurement.
Are BOCES considered a Preferred Source for School Districts?
No. For purposes of applying for a LGRMIF grant School Districts and BOCES proposing to contract with a BOCES do not, though, have to submit three quotes when the service costs over $10,000. Applicants must, though, include a RFQ and the detailed quote clearly delineating individual project costs. In such instances, though, School Districts and BOCES are still required to comply with SED’s M/WBE goals.
Do we need to select a vendor prior to submitting our application?
No. You need a RFQ and vendor quotes from vendors, but the selection of the vendor may occur once you receive notification of funding.
We plan on contracting with our BOCES. Do they have to have a CoSer in place before the application deadline?
No. The CoSer does not need to be in place before the application submission deadline.
Do we need to conduct 100% image verification if we are not destroying the originals?
No, but you may want to spot check to ensure quality images.
What if shelving costs are $30,000 and installation is part of that cost? Would three quotes be needed since it would be a service over $10,000?
No, it would not. The key is the unit cost of the shelving. Since one unit of shelving is well below the $10,000 threshold and installation is part of that per-unit cost, three quotes would not be required.
When working with a vendors, should we tell them how much money we are looking for in a project?
It is best to tell the vendor the problem to be addressed and what you would like to do about it. Allow them to develop a dollar figure for the work to be done.
With a conservation project, sometimes you do not know the details of the condition of the records involved and what needs to be done to stabilize the records. How do we come up with expense figures in this situation?
Such a situation requires an evaluation by a conservation expert, and you can apply for a grant under the Historical Records category to develop a proposed conservation treatment plan. When applying for a grant to conserve the records, be sure to submit a copy of the conservation treatment report so reviewers can evaluate whether the proposed treatment is appropriate.
My vendor does 100% quality control of the digital or micrographic images they produce. Do I have to look at the images also?
As an LGRMIF grantee, you will be required to follow all of the relevant State Archives, and one of these is that you conduct your own content verification to ensure that the vendor did not miss images in the course of filming or scanning. This is especially important for projects where you propose to destroy the original records.
What if we are seeking a consultant in a very specialized field and cannot obtain three quotes?
If this is the case, be sure to demonstrate the effort you made trying to obtain quotes and justify why you need someone in such a specialized field.
Grants & Awards, Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Participation Goals
Do SED's (M/WBE) performance goals apply to all LGRMIF applications?
No, SED's M/WBE performance goals apply only to requests exceeding $25,000.
Do I need to meet this goal when I submit my application?
You should submit the required M/WBE information and documentation at the time of submission. If you cannot do this, you will have to submit the necessary M/WBE information and documentation within thirty days of your grant award notification.
How do I find NYS certified M/WBE consultants or vendors?
NYS Empire State Development, Division of Minority and Women's Business development maintains a directory of certified firms at http://esd.ny.gov/MWBE.html.
Additionally, we have updated our list of consultants and vendors to include the designation "NYS certified M/WBE" where we know that a consultant or vendor has received NYS M/WBE certification.
What if I cannot find NYS certified M/WBE consultants or vendors?
Although SED's preference is full compliance, you can request a partial or complete waiver if you can demonstrate that you have made a good faith effort to achieve full compliance.
Does using a vendor from the NYC Online Directory of Certified Businesses fulfill SED's M/WBE requirements for submitting a LGRMIF application?
No, in order to meet SED's M/WBE requirements vendors must be in the NYS M/WBE Directory of Certified Firms maintained by the New York State Department of Economic Development, Division of Minority and Women's Business Development.
If an applicant proposes to use a Preferred Source or Sole Source vendor should they request a waiver from SED'S M/WBE requirements?
Yes, applicants proposing to use a preferred or sole source vendor need to request either a partial or total waiver and include documentation of its "good faith" effort to comply with the SED'S MWBE requirements. This documentation should cite the applicants's requirement under the New York State Finance Law, Section 162, to use a preferred source and, where applicable, the applicant's local procurement policies. SED will review each waiver request and accompanying documentation on a case-by-case basis.
Does an applicant still need additional quotes from an M/WBE if it proposes to purchase a service or commodity from a preferred or sole source?
No, if an applicant proposes to purchase a service or commodity from a preferred or sole source it does not need to obtain and submit additional quotes. It does, though, need to submit a waiver request as stated above.
What if I have questions?
Are original signatures needed on any of the M/WBE forms or can all be scanned and submitted digitally?
M/WBE forms that require signatures may be scanned and submitted digitally to email@example.com. The file name should include the project number and the M/WBE form, i.e. 0580161234_MWBE105.
We will hire project staff using a BOCES or RIC. Can we include staff salary and benefits in the salary and benefits portion of the M/WBE goal calculation worksheet?
Project staff budgeted under Professional and Support Staff salaries are excluded from the M/WBE goal calculation. Project staff budgeted as Purchased Services must be included in the M/WBE goal calculation.
Is staffing through a BOCES considered exempt from the M/WBE requirement?
No. Applicants seeking services from a BOCES are required to meet SED’s M/WBE requirements.
If the applicant is covering certain costs as an in-kind contribution, should those costs be included in the project budget? Similarly, should those costs be included in the M/WBE calculation?
No. In-kind contributions should not be included in the project budget and should not be included in the M/WBE goal calculation.
What is SED's Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation goal?
SED's participation goal is that 30% of each LGRMIF grant budget, exclusive of salaries and benefits, will go towards services, materials, or supplies purchased from minority and women-owned firms certified by NYS Empire State Development, Division of Minority and Women's Business Development.
Grants & Awards, Award Notification and Project Management
If we are not awarded the grant, are we told why?
Yes, you will receive an explanation why your project was not funded. In addition to this, your Regional Advisory Officer may be able to provide you with more information and help you consider how to revise and resubmit your application in the following year.
How long do I have to complete my project?
You have only one year to complete a project, from July 1 of one year until June 30 of the following year. You cannot accrue grant expenses before July 1, and you cannot encumber expenses or continue any grant-related work after June 30th. Due to recent delays in announcing our grant awards, however, we are advising applicants to plan their projects to cover only a six- to eight-month, in order to ensure the projects can be completed in under a year.
Can I transfer funds from one budget category to another during the grant year? If so, what is the process and timeline?
Local governments can transfer monies if the change doesn't violate the intent of the grant award, if they justify the request in writing, and if the change is consistent with the FS-10-A (Project Amendment) instructions. The local government must first gain approval from its State Archives Regional Advisory Officer, and then complete and submit before June 1 the online Budget Amendment Summary. Note that you must then sign an FS-10-A (Project Amendment) form in blue ink and mail three copies to the State Archives' Grants Administration Unit with a postmark of no later than June 1. The FS-10-A form and instructions are available in the eGrants System.
What are the final reporting requirements and when are reports due?
The following reports are due by July 31, one month after the end of the project: Final Narrative Report, Final Project Budget, Final Statistical Report, Final Expenditure Report, and Final Signoff. You can find these forms, with instructions for submitting them, on line in the eGrants system. Note that if you submit the FS-10-F after the July 31 due date, you must complete and submit the FS-10-F Long Form.
Where do I send my final reports?
That depends on the form. Most final reports and forms are completed and submitted within the eGrants system. Once you have completed the final project budget, the Final Expenditure Report (FS-10-F) must be printed, signed and submitted to the State Archives. You must submit three (3) copies of the form with original signature in blue ink to
New York State Archives
Grants Administration Unit
9A81 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Instructions for completing and submitting all post-grant award forms are available on line in the eGrants system.