Glossary of Terms / Frequently Asked Questions
Remember the final scene from the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? A nameless/faceless government employee pushes a huge wooden box, filled with the famed Ark of the Covenant, through a maze; as the camera pans out, we realize that the box is indistinguishable from the other, thousands of boxes filling a giant warehouse and that the box will probably never be seen again.
We don't want you to have that feeling when you deal with DCEO and the flow of paperwork that provides accountability for our grants administration process. Grant Tracker is the first step in demystifying this process. If you have a question we haven't answered here, please let us know.
Glossary of Terms
Frequently Asked Questions
Amount Disbursed – Payments that have been processed through the DCEO financial management systems. Payments are processed in accordance with the payment provision contained in individual grant agreements. In most cases, this process includes a DCEO programmatic review of costs reported and eventual approval of the payment request. Payment processing continues at the Office of the Comptroller with a few days delay. It is possible that Grant Tracker may indicate a payment has been made but it has not yet been fully processed by the Office of the Comptroller. Depending on the funding source of the grant agreement, cash may not be available in the state fund to issue the warrant to the grantee even though Grant Tracker indicates payment has been made.
Award Amount – The total amount the state is obligated to pay a grantee per the executed Grant Agreement. This amount is subject to review and approval of any costs charged to the grant.
Grant Begin Date – Unless otherwise indicated in the Grant Agreement, this is the earliest day that costs may be charged against this grant.
Grant End Date – Unless otherwise indicated in the Grant Agreement, this is the last day that costs may be charged against this grant.
Obligated – An agreement that has been executed (signed) by both the grantee and DCEO and has been fully processed through the DCEO financial management systems. This process continues further at the Office of the Comptroller with a few days delay. It is possible that a grant agreement may show as obligated in Grant Tracker and not yet be fully processed at the Office of the Comptroller.
Performance Measure - Agency performance measures are quantified data regarding the agency's activities and the ultimate impacts of those activities. Performance measures are used to provide feedback on how well the agency and its Offices are achieving goals and objectives with the resources available
Project Description – A brief narrative of the general purpose of the grant. This is not to be confused with the detailed Scope of Work and Budget contained in the actual Grant Agreement, which spells out the grantee’s responsibilities.
How far back can I search?
Grant Tracker contains grants that were active on July 1, 2008, which was the beginning of fiscal year 2009, to the present, by obligated date. The obligated date is key because that is the date DCEO's grant agreement is signed and in order, and we alert the Comptroller's office that we have a financial obligation to the grantee.
How often is Grant Tracker updated?
The data in Grant Tracker is updated nightly from a grants management database.
What should I do if I think I found an error?
If something doesn't look right to you, please let us know. We want to fix it, or verify the information.
Who monitors and audits these grants?
DCEO monitors every step of the grant process, providing oversight and guidance to DCEO grantees during the course of the grant life cycle. Steps include:
More information about DCEO's accountability and monitoring activities is on our web site.
Review and evaluation of grant applications: DCEO monitors/ reviews grant applications for quality, content, and adherence to eligibility requirements.
Review of performance measures: DCEO monitors/collects information on grantee progress toward completion of the project’s objectives using performance measures.
Approval of grant-required reports: DCEO monitors/tracks reports submitted. Submitted reports are examined for timeliness, content, accuracy and supporting documentation.
Ongoing communication: DCEO monitors/provides guidance to grantees by providing contact information for DCEO grant managers, Office of Accountability staff, and other DCEO staff to facilitate improved communication and cooperation between DCEO and grantees, and to provide better technical assistance to grantees.
Conducting desk reviews: DCEO may request additional grantee documentation to review from our offices.
Conducting on-site reviews: DCEO may schedule a review at a grantee location to review documentation, or to provide technical assistance as needed.
Conducting on-site visits: DCEO may schedule a site visit to observe a grantee’s physical plant and operations and discuss the project's progress.
Review of independent audits: DCEO may require an independent audit to be submitted in order to monitor/assess the grantee's fiscal and programmatic compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Keep in mind that, although DCEO may administer a grant, other state or federal agencies may also perform inspections. For example, DCEO administers numerous grants to fund innovation in the coal industry. To ensure that the grant is spent as intended, we have program staff and monitors. However, the Mines and Minerals Bureau at the Department of Natural Resources literally inspects Illinois mining operations.
Why do you offer a filter by legislative district?
DCEO is required, by law, to keep our grant information by legislative district.
Why do some opportunities have the same name with numbers such as Grant 01, Grant 02?
In some cases, one grant program is broken out into different opportunities; there can be various reasons for this. For example, federal reporting requirements may have mandated a minor naming distinction, or the number of grants issued from that Opportunity may have exceeded 999, whereby our internal grants management system would have created a new Opportunity to continue issuance of grants.
Why haven't I received my funding yet if Grant Tracker shows that the grant DCEO awarded my company has been obligated?
First, please be sure to review the grant payment provision contained in your individual Grant Agreement. If you have initiated a payment request through DCEO and it has been approved, check with your DCEO grant manager or the Comptroller's Office. Grants appear on Grant Tracker after DCEO has obligated them, meaning all of the paperwork is in order and we have submitted the financial obligation documents to the Comptroller’s Office. It does not mean that payment has been issued unless indicated as such.
I noticed that a grant has ended but the grantee did not use the entire award amount. What happens to the "leftovers"?
If a grantee is reimbursed for the project as it goes along, and doesn’t use the entire amount of the grant, the funding gets de-obligated and returned to the State. If a grantee receives all its funding up front, it is required to refund any unused portions of the grant. At times, DCEO has gone to court to have funding returned to the state.
Why are some icons larger in the Grant Locator map than others; in other words, does size really matter?
Size matters, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The size of the icon represents how much funding has gone to a county, but the map is not entirely representative. For example, DCEO awards workforce development grants to 26 Local Workforce Investment Areas annually. LWIAs perform a multitude of services for job seekers including job search assistance, interview preparation, and referrals to training programs and/or support services.
Grant Tracker will show you how much grant money went to each LWIA. But Grant Tracker doesn't show the sub-grantees, or where the LWIA invested the funding in several counties, so the map only reflects the original funding given to the LWIA headquarters. You will find the same situation with DCEO's Weatherization program, which distributes its funding to Local Administering Agencies (LAAs), which then weatherize homes throughout a region.
I'd like to see actual documents, such as the individual Grant Agreements. Do you have plans to post any documents on your transparency site?
Yes, the next phase of Grant Tracker is to provide redacted copies of our Grant Agreements. Redaction insures that no confidential or proprietary information is released.
How does the state's current financial hardship impact these grants?
Grants administered by DCEO are funded through a variety of sources, including state and federal. State grant obligations and payments may be impacted by uncertain revenue flows and/or other unexpected reasons as a result of the economy. Further information about state unpaid obligations can be found at the State Comptroller's web site.
If I can't find something on Grant Tracker, what should I do?
Please contact us. We may help you refine your search, or you may need to submit a FOIA request. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides public access to government documents and records. As a state institution, DCEO is subject to the Illinois FOIA. Requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act, response letters, and responsive documents are themselves public records. The Illinois Attorney General office website provides details about the Act. The Illinois Press Association website is another source of information.
Why can't I find the competitive Economic Development For a Growing Economy Tax Credit Program (EDGE) program on Grant Tracker? Or the Enterprise Zone Program?
These programs are tax incentive and exemption programs, not grants. The State Comptroller's web site displays tax expenditure reports for programs such as EDGE. At this time, only grants are provided on DCEO Grant Tracker. Loans are also not yet available on this site. DCEO's goal is to have all types of funding available for public consumption, including incentives, loans, and other programs. Until then, you may request this information through a FOIA request.
Does DCEO have approved lenders for the Participation Loan Program?
DCEO provides funding to lending institutions through the Participation Loan Program (PLP). The awarded banks then distribute the funds locally to be used for a number of business activities, such as purchase and installation of machinery and equipment, working capital, purchase of land, construction or renovation of buildings. You may find the list of DCEO-approved lenders on our web site.
When I click on one of the maps, it just keeps "loading" but nothing comes up. What do I do?
The map is built using Adobe Flash Player. Please make sure your version of Adobe is up to date by visiting http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer and downloading the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
Why doesn't Grant Tracker's total match the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) federally-required 15-12 reports?
The GOMB reporting is quarterly, based on historical information. Grant Tracker is a snapshot of the most recently recorded information.
How do I apply for a DCEO grant?
DCEO grants are offered throughout the year at different times depending on their program requirements. The DCEO web site contains information about all of the grant programs. We also broadcast grant opportunities through our Facebook or Twitter accounts.
I'd like to search by legislative district but I don't know my district number, only my elected official's name. How do I find out what number my district is?
A good place to start is the State Board of Elections web site for their District/Official Search.
You can also visit the Illinois General Assembly web site and click on "Members." To find out who your representative is in Congress, visit the Congressional Directory.
What is capital? What is the difference between capital and ARRA?
The filters at the top of the search box are there to assist you by offering common searches. Capital references the most recent capital, or infrastructure, plan that was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Governor Quinn. The Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan was passed in 2009. DCEO administers many of the capital projects, although release of the capital funds are contingent upon the sale of capital bonds.
While "capital" references an Illinois initiative, ARRA references the federal stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. DCEO administers many programs that have received federal stimulus dollars in order to provide more service to more people during the economic recession.