Last Thursday, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published a new interim final rule (IFR) for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, as well as sending out a Dear Tribal Leader letter requesting consultation on the newly released rule.
There will be a consultation session held on November 29th at 2 p.m. ET and two webinars hosted by the Department to provide clarification on the new rule on November 16th at 10 a.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET. In addition to the consultation session, the Treasury is accepting comments until December 22nd. Submit written comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Per the Dear Tribal Leader Letter:
The SLFRF program, authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, allocates $20 billion for Tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. In May 2021, Treasury published an interim final rule implementing the SLFRF program, and in January 2022, Treasury published a final rule (2022 Final Rule). In September 2023, Treasury published an additional interim final rule to implement the changes made to the program by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (2023 IFR). On November 09, 2023, Treasury issued the 2023 Obligation IFR to amend the definition of “obligation” set forth at 31 CFR 35.3, to provide additional flexibility to Tribes and other recipients.
Specifically, Treasury requests the assistance of Tribal leaders on the following topics:
1. The 2023 Obligation IFR provides new guidance that costs to satisfy administrative and other legal requirements applicable to the SLFRF program after the obligation deadline of December 31, 2024, has passed may be allowable with justification.
- a) What other ways does your Tribe expect to incur administrative and other costs apart from those listed in the 2023 Obligation IFR?
- b) With regard to payroll and benefits, personnel costs that are necessary to comply with administrative requirements and closeout are allowable after December 31, 2024, with justification.
- What established practices and policies does your Tribe follow to account for payroll for individuals involved in program closeout?
- What questions, comments, or recommendations does your Tribe have regarding payroll for employees who are not assigned to program closeout activities?
2. New guidance is provided in the 2023 Obligation IFR regarding contract and subaward amendments and replacements.
- a) The 2023 Obligation IFR makes clear that contract amendments to increase obligations after December 31, 2024, is not permissible. What comments or questions does your Tribe have regarding the implementation of this requirement?
- b) The 2023 Obligation IFR provides specific situations where a recipient may, after December 31, 2024, use SLFRF funds to replace a contract or subaward entered into prior to December 31, 2024. Are there situations that are not identified in the criteria that your Tribe has comments about?
3. What other questions or comments, if any, do Tribal governments have regarding the 2023 Obligation IFR?