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CCI offers guidance to schools on new law concerning grant accountability, transparency

magnifyingGlass2A new Illinois law will increase accountability and transparency in the use of public funds while also reducing any administrative burden on state agencies and grant recipients. 

The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, or GATA for short, sets up a free process that hopefully will not be too complicated.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois is offering the following guidance to GATA since the law does apply to Catholic and other nonpublic schools who are direct recipients of an award from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) or another government agency, such as any school participating in Preschool for All or the National School Lunch Program.

Receiving services through Title grants from your local school district does not classify a Catholic school as a grantee and does not require participation in GATA. If your school is a direct grantee, the following will help guide you through the process. Or you can click here for a PDF version of the following guidance.

How to Comply with the Grant Accountability & Transparency Act

Each direct grantee must complete the following:

1.  Registration — Complete registration on the GATA website at www.illinois.gov/sites/GATA/Grantee/Pages/default.aspx.

To be qualified (and to register on the above site) for a fiscal year 2017 grant award, each grantee must:

— have a current DUNS number (click here to learn how to get a DUNS number);

— have a current SAM CAGE Code (click here to learn how to get a SAM CAGE Code);

— NOT be on the Federal Excluded Parties List (click here to verify you are not on the list by using the Quick Search).

2.  Fiscal Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) – After completion of the registration process, an automated email will provide a link to access the grantee’s State of Illinois ICQ form, which must be completed and submitted.

3.  Program Risk Assessment – Access this assessment via the IWAS login portal and choose the GATA Risk Assessment System. A DISTRICT ADMIN-level user must submit the GATA Risk Assessment. Technical assistance regarding system access steps can be directed to the ISBE Help Desk at (217) 558-3600.

These three steps – grantee registration and submission of the ICQ and Program Risk Assessment – are required to be completed one time by each grantee and are good for one year.

You Can Check Your School's GATA Status

A new grantee status report has been created and can be accessed here by clicking on the “GATA Grantee Status Report” under the “Prequalification and Registration Status” tab. Please reference this link to assess your school’s completion of the GATA requirements needed for fiscal year 2017 grant execution. ISBE will update this frequently, so please refer back to this report for the latest information.

The following data elements in the GATA Grantee Status report tell you where you are in the process:

1.  RCDT – Region-County- District-Type Code for each ISBE grantee.
2.  Local Education Agency Name – Generic label to describe each ISBE grantee.
3.  DUNS Number Used for Grantee Registration – This is the nine-digit Data Universal Numbering System number entered by the grantee at GATA registration.
4.  Grantee Registration – Overall status of registration. If status is not indicated as “Complete,” refer to the adjoining columns to remedy registration issues.
5.  Illinois Secretary of State Standing – If status indicates “Not Applicable,” no further action is necessary. For status indicating “Unknown,” ISBE will notify you of appropriate action (if applicable).
6.  SAM.gov Account Status – If status is “Expired” or blank, please refer to the guidance for activating or creating a SAM.gov account provided at http://www.isbe.net/GATA/default.htm under the Prequalification and Registration Status heading.
7.  Fiscal Internal Control Questionnaire – If blank, please complete Grantee Registration. If status indicates “Unsubmitted,” please complete and submit the ICQ.
8.  Program Risk Assessment – If status indicates “Not Started” or “Started,” please complete and submit via IWAS to ISBE.

Need Help?

This process is brand new and will surely contain bugs. The first year will require patience and perhaps revision of this guidance. Still, ISBE is encouraging all grantees to complete the process as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact CCI's Zach Wichmann at 217-528-9200 or wichmann@ilcatholic.org; the GATA help email at GATA@isbe.net; or the ISBE Help Desk at 217-558-3600.

NOTE: If the hyperlinks above are not working, go to http://www.isbe.net/GATA/default.htm and click on the "Prequalification Requirement" header for active links on qualifying and the GATA Grantee Status Report.