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What is That?!?!

Written by Stephenie Slahor

Whether it is time for the budget, a grant or management of funds, there may be moments when you wonder what a particular financial term means or whether it applies to your situation. Here is a list of some of the words and phrases you might encounter in police finance.

AWARDS. While this is often used in the context of a grant, it can also include other funding processes, such as cooperative agreements, interagency agreements, or contracts for goods or services.

BUDGET PERIOD. This is a specific block of time for which a budget is approved for an award. It cannot exceed the project’s actual period of time.

CLOSEOUT. If all applicable administrative work has been completed for a particular process (such as a grant or contract), the process can undergo a “closeout” to end it.

FOCUS GROUP. Usually found in the context of a federally funded project, this term defines a meeting that might include employees, administrators, specialists, experts or others to discuss the progress, improvements or results of a project. It is a formal meeting and thus needs an agenda regarding activities, problems and other steps that must be discussed, evaluated or finalized.

MATCH. This is a share in the costs of a project or activity. Matches can be cash or in-kind, depending on the terms of any agreements applicable to the project or activity.

NON-EXPENDABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY. This is tangible personal property that has a particular value and a useful “life” of more than one year. The value might be set by a term of a contract or grant (e.g., $5,000 per unit).

OBLIGATION. This imposes a legal responsibility to pay a sum for goods or services according to a contract, grant or other agreement.
PASS-THROUGH. Usually used in the context of a state’s obligation, this means there is a requirement that a particular sum be paid, for example, to a local government. A pass-through obligation might also be required to be paid to a group of local government units or other organizations specified in a contract or grant.

PERSONAL PROPERTY. This is property that is not “real property,” of land and structures on the land. Personal property can be tangible (it exists) or intangible (it does not physically exist, but it has value, such as a copyright or a patent).

PRE-AGREEMENT COSTS. These are costs that are necessary to the project or activity, but they come into being before the actual starting date of that project or activity.

PRIOR APPROVAL. Often, before there can be a budgetary or program change to a project, there must be approval from an authorized official. The official is an authority “above” the project or activity, not someone from the project or activity itself.

PROGRAM INCOME. This is the gross income earned during the funding period from a direct result of the program’s award (directly related to the project). As a control, program income can be spent only on allowable project expenses as specified in any applicable agreement regarding the program.

SUPPLANT. This term is usually used to define an action that deliberately reduces funds from a state or local government because of the availability of federal funds. If state or local funds were appropriated for a particular purpose, and then federal funds were given for the same purpose, the supplanting would occur when the state replaces its funds with federal funds, which, in effect, would actually reduce the total amount available for the particular purpose.

Stephenie Slahor, Ph.D., J.D., writes in the fields of law enforcement and security. She can be reached at drss12@msn.com.

Published in Law and Order, Oct 2010

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Comment on This Article

What is That?!?!

By Bob Veigel

Stephanie Slahor does an excellent job giving beginners like myself an invaluable resource on terms that are important to know.

Submitted May 15 at 10:20 AM

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