ProgramCOVID-19 Federal Assistance e311
TopicsCompliance & Reporting
Funding SourceAmerican Rescue Plan Act, CARES Act, CSLFRF, FEMA, HUD, Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act
Is it appropriate for a consultant or other entity who offered free grant application assistance to later be considered in a competitive bidding process? What steps should a municipality take to mitigate the risk or appearance of misconduct?
A consultant or other entity who provided free assistance with a grant application may be able to seek consideration in a competitive bidding process. The feasibility and process of hiring such a consultant is highly dependent on the type of grant in question, as well as the federal agency that is offering the grant.
The applicant must review the rules and regulations surrounding the grant, specifically the procurement guidelines from the Uniform Guidance §200.318 – §200.320 when procuring services under a federal award. The procurement guidelines include, but are not limited to, the following:
- An applicant must have and use their own documented procurement procedures that comply with state and local laws and regulations, and with Uniform Guidance §200.318 – §200.327.
- An applicant must ensure the procurement is conducted in a manner providing full and open competition.
- An applicant must maintain oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of their contracts or purchase order.
- An applicant must maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the actions of its employees engaged in the selection, award, and administration of contracts.
It is also important to consider and follow any relevant procurement and conflict of interest policies, both from the granting agency and the applicant. An applicant should also consult its legal department to ensure compliance with all established policies and procedures.
Last Updated: March 1, 2023
 2 CFR 200.317-.327, Procurement Standards, available at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-2/subtitle-A/chapter-II/part-200/subpart-D/subject-group-ECFR45ddd4419ad436d.