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Reporting rules and procedures for accepted AFG Grants

By Bryan Jack

Question: “We applied for AFG funding this year and we were successful. Are there any aspects of the grant reporting program that we should be concerned about?”

Congratulations! You wrote a successful grant, received funding for your project, purchased the items that you requested funding for and have implemented your program. Unfortunately your work is not done. When you accepted your AFG grant you agreed to follow certain reporting rules, timelines and procedures. In my previous AFG article I discussed how to receive your funding once awarded, and now I will discuss how to stay in compliance with the grant program’s “Reporting Requirements.”

Reporting requirements for AFG grants include a “semi-annual” and a “close-out” report to be filed. The intention of these reports is to insure that you are spending the federal money that you received and purchasing the items that you requested in accordance with your articles of agreement and your narrative statement. Essentially, these reports are the measure that the federal administrators use to track your progress and help maintain compliance. Additionally, these reports provide a communication/feedback mechanism and provide data for current and future program improvement.

The semi-annual report is due six months after the start of your performance period (if you were awarded a multi-year grant these reports are required every six months). To access and complete your semi-annual report simply log into the “E-Grant Application Access” link on the Web site. Once logged in choose “Grant Management” from the drop-down menu on the right side of the grant page.

This report is rather informal and only asks three questions. The first question asks you to provide the status of your grant (have you purchased equipment, have you implemented a portion of your program, what you have done to date). Additionally, you need to include any “milestones” that you have reached. Question number two asks if you foresee any obstacles in completing the grant by the end of the performance period. And the last question asks if you have begun NFIRS reporting. At the bottom of the semi-annual report page there is also space for any additional comments that you may want to add.

You must file a semi-annual report. If you fail to file you will be unable to request any remaining grant funds and you will be locked out of the system until you become compliant. Additionally, failure to file required reports may prevent you from receiving future or additional AFG grants.

The closeout or final performance report signals the completion of the grant process. This report is essentially the last and final aspect of your AFG grant. This report is due within 90 days of the end of your performance period. The final performance report is much more formal than the semi-annual report and requires you to complete a detailed financial questionnaire and provide a program closeout narrative. Included in the final performance report are six separate categories that must be completed. The flow of the closeout report process is relatively similar to the AFG online application.

The six categories, in the final report, include: a cover page, narrative, request details information, equipment inventory, residual supplies inventory, and a final financial status report. To access your “Final Performance Report” simply follow the same directions that were outlined above. The difference will be that you need to select “closeout grant” from the drop-down menu (this drop-down choice will appear during the 11th month of your performance period). Once logged in, complete all required sections and then submit your report. When your report has been reviewed and approved by the Department of Homeland Security, you will receive a “Final Closeout Letter.”

To make sure that you are in compliance with both current and pending grants, log on and check your E-Grant Application page often. For additional information or additional resources please visit, or review the grants management tutorial at

Bryan Jack is a grant consultant with and its sister site, A 15-year veteran of the fire service, Bryan is currently serving as Battalion Chief at Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District in Monument, Colorado. A certified Fire Officer and Paramedic, Bryan has been successfully writing, reviewing and consulting on grants for more than five years. For any questions related to grants, you can contact Bryan at He will be featuring some of the questions – and his answers – in upcoming columns.