For Grant Applicants and Recipients of Office of Insular Affairs TAP, MAP, and CRNR Programs

Questions from Prospective Applicants

Q1: Who is eligible to apply for Technical Assistance Program (TAP), Maintenance Assistance Program (MAP), and Coral Reef and Natural Resources (CRNR) Initiative funding from the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA)?

A: Insular Area government entities, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations whose grant proposals directly benefit the Insular Areas served by the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA).

Federal entities who serve the Insular Areas may be eligible to utilize OIA funding through an Interagency Agreement and must work with OIA for more information.

Q2: What are the Insular Areas that are served by OIA?

A: In accordance with 2CFR200, the Insular Areas served by OIA are the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and the three freely associated states which are the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau.

Q3: What is a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, and do I need one to apply for an OIA grant?

A: Yes, in order to apply for a grant from OIA, each entity must have their own UEI.

The UEI allows entities to do business with the federal government. Applicants must register at SAM.GOV for a new UEI and should always maintain a valid UEI.

  • Register on the home page for the UEI.
  • For help or technical issues related to the UEI, please contact the Federal Service Desk at
Q4: Are individuals eligible to apply for discretionary grant funding from OIA?

A: No. Individuals are not eligible to apply for funding from OIA.

Q5: When does discretionary grant funding under the TAP, MAP, and CRNR programs become available or open for applications?

A: Generally, each October, a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is posted on under CFDA 15.875 announcing grant funding available each fiscal year for the TAP, MAP, and CRNR programs.

Other grant programs available from OIA, such as the Brown Tree Snake program, are also announced on under CFDA 15.875. Each program has its own NOFO with all details on eligibility and application guidelines.

Q6: When are applications due for TAP, MAP, and CRNR programs?

A: The deadlines for TAP, MAP, and CRNR will be listed in the NOFO but has generally been between March to May each year. Each grantee is responsible for reviewing deadline dates in the NOFOs posted on

Q7: What should I submit with my application?

A: Each NOFO from OIA that is posted on under CFDA 15.875 includes an application package checklist.

A sample application package checklist is listed below for reference only. Each applicant is responsible for checking the most current application checklist that is part of the NOFO for the specific grant to which they are applying.

Sample Application Package Checklist photo

Q8: Am I allowed to write a grant application for an organization and then receive the funding to do the work?

A: No. As per 2CFR200 guidelines for discretionary funding, you are not allowed to preselect the contractor. You must follow requirements of 2CFR200 including requirements in 2CFR200.319.b.

Q9: Can OIA Technical Assistance Program (TAP) Division staff members review and comment on draft grant applications or provide individual assistance to any grant applicant?

A: No. OIA TAP staff members are prohibited from providing this type of individualized assistance to any grantee as it would provide unfair advantage to the applicant receiving assistance under these competitive programs. OIA may only provide general guidance that is publicly available to all applicants, such as the NOFO, this list of FAQs that is posted on the OIA website, press releases or social media posts related to grant announcements.

Q10: What if our organization has a poor single audit?

A: A poor single audit may negatively affect your score in the review process. OIA does review the audits on the Single Audit Clearing House to determine or assess your risk level as a first-time grant applicant or as an ongoing grant recipient. Conversely, a positive single audit may positively affect your score in the review process.

Q11: What if our organization has limited financial management capacity?

A: Sometimes local governments or local non-profit organizations who apply for funding from OIA have limited financial management experience or limited financial capacity. In some cases, national or territorial governments agree to serve as the funding recipient and fiscal sponsor for the applicant. The fiscal sponsor is the grantee and is responsible for ensuring compliance with 2 CFR 200. Any efforts taken by an organization to meet financial management recommendations and requirements under 2CFR200 will strengthen any organization’s standing in the review process.

Q12: Can I apply for a grant after the deadline has passed?

A: No. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a grant after the deadline has passed. However, you are welcome to apply in October when the new announcement opens. This is because this is a competitive program and OIA cannot provide unfair advantage to any one grantee.

Q13: When will I know if my grant application was approved?

A: Generally, OIA makes award decisions, announces, and distributes approved grant awards between May and September of each fiscal year. If your application was not approved for funding, you will receive an automatically generated response from GrantSolutions by October 30 letting you know that your application was not chosen.

Q14: Why did I receive a “BAD REQUEST” response when I tried to apply for an OIA grant on

A:  If you receive a BAD REQUEST, blank page, or other errors when clicking on the APPLY button, it indicates that you don't have the necessary roles. If you are an organizational applicant, please make sure you have added the organization's Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) as an organization profile on your account. If you are an individual applicant, please make sure you have added an Individual profile to your account.

If you are not the Electronic Business Point of Contact (EBIZ POC), please also ensure that your organization's EBIZ POC has registered with and has added the UEI as a profile to their account and ask them to assign roles to your account. Your ticket number should always be listed in the subject line of this email. Please always make note of your ticket number which is usually listed in the subject line of any email message received. It will be referenced by the Help Desk.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact the Help Desk. If your request is urgent, please call the help desk at 1-800-518-4726. The Help Desk is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, excluding federal holidays.

If you are an international customer, you may call the local line at 606-545-5035. The Grants local line is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, excluding federal holidays.

You may also e-mail your request to Email is typically responded to within one business day. However, it may take up to two business days to receive a response, depending on volume.

Questions from Current OIA Funding Grantees

Q15: We need more time to complete the project using the funds we have been awarded. Can we ask for an extension of time to spend the grant funding?

A: Yes, requests for extension may be granted if the extension is for items within the existing scope/purpose of the grant. Extension requests for items outside of existing scope/purpose will not be approved. Your entity must send an email request asking for a no-cost extension to the grant manager who was assigned to your grant in your entity’s official notification of award letter.

Q16: Can I obtain additional funding in a request for no-cost extension?

A: No. Grant extensions, when approved, do not provide any additional grant funds, hence the term no-cost extension. OIA will not provide additional funding for an existing grant award. Any requests for new funding, would require a new grant application which would be considered competitively.

Q17: How long are no-cost extensions usually granted?

A: No-cost extensions, when approved, may be allowed for a full fiscal year. Grantees are encouraged, however, to complete their projects before the extended period of performance expires.

Q18: Do I have to wait until the end of the extended period of performance to submit my final reports?

A: No, grantees may submit final reports as soon as they are complete, even if before the extended grant deadline. As per 2CFR200, each grant recipient has until 120 days after the close of a grant to submit the final report.

Q19: Why is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contacting us related to the OIA grant that our entity was awarded?

A: USACE may contact you once your grant is awarded since USACE assists with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews for OIA grant funding, as applicable.

Q20: Can our entity begin work on our grant project before the NEPA process is complete?

A: No. Grant recipients must not begin any work on the project or process any drawdowns except for those needed as part of the NEPA review process. Once OIA issues the Authorization to Proceed (ATP), the grantee may begin work on the project.

Q21: Can a grant recipient drawdown funding for activities related to the NEPA review process?

A: Yes, grantees may be allowed to drawdown funds for expenses that are only related to the NEPA review process, prior to issuance of the ATP.

Q22: Do all grant awards have to undergo the NEPA review process?

A: Yes, all grant funding provided through OIA is subject to a NEPA review process, as applicable.

Q23: What is the NEPA?

A: As defined on the Council for Environmental Quality website, the NEPA required federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of proposed major federal actions prior to making decisions. Federal funding through OIA is required to conduct a NEPA review process prior to the beginning of work.

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