Retired and senior volunteer program (RSVP), 7.1(1), 7.4(1), 7.5
VOLUNTEER SERVICE, IOWA COMMISSION ON
Adopted and Filed
Pursuant to the authority of Iowa Code chapter 15H and section 17A.3 and Executive Order 48, the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service hereby adopts amendments to Chapter 7, "Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)," Iowa Administrative Code.
Notice of Intended Action for these amendments was published in the March 19, 2014, Iowa Administrative Bulletin as ARC 1386C. The proposed amendments described a new funding distribution and reporting process and were intended to bring the rules up to date.
An Amended Notice of Intended Action was published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on June 11, 2014, as ARC 1492C. The Amended Notice proposed to change language in Item 3 to provide further clarification of the terms and requirements for volunteer management and in Item 4 to clarify the distribution of funds and the time line for implementation and to allow for an exception in cases of demonstrated hardship. The Amended Notice was the result of stakeholder feedback and input requesting clarity and requesting that the rules reflect up-to-date requirements and processes.
In Item 3 of the Amended Notice, the term "active" was added to better define volunteers, and the requirement to submit a volunteer roster was removed. Furthermore, the volunteer management training reporting requirements were changed to require that the number of attendees and that the number reporting that the training increased their relevant knowledge be reported.
In Item 4 of the Amended Notice, the first paragraph was revised to indicate that the base level formula for funding applies to established programs and that a new base level is established each year. The paragraph further clarified how relinquished and new program funding will be distributed. In the second paragraph, the dollar value of the threshold per volunteer was removed, as the Commission will set the amount on an annual basis. The word "may" was added to qualify that program's funds may be reduced if the threshold is not met, and a timeline by which the threshold must be met was clarified. A clause was added to allow for exceptions due to hardships that may be other than financial in nature.
A public hearing was held on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, and five comments were received. The comments related to continued concerns about the following areas: training requirement, ability to meet the requirement for increased knowledge of training participants, funding threshold, and proposed reallocation of funding. Based on these comments, additional changes were made to the amendments adopted herein.
Based on feedback on the Amended Notice, Items 1 and 2 remain unchanged and Items 3 and 4 were again revised. In Item 3, the volunteer management requirement was expanded to include the provision of volunteer management resources, such as best practices and materials. In a corresponding change, the reporting requirement was revised to track the number of persons that report that the volunteer management resources, rather than only training, increased their knowledge. In Item 4, the last paragraph was changed to indicate that the Commission will retain funds for up to two years to be used to support RSVP training designed to increase volunteer recruitment and retention. Further, the subrule was revised to detail that, after two years, the funds would be distributed across other RSVP programs. The language now clarifies that, in such cases, these additional funds would be awarded on a one-year basis only.
After analysis and review of this rule making, no impact on jobs has been found.
These amendments are intended to implement Iowa Code section 15H.2(3)"i."
These amendments will become effective July 1, 2015.
The following amendments are adopted.
Item 1. Amend subrule 7.1(1) as follows:
7.1(1) RSVP grant. Each RSVP project which has a current memorandum of agreement notice of grant award to operate an RSVP project from the Corporation for National and Community Service (the federal domestic volunteer agency) is to be allocated a share of state funds appropriated for distribution. Each RSVP project shall submit to the commission a budget outlining the method by which the project will expend the grant allotted to the project and other information as requested by the commission.
Item 2. Amend subrule 7.4(1) as follows:
7.4(1) The commission and or the Corporation for National and Community Service shall issue a request for proposals containing project criteria and application forms instructions based on the most recent application instructions or notice of funding opportunity for RSVP that is available from the Corporation for National and Community Service for the appropriate fiscal year.
Item 3. Amend subrule 7.5(3) as follows:
7.5(3) Reporting. All grant recipients shall submit biannual progress and financial reports to the Corporation for National and Community Service and provide these reports to the commission. Beginning in state fiscal year 2015, RSVP projects will report to the commission, with each payment request, the number of active volunteers serving in the prior period. RSVP projects will also report to the commission the number of persons provided with volunteer management resources, such as training, best practices, and materials, and the number of persons who report that the training increased their knowledge of effective volunteer management practices.
Item 4. Amend subrule 7.5(4) as follows:
7.5(4) Distribution of funds. The base-level formula for distribution of funds for established programs will be based on the 2001 prior fiscal year's state funding levels. When applicable, any relinquished funds will be distributed based on the existing the current fiscal year's distribution formula. New programs that are not state-developed will begin at the minimum base funding level for RSVP grants established by the commission.
Beginning in state fiscal year 2016, distribution of state funds will include an established maximum average cost per volunteer as determined by the commission on an annual basis. The maximum cost per volunteer will be set one year in advance. If the commission does not establish a new rate, the prior rate remains in effect. The average cost per volunteer calculation is based on the number of volunteers divided by the sum of awarded state plus federal funds. Any program that exceeds the maximum cost at the time of the January biannual progress report may have subsequent grant awards reduced to comply with this threshold. Additional funds that are not awarded due to these reductions will be retained by the commission for up to two years to be used to support RSVP training designed to increase volunteer recruitment and retention. If, after two years, the project from which the funds have been retained has not met the maximum cost per volunteer threshold, the funds will be distributed to projects that are below the maximum volunteer cost threshold with the understanding that the funds are provided on a one-year basis. The commission may grant a temporary exception to the maximum cost requirement for new projects or in the case of financial or other hardship.
[Filed 1/26/15, effective 7/1/15]
Editor's Note: For replacement pages for IAC, see IAC Supplement 2/18/15.