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AL Bulletin 440-14-4

Date:  November 7, 2013

Subject:  PGM - Policy on Contract Management of EQIP/WHIP/AWEP/CSP Conservation Program Contracts

Purpose:  To provide instruction on management of conservation program contracts and specifically to address contracts with little or no activity in the previous 12 months. 

Expiration Date:  September 30, 2014

For a contract that has had no financial activity within the first 10 months after obligation, take the following action at the start of the 10th month.  Send the participant a letter and give them three options:

  1. They may request cancellation without cost recovery;
     
  2. They can notify us that they have commenced a financial activity which means that they have proof of physical activity on the ground where they have started and we have seen this proof and have documented this in the notes in the case file;
     
  3. They may request a waiver (CPC-AL-1) for an additional 12 months from the State Conservationist based on a hardship.  If at the end of the 22nd month (from obligation) they have not commenced, we will write them a pre-termination letter notifying them that a practice has to be completed by the 24th month (from obligation) or the contract will immediately be terminated (at that time we will send them a letter stating that the contract has been terminated). 

For contracts that we have had no financial activity within the past twelve months, (whether or not we have previously paid for other items on the contract) or the landowner is not responsive to correspondence from field personnel, we encourage termination of these contracts. 

If any funds have been expended from the contract, a letter must be provided from the DC stating that the installed practices are still in place, will stand on their own, and will be maintained for the life span of the practice. The DC will write the participant a letter (pre-termination letter) giving them 30 days to contact the office and complete a practice or the contract will be immediately terminated on day 31.  The letter will be sent certified with return receipt.  If the certified letter is returned un-received, we will at that time terminate the contract.  A sample pre-termination letter is attached to this bulletin.

Termination Letter.  Under very limited circumstances is a contract to go for over 36 months (this does not include old contracts that were written under different rules).  At the end of 36 months, NRCS has the right to terminate the contract.  If they respond to the inquiry and have commenced or will commence within 30 days, they will have an additional 60 days to complete the practice.

In relation to contract length, we need to stress with participants at the time of obligation of funds that these contracts are two years and they have two years to get the work accomplished.  In regard to the one year of maintenance, all conservation program contract participants sign an appendix.  DC’s should ensure that they initial #6 on page 2 and sign the 1245 which requires them to maintain the practice for the lifespan of the practice, regardless of contract length.  In most instances the life span exceeds the contract length.

If you have questions regarding this bulletin, contact Steve.Musser@al.usda.gov, or (334) 887-4503.

/s/

WILLIAM PUCKETT
State Conservationist

Attachments:  Pre-termination letter, Termination Letter

 

 

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