• OVC Grant Funds Available Despite Partial Government Shutdown

    Release Date: 01.25.2019

    Message from Darlene Hutchinson, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, US DOJ Office of Justice Programs

    Good afternoon. I want to begin by expressing my personal gratitude for the work you and your teams do every day, assisting victims of crime and service providers in your states and territories. With the additional funding that has been available from the CVF in recent years, I can only imagine how difficult your jobs must be. All of us at OVC (and the business offices at OJP) strive to be a resource to you, and I hope you’ll call on us as needed.

    Today, I want to clarify some confusion that might exist among our grantees, subgrantees and stakeholders. Although the Department of Justice is among the agencies affected by the federal government’s recent lapse in appropriations, the Office of Justice Programs and OVC have been operational during this period. While grantees were able to request draw-down payments all along, there was a short period (6 business days) when these payments were briefly delayed. When OJP and Department leadership became aware of the delay and possible ramifications, we responded as quickly as possible and, as of January 7, all draw-down grant payment requests have been processed daily. This was communicated to all grantees that day via GMS by OJP’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management. Any payment requests during those 6 business days were processed on January 7.

    Also, by now you’ve probably heard that OJP/OVC will continue to be fully operational through at least March 1, and draw-down grant payment requests will be processed.

    The safety, quality of life and emotional well-being of the crime victims we all serve are critically important to us, and of course no one wants to add to the anxiety they already experience; nor do we want to make the jobs of service providers more difficult. We certainly want them to have the most up-to-date information on the availability of grant funds. Therefore, we encourage you to share this information with VOCA subgrantees in your state, who may be concerned about news reports they’re seeing about grant funds not being available.

    All of us at OVC are honored to be affiliated with and assist our State VOCA Administrators – plus more than 6,700 subgrantees nationwide – that collectively serve 5 million crime victim each year. Please let us know how we can be of assistance to you. Thanks again for the work you do!

    Darlene Hutchinson, Director
    Office for Victims of Crime
    US DOJ Office of Justice Programs

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