NB_290_23_2 - NB 290-23-2 INV – Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 through 2026 State Resource Assessment-Operating Budget Plan (SRA-OBP) and FY 2024 Contracts, Grants, and Agreements (CGA) Data Call
NB 290-23-2 INV – Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 through 2026 State Resource Assessment-Operating Budget Plan (SRA-OBP) and FY 2024 Contracts, Grants, and Agreements (CGA) Data Call
National Bulletin: 290-23-2  
Date: January 5, 2023 
Subject: INV – Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 through 2026 State Resource Assessment-Operating Budget Plan (SRA-OBP) and FY 2024 Contracts, Grants, and Agreements (CGA) Data Call


Action Required By:   March 28, 2023
 
Purpose.   This national bulletin announces FYs 2024, 2025, and 2026 SRA-OBP and FY 2024 CGA data call and process.  
 
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2023  
 
Background.   The SRA-OBP process provides states an opportunity to request funding for their priority resource concerns and to document field-level workloads associated with conservation planning and Farm Bill program implementation. States will have the opportunity to adjust prior year submissions for FYs 2024 and 2025 and add in FY 2026.

Earlier Rollout.  Starting in FY 2023, the SRA-OBP data call process will begin in February to align with the formulation of the USDA and NRCS President’s budget submission. The state’s requests will be used in developing the agency’s budget and will help create a more stable and transparent funding process in the future.

Data entry begins with the February training sessions, and the submission deadline for SRA-OBP and CGA is March 28, 2023.

Conservation and Resource Estimates (CARE) Module.  This year, the new CARE module replaces the Practice Planning and Predicted Outcomes module in the SRA tool. The CARE module collects predicted treatment and financial assistance (FA) funding necessary to obligate contracts to address the state’s resource priorities. CARE will be piloted this year with the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Salary and Payroll Forecasting (SPF) Module.  Starting in FY 2023, states must use the SPF module for planning and implementing personnel decisions. The SPF module is a sub-component of the Operating Budget Plan (OBP) and the data collected helps the agency with analysis and reporting requirements. Enhancements to the tool include:
•  The SRA-OBP Summary Report, which can be downloaded and uploaded to the OBP tool so that users may directly take their SPF forecast and add it to their OBP forecast.
•  An enhanced download feature that allows users to download and edit data directly in a spreadsheet and then upload it to the SPF tool.
•  The opportunity to both plan for execution (current year) and formulation (future years) in their data call process. Users can switch between the current year for execution, which brings in actual data, and the next three formulation years, which are used during the data call to track future requests. 
 
Explanation.   The use of SRA data to inform allocation of funding received through the Inflation Reduction Act is currently under consideration. SRA guidance will provide additional information as the data collection period approaches.

Data collected through the SRA-OBP provides a basis for formulation and allocation of FA funds for the Agricultural Management Assistance Program, EQIP, Conservation Stewardship Program, and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Additionally, Regional Conservation Partnership Program easements and ACEP information will be captured within the Easement pages. The data helps establish and manage workload-based technical assistance (TA) needs. State FA estimates are an important factor in determining how funds are allocated within programs and initiatives. SRA funding request are used to assess each state’s demonstrated needs as they relate to regional equity requirements. Programs not listed will be handled outside of this process.

The FY 2024 through 2026 OBP will identify estimated TA needs at the program and budget object class level. States must provide detailed information in the CGA database for all planned contracts and agreements, including any associated full-time equivalent staff years. At this time, only FY 2024 is required in the CGA database. The CGA deliverable and tag definitions were updated last year for clarity and to capture the current Administration’s initiatives. Tags are used to identify contracts and agreements that target specific groups and are critical for accurate agency reporting purposes.

Training, Demonstrations, and Virtual Help Desk Office Hours.  Microsoft Teams (Teams) meetings will provide training, demonstrations, and virtual help desk office hours for the SRA-OBP and CGA data call. The Teams meeting invitations will be sent from the SRA.OBP@usda.gov email and will be displayed as “FPAC.NRCS.SRA.OBP.TOOL”.

SRA-OBP and CGA Teams training and demonstration invitations will be sent to state conservationists (STCs), STC executive assistants, assistant STCs for Management & Strategy (M&S), financial resources specialists, assistant STCs for Programs, state resource conservationists, deputy chiefs, and regional conservationists distribution lists. Please forward to your staff as appropriate.

The following are training and demonstration dates for the SRA-OBP and CGA:

·         February 22, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

·         February 28, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET (repeat)

Virtual help desk to answer questions on the SRA-OBP and CGA. Teams invitations will be sent to the SRA-OBP group mentioned above on the following dates:

·         March 1, 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET

·         March 8, 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET

·         March 15, 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET

·         March 22, 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET

SRA-OBP Links.  Information for the SRA-OBP can be found on the M&S Deputy Area SharePoint site at NRCS Management and Strategy Deputy Area> M&S Deputy Area- State Landing Page> SRA/OBP Tools> FY2023 SRA.

SRA-OBP Tool Access.  Individual users may access the SRA-OBP tool now to determine whether they have access or are aligned to the correct state. However, the SRA-OBP tool is not ready for data entry at this time. The team will announce during the training sessions when to start entering FY 2023 submissions. If you do not have access, are aligned to an incorrect state, or other team members need access, you can submit a request for SRA-OBP access at the new user access link.

CGA Link.  Information for the CGA can be found at NRCS Management and Strategy Deputy Area> M&S Deputy Area- State Landing Page> State CGA> CGA Documents.

The CGA Microsoft Access Database will be updated with an active FY 2024 tab prior to training sessions. The CGA tool functionality will remain the same as it has in years past. For any additional questions, please attend the help desk sessions or email the help desk inbox at SRA.OBP@usda.gov.

 
Contact.   Questions can be sent to the help desk inbox at SRA.OBP@usda.gov. The primary point of contact for the SRA-OBP team is Jeremy Bennett at jeremy.bennett@usda.gov or James Wood at james.wood@usda.gov.  
 
 

 /s/

ANGELA BIGGS
Acting Deputy Chief for Management and Strategy




EMILY FIFE                                                     JAMES E. TILLMAN, JR.
Regional Conservationist, Acting – Northeast      Regional Conservationist – Southeast




ASTOR BOOZER                                             XAVIER MONTOYA
Regional Conservationist – West                      Regional Conservationist, Acting – Central 


 
 
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