In alignment with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) and Federal Uniform Guidance, all Illinois Department of Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) competitive grants are required to utilize a merit-based application review process which must include a Merit-Based Review Appeal Process.
Merit-Based Review Appeal Process
For competitive grants, only the evaluation process is subject to appeal. Evaluation scores or funding determinations/outcomes may not be contested and will not be considered by the Department's Appeals Review Officer.
To submit an appeal, the appealing party must:
- Submit the appeal in writing and in accordance with the grant application document.
CLICK HERE to access the DCEO Merit-Based Review Appeal Request Form
- Ensure the appeal is received within 14 calendar days after the date that the grant award notice was published
The DCEO Appeals Review Officer (ARO) will consider the grant-related appeals submitted to DCEO through the Appeal Request Form and make a recommendation to the appropriate Deputy Director as expeditiously as possible after receiving all relevant, requested information.
- The ARO must review the submitted Appeal Request Form for completeness and acknowledge receipt of the appeal within 14 calendar days from the date the appeal was received.
- The ARO will utilize an Appeal Review Tool to consider the integrity of the competitive grant process and the impact of the recommendation.
- The appealing party must supply any additional information requested by the agency within the time period set in the request.
- The ARO shall respond to the appeal within 60 days or supply a written explanation to the appealing party as to why additional time is required
Documentation of the appeal determination shall be sent to the appealing party and must include:
- Standard description of the appeal review process and criteria
- Review of the appeal
- Appeal determination
- Rationale for the determination
In addition to the written determination, the grant-making office may complete the following:
- Document improvements to the review process given the findings and re-review all submitted applications;
- Document improvements to the review process given the findings and implement improvements into the following year's grant review process;
- Provide written notice to the appealing party as to how the identified actions will be remedied
Appeals resolutions may be deferred pending a judicial or administrative determination when actions concerning the appeal has commenced in a court or administrative body.