Merit-Based Application Review Appeals Process

Merit-Based Application Review Appeals Process

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.