The Role of Cost Share in the Fish and Wildlife Program
A regional, ecosystem-based recovery effort cannot succeed with just BPA ratepayer funding. Partnering and/or cost sharing in the Fish and Wildlife Program makes more funds available for a broader array and volume of projects, encourages more diverse participation in program implementation, and facilitates improved continuity, cohesiveness, and effectiveness of the actions implemented by many entities.
In the project proposal process, BPA and the Northwest Power Planning Council ask that all project proponents identify the amounts and sources of additional funding that will be applied to their projects, and to estimate the certainty of securing the funding.
In October of each year, BPA asks sponsors whose projects were funded to provide updated information about the cost chare funding that was actually applied to their projects during the past Federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30).
How Cost Share Data is Used
Reporting the level and sources of cost share funding associated with projects in the Fish and Wildlife Program demonstrates transparency, a broad base of funding, and cost-effectiveness in program implementation spending from all sources.
Confirming and quantifying cost share data is most important in areas of unclear or shared responsibility, where reasonable cost sharing can demonstrate that BPA funding is not supplanting that (or “in lieu of” that) of another entity already authorized or required to undertake the activity. Updated cost share data supports in-lieu analyses and can help verify progress towards minimum cost share requirements where applicable (currently, the latter only applies to projects on US Forest Service land). As projects are implemented, he nature and extent of another entity’s authority or requirements to undertake the activity may change. New or additional information about the amount and nature of cost sharing offered may emerge.
Following up to confirm what was actually secured versus what was provides valuable feedback to the Program’s decision-making process. We may attempt to measure discrepancies between a given project's proposed and actual cost share. In these cases, cost share that was "in development" and falls through is less of a problem than cost share that was "confirmed" and falls through. If something falls through but something else takes its place, this is usually fine. We are more focused on totals over multiple years than we are in tracking individual items. We know that it is challenging to predict the exact timing or certainty of a given cost share item.
Guidance for Entering Cost Share Data in Pisces
Cost share – For our purposes, the term covers funds or donations that directly support a project in the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program.
Source - The agency or organization providing the original funding for the cost share.
Item - A brief description of the work, service, or item that makes up the cost share.
Fiscal Year - The Federal fiscal year (10/1 - 9/30) in which the cost share occurs. See Cost Share Timing below for more information .
Cash - Cost share that is paid for with money.
In-kind - Cost share that is donated. In-kind may include materials, labor, or services.
Cost Share Timing
Here are some basic guidelines to help you determine the fiscal year in which cost share data should be credited. For "cash" cost share, use the date that money was spent on a given item. For "in-kind" cost share, use the date that the materials were acquired or the date(s) on which the service or labor occurred.
Pisces pulls projected cost share estimates directly from the proposal database. This keeps you from having to re-enter the data you already submitted during the proposal process and allows us to compare the proposed cost share to the actual cost share. The proposal narrative forms did not include a structured data field, and allowed you to enter cost share "sources" as free form text. Wherever possible, your entry was translated into a known Pisces organization. In some cases, this was not possible. In these cases, you will see either "(Unspecified Org)" or "Local partners". While you can no longer go back and edit the proposal “source” (the name of the co-funding organization), you can update or clarify the “item”. Also, some sponsors entered BPA-funded items as cost share. These entries were removed for obvious reasons. When multiple sources were identified for a single item, we chose the first organization from the list.