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Q: I am having trouble re-registering my unit in SAM; what do I do?
A: CG entities may have issues registering in SAM.gov based on the below, which advised that Intra-governmental transactions (IGTs) are no longer available as an option in SAM.gov to renew. The USCG Finance Center reimburses CG units which require them to be registered in SAM. Our only option is “Register for Financial Assistance Awards Only,” which includes getting a UEI and entity registration. You may want the vendor maintenance team to investigate as CG units are having issues registering, given the below update. Our POC at DHS is Kate Oliver, Kate.Oliver@hq.dhs.gov and she is on the board at GSA and may can be of further assistance.
Q: I need to change the administrator for my Sam.gov account.
A: A notarized letter works best for admin changes in Sam.gov. The letter format is provided on the Sam.gov site.
Q: Sam.gov is refusing to renew my entity.
A: Ensure your business name and address listed in Sam.gov matches what the IRS, CAGE, and your bank accounts have on file. Sam.gov will often ask you to forward these documents, which all need to match.
Q: Can I charge a fee for a boat purchased using AFC-30s?
A: It depends; if you are charging a fee to generate a profit, the fee would be against policy. But if the fee is to recoup a Non-appropriated expense such as a salary of a NAF employee or maintenance, then a fee is authorized.
COMDTINST M1710.13D Enclosure (5) NOTE 7: “Fees may be charged to recover the non-appropriated fund costs associated with management and maintenance of APF-provided equipment and materials. APF may not be used to procure items to be rented to generate revenue in Category C Activities.”
Q: Can a unit use MWR funds to buy alcohol?
There are no prohibitions with the use of morale funds to purchase alcohol as long as the type of alcohol purchased is IAW CG Regs, which is currently beer, wine, or ale; no hard liquor (i.e., rum, scotch, vodka, and the like).
A: Only CSC can grant authorization to purchase "any" type of alcoholic beverage using NAF/morale funds. This authorization is typically granted to Clubs, Snack Bars, and/or Restaurants.
Q; If we contract an instructor to teach dance or any lessons to minors, will they need the tier one check just like the staff, or is that just for direct employees?
A: CIM 1710.13D does require "contracted services/individuals," providing recreational services to children under the age of 18, undergo a Tier I background check. The background investigation will be the same as conducted for CDC employees. Further, employees or contractors may be allowed to begin employment or contract execution before the documentation of a successful background investigation as long as they stay in a continuous, direct line of sight of an employee with a documented successful background check.
This said, this guidance only applies to kids under the age of 18 not accompanied by their parents or guardians to a "staged/targeted (group)" event or activity. To minimize risk and investigative background check requirements, we typically recommend that all kids under 18 attending recreational staged/targeted events or activities "must" be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Question go to app settings and press the "Manage Questions" button.
Q: I am interested in offering Bingo once a month. I intend to charge an entry fee and, instead of cash prizes, give gift cards and other items. I know this is a Cat C; however, I do not think this will be a feasible full-time venture. Can I do this as planned? Just once a month?
A: Yes, you can stage Bingo as planned if ref (a) is followed as it applies to conducting a Bingo event. In addition and IAW ref (b), you must first get CSC authorization to establish this Category C MWR activity, regardless of the frequency of Bingo events.
This said, before you spend a lot of admin time to set this up and if you have not done so already, I’d recommend first running this idea pass your command for concurrence and your Serving Legal Office for a legal opinion on conducting bingo games, for prizes, onboard your unit and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. After which, we can look at the possibility of allowing your command to “test the interest of patrons” before formally standing Bingo up at your unit as a Cat C MWR activity.
Ref: CIM 1710.13D, (a) Chap 5.C.6, and (b) 6.G.4
Q: The residential housing/MWR facility would like to install a small metal fire pit. Would MWR allow it? Do USCG MWR campsites have fire pits? The Housing policy very clearly restricts this activity, but what about if it were on the MWR portion of the complex?
A: Units operating temporary lodging facilities or recreational cottages shall be guided by the health and safety requirements of the Coast Guard Housing Manual, COMDTINST M11101.13 (series). Therefore as MWR Program Manager, we cannot supersede current Housing policies, especially as it applies to safety. You should consult HSWL to get their take on this since the CG's Safety and Environmental Health Manual, COMDTINST M5100.47 (series), is in HSWL's lane, not MWR.
Ref: CIM 1710.13D, Chap 1.F.18
Q: The command wants to pay a janitorial service to clean our CAT C lodging rooms using NAF funds. APF is not authorized to do this. Is there any regulation on using NAF funds to do this? How do we pay them with NAF if they are on an APF contract? I believe they want us to use the current base-wide contracted janitorial service.
A: CIM 1710.13D, Encl (5).13.e guides the authorization to use APF or NAF for janitorial services. Yes to Cat A and B; no to Cat C (only NAF funds); there is a process to reimburse the APF contract account with NAF.
Q: Could MWR sponsor a low-cost event by private associations (PA) on government installations with NAF (under $200) that benefits the entire community? Provided it is not a fundraiser for the PA. Since the PA is acting in a volunteer capacity, would this be permissible?
A: Section 9.e.(3) states - Use of Coast Guard appropriated or non-appropriated funds are not authorized to support spouses' clubs. Per Reference (e), the morale fund, when available, may help fund activities that are for the benefit of all unit members.
The "morale funds" are unit morale funds given to each unit based on the number of AD on their PAL. NAF should not be provided to PAs to purchase goods/services that will assist in their fundraising, even if it is for an event that may benefit the whole community.
Q: Can we pay an insurance invoice with appropriated funds?
A: Since this is a NAF expense associated with your Cat C MWR food and beverage activity, APF funding support is not authorized to pay insurance premiums.
Ref: CIM 7010.5C, Chap 6.A.2
Q: Can you use unit morale funds for the purchase of departing/farewell items? Can you use unit morale funds for the purchase of departing/farewell items?
A: IAW ref (a), farewell/departing gifts are not authorized with the use of morale funds. IAW ref (b), units may use APF to support "informal recognition'' initiatives for departing members to receive such items as medals, plaques, certificates, and the like as long as procedures are followed.
Ref: (a)CIM 1710.13D, Chap 6.C.3.d, and (b) CIM 7100.4A, Chap 5.0, 5.2
Q: Can you use MWR funds to support LDAC activities?
A: Since the LDAC is not an MWR program or activity, funding support for cultural days and events is prohibited. That said, the LDAC and the unit's morale committee may stage a joint "all hands" event for this purpose.
Ref: CIM 1710.13D, Chap 6.C.5
Q: Can I purchase $25 gift cards using morale funds and distribute them to each member as a holiday gift? Due to the Covid situation locally, we could not do anything for CG Day, and now it is the holiday season.
A: While there are no prohibitions against the purchase of gift cards for the crew or other eligible patrons, we encourage using CGX to re-invest into our morale fund distributions.
Q: What happens if an activity cannot pay an Unemployment Benefits bill from the state?
A: Ref: (a) CIM 1710.13D, Chap 6.A.2
With the potential closure of Cat B & C MWR activities with NAF employees in mind, the pandemic situation is another perfect example of why ref (a) was implemented, which "requires commands to maintain at least 3 pay periods of cash reserves to cover NAF personnel expenses." This is only a benchmark. Based upon weekly unemployment benefits by State, 3 pay periods of cash reserves for any program may be inadequate, especially if unemployment is long term. Recommend you verify with your State's unemployment services office or your CSC NAF payroll assistant to determine and budget accordingly for these costs, in addition to asking, "what is your command's liability if unable to pay unemployment claims?"
Q: Can USCG Auxiliary members purchase Disney Salute Military Tickets?
A: As a general rule, the CG Auxiliary are eligible MWR patrons for the CG. However, they are NOT eligible for the Disney Military Salute Ticket. The Disney Salute Ticket is mandated by the following requirements of which the CG AUX are not part of:
Eligible Service Members: active or retired members of the U.S. Military, including the National Guard, Reservists, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Spouses of Military Service Members also qualify if they are able to present valid and active U.S. Military IDs in the absence of active or retired Military Personnel or Commissioned Corps Members.
They are eligible to buy other Disney ticket offerings sold from MWR, just not that particular one.
Q: How often do Watercraft Operation Requests need to be updated?
A: IAW CIM 1710.13D. Chap 5.B.8, units are required to report any changes to morale watercraft inventory to CSC as they occur.
Q: A department on base asked if they could sell items unique to BASE as a fund raiser for MWR-related activities. The example they gave was wooden items engraved with logos specific to here like cutting boards, coasters, or something of the like. Can a department within a unit/command actually raise funds for their own activities? Or would this type of fund raiser go to BASE MWR and then the department could request funds?
Ref: (a) CIM 1710.13D, Chap 10.B.1.d
(b) CIM 7010.5C, Chap 3.B.2
(c) CIM 1710.13D, Chap 1.P, 1.P.e & Chap 5.C.7.j (last paragraph)
(d) CIM 1710.13D, Chap 10.D.2
A: IAW refs (a) and (b), units desiring to sell merchandise onboard CG installations must have CSC authorization to do so. If approved, the resale activity must be conducted via the unit’s authorized morale fund account. Profits from sells, via the morale fund account, must benefit the “unit as a whole” and not a particular unit entity unless so authorized by CSC (i.e. private associations).
IAW ref (c), fund raisers onboard CG installations are either authorized via the unit morale fund, the Combined Federal Campaign, or private associations if approved by CSC if resale is involved.
Lastly, other than the disposal instructions outlined in ref (d) for MWR property, please refer any “sales of government property” questions to your unit Property Officer.
Q: Are commands authorized to contract Nanny Services for Holiday Parties?
A: The Coast Guard does not have the authority to hire or pay for nanny services. We cannot enter into these contracts and hire services since it does not comply with existing legislation or CG policies. We must be cautious when providing any support involving minors. The CG requires specific background checks to allow a person to work with children. The CDC Program Manager has written a LCP working through the approval process, which could give the Commandant the authority to use necessary unlicensed childcare providers such as Nannies, etc.
Q: Can we procure bounce/jump houses?
A: Procurement of bounce inflatables such as bounce/jump houses are prohibited. For events such as CG Day, units may rent from a reputable business that properly sanitizes and maintains inflatables and equipment, along with a general liability insurance policy to cover bodily and property damage.
Prohibited Use of Morale Funds
Q: Can unit morale funds be used to support unit Mascots?
A: While station and unit mascots are a great tradition within the CG, providing support for these animals does not qualify as a necessary expense that may be charged to O&S funds or non-appropriated funds. All support costs (e.g., food, veterinary fees) for unit mascots must be borne by individual members of the unit on a voluntary basis, and must not be charged to appropriated funds or unit morale funds.
During a morale meeting last week, somebody suggested doing a secret Santa event in which the morale fund would provide each member with $25 to buy a gift for their selected person. Is this allowed?
No. Each member should purchase their own Secret Santa gift if they choose to participate in the event. As an aside, in all cases, we should not be giving out money to our AD.
Q: Is there a way for me to check if a shipmate fund requested item (July2018) is/was funded? I understand that the CG Foundation does not necessarily fund in the order that CG prioritized.
A: If the CG Foundation finds a donor, you will be notified within 2-3 days. If you were not contacted, then chances are that you were not selected by a donor.
Q: I am putting together a FY 2020 Shipmate Fund request...my unit was on the approved list for FY 2019, can I assume that at this point that all FY 2019 funds have been dispersed? I just want to make sure that I don't ask for the same items if there is still a chance for them to get funded in this FY.
A: Any item(s) previously submitted for the Shipmate Fund must be re-submitted if the unit still desires the item(s). The previous Shipmate Fund list will no longer be valid once the list generated from the new ALCOAST is approved.
Q: My CG UNIT was listed to receive funds for the requests below last year. Do you know if any were sent to MY UNIT? We never received funds, so I'm checking on what happened. Also, I’m asking to make sure we didn’t miss them somehow and to inform my Morale Officer on what to put in for this year.
A: If the CG Foundation finds a donor, you will be notified within 2-3 days. Remember this is a “wish list,” a lot of people mistaken this list because they see “approved” and believe it is a guarantee to receive funds (if available) almost like it is an end of the Fiscal Year fall out funds purchase. But this is not the case, it is only an approval to receive the gift offer. A donor would still need to select their number off the list and be willing to donate the funds for their unit to receive an offer.
Q: I was wondering if you have any insight into what number the on the D13 list was funded to. I submitted an item, #14 and wondered if I should resubmit this go around.
A: Donors can pick whomever they want to donate to. The CG prioritizes them numerically but at the end of the day it’s the Donors right to pick who they want to give funds too.
Q: What is the limit on the amount I can request?
A: Requests must be limited to items of value between $250 and $25,000. Requests for construction, services, and memberships will not be considered.
Q: Who do I submit my new Shipmate Fund request to?
A: In order to align with the CGF's request to consolidate by District, designated MWR staff at Bases Alameda, Boston, Cleveland, Honolulu, Kodiak, New Orleans, Miami Beach, Portsmouth and Seattle will identify a POC to receive, consolidate, and prioritize requests from all Coast Guard units in their geographic AORs, including, but not limited to Sectors, Districts, Areas, and HQ units.
D1: CIV Jennifer Young (617) 223-3467 or Jennifer.M.Young@uscg.mil
D5: CIV Sandra Hardison (757) 483-8671 or Sandra.D.Hardison@uscg.mil
D7: CIV Stephen Ondriezek (305) 535-4564 or Stephen.C.Ondriezek@uscg.mil
D8: CWO Christopher Hedrick (504) 253-4795 or Christopher.T.Hedrick@uscg.mil
D9: CWO Brandi Klause (216) 902-6282 or Brandi.M.Klause@uscg.mil
D11: CIV Laurie Capp-Carter (510) 437-3579 or Laurie.A.Capp-Carter2@uscg.mil
D13: CIV James Graddy (206) 217-6357 or James.A.Graddy@uscg.mil
D14: CIV Neil Morgan (808) 842-2953 or Neil.L.Morgan@uscg.mil
D17: CIV Richard Carmen (907) 487-5390 or Richard.C.Carmen@uscg.mil
Q: Can I request critical operation equipment?
A: Requests are limited to items not categorized as critical to CG operations or support. Shipmate funding is not an alternative funding source for required infrastructure, safety, or mission-related equipment or material. Examples of items that have been denied funding previously are professional development materials, Unaccompanied Personnel Housing furniture, Government-owned housing items, construction projects, and office equipment. Requests should focus on items to support the physical fitness, morale, and recreational needs of Coast Guard commands. Items in support of Coast Guard Child Development Centers are also authorized.
Q: Where can I find the approved shipmate fund spreadsheet?
A: One the list is approved you can find it on the Community Services Command CG Portal site under Shipmate Fund https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/csc/SHIPMATE%20FUND/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Q: Can I request jets skis or morale boat?
A: Requests for motorized MWR boats will not be entertained. Small human-powered craft such as kayaks, paddleboats, etc., will be considered.
Q: Where is the spreadsheet for me to put my requests on?
A: Submissions must be made using the Excel spreadsheet template found at the following web site: http://cglink.uscg.mil/195a8e74. Units must download the template and save the spreadsheet before filling it out. For each item, fill out Columns B through H. Place the quantity in Column K. After submit to your District AOR POC.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a sports grant?
A: Coast Guard Active Duty
Q: What's covered by the sports grant?
A: The Sports Participation Grant program offsets individual competition entry fees. MWR does not reimburse team entry fees, memberships, league dues, licenses, training programs, equipment, etc.
Here are examples of activities that MWR supports (notice the individual theme): Coast Guard Half Marathon; Ironman 70.3 Texas; Shamrock Marathon; Powerlifting Championship; Jiu-Jitsu Championship; CrossFit Competition (single event); Tough Mudder 5K (individual); Spartan Super 10K; Mountain Bike/Enduro Race.
Here are examples that MWR does not support (notice the team theme): Softball Tournaments; Football Leagues; Ice Hockey Leagues; Roller Hockey Leagues; Hockey Shootouts; Lacrosse Events; Soccer Clubs; Kickball Leagues; Rugby Clubs; CrossFit Certifications; Coaching Dues; Event Judge Fees.
If approved for the sports grant, you must provide a payment receipt, in your name alone, for a single competition entry. Again, MWR cannot pay for team events or anything related to a season of events/activities/tournament – it must be an individual competition.
Q: How do I apply for a sports grant?
A: To streamline the application process and encourage more participation, MWR eliminated the requirement to route grant requests via memo with command endorsement and approval by MWR cognizant authority. There's no requirement to pay registration first; submit the request when interested in an event to secure funding. MWR will obligate the funds and provide reimbursement guidance upon approval. See the latest ALCGPSC for details.
Q: I received approval for a sports grant. Can I be reimbursed for travel to the competition?
A: Travel expenses are no longer authorized to direct more funding to support additional service member requests.
Q: When will I receive payment for the approved grant?
A: We process payments throughout the entire NAF year, typically in the order received. There are several hundred to work through, so please remain patient. The program manager will communicate the payment schedule with all applicants.
Q: If I receive approval for the sports grant, how much may I receive?
A: Generally, each member may receive up to $400 in grants each NAF year (1 February through 31 January), not to exceed $200 for a single event for no more than two events. However, this is subject to change depending on the number of grants received. MWR will consider all requests for organized live and virtual events. The competition entry fee is fully reimbursable. Once NAF MWR sports grant funding is exhausted, you are placed on a supplemental list in order approved. We resort to this list for payments if the program receives additional funds.
Q: How do I submit a payment request for my APPROVED GRANT?
A: After you complete the event, request payment by submitting the MWR Sports Grant Payment Request.
1. Complete all fields listed on page 1
2. After you complete page 1, digitally sign the memo and save
3. Once the memo is signed, use the submit button to auto-generate an email
4. In that email, attach your payment receipts and/or other supporting documentation
NOTE: All requests must be submitted from the uscg.mil domain; otherwise, the request will be denied.
Q: Can I request a sports grant to obtain a certification or attend a sports-related training program?
A: No, grants offset competition entry fees.
Q: Who currently manages the sports grant program?
A: Route all questions and concerns regarding this program to the CSC MWR POC: CWO3 Kenneth Collins; Kenneth.S.Collins@uscg.mil.
Q: How do I receive payment for an approved sports grant?
A: The use of Zelle is mandatory to receive payments. Access Zelle through the link below to verify that your financial institution accepts this form of payment. You must provide your Zelle account information when submitting the sports grant request. https://www.zellepay.com/
Q: Can use AFT for flights that I won’t be on myself? For example, could I use it to fly my mother-in-law up for Christmas?
A: The answer is "yes"! Eligible patrons can definitely book flights, hotels, rental cars on behalf of close family. "Close" is a loose definition - but as long as it's the eligible patron completing the booking (making sure that the guest information matches the traveler), then they are good.
One thing to note: Some hotels require the guest to show the credit card on file from the booking at check-in, so having the last 4 digits + expiry on hand can be important. When in doubt - show the entire confirmation email at check- in.
Q: I qualify for AmericanForcesTravel.com, but my login is not working. I am a veteran who has submitted my dd-214 form, can you help?
A: Once a newly appointed veteran is in transition from active duty to veteran, their paperwork processing could take up to 90 days. This might prevent them from being able to directly login at AmericanForcesTravel.com.
Option 1 – Direct them to VetVerify.com to check and see if their paperwork process is complete, and they can register here as a veteran if so, so their login will work.
Option 2 – They can try accessing AFT via the Marketplace on www.shopmyexchange.com
Q: What status of veteran is qualified to use AmericanForcesTravel.com?
A: Honorable or general under honorable conditions
Q: Once a veteran’s paperwork is submitted and they want to shop on AFT, am I able to direct them anywhere if their login isn’t working?
A: Direct them to VetVerify.com and/or the Marketplace on www.shopmyexchange.com