(a) Grounds to suspend financial assistance with notice. If a grantee breaches or threatens to breach any requirement stated in §§1304.3 through 1304.5, the responsible HHS official may suspend the grantee’s financial assistance, in whole or in part, after it has given the grantee notice and an opportunity to show cause why assistance should not be suspended.
(b) Notice requirements. (1) The responsible HHS official must notify the grantee in writing that ACF intends to suspend financial assistance, in whole or in part. The notice must:
(i) Specify grounds for the suspension;
(ii) Include the date suspension will become effective;
(iii) Inform the grantee that it has the opportunity to submit to the responsible HHS official, at least seven days before suspension becomes effective, any written material it would like the official to consider, and to inform the grantee that it may request, in writing, no later than seven days after the suspension notice was mailed, to have an informal meeting with the responsible HHS official;
(iv) Invite the grantee to voluntarily correct the deficiency; and,
(v) Include a copy of this subpart.
(2) The responsible HHS official must promptly transmit the suspension notice to the grantee. The notice becomes effective when the grantee receives the notice, when the grantee refuses delivery, or when the suspension notice is returned to sender unclaimed.
(3) The responsible HHS official must send a copy of the suspension notice to any delegate agency whose actions or whose failures to act substantially caused or contributed to the proposed suspension. The responsible HHS official will inform the delegate agency that it is entitled to submit written material to oppose the suspension and to participate in the informal meeting, if one is held. In addition, the responsible HHS official may give notice to the grantee’s other delegate agencies.
(4) After the grantee receives the suspension notice, it has three days to send a copy of the notice to delegate agencies that would be financially affected by a suspension.
(c) Opportunity to show cause. The grantee may submit to the responsible HHS official any written material to show why financial assistance should not be suspended. The grantee may also request, in writing, to have an informal meeting with the responsible HHS official. If the grantee requests an informal meeting, the responsible HHS official must schedule the meeting within seven days after the grantee receives the suspension notice.
(d) Extensions. If the responsible HHS official extends the time or the date by which a grantee has to make requests or to submit material, it must notify the grantee in writing.
(e) Decision. (1) The responsible HHS official will consider any written material presented before or during the informal meeting, as well as any proof the grantee has adequately corrected what led to suspension, and will render a decision within five days after the informal meeting. If no informal meeting is held, the responsible HHS official will render a decision within five days after it receives written material from all concerned parties.
(2) If the responsible HHS official finds the grantee failed to show cause why ACF should not suspend financial assistance, the official may suspend financial assistance, in whole or in part, and under terms and conditions as he or she deems appropriate.
(3) A suspension must not exceed 30 days, unless the conditions under section 646(a)(5)(B) are applicable or the grantee requests the suspension continue for an additional period of time and the responsible HHS official agrees.
(4) The responsible HHS official may appoint an agency to serve as an interim grantee to operate the program until the grantee’s suspension is lifted, or as otherwise provided under section 646(a)(5)(B) of the Act.
(f) Obligations incurred during suspension. New obligations the grantee incurs while under suspension are not allowed unless the responsible HHS official expressly authorizes them in the suspension notice or in an amendment to the suspension notice. Necessary and otherwise allowable costs which the grantee could not reasonably avoid during the suspension period will be allowed if they result from obligations the grantee properly incurred before suspension and not in anticipation of suspension or termination. The responsible HHS official may allow third-party in-kind contributions applicable to the suspension period to satisfy cost sharing or matching requirements.
(g) Modify or rescind suspension. The responsible HHS official may modify or rescind suspension at any time, if the grantee can satisfactorily show that it has adequately corrected what led to suspension and that it will not repeat such actions or inactions. Nothing in this section precludes the HHS official from imposing suspension again for additional 30 day periods if the cause of the suspension has not been corrected.