Review of the project submissions followed a three-part process. First, Recovery Office staff reviewed project and idea submissions for completeness and eligibility. Second, all eligible and complete projects were forwarded to the Pandemic Recovery Fund External Review Committee for scoring using the funding plan’s scoring rubric. The scoring rubric, which was publicly available throughout the application process, was designed to prioritize projects that both capitalized on the one-time nature of this funding, as well as advanced one of the priority issue areas as identified by the community. The scoring allowed projects to be ranked by their score, from 0 to 100.
Following the project scoring, Recovery Office staff reviewed all projects, using both the project score as well as other considerations that the scoring rubric could not take into consideration. These considerations included the served population, geographic location, transformative impact, unique approach or need, and availability of other funding.
Throughout this review process, the Recovery Office also reviewed proposed budgets and adjusted budget recommendations. For projects providing operational support or services, the Recovery Office set a standard of providing two years’ of operating support in addition to any one-time start-up costs. For capital expenditures, the Recovery Office provided acquisition costs and limited rehab or operational support. In reducing budgets in this manner, the Recovery Office was able to recommend a more diverse slate of projects, serving a higher number of communities.