Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Justice , Bureau of Justice Assistance
CFDA #: 16.607

Purpose of this program:

To protect the lives of law enforcement officers by helping State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies provide officers with armored vests.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The program pays up to 50 percent of the total cost of each vest order. Total cost includes the cost of the vests, vest carriers, attachments, inserts, and covers considered integral or essential for its proper care, use, and wearability, shipping, handling, fitting charges, and applicable taxes. The total invoiced price, after all vendor and prompt payment discounts have been deducted, is what the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) uses to determine the Federal match. This program only allows the purchase of body armor that has been tested and found to comply with applicable ballistic and stab standards promulgated by the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) Standard 0101.03 Ballistic Resistance of Police Body Armor. In FY 2001, this program allowed the purchase of stab-resistant body armor.

Who is eligible to apply...

Only chief executives of jurisdictions (or their designees) may apply for funds. Jurisdictions are defined as general purpose units of local government (e.g., cities, towns, townships, boroughs, counties, etc.), Federally-recognized Indian tribes, the 50 State governments, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The chief executive of the jurisdiction registers on-line, submits the jurisdiction application, and requests payment for completed vest orders.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Eligible jurisdictions must be general purpose units of local government, Federally-recognized Indian tribes, the 50 state governments, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The validity of the on-line registration process is verified through independent reviews which may include certification by the banking institutions serving the jurisdiction, the U.S. Census Bureau, and agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The jurisdiction submits the application to BJA via the Internet web site http://vests.ojp.gov. On-line instructions guide the jurisdiction through the application process. Law enforcement agencies or agencies with law enforcement functions which meet the Act's definition, will assist in completing the jurisdiction's on-line application by indicating the types, numbers, and costs of vests they intend to order. For jurisdictions and/or agencies without Internet capability, other means of application are available. Only those jurisdictions that complete and submit applications will be eligible for matching funds from BJA.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Applications received by BJA are reviewed for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with all program requirements. Each application is then checked against the availability of funds to cover up to 50 percent of the application's total cost, in keeping with established criteria for program fund allocation. When all checks are complete and the application approved, the jurisdiction is notified through e-mail that the necessary funds have been obligated.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Jurisdictions are permitted to apply only once per Federal fiscal year.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

A minimum of 15 working days may be required for complete registration validation, although jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies will have immediate access to certain program components during this validation process. A minimum of 20 working days may be required after the program closes for approval of the jurisdiction's application for funding. A minimum of 25 working days may be required for the electronic transfer of funds from the U.S. Treasury to the jurisdiction's bank account, once the request for funds has been received, reviewed, and approved by the Office of Justice Programs.

Preapplication Coordination

This is an Internet-based program. The jurisdiction is required to complete and submit an on-line registration form, providing information about the jurisdiction's chief executive officer, program contact person, and electronic banking information. The registration process is handled through the program's web site http://vests.ojp.gov. For jurisdictions without Internet capability, other means of registration are available. Only those jurisdictions with approved registrations are permitted to make application. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Only law enforcement officers may receive vests through this program. According to the Act, "law enforcement officer" means any officer, agent, or employee of a State, unit of local government, or an Indian tribe authorized by law or by a government agency to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, or investigation of any violation of criminal law, or authorized by law to supervise sentenced criminal offenders. Eligible officers may be full-time, part-time, paid or volunteer.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Direct Payments for Specified Use

Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


FY 03 $23,990,623; FY 04 est $272,000; and FY 05 est $25,019,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

This program approved 5,129 applications from states, territories, municipalities and tribal governments. These applications are expected to result in the purchase of approximately 190,000 vests. BJA experiences over the 4 years of program operation show that system design, technology and hardware adequately supported the program. The technical support help desk successfully fielded thousands of calls and e-mail inquiries from participants.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Jurisdictions with approved applications must request the federal match no later than September 30th of the fourth federal fiscal year following the end of the federal fiscal year in which their application was approved. In other words, the jurisdiction has four years beyond the year of their application to request payments for vests contained in that application. Payments of the federal match will be made whenever the jurisdiction indicates that at least part of the approved vest order was received and invoiced.

Formula and Matching Requirements

The program requires that each applicant jurisdiction be responsible for providing at least 50 percent of the cost of each vest purchased. Tribal governments may use Federal funds to provide this match; all other jurisdictions must use nonfederal match funds. Nonfederal fund sources include State and/or local jurisdiction revenues, private or personal funds, and contributions from insurance or workman's compensation consortiums. Asset forfeiture funds may also be used to meet the jurisdiction's matching requirement. Beginning in FY 2002, changes (Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act of 2000) (Public Law 106-517) gives preference to small jurisdictions (those populations below 100,000) guaranteeing them the full 50 percent match payment before payments are calculated and approved for larger jurisdictions. In addition, this law continues this grant program for an additional 3 years, FY 2002 through 2004.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...



Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


Payments and transactions are subject to audits by the General Accounting Office, Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General, state or local government auditors, and auditors from independent public accounting firms. Jurisdictions must follow their local procurement policies and procedures, including maintenance of reliable and accurate accounting systems, record keeping, and systems of internal control.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Recipients of federal funds are expected to retain documentation supporting all program transactions for at least three years after the closure of audit reports related to such funding. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving records has been started before the expiration of the three year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all related issues, or until the end of the regular three year period, whichever is later.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998, Public Law 105-181, June 16, 1998, and Bulletproof Vest Program Act of 2000, Public Law 106-517.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Interim Final Rule, Federal Register, September 23, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 184), Internet web site http://vests.ojp.gov.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Benefits Office, Bureau of Justice Assistance, 4th floor, 810 7th Street, NW., Washington, DC, 20531. Telephone: (202) 514-3447, fax (202) 616-0314, Email askbja@ojp.usdoj.gov/bja. Justice Response Center, 1-800-421-6770. Vest Technical Support Help Desk at 1-877-758-3787.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: