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INL: Court Monitoring Program


Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:  Court Monitoring Program
Funding Opportunity Number:  INL-GEO-21GR001-06082021
Deadline for Applications:  July 8, 2021
Assistance Listing Number: 19.703
Total Amount Available: $58,000 USD


U.S. Embassy Tbilisi – Department of Justice, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (DOJ-OPDAT) announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a long-term criminal court monitoring program (CMP) in the Georgian criminal courts.  The three stages of the trial-monitoring cycle include information gathering, analysis, and reporting.  The CMP will be managed by a team leader (TL) who will be supported by a team of court monitors.  The TL will report to the grants officer and the DOJ-OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) at U.S. Embassy, Tbilisi.  The RLA will be responsible for everyday oversight and communication with the TL.  All reports and data will be submitted to the RLA within the required timeframes.  The aim of the CMP is to contribute to broader reforms in the Georgian criminal justice system and to support development of judicial structures that are independent, effective, and in compliance with human rights standards.

Successful candidates will be able to display an ability to competently perform the core responsibilities and meet the program objectives and priorities listed below:

Court Monitoring Team Qualifications and Responsibilities

Team Leader Responsibilities: The TL will lead/guide the program and will be responsible for reporting to DOJ-OPDAT as required.  The TL will provide a detailed monitoring strategy and will oversee and guide monitoring activities and methodology (i.e., involvement in identifying cases for monitoring and ensuring monitor access to courts).  The TL will review, synthesize, and summarize case reports and will prepare semi-annual and flash reports.  The TL will guarantee monitors are adequately prepared and equipped to conduct court monitoring and will provide field support to monitors as needed.  The TL will also conduct administrative and other management responsibilities, including overseeing personnel issues.

Team Leader Qualifications:  The TL should have a Master’s degree in law with at least 5 years of legal experience working as a practicing attorney.  The TL should have experience with the Georgian criminal justice system – including how criminal courts operate in Georgia, as well as a solid understanding of U.S. and other European legal systems.  The TL should also have at least 4 years of supervisory experience over a team of lawyers and/or legal staff.  The TL should have the ability and maturity to interact effectively with senior government and judicial officials and with the public.  The TL must have experience managing similar projects, including experience in project planning, oversight, and evaluation.  The TL must speak fluent English and Georgian and be comfortable with public speaking.

Court Monitor Responsibilities:  Court monitors will effectively monitor their assigned cases, including attending hearings, reviewing documents, and collecting other information as required by the TL.  Court monitors will create reports in a timely manner with each report including an analysis of the observed findings as required by the TL.  Court monitors will report to the TL in a timely manner and will inform the TL of any issues that affect the court monitor’s ability to complete his/her monitoring responsibilities.

Court Monitor Qualifications:  Court monitors chosen by the TL must be qualified to conduct in-depth monitoring and reporting.  Court monitors must hold a full legal degree to be eligible for the position.  Court monitors should have working knowledge of the criminal court system; however, significant legal experience is not required.  The TL must ensure court monitors do not have conflicts of interest that could compromise their ability to conduct unbiased, objective, and comprehensive court monitoring.  While some familiarity with court personnel or legal actors can prove to be helpful, monitors should not have a special relationship that could compromise his//her impartiality.

Court Monitoring Team Size:  The size of the CMP team should be sufficient to cover all the cities/courts listed below and should be sufficient to report on a meaningful sample of cases as agreed to between the TL and DOJ-OPDAT.

Priority Courts

The CMP will conduct regular monitoring of criminal trials in Tbilisi, Batumi, Rustavi, and Kutaisi criminal courts.  Court monitors should live in the local area of the courts they are assigned to.  On occasion, the TL may be asked to deploy court monitors to other courts throughout Georgia to monitor high-profile cases.

Program Objectives and Priorities 

Emphasis will be placed on the program objectives and priorities listed below and successful candidates must identify how they plan to support these efforts.

Program Objectives:

  • To hold the justice system accountable for its actions by maintaining a public presence in the major criminal courts throughout Georgia;
  • To identify and report on problem patterns and issues within the court system and to propose practical solutions;
  • Obtain reliable information on criminal justice practices to support ongoing efforts to improve compliance with fair trial standards and judicial reform;
  • To improve the administration of justice through a holistic approach by monitoring actions of all criminal justice actors (i.e., judges, judicial staff, prosecutors, and defense attorneys); and
  • To identify areas where further U.S. engagement will increase the capacity of criminal justice actors.

Program Priorities:

  • To maintain a constructive relationship with criminal justice system actors;
  • To recognize and attempt to understand the dilemmas and complexity of the decision that criminal justice system personnel face;
  • To help the criminal justice system reach its potential by identifying shortcomings, recommending practical solutions, and advocating for change;
  • To help to assure a balance is achieved between a defendant’s rights and the safety of the community; and
  • To communicate and share information, through CMP findings and reports, with our criminal justice partners, including the Prosecution Service of Georgia (PSG), judiciary (HCOJ), and Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

Monitoring Framework 

The CMP team will be required to monitor and report on criminal judicial proceedings employing a structured monitoring rubric provided by the TL and as described below:

  • CMP monitors will observe initial appearances, pretrial hearings, detention hearings, plea hearings, bench trials, jury trials, and sentencing proceedings.  The TL should develop and require all monitors to utilize a standardized court monitoring questionnaire for each type of hearing/trial observed.
  • Court monitoring may be carried out on any criminal case; however, priority will be given to jury trials and cases involving transnational organized crime, white collar crime, crimes alleged to be committed by or involving former/current law enforcement or government officials, terrorism, financial crime, environmental crime, trafficking in persons, domestic violence, child exploitation, intellectual property violations, and any other organized crime.
  • CMP case reports must provide an accurate account of the hearing events, provide impartial analysis (focused on observance of due process guarantees and compliance with legal codes and norms), and when possible, supported by a “snapshot” transcript of relevant judicial interactions. The case reports should include a comparative analysis of how the hearing either complied or failed to comply with domestic criminal legislation and international best practices and standards, especially those articulated in the European Convention of Human Rights and its case law.  The analysis should also include summary recommendations for improvement, supported by law.
  • The CMP TL shall submit a comprehensive report every six months (semi-annually) to DOJ-OPDAT in both English and Georgian. The report should include a comprehensive analysis of the hearings monitored, including trends and statistics identifying areas of concern.  On high-profile cases (as identified by the TL and DOJ-OPDAT), the TL will prepare a one-page flash-report in English summarizing the hearing or judicial event, which should be delivered to DOJ-OPDAT electronically as soon as the hearing is completed.
  • The TL must develop a plan to ensure observance of principles contained in the OSCE Trial Monitoring Reference Manual for Practitioners, specifically as it relates to professionalism, non-interference, impartiality, objectivity, accuracy in reporting, confidentiality, access to courts, and security.  The TL will also develop a proposed code of conduct that all team members must follow.
  • The TL must develop a proposed methodology for the collection of statistics and for reporting by individual court monitors. The TL will be responsible for generating CMP semi-annual reports and will be the primary contact with the Grants Officer and DOJ-OPDAT.
  • The TL will develop standardized questionnaires to collect statistical information disaggregated by each court monitored by CMP personnel.

CMP Reporting Requirements

Each CMP report should include statistical data and observations on the following:

First Appearance Hearings:

  • Number of hearings monitored in the reporting period;
  • Criminal Code articles charged;
  • Whether the court provided a proper rights advisement to defendants;
  • Motions brought by the parties and any subsequent judicial ruling;
  • Grounds argued for pretrial preventative measures under CPC Article 198(2) and whether there was factual support provided by the prosecution;
  • Number of cases where pretrial measures were imposed, broken down by each measure;
  • Amount of bail the courts imposed during the reporting period;
  • Amount of fines ordered in comparison to bail imposed in the same case;
  • Frequency of referencing ECHR standards and by which party;
  • Who represented the defendant (i.e., defense attorney, legal aid, or pro se); and
  • Trends in first appearance hearings.

Pre-trial Hearings

  • Number of hearings monitored in the reporting period;
  • Criminal Code articles charged;
  • Motions brought by the parties and any subsequent judicial ruling;
  • Number of stipulations agreed to by the parties;
  • Trends in the use of pre-trial stipulations;
  • Number of post-facto approved search warrants and warrantless search/seizure records admitted into evidence;
  • Number of court approved search/seizure records admitted into evidence;
  • Number of cases where the judge altered a preventative measure after ordering and reconsidering pretrial detention;
  • Who represented the defendant (i.e., defense attorney, legal aid, or pro se);
  • Right of victims/witnesses to security and support during the hearing;
  • Effectiveness of court administration (i.e. court resources and case management); and
  • Trends in pre-trial hearings.

Plea Hearings and Agreements

  • Number of plea hearing and agreements reached in the reporting period;
  • Applicable Criminal Code articles;
  • Number of plea agreements that included fines and total amount of fines imposed;
  • Compliance with Criminal Procedure Code requirements by judge during plea colloquy;
  • Trial stage where plea agreement is finalized;
  • Who represented the defendant (privately retained defense attorney or legal aid); and
  • Trends in plea hearings and agreements.

Bench Trials

  • Number of bench trials monitored during reporting period;
  • Criminal Code articles charged;
  • Did judge properly explain to defendant his/her rights and obligations;
  • Motions brought by the parties and any subsequent judicial ruling;
  • Whether a party sought to recuse/strike the judge or counsel and result;
  • Number of prosecution witnesses;
  • Number of defense witnesses;
  • Number/type of expert witnesses called by each party;
  • Number of interpreters used and were interpreters effective;
  • Whether pretrial detention was reviewed during trial and outcome;
  • Number of instances where parties engaged in ex parte communication with the court;
  • Who represented the defendant (i.e., defense attorney, legal aid, or pro se);
  • Was the defendant present throughout trial? If not, at what stages was he/she absent;
  • Trial results; and
  • Trends in bench trial practice

Jury Selection

  • How many voir dire sessions were held before a complete jury was seated;
  • How long did it take to seat the jury (i.e., days, weeks, months);
  • How many juror candidates were summoned per session;
  • How many juror candidates showed up at each session;
  • How many jurors attempted to self-recuse;
  • How many jurors were selected at each session;
  • How long did each party take to question juror candidates;
  • Effectiveness of jury questioning (i.e., did candidates understand counsel questions);
  • Challenges for cause exercised, with outcome;
  • Peremptory challenges used; and
  • Trends in jury selection

Jury Trials

  • Number of jury trials observed during the reporting period;
  • Criminal Code articles charged;
  • How long did the trial last;
  • Number of  defendants;
  • Number of counsel for each side;
  • Did judge properly explain to defendant his/her rights and obligations;
  • Motions brought by the parties and any subsequent judicial ruling;
  • Number of prosecution witnesses;
  • Number of defense witnesses;
  • Did the judge effectively instruct the jury on the law and procedure;
  • Did the parties use demonstrative evidence;
  • How long did the jury deliberate;
  • Convictions/acquittals/partial acquittals;
  • Number of ex parte communications with the judge; and
  • Trends in jury trials.

Postponement and Delays

  • Any hearing postponements or delays (i.e., hours and days);
  • Reasons for postponement/delay;
  • Parties who requested postponement/delay;
  • Comparison in bench vs jury trials; and
  • Postponement/delay trends.

Participants and Audiences:  CMP activities will be directed toward observing the criminal court process and criminal justice participants in the court process.  The CMP reports are non-public and confidential reports intended for senior criminal justice leaders in the PSG, MOJ, and judiciary.


Length of Performance Period:  One calendar year (12 months) with opportunity for extension upon agreement of the parties.

Number of Awards Anticipated:  This is a single award.  Based on availability of future funding, the grantee may be offered an extension of the performance period.

Award Amounts:  The maximum award amount is $58,000 USD.

Total Available Funding:  $58,000.

Type of Funding:  DOJ-OPDAT RLA Justice Sector Reform Funds.

Anticipated Program Start Date:  September 1, 2021

This notice if subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Program Performance Period:  September 1, 2021 – September 1, 2022


  1. Eligible Applicants: Georgian not-for-profit organizations.
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching: N/A
  3. Other Eligibility Requirements: In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.


  1. Address to Request Application Package: Application forms required below are available atembassy website https://ge.usembassy.gov/ and https://www.grants.gov/
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Please follow all instructions below carefully.  Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • All documents are in English;
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper;
  • All pages are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins;
  • All pages are numbered; and
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars.

The following documents are required:

Mandatory application forms (Located in the Section “Additional Resources”)

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations);
  • SF-424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) 
  • SF-424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs) (note: the SF-424B is only required for individuals and for organizations not registered in SAM.gov)

Summary Page:  Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.

Proposal (10 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do and how the applicant plans to accomplish the program goals/objectives/priorities. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.

  • Proposal Summary:  Short narrative that outlines the proposed program design, including approach to program objectives/priorities and methodology;
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies;
  • Program Activities: Describe your proposed program activities and how they will help achieve the program objectives;
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  Include a logic model as appropriate;
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed project timeline for key program activities.  Include dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events;
  • Key Personnel:  Names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program;
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:  This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant; and
  • Future Funding or Sustainability:  Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

Budget Justification Narrative:  After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See Section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.


  • Team Leader CV/resume with a list of three references;
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program;
  • If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file; and
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov).

Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously).

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:


For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Submission Dates and Times: Applications are due no later than July 8, 2021. 

Funding Restrictions: 

Other Submission Requirements: Materials must be submitted by email to TbilisiDOJLES@state.gov.


  1. Criteria: Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 25 points:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 25 points:  The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points:  Program approach demonstrates understanding of grant goals and objectives and is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget – 10 points:  The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process: A review committee will evaluate all eligible applications.
  2. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) 

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  1. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  2. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.


  1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Grant funds will be disbursed electronically in two equal payments, the first of which will be distributed at the start of the performance period and the second payment will be distributed six months from the first payment.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.

These include: 

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:  NOTE:

  • President’s September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities;
  • Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence(E.O. 13933); and
  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations(2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
  • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
  • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
  • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities(E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
  • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
  • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).
  1. Reporting Requirements:  The CMP TL shall submit a comprehensive report every six months to DOJ-OPDAT in both English and Georgian. The report should include a comprehensive analysis of the hearings monitored, including trends and statistics identifying areas of concern.  On high-profile cases (as identified by the TL and DOJ-OPDAT), the TL will prepare a one-page flash report in English summarizing the hearing or judicial event, which should be delivered to DOJ-OPDAT electronically as soon as the hearing is completed.

Grantee is required to submit quarterly financial reports throughout the project period.  Financial reports are due 30 days after each quarter.  Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  Reports should be submitted via electronic mail to an email address to be provided in the award.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: tsnoriashvilin@state.gov 


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel:  Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program and for program staff.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies:  List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program.  If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual:  Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs:  Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing”: refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.