Amendment to the Solicitation of Applications for the Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (Formerly Minority Business Development Center (MBDC)), 45773-45778 [06-6820]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 154 / Thursday, August 10, 2006 / Notices deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until publication of the final results of the next administrative review. Notification to Importers This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 C.F.R. 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary’s presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results of administrative review in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, as well as 19 C.F.R. 351.221(b)(4) and 19 C.F.R. 351.213(d)(4). Dated: August 2, 2006. David M. Spooner, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration. [FR Doc. E6–13038 Filed 8–9–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board: Conference Call Meeting of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of an open conference call meeting. rwilkins on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (Board) will hold an open conference call meeting to discuss topics related to the travel and tourism industry. The Board was established on October 1, 2003, and reconstituted October 1, 2005, to advise the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry. DATES: August 23, 2006. Time: TBD. For the Conference Call-In Number and Further Information Contact: The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board Executive Secretariat, Room 4043, Washington, DC, 20230, telephone: 202– 482–4501, e-mail: Marc.Chittum@mail.doc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: J. Marc Chittum, U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, Room 4043, 1401 VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:27 Aug 09, 2006 Jkt 208001 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, 20230, telephone: 202–482–4501, email: Marc.Chittum@mail.doc.gov. Dated: August 4, 2006. J. Marc Chittum, Executive Secretary, U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. [FR Doc. 06–6842 Filed 8–7–06; 3:34 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–DR–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration, North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews NAFTA Secretariat, United States Section, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of decision of panel. AGENCY: SUMMARY: On July 28, 2006, the binational panel issued its decision in the review of the final determination made by the International Trade Administration, respecting Oil Country Tubular Goods from Mexico Final Results of Sunset Review of Antidumping Duty Order, Secretariat File No. USA–MEX–2001–1904–03. The binational panel remanded the redetermination on remand to the International Trade Administration. Copies of the panel decision are available from the U.S. Section of the NAFTA Secretariat. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat, Suite 2061, 14th and Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482–5438. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Chapter 19 of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (‘‘Agreement’’) establishes a mechanism to replace domestic judicial review of the final determinations in antidumping and countervailing duty cases involving imports from a NAFTA country with review by independent binational panels. When a Request for Panel Review is filed, a panel is established to act in place of national courts to review expeditiously the final determination to determine whether it conforms with the antidumping or countervailing duty law of the country that made the determination. Under Article 1904 of the Agreement, which came into force on January 1, 1994, the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada and the Government of Mexico established Rules of Procedure for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews (‘‘Rules’’). These Rules were published in the Federal Register on February 23, 1994 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45773 (59 FR 8686). The panel review in this matter has been conducted in accordance with these Rules. Panel Decision: The Panel concluded and ordered the Department as follows: The Department is directed to reconsider its likelihood determination and either issue a determination of no likelihood or give a reasoned analysis to support a conclusion that TAMSA’s dumping is likely to continue or recur. In particular, the Department is directed to explain why TAMSA’s high financial expense ratio is likely to recur considering the decrease in TAMSA’s foreign currency denominated debt during the sunset review period as evidenced by the actual financial expense ratio established in the record of this proceeding. The Department was directed to report the results of its remand decision within 20 days of the date of the opinion, or not later than August 17, 2006. Dated: August 3, 2006. Caratina L. Alston, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat. [FR Doc. E6–13020 Filed 8–9–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–GT–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Minority Business Development Agency [Docket No: 000724217–6209–13] Amendment to the Solicitation of Applications for the Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (Formerly Minority Business Development Center (MBDC)) Minority Business Development Agency, DOC. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with Executive Order 11625 and 15 U.S.C. Section 1512, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is amending its solicitation, originally published on July 26, 2006, for competitive applications from organizations to operate a Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (formerly Minority Business Development Center). This amendment separates the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC into two geographic service areas, creating the Mississippi MBEC and the Alabama MBEC. The geographic service area for the Mississippi MBEC will be limited to the State of Mississippi only. All programmatic requirements, including funding levels, length of award and competition/selection processes, for the Mississippi MBEC E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 45774 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 154 / Thursday, August 10, 2006 / Notices will be the same as that published for the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC in the July 26, 2006 solicitation. The newly created Alabama MBEC geographic service area will service Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita impacted minority-owned firms from the State of Alabama. The Alabama MBEC shall adhere to separate program requirements as outlined below (please refer to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this Notice) and a newly created Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) Announcement. This is not a grant program to help start a business. Applications submitted must be to operate a Minority Business Enterprise Center and to provide business consultation to eligible minority clients. Applications that do not meet these requirements will be rejected. The closing date for receipt of applications for the Alabama MBEC is September 11, 2006. The closing date for receipt of applications for the modified Mississippi MBEC remains as September 20, 2006. Completed applications must be received by MBDA no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time at the address below for paper submission or at http:// www.Grants.gov for electronic submission. The due date and time is the same for electronic submissions as it is for paper submissions. The date that applications will be deemed to have been submitted electronically shall be the date and time received at Grants.gov. Applicants should save and print the proof of submission they receive from Grants.gov. Applications received after the closing date and time will not be considered. Anticipated time for processing of the Alabama MBEC is approximately sixty days (60) days from the date of publication of this Announcement. MBDA anticipates that awards for the Alabama MBEC program will be made with a start date of October 1, 2006, whereas the award for the Mississippi MBEC will remain with a start date of January 1, 2007. Pre-Application Conference: A preapplication teleconference will be held for the Alabama MBEC on August 25, 2006, in connection with this solicitation Announcement. The Mississippi pre-application teleconference will be held on August 17, 2006, in connection with the original Announcement. The preapplication conference information will rwilkins on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES DATES: be available on MBDA’s Portal (MBDA Portal) at http://www.mbda.gov. Interested parties to the pre-application conference must register at MBDA’s Portal at least 24 hours in advance of the event. ADDRESSES: (1)(a) Paper Submission—If Mailed: If the application is mailed/shipped overnight by the applicant or its representative, one (1) signed original plus two (2) copies of the application must be submitted. Completed application packages must be mailed to: Office of Business Development—MBEC Program, Office of Executive Secretariat, HCHB, Room 5063, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. U.S. Department of Commerce delivery policies for Federal Express, UPS, and DHL overnight services require the packages to be sent to the address above. (1)(b) Paper Submission—If HandDelivered: If the application is handdelivered by the applicant or his/her representative, one (1) signed original plus two (2) copies of the application must be delivered to: U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, Office of Business Development—MBEC Program (extension 1940), HCHB, Room 1874, Entrance #10, 15th Street, NW., Washington, DC, (Between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues). U.S. Department of Commerce ‘‘handdelivery’’ policies state that Federal Express, UPS, and DHL overnight services submitted to the address listed above (Entrance #10) cannot be accepted. These policies should be taken into consideration when utilizing their services. MBDA will not accept applications that are submitted by the deadline but rejected due to Departmental hand-delivery policies. The applicant must adhere to these policies in order for his/her application to receive consideration for award. (2) Electronic Submission: Applicants are encouraged to submit their proposal electronically at http://www.Grants.gov. Electronic submissions should be made in accordance with the instructions available at Grants.gov (see http:// www.grants.gov/ForApplicants for detailed information). MBDA strongly recommends that applicants not wait until the application deadline date to MBEC name Mobile, AL .......................... For further information, please visit MBDA’s Minority Business Internet Portal at http://www.mbda.gov. Paper applications and Standard Forms may be obtained by contacting the MBDA National Enterprise Center (NEC) for the area where the Applicant is located (See Agency Contacts section) or visiting MBDA’s Portal at http://www.mbda.gov. Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF–LLL can also be obtained at http:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants, or http://www.Grants.gov. Forms CD–511 and CD–346 may be obtained at http:// www.doc.gov/forms. Responsibility for ensuring that applications are complete and received BY MBDA on time is the sole responsibility of the Applicant. Agency Contacts: 1. Office of Business Development, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 5073, Washington DC 20230. Contact: Efrain Gonzalez, Program Manager at 202–482–1940. 2. Atlanta National Enterprise Center (ANEC) is located at 401 W. Peachtree Street, NW., Suite 1715, Atlanta, GA 30308–3516. This region covers the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Contact John Iglehart Acting Regional Director, ANEC at 404–730–3300. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Background On July 26, 2006, MBDA published a solicitation for competitive applications from organizations to operate a Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (formerly Minority Business Development Center) (71 FR 42351). The July 26, 2006 solicitation listed the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC as a combined geographic service area. This notice amends the July 26, 2006 solicitation by separating the Alabama/ Mississippi MBEC into two geographic service areas, creating the Mississippi MBEC and the Alabama MBEC. The geographic service area for the Mississippi MBEC will be limited to the State of Mississippi. The geographic service area for the Alabama MBEC will be limited to the State of Alabama. Geographic Service Areas The MBEC will provide services in the following revised geographic areas: Location of MBEC Alabama MBEC ................................................................ begin the application process through Grants.gov. VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:27 Aug 09, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Geographic service area State of Alabama. E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 45775 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 154 / Thursday, August 10, 2006 / Notices MBEC name Location of MBEC Geographic service area Mississippi MBEC (changed from Alabama/Mississippi MBEC). Biloxi, MS ........................... State of Mississippi (changed from states of Alabama and Mississippi). Electronic Access A link to the full text of the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) Announcements for the MBEC Program can be found at http://www.Grants.gov or by downloading at http:// www.mbda.gov or by contacting the appropriate MBDA representative identified above. The FFO contains a full and complete description of the MBEC program requirements. In order to receive proper consideration, applicants must comply with all information and requirements contained in the FFO. Applicants will be able to access, download and submit electronic grant applications for the MBEC Program in this announcement at Grants.gov. MBDA strongly recommends that applicants not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov. The date that applications will be deemed to have been submitted electronically shall be the date and time received at Grants.gov. Applicants should save and print the proof of submission they receive from Grants.gov. Applications received after the closing date and time will not be considered. Mississippi MBEC (Formerly Alabama/ Mississippi MBEC) This notice amends the July 26, 2006 solicitation by: (a) Changing the name of the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC to the Mississippi MBEC and (b) modifying the geographic service area from the States of Alabama/Mississippi to Mississippi only. All prior programmatic requirements, including funding levels, length of award and competition/ selection process originally published on July 26 2006 (71 FR 42351–42356) remain the same. Alabama MBEC This amendment creates a new geographic service area, the Alabama MBEC, which will service Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita impacted minorityowned firms from the State of Alabama. The information in this section outlines program general and specific requirements for the Alabama MBEC. Funding Priorities—Alabama MBEC: Preference may be given to applications during the selection process which address the following MBDA funding priorities: (a) Applicants who submit proposals that include work activities that exceed the minimum work requirements in this Announcement. (b) Applicants who submit proposals that include performance goals that exceed the minimum performance goal requirements in this Announcement. (c) Applicants who demonstrate an exceptional ability to identify and work towards the elimination of barriers which limit the access of minority businesses to markets and capital. (d) Applicants who demonstrate an exceptional ability to identify and work with minority businesses seeking to obtain large-scale contracts and/or insertion into supply chains with institutional customers. (e) Applicants that utilize fee for service models and those that demonstrate an exceptional ability to charge and collect fees from clients. (f) Applicants who demonstrate special expertise in disaster assistance. Funding Availability—Alabama MBEC: The total award period is one (1) year. Renewal of the award for two additional year options is at the sole discretion of the MBDA and the Department of Commerce. A total of approximately $200,000 is available in FY 2006 for Federal assistance under this program and it is anticipated that $200,000 may be available for each of the two option years in FY 2007 and FY 2008. Applicants are hereby given notice that funds have been appropriated for FY 2006 only. Funds September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2007 rwilkins on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES Project Name Alabama MBEC ... VerDate Aug<31>2005 Total cost ($) 222,500 21:27 Aug 09, 2006 Federal share ($) 200,000 Jkt 208001 Non-federal share ($) (10% min.) Optional—Year 2 September 1, 2007 through August 31, 2008 Total cost ($) 22,500 PO 00000 for FY 2007 and 2008 have not been appropriated for this program. Projects will be funded for no more than one year at a time. A project proposal accepted for funding in the first year is not required to re-compete in order to receive funding in optional years two (2) and three (3). Funding for the subsequent second and third year will be at the sole discretion of the MBDA and the Department of Commerce, and provided the MBEC achieved a ‘‘Satisfactory’’ performance rating for the first year and ‘‘Good’’ performance rating for the second year (as outlined below), the award recipient will be eligible for renewed funding. Failure to achieve the required minimum performance rating may be cause for project termination. • Recommendations for second year funding are evaluated based on a ‘‘Satisfactory’’ mid-year performance rating and/or combination of mid-year and cumulative third quarter performance ‘‘Satisfactory’’ performance rating in Year 1. • Recommendations for third year funding are evaluated based on a ‘‘Good’’ mid-year performance rating and/or combination of mid-year and cumulative third quarter performance ‘‘Good’’ performance rating in Year 2. All funding periods are subject to the availability of funds to support the continuation of the project, and the Department of Commerce’s and MBDA’s priorities. Publication of this Notice does not obligate MBDA or the Department to award any specific cooperative agreement or to obligate all or any part of available funds. Contingent upon the availability of Federal funds, the cost of performance for each of the program funding years is estimated in the chart below. The application must include a minimum cost share of 10% in non-Federal contributions. Frm 00011 222,500 Fmt 4703 Federal share ($) Non-federal share ($) (10% min.) 200,000 Sfmt 4703 22,500 E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM Optional—Year 3 September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2009 Total cost ($) 222,500 10AUN1 Federal share ($) 200,000 Non-federal share ($) (10% min.) 22,500 rwilkins on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES 45776 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 154 / Thursday, August 10, 2006 / Notices Authority: Executive Order 11625 and 15 U.S.C. 1512. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): 11.800 Minority Business Enterprise Center Program (formerly Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) Program). Eligibility: For-profit entities (including sole-proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations), and non-profit organizations, state and local government entities, American Indian Tribes, and educational institutions are eligible to operate MBECs. Applicants receiving three (3) consecutive funding award cycles (beginning 2007 through 2015) will not be eligible to receive an award in 2016 (and thereafter). Program Description—Alabama MBEC: In accordance with Executive Order 11625 and 15 U.S.C. Section 1512, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is soliciting applications from organizations to operate a Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (formerly Minority Business Development Center). The MBEC Program requires the Alabama MBEC staff to provide standardized business assistance services to minority firms impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita or those with $500,000 or more in annual revenues and/or ‘‘rapid-growth potential’’ minority businesses (‘‘Strategic Growth Initiative or ‘‘SGI’’ firms) directly; to develop a network of strategic partnerships; and to provide strategic business consulting. These requirements will be used to generate increased results with respect to financing and contracts awarded to minority-owned firms and thus, are a key component of this program. The Alabama MBEC Program will concentrate on serving firms impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita or SGI firms capable of generating significant employment and long-term economic growth. The MBEC program shall continue to leverage telecommunications technology, including the Internet, and a variety of online/computer-based resources to dramatically increase the level of service that the MBEC can provide to minority-owned firms. The MBEC program incorporates an entrepreneurial approach to building market stability and improving the quality of services delivered. This strategy expands the reach of the MBEC by requiring the project operator to develop and build upon strategic alliances with public and private sector partners, as a means of serving clients within the project’s geographic service area. VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:27 Aug 09, 2006 Jkt 208001 In addition, MBDA will establish specialized business consulting training programs to support the MBEC client assistance services. These MBEC training programs are designed specifically to foster growth assistance to its clients. The MBEC will also encourage increased collaboration and client/non-client referrals among the MBDA-sponsored networks. This will provide a comprehensive approach to serving the emerging sector of the minority business community. The MBEC will operate through the use of trained professional business consultants who will assist minority entrepreneurs through direct client engagements. Entrepreneurs eligible for assistance under the MBEC Program are African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Spanish-speaking Americans, Aleuts, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Asian Indians, Native Americans, Eskimos and Hasidic Jews. As part of its strategy for continuous improvement, the MBEC shall expand its delivery capacity to all minority firms (as defined in the FFO). MBDA wants to ensure that MBEC clients are receiving a consistent level of service throughout its funded network. To that end, MBDA will require MBEC consultants to attend training course(s) designed to achieve standardized services and quality expectations. Further programmatic information can be found in the FFO. Match Requirements—Alabama MBEC: Cost sharing of at least 10% is required. Cost sharing is the portion of the project cost not borne by the Federal Government. Applicants must meet this requirement through one or more of the following means or a combination thereof: (1) Client fees; (2) cash contributions; (3) non-cash applicant contributions; and/or (4) third party inkind contributions. Bonus points will be awarded for cost sharing exceeding 10 percent that is applied on the following scale: more than 10%-less than 15%— 1 point; 15% or more-less than 20%— 2 points; 20% or more-less than 25%— 3 points; 25% or more-less than 30%— 4 points; and, 30% or more—5 points. Applicants must provide a detailed explanation of how the cost-sharing requirement will be met. The MBEC may charge client fees for services rendered. Client fees, if charged, shall be used towards meeting cost share requirements. Client fees applied directly to the award’s cost sharing requirement must be used in furtherance of the program objectives. Evaluation Criteria—Alabama MBEC: Proposals will be evaluated and applicants will be selected based on the following criteria. An application must receive at least 70% of the total points PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 available for each evaluation criterion, in order for the application to be considered for funding. The maximum total of points that can be earned is 105 including bonus points for related nonfederal cost sharing, except when oral presentations are made by applicants. If oral presentations are made (see paragraph 5 below), the maximum total of points that can be earned is 115. 1. Applicant Capability (40 points). The applicant’s proposal will be evaluated with respect to the applicant firm’s experience and expertise in providing the work requirements listed. Specifically, the proposals will be evaluated as follows: • MBE Community—experience in and knowledge of the minority business sector and strategies for enhancing its growth and expansion; particular emphasis shall be on expanding Hurricane Katrina and/or Rita impacted minority companies and/or SGI firms in the State of Alabama(4 points); • Business Consulting—experience in and knowledge of business consulting of Hurricane Katrina and/or Rita impacted minority companies and/or SGI firms in the State of Alabama (5 points); • Financing—experience in and knowledge of the preparation and formulation of successful financial transactions (5 points); • Procurements and Contracting— experience in and knowledge of the public and private sector contracting opportunities for minority businesses, as well as demonstrated expertise in assisting MBEs into supply chains (5 points); • Financing Networks—resources and professional relationships within the corporate, banking and investment community that may be beneficial to minority-owned firms (5 points); • Establishment of a Self-Sustainable Service Model—summary plan to establish a self-sustainable model for continued services to the MBE community beyond the MBDA funding cycle (3 points); • MBE Advocacy—experience and expertise in advocating on behalf of minority businesses, both as to specific transactions in which a minority business seeks to engage, and as to broad market advocacy for the benefit of the minority community at large (3 points); and • Key Staff—assessment of the qualifications, experience and proposed role of staff who will operate the MBEC. In particular, an assessment will be made to determine whether proposed key staff possesses the expertise in utilizing information systems and the ability to successfully deliver services (10 points). E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 rwilkins on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 154 / Thursday, August 10, 2006 / Notices 2. Resources (20 points). The applicant’s proposal will be evaluated according to the following criteria: • Resources—discuss those resources (not included as part of the cost-sharing arrangement) that will be used, including (but not limited to) existing prior and/or current data lists that will serve in fostering immediate success for the MBEC (8 points); • Location—Applicant must indicate if it shall establish a location for the Center that is separate and apart from any existing offices in the geographic service area (2 points); • Partners—discuss how you plan to establish and maintain the network of five (5) Strategic Partners and how these partners will support the MBEC to meet its performance objectives (5 points); and • Equipment—discuss how you plan to accomplish the computer hardware and software requirements (5 points). 3. Techniques and Methodologies (20 points). The applicant’s proposal will be evaluated as follows: • Performance Measures—relate each performance measure to the financial, information and market resources available in the geographic service area to the applicant (including existing client list) and how the goals will be met (marketing plan). Specific attention should be placed on matching performance outcomes (as described under ‘‘Geographic Service Areas and Performance Goals’’ of the FFO) with client service (billable) hours. The applicant should consider existing market conditions and its strategy to achieve the goal (10 points); • Plan of action—provide specific detail on how the applicant will start operations. The MBEC shall have thirty (30) days to become fully operational after an award is made. Fully operational means that all staff are hired, all signs are up, all items of furniture and equipment are in place and operational, all necessary forms are developed (e.g., client engagement letters, other standard correspondence, etc.), and the center is ready to open its doors to the public (5 points); and • Work Requirement Execution Plan—The applicant will be evaluated on how effectively and efficiently all staff time will be used to achieve the work requirements (5 points). 4. Proposed Budget and Supporting Budget Narrative (20 points). The applicant’s proposal will be evaluated on the following sub-criteria: • Reasonableness, allowability and allocability of costs. All of the proposed expenditures must be discussed and the budget line item narrative must match the proposed budget. Fringe benefits VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:27 Aug 09, 2006 Jkt 208001 and other percentage item calculations must match the proposed line item on the budget. (5 points); • Proposed cost sharing of 10% is required. The non-Federal share must be adequately documented, including, if client fees will be charged, how they will be used to meet the cost-share (5 points); and • Performance Based Budget. Discuss how the budget is related to the accomplishment of the work requirements and the performance measures. Provide a budget narrative that clearly shows the connections (10 points). Proposals with cost sharing which exceeds 10% will be awarded bonus points on the following scale: more than 10% –less than 15%—1 point; 15% or more–less than 20%—2 points; 20% or more–less than 25%—3 points; 25% or more–less than 30%—4 points; and 30% or more—5 points. 5. Oral Presentation—Optional (10 points). Oral presentations are held only when determined by MBDA. When the merit review by the panel results in applications scoring 70% or more of the available points for each criterion, MBDA may request all those applicants to develop and provide an oral presentation. This presentation will be used to establish a final evaluation and rating. The applicant’s presentation will be evaluated on the following sub-criteria: (a) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates how the applicant will effectively and efficiently assist MBDA in the accomplishment of its mission (2 points); (b) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates business operating priorities designed to manage a successful MBEC (2 points); (c) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates a management philosophy that achieves an effective balance between micromanagement and complete autonomy for its Project Director (2 points); (d) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates robust search criteria for the identification of a Project Director (1 point); (e) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates effective employee recruitment and retention policies and procedures (1 point); and (f) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates a competitive and innovative approach to exceeding performance requirements (2 points). Review and Selection Process— Alabama MBEC: 1. Initial Screening. Prior to the formal paneling process, each PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45777 application will receive an initial screening to ensure that all required forms, signatures and documentation are present. 2. Panel Review. Each application will receive an independent, objective review by a panel qualified to evaluate the applications submitted. MBDA anticipates that the review panel will be made up of at least three independent reviewers (all Federal employees) who will review all applications based on the above evaluation criteria. Each reviewer will evaluate and provide a score for each proposal. In order for an application to be considered for funding, it shall need to achieve 70% of the available points for each criterion. Failure to achieve these results will automatically deem the application as unsuccessful. 3. Oral Presentation—Optional. When the merit review by the panel results in applications scoring 70% or more of the available points for each criterion, MBDA may request all those applicants to develop and provide an oral presentation. The applicants may receive up to 10 additional points based on the presentation and content presented. If a formal presentation is requested, the applicants will receive a formal communication (via standard mail, email or fax) from MBDA indicating the time and date for the presentation. In person presentations are not mandatory but are encouraged; telephonic presentations are acceptable. Applicants will be asked to submit a power point presentation (or equivalent) to MBDA that addresses the oral presentation criteria (see above, Evaluation Criteria, item 5. Oral Presentation—Optional). This presentation must be submitted at least 24 hours before the scheduled date and time of the presentation. The presentation will be made to the National Director (or his/her designee) and/or up to three senior MBDA staff who did not serve on the merit evaluation panel. The oral panel members may ask follow-up questions after the presentation. MBDA will provide the teleconference dial-in number and pass code. Each finalist will present to MBDA staff only; other applicants are not permitted to listen (and/or watch). All costs pertaining to this presentation shall be borne by the applicant. MBEC award funds may not be used as a reimbursement for this presentation. MBDA will not accept any requests or petitions for reimbursement. The oral panel members shall score each presentation in accordance with the oral presentation criteria. An average score shall be compiled and E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 rwilkins on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES 45778 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 154 / Thursday, August 10, 2006 / Notices added to the original score of the panel review. 4. Final Recommendation. The National Director of MBDA makes the final recommendation to the Department of Commerce Grants Officer regarding the funding of applications, taking into account the selection criteria as outlined in this Announcement and the following: (a) The evaluations and rankings of the independent review panel and the evaluation(s) of the oral presentations, if applicable; (b) Funding priorities. The National Director (or his/her designee) reserves the right to conduct a site visit (subject to the availability of funding) to applicant organizations receiving at least 70% of the total points available for each evaluation criterion, in order to make a better assessment of the organization’s capability to achieve the funding priorities; and, (c) The availability of funding. Intergovernmental Review: Applications under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ Limitation of Liability—Alabama MBEC: Applicants are hereby given notice that funds have been appropriated for this program for Fiscal Year 2006 only. In no event will MBDA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding in FY 2007 or 2008 or is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige MBDA or the Department of Commerce to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds. Universal Identifier: Applicants should be aware that they will be required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering system (DUNS) number during the application process. See the June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38402) Federal Register notice for additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1–866–705–5711 or by accessing the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.Grants.gov. Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) are applicable to this solicitation. VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:34 Aug 09, 2006 Jkt 208001 Paperwork Reduction Act: This document contains collection-ofinformation requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The use of standard forms 424, 424A, 424B, SF–LLL, and CD–346 have been approved by OMB under the respective control numbers 0348–0043, 0348–0044, 0348–0040, 0348–0046, and 0605–0001. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB control Number. Executive Order 12866: This notice has been determined to be not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866. Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act: Prior notice for an opportunity for public comment are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act for rules concerning public property, loans, grant, benefits and contracts (5 U.S.C. 533(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 533 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the regulatory flexibility Act (5 U.S.C 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and has not been prepared. Dated: August 10, 2006. Ronald J. Marin, Financial Management Officer, Minority Business Development Agency. [FR Doc. 06–6820 Filed 8–9–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–21–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 080206D] Marine Mammals; File No. 1097–1859 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that Coral World (V.I.), Inc., 6450 Estate Smith Bay, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 00802–1800, (Gertrude J. Prior, Responsible Party) has applied in due form for a permit to import four South American (Patagonian) sea lions (Otaria flavescens) for public display. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or before September 11, 2006. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The application and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office(s): Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301)713–2289; fax (301)427–2521; and Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701; phone (727)824–5312; fax (727)824–5309. Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this application should be mailed to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427–2521, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 1097–1859. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Swails or Jennifer Skidmore, (301)713– 2289. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). The applicant requests authorization to import four male South American sea lions from International Sea Lion Search and Rescue, Koh Samui, Thailand to Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The applicant requests this import for the purposes of public display. The receiving facility is aware of the public display criteria for holding marine mammals for public display and their obligation to demonstrate said criteria prior to acquiring these animals. Coral World’s programs are open to the public on regularly scheduled basis with access that is not limited or restricted other than by charging for an admission fee. Coral World offers an educational program based on professionally accepted standards and is in the process of receiving an ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 154 (Thursday, August 10, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45773-45778]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-6820]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Minority Business Development Agency

[Docket No: 000724217-6209-13]


Amendment to the Solicitation of Applications for the Minority 
Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (Formerly Minority Business 
Development Center (MBDC))

AGENCY: Minority Business Development Agency, DOC.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with Executive Order 11625 and 15 U.S.C. Section 
1512, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is amending its 
solicitation, originally published on July 26, 2006, for competitive 
applications from organizations to operate a Minority Business 
Enterprise Center (MBEC) (formerly Minority Business Development 
Center). This amendment separates the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC into two 
geographic service areas, creating the Mississippi MBEC and the Alabama 
MBEC. The geographic service area for the Mississippi MBEC will be 
limited to the State of Mississippi only. All programmatic 
requirements, including funding levels, length of award and 
competition/selection processes, for the Mississippi MBEC

[[Page 45774]]

will be the same as that published for the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC in 
the July 26, 2006 solicitation.
    The newly created Alabama MBEC geographic service area will service 
Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita impacted minority-owned firms from the 
State of Alabama. The Alabama MBEC shall adhere to separate program 
requirements as outlined below (please refer to Supplementary 
Information section of this Notice) and a newly created Federal Funding 
Opportunity (FFO) Announcement.
    This is not a grant program to help start a business. Applications 
submitted must be to operate a Minority Business Enterprise Center and 
to provide business consultation to eligible minority clients. 
Applications that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.

DATES: The closing date for receipt of applications for the Alabama 
MBEC is September 11, 2006. The closing date for receipt of 
applications for the modified Mississippi MBEC remains as September 20, 
2006. Completed applications must be received by MBDA no later than 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time at the address below for paper 
submission or at http://www.Grants.gov for electronic submission. The 
due date and time is the same for electronic submissions as it is for 
paper submissions. The date that applications will be deemed to have 
been submitted electronically shall be the date and time received at 
Grants.gov. Applicants should save and print the proof of submission 
they receive from Grants.gov. Applications received after the closing 
date and time will not be considered. Anticipated time for processing 
of the Alabama MBEC is approximately sixty days (60) days from the date 
of publication of this Announcement. MBDA anticipates that awards for 
the Alabama MBEC program will be made with a start date of October 1, 
2006, whereas the award for the Mississippi MBEC will remain with a 
start date of January 1, 2007.
    Pre-Application Conference: A pre-application teleconference will 
be held for the Alabama MBEC on August 25, 2006, in connection with 
this solicitation Announcement. The Mississippi pre-application 
teleconference will be held on August 17, 2006, in connection with the 
original Announcement. The pre-application conference information will 
be available on MBDA's Portal (MBDA Portal) at http://www.mbda.gov. 
Interested parties to the pre-application conference must register at 
MBDA's Portal at least 24 hours in advance of the event.

ADDRESSES:
    (1)(a) Paper Submission--If Mailed: If the application is mailed/
shipped overnight by the applicant or its representative, one (1) 
signed original plus two (2) copies of the application must be 
submitted. Completed application packages must be mailed to: Office of 
Business Development--MBEC Program, Office of Executive Secretariat, 
HCHB, Room 5063, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department 
of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20230.

U.S. Department of Commerce delivery policies for Federal Express, UPS, 
and DHL overnight services require the packages to be sent to the 
address above.
    (1)(b) Paper Submission--If Hand-Delivered: If the application is 
hand-delivered by the applicant or his/her representative, one (1) 
signed original plus two (2) copies of the application must be 
delivered to: U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business 
Development Agency, Office of Business Development--MBEC Program 
(extension 1940), HCHB, Room 1874, Entrance 10, 15th Street, 
NW., Washington, DC, (Between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues).

U.S. Department of Commerce ``hand-delivery'' policies state that 
Federal Express, UPS, and DHL overnight services submitted to the 
address listed above (Entrance 10) cannot be accepted. These 
policies should be taken into consideration when utilizing their 
services. MBDA will not accept applications that are submitted by the 
deadline but rejected due to Departmental hand-delivery policies. The 
applicant must adhere to these policies in order for his/her 
application to receive consideration for award.
    (2) Electronic Submission: Applicants are encouraged to submit 
their proposal electronically at http://www.Grants.gov. Electronic 
submissions should be made in accordance with the instructions 
available at Grants.gov (see http://www.grants.gov/ForApplicants for 
detailed information). MBDA strongly recommends that applicants not 
wait until the application deadline date to begin the application 
process through Grants.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, please visit 
MBDA's Minority Business Internet Portal at http://www.mbda.gov. Paper 
applications and Standard Forms may be obtained by contacting the MBDA 
National Enterprise Center (NEC) for the area where the Applicant is 
located (See Agency Contacts section) or visiting MBDA's Portal at 
http://www.mbda.gov. Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF-LLL can 
also be obtained at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants, or http://
www.Grants.gov. Forms CD-511 and CD-346 may be obtained at http://
www.doc.gov/forms.
    Responsibility for ensuring that applications are complete and 
received BY MBDA on time is the sole responsibility of the Applicant.
    Agency Contacts:
    1. Office of Business Development, 14th and Constitution Avenue, 
NW., Room 5073, Washington DC 20230.
    Contact: Efrain Gonzalez, Program Manager at 202-482-1940.
    2. Atlanta National Enterprise Center (ANEC) is located at 401 W. 
Peachtree Street, NW., Suite 1715, Atlanta, GA 30308-3516. This region 
covers the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, 
Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Contact John Iglehart Acting Regional Director, ANEC at 404-730-3300.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On July 26, 2006, MBDA published a solicitation for competitive 
applications from organizations to operate a Minority Business 
Enterprise Center (MBEC) (formerly Minority Business Development 
Center) (71 FR 42351). The July 26, 2006 solicitation listed the 
Alabama/Mississippi MBEC as a combined geographic service area.
    This notice amends the July 26, 2006 solicitation by separating the 
Alabama/Mississippi MBEC into two geographic service areas, creating 
the Mississippi MBEC and the Alabama MBEC. The geographic service area 
for the Mississippi MBEC will be limited to the State of Mississippi. 
The geographic service area for the Alabama MBEC will be limited to the 
State of Alabama.

Geographic Service Areas

    The MBEC will provide services in the following revised geographic 
areas:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Geographic service
           MBEC name             Location of MBEC           area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama MBEC..................  Mobile, AL.......  State of Alabama.

[[Page 45775]]

 
Mississippi MBEC (changed from  Biloxi, MS.......  State of Mississippi
 Alabama/Mississippi MBEC).                         (changed from states
                                                    of Alabama and
                                                    Mississippi).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Electronic Access

    A link to the full text of the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) 
Announcements for the MBEC Program can be found at http://
www.Grants.gov or by downloading at http://www.mbda.gov or by 
contacting the appropriate MBDA representative identified above. The 
FFO contains a full and complete description of the MBEC program 
requirements. In order to receive proper consideration, applicants must 
comply with all information and requirements contained in the FFO. 
Applicants will be able to access, download and submit electronic grant 
applications for the MBEC Program in this announcement at Grants.gov. 
MBDA strongly recommends that applicants not wait until the application 
deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov. The 
date that applications will be deemed to have been submitted 
electronically shall be the date and time received at Grants.gov. 
Applicants should save and print the proof of submission they receive 
from Grants.gov. Applications received after the closing date and time 
will not be considered.

Mississippi MBEC (Formerly Alabama/Mississippi MBEC)

    This notice amends the July 26, 2006 solicitation by: (a) Changing 
the name of the Alabama/Mississippi MBEC to the Mississippi MBEC and 
(b) modifying the geographic service area from the States of Alabama/
Mississippi to Mississippi only. All prior programmatic requirements, 
including funding levels, length of award and competition/selection 
process originally published on July 26 2006 (71 FR 42351-42356) remain 
the same.

Alabama MBEC

    This amendment creates a new geographic service area, the Alabama 
MBEC, which will service Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita impacted 
minority-owned firms from the State of Alabama. The information in this 
section outlines program general and specific requirements for the 
Alabama MBEC.
    Funding Priorities--Alabama MBEC: Preference may be given to 
applications during the selection process which address the following 
MBDA funding priorities:
    (a) Applicants who submit proposals that include work activities 
that exceed the minimum work requirements in this Announcement.
    (b) Applicants who submit proposals that include performance goals 
that exceed the minimum performance goal requirements in this 
Announcement.
    (c) Applicants who demonstrate an exceptional ability to identify 
and work towards the elimination of barriers which limit the access of 
minority businesses to markets and capital.
    (d) Applicants who demonstrate an exceptional ability to identify 
and work with minority businesses seeking to obtain large-scale 
contracts and/or insertion into supply chains with institutional 
customers.
    (e) Applicants that utilize fee for service models and those that 
demonstrate an exceptional ability to charge and collect fees from 
clients.
    (f) Applicants who demonstrate special expertise in disaster 
assistance.
    Funding Availability--Alabama MBEC: The total award period is one 
(1) year. Renewal of the award for two additional year options is at 
the sole discretion of the MBDA and the Department of Commerce. A total 
of approximately $200,000 is available in FY 2006 for Federal 
assistance under this program and it is anticipated that $200,000 may 
be available for each of the two option years in FY 2007 and FY 2008. 
Applicants are hereby given notice that funds have been appropriated 
for FY 2006 only. Funds for FY 2007 and 2008 have not been appropriated 
for this program.
    Projects will be funded for no more than one year at a time. A 
project proposal accepted for funding in the first year is not required 
to re-compete in order to receive funding in optional years two (2) and 
three (3). Funding for the subsequent second and third year will be at 
the sole discretion of the MBDA and the Department of Commerce, and 
provided the MBEC achieved a ``Satisfactory'' performance rating for 
the first year and ``Good'' performance rating for the second year (as 
outlined below), the award recipient will be eligible for renewed 
funding. Failure to achieve the required minimum performance rating may 
be cause for project termination.
     Recommendations for second year funding are evaluated 
based on a ``Satisfactory'' mid-year performance rating and/or 
combination of mid-year and cumulative third quarter performance 
``Satisfactory'' performance rating in Year 1.
     Recommendations for third year funding are evaluated based 
on a ``Good'' mid-year performance rating and/or combination of mid-
year and cumulative third quarter performance ``Good'' performance 
rating in Year 2.
    All funding periods are subject to the availability of funds to 
support the continuation of the project, and the Department of 
Commerce's and MBDA's priorities. Publication of this Notice does not 
obligate MBDA or the Department to award any specific cooperative 
agreement or to obligate all or any part of available funds.
    Contingent upon the availability of Federal funds, the cost of 
performance for each of the program funding years is estimated in the 
chart below. The application must include a minimum cost share of 10% 
in non-Federal contributions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      September 1, 2006 through August 31,    Optional--Year 2 September 1, 2007     Optional--Year 3 September 1, 2008
                                                      2007                         through August 31, 2008                through August 31, 2009
                                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Project Name                                       Non-federal                            Non-federal                            Non-federal
                                      Total cost    Federal     share ($)    Total cost    Federal     share ($)    Total cost    Federal     share ($)
                                         ($)       share  ($)   (10% min.)      ($)       share  ($)   (10% min.)      ($)       share  ($)   (10% min.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama MBEC.......................      222,500      200,000       22,500      222,500      200,000       22,500      222,500      200,000       22,500
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 45776]]

    Authority: Executive Order 11625 and 15 U.S.C. 1512.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): 11.800 Minority 
Business Enterprise Center Program (formerly Minority Business 
Development Center (MBDC) Program).
    Eligibility: For-profit entities (including sole-proprietorships, 
partnerships, and corporations), and non-profit organizations, state 
and local government entities, American Indian Tribes, and educational 
institutions are eligible to operate MBECs. Applicants receiving three 
(3) consecutive funding award cycles (beginning 2007 through 2015) will 
not be eligible to receive an award in 2016 (and thereafter).
    Program Description--Alabama MBEC: In accordance with Executive 
Order 11625 and 15 U.S.C. Section 1512, the Minority Business 
Development Agency (MBDA) is soliciting applications from organizations 
to operate a Minority Business Enterprise Center (MBEC) (formerly 
Minority Business Development Center). The MBEC Program requires the 
Alabama MBEC staff to provide standardized business assistance services 
to minority firms impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita or those 
with $500,000 or more in annual revenues and/or ``rapid-growth 
potential'' minority businesses (``Strategic Growth Initiative or 
``SGI'' firms) directly; to develop a network of strategic 
partnerships; and to provide strategic business consulting. These 
requirements will be used to generate increased results with respect to 
financing and contracts awarded to minority-owned firms and thus, are a 
key component of this program.
    The Alabama MBEC Program will concentrate on serving firms impacted 
by Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita or SGI firms capable of generating 
significant employment and long-term economic growth. The MBEC program 
shall continue to leverage telecommunications technology, including the 
Internet, and a variety of online/computer-based resources to 
dramatically increase the level of service that the MBEC can provide to 
minority-owned firms.
    The MBEC program incorporates an entrepreneurial approach to 
building market stability and improving the quality of services 
delivered. This strategy expands the reach of the MBEC by requiring the 
project operator to develop and build upon strategic alliances with 
public and private sector partners, as a means of serving clients 
within the project's geographic service area.
    In addition, MBDA will establish specialized business consulting 
training programs to support the MBEC client assistance services. These 
MBEC training programs are designed specifically to foster growth 
assistance to its clients. The MBEC will also encourage increased 
collaboration and client/non-client referrals among the MBDA-sponsored 
networks. This will provide a comprehensive approach to serving the 
emerging sector of the minority business community.
    The MBEC will operate through the use of trained professional 
business consultants who will assist minority entrepreneurs through 
direct client engagements. Entrepreneurs eligible for assistance under 
the MBEC Program are African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Spanish-speaking 
Americans, Aleuts, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Asian Indians, 
Native Americans, Eskimos and Hasidic Jews. As part of its strategy for 
continuous improvement, the MBEC shall expand its delivery capacity to 
all minority firms (as defined in the FFO). MBDA wants to ensure that 
MBEC clients are receiving a consistent level of service throughout its 
funded network. To that end, MBDA will require MBEC consultants to 
attend training course(s) designed to achieve standardized services and 
quality expectations. Further programmatic information can be found in 
the FFO.
    Match Requirements--Alabama MBEC: Cost sharing of at least 10% is 
required. Cost sharing is the portion of the project cost not borne by 
the Federal Government. Applicants must meet this requirement through 
one or more of the following means or a combination thereof: (1) Client 
fees; (2) cash contributions; (3) non-cash applicant contributions; 
and/or (4) third party in-kind contributions. Bonus points will be 
awarded for cost sharing exceeding 10 percent that is applied on the 
following scale: more than 10%-less than 15%--1 point; 15% or more-less 
than 20%--2 points; 20% or more-less than 25%--3 points; 25% or more-
less than 30%--4 points; and, 30% or more--5 points. Applicants must 
provide a detailed explanation of how the cost-sharing requirement will 
be met. The MBEC may charge client fees for services rendered. Client 
fees, if charged, shall be used towards meeting cost share 
requirements. Client fees applied directly to the award's cost sharing 
requirement must be used in furtherance of the program objectives.
    Evaluation Criteria--Alabama MBEC: Proposals will be evaluated and 
applicants will be selected based on the following criteria. An 
application must receive at least 70% of the total points available for 
each evaluation criterion, in order for the application to be 
considered for funding. The maximum total of points that can be earned 
is 105 including bonus points for related non-federal cost sharing, 
except when oral presentations are made by applicants. If oral 
presentations are made (see paragraph 5 below), the maximum total of 
points that can be earned is 115.
    1. Applicant Capability (40 points). The applicant's proposal will 
be evaluated with respect to the applicant firm's experience and 
expertise in providing the work requirements listed. Specifically, the 
proposals will be evaluated as follows:
     MBE Community--experience in and knowledge of the minority 
business sector and strategies for enhancing its growth and expansion; 
particular emphasis shall be on expanding Hurricane Katrina and/or Rita 
impacted minority companies and/or SGI firms in the State of Alabama(4 
points);
     Business Consulting--experience in and knowledge of 
business consulting of Hurricane Katrina and/or Rita impacted minority 
companies and/or SGI firms in the State of Alabama (5 points);
     Financing--experience in and knowledge of the preparation 
and formulation of successful financial transactions (5 points);
     Procurements and Contracting--experience in and knowledge 
of the public and private sector contracting opportunities for minority 
businesses, as well as demonstrated expertise in assisting MBEs into 
supply chains (5 points);
     Financing Networks--resources and professional 
relationships within the corporate, banking and investment community 
that may be beneficial to minority-owned firms (5 points);
     Establishment of a Self-Sustainable Service Model--summary 
plan to establish a self-sustainable model for continued services to 
the MBE community beyond the MBDA funding cycle (3 points);
     MBE Advocacy--experience and expertise in advocating on 
behalf of minority businesses, both as to specific transactions in 
which a minority business seeks to engage, and as to broad market 
advocacy for the benefit of the minority community at large (3 points); 
and
     Key Staff--assessment of the qualifications, experience 
and proposed role of staff who will operate the MBEC. In particular, an 
assessment will be made to determine whether proposed key staff 
possesses the expertise in utilizing information systems and the 
ability to successfully deliver services (10 points).

[[Page 45777]]

    2. Resources (20 points). The applicant's proposal will be 
evaluated according to the following criteria:
     Resources--discuss those resources (not included as part 
of the cost-sharing arrangement) that will be used, including (but not 
limited to) existing prior and/or current data lists that will serve in 
fostering immediate success for the MBEC (8 points);
     Location--Applicant must indicate if it shall establish a 
location for the Center that is separate and apart from any existing 
offices in the geographic service area (2 points);
     Partners--discuss how you plan to establish and maintain 
the network of five (5) Strategic Partners and how these partners will 
support the MBEC to meet its performance objectives (5 points); and
     Equipment--discuss how you plan to accomplish the computer 
hardware and software requirements (5 points).
    3. Techniques and Methodologies (20 points). The applicant's 
proposal will be evaluated as follows:
     Performance Measures--relate each performance measure to 
the financial, information and market resources available in the 
geographic service area to the applicant (including existing client 
list) and how the goals will be met (marketing plan). Specific 
attention should be placed on matching performance outcomes (as 
described under ``Geographic Service Areas and Performance Goals'' of 
the FFO) with client service (billable) hours. The applicant should 
consider existing market conditions and its strategy to achieve the 
goal (10 points);
     Plan of action--provide specific detail on how the 
applicant will start operations. The MBEC shall have thirty (30) days 
to become fully operational after an award is made. Fully operational 
means that all staff are hired, all signs are up, all items of 
furniture and equipment are in place and operational, all necessary 
forms are developed (e.g., client engagement letters, other standard 
correspondence, etc.), and the center is ready to open its doors to the 
public (5 points); and
     Work Requirement Execution Plan--The applicant will be 
evaluated on how effectively and efficiently all staff time will be 
used to achieve the work requirements (5 points).
    4. Proposed Budget and Supporting Budget Narrative (20 points). The 
applicant's proposal will be evaluated on the following sub-criteria:
     Reasonableness, allowability and allocability of costs. 
All of the proposed expenditures must be discussed and the budget line 
item narrative must match the proposed budget. Fringe benefits and 
other percentage item calculations must match the proposed line item on 
the budget. (5 points);
     Proposed cost sharing of 10% is required. The non-Federal 
share must be adequately documented, including, if client fees will be 
charged, how they will be used to meet the cost-share (5 points); and
     Performance Based Budget. Discuss how the budget is 
related to the accomplishment of the work requirements and the 
performance measures. Provide a budget narrative that clearly shows the 
connections (10 points).
    Proposals with cost sharing which exceeds 10% will be awarded bonus 
points on the following scale: more than 10% -less than 15%--1 point; 
15% or more-less than 20%--2 points; 20% or more-less than 25%--3 
points; 25% or more-less than 30%--4 points; and 30% or more--5 points.
    5. Oral Presentation--Optional (10 points). Oral presentations are 
held only when determined by MBDA. When the merit review by the panel 
results in applications scoring 70% or more of the available points for 
each criterion, MBDA may request all those applicants to develop and 
provide an oral presentation. This presentation will be used to 
establish a final evaluation and rating.
    The applicant's presentation will be evaluated on the following 
sub-criteria:
    (a) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates how the 
applicant will effectively and efficiently assist MBDA in the 
accomplishment of its mission (2 points);
    (b) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates business 
operating priorities designed to manage a successful MBEC (2 points);
    (c) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates a management 
philosophy that achieves an effective balance between micromanagement 
and complete autonomy for its Project Director (2 points);
    (d) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates robust search 
criteria for the identification of a Project Director (1 point);
    (e) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates effective 
employee recruitment and retention policies and procedures (1 point); 
and
    (f) The extent to which the presentation demonstrates a competitive 
and innovative approach to exceeding performance requirements (2 
points).
    Review and Selection Process--Alabama MBEC:
    1. Initial Screening. Prior to the formal paneling process, each 
application will receive an initial screening to ensure that all 
required forms, signatures and documentation are present.
    2. Panel Review. Each application will receive an independent, 
objective review by a panel qualified to evaluate the applications 
submitted. MBDA anticipates that the review panel will be made up of at 
least three independent reviewers (all Federal employees) who will 
review all applications based on the above evaluation criteria. Each 
reviewer will evaluate and provide a score for each proposal. In order 
for an application to be considered for funding, it shall need to 
achieve 70% of the available points for each criterion. Failure to 
achieve these results will automatically deem the application as 
unsuccessful.
    3. Oral Presentation--Optional. When the merit review by the panel 
results in applications scoring 70% or more of the available points for 
each criterion, MBDA may request all those applicants to develop and 
provide an oral presentation. The applicants may receive up to 10 
additional points based on the presentation and content presented.
    If a formal presentation is requested, the applicants will receive 
a formal communication (via standard mail, e-mail or fax) from MBDA 
indicating the time and date for the presentation. In person 
presentations are not mandatory but are encouraged; telephonic 
presentations are acceptable. Applicants will be asked to submit a 
power point presentation (or equivalent) to MBDA that addresses the 
oral presentation criteria (see above, Evaluation Criteria, item 5. 
Oral Presentation--Optional). This presentation must be submitted at 
least 24 hours before the scheduled date and time of the presentation. 
The presentation will be made to the National Director (or his/her 
designee) and/or up to three senior MBDA staff who did not serve on the 
merit evaluation panel. The oral panel members may ask follow-up 
questions after the presentation. MBDA will provide the teleconference 
dial-in number and pass code. Each finalist will present to MBDA staff 
only; other applicants are not permitted to listen (and/or watch).
    All costs pertaining to this presentation shall be borne by the 
applicant. MBEC award funds may not be used as a reimbursement for this 
presentation. MBDA will not accept any requests or petitions for 
reimbursement.
    The oral panel members shall score each presentation in accordance 
with the oral presentation criteria. An average score shall be compiled 
and

[[Page 45778]]

added to the original score of the panel review.
    4. Final Recommendation. The National Director of MBDA makes the 
final recommendation to the Department of Commerce Grants Officer 
regarding the funding of applications, taking into account the 
selection criteria as outlined in this Announcement and the following:
    (a) The evaluations and rankings of the independent review panel 
and the evaluation(s) of the oral presentations, if applicable;
    (b) Funding priorities. The National Director (or his/her designee) 
reserves the right to conduct a site visit (subject to the availability 
of funding) to applicant organizations receiving at least 70% of the 
total points available for each evaluation criterion, in order to make 
a better assessment of the organization's capability to achieve the 
funding priorities; and,
    (c) The availability of funding.
    Intergovernmental Review: Applications under this program are not 
subject to Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs.''
    Limitation of Liability--Alabama MBEC: Applicants are hereby given 
notice that funds have been appropriated for this program for Fiscal 
Year 2006 only. In no event will MBDA or the Department of Commerce be 
responsible for proposal preparation costs if this program fails to 
receive funding in FY 2007 or 2008 or is cancelled because of other 
agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige 
MBDA or the Department of Commerce to award any specific project or to 
obligate any available funds.
    Universal Identifier: Applicants should be aware that they will be 
required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering 
system (DUNS) number during the application process. See the June 27, 
2003 (68 FR 38402) Federal Register notice for additional information. 
Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the 
dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by 
accessing the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.Grants.gov.
    Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The Department of Commerce Pre-Award 
Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements 
contained in the Federal Register notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 
78389) are applicable to this solicitation.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: This document contains collection-of-
information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). 
The use of standard forms 424, 424A, 424B, SF-LLL, and CD-346 have been 
approved by OMB under the respective control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-
0044, 0348-0040, 0348-0046, and 0605-0001.
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB 
control Number.
    Executive Order 12866: This notice has been determined to be not 
significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.
    Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act: Prior 
notice for an opportunity for public comment are not required by the 
Administrative Procedure Act for rules concerning public property, 
loans, grant, benefits and contracts (5 U.S.C. 533(a)(2)). Because 
notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 533 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the 
regulatory flexibility Act (5 U.S.C 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. 
Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and has 
not been prepared.

    Dated: August 10, 2006.
Ronald J. Marin,
Financial Management Officer, Minority Business Development Agency.
[FR Doc. 06-6820 Filed 8-9-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-21-P