Grants and cooperative agreements; availability, etc.: National Technical Assistance, Training, Research, and Evaluation Program, 34225-34228 [E7-12003]

Agencies

[Federal Register: June 21, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 119)]
[Notices]
[Page 34225-34228]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21jn07-15]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Economic Development Administration

[Docket No.: 070607177-7178-01]


Solicitation of Applications for the National Technical
Assistance, Training, Research and Evaluation Program: Information
Dissemination and National Symposium

AGENCY: Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and request for applications.

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SUMMARY: The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is soliciting
applications for FY 2007 National Technical Assistance, Training,
Research and Evaluation program (NTA Program) funding. Through this
notice, EDA solicits applications for funding that address one or both
of the following two projects: (1) Information dissemination to
practitioners serving economically distressed areas; and (2) a national
symposium to bring together leaders to discuss current and future
trends in economic development and how to improve and implement
economic development best practices. EDA's mission is to lead the
federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and
competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in
the worldwide economy. Through its NTA Program, EDA works towards
fulfilling its mission by funding research and technical assistance
projects to promote competitiveness and innovation in rural and urban
regions throughout the United States and its territories. By working in
conjunction with its research partners, EDA will help States, local
governments, and community-based organizations to achieve their highest
economic potential.

DATES: To be considered timely, a completed application, regardless of
the format in which it is submitted, must be either: (1) Received by
the EDA representative listed below under ``Paper Submissions'' no
later than July 23, 2007 at 5 p.m. EST; or (2) transmitted and time-
stamped at http://www.grants.gov no later than July 23, 2007 at 5 p.m. EST.

Any application received or transmitted, as the case may be, after 5
p.m. EST on July 23, 2007 will be considered non-responsive and will
not be considered for funding. Please see the instructions below under
``Submitting Application Packages'' for information regarding format
options for submitting completed applications. The closing date and
time are the same for paper submissions as for electronic submissions.
By August 20, 2007, EDA expects to notify the applicants selected for
investment assistance under this notice. The selected applicants should
expect to receive funding for their projects within thirty days of
EDA's notification of selection. Applicants choosing to submit
completed applications electronically in whole or in part through
http://www.grants.gov should follow the instructions set out below under

``Electronic Access'' and in section IV. of the complete Federal
Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement for this request for
applications.

ADDRESSES: Paper Submissions: Full or partial paper (hardcopy)
applications submitted pursuant to this notice and request for
applications may be:
    1. E-mailed to William P. Kittredge, Senior Program Analyst, at 
wkittredge@eda.doc.gov; or

    2. Hand-delivered or mailed to William P. Kittredge, Senior Program
Analyst, Economic Development Administration, Room 7009, U.S.
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC
20230.
    Applicants submitting full or partial paper submissions are
encouraged to do so by e-mail. Applicants are advised that, due to mail
security measures, EDA's receipt of mail sent via the United States
Postal Service may be substantially delayed or suspended in delivery.
    Electronic Submissions: Applicants may submit applications
electronically in whole or in part in accordance with the instructions
provided at http://www.grants.gov and in section IV.B. of the FFO

announcement. EDA strongly encourages that applicants not wait until
the application closing date to begin the application process through
http://www.grants.gov. The preferred file format for electronic attachments

(e.g., the project narrative and additional exhibits to Form ED-900A
and Form ED-900A's program-specific component) is portable document
format (PDF); however, EDA will accept

[[Page 34226]]

electronic files in Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Lotus or Excel
formats.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information regarding
paper submissions, please contact William P. Kittredge, Senior Program
Analyst, via e-mail at wkittredge@eda.doc.gov (preferred) or by
telephone at (202) 482-5442. For additional information regarding
electronic submissions, please access the following link for assistance
in navigating www.grants.gov and for a list of useful resources: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_help.jsp.
 If you do not find an

answer to your question under Frequently Asked Questions, try
consulting the Applicant's User Guide. If you still cannot find an
answer to your question, contact http://www.grants.gov via email at 
support@grants.gov or telephone at 1-800-518-4726. The hours of


operation for http://www.grants.gov are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST)

(except for federal holidays).
    Additional information about EDA and its NTA Program may be
obtained from EDA's Internet Web site at http://www.eda.gov. The

complete FFO announcement for this request for applications is
available at http://www.grants.gov and at http://www.eda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background Information: EDA is soliciting applications for FY 2007
NTA Program funding. Through this notice, EDA solicits applications for
funding that address one or both of the following two projects: (1)
Information dissemination to practitioners serving economically
distressed areas; and (2) a national symposium to bring together
leaders to discuss current and future trends in economic development
and how to improve and implement economic development best practices.
    EDA's intent is to implement a coordinated and complementary
information dissemination program that, through strategic linkages,
reaches the maximum number of economic development practitioners. As
described in the FFO announcement, the information dissemination
project has three component tasks: (1) Broadcasting of strategy
telecasts; (2) preparation and dissemination of monthly electronic
newsletters; and (3) preparation and dissemination of a quarterly
magazine. Applicants must address each of these three components of the
information dissemination project.
    The 2008 EDA National Symposium will bring together nationally-
recognized leaders to discuss ``what's next'' in economic development
and how to implement economic development best practices. Qualified
applicants must submit applications for organizing, supporting,
promoting, holding and reporting on the symposium. The focus of the
symposium is to disseminate and share the strategies, policies and best
practices of 21st century economic development.
    Application Package: An application package consists of the
following three forms:
    1. Form ED-900A, Application for Investment Assistance (OMB Control
No. 0610-0094);
    2. Form ED-900A's program-specific component, National Technical
Assistance, Training, and Research and Evaluation Program Requirements
(OMB Control No. 0610-0094); and
    3. Form SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance (OMB Control No.
4040-0004).
    Please note that applicants must submit all three forms in
accordance with the instructions provided in sections IV. and VII.B. of
the FFO announcement.
    Submitting Application Packages: Applications may be submitted in
three formats: (1) Full paper (hardcopy) submission; (2) partial paper
(hardcopy) submission and partial electronic submission; or (3) full
electronic submission, each in accordance with the procedures provided
in section IV.B. of the FFO announcement. The content of the
application is the same for paper submissions as it is for electronic
submissions. Applications completed in accordance with the instructions
set forth in the FFO announcement, regardless of the option chosen for
submission, will be considered for EDA funding under this request for
applications. Incomplete applications and applications submitted by
facsimile will not be considered.
    Paper Access: Each of the three forms listed above under
``Application Package'' are separate attachments available at http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/Application.xml.
 You may print copies of

each of these forms from http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/Application.xml.
 You also may obtain paper application packages by

contacting the EDA representative listed above under ``For Further
Information Contact.''
    Electronic Access: Applicants may apply electronically through
http://www.grants.gov, and may access this grant opportunity synopsis by

following the instructions provided on http://www.grants.gov/search/basic.do.
 The synopsis will have an application package, which is an

electronic file that contains forms pertaining to this specific grant
opportunity. On http://www.grants.gov/search/basic.do, applicants can

perform a basic search for this grant opportunity by completing the
``Keyword Search,'' the ``Search by Funding Opportunity Number,'' or
the ``Search by CFDA Number'' field, and then clicking the ``Search''
button.
    Funding Availability: EDA may use funds appropriated under the
Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-5
(February 15, 2007) to make awards under the NTA Program authorized
under section 207 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of
1965 (42 U.S.C. 3147), as amended (PWEDA), and 13 CFR part 306, subpart
A. Approximately $2,700,000 is available, and shall remain available
until expended, for funding awards pursuant to this notice and request
for applications. Based on past awards for similar projects, the range
of total expenditures for (1) information dissemination projects has
been from $150,000 to $250,000 and (2) national symposia has been from
$250,000 to $450,000. EDA anticipates publishing additional FFO
announcements (and corresponding notices in the Federal Register) under
the NTA Program later during this fiscal year. Please note that the FFO
announcement published on March 22, 2007 for EDA's economic development
assistance programs references program funds allocated for Local
Technical Assistance and National Technical Assistance. EDA may
allocate additional funds currently available for the NTA Program to
the Local Technical Assistance program for additional Local Technical
Assistance projects.
    Statutory Authority: The authority for the NTA Program is PWEDA.
EDA published final regulations (codified at 13 CFR chapter III) in the
Federal Register on September 27, 2006 (71 FR 56658). The final
regulations became effective upon publication and reflect changes made
to PWEDA by the Economic Development Administration Reauthorization Act
of 2004 (Pub. L. No. 108-373, 118 Stat. 1756 (2004)). The final
regulations and PWEDA are accessible on EDA's Internet Web site at
http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/Lawsreg.xml. These regulations

will govern an award made under this notice and request for
applications.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 11.303,
Economic Development--Technical Assistance; 11.312, Economic
Development--Research and Evaluation
    Eligibility Requirement: Pursuant to PWEDA, eligible applicants for
and eligible recipients of EDA investment assistance include a District
Organization; an Indian Tribe or a

[[Page 34227]]

consortium of Indian Tribes; a State; a city or other political
subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or
local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development
activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; an institution
of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher
education; a public or private non-profit organization or association;
and, as provided in section 207 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3147) for the NTA
Program, a private individual or a for-profit organization. See section
3 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3122) and 13 CFR 300.3.
    Cost Sharing Requirement: Generally, the amount of the EDA grant
may not exceed fifty (50) percent of the total cost of the project.
However, a project may receive an additional amount that shall not
exceed thirty (30) percent, based on the relative needs of the region
in which the project will be located, as determined by EDA. See section
204(a) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR 301.4(b)(1). Under this
competitive solicitation, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for
Economic Development (Assistant Secretary) also has the discretion to
establish a maximum EDA investment rate of up to one hundred (100)
percent where the project (i) merits and is not otherwise feasible
without an increase to the EDA investment rate; or (ii) will be of no
or only incidental benefit to the recipient. See section 204(c)(3) of
PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR 301.4(b)(4).
    While cash contributions are preferred, in-kind contributions,
consisting of assumptions of debt or contributions of space, equipment,
and services, may provide the non-federal share of the total project
cost. See section 204(b) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144). EDA will fairly
evaluate all in-kind contributions, which must be eligible project
costs and meet applicable federal cost principles and uniform
administrative requirements. Funds from other federal financial
assistance awards are considered matching share funds only if
authorized by statute that allows such use, which may be determined by
EDA's reasonable interpretation of the statute. See 13 CFR 300.3. The
applicant must show that the matching share is committed to the
project, available as needed and not conditioned or encumbered in any
way that precludes its use consistent with the requirements of EDA
investment assistance. See 13 CFR 301.5.
    Intergovernmental Review: Applications under the NTA Program are
not subject to Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of
Federal Programs.''
    Evaluation and Selection Procedures: To apply for an award under
this request for applications, an eligible applicant must submit a
completed application package to EDA before the closing date and time
specified in the DATES section of this notice, and in the manner
provided in section IV. of the FFO announcement. Any application
received or transmitted, as the case may be, after 5 p.m. EST on July
23, 2007 will not be considered for funding. Applications that do not
meet all items required or that exceed the page limitations set forth
in section IV.C. of the FFO announcement will be considered non-
responsive and will not be considered by the review panel. By August
20, 2007, EDA expects to notify the applicants selected for investment
assistance under this notice. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified
by postal mail that their applications were not selected for funding.
Applications that meet all the requirements will be evaluated by a
review panel comprised of at least three (3) EDA staff members, all of
whom will be full-time federal employees.
    Evaluation Criteria: The review panel will evaluate the
applications and rate and rank them using the following criteria of
approximate equal weight:
    1. Conformance with EDA's statutory and regulatory requirements,
including the extent to which the proposed project satisfies the award
requirements set out below and as provided in 13 CFR 306.2:
    a. Strengthens the capacity of local, State or national
organizations and institutions to undertake and promote effective
economic development programs targeted to regions of distress;
    b. Benefits distressed regions; and
    c. Demonstrates innovative approaches to stimulate economic
development in distressed regions;
    2. The degree to which an EDA investment will have strong
organizational leadership, relevant project management experience and a
significant commitment of human resources talent to ensure the
project's successful execution (see 13 CFR 301.8(b));
    3. The ability of the applicant to implement the proposed project
successfully (see 13 CFR 301.8);
    4. The feasibility of the budget presented; and
    5. The cost to the Federal government.
    Selection Factors: The Assistant Secretary, as the Selecting
Official, expects to fund the highest ranking applications, as
recommended by the review panel, submitted under this competitive
solicitation. However, the Assistant Secretary may not make any
selection, or he may select an application out of rank order for the
following reasons: (1) A determination that the application better
meets the overall objectives of sections 2 and 207 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C.
3121 and 3147); (2) the applicant's performance under previous awards;
or (3) the availability of funding.

The 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, published in the Federal Register on
December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389), are applicable to this competitive
solicitation. This notice may be accessed by entering the Federal
Register volume and page number provided in the previous sentence at
the following Internet Web site: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/retrieve.html
.


Paperwork Reduction Act

    This request for applications contains collections of information
subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the use of Form ED-
900A (Application for Investment Assistance) under control number 0610-
0094. Form ED-900A's program-specific component (National Technical
Assistance, Training, and Research and Evaluation Program Requirements)
also is approved under OMB control number 0610-0094, and incorporates
Forms SF-424A (Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs, OMB
control number 0348-0044) and SF-424B (Assurances--Non-Construction
Programs, OMB control number 0348-0040). OMB has approved the use of
Form SF-424 (Application for Financial Assistance) under control number
4040-0004. Notwithstanding any other provision 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
requirements of the PRA unless the collection of information displays a
currently valid OMB control number.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice has been determined to be not significant for purposes
of Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review.''

Executive Order 13132

    It has been determined that this notice does not contain ``policies
that have Federalism implications,'' as that phrase is defined in
Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism.''

[[Page 34228]]

Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Prior notice and an opportunity for public comments are not
required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules
concerning grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)).
Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to
5 U.S.C. 553 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 has not been prepared.

    Dated: June 15, 2007.
Benjamin Erulkar,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and
Chief Operating Officer.
[FR Doc. E7-12003 Filed 6-20-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-24-P