Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: The Future Leaders Exchange Program: Host Family and School Placement, 61933-61938 [E7-21551]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 211 / Thursday, November 1, 2007 / Notices Office of Management and Budget Circular A–21, ‘‘Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.’’ OMB Circular A–87, ‘‘Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Governments’’. OMB Circular No. A–110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations. OMB Circular No. A–102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments. OMB Circular No. A–133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Nonprofit Organizations Please reference the following Web sites for additional information: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants. https://exchanges.state.gov/education/ grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI. VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the following reports: (1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award; (2) Interim reports, as required in the Bureau grant agreement. Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information. All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Matt O’Rourke, Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/ PY, Room M23, ECA/PE/C/PY–08–12, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, (t) 202–453–8170, (f) 202–453–8169, ORourkeMM@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/ PY–08–12. Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:40 Oct 31, 2007 Jkt 214001 applicants until the proposal review process has been completed. VIII. Other Information Notice The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 above. Dated: October 25, 2007. C. Miller Crouch, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–21562 Filed 10–31–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 5978] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: The Future Leaders Exchange Program: Host Family and School Placement Announcement Type: New Grant. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ PE/C/PY–08–10. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000. Key Dates: Application Deadline: December 14, 2007. Executive Summary: The Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the placement component of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to recruit and select host families and schools for high school students between the ages of 15 and 17 from countries of the former Soviet Union, hereafter referred to as Eurasia. This solicitation and the activities to which it refers, applies only to FLEX students from the following Eurasian countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61933 Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. In addition to identifying schools and screening, selecting, and orienting families, organizations will be responsible for: (1) Providing English language enhancement activities for a small percentage of students who are specially identified; (2) orienting all students at the local level; (3) providing support services for students; (4) arranging enhancement activities and skill-building opportunities; (5) assessing student performance and progress; (6) providing mid-year programming and re-entry training; and (7) evaluating project success. Preference will be given to those organizations that offer participants opportunities to develop leadership skills and raise their awareness of tolerance and social justice through community activities and networks. The award of grants and the number of students who will participate is subject to the availability of funding in fiscal year 2008. I. Funding Opportunity Description Authority: Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, Public Law 87–256, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is ‘‘to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.’’ The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation. Purpose: The Future Leaders Exchange Program seeks to provide approximately 1,100 high school students from Eurasia with an opportunity to live in the United States for the purpose of promoting democratic values and institutions throughout their home countries. Participants will reside with American host families and attend high school during the 2008–09 academic year. During the year, FLEX participants will be engaged in a variety of activities, such as community and school-based programs, skill-building workshops, and cultural events. Academic year 2008/ 2009 will be the fifteenth year of the FLEX program, with more than 17,000 E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 61934 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 211 / Thursday, November 1, 2007 / Notices students having been awarded scholarships. Goals: The goals of the program are (1) to promote mutual understanding and foster relationships between the people of Eurasia and the United States; (2) to assist the successor generation of Eurasian countries in developing the qualities it will need to lead transformation efforts in the 21st century; and (3) to promote democratic values and civic responsibility. Considering the specific focus of the FLEX program, the following outcomes will indicate a successful project: 1. Participants will acquire an understanding of important elements of a civil society. This includes concepts such as volunteerism, the idea that American citizens can and do act at the grassroots level to deal with societal problems, and an awareness of and respect for the Rule of Law. 2. Participants will acquire an understanding of a free market economy and private enterprise, including an awareness of privatization and an appreciation of the role of the entrepreneur in economic growth. 3. Participants will develop an appreciation for American culture, an understanding of the diversity of American society, and increased tolerance and respect for others with differing views and beliefs. 4. Participants will interact with Americans and generate enduring ties. 5. Participants will teach Americans about the cultures of their home countries. 6. Participants will gain leadership capacity that will enable them, as FLEX alumni, to initiate activities in their home countries that focus on development and community service. Objectives: The immediate objectives of the FLEX program are: • To place approximately 1,100 preselected high school students from 11 Eurasian countries in qualified, wellmotivated host families; • To place students in schools that have been accredited by the respective state departments of education; • To expose program participants to American culture and democracy that will enable them to attain a broad view of U.S. society and culture; • To provide appropriate venues for program participants to share their culture, lifestyle and traditions with U.S. citizens; • To provide participants with leadership training and opportunities that foster skills they can take back with them and use in their home countries; and • To provide activities that will increase and enhance students’ VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:40 Oct 31, 2007 Jkt 214001 understanding of the importance of tolerance and respect for the views and beliefs of others in a civil society. Other Components: One organization has already been awarded a grant to perform the following functions: recruitment and selection of Eurasian students; assistance in documentation and preparation of DS–2019 visa forms; preparation of cross-cultural materials; pre-departure orientation; international travel from home to host community and return; facilitation of ongoing communication between the natural parents and placement organization, as needed; maintenance of a student database and provision of data to the U.S. Department of State; and ongoing follow-up with alumni after their return to Eurasia. Another organization is currently responsible for supporting students with disabilities. This involves a pre-program orientation and a year-end reentry training, as well as ongoing support throughout the year in order to help them cope with challenges specific to their circumstances. Placement organizations will be in direct communication with this organization, especially since some students with disabilities may need supplementary independence skills training early on in the program. Guidelines: Applicants are requested to submit a narrative outlining a comprehensive strategy for the administration and implementation of the placement component of the FLEX program that includes the following responsibilities: (1) recruitment, screening, selection, and Eurasia/FLEX-specific orientation of host families; (2) Enrollment in an accredited school; (3) Post-arrival orientation for participants; (4) Placement of a small number of students with disabilities; (5) Pre-program specialized English language tutoring for pre-selected students who require focused preparation for their academic year; (6) Specialized training of local staff and volunteers to work with FLEX students from Eurasia; (7) Preparation and dissemination of materials to students pertaining to the respective placement organization; (8) Troubleshooting; (9) Monitoring of the students’ performance; (10) Quarterly evaluation of the organization’s success in achieving program goals; (11) Mid-year orientations to assess progress; and PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (12) Eurasia-specific re-entry training to prepare students for readjustment to their home environments. Applicants must request a grant for the placement of at least 30 students; there is no maximum number of students who may be placed by one organization. Placements may be in any region of the United States. Strong preference will be given to organizations that choose to place participants in clusters of at least three students. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for details on essential program elements, permissible costs, and criteria used to select and place students. We anticipate grants beginning no later than April 2008, subject to the availability of funds. Most participants arrive in their host communities during the month of August and remain for 10 or 11 months until their departure during the period mid-May to late June 2009. Students with disabilities and students requiring supplementary English language instruction may arrive at the end of July. Administration of the program must be in compliance with reporting and withholding regulations for federal, state, and local taxes as applicable. Recipient organizations should demonstrate tax regulation adherence in the proposal narrative and budget. Applicants should submit the health and accident insurance plans they intend to use for students on this program. If use of a private plan is proposed, the State Department will compare that plan with the Bureau plan and make a determination of which will be applicable. II. Award Information Type of Award: New Grant Agreement. Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2008. Approximate Total Funding: $7,150,000 pending availability of funds. Approximate Number of Awards: 10– 15 grants. Average Grant Award: Dependent on the number of proposed students, total amount not to exceed $6,500 per student; a minimum award is approximately $195,000. Anticipated Award Date: April 2008, pending availability of funds. Anticipated Project Completion Date: August 2009. Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA’s intent to renew grants awarded under this competition for two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again. E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 211 / Thursday, November 1, 2007 / Notices III. Eligibility Information III.1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A–110 (Revised), Subpart C.23—Cost Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA’s contribution will be reduced in like proportion. III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements: Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. Since a minimum award is approximately $195,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES IV. Application and Submission Information Note: Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed. IV.1. Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please contact The Office of Youth Programs, ECA/PE/ C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:40 Oct 31, 2007 Jkt 214001 Washington, DC 20547, telephone (202) 203–7513, and fax (202) 203–7529, email Linda Beach at BeachLF@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY–08–10 located at the top of this announcement when making your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from www.grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further information. The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required application forms and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. It also contains the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria and budget instructions tailored to this competition. Please specify Bureau Program Officer Michele Peters (PetersML@state.gov) and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/PE/C/PY–08–10) at the top of this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence. IV.2. To Download Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau’s Web site at https://exchanges.state.gov/education/ rfgps/menu.htm, or from the Grants.gov Web site at https://www.grants.gov. Please read all information before downloading. IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and 8 copies of the application should be sent per the instructions under IV.3e. ‘‘Application Deadline and Methods of Submissions’’ section below. IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, access https:// www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1– 866–705–5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the appropriate box of the SF–424 which is part of the formal application package. IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal narrative and budget. Please Refer to the Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory PSI document and the POGI for additional formatting and technical requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61935 IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible. IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information when preparing your proposal narrative: IV.3d.1. Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa. The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is the official program sponsor of the exchange program covered by this RFGP, and an employee of the Bureau will be the ‘‘Responsible Officer’’ for the program under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa program). Under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, organizations receiving grants under this RFGP will be third parties ‘‘cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor’s program.’’ The actions of grantee program organizations shall be ‘‘imputed to the sponsor in evaluating the sponsor’s compliance with’’ 22 CFR part 62. Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization receiving a grant under this competition will render all assistance necessary to enable the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR part 62 et seq. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places great emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by grantee program organizations and program participants to all regulations governing the J visa program status. Therefore, proposals should explicitly state in writing that the applicant is prepared to assist the Bureau in meeting all requirements governing the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR 62. If your organization has experience as a designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the applicant should discuss its record of compliance with 22 CFR part 62 et seq., including the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements. E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 61936 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 211 / Thursday, November 1, 2007 / Notices The Office of Citizen Exchanges of ECA will be responsible for issuing DS– 2019 forms to participants in this program. A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at https://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD—SA–44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203–5029, FAX: (202) 453–8640. IV.3.d.2. Diversity, Freedom And Democracy Guidelines. Pursuant to the Bureau’s authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. ‘‘Diversity’’ should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and disabilities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the ‘Support for Diversity’ section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your proposal. Public Law 104–319 provides that ‘‘in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,’’ the Bureau ‘‘shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.’’ Public Law 106–113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible. IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Monitoring: Proposals must include a plan to monitor and report on the project’s success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique, plus a description of a methodology that will be used to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee will track participants and be able to respond to key monitoring questions throughout the year, particularly on effects of the program on program participants, their host families and communities. Successful monitoring depends heavily on setting clear goals and VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:40 Oct 31, 2007 Jkt 214001 outcomes at the outset of a program. Your monitoring plan should include a description of your project’s objectives and how and when you intend to measure these outcomes. You should also show how your project objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP. Overall, the quality of your monitoring plan will be judged on how well it specifies successes and challenges. Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their monitoring findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. Evaluation: The Bureau’s Office of Policy and Evaluation will conduct evaluations of the FLEX program through E–GOALS, its online system for surveying program participants and collecting data about program performance. These evaluations assist ECA and its program grantees in meeting the requirements of the Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. This Act requires federal agencies to measure the results of their programs in meeting predetermined performance goals and objectives. Please see specific responsibilities in the accompanying POGI document. IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration when preparing your budget: 1V.3e.1. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. Per capita costs are not to exceed $6,500 per participant. The budget must reflect costs for a minimum of 30 participants. Please indicate clearly the number of students funded. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate subbudgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to provide clarification IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program and additional budget guidance are outlined in detail in the POGI document. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions. IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission: Application Deadline Date: December 14, 2007. Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY– 08–10. PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Methods of Submission Applications may be submitted in one of two ways: (1) In hard copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or (2) Electronically through https:// www.grants.gov. Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF–424 contained in the mandatory PSI of the solicitation document. IV.3f.1. Submitting Printed Applications. Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify upon receipt of application. It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered. Important note: When preparing your submission please make sure to include one extra copy of the completed SF–424 form and place it in an envelope addressed to ‘‘ECA/ EX/PM.’’ The original and eight (8) copies of the application should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA–44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY–08–10, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF– 424 contained in the mandatory PSI of the solicitation document. IV.3f.2. Submitting Electronic Applications. Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available at E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 211 / Thursday, November 1, 2007 / Notices Grants.gov in the ‘‘Find’’ portion of the system. Please follow the instructions available in the ‘Get Started’ portion of the site (https://www.grants.gov/ GetStarted). Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov. Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission to: Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800–518–4726, Business Hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern Time, E-mail: support@grants.gov. Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible. Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications. It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes. V. Application Review Information mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES V.1. Review Process The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:40 Oct 31, 2007 Jkt 214001 reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State’s Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards (grants) resides with the Bureau’s Grants Officer. Review Criteria 1. Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: Your proposal narrative should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance to the Bureau’s mission, as well as to the goals of the FLEX program. Reviewers will assess the degree to which proposals engage participants in community activities that involve skills development and leadership training. Given the upcoming U.S. elections, activities that expose and educate students about the American election process should be included. A detailed agenda and work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described in the solicitation package. With respect to anticipated program outcomes, reviewers will assess the degree to which the proposed outcomes of the project are realistic and measurable. Strategies should creatively utilize and reinforce activities to ensure an efficient use of program resources. 2. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau’s policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited in both program administration (selection of participants, host families, schools, program venue and program evaluation) and program content (orientations, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities). 3. Organization’s Record/ Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project’s goals. In assessing institutional capacity, reviewers will assess the applicant and its partners to determine if they offer adequate resources, expertise, and experience to fulfill program objectives. Partner activities should be clearly defined. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting and J–1 Visa requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61937 4. Multiplier Effect: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages. Reviewers will assess ways in which proposals include innovative ideas to involve students in their U.S. communities and substantive plans to prepare them for their role as active, effective FLEX alumni. 5. Project Monitoring: Proposals should include a plan to monitor the activity’s success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. Reviewers will assess your plans to monitor student progress and program activities, particularly in regard to intended outcomes indicated in your proposal. Successful applicants will be expected to submit quarterly reports, which should be included as an inherent component of the work plan. Proposals should also specify ways in which students will be encouraged and monitored to ensure they complete the mandatory end-of-the-year surveys administered through the E–GOALS system. 6. Cost-effectiveness/Cost sharing: Reviewers will analyze the budget for clarity and cost-effectiveness. They will also assess the rationale of the proposed budget and whether the allocation of funds is appropriate to complete tasks outlined in the project narrative. The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions. Preference will be given to organizations whose proposals demonstrate a quality, cost-effective program. VI. Award Administration Information VI.1a. Award Notice: Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive an Assistance Award Document (AAD) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The AAD and the original grant proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient’s responsible officer identified in the application. Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of the application review from the ECA E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 61938 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 211 / Thursday, November 1, 2007 / Notices program office coordinating this competition. VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements include the following: Office of Management and Budget Circular A–122, ‘‘Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations.’’ Office of Management and Budget Circular A–21, ‘‘Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.’’ OMB Circular A–87, ‘‘Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Governments’’. OMB Circular No. A–110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations. OMB Circular No. A–102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments. OMB Circular No. A–133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Nonprofit Organizations. Please reference the following Web sites for additional information: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants. https://exchanges.state.gov/education/ grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI. VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the following reports: (1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award; (2) Quarterly program and financial reports which should include both quantitative and qualitative data you have available. Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information.) All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document. VI.4. Program Data Requirements: Organizations awarded grants will be required to maintain specific data on program participants and activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:40 Oct 31, 2007 Jkt 214001 VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Michele Peters, Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/ PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone: (202)203–7517 Fax number: (202) 203– 7529, Internet address: PetersML@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/PY–08–10. Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed. VIII. Other Information Notice: The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 above. Dated: October 24, 2007. C. Miller Crouch, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–21551 Filed 10–31–07; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 5979] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: International Sports Programming Initiative Announcement Type: New Grant. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ PE/C/WHA–EAP–08–16. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000. Key Dates: Application Deadline: January 25, 2008. Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the International Sports Programming Initiative. Public and private non-profit Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 I. Funding Opportunity Description Authority BILLING CODE 4710–05–P PO 00000 organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals for projects designed to enhance and improve the infrastructure of youth sports programs in select countries in Africa, East Asia, the Near East and North Africa, South Asia and the Western Hemisphere. The focus of all programs must be on reaching out to youth ages 8–18. Programs designed to train elite athletes will not be considered. Eligible countries are: Africa (Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal or the trans-Sahara for a Francophone regional project (eligible countries included in this regional project must include one country from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as well as one country from Chad, Senegal, Niger, Mauritania and Chad); for East Asia: China, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam; for the Near East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank and Yemen; for South Asia: Bangladesh, India; for the Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. For countries that are not designated in the RFGP or that address more than one country unless specifically noted, will be deemed technically ineligible and will receive no further consideration in the review process. For the purposes of this competition, eligible regions are Africa, East Asia, the Near East, North Africa, South Asia and the Western Hemisphere. No guarantee is made or implied that grants will be awarded in all themes or for all countries listed. Sfmt 4703 Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87–256, as amended, also known as the FulbrightHays Act. The purpose of the Act is ‘‘to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.’’ The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation. E:\FR\FM\01NON1.SGM 01NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 211 (Thursday, November 1, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61933-61938]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-21551]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 5978]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: The Future Leaders Exchange Program: Host Family and 
School Placement

    Announcement Type: New Grant.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-10.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
    Key Dates:
    Application Deadline: December 14, 2007.
    Executive Summary: The Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 
placement component of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. 
Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions 
described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may 
submit proposals to recruit and select host families and schools for 
high school students between the ages of 15 and 17 from countries of 
the former Soviet Union, hereafter referred to as Eurasia. This 
solicitation and the activities to which it refers, applies only to 
FLEX students from the following Eurasian countries: Armenia, 
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, 
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
    In addition to identifying schools and screening, selecting, and 
orienting families, organizations will be responsible for: (1) 
Providing English language enhancement activities for a small 
percentage of students who are specially identified; (2) orienting all 
students at the local level; (3) providing support services for 
students; (4) arranging enhancement activities and skill-building 
opportunities; (5) assessing student performance and progress; (6) 
providing mid-year programming and re-entry training; and (7) 
evaluating project success. Preference will be given to those 
organizations that offer participants opportunities to develop 
leadership skills and raise their awareness of tolerance and social 
justice through community activities and networks. The award of grants 
and the number of students who will participate is subject to the 
availability of funding in fiscal year 2008.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Authority: Overall grant making authority for this program is 
contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, 
as amended, Public Law 87-256, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. 
The purpose of the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United 
States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the 
United States and the people of other countries * * *; to strengthen 
the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the 
educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of 
the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to 
assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful 
relations between the United States and the other countries of the 
world.'' The funding authority for the program above is provided 
through legislation.
    Purpose: The Future Leaders Exchange Program seeks to provide 
approximately 1,100 high school students from Eurasia with an 
opportunity to live in the United States for the purpose of promoting 
democratic values and institutions throughout their home countries. 
Participants will reside with American host families and attend high 
school during the 2008-09 academic year.
    During the year, FLEX participants will be engaged in a variety of 
activities, such as community and school-based programs, skill-building 
workshops, and cultural events. Academic year 2008/2009 will be the 
fifteenth year of the FLEX program, with more than 17,000

[[Page 61934]]

students having been awarded scholarships.
    Goals: The goals of the program are (1) to promote mutual 
understanding and foster relationships between the people of Eurasia 
and the United States; (2) to assist the successor generation of 
Eurasian countries in developing the qualities it will need to lead 
transformation efforts in the 21st century; and (3) to promote 
democratic values and civic responsibility.
    Considering the specific focus of the FLEX program, the following 
outcomes will indicate a successful project:
    1. Participants will acquire an understanding of important elements 
of a civil society. This includes concepts such as volunteerism, the 
idea that American citizens can and do act at the grassroots level to 
deal with societal problems, and an awareness of and respect for the 
Rule of Law.
    2. Participants will acquire an understanding of a free market 
economy and private enterprise, including an awareness of privatization 
and an appreciation of the role of the entrepreneur in economic growth.
    3. Participants will develop an appreciation for American culture, 
an understanding of the diversity of American society, and increased 
tolerance and respect for others with differing views and beliefs.
    4. Participants will interact with Americans and generate enduring 
ties.
    5. Participants will teach Americans about the cultures of their 
home countries.
    6. Participants will gain leadership capacity that will enable 
them, as FLEX alumni, to initiate activities in their home countries 
that focus on development and community service.
    Objectives: The immediate objectives of the FLEX program are:
     To place approximately 1,100 pre-selected high school 
students from 11 Eurasian countries in qualified, well-motivated host 
families;
     To place students in schools that have been accredited by 
the respective state departments of education;
     To expose program participants to American culture and 
democracy that will enable them to attain a broad view of U.S. society 
and culture;
     To provide appropriate venues for program participants to 
share their culture, lifestyle and traditions with U.S. citizens;
     To provide participants with leadership training and 
opportunities that foster skills they can take back with them and use 
in their home countries; and
     To provide activities that will increase and enhance 
students' understanding of the importance of tolerance and respect for 
the views and beliefs of others in a civil society.
    Other Components: One organization has already been awarded a grant 
to perform the following functions: recruitment and selection of 
Eurasian students; assistance in documentation and preparation of DS-
2019 visa forms; preparation of cross-cultural materials; pre-departure 
orientation; international travel from home to host community and 
return; facilitation of ongoing communication between the natural 
parents and placement organization, as needed; maintenance of a student 
database and provision of data to the U.S. Department of State; and 
ongoing follow-up with alumni after their return to Eurasia.
    Another organization is currently responsible for supporting 
students with disabilities. This involves a pre-program orientation and 
a year-end reentry training, as well as ongoing support throughout the 
year in order to help them cope with challenges specific to their 
circumstances. Placement organizations will be in direct communication 
with this organization, especially since some students with 
disabilities may need supplementary independence skills training early 
on in the program.
    Guidelines: Applicants are requested to submit a narrative 
outlining a comprehensive strategy for the administration and 
implementation of the placement component of the FLEX program that 
includes the following responsibilities:
    (1) recruitment, screening, selection, and Eurasia/FLEX-specific 
orientation of host families;
    (2) Enrollment in an accredited school;
    (3) Post-arrival orientation for participants;
    (4) Placement of a small number of students with disabilities;
    (5) Pre-program specialized English language tutoring for pre-
selected students who require focused preparation for their academic 
year;
    (6) Specialized training of local staff and volunteers to work with 
FLEX students from Eurasia;
    (7) Preparation and dissemination of materials to students 
pertaining to the respective placement organization;
    (8) Troubleshooting;
    (9) Monitoring of the students' performance;
    (10) Quarterly evaluation of the organization's success in 
achieving program goals;
    (11) Mid-year orientations to assess progress; and
    (12) Eurasia-specific re-entry training to prepare students for 
readjustment to their home environments.
    Applicants must request a grant for the placement of at least 30 
students; there is no maximum number of students who may be placed by 
one organization. Placements may be in any region of the United States. 
Strong preference will be given to organizations that choose to place 
participants in clusters of at least three students. Please refer to 
the Solicitation Package for details on essential program elements, 
permissible costs, and criteria used to select and place students. We 
anticipate grants beginning no later than April 2008, subject to the 
availability of funds.
    Most participants arrive in their host communities during the month 
of August and remain for 10 or 11 months until their departure during 
the period mid-May to late June 2009. Students with disabilities and 
students requiring supplementary English language instruction may 
arrive at the end of July.
    Administration of the program must be in compliance with reporting 
and withholding regulations for federal, state, and local taxes as 
applicable. Recipient organizations should demonstrate tax regulation 
adherence in the proposal narrative and budget.
    Applicants should submit the health and accident insurance plans 
they intend to use for students on this program. If use of a private 
plan is proposed, the State Department will compare that plan with the 
Bureau plan and make a determination of which will be applicable.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: New Grant Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2008.
    Approximate Total Funding: $7,150,000 pending availability of 
funds.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 10-15 grants.
    Average Grant Award: Dependent on the number of proposed students, 
total amount not to exceed $6,500 per student; a minimum award is 
approximately $195,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: April 2008, pending availability of funds.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: August 2009.
    Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this 
program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is 
ECA's intent to renew grants awarded under this competition for two 
additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again.

[[Page 61935]]

III. Eligibility Information

    III.1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by public 
and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described 
in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
    III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or 
maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau 
encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and 
funding in support of its programs.
    When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the 
applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its 
proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost 
sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For 
accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs 
which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by 
the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis 
for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in 
accordance with OMB Circular A-110 (Revised), Subpart C.23--Cost 
Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum 
amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's 
contribution will be reduced in like proportion.
    III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements: Bureau grant guidelines 
require that organizations with less than four years experience in 
conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau 
funding. Since a minimum award is approximately $195,000 to support 
program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange 
program, organizations with less than four years experience in 
conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this 
competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels 
of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    Note: Please read the complete announcement before sending 
inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with 
applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.

    IV.1. Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please 
contact The Office of Youth Programs, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. 
Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
telephone (202) 203-7513, and fax (202) 203-7529, e-mail Linda Beach at 
BeachLF@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to 
the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-10 located at the top of 
this announcement when making your request.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from www.grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further information.
    The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission 
Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required application 
forms and standard guidelines for proposal preparation.
    It also contains the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation 
(POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria 
and budget instructions tailored to this competition.
    Please specify Bureau Program Officer Michele Peters 
(PetersML@state.gov) and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/
PE/C/PY-08-10) at the top of this announcement on all other inquiries 
and correspondence.
    IV.2. To Download Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire 
Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at 
https://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps/menu.htm, or from the 
Grants.gov Web site at https://www.grants.gov. Please read all 
information before downloading.
    IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all 
instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and 8 copies of 
the application should be sent per the instructions under IV.3e. 
``Application Deadline and Methods of Submissions'' section below.
    IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative 
agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit 
identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. 
Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a 
DUNS number, access https://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-
5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the 
appropriate box of the SF-424 which is part of the formal application 
package.
    IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal 
narrative and budget.
    Please Refer to the Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory 
PSI document and the POGI for additional formatting and technical 
requirements.
    IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of 
application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not 
received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three 
years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS 
within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation 
to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to 
do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible.
    IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information 
when preparing your proposal narrative:
    IV.3d.1. Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa. The 
Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs is the official program sponsor of the exchange program covered 
by this RFGP, and an employee of the Bureau will be the ``Responsible 
Officer'' for the program under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, which 
covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa 
program). Under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, organizations receiving 
grants under this RFGP will be third parties ``cooperating with or 
assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor's program.'' The 
actions of grantee program organizations shall be ``imputed to the 
sponsor in evaluating the sponsor's compliance with'' 22 CFR part 62. 
Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization receiving a grant 
under this competition will render all assistance necessary to enable 
the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR part 62 et seq.
    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places great 
emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J 
visa) Programs and adherence by grantee program organizations and 
program participants to all regulations governing the J visa program 
status. Therefore, proposals should explicitly state in writing that 
the applicant is prepared to assist the Bureau in meeting all 
requirements governing the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs 
as set forth in 22 CFR 62. If your organization has experience as a 
designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the applicant should 
discuss its record of compliance with 22 CFR part 62 et seq., including 
the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible 
Officers, screening and selection of program participants, provision of 
pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, monitoring of 
participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, 
reporting and other requirements.

[[Page 61936]]

    The Office of Citizen Exchanges of ECA will be responsible for 
issuing DS-2019 forms to participants in this program.
    A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at https://
exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office 
of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD--SA-44, Room 734, 
301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203-5029, 
FAX: (202) 453-8640.
    IV.3.d.2. Diversity, Freedom And Democracy Guidelines. Pursuant to 
the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-
political character and should be balanced and representative of the 
diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. 
``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass 
differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, 
religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and disabilities. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this 
principle both in program administration and in program content. Please 
refer to the review criteria under the `Support for Diversity' section 
for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your proposal. 
Public Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of 
educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not 
fully enjoy freedom and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take 
appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such 
programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.'' 
Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries 
described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection 
process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their 
program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
    IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Monitoring: Proposals 
must include a plan to monitor and report on the project's success, 
both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau 
recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or 
other technique, plus a description of a methodology that will be used 
to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects 
that the grantee will track participants and be able to respond to key 
monitoring questions throughout the year, particularly on effects of 
the program on program participants, their host families and 
communities.
    Successful monitoring depends heavily on setting clear goals and 
outcomes at the outset of a program. Your monitoring plan should 
include a description of your project's objectives and how and when you 
intend to measure these outcomes. You should also show how your project 
objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.
    Overall, the quality of your monitoring plan will be judged on how 
well it specifies successes and challenges. Grantees will be required 
to provide reports analyzing their monitoring findings to the Bureau in 
their regular program reports. All data collected, including survey 
responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of 
three years and provided to the Bureau upon request.
    Evaluation: The Bureau's Office of Policy and Evaluation will 
conduct evaluations of the FLEX program through E-GOALS, its online 
system for surveying program participants and collecting data about 
program performance. These evaluations assist ECA and its program 
grantees in meeting the requirements of the Government Performance 
Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. This Act requires federal agencies to 
measure the results of their programs in meeting pre-determined 
performance goals and objectives.
    Please see specific responsibilities in the accompanying POGI 
document.
    IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration 
when preparing your budget:
    1V.3e.1. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the 
entire program. Per capita costs are not to exceed $6,500 per 
participant. The budget must reflect costs for a minimum of 30 
participants. Please indicate clearly the number of students funded. 
There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both 
administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate 
sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to 
provide clarification
    IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program and additional budget 
guidance are outlined in detail in the POGI document.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: December 14, 2007.
    Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-10.

Methods of Submission

    Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:
    (1) In hard copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery 
service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. 
Postal Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    (2) Electronically through https://www.grants.gov. Along with the 
Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in 
Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory PSI of the solicitation 
document.
    IV.3f.1. Submitting Printed Applications. Applications must be 
shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by 
applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and 
tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery 
people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and 
delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline 
but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be 
ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals 
shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for 
consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify upon receipt 
of application. It is each applicant's responsibility to ensure that 
each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/
confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages 
may not be made via local courier service or in person for this 
competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Only 
proposals submitted as stated above will be considered.

    Important note: When preparing your submission please make sure 
to include one extra copy of the completed SF-424 form and place it 
in an envelope addressed to ``ECA/EX/PM.''

    The original and eight (8) copies of the application should be sent 
to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-10, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 
534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above 
Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory PSI 
of the solicitation document.
    IV.3f.2. Submitting Electronic Applications. Applicants have the 
option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov 
(https://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available 
at

[[Page 61937]]

Grants.gov in the ``Find'' portion of the system. Please follow the 
instructions available in the `Get Started' portion of the site (http:/
/www.grants.gov/GetStarted).
    Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could 
take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate 
staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP 
to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov.
    Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an 
application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the 
size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. 
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the 
application deadline to begin the submission process through 
Grants.gov.
    Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and 
submission to: Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800-
518-4726, Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Time, E-
mail: support@grants.gov.
    Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of 
the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been 
uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above 
deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the 
application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the 
grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible. Applicants will 
receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful 
submission of an application. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of 
electronic applications.
    It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via 
the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received 
by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for 
data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Review Process

    The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. 
Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the 
guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible 
proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public 
Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will 
be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and 
guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. 
Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by 
other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the 
discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for 
Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for 
assistance awards (grants) resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

    1. Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: Your 
proposal narrative should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance 
to the Bureau's mission, as well as to the goals of the FLEX program. 
Reviewers will assess the degree to which proposals engage participants 
in community activities that involve skills development and leadership 
training. Given the upcoming U.S. elections, activities that expose and 
educate students about the American election process should be 
included. A detailed agenda and work plan should adhere to the program 
overview and guidelines described in the solicitation package. With 
respect to anticipated program outcomes, reviewers will assess the 
degree to which the proposed outcomes of the project are realistic and 
measurable. Strategies should creatively utilize and reinforce 
activities to ensure an efficient use of program resources.
    2. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, host families, schools, program venue and program 
evaluation) and program content (orientations, program meetings, 
resource materials and follow-up activities).
    3. Organization's Record/ Institutional Capacity: Proposed 
personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and 
appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals. In assessing 
institutional capacity, reviewers will assess the applicant and its 
partners to determine if they offer adequate resources, expertise, and 
experience to fulfill program objectives. Partner activities should be 
clearly defined. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record 
of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal 
management and full compliance with all reporting and J-1 Visa 
requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grant 
Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior 
recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
    4. Multiplier Effect: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term 
mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and 
establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages. 
Reviewers will assess ways in which proposals include innovative ideas 
to involve students in their U.S. communities and substantive plans to 
prepare them for their role as active, effective FLEX alumni.
    5. Project Monitoring: Proposals should include a plan to monitor 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. Reviewers will assess your plans to monitor student 
progress and program activities, particularly in regard to intended 
outcomes indicated in your proposal. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit quarterly reports, which should be included as an 
inherent component of the work plan. Proposals should also specify ways 
in which students will be encouraged and monitored to ensure they 
complete the mandatory end-of-the-year surveys administered through the 
E-GOALS system.
    6. Cost-effectiveness/Cost sharing: Reviewers will analyze the 
budget for clarity and cost-effectiveness. They will also assess the 
rationale of the proposed budget and whether the allocation of funds is 
appropriate to complete tasks outlined in the project narrative. The 
overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including 
salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other 
items should be necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize 
cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as 
institutional direct funding contributions. Preference will be given to 
organizations whose proposals demonstrate a quality, cost-effective 
program.

VI. Award Administration Information

    VI.1a. Award Notice: Final awards cannot be made until funds have 
been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal 
Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive an Assistance 
Award Document (AAD) from the Bureau's Grants Office. The AAD and the 
original grant proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) 
shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient 
and the U.S. Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized Grants 
Officer, and mailed to the recipient's responsible officer identified 
in the application.
    Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of 
the application review from the ECA

[[Page 61938]]

program office coordinating this competition.
    VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements:
    Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements 
include the following:

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122, ``Cost Principles for 
Nonprofit Organizations.''
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, ``Cost Principles for 
Educational Institutions.''
OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian 
Governments''.
OMB Circular No. A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, 
Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.
OMB Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-
in-Aid to State and Local Governments.
OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Non-
profit Organizations.

    Please reference the following Web sites for additional 
information: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants. https://
exchanges.state.gov/education/grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI.
    VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy 
original plus one copy of the following reports:
    (1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after 
the expiration of the award;
    (2) Quarterly program and financial reports which should include 
both quantitative and qualitative data you have available.
    Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their 
evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. 
(Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) 
above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information.)
    All data collected, including survey responses and contact 
information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and 
provided to the Bureau upon request.
    All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program 
Officer listed in the final assistance award document.
    VI.4. Program Data Requirements: Organizations awarded grants will 
be required to maintain specific data on program participants and 
activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be 
shared with the Bureau as required.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Michele Peters, 
Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of 
State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone: 
(202)203-7517 Fax number: (202) 203-7529, Internet address: 
PetersML@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this 
RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-10.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants 
until the proposal review process has been completed.

VIII. Other Information

    Notice: The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding 
and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory 
information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language 
will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award 
commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right 
to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the 
needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be 
subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section 
VI.3 above.

    Dated: October 24, 2007.
C. Miller Crouch,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
 [FR Doc. E7-21551 Filed 10-31-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P