Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program: Host Family and School Placement, 62872-62877 [E9-28761]

Download as PDF 62872 Federal Register / Vol. 229, No. 74 / Tuesday, December 1, 2009 / Notices person must be on the telephone with the requesting person and with us in the same phone call. We will establish the subject person’s identity (his or her name, SSN, address, date of birth, and place of birth, along with one other piece of information such as mother’s maiden name), and ask for his or her consent to provide information to the requesting person. These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR 401.40 and 401.45. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: Same as notification procedures. Persons must also reasonably specify the record contents they are seeking. These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR 401.40(c). CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: Same as notification procedures. Persons must also reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting, and state the corrective action sought, and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification showing how the record is incomplete, untimely, inaccurate, or irrelevant. These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR 401.65(a). RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: We obtain information in this system from SSN applicants (or persons acting on their behalf) and generate it internally. We assign the SSN to persons as a result of the system’s internal process. EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. [FR Doc. E9–28579 Filed 11–30–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6823] mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program: Host Family and School Placement Announcement Type: New Grant. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ PE/C/PY–10–02. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.415. Key Dates: Application Deadline: January 19, 2010. Executive Summary: The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program seeks to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:14 Nov 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 countries of Eurasia by providing secondary school students from the region the opportunity to live in American society for an academic year. In turn, these students will expose U.S. citizens to the culture, traditions, and lifestyles of people in Eurasia. Organizations are invited to submit proposals to identify host schools; vet, select, and monitor host families; and place and monitor a portion of the students participating in the FLEX program during the 2010–11 academic year. Pending availability of funds, an FY–2010 grant will provide the monies required to recruit and screen host families; secure school placements; conduct student and host family orientations; provide cultural and educational enrichment activities; handle all counseling and programmatic issues; and evaluate program implementation. I. Funding Opportunity Description Authority: 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 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 FLEX Program seeks to provide approximately 1,000 high school students from Eurasia with an opportunity to live in the United States for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding between our countries. Participants will reside with American host families and attend high school during the 2010–11 academic year. 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 Eurasia. This solicitation refers only to FLEX students from the following Eurasian countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. PO 00000 Frm 00139 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In addition to identifying schools and screening families, organizations will be responsible for: (1) Providing English language enhancement activities for approximately 10% of their students who are specially identified; (2) orienting all students to local conditions, resources and opportunities; (3) providing support services for students; (4) arranging enhancement activities and skill-building opportunities; (5) monitoring student, family and coordinator 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 civic responsibility through community activities and networks. The number of students who will participate is subject to the availability of funding in fiscal year 2010. 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 2010/ 2011 will be the 18th year of the FLEX program, with more than 19,000 students having been awarded scholarships. Goal: The goal of the program is to promote mutual understanding and foster relationships between the people of Eurasia and the United States by: • Gaining an understanding of American culture and diversity; • Teaching Americans about their home countries and cultures; • Interacting with Americans and generating enduring ties; • Exploring and acquiring an understanding of the key elements of U.S. civil society; and • Motivating students to share and apply experiences and knowledge in their home communities as FLEX alumni. Considering the specific focus of the FLEX program, the following outcomes will indicate a successful project: 1. 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. 2. Participants will teach Americans about the cultures of their home countries. 3. Participants will interact with Americans and generate enduring ties. 4. Participants will acquire an understanding of important elements of a civil society. This includes concepts E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 229, No. 74 / Tuesday, December 1, 2009 / Notices 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. 5. 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 objectives of the FLEX program are: • To place approximately 1,000 preselected high school students from 10 Eurasian countries in safe, qualified, well-suited host families; • To place students in accredited schools. • To expose program participants to American culture and enable them to obtain a broad view of U.S. society and history; • To provide appropriate venues for program participants to share their culture, lifestyles, and traditions with U.S. citizens; • To provide participants with development 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’ leadership capacity, enabling them—as FLEX alumni—to initiate activities in their home countries that focus on development and community service. Other Components: One organization already has been awarded a grant to administer the ‘‘Organizational Components’’ of the FLEX program, and performs 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 the 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 both organizations. Some students with disabilities may need supplementary independence skills training early on in the program. VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:14 Nov 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 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 FLEX-specific orientation of local coordinators and 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 programming for pre-selected students who require focused preparation for their academic year; (6) Preparation and dissemination of placement organization materials to the organization administering the ‘‘Organizational Components’’ by May 1, 2010 (these materials will be distributed to the students at the PreDeparture Orientation); (7) Troubleshooting; (8) Monitoring of students, host families and local coordinators; (9) Quarterly evaluation of the organization’s success in achieving program goals; (10) Mid-year orientations to assess progress; and (11) Re-entry training to prepare students for readjustment to their home environments. Applicants must request a grant for placement and monitoring of at least 30 students; there is no maximum number of students that 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 (these students should be from different countries) in a particular Local Coordinator’s area of responsibility. 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 2010, subject to the availability of funds. Participants begin to arrive in their host communities in late July 2010 and remain for 10 or 11 months until their departure mid-May to late June 2011. Students with disabilities and students requiring supplementary English language instruction may arrive earlier. Administration of the program must be in compliance with reporting and withholding regulations for federal, state, and local taxes as applicable. Recipient organizations should PO 00000 Frm 00140 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62873 demonstrate 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 as to which will be applicable. II. Award Information Type of Award: New Grant Agreement. Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2010. Approximate Total Funding: $7,000,000 pending availability of funds. Approximate Number of Awards: 10– 15 grants. Approximate Average Award: Funding level is dependent on the number of proposed students, monitoring, the quality of support, and volume of activities. Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, April 2010. Anticipated Project Completion Date: August 2011. Additional Information: Contingent upon the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years; awardees’ ability to comply with Federal Regulations and ECA guidelines; and the otherwise successful implementation of this program; it is ECA’s intent to renew grants awarded under this competition for up to two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again. 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 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 E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 62874 Federal Register / Vol. 229, No. 74 / Tuesday, December 1, 2009 / Notices 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 fewer than four years’ experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. Since an award to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program for a minimum of 30 students will exceed $60,000, 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 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 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, SA–5, Floor 3, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522–0503, telephone (202) 632–6416, and fax (202) 632–9355, e-mail Amrote Molla at MollaAB@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/ C/PY–10–02 located at the top of this announcement when making your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from 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 the Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/PE/C/PY– 10–02) at the top of this announcement on all inquiries and correspondence. IV.2. To Download a Solicitation Package Via the Internet: The entire Solicitation Package may be VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:14 Nov 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 downloaded from the Bureau’s Web site at http://exchanges.state.gov/grants/ open2.html or from the Grants.gov website at http://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 application should be submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. ‘‘Application Deadline and Methods of Submission’’ 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 http:// 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 Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional formatting and technical requirements. IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for ECA federal assistance awards must include in their application the names of directors and/ or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one of the following ways: (1) Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ‘‘Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,’’ must include a copy of relevant portions of this form. (2) Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information above in the format of their choice. In addition to final program reporting requirements, award recipients will be required to submit a one-page document, derived from their program reports, listing and describing their grant activities. For award recipients, the names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as the onepage description of grant activities, will PO 00000 Frm 00141 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 be transmitted by the State Department to OMB, along with other information required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made available to the public by the Office of Management and Budget on its USASpending.gov website as part of ECA’s FFATA reporting requirements. 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 62, which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J-visa program). Under the terms of 22 CFR 62, organizations receiving awards (either a grant or cooperative agreement) under this RFGP will be third parties ‘‘cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor’s program.’’ The actions of recipient organizations shall be ‘‘imputed to the sponsor in evaluating the sponsor’s compliance with’’ 22 CFR 62. Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization receiving an award under this competition will render all assistance necessary to enable the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR 62 et seq. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically important emphases on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J-visa) Programs and adherence by recipient 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 their record of compliance with 22 CFR E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 229, No. 74 / Tuesday, December 1, 2009 / Notices 62 et seq., including the oversight of their 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. 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 http://exchanges.state.gov or from: Office of Designation, ECA/EC/ D, SA–5, Floor C2, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522–0582. IV.3d.2 Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 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, socioeconomic 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 Program Monitoring includes Participant Monitoring, which focuses specifically on ensuring students’ safety and well-being throughout the year; see page 31 for details and instructions. This section focuses on other aspects of Program Monitoring. VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:14 Nov 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 Program 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 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: IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF– 424A—‘‘Budget Information—NonConstruction Programs’’ along with a comprehensive budget for the entire program. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00142 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62875 separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to provide clarification. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions. IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission: Application Deadline Date: January 19, 2010. Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY– 10–02. 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., Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or (2) Electronically through http:// 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 Proposal Submission Instructions (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 you 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: Program Management Division (ECA– IIP/EX/PM), Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY–10–02, SA–5, Floor 4, Department of State, E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 62876 Federal Register / Vol. 229, No. 74 / Tuesday, December 1, 2009 / Notices 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522–0504. IV.3f.2—Submitting Electronic Applications: Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov (http:// www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available at Grants.gov in the ‘‘Find’’ portion of the system. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Please Note: Due to Recovery Act related opportunities, there has been a higher than usual volume of grant proposals submitted through Grants.gov. Potential applicants are advised that the increased volume may affect the Grants.gov proposal submission process. As stated in this RFGP, ECA bears no responsibility for applicant timeliness of submission or data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via Grants.gov. 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. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all phases/ aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the ‘‘For Applicants’’ section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes. 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 VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:14 Nov 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 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. Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site for definitions of various ‘‘application statuses’’ and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. 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. IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 12372 does not apply to this program. 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 Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation: 1. Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: Your PO 00000 Frm 00143 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 proposal narrative should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance to the Bureau’s mission. Reviewers will assess the degree to which proposals engage participants in community activities that involve skills development and leadership training. A detailed agenda and work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described in the solicitation package. Reviewers will also assess the degree to which the proposed outcomes of the project are realistic and measurable. Strategies should creatively utilize resources at the local level to ensure an efficient use of program funds. 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. 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 expose U.S. communities to FLEX-related goals and activities that involve students, host families and schools. This includes media outreach, visits to local and national government representatives, Internet-based applications and other interactions. Reviewers will also evaluate substantive plans to prepare FLEX students for their role as active, effective FLEX alumni. 5. Participant Monitoring: Proposals must include a detailed monitoring E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 229, No. 74 / Tuesday, December 1, 2009 / Notices plan, which addresses Student, Local Coordinator (LC) and Host Family (HF) monitoring. Given the importance the Department places on this criterion, you should dedicate a significant percentage of the narrative to explaining how you will achieve the Department’s goals in regard to monitoring. You may use the appendices to house additional details and supporting documentation. Please see the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) for additional details regarding this review criterion. 6. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to monitor and evaluate 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. Grantees will be expected to submit quarterly reports, which should be included as an inherent component of the work plan. Your primary method of evaluation is E–GOALS; other organization-specific instruments are encouraged. Proposals should also specify ways in which students will be encouraged to complete the mandatory end-of-the-year surveys administered through the E–GOALS system. 7. 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. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES VI. Award Administration Information VI.1. Award Notices Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The FAA will be signed by an authorized Grants Officer, VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:14 Nov 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 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 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: http:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants; http://fa.statebuy.state.gov. 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) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to the public via OMB’s USAspending.gov Web site—as part of ECA’s Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting requirements. (3) A SF–PPR, ‘‘Performance Progress Report’’ Cover Sheet with all program reports. (4) Quarterly program and financial reports which should include both quantitative and qualitative data you have available. Award recipients will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please PO 00000 Frm 00144 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62877 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. VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Jon Crocitto (crocittoja@state.gov; 202–632–6426) or Callie Ward (wardca@state.gov; 202– 632–6431), Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, SA–5, Floor 3, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522–0503. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above contacts and ECA/PE/C/PY–10–02. 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. 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: November 24, 2009. Maura M. Pally, Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. [FR Doc. E9–28761 Filed 11–30–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6822] U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Notice of Meeting The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO will host its Annual Meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2009, from E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 229 (Tuesday, December 1, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62872-62877]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-28761]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 6823]


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

    Announcement Type: New Grant.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-10-02.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.415.
    Key Dates:
    Application Deadline: January 19, 2010.
    Executive Summary: The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program seeks 
to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the 
countries of Eurasia by providing secondary school students from the 
region the opportunity to live in American society for an academic 
year. In turn, these students will expose U.S. citizens to the culture, 
traditions, and lifestyles of people in Eurasia. Organizations are 
invited to submit proposals to identify host schools; vet, select, and 
monitor host families; and place and monitor a portion of the students 
participating in the FLEX program during the 2010-11 academic year. 
Pending availability of funds, an FY-2010 grant will provide the monies 
required to recruit and screen host families; secure school placements; 
conduct student and host family orientations; provide cultural and 
educational enrichment activities; handle all counseling and 
programmatic issues; and evaluate program implementation.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Authority: 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 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 FLEX Program seeks to provide approximately 1,000 high 
school students from Eurasia with an opportunity to live in the United 
States for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding between our 
countries. Participants will reside with American host families and 
attend high school during the 2010-11 academic year. 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 Eurasia. This solicitation refers 
only to FLEX students from the following Eurasian countries: Armenia, 
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, 
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.
    In addition to identifying schools and screening families, 
organizations will be responsible for: (1) Providing English language 
enhancement activities for approximately 10% of their students who are 
specially identified; (2) orienting all students to local conditions, 
resources and opportunities; (3) providing support services for 
students; (4) arranging enhancement activities and skill-building 
opportunities; (5) monitoring student, family and coordinator 
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 
civic responsibility through community activities and networks. The 
number of students who will participate is subject to the availability 
of funding in fiscal year 2010.
    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 2010/2011 will be the 
18th year of the FLEX program, with more than 19,000 students having 
been awarded scholarships.
    Goal: The goal of the program is to promote mutual understanding 
and foster relationships between the people of Eurasia and the United 
States by:
     Gaining an understanding of American culture and 
diversity;
     Teaching Americans about their home countries and 
cultures;
     Interacting with Americans and generating enduring ties;
     Exploring and acquiring an understanding of the key 
elements of U.S. civil society; and
     Motivating students to share and apply experiences and 
knowledge in their home communities as FLEX alumni.
    Considering the specific focus of the FLEX program, the following 
outcomes will indicate a successful project:
    1. 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.
    2. Participants will teach Americans about the cultures of their 
home countries.
    3. Participants will interact with Americans and generate enduring 
ties.
    4. Participants will acquire an understanding of important elements 
of a civil society. This includes concepts

[[Page 62873]]

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.
    5. 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 objectives of the FLEX program are:
     To place approximately 1,000 pre-selected high school 
students from 10 Eurasian countries in safe, qualified, well-suited 
host families;
     To place students in accredited schools.
     To expose program participants to American culture and 
enable them to obtain a broad view of U.S. society and history;
     To provide appropriate venues for program participants to 
share their culture, lifestyles, and traditions with U.S. citizens;
     To provide participants with development 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' leadership capacity, enabling them--as FLEX alumni--to 
initiate activities in their home countries that focus on development 
and community service.
    Other Components: One organization already has been awarded a grant 
to administer the ``Organizational Components'' of the FLEX program, 
and performs 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 the 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 both organizations. 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 FLEX-specific 
orientation of local coordinators and 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 programming for pre-
selected students who require focused preparation for their academic 
year;
    (6) Preparation and dissemination of placement organization 
materials to the organization administering the ``Organizational 
Components'' by May 1, 2010 (these materials will be distributed to the 
students at the Pre-Departure Orientation);
    (7) Troubleshooting;
    (8) Monitoring of students, host families and local coordinators;
    (9) Quarterly evaluation of the organization's success in achieving 
program goals;
    (10) Mid-year orientations to assess progress; and
    (11) Re-entry training to prepare students for readjustment to 
their home environments.
    Applicants must request a grant for placement and monitoring of at 
least 30 students; there is no maximum number of students that 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 
(these students should be from different countries) in a particular 
Local Coordinator's area of responsibility. 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 2010, subject to the 
availability of funds.
    Participants begin to arrive in their host communities in late July 
2010 and remain for 10 or 11 months until their departure mid-May to 
late June 2011. Students with disabilities and students requiring 
supplementary English language instruction may arrive earlier. 
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 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 as to which will be applicable.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: New Grant Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2010.
    Approximate Total Funding: $7,000,000 pending availability of 
funds.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 10-15 grants.
    Approximate Average Award: Funding level is dependent on the number 
of proposed students, monitoring, the quality of support, and volume of 
activities.
    Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, April 2010.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: August 2011.
    Additional Information: Contingent upon the availability of funds 
in subsequent fiscal years; awardees' ability to comply with Federal 
Regulations and ECA guidelines; and the otherwise successful 
implementation of this program; it is ECA's intent to renew grants 
awarded under this competition for up to two additional fiscal years, 
before openly competing it again.

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 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

[[Page 62874]]

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 fewer than four years' experience in 
conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau 
funding. Since an award to support program and administrative costs 
required to implement this exchange program for a minimum of 30 
students will exceed $60,000, 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, SA-5, Floor 3, U.S. 
Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0503, telephone (202) 632-
6416, and fax (202) 632-9355, e-mail Amrote Molla at MollaAB@state.gov 
to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding 
Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY-10-02 located at the top of this 
announcement when making your request.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from 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 the Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/PE/C/PY-10-02) 
at the top of this announcement on all inquiries and correspondence.
    IV.2. To Download a Solicitation Package Via the Internet: The 
entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web 
site at http://exchanges.state.gov/grants/open2.html or from the 
Grants.gov website at http://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 application should be 
submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. ``Application Deadline and 
Methods of Submission'' 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 http://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 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project 
Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional 
formatting and technical requirements.
    IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of 
application. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for 
ECA federal assistance awards must include in their application the 
names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, 
trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In 
fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one 
of the following ways:
    (1) Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ``Return of 
Organization Exempt From Income Tax,'' must include a copy of relevant 
portions of this form.
    (2) Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information 
above in the format of their choice.
    In addition to final program reporting requirements, award 
recipients will be required to submit a one-page document, derived from 
their program reports, listing and describing their grant activities. 
For award recipients, the names of directors and/or senior executives 
(current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as the one- 
page description of grant activities, will be transmitted by the State 
Department to OMB, along with other information required by the Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made 
available to the public by the Office of Management and Budget on its 
USASpending.gov website as part of ECA's FFATA reporting requirements.
    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 62, 
which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J-visa 
program). Under the terms of 22 CFR 62, organizations receiving awards 
(either a grant or cooperative agreement) under this RFGP will be third 
parties ``cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of 
the sponsor's program.'' The actions of recipient organizations shall 
be ``imputed to the sponsor in evaluating the sponsor's compliance 
with'' 22 CFR 62. Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization 
receiving an award under this competition will render all assistance 
necessary to enable the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR 62 et seq.
    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically 
important emphases on the secure and proper administration of Exchange 
Visitor (J-visa) Programs and adherence by recipient 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 their record of compliance with 22 CFR

[[Page 62875]]

62 et seq., including the oversight of their 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.
    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 http://exchanges.state.gov or from: Office of Designation, ECA/EC/D, SA-5, 
Floor C2, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0582.

IV.3d.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

    Program Monitoring includes Participant Monitoring, which focuses 
specifically on ensuring students' safety and well-being throughout the 
year; see page 31 for details and instructions. This section focuses on 
other aspects of Program Monitoring.
    Program 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:
    IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF-424A--``Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs'' along with a comprehensive budget for the 
entire program. 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.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: January 19, 2010.
    Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-10-02.
    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., Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal 
Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    (2) Electronically through http://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 
Proposal Submission Instructions (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 you 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: Program Management Division (ECA-IIP/EX/PM), Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY-10-
02, SA-5, Floor 4, Department of State,

[[Page 62876]]

2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0504.
    IV.3f.2--Submitting Electronic Applications:
    Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically 
through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation 
packages are available at Grants.gov in the ``Find'' portion of the 
system.

    Please Note:  Due to Recovery Act related opportunities, there 
has been a higher than usual volume of grant proposals submitted 
through Grants.gov. Potential applicants are advised that the 
increased volume may affect the Grants.gov proposal submission 
process. As stated in this RFGP, ECA bears no responsibility for 
applicant timeliness of submission or data errors resulting from 
transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via 
Grants.gov. 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. In addition, 
validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to 
two business days.
    Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the 
application deadline to begin the submission process through 
Grants.gov.
    The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all 
phases/aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive 
section on frequently asked questions, located under the ``For 
Applicants'' section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all 
potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in 
advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA 
bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or 
conversion processes.
    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.
    Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site for definitions of various 
``application statuses'' and the difference between a submission 
receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a 
validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an 
application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via 
Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly 
recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the 
submission process through Grants.gov. 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.
    IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 
12372 does not apply to this program.

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
    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
    1. Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: Your 
proposal narrative should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance 
to the Bureau's mission. Reviewers will assess the degree to which 
proposals engage participants in community activities that involve 
skills development and leadership training. A detailed agenda and work 
plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described in 
the solicitation package. Reviewers will also assess the degree to 
which the proposed outcomes of the project are realistic and 
measurable. Strategies should creatively utilize resources at the local 
level to ensure an efficient use of program funds.
    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. 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 expose U.S. communities to FLEX-related goals and activities that 
involve students, host families and schools. This includes media 
outreach, visits to local and national government representatives, 
Internet-based applications and other interactions. Reviewers will also 
evaluate substantive plans to prepare FLEX students for their role as 
active, effective FLEX alumni.
    5. Participant Monitoring: Proposals must include a detailed 
monitoring

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plan, which addresses Student, Local Coordinator (LC) and Host Family 
(HF) monitoring. Given the importance the Department places on this 
criterion, you should dedicate a significant percentage of the 
narrative to explaining how you will achieve the Department's goals in 
regard to monitoring. You may use the appendices to house additional 
details and supporting documentation. Please see the Project 
Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) for additional details 
regarding this review criterion.
    6. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to monitor 
and evaluate 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. Grantees will be expected 
to submit quarterly reports, which should be included as an inherent 
component of the work plan. Your primary method of evaluation is E-
GOALS; other organization-specific instruments are encouraged. 
Proposals should also specify ways in which students will be encouraged 
to complete the mandatory end-of-the-year surveys administered through 
the E-GOALS system.
    7. 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.1. Award Notices

    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. 
Successful applicants will receive a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) 
from the Bureau's Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with 
subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding 
authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The 
FAA 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 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: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants; http://fa.statebuy.state.gov.

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) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program 
outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This 
one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to 
the public via OMB's USAspending.gov Web site--as part of ECA's Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting 
requirements.
    (3) A SF-PPR, ``Performance Progress Report'' Cover Sheet with all 
program reports.
    (4) Quarterly program and financial reports which should include 
both quantitative and qualitative data you have available.
    Award recipients 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.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Jon Crocitto 
(crocittoja@state.gov; 202-632-6426) or Callie Ward (wardca@state.gov; 
202-632-6431), Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, SA-5, Floor 3, 
Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0503. All correspondence with 
the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above contacts and 
ECA/PE/C/PY-10-02.
    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.

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: November 24, 2009.
Maura M. Pally,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. E9-28761 Filed 11-30-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P