Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: Proposed Circular, 47514-47517 [2014-19129]

Download as PDF 47514 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2014–0017] Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: Proposed Circular Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed circular and request for comment. AGENCY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site, proposed guidance in the form of a circular, to assist recipients in their implementation of the research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects; technical assistance and standards development projects; and human resources and training projects. The purpose of this proposed circular is to provide FTA recipients guidance on application procedures and project management responsibilities. The proposed revisions to the existing circular are a result of changes made to FTA’s Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program, its Technical Assistance and Standards Development Program, and its Human Resources and Training Program by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. By this notice, FTA invites public comment on the proposed circular. DATES: Comments must be received by October 14, 2014. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. SUMMARY: Please submit your comments by only one of the following methods, identifying your submission by docket number FTA–2014–0017. All electronic submissions must be made to the U.S. Government electronic site at http://www.regulations.gov. (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. (3) Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. (4) Fax: 202–493–2251. Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and Docket number mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:15 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 (FTA–2014–0017) for this notice at the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA received your comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov including any personal information provided and will be available to Internet users. You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or http://docketsinfo.dot.gov. For access to the docket to read background documents and comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program questions, please contact Helen Tann, Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, phone: 202–366–0207 or email: helen.tann@dot.gov. For legal questions, please contact Linda Sorkin, Office of Chief Counsel, phone: 202– 366–0959 or email: linda.sorkin@ dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Overview II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. Chapter I—Introduction and Background B. Chapter II—Program Overview C. Chapter III—Application Instructions D. Chapter IV—Project Administration E. Chapter V— Financial Management F. Chapter VI— FTA Oversight G. Appendices I. Overview The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21) (Pub. L. 112–141, July 6, 2012) made a number of changes to FTA’s research program. The proposed circular reflects these updates to Federal law, proposes policy, clarifies FTA’s requirements and processes, and restructures FTA Circular 6100.1D (Research, Technical Assistance and Training Program: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines) for clarity and ease of use. FTA seeks public comment on the proposed circular, in particular those portions of the circular reflecting changes in the law as a result of MAP– 21, as well as those portions reflecting new guidance, policies, or interpretations. FTA will publish a PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 second notice in the Federal Register after the close of the comment period. The second notice will respond to comments received and announce the availability of the final circular 6100.1E. When adopted, circular 6100.1E will supersede circular 6100.1D. This document does not include the proposed circular on which FTA seeks comment; however, an electronic version is available on FTA’s Web site, at www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies may be obtained by contacting FTA’s Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366–4865. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the ‘‘Omni Circular,’’ 2 CFR Chapter 1, Chapter II, Part 200, new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, final rule on December 26, 2013. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the process of implementing the new OMB requirements and the final regulations regarding policies and procedures applicable to Federal awards will be effective on or after December 26, 2014. FTA grants and cooperative agreements executed prior to December 26, 2014, will continue to be subject to the regulations at 49 CFR parts 18 and 19, as in effect on the award date of such grants or agreements. Grants and cooperative agreements executed on or after December 26, 2014, will be subject to the new regulations at 2 CFR part 1201. DOT implementation of the Omni Circular may supersede some of the existing administrative requirements contained in FTA Circular 6100. II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis A. Chapter I: Introduction and Background FTA proposes that this chapter would be substantially similar to Chapter I of circular 6100.1D. This chapter provides a general introduction to FTA that is included in all new and revised program circulars for the orientation of readers new to FTA programs. Section 2, ‘‘Authorizing Legislation’’ has been changed to reflect the most recent authorizing legislation, MAP–21. Section 3 provides contact information for FTA Headquarters, and Section 4 provides contact information for FTA regional offices. Section 5, ‘‘Grants.Gov’’ provides background information about the Web site. Section 6 sets forth definitions of terms appearing in this proposed circular to ensure a common understanding of terms. In Section 6, we propose modifying the definitions to include Electronic Clearinghouse Operation (ECHO) System and E:\FR\FM\13AUN1.SGM 13AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Electronic Award and Management System and delete the definition for TEAM Web. B. Chapter II: Program Overview As it did in 6100.1D, Chapter II of 6100.1E provides an overview of FTA’s research programs. Chapter II is divided into five sections as before, but we propose moving or amending some of the content to reflect program changes and to improve the organization and readability of the circular. Section 1. Statutory Authority. This section provides the citations for and descriptions of the applicable programs and activities to which this circular applies. Section 5312, Research, development, demonstration and deployment projects. Section 5312(a) authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to make Grants and enter into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements for research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects and evaluation of research and technology of national significance to public transportation, and that the Secretary determines will improve public transportation. Section 5312(b) focuses on public transportation research projects with the goal of developing and deploying new and innovative ideas, practices, and approaches. Section 5312(c) authorizes public transportation innovation and development projects seeking to improve public transportation systems nationwide by providing more efficient and effective delivery of public transportation services, including through technology and technological capacity improvements. Section 5312(d)(1)–(4) establishes a program to promote the early deployment and demonstration of innovation in public transportation that has broad applicability. Section 5312(d)(1)(5) establishes a program within FTA’s Research program to support low or no emission vehicle deployment. Depending on the statutory section under which a project is undertaken, Section 5312 authorizes the Secretary to make Grants to and enter into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements with departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, including Federal laboratories; State and local governmental entities; providers of public transportation; private or nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; and technical and community colleges. Section 5314, Technical assistance and standards development. Section VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:15 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 5314(a) authorizes the Secretary to assist in the development of voluntary and consensus-based standards and best practices by the public transportation industry. Section 5314(b) authorizes the Secretary to make Grants and enter into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements to provide public transportation-related technical assistance to assist providers of public transportation to: Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); comply with human services transportation coordination requirements and enhance the coordination of related Federal resources; meet the transportation needs of elderly individuals; assist marketbased development around transit stations; address transportation equity for low-income and minority individuals; and any other technical assistance activity that the Secretary determines is necessary to advance the interests of public transportation. Section 5322, Human resources and training. Section 5322(a) authorizes the Secretary to undertake, or make grants and contracts for, programs that address human resource needs as they apply to public transportation activities including employment training, outreach to minority and female candidates, research on public transportation personnel and training needs, and training and assistance for minority business opportunities. Section 5322(b) directs the Secretary to establish a competitive innovative public transportation workforce development program to assist the development of innovative activities in these areas. In addition, Section 5322(d) directs the Secretary to establish a national transit institute and award grants to a public 4-year degree-granting institution of higher education to develop and conduct training and educational programs for Federal, State, and local transportation employees, United States citizens, and foreign nationals engaged or to be engaged in Government-aid public transportation work. Repealed Programs: MAP–21 repealed a number of public transportation programs that existed under the previous authorization. Funds that were authorized under these programs remain available for obligation in a grant until the applicable statutory period of availability expires, or until the funds are fully expended, rescinded by Congress, or otherwise reallocated. Entities that are awarded FY 2012 or a previous fiscal year funding should check with their FTA Program Manager PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47515 for the requirements that accompany that funding. Section 2. In the previous version of the circular, 6100.1D, Section 2 was titled ‘‘Program Goal.’’ FTA proposes removing this section in its entirety. The proposed new Section 2 is ‘‘Responsibilities of Project Management,’’ and this section lists project management responsibilities for recipients of FTA funds, FTA headquarters, and the administering FTA office. These responsibilities are unchanged from the previous version of the circular, where they appeared in Section 3. Section 3. Civil Rights Requirements. Section 3 clarifies the civil rights requirements the Recipient must comply with when receiving Federal funding. We propose reorganizing the content, which remains substantially similar to circular 6100.1D. Section 4. Cross-Cutting Requirements. Section 4 reminds FTA recipients that they must comply with all applicable federal laws, regulations, and directives unless FTA determines otherwise in writing. Section 4 is unchanged from circular 6100.1D, except for the addition of a hyperlink to sample Master Agreements on FTA’s Web site. C. Chapter III: Application Instructions Section 1. Overview. This Section is substantially similar to Section 1 in circular 6100.1D. Sections 2 and 3. Agreement Life Cycle and Application Process. For clarity, FTA proposes dividing Section 2 of circular 6100.1D, ‘‘Application Process,’’ into a new Section 2, ‘‘Agreement Life Cycle’’ and a revised Section 3, ‘‘Application Process.’’ FTA proposes augmenting the list of stages in the life cycle of an application for Federal assistance to highlight elements subsumed under ‘‘project managed’’ in the previous version (namely, implementation, management and oversight of activities supported by the Agreement; period of performance completed; final reports, independent evaluation and other Agreement products delivered to FTA; excess equipment and property acquired with Federal assistance disposed of, with FTA approval if needed; and final Federal Financial Report, budget revision and actual milestones accomplished recorded in electronic award and management system and approved by FTA). FTA proposes relocating the description of the electronic award and management system (currently known as TEAM) to Section 3, Application Process and Section 6, Formal E:\FR\FM\13AUN1.SGM 13AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 47516 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Notices Application Procedures. This reflects FTA’s practice of soliciting proposals for discretionary financial assistance, selecting proposals for award, and requiring only those entities selected to use the electronic award and management system to submit detailed data in support of formal applications for assistance. Section 4. System Registration Requirements. In this section, FTA proposes deleting the former paragraph on Central Contractor Registration and replacing it with requirements to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) and to review and update SAM information at least annually during the life of the Agreement. Section 5. Proposal and PreApplication Procedures. In this section, FTA proposes substituting the term ‘‘Project Narrative’’ for the former term ‘‘White Paper’’ and increasing the size limitation from 5 to 15 pages to reflect recent FTA practice in soliciting competitive proposals. Section 6. Formal Application Procedures. In this section, FTA proposes changing references to TEAM to refer to the current electronic award and management system. While much of the information in this section is substantially similar to that of its predecessor, FTA Circular 6100.1D, we highlight the following proposed changes: Subparagraph 6.b(2)(b). Project Budget. FTA proposes deleting the former reference to scope code 70 for projects undertaken by universities as this code is rarely used. Likewise, we propose deleting the ‘‘University Budget Example.’’ Using scope code 55 for most research-type projects will facilitate retrieving aggregate information about such projects from the electronic award and management system regardless of the type of entity performing the work. Paragraph 6.b(3). Statement of Work. FTA proposes deleting the requirement for a literature review as inapplicable to most projects FTA has been funding under the programs covered by this circular. If FTA deems a literature search essential to a research project authorized by Section 5312(b), the solicitation will require the review. Paragraph 6.b(5). Intergovernmental Review Process Required by Executive Order No. 12372. FTA proposes adding this paragraph explaining how to proceed if an applicant is located in a State that does not have a single point of contact. Subparagraph 6.b(6)(b). Electronic Submittal. FTA proposes deleting the option of submitting paper hard-copy to VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:15 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 reflect FTA’s commitment to electronic award management for all recipients. Subparagraph 6.b(6)(c). Compliance. There should be few, if any, instances when a recipient is unable to submit certifications electronically. Subparagraph 6.b(7)(a). Environmental Considerations: Typical Projects. Since typical projects covered by the circular would not require a formal environmental impact statement (EIS), FTA proposes updating, clarifying and moving material in the previous version to this paragraph (former subparagraph 6(b)(7)(b) of FTA circular 6100.1D). Paragraph 7(c)(1). Public Hearing Requirement. FTA has deleted the public hearing requirement in paragraph 7(c)(1) of the former version because that requirement was repealed by MAP– 21. Subparagraph 6.c(1)(a). Davis-Bacon Act. In this subparagraph, FTA proposes editing the former version for clarification without substantive change. Section 7. Peer Review and Independent Evaluation. FTA added this section to implement a new MAP– 21 statutory requirement for a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of projects funded under 49 U.S.C. 5312(d). See 49 U.S.C. Section 5312(d)(4). Section 11. Cost Share. FTA has revised this section because MAP–21 requires a 20% local share for some projects; see 49 U.S.C. 5312(f) and 5314(d). MAP–21 also requires a 50% local share for Section 5322(a) and (b) projects; see 49 U.S.C. 5322(c). Subsection 11(c). Program Income. This subsection includes two proposed new sentences regarding possible uses of program income when authorized by law, regulation, guidance or special condition. Section 12. Project Approval. FTA proposes the following changes: Subection 12.a. Notification. FTA proposes edits to this subsection for clarification and to allow flexibility in the means of contacting the recipient. Subection 12.b. Execution of FTA Agreement. FTA proposes editing this subsection for clarification with no substantive change. Subsection 12.c. Cost Eligibility and Payment Method. FTA has amended the instructions on reimbursement procedures in paragraph 12c(5) to a new description of the DELPHI eInvoicing System, which has superseded the former ACH system. D. Chapter IV: Project Administration FTA proposes minor editorial changes to improve clarity throughout Chapter PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 IV, without substantive changes in meaning. We have changed each reference to ‘‘TEAM’’ to ‘‘the electronic award and management system’’ because FTA is in the process of testing and deploying a successor system to TEAM. TEAM will continue to be used by FTA and recipients until the successor system becomes operational. FTA proposes relocating detailed instructions for filing Federal Financial Reports to Appendix A. E. Chapter V: Financial Management Chapter V is substantially similar to chapter V in circular 6100.1D. This chapter provides guidance on the proper use and management of Federal funds that is unique to Research, Technical Assistance and Training programs. Proposed changes to this chapter include the following: Section 3. Local Share. This section’s name, ‘‘Local Share,’’ replaces the name ‘‘Non-Federal Match,’’ in FTA circular 6100.1D. Subection 8.c. Payment Methods. This subsection provides additional guidance on payment methods. In accordance with DOT guidelines, recipients of Cooperative Agreements must request Federal funding using Delphi eInvoicing System. All supporting documentation needed to support payment is required to be scanned within the eInvoicing System to aid the FTA Approving Official in authorizing reimbursement to the recipient. F. Chapter VI: FTA Oversight While much of the information in this Chapter is substantially similar to that of its predecessor, FTA Circular 6100.1D, we highlight the following proposed changes: Paragraph 2.a(1). Full Scope Financial Management System Review. We propose adding this paragraph to include the requirement that Financial Management Oversight (FMO) contractors conduct a series of interviews, full transaction reviews, and appropriate substantive tests. This paragraph also describes the seven standards for financial management systems, which are: Financial Reporting, Accounting Records, Internal Control, Budget Control, Allowable Costs, Source Documentation and Cash Management. Paragraph 2.a(4). Special Assignment (Agreed Upon Procedures). FTA proposes adding this paragraph to describe how FTA may perform a review with the contractor to develop agreed-upon procedures for oversight of certain aspects of the recipient’s financial management issues on a caseby-case basis. E:\FR\FM\13AUN1.SGM 13AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION New Appendix A. Instructions for Completing Federal Financial Report (FFR). The information in this Appendix was formerly located in Section IV.C of FTA Circular 6100.1D. The text in proposed Appendix A is substantially similar to that of Section IV.C of FTA Circular 6100.1D. FTA proposes deleting the former Appendix A of FTA Circular 6100.1D, consisting of a Table of Other FTA Circulars, because the list of FTA circulars in effect changes frequently and a current list is available on the FTA public Web site. Relocated Appendix B. Cost Allocation Plans. The information in Appendix B is substantially similar to that in Appendix C of FTA Circular 6100.1D. FTA proposes deleting the former Appendix B, ‘‘Quarterly Narrative Report Example,’’ because it did not provide a useful format for a quarterly narrative report. We propose locating this information in section IV.4.d. of this circular and revising it to clarify what should be in the type of comprehensive quarterly narrative report FTA seeks. Relocated Appendix C. Request for Advance or Reimbursement (SF–270). This information is the same as located in Appendix D of FTA Circular 6100.1D. New Appendix D. Preparation Instructions for FTA Final Reports. Appendix D is a near verbatim copy of the preparation instructions on the FTA Public Web site at http:// www.fta.dot.gov/documents/ Preparation_Instructions_for_FTA_ Final_Reports_June_2013.pdf. We reformatted that document to adapt it as an Appendix (e.g., inserting numbered lists instead of bullets) but did not change the content. Former Appendix E. FTA Regional and Metropolitan Contact Information. FTA proposes deleting this Appendix because this information is subject to change. Current information is available on the FTA public Web site. FTA seeks comment on the content and reorganization of proposed circular 6100.1E. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES G. Appendices National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Issued in Washington, DC, this 7th day of August 2014. Therese W. McMillan, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2014–19129 Filed 8–12–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:15 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 [Docket No. NHTSA–2014–0087] 47517 with Progress in the 21st Century Act of 2012. The NEMSAC will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 9– 10, 2014, at the Performance Institute on the third floor of 901 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20001. National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Tentative Agenda of National EMS Advisory Council Meeting, September 9–10, 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Title: National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council (NEMSAC); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting. ACTION: Meeting Notice—National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. The tentative agenda includes the following: AGENCY: The NHTSA announces a meeting of NEMSAC to be held in the Metropolitan Washington, DC, area. This notice announces the date, time, and location of the meeting, which will be open to the public, as well as opportunities for public input to the NEMSAC. The purpose of NEMSAC, a nationally recognized council of emergency medical services representatives and consumers, is to advise and consult with DOT and the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) on matters relating to emergency medical services (EMS). DATES: This open meeting will be held on September 9, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT, and on September 10, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT. A public comment period will take place on September 9, 2014, between 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. EDT and September 10, 2014, between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. EDT. The NEMSAC is requesting special public comment on the FICEMS Strategic Plan from 1:15 to 1:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Written comments from the public must be received no later than September 5, 2014. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Performance Institute on the third floor of 901 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Drew Dawson, Director, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Emergency Medical Services, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., NTI–140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone 202– 366–9966; email Drew.Dawson@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92–463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.). The NEMSAC is authorized under Section 31108 of the Moving Ahead SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Tuesday, September 9, 2014 (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT) (1) Opening Remarks (2) Disclosure of Conflicts of Interests by Members (3) Reports of liaisons from the Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health & Human Services (4) Presentation and Discussion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5) Presentation, Discussion and Possible Adoption of Reports and Recommendations from the following NEMSAC Workgroups: a. FICEMS Strategic Plan Implementation b. Revision of the EMS Education Agenda for the Future c. Health Reform (6) Other Business of the Council (7) Public Comment Period on the FICEMS Strategic Plan (1:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT) (8) General Public Comment Period (1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT) (9) Workgroup Breakout Sessions (2:30 p.m.–5 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, September 10, 2014 (8 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT) (1) Unfinished Business/Continued Discussion from Previous Day (2) Public Comment Period (9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EDT) (3) Adoption of NEMSAC Work Products (4) Next Steps and Adjourn On Wednesday, September 9, 2014, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, the NEMSAC workgroups will meet in breakout sessions at the same location. These sessions are open for public attendance, but their agendas do not accommodate public comment. A final agenda as well as meeting materials will be available to the public online through www.EMS.gov on or before September 5, 2014. Registration Information: This meeting will be open to the public; however, pre-registration is requested. Individuals wishing to attend must register online at http:// events.signup4.com/NEMSACSept2014 E:\FR\FM\13AUN1.SGM 13AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 156 (Wednesday, August 13, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47514-47517]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19129]



[[Page 47514]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2014-0017]


Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: Proposed 
Circular

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed circular and request for 
comment.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the 
docket and on its Web site, proposed guidance in the form of a 
circular, to assist recipients in their implementation of the research, 
development, demonstration, and deployment projects; technical 
assistance and standards development projects; and human resources and 
training projects. The purpose of this proposed circular is to provide 
FTA recipients guidance on application procedures and project 
management responsibilities. The proposed revisions to the existing 
circular are a result of changes made to FTA's Research, Development, 
Demonstration, and Deployment Program, its Technical Assistance and 
Standards Development Program, and its Human Resources and Training 
Program by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. By 
this notice, FTA invites public comment on the proposed circular.

DATES: Comments must be received by October 14, 2014. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by only one of the following 
methods, identifying your submission by docket number FTA-2014-0017. 
All electronic submissions must be made to the U.S. Government 
electronic site at http://www.regulations.gov.
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov 
and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
    (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (3) Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern 
time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    (4) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit 
Administration) and Docket number (FTA-2014-0017) for this notice at 
the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of your comments if 
you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA received your 
comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All comments 
received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov including 
any personal information provided and will be available to Internet 
users. You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement published in 
the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or http://docketsinfo.dot.gov.
    For access to the docket to read background documents and comments 
received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or to the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, 
DC 20590 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program questions, please contact 
Helen Tann, Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, phone: 
202-366-0207 or email: helen.tann@dot.gov. For legal questions, please 
contact Linda Sorkin, Office of Chief Counsel, phone: 202-366-0959 or 
email: linda.sorkin@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis
    A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background
    B. Chapter II--Program Overview
    C. Chapter III--Application Instructions
    D. Chapter IV--Project Administration
    E. Chapter V-- Financial Management
    F. Chapter VI-- FTA Oversight
    G. Appendices

I. Overview

    The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) 
(Pub. L. 112-141, July 6, 2012) made a number of changes to FTA's 
research program. The proposed circular reflects these updates to 
Federal law, proposes policy, clarifies FTA's requirements and 
processes, and restructures FTA Circular 6100.1D (Research, Technical 
Assistance and Training Program: Application Instructions and Program 
Management Guidelines) for clarity and ease of use.
    FTA seeks public comment on the proposed circular, in particular 
those portions of the circular reflecting changes in the law as a 
result of MAP-21, as well as those portions reflecting new guidance, 
policies, or interpretations. FTA will publish a second notice in the 
Federal Register after the close of the comment period. The second 
notice will respond to comments received and announce the availability 
of the final circular 6100.1E. When adopted, circular 6100.1E will 
supersede circular 6100.1D.
    This document does not include the proposed circular on which FTA 
seeks comment; however, an electronic version is available on FTA's Web 
site, at www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies may be obtained by contacting 
FTA's Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366-4865.
    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the ``Omni 
Circular,'' 2 CFR Chapter 1, Chapter II, Part 200, new Uniform 
Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements 
for Federal Awards, final rule on December 26, 2013. The Department of 
Transportation (DOT) is in the process of implementing the new OMB 
requirements and the final regulations regarding policies and 
procedures applicable to Federal awards will be effective on or after 
December 26, 2014.
    FTA grants and cooperative agreements executed prior to December 
26, 2014, will continue to be subject to the regulations at 49 CFR 
parts 18 and 19, as in effect on the award date of such grants or 
agreements. Grants and cooperative agreements executed on or after 
December 26, 2014, will be subject to the new regulations at 2 CFR part 
1201. DOT implementation of the Omni Circular may supersede some of the 
existing administrative requirements contained in FTA Circular 6100.

II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis

A. Chapter I: Introduction and Background

    FTA proposes that this chapter would be substantially similar to 
Chapter I of circular 6100.1D. This chapter provides a general 
introduction to FTA that is included in all new and revised program 
circulars for the orientation of readers new to FTA programs. Section 
2, ``Authorizing Legislation'' has been changed to reflect the most 
recent authorizing legislation, MAP-21. Section 3 provides contact 
information for FTA Headquarters, and Section 4 provides contact 
information for FTA regional offices. Section 5, ``Grants.Gov'' 
provides background information about the Web site. Section 6 sets 
forth definitions of terms appearing in this proposed circular to 
ensure a common understanding of terms. In Section 6, we propose 
modifying the definitions to include Electronic Clearinghouse Operation 
(ECHO) System and

[[Page 47515]]

Electronic Award and Management System and delete the definition for 
TEAM Web.

B. Chapter II: Program Overview

    As it did in 6100.1D, Chapter II of 6100.1E provides an overview of 
FTA's research programs. Chapter II is divided into five sections as 
before, but we propose moving or amending some of the content to 
reflect program changes and to improve the organization and readability 
of the circular.
    Section 1. Statutory Authority. This section provides the citations 
for and descriptions of the applicable programs and activities to which 
this circular applies.
    Section 5312, Research, development, demonstration and deployment 
projects. Section 5312(a) authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to 
make Grants and enter into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other 
Agreements for research, development, demonstration, and deployment 
projects and evaluation of research and technology of national 
significance to public transportation, and that the Secretary 
determines will improve public transportation.
    Section 5312(b) focuses on public transportation research projects 
with the goal of developing and deploying new and innovative ideas, 
practices, and approaches.
    Section 5312(c) authorizes public transportation innovation and 
development projects seeking to improve public transportation systems 
nationwide by providing more efficient and effective delivery of public 
transportation services, including through technology and technological 
capacity improvements.
    Section 5312(d)(1)-(4) establishes a program to promote the early 
deployment and demonstration of innovation in public transportation 
that has broad applicability.
    Section 5312(d)(1)(5) establishes a program within FTA's Research 
program to support low or no emission vehicle deployment.
    Depending on the statutory section under which a project is 
undertaken, Section 5312 authorizes the Secretary to make Grants to and 
enter into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements with 
departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, 
including Federal laboratories; State and local governmental entities; 
providers of public transportation; private or non-profit 
organizations; institutions of higher education; and technical and 
community colleges.
    Section 5314, Technical assistance and standards development. 
Section 5314(a) authorizes the Secretary to assist in the development 
of voluntary and consensus-based standards and best practices by the 
public transportation industry.
    Section 5314(b) authorizes the Secretary to make Grants and enter 
into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements to provide 
public transportation-related technical assistance to assist providers 
of public transportation to: Comply with the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA); comply with human services transportation 
coordination requirements and enhance the coordination of related 
Federal resources; meet the transportation needs of elderly 
individuals; assist market-based development around transit stations; 
address transportation equity for low-income and minority individuals; 
and any other technical assistance activity that the Secretary 
determines is necessary to advance the interests of public 
transportation.
    Section 5322, Human resources and training. Section 5322(a) 
authorizes the Secretary to undertake, or make grants and contracts 
for, programs that address human resource needs as they apply to public 
transportation activities including employment training, outreach to 
minority and female candidates, research on public transportation 
personnel and training needs, and training and assistance for minority 
business opportunities.
    Section 5322(b) directs the Secretary to establish a competitive 
innovative public transportation workforce development program to 
assist the development of innovative activities in these areas.
    In addition, Section 5322(d) directs the Secretary to establish a 
national transit institute and award grants to a public 4-year degree-
granting institution of higher education to develop and conduct 
training and educational programs for Federal, State, and local 
transportation employees, United States citizens, and foreign nationals 
engaged or to be engaged in Government-aid public transportation work.
    Repealed Programs: MAP-21 repealed a number of public 
transportation programs that existed under the previous authorization. 
Funds that were authorized under these programs remain available for 
obligation in a grant until the applicable statutory period of 
availability expires, or until the funds are fully expended, rescinded 
by Congress, or otherwise reallocated. Entities that are awarded FY 
2012 or a previous fiscal year funding should check with their FTA 
Program Manager for the requirements that accompany that funding.
    Section 2. In the previous version of the circular, 6100.1D, 
Section 2 was titled ``Program Goal.'' FTA proposes removing this 
section in its entirety. The proposed new Section 2 is 
``Responsibilities of Project Management,'' and this section lists 
project management responsibilities for recipients of FTA funds, FTA 
headquarters, and the administering FTA office. These responsibilities 
are unchanged from the previous version of the circular, where they 
appeared in Section 3.
    Section 3. Civil Rights Requirements. Section 3 clarifies the civil 
rights requirements the Recipient must comply with when receiving 
Federal funding. We propose reorganizing the content, which remains 
substantially similar to circular 6100.1D.
    Section 4. Cross-Cutting Requirements. Section 4 reminds FTA 
recipients that they must comply with all applicable federal laws, 
regulations, and directives unless FTA determines otherwise in writing. 
Section 4 is unchanged from circular 6100.1D, except for the addition 
of a hyperlink to sample Master Agreements on FTA's Web site.

C. Chapter III: Application Instructions

    Section 1. Overview. This Section is substantially similar to 
Section 1 in circular 6100.1D.
    Sections 2 and 3. Agreement Life Cycle and Application Process. For 
clarity, FTA proposes dividing Section 2 of circular 6100.1D, 
``Application Process,'' into a new Section 2, ``Agreement Life Cycle'' 
and a revised Section 3, ``Application Process.''
    FTA proposes augmenting the list of stages in the life cycle of an 
application for Federal assistance to highlight elements subsumed under 
``project managed'' in the previous version (namely, implementation, 
management and oversight of activities supported by the Agreement; 
period of performance completed; final reports, independent evaluation 
and other Agreement products delivered to FTA; excess equipment and 
property acquired with Federal assistance disposed of, with FTA 
approval if needed; and final Federal Financial Report, budget revision 
and actual milestones accomplished recorded in electronic award and 
management system and approved by FTA).
    FTA proposes relocating the description of the electronic award and 
management system (currently known as TEAM) to Section 3, Application 
Process and Section 6, Formal

[[Page 47516]]

Application Procedures. This reflects FTA's practice of soliciting 
proposals for discretionary financial assistance, selecting proposals 
for award, and requiring only those entities selected to use the 
electronic award and management system to submit detailed data in 
support of formal applications for assistance.
    Section 4. System Registration Requirements. In this section, FTA 
proposes deleting the former paragraph on Central Contractor 
Registration and replacing it with requirements to register in the 
System for Award Management (SAM) and to review and update SAM 
information at least annually during the life of the Agreement.
    Section 5. Proposal and Pre-Application Procedures. In this 
section, FTA proposes substituting the term ``Project Narrative'' for 
the former term ``White Paper'' and increasing the size limitation from 
5 to 15 pages to reflect recent FTA practice in soliciting competitive 
proposals.
    Section 6. Formal Application Procedures. In this section, FTA 
proposes changing references to TEAM to refer to the current electronic 
award and management system. While much of the information in this 
section is substantially similar to that of its predecessor, FTA 
Circular 6100.1D, we highlight the following proposed changes:
    Subparagraph 6.b(2)(b). Project Budget. FTA proposes deleting the 
former reference to scope code 70 for projects undertaken by 
universities as this code is rarely used. Likewise, we propose deleting 
the ``University Budget Example.'' Using scope code 55 for most 
research-type projects will facilitate retrieving aggregate information 
about such projects from the electronic award and management system 
regardless of the type of entity performing the work.
    Paragraph 6.b(3). Statement of Work. FTA proposes deleting the 
requirement for a literature review as inapplicable to most projects 
FTA has been funding under the programs covered by this circular. If 
FTA deems a literature search essential to a research project 
authorized by Section 5312(b), the solicitation will require the 
review.
    Paragraph 6.b(5). Intergovernmental Review Process Required by 
Executive Order No. 12372. FTA proposes adding this paragraph 
explaining how to proceed if an applicant is located in a State that 
does not have a single point of contact.
    Subparagraph 6.b(6)(b). Electronic Submittal. FTA proposes deleting 
the option of submitting paper hard-copy to reflect FTA's commitment to 
electronic award management for all recipients.
    Subparagraph 6.b(6)(c). Compliance. There should be few, if any, 
instances when a recipient is unable to submit certifications 
electronically.
    Subparagraph 6.b(7)(a). Environmental Considerations: Typical 
Projects. Since typical projects covered by the circular would not 
require a formal environmental impact statement (EIS), FTA proposes 
updating, clarifying and moving material in the previous version to 
this paragraph (former subparagraph 6(b)(7)(b) of FTA circular 
6100.1D).
    Paragraph 7(c)(1). Public Hearing Requirement. FTA has deleted the 
public hearing requirement in paragraph 7(c)(1) of the former version 
because that requirement was repealed by MAP-21.
    Subparagraph 6.c(1)(a). Davis-Bacon Act. In this subparagraph, FTA 
proposes editing the former version for clarification without 
substantive change.
    Section 7. Peer Review and Independent Evaluation. FTA added this 
section to implement a new MAP-21 statutory requirement for a 
comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of projects funded 
under 49 U.S.C. 5312(d). See 49 U.S.C. Section 5312(d)(4).
    Section 11. Cost Share. FTA has revised this section because MAP-21 
requires a 20% local share for some projects; see 49 U.S.C. 5312(f) and 
5314(d). MAP-21 also requires a 50% local share for Section 5322(a) and 
(b) projects; see 49 U.S.C. 5322(c).
    Subsection 11(c). Program Income. This subsection includes two 
proposed new sentences regarding possible uses of program income when 
authorized by law, regulation, guidance or special condition.
    Section 12. Project Approval. FTA proposes the following changes:
    Subection 12.a. Notification. FTA proposes edits to this subsection 
for clarification and to allow flexibility in the means of contacting 
the recipient.
    Subection 12.b. Execution of FTA Agreement. FTA proposes editing 
this subsection for clarification with no substantive change.
    Subsection 12.c. Cost Eligibility and Payment Method. FTA has 
amended the instructions on reimbursement procedures in paragraph 
12c(5) to a new description of the DELPHI eInvoicing System, which has 
superseded the former ACH system.

D. Chapter IV: Project Administration

    FTA proposes minor editorial changes to improve clarity throughout 
Chapter IV, without substantive changes in meaning.
    We have changed each reference to ``TEAM'' to ``the electronic 
award and management system'' because FTA is in the process of testing 
and deploying a successor system to TEAM. TEAM will continue to be used 
by FTA and recipients until the successor system becomes operational.
    FTA proposes relocating detailed instructions for filing Federal 
Financial Reports to Appendix A.

E. Chapter V: Financial Management

    Chapter V is substantially similar to chapter V in circular 
6100.1D. This chapter provides guidance on the proper use and 
management of Federal funds that is unique to Research, Technical 
Assistance and Training programs. Proposed changes to this chapter 
include the following:
    Section 3. Local Share. This section's name, ``Local Share,'' 
replaces the name ``Non-Federal Match,'' in FTA circular 6100.1D.
    Subection 8.c. Payment Methods. This subsection provides additional 
guidance on payment methods. In accordance with DOT guidelines, 
recipients of Cooperative Agreements must request Federal funding using 
Delphi eInvoicing System. All supporting documentation needed to 
support payment is required to be scanned within the eInvoicing System 
to aid the FTA Approving Official in authorizing reimbursement to the 
recipient.

F. Chapter VI: FTA Oversight

    While much of the information in this Chapter is substantially 
similar to that of its predecessor, FTA Circular 6100.1D, we highlight 
the following proposed changes:
    Paragraph 2.a(1). Full Scope Financial Management System Review. We 
propose adding this paragraph to include the requirement that Financial 
Management Oversight (FMO) contractors conduct a series of interviews, 
full transaction reviews, and appropriate substantive tests. This 
paragraph also describes the seven standards for financial management 
systems, which are: Financial Reporting, Accounting Records, Internal 
Control, Budget Control, Allowable Costs, Source Documentation and Cash 
Management.
    Paragraph 2.a(4). Special Assignment (Agreed Upon Procedures). FTA 
proposes adding this paragraph to describe how FTA may perform a review 
with the contractor to develop agreed-upon procedures for oversight of 
certain aspects of the recipient's financial management issues on a 
case-by-case basis.

[[Page 47517]]

G. Appendices

    New Appendix A. Instructions for Completing Federal Financial 
Report (FFR). The information in this Appendix was formerly located in 
Section IV.C of FTA Circular 6100.1D. The text in proposed Appendix A 
is substantially similar to that of Section IV.C of FTA Circular 
6100.1D. FTA proposes deleting the former Appendix A of FTA Circular 
6100.1D, consisting of a Table of Other FTA Circulars, because the list 
of FTA circulars in effect changes frequently and a current list is 
available on the FTA public Web site.
    Relocated Appendix B. Cost Allocation Plans. The information in 
Appendix B is substantially similar to that in Appendix C of FTA 
Circular 6100.1D. FTA proposes deleting the former Appendix B, 
``Quarterly Narrative Report Example,'' because it did not provide a 
useful format for a quarterly narrative report. We propose locating 
this information in section IV.4.d. of this circular and revising it to 
clarify what should be in the type of comprehensive quarterly narrative 
report FTA seeks.
    Relocated Appendix C. Request for Advance or Reimbursement (SF-
270). This information is the same as located in Appendix D of FTA 
Circular 6100.1D.
    New Appendix D. Preparation Instructions for FTA Final Reports. 
Appendix D is a near verbatim copy of the preparation instructions on 
the FTA Public Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/Preparation_Instructions_for_FTA_Final_Reports_June_2013.pdf. We 
reformatted that document to adapt it as an Appendix (e.g., inserting 
numbered lists instead of bullets) but did not change the content.
    Former Appendix E. FTA Regional and Metropolitan Contact 
Information. FTA proposes deleting this Appendix because this 
information is subject to change. Current information is available on 
the FTA public Web site.
    FTA seeks comment on the content and reorganization of proposed 
circular 6100.1E.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 7th day of August 2014.
Therese W. McMillan,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-19129 Filed 8-12-14; 8:45 am]
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