Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2015 Technology Initiative Grant Funding, 8349-8352 [2015-03159]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 31 / Tuesday, February 17, 2015 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Office of Justice Programs [OMB Number 1121–NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Reinstatement With Change of a Previously Approved Collection for Which Approval Has Expired Methodological Research to Support the National Crime Victimization Survey: Subnational Companion Study—American Crime Survey Field Test Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. ACTION: 30-day notice. AGENCY: The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register at Volume 79, Number 238, pages 73627—73628, on December 11, 2014, allowing for a 60 day comment period. DATES: Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for additional days until March 19, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Michael Planty, Unit Chief, Victimization Statistics, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 810 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20531 (email: Michael.Planty@usdoj.gov; telephone: 202–514–9746). Written comments and/ or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20530 or sent to OIRA_submissions@ omb.eop.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points: —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:53 Feb 13, 2015 Jkt 235001 for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and/or —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection 1. Type of Information Collection: New collection under activities related to the National Crime Victimization Survey Redesign Research (NCVS–RR) program: NCVS Subnational Companion Study—American Crime Survey Field Test. 2. The Title of the Form/Collection: American Crime Survey (ACS). 3. The agency form number: The form numbers are ASC1 and ASC2, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. 4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Adults ages 18 or older in 40 largest Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) in the United States, as measured by the number of households. Since 2008, BJS has initiated numerous research projects to assess and improve upon the core NCVS methodology. The purpose of the Companion Survey Field Test will be to test a low-cost alternative self-administered survey for collecting information about violence and property crime to generate subnational, local level estimates of victimization. The goal of this test is to generate a survey that could parallel National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and Uniform Crime Report (UCR) estimates over time, rather than replicate either of them, and could be used to assess whether local initiatives are correlated with changes in crime rates. A secondary goal is to assess change over time, as the Field Test will be administered over two years, with a cross-sectional address-based sample survey in 2015 and a second addressbased sample survey in 2016. The rationale for collecting data in two years is that we are able to assess the ability of the instruments to detect change over PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8349 time. An additional feature of the surveys being tested is the inclusion of a set of questions on perceptions of neighborhood safety, fear of crime, and police effectiveness, which would allow the survey to be used to assess changes in these perceptions as well. This information is not currently available from the NCVS. 5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: Over the two year period approximately 200,400 households are expected to complete the survey. The sample is divided into two groups by instrument version: ASC1 person-level survey and ASC2 incident-level survey. Over the two waves, for both versions, approximately 25% of households interviewed in year 1 will be reinterviewed in year 2. • The first group of 100,200 households will receive the ASC1, a person-level survey to measure prevalence or the number of adult household members victimized by one or more types of violent crime and the number of households victimized by types of property crime. The expected burden placed on these respondents is 12 minutes per respondent for a total of 20,040 burden hours for both years. • The second group of 100,200 households will receive the ASC2, an incident-level survey to measure the number of victimization incidents experienced by all adult household members. The expected burden placed on these respondents is 10.5 minutes for a total of 17,535 burden hours. 6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total respondent burden is approximately 37,575 hours. If additional information is required contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530. Dated: February 11, 2015. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice. [FR Doc. 2015–03114 Filed 2–13–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–18–P LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2015 Technology Initiative Grant Funding AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\17FEN1.SGM Legal Services Corporation. 17FEN1 8350 ACTION: Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 31 / Tuesday, February 17, 2015 / Notices Notice. The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is issuing this Notice to describe the conditions under which Letters of Intent will be received for the Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) program. LSC’s TIG program was established in 2000. Since that time, LSC has made 570 grants totaling more than $46 million. This grant program provides an important tool to help achieve LSC’s goal of increasing the quantity and quality of legal services available to eligible persons. Projects funded under the TIG program develop, test and replicate innovative technologies that can enable grant recipients and state justice communities to improve low-income persons’ access to high quality legal assistance through an integrated and well managed technology system. When submitting Letters of Intent, applicants should consider the growth and continued development of technology and the resulting effects on the practice of law, program management and service delivery. DATES: Letters of Intent must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 20, 2015. ADDRESSES: Letters of Intent must be submitted electronically at http:// lscgrants.lsc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Ribadeneyra, Program Analyst, Office of Program Performance, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC, 20007; (202) 295–1554 (phone); ribadeneyraj@lsc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended (LSC Act), any applicable appropriations acts and any other applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, instructions, and other directives of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), including, but not limited to, the LSC Audit Guide for Recipients and Auditors, the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients (2010 Edition), the CSR Handbook (2011 Edition), the 1981 LSC Property Manual (as amended) and the Property Acquisition and Management Manual, with any amendments to the foregoing adopted before or during the period of the grant (see http://grants.lsc.gov/rin/ grantee-guidance). Before submitting a Letter of Intent, applicants should be familiar with LSC’s subgrant and transfer requirements at 45 CFR parts 1610 and 1627 (see http://www.lsc.gov/ about/laws-regulations/lsc-regulationscfr-45-part-1600-et-seq), particularly as they pertain to payments of LSC funds to other entities for programmatic activities. For additional information and resources regarding TIG compliance, including transfers, subgrants, thirdparty contracting, conflicts of interest, grant modification procedures, and special TIG grant assurances, see http://tig.lsc.gov/grants/compliance. General Information All prospective applicants for 2015 funds from the Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) program must submit a ‘‘Letter of Intent’’ (LOI) prior to submitting a formal application. The format and contents of a Letter of Intent should conform to the requirements specified below in Section IV. The submission of a LOI enables a prospective applicant to vet its project ideas with TIG staff, who can then identify those projects that have a reasonable chance of success in the competitive grant process. LSC will solicit full proposals for those projects that have a reasonable chance of success in the grant competition process based on LSC’s analysis of the information provided in the LOI. Eligible Applicants TIG awards are only available to current LSC basic field grant recipients. A TIG will not be awarded to any applicant unless the applicant is in good standing on any existing TIG projects. Applicants must be up to date according to the milestone schedule on all existing TIG projects prior to submitting a LOI or have requested and received an adjustment to the original milestone schedule. TIG grants will not be awarded to any applicant unless the applicant has made satisfactory progress on all TIG grants previously awarded to it and is not subject to any short-term funding (i.e., less than one year) on basic field grants. LSC recipients that have had a previous TIG terminated for failure to provide timely reports and submissions are not eligible to receive a TIG for three years after their earlier grant was terminated. This policy does not apply to applicants that worked with LSC to end a TIG early after an unsuccessful project implementation resulting from technology limitations, a failed proof of concept, or other reasons outside of the applicant’s control. LSC Requirements Technology Initiative Grant funds are subject to all the requirements of the Funding Availability LSC has received an appropriation of $4 million for fiscal year 2015 to fund VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Feb 13, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 TIG projects. In 2014, 38 TIG projects received funding with a median funding amount of $75,270. (See http:// tig.lsc.gov/grants/past-grant-awards for more information on past awards.) LSC recommends a minimum amount for TIG funding requests of $40,000, but lower requests will be considered. There is no maximum amount for TIG funding requests that are within the total appropriation for TIG. Collaborations The TIG program encourages applicants to reach out to and include in TIG projects others interested in access to justice—the courts, bar associations, pro bono projects, libraries, and social service agencies. Partnerships can enhance the reach, effectiveness and sustainability of many projects. Grant Categories LSC will accept projects in two application categories: (1) Innovations and Improvements (2) Replication and Adaptation Grant Category 1: Innovations and Improvements The Innovations and Improvements Category is designated for projects that: (1) Implement new or innovative approaches for using technology in legal services, or (2) enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of existing technologies so that they may be better used to increase the quality and quantity of services to clients. Although there is no funding limit or matching requirement for applications in this category, additional weight is given to projects with strong support from partners. Proposals for initiatives with broad applicability and/or that would have impact throughout the legal services community are strongly encouraged. For applications that do not have broad applicability or impact, LSC will carefully consider the amount of the request and the balance of cost and potential benefit. Grant Category 2: Replication and Adaptation The Replication and Adaptation category is for proposals that seek to replicate, adapt, or provide added value to the work of prior technology projects. This includes, but is not limited to, the implementation and improvement of tested methodologies and technologies from previous TIG projects. Applicants may also replicate technology projects funded outside of the TIG program, including sectors outside the legal aid community, such as other social services organizations, the broader non- E:\FR\FM\17FEN1.SGM 17FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 31 / Tuesday, February 17, 2015 / Notices profit community, and the private sector. Project proposals in the Replication and Adaptation category may include, but are not limited to: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES A: Replication of Previous TIG Projects During the past fifteen years of TIG funding, there have been many successes. A list of examples of replicable projects and final reports can be found at http://tig.lsc.gov/grants/ final-reports/final-report-samplesreplicable-projects. LSC requires that any original software developed with TIG funding be available to other legal services programs at little or no cost. Applicants should look to previous successful TIG projects and determine how they could be replicated at a reduced cost from the original project, and/or how they could be built upon and enhanced. Projects where original software or content has already been created lend themselves to replication, and LSC encourages programs to look to these projects to see how they could benefit the delivery systems in their state. B: Automated Form Replication LawHelp Interactive (LHI 1) is now deployed in 41 states. There are over 3,000 active HotDocs templates and A2J Author modules being hosted on the LawHelp Interactive National HotDocs Server at https://lawhelpinteractive.org. While there are differences from state to state in the content and format, many of these forms can be edited for use in other jurisdictions with less effort, hence a lower cost, than starting from scratch. Even if a form differs from one state to another, the information needed to populate a form will, for the most part, be similar (What are the names of the plaintiff, the defendant, the children, etc.?). This means the interviews are more easily replicated than templates. All of these templates and interviews are available to be modified as needed. Applicants should identify which forms and templates are to be adapted, and then estimate the cost to do this and compare that to the cost of developing them from scratch. LHI has the capacity to support Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Korean language interviews. In addition, LHI has been integrated with other systems to allow the flow of information between LHI and court e-filing systems, and legal aid case management systems. An ‘‘Events’’ feature is being developed 1 LHI is an automated document server powered by HotDocs Server and made available to any LSC funded program at no charge. See https:// lawhelpinteractive.org. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Feb 13, 2015 Jkt 235001 that will enable pro bono programs from across a state to use LHI interviews and forms to assign pre-screened pro bono cases and their documents to panel attorneys. For additional information, including examples, best practices, models and training materials, see the LawHelp Interactive Resource Center hosted by Pro Bono Net at http:// www.probono.net/dasupport (you may need to request a free membership to access this Web site). C: Replication of Technology Projects in Other Sectors In addition to replicating other TIG funded technology projects, LSC encourages replication of proven technologies from non-LSC funded legal aid organizations as well as sectors outside the legal aid community. Ideas for replication may be found through resources and organizations such as LSNTAP, the ABA, international legal aid providers such as the Legal Services Society of British Columbia and HiiL’s Innovating Justice project (http:// www.innovatingjustice.com), Idealware (see the article on Unleashing Innovation), NTEN, and TechSoup. III. Areas of Interest LSC welcomes applications for a wide variety of projects. For 2015, LSC has four areas of particular interest in which programs are encouraged to submit proposals for innovative technology approaches. The designation of these areas does not in any way limit the scope of proposals in which LSC is interested. The 2015 areas of particular interest are: A. Projects to Move Organizations Above the LSC Technology Baselines (revised 2015). The recently updated LSC Baselines: Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today (revised 2015) provides a detailed overview of the technologies that enable modern legal aid offices to operate efficiently and effectively. While LSC’s policy is that TIGs cannot be used to bring grantees up to the baselines in an area, we want to encourage applicants as they implement a baseline capacity to think about how they can do more than just the minimum. This area of interest is to encourage applicants to propose initiatives that advance their organizations beyond the 2015 Baselines by developing innovative, creative technology solutions that address at least one capacity identified in the Baselines and then exceeding it. Also, grantees applying under this area of interest should address how their project could establish a new technology best practice that could be PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8351 incorporated into future versions of the Baselines. B. Technology Tools to Facilitate Access to Substantive Law Across Jurisdictions. A variety of technologies have the potential to enhance access to legal information and resources related to substantive laws with a national reach. These resources may be especially valuable given that they would be applicable to clients and advocates across the country. In the past, LSC has had a similar area of interest for substantive federal laws because of their uniformity across jurisdictions. This area of interest includes state-specific laws that have similarities across states and as to which information, resources and tools can therefore be replicated across states. A good example of this is expungement. Tools built to facilitate the expungement process in one jurisdiction have been modified and successfully replicated in other jurisdictions. LSC wants to encourage grantees to expand this approach to other substantive areas of the law. C. Automated Navigators for Pro Se Litigants. Navigating the complexities of the court system can be a challenge for advocates, and even more so for lowincome persons representing themselves. This area encourages development of personal case navigators for low-income litigants to remind them of due dates, monitor court dockets, advise them on trial preparations, and coach them on courtroom strategies. While grantees do not have the resources to assign a coach to each pro se litigant, technology offers the promise to build automated systems that can help serve this role. Some existing TIGs have started to explore such systems already using automated SMS reminders for appointments. This area of interest encourages grantees to take this concept to the next level by building systems specific to case types that use timelines and monitor court dockets to guide pro se litigants through the entire course of their cases. Once set up, the system would remind the user of important dates and direct them to resources such as automated forms and videos. With the cooperation of the court, the system could monitor the court docket to notify the users of hearing dates and, if pleadings were filed by the other side, alert users to the next steps needed to respond and deadlines. D. Innovations in Legal Information Design and Delivery. Content should be developed with the end user in mind, but too often the end result is a reflection of what the developer determines the end user will need, E:\FR\FM\17FEN1.SGM 17FEN1 8352 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 31 / Tuesday, February 17, 2015 / Notices rather than what the user determines he or she will best understand and find most helpful. Technology provides an opportunity to design and deliver legal information that is optimized for the end user. There are good examples of how user-centric design can improve legal innovation (see www.legaltechdesign.com and www.nulawlab.org). Projects in this area of interest could incorporate new approaches to visual law, online learning, user interaction and ‘‘legal information literacy’’ in the design and delivery of content. This could potentially focus on low/no-literacy and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) communities or others who are traditionally under-served by traditional methods. Alternatively, a project could also improve the design and effectiveness of online training and substantive practice resources for advocates and volunteers. IV. Specific Letter of Intent Requirements One Project per Letter of Intent Applicants may submit multiple LOIs, but a separate LOI should be submitted for each project for which funding is sought. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Letter Requirements and Format Letters of Intent must be submitted using the online system at http:// lscgrants.lsc.gov. Additional instructions and information can be found on the TIG Web site at http:// tig.lsc.gov/grants/application-process. This system will walk you through the process of creating a simple two-page LOI. The LOI should concisely provide the following information about the proposed project: 1. Category—select the appropriate category from the drop down list. 2. Description of Project (maximum 2500 characters)—Briefly describe the basic elements of the project, including the specific technology(ies) the project will develop or implement; how they will be developed, how they will operate, the function they will serve within the legal services delivery system, their expected impact, and other similar factors. (Only the impact should be highlighted here; more details about the system’s benefits should be provided below.) 3. Major Benefits (maximum 2500 characters)—Describe the specific ways in which the project will increase or improve services to clients and/or enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations. To the extent feasible, discuss both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of these benefits. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Feb 13, 2015 Jkt 235001 4. Estimated Costs (maximum 1500 characters)—Start by stating the amount of funding you are seeking from the TIG program, followed by the estimated total project cost, summarizing the anticipated costs of the major components of the project. List anticipated contributions, both in-kind and monetary, from all partners involved in the project. 5. Major Partners (maximum 1500 characters)—Identify organizations that are expected to be important partners. Specify the role(s) each partner will play. 6. Innovation/Replication (maximum 1500 characters)—Identify how and why the proposed project is new and innovative and/or is a replication or adaptation of a previous technology project. Identify how and why the proposed project can significantly benefit and/or be replicated by other legal services providers and/or the legal services community at large. Letter of Intent Deadline Letters of Intent must be completed and submitted into the online system at http://lscgrants.lsc.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT, Friday, March 20, 2015. The online system may experience technical difficulties due to heavy traffic on the day of the deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete LOI submissions as early as possible. LSC will not accept applications submitted after the application deadline unless a waiver of the deadline has been approved in advance (see Waiver Authority). Therefore, allow sufficient time for online submission. LSC will provide confirmation via email upon the completed electronic submission of each Letter of Intent. Keep this email as verification that the program’s LOI was submitted. If no confirmation email is received, inquire about the status of your LOI at Techgrants@lsc.gov. Selection Process LSC will initially review all LOI to determine whether they conform to the required format and clearly present all of the required elements. These requirements are listed and described above. Failure to meet these requirements may result in rejection of the LOI. Each proposal will be reviewed to identify those LOI that propose projects likely to improve access to justice or the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of legal services provided by grantees. The LOI will also be reviewed to determine the extent to which the project proposed is clearly described and well thought out, offers major benefits to our targeted PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 client community, is cost-effective, involves all of the parties needed to make it successful and sustainable, and is either innovative or a cost-effective replication of prior successful projects. Those applicants satisfying these criteria will be invited to submit full applications. Next Steps for Successful Applicants LSC will notify successful Letter of Intent applicants by Thursday, April 30, 2015. Successful applicants will have until 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, June 15, 2015 to complete full applications in the online application system. Waiver Authority LSC, upon its own initiative or when requested, may waive provisions in this Notice at its sole discretion under extraordinary circumstances and when it is in the best interest of the eligible client community. Waivers may be granted only for requirements that are discretionary and not mandated by statute or regulation. Any request for a waiver must set forth the extraordinary circumstances for the request and be included in the application. LSC will not consider a request to waive the deadline for a LOI unless the waiver request is received by LSC prior to the deadline. Contact Information For information on the status of a current TIG project, contact Eric Mathison, Program Analyst, Telephone: 202–295–1535; Email: emathison@ lsc.gov. For questions about projects in CT, DC, IL, IN, ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, WI, WV, VT, contact David Bonebrake, Program Counsel, Telephone: 202.295.1547; Email: dbonebrake@lsc.gov. For questions about projects in AK, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, IA, KS, MP, MN, MT, NE., NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY, contact Glenn Rawdon, Program Counsel, Telephone: 202.295.1552; Email: grawdon@lsc.gov. For questions about projects in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NC, PR, SC, TN, VI, VA, contact Jane Ribadeneyra, Program Analyst, Telephone: 202.295.1554, Email: ribadeneyraj@lsc.gov. If you have a general question, please email techgrants@lsc.gov. Dated: February 11, 2015. Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2015–03159 Filed 2–13–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050–01–P E:\FR\FM\17FEN1.SGM 17FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 31 (Tuesday, February 17, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8349-8352]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-03159]


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LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION


Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2015 Technology 
Initiative Grant Funding

AGENCY: Legal Services Corporation.

[[Page 8350]]


ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is issuing this Notice to 
describe the conditions under which Letters of Intent will be received 
for the Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) program. LSC's TIG program 
was established in 2000. Since that time, LSC has made 570 grants 
totaling more than $46 million. This grant program provides an 
important tool to help achieve LSC's goal of increasing the quantity 
and quality of legal services available to eligible persons. Projects 
funded under the TIG program develop, test and replicate innovative 
technologies that can enable grant recipients and state justice 
communities to improve low-income persons' access to high quality legal 
assistance through an integrated and well managed technology system. 
When submitting Letters of Intent, applicants should consider the 
growth and continued development of technology and the resulting 
effects on the practice of law, program management and service 
delivery.

DATES: Letters of Intent must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 
20, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Letters of Intent must be submitted electronically at http://lscgrants.lsc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Ribadeneyra, Program Analyst, 
Office of Program Performance, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K 
Street NW., Washington, DC, 20007; (202) 295-1554 (phone); 
ribadeneyraj@lsc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General Information

    All prospective applicants for 2015 funds from the Legal Services 
Corporation's (LSC) Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) program must 
submit a ``Letter of Intent'' (LOI) prior to submitting a formal 
application. The format and contents of a Letter of Intent should 
conform to the requirements specified below in Section IV.
    The submission of a LOI enables a prospective applicant to vet its 
project ideas with TIG staff, who can then identify those projects that 
have a reasonable chance of success in the competitive grant process. 
LSC will solicit full proposals for those projects that have a 
reasonable chance of success in the grant competition process based on 
LSC's analysis of the information provided in the LOI.

LSC Requirements

    Technology Initiative Grant funds are subject to all the 
requirements of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended 
(LSC Act), any applicable appropriations acts and any other applicable 
laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, instructions, and other 
directives of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), including, but not 
limited to, the LSC Audit Guide for Recipients and Auditors, the 
Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients (2010 Edition), the CSR Handbook 
(2011 Edition), the 1981 LSC Property Manual (as amended) and the 
Property Acquisition and Management Manual, with any amendments to the 
foregoing adopted before or during the period of the grant (see http://grants.lsc.gov/rin/grantee-guidance). Before submitting a Letter of 
Intent, applicants should be familiar with LSC's subgrant and transfer 
requirements at 45 CFR parts 1610 and 1627 (see http://www.lsc.gov/about/laws-regulations/lsc-regulations-cfr-45-part-1600-et-seq), 
particularly as they pertain to payments of LSC funds to other entities 
for programmatic activities.
    For additional information and resources regarding TIG compliance, 
including transfers, subgrants, third-party contracting, conflicts of 
interest, grant modification procedures, and special TIG grant 
assurances, see http://tig.lsc.gov/grants/compliance.

Eligible Applicants

    TIG awards are only available to current LSC basic field grant 
recipients. A TIG will not be awarded to any applicant unless the 
applicant is in good standing on any existing TIG projects. Applicants 
must be up to date according to the milestone schedule on all existing 
TIG projects prior to submitting a LOI or have requested and received 
an adjustment to the original milestone schedule.
    TIG grants will not be awarded to any applicant unless the 
applicant has made satisfactory progress on all TIG grants previously 
awarded to it and is not subject to any short-term funding (i.e., less 
than one year) on basic field grants. LSC recipients that have had a 
previous TIG terminated for failure to provide timely reports and 
submissions are not eligible to receive a TIG for three years after 
their earlier grant was terminated. This policy does not apply to 
applicants that worked with LSC to end a TIG early after an 
unsuccessful project implementation resulting from technology 
limitations, a failed proof of concept, or other reasons outside of the 
applicant's control.

Funding Availability

    LSC has received an appropriation of $4 million for fiscal year 
2015 to fund TIG projects. In 2014, 38 TIG projects received funding 
with a median funding amount of $75,270. (See http://tig.lsc.gov/grants/past-grant-awards for more information on past awards.) LSC 
recommends a minimum amount for TIG funding requests of $40,000, but 
lower requests will be considered. There is no maximum amount for TIG 
funding requests that are within the total appropriation for TIG.

Collaborations

    The TIG program encourages applicants to reach out to and include 
in TIG projects others interested in access to justice--the courts, bar 
associations, pro bono projects, libraries, and social service 
agencies. Partnerships can enhance the reach, effectiveness and 
sustainability of many projects.

Grant Categories

    LSC will accept projects in two application categories:

(1) Innovations and Improvements
(2) Replication and Adaptation

Grant Category 1: Innovations and Improvements

    The Innovations and Improvements Category is designated for 
projects that: (1) Implement new or innovative approaches for using 
technology in legal services, or (2) enhance the effectiveness and 
efficiency of existing technologies so that they may be better used to 
increase the quality and quantity of services to clients.
    Although there is no funding limit or matching requirement for 
applications in this category, additional weight is given to projects 
with strong support from partners. Proposals for initiatives with broad 
applicability and/or that would have impact throughout the legal 
services community are strongly encouraged. For applications that do 
not have broad applicability or impact, LSC will carefully consider the 
amount of the request and the balance of cost and potential benefit.

Grant Category 2: Replication and Adaptation

    The Replication and Adaptation category is for proposals that seek 
to replicate, adapt, or provide added value to the work of prior 
technology projects. This includes, but is not limited to, the 
implementation and improvement of tested methodologies and technologies 
from previous TIG projects. Applicants may also replicate technology 
projects funded outside of the TIG program, including sectors outside 
the legal aid community, such as other social services organizations, 
the broader non-

[[Page 8351]]

profit community, and the private sector.
    Project proposals in the Replication and Adaptation category may 
include, but are not limited to:

A: Replication of Previous TIG Projects

    During the past fifteen years of TIG funding, there have been many 
successes. A list of examples of replicable projects and final reports 
can be found at http://tig.lsc.gov/grants/final-reports/final-report-samples-replicable-projects. LSC requires that any original software 
developed with TIG funding be available to other legal services 
programs at little or no cost. Applicants should look to previous 
successful TIG projects and determine how they could be replicated at a 
reduced cost from the original project, and/or how they could be built 
upon and enhanced. Projects where original software or content has 
already been created lend themselves to replication, and LSC encourages 
programs to look to these projects to see how they could benefit the 
delivery systems in their state.

B: Automated Form Replication

    LawHelp Interactive (LHI \1\) is now deployed in 41 states. There 
are over 3,000 active HotDocs templates and A2J Author modules being 
hosted on the LawHelp Interactive National HotDocs Server at https://lawhelpinteractive.org. While there are differences from state to state 
in the content and format, many of these forms can be edited for use in 
other jurisdictions with less effort, hence a lower cost, than starting 
from scratch.
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    \1\ LHI is an automated document server powered by HotDocs 
Server and made available to any LSC funded program at no charge. 
See https://lawhelpinteractive.org.
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    Even if a form differs from one state to another, the information 
needed to populate a form will, for the most part, be similar (What are 
the names of the plaintiff, the defendant, the children, etc.?). This 
means the interviews are more easily replicated than templates. All of 
these templates and interviews are available to be modified as needed. 
Applicants should identify which forms and templates are to be adapted, 
and then estimate the cost to do this and compare that to the cost of 
developing them from scratch.
    LHI has the capacity to support Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and 
Korean language interviews. In addition, LHI has been integrated with 
other systems to allow the flow of information between LHI and court e-
filing systems, and legal aid case management systems. An ``Events'' 
feature is being developed that will enable pro bono programs from 
across a state to use LHI interviews and forms to assign pre-screened 
pro bono cases and their documents to panel attorneys. For additional 
information, including examples, best practices, models and training 
materials, see the LawHelp Interactive Resource Center hosted by Pro 
Bono Net at http://www.probono.net/dasupport (you may need to request a 
free membership to access this Web site).

C: Replication of Technology Projects in Other Sectors

    In addition to replicating other TIG funded technology projects, 
LSC encourages replication of proven technologies from non-LSC funded 
legal aid organizations as well as sectors outside the legal aid 
community. Ideas for replication may be found through resources and 
organizations such as LSNTAP, the ABA, international legal aid 
providers such as the Legal Services Society of British Columbia and 
HiiL's Innovating Justice project (http://www.innovatingjustice.com), 
Idealware (see the article on Unleashing Innovation), NTEN, and 
TechSoup.

III. Areas of Interest

    LSC welcomes applications for a wide variety of projects. For 2015, 
LSC has four areas of particular interest in which programs are 
encouraged to submit proposals for innovative technology approaches. 
The designation of these areas does not in any way limit the scope of 
proposals in which LSC is interested. The 2015 areas of particular 
interest are:
    A. Projects to Move Organizations Above the LSC Technology 
Baselines (revised 2015). The recently updated LSC Baselines: 
Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today 
(revised 2015) provides a detailed overview of the technologies that 
enable modern legal aid offices to operate efficiently and effectively. 
While LSC's policy is that TIGs cannot be used to bring grantees up to 
the baselines in an area, we want to encourage applicants as they 
implement a baseline capacity to think about how they can do more than 
just the minimum. This area of interest is to encourage applicants to 
propose initiatives that advance their organizations beyond the 2015 
Baselines by developing innovative, creative technology solutions that 
address at least one capacity identified in the Baselines and then 
exceeding it. Also, grantees applying under this area of interest 
should address how their project could establish a new technology best 
practice that could be incorporated into future versions of the 
Baselines.
    B. Technology Tools to Facilitate Access to Substantive Law Across 
Jurisdictions. A variety of technologies have the potential to enhance 
access to legal information and resources related to substantive laws 
with a national reach. These resources may be especially valuable given 
that they would be applicable to clients and advocates across the 
country. In the past, LSC has had a similar area of interest for 
substantive federal laws because of their uniformity across 
jurisdictions. This area of interest includes state-specific laws that 
have similarities across states and as to which information, resources 
and tools can therefore be replicated across states. A good example of 
this is expungement. Tools built to facilitate the expungement process 
in one jurisdiction have been modified and successfully replicated in 
other jurisdictions. LSC wants to encourage grantees to expand this 
approach to other substantive areas of the law.
    C. Automated Navigators for Pro Se Litigants. Navigating the 
complexities of the court system can be a challenge for advocates, and 
even more so for low-income persons representing themselves. This area 
encourages development of personal case navigators for low-income 
litigants to remind them of due dates, monitor court dockets, advise 
them on trial preparations, and coach them on courtroom strategies. 
While grantees do not have the resources to assign a coach to each pro 
se litigant, technology offers the promise to build automated systems 
that can help serve this role.
    Some existing TIGs have started to explore such systems already 
using automated SMS reminders for appointments. This area of interest 
encourages grantees to take this concept to the next level by building 
systems specific to case types that use timelines and monitor court 
dockets to guide pro se litigants through the entire course of their 
cases. Once set up, the system would remind the user of important dates 
and direct them to resources such as automated forms and videos. With 
the cooperation of the court, the system could monitor the court docket 
to notify the users of hearing dates and, if pleadings were filed by 
the other side, alert users to the next steps needed to respond and 
deadlines.
    D. Innovations in Legal Information Design and Delivery. Content 
should be developed with the end user in mind, but too often the end 
result is a reflection of what the developer determines the end user 
will need,

[[Page 8352]]

rather than what the user determines he or she will best understand and 
find most helpful. Technology provides an opportunity to design and 
deliver legal information that is optimized for the end user. There are 
good examples of how user-centric design can improve legal innovation 
(see www.legaltechdesign.com and www.nulawlab.org). Projects in this 
area of interest could incorporate new approaches to visual law, online 
learning, user interaction and ``legal information literacy'' in the 
design and delivery of content. This could potentially focus on low/no-
literacy and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) communities or others 
who are traditionally under-served by traditional methods. 
Alternatively, a project could also improve the design and 
effectiveness of online training and substantive practice resources for 
advocates and volunteers.

IV. Specific Letter of Intent Requirements

One Project per Letter of Intent

    Applicants may submit multiple LOIs, but a separate LOI should be 
submitted for each project for which funding is sought.

Letter Requirements and Format

    Letters of Intent must be submitted using the online system at 
http://lscgrants.lsc.gov. Additional instructions and information can 
be found on the TIG Web site at http://tig.lsc.gov/grants/application-process. This system will walk you through the process of creating a 
simple two-page LOI. The LOI should concisely provide the following 
information about the proposed project:
    1. Category--select the appropriate category from the drop down 
list.
    2. Description of Project (maximum 2500 characters)--Briefly 
describe the basic elements of the project, including the specific 
technology(ies) the project will develop or implement; how they will be 
developed, how they will operate, the function they will serve within 
the legal services delivery system, their expected impact, and other 
similar factors. (Only the impact should be highlighted here; more 
details about the system's benefits should be provided below.)
    3. Major Benefits (maximum 2500 characters)--Describe the specific 
ways in which the project will increase or improve services to clients 
and/or enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations. 
To the extent feasible, discuss both the qualitative and quantitative 
aspects of these benefits.
    4. Estimated Costs (maximum 1500 characters)--Start by stating the 
amount of funding you are seeking from the TIG program, followed by the 
estimated total project cost, summarizing the anticipated costs of the 
major components of the project. List anticipated contributions, both 
in-kind and monetary, from all partners involved in the project.
    5. Major Partners (maximum 1500 characters)--Identify organizations 
that are expected to be important partners. Specify the role(s) each 
partner will play.
    6. Innovation/Replication (maximum 1500 characters)--Identify how 
and why the proposed project is new and innovative and/or is a 
replication or adaptation of a previous technology project. Identify 
how and why the proposed project can significantly benefit and/or be 
replicated by other legal services providers and/or the legal services 
community at large.

Letter of Intent Deadline

    Letters of Intent must be completed and submitted into the online 
system at http://lscgrants.lsc.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT, 
Friday, March 20, 2015. The online system may experience technical 
difficulties due to heavy traffic on the day of the deadline. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete LOI submissions as early 
as possible.
    LSC will not accept applications submitted after the application 
deadline unless a waiver of the deadline has been approved in advance 
(see Waiver Authority). Therefore, allow sufficient time for online 
submission.
    LSC will provide confirmation via email upon the completed 
electronic submission of each Letter of Intent. Keep this email as 
verification that the program's LOI was submitted. If no confirmation 
email is received, inquire about the status of your LOI at 
Techgrants@lsc.gov.

Selection Process

    LSC will initially review all LOI to determine whether they conform 
to the required format and clearly present all of the required 
elements. These requirements are listed and described above. Failure to 
meet these requirements may result in rejection of the LOI.
    Each proposal will be reviewed to identify those LOI that propose 
projects likely to improve access to justice or the efficiency, 
effectiveness, and quality of legal services provided by grantees. The 
LOI will also be reviewed to determine the extent to which the project 
proposed is clearly described and well thought out, offers major 
benefits to our targeted client community, is cost-effective, involves 
all of the parties needed to make it successful and sustainable, and is 
either innovative or a cost-effective replication of prior successful 
projects. Those applicants satisfying these criteria will be invited to 
submit full applications.

Next Steps for Successful Applicants

    LSC will notify successful Letter of Intent applicants by Thursday, 
April 30, 2015. Successful applicants will have until 11:59 p.m. EDT, 
Monday, June 15, 2015 to complete full applications in the online 
application system.

Waiver Authority

    LSC, upon its own initiative or when requested, may waive 
provisions in this Notice at its sole discretion under extraordinary 
circumstances and when it is in the best interest of the eligible 
client community. Waivers may be granted only for requirements that are 
discretionary and not mandated by statute or regulation. Any request 
for a waiver must set forth the extraordinary circumstances for the 
request and be included in the application. LSC will not consider a 
request to waive the deadline for a LOI unless the waiver request is 
received by LSC prior to the deadline.

Contact Information

    For information on the status of a current TIG project, contact 
Eric Mathison, Program Analyst, Telephone: 202-295-1535; Email: 
emathison@lsc.gov.
    For questions about projects in CT, DC, IL, IN, ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, 
NY, OH, PA, RI, WI, WV, VT, contact David Bonebrake, Program Counsel, 
Telephone: 202.295.1547; Email: dbonebrake@lsc.gov.
    For questions about projects in AK, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, IA, KS, 
MP, MN, MT, NE., NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY, contact 
Glenn Rawdon, Program Counsel, Telephone: 202.295.1552; Email: 
grawdon@lsc.gov.
    For questions about projects in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, 
NC, PR, SC, TN, VI, VA, contact Jane Ribadeneyra, Program Analyst, 
Telephone: 202.295.1554, Email: ribadeneyraj@lsc.gov.
    If you have a general question, please email techgrants@lsc.gov.

    Dated: February 11, 2015.
Stefanie K. Davis,
Assistant General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-03159 Filed 2-13-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7050-01-P