Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program, 22956-22959 [2017-10106]

Download as PDF 22956 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES in demonstrating the impact of the project; • The assessment of the market; • The long-term strategy in the market; and • Export goals in each country. 2. Review and Selection Process: Proposals will be evaluated by the appropriate Commodity Branch in FAS’ Cooperator Programs Division. The Commodity Branches will review each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. In addition, FAS, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM. FAS will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 ‘‘Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.’’ F. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of QSP funding and any cost-share contribution requirements. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify the terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse certain costs of each project. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:15 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should endeavor to ship commodities within 6 months of the effective date of the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as required), compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of expiration or termination of the agreement. QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS’ Compliance, Security, and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a QSP participant shall provide to CCC the original documents that support the participant’s reimbursement claims. CCC may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation. 3. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted via the UES within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each participant’s QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures that were presented in the proposal. G. Agency Contact(s) Signed at Washington, DC, on May 12, 2017. Holly Higgins, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2017–10096 Filed 5–18–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2018 Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from the private sector and from government agencies for fiscal year 2018 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. The TASC program is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). DATES: To be considered for funding, proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017. Any proposals received after this time will be considered only if funds remain available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should contact Curt Alt in the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/ technical-assistance-specialty-cropstasc. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. PO 00000 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Sfmt 4703 A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.604. Authority: The TASC program is authorized by section 3205 of Public Law 107–171. The TASC regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1487. Purpose: The TASC program is designed to assist U.S. organizations by providing funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. U.S. specialty crops, for the purpose of the TASC program, are defined to include all cultivated plants, or the products thereof, produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco. As a general matter, TASC proposals should be designed to address the following criteria: E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES • Projects should identify and address a clear sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barrier that prohibits or threatens the export of U.S. specialty crops; • Projects should demonstrably benefit the represented industry rather than a specific company or brand; • Projects must address barriers to exports of commercially-available U.S. specialty crops; • Projects should include an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the eligible organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance; and • Projects should include performance measures for quantifying progress and demonstrating results. In the development of performance measures, FAS believes the measures should meet the following criteria: Æ Aligned: The indicator should, as closely as possible, measure exactly the relevant result. Æ Clear: The indicator should be precise and unambiguous about what is being measured and how. There should be no doubt on how to measure or interpret the indicator. Æ Quantifiable: The indicator(s) should sufficiently capture all of the elements of a result. Æ Include an identified methodology: The data can be obtained to inform the indicator in a timely and efficient manner and the data are of high-quality. The full set of indicators selected to monitor project performance should be sufficient to inform project management and oversight. Examples of project expenses that CCC may agree to reimburse under the TASC program include, but are not limited to: Initial pre-clearance programs, export protocol and work plan support, seminars and workshops, study tours, field surveys, development of pest lists, pest, disease, and fumigant research, reasonable logistical and administrative support, and travel and per diem expenses. B. Award Information In general, all qualified proposals received before the submission deadline will compete for funding. The limited funds available and the wide range of barriers affecting the exports of U.S. specialty crops worldwide preclude CCC from approving large budgets for individual projects. Proposals requesting more than $500,000 in any given year will not be considered. Additionally, funding will not be provided for projects that have received TASC funding for five years. The five VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:15 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 years do not have to be consecutive. Eligible organizations may submit multi-year proposals. Funding in such cases may, at FAS’ discretion, be provided one year at a time with commitments beyond the first year subject to interim evaluations and funding availability. In order to validate funding eligibility, proposals must specify previous years of TASC funding for each proposed activity/title/market/ constraint combination. Government entities are not eligible for multi-year funding. Applicants may submit more than one proposal, and applicants with previously approved TASC proposals may apply for additional funding. However, the maximum number of approved projects that a TASC participant can have underway at any given time is five. Please see 7 CFR part 1487 for additional restrictions. FAS will review all proposals against the evaluation criteria contained in the program regulations. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the agreement. FAS or another Federal agency may be involved in the implementation of approved agreements. C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Organizations: Any U.S. organization, private or government, with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural specialty crops may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations may include nonprofit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and private companies. Foreign organizations, whether government or private, may participate as third parties in activities carried out by eligible organizations, but are not eligible for direct funding assistance through the program. 2. Cost-Sharing or Matching: FAS considers the applicant’s willingness to contribute resources towards the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals are approved for funding. 3. Funding Justification: Proposals should include a justification for funding assistance from the program— an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22957 unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Application through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) System: Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit their applications to FAS through the web-based UES application. Using the UES application process reduces paperwork and expedites FAS’ processing and review cycle. Applicants planning to use the UES system must first contact FAS’ Program Operations Division to obtain site access information, including a user ID and password. The UES Internet-based application may be found at the following URL address: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/. Although FAS highly recommends applying via the web-based UES, applicants have the option of submitting an application to FAS via email at podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Applicants experiencing difficulty or otherwise needing assistance applying to the program should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission: All TASC proposals must contain complete information about the proposed projects as described in § 1487.5(b) of the TASC program regulations. In addition, in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s policy directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at (866) 705–5711. In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each eligible organization that applies to the TASC and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 must: (i) Provide a valid DUNS number in each application it submits to CCC; (ii) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application under consideration by CCC. E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 22958 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Notices FAS may not make an award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements, and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FAS is ready to make the award, FAS may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive the award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant. Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each eligible organization that applies to the TASC program and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive TASC funding. Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review. 3. Submission Dates and Times: TASC proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as TASC funding is available as set forth below: • Proposals received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017, will be considered for funding with other proposals received by that date; • Proposals not approved for funding during the initial review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing and only if funding remains available; • Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017, will be considered for funding in the order received only if funding remains available. FAS will track the time and date of receipt of all proposals. 4. Funding Restrictions: Although funded projects may take place in the United States or abroad, all eligible projects must specifically address sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers to the export of U.S. specialty crops. Certain types of expenses are not eligible for reimbursement by the program, such as the costs of market research, advertising, or other promotional expenses, and will be set forth in the written program agreement between CCC and the participant. CCC will also not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or any expenditure made prior to the approval of a proposal. 5. Other Submission Requirements: All applications submitted through the UES must be received by 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017, in order to be considered for funding; late VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:15 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 submissions received after the deadline will be considered only if funding remains available. All applications submitted by email must be received at podadmin@fas.usda.gov by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017, in order to receive the same consideration. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria: FAS follows the evaluation criteria set forth in § 1487.6 of the TASC regulations. Reviewers will evaluate according to the following criteria: (1) The nature of the specific export barrier and the extent to which the proposal is likely to successfully remove, resolve, or mitigate that barrier (12.5%); (2) The potential trade impact of the proposed project on market retention, market access, and market expansion, including the potential for expanding commercial sales in the targeted market (12.5%); (3) The completeness and viability of the proposal. Among other things, this can include the cost of the project and the amount of other resources dedicated to the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties (15%); (4) The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal (15%); (5) The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive (17.5%); (6) The degree to which time is essential to addressing specific export barriers (5%); (7) The ability of the applicant to provide a broad base of producer representation (12.5%); and (8) The effectiveness of the performance measures and potential of the performance measures to measure project results (10%). 2. Review and Selection Process: FAS will review proposals for eligibility and will evaluate each proposal against the criteria referred to above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. FAS may, when appropriate, request the assistance of other U.S. government subject area experts in evaluating the merits of a proposal. In addition, FAS, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM. FAS will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 ‘‘Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.’’ F. Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including levels of funding, timelines for implementation, and reporting requirements. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant. Interested parties should review the TASC program regulations found at 7 CFR part 1487 in addition to this announcement. TASC program regulations are available at the following URL address: http://www.fas.usda.gov/ programs/technical-assistancespecialty-crops-tasc. 3. Reporting: TASC participants will be required to submit annual interim reports and a final performance report, each of which evaluate the TASC project using the performance measures presented in the approved proposal, as set forth in the written program agreement. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Notices Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Signed at Washington, DC, on the 12th of May 2017. Holly Higgins, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2017–10106 Filed 5–18–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Emerging Markets Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2018 Emerging Markets Program (EMP). The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from the private sector and from government agencies for fiscal year 2018 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. The EMP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). DATES: To be considered for funding, proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, August 15, 2017. Any applications received after this time will be considered only if funds remain available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should contact Curt Alt in the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the Foreign Agricultural Service Web site at http:// www.fas.usda.gov/programs/emergingmarkets-program-emp. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.603. Authority: The EMP is authorized by section 1542(d)(1) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, as amended. The EMP regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1486. 1. Purpose. The EMP assists U.S. entities in developing, maintaining, or expanding exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products by funding VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:15 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 activities that enhance emerging markets’ food and rural business systems, including reducing trade barriers. The EMP is intended primarily to support export market development efforts of the private sector, but EMP resources may also be used to assist public organizations. All U.S. agricultural commodities, except tobacco, are eligible for consideration. Agricultural product(s) should be comprised of at least 50 percent U.S. origin content by weight, exclusive of added water, to be eligible for funding. Proposals that seek support for multiple commodities are also eligible. EMP funding may only be used for generic activities intended to develop, maintain, or expand emerging markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products. EMP funding may not be used to support the export of another country’s products to the United States, or to promote the development of a foreign economy as a primary objective. 2. Appropriate Activities. All EMP projects must fall into at least one of the following four categories: (a) Assistance to teams consisting primarily of U.S. individuals expert in assessing the food and rural business systems of other countries. This type of EMP project must include all three of the following: • Conduct an assessment of the food and rural business system needs of an emerging market; • Make recommendations on measures necessary to enhance the effectiveness of those systems; and • Identify opportunities and projects to enhance the effectiveness of the emerging market’s food and rural business systems in order to grow U.S. exports. To be eligible, such proposals must clearly demonstrate that experts are primarily agricultural consultants, farmers, other persons from the private sector, or government officials and that they have expertise in assessing the food and rural business systems of other countries. (b) Assistance to enable individuals from emerging markets to travel to the United States so that these individuals can, for the purpose of enhancing the food and rural business systems in their countries, consult with food and rural business system experts in the United States. (c) Assistance to enable U.S. agricultural producers and other individuals knowledgeable in agricultural and agribusiness matters to travel to emerging markets to assist in transferring their knowledge and expertise to entities in the emerging PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22959 market to enhance the market’s rural and food business systems in support of U.S. exports. Such travel must be to emerging markets. Travel to developed markets is not eligible under the program even if the targeted market is an emerging market. (d) Technical assistance to implement the recommendations or to carry out projects and/or opportunities identified under 2(a) above. Technical assistance that does not implement the recommendations, projects, and/or opportunities identified under 2(a) above is not eligible under the EMP. Proposals that do not fall into one or more of the four categories above, regardless of previous guidance provided regarding the EMP, are not eligible for consideration under the program. EMP funds may not be used to support normal operating costs of individual organizations, nor as a source to recover pre-award costs or prior expenses from previous or ongoing projects. Proposals that counter national strategies or duplicate activities planned or already underway by U.S. non-profit agricultural commodity or trade associations will not be considered. Other ineligible expenditures include: Branded product promotions (e.g., instore, restaurant advertising, labeling, etc.); advertising; administrative and operational expenses for trade shows; Web site development; equipment purchases; and the preparation and printing of brochures, flyers, and posters (except in connection with specific technical assistance activities such as training seminars). For a more complete description of ineligible expenditures, please refer to the EMP regulations. 3. Eligible Markets. Because EMP funds are limited and the range of potential emerging market countries is broad, consideration will be given only to proposals that target countries or regional groups classified below the World Bank’s threshold for upper middle-income economies. World Bank income limits and country classifications can change from year to year, with the result that a given country may qualify under the legislative and administrative criteria one year, but not the next. Therefore, applicants should consult the current World Bank country classification list for guidance. A few countries technically qualify as emerging markets but may require a separate determination before funding can be considered because of political sensitivities. B. Award Information In general, all qualified proposals received before the application deadline E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 96 (Friday, May 19, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22956-22959]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-10106]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the 
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program

SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is 
inviting proposals for the 2018 Technical Assistance for Specialty 
Crops (TASC) program. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit 
proposals from the private sector and from government agencies for 
fiscal year 2018 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds 
under the program. The TASC program is administered by personnel of the 
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

DATES: To be considered for funding, proposals must be received by 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017. Any proposals received after 
this time will be considered only if funds remain available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should 
contact Curt Alt in the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade 
Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-
4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 
Information is also available on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/technical-assistance-specialty-crops-tasc.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Funding Opportunity Description

    Announcement Type: New.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.604.
    Authority: The TASC program is authorized by section 3205 of Public 
Law 107-171. The TASC regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1487.
    Purpose: The TASC program is designed to assist U.S. organizations 
by providing funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, 
or technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. 
specialty crops. U.S. specialty crops, for the purpose of the TASC 
program, are defined to include all cultivated plants, or the products 
thereof, produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, 
oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco.
    As a general matter, TASC proposals should be designed to address 
the following criteria:

[[Page 22957]]

     Projects should identify and address a clear sanitary, 
phytosanitary, or technical barrier that prohibits or threatens the 
export of U.S. specialty crops;
     Projects should demonstrably benefit the represented 
industry rather than a specific company or brand;
     Projects must address barriers to exports of commercially-
available U.S. specialty crops;
     Projects should include an explanation as to what 
specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding 
assistance and why the eligible organization(s) would be unlikely to 
carry out the project without such assistance; and
     Projects should include performance measures for 
quantifying progress and demonstrating results. In the development of 
performance measures, FAS believes the measures should meet the 
following criteria:
    [cir] Aligned: The indicator should, as closely as possible, 
measure exactly the relevant result.
    [cir] Clear: The indicator should be precise and unambiguous about 
what is being measured and how. There should be no doubt on how to 
measure or interpret the indicator.
    [cir] Quantifiable: The indicator(s) should sufficiently capture 
all of the elements of a result.
    [cir] Include an identified methodology: The data can be obtained 
to inform the indicator in a timely and efficient manner and the data 
are of high-quality.
    The full set of indicators selected to monitor project performance 
should be sufficient to inform project management and oversight.
    Examples of project expenses that CCC may agree to reimburse under 
the TASC program include, but are not limited to: Initial pre-clearance 
programs, export protocol and work plan support, seminars and 
workshops, study tours, field surveys, development of pest lists, pest, 
disease, and fumigant research, reasonable logistical and 
administrative support, and travel and per diem expenses.

B. Award Information

    In general, all qualified proposals received before the submission 
deadline will compete for funding. The limited funds available and the 
wide range of barriers affecting the exports of U.S. specialty crops 
worldwide preclude CCC from approving large budgets for individual 
projects. Proposals requesting more than $500,000 in any given year 
will not be considered. Additionally, funding will not be provided for 
projects that have received TASC funding for five years. The five years 
do not have to be consecutive. Eligible organizations may submit multi-
year proposals. Funding in such cases may, at FAS' discretion, be 
provided one year at a time with commitments beyond the first year 
subject to interim evaluations and funding availability. In order to 
validate funding eligibility, proposals must specify previous years of 
TASC funding for each proposed activity/title/market/constraint 
combination. Government entities are not eligible for multi-year 
funding.
    Applicants may submit more than one proposal, and applicants with 
previously approved TASC proposals may apply for additional funding. 
However, the maximum number of approved projects that a TASC 
participant can have underway at any given time is five. Please see 7 
CFR part 1487 for additional restrictions. FAS will review all 
proposals against the evaluation criteria contained in the program 
regulations.
    Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific 
agreements. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved 
by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the 
agreement. FAS or another Federal agency may be involved in the 
implementation of approved agreements.

C. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Organizations: Any U.S. organization, private or 
government, with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. 
agricultural specialty crops may apply to the program. Government 
organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private 
organizations may include non-profit trade associations, universities, 
agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and private 
companies.
    Foreign organizations, whether government or private, may 
participate as third parties in activities carried out by eligible 
organizations, but are not eligible for direct funding assistance 
through the program.
    2. Cost-Sharing or Matching: FAS considers the applicant's 
willingness to contribute resources towards the project, including 
cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third 
parties, when determining which proposals are approved for funding.
    3. Funding Justification: Proposals should include a justification 
for funding assistance from the program--an explanation as to what 
specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding 
assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be unlikely 
to carry out the project without such assistance.

D. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) System: 
Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit their applications to 
FAS through the web-based UES application. Using the UES application 
process reduces paperwork and expedites FAS' processing and review 
cycle. Applicants planning to use the UES system must first contact 
FAS' Program Operations Division to obtain site access information, 
including a user ID and password. The UES Internet-based application 
may be found at the following URL address: https://www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/.
    Although FAS highly recommends applying via the web-based UES, 
applicants have the option of submitting an application to FAS via 
email at podadmin@fas.usda.gov.
    Applicants experiencing difficulty or otherwise needing assistance 
applying to the program should contact the Program Operations Division, 
Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 
6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: 
(202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: 
podadmin@fas.usda.gov.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: All TASC proposals 
must contain complete information about the proposed projects as 
described in Sec.  1487.5(b) of the TASC program regulations. In 
addition, in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's 
policy directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) regarding the need to 
identify entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants 
must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling 
the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at (866) 705-5711.
    In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each eligible 
organization that applies to the TASC and does not qualify for an 
exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 must:
    (i) Provide a valid DUNS number in each application it submits to 
CCC;
    (ii) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior 
to submitting an application; and
    (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current 
information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or 
an application under consideration by CCC.

[[Page 22958]]

    FAS may not make an award to an applicant until the applicant has 
complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM 
requirements, and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the 
requirements by the time FAS is ready to make the award, FAS may 
determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive the award and 
use that determination as a basis for making an award to another 
applicant.
    Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each eligible 
organization that applies to the TASC program and does not qualify for 
an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary 
processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting 
requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive TASC funding.
    Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not otherwise conform to 
this announcement will not be accepted for review.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: TASC proposals are reviewed on a 
rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as TASC funding is 
available as set forth below:
     Proposals received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 
19, 2017, will be considered for funding with other proposals received 
by that date;
     Proposals not approved for funding during the initial 
review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period 
only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in 
writing and only if funding remains available;
     Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 
June 19, 2017, will be considered for funding in the order received 
only if funding remains available.
    FAS will track the time and date of receipt of all proposals.
    4. Funding Restrictions: Although funded projects may take place in 
the United States or abroad, all eligible projects must specifically 
address sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers to the export of 
U.S. specialty crops.
    Certain types of expenses are not eligible for reimbursement by the 
program, such as the costs of market research, advertising, or other 
promotional expenses, and will be set forth in the written program 
agreement between CCC and the participant. CCC will also not reimburse 
unreasonable expenditures or any expenditure made prior to the approval 
of a proposal.
    5. Other Submission Requirements: All applications submitted 
through the UES must be received by 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 
19, 2017, in order to be considered for funding; late submissions 
received after the deadline will be considered only if funding remains 
available. All applications submitted by email must be received at 
podadmin@fas.usda.gov by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2017, 
in order to receive the same consideration.

E. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria: FAS follows the evaluation criteria set forth in Sec.  
1487.6 of the TASC regulations. Reviewers will evaluate according to 
the following criteria:
    (1) The nature of the specific export barrier and the extent to 
which the proposal is likely to successfully remove, resolve, or 
mitigate that barrier (12.5%);
    (2) The potential trade impact of the proposed project on market 
retention, market access, and market expansion, including the potential 
for expanding commercial sales in the targeted market (12.5%);
    (3) The completeness and viability of the proposal. Among other 
things, this can include the cost of the project and the amount of 
other resources dedicated to the project, including cash, goods, and 
services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties (15%);
    (4) The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff 
with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the 
proposal (15%);
    (5) The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in 
which the United States is generally competitive (17.5%);
    (6) The degree to which time is essential to addressing specific 
export barriers (5%);
    (7) The ability of the applicant to provide a broad base of 
producer representation (12.5%); and
    (8) The effectiveness of the performance measures and potential of 
the performance measures to measure project results (10%).
    2. Review and Selection Process: FAS will review proposals for 
eligibility and will evaluate each proposal against the criteria 
referred to above. The purpose of this review is to identify 
meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each 
proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding 
recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. 
FAS may, when appropriate, request the assistance of other U.S. 
government subject area experts in evaluating the merits of a proposal.
    In addition, FAS, prior to making a Federal award with a total 
amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition 
threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the 
applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system 
accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An 
applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated 
integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on 
any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously 
entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance 
system accessible through SAM. FAS will consider any comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated 
integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the 
applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants 
as described in 2 CFR 200.205 ``Federal awarding agency review of risk 
posed by applicants.''

F. Award Administration Information

    1. Federal Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing 
of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an 
approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval 
letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable 
to the project, including levels of funding, timelines for 
implementation, and reporting requirements.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements 
will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each 
agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will 
reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline 
the responsibilities of the participant. Interested parties should 
review the TASC program regulations found at 7 CFR part 1487 in 
addition to this announcement. TASC program regulations are available 
at the following URL address: http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/technical-assistance-specialty-crops-tasc.
    3. Reporting: TASC participants will be required to submit annual 
interim reports and a final performance report, each of which evaluate 
the TASC project using the performance measures presented in the 
approved proposal, as set forth in the written program agreement.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact

    For additional information and assistance, contact the Program 
Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 
Independence

[[Page 22959]]

Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-4327, or by fax: 
(202) 720-9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on the 12th of May 2017.
Holly Higgins,
Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice 
President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2017-10106 Filed 5-18-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-10-P