Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2017, 24281-24290 [2017-10776]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices organized and operate within a State and meet the requirements of their authorizing statute; and commodity boards that are authorized by a State and operate within the State for commodities that have no Federal program or oversight. Topic Submission Guidance and Procedures Topics may be submitted at any time and will be evaluated by NIFA on an annual basis. However, to be considered for the proposed fiscal year 2018 AFRI RFAs, topics must be received by COB (5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) on July 25, 2017. Each topic proposed must be submitted using the online topic submission form provided at: https:// nifa.usda.gov/webform/commodityboard-topic-submission/. Commodity boards may propose support for multiple awards for each topic proposed. For each topic the commodity board proposes to support, the minimum amount contributed by the commodity board must align with budget guidance for each AFRI area (http://nifa.usda.gov/commodityboards/) and comply with the maximum amount of $2.5 million allowed per topic. NIFA does not intend to match funding from a single commodity board in excess of $10 million in any year. Commodity boards should only submit topics that have a strong economic impact on their industry and U.S. agriculture, as a whole. Examples of topics typically supported by AFRI can be found at http://nifa.usda.gov/ commodity-boards/. If topics are accepted for funding, they will be incorporated into AFRI RFAs, and grants supporting the topic area may be awarded to AFRI eligible entities based on a competitive peer review process. As a condition of funding grants in a topic, NIFA will require an agreement by the commodity board to provide funds in an amount equal to the amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon topic. If a topic is selected for inclusion in an RFA, the commodity board submitting the topic will be required to maintain the confidentiality of the topic until the RFA is issued by NIFA. All commodity board funds and NIFA funds must be available at the time awards are selected for funding; awards are fully funded at the beginning of the award. Applications submitted under topics provided by commodity boards will be required to include a letter of support from the commodity board that proposed the topic. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 Evaluation and Notification Process NIFA will screen proposed research topics to ensure eligibility of the submitting commodity boards. NIFA will also consult with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to determine that submissions and proposed financial contributions are consistent with commodity promotion laws and commodity boards’ charters, as applicable. Commodity board topics are reviewed by an internal panel based on evaluation criteria developed using stakeholder input from commodity boards and other stakeholders from government, industry, and academe. Each topic will be evaluated based on: Alignment with one or more of the statutory AFRI priority areas (six AFRI priority areas authorized in the Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309); alignment with the President’s budget proposal for NIFA, as identified in the Department of Agriculture’s annual budget submission; and alignment with the priority areas in the AFRI RFAs to be released by NIFA during the fiscal year for which the commodity board is proposing a topic for funding (for example, within the AFRI Foundational Science RFA, the AFRI Animal Health and Production and Animal Products’ ‘‘Animal Reproduction’’ priority area). From those topics received by COB (5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) on July 25, 2017, NIFA will select the topic(s) that were evaluated favorably for inclusion in the appropriate FY 2018 AFRI RFA. NIFA will notify commodity boards as to whether their topics will be included by August 24, 2017. Based on the evaluation, NIFA reserves the right to negotiate with commodity boards should changes be required to accept topics and funding amounts. Any changes to topics and funding amounts will be reviewed by USDA’s AMS to determine if such changes are consistent with applicable commodity promotion laws. NIFA will evaluate topics submitted after the July 25, 2017 deadline on an annual basis and notify commodity boards whether their topics will be included in subsequent RFAs within two weeks following the meeting of the internal evaluation panel, the date of which will be published on NIFA’s Commodity Boards Web page at (http:// nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/). Done at Washington, DC, this 19th day of May, 2017. Robert Holland, Associate Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. [FR Doc. 2017–10782 Filed 5–25–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24281 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2017 Rural Housing Service, USDA. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within the USDA Rural Development (RD) mission area herein referred to as the Agency announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. This Notice lists the information needed to submit an application for these funds. This Notice announces that the Rural Housing Service (Agency) is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2017 applications for the RCDI program. The Agency will publish the program funding level on the Rural Development Web site https://www.rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/rural-communitydevelopment-initiative-grants. This Notice contains revised evaluation criteria that are streamlined, in order to enhance program efficiency and delivery. SUMMARY: The deadline for receipt of an application is 4 p.m. local time, July 25, 2017. The application date and time are firm. The Agency will not consider any application received after the deadline. Applicants intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the closing deadline date and time. Acceptance by the United States Postal Service or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX), electronic mail, and postage due applications will not be accepted. ADDRESSES: Entities wishing to apply for assistance may download the application documents and requirements delineated in this Notice from the RCDI Web site: http:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ rural-community-developmentinitiative-grants. DATES: E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 24282 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices Application information for electronic submissions may be found at http:// www.grants.gov. Applicants may also request paper application packages from the Rural Development office in their state. A list of Rural Development State offices contacts can be found via https:// www.rd.usda.gov/files/ CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf. The Rural Development office for the state in which the applicant is located. A list of Rural Development State Office contacts is provided at the following link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/ CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paperwork Reduction Act The paperwork burden has been cleared by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0575–0180. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Overview Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service. Funding Opportunity Title: Rural Community Development Initiative. Announcement Type: Initial Announcement. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.446. Dates: The deadline for receipt of an application is 4 p.m. local time, July 25, 2017. The application date and time are firm. The Agency will not consider any application received after the deadline. Applicants intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the closing deadline date and time. Acceptance by the United States Postal Service or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX), electronic mail and postage due applications will not be accepted. A. Program Description Congress first authorized the RCDI in 1999 (Pub. L. 106–78, which was amended most recently by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114–113) to develop the capacity and ability of private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized Native American Tribes to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. Strengthening the recipient’s capacity in these areas will benefit the communities they serve. The RCDI structure requires the intermediary (grantee) to provide a VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 program of financial and technical assistance to recipients. The recipients will, in turn, provide programs to their communities (beneficiaries). B. Federal Award Information This Notice is being published prior to the Congressional enactment of a fullyear appropriation for fiscal year 2017. The Agency will continue to process applications received under this announcement and should RCDI receive appropriated funds, these funds will be announced on the following Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programsservices/rural-community-developmentinitiative-grants. Enactment of additional continuing resolutions or an appropriations act may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. Qualified private, nonprofit and public (including tribal) intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and technical assistance programs will be eligible to receive the grant funding. The intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant. A grant will be the type of assistance instrument awarded to successful applications. The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per intermediary is $50,000 and $250,000. Grant funds must be utilized within 3 years from date of the award. A grantee that has an outstanding RCDI grant over 3 years old, as of the application due date in this Notice, is not eligible to apply for this round of funding. The intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to one or more of the following: A private, nonprofit community-based housing and development organization, a lowincome rural community or a federally recognized tribe. (a) Sections 743, 744, 745, and 746 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114–113) apply. Any corporation (i) that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or (ii) that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance provided with funds, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government. In addition, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act may be available for a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with an entity that requires employees or contractors of such entity seeking to report fraud, waste, or abuse to sign internal confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such employees or contractors from lawfully reporting such waste, fraud, or abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative of a Federal department or agency authorized to receive such information. Additionally, no funds appropriated in this or any other Act may be used to implement or enforce the agreements in Standard Forms 312 and 4414 of the Government or any other nondisclosure policy, form, or agreement if such policy, form, or agreement does not contain the following provisions: ‘‘These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection. (b) A nondisclosure agreement may continue to be implemented and enforced notwithstanding subsection (a) if it complies with the requirements for such agreement that were in effect when the agreement was entered into. (c) No funds appropriated in this or any other Act may be used to implement or enforce any agreement entered into during fiscal year 2014 which does not contain substantially similar language to that required in subsection (a).’’ C. Eligibility Information Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements by the application deadline. Applications which fail to meet any of these requirements by the application deadline will be deemed ineligible and will not be evaluated further, and will not receive a Federal award. 1. Eligible Applicants (a) Qualified private, nonprofit, (including faith-based and community organizations and philanthropic foundations), in accordance with 7 CFR part 16, and public (including tribal) E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices intermediary organizations are eligible applicants. Definitions that describe eligible organizations and other key terms are listed below. (b) The recipient must be a nonprofit community-based housing and development organization, low-income rural community, or federally recognized tribe based on the RCDI definitions of these groups. (c) Private nonprofit, faith or community-based organizations must provide a certificate of incorporation and good standing from the Secretary of the State of incorporation, or other similar and valid documentation of current nonprofit status. For lowincome rural community recipients, the Agency requires evidence that the entity is a public body and census data verifying that the median household income of the community where the office receiving the financial and technical assistance is located is at, or below, 80 percent of the State or national median household income, whichever is higher. For federally recognized tribes, the Agency needs the page listing their name from the current Federal Register list of tribal entities recognized and eligible for funding services (see the definition of federally recognized tribes in this Notice for details on this list). (d) Any corporation (1) that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or (2) that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability; is not eligible for financial assistance provided with full-year appropriated funds for Fiscal Year 2017, unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching There is a matching requirement of at least equal to the amount of the grant. If this matching funds requirement is not met, the application will be deemed ineligible. See section D, Application and Submission Information, for required pre-award and post award matching funds documentation submission. The intermediary must provide matching funds at least equal to the amount of the grant. Verification of matching funds must be submitted with VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 the application. Matching funds must be committed for a period equal to the grant performance period. The intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant. In-kind contributions such as salaries, donated time and effort, real and nonexpendable personal property and goods and services cannot be used as matching funds. Matching funds are cash or confirmed funding commitments and must be at least equal to the grant amount and committed for a period of not less than the grant performance period. These funds can only be used for eligible RCDI activities. Matching funds must be used to support the overall purpose of the RCDI program. In-kind contributions such as salaries, donated time and effort, real and nonexpendable personal property and goods and services cannot be used as matching funds. Grant funds and matching funds must be used in equal proportions. This does not mean funds have to be used equally by line item. The request for advance or reimbursement and supporting documentation must show that RCDI fund usage does not exceed the cumulative amount of matching funds used. Grant funds will be disbursed pursuant to relevant provisions of 2 CFR parts 200 and 400. Verification of matching funds must be submitted with the application. See Section D, other program requirements, for matching funds documentation and pre-award requirements. The intermediary is responsible for demonstrating that matching funds are available, and committed for a period of not less than the grant performance period to the RCDI proposal. Matching funds may be provided by the intermediary or a third party. Other Federal funds may be used as matching funds if authorized by statute and the purpose of the funds is an eligible RCDI purpose. RCDI funds will be disbursed on an advance or reimbursement basis. Matching funds cannot be expended prior to execution of the RCDI Grant Agreement. 3. Other Program Requirements (a) The recipient and beneficiary, but not the intermediary, must be located in an eligible rural area. The physical location of the recipient’s office that will be receiving the financial and technical assistance must be in an eligible rural area. If the recipient is a low-income community, the median PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24283 household income of the area where the office is located must be at or below 80 percent of the State or national median household income, whichever is higher. The applicable Rural Development State Office can assist in determining the eligibility of an area. A listing of Rural Development State Office contacts can be found at the following link: https:// www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_ Contacts.pdf. A map showing eligible rural areas can be found at the following link: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/ eligibility/welcomeAction.do?page Action=RBSmenu& NavKey=property@13. (b) RCDI grantees that have an outstanding grant over 3 years old, as of the application due date in this Notice, will not be eligible to apply for this round of funding. Grant and matching funds must be utilized in a timely manner to ensure that the goals and objectives of the program are met. (c) Individuals cannot be recipients. (d) The intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to the recipient. (e) The intermediary organization must have been legally organized for a minimum of 3 years and have at least 3 years prior experience working with private nonprofit community-based housing and development organizations, low-income rural communities, or tribal organizations in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. (f) Proposals must be structured to utilize the grant funds within 3 years from the date of the award. (g) Each applicant, whether singularly or jointly, may only submit one application for RCDI funds under this Notice. This restriction does not preclude the applicant from providing matching funds for other applications. (h) Recipients can benefit from more than one RCDI application; however, after grant selections are made, the recipient can only benefit from multiple RCDI grants if the type of financial and technical assistance the recipient will receive is not duplicative. The services described in multiple RCDI grant applications must have separate and identifiable accounts for compliance purposes. (i) The intermediary and the recipient cannot be the same entity. The recipient can be a related entity to the intermediary, if it meets the definition of a recipient, provided the relationship does not create a Conflict of Interest that cannot be resolved to Rural Development’s satisfaction. (j) If the recipient is a low-income rural community, identify the unit of E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 24284 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices government to which the financial and technical assistance will be provided, e.g., town council or village board. The financial and technical assistance must be provided to the organized unit of government representing that community, not the community at large. 4. Eligible Grant Purposes Fund uses must be consistent with the RCDI purpose. A nonexclusive list of eligible grant uses includes the following: (a) Provide technical assistance to develop recipients’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development, e.g., the intermediary hires a staff person to provide technical assistance to the recipient or the recipient hires a staff person, under the supervision of the intermediary, to carry out the technical assistance provided by the intermediary. (b) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct community development programs, e.g., homeownership education or training for business entrepreneurs. (c) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct development initiatives, e.g., programs that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development. (d) Develop the capacity of recipients to increase their leveraging ability and access to alternative funding sources by providing training and staffing. (e) Develop the capacity of recipients to provide the technical assistance component for essential community facilities projects. (f) Assist recipients in completing predevelopment requirements for housing, community facilities, or community and economic development projects by providing resources for professional services, e.g., architectural, engineering, or legal. (g) Improve recipient’s organizational capacity by providing training and resource material on developing strategic plans, board operations, management, financial systems, and information technology. (h) Purchase of computers, software, and printers, limited to $10,000 per award, at the recipient level when directly related to the technical assistance program being undertaken by the intermediary. (i) Provide funds to recipients for training-related travel costs and training expenses related to RCDI. 5. Ineligible Fund Uses The following is a list of ineligible grant uses: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 (a) Pass-through grants, and any funds provided to the recipient in a lump sum that are not reimbursements. (b) Funding a revolving loan fund (RLF). (c) Construction (in any form). (d) Salaries for positions involved in construction, renovations, rehabilitation, and any oversight of these types of activities. (e) Intermediary preparation of strategic plans for recipients. (f) Funding prostitution, gambling, or any illegal activities. (g) Grants to individuals. (h) Funding a grant where there may be a conflict of interest, or an appearance of a conflict of interest, involving any action by the Agency. (i) Paying obligations incurred before the beginning date without prior Agency approval or after the ending date of the grant agreement. (j) Purchasing real estate. (k) Improvement or renovation of the grantee’s or recipient’s office space or for the repair or maintenance of privately owned vehicles. (l) Any purpose prohibited in 2 CFR part 200 or 400. (m) Using funds for recipient’s general operating costs. (n) Using grant or matching funds for Individual Development Accounts. (o) Purchasing vehicles. 6. Program Examples and Restrictions The following are examples of eligible and ineligible purposes under the RCDI program. (These examples are illustrative and are not meant to limit the activities proposed in the application. Activities that meet the objectives of the RCDI program and meet the criteria outlined in this Notice will be considered eligible.) (a) The intermediary must work directly with the recipient, not the ultimate beneficiaries. As an example: The intermediary provides training to the recipient on how to conduct homeownership education classes. The recipient then provides ongoing homeownership education to the residents of the community—the ultimate beneficiaries. This ‘‘train the trainer’’ concept fully meets the intent of this initiative. The intermediary is providing technical assistance that will build the recipient’s capacity by enabling them to conduct homeownership education classes for the public. This is an eligible purpose. However, if the intermediary directly provided homeownership education classes to individuals in the recipient’s service area, this would not be an eligible purpose because the recipient would be bypassed. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (b) If the intermediary is working with a low-income community as the recipient, the intermediary must provide the technical assistance to the entity that represents the low-income community and is identified in the application. Examples of entities representing a low-income community are a village board or a town council. If the intermediary provides technical assistance to the Board of the lowincome community on how to establish a cooperative, this would be an eligible purpose. However, if the intermediary works directly with individuals from the community to establish the cooperative, this is not an eligible purpose. The recipient’s capacity is built by learning skills that will enable them to support sustainable economic development in their communities on an ongoing basis. (c) The intermediary may provide technical assistance to the recipient on how to create and operate a revolving loan fund. The intermediary may not monitor or operate the revolving loan fund. RCDI funds, including matching funds, cannot be used to fund revolving loan funds. (d) The intermediary may work with recipients in building their capacity to provide planning and leadership development training. The recipients of this training would be expected to assume leadership roles in the development and execution of regional strategic plans. The intermediary would work with multiple recipients in helping communities recognize their connections to the greater regional and national economies. (e) The intermediary could provide training and technical assistance to the recipients on developing emergency shelter and feeding, short-term housing, search and rescue, and environmental accident, prevention, and cleanup program plans. For longer term disaster and economic crisis responses, the intermediary could work with the recipients to develop job placement and training programs, and develop coordinated transit systems for displaced workers. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address To Request Application Package Entities wishing to apply for assistance may download the application documents and requirements delineated in this Notice from the RCDI Web site: http:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices rural-community-developmentinitiative-grants. Application information for electronic submissions may be found at http:// www.grants.gov. Applicants may also request paper application packages from the Rural Development office in their state. A list of Rural Development State office contacts can be found via https:// www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_ Contacts.pdf. You may also obtain a copy by calling 202–205–9685. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission If the applicant is ineligible or the application is incomplete, the Agency will inform the applicant in writing of the decision, reasons therefore, and its appeal rights and no further evaluation of the application will occur. A complete application for RCDI funds must include the following: (a) A summary page, double-spaced between items, listing the following: (This information should not be presented in narrative form.) (1) Applicant’s name, (2) Applicant’s address, (3) Applicant’s telephone number, (4) Name of applicant’s contact person, email address and telephone number, (5) Applicant’s fax number, (6) County where applicant is located, (7) Congressional district number where applicant is located, (8) Amount of grant request, and (9) Number of recipients. (b) A detailed Table of Contents containing page numbers for each component of the application. (c) A project overview, no longer than one page, including the following items, which will also be addressed separately and in detail under ‘‘Building Capacity and Expertise’’ of the ‘‘Evaluation Criteria.’’ (1) The type of technical assistance to be provided to the recipients and how it will be implemented. (2) How the capacity and ability of the recipients will be improved. (3) The overall goals to be accomplished. (4) The benchmarks to be used to measure the success of the program. Benchmarks should be specific and quantifiable. (d) Organizational documents, such as a certificate of incorporation and a current good standing certification from the Secretary of State where the applicant is incorporated and other similar and valid documentation of current non-profit status, from the intermediary that confirms it has been legally organized for a minimum of 3 years as the applicant entity. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 (e) Verification of source and amount of matching funds, e.g., a copy of a bank statement if matching funds are in cash or a copy of the confirmed funding commitment from the funding source. The verification must show that matching funds are available for the duration of the grant performance period. The verification of matching funds must be submitted with the application or the application will be considered incomplete. The applicant will be contacted by the Agency prior to grant award to verify that the matching funds provided with the application continue to be available. The applicant will have 15 days from the date contacted to submit verification that matching funds continue to be available. If the applicant is unable to provide the verification within that timeframe, the application will be considered ineligible. The applicant must maintain bank statements on file or other documentation for a period of at least 3 years after grant closing except that the records shall be retained beyond the 3year period if audit findings have not been resolved. (f) The following information for each recipient: (1) Recipient’s entity name, (2) Complete address (mailing and physical location, if different), (3) County where located, (4) Number of Congressional district where recipient is located, (5) Contact person’s name, email address and telephone number and, (6) Form RD 400–4, ‘‘Assurance Agreement.’’ If the Form RD 400–4 is not submitted for the applicant and each recipient, the recipient will be considered ineligible. No information pertaining to that recipient will be included in the income or population scoring criteria and the requested funding may be adjusted due to the deletion of the recipient. (g) Submit evidence that each recipient entity is eligible. Documentation must be submitted to verify recipient eligibility. Acceptable documentation varies depending on the type of recipient: (1) Nonprofits—provide a current valid letter confirming non-profit status from the Secretary of the State of incorporation, a current good standing certification from the Secretary of the State of incorporation, or other valid documentation of current nonprofit status of each recipient. A nonprofit recipient must provide evidence that it is a valid nonprofit when the intermediary applies for the RCDI grant. Organizations with pending PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24285 requests for nonprofit designations are not eligible. (2) Low-income rural community— provide evidence the entity is a public body (copy of Charter, relevant Acts of Assembly, relevant court orders (if created judicially) or other valid documentation), a copy of the 2010 census data to verify the population, and 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates (2006–2010 data set) data as evidence that the median household income is at, or below, 80 percent of either the State or national median household income. We will only accept data and printouts from http://www.census.gov. (3) Federally recognized tribes— provide the page listing their name from the Federal Register list of tribal entities published most recently by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The 2016 list is available at 81 FR 19 5019–5025 and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR2016-01-29/pdf/2016-01769.pdf. (h) Each of the ‘‘Evaluation Criteria’’ must be addressed specifically and individually by category. Present these criteria in narrative form. Narrative (not including attachments) must be limited to five pages per criterion. The ‘‘Population and Income’’ criteria for recipient locations can be provided in the form of a list; however, the source of the data must be included on the page(s). (i) A timeline identifying specific activities and proposed dates for completion. (j) A detailed project budget that includes the RCDI grant amount and matching funds. This should be a lineitem budget, by category. Categories such as salaries, administrative, other, and indirect costs that pertain to the proposed project must be clearly defined. Supporting documentation listing the components of these categories must be included. The budget should be dated: Year 1, year 2, and year 3, as applicable. (k) The indirect cost category in the project budget should be used only when a grant applicant has a federally negotiated indirect cost rate. A copy of the current rate agreement must be provided with the application. Nonfederal entities that have never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, except for those non-Federal entities described in Appendix VII to Part 200-States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph (d)(1)(B), may use the de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). (l) Form SF–424, ‘‘Application for Federal Assistance.’’ E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 24286 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices (Do not complete Form SF–424A, ‘‘Budget Information.’’ A separate lineitem budget should be presented as described in Letter (j) of this section.) (m) Form SF–424B, ‘‘Assurances— Non-Construction Programs.’’ (n) Form AD–1047, ‘‘Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions.’’ (o) Form AD–1048, ‘‘Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion— Lower Tier Covered Transactions.’’ (p) Form AD–1049, ‘‘Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements.’’ (q) Certification of Non-Lobbying Activities. (r) Standard Form LLL, ‘‘Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,’’ if applicable. (s) Form RD 400–4, ‘‘Assurance Agreement,’’ for the applicant and each recipient. (t) Identify and report any association or relationship with Rural Development employees. (A statement acknowledging whether or not a relationship exists is required.) (u) Form AD–3030, ‘‘Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,’’ if you are a corporation. A corporation is any entity that has filed articles of incorporation in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the various territories of the United States including American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporations include both for profit and non-profit entities. 3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System for Awards Management (SAM) Grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in SAM at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the Agency. Similarly, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation in accordance to 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b). An applicant, unless excepted under 2 CFR 25.110(b), (c), or (d), is required to: (a) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (b) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (c) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. The Federal awarding agency may not make a federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all grant applications must provide a DUNS number when applying for Federal grants, on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number at 1–866– 705–5711 or via Internet at http:// fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Additional information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the Grants.gov Web site at http:// www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may register for SAM at https:// www.sam.gov or by calling 1–866–606– 8220. The applicant must provide documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number. If the applicant does not provide documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number, the application will not be considered for funding. The required forms and certifications can be downloaded from the RCDI Web site at: http:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ rural-community-developmentinitiative-grants. 4. Submission Dates and Times The deadline for receipt of an application is 4 p.m. local time, July 25, 2017. The application date and time are firm. The Agency will not consider any application received after the deadline. You may submit your application in paper form or electronically through PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Grants.gov. Applicants intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the closing deadline date and time. Acceptance by the United States Postal Service or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX), electronic mail and postage due applications will not be accepted. To submit a paper application, the original application package must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office where the applicant’s headquarters is located. A listing of Rural Development State Offices contacts can be found via https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_ Office_Contacts.pdf. Applications will not be accepted via FAX or electronic mail. Applicants may file an electronic application at http://www.grants.gov. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required passwords, credentialing, and software. Follow the instructions at Grants.gov for registering and submitting an electronic application. If a system problem or technical difficulty occurs with an electronic application, please use the customer support resources available at the Grants.gov Web site. Technical difficulties submitting an application through Grants.gov will not be a reason to extend the application deadline. If an application is unable to be submitted through Grants.gov, a paper application must be received in the appropriate Rural Development State Office by the deadline noted previously. First time Grants.gov users should carefully read and follow the registration steps listed on the Web site. These steps need to be initiated early in the application process to avoid delays in submitting your application online. In order to register with System for Award Management (SAM), your organization will need a DUNS number. Be sure to complete the Marketing Partner ID (MPID) and Electronic Business Primary Point of Contact fields during the SAM registration process. These are mandatory fields that are required when submitting grant applications through Grants.gov. Additional application instructions for submitting an electronic application can be found by selecting this funding opportunity on Grants.gov. 5. Funding Restrictions Meeting expenses. In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 1345, ‘‘Expenses of Meetings,’’ appropriations may not be used for travel, transportation, and subsistence expenses for a meeting. RCDI grant funds cannot be used for these meeting- E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices related expenses. Matching funds may, however, be used to pay for these expenses. RCDI funds may be used to pay for a speaker as part of a program, equipment to facilitate the program, and the actual room that will house the meeting. RCDI funds cannot be used for meetings; they can, however, be used for travel, transportation, or subsistence expenses for program-related training and technical assistance purposes. Any training not delineated in the application must be approved by the Agency to verify compliance with 31 U.S.C. 1345. Travel and per diem expenses (including meals and incidental expenses) will be allowed in accordance with 2 CFR parts 200 and 400. E. Application Review Information 1. Evaluation Criteria Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria and weights: (a) Building Capacity and Expertise— Maximum 40 Points The applicant must demonstrate how they will improve the recipients’ capacity, through a program of financial and technical assistance, as it relates to the RCDI purposes. Capacity-building financial and technical assistance should provide new functions to the recipients or expand existing functions that will enable the recipients to undertake projects in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will benefit the community. Capacity-building financial and technical assistance may include, but is not limited to: Training to conduct community development programs, e.g., homeownership education, or the establishment of minority business entrepreneurs, cooperatives, or micro-enterprises; organizational development, e.g., assistance to develop or improve board operations, management, and financial systems; instruction on how to develop and implement a strategic plan; instruction on how to access alternative funding sources to increase leveraging opportunities; staffing, e.g., hiring a person at intermediary or recipient level to provide technical assistance to recipients. The program of financial and technical assistance that is to be provided, its delivery, and the measurability of the program’s effectiveness will determine the merit of the application. All applications will be competitively ranked with the applications providing VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 the most improvement in capacity development and measurable activities being ranked the highest. The narrative response must contain the following items. This list also contains the points for each item. (1) Describe the nature of financial and technical assistance to be provided to the recipients and the activities that will be conducted to deliver the technical assistance; (10 Points) (2) Explain how financial and technical assistance will develop or increase the recipient’s capacity. Indicate whether a new function is being developed or if existing functions are being expanded or performed more effectively; (7 Points) (3) Identify which RCDI purpose areas will be addressed with this assistance: housing, community facilities, or community and economic development; (3 Points) (4) Describe how the results of the technical assistance will be measured. What benchmarks will be used to measure effectiveness? Benchmarks should be specific and quantifiable; (5 Points) (5) Demonstrate that it has conducted programs of financial and technical assistance and achieved measurable results in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. (10 Points) (6) Provide in a chart or excel spreadsheet, the organization name, point of contact, address, phone number, email address, and the type and amount of the financial and technical assistance the applicant organization has provided to the following for the last 3 years: (5 Points) (i) Nonprofit organizations in rural areas. (ii) Low-income communities in rural areas (also include the type of entity, e.g., city government, town council, or village board). (iii) Federally recognized tribes or any other culturally diverse organizations. (b) Soundness of Approach—Maximum 15 Points The applicant can receive up to 15 points for soundness of approach. The overall proposal will be considered under this criterion. Applicants must list the page numbers in the application that address these factors. The maximum 15 points for this criterion will be based on the following: (1) The proposal fits the objectives for which applications were invited, is clearly stated, and the applicant has defined how this proposal will be implemented. (7 Points) PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24287 (2) The ability to provide the proposed financial and technical assistance based on prior accomplishments. (6 Points) (3) Cost effectiveness will be evaluated based on the budget in the application. The proposed grant amount and matching funds should be utilized to maximize capacity building at the recipient level. (2 Points) (c) Population and Income—Maximum 15 Points Population is based on the average population from the 2010 census data for the communities in which the recipients are located. The physical address, not mailing address, for each recipient must be used for this criterion. Community is defined for scoring purposes as a city, town, village, county, parish, borough, or census-designated place where the recipient’s office is physically located. The applicant must submit the census data from the following Web site in the form of a printout of the applicable ‘‘Fact Sheet’’ to verify the population figures used for each recipient. The data can be accessed on the Internet at http:// www.census.gov; click on ‘‘American FactFinder,’’ fill in field and click ‘‘Go’’; the name and population data for each recipient location must be listed in this section. The average population of the recipient locations will be used and will be scored as follows: Population 10,000 10,001 20,001 30,001 40,001 or less ....................... to 20,000 .................. to 30,000 .................. to 40,000 .................. to 50,000 .................. Scoring (points) 5 4 3 2 1 The average of the median household income for the communities where the recipients are physically located will determine the points awarded. The physical address, not mailing address, for each recipient must be used for this criterion. Applicants may compare the average recipient median household income to the State median household income or the national median household income, whichever yields the most points. The national median household income to be used is $51,914. The applicant must submit the income data in the form of a printout of the applicable information from the following Web site to verify the income for each recipient. The data being used is from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates (2006– 2010 data set). The data can be accessed on the Internet at http:// E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 24288 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices www.census.gov; click on ‘‘American FactFinder,’’ (under ‘‘Find Data’’ at bottom of page), ‘‘Advanced Search,’’(click on ‘‘Show Me All’’ tab), ‘‘Topics,’’ ‘‘Dataset,’’ locate 2010 ACS 5 year estimates, close table, check the ‘‘Median Income’’ table (S1903 on page 2), fill in the ‘‘state, county or place’’ field (at top of page), select ‘‘Go’’ and click ‘‘View’’; the name and income data for each recipient location must be listed in this section (use the Household and Median Income column). Points will be awarded as follows: Average recipient median income Scoring (points) Less than or equal to 70 percent of state or national median household income Greater than 70, but less than or equal to 80 percent of state or national median household income In excess of 80 percent of state or national median household Income ............. 10 5 0 (d) State Director’s Points Based on Project Merit—Maximum 10 Points (1) This criterion will be addressed by the Agency, not the applicant. (2) Up to 10 points may be awarded by the Rural Development State Director to any application(s) that benefits their State regardless of whether the applicant is headquartered in their State. The total points awarded under this criterion, to all applications, will not exceed 10. (3) When an intermediary submits an application that will benefit a State that is not the same as the State in which the intermediary is headquartered, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to notify the State Director of the State which is receiving the benefit of their application. In such cases, State Directors awarding points to applications benefiting their state must notify the reviewing State in writing. (4) Assignment of any points under this criterion requires a written justification and must be tied to and awarded based on how closely the application aligns with the Rural Development State Office’s strategic goals. (e) Administrator Discretionary Points— Maximum 20 Points The Administrator may award up to 20 discretionary points for projects to address geographic distribution of funds, emergency conditions caused by economic problems, natural disasters and other initiatives identified by the Secretary. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 2. Review and Selection Process (a) Rating and ranking. Applications will be rated and ranked on a national basis by a review panel based on the ‘‘Evaluation Criteria’’ contained in this Notice. If there is a tied score after the applications have been rated and ranked, the tie will be resolved by reviewing the scores for ’’Building Capacity and Expertise’’ and the applicant with the highest score in that category will receive a higher ranking. If the scores for ‘‘Building Capacity and Expertise’’ are the same, the scores will be compared for the next criterion, in sequential order, until one highest score can be determined. (b) Initial screening. The Agency will screen each application to determine eligibility during the period immediately following the application deadline. Listed below are examples of reasons for rejection from previous funding rounds. The following reasons for rejection are not all inclusive; however, they represent the majority of the applications previously rejected. (1) Recipients were not located in eligible rural areas based on the definition in this Notice. (2) Applicants failed to provide evidence of recipient’s status, i.e., documentation supporting nonprofit evidence of organization. (3) Applicants failed to provide evidence of committed matching funds or matching funds were not committed for a period at least equal to the grant performance period. (4) Application did not follow the RCDI structure with an intermediary and recipients. (5) Recipients were not identified in the application. (6) Intermediary did not provide evidence it had been incorporated for at least 3 years as the applicant entity. (7) Applicants failed to address the ‘‘Evaluation Criteria.’’ (8) The purpose of the proposal did not qualify as an eligible RCDI purpose. (9) Inappropriate use of funds (e.g., construction or renovations). (10) The applicant proposed providing financial and technical assistance directly to individuals. (11) The application package was not received by closing date and time. F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notice Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the awarding official of the Agency shall make grants in ranked order to eligible applicants under the procedures set forth in this Notice. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Successful applicants will receive a selection letter by mail containing instructions on requirements necessary to proceed with execution and performance of the award. This letter is not an authorization to begin performance. In addition, selected applicants will be requested to verify that components of the application have not changed at the time of selection and on the award obligation date, if requested by the Agency. The award is not approved until all information has been verified, and the awarding official of the Agency has signed Form RD 1940–1, ‘‘Request for Obligation of Funds’’ and the grant agreement. Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification including appeal rights by mail. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Grantees will be required to do the following: (a) Execute a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant Agreement. (b) Execute Form RD 1940–1, ‘‘Request for Obligation of Funds.’’ (c) Use Form SF 270, ‘‘Request for Advance or Reimbursement,’’ to request reimbursements. Provide receipts for expenditures, timesheets and any other documentation to support the request for reimbursement. (d) Provide financial status and project performance reports on a quarterly basis starting with the first full quarter after the grant award. (e) Maintain a financial management system that is acceptable to the Agency. (f) Ensure that records are maintained to document all activities and expenditures utilizing RCDI grant funds and matching funds. Receipts for expenditures will be included in this documentation. (g) Provide annual audits or management reports on Form RD 442– 2, ‘‘Statement of Budget, Income and Equity,’’ and Form RD 442–3, ‘‘Balance Sheet,’’ depending on the amount of Federal funds expended and the outstanding balance. (h) Collect and maintain data provided by recipients on race, sex, and national origin and ensure recipients collect and maintain the same data on beneficiaries. Race and ethnicity data will be collected in accordance with OMB Federal Register notice, ‘‘Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity,’’ (62 FR 58782), October 30, 1997. Sex data will be collected in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices items should not be submitted with the application but should be available upon request by the Agency. (i) Provide a final project performance report. (j) Identify and report any association or relationship with Rural Development employees. (k) The intermediary and recipient must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Executive Order 12250, Age Act of 1975, Executive Order 13166 Limited English Proficiency, and 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E. (l) The grantee must comply with policies, guidance, and requirements as described in the following applicable Code of Federal Regulations, and any successor regulations: (i) 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements For Federal Awards). (ii) 2 CFR parts 417 and 180 (Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement)). (m) Form AD–3031, ‘‘Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,’’ Must be signed by corporate applicants who receive an award under this Notice. 3. Reporting After grant approval and through grant completion, you will be required to provide the following, as indicated in the Grant Agreement: (a) SF–425, ‘‘Federal Financial Report’’ and SF–PPR, ‘‘Performance Progress Report’’ will be required on a quarterly basis (due 30 working days after each calendar quarter). The Performance Progress Report shall include the elements described in the grant agreement. (b) Final financial and performance reports will be due 90 calendar days after the period of performance end date. (c) A summary at the end of the final report with elements as described in the grant agreement to assist in documenting the annual performance goals of the RCDI program for Congress. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact Contact the Rural Development office in the State where the applicant’s headquarters is located. A list of Rural Development State Offices contacts can be found via https://www.rd.usda.gov/ files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf. H. Other Information Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants, OMB No. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 1894–0010 (applies to nonprofit applicants only—submission is optional). No reimbursement will be made for any funds expended prior to execution of the RCDI Grant Agreement unless the intermediary is a non-profit or educational entity and has requested and received written Agency approval of the costs prior to the actual expenditure. This exception is applicable for up to 90 days prior to grant closing and only applies to grantees that have received written approval but have not executed the RCDI Grant Agreement. The Agency cannot retroactively approve reimbursement for expenditures prior to execution of the RCDI Grant Agreement. Program Definitions Agency—The Rural Housing Service (RHS) or its successor. Beneficiary—Entities or individuals that receive benefits from assistance provided by the recipient. Capacity—The ability of a recipient to implement housing, community facilities, or community and economic development projects. Conflict of interest—A situation in which a person or entity has competing personal, professional, or financial interests that make it difficult for the person or business to act impartially. Regarding use of both grant and matching funds, Federal procurement standards prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent conflict of interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their immediate family members having a financial or other interest in the outcome of the project; or that restrict open and free competition for unrestrained trade. Specifically, project funds may not be used for services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or apparent conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, owner(s) and their immediate family members. An example of conflict of interest occurs when the grantee’s employees, board of directors, or the immediate family of either, have the appearance of a professional or personal financial interest in the recipients receiving the benefits or services of the grant. Federally recognized tribes—Tribal entities recognized and eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, based on the most recent notice in the Federal Register published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribally Designated Housing Entities are eligible RCDI recipients. Financial assistance—Funds, not to exceed $10,000 per award, used by the PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24289 intermediary to purchase supplies and equipment to build the recipient’s capacity. Funds—The RCDI grant and matching money. Intermediary—A qualified private, nonprofit (including faith-based and community organizations and philanthropic organizations), or public (including tribal) organization that provides financial and technical assistance to multiple recipients. Low-income rural community—An authority, district, economic development authority, regional council, or unit of government representing an incorporated city, town, village, county, township, parish, or borough whose income is at or below 80 percent of either the state or national Median Household Income as measured by the 2010 Census. Matching funds—Cash or confirmed funding commitments. Matching funds must be at least equal to the grant amount and committed for a period of not less than the grant performance period. Recipient—The entity that receives the financial and technical assistance from the Intermediary. The recipient must be a nonprofit community-based housing and development organization, a low-income rural community or a federally recognized Tribe. Rural and rural area—Any area other than (i) a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; and (ii) the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such city or town. Technical assistance—Skilled help in improving the recipient’s abilities in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Non-Discrimination Statement In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 24290 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 101 / Friday, May 26, 2017 / Notices Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD– 3027, found online at http:// www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_ cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632–9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) By mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250–9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690–7442; or (3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov. Persons With Disabilities Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339 or (800) 845– 6136 (in Spanish). Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Appeal Process All adverse determinations regarding applicant eligibility and the awarding of points as part of the selection process are appealable pursuant to 7 CFR part 11. Instructions on the appeal process will be provided at the time an applicant is notified of the adverse decision. In the event the applicant is awarded a grant that is less than the amount requested, the applicant will be required to modify its application to conform to the reduced amount before execution of the grant agreement. The Agency reserves the right to reduce or withdraw the award if acceptable modifications are not submitted by the awardee within 15 working days from the date the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 May 25, 2017 Jkt 241001 request for modification is made. Any modifications must be within the scope of the original application. Dated: May 19, 2017. Richard A. Davis, Acting Administrator, Rural Housing Service. [FR Doc. 2017–10776 Filed 5–25–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XV–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 179323306–7306–01] RIN 0691–XC067 Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments; Survey: Expenditures Incurred by Recipients of Biomedical Research and Development Awards From the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on this survey of expenditures incurred by recipients of biomedical research and development awards from the NIH. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before July 25, 2017. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, or via email at PRAcomments@doc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer A. Bennett, Chief, Government Fixed Assets Branch, Government Division (BE–57), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 4600 Silver Hill Rd., Washington, DC 20233 via phone at (301) 278–9769, or via email at jennifer.bennett@bea.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Abstract The survey obtains the distribution of expenditures incurred by recipients of biomedical research awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in order to provide information on how the NIH award amounts are expended across several major categories. This information, along with wage and price data from other published sources, will PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 be used to generate the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI). The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) develops this index for NIH under a reimbursable contract. The BRDPI is an index of prices paid for the labor, supplies, equipment, and other inputs required to perform the biomedical research the NIH supports in its intramural laboratories and through its awards to extramural organizations. The BRDPI is a vital tool for planning the NIH research budget and analyzing future NIH programs. A survey of award recipients is currently the only means for updating the expenditure category weights that are used to prepare the BRDPI. II. Authority The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden pursuant to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on this survey of expenditures incurred by recipients of biomedical research and development awards from the NIH. This survey will be voluntary. The authority for NIH to collect information for the BRDPI is provided in 45 CFR, part 74, subpart C (PostAward Requirements), in which section 74.21 sets forth explicit standards for grantees in establishing and maintaining financial management systems and records, and section 74.53 provides for the retention of such records, as well as NIH access to such records. BEA will administer the survey and analyze the survey results on behalf of NIH, through an interagency agreement between the two agencies. The authority for the NIH to contract with the Department of Commerce (DOC) to make this collection is the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535 and 1536). The special studies authority, 15 U.S.C. 1525, permits DOC to provide, upon the request of any person, firm, or public or private organization special studies on matters within DOC’s authority, including preparing from its records special compilations, lists, bulletins, or reports, and furnishing transcripts or copies of its studies, compilations and other records. NIH’s support for this research is consistent with its duties and authority under 42 U.S.C. 282. The information provided by the respondents will be kept confidential and be used for exclusively statistical purposes. This pledge of confidentiality is made under the confidential information protection provisions of title V, subtitle A of Public Law 107– E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 101 (Friday, May 26, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24281-24290]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-10776]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Housing Service


Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Rural 
Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2017

AGENCY: Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within the USDA 
Rural Development (RD) mission area herein referred to as the Agency 
announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Community 
Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Applicants must provide matching 
funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants 
will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide 
financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their 
capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, 
community facilities, or community and economic development that will 
support the community.
    This Notice lists the information needed to submit an application 
for these funds. This Notice announces that the Rural Housing Service 
(Agency) is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2017 applications for the RCDI 
program. The Agency will publish the program funding level on the Rural 
Development Web site https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-community-development-initiative-grants. This Notice contains revised 
evaluation criteria that are streamlined, in order to enhance program 
efficiency and delivery.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of an application is 4 p.m. local time, 
July 25, 2017. The application date and time are firm. The Agency will 
not consider any application received after the deadline. Applicants 
intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time to permit 
delivery on or before the closing deadline date and time. Acceptance by 
the United States Postal Service or private mailer does not constitute 
delivery. Facsimile (FAX), electronic mail, and postage due 
applications will not be accepted.

ADDRESSES: Entities wishing to apply for assistance may download the 
application documents and requirements delineated in this Notice from 
the RCDI Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-community-development-initiative-grants.

[[Page 24282]]

    Application information for electronic submissions may be found at 
http://www.grants.gov.
    Applicants may also request paper application packages from the 
Rural Development office in their state. A list of Rural Development 
State offices contacts can be found via https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Rural Development office for the 
state in which the applicant is located. A list of Rural Development 
State Office contacts is provided at the following link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The paperwork burden has been cleared by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0575-0180.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service.
    Funding Opportunity Title: Rural Community Development Initiative.
    Announcement Type: Initial Announcement.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.446.
    Dates: The deadline for receipt of an application is 4 p.m. local 
time, July 25, 2017. The application date and time are firm. The Agency 
will not consider any application received after the deadline. 
Applicants intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time 
to permit delivery on or before the closing deadline date and time. 
Acceptance by the United States Postal Service or private mailer does 
not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX), electronic mail and postage 
due applications will not be accepted.

A. Program Description

    Congress first authorized the RCDI in 1999 (Pub. L. 106-78, which 
was amended most recently by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 
(Pub. L. 114-113) to develop the capacity and ability of private, 
nonprofit community-based housing and community development 
organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized 
Native American Tribes to undertake projects related to housing, 
community facilities, or community and economic development in rural 
areas. Strengthening the recipient's capacity in these areas will 
benefit the communities they serve. The RCDI structure requires the 
intermediary (grantee) to provide a program of financial and technical 
assistance to recipients. The recipients will, in turn, provide 
programs to their communities (beneficiaries).

B. Federal Award Information

    This Notice is being published prior to the Congressional enactment 
of a full-year appropriation for fiscal year 2017. The Agency will 
continue to process applications received under this announcement and 
should RCDI receive appropriated funds, these funds will be announced 
on the following Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-community-development-initiative-grants. Enactment of additional 
continuing resolutions or an appropriations act may affect the 
availability or level of funding for this program.
    Qualified private, nonprofit and public (including tribal) 
intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and 
technical assistance programs will be eligible to receive the grant 
funding.
    The intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an 
amount at least equal to the RCDI grant.
    A grant will be the type of assistance instrument awarded to 
successful applications.
    The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per intermediary is 
$50,000 and $250,000.
    Grant funds must be utilized within 3 years from date of the award.
    A grantee that has an outstanding RCDI grant over 3 years old, as 
of the application due date in this Notice, is not eligible to apply 
for this round of funding.
    The intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical 
assistance to one or more of the following: A private, nonprofit 
community-based housing and development organization, a low-income 
rural community or a federally recognized tribe.
    (a) Sections 743, 744, 745, and 746 of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113) apply. Any corporation (i) 
that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any 
Federal law within the past 24 months or (ii) that has any unpaid 
Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial 
and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and 
that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with 
the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not 
eligible for financial assistance provided with funds, unless a Federal 
agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and 
has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to 
protect the interests of the Government. In addition, none of the funds 
appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act may 
be available for a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with an 
entity that requires employees or contractors of such entity seeking to 
report fraud, waste, or abuse to sign internal confidentiality 
agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such 
employees or contractors from lawfully reporting such waste, fraud, or 
abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative 
of a Federal department or agency authorized to receive such 
information. Additionally, no funds appropriated in this or any other 
Act may be used to implement or enforce the agreements in Standard 
Forms 312 and 4414 of the Government or any other nondisclosure policy, 
form, or agreement if such policy, form, or agreement does not contain 
the following provisions: ``These provisions are consistent with and do 
not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee 
obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or 
Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) 
communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General 
of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a 
gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and 
specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other 
whistleblower protection.
    (b) A nondisclosure agreement may continue to be implemented and 
enforced notwithstanding subsection (a) if it complies with the 
requirements for such agreement that were in effect when the agreement 
was entered into.
    (c) No funds appropriated in this or any other Act may be used to 
implement or enforce any agreement entered into during fiscal year 2014 
which does not contain substantially similar language to that required 
in subsection (a).''

C. Eligibility Information

    Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements 
by the application deadline. Applications which fail to meet any of 
these requirements by the application deadline will be deemed 
ineligible and will not be evaluated further, and will not receive a 
Federal award.

1. Eligible Applicants

    (a) Qualified private, nonprofit, (including faith-based and 
community organizations and philanthropic foundations), in accordance 
with 7 CFR part 16, and public (including tribal)

[[Page 24283]]

intermediary organizations are eligible applicants. Definitions that 
describe eligible organizations and other key terms are listed below.
    (b) The recipient must be a nonprofit community-based housing and 
development organization, low-income rural community, or federally 
recognized tribe based on the RCDI definitions of these groups.
    (c) Private nonprofit, faith or community-based organizations must 
provide a certificate of incorporation and good standing from the 
Secretary of the State of incorporation, or other similar and valid 
documentation of current nonprofit status. For low-income rural 
community recipients, the Agency requires evidence that the entity is a 
public body and census data verifying that the median household income 
of the community where the office receiving the financial and technical 
assistance is located is at, or below, 80 percent of the State or 
national median household income, whichever is higher. For federally 
recognized tribes, the Agency needs the page listing their name from 
the current Federal Register list of tribal entities recognized and 
eligible for funding services (see the definition of federally 
recognized tribes in this Notice for details on this list).
    (d) Any corporation (1) that has been convicted of a felony 
criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or 
(2) that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, 
for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted 
or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant 
to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax 
liability; is not eligible for financial assistance provided with full-
year appropriated funds for Fiscal Year 2017, unless a Federal agency 
has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made 
a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect 
the interests of the Government.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    There is a matching requirement of at least equal to the amount of 
the grant. If this matching funds requirement is not met, the 
application will be deemed ineligible. See section D, Application and 
Submission Information, for required pre-award and post award matching 
funds documentation submission.
    The intermediary must provide matching funds at least equal to the 
amount of the grant. Verification of matching funds must be submitted 
with the application. Matching funds must be committed for a period 
equal to the grant performance period. The intermediary will be 
required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the 
RCDI grant. In-kind contributions such as salaries, donated time and 
effort, real and nonexpendable personal property and goods and services 
cannot be used as matching funds.
    Matching funds are cash or confirmed funding commitments and must 
be at least equal to the grant amount and committed for a period of not 
less than the grant performance period. These funds can only be used 
for eligible RCDI activities. Matching funds must be used to support 
the overall purpose of the RCDI program.
    In-kind contributions such as salaries, donated time and effort, 
real and nonexpendable personal property and goods and services cannot 
be used as matching funds.
    Grant funds and matching funds must be used in equal proportions. 
This does not mean funds have to be used equally by line item.
    The request for advance or reimbursement and supporting 
documentation must show that RCDI fund usage does not exceed the 
cumulative amount of matching funds used.
    Grant funds will be disbursed pursuant to relevant provisions of 2 
CFR parts 200 and 400. Verification of matching funds must be submitted 
with the application. See Section D, other program requirements, for 
matching funds documentation and pre-award requirements.
    The intermediary is responsible for demonstrating that matching 
funds are available, and committed for a period of not less than the 
grant performance period to the RCDI proposal. Matching funds may be 
provided by the intermediary or a third party. Other Federal funds may 
be used as matching funds if authorized by statute and the purpose of 
the funds is an eligible RCDI purpose.
    RCDI funds will be disbursed on an advance or reimbursement basis. 
Matching funds cannot be expended prior to execution of the RCDI Grant 
Agreement.

3. Other Program Requirements

    (a) The recipient and beneficiary, but not the intermediary, must 
be located in an eligible rural area. The physical location of the 
recipient's office that will be receiving the financial and technical 
assistance must be in an eligible rural area. If the recipient is a 
low-income community, the median household income of the area where the 
office is located must be at or below 80 percent of the State or 
national median household income, whichever is higher. The applicable 
Rural Development State Office can assist in determining the 
eligibility of an area.
    A listing of Rural Development State Office contacts can be found 
at the following link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf. A map showing eligible rural areas can be 
found at the following link: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?pageAction=RBSmenu&NavKey=property@13.
    (b) RCDI grantees that have an outstanding grant over 3 years old, 
as of the application due date in this Notice, will not be eligible to 
apply for this round of funding. Grant and matching funds must be 
utilized in a timely manner to ensure that the goals and objectives of 
the program are met.
    (c) Individuals cannot be recipients.
    (d) The intermediary must provide a program of financial and 
technical assistance to the recipient.
    (e) The intermediary organization must have been legally organized 
for a minimum of 3 years and have at least 3 years prior experience 
working with private nonprofit community-based housing and development 
organizations, low-income rural communities, or tribal organizations in 
the areas of housing, community facilities, or community and economic 
development.
    (f) Proposals must be structured to utilize the grant funds within 
3 years from the date of the award.
    (g) Each applicant, whether singularly or jointly, may only submit 
one application for RCDI funds under this Notice. This restriction does 
not preclude the applicant from providing matching funds for other 
applications.
    (h) Recipients can benefit from more than one RCDI application; 
however, after grant selections are made, the recipient can only 
benefit from multiple RCDI grants if the type of financial and 
technical assistance the recipient will receive is not duplicative. The 
services described in multiple RCDI grant applications must have 
separate and identifiable accounts for compliance purposes.
    (i) The intermediary and the recipient cannot be the same entity. 
The recipient can be a related entity to the intermediary, if it meets 
the definition of a recipient, provided the relationship does not 
create a Conflict of Interest that cannot be resolved to Rural 
Development's satisfaction.
    (j) If the recipient is a low-income rural community, identify the 
unit of

[[Page 24284]]

government to which the financial and technical assistance will be 
provided, e.g., town council or village board. The financial and 
technical assistance must be provided to the organized unit of 
government representing that community, not the community at large.

4. Eligible Grant Purposes

    Fund uses must be consistent with the RCDI purpose. A nonexclusive 
list of eligible grant uses includes the following:
    (a) Provide technical assistance to develop recipients' capacity 
and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community 
facilities, or community and economic development, e.g., the 
intermediary hires a staff person to provide technical assistance to 
the recipient or the recipient hires a staff person, under the 
supervision of the intermediary, to carry out the technical assistance 
provided by the intermediary.
    (b) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct community 
development programs, e.g., homeownership education or training for 
business entrepreneurs.
    (c) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct development 
initiatives, e.g., programs that support micro-enterprise and 
sustainable development.
    (d) Develop the capacity of recipients to increase their leveraging 
ability and access to alternative funding sources by providing training 
and staffing.
    (e) Develop the capacity of recipients to provide the technical 
assistance component for essential community facilities projects.
    (f) Assist recipients in completing pre-development requirements 
for housing, community facilities, or community and economic 
development projects by providing resources for professional services, 
e.g., architectural, engineering, or legal.
    (g) Improve recipient's organizational capacity by providing 
training and resource material on developing strategic plans, board 
operations, management, financial systems, and information technology.
    (h) Purchase of computers, software, and printers, limited to 
$10,000 per award, at the recipient level when directly related to the 
technical assistance program being undertaken by the intermediary.
    (i) Provide funds to recipients for training-related travel costs 
and training expenses related to RCDI.

5. Ineligible Fund Uses

    The following is a list of ineligible grant uses:
    (a) Pass-through grants, and any funds provided to the recipient in 
a lump sum that are not reimbursements.
    (b) Funding a revolving loan fund (RLF).
    (c) Construction (in any form).
    (d) Salaries for positions involved in construction, renovations, 
rehabilitation, and any oversight of these types of activities.
    (e) Intermediary preparation of strategic plans for recipients.
    (f) Funding prostitution, gambling, or any illegal activities.
    (g) Grants to individuals.
    (h) Funding a grant where there may be a conflict of interest, or 
an appearance of a conflict of interest, involving any action by the 
Agency.
    (i) Paying obligations incurred before the beginning date without 
prior Agency approval or after the ending date of the grant agreement.
    (j) Purchasing real estate.
    (k) Improvement or renovation of the grantee's or recipient's 
office space or for the repair or maintenance of privately owned 
vehicles.
    (l) Any purpose prohibited in 2 CFR part 200 or 400.
    (m) Using funds for recipient's general operating costs.
    (n) Using grant or matching funds for Individual Development 
Accounts.
    (o) Purchasing vehicles.

6. Program Examples and Restrictions

    The following are examples of eligible and ineligible purposes 
under the RCDI program. (These examples are illustrative and are not 
meant to limit the activities proposed in the application. Activities 
that meet the objectives of the RCDI program and meet the criteria 
outlined in this Notice will be considered eligible.)
    (a) The intermediary must work directly with the recipient, not the 
ultimate beneficiaries. As an example:
    The intermediary provides training to the recipient on how to 
conduct homeownership education classes. The recipient then provides 
ongoing homeownership education to the residents of the community--the 
ultimate beneficiaries. This ``train the trainer'' concept fully meets 
the intent of this initiative. The intermediary is providing technical 
assistance that will build the recipient's capacity by enabling them to 
conduct homeownership education classes for the public.
    This is an eligible purpose. However, if the intermediary directly 
provided homeownership education classes to individuals in the 
recipient's service area, this would not be an eligible purpose because 
the recipient would be bypassed.
    (b) If the intermediary is working with a low-income community as 
the recipient, the intermediary must provide the technical assistance 
to the entity that represents the low-income community and is 
identified in the application. Examples of entities representing a low-
income community are a village board or a town council.
    If the intermediary provides technical assistance to the Board of 
the low-income community on how to establish a cooperative, this would 
be an eligible purpose. However, if the intermediary works directly 
with individuals from the community to establish the cooperative, this 
is not an eligible purpose.
    The recipient's capacity is built by learning skills that will 
enable them to support sustainable economic development in their 
communities on an ongoing basis.
    (c) The intermediary may provide technical assistance to the 
recipient on how to create and operate a revolving loan fund. The 
intermediary may not monitor or operate the revolving loan fund. RCDI 
funds, including matching funds, cannot be used to fund revolving loan 
funds.
    (d) The intermediary may work with recipients in building their 
capacity to provide planning and leadership development training. The 
recipients of this training would be expected to assume leadership 
roles in the development and execution of regional strategic plans. The 
intermediary would work with multiple recipients in helping communities 
recognize their connections to the greater regional and national 
economies.
    (e) The intermediary could provide training and technical 
assistance to the recipients on developing emergency shelter and 
feeding, short-term housing, search and rescue, and environmental 
accident, prevention, and cleanup program plans. For longer term 
disaster and economic crisis responses, the intermediary could work 
with the recipients to develop job placement and training programs, and 
develop coordinated transit systems for displaced workers.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

    Entities wishing to apply for assistance may download the 
application documents and requirements delineated in this Notice from 
the RCDI Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/

[[Page 24285]]

rural-community-development-initiative-grants.
    Application information for electronic submissions may be found at 
http://www.grants.gov.
    Applicants may also request paper application packages from the 
Rural Development office in their state. A list of Rural Development 
State office contacts can be found via https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf. You may also obtain a copy by calling 
202-205-9685.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    If the applicant is ineligible or the application is incomplete, 
the Agency will inform the applicant in writing of the decision, 
reasons therefore, and its appeal rights and no further evaluation of 
the application will occur.
    A complete application for RCDI funds must include the following:
    (a) A summary page, double-spaced between items, listing the 
following: (This information should not be presented in narrative 
form.)
    (1) Applicant's name,
    (2) Applicant's address,
    (3) Applicant's telephone number,
    (4) Name of applicant's contact person, email address and telephone 
number,
    (5) Applicant's fax number,
    (6) County where applicant is located,
    (7) Congressional district number where applicant is located,
    (8) Amount of grant request, and
    (9) Number of recipients.
    (b) A detailed Table of Contents containing page numbers for each 
component of the application.
    (c) A project overview, no longer than one page, including the 
following items, which will also be addressed separately and in detail 
under ``Building Capacity and Expertise'' of the ``Evaluation 
Criteria.''
    (1) The type of technical assistance to be provided to the 
recipients and how it will be implemented.
    (2) How the capacity and ability of the recipients will be 
improved.
    (3) The overall goals to be accomplished.
    (4) The benchmarks to be used to measure the success of the 
program. Benchmarks should be specific and quantifiable.
    (d) Organizational documents, such as a certificate of 
incorporation and a current good standing certification from the 
Secretary of State where the applicant is incorporated and other 
similar and valid documentation of current non-profit status, from the 
intermediary that confirms it has been legally organized for a minimum 
of 3 years as the applicant entity.
    (e) Verification of source and amount of matching funds, e.g., a 
copy of a bank statement if matching funds are in cash or a copy of the 
confirmed funding commitment from the funding source.
    The verification must show that matching funds are available for 
the duration of the grant performance period. The verification of 
matching funds must be submitted with the application or the 
application will be considered incomplete.
    The applicant will be contacted by the Agency prior to grant award 
to verify that the matching funds provided with the application 
continue to be available. The applicant will have 15 days from the date 
contacted to submit verification that matching funds continue to be 
available.
    If the applicant is unable to provide the verification within that 
timeframe, the application will be considered ineligible. The applicant 
must maintain bank statements on file or other documentation for a 
period of at least 3 years after grant closing except that the records 
shall be retained beyond the 3-year period if audit findings have not 
been resolved.
    (f) The following information for each recipient:
    (1) Recipient's entity name,
    (2) Complete address (mailing and physical location, if different),
    (3) County where located,
    (4) Number of Congressional district where recipient is located,
    (5) Contact person's name, email address and telephone number and,
    (6) Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement.'' If the Form RD 400-4 is 
not submitted for the applicant and each recipient, the recipient will 
be considered ineligible. No information pertaining to that recipient 
will be included in the income or population scoring criteria and the 
requested funding may be adjusted due to the deletion of the recipient.
    (g) Submit evidence that each recipient entity is eligible. 
Documentation must be submitted to verify recipient eligibility. 
Acceptable documentation varies depending on the type of recipient:
    (1) Nonprofits--provide a current valid letter confirming non-
profit status from the Secretary of the State of incorporation, a 
current good standing certification from the Secretary of the State of 
incorporation, or other valid documentation of current nonprofit status 
of each recipient.
    A nonprofit recipient must provide evidence that it is a valid 
nonprofit when the intermediary applies for the RCDI grant. 
Organizations with pending requests for nonprofit designations are not 
eligible.
    (2) Low-income rural community--provide evidence the entity is a 
public body (copy of Charter, relevant Acts of Assembly, relevant court 
orders (if created judicially) or other valid documentation), a copy of 
the 2010 census data to verify the population, and 2010 American 
Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates (2006-2010 data set) data as 
evidence that the median household income is at, or below, 80 percent 
of either the State or national median household income. We will only 
accept data and printouts from http://www.census.gov.
    (3) Federally recognized tribes--provide the page listing their 
name from the Federal Register list of tribal entities published most 
recently by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The 2016 list is available at 
81 FR 19 5019-5025 and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-29/pdf/2016-01769.pdf.
    (h) Each of the ``Evaluation Criteria'' must be addressed 
specifically and individually by category. Present these criteria in 
narrative form. Narrative (not including attachments) must be limited 
to five pages per criterion. The ``Population and Income'' criteria for 
recipient locations can be provided in the form of a list; however, the 
source of the data must be included on the page(s).
    (i) A timeline identifying specific activities and proposed dates 
for completion.
    (j) A detailed project budget that includes the RCDI grant amount 
and matching funds. This should be a line-item budget, by category. 
Categories such as salaries, administrative, other, and indirect costs 
that pertain to the proposed project must be clearly defined. 
Supporting documentation listing the components of these categories 
must be included. The budget should be dated: Year 1, year 2, and year 
3, as applicable.
    (k) The indirect cost category in the project budget should be used 
only when a grant applicant has a federally negotiated indirect cost 
rate. A copy of the current rate agreement must be provided with the 
application. Non-federal entities that have never received a negotiated 
indirect cost rate, except for those non-Federal entities described in 
Appendix VII to Part 200-States and Local Government and Indian Tribe 
Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph (d)(1)(B), may use the de minimis 
rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC).
    (l) Form SF-424, ``Application for Federal Assistance.''

[[Page 24286]]

    (Do not complete Form SF-424A, ``Budget Information.'' A separate 
line-item budget should be presented as described in Letter (j) of this 
section.)
    (m) Form SF-424B, ``Assurances--Non-Construction Programs.''
    (n) Form AD-1047, ``Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, 
and Other Responsibility Matters--Primary Covered Transactions.''
    (o) Form AD-1048, ``Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, 
Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion--Lower Tier Covered 
Transactions.''
    (p) Form AD-1049, ``Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace 
Requirements.''
    (q) Certification of Non-Lobbying Activities.
    (r) Standard Form LLL, ``Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' if 
applicable.
    (s) Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement,'' for the applicant and 
each recipient.
    (t) Identify and report any association or relationship with Rural 
Development employees. (A statement acknowledging whether or not a 
relationship exists is required.)
    (u) Form AD-3030, ``Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and 
Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,'' if you are a 
corporation. A corporation is any entity that has filed articles of 
incorporation in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the 
Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic 
of the Marshall Islands, or the various territories of the United 
States including American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana 
Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporations include 
both for profit and non-profit entities.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System 
for Awards Management (SAM)

    Grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the System for Award 
Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application pursuant to 2 CFR 
25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration 
in SAM at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an 
application or plan under consideration by the Agency. Similarly, all 
recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report 
information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation in 
accordance to 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not 
have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the 
necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting 
requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 
170.200(b).
    An applicant, unless excepted under 2 CFR 25.110(b), (c), or (d), 
is required to:
    (a) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application;
    (b) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and
    (c) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current 
information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or 
an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding 
agency.
    The Federal awarding agency may not make a federal award to an 
applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and 
SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the 
requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a 
Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the 
applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that 
determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another 
applicant.
    As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all grant 
applications must provide a DUNS number when applying for Federal 
grants, on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS 
number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number at 1-866-
705-5711 or via Internet at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Additional 
information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the 
Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may 
register for SAM at https://www.sam.gov or by calling 1-866-606-8220.
    The applicant must provide documentation that they are registered 
in SAM and their DUNS number. If the applicant does not provide 
documentation that they are registered in SAM and their DUNS number, 
the application will not be considered for funding. The required forms 
and certifications can be downloaded from the RCDI Web site at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-community-development-initiative-grants.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    The deadline for receipt of an application is 4 p.m. local time, 
July 25, 2017. The application date and time are firm. The Agency will 
not consider any application received after the deadline. You may 
submit your application in paper form or electronically through 
Grants.gov. Applicants intending to mail applications must provide 
sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the closing deadline 
date and time. Acceptance by the United States Postal Service or 
private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX), 
electronic mail and postage due applications will not be accepted.
    To submit a paper application, the original application package 
must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office where the 
applicant's headquarters is located.
    A listing of Rural Development State Offices contacts can be found 
via https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf.
    Applications will not be accepted via FAX or electronic mail.
    Applicants may file an electronic application at http://www.grants.gov. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required 
passwords, credentialing, and software. Follow the instructions at 
Grants.gov for registering and submitting an electronic application. If 
a system problem or technical difficulty occurs with an electronic 
application, please use the customer support resources available at the 
Grants.gov Web site.
    Technical difficulties submitting an application through Grants.gov 
will not be a reason to extend the application deadline. If an 
application is unable to be submitted through Grants.gov, a paper 
application must be received in the appropriate Rural Development State 
Office by the deadline noted previously.
    First time Grants.gov users should carefully read and follow the 
registration steps listed on the Web site. These steps need to be 
initiated early in the application process to avoid delays in 
submitting your application online.
    In order to register with System for Award Management (SAM), your 
organization will need a DUNS number. Be sure to complete the Marketing 
Partner ID (MPID) and Electronic Business Primary Point of Contact 
fields during the SAM registration process.
    These are mandatory fields that are required when submitting grant 
applications through Grants.gov. Additional application instructions 
for submitting an electronic application can be found by selecting this 
funding opportunity on Grants.gov.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Meeting expenses. In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 1345, ``Expenses of 
Meetings,'' appropriations may not be used for travel, transportation, 
and subsistence expenses for a meeting. RCDI grant funds cannot be used 
for these meeting-

[[Page 24287]]

related expenses. Matching funds may, however, be used to pay for these 
expenses.
    RCDI funds may be used to pay for a speaker as part of a program, 
equipment to facilitate the program, and the actual room that will 
house the meeting.
    RCDI funds cannot be used for meetings; they can, however, be used 
for travel, transportation, or subsistence expenses for program-related 
training and technical assistance purposes. Any training not delineated 
in the application must be approved by the Agency to verify compliance 
with 31 U.S.C. 1345. Travel and per diem expenses (including meals and 
incidental expenses) will be allowed in accordance with 2 CFR parts 200 
and 400.

E. Application Review Information

1. Evaluation Criteria

    Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria and 
weights:
(a) Building Capacity and Expertise--Maximum 40 Points
    The applicant must demonstrate how they will improve the 
recipients' capacity, through a program of financial and technical 
assistance, as it relates to the RCDI purposes.
    Capacity-building financial and technical assistance should provide 
new functions to the recipients or expand existing functions that will 
enable the recipients to undertake projects in the areas of housing, 
community facilities, or community and economic development that will 
benefit the community. Capacity-building financial and technical 
assistance may include, but is not limited to: Training to conduct 
community development programs, e.g., homeownership education, or the 
establishment of minority business entrepreneurs, cooperatives, or 
micro-enterprises; organizational development, e.g., assistance to 
develop or improve board operations, management, and financial systems; 
instruction on how to develop and implement a strategic plan; 
instruction on how to access alternative funding sources to increase 
leveraging opportunities; staffing, e.g., hiring a person at 
intermediary or recipient level to provide technical assistance to 
recipients.
    The program of financial and technical assistance that is to be 
provided, its delivery, and the measurability of the program's 
effectiveness will determine the merit of the application.
    All applications will be competitively ranked with the applications 
providing the most improvement in capacity development and measurable 
activities being ranked the highest.
    The narrative response must contain the following items. This list 
also contains the points for each item.
    (1) Describe the nature of financial and technical assistance to be 
provided to the recipients and the activities that will be conducted to 
deliver the technical assistance; (10 Points)
    (2) Explain how financial and technical assistance will develop or 
increase the recipient's capacity. Indicate whether a new function is 
being developed or if existing functions are being expanded or 
performed more effectively; (7 Points)
    (3) Identify which RCDI purpose areas will be addressed with this 
assistance: housing, community facilities, or community and economic 
development; (3 Points)
    (4) Describe how the results of the technical assistance will be 
measured. What benchmarks will be used to measure effectiveness? 
Benchmarks should be specific and quantifiable; (5 Points)
    (5) Demonstrate that it has conducted programs of financial and 
technical assistance and achieved measurable results in the areas of 
housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in 
rural areas. (10 Points)
    (6) Provide in a chart or excel spreadsheet, the organization name, 
point of contact, address, phone number, email address, and the type 
and amount of the financial and technical assistance the applicant 
organization has provided to the following for the last 3 years: (5 
Points)
    (i) Nonprofit organizations in rural areas.
    (ii) Low-income communities in rural areas (also include the type 
of entity, e.g., city government, town council, or village board).
    (iii) Federally recognized tribes or any other culturally diverse 
organizations.
(b) Soundness of Approach--Maximum 15 Points
    The applicant can receive up to 15 points for soundness of 
approach. The overall proposal will be considered under this criterion.
    Applicants must list the page numbers in the application that 
address these factors.
    The maximum 15 points for this criterion will be based on the 
following:
    (1) The proposal fits the objectives for which applications were 
invited, is clearly stated, and the applicant has defined how this 
proposal will be implemented. (7 Points)
    (2) The ability to provide the proposed financial and technical 
assistance based on prior accomplishments. (6 Points)
    (3) Cost effectiveness will be evaluated based on the budget in the 
application. The proposed grant amount and matching funds should be 
utilized to maximize capacity building at the recipient level. (2 
Points)
(c) Population and Income--Maximum 15 Points
    Population is based on the average population from the 2010 census 
data for the communities in which the recipients are located. The 
physical address, not mailing address, for each recipient must be used 
for this criterion. Community is defined for scoring purposes as a 
city, town, village, county, parish, borough, or census-designated 
place where the recipient's office is physically located.
    The applicant must submit the census data from the following Web 
site in the form of a printout of the applicable ``Fact Sheet'' to 
verify the population figures used for each recipient. The data can be 
accessed on the Internet at http://www.census.gov; click on ``American 
FactFinder,'' fill in field and click ``Go''; the name and population 
data for each recipient location must be listed in this section.
    The average population of the recipient locations will be used and 
will be scored as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Scoring
                       Population                            (points)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
10,000 or less..........................................               5
10,001 to 20,000........................................               4
20,001 to 30,000........................................               3
30,001 to 40,000........................................               2
40,001 to 50,000........................................               1
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The average of the median household income for the communities 
where the recipients are physically located will determine the points 
awarded. The physical address, not mailing address, for each recipient 
must be used for this criterion. Applicants may compare the average 
recipient median household income to the State median household income 
or the national median household income, whichever yields the most 
points. The national median household income to be used is $51,914.
    The applicant must submit the income data in the form of a printout 
of the applicable information from the following Web site to verify the 
income for each recipient. The data being used is from the 2010 
American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates (2006-2010 data set). 
The data can be accessed on the Internet at http://

[[Page 24288]]

www.census.gov; click on ``American FactFinder,'' (under ``Find Data'' 
at bottom of page), ``Advanced Search,''(click on ``Show Me All'' tab), 
``Topics,'' ``Dataset,'' locate 2010 ACS 5 year estimates, close table, 
check the ``Median Income'' table (S1903 on page 2), fill in the 
``state, county or place'' field (at top of page), select ``Go'' and 
click ``View''; the name and income data for each recipient location 
must be listed in this section (use the Household and Median Income 
column). Points will be awarded as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Scoring
            Average recipient median  income                 (points)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Less than or equal to 70 percent of state or national                 10
 median household income................................
Greater than 70, but less than or equal to 80 percent of               5
 state or national median household income..............
In excess of 80 percent of state or national median                    0
 household Income.......................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(d) State Director's Points Based on Project Merit--Maximum 10 Points
    (1) This criterion will be addressed by the Agency, not the 
applicant.
    (2) Up to 10 points may be awarded by the Rural Development State 
Director to any application(s) that benefits their State regardless of 
whether the applicant is headquartered in their State. The total points 
awarded under this criterion, to all applications, will not exceed 10.
    (3) When an intermediary submits an application that will benefit a 
State that is not the same as the State in which the intermediary is 
headquartered, it is the intermediary's responsibility to notify the 
State Director of the State which is receiving the benefit of their 
application. In such cases, State Directors awarding points to 
applications benefiting their state must notify the reviewing State in 
writing.
    (4) Assignment of any points under this criterion requires a 
written justification and must be tied to and awarded based on how 
closely the application aligns with the Rural Development State 
Office's strategic goals.
(e) Administrator Discretionary Points--Maximum 20 Points
    The Administrator may award up to 20 discretionary points for 
projects to address geographic distribution of funds, emergency 
conditions caused by economic problems, natural disasters and other 
initiatives identified by the Secretary.

2. Review and Selection Process

    (a) Rating and ranking.
    Applications will be rated and ranked on a national basis by a 
review panel based on the ``Evaluation Criteria'' contained in this 
Notice.
    If there is a tied score after the applications have been rated and 
ranked, the tie will be resolved by reviewing the scores for ''Building 
Capacity and Expertise'' and the applicant with the highest score in 
that category will receive a higher ranking. If the scores for 
``Building Capacity and Expertise'' are the same, the scores will be 
compared for the next criterion, in sequential order, until one highest 
score can be determined.
    (b) Initial screening.
    The Agency will screen each application to determine eligibility 
during the period immediately following the application deadline. 
Listed below are examples of reasons for rejection from previous 
funding rounds. The following reasons for rejection are not all 
inclusive; however, they represent the majority of the applications 
previously rejected.
    (1) Recipients were not located in eligible rural areas based on 
the definition in this Notice.
    (2) Applicants failed to provide evidence of recipient's status, 
i.e., documentation supporting nonprofit evidence of organization.
    (3) Applicants failed to provide evidence of committed matching 
funds or matching funds were not committed for a period at least equal 
to the grant performance period.
    (4) Application did not follow the RCDI structure with an 
intermediary and recipients.
    (5) Recipients were not identified in the application.
    (6) Intermediary did not provide evidence it had been incorporated 
for at least 3 years as the applicant entity.
    (7) Applicants failed to address the ``Evaluation Criteria.''
    (8) The purpose of the proposal did not qualify as an eligible RCDI 
purpose.
    (9) Inappropriate use of funds (e.g., construction or renovations).
    (10) The applicant proposed providing financial and technical 
assistance directly to individuals.
    (11) The application package was not received by closing date and 
time.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notice

    Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the awarding 
official of the Agency shall make grants in ranked order to eligible 
applicants under the procedures set forth in this Notice.
    Successful applicants will receive a selection letter by mail 
containing instructions on requirements necessary to proceed with 
execution and performance of the award.
    This letter is not an authorization to begin performance. In 
addition, selected applicants will be requested to verify that 
components of the application have not changed at the time of selection 
and on the award obligation date, if requested by the Agency.
    The award is not approved until all information has been verified, 
and the awarding official of the Agency has signed Form RD 1940-1, 
``Request for Obligation of Funds'' and the grant agreement.
    Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification including appeal 
rights by mail.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Grantees will be required to do the following:
    (a) Execute a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant 
Agreement.
    (b) Execute Form RD 1940-1, ``Request for Obligation of Funds.''
    (c) Use Form SF 270, ``Request for Advance or Reimbursement,'' to 
request reimbursements. Provide receipts for expenditures, timesheets 
and any other documentation to support the request for reimbursement.
    (d) Provide financial status and project performance reports on a 
quarterly basis starting with the first full quarter after the grant 
award.
    (e) Maintain a financial management system that is acceptable to 
the Agency.
    (f) Ensure that records are maintained to document all activities 
and expenditures utilizing RCDI grant funds and matching funds. 
Receipts for expenditures will be included in this documentation.
    (g) Provide annual audits or management reports on Form RD 442-2, 
``Statement of Budget, Income and Equity,'' and Form RD 442-3, 
``Balance Sheet,'' depending on the amount of Federal funds expended 
and the outstanding balance.
    (h) Collect and maintain data provided by recipients on race, sex, 
and national origin and ensure recipients collect and maintain the same 
data on beneficiaries. Race and ethnicity data will be collected in 
accordance with OMB Federal Register notice, ``Revisions to the 
Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and 
Ethnicity,'' (62 FR 58782), October 30, 1997. Sex data will be 
collected in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 
1972. These

[[Page 24289]]

items should not be submitted with the application but should be 
available upon request by the Agency.
    (i) Provide a final project performance report.
    (j) Identify and report any association or relationship with Rural 
Development employees.
    (k) The intermediary and recipient must comply with Title VI of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Executive Order 12250, 
Age Act of 1975, Executive Order 13166 Limited English Proficiency, and 
7 CFR part 1901, subpart E.
    (l) The grantee must comply with policies, guidance, and 
requirements as described in the following applicable Code of Federal 
Regulations, and any successor regulations:
    (i) 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, 
Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements For Federal Awards).
    (ii) 2 CFR parts 417 and 180 (Government-wide Debarment and 
Suspension (Nonprocurement)).
    (m) Form AD-3031, ``Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax 
Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,'' Must be signed by 
corporate applicants who receive an award under this Notice.

3. Reporting

    After grant approval and through grant completion, you will be 
required to provide the following, as indicated in the Grant Agreement:
    (a) SF-425, ``Federal Financial Report'' and SF-PPR, ``Performance 
Progress Report'' will be required on a quarterly basis (due 30 working 
days after each calendar quarter). The Performance Progress Report 
shall include the elements described in the grant agreement.
    (b) Final financial and performance reports will be due 90 calendar 
days after the period of performance end date.
    (c) A summary at the end of the final report with elements as 
described in the grant agreement to assist in documenting the annual 
performance goals of the RCDI program for Congress.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact

    Contact the Rural Development office in the State where the 
applicant's headquarters is located. A list of Rural Development State 
Offices contacts can be found via https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CF_State_Office_Contacts.pdf.

H. Other Information

    Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants, OMB No. 1894-
0010 (applies to nonprofit applicants only--submission is optional).
    No reimbursement will be made for any funds expended prior to 
execution of the RCDI Grant Agreement unless the intermediary is a non-
profit or educational entity and has requested and received written 
Agency approval of the costs prior to the actual expenditure.
    This exception is applicable for up to 90 days prior to grant 
closing and only applies to grantees that have received written 
approval but have not executed the RCDI Grant Agreement.
    The Agency cannot retroactively approve reimbursement for 
expenditures prior to execution of the RCDI Grant Agreement.

Program Definitions

    Agency--The Rural Housing Service (RHS) or its successor.
    Beneficiary--Entities or individuals that receive benefits from 
assistance provided by the recipient.
    Capacity--The ability of a recipient to implement housing, 
community facilities, or community and economic development projects.
    Conflict of interest--A situation in which a person or entity has 
competing personal, professional, or financial interests that make it 
difficult for the person or business to act impartially. Regarding use 
of both grant and matching funds, Federal procurement standards 
prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent conflict of 
interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their immediate 
family members having a financial or other interest in the outcome of 
the project; or that restrict open and free competition for 
unrestrained trade. Specifically, project funds may not be used for 
services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a 
real or apparent conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, 
owner(s) and their immediate family members. An example of conflict of 
interest occurs when the grantee's employees, board of directors, or 
the immediate family of either, have the appearance of a professional 
or personal financial interest in the recipients receiving the benefits 
or services of the grant.
    Federally recognized tribes--Tribal entities recognized and 
eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
based on the most recent notice in the Federal Register published by 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribally Designated Housing Entities are 
eligible RCDI recipients.
    Financial assistance--Funds, not to exceed $10,000 per award, used 
by the intermediary to purchase supplies and equipment to build the 
recipient's capacity.
    Funds--The RCDI grant and matching money.
    Intermediary--A qualified private, nonprofit (including faith-based 
and community organizations and philanthropic organizations), or public 
(including tribal) organization that provides financial and technical 
assistance to multiple recipients.
    Low-income rural community--An authority, district, economic 
development authority, regional council, or unit of government 
representing an incorporated city, town, village, county, township, 
parish, or borough whose income is at or below 80 percent of either the 
state or national Median Household Income as measured by the 2010 
Census.
    Matching funds--Cash or confirmed funding commitments. Matching 
funds must be at least equal to the grant amount and committed for a 
period of not less than the grant performance period.
    Recipient--The entity that receives the financial and technical 
assistance from the Intermediary. The recipient must be a nonprofit 
community-based housing and development organization, a low-income 
rural community or a federally recognized Tribe.
    Rural and rural area--Any area other than (i) a city or town that 
has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; and (ii) the 
urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such city or town.
    Technical assistance--Skilled help in improving the recipient's 
abilities in the areas of housing, community facilities, or community 
and economic development.

Non-Discrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its 
Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or 
administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on 
race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including 
gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital 
status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance 
program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil 
rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA 
(not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing 
deadlines vary by program or incident.

[[Page 24290]]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of 
communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible 
Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or 
contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 
Additionally, program information may be made available in languages 
other than English.
    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA 
Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or 
write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the 
information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint 
form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA 
by:
    (1) By mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the 
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-9410;
    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
    (3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

Persons With Disabilities

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech 
disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint 
please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 
or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).
    Persons with disabilities who wish to file a program complaint, 
please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or 
by email.
    If you require alternative means of communication for program 
information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please 
contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Appeal Process

    All adverse determinations regarding applicant eligibility and the 
awarding of points as part of the selection process are appealable 
pursuant to 7 CFR part 11. Instructions on the appeal process will be 
provided at the time an applicant is notified of the adverse decision.
    In the event the applicant is awarded a grant that is less than the 
amount requested, the applicant will be required to modify its 
application to conform to the reduced amount before execution of the 
grant agreement. The Agency reserves the right to reduce or withdraw 
the award if acceptable modifications are not submitted by the awardee 
within 15 working days from the date the request for modification is 
made. Any modifications must be within the scope of the original 
application.

    Dated: May 19, 2017.
Richard A. Davis,
Acting Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-10776 Filed 5-25-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P