Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs and Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc., 40614-40617 [2017-18040]

Download as PDF 40614 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 164 / Friday, August 25, 2017 / Notices SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION The number assigned to this disaster for physical damage is 152576 and for economic injury is 152580.. [Disaster Declaration #15257 and #15258; WEST VIRGINIA Disaster Number WV– 00047] Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of West Virginia [FR Doc. 2017–18036 Filed 8–24–17; 8:45 am] This is a Notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of West Virginia (FEMA–4331– DR), dated 08/18/2017. Incident: Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides. Incident Period: 07/28/2017 through 07/29/2017. DATES: Issued on August 18, 2017. Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 10/17/2017. Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 05/18/2018. ADDRESSES: Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205–6734. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that as a result of the President’s major disaster declaration on 08/18/2017, Private Non-Profit organizations that provide essential services of a governmental nature may file disaster loan applications at the address listed above or other locally announced locations. The following areas have been determined to be adversely affected by the disaster: Primary Counties: Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Wetzel The Interest Rates are: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Aug 24, 2017 (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) James E. Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance. U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: For Physical Damage: Non-Profit Organizations with Credit Available Elsewhere ... Non-Profit Organizations without Credit Available Elsewhere ..................................... For Economic Injury: Non-Profit Organizations without Credit Available Elsewhere ..................................... Percent BILLING CODE 8025–01–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 10089] Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs and Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. Department of State. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of State (the Department) is the lead Federal agency for implementation of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), and the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA). Among other things, the IAA and UAA give the Secretary of State responsibility, by entering into agreements with one or more qualified entities and designating such entities as accrediting entities, for the accreditation of agencies and approval of persons to provide adoption services in intercountry adoptions. This notice is to inform the public that on July 28, 2017, the Department entered into an agreement with Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. (IAAME), designating IAAME as an accrediting entity (AE) for five years. The text of the Memorandum of Agreement is included in its entirety at the end of this Notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kjersti Olson, 202–485–6229. Hearing or speech-impaired persons may use the Percent Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) by contacting the Federal Information Relay Service at 1–800– 2.500 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department, pursuant to section 202(a) 2.500 of the IAA, must enter into an agreement with at least one qualified entity and designate it as an accrediting 2.500 entity. Accrediting entities may be (1) Jkt 241001 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 nonprofit private entities with expertise in developing and administering standards for entities providing child welfare services; or (2) state adoption licensing bodies that have expertise in developing and administering standards for entities providing child welfare services and that accredit only agencies located in that state. Both nonprofit accrediting entities and state accrediting entities must meet any other criteria that the Department may by regulation establish. IAAME is a nonprofit private entity with expertise in developing and administering standards for entities providing child welfare services. The final rule on accreditation of agencies and approval of persons (22 CFR part 96) was published in the Federal Register (71 FR 8064–8066, February 15, 2006) and became effective on March 17, 2006. The final rule establishes the regulatory framework for the accreditation and approval function and provides the standards that the designated accrediting entities will follow in accrediting or approving adoption service providers. Under the UAA, adoption service providers working with prospective adoptive parents in non-Convention adoption cases need to comply with the same accreditation requirement and standards that apply in Convention adoption cases. Theodore ‘‘Ted’’ R. Coley, Director, Office of Children’s Issues, Overseas Citizen Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs. MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS AND INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION ACCREDITATION AND MAINTENANCE ENTITY, INC. Parties & Purpose of the Agreement The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs (Department), and Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. (IAAME), with its principal office located at 5950 NW 1st Place, Suite A Gainesville, FL 32607, hereinafter the ‘‘Parties,’’ are entering into this agreement for the purpose of designating IAAME as an accrediting entity under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), Public Law 106–279, and 22 CFR part 96. Authorities The Department enters into this agreement pursuant to Sections 202 and 204 of the IAA, 22 CFR part 96, and Delegation of Authority 261. IAAME has full authority to enter into this MOA pursuant to a resolution passed by the Board of Directors of Partnership for E:\FR\FM\25AUN1.SGM 25AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 164 / Friday, August 25, 2017 / Notices Strong Families, Inc. dated June 26, 2017, which resolution authorizes the creation of IAAME and Stephen Pennypacker as its President & CEO to execute this agreement on behalf of IAAME. Definitions For purposes of this memorandum of agreement, terms used here that are defined in 22 CFR 96.2 shall have the same meaning as they have in 22 CFR 96.2. The Parties AGREE AS FOLLOWS: Article 1 Designation of the Accrediting Entity The Department hereby designates IAAME as an accrediting entity and thereby authorizes it to accredit agencies and approve persons to provide adoption services in intercountry adoption cases, in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in 22 CFR part 96, and to perform all of the accrediting entity functions set forth in 22 CFR 96.7(a). Article 2 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Responsibilities of the Accrediting Entity 1) IAAME agrees to perform all accrediting entity functions set forth in 22 CFR 96.7(a) and to perform its functions in accordance with the Convention, the IAA, the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), Public Law 112–276, Part 96 of 22 CFR, and any other applicable regulations, and as additionally specified in this agreement. In performing these functions, IAAME will operate under policy direction from the Department regarding U.S. obligations under the Convention and regarding the functions and responsibilities of an accrediting entity under the IAA, UAA, and any other applicable regulations. 2) IAAME will take appropriate staffing, funding, and other measures to allow it to carry out all of its functions and fulfill all of its responsibilities, and will use the adoptions tracking system and the Complaint Registry (ATS/CR) as directed by the Department, including by updating required data fields in a timely fashion. 3) In carrying out its accrediting entity functions IAAME will: a) make decisions on accreditation and approval in accordance with the procedures set forth in 22 CFR part 96 and using only the standards in subpart F of 22 CFR part 96 and the substantial compliance weighting system approved VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Aug 24, 2017 Jkt 241001 by the Department pursuant to para.5, Article 3 below; b) charge applicants for accreditation or approval only fees approved by the Department pursuant to para. 4, Article 3 below; c) review complaints, including complaints regarding conduct alleged to have occurred overseas, in accordance with subpart J of 22 CFR part 96 and the additional procedures approved by the Department pursuant to paragraphs 3 c) and 3 d) in Article 3, below. IAAME will exercise its discretion in determining which methods are most appropriate to review complaints regarding conduct alleged to have occurred overseas. This may, when appropriate, include a referral to the Department and/or other appropriate law enforcement authorities for potential investigation of complaints relating to possible civil or criminal violation of IAA section 404 or other possible criminal activity; d) take adverse actions against accredited agencies and approved persons in accordance with subpart K of 22 CFR part 96, and cooperate with the Department in any case in which the Department considers exercising its adverse action authorities because the accrediting entity has failed or refused after consultation with the Department to take what the Department considers to be appropriate enforcement action; e) assume full responsibility for defending adverse actions in court proceedings, if challenged by the adoption service provider or the adoption service provider’s board or officers; f) refer an adoption service provider to the Department for debarment if, but only if, it concludes after review that the adoption service provider’s conduct meets the standards for action by the Secretary set out in 22 CFR 96.85; g) promptly report any change in the accreditation or approval status of an adoption service provider to the relevant state licensing authority; h) maintain and use only the required procedures approved by the Department and those procedures presented to the Department pursuant to Article 3 of this agreement whenever they apply; i) consult with the Department, when needed, to solicit greater clarity regarding the meaning of relevant laws and regulations. Article 3 Training, Procedures, and Fees 1) Accreditation Materials and Training: In coordination with the Department and any other designated accrediting entities, IAAME will: PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40615 a) maintain forms, training materials, and evaluation practices; b) assist in conducting or participate in any joint training sessions; c) develop and maintain resources to assist applicants for accreditation and approval in achieving substantial compliance with the applicable standards. 2) Internal Review Procedure: IAAME will maintain procedures that have been approved by the Department and use these procedures to determine whether to terminate adverse actions against an accredited agency or approved person on the grounds that the deficiencies necessitating the adverse action have been corrected. 3) Other Procedures: IAAME will maintain procedures approved by the Department and update these, subject to the Department’s approval, as needed: a) to evaluate whether a candidate for accreditation meets the applicable eligibility requirements set forth in 22 CFR part 96; b) to carry out its monitoring duties; c) to review complaints or information referred to it through the Complaint Registry or from the Department directly; d) to review complaints that it receives about its own actions as an accrediting entity for adoption service providers; e) to make the public disclosures required by 22 CFR 96.91; and f) to ensure the reasonableness of charges for the travel and maintenance of its site evaluators, such as for travel, meals, and accommodations, which charges shall be in addition to the fees charged under 22 CFR 96.8. 4) Fee Schedule: a) IAAME will maintain a fee schedule for accreditation and approval services that meets the requirements of 22 CFR 96, and update these, subject to approval by the Department. Fees will be set based on the principle of recovering no more than the full cost, as defined in OMB Circular A–25 paragraph 6(d)(1), of accreditation and approval services. IAAME will maintain a fee schedule developed using this methodology together with comprehensive documentation, and will provide justification of the proposed fees to the Department for the Department’s approval. b) The approved fee schedule can be amended with the approval of the Department. 5) Substantial Compliance Weighting Systems: a) IAAME will maintain and update a substantial compliance weighting system as described in 22 CFR 96 and as approved by the Department. E:\FR\FM\25AUN1.SGM 25AUN1 40616 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 164 / Friday, August 25, 2017 / Notices b) In maintaining the systems described in paragraph (a) of this section, IAAME will coordinate with any other accrediting entities, and consult with the Department to ensure consistency between the systems used by accrediting entities. These systems can be amended with the approval of the Department. Article 4 Data Collection, Reporting and Records 1) Adoptions Tracking System/ Complaint Registry (ATS/CR): a) IAAME will maintain and fund a computer and internet connection for use with the ATS/CR that meets system requirements set by the Department; b) The Department will provide software or access tokens needed by individuals for secure access to the ATS/CR and facilitate any necessary training for use of the ATS/CR. 2) Annual Report: IAAME will report on dates agreed upon by the Parties, in a mutually agreed upon format, the information required in 22 CFR 96.93 as provided in that section through ATS/ CR. 3) Additional Reporting: IAAME will provide any additional status reports or data as required by the Department, and in a mutually agreed upon format. 4) Accrediting Entity Records: IAAME will retain all records related to its accreditation functions and responsibilities in printed or electronic form in accordance with the electronic recordkeeping policy that applies to Federal acquisition contracts under Federal Acquisition Regulation 4.703 for a minimum of 3 years after the termination of IAAME’s designation as an accrediting entity, or until any litigation, claim, or audit related to the records filed or noticed within its period of designation is finally terminated, whichever is later. Article 5 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Department Oversight and Monitoring 1) To facilitate oversight and monitoring by the Department, IAAME will: a) provide copies of its forms and other materials to the Department and give Department personnel the opportunity to participate in any training sessions for its evaluators or other personnel; b) allow the Department to inspect all records relating to its accreditation functions and responsibilities and provide to the Department copies of such records as requested or required for oversight, including to evaluate renewal or maintenance of the accrediting entity’s designation, and for VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Aug 24, 2017 Jkt 241001 purposes of transferring adoption service providers to another accrediting entity; c) submit to the Department by a date agreed upon by the Parties an annual declaration signed by the President and Chief Executive Officer confirming that IAAME is complying with the IAA, UAA, 22 CFR part 96, any other applicable regulations, and this agreement in carrying out its functions and responsibilities; d) make appropriate senior-level officers available to attend a yearly performance review meeting with the Department; e) immediately report to the Department events that have a significant impact on its ability to perform its functions and responsibilities as an accrediting entity, including financial difficulties, changes in key personnel or other staffing issues, legal or disciplinary actions against the organization, and conflicts of interest; f) notify the Department of any requests for information relating to its role as an accrediting entity under the IAA and UAA or Department functions or responsibilities that it receives from Central Authorities of other countries that are party to the Convention, or any other competent authority (except for routine requests concerning accreditation, temporary accreditation, or approval status or other information publicly available under subpart M of Part 96), and consult with the Department before releasing such information; g) consult immediately with the Department about any issue or event that may affect compliance with the IAA, UAA, or U.S. compliance with obligations under the Convention. 2) Departmental Approval Procedures: In all instances in which the Department must approve a policy, system, fee schedule, or procedure before IAAME can bring it into effect or amend it, IAAME will submit the policy, system, fee schedule, or procedure or amendment in writing to the Department’s AE Liaison via email where possible. The AE Liaison will coordinate the Department’s approval process and arranging any necessary meetings or telephone conferences with IAAME. Formal approval by the Department will be expeditiously conveyed in writing by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services or her or his designee. 3) Suspension or Cancellation: When the Department is considering suspension or cancellation of IAAME’s designation: a) the Department will notify IAAME in writing of the identified deficiencies PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in its performance and the time period in which the Department expects correction of the deficiencies; b) IAAME will respond in writing to either explain the actions that it has taken or plans to take to correct the deficiencies or to demonstrate that the Department’s concerns are unfounded within 10 business days; c) upon request, the Department also will meet with the accrediting entity by teleconference or in person; d) if the Department, in its sole discretion, is not satisfied with the actions or explanation of IAAME, it will notify IAAME in writing of its decision to suspend or cancel IAAME’s designation and this agreement; e) IAAME will stop or suspend its actions as an accrediting entity as directed by the Department in the notice of suspension or cancellation, and cooperate with any Departmental instructions in order to transfer adoption service providers it accredits (including temporarily accredits) or approves to another accrediting entity, including by transferring fees collected by IAAME for services not yet performed. 4) IAAME will follow its procedures for reviewing complaints against IAAME received by the Department or referred to the Department because the complainant was not satisfied with IAAME’s resolution of the complaint. These complaint procedures may be incorporated into the Department’s general procedures for handling instances in which the Department is considering whether a deficiency in the accrediting entity’s performance may warrant suspension or cancellation of its designation. Article 6 Other Issues Agreed By the Parties 1) Conflict of interest provisions: a) IAAME shall disclose to the Department the name of any organization of which it is a member that also has as members intercountry adoption service providers. IAAME shall demonstrate to the Department that it has procedures in place to prevent any such membership from influencing its actions as an accrediting entity and shall maintain and use these procedures. b) IAAME shall identify for the Department all members of its board of directors or other governing body, employees, and site evaluators who also serve as officers, directors, employees, or owners of adoption service providers or of membership organizations who have adoption service providers as members. IAAME shall demonstrate it E:\FR\FM\25AUN1.SGM 25AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 164 / Friday, August 25, 2017 / Notices has procedures in place to ensure that any such relationships will not influence any accreditation or approval decisions, and shall maintain and use these procedures. c) IAAME shall disclose to the Department any other situation or circumstance that may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. 2) Liability: IAAME agrees to maintain sufficient resources to defend challenges to its actions as an accrediting entity, including by maintaining liability insurance for its actions as an accrediting entity brought by agencies and/or persons seeking to be accredited or approved or who are accredited or approved, and to inform the Department immediately of any events that may affect its ability to defend itself (e.g., change in or loss of insurance coverage, change in relevant state law). IAAME agrees that it will consult with the Department immediately if it becomes aware of any other legal proceedings related to its acts as an accrediting entity, or of any legal proceedings not related to its acts as an accrediting entity that may threaten its ability to continue to function as an accrediting entity. Article 7 Liaison Between the Department and the Accrediting Entity 1) IAAME’s principal point of contact for communications relating to its functions and duties as an accrediting entity will be the Director of Intercountry Adoption Accreditation. The Department’s principal point of contact for communication is the Accrediting Entity Liaison officer in the Office of Children’s Issues, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State. 2) The parties will keep each other currently informed in writing of the names and contact information for their principal points of contact. As of the signing of this Agreement, the respective principal points of contact are as set forth in Attachment 1. Article 8 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Certifications and Assurances 1) IAAME certifies that it will comply with all requirements of applicable State and Federal law. Article 9 Agreement, Scope, and Period of Performance 1) Scope: a) This agreement is not intended to have any effect on any activities of IAAME that are not related to its VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Aug 24, 2017 Jkt 241001 functions as an accrediting entity for adoption service providers providing adoption services in intercountry adoptions. b) Nothing in this agreement shall be deemed to be a commitment or obligation to provide any Federal funds. c) All accrediting entity functions and responsibilities authorized by this agreement are to occur only during the duration of this agreement. d) Nothing in this agreement shall release IAAME from any legal requirements or responsibilities imposed on the accrediting entity by the IAA, UAA, 22 CFR part 96, or any other applicable laws or regulations. 2) Commencement of responsibilities: IAAME’s responsibilities as an accrediting entity under Article 2 will commence upon approval by the Department of systems, procedures, and a fee schedule that, if applicable, are coordinated between IAAME and any other designated accrediting entity to ensure general consistency in accreditation systems and procedures, and general parity of fees; and, if applicable, determination by the Department of jurisdictional boundaries between IAAME and any other designated accrediting entity. 3) Duration: IAAME’s designation as an accrediting entity and this agreement shall remain in effect for five years from signature, unless terminated earlier by the Department in conjunction with the suspension or cancellation of the designation of IAAME. The Parties may agree mutually in writing to extend the designation of the accrediting entity and the duration of this agreement. If either Party does not wish to renew the agreement, it must provide written notice no less than one year prior to the termination date, and the Parties will consult to establish a mutually agreed schedule to transfer adoption service providers to another accrediting entity, including by transferring a reasonable allocation of collected fees for the remainder of the accreditation or approval period of such adoption service providers. 4) Changed Circumstances: If unforeseen circumstances arise that will render IAAME unable to continue to perform its duties as an Accrediting Entity, IAAME will immediately inform the Department of State. The Parties will consult and make an effort to find a solution that will enable IAAME to continue to perform until the end of the contract period. If no such solution can be reached, the contract may be terminated on a mutually agreed date or, if mutual agreement cannot be reached, on not less than 14 months written notice from IAAME. PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40617 5) Severability: To the extent that the Department determines, within its reasonable discretion, that any provision of this agreement is inconsistent with the Convention, the IAA, the UAA, the regulations implementing the IAA and UAA, or any other provision of law, that provision of the agreement shall be considered null and void and the remainder of the agreement shall continue in full force and effect as if the offending portion had not been a part of it. 6) Entirety of Agreement: This agreement is the entire agreement of the Parties and may be modified only upon written agreement of the Parties. Dated: July 28, 2017. David T. Donahue, Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. 2017–18040 Filed 8–24–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–06–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 10099] Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ‘‘Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures’’ Exhibition Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: I hereby determine that certain objects to be included in the exhibition ‘‘Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures,’’ imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owners or custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia, from on or about October 8, 2017, until on or about December 3, 2017, and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including a list of the imported objects, contact Elliot Chiu in the Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: 202– 632–6471; email: section2459@ state.gov). The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, L/PD, SA–5, Suite 5H03, Washington, DC 20522–0505. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The foregoing determinations were made pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), E.O. 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25AUN1.SGM 25AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 164 (Friday, August 25, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40614-40617]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-18040]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice: 10089]


Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs and Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and 
Maintenance Entity, Inc.

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of State (the Department) is the lead Federal 
agency for implementation of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of 
Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the 
Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), and the 
Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA). Among 
other things, the IAA and UAA give the Secretary of State 
responsibility, by entering into agreements with one or more qualified 
entities and designating such entities as accrediting entities, for the 
accreditation of agencies and approval of persons to provide adoption 
services in intercountry adoptions. This notice is to inform the public 
that on July 28, 2017, the Department entered into an agreement with 
Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. 
(IAAME), designating IAAME as an accrediting entity (AE) for five 
years.
    The text of the Memorandum of Agreement is included in its entirety 
at the end of this Notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kjersti Olson, 202-485-6229. Hearing 
or speech-impaired persons may use the Telecommunications Devices for 
the Deaf (TDD) by contacting the Federal Information Relay Service at 
1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department, pursuant to section 202(a) 
of the IAA, must enter into an agreement with at least one qualified 
entity and designate it as an accrediting entity. Accrediting entities 
may be (1) nonprofit private entities with expertise in developing and 
administering standards for entities providing child welfare services; 
or (2) state adoption licensing bodies that have expertise in 
developing and administering standards for entities providing child 
welfare services and that accredit only agencies located in that state. 
Both nonprofit accrediting entities and state accrediting entities must 
meet any other criteria that the Department may by regulation 
establish. IAAME is a nonprofit private entity with expertise in 
developing and administering standards for entities providing child 
welfare services.
    The final rule on accreditation of agencies and approval of persons 
(22 CFR part 96) was published in the Federal Register (71 FR 8064-
8066, February 15, 2006) and became effective on March 17, 2006. The 
final rule establishes the regulatory framework for the accreditation 
and approval function and provides the standards that the designated 
accrediting entities will follow in accrediting or approving adoption 
service providers. Under the UAA, adoption service providers working 
with prospective adoptive parents in non-Convention adoption cases need 
to comply with the same accreditation requirement and standards that 
apply in Convention adoption cases.

Theodore ``Ted'' R. Coley,
Director, Office of Children's Issues, Overseas Citizen Services, 
Bureau of Consular Affairs.

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE BUREAU OF 
CONSULAR AFFAIRS AND INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION ACCREDITATION AND 
MAINTENANCE ENTITY, INC.

Parties & Purpose of the Agreement

    The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs (Department), 
and Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. 
(IAAME), with its principal office located at 5950 NW 1st Place, Suite 
A Gainesville, FL 32607, hereinafter the ``Parties,'' are entering into 
this agreement for the purpose of designating IAAME as an accrediting 
entity under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), Public Law 
106-279, and 22 CFR part 96.

Authorities

    The Department enters into this agreement pursuant to Sections 202 
and 204 of the IAA, 22 CFR part 96, and Delegation of Authority 261. 
IAAME has full authority to enter into this MOA pursuant to a 
resolution passed by the Board of Directors of Partnership for

[[Page 40615]]

Strong Families, Inc. dated June 26, 2017, which resolution authorizes 
the creation of IAAME and Stephen Pennypacker as its President & CEO to 
execute this agreement on behalf of IAAME.

Definitions

    For purposes of this memorandum of agreement, terms used here that 
are defined in 22 CFR 96.2 shall have the same meaning as they have in 
22 CFR 96.2.
    The Parties AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Designation of the Accrediting Entity

    The Department hereby designates IAAME as an accrediting entity and 
thereby authorizes it to accredit agencies and approve persons to 
provide adoption services in intercountry adoption cases, in accordance 
with the procedures and standards set forth in 22 CFR part 96, and to 
perform all of the accrediting entity functions set forth in 22 CFR 
96.7(a).

Article 2

Responsibilities of the Accrediting Entity

    1) IAAME agrees to perform all accrediting entity functions set 
forth in 22 CFR 96.7(a) and to perform its functions in accordance with 
the Convention, the IAA, the Intercountry Adoption Universal 
Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), Public Law 112-276, Part 96 of 22 CFR, 
and any other applicable regulations, and as additionally specified in 
this agreement. In performing these functions, IAAME will operate under 
policy direction from the Department regarding U.S. obligations under 
the Convention and regarding the functions and responsibilities of an 
accrediting entity under the IAA, UAA, and any other applicable 
regulations.
    2) IAAME will take appropriate staffing, funding, and other 
measures to allow it to carry out all of its functions and fulfill all 
of its responsibilities, and will use the adoptions tracking system and 
the Complaint Registry (ATS/CR) as directed by the Department, 
including by updating required data fields in a timely fashion.
    3) In carrying out its accrediting entity functions IAAME will:
    a) make decisions on accreditation and approval in accordance with 
the procedures set forth in 22 CFR part 96 and using only the standards 
in subpart F of 22 CFR part 96 and the substantial compliance weighting 
system approved by the Department pursuant to para.5, Article 3 below;
    b) charge applicants for accreditation or approval only fees 
approved by the Department pursuant to para. 4, Article 3 below;
    c) review complaints, including complaints regarding conduct 
alleged to have occurred overseas, in accordance with subpart J of 22 
CFR part 96 and the additional procedures approved by the Department 
pursuant to paragraphs 3 c) and 3 d) in Article 3, below. IAAME will 
exercise its discretion in determining which methods are most 
appropriate to review complaints regarding conduct alleged to have 
occurred overseas. This may, when appropriate, include a referral to 
the Department and/or other appropriate law enforcement authorities for 
potential investigation of complaints relating to possible civil or 
criminal violation of IAA section 404 or other possible criminal 
activity;
    d) take adverse actions against accredited agencies and approved 
persons in accordance with subpart K of 22 CFR part 96, and cooperate 
with the Department in any case in which the Department considers 
exercising its adverse action authorities because the accrediting 
entity has failed or refused after consultation with the Department to 
take what the Department considers to be appropriate enforcement 
action;
    e) assume full responsibility for defending adverse actions in 
court proceedings, if challenged by the adoption service provider or 
the adoption service provider's board or officers;
    f) refer an adoption service provider to the Department for 
debarment if, but only if, it concludes after review that the adoption 
service provider's conduct meets the standards for action by the 
Secretary set out in 22 CFR 96.85;
    g) promptly report any change in the accreditation or approval 
status of an adoption service provider to the relevant state licensing 
authority;
    h) maintain and use only the required procedures approved by the 
Department and those procedures presented to the Department pursuant to 
Article 3 of this agreement whenever they apply;
    i) consult with the Department, when needed, to solicit greater 
clarity regarding the meaning of relevant laws and regulations.

Article 3

Training, Procedures, and Fees

    1) Accreditation Materials and Training: In coordination with the 
Department and any other designated accrediting entities, IAAME will:
    a) maintain forms, training materials, and evaluation practices;
    b) assist in conducting or participate in any joint training 
sessions;
    c) develop and maintain resources to assist applicants for 
accreditation and approval in achieving substantial compliance with the 
applicable standards.
    2) Internal Review Procedure: IAAME will maintain procedures that 
have been approved by the Department and use these procedures to 
determine whether to terminate adverse actions against an accredited 
agency or approved person on the grounds that the deficiencies 
necessitating the adverse action have been corrected.
    3) Other Procedures: IAAME will maintain procedures approved by the 
Department and update these, subject to the Department's approval, as 
needed:
    a) to evaluate whether a candidate for accreditation meets the 
applicable eligibility requirements set forth in 22 CFR part 96;
    b) to carry out its monitoring duties;
    c) to review complaints or information referred to it through the 
Complaint Registry or from the Department directly;
    d) to review complaints that it receives about its own actions as 
an accrediting entity for adoption service providers;
    e) to make the public disclosures required by 22 CFR 96.91; and
    f) to ensure the reasonableness of charges for the travel and 
maintenance of its site evaluators, such as for travel, meals, and 
accommodations, which charges shall be in addition to the fees charged 
under 22 CFR 96.8.
    4) Fee Schedule:
    a) IAAME will maintain a fee schedule for accreditation and 
approval services that meets the requirements of 22 CFR 96, and update 
these, subject to approval by the Department. Fees will be set based on 
the principle of recovering no more than the full cost, as defined in 
OMB Circular A-25 paragraph 6(d)(1), of accreditation and approval 
services. IAAME will maintain a fee schedule developed using this 
methodology together with comprehensive documentation, and will provide 
justification of the proposed fees to the Department for the 
Department's approval.
    b) The approved fee schedule can be amended with the approval of 
the Department.
    5) Substantial Compliance Weighting Systems:
    a) IAAME will maintain and update a substantial compliance 
weighting system as described in 22 CFR 96 and as approved by the 
Department.

[[Page 40616]]

    b) In maintaining the systems described in paragraph (a) of this 
section, IAAME will coordinate with any other accrediting entities, and 
consult with the Department to ensure consistency between the systems 
used by accrediting entities. These systems can be amended with the 
approval of the Department.

Article 4

Data Collection, Reporting and Records

    1) Adoptions Tracking System/Complaint Registry (ATS/CR):
    a) IAAME will maintain and fund a computer and internet connection 
for use with the ATS/CR that meets system requirements set by the 
Department;
    b) The Department will provide software or access tokens needed by 
individuals for secure access to the ATS/CR and facilitate any 
necessary training for use of the ATS/CR.
    2) Annual Report: IAAME will report on dates agreed upon by the 
Parties, in a mutually agreed upon format, the information required in 
22 CFR 96.93 as provided in that section through ATS/CR.
    3) Additional Reporting: IAAME will provide any additional status 
reports or data as required by the Department, and in a mutually agreed 
upon format.
    4) Accrediting Entity Records: IAAME will retain all records 
related to its accreditation functions and responsibilities in printed 
or electronic form in accordance with the electronic recordkeeping 
policy that applies to Federal acquisition contracts under Federal 
Acquisition Regulation 4.703 for a minimum of 3 years after the 
termination of IAAME's designation as an accrediting entity, or until 
any litigation, claim, or audit related to the records filed or noticed 
within its period of designation is finally terminated, whichever is 
later.

Article 5

Department Oversight and Monitoring

    1) To facilitate oversight and monitoring by the Department, IAAME 
will:
    a) provide copies of its forms and other materials to the 
Department and give Department personnel the opportunity to participate 
in any training sessions for its evaluators or other personnel;
    b) allow the Department to inspect all records relating to its 
accreditation functions and responsibilities and provide to the 
Department copies of such records as requested or required for 
oversight, including to evaluate renewal or maintenance of the 
accrediting entity's designation, and for purposes of transferring 
adoption service providers to another accrediting entity;
    c) submit to the Department by a date agreed upon by the Parties an 
annual declaration signed by the President and Chief Executive Officer 
confirming that IAAME is complying with the IAA, UAA, 22 CFR part 96, 
any other applicable regulations, and this agreement in carrying out 
its functions and responsibilities;
    d) make appropriate senior-level officers available to attend a 
yearly performance review meeting with the Department;
    e) immediately report to the Department events that have a 
significant impact on its ability to perform its functions and 
responsibilities as an accrediting entity, including financial 
difficulties, changes in key personnel or other staffing issues, legal 
or disciplinary actions against the organization, and conflicts of 
interest;
    f) notify the Department of any requests for information relating 
to its role as an accrediting entity under the IAA and UAA or 
Department functions or responsibilities that it receives from Central 
Authorities of other countries that are party to the Convention, or any 
other competent authority (except for routine requests concerning 
accreditation, temporary accreditation, or approval status or other 
information publicly available under subpart M of Part 96), and consult 
with the Department before releasing such information;
    g) consult immediately with the Department about any issue or event 
that may affect compliance with the IAA, UAA, or U.S. compliance with 
obligations under the Convention.
    2) Departmental Approval Procedures: In all instances in which the 
Department must approve a policy, system, fee schedule, or procedure 
before IAAME can bring it into effect or amend it, IAAME will submit 
the policy, system, fee schedule, or procedure or amendment in writing 
to the Department's AE Liaison via email where possible. The AE Liaison 
will coordinate the Department's approval process and arranging any 
necessary meetings or telephone conferences with IAAME. Formal approval 
by the Department will be expeditiously conveyed in writing by the 
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services or her or his 
designee.
    3) Suspension or Cancellation: When the Department is considering 
suspension or cancellation of IAAME's designation:
    a) the Department will notify IAAME in writing of the identified 
deficiencies in its performance and the time period in which the 
Department expects correction of the deficiencies;
    b) IAAME will respond in writing to either explain the actions that 
it has taken or plans to take to correct the deficiencies or to 
demonstrate that the Department's concerns are unfounded within 10 
business days;
    c) upon request, the Department also will meet with the accrediting 
entity by teleconference or in person;
    d) if the Department, in its sole discretion, is not satisfied with 
the actions or explanation of IAAME, it will notify IAAME in writing of 
its decision to suspend or cancel IAAME's designation and this 
agreement;
    e) IAAME will stop or suspend its actions as an accrediting entity 
as directed by the Department in the notice of suspension or 
cancellation, and cooperate with any Departmental instructions in order 
to transfer adoption service providers it accredits (including 
temporarily accredits) or approves to another accrediting entity, 
including by transferring fees collected by IAAME for services not yet 
performed.
    4) IAAME will follow its procedures for reviewing complaints 
against IAAME received by the Department or referred to the Department 
because the complainant was not satisfied with IAAME's resolution of 
the complaint. These complaint procedures may be incorporated into the 
Department's general procedures for handling instances in which the 
Department is considering whether a deficiency in the accrediting 
entity's performance may warrant suspension or cancellation of its 
designation.

Article 6

Other Issues Agreed By the Parties

    1) Conflict of interest provisions:
    a) IAAME shall disclose to the Department the name of any 
organization of which it is a member that also has as members 
intercountry adoption service providers. IAAME shall demonstrate to the 
Department that it has procedures in place to prevent any such 
membership from influencing its actions as an accrediting entity and 
shall maintain and use these procedures.
    b) IAAME shall identify for the Department all members of its board 
of directors or other governing body, employees, and site evaluators 
who also serve as officers, directors, employees, or owners of adoption 
service providers or of membership organizations who have adoption 
service providers as members. IAAME shall demonstrate it

[[Page 40617]]

has procedures in place to ensure that any such relationships will not 
influence any accreditation or approval decisions, and shall maintain 
and use these procedures.
    c) IAAME shall disclose to the Department any other situation or 
circumstance that may create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
    2) Liability: IAAME agrees to maintain sufficient resources to 
defend challenges to its actions as an accrediting entity, including by 
maintaining liability insurance for its actions as an accrediting 
entity brought by agencies and/or persons seeking to be accredited or 
approved or who are accredited or approved, and to inform the 
Department immediately of any events that may affect its ability to 
defend itself (e.g., change in or loss of insurance coverage, change in 
relevant state law). IAAME agrees that it will consult with the 
Department immediately if it becomes aware of any other legal 
proceedings related to its acts as an accrediting entity, or of any 
legal proceedings not related to its acts as an accrediting entity that 
may threaten its ability to continue to function as an accrediting 
entity.

Article 7

Liaison Between the Department and the Accrediting Entity

    1) IAAME's principal point of contact for communications relating 
to its functions and duties as an accrediting entity will be the 
Director of Intercountry Adoption Accreditation. The Department's 
principal point of contact for communication is the Accrediting Entity 
Liaison officer in the Office of Children's Issues, Office of Overseas 
Citizens Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of 
State.
    2) The parties will keep each other currently informed in writing 
of the names and contact information for their principal points of 
contact. As of the signing of this Agreement, the respective principal 
points of contact are as set forth in Attachment 1.

Article 8

Certifications and Assurances

    1) IAAME certifies that it will comply with all requirements of 
applicable State and Federal law.

Article 9

Agreement, Scope, and Period of Performance

    1) Scope:
    a) This agreement is not intended to have any effect on any 
activities of IAAME that are not related to its functions as an 
accrediting entity for adoption service providers providing adoption 
services in intercountry adoptions.
    b) Nothing in this agreement shall be deemed to be a commitment or 
obligation to provide any Federal funds.
    c) All accrediting entity functions and responsibilities authorized 
by this agreement are to occur only during the duration of this 
agreement.
    d) Nothing in this agreement shall release IAAME from any legal 
requirements or responsibilities imposed on the accrediting entity by 
the IAA, UAA, 22 CFR part 96, or any other applicable laws or 
regulations.
    2) Commencement of responsibilities: IAAME's responsibilities as an 
accrediting entity under Article 2 will commence upon approval by the 
Department of systems, procedures, and a fee schedule that, if 
applicable, are coordinated between IAAME and any other designated 
accrediting entity to ensure general consistency in accreditation 
systems and procedures, and general parity of fees; and, if applicable, 
determination by the Department of jurisdictional boundaries between 
IAAME and any other designated accrediting entity.
    3) Duration: IAAME's designation as an accrediting entity and this 
agreement shall remain in effect for five years from signature, unless 
terminated earlier by the Department in conjunction with the suspension 
or cancellation of the designation of IAAME. The Parties may agree 
mutually in writing to extend the designation of the accrediting entity 
and the duration of this agreement. If either Party does not wish to 
renew the agreement, it must provide written notice no less than one 
year prior to the termination date, and the Parties will consult to 
establish a mutually agreed schedule to transfer adoption service 
providers to another accrediting entity, including by transferring a 
reasonable allocation of collected fees for the remainder of the 
accreditation or approval period of such adoption service providers.
    4) Changed Circumstances: If unforeseen circumstances arise that 
will render IAAME unable to continue to perform its duties as an 
Accrediting Entity, IAAME will immediately inform the Department of 
State. The Parties will consult and make an effort to find a solution 
that will enable IAAME to continue to perform until the end of the 
contract period. If no such solution can be reached, the contract may 
be terminated on a mutually agreed date or, if mutual agreement cannot 
be reached, on not less than 14 months written notice from IAAME.
    5) Severability: To the extent that the Department determines, 
within its reasonable discretion, that any provision of this agreement 
is inconsistent with the Convention, the IAA, the UAA, the regulations 
implementing the IAA and UAA, or any other provision of law, that 
provision of the agreement shall be considered null and void and the 
remainder of the agreement shall continue in full force and effect as 
if the offending portion had not been a part of it.
    6) Entirety of Agreement: This agreement is the entire agreement of 
the Parties and may be modified only upon written agreement of the 
Parties.

    Dated: July 28, 2017.

David T. Donahue,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of 
State.

[FR Doc. 2017-18040 Filed 8-24-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4710-06-P