Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2018 Technology Initiative Grant Funding, 5461-5464 [2018-02435]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 26 / Wednesday, February 7, 2018 / Notices Issued: February 2, 2018. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission. [FR Doc. 2018–02438 Filed 2–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020–02–P LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2018 Technology Initiative Grant Funding Legal Services Corporation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) issues this Notice describing the process for submission of Letters of Intent to Apply for 2018 funding from the LSC Technology Initiative Grant program. This notice and application information are posted at: https://www.lsc.gov/grants-granteeresources/our-grant-programs/tig. DATES: Deadline: Letters of Intent must be completed and submitted into the online system at http://lscgrants.lsc.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, Friday, March 9, 2018. The online system may experience technical difficulties due to heavy traffic on the day of the deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete LOI submissions as early as possible. LSC will not accept applications submitted after the application deadline unless an extension of the deadline has been approved in advance (see Waiver Authority). Therefore, allow sufficient time for online submission. LSC will provide confirmation via email upon receipt of the completed electronic submission of each Letter of Intent. Keep this email as verification that the program’s LOI was submitted and received. If no confirmation email is received, inquire about the status of your LOI at Techgrants@lsc.gov. ADDRESSES: Letters of Intent must be submitted electronically at http:// lscgrants.lsc.gov. SUMMARY: For information on the status of a current TIG project, contact Eric Mathison, Program Analyst, Telephone: 202–295– 1535; Email: emathison@lsc.gov. For questions about projects in CT, IL, IN, ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, WI, WV, VT, contact David Bonebrake, Program Counsel, Telephone: 202.295.1547; Email: dbonebrake@lsc.gov. For questions about projects in AK, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, IA, KS, MP, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY, contact Glenn Rawdon, Senior Program Counsel, sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Feb 06, 2018 Jkt 244001 Telephone: 202.295.1552; Email: grawdon@lsc.gov. For questions about projects in AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NC, PR, SC, TN, VI, VA, contact Jane Ribadeneyra, Program Analyst, Telephone: 202.295.1554, Email: ribadeneyraj@lsc.gov. If you have a general question, please email techgrants@lsc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Summary The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) issues this Notice describing the criteria governing submission and processing of Letters of Intent to Apply for Technology Initiative Grants (TIG). Since LSC’s TIG program was established in 2000, LSC has made over 700 grants totaling more than $63 million. This grant program funds technology tools that help achieve LSC’s goal of increasing the quantity and quality of legal services available to eligible persons. Projects funded under the TIG program develop, test, and replicate innovative technologies that can enable grant recipients and state justice communities to improve lowincome persons’ access to high-quality legal assistance through an integrated and well managed technology system. II. General Information The Legal Services Corporation awards Technology Initiative Grant funds through an open, competitive, and impartial selection process. All prospective applicants for 2018 TIG funds must submit a Letter of Intent to Apply (LOI) prior to submitting a formal application. The format and contents of the LOI should conform to the requirements specified below in Section IV. Through the LOI process, LSC selects those projects that have a reasonable chance of success in the competitive grant process based on LSC’s analysis of the project description and other information provided in the LOI. LSC will solicit full proposals for the selected projects. LSC Requirements Technology Initiative Grant funds are subject to all LSC requirements, including the requirements of the Legal Services Corporation Act (LSC Act), any applicable appropriations acts and any other applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, instructions, and other directives of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), including, but not limited to, the LSC Audit Guide for Recipients and Auditors, the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, and the CSR Handbook, with any PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5461 amendments to the foregoing adopted before or during the period of the grant. Before submitting a Letter of Intent to Apply, applicants should be familiar with LSC’s subgrant requirements at 45 CFR Part 1627 (see http://www.lsc.gov/ about/laws-regulations/lsc-regulationscfr-45-part-1600-et-seq), particularly as they pertain to payments of LSC funds to other entities for programmatic activities. For additional information and resources regarding TIG compliance, including subgrants, third-party contracting, conflicts of interest, grant modification procedures, and special TIG grant assurances, see LSC’s TIG compliance web page. Eligible Applicants Only current LSC basic field grant recipients awarded at least a one-year basic field grant term are eligible to apply for TIG. LSC will not award a TIG to any applicant that is not in good standing on any existing TIG projects. Applicants must be up to date according to the milestone schedule on all existing TIG projects prior to submitting an LOI, or have requested and received an adjustment to the original milestone schedule. LSC will not award a TIG to any applicant that has not made satisfactory progress on prior TIGs. LSC recipients that have had a previous TIG terminated for failure to provide timely reports and submissions are not eligible to receive a TIG for three years after their earlier grant was terminated. This policy does not apply to applicants that worked with LSC to end a TIG early after an unsuccessful project implementation resulting from technology limitations, a failed proof of concept, or other reasons outside of the applicant’s control. Funding Availability The amount of TIG funding available will depend on the 2018 fiscal year appropriation to the LSC from Congress, which had not been determined by January 31, 2018, the date this notice was issued. The federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires February 8, 2018. The Continuing Resolution maintains funding at FY 2017 levels, which for TIG is $4 million, but with an across-the-board reduction of 0.6791 percent, or $27,164 for TIG. We anticipate that Congress will pass another CR to continue funding the federal government at FY 2017 levels if they do not pass an FY 2018 budget by midnight February 8th. If not, the federal government will shut down. In 2017, 25 TIG projects received funding E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 5462 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 26 / Wednesday, February 7, 2018 / Notices with a median funding amount of $138,905. (See TIG’s past awards web page for more information on past grants). Collaborations The TIG program encourages applicants to reach out to and include in TIG projects others interested in access to justice—the courts, bar associations, pro bono projects, libraries, and social service agencies. Partnerships can enhance the reach, effectiveness, and sustainability of many projects. Grant Categories LSC will accept projects in three application categories: (1) Innovations and Enhancements (2) Replication and Adaptation (3) Technology Improvement Project sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Grant Category 1: Innovations and Enhancements The Innovations and Enhancements Category is designated for projects that: (1) Implement new or innovative approaches for using technology in legal services delivery; or (2) enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of existing technologies so that they may be better used to increase the quality and quantity of services to clients. LSC recommends a minimum amount for funding requests in this category of $40,000, but projects with lower budgets will be considered. There is no maximum amount for TIG funding requests that are within the total appropriation for TIG. Although there is no funding limit or matching requirement for applications in this category, additional weight is given to projects with strong support from partners. Proposals for initiatives with broad applicability and/or that would have impact throughout the legal services community are strongly encouraged. Grant Category 2: Replication and Adaptation The Replication and Adaptation category is for proposals that seek to replicate, adapt, or provide added value to the work of prior technology projects. This includes, but is not limited to, the implementation and improvement of tested methodologies and technologies from previous TIG projects. Applicants may also replicate technology projects funded outside of the TIG program, including sectors outside the legal aid community, such as social services organizations, the broader non-profit community, and the private sector. LSC recommends a minimum amount for funding requests in this category of VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Feb 06, 2018 Jkt 244001 $40,000, but projects with lower budgets will be considered. There is no maximum amount for TIG funding requests that are within the total appropriation for TIG. Project proposals in the Replication and Adaptation category may include, but are not limited to: A. Replication of Previous TIG Projects LSC requires that any original software developed with TIG funding be available to other legal services programs at little or no cost. Applicants should look to previous successful TIG projects and determine how they could be replicated at a reduced cost from the original project, and/or how they could be expanded and/or enhanced. Projects where original software or content has already been created lend themselves to replication, and LSC encourages programs to look to these projects to see how they could benefit the delivery systems in their state. B. Automated Form Replication Law Help Interactive (LHI) is an automated document server powered by HotDocs Server and made available to any LSC funded program at no charge. See https://lawhelpinteractive.org. LHI is deployed across the country with thousands of active HotDocs templates and A2J Author modules hosted on the LawHelp Interactive National HotDocs Server at https://lawhelpinteractive.org. Despite differences from state to state in the content and format, many of these forms can be edited for use in other jurisdictions with less effort, hence at a lower cost, than developing the form from scratch. Even if a form differs from one state to another, the information needed to populate a form will, for the most part, be similar. (What are the names of the plaintiff, the defendant, the children, etc.?). This means the interviews are more easily replicated than form templates. These form templates and interviews are available to be modified as needed. Applicants should identify which forms and templates are to be adapted, and then estimate the cost to do this and compare that to the cost of developing them from scratch. LHI has the capacity to support Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Korean language interviews. In addition, LHI has been integrated with other systems to allow the flow of information between LHI and court e-filing systems and legal aid case management systems. The ‘‘Connect’’ feature enables pro bono programs from across a state to use LHI interviews and forms to assign prescreened pro bono cases and their documents to panel attorneys. For PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 additional information, including examples, best practices, models and training materials, see the LawHelp Interactive Resource Center at http:// www.probono.net/dasupport (you may need to request a free membership to access this website). C. Replication of Technology Projects in Other Sectors In addition to replicating other TIG funded technology projects, LSC encourages replication of proven technologies from non-LSC funded legal aid organizations as well as sectors outside the legal aid community. Ideas for replication may be found through resources and organizations such as the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP), the American Bar Association, international legal aid providers such as the Legal Services Society of British Columbia and HiiL’s Innovating Justice project, Idealware (see the article on Unleashing Innovation), NTEN, and TechSoup. Grant Category 3: Technology Improvement Projects In 2015 LSC updated its publication Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today, often referred to as the LSC Technology Baselines. The updated Baselines demonstrate LSC’s commitment to improving the use of technology across its grantee organizations. LSC also recognizes that grantees need to have sufficient technology infrastructure in place before they can take on a more innovative TIG project. Therefore, only LSC grantees that have not had a TIG award in the last five years (since 2013) are eligible to apply for a Technology Improvement Project. The maximum amount for funding requests in this category is $25,000 to conduct a technology assessment, business process improvement and/or a technology planning project. Many legal aid organizations do not have internal expertise or capacity to take on such projects. An award for a Technology Improvement Project is intended to provide funding for appropriate consulting services to conduct the technology assessment, business process improvement and/or technology planning process. The project should result in a plan for the organization to make the investments needed to improve its use of technology in the delivery of legal services. III. Area of Interest—Projects That Integrate Artificial Intelligence Into Service Delivery Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a popular topic in the legal services E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 26 / Wednesday, February 7, 2018 / Notices community. This area of interest encourages organizations to explore how practical applications of AI can increase operational efficiency and lead to greater access to services within legal aid. Applicants should consider how emerging AI systems can enhance the existing work of advocates. For example, an AI-powered recommendation engine might help intake staff determine how to best route an online intake, or an AI-powered case management tool could provide attorneys a list of similar closed cases to help inform their legal strategy. In both cases, staff would monitor the quality of recommendations and help improve the system over time. LSC also believes that client-facing apps can incorporate AI to help lowincome individuals complete legal tasks. Products such as the DoNotPay chatbot show that people seeking legal assistance are eager to use these tools, and organizations should focus on how they can provide high-quality user experiences that help users get through their legal process. In both cases, applicants should aim for using accessible systems with open Application Programming Interfaces (API) that allow legal aid providers to collaborate in this emerging area and result in tools that benefit the entire community. Applicants should also explore how large data sets—such as case or website data—can best be leveraged to improve the quality of these systems. IV. Specific Letter of Intent To Apply Requirements One Project per Letter of Intent Applicants may submit multiple LOIs, and a separate LOI should be submitted for each project for which funding is sought. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Letter Requirements and Format Letters of Intent must be submitted using the online system at http:// lscgrants.lsc.gov. Additional instructions and information can be found on the TIG website. This system will walk you through the process of creating a simple two-page LOI. You will start by picking the Category in which you are applying from a dropdown list. After that, you will be taken to a form to be submitted. You will start by filling in the amount you are requesting from TIG, followed by two questions concerning whether you also are also applying to PBIF for funds related to the project. Then, for the categories Innovations and Enhancements and Replication and VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Feb 06, 2018 Jkt 244001 Adaptation, you will have the following five fields: 1. Description of Project (maximum 2500 characters)—Briefly describe the basic elements of the project, including any specific technologies the project will develop or implement, how they will be developed, how they will operate, the function they will serve within the legal services delivery system, their expected impact, and other similar factors. (Only the impact should be highlighted here; more details about the system’s benefits should be provided below). 2. Major Benefits (maximum 2500 characters)—Describe the specific ways in which the project will increase or improve services to clients and/or enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of legal aid organization operations. To the extent feasible, discuss both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of these benefits. 3. Estimated Costs (maximum 1500 characters)—This should include the amount of funding you are seeking from the TIG program, followed by the estimated total project cost, summarizing the anticipated costs of the major components of the project. List anticipated contributions, both in-kind and monetary, from all partners involved in the project. 4. Major Partners (maximum 1500 characters)—Identify organizations that are expected to be important partners. Specify the role(s) each partner will play. 5. Innovation/Replication (maximum 1500 characters)—Identify how and why the proposed project is new and innovative and/or is a replication or adaptation of a previous technology project. Identify how and why the proposed project can significantly benefit and/or be replicated by other legal services providers and/or the legal services community at large. For the category Technology Improvement Project, you will have these four fields: 1. Description of Project (maximum 2500 characters)—Briefly describe what type of project will be undertaken, such as a technology assessment, business process analysis or technology planning process. Describe how this will lead to a plan for improving the program’s operations. Also, discuss who will be responsible for carrying out the activities, such as by internal staff or an outside contractor. 2. Major Benefits (maximum 2500 characters)—Describe the promise that the project has to increase or improve services to clients and/or enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations. To the extent feasible, PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5463 discuss both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of these benefits. 3. Estimated Costs (maximum 1500 characters)—Start by stating the amount of funding you are seeking from the TIG program, and then give the estimated total project cost, summarizing the anticipated costs of the major components of the project. List anticipated contributions, both in-kind and monetary, of all partners involved in the project. 4. Implementation (maximum 1500 characters)—Discuss the organizations commitment to implement the plan or recommendations that result from the project, including probable financing sources. Selection Process LSC will initially review all LOIs to determine whether they conform to the required format and clearly present all of the required elements listed and described above. Failure to meet these requirements may result in rejection of the LOI. LSC will review each LOI to identify those projects likely to improve access to justice, or to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of legal services provided by grantees. The LOI will also be reviewed to determine the extent to which the project proposed is clearly described and well thought out, offers major benefits to our targeted client community, is cost-effective, involves all of the parties needed to make it successful and sustainable, and is either innovative or a cost-effective replication of prior successful projects. LSC will invite those applicants that satisfy these criteria to submit full applications. Next Steps for Successful Applicants LSC will notify successful applicants by April 20, 2018. Successful applicants will have until 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, June 4, 2018, to complete and submit full applications in the online application system. Waiver Authority LSC, upon its own initiative or when requested, may waive provisions in this Notice at its sole discretion. Waivers may be granted only for requirements that are discretionary and not mandated by statute or regulation. Any request for a waiver must set forth the reason for the request and be included in the application. LSC will not consider a request to extend the deadline for a Letter of Intent to Apply unless the extension request is received by LSC prior to the deadline. E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 5464 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 26 / Wednesday, February 7, 2018 / Notices Dated: February 2, 2018. Katherine Ward, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Legal Affairs & General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2018–02435 Filed 2–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050–01–P NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION [NARA–2018–018] Records Schedules; Availability and Request for Comments National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed records schedules; request for comments. AGENCY: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publishes notice at least once monthly of certain Federal agency requests for records disposition authority (records schedules). Once approved by NARA, records schedules provide mandatory instructions on what happens to records when agencies no longer need them for current Government business. The records schedules authorize agencies to preserve records of continuing value in the National Archives of the United States and to destroy, after a specified period, records lacking administrative, legal, research, or other value. NARA publishes notice in the Federal Register for records schedules in which agencies propose to destroy records they no longer need to conduct agency business. NARA invites public comments on such records schedules. DATES: NARA must receive requests for copies in writing by March 9, 2018. Once NARA finishes appraising the records, we will send you a copy of the schedule you requested. We usually prepare appraisal memoranda that contain additional information concerning the records covered by a proposed schedule. You may also request these. If you do, we will also provide them once we have completed the appraisal. You have 30 days after we send to you these requested documents in which to submit comments. ADDRESSES: You may request a copy of any records schedule identified in this notice by contacting Records Appraisal and Agency Assistance (ACRA) using one of the following means: Mail: NARA (ACRA); 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740–6001. Email: request.schedule@nara.gov. FAX: 301–837–3698. You must cite the control number, which appears in parentheses after the sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Feb 06, 2018 Jkt 244001 name of the agency that submitted the schedule, and a mailing address. If you would like an appraisal report, please include that in your request. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Margaret Hawkins, Director, by mail at Records Appraisal and Agency Assistance (ACRA); National Archives and Records Administration; 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740– 6001, by phone at 301–837–1799, or by email at request.schedule@nara.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NARA publishes notice in the Federal Register for records schedules they no longer need to conduct agency business. NARA invites public comments on such records schedules, as required by 44 U.S.C. 3303a(a). Each year, Federal agencies create billions of records on paper, film, magnetic tape, and other media. To control this accumulation, agency records managers prepare schedules proposing records retention periods and submit these schedules for NARA’s approval. These schedules provide for timely transfer into the National Archives of historically valuable records and authorize the agency to dispose of all other records after the agency no longer needs them to conduct its business. Some schedules are comprehensive and cover all the records of an agency or one of its major subdivisions. Most schedules, however, cover records of only one office or program or a few series of records. Many of these update previously approved schedules, and some include records proposed as permanent. The schedules listed in this notice are media neutral unless otherwise specified. An item in a schedule is media neutral when an agency may apply the disposition instructions to records regardless of the medium in which it creates or maintains the records. Items included in schedules submitted to NARA on or after December 17, 2007, are media neutral unless the item is expressly limited to a specific medium. (See 36 CFR 1225.12(e).) Agencies may not destroy Federal records without Archivist of the United States’ approval. The Archivist approves destruction only after thoroughly considering the records’ administrative use by the agency of origin, the rights of the Government and of private people directly affected by the Government’s activities, and whether or not the records have historical or other value. In addition to identifying the Federal agencies and any subdivisions requesting disposition authority, this notice lists the organizational unit(s) PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 accumulating the records (or notes that the schedule has agency-wide applicability when schedules cover records that may be accumulated throughout an agency); provides the control number assigned to each schedule, the total number of schedule items, and the number of temporary items (the records proposed for destruction); and includes a brief description of the temporary records. The records schedule itself contains a full description of the records at the file unit level as well as their disposition. If NARA staff has prepared an appraisal memorandum for the schedule, it also includes information about the records. You may request additional information about the disposition process at the addresses above. Schedules Pending 1. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (DAA– 0310–2018–0001, 2 items, 2 temporary items). Peer review case files consisting of administrative records such as peer review documents, review panel organization and composition, and project review information. 2. Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency (DAA–0361–2017– 0012, 5 items, 5 temporary items). Records related to product management and distribution. 3. Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration (DAA–0560–2018–0002, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Requests and authorizations for Federal air marshals to carry personal weapons. 4. Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (DAA–0566– 2017–0035, 3 items, 3 temporary items). Disabled veteran leave request case files. 5. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons (DAA–0129–2017–0002, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Case files of inmates incarcerated in Federal institutions. 6. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Administrative correction for incorrect date spans on schedule N1–65–04–04 approved in 2004, covering the FBI’s transition to a revised recordkeeping practice in 1988. N1–65–04–04 incorrectly stated that the switch in recordkeeping practices for the Office of Origin occurred in 1995 and for the Auxiliary Office in 1991, when it actually began on a rolling basis in 1988 for both. The error in date spans created an inadvertent gap, resulting in some records created between 1988 and 1995 being unscheduled. 7. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (DAA– 0015–2018–0001, 3 items, 3 temporary items). Records related to eligibility and E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 26 (Wednesday, February 7, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5461-5464]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-02435]


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LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION


Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2018 Technology 
Initiative Grant Funding

AGENCY: Legal Services Corporation.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) issues this Notice 
describing the process for submission of Letters of Intent to Apply for 
2018 funding from the LSC Technology Initiative Grant program. This 
notice and application information are posted at: https://www.lsc.gov/grants-grantee-resources/our-grant-programs/tig.

DATES: Deadline: Letters of Intent must be completed and submitted into 
the online system at http://lscgrants.lsc.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. 
EST, Friday, March 9, 2018. The online system may experience technical 
difficulties due to heavy traffic on the day of the deadline. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete LOI submissions as early 
as possible.
    LSC will not accept applications submitted after the application 
deadline unless an extension of the deadline has been approved in 
advance (see Waiver Authority). Therefore, allow sufficient time for 
online submission.
    LSC will provide confirmation via email upon receipt of the 
completed electronic submission of each Letter of Intent. Keep this 
email as verification that the program's LOI was submitted and 
received. If no confirmation email is received, inquire about the 
status of your LOI at [email protected].

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

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Summary

    The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) issues this Notice describing 
the criteria governing submission and processing of Letters of Intent 
to Apply for Technology Initiative Grants (TIG). Since LSC's TIG 
program was established in 2000, LSC has made over 700 grants totaling 
more than $63 million. This grant program funds technology tools that 
help achieve LSC's goal of increasing the quantity and quality of legal 
services available to eligible persons. Projects funded under the TIG 
program develop, test, and replicate innovative technologies that can 
enable grant recipients and state justice communities to improve low-
income persons' access to high-quality legal assistance through an 
integrated and well managed technology system.

II. General Information

    The Legal Services Corporation awards Technology Initiative Grant 
funds through an open, competitive, and impartial selection process. 
All prospective applicants for 2018 TIG funds must submit a Letter of 
Intent to Apply (LOI) prior to submitting a formal application. The 
format and contents of the LOI should conform to the requirements 
specified below in Section IV.
    Through the LOI process, LSC selects those projects that have a 
reasonable chance of success in the competitive grant process based on 
LSC's analysis of the project description and other information 
provided in the LOI. LSC will solicit full proposals for the selected 
projects.

LSC Requirements

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

Eligible Applicants

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

Funding Availability

    The amount of TIG funding available will depend on the 2018 fiscal 
year appropriation to the LSC from Congress, which had not been 
determined by January 31, 2018, the date this notice was issued. The 
federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution 
(CR) that expires February 8, 2018. The Continuing Resolution maintains 
funding at FY 2017 levels, which for TIG is $4 million, but with an 
across-the-board reduction of 0.6791 percent, or $27,164 for TIG. We 
anticipate that Congress will pass another CR to continue funding the 
federal government at FY 2017 levels if they do not pass an FY 2018 
budget by midnight February 8th. If not, the federal government will 
shut down. In 2017, 25 TIG projects received funding

[[Page 5462]]

with a median funding amount of $138,905. (See TIG's past awards web 
page for more information on past grants).

Collaborations

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

Grant Categories

    LSC will accept projects in three application categories:

(1) Innovations and Enhancements
(2) Replication and Adaptation
(3) Technology Improvement Project
Grant Category 1: Innovations and Enhancements
    The Innovations and Enhancements Category is designated for 
projects that: (1) Implement new or innovative approaches for using 
technology in legal services delivery; or (2) enhance the effectiveness 
and efficiency of existing technologies so that they may be better used 
to increase the quality and quantity of services to clients.
    LSC recommends a minimum amount for funding requests in this 
category of $40,000, but projects with lower budgets will be 
considered. There is no maximum amount for TIG funding requests that 
are within the total appropriation for TIG. Although there is no 
funding limit or matching requirement for applications in this 
category, additional weight is given to projects with strong support 
from partners. Proposals for initiatives with broad applicability and/
or that would have impact throughout the legal services community are 
strongly encouraged.
Grant Category 2: Replication and Adaptation
    The Replication and Adaptation category is for proposals that seek 
to replicate, adapt, or provide added value to the work of prior 
technology projects. This includes, but is not limited to, the 
implementation and improvement of tested methodologies and technologies 
from previous TIG projects. Applicants may also replicate technology 
projects funded outside of the TIG program, including sectors outside 
the legal aid community, such as social services organizations, the 
broader non-profit community, and the private sector. LSC recommends a 
minimum amount for funding requests in this category of $40,000, but 
projects with lower budgets will be considered. There is no maximum 
amount for TIG funding requests that are within the total appropriation 
for TIG.
    Project proposals in the Replication and Adaptation category may 
include, but are not limited to:
A. Replication of Previous TIG Projects
    LSC requires that any original software developed with TIG funding 
be available to other legal services programs at little or no cost. 
Applicants should look to previous successful TIG projects and 
determine how they could be replicated at a reduced cost from the 
original project, and/or how they could be expanded and/or enhanced. 
Projects where original software or content has already been created 
lend themselves to replication, and LSC encourages programs to look to 
these projects to see how they could benefit the delivery systems in 
their state.
B. Automated Form Replication
    Law Help Interactive (LHI) is an automated document server powered 
by HotDocs Server and made available to any LSC funded program at no 
charge. See https://lawhelpinteractive.org. LHI is deployed across the 
country with thousands of active HotDocs templates and A2J Author 
modules hosted on the LawHelp Interactive National HotDocs Server at 
https://lawhelpinteractive.org. Despite differences from state to state 
in the content and format, many of these forms can be edited for use in 
other jurisdictions with less effort, hence at a lower cost, than 
developing the form from scratch.
    Even if a form differs from one state to another, the information 
needed to populate a form will, for the most part, be similar. (What 
are the names of the plaintiff, the defendant, the children, etc.?). 
This means the interviews are more easily replicated than form 
templates. These form templates and interviews are available to be 
modified as needed. Applicants should identify which forms and 
templates are to be adapted, and then estimate the cost to do this and 
compare that to the cost of developing them from scratch. LHI has the 
capacity to support Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Korean language 
interviews. In addition, LHI has been integrated with other systems to 
allow the flow of information between LHI and court e-filing systems 
and legal aid case management systems. The ``Connect'' feature enables 
pro bono programs from across a state to use LHI interviews and forms 
to assign pre-screened pro bono cases and their documents to panel 
attorneys. For additional information, including examples, best 
practices, models and training materials, see the LawHelp Interactive 
Resource Center at http://www.probono.net/dasupport (you may need to 
request a free membership to access this website).
C. Replication of Technology Projects in Other Sectors
    In addition to replicating other TIG funded technology projects, 
LSC encourages replication of proven technologies from non-LSC funded 
legal aid organizations as well as sectors outside the legal aid 
community. Ideas for replication may be found through resources and 
organizations such as the Legal Services National Technology Assistance 
Project (LSNTAP), the American Bar Association, international legal aid 
providers such as the Legal Services Society of British Columbia and 
HiiL's Innovating Justice project, Idealware (see the article on 
Unleashing Innovation), NTEN, and TechSoup.
Grant Category 3: Technology Improvement Projects
    In 2015 LSC updated its publication Technologies That Should Be in 
Place in a Legal Aid Office Today, often referred to as the LSC 
Technology Baselines. The updated Baselines demonstrate LSC's 
commitment to improving the use of technology across its grantee 
organizations. LSC also recognizes that grantees need to have 
sufficient technology infrastructure in place before they can take on a 
more innovative TIG project. Therefore, only LSC grantees that have not 
had a TIG award in the last five years (since 2013) are eligible to 
apply for a Technology Improvement Project. The maximum amount for 
funding requests in this category is $25,000 to conduct a technology 
assessment, business process improvement and/or a technology planning 
project.
    Many legal aid organizations do not have internal expertise or 
capacity to take on such projects. An award for a Technology 
Improvement Project is intended to provide funding for appropriate 
consulting services to conduct the technology assessment, business 
process improvement and/or technology planning process. The project 
should result in a plan for the organization to make the investments 
needed to improve its use of technology in the delivery of legal 
services.

III. Area of Interest--Projects That Integrate Artificial Intelligence 
Into Service Delivery

    Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a popular topic in the 
legal services

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community. This area of interest encourages organizations to explore 
how practical applications of AI can increase operational efficiency 
and lead to greater access to services within legal aid. Applicants 
should consider how emerging AI systems can enhance the existing work 
of advocates. For example, an AI-powered recommendation engine might 
help intake staff determine how to best route an online intake, or an 
AI-powered case management tool could provide attorneys a list of 
similar closed cases to help inform their legal strategy. In both 
cases, staff would monitor the quality of recommendations and help 
improve the system over time.
    LSC also believes that client-facing apps can incorporate AI to 
help low-income individuals complete legal tasks. Products such as the 
DoNotPay chatbot show that people seeking legal assistance are eager to 
use these tools, and organizations should focus on how they can provide 
high-quality user experiences that help users get through their legal 
process.
    In both cases, applicants should aim for using accessible systems 
with open Application Programming Interfaces (API) that allow legal aid 
providers to collaborate in this emerging area and result in tools that 
benefit the entire community. Applicants should also explore how large 
data sets--such as case or website data--can best be leveraged to 
improve the quality of these systems.

IV. Specific Letter of Intent To Apply Requirements

One Project per Letter of Intent

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

Letter Requirements and Format

    Letters of Intent must be submitted using the online system at 
http://lscgrants.lsc.gov. Additional instructions and information can 
be found on the TIG website. This system will walk you through the 
process of creating a simple two-page LOI. You will start by picking 
the Category in which you are applying from a drop-down list. After 
that, you will be taken to a form to be submitted. You will start by 
filling in the amount you are requesting from TIG, followed by two 
questions concerning whether you also are also applying to PBIF for 
funds related to the project.
    Then, for the categories Innovations and Enhancements and 
Replication and Adaptation, you will have the following five fields:
    1. Description of Project (maximum 2500 characters)--Briefly 
describe the basic elements of the project, including any specific 
technologies the project will develop or implement, how they will be 
developed, how they will operate, the function they will serve within 
the legal services delivery system, their expected impact, and other 
similar factors. (Only the impact should be highlighted here; more 
details about the system's benefits should be provided below).
    2. Major Benefits (maximum 2500 characters)--Describe the specific 
ways in which the project will increase or improve services to clients 
and/or enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of legal aid 
organization operations. To the extent feasible, discuss both the 
qualitative and quantitative aspects of these benefits.
    3. Estimated Costs (maximum 1500 characters)--This should include 
the amount of funding you are seeking from the TIG program, followed by 
the estimated total project cost, summarizing the anticipated costs of 
the major components of the project. List anticipated contributions, 
both in-kind and monetary, from all partners involved in the project.
    4. Major Partners (maximum 1500 characters)--Identify organizations 
that are expected to be important partners. Specify the role(s) each 
partner will play.
    5. Innovation/Replication (maximum 1500 characters)--Identify how 
and why the proposed project is new and innovative and/or is a 
replication or adaptation of a previous technology project. Identify 
how and why the proposed project can significantly benefit and/or be 
replicated by other legal services providers and/or the legal services 
community at large.
    For the category Technology Improvement Project, you will have 
these four fields:
    1. Description of Project (maximum 2500 characters)--Briefly 
describe what type of project will be undertaken, such as a technology 
assessment, business process analysis or technology planning process. 
Describe how this will lead to a plan for improving the program's 
operations. Also, discuss who will be responsible for carrying out the 
activities, such as by internal staff or an outside contractor.
    2. Major Benefits (maximum 2500 characters)--Describe the promise 
that the project has to increase or improve services to clients and/or 
enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations. To the 
extent feasible, discuss both the qualitative and quantitative aspects 
of these benefits.
    3. Estimated Costs (maximum 1500 characters)--Start by stating the 
amount of funding you are seeking from the TIG program, and then give 
the estimated total project cost, summarizing the anticipated costs of 
the major components of the project. List anticipated contributions, 
both in-kind and monetary, of all partners involved in the project.
    4. Implementation (maximum 1500 characters)--Discuss the 
organizations commitment to implement the plan or recommendations that 
result from the project, including probable financing sources.

Selection Process

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

Next Steps for Successful Applicants

    LSC will notify successful applicants by April 20, 2018. Successful 
applicants will have until 11:59 p.m. EDT, Monday, June 4, 2018, to 
complete and submit full applications in the online application system.

Waiver Authority

    LSC, upon its own initiative or when requested, may waive 
provisions in this Notice at its sole discretion. Waivers may be 
granted only for requirements that are discretionary and not mandated 
by statute or regulation. Any request for a waiver must set forth the 
reason for the request and be included in the application. LSC will not 
consider a request to extend the deadline for a Letter of Intent to 
Apply unless the extension request is received by LSC prior to the 
deadline.


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    Dated: February 2, 2018.
Katherine Ward,
Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Legal Affairs & General 
Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2018-02435 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7050-01-P