Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels, 14245-14250 [2018-06503]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / Notices Documents Available for Review The GMUG National Forest plan revision website at https:// www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gmug/forestplan provides the full text of the preliminary need for change; distinctive role and contribution of the Forests; proposed management area framework; the 2018 assessments; public meeting materials from the assessment phase, including open house materials and recorded webinars; in public comments. The material available on these sites may be updated or revised at any time as part of the planning process. The 2012 planning rule is explained in more detail on the Forest Service website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/ detail/planningrule/home/ ?cid=stelprdb5359471. Dated: March 28, 2018. Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2018–06686 Filed 4–2–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, the National Forest Management Act of 1976, and the Federal Public Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Additional information concerning the Board, including the meeting summary/ minutes, can be found by visiting the Board’s website at: https:// www.fs.usda.gov/main/blackhills/ workingtogether/advisorycommittees. DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Forest Service Center, 8221 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, South Dakota. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Apr 02, 2018 Jkt 244001 14245 names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Black Hills National Forest Supervisor’s Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. Dated: March 14, 2018. Christopher French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Scott Jacobson, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 605–440–1409 or by email at sjjacobson@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. The purpose of the meeting is to provide: (1) Ethics Training; (2) Information Topic: Forest Staffing and Seasonal Hiring; (3) Black Hills Resilient Landscape Project update; (4) 2018 Fire Season Preparedness; and (5) 2018 Fire Season Outlook. The meeting is open to the public and transcripts, documents and minutes will be made available for public inspection. The U.S. Forest Service will attempt to accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. The Chairman may allow the public to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should submit a request in writing by April 9, 2018, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Board may file written statements with the Board’s staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1019 North Fifth Street, Custer, South Dakota 57730; by email to sjjacobson@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 605–673–9208. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2018–06683 Filed 4–2–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P Rural Utilities Service Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of solicitation of applications (NOSA). AGENCY: ACTION: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or the Agency, announces its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The Agency is publishing the amount of funding received in the appropriations act on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/ notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant’s risk. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for DLT grants applicable for the fiscal year. The DLT Grant Program regulation can be found at 7 CFR part 1734, subpart B. This DLT Grant Program regulation replaced the previous DLT Grant Program regulation, 7 CFR part 1703, subpart E, on December 27, 2017. DATES: Submit completed paper or electronic applications for grants according to the following deadlines: • Paper submissions: Paper submissions must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. • Electronic submissions: Electronic submissions must be received no later than June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. • If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day. ADDRESSES: Copies of the FY 2018 Application Guide and materials for the DLT Grant Program may be obtained through: (1) The DLT website at https:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 14246 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / Notices distance-learning-telemedicine-grants, or (2) The RUS Office of Loan Origination and Approval at 202–720– 0800. Completed applications may be submitted the following ways: (1) Paper: Mail paper applications to the Rural Utilities Service, Telecommunications Program, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250– 1597. Mark address with ‘‘Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service.’’ (2) Electronic: Submit electronic applications through Grants.gov. Information on electronic submission is available on the Grants.gov website (https://www.grants.gov) at any time, regardless of registration status. However, applicants must pre-register with Grants.gov to use the electronic submission option. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, telephone: (202) 720–0800, fax:1–884–885–8179. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Overview Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Funding Opportunity Title: Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants. Announcement Type: Initial announcement. Funding Opportunity Number: RUS– 18–01–DLT. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.855. Dates: Submit completed paper or electronic applications for grants according to the deadline indicated in Section D(5). Items in Supplementary Information A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review Information F. Award Administration Information G. Agency Contacts H. Other Information amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES A. Program Description DLT grants are designed to provide access to education, training, and health care resources for rural Americans. The DLT Program is authorized by 7 U.S.C. 950aaa and provides financial assistance to encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Apr 02, 2018 Jkt 244001 telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents. The regulation for the DLT Program can be found at 7 CFR part 1734. The grants, which are awarded through a competitive process, may be used to fund telecommunicationsenabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies which extend educational and medical access into rural areas. Grants are intended to benefit end users in rural areas, who are often not in the same location as the source of the educational or health care service. As in years past, the FY 2018 DLT Grant Application Guide has been updated based on program experience. The Application Guide has also been updated to reflect the new program regulations, 7 CFR 1734. All applicants should carefully review and prepare their applications according to instructions in the FY 2018 Application Guide and sample materials. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant’s own risk. iv. A consortium, as defined in 7 CFR 1734.3; or v. Other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a forprofit or not-for-profit basis. b. Corporations that have been convicted of a Federal felony within the past 24 months are not eligible. Any corporation that has been assessed to have any unpaid federal tax liability, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed and is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance. c. Applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and have an active registration at time of application submittal with current information in the System for Award Management (SAM) (previously the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)) at https://www.sam.gov. Further information regarding DUNS number acquisition and SAM registration can be found in Sections D(3) and D(4) of this notice. B. Federal Award Information Under 7 CFR 1734.24, the Administrator will establish the maximum and minimum amounts of a grant to be made available to an individual recipient for each fiscal year. For FY 2018 the minimum amount of a grant is set at $50,000 and the maximum amount is set at $500,000. The Agency will make awards, and the successful applicants will be required to execute documents appropriate to the project before funding will be advanced. Award documents specify the term of each award. The standard grant agreement is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/ DLTGrantAgreement-2017.pdf. Prior DLT grants cannot be renewed; however, existing DLT awardees can submit applications for new projects which will be evaluated as new applications. Grant applications must be submitted during the application window. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching The DLT Program requires matching contributions for grants. See 7 CFR 1734.22 and the FY 2018 Application Guide for information on required matching contributions. a. Grant applicants must demonstrate matching contributions, in cash or in kind (new or non-depreciated items), of at least fifteen (15) percent of the grant amount requested. Matching contributions must be used for approved purposes for grants (see 7 CFR 1734.21 and Section D(7)(b) of this Notice). b. Applications that do not provide sufficient documentation of the required 15 percent match will be declared ineligible. c. Discounts and Donations. In review of applications submitted in the past, it was determined that vendor donated matches did not have value without a required, subsequent purchase of vendor equipment or licenses with grant funds. For example, in many grant applications, software licenses were donated in satisfaction of the matching requirement. However, such licenses only worked with, and thus only had value with, the same vendor’s equipment. Additionally, by side agreement, grant applicants were required to purchase the vendor’s equipment once the grant was made with grant funds. The agency determined that such a practice violated federal procurement standards found at 2 CFR 200.317–326, given that the grant C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants (See 7 CFR 1734.4) a. Only entities legally organized as one of the following are eligible for DLT Grant Program financial assistance: i. An incorporated organization; ii. An Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b (b) and (c); iii. A state or local unit of government; PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / Notices applicant could not put the purchase out for bid, either because no other equipment would work with the ‘‘donated’’ licenses, or because they were contractually obligated to buy the equipment before the grant was made. As such, the agency has determined that vendor matches requiring subsequent purchases, either by necessity or contract, are not permitted. d. Eligible Equipment and Facilities. See 7 CFR 1734 and the FY 2018 Application Guide for more information regarding eligible and ineligible items. 3. Other a. Ineligibility of Projects in Coastal Barrier Resources Act Areas. Projects located in areas covered by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) are not eligible for financial assistance from the DLT Program. See 7 CFR 1734.23(a)(11). D. Application and Submission Information The FY 2018 Application Guide provides specific, detailed instructions for each item of a complete application. The Agency emphasizes the importance of including every required item and strongly encourages applicants to follow the instructions carefully, using the examples and illustrations in the FY 2018 Application Guide. Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, as long as such requests are made prior to May 18, 2018. Agency contact information can be found in Section G of this NOSA. The Agency will not solicit or consider new scoring or eligibility information that is submitted after the application deadline; however the Agency reserves the right to contact applicants to seek clarification on materials contained in the submitted application. See the FY 2018 Application Guide for a full discussion of each required item. For requirements of completed grant applications, refer to 7 CFR 1734.25. 1. Address To Request Application Package. The FY 2018 Application Guide, copies of necessary forms and samples, and the DLT Program regulation are available as follows: a. Electronic Copies are available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programsservices/distance-learning-telemedicinegrants. b. Paper Copies are available from the Rural Utilities Service, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, 202–720– 0800. 14247 2. Content and Form of Application Submission a. Carefully review the FY 2018 DLT Application Guide and 7 CFR part 1734, which detail all necessary forms and worksheets. A table summarizing the necessary components of a complete application can be found in this section. b. Description of Project Sites. Most DLT grant projects contain several project sites. Site information must be consistent throughout the application. The Agency has provided a site worksheet that lists the required information. Applicants should complete the site worksheet with all requisite information. Applications without consistent site information will be returned as ineligible. c. Submission of Application Items. Given the high volume of program interest, applicants should submit the required application items in the order indicated in the FY 2018 Application Guide. Applications that are not assembled and tabbed in the specified order prevent timely determination of eligibility. For applications with inconsistencies among submitted copies, the Agency will base its evaluation on the original signed application received. d. Table of Required Application Items. Regulation Comments SF–424 (Application for Federal Assistance Form) ......... Executive Summary of the Project ................................... Scoring Criteria and Special Consideration Documentation. 7 CFR 1734.25(a) .............. 7 CFR 1734.25(b) .............. 7 CFR 1734.25(c) .............. Scope of Work .................................................................. Financial Information and Sustainability ........................... Statement of Experience .................................................. Evidence of Leverage and Funding Commitments from All Sources. Telecommunications System Plan ................................... Compliance with other Federal Statutes .......................... Non-Duplication of Services ............................................. Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants. Environmental Review Requirements ............................... Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence ...................... Federal Debt Certification ................................................. Consultation with USDA State Director ............................ Supplemental Information ................................................. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Application item 7 7 7 7 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Tool Kit. Narrative. Provide documentation on how applicant meets each of the scoring criteria and special considerations contained in § 1734.26. Narrative & Documentation. Narrative. Narrative. Agency Worksheet and narrative. e. Number of copies of submitted applications. i. Paper submissions. Submit the original application and one (1) paper copy to RUS, as well as one digital copy on a Flash Drive. Submit one additional copy to the state government single point of contact as described in Subsection iii below. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Apr 02, 2018 Jkt 244001 CFR CFR CFR CFR 1734.25(d) .............. 1734.25(e) .............. 1734.25(f) ............... 1734.25(g) .............. 7 CFR 1734.25(h) .............. 7 CFR 1734.25(i) ............... ............................................. ............................................. Documentation. Form provided in FY 2018 Application Tool Kit. Form provided in FY 2018 Application Tool Kit. Form provided in FY 2018 Application Tool Kit. 7 7 7 7 7 Form provided in FY 2018 Application Tool Kit. Documentation. Form provided in FY 2018 Application Tool Kit. Documentation. Documentation. CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR 1734.25(j) ............... 1734.25(k) .............. 1734.25(l) ............... 1734.25(m) ............. 1734. 25(n) ............. ii. Electronic submissions. Submit the electronic application once. Do not send a paper copy to RUS. Applicants should identify and number each page in the same manner as the paper application. Submit one (1) additional copy to the State government single point of contact as described in Subsection iii below. iii. State Government Single Point of Contact. Submit one (1) copy to the PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 State government single point of contact, if one has been designated, at the same time as application submission to the Agency. If the project is located in more than one State, submit a copy to each applicable State government single point of contact. Go to https:// www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/ uploads/2017/11/Intergovernmental_- E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 14248 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / Notices Prior to submitting a paper or an electronic application, the applicant must register in SAM at https:// www.sam.gov. Throughout the RUS application review and the active Federal grant funding period, SAM registration must be active with current data at all times. To maintain active SAM registration, the applicant must review and update the information in the SAM database annually from the date of initial registration or from the date of the last update. The applicant must ensure that the information in the database is current, accurate, and complete. procedure when selecting their application delivery method. b. Electronic grant applications must be received no later than June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. i. Applications will not be accepted via fax or electronic mail. ii. Electronic applications for grants must be submitted through the Federal government’s Grants.gov initiative at https://www.grants.gov. iii. Grants.gov requires some credentialing and online authentication procedures. These procedures may take several business days to complete. Therefore, the applicant should complete the registration, credentialing, and authorization procedures at Grants.gov before submitting an application. Instructions on all required passwords, credentialing, and software are available on Grants.gov. iv. If system errors or technical difficulties occur, use the customer support resources available at the Grants.gov website. c. If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day. 5. Submission Dates and Times 6. Intergovernmental Review a. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late applications, applications which do not include proof of mailing or shipping, and incomplete applications are not eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. i. Address paper applications to the Telecommunications Program, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250– 1597. Applications should be marked, ‘‘Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval.’’ ii. Paper applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by the deadline consisting of one of the following: A. A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark; B. A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the USPS; or C. A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier. iii. Due to screening procedures at the USDA, packages arriving via regular mail through the USPS are irradiated, which can damage the contents and delay delivery to RUS. RUS encourages applicants to consider the impact of this The DLT Grant Program is subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ As stated in section D(2)(e)(iii) of this notice, a copy of a DLT grant application must be submitted to the state single point of contact, if one has been designated. Review-_SPOC_01_2018_OFFM.pdf for state office contact information. 3. Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number The applicant for a grant must supply a DUNS number as part of the application. The applicant can obtain the DUNS number free of charge by calling Dun and Bradstreet. Go to https:// fedgov.dnb.com/webform for more information on DUNS number acquisition or confirmation. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 4. System for Award Management (SAM) VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Apr 02, 2018 Jkt 244001 7. Funding Restrictions a. Hub sites located in non-rural areas are not eligible for grant assistance unless they are necessary to provide DLT services to rural residents at end user sites. See 7 CFR 1734.2(h). b. Ineligible and Eligible Items. Applicants should exclude ineligible items and ineligible matching contributions from the budget unless those items are clearly documented as vital to the project. See the FY 2018 Application Guide for a recommended budget format and detailed budget compilation instructions. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria Grant applications are scored competitively and are subject to the criteria listed below. See 7 CFR 1734.26, the FY 2018 Application Guide, and the funding opportunity posted on https:// www.grants.gov for more information on the scoring criteria. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 a. Rurality Category. Rurality of the end user sites proposed in the application (up to 40 points). b. Economic Need Category. County poverty percentage of the end user sites proposed in the application. The percentages must be determined by utilizing the United States Census Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program (up to 30 points). c. Service Needs and Benefits Category. An analysis addressing the extent to which the proposed project meets the need for distance learning or telemedicine services in rural areas, benefits derived from the services proposed by the project, and local community involvement in planning, implementing and financial assistance of the project. RUS will consider the extent of the applicant’s analysis explaining the challenges imposed by the following criteria, how the project proposes to address these issues and why the applicant cannot complete the project without a grant (up to 30 points): i. Economic characteristics. ii. Educational challenges. iii. Health care needs. d. Special Consideration. Special consideration points will be awarded for projects having the following primary purpose (up to 10 points): i. Telemedicine projects which propose to provide treatment and counseling services for opioid abuse; and ii. Distance learning projects which propose to provide access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses. 2. Review and Selection Process Grant applications are ranked by the final score. RUS selects applications based on those rankings, subject to the availability of funds. In addition, the Agency has the authority to limit the number of applications selected in any one state or for any one project during a fiscal year. See 7 CFR 1734.27 for a description of the grant application selection process. In addition, an application receiving fewer points can be selected over a higher scoring application in the event that there are insufficient funds available to cover the costs of the higher scoring application, as stated in 7 CFR 1734.27(b)(3). a. In addition to ranking the applications based on the scoring criteria, the Agency evaluates grant applications on the following items, in accordance with 7 CFR 1734.27(c): i. Financial feasibility. A proposal that does not indicate financial feasibility or that is not sustainable will not be approved for an award. E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / Notices ii. Technical considerations. An application that contains flaws that would prevent the successful implementation, operation, or sustainability of the project will not be approved for an award. iii. Other aspects of proposals that contain inadequacies that would undermine the ability of the project to comply with the policies of the DLT Program. F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices RUS notifies applicants whose projects are selected for awards by mailing or emailing a copy of an award letter. The receipt of an award letter does not authorize the applicant to commence performance under the award. After sending the award letter, the Agency will send an agreement that contains all the terms and conditions for the grant. An applicant must execute and return the grant agreement, accompanied by any additional items required by the agreement, within the number of days specified in the selection notice letter. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements The items listed in Section E of this notice, the DLT Grant Program regulation, FY 2018 Application Guide and accompanying materials implement the appropriate administrative and national policy requirements, which include but are not limited to: a. Executing a DLT Grant Agreement. b. Using Form SF 270, ‘‘Request for Advance or Reimbursement,’’ to request reimbursements (along with the submission of receipts for expenditures, timesheets, and any other documentation to support the request for reimbursement). c. Providing annual project performance activity reports until the expiration of the award. d. Ensuring that records are maintained to document all activities and expenditures utilizing DLT grant funds and matching funds (receipts for expenditures are to be included in this documentation). e. Providing a final project performance report. f. Complying with policies, guidance, and requirements as described in the following applicable Code of Federal Regulations, and any successor regulations: i. 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Apr 02, 2018 Jkt 244001 ii. 2 CFR parts 417 and 180 (Government-wide Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension). g. Signing Form AD–3031, ‘‘Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants’’ (for corporate applicants only). h. Complying with Executive Order 13166, ‘‘Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.’’ For information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to https://www.LEP.gov. i. Accountability and Compliance with Civil Rights Laws. 1901.201 Purpose. This subpart contains policies and procedures for implementing the regulations of the Department of Agriculture issued pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Executive Order 13166, Executive Order 11246, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, as they relate to the Rural Development (Rural Development). Nothing herein shall be interpreted to prohibit preference to American Indians on Indian Reservations. The policies contained in subpart E of part 1901 apply to recipients. Recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to comply with the applicable Federal, State and local laws. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Recipients are required to adhere to specific outreach activities. These outreach activities include, contacting community organizations and leaders that include minority leaders, advertising in local newspapers and other media throughout the entire service area, and including the nondiscrimination slogan, ‘‘This is an Equal Opportunity Program. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal Law, ‘‘in methods that may include, but not be limited to, advertisements, public broadcasts, and printed materials, such as, brochures and pamphlets. All recipients must submit and have on file a valid Form RD 400–1, ‘‘Equal Opportunity Agreement,’’ and RUS Form 266 or RD Form 400–4, ‘‘Assurance Agreement.’’ By signing Form 400–4 or 266, Assurance Agreement recipients affirm that they will operate the program free from discrimination. The recipient will maintain the race and ethnic data on the board members and beneficiaries of the program. The Recipient will provide alternative forms of communication to persons with limited English proficiency. The Agency will conduct PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14249 Civil Rights Compliance Reviews on recipients to identify the collection of racial and ethnic data on Program beneficiaries. In addition, the Compliance review will ensure that equal access to the Program benefits and activities are provided for persons with disabilities and language barriers. 3. Reporting a. Performance reporting. All recipients of DLT financial assistance must provide annual performance activity reports to RUS until the project is complete and the funds are expended. A final performance report is also required; the final report may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an evaluation of the success of the project in meeting the DLT Grant Program objectives. See 7 CFR 1734.7 for additional information on these reporting requirements. b. Financial reporting. All recipients of DLT financial assistance must provide an annual audit, beginning with the first year in which a portion of the financial assistance is expended. Audits are governed by USDA audit regulations. See 7 CFR 1734.8 and 2 CFR part 200, subpart F for a description of the audit requirements. c. Recipient and Sub-recipient Reporting. The applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements for first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 in the event the applicant receives funding, unless such applicant is exempt from such reporting requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 170.110(b). The reporting requirements under the Transparency Act pursuant to 2 CFR part 170 are as follows: i. First Tier Sub-Awards of $25,000 or more (unless they are exempt under 2 CFR part 170) must be reported by the recipient to https://www.fsrs.gov no later than the end of the month following the month the obligation was made. Please note that currently underway is a consolidation of eight federal procurement systems, including the Federal Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS), into one system, the System for Award Management (SAM). As a result, the FSRS will soon be consolidated into and accessed through https://www.sam.gov. ii. The total compensation of the recipient’s executives (the five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the recipient (if the recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to https://www.sam.gov by the E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 14250 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / Notices end of the month following the month in which the award was made. iii. The total compensation of the subrecipient’s executives (the five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the sub-recipient (if the subrecipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to the recipient by the end of the month following the month in which the sub-award was made. d. Recordkeeping and Accounting. The agreement will contain provisions related to record keeping and accounting requirements. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts 1. Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/distance-learningtelemedicine-grants. The DLT website maintains up-to-date resources and contact information for the DLT program. 2. Telephone: 202–720–0800. 3. Fax: 1–844–885–8179. 4. Email: dltinfo@wdc.usda.gov. 5. Main point of contact: Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 1. USDA Non-Discrimination Statement In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, familial status, disability, limited English proficiency, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at 202–720–2600 (voice and TDD) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination 16:47 Apr 02, 2018 Dated: March 22, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2018–06503 Filed 4–2–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census National Advisory Committee H. Other Information VerDate Sep<11>2014 Complaint Form, AD–3027, found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/ad3027-usda-program-discriminationcomplaint-form and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632–9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: a. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410; b. Facsimile: (202) 690–7442; or c. Email: at program.intake@usda.gov. d. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Jkt 244001 Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) gives notice of a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC). The NAC addresses policy, research, and technical issues relating to all Census Bureau programs and activities. These activities include the production and dissemination of detailed demographic and economic statistics across all program areas, including the Decennial Census Program. The NAC is scheduled to meet in a plenary session on June 14–15, 2018. Planned topics of discussion include the following items: • 2020 Census Program updates • 2020 Census Operations: Integrated Communications Plan • Undercount of Young Children Working Group update • Integrated Partnership and Communications Working Group update Please visit the Census Advisory Committees website for the most current meeting agenda at: https:// www.census.gov/about/cac.html. The meeting will be available via webcast at: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/ census-live.html. DATES: June 14–15, 2018. On Thursday, June 14, the meeting will begin at 8:30 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. On Friday, June 15, the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau Auditorium, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tara Dunlop Jackson, Branch Chief for Advisory Committees, Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office, at tara.dunlop.jackson@census.gov, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H177, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone 301–763–5222. For TTY callers, please use the Federal Relay Service 1–800– 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NAC was established in March 2012 and operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Title 5, United States Code, Appendix 2, Section 10). The NAC members are appointed by the Director of the Census Bureau and provide recommendations to the Director on statistical and data collection issues on topics such as hardto-reach populations, race and ethnicity, language, aging populations, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal considerations, new immigrant populations, populations affected by natural disasters, highly mobile and migrant populations, complex households, rural populations, and population segments with limited access to technology. The Committee also advises on data privacy and confidentiality, among other issues. All meetings are open to the public. A brief period will be set aside at the meeting for public comment on Friday, June 15. However, individuals with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing to: census.national.advisory.committee@ census.gov (subject line ‘‘June 2018 NAC Meeting Public Comment’’) or by letter submission to Tara Dunlop Jackson, Committee Liaison Officer, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H177, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233. If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Monday, June 11. You may access the online registration from the following link: https:// www.regonline.com/nac_meeting_ june2018_active. Seating is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should also be directed to the Committee Liaison Officer as soon E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 3, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14245-14250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-06503]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of solicitation of applications (NOSA).

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

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United 
States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or 
the Agency, announces its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) 
Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The Agency 
is publishing the amount of funding received in the appropriations act 
on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing 
applications will be at the applicant's risk.
    In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the 
minimum and maximum amounts for DLT grants applicable for the fiscal 
year. The DLT Grant Program regulation can be found at 7 CFR part 1734, 
subpart B. This DLT Grant Program regulation replaced the previous DLT 
Grant Program regulation, 7 CFR part 1703, subpart E, on December 27, 
2017.

DATES: Submit completed paper or electronic applications for grants 
according to the following deadlines:
     Paper submissions: Paper submissions must be postmarked 
and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 4, 2018 to be 
eligible for FY 2018 grant funding. Late or incomplete applications 
will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.
     Electronic submissions: Electronic submissions must be 
received no later than June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 grant 
funding. Late or incomplete applications will not be eligible for FY 
2018 grant funding.
     If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a 
Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the FY 2018 Application Guide and materials for 
the DLT Grant Program may be obtained through:
    (1) The DLT website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/

[[Page 14246]]

distance-learning-telemedicine-grants, or
    (2) The RUS Office of Loan Origination and Approval at 202-720-
0800.
    Completed applications may be submitted the following ways:
    (1) Paper: Mail paper applications to the Rural Utilities Service, 
Telecommunications Program, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2844, STOP 
1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Mark address with ``Attention: Deputy 
Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural 
Utilities Service.''
    (2) Electronic: Submit electronic applications through Grants.gov. 
Information on electronic submission is available on the Grants.gov 
website (https://www.grants.gov) at any time, regardless of 
registration status. However, applicants must pre-register with 
Grants.gov to use the electronic submission option.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, telephone: (202) 720-0800, 
fax:1-884-885-8179.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
    Funding Opportunity Title: Distance Learning and Telemedicine 
Grants.
    Announcement Type: Initial announcement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: RUS-18-01-DLT.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.855.
    Dates: Submit completed paper or electronic applications for grants 
according to the deadline indicated in Section D(5).

Items in Supplementary Information

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review Information
F. Award Administration Information
G. Agency Contacts
H. Other Information

A. Program Description

    DLT grants are designed to provide access to education, training, 
and health care resources for rural Americans. The DLT Program is 
authorized by 7 U.S.C. 950aaa and provides financial assistance to 
encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning services in 
rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, 
and related advanced technologies by students, teachers, medical 
professionals, and rural residents. The regulation for the DLT Program 
can be found at 7 CFR part 1734.
    The grants, which are awarded through a competitive process, may be 
used to fund telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video 
equipment, and related advanced technologies which extend educational 
and medical access into rural areas. Grants are intended to benefit end 
users in rural areas, who are often not in the same location as the 
source of the educational or health care service.
    As in years past, the FY 2018 DLT Grant Application Guide has been 
updated based on program experience. The Application Guide has also 
been updated to reflect the new program regulations, 7 CFR 1734. All 
applicants should carefully review and prepare their applications 
according to instructions in the FY 2018 Application Guide and sample 
materials. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the 
applicant's own risk.

B. Federal Award Information

    Under 7 CFR 1734.24, the Administrator will establish the maximum 
and minimum amounts of a grant to be made available to an individual 
recipient for each fiscal year. For FY 2018 the minimum amount of a 
grant is set at $50,000 and the maximum amount is set at $500,000.
    The Agency will make awards, and the successful applicants will be 
required to execute documents appropriate to the project before funding 
will be advanced. Award documents specify the term of each award. The 
standard grant agreement is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/DLTGrantAgreement-2017.pdf. Prior DLT grants cannot be renewed; 
however, existing DLT awardees can submit applications for new projects 
which will be evaluated as new applications. Grant applications must be 
submitted during the application window.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants (See 7 CFR 1734.4)

    a. Only entities legally organized as one of the following are 
eligible for DLT Grant Program financial assistance:
    i. An incorporated organization;
    ii. An Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 
450b (b) and (c);
    iii. A state or local unit of government;
    iv. A consortium, as defined in 7 CFR 1734.3; or
    v. Other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on 
a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.
    b. Corporations that have been convicted of a Federal felony within 
the past 24 months are not eligible. Any corporation that has been 
assessed to have any unpaid federal tax liability, for which all 
judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed 
and is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with 
the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not 
eligible for financial assistance.
    c. Applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number and have an active registration at time 
of application submittal with current information in the System for 
Award Management (SAM) (previously the Central Contractor Registry 
(CCR)) at https://www.sam.gov. Further information regarding DUNS 
number acquisition and SAM registration can be found in Sections D(3) 
and D(4) of this notice.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The DLT Program requires matching contributions for grants. See 7 
CFR 1734.22 and the FY 2018 Application Guide for information on 
required matching contributions.
    a. Grant applicants must demonstrate matching contributions, in 
cash or in kind (new or non-depreciated items), of at least fifteen 
(15) percent of the grant amount requested. Matching contributions must 
be used for approved purposes for grants (see 7 CFR 1734.21 and Section 
D(7)(b) of this Notice).
    b. Applications that do not provide sufficient documentation of the 
required 15 percent match will be declared ineligible.
    c. Discounts and Donations. In review of applications submitted in 
the past, it was determined that vendor donated matches did not have 
value without a required, subsequent purchase of vendor equipment or 
licenses with grant funds. For example, in many grant applications, 
software licenses were donated in satisfaction of the matching 
requirement. However, such licenses only worked with, and thus only had 
value with, the same vendor's equipment. Additionally, by side 
agreement, grant applicants were required to purchase the vendor's 
equipment once the grant was made with grant funds. The agency 
determined that such a practice violated federal procurement standards 
found at 2 CFR 200.317-326, given that the grant

[[Page 14247]]

applicant could not put the purchase out for bid, either because no 
other equipment would work with the ``donated'' licenses, or because 
they were contractually obligated to buy the equipment before the grant 
was made. As such, the agency has determined that vendor matches 
requiring subsequent purchases, either by necessity or contract, are 
not permitted.
    d. Eligible Equipment and Facilities. See 7 CFR 1734 and the FY 
2018 Application Guide for more information regarding eligible and 
ineligible items.

3. Other

    a. Ineligibility of Projects in Coastal Barrier Resources Act 
Areas. Projects located in areas covered by the Coastal Barrier 
Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) are not eligible for financial 
assistance from the DLT Program. See 7 CFR 1734.23(a)(11).

D. Application and Submission Information

    The FY 2018 Application Guide provides specific, detailed 
instructions for each item of a complete application. The Agency 
emphasizes the importance of including every required item and strongly 
encourages applicants to follow the instructions carefully, using the 
examples and illustrations in the FY 2018 Application Guide. Prior to 
official submission of applications, applicants may request technical 
assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, as long as 
such requests are made prior to May 18, 2018. Agency contact 
information can be found in Section G of this NOSA. The Agency will not 
solicit or consider new scoring or eligibility information that is 
submitted after the application deadline; however the Agency reserves 
the right to contact applicants to seek clarification on materials 
contained in the submitted application. See the FY 2018 Application 
Guide for a full discussion of each required item. For requirements of 
completed grant applications, refer to 7 CFR 1734.25.

1. Address To Request Application Package.

    The FY 2018 Application Guide, copies of necessary forms and 
samples, and the DLT Program regulation are available as follows:
    a. Electronic Copies are available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants.
    b. Paper Copies are available from the Rural Utilities Service, 
Office of Loan Origination and Approval, 202-720-0800.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    a. Carefully review the FY 2018 DLT Application Guide and 7 CFR 
part 1734, which detail all necessary forms and worksheets. A table 
summarizing the necessary components of a complete application can be 
found in this section.
    b. Description of Project Sites. Most DLT grant projects contain 
several project sites. Site information must be consistent throughout 
the application. The Agency has provided a site worksheet that lists 
the required information. Applicants should complete the site worksheet 
with all requisite information. Applications without consistent site 
information will be returned as ineligible.
    c. Submission of Application Items. Given the high volume of 
program interest, applicants should submit the required application 
items in the order indicated in the FY 2018 Application Guide. 
Applications that are not assembled and tabbed in the specified order 
prevent timely determination of eligibility. For applications with 
inconsistencies among submitted copies, the Agency will base its 
evaluation on the original signed application received.
    d. Table of Required Application Items.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Application item             Regulation            Comments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
SF-424 (Application for         7 CFR 1734.25(a).  Form provided in FY
 Federal Assistance Form).                          2018 Application
                                                    Tool Kit.
Executive Summary of the        7 CFR 1734.25(b).  Narrative.
 Project.
Scoring Criteria and Special    7 CFR 1734.25(c).  Provide documentation
 Consideration Documentation.                       on how applicant
                                                    meets each of the
                                                    scoring criteria and
                                                    special
                                                    considerations
                                                    contained in Sec.
                                                    1734.26.
Scope of Work.................  7 CFR 1734.25(d).  Narrative &
                                                    Documentation.
Financial Information and       7 CFR 1734.25(e).  Narrative.
 Sustainability.
Statement of Experience.......  7 CFR 1734.25(f).  Narrative.
Evidence of Leverage and        7 CFR 1734.25(g).  Agency Worksheet and
 Funding Commitments from All                       narrative.
 Sources.
Telecommunications System Plan  7 CFR 1734.25(h).  Documentation.
Compliance with other Federal   7 CFR 1734.25(i).  Form provided in FY
 Statutes.                                          2018 Application
                                                    Tool Kit.
Non-Duplication of Services...  .................  Form provided in FY
                                                    2018 Application
                                                    Tool Kit.
Assurance Regarding Felony      .................  Form provided in FY
 Conviction or Tax Delinquent                       2018 Application
 Status for Corporate                               Tool Kit.
 Applicants.
Environmental Review            7 CFR 1734.25(j).  Form provided in FY
 Requirements.                                      2018 Application
                                                    Tool Kit.
Evidence of Legal Authority     7 CFR 1734.25(k).  Documentation.
 and Existence.
Federal Debt Certification....  7 CFR 1734.25(l).  Form provided in FY
                                                    2018 Application
                                                    Tool Kit.
Consultation with USDA State    7 CFR 1734.25(m).  Documentation.
 Director.
Supplemental Information......  7 CFR 1734. 25(n)  Documentation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    e. Number of copies of submitted applications.
    i. Paper submissions. Submit the original application and one (1) 
paper copy to RUS, as well as one digital copy on a Flash Drive. Submit 
one additional copy to the state government single point of contact as 
described in Subsection iii below.
    ii. Electronic submissions. Submit the electronic application once. 
Do not send a paper copy to RUS. Applicants should identify and number 
each page in the same manner as the paper application. Submit one (1) 
additional copy to the State government single point of contact as 
described in Subsection iii below.
    iii. State Government Single Point of Contact. Submit one (1) copy 
to the State government single point of contact, if one has been 
designated, at the same time as application submission to the Agency. 
If the project is located in more than one State, submit a copy to each 
applicable State government single point of contact. Go to https://
www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Intergovernmental_-

[[Page 14248]]

Review-_SPOC_01_2018_OFFM.pdf for state office contact information.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number

    The applicant for a grant must supply a DUNS number as part of the 
application. The applicant can obtain the DUNS number free of charge by 
calling Dun and Bradstreet. Go to https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform for 
more information on DUNS number acquisition or confirmation.

4. System for Award Management (SAM)

    Prior to submitting a paper or an electronic application, the 
applicant must register in SAM at https://www.sam.gov. Throughout the 
RUS application review and the active Federal grant funding period, SAM 
registration must be active with current data at all times. To maintain 
active SAM registration, the applicant must review and update the 
information in the SAM database annually from the date of initial 
registration or from the date of the last update. The applicant must 
ensure that the information in the database is current, accurate, and 
complete.

5. Submission Dates and Times

    a. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or 
sent overnight no later than June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 
grant funding. Late applications, applications which do not include 
proof of mailing or shipping, and incomplete applications are not 
eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.
    i. Address paper applications to the Telecommunications Program, 
RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 
2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Applications should be 
marked, ``Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan 
Origination and Approval.''
    ii. Paper applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by 
the deadline consisting of one of the following:
    A. A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark;
    B. A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
USPS; or
    C. A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    iii. Due to screening procedures at the USDA, packages arriving via 
regular mail through the USPS are irradiated, which can damage the 
contents and delay delivery to RUS. RUS encourages applicants to 
consider the impact of this procedure when selecting their application 
delivery method.
    b. Electronic grant applications must be received no later than 
June 4, 2018 to be eligible for FY 2018 funding. Late or incomplete 
applications will not be eligible for FY 2018 grant funding.
    i. Applications will not be accepted via fax or electronic mail.
    ii. Electronic applications for grants must be submitted through 
the Federal government's Grants.gov initiative at https://www.grants.gov.
    iii. Grants.gov requires some credentialing and online 
authentication procedures. These procedures may take several business 
days to complete. Therefore, the applicant should complete the 
registration, credentialing, and authorization procedures at Grants.gov 
before submitting an application. Instructions on all required 
passwords, credentialing, and software are available on Grants.gov.
    iv. If system errors or technical difficulties occur, use the 
customer support resources available at the Grants.gov website.
    c. If the submission deadline falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a 
Federal holiday, the application is due the next business day.

6. Intergovernmental Review

    The DLT Grant Program is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' As stated in section 
D(2)(e)(iii) of this notice, a copy of a DLT grant application must be 
submitted to the state single point of contact, if one has been 
designated.

7. Funding Restrictions

    a. Hub sites located in non-rural areas are not eligible for grant 
assistance unless they are necessary to provide DLT services to rural 
residents at end user sites. See 7 CFR 1734.2(h).
    b. Ineligible and Eligible Items. Applicants should exclude 
ineligible items and ineligible matching contributions from the budget 
unless those items are clearly documented as vital to the project. See 
the FY 2018 Application Guide for a recommended budget format and 
detailed budget compilation instructions.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

    Grant applications are scored competitively and are subject to the 
criteria listed below. See 7 CFR 1734.26, the FY 2018 Application 
Guide, and the funding opportunity posted on https://www.grants.gov for 
more information on the scoring criteria.
    a. Rurality Category. Rurality of the end user sites proposed in 
the application (up to 40 points).
    b. Economic Need Category. County poverty percentage of the end 
user sites proposed in the application. The percentages must be 
determined by utilizing the United States Census Small Area Income and 
Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program (up to 30 points).
    c. Service Needs and Benefits Category. An analysis addressing the 
extent to which the proposed project meets the need for distance 
learning or telemedicine services in rural areas, benefits derived from 
the services proposed by the project, and local community involvement 
in planning, implementing and financial assistance of the project. RUS 
will consider the extent of the applicant's analysis explaining the 
challenges imposed by the following criteria, how the project proposes 
to address these issues and why the applicant cannot complete the 
project without a grant (up to 30 points):
    i. Economic characteristics.
    ii. Educational challenges.
    iii. Health care needs.
    d. Special Consideration. Special consideration points will be 
awarded for projects having the following primary purpose (up to 10 
points):
    i. Telemedicine projects which propose to provide treatment and 
counseling services for opioid abuse; and
    ii. Distance learning projects which propose to provide access to 
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.

2. Review and Selection Process

    Grant applications are ranked by the final score. RUS selects 
applications based on those rankings, subject to the availability of 
funds. In addition, the Agency has the authority to limit the number of 
applications selected in any one state or for any one project during a 
fiscal year. See 7 CFR 1734.27 for a description of the grant 
application selection process. In addition, an application receiving 
fewer points can be selected over a higher scoring application in the 
event that there are insufficient funds available to cover the costs of 
the higher scoring application, as stated in 7 CFR 1734.27(b)(3).
    a. In addition to ranking the applications based on the scoring 
criteria, the Agency evaluates grant applications on the following 
items, in accordance with 7 CFR 1734.27(c):
    i. Financial feasibility. A proposal that does not indicate 
financial feasibility or that is not sustainable will not be approved 
for an award.

[[Page 14249]]

    ii. Technical considerations. An application that contains flaws 
that would prevent the successful implementation, operation, or 
sustainability of the project will not be approved for an award.
    iii. Other aspects of proposals that contain inadequacies that 
would undermine the ability of the project to comply with the policies 
of the DLT Program.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notices

    RUS notifies applicants whose projects are selected for awards by 
mailing or emailing a copy of an award letter. The receipt of an award 
letter does not authorize the applicant to commence performance under 
the award. After sending the award letter, the Agency will send an 
agreement that contains all the terms and conditions for the grant. An 
applicant must execute and return the grant agreement, accompanied by 
any additional items required by the agreement, within the number of 
days specified in the selection notice letter.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    The items listed in Section E of this notice, the DLT Grant Program 
regulation, FY 2018 Application Guide and accompanying materials 
implement the appropriate administrative and national policy 
requirements, which include but are not limited to:
    a. Executing a DLT Grant Agreement.
    b. Using Form SF 270, ``Request for Advance or Reimbursement,'' to 
request reimbursements (along with the submission of receipts for 
expenditures, timesheets, and any other documentation to support the 
request for reimbursement).
    c. Providing annual project performance activity reports until the 
expiration of the award.
    d. Ensuring that records are maintained to document all activities 
and expenditures utilizing DLT grant funds and matching funds (receipts 
for expenditures are to be included in this documentation).
    e. Providing a final project performance report.
    f. Complying with policies, guidance, and requirements as described 
in the following applicable Code of Federal Regulations, and any 
successor regulations:
    i. 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, 
Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards).
    ii. 2 CFR parts 417 and 180 (Government-wide Nonprocurement 
Debarment and Suspension).
    g. Signing Form AD-3031, ``Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or 
Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants'' (for corporate 
applicants only).
    h. Complying with Executive Order 13166, ``Improving Access to 
Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.'' For 
information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific 
guidance, go to https://www.LEP.gov.
    i. Accountability and Compliance with Civil Rights Laws.
    1901.201 Purpose. This subpart contains policies and procedures for 
implementing the regulations of the Department of Agriculture issued 
pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VIII of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973, Executive Order 13166, Executive Order 11246, and the 
Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, as they relate to the Rural 
Development (Rural Development). Nothing herein shall be interpreted to 
prohibit preference to American Indians on Indian Reservations.
    The policies contained in subpart E of part 1901 apply to 
recipients. Recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to 
comply with the applicable Federal, State and local laws. Title VI of 
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 
prohibit discrimination by recipients of Federal financial assistance. 
Recipients are required to adhere to specific outreach activities. 
These outreach activities include, contacting community organizations 
and leaders that include minority leaders, advertising in local 
newspapers and other media throughout the entire service area, and 
including the nondiscrimination slogan, ``This is an Equal Opportunity 
Program. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal Law, ``in methods that 
may include, but not be limited to, advertisements, public broadcasts, 
and printed materials, such as, brochures and pamphlets. All recipients 
must submit and have on file a valid Form RD 400-1, ``Equal Opportunity 
Agreement,'' and RUS Form 266 or RD Form 400-4, ``Assurance 
Agreement.''
    By signing Form 400-4 or 266, Assurance Agreement recipients affirm 
that they will operate the program free from discrimination. The 
recipient will maintain the race and ethnic data on the board members 
and beneficiaries of the program. The Recipient will provide 
alternative forms of communication to persons with limited English 
proficiency. The Agency will conduct Civil Rights Compliance Reviews on 
recipients to identify the collection of racial and ethnic data on 
Program beneficiaries. In addition, the Compliance review will ensure 
that equal access to the Program benefits and activities are provided 
for persons with disabilities and language barriers.

3. Reporting

    a. Performance reporting. All recipients of DLT financial 
assistance must provide annual performance activity reports to RUS 
until the project is complete and the funds are expended. A final 
performance report is also required; the final report may serve as the 
last annual report. The final report must include an evaluation of the 
success of the project in meeting the DLT Grant Program objectives. See 
7 CFR 1734.7 for additional information on these reporting 
requirements.
    b. Financial reporting. All recipients of DLT financial assistance 
must provide an annual audit, beginning with the first year in which a 
portion of the financial assistance is expended. Audits are governed by 
USDA audit regulations. See 7 CFR 1734.8 and 2 CFR part 200, subpart F 
for a description of the audit requirements.
    c. Recipient and Sub-recipient Reporting. The applicant must have 
the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the 
reporting requirements for first-tier sub-awards and executive 
compensation under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency 
Act of 2006 in the event the applicant receives funding, unless such 
applicant is exempt from such reporting requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 
170.110(b). The reporting requirements under the Transparency Act 
pursuant to 2 CFR part 170 are as follows:
    i. First Tier Sub-Awards of $25,000 or more (unless they are exempt 
under 2 CFR part 170) must be reported by the recipient to https://www.fsrs.gov no later than the end of the month following the month the 
obligation was made. Please note that currently underway is a 
consolidation of eight federal procurement systems, including the 
Federal Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS), into one system, the System 
for Award Management (SAM). As a result, the FSRS will soon be 
consolidated into and accessed through https://www.sam.gov.
    ii. The total compensation of the recipient's executives (the five 
most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the recipient 
(if the recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to https://www.sam.gov by the

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end of the month following the month in which the award was made.
    iii. The total compensation of the sub-recipient's executives (the 
five most highly compensated executives) must be reported by the sub-
recipient (if the sub-recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 
170) to the recipient by the end of the month following the month in 
which the sub-award was made.
    d. Recordkeeping and Accounting. The agreement will contain 
provisions related to record keeping and accounting requirements.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    1. Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants. The DLT website maintains up-to-date 
resources and contact information for the DLT program.
    2. Telephone: 202-720-0800.
    3. Fax: 1-844-885-8179.
    4. Email: [email protected].
    5. Main point of contact: Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

H. Other Information

1. USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights 
regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and 
employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA 
programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, 
religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sex, gender 
identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, familial 
status, disability, limited English proficiency, or because all or a 
part of an individual's income is derived from a public assistance 
program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil 
rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA 
(not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing 
deadlines vary by program or incident.
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of 
communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible 
Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD) or 
contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 
Additionally, program information may be made available in languages 
other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, 
complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found 
online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/ad-3027-usda-program-discrimination-complaint-form and at any USDA office or write a letter 
addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information 
requested in the form.
    To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. 
Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
    a. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant 
Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 
20250-9410;
    b. Facsimile: (202) 690-7442; or
    c. Email: at [email protected].
    d. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: March 22, 2018.
Christopher A. McLean,
Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-06503 Filed 4-2-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P