Notice of Funding Availability: Inviting Applications for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program, 21260-21263 [2018-09868]

Download as PDF amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES 21260 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices months of the effective date of the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as required), compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of expiration or termination of the agreement. All successful applicants for all grant and cooperative agreements are required to comply with the Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions, which are available online at: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/grants/general_ terms_and_conditions/default.asp. The applicable Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions will be for the last year specified at that URL, unless the application is to continue an award first awarded in an earlier year. In that event, the terms and conditions that apply will be those in effect for the year in which the award was originally made unless explicitly stated otherwise in subsequent mutually-agreed amendments to the award. Before accepting the award the potential awardee should carefully read the approval letter and program agreement for instructions on administering the grant award and the terms and conditions associated with responsibilities under Federal Awards. Recipients must accept all conditions in this NOFA as well as any special terms and conditions in the approval letter and program agreement to receive an award under this program. QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS’ Compliance, Security, and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a QSP participant shall provide to FAS the original documents that support the participant’s reimbursement claims. FAS may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation. 2. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted via the UES within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each participant’s QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures that were presented in the proposal and must include the following standard performance measures: (1) The number of people/organizations/companies trained, (2) the percent of trainees that have a better understanding of the commodity qualities and uses, and (3) the number of people requesting additional information about the commodity by the date of the final report. In addition, a final financial VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 report must be submitted no later than 90 days after completion of the project. This report must provide a final accounting of all project expenditures by cost category and include the accounting of actual contributions made to the project by the applicant and all other participating entities. G. Agency Contact(s) 1. Application Submission Contact(s) and Program Support: For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 2. Grants Management Contact(s): Eric Bozoian, Grants Management Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States, Department of Agriculture, Email: Eric.Bozoian@ fas.usda.gov, Office: (202) 378–1054. Signed at Washington, DC, on the 6 of April, 2018. Bobby Richey, Jr., Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2018–09869 Filed 5–8–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Foreign Agricultural Service Notice of Funding Availability: Inviting Applications for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2019 Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program. The TASC program is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from the U.S. private sector and government agencies for fiscal year 2019 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. Future announcements of funding availability for the TASC program will be made through the Grants.gov website. DATES: To be considered for funding, proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018. Any proposals received after this time will be considered only if SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 funds remain available. FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be made by the end of December 2018, with the initial award dates estimated to be by the end of February 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS website at http:// www.fas.usda.gov/programs/technicalassistance-specialty-crops-tasc. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Award Instrument: Grant. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.604. Authority: The TASC program is authorized by section 3205 of Public Law 107–171. The TASC regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1487. Purpose: The TASC program is designed to assist U.S. organizations by providing funding for projects that seek to remove, resolve, or mitigate sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. U.S. specialty crops, for the purpose of the TASC program, are defined to include all cultivated plants, or the products thereof, produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco. This NOFA is being released prior to Congress appropriating funding for the TASC program for FY 2019. USDA makes no commitment to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards regardless of whether or at what level program funding for FY 2019 is provided. B. Eligibility and Qualification Information 1. Eligible Organizations: Any U.S. organization, private or government, with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural specialty crops may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations may include non– profit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and private companies. Foreign organizations, whether government or private, may participate as third parties in activities carried out by eligible organizations, but are not E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices eligible for direct funding assistance through the program. 2. Qualification Information: To be found eligible for consideration, TASC proposals must address the following criteria: • Projects should identify and address a clear sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barrier that prohibits or threatens the export of U.S. specialty crops; • Projects should demonstrably benefit the represented industry rather than a specific company or brand; • Projects must address barriers to exports of commercially–available U.S. specialty crops; • Projects should include an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the eligible organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance; and • Projects should include performance measures for quantifying progress and demonstrating results. In the development of performance measures, FAS believes the measures should meet the following criteria: Æ Aligned: The indicator should, as closely as possible, measure exactly the relevant result. Æ Clear: The indicator should be precise and unambiguous about what is being measured and how. There should be no doubt on how to measure or interpret the indicator. Æ Quantifiable: The indicator(s) should sufficiently capture all of the elements of a result. Æ Include an identified methodology: The data can be obtained to inform the indicator in a timely and efficient manner and the data are of high–quality. The full set of indicators selected to monitor project performance should be sufficient to inform project management and oversight. 3. Funding Limits: Proposals that request more than $500,000 in funding in a given year will not be considered. 4. Limits on Proposals: Eligible organizations may submit multi–year proposals, although funding for continuing TASC projects is capped at five years. The five years do not have to be consecutive or conducted by the same entity, if the project is the same. Multi–year funding may, at FAS’ discretion, be provided one year at a time with commitments beyond the first year subject to interim evaluations and funding availability. In order to validate funding eligibility, proposals must specify previous years of TASC funding for each proposed activity/title/market/ constraint combination. Government VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 entities are not eligible for multi–year funding. Applicants may submit more than one proposal, and applicants with previously approved TASC proposals may apply for additional funding. However, the maximum number of approved projects that a TASC participant can have underway at any given time is five. 5. Cost–Sharing: Although highly encouraged, there is no cost share requirement for TASC proposals. FAS will, however, consider the applicant’s willingness to contribute resources towards the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals are approved for funding. 6. Funding Restrictions: Funded projects may take place in the United States or abroad. Examples of project expenses that FAS may agree to reimburse under the TASC program include, but are not limited to: Initial pre-clearance programs, export protocol and work plan support, seminars and workshops, study tours, field surveys, development of pest lists, pest, disease, and fumigant research, reasonable logistical and administrative support, and travel and per diem expenses. Certain types of expenses are not eligible for reimbursement by the program, such as the costs of market research, advertising, or other promotional expenses, and will be set forth in the written program agreement between FAS and the participant. FAS will also not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or any expenditure made prior to the approval of a proposal. 7. Intergovernmental Review: An intergovernmental review may be required. Applicants must contact their state’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to comply with their state’s process under Executive Order 12372 (see http:// www.fws.gov/policy/library/ rgeo12372.pdf). To ensure currency, the names and addresses of the SPOCs are maintained at the Office of Management and Budget’s home page at http:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc. C. Award Information It is anticipated that FAS will award approximately 30 awards under the 2019 TASC, subject to programmatic approval and available funding. In general, all qualified proposals received before the submission deadline will compete for funding. FAS will review all proposals against the evaluation criteria contained in the program regulations. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 21261 agreements. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the agreement. FAS or another Federal agency may be involved in the implementation of approved agreements. Once an award reaches its completion date, FAS will confirm that the participant has provided all of the required reports and will review the reports for completeness and content. Once the required reports are approved, FAS will prepare a closeout letter that advises the participant of the award closeout procedures. Closeout letters must be countersigned and returned to FAS as soon as the final claim is submitted and paid, but within 60 days of receipt. Once the closeout procedures have been completed, any remaining funding on the agreement will be deobligated. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Application through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) System: Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit their applications to FAS through the web-based UES application. Using the UES application process reduces paperwork and expedites FAS’ processing and review time. Applicants planning to use the UES system must first contact FAS’ Program Operations Division to obtain site access information, including a user ID and password. The UES internet-based application may be found at the following URL address: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/. Although FAS highly recommends applying via the web-based UES, applicants have the option of submitting an application to FAS via email at podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Applicants experiencing difficulty or otherwise needing assistance applying to the program should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission: All TASC proposals must contain complete information about the proposed projects as described in § 1487.5(b) of the TASC program regulations. Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review. 3. Other Required Information: In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s policy E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES 21262 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at (866) 705–5711. In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that applies to the TASC and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 must: (i) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application or plan; and (ii) Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FAS; and (iii) Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to FAS. FAS may not make an award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements, and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FAS is ready to make the award, FAS may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant. Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each eligible organization that applies to the TASC program and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive TASC funding. 4. Submission Dates and Times: TASC proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as TASC funding is available as set forth below. FAS will track the time and date of receipt of all proposals: • All proposals received via the UES or email by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding with other proposals received by that date; • Proposals not approved for funding during the initial review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing and only if funding remains available; • Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding in the order received only if funding remains available. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria: FAS follows the evaluation criteria set forth in § 1487.6 of the TASC regulations. Reviewers will evaluate according to the following criteria: (1) The nature of the specific export barrier and the extent to which the proposal is likely to successfully remove, resolve, or mitigate that barrier (12.5%); (2) The potential trade impact of the proposed project on market retention, market access, and market expansion, including the potential for expanding commercial sales in the targeted market (12.5%); (3) The completeness and viability of the proposal. Among other things, this can include the cost of the project and the amount of other resources dedicated to the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties (15%); (4) The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal (15%); (5) The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive (17.5%); (6) The degree to which time is essential to addressing specific export barriers (5%); (7) The nature of the applicant organization, with a greater weight given to those organizations with the broadest base of producer representation (12.5%); and (8) The effectiveness of the performance measures and potential of the performance measures to measure project results (10%). 2. Review and Selection Process: FAS will evaluate proposals for eligibility and will review each proposal deemed eligible against the criteria referenced above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. FAS may, when appropriate, request the assistance of other U.S. government subject area experts in evaluating the merits of a proposal. In addition, FAS, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An applicant, at its option, may review PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM. FAS will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 ‘‘Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.’’ F. Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the details of each project, responsibilities of the participant, levels of funding, timelines for implementation, and reporting requirements. All successful applicants for all grant and cooperative agreements are required to comply with the Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions, which are available online at: https://www.fas.usda.gov/grants/ general_terms_and_conditions/ default.asp. The applicable Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions will be for the last year specified at that URL, unless the application is to continue an award first awarded in an earlier year. In that event, the terms and conditions that apply will be those in effect for the year in which the award was originally made unless explicitly stated otherwise in subsequent mutually–agreed amendments to the award. Before accepting the award the potential awardee should carefully read the approval letter and program agreement for instructions on administering the grant award and the terms and conditions associated with responsibilities under Federal Awards. Recipients must accept all conditions in this NOFA as well as any special terms and conditions in the approval letter and program agreement to receive an award under this program. 2. Reporting: TASC participants must provide interim and final performance reports for each approved project, each of which evaluate the TASC project using the performance measures E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices presented in the approved proposal, as set forth in the written program agreement. An interim report must be submitted after each program year, and a separate final report no later than 90 days after the activity is completed. All performance reports must be submitted through the UES. In addition, a final financial report must be submitted no later than 90 days after completion of the project. This report must provide a final accounting of all project expenditures by cost category and include the accounting of actual contributions made to the project by the applicant and all other participating entities. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts 1. Application Submission Contact(s) and Program Support: For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 2. Grants Management Contact(s): Eric Bozoian, Grants Management Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States, Department of Agriculture, Email: Eric.Bozoian@ fas.usda.gov, Office: (202) 378–1054. Signed at Washington, DC, on the 26th of April, 2018. James Higgiston, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2018–09868 Filed 5–8–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Foreign Agricultural Service Notice of Funding Availability: Inviting Applications for the Market Access Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting applications for the 2019 Market Access Program (MAP). The MAP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2019 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. DATES: All applications must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018. Applications received after this date will not be considered. FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be made by the end of October 2018, with the initial award dates estimated to be by the end of December 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: uesadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Information, including a copy of the program regulations, is also available on the FAS website at the following URL address: http:// www.fas.usda.gov/programs/marketaccess-program-map. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Award Instrument: Grant. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.601. Authority: The MAP is authorized under Section 203 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5623), as amended. MAP regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1485. Purpose: The MAP is designed to encourage the development, maintenance, and expansion of commercial export markets for United States agricultural commodities and products through cost-share assistance. Under the MAP, FAS enters into agreements with eligible Participants to share the cost of certain overseas marketing and promotion activities. Financial assistance under the MAP is made available on a competitive basis, and applications are reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and in the MAP regulations. All U.S. agricultural commodities, except tobacco, are eligible for consideration. FAS allocates funds in a manner that effectively supports the strategic decision-making initiatives of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. In deciding whether a proposed project will contribute to the effective creation, expansion, or maintenance of foreign markets, FAS considers whether the applicant provides a clear, long-term agricultural trade strategy and an effective program time line against which results can be measured at specific intervals using quantifiable product or country goals. FAS also considers the extent to which a proposed project targets markets with the greatest growth potential. These PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 21263 factors are part of the FAS resource allocation strategy to fund applicants who can best demonstrate performance and address the objectives of the GPRA. Funding Available: The Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, as amended, provided up to $200 million annually for MAP through FY 2018. Congress has not yet determined funding levels for FY 2019. This NOFA is being released prior to Congress appropriating funding for the MAP program for FY 2019. USDA makes no commitment to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards regardless of whether or at what level program funding for FY 2019 is provided. B. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Organizations: To participate in the MAP, an applicant must be a nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organization, a nonprofit state regional trade group, a U.S. agricultural cooperative, or a state government agency. Small-sized private U.S. commercial entities may participate in a branded program through a MAP Participant. 2. Eligible Activities: MAP Participants may receive assistance for generic or brand promotion activities. For generic activities, funding priority is given to organizations that have the broadest possible producer representation of the commodity being promoted and that are nationwide in membership and scope. For branded activities, only nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations, nonprofit state regional trade groups (SRTGs), U.S. agricultural cooperatives, and state government agencies can participate directly in the brand program. 3. Limits on Activities: MAP activities are approved for a single program year, with the approval dates specified in the allocation approval letter that is provided as part of the award approval package. Only those MAP activities that are approved in each applicant’s allocation approval letter may be implemented, and those activities must be implemented during the 12-month program year specified in the allocation approval letter. Requests for activity changes during the program year must be approved in advance by FAS. MAP Participants must re-apply for the program every year. 4. Funding Restrictions: Certain types of expenses are not eligible for reimbursement by the program, and there are limits on other categories of expenses. FAS also will not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or expenditures made prior to approval. Full details and a complete list of E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 90 (Wednesday, May 9, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21260-21263]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-09868]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

Foreign Agricultural Service


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

SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is 
inviting proposals for the 2019 Technical Assistance for Specialty 
Crops (TASC) program. The TASC program is administered by personnel of 
the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended 
effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from the U.S. private 
sector and government agencies for fiscal year 2019 and to set out the 
criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. Future 
announcements of funding availability for the TASC program will be made 
through the Grants.gov website.

DATES: To be considered for funding, proposals must be received by 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018. Any proposals 
received after this time will be considered only if funds remain 
available. FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be 
made by the end of December 2018, with the initial award dates 
estimated to be by the end of February 2019.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Funding Opportunity Description

    Announcement Type: New.
    Award Instrument: Grant.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.604.
    Authority: The TASC program is authorized by section 3205 of Public 
Law 107-171. The TASC regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1487.
    Purpose: The TASC program is designed to assist U.S. organizations 
by providing funding for projects that seek to remove, resolve, or 
mitigate sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers that prohibit 
or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. U.S. specialty crops, 
for the purpose of the TASC program, are defined to include all 
cultivated plants, or the products thereof, produced in the United 
States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, 
sugar, and tobacco.
    This NOFA is being released prior to Congress appropriating funding 
for the TASC program for FY 2019. USDA makes no commitment to fund any 
particular application or to make a specific number of awards 
regardless of whether or at what level program funding for FY 2019 is 
provided.

B. Eligibility and Qualification Information

    1. Eligible Organizations: Any U.S. organization, private or 
government, with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. 
agricultural specialty crops may apply to the program. Government 
organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private 
organizations may include non-profit trade associations, universities, 
agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and private 
companies.
    Foreign organizations, whether government or private, may 
participate as third parties in activities carried out by eligible 
organizations, but are not

[[Page 21261]]

eligible for direct funding assistance through the program.
    2. Qualification Information: To be found eligible for 
consideration, TASC proposals must address the following criteria:
     Projects should identify and address a clear sanitary, 
phytosanitary, or technical barrier that prohibits or threatens the 
export of U.S. specialty crops;
     Projects should demonstrably benefit the represented 
industry rather than a specific company or brand;
     Projects must address barriers to exports of commercially-
available U.S. specialty crops;
     Projects should include an explanation as to what 
specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding 
assistance and why the eligible organization(s) would be unlikely to 
carry out the project without such assistance; and
     Projects should include performance measures for 
quantifying progress and demonstrating results. In the development of 
performance measures, FAS believes the measures should meet the 
following criteria:
    [cir] Aligned: The indicator should, as closely as possible, 
measure exactly the relevant result.
    [cir] Clear: The indicator should be precise and unambiguous about 
what is being measured and how. There should be no doubt on how to 
measure or interpret the indicator.
    [cir] Quantifiable: The indicator(s) should sufficiently capture 
all of the elements of a result.
    [cir] Include an identified methodology: The data can be obtained 
to inform the indicator in a timely and efficient manner and the data 
are of high-quality.
    The full set of indicators selected to monitor project performance 
should be sufficient to inform project management and oversight.
    3. Funding Limits: Proposals that request more than $500,000 in 
funding in a given year will not be considered.
    4. Limits on Proposals: Eligible organizations may submit multi-
year proposals, although funding for continuing TASC projects is capped 
at five years. The five years do not have to be consecutive or 
conducted by the same entity, if the project is the same. Multi-year 
funding may, at FAS' discretion, be provided one year at a time with 
commitments beyond the first year subject to interim evaluations and 
funding availability. In order to validate funding eligibility, 
proposals must specify previous years of TASC funding for each proposed 
activity/title/market/constraint combination. Government entities are 
not eligible for multi-year funding.
    Applicants may submit more than one proposal, and applicants with 
previously approved TASC proposals may apply for additional funding. 
However, the maximum number of approved projects that a TASC 
participant can have underway at any given time is five.
    5. Cost-Sharing: Although highly encouraged, there is no cost share 
requirement for TASC proposals. FAS will, however, consider the 
applicant's willingness to contribute resources towards the project, 
including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign 
third parties, when determining which proposals are approved for 
funding.
    6. Funding Restrictions: Funded projects may take place in the 
United States or abroad. Examples of project expenses that FAS may 
agree to reimburse under the TASC program include, but are not limited 
to: Initial pre-clearance programs, export protocol and work plan 
support, seminars and workshops, study tours, field surveys, 
development of pest lists, pest, disease, and fumigant research, 
reasonable logistical and administrative support, and travel and per 
diem expenses. Certain types of expenses are not eligible for 
reimbursement by the program, such as the costs of market research, 
advertising, or other promotional expenses, and will be set forth in 
the written program agreement between FAS and the participant. FAS will 
also not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or any expenditure made 
prior to the approval of a proposal.
    7. Intergovernmental Review: An intergovernmental review may be 
required. Applicants must contact their state's Single Point of Contact 
(SPOC) to comply with their state's process under Executive Order 12372 
(see http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/rgeo12372.pdf). To ensure 
currency, the names and addresses of the SPOCs are maintained at the 
Office of Management and Budget's home page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc.

C. Award Information

    It is anticipated that FAS will award approximately 30 awards under 
the 2019 TASC, subject to programmatic approval and available funding. 
In general, all qualified proposals received before the submission 
deadline will compete for funding. FAS will review all proposals 
against the evaluation criteria contained in the program regulations.
    Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific 
agreements. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved 
by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the 
agreement. FAS or another Federal agency may be involved in the 
implementation of approved agreements.
    Once an award reaches its completion date, FAS will confirm that 
the participant has provided all of the required reports and will 
review the reports for completeness and content. Once the required 
reports are approved, FAS will prepare a closeout letter that advises 
the participant of the award closeout procedures. Closeout letters must 
be countersigned and returned to FAS as soon as the final claim is 
submitted and paid, but within 60 days of receipt. Once the closeout 
procedures have been completed, any remaining funding on the agreement 
will be deobligated.

D. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) System: 
Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit their applications to 
FAS through the web-based UES application. Using the UES application 
process reduces paperwork and expedites FAS' processing and review 
time. Applicants planning to use the UES system must first contact FAS' 
Program Operations Division to obtain site access information, 
including a user ID and password. The UES internet-based application 
may be found at the following URL address: https://www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/.
    Although FAS highly recommends applying via the web-based UES, 
applicants have the option of submitting an application to FAS via 
email at [email protected].
    Applicants experiencing difficulty or otherwise needing assistance 
applying to the program should contact the Program Operations Division, 
Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 
6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: 
(202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: 
[email protected].
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: All TASC proposals 
must contain complete information about the proposed projects as 
described in Sec.  1487.5(b) of the TASC program regulations. 
Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not otherwise conform to this 
announcement will not be accepted for review.
    3. Other Required Information: In accordance with the Office of 
Management and Budget's policy

[[Page 21262]]

directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) regarding the need to identify 
entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants must 
submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling 
the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at (866) 705-5711.
    In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that 
applies to the TASC and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 
25.110 must:
    (i) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to 
submitting an application or plan; and
    (ii) Maintain an active SAM registration with current information 
at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an 
application or plan under consideration by FAS; and
    (iii) Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it 
submits to FAS.
    FAS may not make an award to an applicant until the applicant has 
complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM 
requirements, and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the 
requirements by the time FAS is ready to make the award, FAS may 
determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and 
use that determination as a basis for making an award to another 
applicant.
    Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each eligible 
organization that applies to the TASC program and does not qualify for 
an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary 
processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting 
requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive TASC funding.
    4. Submission Dates and Times: TASC proposals are reviewed on a 
rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as TASC funding is 
available as set forth below. FAS will track the time and date of 
receipt of all proposals:
     All proposals received via the UES or email by 5 p.m. 
Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for 
funding with other proposals received by that date;
     Proposals not approved for funding during the initial 
review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period 
only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in 
writing and only if funding remains available;
     Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on 
Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding in the order 
received only if funding remains available.

E. Application Review Information

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

F. Award Administration Information

    1. Federal Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing 
of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an 
approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval 
letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable 
to the project, including the details of each project, responsibilities 
of the participant, levels of funding, timelines for implementation, 
and reporting requirements. All successful applicants for all grant and 
cooperative agreements are required to comply with the Standard 
Administrative Terms and Conditions, which are available online at: 
https://www.fas.usda.gov/grants/general_terms_and_conditions/default.asp. The applicable Standard Administrative Terms and 
Conditions will be for the last year specified at that URL, unless the 
application is to continue an award first awarded in an earlier year. 
In that event, the terms and conditions that apply will be those in 
effect for the year in which the award was originally made unless 
explicitly stated otherwise in subsequent mutually-agreed amendments to 
the award.
    Before accepting the award the potential awardee should carefully 
read the approval letter and program agreement for instructions on 
administering the grant award and the terms and conditions associated 
with responsibilities under Federal Awards. Recipients must accept all 
conditions in this NOFA as well as any special terms and conditions in 
the approval letter and program agreement to receive an award under 
this program.
    2. Reporting: TASC participants must provide interim and final 
performance reports for each approved project, each of which evaluate 
the TASC project using the performance measures

[[Page 21263]]

presented in the approved proposal, as set forth in the written program 
agreement. An interim report must be submitted after each program year, 
and a separate final report no later than 90 days after the activity is 
completed. All performance reports must be submitted through the UES. 
In addition, a final financial report must be submitted no later than 
90 days after completion of the project. This report must provide a 
final accounting of all project expenditures by cost category and 
include the accounting of actual contributions made to the project by 
the applicant and all other participating entities.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    1. Application Submission Contact(s) and Program Support: For 
additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations 
Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. 
SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 
720-9361, or by email: [email protected].
    2. Grants Management Contact(s): Eric Bozoian, Grants Management 
Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States, Department of 
Agriculture, Email: [email protected], Office: (202) 378-1054.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on the 26th of April, 2018.
James Higgiston,
Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice 
President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2018-09868 Filed 5-8-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-10-P