Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Grant; Solicitation of Proposals, 26232-26236 [2021-10086]

Download as PDF 26232 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices proposing renew an information collection. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 12, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to the Indian Highway Safety Program Coordinator, Ms. Kimberly Belone, 1001 Indian School Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104; or by email to Kimberly.belone@bia.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1076– 0190 in the subject line of your comments. DATES: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Indian Highway Program Director L.G. Robertson, 1001 Indian School Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104 by email at Lawrence.robertson@bia.gov, or by telephone at 505–563–3780. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1– 800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. You may also view the ICR at http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), all information collections require approval under the PRA. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we invite the public and other Federal agencies to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following: (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of response. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: This information is collected from tribal entities concerning population, land base, highway miles and statistical data concerning vehicle fatalities, crashes, traffic enforcement actions and proposed financial data. This data collected is a requirement for the BIA IHSP to fulfil the data obligations of 23 CFR 1300.11 and will be used for review and consideration by the IHSP Selection Committee for consideration of grant awards. Title of Collection: Indian Highway Safety Grants. OMB Control Number: 1076–0190. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Tribal governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 80. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 80. Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 1 hours to 4 hours, depending on the availability of Tribal statistical and financial data. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 160, on average. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit. Frequency of Collection: Annually if elect to apply for the grant(s). Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2021–10078 Filed 5–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [212D0102DR/DS5A300000/ DR.5A311.IA000118] Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Grant; Solicitation of Proposals Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), through its Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) grant, is soliciting proposals from Tribes for technical assistance funding to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies of economic development opportunities. In addition to the feasibility study, NABDI grants may fund business plans for proposed businesses or Tribal businesses recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID–19 pandemic. DATES: Grant application packages must be submitted to the Grants.gov no later than 5 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time July 2, 2021. IEED will not consider proposals received after this time and date. ADDRESSES: The required method of submitting proposals is through Grants.gov. For information on how to apply for grants in Grants.gov, see the instructions available at https:// www.grants.gov/help/html/help/ Applicants/HowToApplyForGrants.htm. Proposals must be submitted to Grants.gov by the deadline established in the DATES section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James R. West, Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Manager, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, Room 6049–B, 12220 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191; telephone: (202) 595–4766; email: jamesr.west@bia.gov. Additional Program information can be found at https://www.bia.gov/service/grants/ntbg. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. General Information II. Number of Projects Funded E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices III. Background IV. Eligibility for Funding V. Who may perform feasibility studies funded by NABDI grants? VI. Applicant Procurement Procedures VII. Limitations VIII. NABDI Application Guidance IX. Mandatory Components X. Incomplete Applications XI. Review and Selection Process XII. Evaluation Criteria XIII. Transfer of Funds XIV. Reporting Requirements for Award Recipients XV. Conflicts of Interest XVI. Questions and Requests for IEED Assistance XVII. Paperwork Reduction Act XVIII. Authority These grants will be funded under a non-recurring appropriation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) budget. Congress appropriates funds on a yearto-year basis. Thus, while some projects may extend over several years, funding for successive years depends on each fiscal year’s appropriations. The funding periods and amounts referenced in this solicitation are subject to the availability of funds at the time of award, as well as the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Indian Affairs priorities at the time of the award. Neither DOI nor Indian Affairs will be held responsible for proposal or application preparation costs. Publication of this solicitation does not obligate DOI or Indian Affairs to award any specific grant or to obligate all or any part of available funds. Future funding is subject to the availability of appropriations and cannot be guaranteed. DOI or Indian Affairs may cancel or withdraw this solicitation at any time. I. General Information Award Ceiling: $75,000. Award Floor: $25,000. CFDA Number: 15.133. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No. Number of Awards: 20–35. Category: Business Development. II. Number of Projects Funded IEED anticipates award of approximately twenty (20) to thirty-five (35) grants under this announcement ranging in value from approximately $25,000 to $75,000. The program can fund projects only one year at a time. IEED will use a competitive evaluation process based on criteria described in the Review and Selection Process section at section X of this notice. III. Background The Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, through IEED, is soliciting proposals from Indian Tribes, as defined at 25 U.S.C. 5304(e), for grant funding to retain consultants to perform feasibility studies of economic development opportunities. Consultants may include universities and colleges, private consulting firms, non-academic/ non-profit entities, or others. The feasibility studies will help facilitate informed decision-making regarding Tribes’ economic futures. Feasibility studies may concern the viability of an economic development project or business, or the practicality of a technology, that a Tribe may choose to pursue. Feasibility studies may also explore how a current Tribal business or enterprise could recover and adapt to the challenges resulting from the COVID–19 pandemic. In addition to the feasibility study, NABDI grants may fund business plans for proposed businesses or recovering Tribal businesses. The IEED administers this program through its Division of Economic Development (DED). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 IV. Eligibility for Funding Federally recognized tribes are eligible as listed in the current Federal Register notice of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is the official listing of all federally recognized tribes in the U.S. pursuant to Section 104 under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103–454; 108 Stat. 4791–4792). The current notice was published in the Federal Register at 86 FR 7554 (January 29, 2021). V. Who may perform feasibility studies or develop business plans funded by NABDI grants? The applicant determines who will conduct its feasibility study or business plan. An applicant has several choices, including but not limited to: • Universities and colleges; • Private consulting firms; or • Non-academic, non-profit entities. VI. Applicant Procurement Procedures The applicant is subject to the procurement standards in 2 CFR 200.318 through 200.326. In accordance with 2 CFR 200.318, an applicant must use its own documented procurement procedures which reflect Tribal laws and regulations, provided that the procurements conform to applicable Federal law and standards identified in title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations. VII. Limitations NABDI grant funding must be expended in accordance with applicable PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26233 statutory and regulatory requirements, including 2 CFR part 200. As part of the grant application review process, IEED may conduct a review of an applicant’s prior IEED grant awards(s). Applicants that are currently under BIA sanction Level 2 or higher resulting from non-compliance with the Single Audit Act are ineligible for a NABDI award. Applicants at Sanction Level 1 will be considered for funding. An applicant may submit more than one grant application. For example, an applicant may submit an application to study the practicality of developing a Tribal business and a separate application to assess whether that business would be competitive in the global marketplace. However, applications should address one project and any submissions that contain multiple project proposals will not be considered. IEED will apply the same objective ranking criteria to each proposal. The purpose of NABDI grants is to fund feasibility studies and business plans for proposed economic development projects, businesses, technologies and for businesses recovering from the effects of the COVID–19 pandemic. An application can request funding for a feasibility study and a business plan. Generally, feasibility studies cost up to $50,000 and business plans between $5,000– $20,000. NABDI awards may not be used for: • Establishing or operating a Tribal office; • Indirect costs or administrative costs as defined by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); • Purchase of equipment that is used to develop the feasibility studies, such as computers, vehicles, field gear, etc. (however, leasing of this type of equipment for the purpose of developing feasibility studies is allowed); • Creating Tribal jobs to complete the project. An NABDI grant is not intended to create temporary administrative jobs or supplement employment for Tribal members; • Legal fees; • Application fees associated with permitting; • Training; • Contract negotiation fees; • Feasibility studies of energy, mineral, energy legal infrastructure, or broadband related projects, businesses, or technologies that are addressed by IEED’s Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP), Tribal Energy Development Capacity (TEDC); and E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1 26234 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices • Any other activities not authorized by the grant award letter. VIII. NABDI Application Guidance Submission of entire application in digital form to grants.gov is required. For instructions, see https:// www.grants.gov/help/html/help/ Applicants/HowToApplyForGrants.htm. In very limited circumstances, IEED may accept a non-digital application. Please contact IEED at least a week prior to the submission deadline for approval. IX. Mandatory Components There are four mandatory components that must be included in each proposal package: Application for Federal Assistance SF–424, Project Narrative, Budget, and Critical Information Page. Application for Federal Assistance SF– 424 (Mandatory Component 1) It is required that the applicant complete the Application for Federal Assistance SF–424. Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal name and project description. For example: NABDISF424.Tribalname.Project. Project Narrative (Mandatory Component 2) The first paragraph of the project narrative must include the title and basic description of the proposed feasibility study and/or business plan. The Project Narrative must not exceed 15 pages. At a minimum, it should include: • A technical description of the project and, if applicable, an explanation of how the proposed new study and/or business plan would benefit the applicant and does not duplicate previous work; • A description of the project objectives and goals; • Deliverable products that the consultant is expected to generate, including interim deliverables (such as status reports and technical data to be obtained) and final deliverables (the feasibility study); and • Resumes of key consultants and personnel to be retained, if available, and the names of subcontractors, if applicable. This information may be included as an attachment to the application and will not be counted towards the 15-page limitation. • Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal name and project description. For example: NABDINarrative.Tribalname.Project. In addition, unless prohibited by tribal procurement procedures, please include a description of the consultant(s) the applicant wishes to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 retain, including the consultant’s contact information, technical expertise, training, qualifications, and suitability to undertake the feasibility study. These documents may be included at the end of the Project Narrative and will not be counted toward the 15-page limitation. Project Narratives are not judged based on their length. Please do not submit any attachments or documents beyond what is listed above, e.g., Tribal history, unrelated photos and maps. Budget (Mandatory Component 3) It is required that the budget be submitted using the SF–424A form. Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal name and project description. For example: NABDIBudget.Tribalname.Project. The budget must identify the amount of grant funding requested and a comprehensive breakdown of all projected and anticipated expenditures, including contracted personnel fees, consulting fees (hourly or fixed), travel costs, data collection and analysis costs, computer rentals, report generation, drafting, advertising costs for a proposed project and other relevant project expenses, and their subcomponents. • Travel costs should be itemized by airfare, vehicle rental, lodging, and per diem, based on the current Federal government per diem schedule. • Data collection and analysis costs should be itemized in sufficient detail for the IEED review committee to evaluate the charges. • Other expenses may include computer rental, report generation, drafting, and advertising costs for a proposed project. Critical Information Page (Mandatory Component 4) Applicants must include a critical information page that includes: • Project Manager’s contact information including address, email, desk, and cell phone number; • DUNS number; • Active SAM number (please ensure that the SAM number is not expired); • An active Automated Standard Application for Payment (ASAP) number; • Counties where the project is located; and • Congressional District number where the project is located. • Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal name and identifies that it is the critical information page (CIP). For example: NABDICIP.Tribalname.Project. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Tribal Resolution (Mandatory Component 5) Applicants must include a Tribal resolution issued in the fiscal year of the grant application, authorizing the submission of a FY 2021 NABDI grant application. It must be signed by authorized Tribal representative(s). The Tribal resolution must also include a description of the feasibility study and/ or business plan to be developed. X. Incomplete Applications Applications submitted without one or more of the five mandatory components described above will be returned to the applicant with an explanation. The applicant will then be allowed to correct any deficiencies and resubmit the proposal for consideration on or before the deadline. This option will not be available to an applicant once the deadline has passed. XI. Review and Selection Process Upon receiving a NABDI application, IEED will determine whether the application is complete and that the proposed project does not duplicate or overlap previous or currently funded IEED technical assistance projects. Any proposal that is received after the date and time in the DATES section of this notice will not be reviewed. If an application is not complete and the submission deadline has not passed, the applicant will be notified and given an opportunity to resubmit its application. The IEED Review Committee, comprised of IEED staff, staff from other Federal agencies, and subject matter experts, will evaluate the proposals against the ranking criteria. Proposals will be evaluated using the four ranking criteria listed below, with a maximum achievable total of 100 points. Final award selections will be approved by the Assistant Secretary— Indian Affairs and the Associate Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior. Applicants not selected for award will be notified in writing. XII. Evaluation Criteria Proposals will be formally evaluated by an IEED review committee using the five criteria listed below. Each criterion provides a percentage of the total maximum rating of 100 points: The Project’s Economic Benefits: 50 points. Project Deliverables: 20 points. Feasibility Process and Analysis: 10 points. Costs of Proposal: 10 points. Specificity: 10 points. E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices The Project’s Economic Benefits: 50 Points The reviewers will determine if the proposal’s scope of work clearly states the opportunity to be studied. Factors that the reviewers will consider when awarding points are, but not limited to: • Does the proposal describe how the project will potentially stimulate economic development? • Does the proposal describe the benefits that the project would have if implemented? • Does the proposal include information on how the project will reduce joblessness and stimulate economic activity within a Native community? • Does the proposal describe the economic development challenges and how the study will address those conditions? • Does the proposal describe if the applicant has the financial resources to conduct the study absent NABDI grant assistance? Project Deliverables: 20 Points The reviewers will determine if the proposal describes in detail applicable proposed deliverables. For example, a hotel feasibility study would include deliverables such as, but not limited to, site analysis, market demographics, drive-time market, regional competition, market demands, and a financial model that includes investment and return on investment projections. Project Tasks and Timeline: 10 Points The reviewers will determine if a comprehensive timeline has been developed to address tasks that are needed to successfully complete the objectives outlined in the scope of work. Costs of Proposal/Budget: 10 Points The reviewers will assess the costs listed in the budget to determine if the overall value of the project is competitively priced and in accordance with the goals stated within the proposal/scope of work. Specificity: 10 Points The reviewers understand that applicants may retain consultant(s) that prepare the NABDI proposal to also conduct the feasibility study if the grant is awarded. This does not prejudice an applicant’s chances of being selected as a grantee. However, the Committee will view unfavorably proposals that show little evidence of communication between the consultant(s) and the applicant or scant regard for the applicant community’s unique circumstances. Facsimile applications prepared by the same consultant(s) and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 submitted by multiple applicants will receive scrutiny in this regard. XIII. Transfer of Funds IEED’s obligation under this solicitation is contingent on receipt of congressionally appropriated funds. No liability on the part of the U.S. Government for any payment may arise until funds are made available to the awarding officer for this grant and until the recipient receives notice of such availability, to be confirmed in writing by the grant officer. All payments under this agreement will be made by electronic funds transfer through the ASAP. All award recipients are required to have a current and accurate DUNS number to receive funds. All payments will be deposited to the banking information designated by the applicant in the System for Award Management (SAM). XIV. Reporting Requirements for Award Recipients The applicant must deliver all products and data required by the signed Grant Agreement for the proposed NABDI feasibility study and business plan project to IEED within 30 days of the end of each reporting period and 90 days after completion of the project. The reporting periods will be established in the terms and conditions of the final award. IEED requires that deliverable products be provided in digital format. Reports can be provided in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Spreadsheet data can be provided in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, or Adobe PDF formats. All vector figures should be converted to PDF format. Raster images can be provided in PDF, JPEG, TIFF, or any of the Windows metafile formats. The contract between the grantee and the consultant conducting the NABDI funded feasibility study must include deliverable products and require that the products be prepared in the format described above. The contract should include budget amounts for all printed and digital copies to be delivered in accordance with the grant agreement. In addition, the contract must specify that all products generated by a consultant belong to the grantee and cannot be released to the public without the grantee’s written approval. Products include, but are not limited to, all reports and technical data obtained, maps, status reports, and the final report. In addition, this funding opportunity and financial assistance award must adhere to the following provisions. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26235 XV. Conflicts of Interest Applicability • This section intends to ensure that non-Federal entities and their employees take appropriate steps to avoid conflicts of interest in their responsibilities under or with respect to Federal financial assistance agreements. • In the procurement of supplies, equipment, construction, and services by recipients and by sub-recipients, the conflict of interest provisions in 2 CFR 200.318 apply. Requirements • Non-Federal entities must avoid prohibited conflicts of interest, including any significant financial interests that could cause a reasonable person to question the recipient’s ability to provide impartial, technically sound, and objective performance under or with respect to a Federal financial assistance agreement. • In addition to any other prohibitions that may apply with respect to conflicts of interest, no key official of an actual or proposed recipient or sub-recipient, who is substantially involved in the proposal or project, may have been a former Federal employee who, within the last one (1) year, participated personally and substantially in the evaluation, award, or administration of an award with respect to that recipient or sub-recipient or in development of the requirement leading to the funding announcement. • No actual or prospective recipient or sub-recipient may solicit, obtain, or use non-public information regarding the evaluation, award, administration of an award to that recipient or subrecipient or the development of a Federal financial assistance opportunity that may be of competitive interest to that recipient or sub-recipient. Notification • Non-Federal entities, including applicants for financial assistance awards, must disclose in writing any conflict of interest to the DOI awarding agency or pass-through entity in accordance with 2 CFR 200.112, Conflicts of Interest. • Recipients must establish internal controls that include, at a minimum, procedures to identify, disclose, and mitigate or eliminate identified conflicts of interest. The recipient is responsible for notifying the Financial Assistance Officer in writing of any conflicts of interest that may arise during the life of the award, including those that have been reported by sub-recipients. • Restrictions on Lobbying. NonFederal entities are strictly prohibited E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1 26236 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Notices from using funds under this grant or cooperative agreement for lobbying activities and must provide the required certifications and disclosures pursuant to 43 CFR part 18 and 31 U.S.C. 1352. • Review Procedures. The Financial Assistance Officer will examine each conflict of interest disclosure on the basis of its particular facts and the nature of the proposed grant or cooperative agreement, and will determine whether a significant potential conflict exists and, if it does, develop an appropriate means for resolving it. • Enforcement. Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies the Government may be cause for termination of the award. Failure to make the required disclosures may result in any of the remedies described in 2 CFR 200.338, Remedies for Noncompliance, including suspension or debarment (see also 2 CFR part 180). Data Availability • Applicability. The Department of the Interior is committed to basing its decisions on the best available science and providing the American people with enough information to thoughtfully and substantively evaluate the data, methodology, and analysis used by the Department to inform its decisions. • Use of Data. The regulations at 2 CFR 200.315 apply to data produced under a Federal award, including the provision that the Federal Government has the right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the data produced under a Federal award as well as authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for Federal purposes. • Availability of Data. The recipient shall make the data produced under this award and any subaward(s) available to the Government for public release, consistent with applicable law, to allow meaningful third-party evaluation and reproduction of the following: Æ The scientific data relied upon; Æ The analysis relied upon; and Æ The methodology, including models, used to gather and analyze data. XVI. Questions and Requests for IEED Assistance IEED staff may provide technical consultation, upon written request by an applicant. The request must clearly identify the type of assistance sought. Technical consultation does not include funding to prepare a grant proposal, grant writing assistance, or predeterminations as to the likelihood that a proposal will be awarded. The applicant is solely responsible for preparing its grant proposal. Technical VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 consultation may include clarifying application requirements, confirming whether an applicant previously submitted the same or similar proposal, and registration information for SAM or ASAP. XVII. Paperwork Reduction Act The information collection requirements contained in this notice have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3504(h). The OMB control number is 4040–0004. The authorization expires on 12/31/2022. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to respond to, any information collection that does not display a currently valid OMB Control Number. XVIII. Authority This is a discretionary grant program authorized under the Snyder Act (25 U.S.C. 13) and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 (Pub. L. 116– 94). The Snyder Act authorizes the BIA to expend such moneys as Congress may appropriate for the benefit, care, and assistance of Indians for the purposes listed in the Act. NABDI grants facilitate two of the purposes listed in the Snyder Act: ‘‘General support and civilization, including education’’ and ‘‘industrial assistance and advancement.’’ The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 authorizes the BIA to ‘‘carry out the operation of Indian programs by direct expenditure, contracts, cooperative agreements, compacts, and grants, either directly or in cooperation with States and other organizations.’’ Bryan Newland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2021–10086 Filed 5–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–10–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Nominations for Vacancy; Insurance Representative Section 512 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 88 Stat. 895, 29 U.S.C. 1142, provides for the establishment of an Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (the Council), consisting of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Three representatives of employee organizations (at least one of whom shall be a representative of an organization whose members are participants in a multiemployer plan); • three representatives of employers (at least one of whom shall be a representative of employers maintaining or contributing to multiemployer plans); • three representatives from the general public (one of whom shall be a person representing those receiving benefits from a pension plan); and • one representative each from the fields of insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management, and accounting. No more than eight members of the Council shall be members of the same political party. Council members must be qualified to appraise the programs instituted under ERISA. The Council’s prescribed duties are to advise the Secretary with respect to carrying out his functions under ERISA, and to submit to the Secretary, or his designee, related recommendations. The Council will meet at least four times each year. This notice seeks nominations for an individual to fill a vacancy on the Council representing the field of insurance. This vacancy is due to the resignation of a member whose term would have expired on December 31, 2022. As such, the individual selected to fill the vacancy will begin serving upon appointment and will serve until December 31, 2022, in accordance with ERISA section 512(a)(4). Note that this solicitation is only to fill the vacant insurance representative position noted above. There will be a separate request published this summer for nominations for individuals to fill five additional positions that will become vacant at the end of 2021. If you or your organization wants to nominate one or more people for appointment to the Council to represent the group or field of insurance, submit nominations to Christine Donahue, Council Executive Secretary, as email attachments to donahue.christine@ dol.gov or by mail to U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Suite N–5700, Washington, DC 20210. Nominations must be received on or before June 14, 2021. The Department will not consider nominations received after June 14, 2021. If sending electronically, please use an attachment in rich text, Word, or pdf format. Please allow three weeks for regular mail delivery to the Department of Labor. Nominations may be in the form of a letter, resolution, or petition signed by the person making the nomination or, in E:\FR\FM\13MYN1.SGM 13MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 91 (Thursday, May 13, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26232-26236]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10086]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

[212D0102DR/DS5A300000/DR.5A311.IA000118]


Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Grant; 
Solicitation of Proposals

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), 
through its Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) 
grant, is soliciting proposals from Tribes for technical assistance 
funding to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies of economic 
development opportunities. In addition to the feasibility study, NABDI 
grants may fund business plans for proposed businesses or Tribal 
businesses recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 
pandemic.

DATES: Grant application packages must be submitted to the Grants.gov 
no later than 5 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time July 2, 2021. IEED will not 
consider proposals received after this time and date.

ADDRESSES: The required method of submitting proposals is through 
Grants.gov. For information on how to apply for grants in Grants.gov, 
see the instructions available at https://www.grants.gov/help/html/help/Applicants/HowToApplyForGrants.htm. Proposals must be submitted to 
Grants.gov by the deadline established in the DATES section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James R. West, Native American 
Business Development Institute (NABDI) Manager, Office of Indian Energy 
and Economic Development, Room 6049-B, 12220 Sunrise Valley Drive, 
Reston, Virginia 20191; telephone: (202) 595-4766; email: 
[email protected]. Additional Program information can be found at 
https://www.bia.gov/service/grants/ntbg.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. General Information
II. Number of Projects Funded

[[Page 26233]]

III. Background
IV. Eligibility for Funding
V. Who may perform feasibility studies funded by NABDI grants?
VI. Applicant Procurement Procedures
VII. Limitations
VIII. NABDI Application Guidance
IX. Mandatory Components
X. Incomplete Applications
XI. Review and Selection Process
XII. Evaluation Criteria
XIII. Transfer of Funds
XIV. Reporting Requirements for Award Recipients
XV. Conflicts of Interest
XVI. Questions and Requests for IEED Assistance
XVII. Paperwork Reduction Act
XVIII. Authority

I. General Information

    Award Ceiling: $75,000.
    Award Floor: $25,000.
    CFDA Number: 15.133.
    Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No.
    Number of Awards: 20-35.
    Category: Business Development.

II. Number of Projects Funded

    IEED anticipates award of approximately twenty (20) to thirty-five 
(35) grants under this announcement ranging in value from approximately 
$25,000 to $75,000. The program can fund projects only one year at a 
time. IEED will use a competitive evaluation process based on criteria 
described in the Review and Selection Process section at section X of 
this notice.

III. Background

    The Office of the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, through 
IEED, is soliciting proposals from Indian Tribes, as defined at 25 
U.S.C. 5304(e), for grant funding to retain consultants to perform 
feasibility studies of economic development opportunities. Consultants 
may include universities and colleges, private consulting firms, non-
academic/non-profit entities, or others. The feasibility studies will 
help facilitate informed decision-making regarding Tribes' economic 
futures. Feasibility studies may concern the viability of an economic 
development project or business, or the practicality of a technology, 
that a Tribe may choose to pursue. Feasibility studies may also explore 
how a current Tribal business or enterprise could recover and adapt to 
the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the 
feasibility study, NABDI grants may fund business plans for proposed 
businesses or recovering Tribal businesses.
    The IEED administers this program through its Division of Economic 
Development (DED).
    These grants will be funded under a non-recurring appropriation of 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) budget. Congress appropriates funds 
on a year-to-year basis. Thus, while some projects may extend over 
several years, funding for successive years depends on each fiscal 
year's appropriations.
    The funding periods and amounts referenced in this solicitation are 
subject to the availability of funds at the time of award, as well as 
the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Indian Affairs priorities at 
the time of the award. Neither DOI nor Indian Affairs will be held 
responsible for proposal or application preparation costs. Publication 
of this solicitation does not obligate DOI or Indian Affairs to award 
any specific grant or to obligate all or any part of available funds. 
Future funding is subject to the availability of appropriations and 
cannot be guaranteed. DOI or Indian Affairs may cancel or withdraw this 
solicitation at any time.

IV. Eligibility for Funding

    Federally recognized tribes are eligible as listed in the current 
Federal Register notice of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to 
Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, which 
is the official listing of all federally recognized tribes in the U.S. 
pursuant to Section 104 under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe 
List Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-454; 108 Stat. 4791-4792). The current 
notice was published in the Federal Register at 86 FR 7554 (January 29, 
2021).

V. Who may perform feasibility studies or develop business plans funded 
by NABDI grants?

    The applicant determines who will conduct its feasibility study or 
business plan. An applicant has several choices, including but not 
limited to:
     Universities and colleges;
     Private consulting firms; or
     Non-academic, non-profit entities.

VI. Applicant Procurement Procedures

    The applicant is subject to the procurement standards in 2 CFR 
200.318 through 200.326. In accordance with 2 CFR 200.318, an applicant 
must use its own documented procurement procedures which reflect Tribal 
laws and regulations, provided that the procurements conform to 
applicable Federal law and standards identified in title 2 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations.

VII. Limitations

    NABDI grant funding must be expended in accordance with applicable 
statutory and regulatory requirements, including 2 CFR part 200. As 
part of the grant application review process, IEED may conduct a review 
of an applicant's prior IEED grant awards(s).
    Applicants that are currently under BIA sanction Level 2 or higher 
resulting from non-compliance with the Single Audit Act are ineligible 
for a NABDI award. Applicants at Sanction Level 1 will be considered 
for funding.
    An applicant may submit more than one grant application. For 
example, an applicant may submit an application to study the 
practicality of developing a Tribal business and a separate application 
to assess whether that business would be competitive in the global 
marketplace. However, applications should address one project and any 
submissions that contain multiple project proposals will not be 
considered. IEED will apply the same objective ranking criteria to each 
proposal.
    The purpose of NABDI grants is to fund feasibility studies and 
business plans for proposed economic development projects, businesses, 
technologies and for businesses recovering from the effects of the 
COVID-19 pandemic. An application can request funding for a feasibility 
study and a business plan. Generally, feasibility studies cost up to 
$50,000 and business plans between $5,000-$20,000.
    NABDI awards may not be used for:
     Establishing or operating a Tribal office;
     Indirect costs or administrative costs as defined by the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR);
     Purchase of equipment that is used to develop the 
feasibility studies, such as computers, vehicles, field gear, etc. 
(however, leasing of this type of equipment for the purpose of 
developing feasibility studies is allowed);
     Creating Tribal jobs to complete the project. An NABDI 
grant is not intended to create temporary administrative jobs or 
supplement employment for Tribal members;
     Legal fees;
     Application fees associated with permitting;
     Training;
     Contract negotiation fees;
     Feasibility studies of energy, mineral, energy legal 
infrastructure, or broadband related projects, businesses, or 
technologies that are addressed by IEED's Energy and Mineral 
Development Program (EMDP), Tribal Energy Development Capacity (TEDC); 
and

[[Page 26234]]

     Any other activities not authorized by the grant award 
letter.

VIII. NABDI Application Guidance

    Submission of entire application in digital form to grants.gov is 
required. For instructions, see https://www.grants.gov/help/html/help/Applicants/HowToApplyForGrants.htm. In very limited circumstances, IEED 
may accept a non-digital application. Please contact IEED at least a 
week prior to the submission deadline for approval.

IX. Mandatory Components

    There are four mandatory components that must be included in each 
proposal package: Application for Federal Assistance SF-424, Project 
Narrative, Budget, and Critical Information Page.

Application for Federal Assistance SF-424 (Mandatory Component 1)

    It is required that the applicant complete the Application for 
Federal Assistance SF-424. Please use a descriptive file name that 
includes tribal name and project description. For example: 
NABDISF424.Tribalname.Project.

Project Narrative (Mandatory Component 2)

    The first paragraph of the project narrative must include the title 
and basic description of the proposed feasibility study and/or business 
plan. The Project Narrative must not exceed 15 pages. At a minimum, it 
should include:
     A technical description of the project and, if applicable, 
an explanation of how the proposed new study and/or business plan would 
benefit the applicant and does not duplicate previous work;
     A description of the project objectives and goals;
     Deliverable products that the consultant is expected to 
generate, including interim deliverables (such as status reports and 
technical data to be obtained) and final deliverables (the feasibility 
study); and
     Resumes of key consultants and personnel to be retained, 
if available, and the names of subcontractors, if applicable. This 
information may be included as an attachment to the application and 
will not be counted towards the 15-page limitation.
     Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal 
name and project description. For example: 
NABDINarrative.Tribalname.Project.
    In addition, unless prohibited by tribal procurement procedures, 
please include a description of the consultant(s) the applicant wishes 
to retain, including the consultant's contact information, technical 
expertise, training, qualifications, and suitability to undertake the 
feasibility study. These documents may be included at the end of the 
Project Narrative and will not be counted toward the 15-page 
limitation.
    Project Narratives are not judged based on their length. Please do 
not submit any attachments or documents beyond what is listed above, 
e.g., Tribal history, unrelated photos and maps.

Budget (Mandatory Component 3)

    It is required that the budget be submitted using the SF-424A form. 
Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal name and 
project description. For example: NABDIBudget.Tribalname.Project.
    The budget must identify the amount of grant funding requested and 
a comprehensive breakdown of all projected and anticipated 
expenditures, including contracted personnel fees, consulting fees 
(hourly or fixed), travel costs, data collection and analysis costs, 
computer rentals, report generation, drafting, advertising costs for a 
proposed project and other relevant project expenses, and their 
subcomponents.
     Travel costs should be itemized by airfare, vehicle 
rental, lodging, and per diem, based on the current Federal government 
per diem schedule.
     Data collection and analysis costs should be itemized in 
sufficient detail for the IEED review committee to evaluate the 
charges.
     Other expenses may include computer rental, report 
generation, drafting, and advertising costs for a proposed project.

Critical Information Page (Mandatory Component 4)

    Applicants must include a critical information page that includes:
     Project Manager's contact information including address, 
email, desk, and cell phone number;
     DUNS number;
     Active SAM number (please ensure that the SAM number is 
not expired);
     An active Automated Standard Application for Payment 
(ASAP) number;
     Counties where the project is located; and
     Congressional District number where the project is 
located.
     Please use a descriptive file name that includes tribal 
name and identifies that it is the critical information page (CIP). For 
example: NABDICIP.Tribalname.Project.

Tribal Resolution (Mandatory Component 5)

    Applicants must include a Tribal resolution issued in the fiscal 
year of the grant application, authorizing the submission of a FY 2021 
NABDI grant application. It must be signed by authorized Tribal 
representative(s). The Tribal resolution must also include a 
description of the feasibility study and/or business plan to be 
developed.

X. Incomplete Applications

    Applications submitted without one or more of the five mandatory 
components described above will be returned to the applicant with an 
explanation. The applicant will then be allowed to correct any 
deficiencies and resubmit the proposal for consideration on or before 
the deadline. This option will not be available to an applicant once 
the deadline has passed.

XI. Review and Selection Process

    Upon receiving a NABDI application, IEED will determine whether the 
application is complete and that the proposed project does not 
duplicate or overlap previous or currently funded IEED technical 
assistance projects. Any proposal that is received after the date and 
time in the DATES section of this notice will not be reviewed. If an 
application is not complete and the submission deadline has not passed, 
the applicant will be notified and given an opportunity to resubmit its 
application.
    The IEED Review Committee, comprised of IEED staff, staff from 
other Federal agencies, and subject matter experts, will evaluate the 
proposals against the ranking criteria. Proposals will be evaluated 
using the four ranking criteria listed below, with a maximum achievable 
total of 100 points.
    Final award selections will be approved by the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs and the Associate Deputy Secretary, U.S. 
Department of the Interior. Applicants not selected for award will be 
notified in writing.

XII. Evaluation Criteria

    Proposals will be formally evaluated by an IEED review committee 
using the five criteria listed below. Each criterion provides a 
percentage of the total maximum rating of 100 points:
    The Project's Economic Benefits: 50 points.
    Project Deliverables: 20 points.
    Feasibility Process and Analysis: 10 points.
    Costs of Proposal: 10 points.
    Specificity: 10 points.

[[Page 26235]]

The Project's Economic Benefits: 50 Points

    The reviewers will determine if the proposal's scope of work 
clearly states the opportunity to be studied. Factors that the 
reviewers will consider when awarding points are, but not limited to:
     Does the proposal describe how the project will 
potentially stimulate economic development?
     Does the proposal describe the benefits that the project 
would have if implemented?
     Does the proposal include information on how the project 
will reduce joblessness and stimulate economic activity within a Native 
community?
     Does the proposal describe the economic development 
challenges and how the study will address those conditions?
     Does the proposal describe if the applicant has the 
financial resources to conduct the study absent NABDI grant assistance?

Project Deliverables: 20 Points

    The reviewers will determine if the proposal describes in detail 
applicable proposed deliverables. For example, a hotel feasibility 
study would include deliverables such as, but not limited to, site 
analysis, market demographics, drive-time market, regional competition, 
market demands, and a financial model that includes investment and 
return on investment projections.

Project Tasks and Timeline: 10 Points

    The reviewers will determine if a comprehensive timeline has been 
developed to address tasks that are needed to successfully complete the 
objectives outlined in the scope of work.

Costs of Proposal/Budget: 10 Points

    The reviewers will assess the costs listed in the budget to 
determine if the overall value of the project is competitively priced 
and in accordance with the goals stated within the proposal/scope of 
work.

Specificity: 10 Points

    The reviewers understand that applicants may retain consultant(s) 
that prepare the NABDI proposal to also conduct the feasibility study 
if the grant is awarded. This does not prejudice an applicant's chances 
of being selected as a grantee. However, the Committee will view 
unfavorably proposals that show little evidence of communication 
between the consultant(s) and the applicant or scant regard for the 
applicant community's unique circumstances. Facsimile applications 
prepared by the same consultant(s) and submitted by multiple applicants 
will receive scrutiny in this regard.

XIII. Transfer of Funds

    IEED's obligation under this solicitation is contingent on receipt 
of congressionally appropriated funds. No liability on the part of the 
U.S. Government for any payment may arise until funds are made 
available to the awarding officer for this grant and until the 
recipient receives notice of such availability, to be confirmed in 
writing by the grant officer.
    All payments under this agreement will be made by electronic funds 
transfer through the ASAP. All award recipients are required to have a 
current and accurate DUNS number to receive funds. All payments will be 
deposited to the banking information designated by the applicant in the 
System for Award Management (SAM).

XIV. Reporting Requirements for Award Recipients

    The applicant must deliver all products and data required by the 
signed Grant Agreement for the proposed NABDI feasibility study and 
business plan project to IEED within 30 days of the end of each 
reporting period and 90 days after completion of the project. The 
reporting periods will be established in the terms and conditions of 
the final award.
    IEED requires that deliverable products be provided in digital 
format. Reports can be provided in either Microsoft Word or Adobe 
Acrobat PDF format. Spreadsheet data can be provided in Microsoft 
Excel, Microsoft Access, or Adobe PDF formats. All vector figures 
should be converted to PDF format. Raster images can be provided in 
PDF, JPEG, TIFF, or any of the Windows metafile formats. The contract 
between the grantee and the consultant conducting the NABDI funded 
feasibility study must include deliverable products and require that 
the products be prepared in the format described above.
    The contract should include budget amounts for all printed and 
digital copies to be delivered in accordance with the grant agreement. 
In addition, the contract must specify that all products generated by a 
consultant belong to the grantee and cannot be released to the public 
without the grantee's written approval. Products include, but are not 
limited to, all reports and technical data obtained, maps, status 
reports, and the final report.
    In addition, this funding opportunity and financial assistance 
award must adhere to the following provisions.

XV. Conflicts of Interest

Applicability

     This section intends to ensure that non-Federal entities 
and their employees take appropriate steps to avoid conflicts of 
interest in their responsibilities under or with respect to Federal 
financial assistance agreements.
     In the procurement of supplies, equipment, construction, 
and services by recipients and by sub-recipients, the conflict of 
interest provisions in 2 CFR 200.318 apply.

Requirements

     Non-Federal entities must avoid prohibited conflicts of 
interest, including any significant financial interests that could 
cause a reasonable person to question the recipient's ability to 
provide impartial, technically sound, and objective performance under 
or with respect to a Federal financial assistance agreement.
     In addition to any other prohibitions that may apply with 
respect to conflicts of interest, no key official of an actual or 
proposed recipient or sub-recipient, who is substantially involved in 
the proposal or project, may have been a former Federal employee who, 
within the last one (1) year, participated personally and substantially 
in the evaluation, award, or administration of an award with respect to 
that recipient or sub-recipient or in development of the requirement 
leading to the funding announcement.
     No actual or prospective recipient or sub-recipient may 
solicit, obtain, or use non-public information regarding the 
evaluation, award, administration of an award to that recipient or sub-
recipient or the development of a Federal financial assistance 
opportunity that may be of competitive interest to that recipient or 
sub-recipient.

Notification

     Non-Federal entities, including applicants for financial 
assistance awards, must disclose in writing any conflict of interest to 
the DOI awarding agency or pass-through entity in accordance with 2 CFR 
200.112, Conflicts of Interest.
     Recipients must establish internal controls that include, 
at a minimum, procedures to identify, disclose, and mitigate or 
eliminate identified conflicts of interest. The recipient is 
responsible for notifying the Financial Assistance Officer in writing 
of any conflicts of interest that may arise during the life of the 
award, including those that have been reported by sub-recipients.
     Restrictions on Lobbying. Non-Federal entities are 
strictly prohibited

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from using funds under this grant or cooperative agreement for lobbying 
activities and must provide the required certifications and disclosures 
pursuant to 43 CFR part 18 and 31 U.S.C. 1352.
     Review Procedures. The Financial Assistance Officer will 
examine each conflict of interest disclosure on the basis of its 
particular facts and the nature of the proposed grant or cooperative 
agreement, and will determine whether a significant potential conflict 
exists and, if it does, develop an appropriate means for resolving it.
     Enforcement. Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a 
manner that satisfies the Government may be cause for termination of 
the award. Failure to make the required disclosures may result in any 
of the remedies described in 2 CFR 200.338, Remedies for Noncompliance, 
including suspension or debarment (see also 2 CFR part 180).

Data Availability

     Applicability. The Department of the Interior is committed 
to basing its decisions on the best available science and providing the 
American people with enough information to thoughtfully and 
substantively evaluate the data, methodology, and analysis used by the 
Department to inform its decisions.
     Use of Data. The regulations at 2 CFR 200.315 apply to 
data produced under a Federal award, including the provision that the 
Federal Government has the right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or 
otherwise use the data produced under a Federal award as well as 
authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such 
data for Federal purposes.
     Availability of Data. The recipient shall make the data 
produced under this award and any subaward(s) available to the 
Government for public release, consistent with applicable law, to allow 
meaningful third-party evaluation and reproduction of the following:

    [cir] The scientific data relied upon;
    [cir] The analysis relied upon; and
    [cir] The methodology, including models, used to gather and analyze 
data.

XVI. Questions and Requests for IEED Assistance

    IEED staff may provide technical consultation, upon written request 
by an applicant. The request must clearly identify the type of 
assistance sought. Technical consultation does not include funding to 
prepare a grant proposal, grant writing assistance, or pre-
determinations as to the likelihood that a proposal will be awarded. 
The applicant is solely responsible for preparing its grant proposal. 
Technical consultation may include clarifying application requirements, 
confirming whether an applicant previously submitted the same or 
similar proposal, and registration information for SAM or ASAP.

XVII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in this notice 
have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3504(h). The OMB 
control number is 4040-0004. The authorization expires on 12/31/2022. 
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to 
respond to, any information collection that does not display a 
currently valid OMB Control Number.

XVIII. Authority

    This is a discretionary grant program authorized under the Snyder 
Act (25 U.S.C. 13) and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 
(Pub. L. 116-94). The Snyder Act authorizes the BIA to expend such 
moneys as Congress may appropriate for the benefit, care, and 
assistance of Indians for the purposes listed in the Act. NABDI grants 
facilitate two of the purposes listed in the Snyder Act: ``General 
support and civilization, including education'' and ``industrial 
assistance and advancement.'' The Further Consolidated Appropriations 
Act 2020 authorizes the BIA to ``carry out the operation of Indian 
programs by direct expenditure, contracts, cooperative agreements, 
compacts, and grants, either directly or in cooperation with States and 
other organizations.''

Bryan Newland,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2021-10086 Filed 5-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4337-10-P