National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Commerce.
Notice of Availability of Funds.
Pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce, announces the solicitation of applications for a grant for the Pan-Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) Program. Projects funded pursuant to this Notice are intended to support the PEACESAT Program's acquisition of satellite communications to service Pacific Basin communities and to manage the operations of this network. Applications for the PEACESAT Program grant will compete for funds from the Public Broadcasting, Facilities, Planning and Construction Funds account.
Applications must be received on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time, June 9, 2004. Applications submitted by facsimile or electronic means are not acceptable. If an application is received after the Closing Date due to (1) carrier error, when the carrier accepted the package with a guarantee for delivery by the Closing Date and Time, (2) significant weather delays or natural disasters, or (3) delays due to national security issues, NTIA will, upon receipt of proper documentation, consider the application as having been received by the deadline. NTIA will not accept applications posted on the Closing Date or later and received after the deadline.
To obtain a printed application package, submit completed applications, or send any other correspondence, write to: NTIA/PTFP, Room H-4625, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Application materials may be obtained electronically via the Internet (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ptfp)Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
William Cooperman, Director, Public Broadcasting Division, telephone: (202) 482-5802; fax: (202) 482-2156.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The full funding opportunity announcement for the PEACESAT Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 grant cycle is available on the NTIA Web site: www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/peacesat/FederalRegister.html or by contacting NTIA at the address noted above. The full announcement is also available through www.Grants.gov.
The Congress has appropriated $19.75 million for FY 2004 Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) and PEACESAT awards. For FY 2003, NTIA issued one award for the PEACESAT project in the amount of $484,977.
Statutory and Regulatory Authority
Funding for the PEACESAT Program is provided pursuant to Public Law 108-199, “The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004” and Public Law 106-113, “The Consolidated Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2000.” Public Law 106-113 provides “That, hereafter, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Pan-Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) Program is eligible to compete for Public Broadcasting Facilities, Planning and Construction funds.” The PEACESAT Program was authorized under P.L. 100-584 (102 Stat. 2970) and also P. L. 101-555 (104 Stat. 2758) to acquire satellite communications services to provide educational, medical, and cultural needs of Pacific Basin communities. The PEACESAT Program has been operational since 1971 and has received funding from NTIA for support of the project since 1988.
Public Law 108-199 appropriated $19.75 million for this account to be awarded for Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) grants and for PEACESAT Program grants. A solicitation notice for the PTFP Program was published in the Federal Register on February 11, 2004. Applications submitted in response to this solicitation for PEACESAT applications are not subject to the requirements of the February 11, 2004 Notice and are exempt from the PTFP regulations at 15 CFR Part 2301. NTIA anticipates making a single award for approximately $500,000 for the PEACESAT Program in FY 2004.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: N/A.
Eligible applicants will include any for-profit or non-profit organization, public or private entity, other than an agency or division of the Federal government. Individuals are not eligible to apply for the PEACESAT Program funds.
Evaluation and Selection Process
Each eligible application is evaluated by a panel of outside reviewers who have demonstrated expertise in the programmatic and technological aspects of the application. The review panel members will evaluate applications according to the criteria in the preceding section and provide individual written ratings of each application. Start Printed Page 25884
State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) offices, per Executive Order 12372, may provide recommendations on applications under consideration.
PTFP places a summary of applications received on the Internet. Listing an application merely acknowledges receipt of an application to compete for funding with other applications. Listing does not preclude subsequent return of the application or disapproval of the application, nor does it assure that the application will be funded. The listing will also include a request for comments on the applications from any interested party. Applicants must make a copy of their application available for public inspection during normal business hours. Any opposing public comments must contain a certification that a copy of the comments has been delivered to the applicant. Public comment and replies from the applicant are considered during the evaluation of the application.
The PTFP program staff prepares summary recommendations for the Director of the Public Broadcasting Division. These recommendations incorporate the outside reviewers' ratings and incorporate analysis based on the degree to which a proposed project meets the PEACESAT Program purposes and cost eligibility as described in Sections IV and V of this announcement. Staff recommendations also consider (1) project impact, (2) the cost/benefit of a project, and (3) whether the reviewers consistently applied the evaluation criteria. The analysis by program staff is provided to the Director of the Public Broadcasting Division in writing.
The Director considers the summary recommendations prepared by program staff, recommends the funding order of the applications for the PTFP and PEACESAT Programs in three categories: “Recommended for Funding,” “Recommended for Funding If Funds Are Available,” and “Not Recommended for Funding.” The Director presents recommendations to the Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA), for review and approval.
Upon review and approval by the Associate Administrator of the Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA), the Director's recommendations are presented to the Selecting Official, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, who is the NTIA Administrator. The NTIA Administrator selects the applications to be negotiated for possible grant award, taking into consideration the outside reviewers' ratings, the Director's recommendations, and the degree to which the slate of applications, taken as a whole, satisfies the PTFP and PEACESAT Programs' stated purposes.
The selected applications are negotiated between NTIA staff and the applicant. The negotiations are intended to resolve whatever differences might exist between the applicant's original request and what NTIA is considering funding. Negotiation does not ensure that an award will be made. When the negotiations are completed, the Director recommends final selections to the NTIA Administrator, applying the same selection factors described above. The Administrator then makes the final award selections from the negotiated applications taking into consideration the Director's recommendations and the degree to which the slate of applications, taken as a whole, satisfies the stated purposes for the PTFP Program in 15 CFR 2301.1(a) and (c) and for the PEACESAT Program.
Each eligible application that is timely received, is materially complete, and proposes an eligible project will be considered under the evaluation criteria described here. The first three criteria—1. Meeting the Purposes of the PEACESAT Program, 2. Extent of Need for the Project, and 3. Plan of Operation for the Project—are each worth 25 points. Criterion 4, Budget and Cost Effectiveness, is worth 20 points. Criterion 5, Quality of Key Personnel, is worth 5 points.
Criterion 1. Meeting the Purposes of the PEACESAT Program, including (i) how well the proposal meets the objectives of the PEACESAT Program and (ii) how the objectives of the proposal further the purposes of the PEACESAT Program.
Criterion 2. Extent of Need for the Project. The extent to which the project meets the needs of the PEACESAT Program, including consideration of: (i) The needs addressed by the project; (ii) how the applicant identifies those needs; (iii) how those needs will be met by the project; and (iv) the benefits to be gained by meeting those needs.
Criterion 3. Plan of Operation for the Project, including (i) the quality of the design of the project; (ii) the extent to which the plan of management is effective and ensures proper and efficient administration of the project; (iii) how well the objectives of the project relate to the purposes of the PEACESAT Program; (iv) the quality of the applicant's plan to use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective; and (v) how the applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or handicapped condition.
Criterion 4. Budget and Cost Effectiveness. The extent to which (i) the budget is adequate to support the project; and (ii) costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the project.
Criterion 5. Quality of Key Personnel the applicant plans to use on the project, including (i) the qualifications of the project director if one is to be used; (ii) the qualifications of each of the other key personnel to be used in the project; (iii) the time that each person will commit to the project; and (iv) how the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or handicapped condition. In this section, “qualifications” refers to experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project, and any other qualifications that pertain to the quality of the project.
Funding Priorities and Selection Factors
The selection factors retained by the Director, OTIA Associate Administrator, and the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information for the PTFP Program are described in 15 CFR 2301.18. These selection factors are also used, as applicable, for selection of applications for funding for the PEACESAT Program.
Cost Sharing Requirements
Grant recipients under this program will not be required to provide matching funds toward the total project cost.
The costs allowable under this Notice are not subject to the limitation on costs contained in the February 11, 2004 Notice regarding the PTFP Program.
PEACESAT applications are subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” if the state in which the applicant organization is located participates in the process. Usually submission to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) needs to be only the first two pages of the Application Form, but applicants should contact their own SPOC offices to find out about and comply with its requirements. The names and addresses of the SPOC offices are listed on the PTFP website and at the Office of Management and Budget's home page at http://Start Printed Page 25885www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html.
All applicants (nonprofit, state, local government, universities, and tribal organizations) will be required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number during the application process. See the October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66177) and April 8, 2003 (68 FR 17000) Federal Register notices for additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line 1-866-705-5711 or via the Internet (www.dunandbradstreet.com).
The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements
The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification of Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of October 1, 2001 (66 FR 49917), as amended by the Federal Register notice published on October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66109), are applicable to this solicitation.
Limitation of Liability
In no event will the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige the agency to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds.
Paperwork Reduction Act
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The PTFP application form has been approved under OMB Control No. 0660-0003.
Executive Order 12866
It has been determined that this notice is a “not significant” rule under Executive Order 12866.
It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.
Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act
Prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for this notice concerning grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared.Start Signature
Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications.
[FR Doc. 04-10538 Filed 5-7-04; 8:45 am]
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