Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services, HHS.
Announcement Type: Competitive Grant-Initial.
Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2004-ACF-OCS-ET-0028.
CFDA Number: 93.570.
Due Date for Applications: The due date for receipt of applications is September 9, 2004.
I. Funding Opportunity Description
The Office of Community Services (OCS) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announces that competing applications will be accepted for a new grant pursuant to the Secretary's authority under section 674(b) of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act, as amended, by the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services (COATES) Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998, (Pub. L. 105-285).
The proposed grant will fund up to seven capacity-building collaborations that create or expand asset formation and financial literacy services offered by eligible entities funded under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program in support of national community action Goal 1 (“Low Income People Become More Self-Sufficient”).
Definitions of Terms
The following definitions apply:
At-Risk Agencies refers to CSBG eligible entities in crises. The problem(s) to be addressed must be of a complex or pervasive nature that cannot be adequately addressed through existing local or State resources.
Capacity-building refers to activities that assist Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and other eligible entities to improve or enhance their overall or specific capability to plan, deliver, manage and evaluate programs efficiently and effectively to produce Start Printed Page 48500intended results for low-income individuals. This may include upgrading internal financial management or computer systems, establishing new external linkages with other organizations, improving board functioning, adding or refining a program component or replicating techniques or programs piloted in another local community, or making other cost effective improvements.
Community in relationship to broad representation refers to any group of individuals who share common distinguishing characteristics including residency, for example, the “low-income” community, or the “religious” community, or the “professional” community. The individual members of these “communities” may or may not reside in a specific neighborhood, county, or school district but the local service provider may be implementing programs and strategies that will have a measurable affect on them. Community in this context is viewed within the framework of both community conditions and systems, i.e., (1) Public policies, formal written and unstated norms adhered to by the general population; (2) service and support systems, economic opportunity in the labor market, and capital stakeholders; (3) civic participation; and (4) an equity as it relates to the economic and social distribution of power.
Community Services Network (CSN) refers to the various organizations involved in planning and implementing programs funded through the Community Services Block Grant or providing training, technical assistance or support to them. The network includes local Community Action Agencies and other eligible entities; State CSBG offices and their national association; CAA State, regional and national associations; and related organizations which collaborate and participate with Community Action Agencies and other eligible entities in their efforts on behalf of low-income people.
Eligible applicants described in this announcement shall be eligible entities, organizations, (including faith-based) or associations with demonstrated expertise in providing training to individuals and organizations on methods of effectively addressing the needs of low-income families and communities. See description of Eligible Entities below.
Eligible entity means any organization that was officially designated as a Community Action Agency (CAA) or a community action program under Section 673(1) of the Community Services Block Grant Act, as amended by the Human Services Amendments of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-252), and meets all the requirements under Sections 673(1)(A)(I), and 676A of the CSBG Act, as amended by the COATES Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998. All eligible entities are current recipients of Community Services Block Grant funds, including migrant and seasonal farm worker organizations that received CSBG funding in the previous fiscal year.
Local service providers are local public or private non-profit agencies that receive Community Services Block Grant funds from States to provide services to, or undertake activities on behalf of, low-income people.
Nationwide refers to the scope of the technical assistance, training, data collection, or other capacity-building projects to be undertaken with grant funds. Nationwide projects must provide for the implementation of technical assistance, training or data collection for all or a significant number of States, and the local service providers who administer CSBG funds.
Non-profit Organization refers to an organization, including faith-based, which has “demonstrated experience in providing training to individuals and organizations on methods of effectively addressing the needs of low-income families and communities.” Acceptable documentation for eligible non-profit status is limited to: (1) A copy of a current, valid Internal Revenue service tax exemption certificate; (2) a copy of the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code; and/or (3) Articles of incorporation bearing the seal of the State in which the corporation or association is domiciled.
Outcome Measures are definable changes in the status or condition of individuals, families, organizations, or communities as a result of program services, activities, or collaborations.
Performance Measurement is a tool used to objectively assess how a program is accomplishing its mission through the delivery of products, services, and activities.
Program technology exchange refers to the process of sharing expert technical and programmatic information, models, strategies and approaches among the various partners in the Community Services Network. This may be done through written case studies, guides, seminars, technical assistance, and other mechanisms.
Regional Networks refers to CAA State Associations within a region.
Results-Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) System: ROMA is a system, which provides a framework for focusing on results for local agencies funded by the Community Services Block Grant Program. It involves setting goals and strategies and developing plans and techniques that focus on a result-oriented performance-based model for management.
State means all of the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Except where specifically noted, for purposes of this program announcement, it also includes specified Territories.
State CSBG Lead Agency (SCLA) is the lead agency designated by the Governor of the State to develop the State CSBG application and to administer the CSBG Program.
Statewide refers to training and technical assistance activities and other capacity-building activities undertaken with grant funds that will have significant impact, i.e., activities should impact at least 50 percent of the eligible entities in a State.
Technical assistance is an activity, generally utilizing the services of an expert (often a peer), aimed at enhancing capacity, improving programs and systems, or solving specific problems. Such services may be provided proactively to improve systems or as an intervention to solve specific problems.
Territories refers to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and American Samoa for the purpose of this announcement.
Training is an educational activity or event which is designed to impart knowledge, understanding, or increase the development of skills. Such training activities may be in the form of assembled events such as workshops, seminars, conferences, or programs of self-instructional activities.
Community Action Goal 1—“Low Income People Become More Self-Sufficient”
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Other Asset Formation Opportunities.
Program Purpose, Scope and Focus
OCS is committed to promoting and funding projects that use asset formation financial strategies to increase disposable earned income in low-income households and to help direct the use of that income toward asset formation. We view such strategies as viable innovative approaches to empowering low-income individuals, and families to become more self-Start Printed Page 48501sufficient and self-reliant. As part of an OCS initiative, we are forming partnerships and encouraging the creation or strengthening of partnerships aimed at increasing financial education literacy and asset formation for low wage earning households.
The EITC is a refundable federal tax credit designed to encourage employment in low-income families and to offset the effects of Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes on working-poor families. The EITC is widely viewed as a key support in welfare-to-work and asset-building strategies. EITC is regarded not only as an income supplement to meet immediate expenses, but also as a resource that might be directed toward asset-building strategies. Low-income families can be assisted to use the credit to accrue wealth, achieve economic self-sufficiency, and break the cycle of poverty.
Up to 30 percent of low-income families do not have a checking or savings account with a financial institution, have poor financial management skills and/or credit record, and need assistance with asset-building strategies; therefore, finding a way to link the EITC to affordable banking services, financial literacy, and savings and asset-building options is critical. According to recent studies by the Government Accounting Office, a substantial number of eligible individuals and families fail to claim the EITC. OCS seeks to narrow the gap between eligible households entitled to, but not receiving, this benefit. OCS also seeks to expand the use of the credit as an asset-building resource.
OCS seeks to fund formal collaboration projects that use the EITC to create or expand asset formation and financial literacy services offered by eligible entities funded under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program. Funds will be awarded to provide capacity-building assistance that enables local, State or regional CSBG networks to plan, establish, improve or expand the use of EITC outreach and free tax preparation services to provide asset formation and financial service opportunities for eligible individuals and families. These projects should be designed to include EITC outreach, free tax preparation services and financial literacy/asset formation strategies to enable low-income families and individuals to make wiser financial decisions, build financial resources and help eligible clients take advantage of asset formation opportunities, that ultimately help the community thrive and become more economically stable.
Formal State CSBG Lead Agencies and State CAA Association partnerships are especially encouraged and will receive priority consideration for funding. OCS realizes that CSBG service providers will be most effective in helping low-income individuals and families increase assets and financial literacy when they partner with others in the community. Therefore, applications that show collaborations with other community-based organizations and institutions are also strongly encouraged.
Funds will be awarded to provide capacity-building assistance that enables local and regional CSBG networks to plan, establish, improve or expand asset formation and financial service opportunities for eligible individuals and families. These projects should be designed to help low-wage earners, at or near the poverty level, become more astute in areas such as money management and other financial services. The projects must offer, or plan to offer, services that help eligible clients take advantage of asset formation opportunities, increase their disposable income, build financial resources and enable them to make wiser financial decisions that ultimately help the community thrive and become more economically stable.
At a minimum, all projects funded under this area must demonstrate proof that they have managed and operated an established Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) component. Successful applicants for these seven (7) grants must also have a history of providing Earned Income Tax Credit and other asset formation services and training within the Community Services Network. Their curriculum must demonstrate an understanding of asset formation and financial literacy. Applicants must describe in their applications how their proposed training curriculum will improve or expand the access of eligible low-income families and individuals to asset formation information and services. Therefore, projects should include outreach to eligible families, information to help individuals and families understand the EITC and free tax filing assistance to claim the EITC and other tax credits.
Successful applicants for these grants must have a plan for providing EITC outreach, free tax preparation, and other financial and asset formation services and training within the Community Services Network. Their curriculum must demonstrate an understanding of asset formation and financial literacy. At a minimum, all projects funded in this area must present proof that within the collaborative there exists a partner with demonstrated experience in the delivery of EITC outreach and free tax preparation services, and should include a description (letters of agreement or memoranda of understanding) of the nature of the existing or proposed working relationship with the local Internal Revenue Service territory office. Applicants must also describe in their applications how their proposed plan and training curriculum will improve or expand the access of eligible low-income families and individuals to tax preparation and asset formation information and services beyond the scope of the current offerings of that or other partners so engaged, as well as identifying constituencies who have been underserved with these programs.
OCS recognizes that local, State and regional CSBG networks are in various stages with respect to offering asset formation and financial literacy services. Therefore, we plan to fund applications from applicants that are in the initial planning and development stages of asset formation services as well as applications from applicants whose CSBG network has established asset formation services, but desire to do more.
Successful applicants will propose projects that will impact more than one local CSBG service area. This Sub-Priority Area is not appropriate for projects proposing stand-alone services that impact and target only one particular community. Formal State CSBG Lead Agencies and State CAA Association partnerships and Community Service Network collaborations that address the needs of rural communities are especially encouraged to apply for these funds and will receive priority consideration for funding.
The application must clearly show the roles and responsibilities of each collaborating partner. Letters of agreement and memoranda of understanding on agency letterhead with signatures from persons authorized to act on behalf of the collaborating partner(s) must be included in the application.
Innovation is encouraged. However, the following are examples of asset formation and financial literacy activities that OSC seeks to expand:
- Help eligible individuals and families apply for and receive, the Federal and State, where appropriate, Earned Income Tax Credits and other cash benefits or services to which they are entitled. Start Printed Page 48502
- Ensure that staff and volunteers of local CSBG funded organizations and/or their partners are trained and certified to provide free tax preparation services.
- Recruit, support, and retain qualified volunteers committed to the goals of the initiative.
- Conduct outreach to EITC eligible individuals and families.
- Provide life skills education that helps low-income individuals and families learn and apply effective household management and budgeting techniques.
- Help clients establish and use banking and financial services, such as checking and savings accounts, thereby reducing or eliminating their reliance on the high-fee, high interest check cashing and loan services that are prevalent and widely used in low-income neighborhoods.
- Present materials in different languages based on the needs of eligible households.
- Assist families and individuals to boost savings in Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and/or to participate in other asset-building opportunities such as pre and post purchase housing support, 529 college savings plans, and other asset tools.
II. Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Grant.
Anticipated Total Priority Area Funding: $500,000 in FY 2004.
Anticipated Number of Awards: Seven (7).
Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: $80,000 per budget period.
An application that exceeds the upper value of the dollar range specified will be considered “non-responsive” and be returned to the applicant without further review.
Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: none.
Average Projected Award Amount: $70,000 per budget period.
Project Periods for Award: This announcement is inviting applications for project periods of up to three years. Awards, offered on a competitive basis, will be for a one-year budget period, although projects may be for three years. Applications for continuation grants beyond the one-year budget period, but within the three-year project period, will be entertained in subsequent years on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Federal Government.
An application that exceeds the upper value of the dollar range specified will be considered “non-responsive” and be returned to the applicant without further review.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Community Services Block Grant eligible entities, State Community Action Associations, non-profit organizations having 501(c)3 status, and non-profits that do not have 501(c)3 status. Faith-based organizations are eligible to apply.
Additional Information on Eligibility: As prescribed by the Community Services Block Grant Act (Pub. L. 105-285, Section 678A(c)(2), eligible applicants are eligible entities (see definitions), or statewide or local organizations, or associations with demonstrated expertise in providing training to individuals and organizations on methods of effectively addressing the needs of low-income families and communities.
Any non-profit organization submitting an application must submit proof of its non-profit status in its application at the time of submission. The non-profit agency can accomplish this by providing a reference to the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code; a copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate; a statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals; a certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status; or any of the items referenced above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.
Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants” at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
On June 27, 2003, the Office of Management and Budget published in the Federal Register a new Federal policy applicable to all Federal grant applicants. The policy requires all Federal grant applicants to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. The DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the government-wide electronic portal (http://www.Grants.gov). A DUNS number will be required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement and block grant programs, submitted on or after October 1, 2003.
Please ensure that your organization has a DUNS number. You may acquire a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line on 1-866-705-5711 or you may request a number on-line at http://www.dnb.com.
An application that exceeds the upper value of the dollar range specified will be considered “non-responsive” and be returned to the applicant without further review.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address To Request Application Package
Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, Attn: Dr. Margaret Washnitzer, Telephone: (800) 281-9519.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
An original and two copies of the complete application are required. The original and the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by an authorized representative of the applicant organization, have original signatures, and be submitted unbound. Applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget and Social Security Numbers. The copies may include summary salary information.
You may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format. To submit an application electronically, please use the http://www.Grants.gov apply site. If you use Grants.gov, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it off-line, and then upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov site. You Start Printed Page 48503may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
Please note the following if you plan to submit your application electronically via Grants.gov:
- Electronic submission is voluntary.
- When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.
- To use Grants.gov, you, as the applicant, must have a DUNS Number and register in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). You should allow a minimum of five days to complete the CCR registration.
- You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
- You may submit all documents electronically, including all information typically included on the Standard Form 424 and all necessary assurances and certifications.
- Your application must comply with any page limitation requirements described in this program announcement.
- After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The Administration for Children and Families will retrieve your application from Grants.gov.
- We may request that you provide original signatures on forms at a later date.
- You may access the electronic application for this program on http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package by The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number.
Each application must include the following components:
(a) Table of Contents
(b) Abstract of the Proposed Project—very brief, not to exceed 250 words, that would be suitable for use in an announcement that the application has been selected for a grant award and which identifies the type of project, the target population, and the major elements of the work plan.
(c) Completed Standard Form 424—that has been signed by an official of the organization applying for the grant who has authority to obligate the organization legally.
(d) Standard Form 424A—Budget Information-Non-Construction Programs.
(e) Narrative Budget Justification—for each object class category required under Section B, Standard Form 424A.
(f) Project Narrative—A narrative that addresses issues described in the “Application Review Information” and the “Review and Selection Criteria” sections of this announcement.
Each application should include one signed original application and two additional copies of the same application.
Submit application materials on white 81/2 x 11 inch paper only. Do not use colored, oversized or folded materials.
Please do not include organizational brochures or other promotional materials, slides, films, clips, etc.
The font size may be no smaller than 12 pitch and the margins must be at least one inch on all sides.
Number all application pages sequentially throughout the package, beginning with the abstract of the proposed project as page number one.
Please present application materials either in loose-leaf notebooks or in folders with pages two-hole punched at the top center and fastened separately with a slide paper fastener.
The application package including sections for the Table of Contents, Project Abstract, Project and Budget Narratives must not exceed 35 pages. The page limitation does not include the following attachments and appendices: Standard Forms for Assurances, Certifications, Disclosures and appendices. The page limitation also does not apply to any supplemental documents as required in this announcement.
Required Standard Forms
Applicants requesting financial assistance for non-construction projects must file the Standard Form 424B, “Assurances: Non-Construction Programs.” Applicants must sign and return the Standard Form 424B with their applications.
Applicants must provide a certification regarding lobbying when applying for an award in excess of $100,000. Applicants must sign and return the certification with their applications.
Applicants must disclose lobbying activities on the Standard Form LLL when applying for an award in excess of $100,000. Applicants who have used non-Federal funds for lobbying activities in connection with receiving assistance under this announcement shall complete a disclosure form to report lobbying. Applicants must sign and return the disclosure form, if applicable, with their applications.
(a) The application must contain a signed Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance, a Standard Form 424A, Budget Information, and signed Standard Form 424B, Assurance—Non-Construction Programs, completed according to instructions provided in this Program Announcement. Forms SF-424 and SF-424B must be signed by an official of the organization applying for the grant who has authority to obligate the organization legally. The applicant's legal name as required on the SF-424 (Item 5) must match that listed as corresponding to the Employer Identification Number (Item 6);
(b) The application must include a project narrative that meets the requirements set forth in this announcement;
(c) The application must contain documentation of the applicant's tax-exempt status as indicated in the “Funding Opportunity Description” section of this announcement;
Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants.” The forms are located on the web at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm.
Project Summary Abstract: Provide a one page (or less) summary of the project description with reference to the funding request.
Full Project Description Requirements: Describe the project clearly in 35 pages or less (not counting supplemental documentation, letters of support or agreements) using the following outline and guidelines. Applicants are required to submit a Full Project Description and must prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions. The pages of the project description must be numbered and are limited to 35 typed pages starting on page 1 with the “Objectives and Need for Assistance”. The description must be double-spaced, printed on only one side, with at least one inch margins. Pages over the 35 page limit will be removed from the competition and will not be reviewed.
It is in the applicant's best interest to ensure that the project description is easy to read, logically developed in Start Printed Page 48504accordance with the evaluation criteria, and adheres to the page limitation. In addition, applicants should be mindful of the importance of preparing and submitting applications using language, terms, concepts and descriptions that are generally known by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) network.
The maximum number of pages for supplemental documentation is 10 pages. The supplemental documentation, subject to the 10-page limit, must be numbered and might include brief resumes, position descriptions, proof of non-profit status, news clippings, press releases, etc. Supplemental documentation over the 10-page limit will not be reviewed.
Applicants must include letters of support or agreement, if appropriate or applicable, in reference to the project description. Letters of support are not counted as part of the 35-page project description limit or the 10-page supplemental documentation limit. All applications must comply with the following requirements as noted:
3. Submission Date and Time
The closing time and date for receipt of applications is 4:30 p.m. eastern time (e.t.) on September 9, 2004. Mailed or hand carried applications received after 4:30 p.m. on the closing date will be classified as late.
Deadline: Mailed applications shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline time and date at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, Attention: Barbara Ziegler Johnson. Applicants are responsible for mailing applications well in advance, when using all mail services, to ensure that the applications are received on or before the deadline time and date.
Applications hand carried by applicants, applicant couriers, other representatives of the applicant, or by overnight/express mail couriers shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline date, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., eastern time (e.t.), at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, between Monday and Friday (excluding Federal holidays). This address must appear on the envelope/package containing the application with the note: “Attention: Barbara Ziegler Johnson.” Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.
Late applications: Applications which do not meet the criteria above are considered late applications. ACF shall notify each late applicant that its application will not be considered in the current competition.
Extension of deadlines: ACF may extend application deadlines when circumstances such as acts of God (floods, hurricanes, etc.) occur, or when there are widespread disruptions of mail service. Determinations to extend or waive deadline requirements rest with the Chief Grants Management Officer.
ACF will not send acknowledgements of receipt of application materials.
|What to submit||Required content||Required form or format||When to submit|
|Table of Contents||As described above||Consistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcement||By application due date.|
|Abstract of Proposed Project||Brief abstract that identifies the type of project, the target population, and the major elements of the proposed project||Consistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcement||By application due date.|
|Completed Standard Form 424||As described above and per required form||May be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm||By application due date.|
|Completed Standard Form 424A||As described above and per required form||May be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm||By application due date.|
|Narrative Budget Justification||As described above||Consistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcement||By application due date.|
|Project Narrative||A narrative that addresses issues described in the “Application Review Information” and the “Review and Selection Criteria” sections of this announcement||Consistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcement||By application due date.|
|Certification regarding lobbying||As described above and per required form||May be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm||By application due date.|
|Certification regarding environmental tobacco smoke||As described above and per required form||May be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm||By application due date.|
Private non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the additional survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants”. Start Printed Page 48505
|What to submit||Required content||Required form or format||When to submit|
|Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants||Per required form||May be found on: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm||By application due date.|
4. Intergovernmental Review
State Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” and 45 CFR Part 100, “Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities.” Under the Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs. As of October 2003, of the most recent SPOC list, the following jurisdictions have elected not to participate in the Executive Order process. Applicants from these jurisdictions or for projects administered by federally-recognized Indian Tribes need take no action in regard to E.O. 12372: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and Palau.
Although the jurisdictions listed above no longer participate in the process, entities which have met the eligibility requirements of the program are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory, Commonwealth, etc. does not have a SPOC. All remaining jurisdictions participate in the Executive Order process and have established SPOCs. Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOCs as soon as possible to alert them of the prospective applications and receive instructions. Applicants must submit any required material to the SPOCs as soon as possible so that the program office can obtain and review SPOC comments as part of the award process. The applicant must submit all required materials, if any, to the SPOC and indicate the date of this submittal (or the date of contact if no submittal is required) on the Standard Form 424, item 16a. Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application deadline to comment on proposed new or competing continuation awards.
SPOCs are encouraged to eliminate the submission of routine endorsements as official recommendations. Additionally, SPOCs are requested to clearly differentiate between mere advisory comments and those official State process recommendations which may trigger the “accommodate or explain” rule.
When comments are submitted directly to ACF, they should be addressed to: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Mail Stop 6C-462, Washington, DC 20447.
A list of the Single Points of Contact for each State and Territory is included with the application materials for this announcement.
5. Funding Restrictions
Sub-Contracting or Delegating Projects
OCS will not fund any project where the role of the applicant is primarily to serve as a conduit for funds to organizations other than the applicant. The applicant must have a substantive role in the implementation of the project for which funding is requested. This prohibition does not bar the making of sub-grants or sub-contracting for specific services or activities that are needed to conduct the project.
Number of Projects in Application
Each application may include only one proposed project.
6. Other Submission Requirements
Submission by Mail: An applicant must provide an original application with all attachments, signed by an authorized representative and two complete copies. The application must be received at the address below by 4:30 p.m. eastern time (e.t.) on or before September 9, 2004. Applications should be mailed to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, Attn: Barbara Ziegler Johnson.
For Hand Delivery: Applicants must provide an original application with all attachments, signed by an authorized representative and two complete copies. The application must be received at the address below by 4:30 p.m. eastern time on or before the closing date. Applications that are hand delivered will be accepted between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications may be delivered to: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209 Attention: Barbara Ziegler Johnson. It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain documentation that the application was hand delivered on or before the closing date. Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.
V. Application Review Information
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13)
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed and reviewing the collection information.
The project description is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139 which expires 4/30/2007.
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a current valid OMB number.
Instructions: ACF Uniform Project Description (UPD)
The following are instructions and guidelines on how to prepare the “project summary/abstract” and “Full Project Description” sections of the application. Under the evaluation criteria section, note that each criterion is preceded by the generic evaluation requirement under the ACF Uniform Project Description (UPD). The generic UPD requirement is followed by the evaluation criterion specific to the Community Services Block Grant legislation.
The project description provides a major means by which an application is evaluated and ranked to compete with other applications for available assistance. The project description should be concise and complete and should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested. Supporting documents should be Start Printed Page 48506included where they can present information clearly and succinctly. In preparing your project description, information responsive to each of the requested evaluation criteria must be provided. Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations. It is important, therefore, that information included in the application is clear and complete.
Applicants required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria. The text options give a broad overview of what your project description should include while the evaluation criteria identifies the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.
Provide a summary of the project description (a page or less) with reference to the funding request.
Objectives and Need for Assistance
Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need for assistance must be demonstrated and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included. Any relevant data based on planning studies should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes. Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as needed. In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to provide information on the total range of projects currently being conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the program announcement.
Results or Benefits Expected
Identify the results and benefits to be derived. For example, describe the population to be served by the program and the number of new jobs that will be targeted to the target population. Explain how the project will reach the targeted population and how it will benefit participants, including, how it will support individuals to become more economically self-sufficient.
Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors which might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.
Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application, such as, free tax preparation, financial literacy training, and asset-building activities. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.
If any data is to be collected, maintained, and/or disseminated, clearance may be required from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This clearance pertains to any “collection of information that is conducted or sponsored by ACF.”
List organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.
Provide a narrative addressing how the conduct of the project and the results of the project will be evaluated. In addressing the evaluation of results, state how you will determine the extent to which the project has achieved its stated objectives and the extent to which the accomplishment of objectives can be attributed to the project. Discuss the criteria to be used to evaluate results, and explain the methodology that will be used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met and if the project results and benefits are being achieved. With respect to the conduct of the project, define the procedures to be employed to determine whether the project is being conducted in a manner consistent with the work plan presented and discuss the impact of the project's various activities on the project's effectiveness.
Provide information on the applicant organization(s) and cooperating partners, such as organizational charts, financial statements, audit reports or statements from CPAs/Licensed Public Accountants, Employer Identification Numbers, names of bond carriers, contact persons and telephone numbers, child care licenses and other documentation of professional accreditation, information on compliance with Federal/State/local government standards, documentation of experience in the program area, and other pertinent information. If the applicant is a non-profit organization, submit proof of non-profit status in its application.
The non-profit agency can accomplish this by providing: (a) A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code; (b) a copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate, (c) a statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals; (d) a certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status, (e) any of the items immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.
Budget and Budget Justification
Provide a budget with line item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified on the Budget Information form. Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. Also include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 15 of the SF-424.
Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs.
2. Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criterion I: Approach (Maximum: 40 points)
Factors: (1) The work program is results-oriented, approximately related to the legislative mandate and Start Printed Page 48507specifically related to the priority area under which funds are being requested. The application addresses the following: specific outcomes to be achieved; discussion of how the project will verify the achievement of these targets and the data collection methodology to be used; the way that tax preparation training will be accomplished; individuals, families and households served; proposed linkage and outcomes to asset-building activities; critical milestones which must be achieved if results are to be gained; organizational support, the level of support from the applicant organization; past performance in similar work; and specific resources contributed to the project that are critical to success.
(2) The applicant defines the comprehensive nature of the project and methods that will be used to ensure that the results can be used to address a statewide or nationwide project as defined by the description of the particular priority area.
Evaluation Criterion II: Organizational Profiles (Maximum: 20 points)
Factors: (1) The applicant demonstrates that it has experience and a successful record of accomplishment relevant to the specific activities it proposes to accomplish.
(2) If the applicant proposes to provide training and technical assistance, it details its abilities to provide those services on a community services network-wide basis. If applicable, information provided by the applicant also addresses related achievements and competence of each cooperating or sponsoring organization.
(3) The application fully describes, for example in a resume, the experience and skills of the proposed project director and primary staff showing specific qualifications and professional experiences relevant to the successful implementation of the proposed project.
(4) The applicant describes how it will involve partners in the Community Services Network , the Internal Revenue Service, and other asset-building projects including the Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) grantees in its activities. Where appropriate, applicant describes how it will interface with other related organizations.
(5) The application describes how the needs of rural communities and small towns will be addressed.
(6) If sub-contracts are proposed, the application documents the willingness and capacity of the subcontracting organization(s) to participate as described.
Evaluation Criterion III: Objectives and Need for Assistance (Maximum: 20 points)
Factors: (1) The applicant documents that the proposed project addresses vital needs related to the program purposes and provides statistics and other data and information in support of its contention.
(2) The application provides current supporting documentation or other testimonies regarding needs from State CSBG Directors, CAAs and local service providers and/or State and Regional organizations of CAAs and other local service providers, including the Internal Revenue Service.
Evaluation Criterion IV: Results or Benefits Expected (Maximum: 15 points)
Factors: (1) The application describes how the project will assure long-term program and management improvements for State CSBG offices, CAA State and/or regional associations, CAAs and/or other local providers of CSBG services and activities.
(2) The applicant indicates the types and amounts of public and/or private resources it will mobilize, how those resources will directly benefit the project, and how the project will ultimately benefit low-income individuals and families.
(3) If the application proposes a project with a training and technical assistance focus, the application indicates the number of organizations and/or staff that will benefit from those services.
(4) The application describes a project with data collection focus, the application describes the mechanism to be used to collect data about EITC outreach, returns prepared, total EITC claimed, the number of individuals and families engaged in financial literacy and/or asset formation strategies and, how the applicant can assure collections from a significant number of State partners, and the number of State partners willing to submit data to the applicant.
(5) If the applicant proposes to develop a symposium series or other policy-related project(s), the application identifies the number and types of beneficiaries.
(6) The application describes methods of securing participant feedback and evaluations of activities.
Criterion V: Budget and Budget Justification (Maximum: 5 points)
Factors: (1) The resources requested are reasonable and adequate to accomplish the project.
(2) Total costs are reasonable and consistent with anticipated results.
3. Review and Selection Process
Initial OCS Screening
Each application submitted to OCS will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time.
Applications received by the closing date and time will be screened for completeness and conformity with the following requirements. Only complete applications that meet the requirements listed below will be reviewed and evaluated competitively. Other applications will be returned to the applicants with a notation that they were unacceptable and will not be reviewed.
All applications must comply with the following requirements except as noted:
OCS Evaluation of Applications
Applications that pass the initial OCS screening will be reviewed and rated by a panel based on the program elements and review criteria presented in relevant sections of this program announcement.
The review criteria are designed to enable the review panel to assess the quality of a proposed project and determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related to each other and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. The review panel awards points only to applications that are responsive to the program elements and relevant review criteria within the context of this program announcement.
Copies to Non-Federal Reviewers
Applicants are encouraged to use job titles and not specific names in developing the application budget. However, the specific salary rates or amounts for staff positions identified must be included in the application budget.
The OCS Director and program staff use the reviewer scores when considering competing applications. Reviewer scores will weigh heavily in funding decisions, but will not be the only factors considered.
Applications generally will be considered in order of the average scores assigned by the review panel. Because other important factors are taken into consideration, highly ranked applications are not guaranteed funding. These other considerations include, for example: The timely and proper completion by the applicant of projects funded with OCS funds granted in the last five (5) years; comments of Start Printed Page 48508reviewers and government officials; staff evaluation and input; amount and duration of the grant requested and the proposed project's consistency and harmony with OCS goals and policy; geographic distribution of applications; previous program performance of applicants; compliance with grant terms under previous HHS grants, including the actual dedication to program of mobilized resources as set forth in project applications; audit reports; investigative reports; and applicant's progress in resolving any final audit disallowance on previous OCS or other Federal agency grants.
Approved But Unfunded Applications: In cases where more applications are approved for funding than ACF can fund with the money available, the Grants Officer shall fund applications in their order of approval until funds run out. In this case, ACF has the option of carrying over the approved applications up to a year for funding consideration in a later competition of the same program. These applications need not be reviewed and scored again if the program's evaluation criteria have not changed. However, they must then be placed in rank order along with other applications in the later competition.
VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
Following approval of the application selected for funding, ACF will mail a written notice of project approval and authority to draw down project funds. The official award document is the Financial Assistance Award that specifies the amount of Federal funds approved for use in the project, the project and budget period for which support is provided and the terms and conditions of the award. The Financial Assistance Award is signed and issued via postal mail by an authorized Grants Officer.
ACF will notify unsuccessful applicants after the award is issued to the successful applicant.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
All grantees are required to submit semi-annual program reports and semi-annual expenditure reports (SF-269) with final reports due 90 days after the project end date. A suggested format for the program report will be sent to all grantees after the awards are made.
VII. Agency Contacts
Program Office Contact: Dr. Margaret Washnitzer, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, E-Mail: OCS@lcgnet.com, Phone: 1-800-281-9519.
Grants Management Office Contact: Barbara Ziegler Johnson, Team Leader, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1815 Fort Myer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, E-Mail: OCS@lcgnet.com, Phone: 1-800-281-9519.
VIII. Other Information
Additional information about this program and its purpose can be located on the following Web site: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs.Start Signature
Dated: August 4, 2004.
Clarence H. Carter,
Director, Office of Community Services.
[FR Doc. 04-18289 Filed 8-9-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4184-01-P