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Office of Community Services; Community Services Block Grant Program; Community Economic Development; Discretionary Grant Program-Operational Projects

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Announcement Type: Initial.

Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2005-ACF-OCS-EE-0019.

CFDA Number: 93.570.

Due Date for Applications: Application is due June 17, 2005.

Executive Summary: The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act of 1981, as amended, (Section 680 (a)(2) of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act of 1998), authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make grants to provide technical and financial assistance for economic development activities designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families by creating employment and business development opportunities. Pursuant to this Announcement, OCS will award operational project grants to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) that are experienced in implementing economic development projects. The primary purpose of the Operational Projects (OPs) is to assist eligible CDCs, including American Indian and Native Alaskan, and faith based organizations that are CDCs that have in place: (1) Written commitments for all projected non-Community Economic Development (CED) funding, (2) project operations, (3) site control for their economic development projects and (4) referral sources (from which low-income individuals will be referred to the project). Low-income beneficiaries of such projects include those who are living in poverty as determined by the HHS Guidelines on Poverty (at http://aspe.hhs.gov/​poverty/​poverty.shtml). They may be unemployed; public assistance recipients, including recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), individuals transitioning from the prison system into the community, at-risk youth, custodial and non-custodial parents; residents living in public housing; persons with disabilities; and persons who are homeless. Operational Projects are designed to encourage rural and urban community development corporations to create projects intended to provide employment and business development opportunities for low-income people through business or commercial development. The opportunities must aim to improve the quality of the economic and social environment of TANF recipients; low-income residents including displaced workers; individuals transitioning from the prison system into the community; at-risk youth; non-custodial parents, particularly those of children receiving TANF assistance; individuals residing in public housing; individuals who are homeless; and individuals with disabilities. Grant funds under this announcement are intended to provide resources to eligible applicants (CDCs) but also have the broader objectives of arresting tendencies toward dependency, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. Eligible applicants must submit a business plan that shows the economic feasibility of the venture. Applicants for an OP must have in place written commitments for all projected non-CED funding required for the project. Written proof of commitments from third parties must be submitted with the application. Letters of support, only, are insufficient. The application must also clearly document in detail the extent to which site control has been acquired.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act of 1981, as amended, (Section 680 (a)(2) of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act of 1998), authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make grants to provide technical and financial assistance for economic development activities designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families by creating employment and business development opportunities. Pursuant to this Announcement, OCS will award Operational Project grants to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) that are experienced in implementing economic development projects. CDCs participating in the Weed and Seed Program under the Department of Justice are encouraged to apply for funding for their revitalization effort.

The primary purpose of the Operational Projects (OPs) is to assist eligible CDCs that have in place (1) written commitments for all projected non-CED funding, (2) project operations, (3) site control for their economic development project and (4) referral sources (which low-income individuals will be referred to the project). Eligible applicants must submit a business plan that shows the economic feasibility of the venture. Applicants for an OP must have in place written commitments for all projected non-CED funding required for the project. Written proof of commitments from third parties must be submitted with the application. Letters of support, only, are insufficient. The application must also detail the extent to which site control has been acquired. Low-income beneficiaries of such projects include those who are living in poverty as determined by the HHS Guidelines on Poverty at http://aspe.hhs.gov/​poverty/​poverty.shtml.

They may be unemployed, public assistance recipients, including recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), at-risk youth, custodial and non-custodial parents, public housing residents, persons with disabilities and persons who are homeless.

Operational Projects are designed to encourage rural and urban community development corporations to create projects intended to provide employment and business development opportunities for low-income people through business or commercial development. Generally, the opportunities must aim to improve the quality of the economic and social environment of TANF recipients; low-income residents including displaced workers; persons transitioning from prison back into the community; ex-offenders; at-risk youth; non-custodial parents, particularly those of children receiving TANF assistance; individuals residing in public housing; individuals who are homeless; and individuals with disabilities. Grant funds under this announcement are intended to provide Start Printed Page 20125resources to eligible applicants (CDCs) but also have the broader objectives of arresting tendencies toward dependency, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas.

Project Goals

CED projects should further HHS goals of strengthening American families and promoting their self-sufficiency, and OCS goals of promoting healthy families in healthy communities. The CED Program is particularly directed toward public-private partnerships that develop employment and business opportunities for low-income people and revitalize distressed communities.

Project Scope

Projects may include business start-ups, business expansions, development of new products and services, and other newly-undertaken physical and commercial activities. Projects must result in creation of new jobs. Each applicant must describe the project scope including the low-income community to be served, business activities to be undertaken and the types of jobs to be created.

Definitions of Terms

The following definitions apply:

—Beneficiaries—Low-income individuals (as defined in the most recent annual revision of the Poverty Income Guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) who receive direct benefits and low-income communities that receive direct benefits.

—Budget Period—The time interval into which a grant period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes.

—Business Start-up Period—Time interval within which the grantee completes preliminary project tasks. These tasks include but are not limited to assembling key staff, executing contracts, administering lease-out or build-out of space for occupancy, purchasing plant and equipment and other similar activities. The Business Start-Up Period typically takes three to six months from the time OCS awards the grant or cooperative agreement.

—Cash contributions—The recipient's cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by the third parties.

—Community Development Corporation (CDC)—A private, non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors consisting of residents of the community and business and civic leaders, which has as a principal purpose planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development activities, may include American Indian and Native Alaskan and faith-based organizations that are CDCs.

—Community Economic Development (CED)—A process by which a community uses resources to attract capital and increase physical, commercial, and business development, as well as job opportunities for its residents.

—Construction projects—Projects that involve the initial building or large scale modernization or permanent improvement of a facility.

—Cooperative Agreement—An award instrument of financial assistance when substantial involvement is anticipated between the awarding office, (the Federal government) and the recipient during performance of the contemplated project.

—Developmental/Research Phase—The time interval during the Project Period that precedes the Operational Phase. Grantees accomplish preliminary activities during this phase including establishing third party agreements, mobilizing monetary funds and other resources, assembling, rezoning, and leasing of properties, conducting architectural and engineering studies, constructing facilities, etc.

—Displaced worker—An individual in the labor market who has been unemployed for six months or longer.

—Distressed community—A geographic urban neighborhood or rural community of high unemployment and pervasive poverty.

—Employment education and training program—A program that provides education and/or training to welfare recipients, at-risk youth, public housing tenants, displaced workers, homeless and low-income individuals and that has demonstrated organizational experience in education and training for these populations.

—Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community Project Areas (EZ/EC)—Urban neighborhoods and rural areas designated as such by the Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture.

—Equity investment—The provision of capital to a business entity for some specified purpose in return for a portion of ownership using a third-party agreement as the contractual instrument.

—Faith-Based Community Development Corporation—A community development corporation that has a religious character.

—Hypothesis—An assumption made in order to test a theory. It should assert a cause-and-effect relationship between a program intervention and its expected result. Both the intervention and its result must be measured in order to confirm the hypothesis. The following is a hypothesis: “Eighty hours of classroom training will be sufficient for participants to prepare a successful loan application.” In this example, data would be obtained on the number of hours of training actually received by participants (the intervention), and the quality of loan applications (the result), to determine the validity of the hypothesis (that eighty hours of training is sufficient to produce the result).

—Indirect Costs—This category should be used only when the applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

—Intervention—Any planned activity within a project that is intended to produce changes in the target population and/or the environment and that can be formally evaluated. For example, assistance in the preparation of a business plan is an intervention.

—Job creation—New jobs, i.e., jobs not in existence prior to the start of the project, that result from new business start-ups, business expansion, development of new services industries, and/or other newly-undertaken physical or commercial activities.

—Job placement—Placing a person in an existing vacant job of a business, service, or commercial activity not related to new development or expansion activity.

—Letter of commitment—A signed letter or agreement from a third party to the applicant that pledges financial or other support for the grant activities contingent only on OCS accepting the applicant's project proposal.

—Loan—Money lent to a borrower under a binding pledge for a given purpose to be repaid, usually at a stated rate of interest and within a specified period.

—Low-Income Beneficiaries—Individuals whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.

—Non-profit Organization—An organization, including faith-based and community-based, that provides proof of non-profit status described in the “Additional Information on Start Printed Page 20126Eligibility” section of this announcement.

—Operational Phase—The time interval during the Project Period when businesses, commercial development or other activities are in operation, and employment, business development assistance, and so forth are provided.

—Outcome evaluation—An assessment of project results as measured by collected data that define the net effects of the interventions applied in the project. An outcome evaluation will produce and interpret findings related to whether the interventions produced desirable changes and their potential for being replicated.

—Poverty Income Guidelines—Guidelines published annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that establish the level of poverty defined as low-income for individuals and their families. The guideline information is posted on the Internet at the following address: http://aspe.hhs.gov/​poverty/​poverty.shtml.

—Process evaluation—The ongoing examination of the implementation of a program. It focuses on the effectiveness and efficiency of the program's activities and interventions (for example, methods of recruiting participants, quality of training activities, or usefulness of follow-up procedures). It should answer the questions such as: Who is receiving what services and are the services being delivered as planned? It is also known as formative evaluation, because it gathers information that can be used as a management tool to improve the way a program operates while the program is in progress. It should also identify problems that occurred, how the problems were resolved and what recommendations are needed for future implementation.

—Pre-Development Phase—The time interval during the Project Period when an applicant or grantee plans a project, conducts feasibility studies, prepares a business or work plan and mobilizes non-OCS funding.

—Program income—Gross income earned by the grant recipient that is directly generated by an activity supported with grant funds.

—Project Period—The total time for which a project is approved for OCS support, including any approved extensions.

—Revolving loan fund—A capital fund established to make loans whereby repayments are re-lent to other borrowers.

—Self-employment—The employment status of an individual who engages in self-directed economic activities.

—Self-sufficiency—The economic status of a person who does not require public assistance to provide for his/her needs and that of his/her immediate family.

—Sub-award—An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible sub-recipient or by a sub-recipient to a lower tier sub-recipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of “award” in 45 CFR part 74. (Note: Equity investments and loan transactions are not sub-awards.)

—Technical assistance—A problem-solving event generally using the services of a specialist. Such services may be provided on-site, by telephone or by other communications. These services address specific problems and are intended to assist with immediate resolution of a given problem or set of problems.

—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—The Federal block grant program authorized in Title I of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-193). The TANF program transformed “welfare” into a system that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance.

—Third party—Any individual, organization or business entity that is not the direct recipient of grant funds.

—Third party agreement—A written agreement entered into by the grantee and an organization, individual or business entity (including a wholly owned subsidiary), by which the grantee makes an equity investment or a loan in support of grant purposes.

—Third party in-kind contributions—Non-cash contributions provided by non-Federal third parties. These contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and especially identifiable to the project or program.

—Weed and Seed Program—US Department of Justice's Weed and Seed program was developed to demonstrate an innovative and comprehensive approach to law enforcement and community revitalization.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant.

Anticipated Total Priority Area Funding: $16,000,000.

Anticipated Number of Awards: 50 to 55.

Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards Per Project Period: $700,000.

Floor on Amount of Individual Awards Per Project Period: None.

Average Projected Award Amount: $700,000.

Length of Project Periods: Applications for Operational Projects, either exclusively for construction purposes or non-construction purposes will be incrementally funded. Proposed projects must be for project periods of either three (3) or five (5) years with twelve month budget periods. Applicants can request up to $300,000 for the first year of funding. The application must include separate budgets for each of the project years with a supporting workplan that reflects the same period. For three (3) year projects, the second and third year funding cannot exceed $200,000 per year, not to exceed the balance of the total requested funding amount. For five (5) year projects, funding cannot exceed $100,000 per year, not to exceed the balance of the total requested funding amount. However, all grant funds for the subsequent years are subject to the satisfactory project performance and that the project continues to be in the best interest of the government in addition to the availability of appropriated OCS funds.

Note that the President's 2006 budget does not include or propose funding for the Community Economic Development program.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Non-profits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education Non-profits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education.

Additional Information on Eligibility

Applicants must be a private, non-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC) experienced in developing and managing economic development projects. For purposes of this grant program, the CDC must be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of residents of the community and business and civic leaders. The CDC must have as a principal purpose planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development activities. Start Printed Page 20127

Applicants must document their eligibility as a CDC for the purposes of this grant program. The application must include a list of governing board members along with their designation as a community resident, or business or civic leader. In addition, the application must include documentation that the organization has as a primary purpose planning, developing or managing low-income housing or community development activities. This documentation may include incorporation documents or other official documents that identify the organization. Applications that do not include proof of CDC status in the application will be disqualified. Applications that do not include proof of non-profit status in the application will be disqualified.

Faith-based organizations that meet the statutory requirements are eligible to apply for these grants.

2. Cost Sharing/Matching

None.

3. Other

All applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet number. 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 Federal grant applicants to provide a Dun & 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 (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.

Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status.

Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:

  • 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 earning 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.
  • Any of the items in the subparagraphs 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.

Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms,” “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants,” titled, “Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants,” at: www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

Disqualification Factors

Applications that exceed the ceiling amount will be considered non-responsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement.

Any application that fails to satisfy the deadline requirements referenced in Section IV.3 will be considered non-responsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package

Debbie Brown, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22209, (202)401-3446, OCSGRANTS@acf.hhs.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Content

Each application must include the following components:

1. Table of Contents

2. Project Summary/Abstract—one or two paragraphs, not to exceed 350 words, that describe the community in which the project will be implemented, beneficiaries to be served, type(s) of business(es) to be developed, type(s) of jobs to be created, projected cost-per-job, any land or building to be purchased or building constructed, resources leveraged and intended impact on the community. Note: Please see Section V.1. Criteria, for instructions on preparing the project summary/abstract and the full project description.

3. Completed Standard Form 424—that has been signed by an official of the organization applying for the grant who has legal authority to obligate the organization. Under Box 11, indicate the Priority Area for which the application is written (This announcement is for Priority Area 1—Operational Projects).

4. Standard Form 424A—Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs.

5. Standard Form 424B—Budget Information—Construction Programs.

6. Narrative Budget Justification—for each object class category required under Section B, Standard Form 424A. 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.

7. Project Narrative—A narrative that addresses issues described in the “Application Review Information” and the “Review and Selection Criteria” sections of this announcement.

8. Private, Non-profit Community Development Corporation—Applicants must provide proof of status as a community development corporation as required by statute and as described under “Additional Information on Eligibility.”

9. Sufficiency of Financial Management System—Because CED funds are Federal, all grantees must be capable of meeting the requirements of 45 CFR part 74 concerning their financial management system.

10. Business Plan—Applicants for the OP grant announcement must submit a business plan covering the following elements: For incubator or microenterprise development projects, the business plan covers the project, not the individual business plans of beneficiaries.

The business plan is a major component of the application which is used by OCS and the Office of Grants Management (OGM) to determine the feasibility of a business venture or other economic development project. It addresses all the relevant elements as follows:

Applications for Operational Projects—must submit a business plan. For microenterprise development projects, the business plan covers the project, not the individual business plans of beneficiaries. The business plan is a major component of the application used by the Office of Community Start Printed Page 20128Services and the Office of Grants Management to determine the feasibility of a business venture or other economic development project. OCS applicants to must address all the relevant elements as follows:

(1) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (limit to 2 pages)

(2) Description of the type of business.

(3) Description of the industry, current status and prospects.

(4) Products and services, including detailed descriptions of: (a) Products or services to be sold; (b) Proprietary position of any product, e.g., patents, copyright, trade secrets; (c) Features of the product or service that may give it an advantage over the competition;

(5) Market Research: This section describes the research conducted to assure that the business has a substantial market to develop and achieve sales in the face of competition. This includes researching: (a) Customer base: describe the actual and potential purchases for the product or service by market segment; (b) Market size and trends: describe the site of the current total market for the product or service offered; (c) Competition: Provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the competition in the current market; (d) Estimated market share and sales: Describe the characteristics of the product or service that will make it competitive in the current market;

(6) Marketing Plan: The marketing plan details the product, pricing, distribution, and promotion strategies that will be used to achieve the estimated market share and sales projections. The marketing plan must describe what is to be done, how it will be done and who will do it. The plan addresses overall marketing, strategy, packaging, service and warrant, pricing, distribution and promotion.

(7) Design and Development Plans: If the product, process or service of the proposed venture requires any design and development before it is ready to be placed on the market, describe the nature, extent and cost of this work. The section covers items such as development status and tasks, difficulties and risks, product improvement and new products and costs.

(8) Operations Plan: An operations plan describes the kind of facilities, site location, space, capital equipment and labor force (part-time and/or full-time and wage structure) that are required to provide the company's product or service.

(9) Management Team: This section describes the technical managerial and business skills and experience to be brought to the project. This is a description of key management personnel and their primary duties; compensation and/or ownership; the organizational structure and placement of this proposed project within the organization; the board of directors; management assistance and training needs; and supporting professional services.

(10) Overall Schedule: This section is the implementation plan which shows the timing and interrelationships of the major events or benchmarks necessary to launch the venture and realize its objectives. This includes a month-by-month schedule of activities such as product development, market planning, sales programs, production and operations and an annual schedule of the requested budget. If the proposed project is for construction, this section lays out timeframes for conduct of predevelopment, architectural, engineering and environmental and other studies, and acquisition of permits for building, use and occupancy that are required by the project.

(11) Job Creation: This section describes the job creation activities and projections expected as a result of this project. This includes a description of the strategy that will be used to identify and hire individuals who are low-income, including those on TANF. This section includes the following: (a) The number of permanent jobs that will be created during the project period, with particular emphasis on jobs for low-income individuals. (b) For low-income individuals, the number of jobs that will be filled by low-income individuals (this must be at least 60 percent of all jobs created); the number of jobs that have career development opportunities and a description of those jobs; the number of jobs that will be filled by individuals receiving TANF; the annual salary expected for each person employed. (c) For low-income individuals who become self-employed, the number of self-employed and other ownership opportunities created; specific steps to be taken including ongoing management support and technical assistance provided by the grantee or a third party to develop and sustain self-employment after the businesses are in place; and expected net profit after deductions of business expenses. Note: OCS will not recognize job equivalents nor job counts based on economic multiplier functions; jobs must be specifically identified.

(12) Financial Plan: The financial plan demonstrates the economic supports underpinning the project. It shows the project's potential and the timetable for financial self-sufficiency. The following exhibits must be submitted for the first three years of the business' operation: (a) Profit and Loss Forecasts—quarterly for each year; (b) Cash Flow Projections—quarterly for each year; (c) Pro forma balance sheets—quarterly for each year; (d) Sources and Use of Funds Statement for all funds available to the project and projected to be available; (e) Brief summary discussing any further capital requirements and methods or projected methods for obtaining needed resources.

(13) Critical Risks and Assumptions: This section covers the risks faced by the project and assumptions surrounding them. This includes a description of the risks and critical assumptions relating to the industry, the venture, its personnel, the product or service market appeal, and the timing and financing of the venture.

(14) Community Benefits: This section describes other economic and non-economic benefits to the community such as development of a community's physical assets; provision of needed, but currently unsupplied, services or products to the community; or improvement in the living environment.

All third party agreements must include written commitments as follows: From third party (as appropriate):

(1) Low-income individuals will fill a minimum of 60 percent of the jobs to be created from project activities as a result of the injection of grant funds.

(2) The grantee will have the right to screen applicants for jobs to be filled by low-income individuals and to verify their eligibility.

(3) If the grantee's equity investment equals 25 percent or more of the business' assets, the grantee will have representation on the board of directors.

(4) Reports will be made to the grantee regarding the use of grant funds on a quarterly basis or more frequently, if necessary.

(5) Procedures will be developed to assure that there are no duplicate counts of jobs created.

(6) That the third party will maintain documentation related to the grant objectives as specified in the agreement and will provide the grantee and HHS access to that documentation. From the grantee: (1) Detailed information on how the grantee will provide support and technical assistance to the third party in areas of recruitment and retention of low-income individuals. (2) How the grantee will provide oversight of the grant-supported activities of the third party for the life of the agreement. Detailed information must be provided on how the grant funds will be used by Start Printed Page 20129the third party by submitting a Sources and Uses of Funds Statement.

A third party agreement covering an equity investment must contain, at a minimum, the following:

(1) Purpose(s) for which the equity investment is being made.

(2) The type of equity transaction (e.g. stock purchase).

(3) Cost per share and basis on which the cost per share is derived.

(4) Number of shares being purchased.

(5) Percentage of CDC ownership in the business.

(6) Term or duration of the agreement.

(7) Number of seats on the board, if applicable.

(8) Signatures of the authorized officials of the grantee and third party organization.

A third party agreement covering a loan transaction must contain, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) Purpose(s) for which the loan is being made.

(2) Interest rates and other fees.

(3) Terms of the loan.

(4) Repayment schedules.

(5) Collateral security.

(6) Default and collection procedures.

(7) Signatures of the authorized officials of the lender and borrower.

All third party agreements must be accompanied by a signed statement from a Certified or Licensed Public Accountant as to the sufficiency of the third party's financial management system in accordance with 45 CFR 74 and financial statements for the third party organization for the prior three years. If such statements are not available because the organization is a newly formed entity, the application must include a statement to this effect. The grantee is responsible for ensuring that grant funds expended by it and the third party are expended in compliance with Federal regulations of 45 CFR Part 74 and OMB Circular A-122.

You may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format. To submit an application electronically, please use the 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. ACF will not accept grant applications via email or facsimile transmission.

Please note the following if you plan to submit your application electronically via Grants.gov:

  • Electronic submission is voluntary, but strongly encouraged.
  • 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 SF 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 www.Grants.gov
  • You must search for the downloadable application package by the CFDA number.

Applicants that are submitting their application in paper format should submit an original and two copies of the complete application. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by an authorized representative, have original signatures, and be submitted unbound.

Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms,” “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants,” titled, “Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants,” at: www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

Standard Forms and Certifications

The project description should include all the information requirements described in the specific evaluation criteria outlined in the program announcement under Section V Application Review Information. In addition to the project description, the applicant needs to complete all the standard forms required for making applications for awards under this announcement.

Applicants seeking financial assistance under this announcement must file the Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance; SF-424A, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs; SF-424B, Assurances—Non-Construction Programs. The forms may be reproduced for use in submitting applications. Applicants must sign and return the standard forms with their application.

Applicants must furnish prior to award an executed copy of the Standard Form LLL, Certification Regarding Lobbying, 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, if applicable, with their applications (approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0348-0046). Applicants must sign and return the certification with their application.

Applicants must also understand they will be held accountable for the smoking prohibition included within Pub. L. 103-227, Title XII Environmental Tobacco Smoke (also known as the PRO-KIDS Act of 1994). A copy of the Federal Register notice which implements the smoking prohibition is included with forms. By signing and submitting the application, applicants are providing the certification and need not mail back the certification with the application.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination. By signing and submitting the applications, applicants are providing the certification and need not mail back the certification form. Complete the standard forms and the associated certifications and assurances based on the instructions on the forms. The forms and certifications may be found at: www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

Please see Section V.1. Criteria, for instructions on preparing the full project description.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: June 17, 2005.

Explanation of Due Dates: The closing time and date for receipt of applications is referenced above. Applications received after 4:30 p.m. eastern time on the closing date will be classified as late.

Deadline: Applications shall be considered as meeting an announced Start Printed Page 20130deadline if they are received on or before the deadline time and date referenced in Section IV.6. Applicants are responsible for ensuring applications are mailed or submitted electronically well in advance of the application due 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, at the address referenced in Section IV.6., between Monday and Friday (excluding Federal holidays).

ACF cannot accommodate transmission of applications by facsimile. Therefore, applications transmitted to ACF by fax will not be accepted regardless of date or time of submission and time of receipt.

Receipt acknowledgement for application packages will not be provided to applicants who submit their package via mail, courier services or by hand delivery. However, applicants will receive an electronic acknowledgement for applications that are submitted via Grants.gov.

Late Applications: Applications that 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.

Any application received after 4:30 p.m. eastern time on the deadline date will not be considered for competition.

Applicants using express/overnight mail services should allow two working days prior to the deadline date for receipt of applications. Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.

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, or in other rare cases. A determination to extend or waive deadline requirements rests with the Chief Grants Management Officer.

Checklist: You may use the checklist below as a guide when preparing your application package.

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
Project AbstractSee Sections IV.2 and VFound in Sections IV.2 and VBy application due date.
Project DescriptionSee Sections IV.2 and VFound in Sections IV.2 and VBy application due date.
Budget Narrative/JustificationSee Sections IV.2 and VFound in Sections IV.2 and VBy application due date.
SF424See Section IV.2See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.
SF-LLL Certification Regarding LobbyingSee Section IV.2See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy date of award.
Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco SmokeSee Section IV.2See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy date of award.
AssurancesSee Section IV.2By application due date.
Private, Nonprofit Community Development Corporation StatusSee Section IVFound in Section IVBy application due date.

Additional Forms: Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms,” “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants,” titled, “Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants,” at: www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

What to submitRequired contentLocationWhen to submit
Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant ApplicantsSee formMay be found on www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.

4. Intergovernmental Review:

State Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

This program is covered under Executive Order 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 1, 2004, the following jurisdictions have elected to participate in the Executive Order process: Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, American Samoa, Guam, North Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. As these jurisdictions have elected to participate in the Executive Order process, they have established SPOCs. Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of prospective applications and receive instructions. Applicants 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 Start Printed Page 20131recommendations which may trigger the “accommodate or explain” rule.

When comments are submitted directly to ACF, they should be addressed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 4th floor, Washington, DC 20447.

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., Washington, DC 20447.

Although the remaining jurisdictions have chosen not to participate in the process, entities that meet 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. Therefore, applicants from these jurisdictions, or for projects administered by federally-recognized Indian Tribes, need take no action in regard to E.O. 12372.

The official list, including addresses, of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 can be found on the following URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants/​spoc.html.

5. Funding Restrictions

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.

Cost-Per-Job: OCS will not fund projects with a cost-per-job in CED funds that exceed $10,000. An exception will be made if the project includes purchase of land or a building, or major renovation or construction of a building. In this instance, the applicant must explain the factors that raise the cost beyond $10,000. In no instance, will OCS allow for more than $15,000 cost-per-job in CED funds. Cost-per-job is calculated by dividing the number of jobs to be created into the amount of the CED grant request.

National Historic Preservation Act: If an applicant is proposing a project which will affect a property listed in, or eligible for, inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, it must identify this property in the narrative and explain how it has complied with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1996, as amended. If there is any question as to whether the property is listed in, or eligible for, inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, the applicant must consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer and describe in the narrative the content of such consultation.

Sub-Contracting or Delegating Projects: OCS will not fund projects 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 necessary to conduct the project.

Number of Projects in Application: Except for the retail development initiative under the Operational Projects announcement, each application may include only one proposed project.

Prohibited Activities: OCS will not consider applications that propose to establish Small Business Investment Corporations or Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Corporations.

OCS will not fund projects that are primarily education and training projects. In projects where participants must be trained, any funds proposed for training must be limited to specific job-related training to those individuals who have been selected for employment in the grant supported project. Projects involving training and placement for existing vacant positions will be disqualified from competition.

OCS will not fund projects that would result in the relocation of a business from one geographic area to another resulting in job displacement.

An application that exceeds the upper value of the dollar range specified will be considered non-responsive.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Submission by Mail: An applicant must provide an original application with all attachments, signed by an authorized representative and two copies. The application must be received at the address below by 4:30 p.m. eastern time on or before the closing date. Applications should be mailed to: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Service Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22209, Attention: Barbara Ziegler-Johnson.

Hand Delivery: An applicant must provide an original application with all attachments signed by an authorized representative and two 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. eastern time, Monday through Friday.

Applications should be delivered to: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22209, Attention: Barbara Ziegler-Johnson.

Electronic Submission: www.Grants.gov. Please see Section IV. 2 for guidelines and requirements when submitting applications electronically.

V. Application Review Information

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13)

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 40 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 currently valid OMB control number.

1. Criteria

Introduction

Applicants are 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.

Project Summary/Abstract

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 Start Printed Page 20132developing 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.

Describe the population to be served by the program and the number of new jobs that will be targeted to the population served. Explain how the project will reach the targeted population, how it will benefit participants including how it will support individuals to become more economically self-sufficient.

Approach

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 that 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.

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.

Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reasons for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technical 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, for example such terms as the “number of people served.” 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. Evaluation Provide a narrative addressing how the results of the project and the conduct 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.

Organizational Profiles

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.

Evaluation Criteria: The following evaluation criteria appear in weighted descending order. The corresponding score values indicate the relative importance that ACF places on each evaluation criterion; however, applicants need not develop their applications precisely according to the order presented. Application components may be organized such that a reviewer will be able to follow a seamless and logical flow of information (e.g. from a broad overview of the project to more detailed information about how it will be conducted).

In considering how applicants will carry out the responsibilities addressed under this announcement, competing applications for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria:

Approach (35 Points)

(1) The business plan is the most important document. It must be sound and feasible. The project must be able to be implemented soon after a grant award is made. The business plan meets the requirements of this program announcement and development of business and job creation will occur during project period. (0-10 points) Start Printed Page 20133

(2) The application includes documentation of site control. (0-10)

(3) Executed third party agreements meet the requirements set forth above. (0-10)

(4) The required financial documents are contained in the application and clearly describe proposed use of CED funds and demonstrate the project is viable. (0-5)

Organizational Profiles (15 Points)

(1) Organizational profile. The application demonstrates the management capacity, organizational structure and successful record of accomplishment relevant to business development, commercial development, physical development, and/or financial services and that it has the ability to mobilize other financial and in-kind resources. (0-10 points)

(2) Staff skills, resources and responsibilities. The application describes in brief resume form the experience and skills of the project director who is not only well qualified, but whose professional capabilities are relevant to the successful implementation of the project. If the key staff person has not yet been identified, the application contains a comprehensive position description that indicates that the responsibilities to be assigned to the project director are relevant to the successful implementation of the project. (0-5 points)

Third-Party Agreements (20 point)

Public-Private Partnerships. (1) Mobilization of resources: The application documents it has mobilized from public and/or private sources the proposed balance of non-CED funding required to fully implement the project. Lesser contributions will be given consideration based upon the value documented. (0-10 points)

Note 1:

Cash resources such as cash or loans contributed from all project sources (except for those contributed directly by the applicant) are documented by letters of commitment from third parties making the contribution.

Note 2:

The value of in-kind contributions for personal property is documented by an inventory valuation for equipment and a certified appraisal for real property. Also, a copy of a deed or other legal document is required for real property.

Note 3:

Anticipated or projected program income such as gross or net profits from the project or business operations will not be recognized as mobilized or contributed resources.

(2) Integration/coordination of services: The application demonstrates a commitment to, or agreements with, local agencies responsible for administering child support enforcement, employment education, and training programs to ensure that welfare recipients, at-risk youth, displaced workers, public housing tenants, homeless and low-income individuals, and low-income custodial and non-custodial parents will be trained and placed in the newly created jobs. The application includes written agreements from the local TANF or other employment education and training offices, and child support enforcement agency indicating what actions will be taken to integrate/coordinate services that relate directly to the project for which funds are being requested. (0-5 points)

The agreements include: (1) The goals and objectives that the applicant and the TANF or other employment education and training offices and/or child support enforcement agency expect to achieve through their collaboration; (2) the specific activities/actions that will be taken to integrate/coordinate services on an on-going basis; (3) the target population that this collaboration will serve; (4) the mechanism(s) to be used in integrating/coordinating activities; (5) how those activities will be significant in relation to the goals and objectives to be achieved through the collaboration; and (6) how those activities will be significant in relation to their impact on the success of the OCS-funded project. (0-3 points) The application provides documentation that illustrates the organizational experience is related to the employment, education and training program. (0-2 point)

Results or Benefits Expected (14 points)

(1) Results or Benefits Expected. Application proposes to produce permanent and measurable results including, but not limited to, employment and business development opportunities that reduce poverty, reduce the need for TANF assistance in the community and thus enable families to be economically self-sufficient. (0-3 points)

(2) Community empowerment and coordination. Application documents that applicant is an active partner in either a new or ongoing comprehensive community revitalization project such as: a federally-designated Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community or Renewal Community project that has clear goals of strengthening economic and human development in target neighborhoods; a State or local-government supported comprehensive neighborhood revitalization project; or a private sector supported community revitalization project. (0-3 points)

(3) Cost-per-job. During the project period, the proposed project will create new, permanent jobs or maintain existing permanent jobs for low-income residents at a cost-per-job not to exceed $10,000 in OCS funds unless the project involves construction or significant renovation. (0-5 points)

(4) Career development opportunities. The application documents that the jobs to be created for low-income people have career development opportunities that will promote self-sufficiency. (0-3 points)

Objectives and Need for Assistance (10 points)

The application documents that the project addresses a vital need in a distressed community. “Distressed community” is defined as a geographic urban neighborhood or rural community with high unemployment and pervasive poverty. The application documents that both the unemployment rate and poverty level for the targeted neighborhood or community must be equal to or greater than the state or national level. (0-5 points)

The application cites the most recent available statistics from published sources, e.g., the recent U.S. Census or updates, the State, county, city, election district and other information are provided in support of its contention. (0-2 points)

The application shows how the project will respond to stated need. (0-3 points)

Evaluation (6 points)

Sound evaluations are essential to the Community Economic Development Program. OCS requires applicants to include in their applications a well thought through outline of an evaluation plan for their project. The outline should explain how the applicant proposes to answer the key questions about how effectively the project is being/was implemented; whether the project activities, or interventions, achieved the expected immediate outcomes, and why or why not (the process evaluation); and whether and to what extent the project achieved its stated goals, and why or why not (the outcome evaluation). Together, the process and outcome evaluations should answer the question: “What did this program accomplish and why did it work/not work?”

Applicants are not being asked to submit a complete and final evaluation plan as part of their application; but they must include: Start Printed Page 20134

(1) A well thought through outline of an evaluation plan that identifies the principal cause-and-effect relationships to be tested, and that demonstrates the applicant's understanding of the role and purpose of both process and outcome evaluations. (0-2 points)

(2) A reporting format based on the grantee's demonstration of its activities (interventions) and their effectiveness, to be included in the grantee's semi-annual program progress report, which will provide OCS with insights and lessons learned, as they become evident, concerning the various aspects of the work plan, such as recruitment, training, support, public-private partnerships, and coordination with other community resources, as they may be relevant to the proposed project. (0-2 points)

(3) The identity and qualifications of the proposed third-party evaluator, of if not selected, the qualifications that will be sought in choosing an evaluator, which must include successful experience in evaluating community development programs, and the planning and/or evaluation of programs designed to foster self-sufficiency in low-income populations. (0-2 points)

The competitive procurement regulations (45 CFR, part 74, Sec. 74.40-74.48, especially Sec. 74.43) apply to service contracts such as those for evaluators.

It is suggested that applicants use no more than three pages for this Element, plus the resume or position description for the evaluator, which should be included in an appendix.

2. Review and Selection Process

No grant will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.

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 requirements listed in this announcement. Late applications or those exceeding the funding limit will be returned to the applicants with a notation that they were unacceptable and will not be reviewed.

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.

The OCS Director and the 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 years; comments of reviewers 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 of the applicant to acquiring additional funding and other committed 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

Applications that are approved but unfunded may be held over for funding in the next funding cycle, pending the availability of funds, for a period not to exceed one year.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

The successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Financial Assistance ward document which sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The Financial Assistance Award will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified in writing.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Grantees are subject to the requirements in 45 CFR Part 74 (non-governmental) or 45 CFR Part 92 (governmental).

Direct Federal grants, subaward funds, or contracts under this Program shall not be used to support inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization. Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this Program. Regulations pertaining to the prohibition of Federal funds for inherently religious activities can be found on the HHS Web site at http://www.os.dhhs.gov/​fbci/​waisgate21.pdf.

3. Reporting Requirements

Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually.

Financial Reports: Semi-Annually.

Grantees will be required to submit program progress and financial reports (SF 269) throughout the project period. Program progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period. In addition, final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Debbie Brown, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22209, (202) 401-3446, OCSGRANTS@acf.hhs.gov.

Grants Management Office Contact

Barbara Ziegler-Johnson, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22209, (202) 401-4646, OCSGRANTS@acf.hhs.gov.

VIII. Other Information

Notice: Beginning with FY 2006, The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will no longer publish grant announcements in the Federal Register. Beginning October 1, 2005 applicants will be able to find a synopsis of all ACF grant opportunities and apply electronically for opportunities via: www.Grants.gov. Applicants will also be able to find the complete text of all ACF grant announcements on the ACF Web site located at: http://acf.hhs.gov/​grants/​index.html.

Direct Federal grants, subaward funds, or contracts under this Program Start Printed Page 20135shall not be used to support inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization. Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this Program. Regulations pertaining to the prohibition of Federal funds for inherently religious activities can be found on the HHS Web site at: http://www.os.dhhs.gov/​fbci/​waisgate21.pdf.

The FY 2006 President's Budget does not include or propose funding for the Economic Development Discretionary Grant Program. Future funding is based on the availability of funds.

Additional information about this program and its purpose can be located on the following Web site: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ocs.

Please reference Section IV.3 for details about acknowledgement of received applications.

Start Signature

Dated: April 7, 2005.

Josephine Robinson,

Director, Office of Community Services.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 05-7475 Filed 4-15-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-P