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Request for Applications (RFA): Non-Insurance Risk Management Program Partnerships

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Announcement Type: Notice of Availability of Funds and Request for Applications for Non-Insurance Risk Management Program Partnerships

CFDA Number: 10.456.

Dates: The closing date and time for receipt of an application is 5 p.m. CDT on May 17, 2007. Applications received after the deadline will not be evaluated by the technical review panel and will not be considered for funding. All awards will be made and agreements completed no later than September 30, 2007.

Overview: The purpose of the Non-Insurance Risk Management Program Partnerships is to fund the development of non-insurance risk management tools that will be utilized by agricultural producers to assist them in mitigating the risks inherent in agricultural production. The proposal must address the objective listed in section I.D. Approximately $3 million is available to fund an undetermined number of partnerships. Projects may be funded for a period of up to three years. Applications are accepted from public and private entities; individuals are not eligible to apply. No cost sharing by the applicant is required. There are no limitations on the number of applications each applicant may submit. Start Printed Page 15645

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Background

The Risk Management Agency (RMA), on behalf of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), is committed to meeting the risk management needs and improving or developing risk management tools for the nation's farmers and ranchers. It does this by offering Federal crop insurance through a network of private-sector entities and by overseeing the creation of new products, seeking enhancements in existing products, and by expanding the use of a variety of risk management tools. Risk management tools also include a variety of non-insurance risk management options and strategies developed to assist producers in mitigating the risks inherent in agricultural production. For the purposes of this announcement, risk management tools do not include insurance products, plans of insurance, policies or modifications thereof.

B. Purpose

The purpose of this program is to fund partnership agreements that assist producers, minimize their production risks, or develop risk management tools. The agreements are for the development of risk management tools for use directly by agricultural producers. To aid in meeting these goals each partnership agreement awarded through this program will provide the recipient with funds, guidance, and the substantial involvement of RMA to carry out these risk management initiatives. Applications requesting funding for the development of insurance products, plans of insurance, policies or modifications thereof are excluded from consideration under this announcement.

C. Authorization

In accordance with section 522(d) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (Act), FCIC announces the availability of funding for risk management non-insurance program activities. Priority will be given to those activities addressing the need for risk management tools for producers of the following agricultural commodities (For purposes of this announcement, these commodities are collectively referred to as “Priority Commodities”):

  • Agricultural commodities covered by section 196 of the Agricultural Market Transition Act (7 U.S.C. 7333) (Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP)). Commodities in this group are commercial crops that are not covered by catastrophic risk protection crop insurance, are used for food or fiber (except livestock), and specifically include, but are not limited to, floricultural, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, turf grass sod, aquaculture (including ornamental fish), and industrial crops.
  • Specialty crops. Commodities in this group may be covered under a Federal crop insurance plan and include, but are not limited to, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, syrups, honey, roots, herbs, and highly specialized varieties of traditional crops.
  • Underserved commodities. This group includes: (a) Commodities, including livestock that are covered by a Federal crop insurance plan but for which participation in an area is below the national average; and (b) commodities, including livestock, with inadequate crop insurance coverage.

D. Objective

The project objective listed below highlights the research priority of RMA. All proposals must clearly describe how the objective will be met and provide information on the usefulness and demand for the tool to be developed.

The project objective is:

To develop a risk management tool designed to increase knowledge of and participation in existing insurance programs available to producers of agricultural products. This tool should not be part of the insurance policy or plan of insurance but should be a stand alone product that can be used by producers to make the purchase decision for insurance easier or ease the burden on producers in fulfilling the requirements under the policy. The tool should, at a minimum, be designed to assist producers who purchase one or more of the following products: Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF); Livestock insurance, or Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite). Educational materials explaining the use of the tool should be included as a component of the tool; however, tools which are exclusively educational in nature will not meet the objective. Information on non-insurance risk management tools, developed in partnership with RMA, may be included in the tool; however tools dealing exclusively with non-insurance risk management tools will not meet the objective. The tool may be web-based, electronic media, or traditional media. Any web-based tool must conform to all established USDA standards, policies, and procedures. The tool may be developed for use with any other insurance products including pilot or regulatory programs that are listed at the following Web sites: http://www.rma.usda.gov/​pilots/​2008pilot.html; http://www.rma.usda.gov/​policies/​2008policy.html; http://www.rma.usda.gov/​livestock/​.

Examples of tools that may be developed under this objective are as follows. The examples are not meant to be exhaustive:

  • Tools that assist producers in constructing and maintaining a farm records system required to participate in an insurance program, e.g., development of a software package for producers who sell through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and direct markets. Development of materials (software, electronic media or traditional media) to assist producers in establishing insurance guarantees (including adjustments for added value), maintaining accurate inventory records, and calculating farm losses for producers who elect to insure their operations under the AGR program.
  • Tools that assist producers in selecting the most appropriate risk management strategy including the most appropriate plan of crop insurance, e.g., a decision support tool that would assist producers in comparing and analyzing available insurance products and non-insurance risk management tools in order to make informed decisions concerning risk management alternatives.
  • Tools that assist producers that are socially disadvantaged, limited resource or with limited English proficiency in understanding and participating in crop insurance programs, e.g., development of a system that would promote accessibility, and target the limited resource farmer, including a plan to provide access to web-based tools, that would explain and inform producers concerning available crop insurance options in a variety of languages.

II. Award Information

A. Award Description

Approximately $3 million is available for partnership agreements that will fund the development of risk management tools. Awards under this program will be made on a competitive basis. Projects may be funded for a period of up to three years for the activities described in this announcement. Projects can also be in two parts with the first part including the research and feasibility studies and the second part including the development, implementation, delivery and maintenance of the risk management tool. If the development of the tool is determined not to be feasible, the partnership may be terminated by RMA after completion of the first part with funding reduced accordingly. Start Printed Page 15646

There is no commitment by RMA to fund any particular project or to make a specific number of awards. Applicants awarded a partnership agreement for an amount that is less than the amount requested will be required to modify their application to conform to the reduced amount before execution of the partnership agreement. No maximum or minimum funding levels have been established for individual projects. All awards will be made and agreements completed no later than September 30, 2007.

Recipients of awards must demonstrate non-financial benefits from a partnership agreement and must agree to substantial involvement of RMA in the project.

1. Recipient Activities

The applicant will be required to perform the following activities:

a. Finalize, in cooperation with RMA, the partnership agreement.

b. Finalize, in cooperation with RMA, the plan to administer, maintain and update the risk management tool in the future. The applicant must develop a plan for the delivery and evaluation of the risk management tool to producers and the ongoing maintenance and support of the risk management tool, including how the applicant will fund the delivery, support, maintenance and updating of the tool to maintain its applicability, benefits, usefulness, and value to producers. The applicant must also deliver the risk management tool to producers and support, maintain and update the tool as applicable.

c. Define non-financial benefits and the substantial involvement of the RMA.

d. Coordinate, manage, document and implement the timely completion of the approved research and development activities.

e. Abide by the plans and provisions contained in the partnership agreement.

f. Report on program performance in accordance with the partnership agreement.

g. The recipient may be required to make a presentation to the FCIC Board of Directors.

h. Adhere to RMA guidelines for systems development and information technology development.

2. RMA Activities

RMA will be substantially involved during the performance of the funded activity. Potential types of substantial involvement may include, but are not limited to the following activities:

a. Collaborate on the research plan;

b. Assist in the selection of subcontractors and project staff;

c. Review and approve critical stages of project development before subsequent stages may be started;

d. Provide assistance in the management or technical performance of the project;

e. Collaborate with the recipient in the development of materials associated with the funded project, as it relates to publication or presentation of the results and the distribution of the risk management tools to the public, any producer groups, RMA, and the FCIC Board of Directors;

f. Assist in the collection of data and information that may be available in RMA databases;

g. Collaborate with the recipient in the development of a proposal to administer, maintain and update the risk management tool in the future.

h. Similar types of activities.

B. Other Activities

In addition to the specific activities listed above, the applicant may suggest other activities that would contribute directly to the purpose of this program. For any additional activity suggested, the applicant should identify the objective of the activity, the specific tasks required to meet the objective, specific timelines for performing the tasks, and specific responsibilities of the partners. The applicant should also identify specific ways in which RMA could or should have substantial involvement in that activity.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

Proposals are invited from qualified public and private entities. Eligible applicants include colleges and universities, Federal, State, and local agencies, Native American tribal organizations, non-profit and for-profit private organizations or corporations, and other entities. Individuals are not eligible applicants.

Although an applicant may be eligible to compete for an award based on its status as an eligible entity, other factors may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal assistance under this program (e.g. debarment and suspension; a determination of non-performance on a prior contract, cooperative agreement, grant or partnership; a determination of a violation of applicable ethical standards).

B. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing, matching, in-kind contributions, or cost participation is not required.

C. Other

1. Applicants must demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed risk management tool and the benefits of the tool to producers of priority commodities. Applicants must include information supporting the need for the tool, such as a market analysis, or communications from producers or producer organizations expressing a need for the proposed tool. The proposal must also clearly define how the proposed tool will meet the needs of the producer groups identified. Refer to section V.A.3 for the evaluation criterion.

2. If the project proposed for development requires ongoing maintenance, support and delivery to producers beyond the development stage, the applicant must submit a plan to continue the maintenance, support and delivery of the tool without relying on RMA's resources. If the applicant does not plan to directly support, maintain and deliver the tool using non-award funds after the development period funded by this award is completed, then the proposal should identify a third party sponsor who will do so. For example, if a proposed tool would require constant updating of data and availability on a Web site in order to be utilized by producers, then a sponsor should be identified that would be able to provide the funds necessary to maintain and host the tool. Third party sponsors may include government agencies, grower organizations, industry organizations, private sector entities, etc. If the tool proposed does not require support, maintenance, updating or revisions to maintain applicability or value or does not require continued delivery to producers, the proposal should so state and provide the basis why such actions are not required. Refer to section V.A.4 for evaluation criterion.

3. Applicants must be able to demonstrate they will receive non-financial benefits as a result of the partnership agreement. Non-financial benefits must accrue to the applicant and must include more than the ability to provide income to the applicant or for the applicant's employees or the community. The applicant must demonstrate that performance under the partnership agreement will further the specific mission of the applicant (such as providing research or activities necessary for graduate or other students to complete educational programs or benefits derived through the furtherance of an organization's mission). Refer to section V.A.2 for evaluation criterion. Start Printed Page 15647

IV. Application and Submission Information

A. Address To Request Application Package

Applicants may download an application package from the Risk Management Agency Web site at: http://www.rma.usda.gov. The application package can also be accessed via Grants.gov. Go to http://www.grants.gov, click on “Find Grant Opportunities,” then click on “Search Grant Opportunities,” and enter CFDA number 10.456 to search by CFDA number. From the search results, select the item that correlates to the title of this RFA. If you do not have electronic access to the RFA or have trouble downloading material and you would like a hardcopy, or have any questions you may contact Kristin Chow, USDA/RMA, Non-Insurance Programs, 6501 Beacon Drive, Stop 0813, Kansas City, Missouri 64133-4676, phone (816) 926-6343, fax (816) 926-7343, e-mail: RMA.Reasearch.Application@rma.usda.gov.

If assistance is needed to access the application package via Grants.gov (e.g., downloading or navigating PureEdge forms, using PureEdge with a Macintosh computer), refer to resources available on the Grants.gov Web site first (http://www.grants.gov/​). Grants.gov assistance is also available as follows:

  • Grants.gov customer support

Toll Free: 1-800-518-4726.

Business Hours: M-F 7:00 a.m.—9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

E-mail: support@grants.gov.

Applicants who submit their applications via the Grants.gov Web site are not required to submit any hard copy documents to RMA.

When using Grants.gov to apply, RMA strongly recommends that you submit the online application at least one week prior to the application due date in case there are problems with the Grants.gov Web site and you need to submit your application via a mail delivery service.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission

If submitting the application via regular mail an original and twelve (12) paper copies are requested (these are optional), however, three copies are required. Of the complete and signed application, and one copy (Microsoft Word format preferred) on diskette or compact disk must be submitted in one package at the time of initial submission along with the following documents:

1. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance”.

2. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424-A, “Budget Information—Non-construction Programs”. Reviewers will need sufficient information to effectively evaluate the budget. Indirect cost for projects submitted in response to this solicitation are limited to 10 percent of the total direct cost of the agreement. A sample budget narrative, including suggestions for format and content, is available on the RMA Web site (http://www.rma.usda.gov) or upon request.

3. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424-B, “Assurances, Non-construction Programs”.

4. A statement of the non-financial benefits of any partnership agreement to the recipient. (Refer to section III.C.3).

5. A completed Form RD-1, “Title Page and Proposal Summary.” If the same or similar proposals are submitted by the same entity, the first received will be the only one evaluated.

6. A proposal narrative submitted with the application package should be limited to 10 single-sided pages. Reviewers will need sufficient information to effectively evaluate the application under the criteria contained in section V. A sample narrative, including suggestions for format and content, is available on the RMA Web site (http://www.rma.usda.gov) or upon request.

7. An appendix containing any attachments that may support information in the narrative (Optional).

8. A completed Form RD-2, “Statement of Work.”

If submitting the above materials electronically, as described on the RMA Web site, paper copies of the submission will not be required. Applicants are responsible for ensuring the application materials are received by the closing date. Incomplete application packages will not receive further consideration.

C. Submission Dates and Times

The closing date and time for receipt of an application is 5 p.m. CDT on May 17, 2007. Applications received after the deadline will not be evaluated by the technical review panel and will not be considered for funding.

D. Funding Restrictions

No maximum or minimum funding levels have been established for individual projects. The funding level will be determined by FCIC. Indirect cost for projects submitted in response to this solicitation are limited to 10 percent of total direct cost of the agreement. Each project may be funded for a period of up to three years for the activities described in this announcement. Partnership agreement funds may not be used to:

1. Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or facility including a processing facility;

2. Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment;

3. Repair or maintain privately owned vehicles;

4. Pay for the preparation of the partnership application;

5. Fund political activities;

6. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving this partnership agreement;

7. Fund any activities prohibited under 7 CFR parts 3015 and 3019, as applicable.

E. Other Submission Requirements

Mailed Submissions

1. If submitting the application via regular mail, an original and twelve (12) paper copies are requested (these are optional), however, three copies are required. Of the completed and signed application, and one copy (Microsoft Word format preferred) on diskette or compact disk must be submitted in one package at the time of initial submission.

2. If submitting the application via regular mail all applications must be submitted and received by the deadline. Applications that do not meet all of the requirements in this announcement are considered incomplete applications. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered in this competition and will be returned to the applicant.

3. Applications will be considered as meeting the announced deadline if they are received in the mailroom at the address stated below in section IV.E.4, on or before the deadline. Applicants are cautioned that express, overnight mail or other delivery services do not always deliver as agreed. Applicants are responsible for mailing applications well in advance, to ensure that applications are received on or before the deadline time and date. Applicants should be aware that there may be significant delays in delivery if applications are mailed using mail delivery due to the additional security measures that mail delivered to government offices now requires. Applicants should take this into account because failure of such delivery services will not extend the deadline.

4. Address when using mail delivery: USDA/RMA, Non-Insurance Programs, 6501 Beacon Drive, Stop 0813, Kansas City, Missouri 64133-4676.

Electronic Submissions

Applications transmitted electronically via Grants.gov are strongly encouraged. The application package can be accessed via Grants.gov. Start Printed Page 15648Go to http://www.grants.gov, click on “Find Grant Opportunities,” then click on “Search Grant Opportunities,” and enter CFDA number 10.456 to search by CFDA number. From the search results, select the item that correlates to the title of this RFA. If you do not have electronic access to the RFA or have trouble downloading material and you would like a hardcopy, or have any questions you may contact Kristin Chow, USDA/RMA, Non-Insurance Programs, 6501 Beacon Drive, Stop 0813, Kansas City, Missouri 64133-4676, phone (816) 926-6343, fax (816) 926-7343, e-mail: RMA.Reasearch.Application@rma.usda.gov.

If assistance is needed to access the application package via Grants.gov (e.g., downloading or navigating PureEdge forms, using PureEdge with a Macintosh computer), refer to resources available on the Grants.gov Web site first (http://www.grants.gov/​). Grants.gov assistance is also available as follows:

  • Grants.gov customer support

Toll Free: 1-800-518-4726.

Business Hours: M-F 7 a.m.—9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

E-mail: support@grants.gov.

Applicants who submit their applications via the Grants.gov Web site are not required to submit any hard copy documents to RMA.

When using Grants.gov to apply, RMA strongly recommends that you submit the online application at least one week prior to the application due date in case there are problems with the Grants.gov Web site and you need to submit your application via a mail delivery service.

F. Acknowledgement of Application

Receipt of applications will be acknowledged by e-mail, whenever possible. Therefore, each applicant is encouraged to provide an e-mail address in the application. If an e-mail address is not indicated on an application, receipt will be acknowledged by letter. There will be no notification of incomplete, unqualified or unfunded applications until the awards have been made.

When received by RMA, applications will be assigned an identification number. This number will be communicated to applicants in the acknowledgement of receipt of applications. An application identification number should be referenced in all correspondence regarding the application. If the applicant does not receive an acknowledgement within 15 days of the submission deadline, the applicant should contact Kristin Chow, Non-Insurance Programs at (816) 926-6343.

V. Application Review Information

A. Criteria

1. Research Objective—Maximum 30 Points

The application must receive a minimum score of 20 points under this criterion in order to be considered for further evaluation and funding. Applications receiving less than 20 points will be eliminated and will not be evaluated under criterion 2 through 4. The proposal must clearly define the development, management and implementation of a risk management tool designed to meet the needs of producers under the objective listed in section I.D. The proposal will be reviewed to determine if it is similar to a project that has been funded, has been recommended for funding, or is currently under development through other means.

2. Indication of RMA Involvement and Non-financial Benefits—Maximum 10 Points

The proposal clearly indicates areas of substantial involvement by RMA and clearly indicates benefits derived from the partnership that extend beyond the financial benefits or funding of the research proposal. Those proposals that clearly outline the involvement of RMA in all aspects of the project and demonstrate non-financial benefits will receive the highest score.

3. Research Approach, Methodology, Development and Implementation—Maximum 45 Points

The proposal clearly demonstrates a sound research approach and defines the methodology to be used as well as describes the development and implementation of the risk management tool. The proposal must clearly demonstrate the usefulness of the tool and the benefits of the tool to producers of priority commodities and demonstrate that there is a reasonable expectation that the tool will actually be used by a substantial number of such producers. The proposal will be evaluated to ensure that the risk management tool can be readily and easily updated, delivered to producers and will be supported, maintained, updated or revised as necessary. Proposals that demonstrate a clear, concise and generally accepted research methodology and innovative approach will receive the highest number of points.

4. Management and Plan for Maintenance and Support—Maximum 15 Points

The proposal clearly demonstrates the applicant's ability and resources to coordinate and manage all aspects of the proposed research project. Applicants must provide a detailed budget summary that clearly explains and justifies costs associated with the project. The applicant must submit a plan, if necessary, to continue the maintenance, support and delivery of the tool without relying on RMA's resources. The applicant whose approach is the most cost effective and optimizes the use and effective application of the funding will receive the highest score.

B. Review and Selection Process

Each application will be evaluated using a four-part process. First, each application will be screened by RMA to ensure that each proposal meets the objective stated in section I.D. The same or similar proposals cannot be submitted multiple times by the same entity. If the same or similar proposals are submitted by the same entity, the first received will be the only one evaluated. Applications that do not meet the objective stated in section I.D. and all other requirements in this announcement or are incomplete, will not receive further consideration.

Second, all eligible applications will be evaluated using the criterion in section V.A.1. Applications must score at least 20 points under this criterion in order to be evaluated further.

Third, all applications scoring the required 20 points will be evaluated further under sections V.A.2 through 4.

For the second and third steps, a review panel will consider all applications that are complete and meet the objective in section I.D. and all other requirements in this announcement. The panel will review the merits of the applications. The evaluation of each application will be conducted by a panel of not less than three independent reviewers. The panel will be comprised of representatives from USDA, other federal agencies, and others representing public and private organizations, as needed. The narrative and any appendices provided by each applicant will be used by the review panel to evaluate the merits of the project that is being proposed for funding. The panel will examine and score applications based on the evaluation criteria and weights contained in section V.A. The identities of review panel members will remain confidential throughout the entire Start Printed Page 15649review process and will not be released to applicants.

In order to be considered for funding, a proposal must score at least 75 points.

For the last step, those applications meeting the minimum number of points will be listed in initial rank order. Proposals will be funded by rank order according to score. The projects proposed for funding will be presented, along with funding level recommendations, to the Manager of FCIC, who will make the final decision on awarding of a partnership agreement.

If the Manager of FCIC determines that any application is sufficiently similar to a project that has been funded or has been recommended to be funded under this announcement or any other research and development program, then the Manager may elect not to fund that application in whole or in part.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

1. Access to Panel Review Information

Upon written request, scores from the evaluation panel, not including the identity of reviewers, will be sent to the applicant after the review and awards process has been completed.

2. Notification of Partnership Agreement Awards and Notification of Non-Selection

Following approval of the applications selected for funding, notice of project approval and authority to draw down funds will be made to the selected applicants in writing. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the awarding official of RMA shall enter into partnership agreements with those applicants whose applications are judged to be most meritorious under the procedures set forth in this announcement. The partnership agreement provides the amount of Federal funds for use in the project period, the terms and conditions of the award, and the time period for the project.

The effective date of the partnership agreement shall be the date the agreement is executed by both parties. All funds provided to the applicant by FCIC must be expended solely for the purpose for which funds are obligated in accordance with the approved application and budget, the regulations, the terms and conditions of the award, and the applicability of Federal cost principles. No commitment of Federal assistance beyond the project period is made or implied, as a result of any award made pursuant to this announcement.

Notification of denial of funding will be sent to applicants after final funding decisions have been made. Reasons for denial of funding can include incomplete proposals, proposals that did not meet the objective, scored low or were duplicative.

3. Confidential Aspects of Proposals and Awards

When an application results in a partnership agreement, it becomes a part of the official record of RMA transactions, available to the public upon specific request. Information that the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be of a confidential, privileged, or proprietary nature will be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law. Therefore, any information that the applicant wishes to be considered confidential, privileged, or proprietary should be clearly marked within the application, including the basis for such designation. The original copy of a proposal that does not result in an award will be retained by RMA for a period of one year. Other copies will be destroyed. Such a proposal will be released only with the express written consent of the applicant or to the extent required by law. A proposal may be withdrawn at any time prior to award. The names of applicants, the names of individuals identified in the applications, the content of applications, and the panel evaluations of applications will all be kept confidential, except to those involved in the review process, to the extent permitted by law.

4. Administration

All partnership agreements are subject to 7 CFR part 3015.

5. Prohibitions and Requirements with Regard to Lobbying

Section 1352 of Public Law 101-121, enacted on October 23, 1989, imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification related to lobbying on recipients of Federal contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian Tribes and tribal organizations. Current and prospective recipients, and any subcontractors, are prohibited from using Federal funds, other than profits from a Federal contract, for lobbying Congress or any Federal agency in connection with the award of a contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. In addition, for each award action in excess of $100,000 ($150,000 for loans) the law requires recipients and any subcontractors: (1) To certify that they have neither used nor will use any appropriated funds for payment of lobbyists; (2) to disclose the name, address, payment details, and purpose of any agreements with lobbyists whom recipients or their subcontractors will pay with profits or other non-appropriated funds on or after December 22, 1989; and (3) to file quarterly up-dates about the use of lobbyists if material changes occur in their use. The law establishes civil penalties for non-compliance. All recipients must provide a copy of the certification and disclosure forms prior to the beginning of the project period.

6. Applicable OMB Circulars

All partnership agreements funded as a result of this notice will be subject to the requirements contained in all applicable OMB circulars.

7. Audit Requirements

Applicants awarded partnership agreements are subject to audit.

8. Requirement to Assure Compliance with Federal Civil Rights Laws

Project leaders of all partnership agreements funded as a result of this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil rights laws and to assure USDA and RMA that the recipient is in compliance with and will continue to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), 7 CFR part 15, and USDA regulations promulgated under 7 CFR part 1901.202. RMA requires that recipients submit Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights), assuring RMA of this compliance prior to the beginning of the project period.

B. Reporting

Applicants awarded a partnership agreement will be required to submit quarterly written progress and financial reports (SF-269) throughout the project period, as well as a final program and financial report not later than 90 days after the end of the project period. Recipients will be required to submit prior to the award:

  • A completed and signed Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights).
  • A completed and signed OMB Standard Form LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.”
  • A completed and signed AD-1047, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions.”
  • A completed and signed AD-1049, “Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace.”
  • A completed and signed Faith-Based Survey on EEO. Start Printed Page 15650

VII. Agency Contact

If applicants have any questions they may contact: Kristin Chow, USDA/RMA, Non-Insurance Programs, 6501 Beacon Drive, Stop 0813, Kansas City, Missouri 64133-4676, phone (816) 926-6343, fax (816) 926-7343, e-mail: RMA.Research.Application@rma.usda.gov.

VIII. Other Information

A. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 70 million businesses worldwide. The Office of Management and Budget published a notice of final policy issuance in the Federal Register June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38402) that requires a DUNS number in every application (i.e., hard copy and electronic) for a grant or cooperative agreement on or after October 1, 2003. Therefore, potential applicants should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one. For information about how to obtain a DUNS number, go to http://www.grants.gov. Please note that the registration may take up to 14 business days to complete. Previously registered DUNS numbers must be annually renewed; applicants must do so prior to submission of applications under this RFA.

B. Required Registration With the Central Contract Registry for Submission of Proposals

The Central Contract Registry (CCR) is a database that serves as the primary Government repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with the Government. This database will also be used as a central location for maintaining organizational information for organizations seeking and receiving grants from the Government. Such organizations must register in the CCR prior to the submission of applications. A DUNS number is needed for CCR registration. For information about how to register in the CCR, visit “Get Started” at http://www.grants.gov. Allow a minimum of five business days to complete the CCR registration.

Start Signature

Signed in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2007.

Eldon Gould,

Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-5971 Filed 3-30-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-08-P