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Notice

Pan-Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT): Closing Date

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of Availability of Funds.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Public Law No. 111-117, the U.S. Department of Commerce announces the solicitation of applications for a grant for the Pan-Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) Program. Projects funded pursuant to this Notice are intended to support the PEACESAT Program’s acquisition of satellite communications to service Pacific Basin communities and to manage the operations of this network. Applications for the PEACESAT Program grant will compete for funds from the Public Broadcasting, Facilities, Planning and Construction Funds account.

DATES:

Applications must be received on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, May 3, 2010. Applications submitted by facsimile are not acceptable. NTIA will not accept applications received after the deadline. However, if an application is received after the Closing Date due to (1) carrier error, when the carrier accepted the package with a guarantee for delivery by the Closing Date and Time, or (2) significant weather delays or natural disasters, NTIA will, upon receipt of proper documentation, consider the application as having been received by the deadline.

ADDRESSES:

To obtain a printed application package, submit completed applications, or send any other correspondence, write to: NTIA/PTFP, Room H-4812, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230. Application materials may be obtained electronically via the Internet at www.grants.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

William Cooperman, Director, Public Broadcasting Division, telephone: (202) 482-5802; fax: (202) 482-2156.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

The full federal funding opportunity announcement for the PEACESAT Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 grant cycle is available through www.grants.gov or by contacting NTIA at the address noted above. Application materials may be obtained electronically via the Internet at www.grants.gov.

Program Description

Pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Public Law No. 111-117, the U.S. Department of Commerce announces the solicitation of applications for a grant for the PEACESAT Program. Projects funded pursuant to this Notice are intended to support the PEACESAT Program’s acquisition of satellite communications to service Pacific Basin communities and to manage the operations of this network. Applications for the PEACESAT Program grant will compete for funds from the Public Broadcasting, Facilities, Planning and Construction Funds account.

Funding Availability

Funding for the PEACESAT Program is provided pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Public Law No. 111-117 and Public Law No. 106-113, “The Consolidated Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2000.” Public Law No. 106-113 provides “That, hereafter, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Pan-Pacific Education and Communications Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) Program is eligible to compete for Public Broadcasting Facilities, Planning and Construction funds.”

The Congress has appropriated $18 million for FY 2010 Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) and PEACESAT awards. Of this amount, NTIA anticipates making a single award for approximately $500,000 for the PEACESAT Program in FY 2010. For FY 2009, NTIA issued one award for the PEACESAT project in the amount of $499,641.

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

The PEACESAT Program was authorized under Public Law No. 100-584 (102 Stat. 2970) and also Public Law Start Printed Page 13086No. 101-555 (104 Stat. 2758) to acquire satellite communications services to provide educational, medical, and cultural needs of Pacific Basin communities. The PEACESAT Program has been operational since 1971 and has received funding from NTIA for support of the project since 1988.

Applications submitted in response to this solicitation for PEACESAT applications are exempt from the PTFP regulations at 15 CFR Part 2301.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

Not Applicable.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants will include any for-profit or non-profit organization, public or private entity, other than an agency or division of the Federal Government. Individuals are not eligible to apply for the PEACESAT Program funds.

Evaluation and Selection Process

The Public Broadcasting Division (PBD) administers the PEACESAT Program and places a summary of applications received on the Internet at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/​otiahome/​peacesat/​peacesat.html. Listing an application merely acknowledges receipt of an application to compete for funding with other applications. Listing does not preclude subsequent return of the application for failure to meet application requirements and does not assure that the application will be funded. The listing will also include a request for comments on the applications from any interested party.

Each eligible application is evaluated by three independent reviewers who have demonstrated expertise in the programmatic and technological aspects of the application. The reviewers will evaluate applications according to the evaluation criteria in the following section and provide individual written ratings of each application. No consensus advice will be provided by the reviewers. State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) offices, per Executive Order 12372, may provide recommendations on applications under consideration.

The PBD program staff prepares a rank order of all applications according to the scores submitted by the independent reviewers. The PBD program staff then prepares written summary recommendations for the Director of the Public Broadcasting Division (PBD Director). These recommendations incorporate the independent reviewers’ ratings and analysis of the degree to which a proposed project meets the PEACESAT Program purposes, as described above in the Program Description, and applicable cost principles. Staff recommendations also consider (1) project impact, (2) the cost/benefit of a project, and (3) whether the reviewers consistently applied the evaluation criteria.

The PBD Director considers the program staff’s summary recommendations in accordance with the funding priorities and selection factors referenced in the next section and recommends the funding order of the applications for the PEACESAT Programs in three categories: “Recommended for Funding,” “Recommended for Funding If Funds Are Available,” and “Not Recommended for Funding.” The PBD Director presents recommendations to the Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA Associate Administrator), for review and approval.

Upon review and approval based on the funding priorities and selection factors referenced in the next section by the OTIA Associate Administrator, the OTIA Associate Administrator’s and the PBD Director’s recommendations are presented to the Selecting Official, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, who is the NTIA Administrator. The Selecting Official then makes the final award selections taking into consideration these recommendations and the degree to which the slate of applications, taken as a whole, satisfies the stated purposes for the PEACESAT Program.

Prior to award, applications may be negotiated between NTIA and the applicant to resolve any differences between the original request and what NTIA is willing to consider funding. Some applications may be dropped from the slate due to lack of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorization, an applicant’s inability to make adequate assurances or certifications, or other reasons. Negotiation of an application does not ensure that a final award will be made.

The Program will not award a grant until it has received confirmation that the FCC will issue any necessary authorization.

After final award selections have been made, the Agency will notify the applicant of one of the following actions:

(1) Selection of the application for funding, in whole or in part;

(2) Deferral of the application for subsequent consideration; or

(3) Rejection of the application with an explanation and the reason, e.g., if an applicant is not eligible or if the proposed project does not fall within the purposes of the PEACESAT program.

Funding Priorities and Selection Factors

The PBD Director will consider the summary evaluations prepared by program staff, rank the applications, and present recommendations to the OTIA Associate Administrator for review and approval. The PBD Director’s recommendations and the OTIA Associate Administrator’s review and approval will take into account the following selection factors:

(1) The program staff evaluations, including the outside reviewers;

(2) Whether the applicant has any current NTIA grants;

(3) The geographic distribution of the proposed grant awards; and

(4) The availability of funds.

The Selection Official considers these recommendations and whether the proposed awards satisfy the PEACESAT program purposes.

Evaluation Criteria

Each eligible application that is timely received, is materially complete, and proposes an eligible project will be considered under the evaluation criteria described here. The first three criteria — 1. Meeting the Purposes of the PEACESAT Program, 2. Extent of Need for the Project, and 3. Plan of Operation for the Project — are each worth 25 points. Criterion 4, Budget and Cost Effectiveness, is worth 20 points. Criterion 5, Quality of Key Personnel, is worth 5 points.

Criterion 1. Meeting the Purposes of the PEACESAT Program.

The extent to which the project meets the purposes of the PEACESAT Program including consideration of: (i) how well the proposal meets the objectives of the PEACESAT Program; and (ii) how the objectives of the proposal further the purposes of the PEACESAT Program.

Criterion 2. Extent of Need for the Project.

The extent to which the project meets the needs of the PEACESAT Program, including consideration of: (i) the needs addressed by the project; (ii) how the applicant identifies those needs; (iii) how those needs will be met by the project; and (iv) the benefits to be gained by meeting those needs.

Criterion 3. Plan of Operation for the Project.

The extent to which the project meets the plan of operation for the project, including consideration of: (i) the quality of the design of the project; (ii) Start Printed Page 13087the extent to which the plan of management is effective and ensures proper and efficient administration of the project; (iii) how well the objectives of the project relate to the purposes of the PEACESAT Program; (iv) the quality of the applicant’s plan to use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective; and (v) how the applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

Criterion 4. Budget and Cost Effectiveness.

The extent to which: (i) the budget is adequate to support the project; and (ii) costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the project.

Criterion 5. Quality of Key Personnel.

The extent to which the applicant plans to use on the project, including: (i) the qualifications of the project director if one is to be used; (ii) the qualifications of each of the other key personnel to be used in the project; (iii) the time that each person will commit to the project; and (iv) how the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. As used in this section, “qualifications” refers to experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project, and any other qualifications that pertain to the quality of the project.

Cost Sharing Requirements

Grant recipients under this program will not be required to provide matching funds toward the total project cost.

The costs allowable under this Notice are not subject to the limitation on costs contained in the December 2, 2009, Notice regarding the PTFP Program, see 74 FR 163120 (2009).

Intergovernmental Review

PEACESAT applications are subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” if the state in which the applicant organization is located participates in the process. Usually, the submission to the SPOC needs to be only the first two pages of the Application Form, but applicants should contact their own SPOC offices to ensure compliance with its requirements. The names and addresses of the SPOC offices are listed on the PTFP website and at the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) home page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants_​spoc.

Universal Identifier

All applicants (nonprofits, state and local governments, universities, and tribal organizations) will be required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number during the application process. See the October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66177) and April 8, 2003 (68 FR 17000) Federal Register notices for additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line 1-866-705-5711 or via the Internet at www.fedgov.dnb.com/​webform.

The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements

The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification of Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696) is applicable to this solicitation.

Limitation of Liability

In no event will the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige the agency to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. The PEACESAT application package requires the use of the following forms: SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, SF-LLL. These forms have been approved under the respective OMB Control Nos. 4040-0004, 4040-0006, and 4040-0007.

Executive Order 13132

It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act

Prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules concerning grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. § 553(a)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. § 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared.

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Dated: March 12, 2010.

Dr. Bernadette McGuire-Rivera,

Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications.

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[FR Doc. 2010-5890 Filed 3-18-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-60-S