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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities
Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2014.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.250J.
Applications Available: July 18, 2014.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 2, 2014.
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near Federal or State reservations, consistent with their individual strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership.
This program also supports an important White House initiative issued in a Presidential Memorandum on Job-Driven Training for Workers on January 30, 2014.
This memorandum emphasizes the importance of developing a workforce with the skills that employers need. The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program supports the initiative by providing training and other services to assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for and engage in gainful and competitive employment.
Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from section 121(b)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 741(b)(4)).
Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2014 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional 10 points to an application that meets this priority.
This priority is:
Continuation of Previously Funded Tribal Programs
In making new awards under this program, we give priority to applications for the continuation of programs that have been funded under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program.
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 84, and 97. (b) The Education Department debarment and suspension regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 369 and 371.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $21,000,000.
Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2015 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
Estimated Range of Awards: $340,000-$550,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $425,000.
Estimated Number of Awards: 48.
The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 60 months.
Eligibility for funding under the grant is contingent upon a grantee's continuing eligibility under the program regulations. As described in section III of this notice, these regulations may be amended during the project period for these grants. On an annual basis and as part of our process for making continuation awards under 34 CFR 75.253, the Department will review current grants and determine whether each grantee continues to meet the applicable eligibility requirements.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: The governing bodies of Indian tribes (and consortia of those governing bodies) located on Federal and State reservations.
On May 9, 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, “Federal Funding for Non-Federally Recognized Tribes,” GAO-12-348 (available at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-348), in which a question was raised concerning the Department's practice for determining eligibility under the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) program. In interpreting the term “reservation,” the Department had included tribes that were located on a defined and contiguous area of land where there was a concentration of tribal members and on which the tribal government was providing structured activities and services, such as the tribal service areas identified in a tribe's grant application.
The Department agreed to comply with GAO's recommendation that the Secretary review the eligibility requirements for AIVRS grants and take appropriate action on grants made to tribes that do not have Federal or State reservations.
For FYs 2012 and 2013, the Department decided not to conduct competitions for new awards under the AIVRS program while it was studying this issue. It extended any grants that were expiring at the end of FYs 2012 and 2013 and waived the regulatory prohibition on cost extensions so that these grantees could continue to receive grant funds while the Department was conducting its review. (77 FR 59085 (September 26, 2012); 78 FR 57066 (September 17, 2013))
On June 23, 2014, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes, as one alternative, to amend the regulatory definition of “reservation,” to limit the definition only to traditional Federal and State reservations and other land areas specifically listed in the statutory definition of “reservation” in 29 U.S.C. 741(c). (79 FR 35502) However, the NPRM also proposes an alternative definition of “reservation” consistent with the Department's long-standing interpretation that includes, in the definition of “reservation,” a defined area of land recognized by a State or the Federal Government where there is a concentration of tribal members and on which the tribal government is providing structured activities and services.
Given the time needed to fully consider all comments to the NPRM in concert with comments received through tribal consultation, and before a final determination on the definition of “reservation” is reached, the Department decided that it is in the best interests of the program, its grantees, and the American Indians with Start Printed Page 41681disabilities they serve, to hold a competition for FY 2014. Because the Department has not published final regulations changing its definition of “reservation,” the competition for FY 2014 will be conducted using the interpretation of “reservation” that the Department has used for many years. Consequently, an applicant that can demonstrate it is located on a defined and contiguous area of land where there is a concentration of tribal members and on which the tribal government is providing structured activities and services is eligible to apply. One way of demonstrating eligibility is to show that the U.S. Census identifies the applicant's land area as a State designated tribal statistical area or tribal designated statistical area.
Eligibility for funding under the grant beyond the initial year is contingent upon a grantee's continuing eligibility under the program regulations, as the regulations may be amended. On an annual basis and, as part of our process for making continuation awards under 34 CFR 75.253, the Department will review current grants and determine whether each grantee continues to meet the applicable eligibility requirements.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing is required by 34 CFR 371.40.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: email@example.com.
If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.250J.
Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition. These include a requirement that the applicant submit documentation demonstrating that it is a federally or State recognized tribe and is located on a Federal or State reservation, as interpreted by the Department to include a defined and contiguous area of land where there is a concentration of tribal members and on which the tribal government is providing structured activities and services.
Each application must describe how the Special Application Requirements stated at 34 CFR 371.21 will be met, including evidence that the applicant has or will obtain a formal cooperative agreement with the appropriate State VR agency or agencies that include strategies for collaboration and coordination of service provision.
3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: July 18, 2014.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 2, 2014.
Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.
We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.
Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—
a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;
c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.
You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one-to-two business days.
If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.
Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.
If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.
Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Start Printed Page 41682Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.
a. Electronic Submission of Applications
Applications for grants under the AIVRS program, CFDA number 84.250J, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
You may access the electronic grant application for the AIVRS program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.250, not 84.250J).
Please note the following:
- 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.
- Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
- The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
- You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.
- You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
- You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
- You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
- Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
- After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
- We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.
Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.
Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.
Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—Start Printed Page 41683
- You do not have access to the Internet; or
- You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and
- No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.
If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.
Address and mail or fax your statement to: August Martin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5049, Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7592.
Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail
If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250J) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.
(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.
(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
(1) A private metered postmark.
(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.
The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.
c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery
If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250J) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.
Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:
If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—
(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and
(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.
V. Application Review Information
1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and are listed in the application package. The maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points, plus the 10 competitive preference priority points (see Section I. Competitive Preference Priority).
2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR part 80; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.
VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.
If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.
3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/Start Printed Page 41684fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established three performance measures for the AIVRS program. The measures are (1) the percentage of individuals who leave the program with an employment outcome, (2) the percentage of projects that demonstrate an average annual cost per employment outcome of no more than $35,000, and (3) the percentage of projects that demonstrate an average annual cost per participant of no more than $10,000. Each grantee must annually report its performance on these measures through the Annual Progress Reporting Form (APR Form) for the AIVRS program.
Job Training and Employment Common Measures
In addition, the AIVRS APR Form requests data necessary to assess the AIVRS program's performance on supplemental measures that are comparable to the job training and employment common measures that were developed by the Office of Management and Budget in coordination with Federal agencies with job training programs. Each grantee is required to collect and report data for these supplemental measures as part of the annual performance report requirement, including information on: (1) The number of individuals who, during this reporting period, were still employed three months after achieving an employment outcome, (2) the number of individuals who, during this reporting period, were still employed six months after achieving an employment outcome, (3) the average weekly earnings at entry, and (4) the average weekly earnings of the individuals whose employment outcomes resulted in earnings.
For purposes of this section, the term “employment outcome” has the meaning provided in 34 CFR 369.4.
5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Secretary considers, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget and the cost principles described in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-87. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). On an annual basis and as part of our process for making continuation awards under 34 CFR 75.253, the Department will review current grants and determine whether each grantee continues to meet the applicable eligibility requirements.
VII. Agency Contact
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
August Martin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5049, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7410 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Services (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
VIII. Other Information
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.
End Further Info
Dated: July 14, 2014.
Michael K. Yudin,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2014-16830 Filed 7-16-14; 8:45 am]
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