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Notice of Funding Availability for the Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) Program

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Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), Department of Transportation (DOT).


Notice of funding availability for the South Atlantic Region SBTRC.


The Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of the Secretary (OST), Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) announces the opportunity for business centered community-based organizations, transportation-related trade associations, colleges and universities, community colleges, or chambers of commerce, registered with the Internal Revenue Service as 501 C(6) or 501 C(3) tax-exempt organizations, to compete for participation in OSDBU's Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) program in the South Atlantic Region (Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky).


Complete Proposals must be received on or before March 3, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Proposals received after the deadline will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed.


Applications must be electronically submitted through Only applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in this notice and electronically submit valid applications through will be eligible for award.

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For further information concerning this notice, contact Ms. Steronica Mattocks, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-0658. Email:

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OSDBU will enter into Cooperative Agreements with these organizations to provide outreach to the small business community in their designated region and provide financial and technical assistance, business training programs, business assessment, management training, counseling, marketing and outreach, and the dissemination of information, to encourage and assist small businesses to become better prepared to compete for, obtain, and manage DOT funded transportation-related contracts and subcontracts at the federal, state and local levels. Throughout this notice, the term “small business” will refer to: 8(a), small disadvantaged businesses (SDB), disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE), women owned small businesses (WOSB), HubZone, service disabled veteran owned businesses (SDVOB), and veteran owned small businesses (VOSB). Throughout this notice, “transportation-related” is defined as the maintenance, rehabilitation, restructuring, improvement, or revitalization of any of the nation's modes of transportation.

Funding Opportunity Number: USDOT-OST-OSDBU/SBTRCSA-2017-1.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 20.910 Assistance to Small and Disadvantaged Businesses.

Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement Grant.

Award Ceiling: $135,000.

Award Floor: $150,000.

Program Authority: DOT is authorized under 49 U.S.C. 332(b)(4), (5) & (7) to design and carry out programs to assist small disadvantaged businesses in getting transportation-related contracts and subcontracts; develop support mechanisms, including management and technical services, that will enable small disadvantaged businesses to take advantage of those business opportunities; and to make arrangements to carry out the above purposes.

Table of Contents

A. Program Description and Goals

B. Federal Award Information

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicant

2. Program/Recipient Requirements

3. Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Responsibilities

D. Application and Submission Information

E. Application Review

1. Selection Criteria

a. Approach and Strategy

b. Linkages

c. Organizational Capability

d. Staff Capabilities and Experience

e. Cost Proposal (Budget)

f. Scoring Application

g. Conflicts of Interest

2. Review and Selection Process

F. Federal Award Administration

a. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

b. Reporting

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

H. Protection of Confidential Business Information

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A. Program Description and Goals

The national SBTRC program utilizes Cooperative Agreements with chambers of commerce, trade associations, educational institutions and business-centered community based organizations to establish SBTRCs to provide business training, technical assistance and information to DOT grantees and recipients, prime contractors and subcontractors. In order to be effective and serve their target audience, the SBTRCs must be active in the local transportation community in order to identify and communicate opportunities and provide the required technical assistance. SBTRCs must already have, or demonstrate the ability to, establish working relationships with the state and local transportation agencies and technical assistance agencies (i.e., The U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Centers (MBDCs), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), SCORE and State DOT highway supportive services contractors in their region. Utilizing these relationships and their own expertise, the SBTRCs are involved in activities such as information dissemination, small business counseling, and technical assistance with small businesses currently doing business with public and private entities in the transportation industry.

Effective outreach is critical to the success of the SBTRC program. In order for their outreach efforts to be effective, SBTRCs must be familiar with DOT's Operating Administrations, its funding sources, and how funding is awarded to DOT grantees, recipients, contractors, subcontractors, and its: Financial assistance programs. SBTRCs must provide outreach to the regional small business transportation community to disseminate information and distribute DOT-published marketing materials, such as Short Term Lending Program (STLP) Information, Bonding Education Program (BEP) information, SBTRC brochures and literature, DOT Procurement Forecasts; Contracting with DOT booklets, Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative (WITI) information, and any other materials or resources that DOT or OSDBU may develop for this purpose. To maximize outreach, the SBTRC may be called upon to participate in regional and national conferences and seminars. Quantities of DOT publications for on-hand inventory and dissemination at conferences and seminars will be available upon request from the OSDBU office.

B. Federal Award Information

The DOT established OSDBU in accordance with Public Law 95-507, an amendment to the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958. The mission of OSDBU at DOT is to ensure that the small and disadvantaged business policies and goals of the Secretary of Transportation are developed and implemented in a fair, efficient and effective manner to serve small and disadvantaged businesses throughout the country.

The OSDBU also administers the provisions of Title 49, Section, 332, the Minority Resource Center (MRC) which includes the duties of advocacy, outreach and: Financial services on behalf of small and disadvantaged business and those certified under 49 CFR parts 23 and 26 as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and the development of programs to encourage, stimulate, promote and assist small businesses to become better prepared to compete for, obtain and manage transportation-related contracts and subcontracts.

The Regional Assistance Division of OSDBU, through the SBTRC program, allows OSDBU to partner with local organizations to offer a comprehensive delivery system of business training, technical assistance and dissemination of information, targeted towards small business transportation enterprises in their regions. The SBTRCs are established and funded through Cooperative Agreements between eligible applicants and OSDBU. The SBTRCs function as regional offices of OSDBU and fully execute the mission of the OSDBU nationally.

OSDBU enters into Cooperative Agreements with recipients to establish and fund a regional SBTRC. Under the Cooperative Agreement OSDBU will be “substantially involved” with the overall operations of the SBTRC. This involvement includes directing SBTRC staff to travel and represent OSDBU on panels and events. OSDBU will make one award under this announcement. Award ceiling for this announcement is $150,000. The recipient will begin performing on the award on April 1, 2017 and the period of performance (POP) will be April 1, 2017 to March 30, 2018. This is a 1 year grant with an option to renew for 2 additional years at the discretion of U.S. DOT.

Cooperative agreement awards will be distributed to the region(s) as follows:

South Atlantic Region

Ceiling: $135,000 per year

Floor: $150,000 per year

Cooperative agreement awards by region are based upon an analysis of DBEs, Certified Small Businesses, and U.S. DOT transportation dollars in each region.

It is OSDBU's intent to maximize the benefits received by the small business transportation community through the SBTRC. Funding will reimburse an on-site Project Director for 100% of salary plus fringe benefits, an on-site Executive Director up to 20% of salary plus fringe benefits, up to 100% of a Project Coordinator salary plus fringe benefits, the cost of designated SBTRC space, other direct costs, and all other general and administrative expenses. Selected SBTRC partners will be expected to provide in-kind administrative support. Submitted proposals must contain an alternative funding source with which the SBTRC will fund administrative support costs. Preference will be given to proposals containing in-kind contributions for the Project Director, the Executive Director, the Project Coordinator, cost of designated SBTRC space, other direct costs, and all other general and administrative expenses. The SBTRC will furnish all labor, facilities and equipment to perform the services described in this announcement.

C. Eligibility Information

I. Eligible Applicant

To be eligible, an organization must be an established, nonprofit, community-based organization, transportation-related trade association, chamber of commerce, college or university, community college, and any other qualifying transportation-related non-profit organization which has the documented experience and capacity necessary to successfully operate and administer a coordinated delivery system that provides access for small businesses to prepare and compete for transportation-related contracts.

In addition, to be eligible, the applicant organization must:

(a) Be an established 501 C (3) or 501 C (6) tax-exempt organization and provide documentation as verification. No application will be accepted without proof of tax-exempt status;

(b) Have at least one year of documented and continuous experience prior to the date of application in providing advocacy, outreach, and technical assistance to small businesses within the region in which proposed services will be provided. Prior performance providing services to the transportation community is preferable, but not required; and

(c) Have an office physically located within the proposed city in the designated headquarters state in the Start Printed Page 10181region for which they are submitting the proposal that is readily accessible to the public.

2. Program Requirements/Recipient Responsibilities

(a) Assessments, Business Analyses

Conduct an assessment of small businesses in the SBTRC region to determine their training and technical assistance needs, and use information that is available at no cost to structure programs and services that will enable small businesses to become better prepared to compete for and receive transportation-related contract awards.

(b) General Management & Technical Training and Assistance

Utilize OSDBU's Intake Form to document each small business assisted by the SBTRC and type of service(s) provided. A complete list of businesses that have filled out the form shall be submitted as part of the SBTRC report, submitted via email to the Regional Assistance Division on a regular basis (using the SBTRC report). This report will detail SBTRC activities and performance results. The data provided must be supported by the narrative (if asked).

Ensure that an array of information is made available for distribution to the small business transportation community that is designed to inform and educate the community on DOT/OSDBU services and opportunities.

Coordinate efforts with OSDBU in order to maintain an on-hand inventory of DOT/OSDBU informational materials for general dissemination and for distribution at transportation-related conferences and other events.

(c) Business Counseling

Collaborate with agencies, such as State, Regional, and Local Transportation Government Agencies, SBA, U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Centers (MBDCs), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), and Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), to offer a broad range of counseling services to transportation-related small business enterprises.

Create a technical assistance plan that will provide each counseled participant with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the management of their own small business to expand their transportation-related contracts and subcontracts portfolio.

Provide a minimum of 20 hours of individual or group counseling sessions to small businesses per month. This counseling includes in-person meetings or over the phone, and does not include any time taken to do email correspondence.

(d) Planning Committee

Establish a Regional Planning Committee consisting of at least 10 members that includes representatives from the regional community and federal, state, and local agencies. The highway, airport, and transit authorities for the SBTRCs region; additionally, the state DOT must have representation on the planning committee. The committee shall be established no later than 60 days after the execution of the Cooperative Agreement between the OSDBU and the selected SBTRC.

Provide a forum for the federal, state, and local agencies to disseminate information about upcoming DOT procurements and SBTRC activities. Hold either monthly or quarterly meetings at a time and place agreed upon by SBTRC and planning committee members (conference calls and/or video conferences are acceptable).

Use the initial session hosted by the SBTRC to explain the mission of the committee and identify roles of staff and the members of the group. Responsibility for the agenda and direction of the Planning Committee should be handled by the SBTRC Project Director or his/her designee.

(e) Outreach Services/Conference Participation

Utilize the services of the System for Award Management (SAM) and other sources to construct a database of regional small businesses that currently are or may in the future participate in DOT direct and DOT funded transportation related contracts, and make this database available to OSDBU upon request.

Utilize a database of regional transportation-related small businesses to match opportunities identified through the planning committee forum, FedBiz Opps (a web-based system for posting solicitations and other Federal procurement related documents on the Internet), and other sources to eligible small businesses and inform the small business community about those opportunities.

Develop a “targeted” database of firms (100-150) that have the capacity and capabilities, and are ready, willing and able to participate in DOT contracts and subcontracts immediately. This control group will receive ample resources from the SBTRC, i.e., access to working capital, bonding assistance, business counseling, management assistance and direct referrals to DOT agencies at the state and local levels, and to prime contractors as effective subcontractor firms.

Identify regional, state and local conferences where a significant number of small businesses, with transportation related capabilities, are expected to be in attendance. Maintain and submit a list of those events to the regional Assistance Division for review and posting on the OSDBU Web site on a regular basis. Clearly identity the events designated for SBTRC participation and include recommendations for OSDBU participation. This information can be submitted as part of the SBTRC report.

Conduct outreach and disseminate information to small businesses at Regional transportation-related conferences, seminars, and workshops. In the event that the SBTRC is requested to participate in an event, the OSDBU will provide DOT materials, the OSDBU banner and other information that is deemed necessary for the event.

Submit a conference summary report within the “Events” section of the SBTRC Report. The conference summary report should summarize the activity, contacts made, outreach results, and recommendations for continued or discontinued participation in future similar events sponsored by that organization.

Upon request by OSDBU, coordinate efforts with DOT's grantees and recipients at the state and/or local levels to sponsor or cosponsor and OSDBU transportation related conference in the region (commonly referred to as “Small Business Summits”).

Participate in the SBTRC Monthly teleconference call, hosted by the OSDBU Regional Assistance Division.

(f) Short Term Lending Program (STLP)

Work with STLP participating banks and if not available, other institutions to deliver a minimum of five (5) seminars/workshops per year on the STLP, and/or other financial assistance programs, to the transportation related small business community. Seminars/workshops must cover the entire STLP/loan process, form completion of STLP/loan applications and preparation of the loan package.

Provide direct support, technical support, and advocacy services to potential STLP applicants to increase the probability of STLP loan approval and generate a minimum of four (4) completed STLP applications per year. Provide direct support, technical support, and advocacy services to Small and Disadvantaged Businesses interested in obtaining a loan from another type of Government Lending Start Printed Page 10182Program. Government Lending Programs include Federal, State, and Local level programs. The SBTRC will be required to generate a minimum of three (3) completed Government Lending Program applications per year.

(g) Bonding Education Program (BEP)

Work with OSDBU, bonding industry partners, local small business transportation stakeholders, and local bond producers/agents in your region to deliver a minimum of two (2) complete Bonding Education Programs and secure 3% of the total DBE contract value for each transportation project. The BEP consists of the following components; (1) the stakeholder's meeting; (2) the educational workshops component; (3) the bond readiness component; and (4) follow-on assistance to BEP participants to provide technical and procurement assistance based on the prescriptive plan determined by the BEP. For each BEP event, work with the local bond producers/agents in your region and the disadvantaged business participants to deliver a minimum of ten (10) disadvantaged business participants in the BEP with either access to bonding or an increase in the bonding capacity. The programs will be funded separately and in addition to the amount listed in 1.3 of the solicitation.

(h) Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative (WITI)

The SBTRC shall implement the WITI program as defined in the WITI Policy. The WITI program is designed to identify, educate, attract, and retain women and girls from a variety of disciplines in the transportation industry.

The SBTRC shall also be responsible for outreach activities in the implementation of this program and advertising the WITI program to all colleges and universities and transportation enemies in their region. The WITI program shall be developed in conjunction with the skill needs of the U.S. DOT, state and local transportation agencies and appropriate private sector transportation-related participants including, S/WOBs/DBEs, and women organizations involved in transportation. Emphasis shall be placed on establishing partnerships with transportation-related businesses. The SBTRC will be required to host 1 WITI event and attend at least 5 events where WITI is presented and marketed.

Each region will establish a Women In Transportation Advisory Committee. The committee will provide a forum to identify and provide workable solutions to barriers that women-owned businesses encounter in transportation-related careers. The committee will have 5 members (including the SBTRC Project Director) with a 1 year membership. Meetings will be conducted on a quarterly basis at an agreeable place and time.

3. Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Responsibilities

(a) Provide consultation and technical assistance in planning, implementing, and evaluating activities under this announcement.

(b) Provide orientation and training to the applicant organization.

(c) Monitor SBTRC activities, cooperative agreement compliance, and overall SBTRC performance.

(d) Assist SBTRC to develop or strengthen its relationships with federal, state, and local transportation authorities, other technical assistance organizations, and DOT grantees.

(e) Facilitate the exchange and transfer of successful program activities and information among all SBTRC regions.

(f) Provide the SBTRC with DOT/OSDBU materials and other relevant transportation related information for dissemination.

(g) Maintain effective communication with the SBTRC and inform them of transportation news and contracting opportunities to share with small businesses in their region.

(h) Provide all required forms to be used by the SBTRC for reporting purposes under the program.

(i) Perform an annual performance evaluation of the SBTRC. Satisfactory performance is a condition of continued participation of the organization as an SBTRC and execution of all option years.

D. Application and Submission Information

(a) Format for Proposals

Each proposal must be submitted to in the format set forth in the application form attached as Appendix A to this announcement.

(b) Address; Number of Copies; Deadlines for Submission

Any eligible organization, as defined in Section C of this announcement, will submit only one proposal per region for consideration by OSDBU. Applications must be double spaced, and printed in a font size not smaller than 12 points. Applications will not exceed 35 single-sided pages, not including any requested attachments. All pages should be numbered at the top of each page. All documentation, attachments, or other information pertinent to the application must be included in a single submission. Proposal packages must be submitted electronically to

(c) Each applicant must be registered in System for Award Management (SAM) and provide their unique Entity Identifier with the proposal.

(d) Each application must include the most recent two years of the applying organization's financial statements. We prefer to receive audited, but reviewed financial statements are acceptable.

(e) Applications will not be accepted if they do not include all required information.

(f) Proposals must be received in no later than September 16, 2016, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

E. Application Review

1. Selection Criteria

OSDBU will award the cooperative agreement on a best value basis, using the following criteria to rate and rank applications:

Applications will be evaluated using a point system (maximum number of points = 100);

○ Approach and strategy (25 points)

○ Linkages (25 points)

○ Organizational Capability (25 points)

○ Staff Capabilities and Experience (15 points)

○ Cost Proposal (10 points)

(a) Approach and Strategy (25 Points)

The applicant must describe their strategy to achieve the overall mission of the SBTRC as described in this solicitation and service the small business community in their entire geographic regional area. The applicant must also describe how the specific activities outlined in Section C will be implemented and executed in the organization's regional area. OSDBU will consider the extent to which the proposed objectives are specific, measurable, time specific, and consistent with OSDBU goals and the applicant organization's overall mission. OSDBU will give priority consideration to applicants that demonstrate innovation and creativity in their approach to assist small businesses to become successful transportation contractors and increase their ability to access DOT contracting opportunities and financial assistance programs. Applicants must also submit the estimated direct costs, other than labor, to execute their proposed strategy. OSDBU will consider the quality of the applicant's plan for conducting program activities and the likelihood that the proposed methods will be successful in achieving proposed objectives at the proposed cost.Start Printed Page 10183

(b) Linkages (25 Points)

The applicant must describe their established relationships within their geographic region and demonstrate their ability to coordinate and establish effective networks with DOT grant recipients and local/regional technical assistance agencies to maximize resources. OSDBU will consider innovative aspects of the applicant's approach and strategy to build upon their existing relationships and establish networks with existing resources in their geographical area. The applicant should describe their strategy to obtain and collaboration on SBTRC from DOT grantees and recipients, transportation prime contractors and subcontractors, the SBA, U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Centers (MBDCs), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), State DOTs, and State Highway supportive services contractors. In rating this factor, OSDBU will consider the extent to which the applicant demonstrates ability to multidimensional. The applicant must demonstrate that they have the ability to access a broad range of supportive services to effectively serve a broad range of transportation-related small businesses within their respective geographical region. Emphasis will also be placed on the extent to which the applicant identifies a clear outreach strategy related to the identified needs that can be successfully carried out within the period of this agreement and a plan for involving the Planning Committee in the execution of that strategy.

(c) Organizational Capability (25 Points)

The applicant must demonstrate that they have the organizational capability to meet the program requirements set forth in Section C. The applicant organization must have sufficient resources and past performance experience to successfully provide outreach to transportation-related small businesses in their geographical area and carry out the mission of the SBTRC. In rating this factor, OSDBU will consider the extent to which the applicant's organization has recent, relevant and successful experience in advocating for and addressing the needs of small businesses. Applicants will be given points for demonstrated past transportation-related performance. The applicant must also describe technical and administrative resources it plans to use in achieving proposed objectives. In their description, the applicant must describe their facilities, computer and technical facilities, ability to tap into volunteer staff time, and a plan for sufficient matching alternative financial resources to fund the general and administrative costs of the SBTRC. The applicant must also describe their administrative and financial staff. It will be the responsibility of the successful candidate to not only provide the services outlined herein to small business in the transportation industry, but to also successfully manage and maintain their internal financial, payment, and invoicing process with their financial management offices. OSDBU will place an emphasis on capabilities of the applicant's financial management staff. Additionally, a site visit will be required prior to award for those candidates that are being strongly considered. A member of the OSDBU team will contact those candidates to schedule the site visits prior to the award of the agreement.

(d) Staff Capability and Experience (15 Points)

The applicant organization must provide a list of proposed personnel for the project, with salaries, fringe benefit burden factors, education levels and previous experience clearly delineated. The applicant's project team must be well-qualified, knowledgeable, and able to effectively serve the diverse and broad range of small businesses in their geographical region. The Executive Director and the Project Director shall be deemed key personnel. Detailed resumes must be submitted for all proposed key personnel and outside consultants and subcontractors. Proposed key personnel must have detailed demonstrated experience providing services similar in scope and nature to the proposed effort. The proposed Project Director will serve as the responsible individual for the program. 100% of the Project Director's time must be dedicated to the SBTRC. Both the Executive and Project Directors must be located on-site. In this element, OSDBU will consider the extent to which the applicant's proposed Staffing Plan; (a) clearly meets the education and experience requirements to accomplish the objectives of the cooperative agreement; (b) delineates staff responsibilities and accountability for all work required and; (c) presents a clear and feasible ability to execute the applicant's proposed approach and strategy.

(e) Cost Proposal (10 Points)

Applicants must submit the total proposed cost of establishing and administering the SBTRC in the applicant's geographical region for a 12 month period, inclusive of costs funded through alternative matching resources. The applicant's budget must be adequate to support the proposed strategy and costs must be reasonable in relation to project objectives. The portion of the submitted budget funded by OSDBU cannot exceed the ceiling outlined in Section B. Applicants are encouraged to provide in-kind costs and other innovative cost approaches.

(f) Scoring Applications

A review panel will score each application based upon the evaluation criteria listed above. Points will be given for each evaluation criteria category, not to exceed the maximum number of points allowed for each category. Proposals which are deemed non-responsive, do not meet the established criteria, or incomplete at the time of submission will be disqualified. OSDBU will perform a responsibility determination of the prospective awardee in the region, which will include a site visit, before awarding the cooperative agreement.

(g) Conflicts of Interest

Applicants must submit signed statements by key personnel and all organization principals indicating that they, or members of their immediate funded transportation project, nor any relationships with local or state transportation agencies that may have the appearance of a conflict of interest.

2. Review and Selection Process

A team of people will evaluate the proposals. Those proposals meeting the mandatory criteria will be assessed based on the above mentioned criteria. The proposals demonstrating the organization's capacity to fully execute the requirements of this grant will be considered. The proposal receiving the highest overall score will be awarded.

F. Federal Award Administration

Following the evaluation outlined in Section E, the OSDBU will announce the awarded applicant with a written Notice of Funding Award. The NOFA will also include the cooperative agreement for signature.

(a) Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All awards will be administered pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards found in 2 CFR part 2 00, as adopted by DOT as 2 CFR part 1201.

(b) Reporting

Performance Reporting—The recipient of this cooperative agreement Start Printed Page 10184must collect information and report on the cooperative agreement performance with respect to the relevant deliverables that are expected to be achieved through the cooperative agreement. Performance indicators will include formal goals or targets, but will include baseline measures for an agreed-upon timeline, and will be used to evaluate and monitor the results that the cooperative agreement funds achieve to ensure that funds achieve the intended long-term outcomes of the cooperative agreement program.

Progress Reporting—The recipient for this cooperative agreement funding must submit quarterly progress reports and annual Federal Financial Report (SF-425) on the financial condition of the cooperative agreement and its progress, as well as an Annual Budget Review and Implementation Plan to monitor the use of Federal funds and ensure accountability and financial transparency in the program.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contracts

For further information this notice please contact the OSDBU program staff via email at or call Ms. Steronica Mattocks at 202-366-0658. To ensure applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, the applicant is encouraged to contact DOT directly, rather than through intermediaries or third parties, with questions.

H. Protection of Confidential Business Information

All information submitted as part of or in support of any application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and standards, to the extent possible. If the application includes information you consider to be a trade secret or confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission “Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)”; (2) mark each affected page “CBI”; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. DOT protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed under applicable law. In the event DOT received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, DOT will follow the procedures described in its FOIA regulation as 49 CFR 7.17. Only information that is ultimately determined to be confidential under that procedure will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

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Issued On: February 1, 2017.

DeVera Redmond,

Acting Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, United States of Department of Transportation.

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[FR Doc. 2017-02665 Filed 2-8-17; 8:45 am]