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Notice

Inviting Applications for the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program

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AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This Notice announces that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2018 applications for the Delta Health Care Services (DHCS) grant program. The Agency will publish the program funding level on the Rural Development website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​delta-health-care-services-grants. The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to address the continued unmet health needs in the Delta Region through cooperation among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research institutions, and economic development entities in the Delta Region.

DATES:

You must submit completed applications for grants according to the following deadlines:

Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than Midnight Eastern Time November 26, 2018. Electronic copies must be received by Midnight Eastern Time November 19, 2018. Late applications are not eligible for funding under this Notice and will not be evaluated.

ADDRESSES:

You should contact your USDA Rural Development State Office (State Office) if you have questions. You are encouraged to contact your State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your Project and ask any questions about the application process. A list of State Office contacts can be found at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​contact-us/​state-offices. Program guidance as well as application templates may be obtained at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​delta-health-care-services-grants or by contacting your State Office. If you want to submit an electronic application, follow the instructions for the DHCS funding announcement located at: http://www.grants.gov. Please review the Grants.gov website for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you can meet the electronic application deadline. You are strongly encouraged to file your application early and allow sufficient time to manage any technical issues that may arise. If you want to submit a paper application, send it to the State Office located in the State where the Project will primarily take place.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Grants Division, Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, MS 3253, Room 4208-South, Washington, DC 20250-3250, or call 202-690-1374.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Preface

The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America, https://www.usda.gov/​topics/​rural/​rural-prosperity. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:

  • Achieving e-Connectivity for rural America
  • Developing the Rural Economy
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce
  • Improving Quality of Life

Overview

Federal Agency Name: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Funding Opportunity Title: Delta Health Care Services Grant Program.

Announcement Type: Initial Notice.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.874.

Dates: Application Deadline. You must submit your complete application by Midnight Eastern Time November 26, 2018, or it will not be considered for funding. Electronic copies must be received by www.grants.gov no later than Midnight Eastern Time November 19, 2018, or it will not be considered for funding.

Executive Order (E.O.) 13175 Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This Executive Order imposes requirements on Rural Development in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. Rural Development has determined that this Notice does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes. Thus, this Notice is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. Tribal Consultation inquiries and comments should be directed to RD's Native American Coordinator at aian@wdc.usda.gov or (720) 544-2911.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act requires Federal agencies to seek and obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Agency conducted an analysis to determine the number of applications the Agency estimates that it will receive under the DHCS grant program. It was determined that the estimated number of applications was fewer than nine and in accordance with 5 CFR 1320, thus no OMB approval is necessary at this time.

A. Program Description

The DHCS program is authorized by Section 379G of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2008u), as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79). The primary objective of the program is to provide financial assistance to address the continued unmet health needs in the Delta Region through cooperation among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research institutions, and other individuals and entities in the Delta Region. Grants are awarded on a Start Printed Page 44016competitive basis. The maximum award amount per grant is $1,000,000.

Definitions

The definitions you need to understand are as follows:

Academic Health and Research Institute—A combination of a medical school, one or more other health profession schools or educational training programs (such as allied health, dentistry, graduate studies, nursing, pharmacy, public health), and one or more owned or affiliated teaching hospitals or health systems; or a health care nonprofit organization or health system, including nonprofit medical and surgical hospitals, that conduct health related research exclusively for scientific or educational purposes.

Conflict of Interest—A situation in which a person or entity has competing personal, professional, or financial interests that make it difficult for the person or business to act impartially. Federal procurement standards prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent conflict of interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their immediate family members having a financial or other interest in the outcome of the Project; or that restrict open and free competition for unrestrained trade. Specifically, Project Funds may not be used for services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or apparent conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, owner(s) and their immediate family members. An example of conflict of interest occurs when the consortium member's employees, board of directors, or the immediate family of either, have the appearance of a professional or personal financial interest in the recipients receiving the benefits or services of the grant.

Consortium—A group of three or more entities that are regional Institutions of Higher Education, Academic Health and Research Institutes, and/or Economic Development Entities located in the Delta Region that have at least 1 year of prior experience in addressing the health care issues in the region. At least one of the consortium members must be legally organized as an incorporated organization or other legal entity and have legal authority to contract with the Federal Government.

Delta Region—The 252 counties and parishes within the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee that are served by the Delta Regional Authority. (The Delta Region may be adjusted by future Federal statute.) To view the areas identified within the Delta Region visit http://dra.gov/​about-dra/​dra-states.

Economic Development Entity—Any public or non-profit organization whose primary mission is to stimulate local and regional economies within the Delta Region by increasing employment opportunities and duration of employment, expanding or retaining existing employers, increasing labor rates or wage levels, reducing outmigration, and/or creating gains in other economic development-related variables such as land values. These activities shall primarily benefit low and moderate-income individuals in the Delta Region.

Health System—The complete network of agencies, facilities, and all providers of health care to meet the health needs of a specific geographical area or target populations.

Institution of Higher Education—A postsecondary (post-high school) educational institution that awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a 2-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree, or a postsecondary vocational institution that provides a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

Nonprofit Organization—An organization or institution, including an accredited institution of higher education, where no part of the net earnings of which may inure, to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

Project—All activities funded by the DHCS grant.

Project Funds—Grant funds requested plus any other contributions to the proposed Project.

Rural and rural area—Any area of a State:

  • Not in a city or town that has a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, according to the latest decennial census of the United States; and
  • The contiguous and adjacent urbanized area,
  • Urbanized areas that are rural in character as defined by 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13).
  • For the purposes of this definition, cities and towns are incorporated population centers with definite boundaries, local self-government, and legal powers set forth in a charter granted by the State.

State—Includes each of the 50 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and, as may be determined by the Secretary to be feasible, appropriate and lawful, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

B. Federal Award Information

Type of Award: Competitive Grant.

Total Funding: $3,558,000.

Maximum Award: $1,000,000.

Minimum Award: $50,000.

Project Period: Up to 24 months.

Anticipated Award Date: January 31, 2019.

C. Eligibility Information

Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements. Your application will not be considered for funding if it does not provide sufficient information to determine eligibility or is missing required elements. Applicants that fail to submit the required elements by the application deadline will be deemed ineligible and will not be evaluated further. Information submitted after the application deadline will not be accepted.

1. Eligible Applicants

Grants funded through DHCS may be made to a Consortium as defined in Paragraph A of this Notice. Consortiums are eligible to receive funding through this Notice. One member of the Consortium must be designated as the lead entity by the other members of the Consortium and have legal authority to contract with the Federal Government.

The lead entity is the recipient (see 2 CFR 200.86) of the DHCS grant funds and accountable for monitoring and reporting on the Project performance and financial management of the grant. In addition, the lead entity (recipient) is responsible for subrecipient monitoring and management in accordance with 2 CFR 200.330 and 200.331, respectively. The remaining consortium members are subrecipients (see 2 CFR 200.93). They may receive subawards (see 2 CFR 200.94) from the recipient and are responsible for monitoring and reporting the Project performance and financial management of their subaward to the recipient.

(a) An applicant is ineligible if they do not submit “Evidence of Eligibility” and “Consortium Agreements” as described in Section D.2. of this Notice.

(b) An applicant is ineligible if they have been debarred or suspended or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs under Executive Order 12549, “Debarment and Suspension.” The Agency will check the System for Award Management (SAM) to determine if the applicant has been debarred or Start Printed Page 44017suspended. In addition, an applicant will be considered ineligible for a grant due to an outstanding judgment obtained by the U.S. in a Federal Court (other than U.S. Tax Court), is delinquent on the payment of Federal income taxes, or is delinquent on Federal debt. The applicant must certify as part of the application that they do not have an outstanding judgment against them. The Agency will check the Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS) to verify this.

(c) Any corporation (1) that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or (2) that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance provided with funds appropriated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Pub. L. 115-141), unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.

(d) Applications will be deemed ineligible if the application includes any funding restrictions identified under Section D.6.

(e) Applications will be deemed ineligible if the application is not complete in accordance with the requirements stated in Section C.3.g.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Matching funds are not required. However, if you are adding any other contributions to the proposed Project, you must provide documentation indicating who will be providing the matching funds, the amount of funds, when those funds will be provided, and how the funds will be used in the Project budget. Examples of acceptable documentation include: A signed letter from the source of funds stating the amount of funds, when the funds will be provided, and what the funds can be used for or a signed resolution from your governing board authorizing the use of a specified amount of funds for specific components of the Project. The matching funds you identify must be for eligible purposes and included in your work plan and budget. Additionally, expected program income may not be used as matching funds at the time you submit your application. However, if you have a contract to provide services in place at the time you submit your application, you can verify the amount of the contract as matching funds. If you choose, you may use a template to summarize the matching funds. The template is available either from your State Office or the program website at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​delta-health-care-services-grants.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

(a) Use of Funds. Your application must propose to use Project Funds for eligible purposes. Eligible Project purposes include the development of:

  • Health care services;
  • health education programs;
  • health care job training programs; and
  • the development and expansion of public health-related facilities in the Delta Region.

(b) Project Eligibility. The proposed Project must take place within the Delta Region as defined in this Notice. However, the applicant need not propose to serve the entire Delta Region.

(c) Project Input. Your proposed Project must be developed based on input from local governments, public health care providers, and other entities in the Delta Region.

(d) Grant Period Eligibility. All awards are limited to up to a 24 month grant period based upon the complexity of the Project. Your proposed grant period should begin no earlier than February 1, 2019, and should end no later than 24 months following that date. If you receive an award, your grant period will be revised to begin on the actual date of award—the date the grant agreement is executed by the Agency—and your grant period end date will be adjusted accordingly. Your Project activities must begin within 90 days of the date of award. If you request funds for a time period beginning before February 1, 2019, and/or ending later than 24 months from that date, your application will be ineligible. The length of your grant period should be based on your Project's complexity, as indicated in your application work plan.

(e) Multiple Application Eligibility. The Consortium, including its members, is limited to submitting one application for funding under this Notice. We will not accept applications from Consortiums that include members who are also members of other Consortiums that have submitted applications for funding under this Notice. If we discover that a Consortium member is a member of multiple Consortiums with applications submitted for funding under this Notice, all applications will be considered ineligible for funding.

(f) Satisfactory Performance Eligibility. If you have an existing DHCS award, you must be performing satisfactorily to be considered eligible for a new DHCS award. Satisfactory performance includes being up-to-date on all financial and performance reports as prescribed in the grant award, and current on tasks and timeframes for utilizing grant and matching funds as approved in the work plan and budget. If you have any unspent grant funds on DHCS awards prior to FY 2016, your application will not be considered for funding. If your FY 2016 and/or 2017 award has unspent funds of 50 percent or more than what your approved work plan and budget projected at the time your FY 2018 application is evaluated, your application may not be considered for funding. The Agency will verify the performance status of FY 2016 and 2017 awards and make a determination after the FY 2018 application period closes.

(g) Completeness Eligibility. Your application must provide all of the information requested in Section D.2. of this Notice. Applications lacking sufficient information to determine eligibility and scoring will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered for scoring.

(h) Indirect Costs. Your negotiated indirect cost rate approval does not need to be included in your application, but you will be required to provide it if a grant is awarded. Approval for indirect costs that are requested in an application without an approved indirect cost rate agreement is at the discretion of the Agency.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

The application template for this funding opportunity is located at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​delta-health-care-services-grants. Use of the application template is strongly recommended to assist you with the application process. You may also contact your State Office for more information. Contact information for State Offices is located at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​contact-us/​state-offices. You may also obtain an application package by calling 202-690-1374.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

You may submit your application in paper form or electronically through Grants.gov. Your application must contain all required information. If you submit in paper form, any forms Start Printed Page 44018requiring signatures must include an original signature.

To apply electronically, you must follow the instructions for this funding announcement at: http://www.grants.gov. Please note that we cannot accept emailed or faxed applications.

You can locate the Grants.gov downloadable application package for this program by using a keyword, the program name, or the CFDA number for this program.

When you enter the Grants.gov website, you will find information about applying electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

To use Grants.gov, you must already have a DUNS number and you must also be registered and maintain registration in SAM. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.

You must submit all of your application documents electronically through Grants.gov. Applications must include electronic signatures. Original signatures may be required if funds are awarded.

After applying electronically through Grants.gov, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number.

If you want to submit a paper application, send it to the State Office located in the State where the Project will primarily take place. You can find State Office contact information at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​contact-us/​state-offices.

The organization submitting the application will be considered the lead entity. The Contact/Program Manager must be associated with the lead entity submitting the application.

Your application must also contain the following required forms and proposal elements:

(a) Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance.” The application for Federal assistance must be completed by the lead entity as described in Section C.1. of this Notice. Your application must include your DUNS number and SAM Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and expiration date (or evidence that you have begun the SAM registration process). Because there are no specific fields for a CAGE code and expiration date, you may identify them anywhere you want to on the form. If you do not include the DUNS number in your application, it will not be considered for funding. The form must be signed by an authorized representative.

(b) Form SF-424A, “Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs.” This form must be completed and submitted as part of the application package for non-construction Projects.

(c) Form SF-424B, “Assurances—Non-Construction Programs.” This form must be completed, signed, and submitted as part of the application package for non-construction Projects.

(d) Form SF-424C, “Budget Information—Construction Programs.” This form must be completed, signed, and submitted as part of the application package for construction Projects.

(e) Form SF-424D, “Assurances—Construction Programs.” This form must be completed, signed, and submitted as part of the application package for construction Projects.

(f) Form AD-3030. Form AD-3030, “Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,” if you are a corporation. A corporation is any entity that has filed articles of incorporation in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the various territories of the United States including American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporations include both for profit and non-profit entities.

(g) Executive Summary. You must provide a summary of the proposal, not to exceed one page, briefly describing the Project, tasks to be completed, and other relevant information that provides a general overview of the Project.

(h) Evidence of Eligibility. You must provide evidence of the Consortium's eligibility to apply under this Notice. This section must include a detailed summary demonstrating how each Consortium member meets the definition of an eligible entity as defined under Definitions of this Notice.

(i) Consortium Agreements. The application must include a formal written agreement with each Consortium member that addresses the negotiated arrangements for administering the Project to meet Project goals, the Consortium member's responsibilities to comply with administrative, financial, and reporting requirements of the grant, including those necessary to ensure compliance with all applicable Federal regulations and policies, and facilitate a smooth functioning collaborative venture. Under the agreement, each Consortium member must perform a substantive role in the Project and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. This agreement must be signed by an authorized representative of the lead entity and an authorized representative of each partnering consortium entity.

(j) Scoring Criteria. Each of the scoring criteria in this Notice must be addressed in narrative form. Failure to address each scoring criterion will result in the application being determined ineligible.

(k) Performance Measures. The Agency has also established annual performance measures to evaluate the DHCS program. You must provide estimates on the following performance measures as part of your application:

  • Number of businesses assisted;
  • Number of jobs created;
  • Number of jobs saved;
  • Number of individuals assisted/trained.

It is permissible to have a zero in a performance element. When you calculate jobs created, estimates should be based upon actual jobs to be created by your organization as a result of the DHCS funding or actual jobs to be created by businesses as a result of assistance from your organization. When you calculate jobs saved, estimates should be based only on actual jobs that would have been lost if your organization did not receive DHCS funding or actual jobs that would have been lost without assistance from your organization.

You can also suggest additional performance elements for example where job creation or jobs saved may not be a relevant indicator. These additional elements should be specific, measurable performance elements that could be included in an award document.

(l) Financial Information and Sustainability. You must provide current financial statements and a narrative description demonstrating sustainability of the Project, all of which show sufficient resources and expertise to undertake and complete the Project and how the Project will be sustained following completion. Applicants must provide 3 years of pro-forma financial statements for the Project.

(m) Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence. The lead entity must provide evidence of its legal existence and authority to enter into a grant agreement with the Agency and perform the activities proposed under the grant application.

(n) Service Area Maps. You must provide maps with sufficient detail to show the area that will benefit from the proposed facilities and services and the location of the facilities improved or Start Printed Page 44019purchased with grant funds if applicable.

(o) Certification of no current outstanding Federal judgment. You must certify that there are no current outstanding Federal judgments against your property and that you will not use grant funds to pay for any judgment obtained by the United States. You must also certify that you are not delinquent on the payment of Federal income taxes, or any Federal debt. To satisfy the Certification requirement, you should include this statement in your application: “[INSERT NAME OF APPLICANT] certifies that the United States has not obtained an unsatisfied judgment against its property, is not delinquent on the payment of Federal income taxes, or any Federal debt, and will not use grant funds to pay any judgments obtained by the United States.” A separate signature is not required.

(p) Environmental information necessary to support the Agency's environmental finding. Required information can be found in 7 CFR part 1970, specifically in Subpart B, Exhibit C and Subpart C, Exhibit B. These documents can be found here: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​publications/​regulations-guidelines/​instructions. Non-construction Projects applying under this Notice are hereby classified as Categorical Exclusions according to 7 CFR 1970.53(b), the award of financial assistance for planning purposes, management and feasibility studies, or environmental impact analyses, which do not require any additional documentation.

3. DUNS Number and SAM Registration

In order to be eligible (unless you are exempted under 2 CFR 25.110(b), (c) or (d), you are required to:

(a) Provide a valid DUNS number in your application, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705-5711;

(b) Register in SAM before submitting your application. You may register in SAM at no cost at: https://www.sam.gov/​portal/​public/​SAM/​; and

(c) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which you have an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency.

The Agency may not make a Federal award to you until you have complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements. If you have not fully complied with requirements by the time the Agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and the Agency may use this determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

4. Submission Date and Time

Application Deadline Date: November 26, 2018.

Explanation of Deadlines: Complete paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight by November 26, 2018. The Agency will determine whether your application is late based on the date shown on the postmark or shipping invoice. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the reporting package is due the next business day. Late applications are not eligible for funding.

Electronic applications must be RECEIVED by: http://www.grants.gov by midnight Eastern Time November 19, 2018, to be eligible for funding. Please review the Grants.gov website at: http://grants.gov/​applicants/​organization_​registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you can meet the electronic application deadline. Grants.gov will not accept applications submitted after the deadline.

5. Intergovernmental Review

Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, applies to this program. This E.O. requires that Federal agencies provide opportunities for consultation on proposed assistance with State and local governments. Many States have established a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to facilitate this consultation. For a list of States that maintain a SPOC, please see the White House website: https://www.whitehouse.gov/​wp-content/​uploads/​2017/​11/​SPOC-Feb.-2018.pdf. If your State has a SPOC, you may submit your application directly for review. Any comments obtained through the SPOC must be provided to your State Office for consideration as part of your application. If your State has not established a SPOC or you do not want to submit your application to the SPOC, your State Office will submit your application to the SPOC or other appropriate agency or agencies.

You are also encouraged to contact Cooperative Programs at 202-690-1374 or cpgrants@wdc.usda.gov if you have questions about this process.

6. Funding Restrictions

Project Funds may not be used for ineligible purposes. In addition, you may not use Project Funds for the following:

(a) To duplicate current services or to replace or to substitute support previously provided. However, Project Funds may be used to expand the level of effort or a service beyond what is currently being provided;

(b) To pay for costs to prepare the application for funding under this Notice;

(c) To pay for costs of the Project incurred prior to the effective date of the period of performance;

(d) To pay expenses for applicant employee training not directly related to the Project;

(e) Fund political activities;

(f) To pay for assistance to any private business enterprise which does not have at least 51 percent ownership by those who are either citizens of the United States or reside in the United States after being legally admitted for permanent residence;

(g) To pay any judgment or debt owed to the United States;

(h) Engage in any activities that are considered a Conflict of Interest, as defined by this Notice; or

(i) Fund any activities prohibited by 2 CFR 200;

In addition, your application will not be considered for funding if it does any of the following:

i. Requests more than the maximum grant amount; or

ii. Proposes ineligible costs that equal more than 10 percent of the Project Funds.

We will consider your application for funding if it includes ineligible costs of 10 percent or less of total Project Funds, if it is determined eligible otherwise. However, if your application is successful, those ineligible costs must be removed and replaced with eligible costs before the Agency will make the grant award or the amount of the grant award will be reduced accordingly. If we cannot determine the percentage of ineligible costs, your application will not be considered for funding.

7. Other Submission Requirements

(a) You should not submit your application in more than one format. You must choose whether to submit your application in hard copy or electronically. Applications submitted in hard copy should be mailed or hand-delivered to the State Office where the Project will primarily take place. You can find State Office contact information at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​contact-us/​state-offices. To apply electronically, you must follow the instructions for this funding announcement at: http://Start Printed Page 44020www.grants.gov. A password is not required to access the website.

(b) National Environmental Policy Act. This Notice has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, “Environmental Policies and Procedures.” We have determined that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required because the issuance of regulations and instructions, as well as amendments to them, describing administrative and financial procedures for processing, approving, and implementing the Agency's financial programs is categorically excluded in the Agency's National Environmental Policy Act regulation found at 7 CFR 1970.53(f), “Environmental Policies and Procedures.” We have determined that this Notice does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

The Agency will review each grant application to determine its compliance with 7 CFR part 1970. The applicant may be asked to provide additional information or documentation to assist the Agency with this determination.

(c) Civil Rights Compliance Requirements. All grants made under this Notice are subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as required by the USDA (7 CFR part 15, subpart A) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

E. Application Review Information

The State Offices will review applications to determine if they are eligible for assistance based on requirements in this Notice, and other applicable Federal regulations. If determined eligible, your application will be scored by a panel of USDA employees in accordance with the point allocation specified in this Notice. Applications will be funded in rank order until the funding limitation has been reached. Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding at the Agency's discretion.

1. Scoring Criteria

All eligible and complete applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Evaluators will base scores only on the information provided or cross-referenced by page number in each individual scoring criterion. DHCS is a competitive program, so you will receive scores based on the quality of your responses. Simply addressing the criteria will not guarantee higher scores. The total points possible for the criteria are 110. The minimum score requirement for funding is 60 points. It is at the Agency's discretion to fund applications with a score of 59 points or less if it is in the best interest of the Federal Government.

(a) Community Needs and Benefits derived from the Project (maximum of 30 points). A panel of USDA employees will assess how the Project will benefit the residents in the Delta Region. This criterion will be scored based on the documentation in support of the community needs for health services and public health-related facilities and the benefits to people living in the Delta Region derived from the implementation of the proposed Project. It should lead clearly to the identification of the Project participant pool and the target population for the Project and provide convincing links between the Project and the benefits to the community to address its health needs. The Agency will consider:

(1) The extent of the applicant's documentation explaining the health care needs, issues, and challenges facing the service area. Include what problems the residents face and how the Project will benefit the residents in the region.

(2) The extent to which the applicant is able to show the relationship between the Project's design, outcome, and benefits.

(3) The extent to which the applicant explains the Project and its implementation and provides milestones which are well-defined and can be realistically completed.

(4) The extent to which the applicant clearly outlines a plan to track, report, and evaluate performance outcomes.

Applicants should attempt to quantify benefits in terms of outcomes from the Project; that is, ways in which peoples' lives, or the community, will be improved. Provide estimates of the number of people affected by the benefits arising from the Project.

(b) The Project Management and Organization Capability (maximum of 30 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate the Consortium's experience, past performance, and accomplishments addressing health care issues to ensure effective Project implementation. This criterion will be scored based on the documentation of the Project's management and organizational capability. The Agency will consider:

(1) The degree to which the organization has a sound management and fiscal structure including: Well-defined roles for administrators, staff, and established financial management systems.

(2) The extent to which the applicant identifies and demonstrates that qualifications, capabilities, and educational background of the identified key personnel (at a minimum the Project Manager) who will manage and implement programs are relevant and will contribute to the success of the Project.

(3) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates current successful and effective experience (or demonstrated experience within the past 5 years) addressing the health care issues in the Delta Region.

(4) The extent to which the applicant has experience managing grant-funded programs.

(5) The extent to which administrative/management costs are balanced with funds designated for the provision of programs and services.

(6) The extent and diversity of eligible entity types within the applicant's Consortium of regional institutions of higher education, academic health and research institutes, and economic development entities located in the Delta Region.

(c) Work Plan and Budget (maximum of 30 points). You must provide a work plan and budget that includes the following: (1) The specific activities, such as programs, services, trainings, and/or construction-related activities for a facility to be performed under the Project; (2) the estimated line item costs associated with each activity, including grant funds and other necessary sources of funds; (3) the key personnel who will carry out each activity (including each Consortium member's role); and (4) the specific time frames for completion of each activity.

An eligible start and end date for the Project and for individual Project tasks must be clearly shown and may not exceed Agency specified timeframes for the grant period. You must show the source and use of both grant and other contributions for all tasks. Other contributions must be spent at a rate equal to, or in advance of, grant funds.

A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your work plan for detailed actions and an accompanying timetable for implementing the proposal. Clear and comprehensive work plans detailing all project goals, tasks, timelines, costs, and responsible personnel in a logical and realistic manner will result in a higher score.

(d) Local Support (maximum 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your application for local support of the proposed Project. The application must include documentation detailing support solicited from local government, public health care providers, and other entities in the Delta Region. Evidence of support can include; but is not limited to surveys conducted amongst Delta Region residents and stakeholders, notes Start Printed Page 44021from focus groups, or letters of support from local entities.

(e) Administrator Discretionary Points (maximum of 10 points). The Administrator may choose to award:

i. Up to 5 points for projects with a primary purpose of providing treatment and counseling services for opioid abuse. Applicants who want to be considered for discretionary points must discuss how their workplan and budget addresses opioid misuse in the Delta Region; and

ii. up to 5 points for projects that seek to help rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investment in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Eligible applicants who want to be considered for discretionary points must discuss how their workplan and budget supports one or more of the five following key strategies:

  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America;
  • Improving Quality of Life;
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce;
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation; and
  • Economic Development

2. Review and Selection Process

The State Offices will review applications to determine if they are eligible for assistance based on requirements in this Notice, and other applicable Federal regulations. If determined eligible, your application will be scored by a panel of USDA employees in accordance with the point allocation specified in this Notice. The review panel will convene to reach a consensus on the scores for each of the eligible applications. The Administrator may choose to award up to 10 Administrator discretionary points based on criterion (e) in section E.1. of this Notice. These points will be added to the cumulative score for a total possible score of 110. Applications will be funded in highest ranking order until the funding limitation has been reached. Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding at the Agency's discretion. If your application is ranked and not funded, it will not be carried forward into the next competition.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notices

If you are selected for funding, you will receive a signed notice of Federal award by postal mail, containing instructions on requirements necessary to proceed with execution and performance of the award.

If you are not selected for funding, you will be notified in writing via postal mail and informed of any review and appeal rights. Funding of successfully appealed applications will be limited to available FY 2018 funding.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this in program can be found in 2 CFR parts 25, 170, 180, 200, 400, 415, 417, 418, and 421; and 48 CFR 31.2, and successor regulations to these parts. All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation (see 2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act reporting requirements (see 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt under 2 CFR 170.110(b)). These regulations may be obtained at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​cfr/​index.html.

The following additional requirements apply to grantees selected for this program:

  • Agency approved Grant Agreement.
  • Letter of Conditions.
  • Form RD 1940-1, “Request for Obligation of Funds.”
  • Form RD 1942-46, “Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions.”
  • Form AD-1047, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions.”
  • Form AD-1048, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered Transactions.”
  • Form AD-1049, “Certification Regarding a Drug-Free Workplace Requirement (Grants).”
  • Form AD-3031, “Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.” Must be signed by corporate applicants who receive an award under this Notice.
  • Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.”
  • RD Instruction 1940-Q, Exhibit A-1, “Certification for Contracts, Grants and Loans.”
  • SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” if applicable.

3. Reporting

After grant approval and through grant completion, you will be required to provide the following:

a. A SF-425, “Federal Financial Report,” and a project performance report will be required on a semiannual basis (due 30 working days after end of the semiannual period). For the purposes of this grant, semiannual periods end on June 30 and December 31. The project performance reports shall include a comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives established for that period;

b. Reasons why established objectives were not met, if applicable;

c. Reasons for any problems, delays, or adverse conditions, if any, which have affected or will affect attainment of overall project objectives, prevent meeting time schedules or objectives, or preclude the attainment of particular objectives during established time periods. This disclosure shall be accompanied by a statement of the action taken or planned to resolve the situation; and

d. Objectives and timetable established for the next reporting period.

e. Provide a final project and financial status report within 90 days after the expiration or termination of the grant.

f. Provide outcome project performance reports and final deliverables.

G. Agency Contacts

If you have questions about this Notice, please contact the State Office as identified in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. You are also encouraged to visit the application website for application tools, including an application template. The website address is: http://www.rd.usda.gov/​programs-services/​delta-health-care-services-grants.

H. Other Information

Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large Start Printed Page 44022print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/​complaint_​filing_​cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

Start Signature

Dated: August 16, 2018.

Bette B. Brand,

Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-18682 Filed 8-28-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P