[Federal Register: April 20, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 76)]
[Notices]               
[Page 20384-20389]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20ap06-20]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

 
Request for Proposals: Fiscal Year 2006 Funding Opportunity for 
Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives

AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION: Initial notice of request for proposals.

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SUMMARY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service programs are administered 
through USDA Rural Development. USDA Rural Development announces the 
availability of approximately $495,000 in competitive cooperative 
agreement funds for fiscal year (FY) 2006 to conduct research on the 
national economic impact of all types of cooperatives. USDA Rural 
Development hereby requests proposals from institutions of higher 
education interested in applying for a competitively awarded 
cooperative research agreement. The intent of the funding is to 
encourage research on the critical issue of the economic value of 
cooperatives.

DATES: Interested parties may submit completed applications for the 
cooperative agreement on paper or electronically according to the 
following deadlines:
    Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than June 30, 2006, to be eligible for FY 2006 
funding. Electronic copies must be received by June 30, 2006, to be 
eligible for FY 2006 funding. Late applications are not eligible for FY 
2006 funding.

ADDRESSES: Applicants may obtain application forms, guides, and 
materials for the cooperative agreement at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/reic.htm
 or by contacting USDA Rural Development at (202) 

690-0368, (TDD: (800) 877-8339, Federal Information Relay Service) and 
ask for the cooperative research agreement application kit.
    Submit completed paper applications for a cooperative agreement to 
USDA Rural Development's Cooperative Programs, Attn: Cooperative 
Research, Mail STOP 3250, Room 4016--South, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-3250. The phone number that should be used 
for FedEx packages is (202) 720-7558.
    Submit electronic applications at http://www.grants.gov, following 

the instructions found on this Web site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Visit the program Web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/reic.htm
, which contains application 

guidance, including an Application Guide and application forms. Or you 
may contact USDA Rural Development at (202) 690-0368 (TDD: (800) 877-
8339 Federal Information Relay Service).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., OMB must 
approve all ``collections of information'' by USDA Rural Development. 
The Act defines ``collection of information'' as a requirement for 
``answers to * * * identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements 
imposed on ten or more persons * * *.'' (44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A)) Because 
the RFP will receive less than 10 respondents, the Paperwork Reduction 
Act does not apply.

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    Funding Opportunity Title: Research on the Economic Impact of 
Cooperatives.
    Announcement Type: Initial announcement.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.778.

    Dates: You may submit completed applications for the cooperative 
agreement on paper or electronically according to the following 
deadlines:
    Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than June 30, 2006, to be eligible for FY 2006 
funding. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2006 funding.
    Electronic copies must be received by June 30, 2006, to be eligible 
for FY 2006 funding. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2006 
funding.
    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13): There is no 
public reporting burden associated with this notice.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    This solicitation is issued pursuant to the Agriculture, Rural 
Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-97), as amended by the Department 
of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-148) directing funds 
``for a cooperative research agreement with a qualified academic 
institution to conduct research on the national economic impact of all 
types of cooperatives.'' The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the 
program's administration to USDA Rural Development.
    The primary objective of this cooperative research agreement 
program is to facilitate university research on the national economic 
impact of cooperatives. The research program will need to develop a 
methodology for collecting and assembling basic impact data on a 
periodic basis; apply the methodology to collect data and estimate 
economic impact of cooperatives; estimate cooperative specific 
community impact multipliers; and conduct other appropriate studies to 
examine the socio-economic impact of cooperatives on their local 
communities.
    The cooperative agreement proposal must address the following 
deliverables:

[[Page 20385]]

    1. Development of a methodology for collection and assembly of 
basic impact data on a periodic basis. This methodology will need to 
account for cooperative organizational complexity, such as a single 
organization's several local, regional, and national locations, as well 
as sector differences.
    2. Application of the developed methodology, by major sector, to 
collect data and estimate economic impact of cooperatives. Data items 
to be collected/measured must include:
     Number and location of cooperatives,
     Volume measures appropriate for each sector (revenues, 
dollar value, and other appropriate size indicators),
     Number of persons impacted by the cooperative (members, 
patrons, or investors), and
     Number of full-time equivalent jobs and other economic 
impact variables.
    Sectors for which summary data should be prepared include:
     Housing,
     Health care,
     Daycare/elder care,
     Financial services,
     Grocery/consumer retail,
     Business-to-business (wholesaling, manufacturing),
     Agricultural marketing (including organic and 
conventional),
     Agricultural supplies and services,
     Public services (including transportation and education), 
and
     Utilities.
    3. Creation and population of a database for individual cooperative 
and summary data collected. Database is to be delivered to USDA Rural 
Development.
    4. Estimation of cooperative specific community impact multipliers 
for each of the following four categories or classes of cooperatives:
    i. Commercial sales or marketing--includes farm supply and 
marketing, grocery and consumer goods, business-to-business, and 
manufacturing.
    ii. Social and public services--includes housing, health care, day 
care/ elder care, transportation, and educational services.
    iii. Financial services--includes credit unions, banks, and mutual 
insurance.
    iv. Utilities--includes electric, telephone, water, waste, and 
other regulated utilities.
    5. Performance of subcontracting services, oversight, and financial 
controls for the overall project.
    6. Submission of quarterly progress reports and quarterly financial 
reports to USDA Rural Development.
    7. Preparation and submission of publishable quality written 
reports for Deliverables 2 and 4 to USDA Rural Development.
    USDA Rural Development will competitively award one cooperative 
agreement to fund the collection and analysis of data to determine the 
national economic impact of cooperatives. An institution of higher 
education may subcontract or collaborate with others on the research 
and data collection. A formal consortium of academic institutions is 
encouraged.

Definitions

    The definitions at 7 CFR 3019.2 are incorporated by reference.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2006.
    Approximate Total Funding: $495,000.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 1.
    Approximate Average Award: $495,000.
    Floor of Award Range: None.
    Ceiling of Award Range: $495,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: September 15, 2006.
    Budget Period Length: 24 months.
    Project Period Length: 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

    Applicants must be institutions of higher education. Proposals may 
be submitted by public or private colleges or universities, research 
foundations maintained by a college or university, or private nonprofit 
organizations funded by a group of colleges or universities. Under the 
Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an organization described in section 
501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(4)) 
which engages in lobbying activities, is not eligible to apply.

B. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Matching funds are not required but are highly encouraged. 
Applicants must verify in their applications that matching funds are 
available for the time period of the agreement if the matching funds 
are required to complete the project. Matching funds must be provided 
by either the applicant or by a third party in the form of cash or in-
kind contributions. Matching funds must be spent on eligible expenses 
and must be from eligible sources.

C. Other Eligibility Requirements

    Indirect Cost Eligibility: Public Law 109-97, Sec. 708 states ``No 
funds appropriated by this Act may be used to pay negotiated indirect 
cost rates on cooperative agreements or similar arrangements between 
the United States Department of Agriculture and nonprofit institutions 
in excess of 10 percent of the total direct cost of the agreement when 
the purpose of such cooperative arrangements is to carry out programs 
of mutual interest between the two parties.'' Indirect costs in excess 
of 10 percent of the direct cost, therefore, will be ineligible for 
funding.
    Activity Eligibility: A cooperative agreement reflects a 
relationship between the United States Government and an eligible 
recipient where the principal purpose of the relationship is the 
transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to the 
eligible recipient to carry out the desired research; and substantial 
involvement is anticipated between USDA Rural Development acting for 
the United States Government and the eligible recipient during the 
performance of the research in the agreement. A cooperative agreement 
is not a grant. Therefore, the project proposed must include a 
description of USDA Rural Development's substantial participation. USDA 
Rural Development may subsequently negotiate its participation before 
the cooperative agreement is executed.
    Applicants that propose budgets that include more than 10 percent 
of total project costs that are ineligible for the program will be 
ineligible, and the application will not be considered for funding. 
However, if an application with 10 percent or less of ineligible costs 
is selected for funding, all ineligible costs must be removed from the 
project and replaced with eligible activities or the amount of the 
award will be reduced accordingly.
    Cooperative Agreement Period Eligibility: Applications that have a 
timeframe of more than 24 months will be considered ineligible and will 
not be considered for funding. Applications that request funds for a 
time period ending after September 30, 2008, will not be considered for 
funding.
    Completeness Eligibility: Applications without sufficient 
information to determine eligibility will not be considered for 
funding. Applications that are missing any required elements (in whole 
or in part) will not be considered for funding, except where 
specifically allowed in the following paragraphs.

[[Page 20386]]

IV. Application and Submission Information

A. Address to Request Application Package

    If you plan to apply using a paper application, you can obtain the 
application package for this funding opportunity at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/reic.htm.
 If you do not have access to 

the Internet, or if you have difficulty accessing the forms online, you 
may contact the National Office by calling (202) 690-0368 (TDD: (800) 
877-8339 Federal Information Relay Service). Application forms can be 
mailed to you. If you plan to apply electronically, you must visit 
http://www.grants.gov and follow the instructions.


B. Content and Form of Submission

    You may submit your application in paper or in an electronic 
format. You may view the Application Guide at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/reic.htm
.

    If you submit your application in paper form, you must submit one 
signed original of your complete application along with two additional 
copies.
    If you submit your application electronically, you must follow the 
instructions given at http://www.grants.gov. Applicants are advised to 

visit the site well in advance of the application deadline if they plan 
to apply electronically to insure that they have obtained the proper 
authentication and have sufficient computer resources to complete the 
application.
    An application must contain all of the following elements. Any 
application that is missing any element or contains an incomplete 
element will not be considered for funding:
    1. Form SF-424, ``Application for Federal Assistance.'' In order 
for this form to be considered complete, it must contain the legal name 
of the applicant, the applicant's Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number, the applicant's complete mailing 
address, the name and telephone number of a contact person, the 
employer identification number (EIN), the start and end dates of the 
project, the Federal funds requested, other funds that will be used as 
matching funds, an answer to the question, ``Is applicant delinquent on 
any Federal debt?'', the name and signature of an authorized 
representative, the telephone number of the authorized representative, 
and the date the form was signed. Other information requested on the 
form may be applicable, but the above-listed information is required 
for an application to be considered complete.
    The DUNS number is a nine-digit identification number, which 
uniquely identifies business entities. Applicants can receive a DUNS 
number at no cost by accessing http://www.dnb.com/us/ or calling (866) 

705-5711.
    2. Form SF-424A, ``Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs.'' 
In order for this form to be considered complete, the applicant must 
fill out Sections A, B, C, and D. The applicant must include both 
Federal and any matching funds to be included.
    3. Form SF-424B, ``Assurances--Non-Construction Programs.'' In 
order for this form to be considered complete, the form must be signed 
by an authorized official and include the title, name of applicant, and 
date.
    4. Title Page. The title page must include the title of the project 
as well as any other relevant identifying information. The length 
should not exceed one page.
    5. Table of Contents. For ease of locating information, each 
proposal must contain a detailed Table of Contents immediately 
following the title page.
    6. Executive Summary. A summary of the proposal, not to exceed one 
page, must briefly describe the project, including goals, tasks to be 
completed, and other relevant information that provides a general 
overview of the project. In the event an applicant submits more than 
one page for this element, only the first page submitted will be 
considered.
    7. Eligibility Discussion. A detailed discussion, not to exceed 
four pages, will describe how the applicant meets the eligibility 
requirements. In the event that more than four pages are submitted, 
only the first four pages will be considered.
    i. Applicant Eligibility. The applicant must first describe how it 
meets the definition of an institution of higher education.
    ii. Purpose Eligibility. The applicant must describe how the 
project purpose is eligible for funding. The project purpose is 
comprised of two components. First, the applicant must describe how the 
proposed project consists of activities needed to determine the 
national economic impact of all types of cooperatives. Second, the 
applicant must demonstrate that the combined activities are sufficient 
to estimate the national economic impact of all types of cooperatives.
    8. Proposal Narrative. The narrative must include the following 
information:
    i. Project Title. The title of the proposed project must be brief, 
not to exceed 75 characters, yet describe the essentials of the 
project. It should match the project title submitted on the SF-424. The 
project title does not need to appear on a separate page. It can be 
included on the title page and/or on the information sheet.
    ii. Information Sheet. A separate one-page information sheet 
listing each of the evaluation criteria referenced in this funding 
announcement followed by the page numbers of all relevant material 
contained in the proposal that address or support each criterion.
    iii. Goals of the Project. A clear statement of the ultimate goals 
of the project must be included. There must be an explanation of how 
economic benefit will be measured.
    iv. Workplan. The narrative must contain a description of the 
project and set forth the tasks involved in reasonable detail. The 
description should specify the activity, who will perform the activity, 
during what timeframe the activity will take place, and the cost of the 
activity. Please note that one of the proposal evaluation criteria 
evaluates the workplan and budget. Applicants should only submit the 
workplan and budget once, either in this section or as part of the 
workplan/budget evaluation criterion discussion.
    v. Proposal Evaluation Criteria. Each of the proposal evaluation 
criteria referenced in this funding announcement must be addressed, 
specifically and individually, in narrative form.
    9. Certification of Judgment. Applicants must certify that the 
United States has not obtained a judgment against them. No Federal 
funds shall be used to pay a judgment obtained by the United States. It 
is suggested that applicants use the following language for the 
certification. ``[INSERT NAME OF APPLICANT] certifies that the United 
States has not obtained a judgment against it.'' A separate signature 
is not required.
    10. Verification of Matching Funds. Applicants must provide a 
budget to support the workplan showing all sources and uses of funds 
during the project period. Applicants will be required to verify any 
and all matching funds, both cash and in-kind. All proposed matching 
funds must be specifically documented in the application. If the 
matching funds are to be provided by an in-kind contribution from the 
applicant, the application must include a signed letter from an 
authorized representative of the applicant verifying the goods or 
services to be donated, when the goods and

[[Page 20387]]

services will be donated, and the value of the goods or services. 
Applicants should note that only goods or services for which no 
expenditure is made can be considered in-kind. If the applicant is 
paying for goods and services as part of the matching funds 
contribution, the expenditure is considered a cash match, and should be 
verified as such. If the matching funds are to be provided by a third 
party in cash, the application must include a signed letter from that 
third party verifying how much cash will be donated and when it will be 
donated. Verification for funds donated outside the proposed time 
period of the cooperative agreement will not be accepted. If the 
matching funds are to be provided by a third party in-kind donation, 
the application must include a signed letter from the third party 
verifying the goods or services to be donated, when the goods and 
services will be donated, and the value of the goods or services. 
Verification for in-kind contributions donated outside the proposed 
time period of the cooperative agreement will not be accepted. 
Verification for in-kind contributions that are over-valued will not be 
accepted. The valuation process for the in-kind funds does not need to 
be included in the application, especially if it is lengthy, but the 
applicant must be able to demonstrate how the valuation was achieved at 
the time of notification of tentative selection for the award. If the 
applicant cannot satisfactorily demonstrate how the valuation was 
determined, the award may not be made.
    If matching funds are in cash, they must be spent on goods and 
services that are eligible expenditures for this cooperative agreement 
program. If matching funds are in-kind contributions, the donated goods 
or services must be considered eligible expenditures for this program. 
The matching funds must be spent or donated during the agreement 
period. Some examples of acceptable uses for matching funds are: labor 
performing work required for the proposed project, office supplies, and 
travel expenses. Some examples of unacceptable uses of matching funds 
are: Land, fixed equipment, buildings, vehicles, political activities, 
costs of preparing the application, and costs incurred prior to the 
effective date of the cooperative agreement. (See 7 CFR parts 3015 and 
3019 for funds use eligibility rules.) If acceptable verification for 
all proposed matching funds is missing from the application by the 
application deadline, the application will receive zero points for the 
Funding Match part of the evaluation criteria.

C. Submission Dates and Times

    Application Deadline Date: June 30, 2006.
    Explanation of Deadlines: Paper applications must be POSTMARKED by 
the deadline date (see Section IV.F. for the address). Final electronic 
applications must be received by http://www.grants.gov by the deadline 

date. If your application does not meet the deadline above, it will not 
be considered for funding. You will be notified whether or not your 
application was received on time.

D. Intergovernmental Review of Applications

    Executive Order (EO) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs, does not apply to this program.

E. Funding Restrictions

    Funding restrictions apply to both Federal funds and matching 
funds. Funds may only be used for activities related to determining the 
economic impact of cooperatives.
    No funds made available under this solicitation shall be used to:
    1. Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or 
facility, including a processing facility;
    2. Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment, including processing 
equipment;
    3. Purchase vehicles, including boats;
    4. Pay for the preparation of the cooperative agreement 
application;
    5. Pay expenses not directly related to the funded project;
    6. Fund political or lobbying activities;
    7. Fund any activities prohibited by 7 CFR parts 3015 or 3019;
    8. Fund architectural or engineering design work for a specific 
physical facility;
    9. Purchase land;
    10. Duplicate current services or replace or substitute support 
previously provided;
    11. Pay costs of the project incurred prior to the date of 
agreement approval;
    12. 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; or
    13. Pay any judgment or debt owed to the United States.

F. Other Submission Requirements

    You may submit your paper application for a cooperative agreement 
to USDA Rural Development's Cooperative Programs, Attn: Cooperative 
Research, Mail STOP 3250, Room 4016-South, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-3250. The phone number that should be used 
for FedEx packages is (202) 720-7558. You may also choose to submit 
your application electronically at http://www.grants.gov. Final 

applications may not be submitted by electronic mail, facsimile, or by 
hand-delivery. Each application submission must contain all required 
documents in one envelope, if by mail or express delivery service.

V. Application Review Information

A. Criteria

    All eligible and complete applications will be evaluated based on 
the following criteria and maximum point allowances. Failure to address 
any one of the following criteria by the application deadline will 
result in a determination of incomplete and the application will not be 
considered for funding. The total points available for the set of 
criteria are 100.
    1. Relevance of the project proposal (30 points). Proposals will be 
evaluated on how directly they address the stated objective of 
demonstrating economic impact of cooperatives in the United States. 
Factors to be weighed by evaluators in scoring a proposal's relevance 
will include:
     Demonstration of an understanding of cooperatives' unique 
impacts on communities;
     Definition of clear and objective measures of impact;
     Definition of specific measurement strategies for 
obtaining impact measures from each major cooperative sector and each 
category of persons impacted by cooperatives;
     Description of sound data collection and analysis 
methodology; and
     Establishment of systems for efficiently replicating the 
impact measure process in future years.
    2. Quality of Workplan (30 points). The quality evaluations will be 
based on whether the proposal outlines a sound plan of work that will 
meet the objectives in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Factors to 
be weighed by evaluators in scoring a proposal's workplan will include:
     How well the steps for carrying out the work are defined;
     The logic of the sequence of proposed steps and the 
likelihood they will achieve their intended result;
     The establishment of clear benchmarks and timetables to 
measure progress of the project;

[[Page 20388]]

     The detail, accuracy, and reasonableness of the project's 
proposed budget; and
     The identification of partners and collaborators in the 
project and the specific roles to be played by each.
    3. Quality of personnel and management plan (20 points). The 
quality of the management plan and the personnel involved in carrying 
out the proposed project will be evaluated in terms of the capabilities 
of individuals and institutions to carry out assigned roles in an 
effective manner. Factors to be weighed by evaluators in scoring a 
proposal's personnel and management plan will include:
     Experience of project leaders and the lead institution in 
managing complex research projects;
     Evidence of management controls, progress measurements, 
and reporting systems within a structured project management plan; and
     Experience and relevant skills of researchers, 
consultants, and subcontractors assigned to carry out specific roles in 
the project.
    4. Funding match and cooperative community support (20 points). 
Points will be awarded on the basis of the percentage match provided by 
the applicant and the level of support for the proposal from the 
cooperative community as evidenced by contribution of resources to the 
match and other indications of support.
     Up to 10 points will be awarded for matching funds 
provided by or arranged for by the applicant. One point will be awarded 
for each 5 percent match, up to a maximum of 10 points for a 50 percent 
match.
     Five points will be awarded if at least 25 percent of the 
total match is sourced from contributions by the private sector 
cooperative community (cooperatives, cooperative-based trade 
associations).
     Up to five points will be awarded based on evidence of 
support for the applicant's proposal as expressed through letters of 
support from the cooperative community.

B. Review and Selection Process

    Each application will be initially reviewed by Rural Development 
personnel for eligibility and to determine whether all required 
elements are complete. A list of required elements follows:
     SF-424.
     SF-424A.
     SF-424B.
     Title Page.
     Table of Contents.
     Executive Summary.
     Applicant Eligibility Discussion.
     Purpose Eligibility Discussion.
     Project Title.
     Information Sheet.
     Goals of the Project.
     Work Plan.
     Proposal Evaluation Criterion 1.
     Proposal Evaluation Criterion 2.
     Proposal Evaluation Criterion 3.
     Proposal Evaluation Criterion 4.
     Certification of Judgment.
     Verification of any Matching Funds.
    Incomplete applications that have four or less incomplete required 
elements and appear to be otherwise eligible will receive a letter 
requesting the incomplete items be provided within 12 business days of 
the date the letter was sent. If the requested items are not received 
when requested or are not complete, the application will not be further 
evaluated or considered for funding. Any other incomplete or ineligible 
applications will not be further evaluated or considered for funding.
    All eligible and complete proposals will be evaluated by at least 
three reviewers based on criteria 1 through 4 described in paragraph A 
of this section. All reviewers will be employees of USDA.
    Once the scores for criteria 1 through 4 have been independently 
completed by the three reviewers, the scores will be used to rank the 
proposals. If the three reviewers rank the best proposal differently 
then, with the aid of a facilitator, the three reviewers will develop a 
consensus ranking. If the three reviewers cannot reach a consensus, two 
additional reviewers will review the proposals and be added to the 
rankings. A final ranking will be obtained based on the consensus 
rankings of the three member review panel, or the average of the five 
reviewers' rankings.
    After the award selection is made, all applicants will be notified 
of the status of their applications by mail. The awardee must meet all 
statutory and regulatory program requirements in order to receive their 
award. In the event that an awardee cannot meet the requirements, the 
award will be withdrawn.

C. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

    Award Date: The announcement of award selection is expected to 
occur on or about August 15, 2006.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

    The successful applicant will receive a notification of tentative 
selection for funding from USDA Rural Development. The applicant must 
sign a mutually agreed to cooperative agreement and comply with all 
applicable statutes, regulations, and this notice before the award will 
receive final approval.
    Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification, including 
mediation procedures and appeal rights, by mail.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    This award is subject to 7 CFR parts 3015 and 3019. These 
regulations may be accessed at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfr-table-search.html#page1
.

    The following additional documentation requirements apply to the 
awardee selected for this program:
     Cooperative Agreement.
     Form RD 1940-1, ``Request for Obligation of Funds''.
     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 Requirements (Grants)''.
     Form RD 400-1, ``Equal Opportunity Agreement''.
     Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement''.
    Additional information on these requirements can be found at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/reic.htm
.

    Reporting Requirements: You must provide USDA Rural Development 
with an original or an electronic copy that includes all required 
signatures of the following reports. The reports should be submitted to 
the Agency contact listed on your Cooperative Agreement. Failure to 
submit satisfactory reports on time may result in suspension or 
termination of your award.
    1. Form SF-269 or SF-269A. A ``Financial Status Report,'' listing 
expenditures according to agreed upon budget categories, on a quarterly 
basis. Reporting periods end each December 31, March 31, June 30, and 
September 30. Reports are due 30 days after the reporting period ends.
    2. Quarterly performance reports that compare accomplishments to 
the objectives stated in the proposal. Identify all tasks completed to 
date and provide documentation supporting the reported results. If the 
original schedule provided in the workplan is not being met, the report 
should discuss the problems or delays that may affect completion of the 
project. Objectives for

[[Page 20389]]

the next reporting period should be listed. Compliance with any special 
condition on the use of award funds should be discussed. Reporting 
periods end each December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30. 
Reports are due 30 days after the reporting period ends. Supporting 
documentation must also be submitted for completed tasks. The 
supporting documentation for completed tasks include, but are not 
limited to, questionnaire or interview guides, publications of research 
findings, summaries of data collected, and any other documentation 
related to how funds were spent.
    3. Final Project performance reports that compare accomplishments 
to the objectives stated in the proposal. Identify all tasks completed 
and provide documentation supporting the reported results. If the 
original schedule provided in the workplan was not met, the report must 
discuss the problems or delays that affected completion of the project. 
Compliance with any special condition on the use of award funds should 
be discussed. Supporting documentation for completed tasks must also be 
submitted. The supporting documentation for completed tasks include, 
but are not limited to, publications of research findings, summaries of 
data collected, documentation of data and software delivered to USDA 
Rural Development, and any other documentation related to how funds 
were spent. The final performance report is due within 90 days of the 
completion of the project.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For general questions about this announcement and for program 
technical assistance, please contact the USDA Rural Development's 
Cooperative Programs, Mail STOP 3250, Room 4016-South, 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3250, Telephone: (202) 
690-0368 (TDD: (800) 877-8339 Federal Information Relay Service), e-
mail: cpgrants@wdc.usda.gov.

VIII. Non-Discrimination Statement

    USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where 
applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, 
religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, 
reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived 
from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to 
all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means 
for communication of program information (Braille, large print, 
audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 
(voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, 
Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 
720-6382 (TDD). ``USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and 
lender.''

    Dated: April 14, 2006.
Jackie J. Gleason,
Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
[FR Doc. E6-5913 Filed 4-19-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P