Federal Register: December 27, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 247)
DOCID: FR Doc 04-28216
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Children and Families Administration
ACTION: Native American programs:
Notice of Public Comment on the Proposed Adoption of ANA Program Policies and Procedures
DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments is 30 days from date of publication in the Federal Register.
Pursuant to section 814 of the Native American Programs Act of 1974; as amended, 42 U.S.C., 2991b1, the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) herein describes its proposed interpretive rules, general statement of policy and rules of agency procedure or practice in relation to the Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS), Language Preservation and Maintenance (hereinafter referred to as Native Language), and Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (hereinafter referred to as Environmental) programs. Under the statute, ANA is required to provide members of the public an opportunity to comment on proposed changes in interpretive rules, statements of general policy, and rule of agency procedure or practice and to give notice of the final adoption of such changes at least 30 days before the changes become effective. The notice also provides additional information about ANA's plan for administering the programs.
Social and economic development strategies, language preservation and maintenance, and environmental regulatory enhancement; policies and procedures,
Section 814 of the Native American Programs
Act of 1974 (the Act), as amended, requires ANA to provide notice of
its proposed interpretive rules, statements of policy and rule of agency organization, procedure or practice. These proposed
clarifications, modifications and new text will appear in the three ANA FY 2005 program announcements: SEDS, Native Language and Environmental. This notice serves to fulfill this requirement.
I. ANA Application Format
ANA has revised Part Two, ``Application Review Criteria'' of the FY 2005 Program Announcement, specifically the Application Submission Requirements. Previously, ANA required applicants to include and count the Objective Work Plan (OWP) form (OMB Control Number 09800204), and the Federal and nonFederal share lineitem budget and budget justification narrative in the page limitation. In FY 2005, ANA has removed the OWP and the lineitem budget and budget justification narrative from the page limitation. With the exemption of the OWP and the budget section from the page limitation, ANA has reduced in the FY 2005 program announcements the Application Submission Requirements to 40 pages. The exemption of the OWP and the budget from the page limitation will enable applicants applying for multiyear awards to provide more information on the proposed project. (Legal authority: Section 803 (a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3.)
II. Required Forms
The Grant Application Data Summary (GADS) form (OMB Clearance
Number 0970 0261 exp. 03/31/2007) is a new ANA form. The Commissioner
for the Administration for Native Americans is required to collect and
disseminate information related to the social and economic conditions
of Native Americans for inclusion in its annual report to Congress. The
data collected on the GADS is required to assist in gathering that
data. The information is also used to ensure that ANA obtains the
proper number of reviewers to review each category of grant
applications. Although not included in prior announcements, GADS received OMB approval after the publication of the FY 2004
announcement. It will be included in this announcement and future announcements to be submitted as a part of the application package. [[Page 77252]]
(Legal authority: Section 803B of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991B2.)
III. Evaluation Criteria
(a) ANA has modified five evaluation criteria titles and adjusted the point values and weight of three criteria. In ANA's FY 2004 grant competitions, ANA did not rate applications on how closely they followed the prescribed format. This year, ANA is proposing to revise the Evaluation Criteria to provide for the award of points in rating applications based on whether the applicant complied with the requirements in the announcement with regard to the organization of the application. ANA will maintain six evaluation criteria and the titles and merit weight apply to all three ANA program areas. Criterion One was retitled from ``Project Introduction and Summary/Abstract'' to ``Introduction and Project Summary/Application Format'' and modified to add points for the Application Format to clarify the importance of adhering to the application requirements. Criterion Two was retitled from ``Objectives and Need for Assistance'' to ``Need for Assistance''. Criterion Three was retitled for clarity from ``Approach'' to ``Project Approach''. Criterion Four was retitled from ``Organizational Profiles'' to ``Organizational Capacity'' and the point value was reduced to allow for the increase in weight and points awarded under Criterion One. Criterion Five was retitled for clarity from ``Results or Benefits Expected'' to ``Project Impact/Evaluation'' and the point value was reduced to allow for the increase in weight and points awarded under Criterion Six. For FY 2005 program announcements the titles and assigned point criteria values are: Criterion One Introduction and Project Summary/Application Format (10 pts.); Criterion TwoNeed for Assistance (20 pts.); Criterion ThreeProject Approach (25 pts.); Criterion FourOrganizational Capacity (15 pts.); Criterion FiveProject Impact/Evaluation (15 pts.); Criterion Six Budget and Budget Justification/Cost Effectiveness (15 pts.). (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3.) (b) In the FY 2004 Program Announcement within the ANA Criterion Five, ANA used the term ``Performance'' Indicator. In the FY 2005 Program Announcement this term will be changed to ``Impact'' Indicator to be consistent with the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3.)
(c) Standard and Required Impact Indicators: As ANA continues to improve its competitive grant program ANA has modified (through addition or deletion) its collection of impact indicators under each of its programs (SEDS, Native Language and Environmental). The modified impact indicators will continue to be used to inform Congress and the public on the effectiveness, success and impact that ANA programs have in Native American communities and on behalf of Native American families. Two impact indicators will be required across all three program areas to serve as a common baseline of data that is required to be reported in ANA's legislation to demonstrate the diversity of projects and to monitor the impact of projects on the community. The FY 2005 program announcements still require five impact indicators to be submitted by the applicant under Criterion Five. ANA has standardized for consistency and program performance data collection two of the required impact indicators across all three program areas (SEDS, Native Language and Environmental). The two standard required impact indicators are: (1) number of partnerships formed and (2) the amount of dollars leveraged beyond the required NFS match. In addition to the two standard required impact indicators, an applicant must also submit three additional indicators either selected from a suggested list in each program announcement or applicant projectspecific impact indicators. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d), 803B and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b, 2991b2 and 2991b3.)
The optional impact indicators for SEDS are: (1) Number of infrastructures and administrative systems, including policies and procedures developed and implemented; (2) number of codes or ordinances developed and implemented; (3) number of people to successfully complete a workshop/training; (4) number of children, youth, families or elders assisted or participating; (5) number of volunteer hours; (6) number of faithbased or communitybased partnerships; (7) number of jobs created; (8) number of communitybased small businesses established or expanded; (9) identification of Tribal or Village government business, industry, energy or financial codes or ordinances that were adopted or enacted; and (10) number of microbusinesses started. The optional impact indicators for Language, Category I are: (1) Number of surveys completed; (2) percent and number of community members assessed; (3) the rate of language loss or gain; (4) number of elders consulted; (5) number of language experts consulted; (6) number of community goals developed to preserve the native language; and (7) number of infrastructure and administrative systems, including policies and procedures developed and implemented. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d), 803B and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b, 2991b2 and 2991b3.)
The optional impact indicators for Language, Category II are: (1) Number of people involved in establishment or operation of project; (2) number of training classes or workshops held to teach language; (3) number and type of materials developed; (4) number of media products developed; (5) number of translations achieved; (6) number of individuals who increased in ability to speak the language; (7) number of participants who achieve fluency; (8) number of settings the language is spoken in; and (9) number of infrastructure and administrative systems, including policies and procedures developed and implemented. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d), 803B and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b, 2991b2 and 2991b3.)
The optional impact indicators for Environmental are: (1) Number of
environmental regulations, codes or ordinances created; (2) number of
people to successfully complete a workshop/training; (3) number of
workshops/trainings provided; (4) types of capacity building systems
created and implemented to support environmental program functions; (5)
identification of Tribal or Village government regulations, codes or
ordinances that were enacted and adopted; (6) number of regulations,
codes or ordinances successfully enforced; and (7) number of
infrastructure and administrative systems, including policies and
procedures developed and implemented. ANA may add/delete optional
impact indicators to program announcements as necessary to support ANA
initiatives. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d), 803B and 803C of
the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b, 2991b2 and 2991b3.)
(d) ANA corrected the timeframe for use of research data in an application from 48 to 36 months under the Language, Category II program.
IV. ANA Funding Restrictions
In ANA's effort to streamline its program announcements and to
clarify Funding Restriction Policies for applicants, ANA has relocated
general policy statements from the criterion section of the program
announcement text to the Funding Restrictions Policies section.
Formerly listed under ``ANA Administrative Policies'', the bullet point
on funding requests for feasibility studies, business plans, marketing
plans or written materials and the bullet point on proposals from
consortia of Tribes were moved to the section entitled ``ANA Funding
Restrictions''. These restrictions are already reflected in the ANA
eligibility restrictions at 45 CFR 1336.33(b) (2) and (b) (6). The
bullet point on the social service delivery programs was inadvertently
omitted from previous announcements, but ANA is statutorily required to
address these programs. The restriction already appears in the ANA
eligibility regulation at 45 CFR 1336.33(b) (3). ANA will include the
following funding restrictions in all program announcements in
compliance with sections 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American
Programs Act of 1974 as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3 and 45 CFR 1336:
V. Initial Screening
Prior to competitive panel review, all applications are pre screened for completeness. Previously, each application submitted to ANA in response to a program announcement was prescreened to ensure that (a) The application was received by the program announcement closing date; (b) the application was submitted in accordance with Section IV, ``Application and Submission Information''; (c) the applicant is eligible for funding in accordance with Section III, ``Eligibility Information''; (d) the applicant submitted the proper supporting documentation such as proof of nonprofit status, resolutions, and required government forms; (e) an authorized representative has signed the application; and (f) the applicant has a DUNS number. An application that does not meet (a) through (f) immediately above is determined to be incomplete and is excluded from the competitive review process.
In an effort to ensure consistency with the way ACF evaluates competitive discretionary grant applications, ACF has changed its policy to include only two enforceable screenout criteria: timeliness and compliance with stated funding limitations. Additionally, ACF has approved ANA's request to include two additional screenout criteria: inclusion of a signed and dated resolution by the governing body and, for applicants that are not Tribes or Alaska Native Village governments, submission of a resolution and proof that a majority of the governing board of directors is representative of the community to be served.
Consequently, ANA will screen applications for completeness prior to the competitive panel review using the following elements: (a) The application is received by ANA on or before the published program announcement closing date; (b) the Federal request does not exceed the ceiling award amount as published in the program announcement; (c) the application includes a signed and dated resolution of the governing body; and (d) if the applicant is not a Tribe or Alaska Native village government, the native nonprofit organization submits a resolution and proof that a majority of the governing board of directors is representative of the community to be served. An application that does not contain these elements will be considered incomplete and excluded from the competitive review process.
VI. Administrative Policies
In ANA's effort to streamline its program announcements and to
clarify administrative policies for applicants, ANA has relocated
general policy statements from the Criterion section of the program
announcement text to the Administrative Policies section. ANA has also
clarified administrative policies that have historically prompted
numerous questions and created application and project development
inconsistencies. For example, ANA removed ``Organizational Capacity''
and reworded the first bullet below for clarity. The second bullet
below clarifies the administrative policy on the funding of projects
versus programs to include the term ``shortterm'' to communicate that
projects will not be awarded for longer than three years in most
program areas. The third and fourth bullets were moved from Definitions
to Administrative Policies to establish the policy to determine project
progress before additional funding is committed. For the purposes of
clarity, the fifth bullet combined and reworded the requirement for community involvement under the definition for ``Community
Involvement'' with a similar paragraph under ``Need for Assistance''. The sixth bullet supports the needs of ANA and was reworded for clarity. The seventh bullet was also reworded for clarity. The policy on the treatment of multiple applications and applications from Tribal components has been reworded for clarity and broken into two separate points to ensure application to both Tribes and nonprofit
organizations. The revised policy is contained in the eighth and ninth bullet points of the list below. The ninth bullet corrects the inadvertent omission of the categories that apply to the board of directors for nonprofit applicants. ANA will now include the following administrative policies in each program announcement (Legal authority: Sections 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, and 45 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3):
Applicants must comply with the following administrative policies:
supported by otherthanANA funding at the end of the project period.
VII. Funding Thresholds
This is a clarification to the ANA Environmental Regulatory Enhancement program announcement funding threshold. The funding threshold for the Environmental Regulatory Enhancement program will be $50,000.00 (floor amount) to $250,000.00 (ceiling amount) per budget period. Applications exceeding the $250,000.00 threshold will be considered nonresponsive and will not be considered for funding under this announcement. (Legal authority: Sections 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3.)
The following definitions will be used in the appropriate program specific FY 2005 program announcements. ANA has clarified many areas that applicants have historically found difficult to understand and that have previously prompted numerous questions and created application and project development inconsistencies. The ANA program announcements will now include additional definitions for the following terms:
Consortium/Tribal Village: A group of Tribes or Villages that join together for longterm purposes or for the purpose of an ANA grant.
Impact Indicators: Measurement descriptions used to identify the outcomes or results of the project. Outcomes or results must be quantifiable, measurable, verifiable and related to the outcome of the project to determine that the project has achieved its desired objective and can be independently verified through ANA monitoring and evaluation.
Objective Work Plan (OWP): The project plan the applicant will use
in meeting the results and benefits expected for the project. The
results and benefits are directly related to the Impact Indicators. The
OWP provides detailed descriptions of how, when, where, by whom and why
activities are proposed for the project and is complemented and
condensed in the OWP. ANA will require separate OWPs for each year of the project. (Form OMB
Minor Renovation or Alteration: Work required to change the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of an existing facility, or install equipment so that it may be more effectively used for the project. Minor alteration and renovation may include work referred to as improvements, conversion, rehabilitation, remodeling or modernization, but is distinguished from construction and major renovations. A minor alteration and/or renovation must be incidental and essential for the project (``incidental'' meaning the total alteration and renovation budget must not exceed the lesser of $150,000 or 25 percent of total direct costs approved for the entire project period).
Total Approved Project Costs: The sum of the Federal request plus the nonFederal share. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3.)
IX. Application Review Information
To ensure that grantees fulfill their obligations to ANA, ANA is
including a review of grantees' past performance when considering the
applicant for a new or ongoing award under all three program areas. The
inclusion of this item in the application consideration process will
assist ANA in making its funding decisions on whether or not to award
to a particular grant applicant. Factors that may impact a grantee's past performance are their timeliness to report submission
requirements, timely use and proper expenditure of the grant award funds and the administrative ease of closing out the grantee at the end of the award period.
The following statement is included under the Application Consideration for the Review and Selection Process:
Application Consideration: The Commissioner's funding decision is based on an analysis of the application by the review panel, panel review scores and recommendations; an analysis by ANA staff; review of previous ANA grantee's past performance; comments from State and Federal agencies having contract and grant performancerelated information; and other interested parties.
X. Native Language Program Area
The title for Native Language Category I grants has been changed from ``Native Language Category I Planning'' to ``Native Language Category I Assessment''. The change clarifies the purpose of the 12 month Category I grant. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b3.)
The FY 2005 Native Language Program Announcement expands the
Category IProgram Area of Interest and the necessary assessment data
to be collected. ANA recommends each applicant consider the Program
Area of Interest in the development of a project. The Program Area of
Interest under Category I is ``A project for data collection and
compilation that surveys the current language status through a
``formal'' method (e.g., work performed by a linguist and/or a language
survey conducted by community members) or an ``informal'' method (e.g.,
a community consensus of the language status based on elders, Tribal
scholars and/or other community members) with the development of long
range language preservation goals and uses elders in the development of
these goals. This assessment data should capture, at a minimum, the
following data: number of speakers; age of speakers; gender of
speakers; level(s) of fluency; number of first language speakers
(native language as the first language acquired); number of second
language speakers (native language as the second language acquired);
where native language is used (e.g., home, court system, religious
ceremonies, church, media, school, governance or cultural activities);
source of data (formal and/or informal); and rate of language loss or
gain. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d) and 803C of the Native
American Programs Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2991b and 2991b 3.)
Dated: December 17, 2004.
Quanah Crossland Stamps,
Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans
[FR Doc. 0428216 Filed 122304; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 418401P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Sheila Cooper, toll free at (877) 922- 9262.