[Federal Register: January 23, 2004
(Volume 69, Number 15)] [Notices]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr23ja04-19]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Commodity Credit Corporation
Notice of Funds Availability; Inviting Applications for the Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program
Announcement Type: New.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.600.
SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2005 Foreign Market Development Cooperator (Cooperator) Program. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit application from eligible applicants and award funds in June 2004. The Cooperator Program is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
DATES: All applications must be received by 5 p.m. eastern standard time, March 15, 2004. Applications received after this date will not be considered.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Entities wishing to apply for funding assistance should contact the Marketing Operations Staff, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 4932-South, STOP 1042, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1042, phone: (202) 720-4327, fax: (202) 720-9361, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available on the Foreign Agricultural Service Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/mos/programs/fmd.html
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Authority: The Cooperator Program is authorized by title VII of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, as amended. Cooperator Program regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1484.
Purpose: The Cooperator Program is designed to create, expand, and maintain foreign market for U.S. agricultural commodities and products through cost-share assistance. Financial assistance under the Cooperator Program will be made available on a competitive basis and applications will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein. All agricultural commodities, except tobacco, are eligible for consideration.
The FAS allocates funds in a manner that effectively supports the strategic decision-making initiatives of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 and the USDA's Food and Agricultural Policy (FAP). In deciding whether a proposed project will contribute to the effective creation, expansion, or maintenance of foreign market, the FAS seeks to identify a clear, long-term agricultural trade strategy and a program effectiveness time line against which results can be measured at specific intervals using quantifiable product or country goals. The FAS also considers the extent to which a proposed project targets markets with the greatest growth potential. These factors are part of the FAS resource allocation strategy to fund applicants who can demonstrate performance and address the objectives of the GPRA and FAP.
II. Award Information
Under the Cooperator Program, the FAS enters into agreements with nonprofit U.S. trade organizations which have the broadest possible producer representation of the commodity being promoted and gives priority to those organizations which are nationwide in membership and scope. Cooperators may receive assistance only for the promotion of generic activities that do not involve promotions targeted directly to consumers. The program generally operates on a reimbursement basis.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants. To participate in the Cooperator Program an applicant must be a nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organization.
2. Cost Sharing. To participate in the Cooperator Program, an applicant must agree to contribute resources to its proposed promotional activities. The Cooperator Program is intended to supplement, not supplant, the efforts of the U.S. private sector. The contribution must be stated in dollars and be at least 50 percent of the value of resources provided by CCC for activities conducted under the project agreement.
The degree of commitment of an applicant to the promotional strategies contained in its application, as represented by the agreed cost share contributions specified therein, is considered by the FAS when determining which applications will be approved for funding. Cost- share may be actual cash invested or in-kind contributions, such as professional staff time spent on design and execution of activities. The Cooperator Program regulations, in sections 1484.50 and 1484.41, provide detailed discussion of eligible and ineligible cost-share contributions.
3. Other. Applications should include a justification for funding assistance from the program--an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without federal funding assistance and why participating organization(s) are unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Package. Organizations that are interested in applying for Cooperator Program funds are encouraged to submit their requests using the Unified Export Strategy (UES) format. The UES allows interested entities to submit a consolidated and strategically coordinated single proposal that incorporates requests for funding and recommendations for virtually all the FAS marketing programs, financial assistance programs, and market access programs. The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the constraints or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities, which would help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish realistic export goals. Applicants are not required, however, to use the UES format. Organizations can submit applications in the UES format by two methods. The first allows an applicant to submit information directly to the FAS through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) application Internet Web site. The FAS highly recommends applying via the Internet, as this format virtually eliminates paperwork and expedites the FAS processing and review cycle. Applicants also have the option of submitting electronic versions (along with tow paper copies) of their applications to the FAS on diskette.
Applicants planning to use the Internet-based system must contact the FAS Marketing Operations Staff on (202) 720-4327 to obtain site access information. The Internet-based application, including a Help file containing step-by-step instructions for its use, may be found at the following URL address: http://www.fas.usda.gov/cooperators.html.
Applicants who choose to submit applications on diskette can obtain an application format by contacting the Marketing Operations Staff on (202) 720-4327.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission. To be considered for the Cooperator Program, an applicant must submit to the FAS information required by the Cooperator Program regulations in section 1484.20. In addition, in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's issuance of a final policy (68 FR 38402) regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at 1-866-705-5711. Incomplete applications and applications which do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review.
The FAS administers various other agricultural export assistance programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP), Cochran Fellowships, the Emerging Markets Program, the Quality Samples Program, Section 108 Foreign Currency Program, Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program, and several Export Credit Guarantee programs. Any organization that is not interested in applying for the Cooperator Program but would like to request assistance through one of the other programs mentioned should contact the Marketing Operations Staff on (202) 720-4327.
3. Submission Dates and Times. All applications must be received by 5 p.m. eastern standard time, March 15, 2004. All Cooperator Program applicants, regardless of the method of submitting an application, also must submit by the application deadline, via hand delivery or U.S. mail, an original signed certification statement as specified in 7 CFR 1484.20(a)(14). Applications or certifications received after this date will not be considered.
4. Funding Restrictions. Certain types of expenses are not eligible for reimbursement by the program, and there are limits on other categories of expenses. CCC will not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or expenditures made prior to approval. Full details are available in the Cooperator Program regulations in sections 1484.54 and 1484.55.
5. Other Submission Requirements and Considerations. All Internet- based applications must be properly submitted by 5 p.m. eastern standard time, March 15, 2004. Signed certification statements also must be received by that time at one of the addresses listed below.
All applications on diskette (with two accompanying paper copies and a signed certification statement) and any other form of application must be received by 5 p.m. eastern standard time, March 15, 2004, at one of the following addresses:
Hand Delivery (including FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Marketing Operations Staff, Room 4932-S, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250- 1042.
U.S. Postal Delivery: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Marketing Operations Staff, STOP 1042, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1042.
V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria and Review Process. Following is a description of the FAS process for reviewing applications and the criteria for allocating available Cooperator Program funds.
(1) Phase 1--Sufficiency Review and FAS Divisional Review
Applications received by the closing date will be reviewed by the FAS to determine the eligibility of the applicants and the completeness of the applications. These requirements appear at sections 1484.14 and 1484.20 of the Cooperator Program regulations. Applications that meet the requirements then will be further evaluated by the proper FAS Commodity Division. The Divisions will review each application against the criteria listed in sections 1484.21 and 1484.22 of the Cooperator Program regulations. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals and to recommend an appropriate funding level for each application based upon these criteria.
(2) Phase 2--Competitive Review
Meritorious applications then will be passed on to the Office of the Deputy Administrator, Commodity and Marketing Programs, for the purpose of allocating available funds among the applicants. Applications will compete for funds on the basis of the following allocation criteria (the number in parentheses represents a percentage weight factor):
(a) Contribution Level (40)
(b) Past Export Performance (20)
(c) Past Demand Expansion Performance (20)
(d) Future Demand Expansion Goals (10)
(e) Accuracy of Past Demand Expansion Projections (10)
The Commodity Divisions' recommended funding levels for each applicant are converted to percentages of the total Cooperator Program funds available then multiplied by the total weight factor to determine the amount of funds allocated to each applicant.
2. Anticipated Announcement Date. Announcements of funding decisions for the Cooperator Program are anticipated during June 2004.
VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices. The FAS will notify all applicants in writing of the final disposition of its application. The FAS will send an approval letter and project agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of Cooperator Program funding and cost-share contribution requirements.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. Interested parties should review the Cooperator Program regulations which are available at the following URL address: http://www.fas.usda.gov/mos/programs.fmd.html. Hard copies may be obtained by contacting MOS at (202) 720-4327.
3. Reporting. The FAS requires various reports and evaluations from Cooperators. Reporting requirements are detailed in the Cooperator Program regulations in sections 1484.53, 1484.70, and 1484.72.
VII. Agency Contact(s)
For additional information and assistance, contact the Marketing Operations Staff, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 4932 South, STOP 1042, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1042, phone: (202) 720-4327, fax: (202) 720-9361, e-mail: email@example.com.
Signed in Washington, DC on January 19,
A. Ellen Terpstra, Administrator,
Foreign Agricultural Service and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 04-1455 Filed 1-22-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-10-M