[Federal Register: January 23, 2004 (Volume 69,
[Notices] [Page 3311-3313]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr23ja04-21]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Commodity Credit Corporation
Notice of Funds Availability; Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program
Announcement Type: New.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605.
SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces the availability of $2.5 million in funding for the 2004 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications and award funds in June 2004. The QSP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). This notice supercedes any prior notices concerning the QSP.
DATES: All proposals must be received by 5 p.m. eastern standard time, March 15, 2004. Applications received after this date will be considered only if funds are still available.
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-S, 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/QSP.html.
I. Funding Opportunity Description Authority: The QSP is authorized under section 5(f) of the CCC Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f).
Purpose: The QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities.
QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging for the procurement of) commodity samples, exporting the samples, and providing the technical assistance necessary to facilitate successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement for the sample purchase price and the costs of transporting the samples domestically to the port of export and then to the foreign port, or point, of entry. Transportation costs from the foreign port, or point, of entry to the final destination will not be eligible for reimbursement. CCC will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and transporting samples, for example, inspection or documentation fees. Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, CCC will not reimburse the costs of providing technical assistance. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after CCC reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is complete.
General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects are the activities undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate sample of a U.S. agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a group of foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of the project is to provide information to an appropriate target audience regarding the attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A QSP project addresses a single market/commodity combination.
As a general matter, QSP projects should conform to the following guidelines:
II. Award Information
Under the QSP, the CCC enters into agreements with approved participants to share the costs of certain overseas marketing and promotion activities. Under this announement, the number of projects per participant will not be limited. However, individual projects will be limited to $75,000 of QSP reimbursement. Projects comprised of technical preparation seminars, that is, projects that do not include further processing or substantial transformation, will be limited to $15,000 of QSP reimbursement as these projects require smaller samples. Financial assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis; that is, cash advances will not be made available to any QSP participant.
All proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the project.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants. Any United States private or government entity with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations include non-profit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, State regional trade groups, and profit- making entities.
2. Cost Sharing. Although a minimum level of cost share contribution is not required under the program, FAS does consider the applicant's willingness to contribute resources, including cash and goods and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals are approved for funding.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Package. Organizations can submit applications to the FAS through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) application Internet website. Applicants also have the option of submitting electronic versions in the UES format (along with two paper copies) of their applications to the FAS on diskette. However, the UES format is not required.
Applicants planning to use the UES Internet-based system must contact the FAS Marketing Operations Staff on (202) 720-4327 to obtain site access information including a user ID and password. The UES 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, phone: (202) 720-4327, fax: (202) 720-9361, e-mail: email@example.com.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission. To be considered for the QSP, an applicant must submit to the FAS information detailed in this notice. 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 applicants and applications which do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review.
Applicants to the QSP are not required to submit proposals in any specific format; however, FAS recommends that proposals contain, at a minimum, the following: (a) Organizational information, including:
(b) Market information, including:
(c) Project information, including:
(d) information indicating all funding sources and amounts to be contributed by each entity that will supplement implementation of the proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third parties, CCC, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may include cash or goods and services.
3. Submission Dates and Times. All applications must be received by 5 p.m. eastern standard time, March 15, 2004. Applications received after this date will be considered only if funds are still available.
4. Funding Restrictions. Proposals which request more than $75,000 of CCC funding for individual projects will not be considered. Projects comprised of technical preparation seminars will be limited to $15,000 in QSP funding. CCC will not reimburse expenditures made prior to approval of a proposal or unreasonable expenditures.
5. Other Submission Requirements. All applications on diskette (with two accompanying paper copies) 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, 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. FAS will use the following criteria in evaluating proposals:
Highest priority for funding under this announcement will be given to meritorious proposals that target countries that meet either of the following criteria:
2. Review and Selection Process. Proposals will be evaluated by the applicable FAS commodity division. The divisions will review each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Commodity and Marketing Programs.
3. Anticipated Announcement Date. Announcements of funding decisions for the QSP are anticipated during June 2004.
VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notice. The FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of its application. The FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of QSP funding and any cost-share contribution requirements.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. The agreements will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should endeavor to ship commodities within 6 months of effective date of agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as required), compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of expiration of the agreement.
QSP agreements are subject to review and verification by the FAS Compliance Review Staff. Upon request, a QSP participant will provide to CCC the original documents which support the participant's reimbursement claims. CCC may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation.
3. Reporting. A written evaluation report must be submitted within 90 days of the expiration of each participant's QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures that were presented in the proposal.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signed in Washington, DC on January 16,
A. Ellen Terpstra, Administrator,
Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 04-1454 Filed 1-22-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-10-M