[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 155 (Monday, August 12, 2002)]
[Pages 52548-52554]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-20260]



Office of Federal Financial Management Policy Directive on 
Financial Assistance Program Announcements

AGENCY: Office of Management and Budget.

ACTION: Notice of proposed policy issuance directive.


SUMMARY: The Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM) proposes to 
establish a standard format for Federal agency announcements of funding 
opportunities under programs that award discretionary grants or 
cooperative agreements. The purpose of the standard format is to have 
information organized in a consistent way in program announcements for 
the hundreds of Federal programs that make financial assistance awards 
to non-Federal recipients. The Federal awarding agencies jointly 
developed this format as one part of the implementation of the Federal 
Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-
107). Consistent with the streamlining and

[[Page 52549]]

simplification purposes of that public law, a standard format will make 
it easier for potential applicants to quickly find the information they 

DATES: All comments on this proposal should be in writing, and must be 
received by October 11, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Due to potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of 
mail sent through the U. S. Postal Service, we encourage respondents to 
submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt. We cannot 
guarantee that comments mailed will be received before the comment 
closing date.
    Electronic mail comments may be submitted to: [email protected]. 
Please include ``Grant Announcement Format Comments'' in the subject 
line and the full body of your comments in the text of the electronic 
message and as an attachment. Please include your name, title, 
organization, postal address, telephone number, and e-mail address in 
the text of the message. Comments may also be submitted via facsimile 
to 202-395-3952.
    Comments may be mailed to Elizabeth Phillips, Office of Federal 
Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, Room 6025, New 
Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Phillips, Office of Federal 
Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget, telephone 202-
395-3053 (direct) or 202-395-3993 (main office) and e-mail: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice proposes to establish, by way of 
a policy directive, a standard format for organizing the information 
that Federal agencies include in their announcements of funding 
opportunities under programs that use discretionary grants or 
cooperative agreements. This policy directive will implement an outcome 
of the Federal agencies' streamlining and simplification efforts, under 
Public Law 106-107. There may be subsequent OFFM policy directives to 
implement other outcomes of those efforts where revision of OMB 
circulars, or issuance of a rule or Executive Order is not warranted.
    This action addresses a need that non-Federal entities identified 
during the public consultation process mandated by Public Law 106-107. 
Commenters suggested that if all agencies' program announcements were 
to present information in the same order, a potential applicant could 
more easily and quickly find the key pieces of information it needed at 
each point in the process (e.g., to decide at the outset whether it was 
eligible and wished to apply and to later prepare and submit an 
    The proposed announcement format is an interim product in that it 
addresses some, but not all, of the public comments on program 
announcements. It responds to comments on the need for consistency in 
placement and ease of locating pertinent information within 
announcements. It also incorporates language in Sections III and V to 
address comments that some announcements are not sufficiently clear 
about the way in which applicants' cost sharing is considered in 
selecting applications for funding. The Federal agencies are proposing 
this announcement format as an interim product so that potential 
applicants can begin to realize the benefits of a standard format while 
we continue to consider other issues addressed in the public comments, 
including suggestions that we try to establish a uniform approach to 
defining what constitutes a late application. As we complete work on 
the issues identified in those comments, we will propose updates to the 
announcement format, as warranted.
    The proposed announcement format described in this Notice relates 
to another proposal described in a subsequent notice in this section of 
today's Federal Register. That proposal is a set of data elements that 
Federal agencies would use to synopsize available funding opportunities 
at FedBizOpps, an Internet site maintained by the General Services 
Administration. The purposes of FedBizOpps synopses are to give 
potential applicants a single site to search for Federal funding 
opportunities, to provide enough information for them to decide whether 
they want to read the full announcement, and to provide one or more 
ways (e.g., an electronic link to another Internet site, an e-mail 
address or a telephone number) to get that announcement. The FedBizOpps 
information therefore complements the full announcement described in 
this Notice.
    We welcome your input on any aspect of the proposed format. 
Questions that you may wish to address include:
     Is there additional information that should appear in the 
overview segment preceding the full text of the announcement?
     Do you feel that we need to add or delete any categories 
or subcategories of information in the full text of the announcement? 
For example, should you choose to apply, are the information elements 
sufficient for you to determine what you must submit, and when and how 
you must do so? If you suggest an additional information element, 
please explain why you recommend its inclusion.
     Are terms used in the format readily understandable? Are 
the terms generic enough to cover all programs and agencies in which 
you might have an interest? Do you have suggestions for alternate 

    Dated: July 31, 2002.
Mark W. Everson,

To the Heads of Executive Departments and Establishments

Subject: Format for Financial Assistance Program Announcements

    1. Purpose. This policy directive establishes a government-wide 
funding opportunity announcement format for Executive Branch 
departments and agencies to use in programs that make discretionary 
awards of grants or cooperative agreements. Program announcements 
include all paper and electronic issuances that Federal departments and 
agencies use to announce funding opportunities, whether they are called 
``program announcements,'' ``notices of funding availability,'' ``broad 
agency announcements,'' ``research announcements,'' ``solicitations,'' 
or something else.
    2. Authority. This policy directive is a part of the implementation 
of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 
(Pub. L. 106-107).
    3. Background. The Federal Financial Assistance Management 
Improvement Act of 1999 required the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) to direct, coordinate, and assist Executive Branch departments 
and agencies in establishing an interagency process to streamline and 
simplify Federal financial assistance procedures for non-Federal 
entities. It also required each Executive agency to develop, submit to 
the Congress, and implement a plan for that streamlining and 
    Twenty-six Executive Branch agencies jointly submitted a plan to 
the Congress in May 2001, as the Act required. The plan described the 
interagency process through which the agencies would review current 
policies and practices and seek to streamline and simplify them. The 
process involved interagency work groups under the auspices of the 
Grants Management Committee of the Chief Financial Officers Council. 
The plan also identified substantive areas in which the interagency 
work groups had begun their review.
    One of the substantive areas that the agencies identified in the 
plan was the form and

[[Page 52550]]

content of program announcements. The agencies stated in the May 2001 
plan that their preliminary analysis suggested a potential for 
developing a more consistent announcement format across the many 
Federal agencies and programs. A standard announcement format with 
information content organized in a consistent way will let applicants 
quickly and efficiently find the information they need, in order to 
decide whether a particular funding opportunity is of interest and to 
prepare an application. An interagency work group developed the format 
attached to this policy letter and recommended that the OMB's Office of 
Federal Financial Management (OFFM) issue it as the standard for all 
programs that use discretionary grants or cooperative agreements.
    4. Policy. The format attached to this policy directive is the 
government-wide standard format for programs that make discretionary 
awards of grants or cooperative agreements, with the exception of 
programs that do not issue separate announcements apart from the 
program description in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA). For those excepted programs, the format will continue to 
conform with the guidance in OMB Circular A-89 for program information 
in the CFDA.
    5. Responsibilities.
    a. Agency Responsibilities. Executive Branch departments and 
    (1) Must issue any needed direction to offices that award grants or 
cooperative agreements under discretionary programs, in order to 
establish the attached format as the standard for those programs' 
announcements. All announcements must include information elements that 
are marked ``required'' in the format. An announcement for a given 
program may use elements that are marked ``optional,'' as appropriate 
for the program. Whether or not the announcement includes any 
``optional'' elements, the information that is included must be 
organized to conform with the standard format.
    (2) Are to request exceptions from this OFFM policy directive for 
any program announcement(s) with information organized in a way that 
deviates from the standard format.
    b. OMB Responsibilities. The OMB:
    (1) Will update this policy directive as needed, based on 
recommendations from interagency work groups such as those sponsored by 
the Chief Financial Officers Council.
    (2) Must respond within 30 days to an agency's request for an 
exception from this policy letter, either with a final decision or an 
estimate of the time needed to render that decision.
    6. Information Contact. Direct any questions regarding this policy 
directive to Elizabeth Phillips, OFFM, 202-395-3053 (direct) or 202-
395-3993 (main office).
    7. Effective Date. The policy directive is effective 30 days after 
issuance. All implementing actions other than regulatory revisions must 
be completed by the Executive departments and agencies within 6 months 
of the effective date; regulatory revisions must be completed within 12 

Mark W. Everson,



Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity

    This document is a uniform format for Federal agencies' 
announcements of funding opportunities under which discretionary awards 
of grants or cooperative agreements may be made. The format has two 
parts, the first for overview information and the second for the full 
text of the announcement.

Overview Information

    The agency must display prominently the following information (not 
necessarily in the same sequential order) in a location preceding the 
full text of the announcement:
     Agency Name(s)--Required. Include the name of your 
department or agency, the specific office(s) within the agency (e.g., 
bureau, directorate, division, or institute) that are involved in the 
funding opportunity, and the mailing address with zip code.
     Program Name--Optional. If your agency has a program name 
that is different from the Funding Opportunity Title, you could include 
it here.
     Funding Opportunity Title--Required.
     Funding Opportunity Number--Optional. Your agency may wish 
to assign identifying numbers to announcements.
     Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)--
     CFDA Title(s)--Optional. This is the program name listed 
in the CFDA for each CFDA number given above.
     Dates--Required. Include key dates that potential 
applicants need to know. Key dates include due dates for applications 
or Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs'' (July 14, 1982), submissions, as well as any letters of 
intent or pre-applications. For any announcement issued before a 
program's application materials are available, key dates also include 
the date on which those materials will be released.
    The program office must present the overview information described 
above and may present other information it wishes. It can do so in any 
of the following ways:
     Executive Summary. An agency may wish to include an 
executive summary of the announcement before the full text. For 
announcements that are long (25 pages or more in length) or complex, 
agencies should consider including executive summaries with the 
overview information described above and additional key information 
(e.g., who is eligible to apply and where one can get application 
materials), so that potential applicants can more quickly and easily 
find what they need. An executive summary should be short, preferably 
one page, with information in concise bullets to give an overview of 
the funding opportunity.
     Cover and/or Inside Cover. If the agency does not wish to 
include an executive summary, an alternative is to provide the overview 
information on the cover and/or inside cover of the announcement (or 
the first screen a potential applicant would see, in the case of an 
electronic announcement).
     Federal Register Format. For an announcement that appears 
as a notice in the Federal Register, some of the required overview 
information will appear with other information near the beginning of 
the notice, due to the Federal Register's standard format for notices. 
Remaining overview information may be included in the Summary section 
of the Federal Register notice or immediately preceding the full text 
of the announcement in the Supplementary Information section.

Full Text of Announcement

    The full text of the announcement is organized in sections. The 
format indicates immediately following the title of each section 
whether that section is required in every announcement or is an agency 
    The format is designed so that similar types of information will 
appear in the same sections in announcements of different Federal 
funding opportunities. Toward that end, there is text in each of the 
format's sections to describe the types of information that an agency 
would include in that section of an actual announcement.
    An agency that wishes to include information on a subject that the 
format does not specifically discuss may address that subject in 
whatever section(s) is most appropriate. For example, if an 
announcement chooses to

[[Page 52551]]

address performance goals in the announcement, it might do so in the 
funding opportunity description, the application content, and/or the 
reporting requirements.
    Similarly, when this format calls for a type of information to be 
in one particular section, an agency wishing to address that subject in 
other sections may elect to repeat the information in those sections or 
use cross references between the sections. For example, an agency may 
want to include in Section I information about the types of recipients 
who are eligible to apply. The format specifies a standard location for 
that information in Section III.1 but that does not preclude repeating 
the information in Section I or creating a cross reference between 
Sections I and III.1, as long as a potential applicant can find the 
information quickly and easily from the standard location.
    The sections of the full text of the announcement are described in 
the following paragraphs.
I. Funding Opportunity Description--Required
    This section contains the full programmatic description of the 
funding opportunity. It may be as long as needed to adequately 
communicate to potential applicants the areas in which funding may be 
provided. It describes the agency's funding priorities or the technical 
or focus areas in which the agency intends to provide assistance. As 
appropriate, it may include any program history (e.g., whether this is 
a new program or a new or changed area of program emphasis). This 
section may communicate indicators of successful projects (e.g., if the 
program encourages collaborative efforts) and may include examples of 
projects that have been funded previously. This section also may 
include other information the agency deems necessary, such as citations 
for authorizing statutes and regulations for the funding opportunity.
II. Award Information--Required
    Provide sufficient information to help an applicant make an 
informed decision about whether or not to submit a proposal. Relevant 
information could include the total amount of funding that your agency 
expects to award through the announcement; the anticipated number of 
awards; the expected amounts of individual awards (which may be a 
range); the amount of funding per award, on average, experienced in 
previous years; and the anticipated start dates and periods of 
performance for new awards. This section also should address whether 
applications for renewal or supplementation of existing projects are 
eligible to compete with applications for new awards.
    This section also must indicate the type(s) of assistance 
instrument (i.e., grant, cooperative agreement, and/or other 
instrument) that may be awarded if applications are successful. If 
cooperative agreements may be awarded, this section either should 
describe the ``substantial involvement'' that the agency expects to 
have or should reference where the potential applicant can find that 
information (e.g., in the funding opportunity description in Section I 
or award administration information in Section VI). If procurement 
contracts also may be awarded, you must say so.
III. Eligibility Information
    This section addresses considerations or factors that make an 
applicant or application eligible or ineligible for consideration. This 
includes the eligibility of particular types of applicant 
organizations, any factors affecting the eligibility of the principal 
investigator or project director, and any criteria that make particular 
projects ineligible. You should make clear whether an applicant's 
failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the time of an application 
deadline will result in your agency's returning the application without 
review or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude 
the agency from making an award. Key elements to be addressed are:
    1. Eligible Applicants--Required. You must clearly identify the 
types of entities that are eligible to apply. If there are no 
restrictions on eligibility, this section may simply indicate that all 
potential applicants are eligible. If there are restrictions on 
eligibility, it is important to be clear about the specific types of 
entities that are eligible, not just the types that are ineligible. For 
example, if your program is limited to non-profit organizations subject 
to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, your announcement should say so. 
Similarly, it is better to state explicitly that Native American tribal 
organizations are eligible than to assume that they can unambiguously 
infer that from a statement that non-profit organizations may apply. 
Eligibility also can be expressed by exception, (e.g., open to all 
types of domestic applicants other than individuals). This section 
should refer to any portion of Section IV specifying documentation that 
must be submitted to support an eligibility determination (e.g., proof 
of 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service or an 
authorizing tribal resolution).
    2. Cost Sharing--Required. You must state whether there is required 
cost sharing, matching, or cost participation without which an 
application would be ineligible (if cost sharing is not required, you 
must explicitly say so). Required cost sharing may be a certain 
percentage or amount, or may be in the form of contributions of 
specified items or activities (e.g., provision of equipment). Cost 
sharing as an eligibility criterion includes requirements based in 
statute or regulation, as well as those imposed by administrative 
decision of the agency. This section should refer to the appropriate 
portion(s) of Section IV stating any pre-award requirements for 
submission of letters or other documentation to verify commitments to 
meet cost-sharing requirements if an award is made.
    3. Other--Required, if applicable. If there are other eligibility 
criteria (i.e., criteria that have the effect of making an application 
or project ineligible for award, whether you refer to them as 
``responsiveness'' criteria, ``go-no go'' criteria, ``threshold'' 
criteria, or in other ways), you must clearly state them. For example, 
if entities that have been found to be in violation of a particular 
Federal statute are ineligible, it is important to say so. In this 
section you also may indicate whether there is any limit to the number 
of applications an applicant may submit under the announcement. You 
also should use this section to address any eligibility criteria for 
beneficiaries or for program participants other than award recipients.
IV. Application and Submission Information
    1. Address to Request Application Package--Required. You must tell 
potential applicants how to get application forms, kits, or other 
materials they need to apply (if this announcement contains everything 
they need, this section need only say so). You may give an Internet 
address where they can access the materials.* Since high-speed Internet 
access is not yet universally available for downloading documents, 
there also should be a way for potential applicants to request paper 
copies of materials, such as a U.S. Postal Service mailing address, 
telephone or fax number, Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) number, 
and/or Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) number.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission--Required. This 
section should identify the required content of an application and the 
forms or formats that an applicant must use to submit it. This section 
also should address any

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preliminary submissions that the agency requires or encourages, either 
to facilitate its own planning or to provide potential applicants with 
feedback to help them decide whether to submit a full proposal.
    For a full application, this includes all content and forms or 
formats that constitute a complete application, including: general 
information (e.g., applicant name and address), budgetary information, 
narrative programmatic information, biographical sketches, and all 
other required information (e.g., documentation that an applicant meets 
stated eligibility criteria or certifications or assurances of 
compliance with applicable requirements). If any requirements are 
stated elsewhere because they are general requirements that apply to 
multiple programs or funding opportunities, this section may refer to 
where those requirements may be found. You must either include required 
forms or formats as part of this announcement or state where the 
applicant may obtain them.
    In this section, you should specifically address content and form 
or format requirements for:
     Pre-applications, letters of intent, or white papers that 
your agency requires or encourages (see Section IV.3), including any 
limitations on the number of pages or other formatting requirements 
similar to those for full applications.
     The application as a whole. For hard copy submissions, 
that could include any limitations on the number of pages, font size 
and typeface, margins, paper size, number of copies, and sequence or 
assembly requirements. If electronic submission is permitted or 
required,* that could include special requirements for formatting or 
     Component pieces of the application (e.g., if all copies 
of the application must bear original signatures on the face page or 
the program narrative may not exceed 10 pages). This includes any 
pieces that may be submitted separately by third parties (e.g., 
references or letters confirming commitments from third parties that 
will be contributing a portion of any required cost sharing).
     Information that successful applicants must submit after 
your agency notifies them of its intent to make awards, but prior to 
award. This could include evidence of compliance with human subjects 
requirements or information your agency needs to comply with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
    3. Submission Dates and Times--Required. Your announcement must 
identify due dates and times for all submissions. This includes not 
only the full applications but also any preliminary submissions (e.g., 
letters of intent, white papers, or pre-applications). It also includes 
any other submissions of information before award that are separate 
from the full application. If the funding opportunity is a general 
announcement that is open for a period of time with no specific due 
dates for applications, this section should say so. Note that the 
information on dates that is included in this section also must appear 
with other overview information in a location preceding the full text 
of the announcement (see ``Overview Information'' segment of this 
    For each type of submission that you address, this section should 
indicate whether the submission is encouraged or required and, if 
required, any deadline date for submission (or dates, if the agency 
plans more than one cycle of application submission, review, and award 
under the announcement). The announcement should state (or provide a 
reference to another document that states):
     Any deadline in terms of a date and local time.
     What the deadline means (e.g., whether it is the date and 
time by which the agency must receive the application, the date by 
which the application must be postmarked, or something else) and how 
that depends, if at all, on the submission method (e.g., mail, 
electronic, or personal/courier delivery).
     The effect of missing a deadline (e.g., whether late 
applications are neither reviewed nor considered or are reviewed and 
considered under some circumstances).
     How the receiving Federal office determines whether an 
application or pre-application has been submitted before the deadline. 
This includes the form of acceptable proof of mailing or system-
generated documentation of receipt date and time.
    This section also may indicate whether, when, and in what form the 
applicant will receive an acknowledgment of receipt.
    You should consider displaying the above information in ways that 
will be easy to understand and use. It can be difficult to extract all 
needed information from narrative paragraphs, even when they are well 
written. A tabular form for providing a summary of the information may 
help applicants for some programs and give them what effectively could 
be a checklist to verify the completeness of their application package 
before submission. For example, a summary table might look like:

                                                                    Required form or
            What to submit                 Required content              format             When to submit it
Preapplication (optional, but          Described in Section     Format described in      By (give pre-
 encouraged).                           IV.2 of this             section ____ of grants   application due date).
                                        announcement.            policy manual at (give
                                                                 URL or where to obtain
                                                                 the manual)*.
Cover sheet..........................  (Per required form)....  Form SF-____, available
                                                                 from (give source).
Budget information...................  (Per required form)....  Form SF-____, available
                                                                 from (give source).
Narrative............................  Described in Section     Format described in
                                        IV.2 of this             Section IV.2 of this
                                        announcement.            announcement.
Assurances...........................  (Per required form)....  Form SF-____, available
                                                                 from (give source).
Letters from third parties             Third parties'           No specific form or
 contributing to cost sharing.          affirmations of          format.
                                        amounts of their

[[Page 52553]]

Statement of intent to comply with     (Per required form)....  Form SF-____, available  Prior to award, when
 human subjects requirement.                                     from (give source).      requested by grants
                                                                                          officer (if
                                                                                          application is
* With respect to electronic methods for providing information about funding opportunities or accepting
  applicants' submissions of information, each agency is responsible for compliance with Section 508 of the
  Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

    4. Intergovernmental Review--Required, if applicable. If the 
funding opportunity is subject to Executive Order (EO) 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,'' you must say so. In 
alerting applicants that they must contact their State's Single Point 
of Contact (SPOC) to find out about and comply with the State's process 
under EO 12372, you should inform them that the names and addresses of 
the SPOCs are listed in the Office of Management and Budget's home page 
at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html to ensure the most 
up-to-date contact information is made available.
    5. Funding Restrictions--Required. You must include information on 
funding restrictions in order to allow an applicant to develop an 
application and budget consistent with program requirements. Examples 
are whether construction is an allowable activity, if there are any 
limitations on direct costs such as foreign travel or equipment 
purchases, and if there are any limits on indirect costs (or facilities 
and administrative costs).
    6. Other Submission Requirements--Required. This section must 
address any other submission requirements not included in the other 
paragraphs of this section. This might include the form of submission, 
i.e., paper or electronic, for each type of required submission. 
Applicants should not be required to submit in more than one format and 
this section should indicate whether they may choose whether to submit 
applications in hard copy or electronically, may submit only in hard 
copy, or may submit only electronically.
    This section also must indicate where applications (and any pre-
applications) must be submitted if sent by postal mail, electronic 
means, or hand-delivery. For postal mail submission, this should 
include the name of an office, official, individual or function (e.g., 
application receipt center) and a complete mailing address. For 
electronic submission, this should include the ``url'' or e-mail 
address; whether a password(s) is required; whether particular software 
or other electronic capabilities are required; what to do in the event 
of system problems and a point of contact that will be available in the 
event the applicant experiences technical difficulties.*
V. Application Review Information
    1. Criteria--Required. This section must address the criteria that 
your agency will use to evaluate applications. This includes the merit 
and other review criteria that evaluators will use to judge 
applications, including any statutory, regulatory, or other preferences 
(e.g., minority status or Native American tribal preferences) that will 
be applied in the review process. These criteria are distinct from 
eligibility criteria that are addressed before an application is 
accepted for review and any program policy or other factors that are 
applied during the selection process, after the review process is 
completed. The intent is to give applicants visibility into the 
evaluation process so that they can make informed decisions when 
preparing their applications and so that the process is as fair and 
equitable as possible.
    The announcement should clearly describe all criteria, including 
any sub-criteria. If criteria vary in importance, the announcement 
should specify the relative percentages, weights, or other means used 
to distinguish among them. For statutory, regulatory, or other 
preferences, the announcement should provide a detailed explanation of 
those preferences with an explicit indication of their effect (e.g., 
whether they result in additional points being assigned).
    If an applicant's proposed cost sharing will be considered in the 
review process (as opposed to being an eligibility criterion described 
in Section III.2), the announcement must specifically address how it 
will be considered (e.g., to assign a certain number of additional 
points to applicants who offer cost sharing, or to break ties among 
applications with equivalent scores after evaluation against all other 
factors). If cost sharing will not be considered in the evaluation, the 
announcement should say so, so that there is no ambiguity for potential 
applicants. Vague statements that cost sharing is encouraged, without 
clarification as to what that means, are unhelpful to applicants.
    2. Review and Selection Process--Required. This section may vary in 
the level of detail provided. The announcement must list any program 
policy or other factors or elements, other than merit criteria, that 
the selecting official may use in selecting applications for award 
(e.g., geographical dispersion, program balance, or diversity).
    You also may include other details you deem appropriate. For 
example, this section may indicate who is responsible for evaluation 
against the merit criteria (e.g., peers external to the agency or 
Federal agency personnel) and/or who makes the final selections for 
award. If you have a multi-phase review process (e.g., an external 
panel advising internal agency personnel who make final recommendations 
to the deciding official), you may describe the phases. You also may 
include: The number of people on an evaluation panel and how it 
operates, the way reviewers are selected, reviewer qualifications, and 
the way that conflicts of interest are avoided. In addition, if you 
permit applicants to nominate suggested reviewers of their applications 
or suggest those they feel may be inappropriate due to a conflict of 
interest, that information should be included in this section.
    3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates--Optional. This section 
is intended to provide applicants with information they can use for 
planning purposes. If there is a single application deadline followed 
by the simultaneous review of all applications, the agency can include 
in this section information about the anticipated dates for announcing 
successful applicants and for having awards in place. If applications 
are received and evaluated on a ``rolling'' basis at different times 
during an extended period, it may be appropriate to give applicants an 
estimate of the time needed to process an application and notify the 
applicant of the agency's decision.
VI. Award Administration Information
    1. Award Notices--Required. This section should address what a 
successful applicant can expect to receive following selection. If your

[[Page 52554]]

practice is to provide a separate notice stating that an application 
has been selected before you actually make the award, this section 
would be the place to indicate that the letter is not an authorization 
to begin performance (except at the recipient's own risk, to the extent 
that you allow charging to awards of pre-award costs). This section 
should indicate that the notice of award signed by the grants officer 
(or equivalent) is the authorizing document, and whether it is provided 
through postal mail or by electronic means and to whom. It also may 
address the timing, form, and content of notifications to unsuccessful 
    2. Administrative Requirements--Required. This section should 
address the administrative requirements your agency's awards include, 
so that a potential applicant may identify any requirements with which 
it would have difficulty complying if its application is successful. In 
those cases, early notification about the requirements allows the 
potential applicant to decide not to apply or to take needed actions 
before award. The announcement need not include all of the award terms 
and conditions, but may refer to a document (with information about how 
to obtain it) or Internet site* where applicants can see the terms and 
    If this funding opportunity will lead to awards with some special 
terms and conditions that differ from your agency's usual (sometimes 
called ``general'') terms and conditions, this section should highlight 
those special terms and conditions. Doing so will alert applicants who 
have received awards from your agency previously and might not 
otherwise expect different terms and conditions. For the same reason, 
you may wish to inform potential applicants about special requirements 
that could apply to particular awards after review of applications and 
other information, based on the particular circumstances of the effort 
to be supported (e.g., if human subjects were to be involved).
    3. Reporting--Optional. If the funding opportunity may attract 
first-time applicants, it is helpful to include in this section some 
general information about the type (e.g., financial or performance), 
frequency, and means of submission (paper or electronic) of post-award 
reporting requirements, even if the details are included in the award 
terms and conditions.
    You also should highlight any special reporting requirements for 
awards under this funding opportunity that differ (e.g., by report 
type, frequency, form/format, or circumstances for use) from what your 
agency's awards usually require. This section should clearly indicate 
whether any special reporting requirement is in addition to or in lieu 
of the usual reporting requirements.
VII. Agency Contact(s)--Required
    You must give potential applicants a point(s) of contact for 
answering questions or helping with problems while the funding 
opportunity is open. The intent of this requirement is to be as helpful 
as possible to potential applicants, so you should consider approaches 
such as giving:
     Points of contact who may be reached in multiple ways 
(e.g., by telephone, FAX, and/or e-mail, as well as regular mail).
     A fax or e-mail address that multiple people access, so 
that someone will respond even if others are unexpectedly absent during 
critical periods.
     Different contacts for distinct kinds of help (e.g., one 
for questions of programmatic content and a second for administrative 
VIII. Other Information
    This section may include any additional information that will 
assist a potential applicant. For example, the section might:
     Indicate whether this is a new program or a one-time 
     Mention related programs or other upcoming or ongoing 
agency funding opportunities for similar activities.
     Include Internet addresses for agency Web sites that may 
be useful to an applicant in understanding the program (Note: you 
should make certain that any Internet sites are current and 
     Alert applicants to the need to identify proprietary 
information and inform them about the way the agency will handle it.
     Let applicants know where the agency will post any 
subsequent amendments to the announcement, particularly if an 
alternative medium is used for that purpose.
     Include certain routine notices to applicants (e.g., that 
the government is not obligated to make any award as a result of the 
announcement or that only grants officers can bind the government to 
the expenditure of funds).


    *With respect to electronic methods for providing information 
about funding opportunities or accepting applicants' submissions of 
information, each agency is responsible for compliance with Section 
508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce 
Investment Act of 1998.

[FR Doc. 02-20260 Filed 8-9-02; 8:45 am]