[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 155 (Monday, August 12, 2002)]
[Pages 52554-52558]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-20261]



Standard Data Elements for Electronically Posting Synopses of 
Federal Agencies' Financial Assistance Program Announcements at 

AGENCY: Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

ACTION: Notice of proposed standard data elements.


SUMMARY: The Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM) proposes to 
establish a standard set of data elements for Federal agencies to use 
to electronically post synopses of announcements of funding 
opportunities under programs that award discretionary grants or 
cooperative agreements. The purpose of the data elements would be to 
give potential applicants: (1) Enough information about each funding 
opportunity to decide whether they are interested enough to look at the 
full announcement; and (2) one or more ways (e.g., an Internet site, e-
mail address or phone number) to get the full announcement with the 
detailed information they need to decide whether they wish to apply. 
The proposed data elements would be the government-wide standard set 
for the hundreds of Federal programs that award discretionary grants or 
cooperative agreements. The Federal awarding agencies jointly developed 
these proposed data elements as one part of the implementation of the 
Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. 
L. 106-107).

DATES: All comments on the proposed data elements 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 ``FedBizOpps Data Elements Comments'' in the subject 
line and put 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

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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: To widely disseminate information about 
Federal funding opportunities more rapidly than was possible before the 
advent of electronic business practices, the General Services 
Administration has established the FedBizOpps Internet site 
(www.FedBizOpps.gov). Federal agencies now use FedBizOpps as the single 
site for giving the public access to relevant information about 
procurement opportunities that exceed $25,000, including procurement 
notices, solicitations, drawings, and amendments. In the future, the 
Federal agencies also will use the FedBizOpps site to post electronic 
synopses of funding opportunities leading to the award of grants, 
cooperative agreements, and other financial assistance instruments. 
This Federal Register announcement seeks public comment on the proposed 
data elements that Federal agencies would include in their synopses of 
those financial assistance funding opportunities.
    These data elements and the posting of information at the 
FedBizOpps site address a need that non-Federal entities identified 
during the public consultation process mandated by Public Law 106-107. 
Commenters suggested the need for a single searchable Internet site for 
information about Federal agencies' funding opportunities, to reduce 
potential applicants' frustration with having to search multiple sites 
that individual Federal agencies configure in different ways. A 
standard data set and single site for synopses of announcements should 
help potential applicants easily and quickly find the key pieces of 
information they need about each funding opportunity to decide whether 
they wish to review the full announcement.
    The Federal agencies selected the proposed data elements to enable 
you to do that and to use search criteria that would let you identify 
from the numerous funding opportunities posted at FedBizOpps at any 
given time the ones most likely to be of interest to you. For example, 
the proposed data elements will let you search using the name of a 
particular agency or the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 
number for a particular program. You also may search by choosing a 
class or classes of activity, as defined in the CFDA, as well as 
limiting the search to programs open to certain types of entities 
(using categories of eligible applicants adapted from the Federal 
Assistance Awards Data System maintained by the Bureau of the Census at 
the Department of Commerce). You still would need to read the full 
announcement for the funding opportunities identified by your search, 
since the announcements provide much greater detail about each of the 
program's aspects (e.g., you might isolate programs that show the 
category of ``State controlled institutions of higher education'' as 
being eligible, but find in the full announcement that only selected 
types of those institutions, such as land-grant institutions, are 
    While some of the proposed data elements for financial assistance 
parallel those currently in FedBizOpps for synopses of procurement 
opportunities, others differ in ways that reflect differences between 
procurement and assistance. For example, the activity class codes for 
financial assistance opportunities are categories from the CFDA. In 
contrast, FedBizOpps synopses of procurement opportunities use supply 
code classifications that are appropriate for buying goods and 
    Many of the data elements proposed for FedBizOpps also are key 
information elements in the proposed standard format for financial 
assistance funding announcements (see related Notice in this section of 
the Federal Register). Examples are the CFDA number, eligible 
applicants, and cost-sharing requirements. Including these key elements 
responds to comments received from non-Federal entities through the 
public comment process under Public Law 106-107.
    The proposed data elements also are designed to provide Federal 
agencies the flexibility to give you the needed information for 
programs that are designed to operate in different ways. For example, 
some programs have a single due date for applications. A numeric 
``application due date'' field accommodates those programs, giving 
potential applicants concise information in a searchable field. Other 
programs, however, have announcements that remain open for extended 
periods; some have applications accepted and reviewed at multiple 
discrete points in time, while others will accept and review 
applications at any time during those periods. The proposed data 
elements include an application due date text field to let agencies 
give potential applicants clear and unambiguous information about those 
programs, in a way that the numeric field by itself would not support.
    We welcome your input on any aspect of the data elements. Questions 
that you may wish to address include:
     Are the proposed data elements the essential ones that you 
need to help you quickly judge whether a funding opportunity is one for 
which you likely will want to read the full announcement? The intent is 
for the data elements to be the minimum set needed. That should allow 
potential applicants to more quickly see essential information, because 
they will not have to extract it from a larger data set that includes 
information they do not need until they are preparing and submitting an 
application. Those additional details are in the full announcement to 
which FedBizOpps provides electronic links. If you recommend adding or 
deleting any data elements, please explain why.
     Are the names of data elements and any terms used in 
describing them 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 terms? Do you have suggestions for 
additional codes, such as those listed as choices for the data elements 
``category of funding activity'' and ``eligible applicants'?

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

        Data element               Description            Required?
Federal agency user           User ID of Federal    One entry required.
 identification.               agency
                               representative who
                               is authorized to
                               post information to
                               the FedBizOpps site.
Federal agency password.....  Password of Federal   One entry required.
                               agency user
                               representative who
                               is authorized to
                               post information to
                               the FedBizOpps site.

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Funding opportunity title...  The Federal agency's  One entry required.
                               title for the
                               funding opportunity
                               (including program
                               subcomponent names,
                               as the agency deems
Funding opportunity number..  The number, if any,   Optional.
                               that the Federal
                               agency assigns to
                               its announcement.
Catalog of Federal Domestic   Number(s) of the      At least one entry
 Assistance (CFDA) number(s).  CFDA listing(s) for   required (may list
                               program(s) included   more than one) if
                               in the announcement   the Federal agency
                               (e.g., 12.300).       is subject to the
                                                     requirement in 31
                                                     U.S.C. chapter 61
                                                     to report to the
Federal agency mailing        Regular (United       Optional. If you
 address.                      States Postal         give no office name
                               Service) mailing      and address,
                               address of the        FedBizOpps will
                               Federal               insert the office
                               organization          name and address
                               responsible for the   you gave when you
                               announcement,         initially
                               including agency      registered and got
                               name and specific     your user ID and
                               subcomponent (e.g.,   password.
                               department, bureau,
                               directorate, or
                               division), street
                               address, city,
                               State, and zip code.
Federal agency contact for    Should list name of   At least one entry
 electronic accesss problems.  person (e.g.,         required. May list
                               webmaster) to whom    more than one.
                               applicants should
                               refer questions if
                               they cannot link
                               from FedBizOpps to
                               the full
                               announcement (this
                               person is distinct
                               from programmatic
                               and other agency
                               contacts who are
                               listed in the full
Type of help available from   The hypertext         Required. May list
 the Federal agency contact.   description           only one.
                               accompanying the
                               Federal agency
                               contact e-mail
                               address, to
                               describe types of
                               problems or
                               questions with
                               which the agency
                               contact may be able
                               to provide
                               assistance (e.g.,
                               ``If you have
                               problems linking to
                               the full
Federal agency contact e-     E-mail address of     Required. May list
 mail address.                 Federal agency        only one.
                               contact who can
                               help with
                               electronic access
Funding opportunity           A concise             Required.
 description.                  description of the
                               designed to contain
                               information for
                               applicants to
                               decide whether they
                               are interested
                               enough to read the
                               full announcement.
Funding instrument types....  List codes for types  Required. Select all
                               of instruments that   that apply (up to 4
                               may be awarded:       codes).
                              G = Grant...........
                              CA = Cooperative
                              PC = Procurement
                              O = Other...........
                              Note that if your
                               announcement states
                               that you may award
                               contracts, as well
                               as assistance
                               instruments, the
                               announcement must
                               be posted to both
                               the procurement and
                               assistance modules
                               of FedBizOpps.
Category of funding activity  Designed to allow     At least one
                               potential             required and may
                               applicants to         list as many as
                               narrow their          needed. There is no
                               searches to           default value.
                               programs in CFDA
                               categories of
                               interest to them.
                               Note that the terms
                               are defined in the
                               CFDA. List all
                               codes that apply:
                              AG = Agriculture
                              AR = Arts (see
                               Affairs'' in the
                              BC = Business and
                              CD = Community
                              CP = Consumer
                              DPR = Disaster
                               Prevention and
                              ED = Education
                              ELT = Employment,
                               Labor and Training
                              EN = Energy
                              ENV = Environment
                              FN = Food and
                              HL = Health
                              HO = Housing
                              HU = Humanities (see
                               Affairs'' in the
                              ISS = Income
                               Security and Social
                              IS = Information and
                              LJL = Law, Justice
                               and Legal Services
                              NR = Natural
                              RD = Regional
                              ST = Science and
                               Technology and
                               other Research and
                              T = Transportation
                              O = Other

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Eligible applicants.........  Designed to help      Required to either
                               potential             select ``99'' for
                               applicants narrow     unrestricted or
                               their searches to     select all others
                               programs where they   that apply.
                               are most likely to
                               be eligible
                               (although they
                               still must read the
                               full announcement
                               for details because
                               eligibility may be
                               further limited to
                               certain subsets of
                               applicants within
                               the categories
                              99 = Unrestricted
                               (i.e., open to any
                               type of entity
                              Government codes:
                              00 = State
                              01 = County
                              02 = City or
                              04 = Special
                              05 = Independent
                               school districts
                              06 = State
                               institutions of
                               higher education
                              07 = Native American
                               tribal governments
                              08 = Public housing
                               housing authorities
How to get full announcement  Hypertext stating     Required.
                               where to get the
                               full announcement.
                               If it is available
                               on the Internet,
                               this field should
                               include the
                               descriptor that
                               precedes the URL
                               for the full
                               announcement (e.g.,
                               ``Click on the
                               following link to
                               see the full text
                               of the announcement
                               for this funding
Electronic link to full       The URL for the full  Optional.
 announcement.                 announcement, if it
                               is on the Internet.
                              11 = Native American
                               (other than
                               recognized tribal
                              12 = Nonprofits
                               other than
                               institutions of
                               higher education
                               [includes community
                               action agencies and
                               other organizations
                               having a 501(c)(3)
                               status with the
                              20 = Private
                               institutions of
                               higher education
                              21 = Individuals
                              22 = For-profit
                               organizations other
                               than small
                              23 = Small
                              25 = All others
                               [e.g., U.S. Federal
                               or Foreign
                               entities and
                               nonprofits that do
                               not have a
                               501(c)(3) status
                               with the IRS]
Cost sharing requirement....  Answer to question:   Required.
                               is cost sharing
                               required: (Y or N).
Due date for applications...  Date when             Required if
                               applications are      ``Explanation of
                               due (or latest date   application due
                               when applications     dates'' field is
                               accepted, if          not completed.
                               announcement has      Optional otherwise.
                               multiple due dates
                               or is a general
                               announcement that
                               is open for a
                               specified period
                               with applications
                               accepted at any
                               time during that
Explanation of application    Used by agencies      Optional (note that
 due dates.                    wishing to post       ``Due date for
                               more information      applications''
                               about due date(s)     field is required
                               for potential         if this
                               applicants. For       ``Explanation of
                               example, the field    application due
                               may be used to        dates'' text field
                               describe programs     is not completed).
                               with multiple due
                               dates or ones where
                               applications are
                               accepted, reviewed,
                               and funded at any
                               point within a
                               broad time window.
                               The field also may
                               be used to add
                               information about
                               the time when
                               applications are
                               due (e.g., 5:00
                               p.m. EDT on the
                               date given in the
                               ``Due date for
Date of FedBizOpps posting..  Month, day, and year  Required.
                               when the agency
                               wants the synopsis
                               posted on
                               FEdBizOpps (e.g.,
                               some agencies may
                               build in delays to
                               allow announcements
                               to appear first in
                               the Federal
                               Register or at
                               agency Internet
                               sites). Format is
Date for FedBizOpps to        Month, day, and year  Optional. Default,
 archive.                      when the agency       if agency provides
                               wants the synpopsis   no input, is 30
                               archived. Format is   days after the date
                               MMDDCCYY.             given in the ``Due
                                                     date for

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[FR Doc. 02-20261 Filed 8-9-02; 8:45 am]