[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 248 (Tuesday, December 29, 2009)]
[Pages 68849-68851]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30826]



Administration for Children and Families

Proposed Adoption of ANA Program Policies and Procedures

AGENCY: Administration for Native Americans (ANA), HHS.

ACTION: Notice of Public Comment on the Proposed Adoption of ANA 
Program Policies and Procedures.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 814 of the Native American Programs Act of 
1974 (NAPA), as amended, the Administration for Native Americans is

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required to provide members of the public an opportunity to comment on 
proposed changes in interpretive rules, general statements of policy, 
and rules 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. In accordance with notice requirements of NAPA, ANA 
herein describes its proposed interpretive rules, general statements of 
policy, and rules of agency procedure or practice as they relate to the 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for the 
following programs: Social and Economic Development Strategies 
(hereinafter referred to as SEDS), Social and Economic Development 
Strategies--Special Initiative (hereinafter referred to as SEDS-SI), 
Native Language Preservation and Maintenance (hereinafter referred to 
as Language Preservation), Native Language Preservation and 
Maintenance--Esther Martinez Initiative (hereinafter referred to as 
Language-EMI), and Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (hereinafter 
referred to as ERE). This notice also provides additional information 
about ANA's plan for administering the programs.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments is 30 days from the date of 
publication in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Comments in response to this notice should be addressed to 
Caroline Gary, Deputy Commissioner, Administration for Native 
Americans, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Mail Stop: Aerospace 2-West, 
Washington, DC 20447. Delays may occur in mail delivery to Federal 
offices; therefore, a copy of comments should be faxed to (202) 690-
7441. Comments will be available for inspection by members of the 
public at the Administration for Native Americans, 901 D Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20447.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caroline Gary, Deputy Commissioner, 
(877) 922-9262.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 814 of NAPA, as amended, requires 
ANA to provide notice of its proposed interpretive rules, general 
statements of policy, and rules of agency organization, procedure or 
practice. The proposed clarifications, modifications, and new text will 
appear in the five FY 2010 FOAs: SEDS, SEDS-SI, Language Preservation, 
Language-EMI, and ERE. This notice serves to fulfill this requirement.
    I. Funding Opportunity Announcements. In previous years, ANA and 
the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) referred to a grant 
funding announcement as a ``Program Announcement.'' ACF and ANA now 
refer to these same grant funding announcements as ``Funding 
Opportunity Announcements.'' In FY 2010, ANA will reduce the number of 
FOAs from nine (in FY 2009) to five. In doing so, ANA will allow 
greater flexibility in the project proposals to better meet the needs 
of Tribes and organizations. In FY 2009, each FOA had program areas of 
interest and funding parameters, which required applicants to 
differentiate between the FOAs in order to propose activities and 
objectives that could be awarded. If an applicant submitted its 
proposal under the wrong FOA or proposed activities that were outside 
of those allowed under the FOA, the applicant would be excluded from 
the competition. By combining programs, ANA has allowed for greater 
flexibility in project proposals. ANA expects that this will result in 
fewer applications being excluded from the grant competitions.
    In FY 2010, SEDS and SEDS-SI will include program areas of interest 
for project proposals that address governance and economic and social 
development. In addition, SEDS and SEDS-SI will also incorporate the 
special initiatives formerly under the Family Preservation Assessment 
and Family Preservation Implementation announcements.
    In FY 2010, SEDS-SI will replace SEDS-Alaska and extend the former 
program area to include proposals from Tribes and organizations with 
limited capacity and smaller project scopes throughout ANA's geographic 
service areas. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) of NAPA, as amended.)
    The FY 2010 Language Preservation FOA will include program areas of 
interest formerly included in Native Language Preservation and 
Maintenance Assessment, Native Language Preservation and Maintenance 
Planning, and Native Language Preservation and Maintenance 
Implementation. Therefore, the program areas of interest for Language 
Preservation will include assessing the current status of the language, 
planning and implementing language programs, training teachers, and 
creating curriculum and teaching materials.
    The FY 2010 Language-EMI FOA will only include project proposals 
for language survival schools, language nests, and restoration 
programs, as identified in the Esther Martinez Native American 
Languages Preservation Act of 2006.
    (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and 803C of NAPA, as amended, 42 
U.S.C. 2991b and Sec.  2991b-3 and Pub. L. 109-394.)
    The FY 2010 ERE FOA will continue to address environmental 
regulatory programs for Tribes and Native Alaskan Villages.
    (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and (d) of NAPA, as amended.)
    A. Award Information: In FY 2010, ANA will revise the length of 
project periods, funding floors, and funding ceilings to allow 
applicants greater flexibility in planning their projects. All FOAs, 
except Language-EMI, will allow 12-, 24-, and 36-month project periods. 
Language-EMI funding will only be awarded for 36-month projects, as per 
the requirements of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages 
Preservation Act of 2006, Public Law 109-394.
    The funding ranges will be as follows:
SEDS--$150,000 to $500,000 per budget period.
SEDS-SI--$50,000 to $149,999 per budget period.
Language Preservation--$100,000 to $300,000 per budget period.
Language-EMI--$100,000 to $300,000 per budget period.
ERE--$100,000 to $300,000 per budget period.
    B. Disqualification Factors: ANA will revise for clarification two 
factors that are specific to applications submitted for ANA funding. 
Applications that are submitted without this documentation will be 
considered non-responsive to the FOA and will not be considered for 
    This first factor applies to all applicants for ANA funding. ANA 
will require documentation that demonstrates that the official 
governing body of the applicant approves the submission to ANA for the 
current grant competition. In addition, Tribally authorized components 
must also have documentation from the Tribal governing body 
demonstrating approval of the application submission. This requirement 
is broader and less restrictive than the Tribal resolution requirement 
in previous years.
    The second factor applies only to applicants that are not Tribes or 
Native Alaska Villages. This factor requires documentation 
demonstrating that the majority of the governing body is representative 
of the community to be served.
    (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and 814 of NAPA, as amended.)
    C. Definitions: ANA added definitions for terms used in the FOA. A 
new definition is included for Federal Share. In addition, the 
Language-EMI FOA includes a definition for Language Restoration 

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    (Legal authority: Section 803(b) and 814 of NAPA, as amended and 42 
U.S.C. 2991b-3(b)(7)(C).)
    Federal Share: Financial assistance provided by ANA in the amount 
of 80 percent of the approved costs of the project. The Commissioner 
may approve assistance in excess of such percentage if such action is 
in furtherance of the purposes of NAPA.
    Language Restoration Program: An educational program that operates 
at least one Native American language program for the community in 
which it serves; provides training programs for teachers of Native 
American languages; develops instructional materials for the programs; 
works towards a goal of increasing language proficiency and fluency in 
at least one Native American language; and provides instruction in at 
least one Native American language.
    D. ANA Application Evaluation Criteria: ANA will revise the 
evaluation criteria throughout all FOAs to simplify what information is 
being requested from applicants and to allow greater flexibility in 
applicants' proposals. The evaluation criteria will be revised to 
include clear explanations as to how ANA will assess the information 
provided in the applications.
    (Legal authority: Section 803(c) of NAPA, as amended.)
    i. Titles and Assigned Weight: In FY 2010, ANA will reduce the 
number of evaluation criteria from six to four and adjust the weighted 
scores to focus on those elements that are important to project success 
and project monitoring. Weighted sub criteria scores are identified for 
Criterion 2 only. ANA is proposing generic titles for the criterion to 
eliminate confusion between the titles of the project content 
categories and the evaluation criteria.
    For FY 2010, the criteria will be weighted as follows:
    Criterion 1--20 points;
    Criterion 2--50 points;
    Sub criterion--Project Strategy and Objective Work Plan (OWP)--40 
    Sub criterion--Contingency Planning and Sustainability--10 points
    Criterion 3--15 points; and
    Criterion 4--15 points.
    ii. ANA Evaluation Criteria: ANA will simplify what is being 
evaluated to focus on elements of the proposed project that are 
important for project success or to monitoring progress. Included here 
is a summary of each criterion. Each FOA will more fully describe the 
evaluation criteria.
    (a) Criterion 1: Under this criterion, applications will be 
evaluated on the applicant's connection and commitment to the target 
community and the need for assistance, as demonstrated by the stated 
problem. The applicant will be asked to identify a problem statement 
and project goal.
    (b) Criterion 2: Under this criterion, applications will be 
evaluated on the strength of the project approach and the applicant's 
capacity to implement the project. The applicant will be asked to 
describe the project strategy, provide the OWP, identify challenges and 
contingency planning, and demonstrate sustainability of the project.
    (c) Criterion 3: Under this criterion, the application will be 
evaluated on the three identified impact indicators, the target numbers 
and the tracking mechanisms. Two impact indicators, namely partnerships 
and leveraged resources, are standard for all applications. ANA 
requests that applicants identify a third impact indicator, which will 
be used to track how well the project addressed the problem statement. 
ANA will request baseline data, which is the existing situation at the 
time of the application, a target situation at the end of the project 
period, and a target for three years after the end of the project 
    (d) Criterion 4: Under this criterion, the application will be 
evaluated on the strength of the budget and how well it supports 
successful completion of the project objectives. ANA will request that 
the applicant present a line-item budget and budget justification for 
each budget period. The budget justification should tie the budget to 
the project strategy and should demonstrate the cost effectiveness of 
the budget.
    II. Panel Review Process. In accordance with the Department of 
Health and Human Services Grants Policy Statement, revised in January 
2007, applicants may receive a summary of the panel review comments 
after funding decisions have been made. The comment summaries will 
assist applicants in compiling improved applications for future funding 
    (Legal authority: Section 814 of NAPA, as amended.)

    Dated: December 22, 2009.
Caroline Gary,
Deputy Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans.
[FR Doc. E9-30826 Filed 12-28-09; 8:45 am]