[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 65 (Tuesday, April 6, 2010)]
[Pages 17370-17375]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7729]



Farm Service Agency

Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) to Invite Applications for 
the American Indian and Alaska Native Credit Outreach Initiative

AGENCY: Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting applications for 
competitive cooperative agreement funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 for 
the credit outreach initiative targeted to American Indian and Alaska 
Native farmers, ranchers, and youth residing primarily on Indian 
reservations within the contiguous United States and in Alaska. There 
is $400,000 available in funding for the remainder of FY 2010. FSA will 
make one award to a successful applicant through a cooperative 
agreement. FSA requests proposals from eligible nonprofit 
organizations, land-grant institutions, and federally-recognized Indian 
tribal governments interested in a competitively-awarded cooperative 
agreement to create and implement a mechanism that will provide credit 
outreach and promotion, pre-loan education, and one-on-one loan 
application preparation assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native 
farmers, ranchers, and youth. Successful proposals may include other 
innovative services intended to enhance participation by American 
Indians and Alaska Natives in specific FSA Agricultural Credit Programs 
and other relevant credit programs available to American Indian and 
Alaska Native producers.

DATES: Applications must be completed and submitted to the Agency no 
later than 5 p.m. eastern time May 6, 2010. Late applications will not 
be accepted and will be returned to the applicant. Applicants must 
ensure that the service used to deliver the application can do so by 
the deadline. Due to security concerns, packages sent to the Agency by 
mail have been delayed several days or even weeks.

ADDRESSES: Submit applications and other required materials by mail to: 
Mark Palmer, Director, Office of External Affairs, FSA, United States 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), STOP 0505, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-0511.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For FSA Office of External Affairs or 
Office of Outreach: Mark Palmer, (202) 720-9933; email: 
[email protected].
    For USDA Office of Tribal Relations: Janie Hipp, (202) 205-2249; e-
mail: [email protected].


Purpose of Solicitation

    This NOFA is being re-released because there was insufficient 
response to the NOFA published on August 27, 2009 (74 FR 43665-43669). 
This NOFA has been adjusted to reflect improvements in the American 
Indian Credit Outreach Initiative Program that ensures it better serves 
American Indian and Alaska Native producers. Most notable among these 
improvements is the fact that FSA will now administer the program with 
advice from USDA Office of Tribal Relations.
    This solicitation is issued under 7 U.S.C. 2204b (b)(4), which 
authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into cooperative 
agreements to improve the coordination and effectiveness of Federal 
programs affecting rural areas. The principal objective of this 
cooperative agreement is to continue a national outreach program that 
enables American Indian and Alaska Native farmers, ranchers, and youth 
located either on Indian reservations or in other regions that have a 
significant presence of American Indian and Alaska Native farmers, 
ranchers, and youth in the contiguous United States and Alaska to 
understand and have access to the various FSA Agriculture Credit 
    The USDA Office of Tribal Relations will provide ongoing and 
concrete assistance and advice in program planning, delivery, and 
coordination; this will partially satisfy the ``significant agency 
participation'' requirement for the cooperative agreement. All program 
outcomes will be reported to FSA and the USDA Office of Tribal 

Proposal Requirements

    All proposed approaches must include a plan for how the project 
will have the following capabilities in place within three months after 
acceptance of award:
    1. The demonstrated ability to deliver these credit outreach 
services. This should include demonstrated technical expertise, program 
familiarity, and technological capability, including the ability to use 
relevant software programs used for preparing farm business plans. This 
should also include demonstrated cultural sensitivity and a thorough 
understanding of the population targeted by the applicant, including a 
firm grasp of the unique credit challenges faced by the targeted 
    2. A strategic plan with concrete, actionable goals.
    3. A tracking system with which to first, document the steps taken 
by the cooperator to realize these goals, and second, gauge the 
efficacy and impact of the program. Thus, the cooperator should be able 
to document, track, and report on their own internal activities, as 
well as their external results in the targeted population.

[[Page 17371]]

    Proposals must demonstrate a well-thought out strategic plan for 
ensuring that American Indian and Alaska Natives have improved access 
to FSA Agricultural Credit Programs through targeted program education 
efforts, including targeted educational programs, application training 
sessions, one-to-one application troubleshooting, general information 
dissemination, and promotional campaigns.
    Applicants who can suggest metrics for gauging the impact of 
Federal funding and success of their program education campaign will be 
more competitive. Possible metrics could include, but are not limited 
     Number of producers who, after receiving assistance from 
the cooperator, successfully received an FSA loan or loan guarantee,
     Percentage increase in producers on targeted reservation 
or area receiving FSA credit support,
     Number of attendees at outreach events, and
     Number of attendees at outreach events who subsequently 
sought services from cooperator related to FSA Agricultural Credit 
    Applicants are encouraged to contact the FSA Office of Outreach, 
the FSA Office of External Affairs, or the USDA Office of Tribal 
Relations to discuss proposed Outreach strategies or proposed tracking 


    Today, American Indians and Alaska Natives own and control 
approximately 66 million acres of agricultural lands held in trust by 
the United States Government and administered, for the most part, by 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the Department of the Interior. 
Land-based agricultural enterprises are considered the primary source 
of revenue for most tribes, due in large part to their geographical 
isolation from any urban type industrial development activities. Thus, 
protecting this resource and utilizing it effectively are important 
functions of the elected tribal officials charged with operating or 
overseeing business activities that take place within reservations.
    USDA provides farmers and ranchers technical, financial, and 
educational resources. American Indian and Alaska Native agricultural 
producers on reservations have historically been less able to benefit 
from USDA services than other farmers and ranchers. Since 1987, 
Congress has enacted Federal laws, such as the recent Food, 
Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246), (2008 Farm 
Bill), to address American Indians and Alaska Natives' (and other 
socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers) lack of access to USDA's 
programs and services; this has resulted in beginning to close some of 
the gaps in access to these programs and services. As positive as these 
changes are, they have not fully addressed an implementation plan or 
the funds needed to carry out implementation of sorely needed 
agribusiness education and direct services to American Indian and 
Alaska Native reservation and non-reservation farmers and ranchers.
    American Indian and Alaska Native agribusinesses, as well as 
individual American Indians and Alaska Natives, have consistently 
reported that the primary need in agriculture is access to the capital 
required to own and operate their own farms or ranches. Therefore, FSA 
has created and implemented this cooperative funding mechanism to 
provide credit outreach and other related business management training 
and assistance services related to FSA's Agricultural Credit Programs, 
subject to funding, as a way to resolve some of the credit needs of 
American Indian and Alaska Native agriculture.


    The following acronym and definitions are applicable to this 
    Agency or FSA. The United States Department of Agriculture Farm 
Service Agency.
    Farm land. Land used for commercial agriculture crops, poultry and 
livestock enterprises, or aquaculture.
    Federally-Recognized Indian Tribal Government. The governing body 
or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other 
organized group or community (including any Native village as defined 
in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 
1602)) certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the 
special programs and services provided through the Bureau of Indian 
    Land Grant Institutions. Any institution that is either:
    1. A 1994 Institution, 1890 Institution, or 1862 Institution, (as 
defined in section 2 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7601));
    2. An Indian tribal community college or an Alaska Native 
cooperative college; or
    3. A Hispanic-serving institution (as defined in section 1404 of 
the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act 
of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103)).
    Non-Profit Organization. Any corporation, trust, association, 
cooperative, or other organization that:
    1. Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, 
charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest;
    2. Is not organized primarily for profit; and
    3. Is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as being certified 
as compliant with 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 

Recipient Eligibility Requirements

    Applicants must either be a non-profit organization, a federally 
recognized Indian tribe, or a land grant institution as defined above. 
Applications without sufficient information to determine eligibility 
will not be considered.

Proposal Preparation

    A proposal must contain an original and two copies of the following 
(Contact Mark Palmer (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above) if you 
need help getting the forms):
    1. Form SF-424, ``Application for Federal Assistance.''
    2. Form SF-424A, ``Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs.''
    3. Form SF-424B, ``Assurances--Non-Construction Programs.''
    4. Table of Contents. For ease of locating information, each 
proposal must contain a detailed table of contents immediately 
following the required Federal forms. The table of contents should 
include page numbers for each component of the proposal. Pagination 
should begin immediately following the table of contents.
    5. Proposal Summary. A summary of the project proposal, not to 
exceed two pages, that includes the title of the project, a description 
of the project (including an overarching strategic plan (broad goals) 
and discrete actionable tasks (specific goals) to be accomplished), the 
names of the individuals responsible for conducting and completing the 
tasks, and the expected time frame for completing all tasks.
    6. Eligibility. A detailed discussion, not to exceed two pages, 
describing how the applicant meets the definition of land grant 
institution, non-profit organization, or federally recognized Indian 
tribal government. In addition, the applicant must describe all other 
collaborative organizations that may be involved in the project, the 
respective role the collaborative organization will play in program 
delivery. The application must include a signed and dated full 
description from any collaborative organization describing its proposed 
    7. Proposal Narrative. The narrative portion of the project 
proposal must be

[[Page 17372]]

in a font such as Times New Roman (12 pt.) or comparable font and must 
include the following:
    a. Project Title. The title of the proposed project must be brief, 
not to exceed 100 characters, yet represent the major thrust of the 
    b. Information Sheet. A separate one page information sheet that 
lists each of the seven evaluation criteria listed in this notice (see 
the ``Evaluation Criteria and Weights'' section below) followed by the 
page numbers of all relevant material and documentation contained in 
the proposal that address or support that criteria.
    c. Goals and Objectives of the Project. A clear statement of the 
ultimate goals and objectives of the project must be presented.
    d. Evaluation Criteria. Each of the nine evaluation criteria listed 
in this notice (see the ``Evaluation Criteria and Weights'' section 
below) must be addressed specifically and individually by category. 
These criteria should be in narrative form with any specific supporting 
documentation attached as addenda and should be placed directly 
following the proposal narrative. If other materials, including 
financial statements, will be used to support any evaluation criteria 
it should also be placed directly following the proposal narrative. The 
applicant must also propose and delineate significant agency 
participation in the project. The applicant must also propose and 
delineate significant agency participation in the project at the local 
or regional level.
    8. DUNS Number. A Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System 
(DUNS) number is required for entities receiving Federal contracts such 
as a cooperative agreement under this notice.

Amount of Award

    The amount of funds available for the remainder of FY 2010 (through 
September 30, 2010) is up to $400,000. Expenses incurred in developing 
applications will be at the applicant's risk.

Number of Awards

    Only one cooperative agreement will be awarded.

Eligible Cooperative Agreement Fund Uses

    Cooperative agreement funds may be used to cover allowable costs 
incurred by the recipient and approved by FSA. Allowable costs are 
governed by 7 CFR parts 3015, 3016, and 3019, as applicable, and 
applicable Office of Management and Budget Circulars.

Ineligible Fund Uses

    Cooperative agreement funds must not be used to:
    1. Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or 
facility (including a processing facility);
    2. Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment, including mobile and 
other processing equipment;
    3. Pay for the preparation of the cooperative agreement 
    4. Pay expenses not directly related to the funded venture (for 
example, cooperative agreement funds cannot be used to support the 
organization's general operations);
    5. Fund political or lobbying activities;
    6. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving the cooperative agreement;
    7. Fund any activity prohibited by 7 CFR parts 3015, 3016, and 
3019, as applicable; and
    8. Fund architectural or engineering design work for a specific 
physical facility.

Evaluation Criteria, Proposal Review

    A merit review panel of USDA employees as selected by the National 
FSA Office and the USDA Office of Tribal Relations will review 
applications for eligibility, completeness, and responsiveness to this 
notice. Incomplete or non-responsive applications will be returned to 
the applicant and not evaluated further. Applications received beyond 
the time deadline identified in this notice will not be accepted for 
review. The proposal will be evaluated using the criteria specified 
below. Failure to address any one of the criteria will disqualify the 
application. All proposals must be in compliance with this notice, 
applicable statutes, and regulations.
    Prior to technical examination, a preliminary review will be made 
by FSA for responsiveness to this notice and completeness. Proposals 
that do not fall within the solicitation guidelines or are otherwise 
ineligible will be eliminated from competition. All responsive 
proposals will be reviewed by a merit review panel of reviewers using 
the evaluation criteria stated below. The selected USDA employee 
reviewers will be chosen to provide maximum expertise and objective 
judgment in the evaluation of proposals. Evaluated proposals will be 
ranked by the merit review panel, based on the evaluation criteria and 
weights listed below. Final approval of those proposals will be made by 
the Administrator of FSA.

Evaluation Criteria and Weights

    All responsive proposals will be reviewed based on the following 
nine criteria:
    1. Applicant's Demonstrated Ability to Conduct Program Education 
and Provide Technical Assistance (20 points). This standard evaluates 
the degree to which the organization can demonstrate having the 
requisite experience, qualifications, competency, and availability of 
personnel and resources needed to provide targeted program education 
and technical assistance on FSA credit sources, tailored to address the 
unique challenges faced by American Indian and Alaska Native producers. 
The applicant should be able to demonstrate its technical capacity for 
delivering credit outreach services using any acceptable farm business 
planning and management software, as deemed appropriate. A sufficient 
explanation must be contained in the application concerning the 
software used and the applicant's capacity and familiarity with the 
software program selected.
    2. Applicant's Demonstrated Understanding of Constituent Population 
and Cultural Competency (5 points). This standard evaluates the degree 
to which the applicant can demonstrate that they understand the unique 
challenges facing American Indian and Alaska Native producers in such a 
way that allows the applicant to effectively provide assistance to 
these producers. Applicants should discuss in their proposal whether 
they possess the cultural competency needed to be of service to 
targeted constituent populations and to develop and foster a successful 
relationship with constituent populations. This standard evaluates the 
degree to which the proposal contains detailed programs to reach 
persons identified as American Indian and Alaska Native farmers, 
ranchers, and youth. The proposal will be evaluated for its potential 
for encouraging and assisting American Indian or Alaska Native farmers, 
ranchers, and youth to utilize the various FSA agriculture credit 
    3. A Strategic Plan Centered around Anticipated and Actual Results 
for Constituent Population (20 points). This standard evaluates the 
extent to which the proposal clearly describes its objectives and 
evidences a high level of feasibility. This criterion relates to the 
adequacy and soundness of the proposed approach to solve specific 
problems and evaluates the plan of operation, the timetable, 
evaluation, and dissemination plans. This area of the application must 
clearly delineate all

[[Page 17373]]

plans for execution during the life of the cooperative agreement; a 
clear timetable for accomplishing all relevant plans; a specific 
evaluation plan; and specific dissemination plans. A strategic plan 
should be provided that specifies discrete, actionable goals. It should 
propose metrics by which the applicant will measure its own success 
over the duration of the funding period, such as the number of American 
Indian and Alaska Native producers aided by applicant who successfully 
gained FSA credit. This strategic plan should be results oriented, 
focusing on progress in the economic state of the target population. If 
the applicant has conducted this or similar programs in previous years, 
they are required to reflect in their application the numbers of 
individuals reached in each previous year (in detail, by location, by 
funding year) and the number of individuals anticipated to be served 
within the project year for which funds are sought. Applicants should 
explain how they intend to independently gather this data.
    4. Applicant's Ability to Track Internal Activity (15 points). This 
standard evaluates whether the applicant is able to track the discrete 
steps taken to realize its mission and explain the system it will use 
to do so. This includes a tracking system for program education efforts 
such as seminars or other teaching sessions, number of producers 
provided with technical assistance, or outreach activities. This 
tracking system will allow the applicant to effectively evaluate its 
own strategy and continually evolve the strategy to maximize efficacy. 
This tracking system should also be used to satisfy the reporting 
requirement to USDA regarding use of funding.
    5. Adequacy of Budget (15 points). This standard evaluates whether 
the budget is designed to support the pursuit of the concrete, 
actionable goals enumerated in the strategic plan. This standard also 
evaluates the accuracy of the proposed budget and the accompanying 
budget justification. The proposed budget should provide a detailed 
description of each budget category that includes categorical subtotals 
as well as a separate budget justification that clearly defines and 
explains each and every proposed budget line item.
    6. Sustainability of Effort (10 points). This standard rewards 
applicants who make plans that would ensure the sustainability of their 
effort and their ability to continue to provide American Indian and 
Alaska Native producers with the crucial services of program education 
and technical assistance. This includes the extent to which the 
applicant has, or has plans to, diversify their funding base by working 
with other USDA Agencies, other Federal Agencies, and non-government 
funding sources such as foundations or private entities.
    7. Detailed Description of Collaborative Partnerships, if any, and 
Program Recipients (5 points). This standard evaluates the degree to 
which the proposal reflects partnerships and collaborative initiatives 
with other agencies or organizations to enhance the quality and 
effectiveness of the program. Additionally, the areas and number of 
underserved American Indian and Alaska Native farmers, ranchers, and 
youth who would benefit from the services offered will be evaluated. 
Collaborative individuals or organizations must submit a written 
(signed and dated) letter of collaboration in which all activities the 
collaborative may engage in with the applicant will be clearly 
outlined. All relevant personnel who will be involved in the project 
will be identified by the collaborative entity.
    8. Innovative Solutions to Challenges Faced by Targeted Population 
(5 points). This standard rewards applicants for their ability to 
propose innovative ways to address the challenges faced by Native 
American and Alaska Native producers in accessing FSA credit.
    9. Overall Quality of the Proposal (5 points). This standard 
evaluates the degree to which the proposal complies with this notice 
and is of high quality. Elements considered include adherence to 
instructions, accuracy and completeness of forms, clarity and 
organization of ideas, thoroughness and sufficiency of detail in the 
budget narrative, specificity of allocations between targeted areas if 
the proposal addresses more than one area, and completeness of vitae 
for all key personnel associated with the project.

Selection Process

    When the merit review panel reviewers have completed their 
individual evaluations, the panel, based on the individual reviews, 
will make a recommendation to the Administrator that one responsive 
proposal be approved for support from available funds. Prior to award, 
the Administrator reserves the right to negotiate with an applicant 
whose project is recommended for funding regarding project revisions 
(for example, change in scope of work or FSA's significant 
involvement), funding level, or period of support. A proposal may be 
withdrawn at any time before a final funding decision is made.

Cooperative Agreement Awards

    Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the 
Administrator will enter into a cooperative agreement with the 
successful applicant.

When To Submit an Application

    The deadline for receipt of all applications is 5 p.m. eastern time 
May 6, 2010. FSA will not accept any application received after the 

Cooperator Requirements

    Cooperators will be required to do the following:
     Sign required Federal assistance forms including:
    [cir] Form AD-1047, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, 
and Other Responsibility Matters-Primary Covered Transactions;
    [cir] Form AD-1048, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, 
Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered Transactions;
    [cir] Form AD-1049, Certification Regarding a Drug-Free Workplace 
Requirements (Grants); and
    [cir] Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights).
     Use Standard Form (SF) 270, Request for Advance or 
Reimbursement to request payments.
     Submit a SF-269, Financial Status Report, and list 
expenditures according to agreed upon budget categories on a semi-
annual basis. A financial report is due within 45 days after the first 
half of the project period and another financial report is due within 
60 days of the completion of the project.
     Report information for active and pending projects on the 
Current and Pending Support form.
     Submit periodic performance reports to the FSA 
Administrator and the USDA Office of Tribal Relations, as requested and 
agreed upon in the cooperative agreement, that compare accomplishments 
to the objectives; if established objectives are not met, discuss 
problems, delays, or other problems that may affect completion of the 
project; establish objectives for the next reporting period; and 
discuss compliance with any special conditions on the use of awarded 
     Maintain a financial management system that is acceptable 
to FSA.
     Submit a final project performance report.
     Sign an FSA approved cooperative agreement (an example of 
which is provided at the end of this notice).

[[Page 17374]]

Other Federal Statutes and Regulations That Apply

    In addition to the requirements provided in this notice, other 
Federal statutes and regulations apply to proposals considered for 
review and to our cooperative agreement award. These include, but are 
not limited to:
     7 CFR part 15, subpart A, Nondiscrimination in Federally-
Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture-Effectuation of 
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
     7 CFR part 3015, Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations;
     7 CFR parts 3016, Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, as 
     7 CFR part 3017, Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension 
     7 CFR part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying;
     7 CFR part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, 
and Other Non-profit Organizations, as applicable;
     7 CFR part 3021, Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free 
Workplace (Financial Assistance); and
     7 CFR part 3052, Audits of States, Local Governments, and 
Non-Profit Organizations.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply to this notice because 
the program does not receive applications from more than 10 persons 
covered by 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    Signed in Washington, DC, on March 31, 2010.
Jonathan W. Coppess,
Administrator, Farm Service Agency.

United States Department of Agriculture
Farm Service Agency
Cooperative Agreement--American Indian and Alaska Native Outreach 
    This Cooperative Agreement (Agreement) dated--------, between ----
---- (Cooperator), and the United States of America, acting through the 
Farm Service Agency of the Department of Agriculture (the Agency), for 
$ -------- in cooperative agreement funds under the program, delineates 
the agreement of the parties.
    Now, therefore, in consideration of the Agreement;
    The parties agree that:
    1. All the terms and provisions of the notice entitled ``Notice of 
Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the American Indian 
and Alaska Native Credit Outreach Initiative,'' published in the 
Federal Register on April 6, 2010 and the application submitted by the 
Cooperator for this Agreement, including any attachments or amendments, 
are incorporated and included as part of this Agreement. Any changes to 
these documents or this Agreement must be approved in writing by the 
undersigned parties.
    2. As a condition of the Agreement, the Cooperator certifies that 
it is in compliance with, and will comply in the course of the 
Agreement with, all applicable laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and 
other generally applicable requirements, including, but not limited to: 
Those contained in 7 CFR 3015.205(b), which are incorporated into this 
Agreement by reference, and such other statutory provisions as are 
specifically contained herein. The Cooperator will comply with title VI 
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 
of 1973, and Executive Order 12250.
    3. The provisions of 7 CFR part 3015, Uniform Federal Assistance 
Regulations, and 7 CFR part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, 
Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations, as applicable, are 
incorporated herein and made a part hereof by reference.
    4. All conditions and provisions of this Agreement will become 
effective on signature of both parties and will continue until 
completion of the project, but not later than September 30, --------.
    Further, the Cooperator agrees that it will:
    1. Not use cooperative agreement funds to plan, repair, 
rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or facility (including a 
processing facility); or to purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment.
    2. Use funds only for the purpose and activities specified in the 
proposal approved by the Agency including the approved budget. Any uses 
not provided for in the approved budget must be approved in writing by 
the Agency in advance of obligation by the Agency.
    3. Submit a Standard Form 269, Financial Status Report and list 
expenditures according to agreed upon budget categories. Reports are 
due halfway through the period covered by the cooperative agreement, as 
well as at the end of the period covered.
    4. Provide periodic reports as required by the Agency. A financial 
status report and a project performance report will be required on a 
quarterly basis. The financial status report must show how cooperative 
agreement funds have been used to date and project the funds needed and 
their purposes for the next quarter. A final report may serve as the 
last semi-annual report. Cooperators must constantly monitor 
performance to ensure that time schedules are being met and projected 
goals by time periods are being accomplished. The project performance 
reports must include the following:
    a. A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives for 
that period.
    b. Reasons why established objectives were not met, if applicable.
    c. Reasons for any problems, delays, or adverse conditions that 
will affect attainment of overall program objectives, prevent meeting 
time schedules or objectives, or preclude the attainment of particular 
objectives during established time periods. This disclosure must be 
accompanied by a statement of the action taken or planned to resolve 
the situation.
    d. Objectives and timetables established for the next reporting 
    e. The final report will also address, but not be limited to, the 
    i. What have been the most challenging or unexpected aspects of 
this program? What aspects of the program most need improvement? What 
would be your plan for that improvement if given the opportunity to 
change the program in the future?
    ii. What advice would you give to other organizations planning a 
similar program? These should include strengths and limitations of the 
program. If you had the opportunity, what would you have done 
    iii. If an innovative approach was used successfully, the 
Cooperator should describe their program in detail so that other 
organizations might consider replication in their areas.
    5. Provide Financial Management Systems which will include:
    a. Records that identify adequately the source and application of 
funds for cooperative agreement supported activities. Those records 
must contain information pertaining to grant and cooperative agreement 
awards and authorizations, obligations, unobligated balances, assets, 
liabilities, outlays, and income.
    b. Effective control over and accountability for all funds, 
property, and other assets. Cooperator must adequately safeguard all 
such assets and ensure that they are used solely for authorized 
    c. Accounting records supported by source documentation.

[[Page 17375]]

    6. Retain financial records, supporting documents, statistical 
records, and all other records pertinent to the cooperative agreement 
for a period of at least 3 years after closing, except that the records 
must be retained beyond the 3-year period if audit findings have not 
been resolved. Microfilm or photocopies or similar methods may be 
substituted in lieu of original records. The Agency and the Comptroller 
General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized 
representatives, must have access to any books, documents, papers, and 
records of the Cooperator that are pertinent to the specific 
cooperative agreement program for the purpose of making audits, 
examinations, excerpts, and transcripts.
    7. Not encumber, transfer, or dispose of the equipment or any part 
thereof, acquired wholly or in part with Agency funds without the 
written consent of the Agency.
    8. Not duplicate other program purposes for which monies have been 
received, are committed, or are applied to from other sources (public 
or private).
    9. Immediately refund to the Agency, at the end of the Agreement, 
any balance of unobligated funds received from the Agency.
    The Agency agrees that it will:
    1. Assist in defraying the project cost by reimbursing or advancing 
to the Cooperator under this Agreement an amount not to exceed [Funding 
Amount $XX]. The funds will be reimbursed or advanced in accordance 
with applicable Federal regulations based on submission to the Agency 
by the Cooperator of a complete Standard Form 270.
    2. Monitor the program as it is being implemented and operated.
    3. Evaluate the performance reports submitted by the Cooperator and 
recommend revisions where necessary.
    4. Halt activity, after written notice, if project objectives are 
not met.
    5. Identify USDA points of contact to address program questions.
    Authorized and executed this day by:




[FR Doc. 2010-7729 Filed 4-5-10; 8:45 am]