[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 248 (Friday, December 27, 2019)]
[Pages 71428-71430]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27916]



Administration for Children and Families

[CFDA Numbers: 93.581, 93.587, 93.612]

Notice for Public Comment on Administration for Native Americans' 
Program Policies and Procedures

AGENCY: Administration for Native Americans (ANA), Administration for 
Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services 

ACTION: Notice for public comment.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 814 of the Native American Programs Act of 
1974 (NAPA), as amended, the ANA is required to provide members of the 
public an opportunity to comment on proposed changes in interpretive 
rules and general statements of policy and to give notice of the 
proposed changes no less than 30 days before such changes become 
effective. In accordance with notice requirements of NAPA, ANA herein 
describes proposed interpretive rules and general statements of policy 
that relate to ANA's funding opportunities in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. 
Changes to FY 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) will be 
based on the following previously published programs: Environmental 
Regulatory Enhancement (ERE), HHS-2018-ACF-ANA-NR-1344; Native American 
Language Preservation

[[Page 71429]]

and Maintenance--Esther Martinez Immersion (EMI), HHS-2018-ACF-ANA-NB-
1343; Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance (P&M), HHS-
2018-ACF-ANA-NL-1342; Social and Economic Development Strategies 
(SEDS), HHS-2018-ACF-ANA-NA-1339; Social and Economic Development 
Strategies--Alaska (SEDS-AK), HHS-2018-ACF-ANA-NK-1340. In addition, 
ANA will publish a new FOA, HHS-2020-ACF-ANA-NN-1837, which will be 
titled Social and Economic Development Strategies for Growing 
Organizations (SEDS-GO). More information about SEDS-GO will be 
published in a separate Federal Register Notice.

DATES: Comments are due by January 27, 2020. If ANA does not receive 
any significant comments within the 30 day comment period, ANA will 
proceed with the proposed changes in the respective published FOAs. The 
FOAs will serve as the final notice of these proposed changes.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted to: Carmelia Strickland, Director 
of Program Operations, Administration for Native Americans, 330 C 
Street SW, Washington, DC 20201 or via email: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carmelia Strickland, Director, 
Division of Program Operations, Administration for Native Americans, 
330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201. Telephone: (877) 922-9262; 
Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 814 of NAPA, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 
2992b-1) incorporates provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act 
that require ANA to provide notice of its proposed interpretive rules 
and statements of policy and to seek public comment on such proposals. 
This notice serves to fulfill the statutory notice and public comment 
requirement. ANA voluntarily includes rules of practice and procedures 
in this notice in an effort to be transparent. The proposed 
interpretive rules, statements of policy, and rules of ANA practice and 
procedure reflected in clarifications, modifications, and new text will 
appear in the six FY 2020 FOAs: ERE, EMI, P&M, SEDS, SEDS-AK, and SEDS-
    ANA's past FOAs can be accessed at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/office/ana or http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/. 
Synopses and application forms will be available on https://www.grants.gov.
    A. Interpretive rules, statements of policy, procedures, and 
practice. The proposals below reflect ANA's proposed changes in rules, 
policy, or procedure which will take effect in the FY 2020 FOAs.
    1. Making the ANA grant application process easier--To address 
applicant feedback about applying for an ANA grant, the proposed 
changes will be made to simplify the process to the extent possible for 
eligible applicants by (i.) exempting ANA applications from the ACF 
two-file requirement, (ii.) changing how to upload the Objective Work 
Plan (OWP) and (iii.) providing staggered application deadlines.
    i. ANA proposes to exempt applicants from the ACF standard two-file 
upload requirement when applying to all FY 2020 ANA FOAs in order to 
reduce the technical expertise and software required to combine 
multiple documents and files into only two-files. The 150 page limit 
remains in effect.
    ii. ANA proposes to make the OWP form an ``Optional'' form in the 
application packages for each FOA. This technical change will allow 
applicants to submit the OWP form available in ANA's Application 
Toolkit or on Grants.gov. ANA's OWP form is available on the Grants.gov 
website as well as in the ANA Application Toolkit, which can be found 
on the ANA website. Although the form will still be required as part of 
a complete application, this change will help applicants to submit the 
form in whatever version they utilized to prepare the application 
rather than prescribing the use of the Grants.gov version.
    iii. Finally, ANA proposes to publish the FOAs for EMI, P&M, and 
ERE first and then allow a two week period before the SEDS and SEDS-AK 
are published. The SEDS-GO FOAs may be published with the other SEDS 
FOAs or at a later date. Therefore, the application submission 
deadlines will also be staggered accordingly. ANA's intent for making 
these changes is to make applying for ANA funding easier for our Native 
communities and more accessible to ANA's eligible applicants.
    2. Application Requirements and Evaluation Criteria Scores--
Sections 803 and 806 of NAPA, 42 U.S.C. 2991b; 2991d-1. In FY 2018, ANA 
made substantial revisions to the application requirements and 
evaluation criteria included in our FOAs. The purpose of the revisions 
was to shift from a deficit-based to a strengths-based approach for 
application planning and development, as well as to emphasize a 
community-based approach to project planning and implementation. ANA 
stands behind the revisions made in FY 2018 and does not plan to change 
the information being requested. However, during the panel review 
process, ANA received feedback that the evaluation criteria was 
difficult to understand and redundant. Additionally, the ACF Uniform 
Project Description, which is the template used to prepare all ACF FOAs 
in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) 
was updated last year. To remain consist with our Application 
requirements and structure, ANA will move the ANA Project Framework, 
which was originally under Expected Outcomes, into the Approach 
section. ANA proposes the following Evaluation criteria scores for FY 

    Approach for a maximum of 76 points, to consist of: The ANA 
Project Framework: Long Term Community Goal (2 points), Current 
Community Condition (3 points), Project Goal (3 points), Objectives 
(6 points) Outcomes and Indicators (6 points), Outputs (4 points); 
Outcome Tracker and Outcome Tracking Strategy (7 points); Community-
Based Strategy (10 points); Readiness and Implementation Strategy 
(20 points); and the Objective Work Plan (OWP) (15 points).
    Organizational Capacity (12 points), to also consist of: 
Personnel and Partnerships.
    Budget and Budget Justification for a maximum of 12 points, to 
consist of: Line Item Budget (4 points) and the narrative Budget 
Justification (8 points).

    These changes are meant to streamline the information required for 
a successful grant application and provide smaller point allotments in 
order to make ANA's evaluation criterion more approachable. In 
addition, it is intended to provide greater guidance to panel reviewers 
on how to allocate scores.
    3. Changes to the SEDS-FOA: Commissioner priorities and bonus 
points--Sections 803 and 803B of NAPA, 42 U.S.C. 2991b; 2991b-2. ANA 
Commissioner Jean Hovland has identified several priority areas that 
she would like to potentially fund through the SEDS program. Therefore, 
5 bonus points will be available for applications that address one of 
the following priority areas: Elders, Veterans, First Responders, 
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), and/or Human Trafficking. 
Applications that address one of more of these priorities areas should 
be reflected in the project goal, all objectives, indicator(s), and 
target population (either as participants or beneficiaries). Reviewers 
will provide 5 points if all elements are included in the application 
to address one or more priority areas. In addition, the program areas 
of interest will be expanded to include opportunity zones under 
economic competitiveness, and smoking and vaping under substance abuse 
    4. Changes to SEDS-AK FOA--Section 803 of NAPA, 42 U.S.C. 2991b.

[[Page 71430]]

ANA plans to modify the description of program purpose for the SEDS-AK 
FOA to expand the program areas of interest beyond governance. In 
addition, ANA wants to provide a competitive advantage for smaller 
Alaska Native villages or organizations that have never received ANA 
funding. Therefore, the FOA will state that reviewers may add up to 10 
bonus points in the scoring criteria if an eligible entity that has 
never received an ANA award. ANA staff will confirm during the 
objective review process whether or not an applicant organization for 
SEDS-AK has received a past ANA award.
    a. Changes to EMI FOA--Section 803C of NAPA, 42 U.S.C. 2991b-3. In 
accordance with 42 U.S.C. 2991b-3(c)(7), applicants for an EMI grant 
must provide a certification that the organization has not less than 3 
years of experience in operating and administering a Native American 
language survival school, a Native American language nest, or any other 
educational program in which instruction is conducted in a Native 
American language. Previously, this requirement only applied to Native 
American language survival schools. ANA will now require all applicants 
for EMI to provide a certification of operation of not less than 3 
    b. Clarification to ERE FOA--Section 803 of NAPA, 42 U.S.C. 2991b.
    i. Section 803(d)(3) of NAPA (42 U.S.C. 2991b(d)(3)) permits 
Federal funds to be used as cost sharing or matching funds for an ERE 
project, as long as they are not provided from other ANA grants. 
Therefore, ANA will add this clarification in the ERE FOA. Before using 
Federal grant funds as matching funds, grantees must make sure that the 
authorizing statute for the matching Federal grant funds specifically 
allows its grant funds to be used as cost share or matching funds.
    ii. ANA will also permit entities to apply for ERE grants even if 
they do not own land. There is no requirement within the provisions for 
ERE under NAPA that require the eligible entity to own land. 
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation 
criteria in the FOA, including ensuring the purpose of the ERE program 
will be met.

    Statutory Authority: Section 814 of the Native American Programs 
Act of 1974 (NAPA), as amended.

Jean Hovland,
Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans, Administration for 
Children and Families.
[FR Doc. 2019-27916 Filed 12-26-19; 8:45 am]