|FY 2001 Notice of Availability of Funds|
To be published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000.DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Docket No. 001215353-0353-01
Public Telecommunications Facilities Program: Closing Date
AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of Availability of Funds
PLEASE NOTE: Though it is not intended or expected, should any discrepancy occur between the document here and that published in the Federal Register, the Federal Register publication controls. The Notice is being made available through the Internet solely as a means to facilitate the public's access to this document.
SUMMARY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce, announces the solicitation of applications for planning and construction grants for public telecommunications facilities under the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP).
DATE: Pursuant to 15 CFR §2301.8(b), the NTIA Administrator hereby establishes the closing date for the filing of applications for PTFP grants. The closing date selected for the submission of applications for FY 2001 is February 15, 2001. Applications must be received prior to 7 p.m. on or before February 15, 2001. Applications submitted by facsimile or electronic means are not acceptable.
ADDRESS: To obtain an application package, submit completed applications, or send any other correspondence, write to: NTIA/PTFP, Room H-4625, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20230.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Cooperman, Director, Public Broadcasting Division, telephone: (202) 482-5802; fax: (202) 482-2156. Information about the PTFP can also be obtained electronically via Internet (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/ptfp).
I. Closing Date
Applicants for matching grants under the PTFP must file their applications on or before 7 p.m., Thursday, February 15, 2001. Approximately $30 million is available for FY 2001 PTFP grants in response to this Notice.(1)In appropriating FY 2001 funds, the Congress directed that NTIA "maintain an appropriate balance between traditional grants and those to stations converting to digital broadcasting."(2) Information regarding digital television Broadcast Other projects is included in Section V of this document. Section V also describes revisions of the PTFP Rules which will be applicable only for the 2001 Grant Round for applications in the Broadcast Other category. The amount of a grant award by NTIA will vary, depending on the approved project. For fiscal year 2000, NTIA awarded $25.8 million in funds to 103 projects. The awards ranged from $4,054 to $1,250,680.
II. Application Forms
PTFP has a new application form which all applicants must use for the FY 2001 grant cycle. This form expires on October 31, 2003, and no previous versions of the form may be used. Each page of the new application form has the expiration date of 10/31/2003 printed on the bottom line. (In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the current application form has been cleared under OMB control no. 0660-0003.) To apply for a PTFP grant, an applicant must file an original and five copies of a timely and complete application on the new application form. Applicants for television projects in the Broadcast Other category (15 CFR §2301.4(b)(6)) are requested to supply one additional copy of their application (an original and six copies), if this does not create a hardship on the applicant. The current application form will be provided to applicants as part of the application package.
The applicable Rules for the PTFP were published on November 8, 1996 (61FR 57966). In accordance with provisions provided in 15 CFR Part 2301, Section 2301.26, certain requirements of the PTFP are modified in this Notice for FY 2001. Copies of the 1996 Rules will be posted on the NTIA Internet site and NTIA will make printed copies available to applicants. Parties interested in applying for financial assistance should refer to these rules and to the authorizing legislation (47 U.S.C. §§390-393, 397-399b) for additional information on the program's goals and objectives, eligibility criteria, evaluation criteria, and other requirements.
Applicants sending applications by the United States Postal Service or commercial delivery services must ensure that the carrier will be able to guarantee delivery of the application by the Closing Date and Time. NTIA will not accept mail delivery of applications posted on the Closing Date or later and received after the above deadline. However, if an application is received after the Closing Date due to (1) carrier error, when the carrier accepted the package with a guarantee for delivery by the Closing Date, or (2) significant weather delays or natural disasters, NTIA will, upon receipt of proper documentation, consider the application as having been received by the deadline.
Applicants submitting applications by hand delivery are notified that, due to security procedures in the Department of Commerce, all packages must be cleared by the Department's security office. Entrance to the Department of Commerce Building for security clearance is on the 15th Street side of the building. Applicants whose applications are not received by the deadline are hereby notified that their applications will not be considered in the current grant round and will be returned to the applicant. See 15 CFR §2301.8(c); but see also 15 CFR §2301.26. NTIA will also return any application which is substantially incomplete, or when the Agency finds that either the applicant or project is ineligible for funding under 15 CFR §2301.3 or §2301.4. The Agency will inform the applicant of the reason for the return of any application.
All persons and organizations on the PTFP's mailing list will be sent a notification of the FY 2001 Grant round. Copies of the application forms, Final Rules, Closing Date notification and application guidelines will be available on the NTIA Internet site: www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/ptfp. Those not on the mailing list or who desire a printed copy of these materials may obtain copies by contacting the PTFP at the telephone and fax numbers, at the Internet site, or at mailing address listed above. Prospective applicants should read the Final Rules carefully before submitting applications. Applicants whose applications were deferred in FY 2000 will be mailed information regarding the reactivation of their applications. Applicants whose television projects were deferred from FY 2000 should carefully review Section V. Television Broadcasting and Digital Conversion, regarding policies which apply to the reactivation of their applications.
Indirect costs for construction applications are not supported by this program. The total dollar amount of the indirect costs proposed in a planning application under this program must not exceed the indirect cost rate negotiated and approved by a cognizant Federal agency prior to the proposed effective date of the award.
Special Note: NTIA has established a policy which is intended to encourage stations to increase from 25 percent to 50 percent the matching percentage for those proposals that call for equipment replacement, improvement, or augmentation (PTFP Policy Statement, 56 FR 59168 (1991)). The presumption of 50 percent funding will be the general rule for the replacement, improvement or augmentation of equipment. (This 50 percent presumption, however, does not apply to television projects as explained in Section III. Television Broadcasting and Digital Conversion.) A showing of extraordinary need (i.e. small community-licensee stations or a station that is licensed to a large institution [e.g., a college or university] documenting that it does not receive direct or in-kind support from the larger institution) or an emergency situation will be taken into consideration as justification for grants of up to 75 percent of the total project cost for such projects.
A point of clarification is in order: NTIA expects to continue funding projects to activate stations or to extend service at up to 75 percent of the total project cost. NTIA will do this because applicants proposing to provide first service to a geographic area ordinarily incur considerable costs that are not eligible for NTIA funding. The applicant must cover the ineligible costs including those for construction or renovation of buildings and other similar expenses.
Since NTIA has limited funds for the PTFP program, the PTFP Final Rules (published November 8, 1996) modified NTIA's policy regarding the funding of planning applications. Our policy now includes the general presumption to fund planning projects at no more than 75 percent of the project costs. NTIA notes that most of the planning grants awarded by PTFP in recent years include matching in-kind services and funds contributed by the grantee. The new NTIA policy, therefore, codifies what already has become PTFP practice. NTIA, however, is mindful that planning grants are sometimes the only resource that emerging community groups have with which to initiate the planning of new facilities in unserved areas. We, therefore, will continue to award up to 100 percent of total project costs in cases of extraordinary need (e.g. small community group proposing to initiate new public telecommunication service).
We take this opportunity to restate the policy published in the November 22, 1991, PTFP Policy Statement (56 FR 59168 (1991)), regarding applicants' use of funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to meet the local match requirements of the PTFP grant. NTIA continues to believe that the policies and purposes underlying the PTFP requirements could be significantly frustrated if applicants routinely relied upon another Federally supported grant program for local matching funds. Accordingly, NTIA has limited the use of CPB funds for the non-Federal share of PTFP projects to circumstances of "clear and compelling need" (15 CFR §2301.6(c)(2)). NTIA intends to maintain that standard and to apply it on a case-by-case basis.
IV. Radio Broadcasting
During the FY 2001 grant round, NTIA is proposing no changes from prior years in its support of radio applications. The changes outlined in the next section of this document on Television Broadcasting and Digital Conversion apply only to digital television applications. The eligibility or priority of radio projects, eligibility of radio equipment and the 50% presumption of funding for radio equipment replacement applications remain as they were in the FY 2000 grant round. NTIA will take great care to ensure that its funding of radio applications reflects its responsibilities under 47 U.S.C. §393(c) that "a substantial amount" of each year's PTFP funds should be awarded to public radio.
NTIA encourages the use of digital technologies for public radio facilities. NTIA has funded projects for digital STLs and audio production equipment which will assist public radio stations as they prepare for conversion to digital technologies. These digital projects are funded as equipment replacement, improvement or augmentation projects with the presumption of a 50 percent Federal share as discussed earlier in Section III of this document, Regulations, unless a showing of extraordinary need for a higher percentage has been made pursuant to §2301.6(b)(ii) of the PTFP Rules.
For fiscal year 2000, NTIA awarded $4.5 million in funds to 56 grants for public radio projects. The awards ranged from $4,054 to $414,334.
V. Television Broadcasting and Digital Conversion
The FCC's adoption of the Fifth Report and Order in April 1997 requires that all public television stations begin the broadcast of a digital signal by May 1, 2003. This deadline is so close that, last year, NTIA instituted several new policies that applied only to FY 2000 applications for projects to convert public television stations to digital transmission capability. NTIA requested comments on the policies instituted for the FY 2000 grant round but received no written comments. Informal comments received from applicants were favorable. NTIA believes that the policies worked well and resulted in receipt of 106 digital television conversion applications. These applications requested $100 million in FY 2000 funds and an additional $100 million for subsequent years of multi-year projects permitted by the new policies. Those policies are being continued for the FY 2001 Grant Round and are included in full in this document.
NTIA recognizes that meeting the FCC's deadline is one of the greatest challenges facing America's public television stations. Over 350 stations must overcome both technical and financial challenges in order to complete conversion to digital broadcasting within the FCC's timetable.
In February 1999, the Administration proposed a major expansion of the PTFP and recommended that $355 million be appropriated to NTIA over a five-year period. These funds would primarily be used to assist public television stations in meeting the FCC's deadline. While these sums are significant, NTIA anticipates that the majority of funds required to convert all the nation's public television stations will actually come from non-Federal sources.
For fiscal year 2000, NTIA awarded $18 million in funds to 34 projects which assisted public television stations in the conversion to digital technologies. The awards ranged from $51,619 to $1,250,680. NTIA awarded approximately $14.4 million from the Broadcast Other category to assist in the digital conversion of thirty-eight public television stations. NTIA also awarded an additional $3.6 million in equipment replacement funds to nine projects which purchased digital television equipment required for the orderly conversion of a station to digital broadcasting.
NTIA has considered how best to efficiently implement the distribution of digital conversion funds to public television stations through the PTFP. One of NTIA's goals during the FY 2001 grant round is to ensure that PTFP's administrative procedures as well as its funds can support public television's needs in meeting the FCC's 2003 deadline. Another of NTIA's goals is to maintain an acceptable balance between equipment replacement projects and digital television conversion projects. NTIA is continuing the following policies/procedures instituted during the FY 2000 grant cycle which will assist public television stations in the application for and use of PTFP funds for digital conversion projects.
These policies/procedures are summarized here and then are discussed fully in parts A through G later in this section:
In implementing these policies for the FY 2001 grant round, NTIA intends to remain responsive to the equipment replacement needs of public television stations. NTIA's balancing of equipment replacement and digital conversion applications is discussed in the following sections.
In order to assist public television stations in meeting the FCC's May 2003 deadline and to facilitate a station's raising non-Federal matching funds required for digital conversion projects, NTIA is modifying its application procedures in the following areas.
Since 1979, NTIA has funded nonbroadcast distance learning projects through the "Special Applications" category as established in §2301.4(a) of the PTFP Rules. In 1996, NTIA established a similar category for broadcast projects, "Broadcast/other" in §2301.4(b)(6). NTIA encourages applications in either category for innovative or unique distance learning projects which address demonstrated and substantial community needs. For fiscal year 2000, NTIA awarded $1.14 million in funds to five grants for distance learning projects. The awards ranged from $49,781 to $368,440.
The growth of digital technologies provides new opportunities for distance learning projects using both broadcast or nonbroadcast facilities. NTIA encourages applicants to consider the use of digital technologies in proposing unique or innovative distance learning projects for funding in FY 2001. Examples of innovative digital applications might include projects (1) which use broadband technologies for distance learning, (2) which distribute educational or informational programming via Direct Broadcast Satellite technologies, or (3) which use the multi-channel capabilities of a digital public television station. All distance learning applications must address substantial and demonstrated needs of the communities being served. NTIA is particularly interested in distance learning projects which benefit traditionally underserved audiences, such as projects serving minorities or people living in rural areas(3).
As discussed in Section V of this document, NTIA anticipates that, in FY 2001, it will receive numerous digital conversion applications in the Broadcast/ Other category. NTIA recognizes that, due to the multi-channel capability of digital television, distance learning components may well be a part of a digital conversion application. NTIA will, therefore, consider such distance learning proposals under the subpriorities established in Section V. If NTIA determines that a broadcast distance learning project is not part of a digital conversion application, NTIA will evaluate the application pursuant to §§2301.4(b)(6) and 2301.17.
The November 22, 1991, PTFP Policy Statement (56 FR 59168 (1991)) mentioned in the Application Forms and Regulations section discussed a number of issues of particular relevance to applicants proposing nonbroadcast educational and instructional projects and potential improvement of nonbroadcast facilities. These policies remain in effect and will be available to all PTFP applicants as part of the Guidelines for preparing FY 2001 PTFP applications.
Eligible equipment for the FY 2001 grant round includes the apparatus necessary for the production, interconnection, captioning, broadcast, or other distribution of programming, including but not limited to studio equipment; audio and video storage, processing, and switching equipment; terminal equipment; towers; antennas; transmitters; remote control equipment; transmission line; translators; microwave equipment; mobile equipment; satellite communications equipment; instructional television fixed service equipment; subsidiary communications authorization transmitting and receiving equipment; cable television equipment; and optical fiber communications equipment.
A complete listing of equipment eligible for funding during the FY 2001 grant round is posted on the NTIA Internet site and printed copies are available from PTFP.
(1) Construction Applications: NTIA generally will not fund salary expenses, including staff installation costs, and pre-application legal and engineering fees. Certain "pre-operational expenses" are eligible for funding. (See 15 CFR §2301.2.) Despite this provision, NTIA regards its primary mandate to be funding the acquisition of equipment and only secondarily funding of salaries. A discussion of this issue appears in the PTFP Final Rules under the heading Support for Salary Expenses in the introductory section of the document.
(2) Planning Applications. (a) Eligible: Salaries are eligible expenses for all planning grant applications, but should be fully described and justified within the application. Planning grant applicants may lease office equipment, furniture and space, and may purchase expendable supplies under the terms of 47 U.S.C. §392 (c). (b) Ineligible: Planning grant applications cannot include the cost of constructing or operating a telecommunications facility.
(3) Audit Costs. Audits shall be performed in accordance with audit requirements contained in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, revised June 30, 1997. OMB Circular A-133 requires that non-profit organizations, government agencies, Indian tribes and educational institutions expending $300,000 or more in federal funds during a one-year period conduct a single audit in accordance with guidelines outlined in the circular. Applicants are reminded that other audits may be conducted by the Office of Inspector General.
NTIA recognizes that most of its grant recipients are divisions of state and local governments or are public broadcasting facilities, all of which routinely conduct annual audits. In order to make the maximum amount of monies available for equipment purchases and planning activities, NTIA will, therefore, fund audit costs only in exceptional circumstances.
In accordance with 15 CFR §2301.13, NTIA will publish a notice in the Federal Register listing all applications received by the Agency. Listing an application merely acknowledges receipt of an application to compete for funding with other applications. This listing does not preclude subsequent return of the application for the reasons discussed under the Dates section above, or disapproval of the application, nor does it assure that the application will be funded. The notice will also include a request for comments on the applications from any interested party. NTIA will also publish more complete information about all the applications received by the Agency on the NTIA Internet site and will make this information available by mail. The address of the NTIA Internet site is: www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/ptfp.
See 15 CFR §2301.16 for a description of the Technical Evaluation and 15 CFR §2301.17 for the Evaluation Criteria.
Based upon the above cited evaluation criteria, the PTFP program staff prepares summary recommendations for the PTFP Director. These recommendations incorporate outside reviewers rankings and recommendations, engineering assessments, and input from the National Advisory Panel, State Single Point of Contacts and state telecommunications agencies. Staff recommendations also consider project impact, the cost/benefit of a project and whether review panels have consistently applied the evaluation criteria. The PTFP Director will consider the summary recommendations prepared by program staff, will recommend the funding order of the applications, and will present recommendations to the OTIA (Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications) Associate Administrator for review and approval. The PTFP Director recommends the funding order for applications in three categories: "Recommended for Funding," "Recommended for Funding if Funds Available," and "Not Recommended for Funding." See 15 CFR §2301.18 for a description of the selection factors retained by the Director, OTIA Associate Administrator, and the Assistant Secretary for Telecommunications and Information.
Upon review and approval by the OTIA Associate Administrator, the Director's recommendations will then be presented to the Selection Official, the NTIA Administrator. The NTIA Administrator selects the applications for possible grant award taking into consideration the Director's recommendations and the degree to which the slate of applications, taken as a whole, satisfies the program's stated purposes set forth at 15 CFR §2301.1(a) and (c). Prior to award, applications may be negotiated between PTFP staff and the applicant to resolve whatever differences might exist between the original request and what PTFP proposes to fund. Some applications may be dropped from the proposed slate due to lack of FCC licensing authority, an applicant's inability to make adequate assurances or certifications, or other reasons. Negotiation of an application does not ensure that a final award will be made. The PTFP Director recommends final selections to the NTIA Administrator applying the same factors as listed in 15 CFR §2301.18. The Administrator then makes the final award selections taking into consideration the Director's recommendations and the degree to which the slate of applications, taken as a whole, satisfies the program's stated purposes in 15 CFR §2301.1(a) and (c).
Planning grant award periods customarily do not exceed one year, whereas construction grant award periods for grants in the five broadcast Priorities and nonbroadcast Special Applications category commonly range from one to two years. Construction projects funded in the Broadcast Other category would commonly be awarded for a one to two year period with the expectation that they would be extended annually in subsequent years dependent on the availability of Federal funds. Although these time frames are generally applied to the award of all PTFP grants, variances in project periods may be based on specific circumstances of an individual proposal.
Based upon NTIA's experience during the PTFP 2000 grant round, NTIA has determined that it is in the best interest of NTIA and applicants to continue recent policies regarding three procedural matters. The following policies are applicable only to the FY 2001 PTFP grant round and resulting awards.
Section 2301.10 provides for submission of applications resulting from catastrophic damage or emergency situations. NTIA would like to clarify its implementation of this provision.
For FY 2001 PTFP applicants, when an eligible broadcast applicant suffers catastrophic damage to the basic equipment essential to its continued operation as a result of a natural or manmade disaster, or as the result of significant equipment failure, and is in dire need of assistance in funding replacement of the damaged equipment, it may file an emergency application for PTFP funding at any time. NTIA limits this request to equipment essential to a station's continued operation such as transmitters, towers, antennas, STLs or similar equipment which, if the equipment failed, would result in a complete loss of service to the community.
When submitting an emergency application, the applicant should describe the circumstances that prompt the request and should provide appropriate supporting documentation. NTIA requires that applicants claiming significant failure of equipment will document the circumstances of the equipment failure and demonstrate that the equipment has been maintained in accordance with standard broadcast engineering practices.
NTIA will grant an award only if it determines that (1) the emergency satisfies this policy, and (2) the applicant either carried adequate insurance or had acceptable self-insurance coverage.
Applications filed and accepted for emergency applications must contain all of the information required by the Agency application materials and must be submitted in the number of copies specified by the Agency.
NTIA will evaluate the application according to the evaluation criteria set forth in §2301.17(b). The PTFP Director takes into account program staff evaluations (including the outside reviewers) the availability of funds, the type of project and broadcast priorities set forth at §2301.4(b), and whether the applicant has any current NTIA grants. The Director presents recommendations to the Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA) Associate Administrator for review and approval. Upon approval by the OTIA Associate Administrator, the Director's recommendation will be presented to the Selecting Official, the NTIA Administrator. The Administrator makes final award selections taking into consideration the Director's recommendation and the degree to which the application fulfills the requirements for an emergency award and satisfies the program's stated purposes set forth at §2301.1(a) and (c). .
FY 2001 PTFP applicants are not required to submit copies of their PTFP applications to the FCC, nor are they required to submit copies of the FCC transmittal cover letters as part of their PTFP applications. NTIA routinely notifies the FCC of projects submitted for funding which require FCC authorizations.
FY 2001 PTFP applicants for distance learning projects are not required to notify every state telecommunications agency in a potential service area. Many distance learning applications propose projects which are nationwide in nature. NTIA, therefore, believes that the requirement to provide a summary copy of the application in every state telecommunications agency in a potential service area is unduly burdensome to applicants. NTIA, however, does expect that distance learning applicants will notify the state telecommunications agencies in the states in which they are located.
For the FY 2001 PTFP grant round, applicants may submit applications to the FCC after the closing date, but do so at their own risk. Applicants are urged to submit their FCC applications with as much time before the PTFP closing date as possible. No grant will be awarded for a project requiring FCC authorization until confirmation has been received by NTIA from the FCC that the necessary authorization will be issued.
For FY 2001 PTFP applications, since there is no potential for terrestrial interference with Ku-band satellite uplinks, grant applicants for Ku-band satellite uplinks may submit FCC applications after a PTFP award is made. Grant recipients for Ku-band satellite uplinks will be required to document receipt of FCC authorizations to operate the uplink prior to the release of Federal funds.
For FY 2001 PTFP applications, NTIA may accept FCC authorizations that are in the name of an organization other than the PTFP applicant in certain circumstances. Applicants requiring the use of FCC authorizations issued to another organization should discuss in the application Program Narrative why the FCC authorization must be in the other organization's name. NTIA believes that such circumstances will be rare and, in its experience, are usually limited to authorizations such as those for microwave interconnections or satellite uplinks.
As noted above, for FY 2001 PTFP applications, NTIA does not require that the FCC applications be filed by the closing date. While NTIA is permitting submission of FCC applications after the closing date, applicants are reminded that they must continue to provide copies of FCC applications, as they were filed or will be filed, or equivalent engineering data, in the PTFP application so NTIA can properly evaluate the equipment request. These include applications for permits, construction permits and licenses already received for (1) construction of broadcast station, (including a digital broadcasting facility) or translator, (2) microwave facilities, (3) ITFS authorizations, (4) SCA authorizations, and (5) requests for extensions of time.
For those applicants whose projects require authorization by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NTIA reminds applicants that the mailing address for the Federal Communications Commission has changed to: 445 12th St. SW, Washington DC 20554.
Applicants should note that they must continue to comply with the provisions of Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." The Executive Order requires applicants for financial assistance under this program to file a copy of their application with the Single Points of Contact (SPOC) of all states relevant to the project. Applicants are required to provide a copy of their completed application to the appropriate SPOC on or before February 15, 2001. Applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate SPOC well before their PTFP closing date. A listing of the state SPOC offices may be found with the PTFP application materials at the NTIA Internet site. A list of the SPOC offices is available from NTIA (see the Address section above).
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.
All primary applicants must submit a completed Form CD-511, "Certifications Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters; Drug-Free Workplace Requirements and Lobbying," and the following explanations are hereby provided:
Recipients shall require applicants/bidders for subgrants, contracts, subcontracts, or other lower tier covered transactions at any tier under the grant award to submit, if applicable, a completed Form CD-512, "Certifications Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered Transactions and Lobbying" and disclosure form, SF-LLL, "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities." Form CD-512 is intended for the use of recipients and should not be transmitted to the Department. SF-LLL submitted by any tier recipient or subrecipient should be submitted to the Department in accordance with the instructions contained in the award document.
All non-profit applicants
are subject to a name check review process. Name checks are intended to
reveal whether key individuals associated with the applying organization
have been convicted of, or are presently facing, such criminal charges
as fraud, theft, perjury, or other matters that significantly reflect
on the applicant's management, honesty, or financial integrity. Potential
non-profit recipients may also be subject to reviews of Dun and Bradstreet
data or other similar credit checks.
If an application is selected for funding, the Department of Commerce has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with that award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department.
Recipients and subrecipients are subject to all Federal laws and Federal and DOC policies, regulations, and procedures applicable to Federal assistance awards. In addition, unsatisfactory performance by the applicant under prior Federal awards may result in the application not being considered for funding.
If applicants incur any costs prior to an award being made, they do so solely at their own risk of not being reimbursed by the Government. Notwithstanding any verbal or written assurance that they have received, there is no obligation on the part of the Department to cover preaward costs.
Applicants are reminded that a false statement on the application may be grounds for denial or termination of funds and grounds for possible punishment by a fine or imprisonment as provided in 18 U.S.C. §1001.
Dr. Bernadette McGuire-Rivera
Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications
1. See the Conference Report (H. Rpt. 106-1033) on H.R. 4577, Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001. NTIA has allocated approximately $10 million from the $43.5 million appropriated for multi-year projects initially funded in FY 2000.
2. See The House Rep. 106-1005, the Conference report on H.R. 4942. Similar language regarding PTFP has appeared in conference reports accompanying appropriations for fiscal years 1999 and 2000.
3. House Report 106-1005, the Conference report on H.R. 4942 directs that NTIA "place special emphasis on distance learning initiatives targeting rural areas."