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[Federal Register: June 29, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 126)]
[Page 40157-40160]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 3343]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Proposals: 
Curriculum Development in International Convention and Conference 
Management at Meio University, Okinawa, Japan; Notice

SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs in the Department of State announces 
an open competition for an award program to assist Meio University, 
Okinawa, Japan, in strengthening its curriculum in convention and 
conference management in ways that will contribute to the prefecture's 
long-term international development goals and to building closer U.S.-
Japanese people-to-people relations in Okinawa. Accredited, post-
secondary educational institutions meeting the provisions described in 
IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit proposals that address this 
objective. The means for achieving this objective may include teaching, 
distance learning, practicums and student internships of up to 12 
months, and professional outreach from the U.S. and Okinawan 
institutions participating in this project.


    The program is designed to assist Meio University to strengthen its 
curriculum in convention and conference management education to promote 
greater diversification and economic development in the prefecture of 
Okinawa, which is attempting to expand its economy internationally, 
including its international conference and convention capabilities. The 
prefecture is in the process of building the physical infrastructure to 
support tourism. New conference and convention facilities are being 
constructed, hotels are being upgraded, and telecommunications are 
being improved to accommodate tourists. However, there is a need to 
prepare qualified professionals in the fields of convention and 
conference management to utilize the prefecture's infrastructure 
resources more effectively.

Project Objective

    The objective of this Department of State assistance program is to 
reinforce these efforts and to build closer U.S.-Japanese people-to-
people relations in Okinawa by awarding one grant of up to $125,000 for 
a partnership in the fields of convention and conference management 
between a U.S. college or university and Meio University, Okinawa. 
Grants will not be awarded to organizations with less than four years 
of experience in conducting international exchange programs. The funds 
will be awarded for a period up to three years to defray the costs of 
either one-or two-way exchanges, to provide education materials, and to 
provide approximately 20 percent of the grand total to defray the costs 
of the project administration.
    The project should pursue this objective through a strategy which 
coordinates the participation of faculty, administrators or, in limited 
circumstances, students for any appropriate combination of teaching, 
consultation, mentoring, student internships, and outreach, for 
exchange visits ranging from one week to an academic year. Two-way 
exchanges are encouraged, but no single formula is anticipated for the 
duration, sequence or number of these visits. One semester visits or 
more for participants from at least one of the institutional partners 
are strongly encouraged. Participants should make their training and 
personnel resources available to government, non-governmental 
organizations, and business practitioners.


    The U.S. grantee organization will be responsible for most 
arrangements associated with this project. These include providing 
international and domestic travel arrangements for all participants, 
making lodging and local transportation arrangements for visitors, 
orienting and debriefing participants, and preparing any necessary 
support material.

VISA/Insurance/Tax Requirements

    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations including those 
pertaining to insurance. Please refer to Solicitation Package for 
further information. Administration of the program must be in 
compliance with reporting and withholding regulations for Federal, 
state, and local taxes as applicable. Recipient organizations should 
demonstrate tax regulation adherence in the proposal narrative and 

U.S. Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In the United States, participation in the program is open to 
accredited two-and four-year colleges and universities, including 
graduate schools. Applications from community colleges, minority-
serving institutions, undergraduate liberal arts colleges, and 
combinations of these types of institutions are eligible. Applications 
from consortia or other combinations of U.S. colleges and universities 
are eligible. Secondary U.S. partners may include non-governmental 
organizations as well as non-profit service and professional 
organizations. The lead U.S. organization in the consortium or other 
combination of cooperating institutions is responsible for submitting 
the application. Each application must document the lead organization's 
authority to represent all U.S. cooperating partners.
    With the exception of outside consultants reporting on the degree 
to which project objectives have been achieved, participants 
representing the U.S. institution who are traveling under the Bureau's 
grant funds should be teachers, students, or administrators from the 
participating institution(s). Participants representing the U.S. 
institution must be U.S. citizens. Students are eligible for Bureau-
funded participation in this program.

[[Page 40158]]

Japanese Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In Japan, the partner is Meio University, Okinawa, which has a 
curriculum in management and a four-year tourism program under its 
Faculty of International Studies. Additional information is provided in 
the ``Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI)'' guidelines 
for this solicitation.
    Secondary foreign partners may include relevant governmental and 
non-governmental organizations, as well as non-profit service and 
professional organizations.
    With the exception of outside consultants reporting on the degree 
to which project objectives have been achieved, participants 
representing the foreign institution must be teachers, administrators, 
or students from Meio University. Foreign participants must be 
citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of Japan and must be 
qualified to hold a valid passport and a U.S. J-1 visa.

Budget Guidelines

    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
project. The maximum award in this competition will be for one grant in 
the amount of $125,000. Requests for an amount smaller than the maximum 
are eligible. Budget and budget notes should carefully justify the 
amounts needed. There must be a summary budget as well as a break-down 
reflecting the program and administrative budgets. Proposals with 
substantial private sector support will be rated as more highly 
competitive in this regard than those without such support. Cost-
sharing will be considered an important indicator of institutional 
commitment. Proposals whose administrative request from the Bureau is 
less than 20 percent of the total amount of funds requested from the 
Bureau will receive more favorable consideration. Applicants may 
provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, 
participants involved, or activity to provide clarification. Please 
refer to the Solicitation Package for complete guidelines and 
formatting instructions.

Announcement Title and Number

    All correspondence with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs concerning this RFP should reference the program title 
``Curriculum Development in Convention and Conference Management 
Project at Meio University, Okinawa, Japan'' and number ECA/A/S/U-01-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the Humphrey Fellowships and 
Institutional Linkages Branch, Office of Global Educational Programs, 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; ECA/A/S/U, Room 349, SA-44; 
U.S. Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20547, 
phone (202) 619-5289, fax: (202) 401-1433, e-mail: to request a Solicitation Package. The 
Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required 
application forms, and guidelines for preparing proposals, including 
specific criteria for preparation of the proposal budget. Please 
specify ``Reference number ECA/A/S/U-01-07'' on all inquiries and 
    Please read the complete RFP announcement before sending inquiries 
or submitting proposals. Once the RFP deadline has passed, Bureau staff 
may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal 
review process has been completed.

To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet

    The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's 
website at Please read all 
information before downloading.

Deadline for Proposal

    All proposal copies must be received at the State Department's 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington DC time 
on Friday, September 29, 2000. Faxed documents will not be accepted at 
any time. Documents postmarked by the due date but received on a later 
date will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of each applicant 
to ensure compliance with the deadline.

Approximate Program Dates

    Grants should begin on or about January 1, 2001.


    January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2004 or before.


    Proposals must be submitted by the U.S. institutional partner and 
must include letters of commitment from all U.S. institutional 
partners. The letters should be signed by persons authorized to commit 
institutional resources to the project.
    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and 10 copies of the application should be sent 
U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Ref.: ECA/A/S/U-01-07, Program 
Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 336, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
    All copies should include the documents specified under Tabs A 
through E in the ``Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation'' 
(POGI) section of the Solicitation Package. The documents under Tab F 
of the POGI should be submitted with the original application and with 
one of the ten copies. Proposals that do not follow RFP requirements 
and the guidelines appearing in the POGI and PSI may be excluded from 
consideration due to technical ineligibility.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' Sections of the proposal on a 3.5" diskette, 
formatted for DOS. This material must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) 
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will 
transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section of 
the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo for its review, with the goal of reducing 
time it takes to get the post's comments for the Bureau's grants review 

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, projects must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to 
adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program 
administration and in program content. Please refer to the review 
criteria under the ``Support for Diversity'' section for specific 
suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public 
Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of educational and 
cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom 
and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take appropriate steps to provide 
opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and 
democracy leaders of such countries.'' Proposals should account for 
advancement of this goal, in their program contents, to the full extent 
deemed feasible.

[[Page 40159]]

Year 2000 Compliance Requirement (Y2K Requirement)

    The Year 2000 (Y2K) issue is a broad operational and accounting 
problem that could potentially prohibit organizations from processing 
information in accordance with Federal management and program specific 
requirements including data exchange with the Department of State. The 
inability to process information in accordance with Federal 
requirements could result in grantees' being required to return funds 
that have not been accounted for properly.
    The Department of State therefore requires all organizations use 
Y2K compliant systems including hardware, software, and firmware. 
Systems must accurately process data and dates (calculating, comparing 
and sequencing) both before and after the beginning of the year 2000 
and correctly adjust for leap years.
    Additional information addressing the Y2K issue may be found at the 
General Services Administration's Office of Information Technology 
website at

Review Criteria

    State Department officers in Washington, DC and overseas will use 
the criteria below to reach funding recommendations and decisions. 
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank-
ordered or weighed.

1. Quality of the Program Idea

    Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and 
resourcefulness. Proposals should have reasonable and feasible project 
objectives which are relevant to strengthening Meio University's 
curriculum in convention and conference management. Proposals should 
describe projected benefits to the institutions involved as well as for 
wider communities of educators and practitioners in Okinawa and the 
United States.

2. Program Planning

    Proposals should include realistic and feasible program plans and a 
detailed schedule which should include a well-reasoned combination of 
useful and appropriate mentoring, teaching, faculty and/or staff 
development, curriculum development (including distance learning if 
conditions allows it), and workshops with business practitioners in 

3. Support of Diversity

    Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's 
policy on diversity by explaining how issues of diversity relate to 
project objectives and how these issues will be addressed during the 
project implementation. Proposals should also outline the institutional 
profile of each participating institution with regard to issues of 

4. Institutional Capacity and Commitment

    Proposals should demonstrate significant understanding of the 
institutional needs and capacities of Meio University as well as the 
U.S. institution's capacities, and demonstrate a strong commitment, 
during and after the period of the grant activity, to achieve program 
goals. Relevant factors include: The match between partner departments 
and schools; and availability of sufficient number of faculty and/or 
administrators willing and able to participate in any combination of 
teaching, mentoring and outreach activities. Proposals should 
demonstrate promise of sustainability and long-term impact which will 
be reflected in a plan for continued, non-U.S. government support and 
follow-on activities.

5. Institutional Record/Ability

    Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful 
exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full 
compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as 
determined by the State Department's Office of Contracts. The Bureau 
will consider the past performance of prior recipients and all 
reviewers will consider the demonstrated potential of new applicants. 
Reviewers will also consider the quality of exchange participants' 
academic credentials, skills, and experience relative to the goals and 
activities of the project plan.

6. Project Evaluation

    The proposal should outline a methodology to assess progress made 
in supporting a program to strengthen a curriculum in conference and 
convention management at Meio University. The final evaluation should 
include an external component and should provide observations about the 
anticipated long-term impact on diversification and economic 
development in the prefecture of Okinawa.

7. Cost-Effectiveness

    Administrative and program costs should be reasonable and 
appropriate with cost-sharing provided by all participating 
institutions within the context of their respective capacities and as a 
reflection of their commitment to cooperation with one another in 
pursuing project objectives. Although indirect costs are eligible for 
inclusion among other shared costs, a proposed contribution of indirect 
costs will not be considered a primary indicator of institutional 
interest or commitment. Proposals with substantial private sector 
support and those whose administrative request from the Bureau is less 
than 20 percent of the amount requested will be considered more highly 
competitive in this regard.


    Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the 
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-
256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of 
the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United States to increase 
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the 
people of other countries* * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us 
with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural 
interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United 
States and other nations* * * and thus to assist in the development of 
friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States 
and the other countries of the world.'' The funding authority for the 
program cited above is provided through the Fulbright-Hays Act.


    The terms and conditions published in this RFP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information 
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be 
binding. Issuance of the RFP does not constitute an award commitment on 
the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, 
revise, or increase proposals in accordance with the needs of the 
program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to 
periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.
    Projects must conform with Department of State requirements and 
guidelines outlined in the solicitation Package. The POGI, a document 
describing this project's objectives, goals, and implementation is 
included in the Solicitation Package.

[[Page 40160]]


    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

    Dated: June 20, 2000.
Evelyn S. Lieberman,
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 00-16505 Filed 6-28-00; 8:45 am]