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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: April 10, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 69)]
[Notices]               
[Page 17718-17720]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10ap03-149]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 4332]

 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals for a Project To Support Training in Public Administration 
and Public Policy Development in Montenegro

SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for a 
project to support training in public administration and public policy 
development in Montenegro. Public and private non-profit organizations 
meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 
U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to train faculty, students, 
administrators, public officials, and other practitioners in this 
field. Applicants are encouraged to propose creative strategies to 
target the training needs of current and future public administrators 
and policy-makers in Montenegro within the general guidelines provided 
in this document. Applicants are also invited to propose one or more 
partner institution(s) in Montenegro with which to cooperate in project 
implementation, and should explain why each institutional partner is 
appropriate to the objectives of the project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Program Information

    Overview: The project will support training in public 
administration and public policy development for current and future 
public administrators and policy-makers in Montenegro. One grant will 
be awarded in an amount not to exceed approximately $270,000 for a 
period of up to three years to support this training effort through 
exchanges of faculty, students, non-government organization 
representatives, public administrators, or public officials. Activities 
may include any appropriate combination of teaching, consultation, 
study, distance education, and outreach.
    The fundamental objective of the project is to provide participants 
in Montenegro with skills in public administration and public policy 
development with an emphasis on practical training for local government 
administration. The project should provide program participants from 
Montenegro with the necessary tools to strengthen Montenegro's 
managerial capacity and its decision-making processes, especially at 
the local level.
    Applicants may propose to pursue this objective in ways that 
reflect their own institutional strengths as well as the interests, 
needs, and capacities of the institutional partner(s) in Montenegro. 
For example, applicants may propose to develop a curriculum in public 
administration and public policy development and to design and organize 
in-service training workshops for currently employed administrators and 
officials based on the curriculum and related training materials. 
Applicants may also propose to develop curriculum, materials, and 
training for students preparing for careers as public servants and 
administrators or as policy analysts and policy developers. Other 
project designs and emphases may also be proposed. Applicants are 
invited to propose appropriate topics based on consultations with their 
counterparts in Montenegro and their knowledge of local needs. Topics 
of potential interest include decentralization, resource allocation 
strategies, anti-corruption practices, transparency in government, 
financial management and control, budgeting and accounting, 
procurement, organizational development, local government management, 
taxation, and strategic planning.

U.S. Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In the United States, participation in the program is open to 
accredited colleges and universities as well as other organizations 
meeting the provisions described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c). 
Applications from consortia or other combinations of U.S. colleges and 
universities are eligible. 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.
    Participants who are traveling under the Bureau's grant funds may 
include teachers, researchers, public

[[Page 17719]]

administration practitioners, public officials, advanced students who 
are teaching or research assistants, and educational administrators.

Foreign Institutional and Participant Eligibility

    The applicant is invited to propose a university or one or more 
other not-for-profit entities in Montenegro that are willing to serve 
as the institutional partner for this project. Secondary foreign 
partners may include relevant governmental and non-governmental 
organizations, as well as non-profit service, educational, or 
professional organizations concerned with issues in public 
administration training. The program must comply with J-1 visa 
regulations. Please refer to Solicitation Package for further 
information.
    If the proposed project would occur within the context of a 
previous or ongoing project, the proposal should explain how the 
request for Bureau funding would build on the current or prior 
relationship or complement previous and concurrent projects, which must 
be listed and described with details about the amounts and sources of 
external support. Previous projects should be described in the 
proposal, and the results of the evaluation of previous cooperative 
efforts should be summarized.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant not to exceed 
approximately $270,000 under this grant competition. Bureau grant 
guidelines require that organizations with less than four years 
experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 
in Bureau funding; therefore, organizations that can not demonstrate at 
least four years experience in conducting international exchanges are 
ineligible to apply under this competition.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
project. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns 
reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may 
provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, 
location, or activity to provide clarification. Funds will be awarded 
for a period up to three years to defray the costs of exchanges, to 
provide educational materials, to increase library holdings, to develop 
workshops for public managers and to improve Internet connections. 
Administrative costs should be reasonable and should be kept to the 
lowest possible level without jeopardizing the effectiveness of project 
administration and oversight. Please refer to the Solicitation Package 
for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
    Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau 
concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/
S/U-03-19.

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) 260-6797, fax: (202) 401-1433, e-mail: murbina@pd.state.gov 
to request a Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package contains 
detailed award criteria, required application forms, specific budget 
instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. Please 
specify Bureau Program Officer Maria Urbina on all other inquiries and 
correspondence.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP 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 Web site at 
http://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. Please read all information 
before downloading.

Deadline for Proposals

    All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, DC time on Friday, May 30, 
2003. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents 
postmarked the due date but received on a later date will not be 
accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the proposals are received by 
the above deadline.
    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and 8 copies of the application should be sent 
to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/S/U 03-19, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 
534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal on a 3.5'' diskette, 
formatted for DOS. These documents 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 at 
the US Embassy in Belgrade and to the Branch Public Affairs Section in 
Podgorica for their review, with the goal of reducing the time it takes 
to include these comments in the Bureau's grants review process.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs 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.'' Public Law 106-113 requires that 
the governments of the countries described above do not have 
inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should 
reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the 
full extent deemed feasible.

Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa

    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is placing renewed 
emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J 
visa) Programs and adherence by grantees and sponsors to all 
regulations governing the J visa. Therefore, proposals should 
demonstrate the applicant's capacity to meet all requirements governing 
the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR 
6Z, including the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate 
Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, 
provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, 
monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of

[[Page 17720]]

forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements.
    The Grantee organization will be responsible for issuing DS-2019 
forms to participants in this program.
    A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://exchanges.state.gov
 or from: United States Department of State, Office 
of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD-SA-44, Room 734, 
301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone: (202) 401-9810. 
FAX: (202) 401-9809.

Review Process

    The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will 
review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed 
ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein 
and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be 
reviewed by the program office, as well as the public diplomacy section 
of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade including the branch office in 
Podgorica. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with 
Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau 
grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the 
Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final 
funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's 
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final 
technical authority for an assistance grant award resides with the 
Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:

(1) Broad and Enduring Significance of Project Objectives

    Project objectives should have significant and ongoing results for 
the participating institutions and for the surrounding communities by 
providing a deepened understanding of critical issues in public 
administration in Montenegro. Proposals should exhibit originality, 
substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's mission.

(2) Creativity and Feasibility of Strategy To Achieve Project 
Objectives

    Strategies to achieve project objectives should be feasible and 
relevant to the transition process in the public sector of Montenegro 
and should be realistic within the projected budget and timeframe. A 
detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive 
undertakings and logistical capacity. The agenda and plan should be 
consistent with project objectives.

(3) Institutional Commitment to Cooperation

    The proposed project should demonstrate significant understanding 
of the institutional and training needs and capacities of the partner 
institutions in Montenegro together with a strong commitment of the 
partner institutions, during and after the period of grant activity, to 
cooperate with one another in the mutual pursuit of institutional 
objectives.

(4) Project Impact

    The proposed project should demonstrate significant potential long-
term impact on public administration practices in Montenegro.

(5) Support of Diversity

    Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's 
policy on diversity by explaining how issues of diversity are included 
in project objectives for all institutional partners. Issues resulting 
from differences of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, geography, 
socio-economic status, or physical challenge should be addressed during 
project implementation. In addition, project participants and 
administrators should reflect the diversity within the societies which 
they represent (see the section of this document on ``Diversity, 
Freedom and Democracy Guidelines''). Proposals should also discuss how 
the various institutional partners approach diversity issues in their 
respective communities or societies.

(6) Project Evaluation

    Proposals should include a plan and methodology to evaluate the 
degree to which project objectives have been addressed, both while the 
project is underway and at its conclusion. The final project evaluation 
should include an external evaluation component and should provide 
observations about the project's influence within the participating 
institutions as well as the surrounding communities.

(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. We view 
cost sharing as a reflection of institutional commitment to the 
project.

Authority

    Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the 
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Pub. L. 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 above is provided through legislation. The funding authority 
for the program cited above is provided through the Support for East 
European Democracies (SEED) Act of 1989.

Notice

    The terms and conditions published in this RFGP 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 RFGP does not constitute an award commitment 
on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, 
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of 
the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject 
to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.

Notification

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

    Dated: April 3, 2003.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of 
State.
[FR Doc. 03-8840 Filed 4-9-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P




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