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

[Federal Register: June 27, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 124)]
[Page 38371-38377]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Office of Refugee Resettlement

Administration for Children and Families; Refugee Microenterprise 
Development Program

AGENCY: Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), ACF, DHHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability of FY 2003 social services discretionary 
funds for refugee microenterprise development projects.


    CFDA Number: The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for 
this program is 93.576. The title of the program is the Refugee 
Microenterprise Development Program.

SUMMARY: The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) invites eligible 
entities to submit competitive grant applications for microenterprise

[[Page 38372]]

development projects for refugees.\1\ Applications will be accepted 
pursuant to the Director's discretionary authority under section 412(c) 
of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1522(c)), as 
amended. Applications will be screened and evaluated as indicated in 
this program announcement. Awards will be contingent on the outcome of 
the competition and the availability of funds.

    \1\ Eligibility for refugee social services includes: (1) 
Refugees; (2) asylees; (3) Cuban and Haitian entrants; (4) certain 
Amerasians from Vietnam who are admitted to the U.S. as immigrants; 
(5) certain Amerasians from Vietnam, including U.S. citizens; and 
(6) victims of a severe form of trafficking (see 45 CFR 400.43 and 
ORR State Letters Number 01-13 as modified by Number 02-01 on 
trafficking victims). For convenience, the term ``refugee'' is used 
in this notice to encompass all such eligible persons. Additional 
information on eligibility is available at:

DATES: The closing date for submission of applications is 30 days from 
date of publication in the Federal Register. See Part IV of this 
announcement for more information on submitting applications.
    Announcement Availability: This program announcement and the 
application materials are available on the Office of Refugee 
Resettlement Web site at

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Lisa Campbell, Division of Community 
Resettlement, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for 
Children and Families, at (202) 205-4597 or LCampbell@ACF.HHS.GOV or 
Daphne Weeden, Division of Discretionary Grants, Office of Grants 
Management, Administration for Children and Families, at (202) 260-5980 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This program announcement consists of four 
    Part I: Background, legislative authority, funding availability, 
applicant eligibility, project and budget periods, program purpose and 
scope, client eligibility, allowable activities, and treatment of 
program income.
    Part II: General instructions for preparing a full project 
    Part III: The Review Process--Intergovernmental review, initial ACF 
screening, competitive review, and review criteria.
    Part IV: The Application--Application materials, application 
submission information, regulations, and reporting.
    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13): Public reporting 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 
hours, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection of 
information. The following information collections are included in the 
program announcement: OMB Approval No. 0970-0139, ACF Uniform Project 
Description (UPD) which expires 12/31/2003. An agency may not conduct 
or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Part I: Background

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has supported the field of 
microenterprise development since 1991 with discretionary grants to 
various State governments, community economic development agencies, 
community action and other human service agencies, local mutual 
assistance associations, and voluntary agencies. Organizations with 
successful programs have typically been those with a long-term 
commitment to microenterprise and to its adaptation to the refugee 
experience. They have committed agency resources to support refugee 
programs and their work in refugee microenterprise development has been 
consistent with the overall agency mission. A public or private non-
profit agency interested in receiving funding under this announcement 
must have the organizational capacity to work with refugees who have 
low incomes, limited English language proficiency, and neither assets 
nor American business experience. Many newly arrived refugees do not 
qualify for commercial loans or for admission into mainstream 
microenterprise development programs for these reasons.
    Refugees bring positive attributes to microenterprise development 
projects, including a diverse and rich array of business ideas, skills, 
experiences, and ambitions. These characteristics have been largely 
responsible for the success of the ORR program. During the last ten 
years, refugees have started or expanded over 800 micro-businesses and 
over 89 percent of these businesses have survived. ORR grantees have 
provided over $3 million in financing to these entrepreneurs and the 
loan repayment rate is close to 100 percent. Over 4,000 refugees have 
gained new entrepreneurial skills and knowledge and the additional 
business income is helping refugee families to achieve economic self-
sufficiency. By commonly accepted measures of performance (business 
survival rates, loan default rates, etc.), the ORR-funded programs have 
excelled and frequently led the field in achievement.
    Building on the experience of the last ten years, ORR seeks in this 
announcement to continue support to this field, particularly on behalf 
of those refugees who, because of language and cultural barriers, are 
unlikely to gain access to commercial loans or business training 
through other programs. To be successful in this competition, refugee-
serving organizations must demonstrate their agency's capacity to 
provide the technical expertise necessary to help refugees start or 
expand businesses. Economic development agencies must show how they 
will modify their existing programs to serve refugees effectively.
    Legislative Authority: Section 412(c)(1)(A) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA)(8 U.S.C. 1522(c)(1)(A)) authorizes the Director 
``to make grants to, and enter into contracts with, public or private 
non-profit agencies for projects specifically designed--(i) to assist 
refugees in obtaining the skills which are necessary for economic self-
sufficiency, including projects for job training, employment services, 
day care, professional refresher training, and other recertification 
services; (ii) to provide training in English where necessary 
(regardless of whether the refugees are employed or receiving cash or 
other assistance); and (iii) to provide where specific needs have been 
shown and recognized by the Director, health (including mental health) 
services, social services, educational and other services.'' In 
addition, section 412(a)(4)(A)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1522(a)(4)(A)(1) 
authorizes the Director to make loans for the purpose of carrying out 
this section.
    Funding Availability: ORR expects to make available approximately 
$4 million for Microenterprise Development projects for about 15 to 25 
awards in amounts ranging from $100,000 to $300,000. The award amount 
range is for planning purposes. Applications with requested amounts 
that exceed the upper value of the dollar range specified will still be 
considered for review. No matching or cost sharing by the applicant is 
    Applicant Eligibility: Eligible applicants are public and private 
non-profit agencies. Faith-based and community organizations are 
eligible to apply for these grants.
    Private, non-profit agencies are encouraged to submit with their 
applications the optional survey located under ``Grant Manuals and 
Forms'' at
    Project and Budget Periods: This announcement invites applications 

[[Page 38373]]

project periods up to four years. Awards, on a competitive basis, will 
be for a one-year budget period. Applications for continuation grants 
funded under these awards beyond the one-year budget period but within 
the four-year project period will be entertained in subsequent years on 
a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory 
progress of the grantee, and a determination that continued funding 
would be in the best interest of the Government.

Refugee Microenterprise Development Program--Purpose and Scope

    The purpose of microenterprise development is to assist refugees in 
becoming economically self-sufficient and to help refugee communities 
in developing employment and capital resources. To achieve this 
purpose, applicants for microenterprise development projects may 
request funds for: Business technical assistance, short-term training, 
credit in the form of microloans, the administrative costs of managing 
the project, a revolving microloan fund or loan loss reserve fund, and 
post-loan technical assistance.
    Projects should be designed in a manner that is culturally and 
linguistically appropriate for the refugee population, including 
characteristics such as employment rates, welfare status, length of 
time in the U.S., interest in micro-businesses, and English language 
proficiency. Applicants should also be familiar with the capital needs 
and capital market gaps for refugee entrepreneurs and should 
demonstrate how refugees will gain access to business credit.
    Successful applicants will demonstrate an understanding of the 
economic opportunities in the community for refugees and will have 
established working partnerships with the communities' refugee 
resettlement services network, with existing microenterprise 
development organizations (where they are present), and with financial 
    ORR will not fund applicants who propose to subgrant or contract 
all or most of the proposed activities under this program to an 
unrelated entity. Subgranting or contracting for specific services or 
activities is not barred as long as the applicant proposes to perform 
directly some of the essential functions of the grant.
    Client Eligibility: Eligible clients are refugees who aspire to 
establish, expand, or stabilize a microenterprise but who lack the 
financial resources, credit history, or personal assets to qualify for 
business loans or assistance through commercial institutions. Refugees 
may participate regardless of their date of arrival in the U.S. 
Grantees will be responsible for documenting refugee client 
    Allowable Activities: Project components may include one-on-one 
business consultation and training, training in classroom settings, 
access to business credit, individual or peer group lending, revolving 
loan funds, loan loss reserve funds, and technical assistance to 
refugee businesses. ORR funds may also be used for the administrative 
costs associated with managing a revolving loan fund.
    Microloans consist of small amounts of credit that are less than 
$15,000 and are extended to low-income entrepreneurs for start-ups of 
microenterprises or for the expansion or stabilization of existing 
microenterprises. Applicants may elect to establish cooperative 
relationships with one or more of the community's financial 
institutions to obtain access to commercial loan funds. Alternatively, 
ORR funds may be used for microloans to individual refugee 
entrepreneurs in sums not to exceed $15,000 (of ORR monies). These 
funds may be disbursed through individual loans, peer lending 
mechanisms, or a revolving loan fund. Requests for ORR grant funds for 
a revolving loan fund may not exceed $50,000 in the first budget 
period. Grantees will be responsible for establishing written lending 
policies and procedures and for collecting and servicing loan 
    ORR supports the use of commercial lending institutions for refugee 
borrowers to leverage the limited amount of ORR funds available for 
this purpose and to provide borrowers with the opportunity to establish 
credit-worthy histories with traditional lenders. To that end, ORR does 
not encourage the use of below-market rates of interest for the loan 
funds. Conversely, grantees may not charge refugees interest rates that 
exceed four percentage points above the New York prime lending rate at 
the time of loan approval.
    Microloans will have a maximum maturity of three years. They may be 
used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, 
machinery, tools, equipment, building renovation, and/or leasehold 
    Microloan funds may not be used for the following types of 

--As venture capital for established businesses that are attempting 
major expansion;
--for enterprises engaged in gambling or speculation;
--for any illegal activity or production or for the service or 
distribution of illegal products;
--for purposes not related to microenterprise development; e.g., for 
the purchase of a personal-use automobile.

    Treatment of Program Income: Projects with revolving loan funds may 
earn and retain program income in the form of interest (on individual 
loans or from loan loss reserves). Specifically, program income funds 
may be retained by the project to expand the pool of credit in 
accordance with 45 CFR 74.24 (b)(1), (b)(2) and (e) for non-profit 
organizations and 45 CFR 92.25 (g)(2) for governmental entities. 
Similarly, repaid loan principal is to be treated as program income and 
placed in the revolving loan fund for re-lending. Program income may be 
retained by the grantee so long as the use of these funds furthers the 
objectives of the grant and is consistent with the Federal statute 
under which the grant was made (45 CFR 74.36e).
    Any fees or charges imposed on refugee clients by the grantee or 
its subcontractors or affiliates (e.g., loan processing or training 
fees) must be disclosed in the application and pre-approved by ORR. 
Program income must be reported on the Financial Status Report (SF-269) 
semi-annually during the project period.
    Successful grantees will be expected to coordinate their policies 
and procedures for developing and administering refugee microenterprise 
development projects with the existing refugee microenterprise services 
network. To ensure an exchange of technical and training information 
among programs, all grantees are encouraged to attend two ORR training 
meetings during each year of their participation in this program area. 
Grant funds may be used to offset the cost of attendance.

Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

The Project Description Overview


    The project description provides a major means by which an 
application is evaluated and ranked to compete with other applications 
for available assistance. The project description should be concise and 
complete and should address the activity for which Federal funds are 
being requested. Supporting documents should be included where they can 
present information clearly and succinctly. In preparing your project 
description, all information requested through each

[[Page 38374]]

specific evaluation criteria should be provided. Applicants are 
encouraged to provide information on their organizational structure, 
staff, related experience, and other information considered to be 
relevant. Awarding offices use this and other information in making 
their funding recommendations. It is important, therefore, that this 
information be included in the application.

General Instructions

    ACF is particularly interested in specific factual information and 
statements of measurable goals in quantitative terms. Project 
descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance, not length. 
Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used 
rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities 
that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does 
not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant-funded activity 
should be placed in an appendix. The application narrative should be in 
a 12-pitch font. A table of contents and an executive summary should be 
included. Each page should be numbered sequentially, including any 
attachments or appendices.


    Applicants required to submit a full project description shall 
prepare the project description statement in accordance with the 
following instructions and the specified evaluation criteria. The 
instructions give a broad overview of what your project description 
should include while the evaluation criteria expands and clarifies more 
program-specific information that is needed.

Project Summary/Abstract

    Provide a summary of the project description (a page or less) with 
reference to the funding request.

Objectives and Need for Assistance

    Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, 
institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need 
for assistance must be demonstrated and the principal and subordinate 
objectives of the project must be clearly stated; supporting 
documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from 
concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included. Any 
relevant data based on planning studies should be included or referred 
to in the endnotes/footnotes. Incorporate demographic data and 
participant/beneficiary information, as needed. In developing the 
project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to 
provide information on the total range of projects currently being 
conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be 
outside the scope of the program announcement.

Results or Benefits Expected

    Identify the results and benefits to be derived. For example, ORR 
is particularly interested in the number of businesses established, 
expanded, or stabilized; the employment generated by the businesses; 
the number and size of loans provided to refugees; the amount of 
additional funds leveraged by the ORR funds for microenterprise loans, 
and the impact of the businesses assisted on the refugees' movement 
toward self-sufficiency.


    Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how 
the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or 
activities identified in the application. Cite factors that might 
accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the 
proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of 
the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in 
cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.
    Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the 
accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such 
terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities 
accomplished. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or 
function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of 
accomplishments and their target dates.
    If any data are to be collected, maintained, and/or disseminated, 
clearance may be required from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB). This clearance pertains to any ``collection of information that 
is conducted or sponsored by ACF.''
    List organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key 
individuals who will work on the project along with a short description 
of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Geographic Location

    Describe the precise location of the project and boundaries of the 
area to be served by the proposed project. Maps or other graphic aids 
may be attached.

Additional Information

    Following are requests for additional information that need to be 
included in the application:

Staff and Position Data

    Provide a biographical sketch for each key person appointed and a 
job description for each vacant key position. A biographical sketch 
will also be required for new key staff as appointed.

Organizational Profiles

    Provide information on the applicant organization(s) and 
cooperating partners such as organizational charts, financial 
statements, audit reports, or statements from CPAs/Licensed Public 
Accountants, Employer Identification Numbers, names of bond carriers, 
contact persons and telephone numbers, child care licenses, and other 
documentation of professional accreditation, information on compliance 
with Federal/State/local government standards, documentation of 
experience in the program area, and other pertinent information. Any 
non-profit organization submitting an application must submit proof of 
its non-profit status in its application at the time of submission.
    The non-profit agency can accomplish this by including in the 
    a. A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the 
Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt 
organizations described in the IRS Code.
    b. A copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate.
    c. A statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or 
other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant 
organization has a non-profit status and that none of the net earning 
accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
    d. A certified copy of the organization's certificate of 
incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit 
    e. Any of the items in the above for a State or national parent 
organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the 
applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

Third-Party Agreements

    Include written agreements between grantees and subgrantees or 
subcontractors or other cooperating entities. These agreements must 
detail scope of work to be performed, work schedules, remuneration, and 
other terms and conditions that structure or define the relationship.

[[Page 38375]]

Letters of Support

    Provide statements from community, public, and commercial leaders 
that support the project proposed for funding. All submissions should 
be included in the application OR by application deadline.

Budget and Budget Justification

    Provide line item detail and detailed calculations for each budget 
object class identified on the Budget Information Form. Detailed 
calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, 
and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to 
be duplicated. The detailed budget must also include a breakout by the 
funding sources identified in Block 15 of the SF-424.
    Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the 
categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, 
and allocability of the proposed costs.


    The following guidelines are for preparing the budget and budget 
justification. Both Federal and non-Federal resources shall be detailed 
and justified in the budget and narrative justification. For purposes 
of preparing the budget and budget justification, ``Federal resources'' 
refers only to the ACF grant for which you are applying. Non-Federal 
resources are all other Federal and non-Federal resources. It is 
suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a 
columnar format: First column, object class categories; second column, 
Federal budget; next column(s), non-Federal budget(s), and last column, 
total budget. The budget justification should be a narrative.


    Description: Costs of employee salaries and wages.
    Justification: Identify the project director or principal 
investigator, if known. For each staff person, provide the title, time 
commitment to the project (in months), time commitment to the project 
(as a percentage or full-time equivalent), annual salary, grant salary, 
wage rates, etc. Do not include the costs of consultants or personnel 
costs of delegate agencies or of specific project(s) or businesses to 
be financed by the applicant.

Fringe Benefits

    Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits unless treated as 
part of an approved indirect cost rate.
    Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages 
that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, FICA, 
retirement insurance, taxes, etc.


    Description: Costs of project-related travel by employees of the 
applicant organization (does not include costs of consultant travel).
    Justification: For each trip, show the total number of traveler(s), 
travel destination, duration of trip, per diem, mileage allowances, if 
privately owned vehicles will be used, and other transportation costs 
and subsistence allowances. Travel costs for key staff to attend ORR-
sponsored workshops should be detailed in the budget.


    Description: ``Equipment'' means an article of nonexpendable, 
tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year 
and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of (a) the 
capitalization level established by the organization for the financial 
statement purposes or (b) $5,000. (Note: Acquisition cost means the net 
invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any 
modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus 
necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. 
Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit 
insurance, freight, and installation shall be included in or excluded 
from acquisition cost in accordance with the organization's regular 
written accounting practices.)
    Justification: For each type of equipment requested, provide a 
description of the equipment, the cost per unit, the number of units, 
the total cost, and a plan for use on the project, as well as use or 
disposal of the equipment after the project ends. An applicant 
organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide 
a copy of its policy or section of its policy which includes the 
equipment definition.


    Description: Costs of all tangible personal property other than 
that included under the Equipment category.
    Justification: Specify general categories of supplies and their 
costs. Show computations and provide other information that supports 
the amount requested.


    Description: Costs of all contracts for services and goods except 
for those that belong under other categories such as equipment, 
supplies, construction, etc. Third-party evaluation contracts (if 
applicable) and contracts with secondary recipient organizations, 
including delegate agencies and specific project(s) or businesses to be 
financed by the applicant, should be included under this category.
    Justification: All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a 
manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open, and free 
competition. Recipients and subrecipients, other than States that are 
required to use part 92 procedures, must justify any anticipated 
procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition 
and exceed the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 
403(11) (currently set at $100,000). Recipients might be required to 
make available to ACF pre-award review and procurement documents, such 
as request for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost 
estimates, etc.

    Note: Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the 
project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed 
budget and budget narrative for each delegate agency, by agency 
title, along with the required supporting information referred to in 
these instructions.


    Enter the total of all other costs. Such costs, where applicable 
and appropriate, may include but are not limited to insurance, food, 
medical and dental costs (noncontractual), professional services costs, 
space and equipment rentals, printing and publication, computer use, 
training costs, such as tuition and stipends, staff development costs, 
and administrative costs.
    Justification: Provide computations, a narrative description, and a 
justification for each cost under this category.

Indirect Charges

    Description: Total amount of indirect costs. This category should 
be used only when the applicant currently has an indirect cost rate 
approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or 
another cognizant Federal agency.
    Justification: An applicant that will charge indirect costs to the 
grant must enclose a copy of the current rate agreement. If the 
applicant organization is in the process of initially developing or 
renegotiating a rate, it should, immediately upon notification that an 
award will be made, develop a tentative indirect cost rate proposal 
based on its most recently completed fiscal year in accordance with the 
principles set forth in the cognizant agency's guidelines for 
establishing indirect cost rates and submit it to the cognizant agency.

[[Page 38376]]

Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposals may also 
request indirect costs. It should be noted that when an indirect cost 
rate is requested, those costs included in the indirect cost pool 
should not also be charged as direct costs to the grant. Also, if the 
applicant is requesting a rate which is less than what is allowed under 
the program, the authorized representative of the applicant 
organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is 
accepting a lower rate than allowed.

Program Income

    Description: The estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be 
generated from this project.
    Justification: Describe the nature, source, and anticipated use of 
program income in the budget or refer to the pages in the application 
that contain this information.

Nonfederal Resources

    Description: Amounts of non-Federal resources that will be used to 
support the project as identified in Block 15 of the SF-424.
    Justification: The firm commitment of these resources must be 
documented and submitted with the application in order to be given 
credit in the review process. A detailed budget must be prepared for 
each funding source.

Total Direct Charges, Total Indirect Charges, Total Project Costs


Part III: The Review Process

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is covered under Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,'' and 45 CFR part 100, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services 
Programs and Activities.'' Under the Order, States may design their own 
processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance 
under covered programs.
    The following jurisdictions have elected not to participate in the 
Executive Order process. Applicants from these jurisdictions need not 
take action in regard to E.O. 12372: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, 
Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, 
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, 
Oklahoma, Oregon, Palau, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, 
Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
    Although the jurisdictions listed above no longer participate in 
the process, entities which have met the eligibility criteria of the 
program may still apply for a grant even if a State, Territory, 
Commonwealth, etc., does not have a Single Point of Contact (SPOC). All 
remaining jurisdictions participate in the Executive Order process and 
have established SPOCs. Applicants from participating jurisdictions 
should contact their SPOCs as soon as possible to alert them of the 
prospective applications and receive instructions. Applicants must 
submit any required material to the SPOCs as soon as possible so that 
the program office can obtain and review SPOC comments as part of the 
award process. The applicant must submit all required materials, if 
any, to the SPOC and indicate the date of this submittal (or the date 
of contact if no submittal is required) on the Standard Form 424, item 
16a. Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application 
deadline to comment on proposed new or competing continuation awards.
    SPOCs are encouraged to eliminate the submission of routine 
endorsements as official recommendations. Additionally, SPOCs are 
requested to differentiate clearly between mere advisory comments and 
those official State process recommendations, which may trigger the 
``accommodate or explain'' rule.
    When comments are submitted directly to ACF, they should be 
addressed to: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration 
for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of 
Discretionary Grants, Attention: Daphne Weeden, Grants Officer, 370 
L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Fourth Floor West, Washington, DC 20447.
    A list of the Single Points of Contact for each participating State 
and Territory is included with the application materials for this 
program announcement. The list can also be found on the Internet at

Initial ACF Screening

    Each application submitted under this program announcement will 
undergo a pre-review to determine that (1) the application was mailed 
by the closing date and submitted in accordance with the instructions 
in this announcement and (2) the applicant is eligible for funding.

Competitive Review

    Applications, which pass the initial ACF screening, will be 
evaluated and rated by an independent review panel on the basis of 
specific evaluation criteria. The evaluation criteria were designed to 
assess the quality of a proposed project and to determine the 
likelihood of its success. The evaluation criteria are closely related 
and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an 
application. Points are awarded only to applications that are 
responsive to the evaluation criteria within the context of this 
program announcement.

Review Criteria

    Applications will be reviewed using the following evaluation 
    1. Approach. (25 points) Adequacy and appropriateness of the 
program approach or design, including project goals and structure 
(policies, procedures, activities); training and technical assistance; 
loan funds, lending criteria, and fees, if included in the design; 
whether the business targets are start-ups, expansions, or both; 
partner agencies; and credit enhancements, such as loan loss reserve 
    2. Organization Profiles. (25 points) Demonstrated organizational 
and management capacity including bilingual/bicultural competent 
services and experience serving refugees and other economically 
disadvantaged populations; description of experience in organizational 
management, including copies of the last two fiscal year financial 
statements, with balance sheets and income statements; description of 
experience in providing microenterprise development services and in the 
management of loan funds, including a projected monthly cash flow chart 
for the loan fund for the four-year period beginning September 30, 
2003; and experience in collaboration with the specific refugee 
community(ies) and coalition building among refugee and non-refugee 
service providers.
    3. Results and Expected Benefits. (20 points) Extent to which the 
expected outcomes and unit costs of the project are appropriate, 
consistent with reported nationwide performance in microenterprise 
projects, and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities. 
Results may include the impact of business income and business assets 
on clients' welfare status, if applicable, and on economic self-
sufficiency as well as projected outcomes for business income, 
employment, and survivability.
    4. Objectives and Need for Assistance. (15 points) Quality of the 
description of the prospective refugee communities' profile with 
respect to welfare utilization, English language proficiency, length of 
time in the U.S., interest in microbusiness, and the description of 
local capital needs and capital market gaps for refugee 

[[Page 38377]]

    5. Budget and Budget Justification. (15 points) Appropriateness and 
reasonableness of the proposed budget, including the relative 
distribution of funds for administrative costs, training, technical 
assistance, and loan capital. The application should include project 
timelines and a narrative justification supporting each budget line 

Part IV: The Application

    Application Materials: In order to be considered for a grant under 
this program announcement, an application must be submitted on the 
Standard Form 424 and in the manner prescribed by ACF. Application 
materials, including forms and instructions, are available from the ORR 
Web site at The application 
materials are also available from the contact named under the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section in the preamble of this 
    An application with an original signature and two clearly 
identified copies are required. Applicants must clearly indicate on the 
SF-424 the grant announcement number under which the application is 
submitted. Applicants have the option of omitting from the application 
copies (not from the original) specific salary rates or amounts for 
individuals specified in the application budget.

Application Submission and Deadline

    Mailed applications postmarked after the closing date will be 
classified as late.
    Deadline: Mailed applications shall be considered as meeting an 
announced deadline if they are either received on or before the 
deadline date or sent on or before the deadline date and received by 
ACF in time for the independent review to: U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of 
Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, Attention: Daphne 
Weeden, Grants Officer, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Mail Stop 6C-462, 
Washington, DC 20447.
    Applicants must ensure that a legibly dated U.S. Postal Service 
postmark or a legibly dated, machine produced postmark of a commercial 
mail service is affixed to the envelope/package containing the 
application(s). To be acceptable as a proof of timely mailing, a 
postmark from a commercial mail service must include the logo/emblem of 
the commercial mail service company and must reflect the date the 
package was received by the commercial mail service company from the 
applicant. Private Metered postmarks shall not be acceptable as proof 
of timely mailing.

(Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not 
always deliver as agreed.)
    Applications handcarried by applicants, applicant couriers, or by 
other representatives of the applicant shall be considered as meeting 
an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline 
date, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., EST, at the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children 
and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary 
Grants, ACF Mailroom, 2nd Floor (near loading dock), Aerospace Center, 
901 D Street, SW., Washington, DC 20024, between Monday and Friday 
(excluding Federal holidays). The address must appear on the envelope/
package containing the application with the note ``Attention: Daphne 
Weeden, Grants Officer. (Applicants are cautioned that express/
overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.)
    ACF cannot accommodate transmission of applications by fax or 
through other electronic media. Therefore, applications transmitted to 
ACF electronically will not be accepted regardless of date or time of 
submission and time of receipt.
    Late applications: Applications which do not meet the criteria 
above are considered late applications. ACF shall notify each late 
applicant that its application will not be considered in the current 
    Extension of deadlines: ACF may extend application deadlines when 
circumstances such as acts of God (floods, hurricanes, etc.) occur, or 
when there are widespread disruptions of mail service, or in other rare 
cases. Determination to extend or waive deadline requirements rest with 
the Chief Grants Management Officer.
    For Further Information on Application Deadlines, Contact: Daphne 
Weeden, Grants Officer, Division of Discretionary Grants, Office of 
Grants Management, Administration for Children and Families, 370 
L'Enfant Promenade, SW, Fourth Floor West, Washington, DC 20447. 
Telephone: (202) 401-4577.
    Certifications, Assurances, and Disclosure Required for Non-
Construction Programs--Applicants requesting financial assistance for 
non-construction projects must file the Standard Form 424B, 
``Assurances: Non-Construction Programs.'' Applicants must sign and 
return the Standard Form 424B with their applications.
    Applicants must provide a signed certification regarding lobbying 
with their applications, when applying for an award in excess of 
$100,000. Applicants who used non-Federal funds for lobbying activities 
in connection with receiving assistance under this announcement shall 
complete a disclosure form to report lobbying.
    Applicants must make the appropriate certification of their 
compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. By signing and 
submitting the application, the applicant is providing the 
certification and need not mail back the certification with the 
    Applicants must make the appropriate certification that they are 
not presently debarred, suspended, or otherwise ineligible for an 
award. By signing and submitting the application, the applicant is 
providing the certification and need not mail back the certification 
with the application.
    Administrative Regulations: Applicable U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services regulations can be found at 45 CFR part 74 or part 
    Post-Award Reporting Requirements: Grantees are required to file 
the Financial Status Report (SF-269) and Program Performance Reports on 
a semi-annual basis. Funds issued under these awards must be accounted 
for, and reported upon, separately from all other grant activities. 
Although ORR does not expect the proposed projects to include 
evaluation activities, it does expect grantees to maintain adequate 
records to track and report on project outcomes. An original and one 
copy of each report shall be submitted within 30 days of the end of 
each reporting period directly to the Grants Officer. The mailing 
address is: Ms. Daphne Weeden, Grants Officer, Division of 
Discretionary Grants, Office of Grants Management, Administration for 
Children and Families, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Fourth Floor West, 
Washington, DC 20447. A final Financial Status Report and Program 
Performance Report shall be due 90 days after the budget expiration 
date or termination of grant support.

    Dated: June 24, 2003.
Nguyen Van Hanh,
Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement.
[FR Doc. 03-16346 Filed 6-26-03; 8:45 am]