[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 74 (Monday, April 19, 1999)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19242-19248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-9638]



[[Page 19241]]

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Part III





Department of Agriculture





_______________________________________________________________________



Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service



_______________________________________________________________________



Proposed Guidelines for State Plans of Work for the Agricultural 
Research and Extension Formula Funds; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 74 / Monday, April 19, 1999 / 
Notices

[[Page 19242]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service


Proposed Guidelines for State Plans of Work for the Agricultural 
Research and Extension Formula Funds

AGENCY: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, 
USDA.

ACTION: Notice and Request for Comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension 
Service (CSREES) is requesting public comment on the proposed 
Guidelines for State Plans of Work for the Agricultural Research and 
Extension Formula Funds. These guidelines prescribe the procedures to 
be followed by the eligible institutions receiving Federal agricultural 
research and extension formula funds under the Hatch Act of 1887, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.); sections 3(b)(1) and (c) of the Smith-
Lever Act of 1914, as amended (7 U.S.C. 343 (b)(1) and (c)); and 
sections 1444 and 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3221 
and 3222). The recipients of these funds are commonly referred to as 
the 1862 land-grant institutions and 1890 land-grant institutions, 
including Tuskegee University. CSREES is also requesting public comment 
on the development of research and extension protocols used to evaluate 
the success of multistate, multi-institutional, and multidisciplinary 
research and extension activities, and joint research and extension 
activities, in addressing critical agricultural issues identified in 
the submitted plans of work.

DATES: Written comments are invited from interested individuals and 
organizations. To be considered in the formulation of the guidelines, 
comments must be received on or before May 19, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments to CSREES-USDA; Office of Extramural 
Programs; Policy and Program Liaison Staff; Mail Stop 2299; 1400 
Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20250-2299. Comments may be 
hand-delivered to CSREES-USDA; Office of Extramural Programs; Room 302 
Aerospace Center; 901 D Street, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20024. Comments 
may also be mailed electronically to oep@reeusda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George Cooper; Deputy 
Administrator, Partnerships; Cooperative State Research, Education, and 
Extension Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Washington, D.C. 
20250; at 202-720-5285 or 202-720-5369, 202-720-4924 (fax) or via 
electronic mail at bhewitt@reeusda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
regulations (5 CFR Part 1320) that implement the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements imposed by the implementation of these 
guidelines have been submitted to OMB for approval. Those requirements 
will not become effective prior to OMB approval. The eligible 
institutions will be notified upon this approval.
    Title: Reporting Requirements for State Plans of Work for 
Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds.
     Summary:  The purpose of this collection of information is to 
implement the requirements of section 7 of the Hatch Act of 1887, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 361g); section 4 of the Smith-Lever Act, as amended 
(7 U.S.C. 343); and section 1444(d) and section 1445(c) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 
(NARETPA), as amended (7 U.S.C. 3221(d) and 3222 (c)), which require 
that before funds may be provided to a State or eligible institution 
under these Acts a plan of work must be submitted by the proper 
officials of the State or eligible institution, as appropriate, and 
approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.
    Need for the Information: The Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA), Pub. L. 105-185, amended the 
Hatch Act of 1887, Smith-Lever Act, and sections 1444 and 1445 of 
NARETPA to require plans of work to be received and approved by CSREES 
prior to the distribution of funding authorized under these Acts. This 
collection of information will satisfy the plan of work reporting 
requirements as imposed by these Acts. This collection of information 
includes three parts: the submission of a 5-year plan of work every 
five years; the submission of an annual update of the 5-year plan of 
work, if applicable; and the submission of an annual report of 
accomplishments and results.
    The first two collections of information are required in order to 
satisfy the above amendments to the Acts that authorize the 
distribution of agricultural research and extension formula funds to 
States and eligible institutions. In addition to a description of 
planned programs, the 5-Year Plan of Work must include information on 
how critical short-term, intermediate, and long-term agricultural 
issues in the State will be addressed in research and extension 
programs; how the State or eligible institution has developed a process 
to consult users of agricultural extension and research in the 
identification of critical agricultural issues in the State and the 
development of programs and projects targeting these issues (also 
referred to as stakeholder input); how the State or eligible 
institution has made efforts to identify and collaborate with other 
universities and colleges that have a unique capacity to address the 
identified agricultural issues in the State and the extent of current 
and emerging efforts (including the regional and/or multistate efforts) 
to work with these institutions; the manner in which research and 
extension, including research and extension activities funded other 
than through formula funds, will cooperate to address the critical 
issues in the State, including activities to be carried out separately, 
sequentially, or jointly; and for extension, the education and outreach 
programs already underway to convey available research results that are 
pertinent to a critical agricultural issue, including efforts to 
encourage multicounty cooperation in the dissemination of research 
information.
    Section 103(e) of AREERA (7 U.S.C. 7613(e)) also required, 
effective October 1, 1999, that a merit review process be established 
at the 1862 land-grant institutions and 1890 land-grant institutions in 
order to obtain agricultural research and extension formula funds. The 
5-Year Plan of Work includes a section for the description of the merit 
review process to ensure that such a process is in place prior to the 
distribution of agricultural research and extension formula funds.
    Sections 104 and 105 of AREERA also amended the Hatch Act and 
Smith-Lever Act to require that a specified amount of the agricultural 
research and extension formula funds be expended for multistate 
activities and that a description of these activities be reported in 
the plan of work. Section 204 of AREERA further amended the Hatch Act 
and Smith-Lever Act to require that a specified amount of the 
agricultural research and extension formula funds be expended for 
activities that integrate cooperative research and extension and that a 
description of these activities be included in the plan of work. Two 
components of the 5-Year Plan of Work submission on Multistate 
Activities and on Integrated Research

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and Extension Activities have been included to meet these additional 
requirements.
    The second collection of information will be an annual update to 
the 5-Year Plan of Work. This will be required only if there is a 
substantive change to planned programs or a significant change in 
funding as outlined in the proposed guidelines.
    The third collection of information will be the Annual Report of 
Accomplishments and Results. This will be based on the 5-Year Plan of 
Work and will assist CSREES in ensuring that federally supported and 
conducted research and extension activities are accomplished in 
accordance with the management principles set forth under section 
102(d) of AREERA (7 U.S.C. 7612(d)). These principles require that to 
the maximum extent possible, CSREES shall ensure that federally 
supported research and extension activities are accomplished in a 
manner that integrates agricultural research, extension, and education 
functions to better link research to technology transfer and 
information dissemination activities; encourages regional and 
multistate programs to address relevant issues of common concern and to 
better leverage scarce resources; and achieves agricultural research, 
extension, education objectives through multi-institutional and 
multifunctional approaches and by conducting research at facilities and 
institutions best equipped to achieve these objectives.
    Respondents: Respondents will be the 57 1862 land-grant 
institutions and the 17 1890 land-grant institutions, including 
Tuskegee University, who will provide a 5-year plan of work once every 
five years; will update annually this 5-year plan of work, if 
necessary; and will report on the accomplishments and results of this 
5-year plan of work annually to CSREES.
    Estimate of Burden: The amendments to AREERA require a plan of work 
for funds that are distributed on an annual basis. To reduce the burden 
on respondents, CSREES proposes a 5-Year Plan of Work to be modified by 
an annual update only where there are substantive program changes and/
or significant funding changes.
    The total reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the 
submission of the ``5-Year Plan of Work'' is estimated to average 
1,349.44 hours per response. There are five required components of this 
``5-Year Plan of Work': ``Planned Programs,'' ``Stakeholder Input 
Process,'' ``Program Review Process,'' ``Multistate Activities,'' and 
``Integrated Research and Extension Activities.'' The total reporting 
and recordkeeping requirement for ``Planned Programs'' is estimated at 
690.00 hours; for ``Stakeholder Input Process'' is estimated at 9.19 
hours; for ``Program Review Process'' is estimated at 276.00 hours; for 
``Multistate Activities'' is estimated at 216.75 hours; and for 
``Integrated Research and Extension Activities'' is estimated at 157.50 
hours.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 57.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 148.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 199,717.12 hours.
    Frequency of Responses: Once every five years.
    If the ``5-Year Plan of Work'' needs to be updated as an ``Annual 
Update to the 5-Year Plan of Work,'' the total reporting and 
recordkeeping requirement is estimated to average 134.94 hours per 
response.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 15.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,024.16 hours.
    Frequency of Responses: Annually.
    The total annual reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the 
``Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results'' is estimated to 
average 1,366.67 hours per response.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 57.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 148.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 202,267.16 hours.
    Frequency of Responses: Annually.
    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) whether the proposed 
collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of 
the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will 
have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of 
the burden of the proposed collection of information including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance 
the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; 
and (d) ways to minimize the burden of collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: CSREES-
USDA; Office of Extramural Programs; Policy and Program Liaison Staff; 
Mail Stop 2299; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20250-
2299 by June 23, 1999 or to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
Washington, D.C. 20502. Reference should be made to the volume, page, 
and date of this Federal Register publication.

Background and Purpose

    The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service 
(CSREES) proposes to implement the following Guidelines for State Plans 
of Work for the Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds in 
order to meet the plan of work reporting requirements enacted in the 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 
(AREERA), Pub. L. 105-185. The AREERA amendments added new and 
consistent plan of work requirements for agricultural research and 
extension formula funds provided under the Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 
361a et seq.), the Smith-lever Act (7 U.S.C. 341 et seq.), and sections 
1444 and 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (U.S.C. 3221 and 3222). The specific plan 
of work reporting requirements are outlined in the ``Preface and 
Authority'' section of the Guidelines.
    These guidelines were developed by CSREES in consultation with the 
State partners at the 1862 land-grant institutions and the 1890 land-
grant institutions, including Tuskegee University. Since the enactment 
of AREERA on June 23, 1998, the Agency has engaged in these 
consultations, under an exemption to the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
(7 U.S.C. 3124a(e)), with members of both the Federal and State 
partnership focusing on different aspects of the plan of work and 
requirements for the agricultural research and extension formula funds 
(i.e., stakeholder input, multistate and integrated activities), and 
has received input and comments from the 1862 and 1890 land-grant 
community to ensure that the Guidelines, while meeting the legal 
requirements of the legislation, address the issues and concerns of the 
recipients.
    CSREES is committed to a set of basic principles regarding the plan 
of work emphasizing the content in the plan of work rather than the 
format. CSREES has developed guidance about what goes into a plan of 
work, not how it is to be reported. Thus, CSREES does not intend to 
develop a prototype, template, or a model plan of work. CSREES is 
committed to allowing all institutions maximum flexibility in 
responding to the content required by legislation.
    The amendments to the Hatch and Smith-Lever Acts plan of work 
requirements made by section 202 of AREERA require the Secretary of 
Agriculture to develop protocols to

[[Page 19244]]

evaluate the success of multistate, multi-institutional, and 
multidisciplinary research and extension activities, and joint research 
and extension activities, in addressing the critical agricultural 
issues identified in the plans of work. Although not included in the 
Guidelines at present, CSREES also seeks comments on evaluation 
protocols and criteria for the plans of work that will eventually 
become part of the Guidelines. This section also stipulates that these 
protocols be developed by CSREES in shared consultation with the 
National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics 
Advisory Board. CSREES is in the process of developing these protocols 
in consultation with this Advisory Board.
    CSREES is proposing to use the Annual Reports of Accomplishments 
and Results to evaluate the success of multistate, multi-institutional, 
and multidisciplinary activities, and joint research and extension 
activities, in addressing critical agricultural issues identified in 
the 5-Year Plans of Work. At this time, CSREES proposes to use the 
following evaluation criteria: (1) Did the planned program address the 
critical issues of strategic importance, including those identified by 
the stakeholders? (2) Did the planned program address the needs of 
under-served populations of the State(s)? (3) Did the planned program 
describe the expected outcomes and impacts? and (4) Did the planned 
program result in improved program effectiveness and/or efficiency?
    Pursuant to the plan of work requirements enacted in the 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998, the 
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service hereby 
proposes to implement the Guidelines for State Plans of Work for 
Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds as follows:

Guidelines for State Plans of Work for Agricultural Research and 
Extension Formula Funds

Table of Contents

I. Preface and Authority
II. Submission of the 5-Year Plan of Work
    A. General
    1. Planning Option
    2. Period Covered
    3. Projected Resources
    4. Submission and Due Date
    5. Certification
    6. Definitions
    B. Components of the 5-Year Plan of Work
    1. Planned Programs
    a. National Goals
    b. Format
    c. Program Descriptions
    2. Stakeholder Input Process
    3. Program Review Process
    a. Merit Review
    b. Scientific Peer Review
    c. Reporting Requirement
    4. Multistate Research and Extension Activities
    a. Hatch Multistate Research
    b. Smith-Lever Multistate Extension
    c. Reporting Requirement
    5. Integrated Research and Extension Activities
    C. Five Year Plan of Work Evaluation by CSREES
    1. Schedule
    2. Review Criteria
    3. Evaluation of Multistate and Integrated Research and 
Extension Activities
III. Annual Update of the 5-Year Plan of Work
    A. Applicability
    B. Reporting Requirement
IV. Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results
    A. Reporting Requirement
    B. Format

I. Preface and Authority

    Sections 202 and 225 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA), Pub. L. 105-185, enacted 
amendments requiring all States and 1890 institutions receiving formula 
funds authorized under the Hatch Act of 1887, as amended (7 U.S.C. 361a 
et seq.), the Smith-Lever Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 341 et seq.), and 
sections 1444 and 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA), as amended (7 
U.S.C. 3221 and 3222), to prepare and submit to the Cooperative State 
Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) a plan of work for 
the use of those funds.
    While the requirement for the Hatch Act and Smith-Lever Act funds 
applies to the States, CSREES assumes that in most cases the function 
will be performed by the 1862 land-grant institution in the States. The 
only ``eligible institutions'' to receive formula funding under 
sections 1444 and 1445 of NARETPA are the 1890 land-grant institutions 
and Tuskegee University. Therefore, these guidelines refer throughout 
to ``institutions'' to include both the 1862 and 1890 land-grant 
institutions, including Tuskegee University.
    Further, these guidelines require a plan of work that covers both 
research and extension. Although the District of Columbia receives 
extension funds under the District of Columbia Postsecondary Education 
Reorganization Act, Pub. L. 93-471, as opposed to the Smith-Lever Act, 
CSREES has determined that it should be subject to the plan of work 
requirements imposed under these guidelines except where expressly 
excluded.
    All the requirements of AREERA with regard to agricultural research 
and extension formula funds were considered and were incorporated in 
these plan of work guidelines including descriptions of the following: 
(1) The critical short-term, intermediate, and long-term agricultural 
issues in the State and the current and planned research and extension 
programs and projects targeted to address the issues; (2) The process 
established to consult with stakeholders regarding the identification 
of critical agricultural issues in the State and the development of 
research and extension projects and programs targeted to address the 
issues; (3) The efforts made to identify and collaborate with other 
colleges and universities that have a unique capacity to address the 
identified agricultural issues in the State and the extent of current 
and emerging efforts (including regional and multistate efforts) to 
work with those other institutions; (4) The manner in which research 
and extension, including research and extension activities funded other 
than through formula funds, will cooperate to address the critical 
issues in the State, including the activities to be carried out 
separately, sequentially, or jointly; and (5) For extension, the 
education and outreach programs already underway to convey available 
research results that are pertinent to a critical agricultural issue, 
including efforts to encourage multicounty cooperation in the 
dissemination of research information.
    These guidelines also take into consideration the requirement in 
section 102(c) of AREERA for the 1862, 1890, and 1994 land-grant 
institutions receiving agricultural research, extension, and education 
formula funds to establish a process for receiving stakeholder input on 
the uses of such funds. This stakeholder input requirement, as it 
applies to research and extension at 1862 and 1890 land-grant 
institutions, has been incorporated as part of the plan of work 
process.
    The requirement of section 103(e) of AREERA also is addressed in 
these plan of work guidelines. This section requires that the 1862, 
1890, and 1994 land-grant institutions establish a merit review 
process, prior to October 1, 1999, in order to obtain agricultural 
research, extension, and education funds. For purposes of these 
guidelines applicable to formula funds, a merit review process must be 
established for extension programs funded under sections 3(b)(1) and 
(c) of the Smith-Lever Act and under section 1444 of NARETPA, and for 
research programs funded under

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sections 3(c)(1) and (2) of the Hatch Act (commonly referred to as 
Hatch Regular Formula Funds) and under section 1445 of NARETPA. Section 
104 of AREERA amended the Hatch Act of 1887 also to stipulate that a 
scientific peer review process (that also would satisfy the 
requirements of a merit review process under section 103(e)) be 
established for research programs funded under section 3(c)(3) of the 
Hatch Act (commonly referred to as Hatch Multistate Research Funds). As 
previously stated, these program review processes must be established 
prior to October 1, 1999, in order for the institutions to obtain 
agricultural research and extension formula funds. Consequently, a 
description of the merit review and scientific peer review process has 
been included as a requirement in the submission of the 5-Year Plan of 
Work.
    These plan of work guidelines also require reporting on the 
multistate and integrated research and extension programs. Section 104 
of AREERA amended the Hatch Act of 1887 to redesignate the Hatch 
regional research funds as the Hatch Multistate Research Fund, 
specifying that these funds be used for cooperative research employing 
multidisciplinary approaches in which a State agricultural experiment 
station, working with another state agricultural experiment station, 
the Agricultural Research Service, or a college or university, 
cooperates to solve the problems that concern more than one State. 
Section 105 of AREERA amended the Smith-Lever Act to require that each 
institution receiving extension formula funds under sections 3(b) and 
(c) of the Smith-Lever Act expend for multistate activities in FY 2000 
and thereafter a percentage that is at least equal to the lesser of 25 
percent or twice the percentage of funds expended by the institution 
for multistate activities in FY 1997. Section 204 of AREERA amended 
both the Hatch and Smith-Lever Acts to require that each institution 
receiving agricultural research and extension formula funds under the 
Hatch Act and sections 3(b) and (c) of the Smith-Lever Act expend for 
integrated research and extension activities in FY 2000 and thereafter 
a percentage that is at least equal to the lesser of 25 percent or 
twice the percentage of funds expended by the institution for 
integrated research and extension activities in FY 1997. These sections 
also require that the institutions include in the plan of work a 
description of the manner in which they will meet these multistate and 
integrated requirements.
    These applicable percentages apply to the Federal agricultural 
research and extension formula funds only. Federal formula funds that 
are used by the institution for a fiscal year for integrated activities 
may also be counted to satisfy the multistate activities requirement.
    The multistate and integrated research and extension requirements 
do not apply to formula funds received by American Samoa, Guam, 
Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 
Since the Smith-Lever Act is not directly applicable, the multistate 
and integrated extension requirements do not apply to extension funds 
received by the District of Columbia, except to the extent it 
voluntarily complies.
    The amendments made by sections 105 and 204 of AREERA also provide 
that the Secretary of Agriculture may reduce the minimum percentage 
required to be expended by the institution for multistate and 
integrated activities in the case of hardship, infeasibility, or other 
similar circumstance beyond the control of the institution. CSREES will 
issue separate guidance on the establishment of the FY 1997 baseline 
percentages for multistate activities and integrated activities and on 
requests for reduction in the required minimum percentage.
    Also included in these guidelines are instructions on how to report 
on the annual accomplishments and results of the planned programs 
contained in the 5-Year Plan of Work, information on the evaluation of 
accomplishments and results, and information on when and how to update 
the 5-Year Plan of Work if necessary.

II. Submission of the 5-Year Plan of Work

A. General

1. Planning Option
    This document provides guidance for preparing the plan of work with 
preservation of institutional autonomy and programmatic flexibility 
within the Federal-State Partnership. The plan of work is a 5-year 
prospective plan that covers the period of fiscal year 2000 through 
2004, with the option to submit annual updates to the 5-Year Plan of 
Work. The 5-Year Plans of Work may be prepared for an institution's 
individual functions (i.e., research or extension activities), for an 
individual institution (including the planning of research and 
extension activities), or for state-wide activities (a 5-year research 
and/or extension plan of work for all the eligible institutions in a 
State). Each 5-Year Plan of Work must reflect the content of the 
program(s) funded by Federal agricultural research and extension 
formula funds and the required matching funds. This 5-Year Plan of Work 
must describe not only how the program(s) address critical short-term, 
intermediate, and long-term agricultural issues in a State, but how it 
relates to and is part of the broad national goals.
2. Period Covered
    The 5-Year Plan of Work should cover the period from October 1, 
1999, through September 30, 2004.
3. Projected Resources
    The resources that are allocated for various planned programs in 
the 5-Year Plan of Work, in terms of human and fiscal measures, should 
be included and projected over the next five years. The baseline for 
the institution's or State's initial plan (for five years) should be 
the Federal agricultural research and extension formula funds for FY 
1999 and the required matching funds. During the course of the 5-Year 
Plan of Work, if the baseline for the formula funds at the FY 1999 
level changes by more than 10 percent in one year or by 20 percent or 
more cumulatively during the 5-year period, a revised 5-Year Plan of 
Work should be submitted as an annual update the following fiscal year.
4. Submission and Due Date
    The 5-Year Plan of Work must be submitted by July 1, 1999, to the 
Partnerships Unit of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and 
Extension Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is preferred that 
these 5-Year Plans of Work be submitted electronically to 
bhewitt@reeusda.gov in either WordPerfect file format, Microsoft Word 
file format, or ASCII file format. If this submission method is not 
available, an original and two copies of the 5-Year Plan of Work should 
be submitted to: Partnerships/POW; Cooperative State Research, 
Education, and Extension Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Stop 
2214; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington. D.C. 20250-2214.
5. Certification
    The 5-Year Plan of Work must be signed by the 1862 Extension 
Director, 1862 Research Director, 1890 Extension Administrator, and/or 
1890 Research Director, depending on the planning option chosen.
6. Definitions
    For the purpose of implementing the Guidelines for State Plans of 
Work for Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds, the 
following definitions are applicable:
    Formula funds for the purposes of the plan of work guidelines means 
funding

[[Page 19246]]

provided by formula to 1862 land-grant institutions under section 3 of 
the Hatch Act of 1887, as amended (7 U.S.C. 361a) and sections 3(b)(1) 
and (c) of the Smith-Lever Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 343(b)(1) and (c)) 
and to the 1890 land-grant institutions under sections 1444 and 1445 of 
the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act 
of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3221 and 3222).
    Formula funds for the purposes of stakeholder input means the 
funding by formula to the 1862 land-grant institutions and 1890 land-
grant institutions covered by these plan of work guidelines as well as 
the formula funds provided under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative 
Forestry Research Program (16 U.S.C. 582, et seq.), the Animal Health 
and Disease Research Program (7 U.S.C. 3195), and the education 
payments made to the 1994 land-grant institutions under section 534(a) 
of Pub. L. 103-382 (7 U.S.C. 301 note).
    Integrated or joint activities means jointly planned, funded, and 
interwoven activities between research and extension to solve problems. 
This includes the generation of knowledge and the transfer of 
information and technology.
    Merit review means an evaluation whereby the quality and relevance 
to program goals are assessed.
    Multi-institutional means two or more institutions within the same 
or different States or territories that will collaborate in the 
planning and implementation of programs.
    Multistate means collaborative efforts that reflect the programs of 
institutions located in at least two or more States or territories.
    Multi-disciplinary means efforts that represent research, 
education, and/or extension programs in which principal investigators 
or other collaborators from two or more disciplines or fields of 
specialization work together to accomplish specified objectives.
    Outcome indicator means an assessment of the results of a program 
activity compared to its intended purpose.
    Output indicator means a tabulation, calculation, or recording of 
activity of effort expressed in quantitative or qualitative manner 
which measures the products or services produced by the planned 
program.
    Program review means either a merit review or a scientific peer 
review.
    Scientific peer review means an evaluation performed by experts 
with scientific knowledge and technical skills to conduct the proposed 
work whereby the technical quality and relevance to program goals are 
assessed.
    Seek stakeholder input means an open and fair process which allows 
opportunities for individuals, groups, and organizations a voice in a 
process that treats all with dignity and respect.
    Stakeholder is any person who has the opportunity to use or conduct 
agricultural research, extension, and education activities in the 
State.
    Under-served means individuals, groups, and/or organizations whose 
needs have not been addressed in past programs.
    Under-represented means individuals, groups, and/or organizations 
especially those who may not have participated fully including, but not 
limited to, women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with 
disabilities, and limited resource clients.

B. Components of the 5-Year Plan of Work

1. Planned Programs
    a. National Goals. The 5-Year Plan of Work should be based on the 
five national goals established in the Cooperative State Research, 
Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Agency Strategic Plans and 
linked to the five national goals within the Research, Education, and 
Economics (REE) Mission Area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
These national goals were adopted by the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. These 
goals were developed from stakeholder input in conjunction with 
existing Federal-State Partnerships. The body of the 5-Year Plan of 
Work narrative should focus on these goals and outcomes.
    Currently the national goals are:
    Goal 1: An agricultural system that is highly competitive in the 
global economy. Through research and education, empower the 
agricultural system with knowledge that will improve competitiveness in 
domestic production, processing, and marketing.
    Goal 2: A safe and secure food and fiber system. To ensure an 
adequate food and fiber supply and food safety through improved science 
based detection, surveillance, prevention, and education.
    Goal 3: A healthy, well-nourished population. Through research and 
education on nutrition and development of more nutritious foods, enable 
people to make health promoting choices.
    Goal 4: Greater harmony between agriculture and the environment. 
Enhance the quality of the environment through better understanding of 
and building on agriculture's and forestry's complex links with soil, 
water, air, and biotic resources.
    Goal 5: Enhanced economic opportunity and quality of life for 
Americans. Empower people and communities, through research-based 
information and education, to address economic and social challenges 
facing our youth, families, and communities.
    b. Format. As mentioned under the Planning Options section, an 
institution or State may opt to submit independent plans for the 
various units (e.g. 1862 research) or an integrated plan which includes 
all units in the institution or State. Regardless of the option chosen, 
the 5-Year Plan of Work should be reported in the appropriate matrix 
format, each cell of which identifies planned programs that fall under 
one of the national program goals. If an integrated 5-Year Plan of Work 
is submitted, the various units within the entity for which the 5-Year 
Plan of Work has been developed (i.e., 1862 research, 1890 research, 
1862 extension, 1890 extension) would appear on the vertical axis. 
Individual cells within the matrix would be used to summarize the State 
programs.
    The following example illustrates the desired matrix.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Goal 1          Goal 2          Goal 3          Goal 4          Goal 5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1862  Research
1862  Extension
1890  Research
1890  Extension
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c. Program Descriptions. Program descriptions presented in a 
narrative form or in each cell of the matrix for a planned program will 
be related to one of the five national goals and should reflect the 
following planning components:

[[Page 19247]]

    1. The statement of issue to be addressed. This component should 
discuss the critical agricultural issue within the State that was 
identified and being targeted by this planned program. This component 
may also reference the stakeholder input which identified the critical 
agricultural issue in the State and the need for the targeted research 
and/or extension program.
    2. The performance goal(s) is a target level of performance. The 
output indicators should reflect the tabulation, calculation, or 
recording of activity or effort expressed in quantitative or 
qualitative manner which measures the products or services produced by 
the program. The outcome indicators should assess the results of a 
program activity compared to its intended goal.
    3. The key program component(s) identify the major efforts included 
in the work to be conducted.
    4. The internal and external linkages include activities identified 
as integrated, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, and/or 
multistate. This component may also address any efforts made to 
identify and collaborate with other colleges and universities that have 
a unique capacity to address the identified agricultural issues within 
the State and the extent of current and emerging efforts (including 
regional efforts) to work with those institutions.
    5. The target audiences identifies the set of stakeholders, 
customers, and/or consumers for which the program is intended. The 5-
Year Plans of Work should address the institution's commitment to 
facilitating equality of service and ease of access to all research and 
extension programs and services.
    6. The program duration should be expressed as short-term, 
intermediate (one to five years), or long-term (over five years).
    7. The allocated resources (human and fiscal measures) must be 
described for each planned program. This component may not only include 
the amount of Federal agricultural research and/or extension formula 
funds and matching funds allocated to this planned program, but also 
the manner in which funds, other than formula funds, will be expended 
to address the critical issues being targeted by this planned program.
    8. Education and outreach programs must be described that are 
already underway to convey the research results that are pertinent to 
the critical agricultural issue identified in the ``Statement of 
Issue.'' Efforts to encourage multicounty cooperation in dissemination 
of research results should also be identified. This planning component 
applies only to those 5-Year Plans of Work incorporating extension 
activities of the 1862 and/or 1890 land-grant institutions.
2. Stakeholder Input Process
    Section 102(c) of AREERA requires the 1862 land-grant institutions, 
1890 land-grant institutions, and 1994 land-grant institutions 
receiving agricultural research, extension, and education formula funds 
from CSREES to establish a process for stakeholder input on the uses of 
such funds. CSREES will promulgate separately in the Federal Register 
regulations to implement this stakeholder input requirement.
    As a component of the 5-Year Plan of Work, each institution must 
report on the actions taken to seek stakeholder input that encourages 
their participation and a brief statement of the process used by the 
institution to identify stakeholders and to collect input from them. 
This report will be required annually and may be submitted with the 
Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results. This component will 
satisfy the reporting requirements imposed by the separately 
promulgated regulations on stakeholder input.
3. Program Review Process
    a. Merit Review. Effective October 1, 1999, each 1862 land-grant 
institution and 1890 land-grant institution must establish a process 
for merit review in order to obtain agricultural research or extension 
formula funds.
    b. Scientific Peer Review. A scientific peer review is required for 
all research funded under the Hatch Act of 1887 Multistate Research 
Fund. For such research, this scientific peer review will satisfy the 
merit review requirement specified above.
    c. Reporting Requirement. As a component of the 5-year Plan of 
Work, each institution depending on the type of program review required 
will provide a description of the merit review process or scientific 
peer review process established at their institution. This description 
should include the process used in the selection of reviewers with 
expertise relevant to the effort and appropriate scientific and 
technical standards.
4. Multistate Research and Extension Activities
    a. Hatch Multistate Research. Effective October 1, 1998, the Hatch 
Multistate Research Fund replaced the Hatch Regional Research Program. 
The Hatch Multistate Research Fund must be used for research employing 
multidisciplinary approaches to solve research problems that concern 
more than one State. For such research, State agricultural experiment 
stations must partner with another experiment station, the Agricultural 
Research Service, or another college or university.
    b. Smith-Lever Multistate Extension. Effective October 1, 1999, the 
cooperative extension programs at the 1862 land-grant institutions must 
expend up to 25 percent of their formula funds provided under sections 
3(b)(1) and (c) of the Smith-Lever Act for activities in which two or 
more State extension services cooperate to solve problems that concern 
more than one State. As required by law, CSREES will work with each 
1862 land-grant institution to identify the amount each institution 
expended for multistate extension activities for fiscal year (FY) 1997. 
For FY 2000 and thereafter, cooperative extension programs must commit 
two times their FY 1997 baseline percentage or 25 percent, whichever is 
less, for multistate activities. Institutions should describe the 
contributions of extension staff and programs toward impacts rather 
than to describe the programs. Each participating State or territory 
must be a collaborator towards objectives and involved in the outcomes. 
Evidence of the proposed collaboration must be provided in the 5-Year 
Plan of Work submitted by each State. This planning is documented 
through formal agreements, letters of memorandums, contracts, or other 
instruments that provide primary evidence that a multistate 
relationship exists.
    c. Reporting Requirements. The 5-Year Plan of Work should include a 
description of the Multistate Research, where applicable, and 
Multistate Extension programs as specified above and these programs 
must be reported consistently across the units of an institution as 
well as with the 5-Year Plan of Work of the cooperating State(s) or 
State institutions.
5. Integrated Research and Extension Activities
    Effective October 1, 1999, up to 25 percent of all funds provided 
under section 3 of the Hatch Act and under section 3(b)(1) and (c) of 
the Smith-Lever Act must be spent on activities that integrate 
cooperative research and extension. As required by law, CSREES will 
work with each 1862 land-grant institution to establish the 
institution's baseline for integrated research and extension activities 
for FY 1997. For FY 2000 and thereafter, 1862 land-grant institutions 
must commit twice the FY 1997 baseline percentage or 25 percent, 
whichever is less, for integrated activities. Integration may occur 
within the State or between units within two or

[[Page 19248]]

more States. Integrated programming must be reported in the 5-Year Plan 
of Work and be reported consistently across the units of the 
institutions as well as with the 5-Year Plan of Work submitted by 
cooperating State(s). Federal formula funds used by a State for 
integrated activities may also be counted to satisfy the multistate 
research and the multistate extension activity requirements.

C. 5-Year Plan of Work Evaluation by CSREES

1. Schedule
    All 5-Year Plans of Work will be evaluated by CSREES. The 5-Year 
Plans of Work will either be accepted by CSREES without change or 
returned to the institution, with clear and detailed recommendations 
for its modification. The submitting institution(s) will be notified by 
CSREES of its determination within 90 days (review to be completed in 
60 days, communications to the institutions allowing a 30-day response) 
of receipt of the document. Adherence to the Plan of Work schedule by 
the recipient institution is critical to assuring the timely allocation 
of funds by CSREES. Five Year Plans of Work accepted by CSREES will 
remain in effect for five years and will be publicly available in a 
CSREES database. CSREES will notify all institutions of a need for a 
new 5-year plan of work two years prior to the plan's expiration on 
September 30.
2. Review Criteria
    CSREES will evaluate the 5-Year Plans of Work to determine if they 
address agricultural issues of critical importance to the State; 
identify the alignment and realignment of programs to address those 
critical issues; identify the involvement of stakeholders in the 
planning process; give attention to under-served populations; indicate 
the level of Federal formula funds in proportion to all other funds at 
the director or administrator level; provide evidence of multistate, 
multi-institutional, and multidisciplinary and integrated activities; 
and identify the expected outcomes and impacts from the proposed 5-Year 
Plan of Work.
3. Evaluation of Multistate and Integrated Research and Extension 
Activities
    CSREES is proposing to use the Annual Reports of Accomplishments 
and Results to evaluate the success of multistate, multi-institutional, 
and multidisciplinary activities and joint research and extension 
activities, in addressing critical agricultural issues identified in 
the 5-Year Plans of Work. Once evaluation protocols are developed, 
these guidelines will be modified to specify the protocols that will be 
used to evaluate the Annual Reports of Accomplishments and Results.

III. Annual Update of the 5-Year Plan of Work

A. Applicability
    An annual update to the 5-Year Plan of Work is optional and is only 
required if: (1) there is a substantive change in planned programs; (2) 
if the change in Federal agricultural research and extension formula 
funding is 10 percent or greater in one year from the FY 1999 base 
year; or (3) if the cumulative change during the five year period is 20 
percent or greater than the FY 1999 base year.

B. Reporting Requirement

    If a revised 5-Year Plan of Work is required, or if the 
institution(s) chooses to submit an optional update to the 5-Year Plan 
of Work, it should be submitted at the beginning of the next plan of 
work cycle (July 1) to either the same electronic mail address or 
regular mail address as listed for the submission of the 5-Year Plan of 
Work.

IV. Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results

1. Reporting Requirement

    The 5-Year Plan of Work for a reporting unit, institution, or State 
should form the basis for annually reporting its accomplishments and 
results. This report will be due on or before December 31 each year 
with the first report being due on December 31, 2000, for FY 2000. This 
report should be submitted to either the same electronic mail address 
or regular mail address as listed for the submission of the 5-Year Plan 
of Work.

2. Format

    This annual report should include the relevant information related 
to each component of the program in the matrix cells of the 5-Year Plan 
of Work. Accomplishments and results reporting should involve two 
parts. First, institutions should submit an annual set of impact 
statements linked to sources of funding. Strict attention to just the 
preceding year is not expected in all situations. Some impact 
statements may need to cover ten or more years of activity. Focus 
should be given to the benefits received by targeted end-users. Second, 
institutions should submit annual results statements based on the 
indicators of the outputs and outcomes for the activities undertaken 
the preceding year. These should be identified as short-term, 
intermediate, or long-term critical issues in the 5-Year Plan of Work. 
Attention should be given to highlighting multistate, multi-
institutional, and multidisciplinary and integrated activities, as 
appropriate to the 5-Year Plan of Work.

    Done at Washington, D.C., this 13th day of April 1999.
I. Miley Gonzalez,
Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics.
[FR Doc. 99-9638 Filed 4-16-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-22-P