[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 108 (Tuesday, June 7, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33055-33062]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-11280]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 108 / Tuesday, June 7, 2005 / 
Notices

[[Page 33055]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service 
Proposed Revised 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 revised 
Guidelines for State Plans of Work for the Agricultural Research and 
Extension Formula Funds [64 FR 19242-19248]. 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 and West Virginia State 
University. CSREES also is requesting public comment on the revision of 
a previously approved information collection (OMB No. 0524-0036) 
associated with these guidelines.

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 July 7, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
    Mail: Planning and Accountability, Office of the Administrator; 
CSREES-USDA; Mail Stop 2214; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Washington, 
DC 20250-2214.
    Hand Delivery: Planning and Accountability, Office of the 
Administrator; CSREES-USDA; Room 1314; 800 9th Street, SW.; Washington, 
DC 20024.
    Email: bhewitt@csrees.usda.gov.
    Fax: 202-720-4730 to the attention of Bart Hewitt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bart Hewitt; Program Analyst, 
Planning and Accountability, Office of the Administrator; CSREES-USDA; 
Washington, DC 20250; at 202-720-5623, 202-720-7714 (fax) or via 
electronic mail at bhewitt@csrees.usda.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 as a revision of Information 
Collection No. 0524-0036, Reporting Requirements for State Plans of 
Work for Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds. These 
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), Public Law 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: (1) The submission of a 5-Year Plan of Work; (2) 
the submission of an annual update of the 5-Year Plan of Work, and (3) 
the submission of the Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results for 
the 5-Year Plan of Work.
    1. 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

[[Page 33056]]

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 have been included to 
meet these additional requirements.
    2. The second collection of information will be an annual update to 
the 5-Year Plan of Work. This will be required to add an additional 
year to the continuous 5-Year Plan of Work and add any substantive 
change to planned programs or a significant change in funding as 
outlined in the proposed guidelines.
    3. 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, and education objectives through multi-institutional and 
multifunctional approaches and by conducting research at facilities and 
institutions best equipped to achieve these objectives.
    CSREES is proposing to request the 5-Year Plan of Work, the annual 
update of the 5-Year Plan of Work, and the Annual Report of 
Accomplishments and Results for the 5-Year Plan of Work in a web-based 
electronic format to comply with the Government Paperwork Elimination 
Act (GPEA). CSREES also is proposing to incorporate the recommendations 
from the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Audit No. 13001-3-Te, 
CSREES Implementation of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) in the plan-of-work process. 
Currently, in the FY 2000-2004 Plan of Work and Annual Report of 
Accomplishments and Results and the FY 2005-2006 Plan of Work Update 
and Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results, institutions are 
submitting their reports via e-mail in WordPerfect file format, 
Microsoft Word file format, or ASCII file format. CSREES also is in the 
process of developing a ``One-Solution'' for reporting for all CSREES 
grant programs including those covered in the 5-Year Plan of Work. A 
``One-Solution'' integrated reporting system will be more streamlined 
and effective, eliminate duplicative reporting, and provide additional 
program and fiscal accountability while reducing the overall burden 
hours for reporting. The web-based system developed for the plan of 
work process will be made part of the ``One Solution'' product at the 
appropriate time. Moreover, currently, in the FY 2000-2004 Plan of Work 
and Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results and the FY 2005-2006 
Plan of Work Update and Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results, 
institutions are submitting their reports around the five original USDA 
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals established for FY 
2000. CSREES is proposing that institutions submit their reports around 
established Knowledge Areas and the Logic Model.
    Respondents: Respondents will be the 57 1862 land-grant 
institutions and the 18 1890 land-grant institutions, including 
Tuskegee University and West Virginia State University, who will 
provide a 5-Year Plan of Work; and will report on the accomplishments 
and results of this 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 to provide a web-based input system for 
the 5-Year Plan of Work and subsequent Annual Report of Accomplishments 
and Results.
    The total reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the 
submission of the 5-Year Plan of Work is estimated at 560 hours per 
response.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 150.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 84,000 hours.
    Frequency of Responses: Once every five years.
    The total reporting and recordkeeping requirement for the Annual 
Update to the 5-Year Plan of Work is estimated at 56 hours per 
response.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 150.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 8,400 hours.
    Frequency of Responses: Annually.
    The total annual reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the 
``Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results'' is estimated at 288 
hours per response.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 150.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 43,200 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; Planning and Accountability, Office of the Administrator; Mail 
Stop 2214; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-2214 by 
August 11, 2005 or to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
Washington, DC 20502. Reference should be made to the volume, page, and 
date of this Federal Register publication.

[[Page 33057]]

Background and Purpose

    The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service 
(CSREES) proposes to implement the following revised Guidelines for 
State Plans of Work for the Agricultural Research and Extension Formula 
Funds which implement the plan-of-work reporting requirements enacted 
in the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 
1998 (AREERA), Public Law 105-185.
    These proposed guidelines incorporate some of the recommendations 
from the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Audit Report No. 13001-
3-Te, CSREES Implementation of the Agricultural Research, Extension, 
and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA), which was published on 
August 16, 2004. In an earlier Federal Register notice [69 FR 6244-
6248], CSREES amended the guidelines to the State Plans of Work to 
allow for the submission of an interim FY 2005-2006 Plan of Work in 
order for CSREES to consider the audit recommendations as well as 
develop a viable electronic option for compliance with the Government 
Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA). This notice proposes this electronic 
option through a web-based data entry system which will reduce the 
reporting burden to the institutions while providing more 
accountability over agricultural research and extension formula funds.
    These guidelines also propose eliminating the reporting by the five 
national goals, i.e., the reporting centered around State identified 
planned program areas, and using newly established Knowledge Areas 
(KAs). It is anticipated that these reporting changes will eliminate 
burden to the institutions while providing opportunities for more 
effective and efficient reports on program accountability.
    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 revise 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. Periord Covered
    3. Projected Resources
    4. Submission and Due Date
    5. Definitions
    B. Components of the 5-Year Plan of Work
    1. Planned Programs
    a. Format
    b. Program Logic Model
    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), Public Law 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 and West Virginia State University. Therefore, 
these guidelines refer throughout to ``institutions'' to include both 
the 1862 and 1890 land-grant institutions, including Tuskegee 
University and West Virginia State 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, Public Law 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,

[[Page 33058]]

extension, and education funds. These were established by all 
institutions in the FY 2000-2004 5-Year Plan of Work. For purposes of 
these guidelines applicable to formula funds, a description of the 
merit review process must be restated, and if applicable, the merit 
review process must be re-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 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, 
a description of these program review processes must be restated, and 
if applicable, these review processes must be re-established 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 required 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 were included as part of the FY 2000-
2004 5-Year Plan of Work and the established baselines remain in effect 
for the 5-Year Plan of Work beginning with FY 2007 and do not need to 
be re-established.
    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. In April 
2000, CSREES issued separate guidance on the establishment of the FY 
1997 baseline percentages for multistate activities and integrated 
activities, on requests for reduction in the required minimum 
percentage, and on reporting requirements. These baselines were set and 
continue to be the baselines for the Plans of Work and Annual Reports 
of Accomplishments and Results.
    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 initial period of FY 2007 through FY 
2011, with the submission of annual updates to the 5-Year Plan of Work 
to add an additional year to the plan each year. 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 how the 
program(s) addresses critical short-term, intermediate, and long-term 
agricultural issues in a State.
2. Period Covered
    The initial 5-Year Plan of Work should cover the period from 
October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2011.
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 plan (for five years) should be the 
Federal agricultural research and extension formula funds for FY 2005 
(and used for all five years) and the appropriate matching requirement 
for each fiscal year. During the course of the 5-Year Plan of Work, if 
the baseline for the formula funds 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 in the annual 
update the following fiscal year.
4. Submission and Due Date
    The 5-Year Plan of Work must be submitted by April 1, 2006, to the 
Planning and Accountability Unit, Office of the Administrator, of the 
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES); 
U.S. Department of Agriculture. These will be submitted electronically 
via a web-

[[Page 33059]]

based data input system for the Plan of Work and Annual Report of 
Accomplishments and Results provided by CSREES.
5. 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:
    Activities means either research projects or extension programs.
    Agricultural issues means all issues for which research and 
extension are involved, including, but not exclusive of, agriculture, 
natural resources, nutrition, community and resource development, and 
social issues such as youth development, etc.
    Formula funds for the purposes of the plan of work guidelines means 
funding 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 Public Law 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.
    Planned programs means collections of research projects or 
activities and/or extension programs or activities.
    Program Logic Model means the conceptual tool for planning and 
evaluation which displays the sequence of actions that describe what 
the science-based program is and will do `` how investments link to 
results. Included in this depiction of the program action are six core 
components:
    1. Identification of the national problem, need, or situation that 
needs to be addressed by the program: The conceptual model will 
delineate the steps that are planned, based on past science and best 
theory, to achieve outcomes that will best solve the identified 
national problems and meet the identified needs.
    2. Assumptions: The beliefs we have about the program, the people 
involved, and the context and the way we think the program will work. 
These science-based assumptions are based on past evaluation science 
findings regarding the effects and functioning of the program or 
similar programs, program theory, stakeholder input, etc.
    3. External Factors: The environment in which the program exists 
includes a variety of external factors that interact with and influence 
the program action. Evaluation plans for the program should account for 
these factors, which are alternative explanations for the outcomes of 
the program other than the program itself. Strong causal conclusions 
about the efficacy of the program must eliminate these environmental 
factors as viable explanations for the observed outcomes of the 
program.
    4. Inputs: The resources, contributions, and investments that are 
provided for the program. This includes Federal, State, and local 
spending, private donations, volunteer time, etc.
    5. Outputs: The activities, services, events, and products that are 
intended to lead to the program's outcomes in solving national problems 
by the causal chain of events depicted in the logic model. These 
activities and products are posited to reach the people who are 
targeted as participants or the audience or beneficiaries of the 
program.
    6. Outcomes: The planned results or changes for individuals, 
groups, communities, organizations, communities, or systems. These 
include short term, medium term, and long term outcomes in the 
theorized chain of causal events that will lead to the planned solution 
of the identified national problems or meet national needs. These can 
be viewed as the public's return on its investment, i.e., the value-
added to society in the benefits it reaps from the 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, fair, and accessible process 
by which individuals, groups, and organizations may have a voice, and 
one 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, limited resource clients, and small farm owners and 
operators.

B. Components of the 5-Year Plan of Work

1. Planned Programs
    Beginning with the FY 2007-2011 5-Year Plan of Work, the Planned 
Programs will no longer be arranged around the five National Goals 
established for the FY 2000-2004 5-Year Plan of Work, nor will they be 
identified by the previously established Key Themes. Planned programs 
will be centered around State-identified planned program areas and 
CSREES newly established Knowledge Areas (KAs).
    a. 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.

[[Page 33060]]

    b. Program Logic Model. Regardless of the option chosen, the 5-Year 
Plan of Work should be reported in the appropriate format, each of 
which identifies planned programs that the State decides upon. Each 
Planned Program the State decides upon will be formatted around the 
Program Logic Model in this web-based Plan of Work data entry system. 
This is a nationally recognized method and used extensively by planning 
and evaluation specialists to display the sequence of actions that 
describe what the program is and will do and how investments link to 
results. It is commonly used by many State Cooperative Extension 
Services.
    c. Program Descriptions. Program descriptions presented for a 
planned program will be formatted around the Program Logic Model and 
include the following data entry screens:
    1. Name of Program. The State-designated title for a State Research 
and/or Extension Program. This is in contrast to a project title. A 
research program may consist of several research projects. Examples of 
Programs may include, but not be exclusive of: 4-H and Youth, Pest 
Management, Animal Genomics, Natural Resources, Economics and Commerce, 
etc.
    2. Classification of Program. Up to ten different classification 
codes and their respective percentage of effort may be used to classify 
the knowledge areas covered in each State program.
    3. Situation and Priorities. This component should discuss the 
critical agricultural issues within the State that were identified and 
are 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.
    a. Identify the internal and external linkages that 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. Within this planning component, discussion should be made 
regarding the efficiencies achieved through these internal and external 
linkages both in the use of resources and/or in the ability to solve 
critical agricultural issues.
    b. Identify the set of stakeholders, customers, and/or consumers 
for which the program is intended. The 5-Year Plan 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 and to meeting the needs of under-served and under-represented 
individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
    c. Describe education and outreach programs that are already 
underway to convey the research results that are pertinent to the 
critical agricultural issue identified in the ``Statement of Issue.'' 
This planning component applies only to those 5-Year Plans of Work 
incorporating extension activities of the 1862 and/or 1890 land-grant 
institutions.
    4. Expected Duration of the Program. A data check box will ask you 
to express the program duration as short-term (one year or less), 
intermediate (one to five years), or long-term (over five years).
    5. Inputs. The resources, contributions, investments that go into 
the program. The Web-based software will include formula dollars, 
matching dollars, and other funds budgeted, and estimated FTEs. AREERA 
requires that 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.
    6. Outputs. The activities, services, events and products that 
reach people who participate or who are targeted. These outputs are 
intended to lead to specific outcomes. The Web-based data entry system 
will include standard performance measures such as number of persons 
targeted (direct and indirect contacts), number and type of patents 
awarded, as well as state-generated target performance measures.
    7. Outcomes. The direct results, benefits, or changes for 
individuals, groups, communities, organizations, or systems. Examples 
include changes in knowledge, skill development, changes in behavior, 
capacities or decision-making, and policy development. Outcomes can be 
short-term, medium-term, or long-term achievements. Short-term outcomes 
refer to changes in learning. Medium-term outcomes refer to changes in 
action. Long-term outcomes refer to changes in conditions. Outcomes may 
be positive, negative, neutral, intended, or unintended. Impact in this 
model refers to the ultimate consequence or effects of the program (for 
example, increased economic security or improved air quality). In this 
model, impact is synonymous with the long-term outcome of your goal. It 
is at the farthest right on the logic model graphic. Impact refers to 
the ultimate, long-term changes in social, economic, civic, or 
environmental conditions. In common usage impact and outcomes are often 
used interchangeably.
    The Web-based software will include standard performance measures, 
such as number of persons adopting a technology or practice or dollars 
saved or generated, and will allow for state-generated target 
performance measures.
    8. Assumptions. The beliefs we have about the program, the people 
involved, and the context and the way we think the program will work. 
The Web-based data entry system will require a short discussion on the 
assumptions that underlie and influence the program decisions made. 
Assumptions are principles, beliefs, ideas about the problem or 
situation, the resources and staff, the way the program will operate, 
what the program expects to achieve, the knowledge base, the external 
environment, the internal environment, the participants and how they 
learn, their behavior, motivations, etc.
    9. External Factors. The environment in which the program exists 
includes a variety of external factors that interact with and influence 
the program action. External factors include the cultural milieu, the 
climate, economic structure, housing patterns, demographic patterns, 
background and experiences of program participants, media influence, 
changing policies and priorities. These external factors may have a 
major influence on the achievement of outcomes. They may affect a 
variety of things including program implementation, participants and 
recipients, the speed and degree to which change occurs, staffing 
patterns, and resources available. A program is affected by and affects 
these external factors.
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 has separately promulgated regulations to implement 
this stakeholder input requirement. This was published on February 8, 
2000, in the Federal Register (7 CFR Part 3418).
    As a component of the 5-Year Plan of Work, each institution must 
report on the (a) actions taken to seek stakeholder input that 
encourages their participation; (b) a brief statement of the

[[Page 33061]]

process used by the recipient institution to identify individuals and 
groups who are stakeholders and to collect input from them; and (c) a 
statement of how collected input was considered. 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.
    In the Web-based software, CSREES will provide check lists with the 
commonly reported actions taken to seek stakeholder input, the process 
used to identify stakeholders and collect input from them and how the 
input was considered, and will allow for additional information in each 
section in the form of a narrative.
3. Program Review Process
    a. Merit Review. Effective October 1, 1999, each 1862 land-grant 
institution and 1890 land-grant institution must have established a 
process for merit review in order to obtain agricultural research or 
extension formula funds. This was established in the FY 2000-2004 5-
Year Plan of Work by all institutions.
    b. Scientific Peer Review. A scientific peer review is required for 
all research funded under the Hatch Act 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 
have expended 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 has worked with 
each 1862 land-grant institution to identify the amount each 
institution expended for multistate extension activities for 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 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. These descriptions should be reported in the 
Planned Programs section of the 5-Year Plan of Work. A table will be 
provided by the web-based software for reporting dollars expended each 
year on these activities.
5. Integrated Research and Extension Activities
    a. 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 have been spent on activities that 
integrate cooperative research and extension. As required by law, 
CSREES has worked 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 have committed 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 
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. The 
requirements of this section apply only to the Federal funds.
    b. Reporting Requirements. The 5-Year Plan of Work should include a 
description of the Integrated Research and 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. These descriptions 
should be reported in the Planned Programs section of the 5-Year Plan 
of Work. A table will be provided by the Web-based software for 
reporting dollars expended each year on these activities.

C. 5-Year Plan of Work Evaluation by CSREES

1. Schedule
    CSREES will evaluate all 5-Year Plans of Work. 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 
with 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 the need for a new 5-
Year Plan of Work at least one year 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 and under-represented 
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

[[Page 33062]]

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 will 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. CSREES will 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 and 
under-represented 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?

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

A. Applicability

    An annual update to the 5-Year Plan of Work is required each year 
to add an additional year to the Plan.

B. Reporting Requirement

    The update to the 5-Year Plan of Work should be submitted on April 
1 prior to the beginning of the next Plan of Work fiscal year (which 
begins on October 1 of each year).

IV. Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results

A. 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 April 1 each year with 
the first report being due on April 1, 2008, for FY 2007. This report 
should be submitted using the same Web-based data entry system used for 
the submission of the 5-Year Plan of Work. The Web-based data entry 
system will mirror and include data entered by the land-grant 
institution in the 5-Year Plan of Work.

B. Format

    This annual report should include the relevant information related 
to each component of the program 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 in the 
Program Logic Model for each program. 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, DC, this 31st day of May 2005.
Joseph J. Jen,
Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics.
[FR Doc. 05-11280 Filed 6-6-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-22-P