[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 64 (Monday, April 4, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18624-18625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7824]



[[Page 18624]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Research, Technical Assistance and Training Programs: Notice of 
Final Circular

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final circular.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is issuing Circular 
6100.1D to provide comprehensive assistance to grantees on guidance on 
application procedures and project management responsibilities for 
FTA's National Research Programs.

DATES: The effective date of this circular is May 1, 2011.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the circular and comments and material received 
from the public, as well as any documents indicated in the preamble as 
being available in the docket, are part of docket FTA-2010-0034 and are 
available for inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    You may also review the circular, comments, and supporting 
documents online through the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) 
at Web site: http://regulations.gov. Enter the docket number FTA-2010-
0034 in the search field. The FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 
days each year. Electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines 
are available under the help section of the Web site.
    This notice does not include the final circular. Electronic 
versions of the final circular will be posted on http://regulations.gov 
as well as on the FTA Web site http://www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies of 
the final circular may be obtained by contacting FTA's Administrative 
Services Help Desk, at 202-366-4865.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bruce Robinson, Office of Research, 
Demonstration and Innovation, Federal Transit Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave., SE., East Building, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20590, 
phone: (202) 366-4052, or e-mail, bruce.robinson@dot.gov; or Linda 
Sorkin, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Ave., SE., East Building, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20590, 
phone: (202) 366-0959, or e-mail, linda.sorkin@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Overview
II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis
    A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background
    B. Chapter II--Program Overview
    C. Chapter III--Application Instructions
    D. Chapter IV--Project Administration
    E. Chapter V--Financial Management
    F. Chapter VI--FTA Oversight
    G. Appendices

I. Overview

    This notice provides a summary of changes to FTA Circular 6100.1D, 
Research and Technical Assistance Training Program: Application 
Instructions and Program Management Guidelines addresses comments 
received in response to FTA's September 30, 2010 Federal Register 
publication announcing the availability of the proposed circular (75 FR 
60494). The final Circular 6100.1D supersedes FTA Circular 6100.1C. 
Readers familiar with the former FTA Circular 6100.1C will notice that 
FTA is proposing a complete reorganization to make this circular 
consistent with the style of other circulars FTA has updated. 
Substantive changes in content are discussed in the chapter-by-chapter 
analysis.
    One commenter responded to the notice of availability, asking for 
several changes.
    The commenter requested that FTA allow the public to review and 
comment on any changes or updates that will be made to the circular. 
FTA declined this request, as FTA specified in the Amendments to 
Circular ``FTA reserves the right to update the circular without 
further notice and comment. The intent of this paragraph that if the 
revision is a result of other guidance and regulations that have gone 
through notice and comments we do not need to solicit comments again. 
Another request was to revise the ``Key Person'' definition to state 
that the grantee should provide FTA with prior notice of impending 
staff changes, rather than requiring FTA's prior approval. FTA declined 
this request as this provision is required by 49 CFR 19.25(c). ``For 
nonconstruction awards, recipients shall request prior approvals from 
Federal awarding agencies for (2) changes in a key person specified in 
the application or award document.''
    FTA also declined the request to change the ``Reporting 
Requirements'' section as the requested modifications to the TEAM 
system fall outside the scope of this circular. The commenter had 
requested that FTA modify the TEAM system so that it is not necessary 
for the Milestone Progress Report to be submitted prior to the Federal 
Financial Report in order for TEAM to generate a single pdf document 
including both reports.
    Three requests that were suggested by the commenter that were 
approved in part by FTA included changes to Project Identification, the 
Final Report and the Disclaimers sections. For the Project 
Identification section, the commenter suggested that FTA forgo the 
requirement for a sign on all hardware data, equipment, etc. The 
language for Project Identification was modified to further refine 
which equipment the requirement applied to as follows: ``The recipient 
understands and agrees that each tangible product resulting from 
national research program projects shall contain or include an 
appropriate sign, designation or notification stating that the project 
has been financed with Federal assistance provided by the DOT/FTA. 
Unless determined otherwise in writing from the FTA, this requirement 
applies to all equipment, prototypes, construction, reports, data, 
software, Internet pages, or any similar items produced in the course 
of the Grant Agreement or Cooperative Agreement for the project that 
are part of the project's deliverables visible to the public, or are 
made available to other research organizations or public transportation 
providers. Reports must also include the disclaimer described in 
Chapter IV, subsection 4.g.''
    The commenter suggested that FTA make available a template or 
sample cover page in the Final Report section of the circular. FTA 
modified the section as follows: (3) Final Report to Report 
Organization, Elements and Style. A technical report documenting 
project performance and results must be submitted to the project 
manager at the conclusion of the project or subproject. FTA requires 
all documentation be Section 508 compliant and meet a high standard of 
organization and clarity of writing. The report must be organized 
consistent with the specific publication elements and report style 
guidelines located at http://www.fta.dot.gov/research/program_requirements. Contact the FTA project manager for further information.
    The commenter also suggested that FTA include a source for the 
Standard Form 298 in the Disclaimer section. FTA agree and added the 
following information to the section ``SF 298 is located at: http://
www.fta.dot.gov/documents/SF_298.pdf.''

[[Page 18625]]

A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background

    The first four sections of this chapter are a general introduction 
to FTA that is proposed to be included in all new and revised program 
circulars for the orientation of readers new to FTA programs. Section 5 
of this chapter sets forth definitions of terms appearing in the 
proposed circular to ensure a common understanding of terms.

B. Chapter II--Program Overview

    Sections 1 and 2 describe the statutory authority and nature of the 
national research programs and activities for which this circular 
applies. Section 3 clarifies the project management roles and 
responsibilities of the recipient and FTA. Section 4 describes civil 
rights requirements, and Section 5 notes that Federal cross-cutting 
requirements will apply to these projects.

C. Chapter III--Application Instructions

    Chapter III describes application instructions including the use of 
the Web-based Transportation Electronic Award and Management (TEAM 
system), the development of pre-applications or white papers, the 
development of formal applications including project budgets and 
statements of work, and other application requirements. Section 6 
states that FTA may request recipients to participate in Peer Review of 
applications.

D. Chapter IV--Project Administration

    Chapter IV describes project administration requirements. Sections 
1 and 2 provide an overview of the post award management process, with 
a brief description of the application process. Section 3 describes 
project identification requirements on all equipment, hardware, 
construction, reports, data or any similar items produced in the course 
of the project. Section 4 describes reporting requirements, clarifying 
that all recipients must submit quarterly Federal Financial Reports 
(FFR) and Milestone Progress Reports (MPR) in TEAM and clarifies the 
development of Quarterly Narrative Reports. Section 4 also updates 
guidelines on the Final Report and other major technical report 
development and clarifies the requirements for electronic copies. 
Section 4 also clarifies that all FTA-sponsored reports, not just the 
Final Report, must contain an identification notice acknowledging FTA 
sponsorship. Section 5 clarifies prior approval requirements and 
procedures for obtaining prior approval. It clarifies prior approval 
requirements for transfers of financial assistance between cost 
categories and permits prior approvals to be requested and granted 
electronically by authorized officials. Section 6 describes project 
modifications including budget revisions and amendments. Sections 7, 8, 
and 9 describe recipient responsibilities for equipment, intangible 
property, and supplies. Section 10 clarifies the recipient's third 
party procurement responsibilities. Section 11 describes project close-
out procedures. Sections 12 and 13 describe suspension and termination 
procedures. Section 14 describes responsibilities for record retention.

E. Chapter V--Financial Management

    Sections 1-6 describe the proper use and management of Federal 
assistance including internal controls, non-Federal matching share, the 
applicable Federal cost principles, indirect costs, and program income. 
Section 7 describes the annual Single Audit requirements and describes 
when these may be extended to for-profit organizations. Section 8 
clarifies payment procedures requiring all recipients to make requests 
using the Request of Advance or Reimbursement Standard Form 270 (SF-
270), as is current practice.

F. Chapter VI--FTA Oversight

    Section 1 is a general description of FTA's oversight program. 
Section 2 describes FTA's Oversight Programs that FTA may undertake. 
Section 3 describes the types of reviews that may apply to the FTA 
recipient or its projects. Section 3 describes the peer review process 
FTA may request recipients to participate in.

G. Appendices

    Appendix A lists all FTA circulars.
    Appendix B provides an example of a Quarterly Narrative Report.
    Appendix C describes requirements for developing a Cost Allocation 
Plan.
    Appendix D provides instructions for submitting the Request of 
Advance or Reimbursement (SF-270).
    Appendix E provides FTA regional and metropolitan contact 
information.
    Appendix F is the Subject and Location index.

Therese McMillan,
Deputy FTA Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-7824 Filed 4-1-11; 8:45 am]
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