[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 86 (Thursday, May 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26245-26251]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10615]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of 
Application Deadlines and Funding

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of funding availability and solicitation of 
applications.

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SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces the availability 
of $993,000 in grant funds to be competitively awarded for the 
Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program for fiscal year 2012 
(FY 2012). RUS will make grants to qualified private non-profit 
organizations to establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up 
to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for an existing 
home. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 1926e. 
Regulations are contained in 7 CFR 1776.

DATES: The deadline for completed applications for a HWWS grant is June 
4, 2012. Applications in either paper or electronic format must be 
postmarked or time-stamped electronically on or before the deadline. 
Late applications will be ineligible for grant consideration.

ADDRESSES: Submit applications to the following addresses:
    1. Electronic applications: http://www.grants.gov (Grants.gov). 
Submit electronic applications through Grants.gov, following the 
instructions on that Web site.
    2. Paper applications: Water Programs Division, Rural Utilities 
Service, STOP: 1570, Room 2233-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-1570.
    Obtain application guides and materials for the HWWS Grant Program 
electronically or in paper format from the following addresses:
    1. Electronic copies: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP-individualwellsystems.htm.
    2. Paper copies: Write Water Programs Division, Rural Utilities 
Service, STOP: 1570, Room 2233-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-1570 or call (202) 720-9589.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joyce M. Taylor, Community Programs 
Specialist, Water Programs Division, Water and Environmental Programs. 
Telephone: (202) 720-9589, fax: (202) 690-0649, email: 
JoyceM.Taylor@wdc.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service.
    Funding Opportunity Title: HWWS Grant Program.
    Announcement Type: Grant--Initial.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.862.
    Due Date for Applications: June 4, 2012.

Items in Supplementary Information

I. Funding Opportunity: Description of the HWWS Grant Program.
II. Award Information: Available funds.
III. Eligibility Information: Who is eligible, what kinds of 
projects are eligible, what criteria determine basic eligibility.
IV. Application and Submission Information: Where to get application 
materials, what constitutes a completed application, how and where 
to submit applications,

[[Page 26246]]

deadlines, items that are eligible.
V. Application Review Information: Considerations and preferences, 
scoring criteria, review standards, selection information.
VI. Award Administration Information: Award notice information, 
award recipient reporting requirements.
VII. Agency Contacts: Web, phone, fax, email, contact name.

I. Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

    The HWWS Grant Program has been established to help individuals 
with low to moderate incomes finance the costs of household water wells 
that they own or will own. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under 
Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 
(CONACT), 7 U.S.C. 1926e. The CONACT authorizes the RUS to make grants 
to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending 
programs for household water wells.
    As the grant recipients, private non-profit organizations will 
receive HWWS grants to establish lending programs that will provide 
water well loans to individuals. The individuals, as loan recipients, 
may use the loans to construct, refurbish, and service their household 
well systems. A loan may not exceed $11,000 and will have a term up to 
20 years at a one percent annual interest rate.

B. Background

    The RUS supports the sound development of rural communities and the 
growth of our economy without endangering the environment. The RUS 
provides financial and technical assistance to help communities bring 
safe drinking water and sanitary, environmentally sound waste disposal 
facilities to Rural Americans in greatest need.
    Central water systems may not be the only or best solution to 
drinking water problems. Distance or physical barriers make public 
central water systems costly to deploy in remote areas. A significant 
number of geographically isolated households without water service 
might require individual wells rather than connections to new or 
existing community systems. The goal of the RUS is not only to make 
funds available to those communities most in need of potable water but 
also to ensure that facilities used to deliver drinking water are safe 
and affordable. There is a role for private wells in reaching this 
goal.

C. Purpose

    The purpose of the HWWS Grant Program is to provide funds to 
private non-profit organizations to assist them in establishing loan 
programs from which individuals may borrow money for HWWS. Faith-based 
organizations are eligible and encouraged to apply for this program. 
Applicants must show that the project will provide technical and 
financial assistance to eligible individuals to remedy household well 
problems.
    Due to the limited amount of funds available under the HWWS Grant 
Program, 10 applications may be funded from FY 2012 funds. Applications 
from existing HWWS grant recipients are acceptable and will be 
evaluated as new applications.

II. Award Information

    Funding Instrument Type: Grant.
    Anticipated Total Priority Area Funding: Undetermined at this time.
    Anticipated Number of Awards: 10.
    Length of Project Periods: 12-month project.
    Assistance Instrument: Grant Agreement with successful applicants 
before any grant funds are disbursed.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Who is eligible for grants?

    1. An organization is eligible to receive a HWWS grant if it:
    a. Has an active registration with current information in the 
Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database and has a Dun and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.
    b. Is a private, non-profit organization.
    c. Is legally established and located within one of the following:
    (1) A state within the United States
    (2) The District of Columbia
    (3) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
    (4) A United States territory
    d. Has the legal capacity and authority to carry out the grant 
purpose;
    e. Has sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities;
    f. Has sufficient expertise and experience in promoting the safe 
and productive use of individually-owned HWWS and ground water;
    g. Has no delinquent debt to the Federal Government or no 
outstanding judgments to repay a Federal debt;
    h. Demonstrates that it possesses the financial, technical, and 
managerial capability to comply with Federal and State laws and 
requirements;
    i. Corporations that have been convicted of a felony (or had an 
officer or agency acting on behalf of the corporation convicted of a 
felony) within the past 24 months are not eligible. Any Corporation 
that has any unpaid federal tax liability that has been assessed, for 
which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or 
have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to 
an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax 
liability is not eligible.
    2. An individual is ineligible to receive a Household Water Well 
grant. An individual may receive a loan from an organization receiving 
a grant award.

B. What are the basic eligibility requirements for a project?

    1. Project Eligibility. To be eligible for a grant, the project 
must:
    a. Be a revolving loan fund created to provide loans to eligible 
individuals to construct, refurbish, and service individually-owned 
HWWS (see 7 CFR 1776.11 and 1776.12). Loans may not be provided for 
home sewer or septic system projects.
    b. Be established and maintained by a private, non-profit 
organization.
    c. Be located in a rural area. Rural area is defined as locations 
other than cities or towns of more than 50,000 people and the 
contiguous and adjacent urbanized area of such towns and cities.
    2. Required Matching Contributions. Grant applicants must provide 
written evidence of a matching contribution of at least 10 percent from 
sources other than the proceeds of a HWWS grant. In-kind contributions 
will not be considered for the matching requirement. Please see 7 CFR 
1776.9 for the requirement.

3. Other--Requirements

    a. DUNS numbers and CCR Registration. Applicants must have Dun and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers and be 
registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database prior 
to submitting an electronic or a paper application. The DUNS numbers 
and CCR requirements are contained in 2 CFR 25. CCR is the repository 
for standard information about applicants and recipients.
    b. DUNS Number. An organization must have a DUNS number and include 
the number in its Application for Federal Assistance. A DUNS number 
will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application 
or an electronic application through Grants.gov. To verify that your 
organization has a DUNS number or to receive one from D&B at no cost, 
call the dedicated toll-free request line at 1-866-705-5711 or visit 
http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/on the Internet.
    c. Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
    (1) In accordance with 2 CFR part 25, applicants, whether applying

[[Page 26247]]

electronically or by paper, must be registered in the CCR prior to 
submitting an application. Applicants may register for the CCR at 
https://www.uscontractorregistration.com/or by calling 1-877-252-2700. 
Completing the CCR registration process takes up to five business days, 
and applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the process well in 
advance of the deadline specified in this notice.
    (2) The CCR registration must remain active, with current 
information, at all times during which an entity has an application 
under consideration by an agency or has an active Federal Award. To 
remain registered in the CCR database after the initial registration, 
the applicant is required to review and update on an annual basis from 
the date of initial registration or subsequent updates of its 
information in the CCR database to ensure it is current, accurate and 
complete. d. Eligibility for Loans Provided by Grant Recipients. 
Individuals are not eligible for grants but are eligible for loans from 
organizations receiving grant awards under the HWWS Program.
    d. Eligibility to receive a HWWS loan will be based on the 
following criteria:
    (1) An individual must be a member of a household of which the 
combined household income of all members does not exceed 100 percent of 
the median non-metropolitan household income for the State or territory 
in which the individual resides. Household income is the total income 
from all sources received by each adult household member for the most 
recent 12-month period for which the information is available. It does 
not include income earned or received by dependent children under 18 
years old or other benefits that are excluded by Federal law. The non-
metropolitan household income must be based on the most recent 
decennial census of the United States.
    RUS publishes a list of income exclusions in 7 CFR 3550.54(b). 
Also, the Department of Housing and Urban Development published a list 
of income exclusions in the Federal Register on April 20, 2001, at 66 
FR 20318 (See ``Federally Mandated Exclusions'').
    (2) The loan recipient must own and occupy the home being improved 
with the proceeds of the Household Water Well loan or be purchasing the 
home to occupy under a legally enforceable land purchase contract which 
is not in default by either the seller or the purchaser.
    (3) The home being improved with the water well system must be 
located in a rural area.
    (4) The loan for a water well system must not be associated with 
the construction of a new dwelling.
    (5) The loan must not be used to substitute a water well system for 
water service available from collective water systems. (For example, a 
loan may not be used to restore an old well abandoned when a dwelling 
was connected to a water district's water line.)
    (6) The loan recipient must not be suspended or debarred from 
participation in Federal programs.

IV. Application and Submission Information

A. Where To Get Application Information

    The Household Water Well System Grant Application Guide 
(Application Guide), copies of necessary forms and samples, and the 
HWWS Grant Program regulation are available from these sources:
    1. Internet for electronic copies: http://www.grants.gov or http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP-individualwellsystems.htm;
    2. Water and Environmental Programs for paper copies: RUS, Water 
Programs Division, STOP 1570, Room 2233-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-1570, Telephone: (202) 720-9589, Fax: (202) 690-
0649.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission

1. Rules and Guidelines

    a. Detailed information on each item required can be found in the 
HWWS Grant Program regulation (7 CFR part 1776) and the Application 
Guide. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read and apply both the 
regulation and the application guide. This Notice does not change the 
requirements for a completed application for any form of HWWS financial 
assistance specified in the regulation. The regulation and application 
guide provide specific guidance on each of the items listed.
    b. Applications should be prepared in conformance with the 
provisions in 7 CFR part 1776, subpart B, and applicable regulations 
including 7 CFR parts 3015 and 3019. Applicants should use the 
application guide which contains instructions and other important 
information in preparing their application. Completed applications must 
include the items found in the checklist in the next paragraph.
2. Checklist of Items in Completed Application Packages
    a. The application process--electronic or paper--requires a DUNS 
number and an active registration in the Central Contractor Registry 
(CCR).
    (1) You will need a DUNS number first to access or register at any 
of the services. To verify that your organization has a DUNS number or 
to receive one from D&B at no cost, call the dedicated toll-free 
request line at 1-866-705-5711 or visit http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ 
on the Internet.
    (2) Your organization must be listed in the CCR. If you have not 
used Grants.gov before, you will need to register with the CCR and the 
Credential Provider. You may register for the CCR by calling the CCR 
Assistance Center at 1-888-227-2423 or you may register online at 
http://www.ccr.gov. New registrations can take 3-5 business days to 
process in CCR. Updating or renewing an active registration has a 
shorter turnaround, 24 hours. Setting up a CCR listing is a one-time 
procedure with annual updates. Registrations in CCR are active for one 
year. The CCR registers your organization, housing your organizational 
information and allowing Grants.gov to use the information to verify 
your identity. The DUNS number, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), 
and name and address of the applicant organization must match CCR data 
files.
    RUS strongly recommends obtaining a DUNS number and listing the 
applicant organization in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) well in 
advance of the deadline specified in this notice.
    b. The electronic and paper application process requires forms with 
the prefixes RD and SF as well as supporting documents and 
certifications.

Application Items

    1. SF-424, ``Application for Federal Assistance''.
    2. SF-424A, ``Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs''.
    3. SF-424B, ``Assurances--Non-Construction Programs''.
    4. SF-LLL, ``Disclosure of Lobbying Activity''.
    5. Form RD 400-1, ``Equal Opportunity Agreement''.
    6. Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil 
Rights Act of 1964).
    7. Project Proposal, Project Summary, Needs Assessment, Project 
Goals and Objectives, Project Narrative.
    8. Work Plan.
    9. Budget and Budget Justification.

[[Page 26248]]

    10. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence.
    11. Documentation of private non-profit status and Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS) Tax Exempt Status.
    12. List of Directors and Officers.
    13. Financial information and sustainability (narrative).
    14. Assurances and Certifications of Compliance with Other Federal 
Statutes.
    The forms in items 1 through 6 must be completed and signed where 
appropriate by an official of your organization who has authority to 
obligate the organization legally. RD forms are used by programs under 
the Rural Development mission area. Standard forms (SF) are used 
Government-wide. In addition to the sources listed in section A, the 
forms may be accessed electronically through the Rural Development Web 
site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/FormsAndPublications.html.
    See section V, ``Application Review Information,'' for instructions 
and guidelines on preparing Items 7 through 13.
    3. Compliance With Other Federal Statutes. The applicant must 
provide evidence of compliance with other Federal statutes and 
regulations, including, but not limited to the following:
    a. 7 CFR part 15, subpart A--Nondiscrimination in Federally 
Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture--Effectuation of 
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    b. 7 CFR part 3015--Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations.
    c. 7 CFR part 3017--Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Non-
procurement).
    d. 7 CFR part 3018--New Restrictions on Lobbying.
    e. 7 CFR part 3019--Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants 
and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, 
and Non-profit Organizations.
    f. 7 CFR part 3021--Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free 
Workplace (Financial Assistance).
    g. Executive Order 13166, ``Improving Access to Services for 
Persons with Limited English Proficiency. '' For information on limited 
English proficiency and agency-specific guidance, go to http://www.LEP.gov.
    h. Federal Obligation Certification on Delinquent Debt.

C. How many copies of an application are required?

    1. Applications Submitted on Paper. Submit one signed original and 
two additional copies. The original and each of the two copies must 
include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, 
be signed by an authorized representative, and have original 
signatures. Do not include organizational brochures or promotional 
materials.
    2. Applications Submitted Electronically. Additional paper copies 
are unnecessary if the application is submitted electronically through 
http://www.grants.gov.

D. How and where to submit an application?

1. Submitting Paper Applications
    a. For paper applications mail or ensure delivery of an original 
paper application (no stamped, photocopied, or initialed signatures) 
and two copies by the deadline date to: RUS, Water Programs Division, 
STOP 1570, Room 2233-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 
20250-1570, Telephone: (202) 720-9589.
    Submit paper applications marked ``Attention: Water and 
Environmental Programs.''
    b. Applications must show proof of mailing or shipping by one of 
the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark;
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
USPS; or
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    c. If a deadline date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to 
the following Monday. If the date falls on a Federal holiday, it will 
be extended to the next business day.
    d. Due to screening procedures at the Department of Agriculture, 
packages arriving via the USPS are irradiated, which can damage the 
contents and delay delivery. RUS encourages applicants to consider the 
impact of this procedure in selecting an application delivery method.
2. Submitting Electronic Applications
    a. Applications will not be accepted by fax or electronic mail.
    b. Electronic applications for grants will be accepted if submitted 
through Grants.gov at http://www.grants.gov.
    c. Applicants must preregister successfully with Grants.gov to use 
the electronic applications option. Application information may be 
downloaded from Grants.gov without preregistration.
    d. Applicants who apply through Grants.gov should submit their 
electronic applications before the deadline.
    e. Grants.gov contains full instructions on all required passwords, 
credentialing, and software. Follow the instructions at Grants.gov for 
registering and submitting an electronic application.
    f. Grants.gov has two preregistration requirements: A DUNS number 
and an active registration in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). 
See the ``Checklist of Items in Completed Application Packages'' for 
instructions on obtaining a DUNS number and registering in the CCR.
    g. You must be registered with Grants.gov before you can submit an 
electronic grant application.
    (1) You must register at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    (2) Organization registration user guides and checklists are 
available at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    (3) Grants.gov requires some credentialing and online 
authentication procedures. When an applicant organization is registered 
with CCR, the organization designates a point of contract who receives 
a password authorizing the person to designate staff members who are 
allowed to submit applications electronically through Grants.gov. These 
authorized organization representatives must be registered with 
Grants.gov to receive a username and password to submit applications. 
These procedures may take several business days to complete.
    (4) Some or all of the CCR and Grants.gov registration, 
credentialing and authorizations require updates. If you have 
previously registered at Grants.gov to submit applications 
electronically, please ensure that your registration, credentialing and 
authorizations are up to date well in advance of the grant application 
deadline.
    h. To use Grants.gov:
    (1) Follow the instructions on the Web site to find grant 
information.
    (2) Download a copy of an application package.
    (3) Complete the package off-line.
    (4) Upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov Web site.
    (5) If a system problem or technical difficulty occurs with an 
electronic application, please use the customer support resources 
available at the Grants.gov Web site.
    (6) Again, RUS encourages applicants to take early action to 
complete the sign-up, credentialing and authorization procedures at 
http://www.grants.gov before submitting an application at the Web site.

[[Page 26249]]

E. Deadlines

    The deadline for paper and electronic submissions is June 4, 2012. 
Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than the closing date to be considered for FY 2012 
grant funding. Electronic applications must have an electronic date and 
time stamp by midnight of June 4, 2012 to be considered on time. RUS 
will not accept applications by fax or email. Applications that do not 
meet the criteria above are considered late applications and will not 
be considered. RUS will notify each late applicant that its application 
will not be considered.

F. Funding Restrictions

1. Eligible Grant Purposes
    a. Grant funds must be used to establish and maintain a revolving 
loan fund to provide loans to eligible individuals for household water 
well systems.
    b. Individuals may use the loans to construct, refurbish, 
rehabilitate, or replace household water well systems up to the point 
of entry of a home. Point of entry for the well system is the junction 
where water enters into a home water delivery system after being pumped 
from a well.
    c. Grant funds may be used to pay administrative expenses 
associated with providing Household Water Well loans.
2. Ineligible Grant Purposes
    a. Administrative expenses incurred in any calendar year that 
exceed 10 percent of the household water well loans made during the 
same period do not qualify for reimbursement.
    b. Administrative expenses incurred before RUS executes a grant 
agreement with the recipient do not qualify for reimbursement.
    c. Delinquent debt owed to the Federal Government does not qualify 
for reimbursement.
    d. Grant funds may not be used to provide loans for household sewer 
or septic systems.
    e. Household Water Well loans may not be used to pay the costs of 
water well systems for the construction of a new house.
    f. Household Water Well loans may not be used to pay the costs of a 
home plumbing system.

V. Application Review Information

A. Criteria

    This section contains instructions and guidelines on preparing the 
project proposal, work plan, and budget sections of the application. 
Also, guidelines are provided on the additional information required 
for RUS to determine eligibility and financial feasibility.
    1. Project Proposal. The project proposal should outline the 
project in sufficient detail to provide a reader with a complete 
understanding of the loan program. Explain what will be accomplished by 
lending funds to individual well owners. Demonstrate the feasibility of 
the proposed loan program in meeting the objectives of this grant 
program. The proposal should include the following elements:
    a. Project Summary. Present a brief project overview. Explain the 
purpose of the project, how it relates to RUS' purposes, how the 
project will be executed, what the project will produce, and who will 
direct it.
    b. Needs Assessment. To show why the project is necessary, clearly 
identify the economic, social, financial, or other problems that 
require solutions. Demonstrate the well owners' need for financial and 
technical assistance. Quantify the number of prospective borrowers or 
provide statistical or narrative evidence that a sufficient number of 
borrowers will exist to justify the grant award. Describe the service 
area. Provide information on the household income of the area and other 
demographical information. Address community needs.
    c. Project Goals and Objectives. Clearly state the project goals. 
The objectives should clearly describe the goals and be concrete and 
specific enough to be quantitative or observable. They should also be 
feasible and relate to the purpose of the grant and loan program.
    d. Project Narrative. The narrative should cover in more detail the 
items briefly described in the Project Summary. Demonstrate the grant 
applicant's experience and expertise in promoting the safe and 
productive use of individually-owned household water well systems. The 
narrative should address the following points:
    (1) Document the grant applicant's ability to manage and service a 
revolving fund. The narrative may describe the systems that are in 
place for the full life cycle of a loan from loan origination through 
servicing. If a servicing contractor will service the loan portfolio, 
the arrangement and services provided must be discussed.
    (2) Show evidence of the availability of funds from sources other 
than the HWWS grant. Describe the contributions the project will 
receive from your organization, state agencies, local government, other 
federal agencies, non-government organizations, private industry, and 
individuals. The documentation should describe how the contributions 
will be used to pay your operational costs and provide financial 
assistance for projects.
    (3) Demonstrate that the organization has secured commitments of 
significant financial support from other funding sources.
    (4) List the fees and charges that borrowers will be assessed.
    2. Work Plan. The work plan or scope of work must describe the 
tasks and activities that will be accomplished with available resources 
during the grant period. It must include who will carry out the 
activities and services to be performed and specific timeframes for 
completion. Describe any unusual or unique features of the project such 
as innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary community 
involvement.
    3. Budget and Budget Justification. Use the Form SF-424A, Budget 
Information--Non-Construction Programs, to show your budget cost 
elements. The form summarizes resources as Federal and non-Federal 
funds and costs. ``Federal'' refers only to the HWWS Grant Program for 
which you are applying. ``Non-Federal'' refers to resources from your 
organization, state agencies, local government, other Federal agencies, 
non-government organizations, private industry, and individuals. Both 
Federal and non-Federal resources shall be detailed and justified in 
the budget and narrative justification.
    a. Provide a budget with line item detail and detailed calculations 
for each budget object class identified in section B of the Budget 
Information form (SF-424A). Detailed calculations must include 
estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar 
quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. 
Also include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 15 
of the SF-424.
    b. Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the 
categorical costs are derived for all capital and administrative 
expenditures, the matching contribution, and other sources of funds 
necessary to complete the project. Discuss the necessity, 
reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs. Consult OMB 
Circular A-122: ``Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations'' for 
information about appropriate costs for each budget category.
    c. If the grant applicant will use a servicing contractor, the fees 
may be reimbursed as an administrative expense as provided in 7 CFR 
1776.13. These fees must be discussed in the budget narrative. If the 
grant applicant

[[Page 26250]]

will hire a servicing contractor, it must demonstrate that all 
procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to 
the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients 
must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be 
awarded without competition and exceed the simplified acquisition 
threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11) (currently set at $100,000).
    d. The indirect cost category should be used only when the grant 
applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the 
Department of Agriculture or another cognizant Federal agency. A grant 
applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a 
copy of the current rate agreement. If the grant applicant is in the 
process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, the grant 
applicant shall submit its indirect cost proposal to the cognizant 
agency immediately after the applicant is advised that an award will be 
made. In no event, shall the indirect cost proposal be submitted later 
than three months after the effective date of the award. Consult OMB 
Circular A-122 for information about indirect costs.
    4. Evidence of Legal Authority and Existence. The applicant must 
provide satisfactory documentation that it is legally recognized under 
state and Federal law as a private non-profit organization. The 
documentation also must show that it has the authority to enter into a 
grant agreement with the RUS and to perform the activities proposed 
under the grant application. Satisfactory documentation includes, but 
is not limited to, certificates from the Secretary of State, copies of 
state statutes or laws establishing your organization, and copies of 
your organization's articles of incorporation and bylaws. Letters from 
IRS awarding tax-exempt status are not considered adequate evidence.
    5. List of Directors and Officers. The applicant must submit a 
certified list of directors and officers with their respective terms.
    6. IRS Tax Exempt Status. The applicant must submit evidence of tax 
exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.
    7. Financial Information and Sustainability. The applicant must 
submit pro forma balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow 
statements for the last three years and projections for three years. 
Additionally, the most recent audit of the applicant's organization 
must be submitted.

B. Evaluation Criteria

    Grant applications that are complete and eligible will be scored 
competitively based on the following scoring criteria:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Scoring criteria                          Points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Degree of expertise and experience  Up to 30 points.
 in promoting the safe and
 productive use of individually-
 owned household water well
 systems and ground water.
Degree of expertise and successful  Up to 20 points.
 experience in making and
 servicing loans to individuals.
Percentage of applicant             ....................................
 contributions. Points allowed
 under this paragraph will be
 based on written evidence of the
 availability of funds from
 sources other than the proceeds
 of a HWWS grant to pay part of
 the cost of a loan recipient's
 project. In-kind contributions
 will not be considered. Funds
 from other sources as a
 percentage of the HWWS grant and
 points corresponding to such
 percentages are as follows:
    0 to 9 percent................  ineligible.
    10 to 25 percent..............  5 points.
    26 to 30 percent..............  10 points.
    31 to 50 percent..............  15 points.
    51 percent or more............  20 points.
Extent to which the work plan       Up to 20 points.
 demonstrates a well thought out,
 comprehensive approach to
 accomplishing the objectives of
 this part, clearly defines who
 will be served by the project,
 and appears likely to be
 sustainable.
Extent to which the goals and       Up to 10 points.
 objectives are clearly defined,
 tied to the work plan, and
 measurable.
Lowest ratio of projected           Up to 10 points.
 administrative expenses to loans
 advanced.
Administrator's discretion,         ....................................
 considering such factors as:
    Creative outreach ideas for     Up to 10 points.
     marketing HWWS loans to rural
     residents;.
    The amount of needs             ....................................
     demonstrated in the work
     plan;.
    Previous experiences            ....................................
     demonstrating excellent
     utilization of a revolving
     loan fund grant; and.
    Optimizing the use of agency    ....................................
     resources.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Review Standards

    1. Incomplete applications as of the deadline for submission will 
not be considered. If an application is determined to be incomplete, 
the applicant will be notified in writing and the application will be 
returned with no further action.
    2. Ineligible applications will be returned to the applicant with 
an explanation.
    3. Complete, eligible applications will be evaluated competitively 
by a review team, composed of at least two RUS employees selected from 
the Water Programs Division. They will make overall recommendations 
based on the program elements found in 7 CFR 1776 and the review 
criteria presented in this notice. They will award points as described 
in the scoring criteria in 7 CFR 1776.9 and this notice. Each 
application will receive a score based on the averages of the 
reviewers' scores and discretionary points awarded by the RUS 
Administrator.
    4. Applications will be ranked and grants awarded in rank order 
until all grant funds are expended.
    5. Regardless of the score an application receives, if RUS 
determines that the project is technically infeasible, RUS will notify 
the applicant, in writing, and the application will be returned with no 
further action.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

    RUS will notify a successful applicant by an award letter 
accompanied by a grant agreement. The grant agreement will contain the 
terms and conditions for the grant. The applicant must execute and 
return the grant agreement, accompanied by any additional items 
required by the award letter or grant agreement.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    1. This notice, the 7 CFR part 1776, and the application guide 
implement the appropriate administrative and national policy 
requirements. Grant recipients are subject to the requirements in 7 CFR 
part 1776.
    2. Direct Federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts under the 
HWWS Grant Program shall not be used to fund inherently religious 
activities, such as

[[Page 26251]]

worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. Therefore, 
organizations that receive direct assistance should take steps to 
separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities 
from the services funded under the HWWS Grant Program. Regulations for 
the Equal Treatment for Faith-based Organizations are contained in 7 
CFR part 16, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of 
inherently religious activities.

C. Reporting

    1. Performance Reporting. All recipients of HWWS Grant Program 
financial assistance must provide quarterly performance activity 
reports to RUS until the project is complete and the funds are 
expended. A final performance report is also required. The final report 
may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an 
evaluation of the success of the project.
    2. Financial Reporting. All recipients of HWWS Grant Program 
financial assistance must provide an annual audit, beginning with the 
first year a portion of the financial assistance is expended. The 
grantee will provide an audit report or financial statements as 
follows:
    a. Grantees expending $500,000 or more Federal funds per fiscal 
year will submit an audit conducted in accordance with OMB Circular A-
133. The audit will be submitted within 9 months after the grantee's 
fiscal year. Additional audits may be required if the project period 
covers more than one fiscal year.
    b. Grantees expending less than $500,000 will provide annual 
financial statements covering the grant period, consisting of the 
organization's statement of income and expense and balance sheet signed 
by an appropriate official of the organization. Financial statements 
will be submitted within 90 days after the grantee's fiscal year.
    3. Recipient and Subrecipient Reporting. The applicant must have 
the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the 
reporting requirements for first-tier sub-awards and executive 
compensation under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency 
Act of 2006 in the event the applicant receives funding unless such 
applicant is exempt from such reporting requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 
part 170 Section 170.110(b). The reporting requirements under the 
Transparency Act pursuant to 2 CFR part 170 are as follows:
    a. First Tier Sub-Awards of $25,000 or more in non-Recovery Act 
funds (unless they are exempt under 2 CFR part 170) must be reported by 
the Recipient to http://www.fsrs.gov no later than the end of the month 
following the month the obligation was made.
    b. The Total Compensation of the Recipient's Executives (5 most 
highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Recipient (if 
the Recipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to http://www.ccr.gov by the end of the month following the month in which the 
award was made.
    c. The Total Compensation of the Subrecipient's Executives (5 most 
highly compensated executives) must be reported by the Subrecipient (if 
the Subrecipient meets the criteria under 2 CFR part 170) to the 
Recipient by the end of the month following the month in which the 
subaward was made.

VII. Agency Contacts

    A. Web site: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP-individualwellsystems.htm.
    B. Phone: 202-720-9589.
    C. Fax: 202-690-0649.
    D. Email: JoyceM.Taylor@wdc.usda.gov.
    E. Main point of contact: Joyce M. Taylor, Community Programs 
Specialist, Water Programs Division, Water and Environmental Programs, 
RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Dated:April 13, 2012.
Jonathan Adelstein,
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-10615 Filed 5-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P