[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 38 (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13062-13067]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04383]


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Administration for Children and Families

[CFDA numbers 93.581, 93.587, 93.612]


Request for Public Comment on the Proposed Adoption of 
Administration for Native Americans Program Policies and Procedures

AGENCY: Administration for Native Americans, ACF, HHS.

ACTION: Notice for public comment.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 814 of the Native American Programs Act of 
1974 (NAPA), as amended, the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) 
is required to provide members of the public an opportunity to comment 
on proposed changes in interpretive rules, general statements of 
policy, and rules of agency procedure or practice, and to give notice 
of the final adoption of such changes at least 30 days before the 
changes become effective. In accordance with notice requirements of 
NAPA, ANA herein describes its proposed interpretive rules, general 
statements of policy, and rules of agency procedure or practice as they 
relate to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Funding Opportunity Announcements 
(FOA) for the following programs: (1) Social and Economic Development 
Strategies (hereinafter referred to as SEDS); (2) Native Asset Building 
Initiative (hereinafter referred to as NABI); (3) Sustainable 
Employment and Economic Development Strategies (hereinafter referred to 
as SEEDS); (4) Native Language Preservation and Maintenance 
(hereinafter referred to as Language Preservation); (5) Native Language 
Preservation and Maintenance--Esther Martinez Initiative (hereinafter 
referred to as Language--EMI); and 6) Environmental Regulatory 
Enhancement (hereinafter referred to as ERE). This notice of public 
comment also provides additional information about ANA's plan for 
administering the programs.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments is 30 days from the date of 
publication in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Comments in response to this notice should be addressed to 
Lillian A. Sparks, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans, 
370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Mail Stop: Aerospace 2--West, Washington, 
DC 20447. Delays may occur in mail delivery to federal offices; 
therefore, a copy of comments should be faxed to (202) 690-7441. 
Comments will be available for inspection by members of the public at 
the Administration for Native Americans, 901 D Street SW., Washington, 
DC 20447.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carmelia Strickland, Director, 
Division of Program Operations, ANA (877) 922-9262.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 814 of NAPA, as amended, requires 
ANA to provide notice of its proposed interpretive rules, general 
statements of policy, and rules of agency organization, procedure, or 
practice. The proposed clarifications, modifications, and new text will 
appear in the six FY 2013 FOAs: SEDS, NABI, SEEDS, Language

[[Page 13063]]

Preservation, Language--EMI, and ERE. This notice serves to fulfill 
this requirement.
    A. Funding Opportunity Announcements: For information on the types 
of projects funded by ANA, please refer to ANA's Web site for 
information on our program areas and funding opportunity announcements: 
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana.
    The following changes will be made to ANA's FOAs this year:
    1. In FY 2013, ANA proposes discontinuing the practice of 
publishing a separate SEDS--Tribal Governance FOA (HHS-2012-ACF-ANA-NG-
0278) and, instead, incorporating the Tribal Governance program areas 
of interest into the annual SEDS FOA. Also, ANA proposes adding 
responsible fatherhood as a program area of interest under the annual 
SEDS FOA.
    Additionally, ANA proposes adding two new program areas of interest 
to the annual SEDS FOA focused on suicide prevention and on human 
trafficking. Based on information gathered during tribal consultation 
sessions and at other meetings, the ANA Commissioner has been asked to 
address the issues related to suicide with which many Native 
communities are grappling, as well as with issues related to human 
trafficking that can occur on remote, isolated lands, and among 
vulnerable populations.
    Under SEDS, ANA proposes to move the following four sub-program 
areas of interest out of Economic Development: (1) Emergency 
preparedness, (2) economic competitiveness, (3) agriculture, and (4) 
commercial trade. Emergency preparedness will be included under the 
governance program area of interest under the SEDS FOA. Economic 
competitiveness, agriculture and commercial trade will move to a 
proposed new FOA that is to be known as Sustainable Employment and 
Economic Development Strategies (SEEDS) (HHS-2013-ACF-ANA-NE-0588), 
which is part of the SEDS program (see proposal 2 in this 
section). For additional information on this proposed FOA, you may also 
refer to the concept paper located at the following link: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana/resource/proposed-seeds-foa-concept-paper. 
(Legal authority: Section 803(a) of NAPA, as amended).
    2. In FY 2013, ANA will introduce the SEEDS FOA that will focus on 
developing employment opportunities and business creation in Native 
communities. These types of projects were formerly funded under the 
SEDS FOA. ANA will expand funding for new, community-based projects 
that will foster economic development through the creation of small 
businesses and sustainable job growth, which will be funded under the 
same Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number as SEDS. The 
current economic climate has increased ANA's focus on developing 
employment opportunities and business creation in native communities, 
resulting in this special funding initiative to promote SEEDS. In an 
effort to reduce unemployment and stimulate local economies, ANA will 
make $5,000,000 available for SEEDS funding in FY 2013 for new, 
community-based projects that will foster economic development through 
the creation of small businesses and sustainable job growth. Applicants 
eligible for the SEEDS FOA are the same as those identified as eligible 
for SEDS though current SEDS grantees with grants that will go beyond 
the start date of the possible new award are not eligible for funding 
under SEEDS.
    Four priorities that ANA will promote through the SEEDS initiative 
are: (1) Creation of sustainable employment opportunities; (2) 
professional training and skill development that increases 
participants' employability and earning potential; (3) creation and 
development of small businesses and entrepreneurial activities, and; 
(4) demonstrated strategy and commitment to keeping the jobs and 
revenues generated by project activities within the native communities 
being served. Improving access to employment opportunities and 
supporting small businesses will enhance local economies, enable more 
tribal members to acquire and maintain gainful employment, and improve 
the long-term financial health of tribal members and their families.
    ANA has identified the following program areas of interest for the 
SEEDS FOA, however funding is not restricted to those listed below:
    (a) Agriculture: Creating, developing, or enhancing agricultural 
enterprise and sustainable farming projects with a focus on 
distribution at local and commercial markets.
    (b) Career Pathways: Using multi-sector partnerships with entities 
such as Tribal Colleges, workforce development agencies, social service 
providers, and employers to develop workforce training programs that 
respond to local employers' hiring needs.
    (c) Commercial Trade: Strengthening local economies by increasing 
the demand for locally produced goods and services.
    (d) Economic Competitiveness: Creating, expanding, and retaining 
businesses to reflect distinct economies operating in rural and urban 
areas, in both mature and emergent sectors.
    (e) Economic Infrastructure: Addressing economic infrastructure 
needs that will strengthen business development and job creation in 
native communities.
    (f) Entrepreneurship and Microbusiness: Promoting entrepreneurial 
development through business incubators and other activities that 
support businesses and market the availability of local products or 
services. (Microbusiness loans will not be available under such 
projects.)
    (g) Local Sourcing and Technology: Using new technologies to 
enhance distribution channels for locally produced goods and services.
    (h) Professional Development: Providing professional training, 
skill development (including soft skills, basic skills, or technical 
skills) or certification that will enhance participants' employment and 
earning prospects.
    (i) Interoperability/Integration (partnering with ACF programs and 
clients): Helping ACF clients such as youth aging out of foster care, 
TANF or TANF eligible individuals, or noncustodial parents with child 
support agreements to obtain employment.
    (j) Place-based Strategies: Using a tribe or community's local or 
regional assets and resources and collaborating with multiple 
stakeholders to address economic development barriers.
    3. The program areas of interest will remain the same for the 
following ANA FOAs: Native American Language Preservation and 
Maintenance (HHS-2011-ACF-ANA-NL-0139); Native American Language 
Preservation and Maintenance--Esther Martinez Initiative (HHS-2011-ACF-
ANA-NL-0140); Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (HHS-2011-ACF-ANA-
NR-0142), and Native Asset Building Initiative (HHS-2013-ACF-ANA-NO-
0587).
    B. Administrative Policies: ANA proposes revising all funding 
opportunity announcements to include three new administrative policies, 
remove one administrative policy used in prior years, and will clarify 
another administrative policy, as follows:
    1. Proposal: All applicants must submit documentation, such as a 
resolution, demonstrating that the governing body of the organization 
approves the application's submission to ANA for the current grant 
competition period. In addition, if the applicant is a tribally-
authorized component or division, the applicant must also include a 
resolution demonstrating that the governing body of the tribe approves 
the application's submission to ANA for the current competition period. 
All resolutions must be signed by an official of the

[[Page 13064]]

governing body and dated. In lieu of a resolution, meeting minutes from 
the governing body and/or a letter from the current tribal leader may 
be acceptable forms of documentation if that is more appropriate to 
that tribal government structure. The documentation should be included 
with the application's submission to ANA. Project funds will not be 
awarded without ANA's receipt of signed and dated documentation prior 
to the start of the project period.
    Rationale: The NAPA requires that a governing body ``has not 
disapproved'' the project ``within 30 days of its submission'' to the 
governing body (42 U.S.C. 299f(1)). Therefore, ANA's administrative 
policy is included to ensure that funded applications are supported by 
the governing body of the tribe or organization. In previous FOAs, lack 
of such resolutions as part of the application submission has been a 
disqualification factor that resulted in the elimination of many 
applications from the competitive review process. The requirement for 
evidence that the governing body has either affirmatively approved or 
not disapproved the project remains the same; however, it is no longer 
required by the due date of the FOA in which an application was 
submitted. In lieu of a resolution, meeting minutes from the governing 
body and/or a letter from the current tribal leader may be acceptable 
forms of documentation if that is more appropriate to that tribal 
government structure. It is important that the tribal leadership is 
aware of its fiscal responsibility and potential for financial 
liabilities in administering the ANA program. The change of 
administrative policy is recommended in order to increase the number of 
applications that are eligible for the competitive review process. If 
an application is ranked within funding range but does not include a 
governing body's resolution, ANA staff will require this documentation 
in advance of making a grant award.
    2. Proposal: Grantees will be required to attend Post Award 
Training during the first year of their ANA award, and to attend an 
annual ANA Grantee Meeting during each year of their ANA award. 
Therefore, applicants will be required to include an appropriate amount 
for travel costs to attend Post Award Training in the first year of the 
proposed project budget, and travel costs to attend the annual ANA 
Grantee meeting for each year of the proposed project's budget. Also, 
participation and attendance at Post Award Training and the ANA Grantee 
Meeting should be included activities within each year of the project's 
Objective Work Plan (OWP). See Section IV.2. Content and Form of 
Application Submission, Project Budget and Budget Description, for 
specific travel costs that should be included to attend Post Award 
Training, to be held in the grantee's region, and the ANA Grantee 
Meeting, which is usually held in Washington, DC.
    Rationale: This policy is added to ensure that applicants 
understand the mandatory training meeting and budgetary requirements 
for an ANA grant. By including this under the administrative policies 
instead of evaluation criteria, ANA believes confusion by panel 
reviewers will be eliminated thus ensuring panel reviewers do not score 
an application based on the inclusion or omission of these trainings in 
their budget and OWP.
    3. Proposal: Under the standard terms and conditions for 
discretionary HHS awards (Grants Policy Statement, page II-7 at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/terms-and-conditions), grant recipients are 
required to establish safeguards to prevent employees, consultants, 
members of governing bodies, and others who may be involved in grant-
supported activities from using their positions for purposes that are, 
or give the appearance of being, motivated by a desire for private 
financial gain for themselves or others, such as those with whom they 
have family, business, or other ties. Therefore, staff employed through 
an ANA-funded project cannot also serve as a member of the governing 
body for the applicant organization. During the award negotiation 
phase, ANA will ask the prospective recipient to modify project 
personnel if a proposed staff member is also a member of the applicant 
organization's governing body. In addition, there should be a 
separation of duties from staff and the governing bodies within an 
organization to ensure the integrity of internal controls and to 
minimize disruptions in the continuity of operations.
    Rationale: This policy has been added to remind applicants of the 
requirement to establish safeguards that prohibit employees from using 
their positions for a purpose that presents a conflict of interest or 
the appearance of a conflict of interest. An applicant organization 
must also have auditable internal controls in place to ensure the 
integrity of the management of federal funds. In recent years, ANA has 
seen challenges arise with grantees in which individuals are dually 
serving as paid staff and also as a member of the recipient 
organization's Board of Directors.
    Additionally, ANA proposes to eliminate the administrative policy 
previously stated in Section I, Funding Opportunity Description, 
Administrative Policies, which requires the submission of a business 
plan. However, submission of a business plan will remain a requirement 
for the submission of certain economic development projects as stated 
in Section IV.2, The Project Description.
    C. Disqualification Factors: ANA proposes revising the 
disqualification factors that are specific to applications submitted 
for ANA funding. ANA will remove a previously identified 
disqualification factor, clarify an existing factor, and add a new 
disqualification factor. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and 814 of 
NAPA, as amended).

1. Board Resolution

    All applicants must submit a resolution demonstrating that the 
applicant's official governing body approves the application 
submission to ANA for the current grant competition period. In 
addition, if the applicant is a tribally authorized component or 
division, the application must also include a resolution 
demonstrating that the governing body of the Tribe approves the 
application submission to ANA for the current competition period. 
Applicants that do not include this documentation will be considered 
non-responsive, and the application will not be considered for 
competition.

    ANA proposes removing the disqualification factor associated with 
the submission of an approved board resolution. ANA will still require 
that this documentation be submitted but it will now be designated as 
an administrative policy (see administrative policies above for 
additional clarification). All applicants must submit documentation, 
such as a resolution, demonstrating that the governing body of the 
organization approves the application's submission to ANA for the 
current grant competition period. In addition, if the applicant is a 
tribally-authorized component or division, the applicant must also 
include a resolution demonstrating that the governing body of the tribe 
approves the application's submission to ANA for the current 
competition period. All resolutions must be signed by an official of 
the governing body and dated. Project funds will not be awarded without 
the submission of signed and dated documentation prior to the start of 
the project period. Applications received without the required 
governing body's resolution will no longer be disqualified from 
competitive review.


[[Page 13065]]



2. Governing Body Documentation

    This disqualification factor applies only to applicants that are 
not Tribes or Native Alaska villages. Organizations applying for 
funding must show that a majority of board members approving the 
project proposal are representative of the community to be served. 
The applicant should submit documentation that identifies each board 
member by name and indicate their affiliation or relationship to at 
least one of the four categories of representation listed in the 
factor. ANA revised the categories of representatives of the 
community to be served to include: (1) members of Federally or State 
recognized Tribes; (2) persons eligible to be a participant or 
beneficiary to the project to be funded; (3) persons who are 
recognized by the eligible community to be served as having a 
cultural relationship with the community to be served; or (4) 
persons considered to be Native American as defined in 45 CFR 
1336.10 and Native American Pacific Islanders as defined in the 
Native American Programs Act. Applicants that do not include this 
documentation will be considered non-responsive, and the application 
will not be considered for competition.

    This disqualification factor will remain in effect but is 
clarified. ANA proposes to add clarification to this disqualification 
factor to indicate that the documentation that must be submitted 
identifies each board member by name and indicates their relationship 
to at least one of the four categories of representation listed in the 
factor. Applications that are submitted without this documentation will 
be considered non-responsive to the FOA and will not be considered for 
competition. (Legal authority: Section 803(a) and 814 of NAPA, as 
amended.)

3. Only One Active Award per CFDA

    This disqualification factor applies to all types of eligible 
applicants. Organizations can have no more than one active award per 
CFDA number for an ANA program at any given time. Therefore, 
organizations that have a current ANA grant that is eligible for a 
Non Competing Continuation (NCC) award which: A) will go beyond the 
start date of the possible new award, and B) was awarded under the 
same CFDA number as this FOA, will not have their applications 
considered for the competition. This disqualification factor is 
based on the administrative policy that prohibits grantees from 
having more than one active grant per CFDA number. This 
disqualification factor does not apply to organizations eligible for 
an NCC award for the continuation of an ANA grant made under a 
different CFDA number (funding opportunity announcement).

    Under the Administrative Policies, ``Grantees can have only one 
active grant award per Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 
number.'' ANA is proposing that this policy should also become a 
disqualification factor that will apply to all applicants. The limit of 
one active award per CFDA number has been a long-standing ANA policy 
that was implemented to ensure a wider distribution of ANA's federal 
funding. ANA strongly believes in maximizing the beneficial use of its 
limited funding for the greatest number of people in the targeted 
communities. By including this administrative policy as a 
disqualification factor, ANA will screen-out from competition those 
applications submitted by an applicant that would be ineligible for 
funding because the organization has an ongoing ANA award funded by the 
same CFDA number that will continue past the start date of the new 
award.
    Previously, ANA has had to expend its limited resources to review 
all grant applications, even if the applicant was likely not to receive 
an award based on the administrative policy. If the application was 
found to be within the funding range, the application was ultimately 
not funded. Under the disqualification factor, applications from 
existing grantees with an award that has the same CFDA number will be 
screened out of competition and the application will not be reviewed. 
Therefore, applicants should be cautioned to not apply for a new grant 
that has the same CFDA number if they have a concurrent ANA award. For 
example, applicants with a current ANA grant that is eligible for a 
Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) award that will extend beyond the 
start date of the new award offered under the FOA, and was awarded 
under the same CFDA number as that of the current FOA, will be 
disqualified from the competitive review. This disqualification factor 
is based on the administrative policy that prohibits grantees from 
having more than one active grant per CFDA number. See Section I. 
Funding Opportunity Description, Administrative Policies.
    D. Definitions: ANA is adding a definition for ``impact indicator'' 
in all FY 2013 FOAs. (Legal authority: Section 803(b) and 814 of NAPA, 
as amended and 42 U.S.C. Sec.  2991b-3(b)(7)(C).
    1. Impact Indicator: A quantitative measure used to monitor a 
project's progress in achieving its intended outcomes and impact. An 
impact indicator should identify the extent to which a project's 
overall desired outcome was achieved and should describe how the 
conditions discussed in the Need for Assistance were changed as a 
result of the project. For example, a project focused on healthy 
relationships would likely use the community's divorce rate as an 
impact indicator.
    E. Do Not Fund: ANA will add the following five project types that 
it will not fund to Section V.2. Review and Selection Process. These 
projects will not be disqualified from competitive review but ANA 
reserves the right not to fund them regardless of the outcome of panel 
review.
    1. Projects that do not demonstrate that the proposed staff or 
organization has the required expertise, or organizational capacity, to 
fulfill the project approach or to achieve the stated objectives or 
outcomes of the application.
    ANA applicants should provide evidence that the applicant 
organization, and any partnering organizations, have relevant 
experience and expertise with administration, development, 
implementation, and management of programs similar to that proposed in 
order to fulfill the project's approach. ANA has received some 
applications that scored within the funding range but did not 
demonstrate that the organization had sufficient capacity or staffing 
expertise to implement the proposed project, nor had the applicant 
identified partnerships that would assist them in achieving the 
project's objectives. Funding these types of applications would not be 
the best use of ANA's limited resources or taxpayer dollars.
    2. Projects with the potential to cause unintended harm or that 
could negatively impact the safety, or privacy, of individuals.
    This ``Do Not Fund'' is added to ensure that projects funded by ANA 
will not cause harm or impact the safety, or privacy, of individuals. 
ANA has received several applications proposing activities that could 
cause harm, including the use of inaccurate medical information in 
health counseling, purchasing surveillance equipment to monitor tribal 
citizens, or proposing potentially dangerous activities involving 
youth. One of ANA's goals is to safeguard the health and well-being of 
Native children and families; therefore, ANA reserves the right to not 
award federal funds for activities that may adversely impact the safety 
or well-being of Native people in their communities.
    3. Applications for proposed projects that are not written 
specifically in response to an ANA FOA. These applications may have 
been submitted to another funding agency and are not tailored to ANA's 
goals as specified in an ANA FOA.
    This ``Do Not Fund'' will be added to ensure that proposed projects 
are specific to ANA's funding goals and that they are strongly 
supported by the community. ANA has previously received applications 
that include

[[Page 13066]]

letters of support that were written to other funding agencies and are 
not specific to the project proposed for ANA funding. This does not 
demonstrate a strong commitment towards fulfilling the purpose of ANA's 
goals and is not specific to the requirements of ANA's FOAs.
    4. Projects that do not demonstrate a current need or recent 
community support for the proposed project.
    This ``Do Not Fund'' area is to ensure that the applicant has 
worked with its community within the last three years (or sooner) to 
identify the need for the project and to obtain their input or 
involvement in the planning for the proposed project. Based on internal 
reviews of grantees' impact evaluations, ANA has discerned that strong 
community support for projects in advance of funding, and throughout 
the project's implementation, is integral to the success of an ANA-
funded project. For example, if an applicant proposes to address a need 
that was identified as part of a tribe's 10-year strategic plan, which 
was completed 7 years ago, the applicant should demonstrate that the 
need still remains and that more recent interactions and input from the 
community have been part of the project's planned approach.
    5. Projects that may be used for the purpose of providing loan 
capital. Federal funds awarded under this FOA may not be used for the 
purpose of providing loan capital. This is not related to loan capital 
authorized under Sec. 803A of NAPA [42 U.S.C. 2991b-1(a)(1)] for the 
purpose of the Hawaiian Revolving Loan fund.
    This ``Do Not Fund'' will be added to clarify ANA's interpretation 
of the NAPA on the use of ANA funding for loan capital purposes. ANA 
will not fund projects which propose activities that include the use of 
grant funds as loans.
    F. Page Limits: In Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application 
Submission, Formatting ACF Applications, ANA will implement a maximum 
page limit for all applications for FY 2013.
    1. Total application: ANA will implement a total page limit of 150 
pages for applications submitted in response to the FOA for SEDS, 
Language Preservation, Language--EMI, and ERE programs, and a 200 page 
limit for applications submitted in response to the NABI and SEEDS 
programs. Additional pages will be allowed for NABI applications due to 
a required five-year project period and the submission of two budgets 
and two budget justifications. Additional pages will be allowed for 
SEEDS applications due to project periods lasting up to five years. The 
page limitation excludes a Business Plan (if applicable) or mandatory 
grant forms (Standard Forms and ANA's Objective Work Plan form). 
Applications that exceed the page limits will have excess pages removed 
prior to the application's panel review.
    G. Project Description: ANA will make modifications to the project 
description narrative.
    1. Letters of Support: ANA has added Letters of Support as a 
requirement. Applicants should provide statements from community, 
public, and commercial leaders that support the project proposed for 
funding. All submissions must be included in the application package.
    2. Third-party agreements: ANA has added third-party agreements as 
a requirement. Third-party agreements include Memoranda of 
Understanding (MOU) aka Letters of Commitment. General letters of 
support are not considered to be third-party agreements. Third-party 
agreements must clearly describe the project activities and support to 
which the third party is committing. Third-party agreements must be 
signed by the person in the third-party organization with the authority 
to make such commitments on behalf of their organization. Applicants 
should provide written and signed agreements between grantees and 
subgrantees, or subcontractors, or other cooperating entities. These 
agreements must detail the scope of work to be performed, work 
schedules, remuneration, and other terms and conditions that structure 
or define the relationship.
    3. Budget and Budget Justification:
    Travel: Text will be added requiring applicants to include costs in 
their budget for mandatory post-award travel for training and the ANA 
Grantee Meeting. Additional information will be provided within the FOA 
on estimated costs based on applicant's regional location.
    H. ANA Application Evaluation Criteria: ANA will revise the 
evaluation criteria for the SEDS, Language Preservation, Language--EMI, 
and ERE FOAs to allow greater flexibility in applicants' proposals. The 
evaluation criteria will be revised to include clearer explanations of 
how ANA will assess the information provided in the applications. 
(Legal authority: Section 803(c) of NAPA, as amended.) The evaluation 
criteria for NABI will not be changed.
    1. Titles and Assigned Weight: In FY 2013, ANA will increase the 
number of evaluation criteria from four to five and adjust the weighted 
scores to focus on those elements that are important to project success 
and project monitoring. Weighted sub-criteria scores are identified for 
the ``Project Approach'' criterion only.
    For SEDS, Language Preservation, Language--EMI, and ERE FOAs 
published in FY 2013, the criteria will be weighted as follows:

Project Integration--10 points;
Objectives and Need for Assistance--10 points;
Project Approach--50 points;
Sub criterion--Project Strategy--30 points
Sub criterion--Objective Work Plan--20 points
Outcomes Expected--20 points
Budget and Budget Justification--10 points
    2. ANA Evaluation Criteria: Included here is a summary of the 
changes made to the criteria.
    (a) Project Integration: ANA will add a new criterion entitled, 
``Project Integration,'' that will score how well the application ties 
together the proposed project through the other four criteria. The 
overall point value for this section will be 10 points. To score the 
Project Integration criterion, reviewers will consider the extent to 
which all the application criteria elements are aligned, i.e., how 
effectively the Objectives and Need for Assistance, Project Approach, 
Budget, and Outcomes Expected complement one another into a cohesive 
and carefully planned project. For example, if the application's 
proposed project description was a jigsaw puzzle, how well do the 
puzzle pieces fit together? This criterion does not measure any element 
of the application in isolation and does not respond to a specific 
information request concerning project integration.
    (b) Objectives and Need for Assistance: The overall point value has 
been decreased to 10 points due to the addition of the project 
integration criterion.
    (c) Outcomes Expected: The overall point value for this section has 
been increased to 20 points to emphasize the importance of applicants 
connecting their proposed project's goal, objectives, and activities to 
the intended results, benefits, and impacts produced by the project.
    (d) Budget and Budget Justification: The overall point value for 
this section has decreased to 10 points due to the addition of the 
project integration criterion.
    The changes to the content of evaluation criteria, and the 
complementary changes to the project

[[Page 13067]]

description section of the FOA, will more effectively guide applicants 
and panel reviewers on what ANA believes are critical components of a 
project's application. (Legal authority: Section 803(c) of NAPA, as 
amended.)
    I. Objective Review and Results: ANA's FOA currently states 
``Results of the competitive objective review are taken into 
consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, 
objective review scores and rankings are not binding. They are one 
element in the decision-making process.'' ANA will clarify the scoring 
process in this section by stating that ANA will have the discretion to 
Use either the actual ``raw'' score or a normalized score in order to 
determine the ranking of applications after the panel review has been 
completed. The raw score is the average of the actual scores given by 
the three panelists that served as peer reviewers for the application. 
A normalized score is a statistical method that accounts for the 
variability and relative nature of individual reviewers' scoring 
tendencies. Normalized scores are used to counteract any possible 
predisposition or scoring biases of individual reviewers and panels in 
order to make the outcome fairer for all applications. The use of a 
normalized score is allowable and authorized by HHS grants 
administration policy.

Lillian A. Sparks,
Commissioner, Administration for Native American.
[FR Doc. 2013-04383 Filed 2-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4184-34-P