[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 126 (Tuesday, July 1, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37211-37222]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15191]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 77

RIN 2900-AP07


Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for Disabled Veterans and 
Disabled Members of the Armed Forces

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

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SUMMARY: This interim final rule amends Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) regulations to establish a new program to provide grants to 
eligible entities to provide adaptive sports activities to disabled 
veterans and

[[Page 37212]]

disabled members of the Armed Forces. This rulemaking is necessary to 
implement a change in the law that authorizes VA to make grants to 
entities other than the United States Olympic Committee for adaptive 
sports programs. It establishes procedures for evaluating grant 
applications under this grant program, and otherwise administering the 
grant program. This rule implements section 5 of the VA Expiring 
Authorities Extension Act of 2013.

DATES: Effective date: This interim final rule is effective July 1, 
2014.
    Comment date: Comments must be received by VA on or before 
September 2, 2014.
    Applicability date: The provisions of this regulatory amendment 
apply to all grant applications from entities for planning, developing, 
managing, and implementing programs to provide adaptive sports 
activities for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed 
Forces during fiscal years 2014 through 2016.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov; by mail or hand delivery to the Director, 
Regulation Policy and Management (02REG), Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by 
fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted 
in response to ``RIN 2900-AP07, Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for 
Disabled Veterans and Disabled Members of the Armed Forces.'' Copies of 
comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office 
of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8 
a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please 
call (202) 461-4902 (this is not a toll-free number) for an 
appointment. In addition, during the comment period, comments may be 
viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael F. Welch, Program Specialist, 
Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events (002C), 
Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington DC 
20420, (202) 632-7136. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VA is required by 38 U.S.C. 521A to ``carry 
out a program under which the Secretary may make grants to eligible 
entities for planning, developing, managing, and implementing programs 
to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled veterans and 
disabled members of the Armed Forces.'' To comply with this law, VA 
will award grants to eligible entities to provide adaptive sport 
activities to disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed 
Forces. This rule establishes regulations for conducting the grant 
program including evaluation of grant applications and otherwise 
administering the grant program in accordance with the law. Section 
521A authorizes $8,000,000 to be appropriated for each fiscal year 
through 2015 to carry out the grant program. In addition, section 
521A(l) specifies that VA may only provide assistance under this 
program for adaptive sports activities occurring through fiscal year 
2016. We will indicate the funding limitation for each of the fiscal 
years in a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) publication in the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-designated government-wide Web 
site, to adequately provide notice to eligible recipients of the 
grants. However, we will not include the funding limitation or indicate 
the specific fiscal years for the program's funding in this rule 
because the amount of authorized appropriations may change and Congress 
could extend the program. By not including the funding limitation or 
the specific fiscal years the program is to be funded in this rule, we 
prevent having a regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations that 
appeared to restrict or stop the grant program beyond a certain date, 
when VA may still be authorized to administer the grant program. If 
funding ceases to be provided or the grant program is not extended, we 
would not publish a subsequent NOFA in the OMB-designated government-
wide Web site for that following fiscal year, and we would amend our 
regulations to remove this rule from the Code of Federal Regulations.

77.1 Purpose and Scope

    Section 77.1 establishes the grant program and explains what the 
program provides. This section indicates that VA may provide grants to 
eligible entities to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to 
provide adaptive sports activities for disabled veterans and disabled 
members of the Armed Forces.

77.2 Definitions

    Section 77.2 defines terms used throughout part 77, and in Notices 
of Fund Availability (NOFA) for this grant program to be published in 
the OMB-designated government-wide Web site.
    Adaptive sports would be defined to include all sports played by 
persons with a disability, not just sports that have been modified to 
meet the needs of persons with a disability. This is because several 
sports have been specifically created for persons with disabilities and 
have no equivalent able-bodied sport. We believe that this would be 
consistent with the legislative intent. In particular, the law provides 
that the activities for which an eligible entity may reimburse a 
subgrantee may be used include: ``instruction, participation, and 
competition in Paralympic sports.'' 38 U.S.C. 521A. There are 
Paralympic sports that were created specifically for disabled 
participants, such as Goalball. Permitting grantees to reimburse 
subgrantees for Paralympic sports activities demonstrates that Congress 
did not intend to restrict the sports promoted by these grants to just 
sports that have been modified to meet the needs of persons with a 
disability. See also 159 Cong. Rec. H7614-H7617 (daily ed. Dec 10, 
2013) (Statement of Rep. Coffman: ``participation in adaptive sports 
and other athletic activities can help speed the rehabilitation process 
for disabled veterans'').
    Adaptive sports activities is defined as that term is defined in 38 
U.S.C. 521A(d)(3) except that the regulatory definition does not limit 
``instruction, participation, and competition'' in sports to Paralympic 
sports as the statutory definition does. Instead, it includes 
instruction, participation, and competition in adaptive sports. See 
further discussion of this statutory provision with respect to Sec.  
77.15.
    Adaptive sports grant is defined as a grant awarded or to be 
awarded under this part.
    Adaptive sports grant agreement is defined as the agreement 
executed between VA and a grantee as specified under Sec.  77.17.
    Applicant is defined as an eligible entity that submits an 
application for an adaptive sport grant announced in a Notice of 
Funding Availability.
    For purposes of this grant program, 38 U.S.C. 521A(a)(2) provides 
that an eligible entity must have ``significant experience in managing 
a large-scale adaptive sports program.'' In the regulation, we have 
thus defined ``eligible entity'' as a Non-Federal Government entity 
with significant experience in managing a large-scale adaptive sports 
program for persons with disabilities if those disabilities are those 
that many disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces 
have. The definition provides that to have significant experience, all 
the key personnel identified in the adaptive sports grant application 
must have qualifications that demonstrate

[[Page 37213]]

experience implementing the adaptive sports activities to be provided 
and demonstrate experience working with persons with the disabilities 
that the disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces to 
be served through the adaptive sports grant would have. We believe the 
experience of the applicant's key personnel is the best way to measure 
whether the applicant has the significant experience required. The 
regulation further provides that this experience must be for the two 
continuous years immediately prior to the submission of the grant 
application. In most cases, two continuous years of experience 
demonstrates that the key personnel have conducted a program through 
two fiscal cycles including the planning, implementation and closeout 
periods associated with adaptive sports activities that have an annual 
operational cycle. Less than two annual operating cycles most likely 
means that the key personnel have not conducted an adaptive sports 
program through an annual program life cycle or successfully 
transitioned such a program to conduct a subsequent annual program. We 
also believe that this experience must be in providing adaptive sports 
activities for those with disabilities that a disabled veteran or 
disabled member of the Armed Forces might experience. If a key person 
has experience solely in disabilities that would not be experienced by 
the current and former military personnel to be served by this program, 
the person's experience may not translate to effective provision of 
adaptive sports activities for disabled veterans and disabled members 
of the Armed Forces. It follows that if more than one entity is 
providing the activities, the applicant can rely on the combined 
experience of the entities to demonstrate significant experience. When 
more than one entity is engaged in the provision of the adaptive sport 
activities, the entity applying for the adaptive sports grant must 
provide documentation that verifies that through the partnership, it 
has the experience necessary to implement all of the adaptive sports 
activities proposed in the adaptive sports grant application.
    DoD is defined as the Department of Defense.
    Grantee is defined as an entity that is awarded an adaptive sport 
grant under this part.
    International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is defined as the global 
governing body of the Paralympic movement.
    To be an ``eligible entity,'' 38 U.S.C. 521A(a)(2) requires that 
the entity must have ``significant experience in managing a large-scale 
adaptive sports program.'' We define Large-scale Adaptive Sports 
Program as one of three specific categories of programs.
    (a) An adaptive sports program of a National Paralympic Committee 
(NPC) or of a National Governing Body (NGB) that is authorized to 
provide Paralympic sports programs in one or more States is a Large-
scale Adaptive Sports Program because it is part of the International 
Paralympic program which involves thousands of disabled athletes;
    (b) An adaptive sports program of a NGB that has been recognized by 
an external validating authority such as an international sports entity 
responsible for international participation in that adaptive sport is a 
Large-scale Adaptive Sports Program if the external validating 
authority has recognized programs that in total would meet the 
requirements of (c) below. While an individual program of the NGB may 
be small, we believe it can be considered part of a much larger program 
that the external validating authority has approved; and
    (c) An adaptive sports program in which at least 50 persons with 
disabilities participate or in which the persons with disabilities who 
participate reside in at least five different congressional districts 
is a Large-scale Adaptive Sports Program because it has drawn people 
from a sufficient population base or has a sufficient number of 
individuals with disabilities to be considered large-scale. Because 
some adaptive sports programs are conducted in areas with low eligible 
participant populations, we believe using five congressional districts 
is advisable because it shows whether an adaptive sports program is 
able to draw from a sufficiently large population to be a Large-Scale 
Adaptive Sports Program. Because congressional districts are based on 
resident population with an average of 710,767 in the 2010 census, the 
use of congressional districts establishes a fairly equal standard of 
outreach capacity. Similarly, having 50 persons with disabilities 
participate demonstrates the program's ability to draw a large number 
of individuals when we consider that the population density of eligible 
participants in the particular program is lower than the general 
population of persons with disabilities.
    National Governing Body (NGB) is defined as an organization that 
looks after all aspects of a sport and is responsible for training, 
competition and development for their sports.
    National Paralympic Committee (NPC) is defined as the national 
organization recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) 
as the sole representative of athletes with disabilities from their 
respective jurisdiction.
    Notice of funding availability (NOFA) is defined as a Notice of 
Funding Availability published in the OMB-designated government-wide 
Web site in accordance with Sec.  77.13 and 2 CFR Part 200.
    Paralympics is defined as a series of international contests for 
athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, 
including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and traumatic 
brain injury, that are associated with and held following the summer 
and winter Olympic Games. This is a synthesis of several definitions 
from dictionaries, including Cambridge, Merriam-Webster, and Oxford, 
and better meets the program intent.
    Participant is defined as a disabled veteran or disabled member of 
the Armed Forces who is receiving adaptive sport activities from a 
grantee.
    Partnership is defined to include any arrangement in which the 
parties agree to cooperate and not just a legal partnership.
    Peer review is defined as the technical and programmatic evaluation 
by a group of experts qualified by training and experience to give 
expert advice, based on selection criteria established under Sec.  
77.13 or in a program announcement, on the technical and programmatic 
merit of adaptive sports grant applications.
    Persons with a disability is defined to include persons with 
physical and intellectual disabilities.
    Sport is defined as a usually-competitive individual or group 
physical activity governed by a set of rules or customs, which, through 
casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain, or improve 
physical ability and skills while normally providing entertainment to 
participants.
    VA is defined as the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Veteran is defined using the definition in Sec.  3.1 of this title.
    Veterans Service Organization (VSO) is defined to include both 
organizations recognized to represent veterans with regard to their 
claims for VA benefits (and their subgroups) and nonprofit entities 
registered with the U.S. Government that have a primary mission to 
provide services to veterans and disabled members of the Armed 
Services. Subgroups of recognized organizations are included because 
they may desire to apply for a grant on their own behalf.

77.3 Grants--General

    Section 77.3(a) establishes that only eligible entities may receive 
grants

[[Page 37214]]

under this grant program. Section 77.3(b) establishes that the grant 
amounts will be specified in the NOFA. Section 77.3(c) specifies that 
VA will not require an applicant to provide matching funds as a 
condition of receiving a grant. Section 77.3(d) specifies that a 
grantee may not charge a participant for adaptive sports activities 
that were outlined in the adaptive sports grant application. This is 
done to ensure that participants have the most access to these adaptive 
sports activities as feasible, regardless of their ability to pay and 
to ensure that a grantee does not penalize participants for the 
grantee's poor financial planning. However, this provision does not 
prohibit the grantee from charging participants for activities or 
services that were not outlined in the adaptive sports grant 
application. Section 77.3(e) specifies that the adaptive sports grant 
is not a veteran's benefit, and, therefore is not subject to the same 
rights of appeal as an adjudication of benefits. See 38 U.S.C. 7104(a).

77.4 Applications

    Section 77.4 addresses grant application procedures. Section 
77.4(a) requires applicants to submit a complete grant application 
package to apply for an initial grant, as described in the NOFA. 
Section 77.4(b) requires applicants to submit a complete renewal grant 
application package to be considered for a renewal grant if the 
grantee's program remains substantially the same and specifies that the 
renewal grant application procedures to be followed will be described 
in the NOFA. By allowing grantees to submit a renewal grant 
application, additional grant funds could be sought for subsequent 
fiscal years with little or no interruption in the provision of 
adaptive sports services. Section 77.4(c) requires applicants to submit 
a grant application package to be considered for a noncompetitive grant 
and specifies that the grant application must meet the same format as 
outlined for competitive grants in the NOFA.

77.5 Selection Criteria

    Section 77.5(a) specifies the selection criteria for grant 
applications. The criterion in Sec.  77.5(a) will require the 
application to have a clearly defined plan for successful program 
implementation demonstrated by scope, budget, staffing, and timeframe. 
The existence of basic parameters such as those set forth is a reliable 
indicator that the program is well thought out, and likely to be 
successfully implemented. The criterion in Sec.  77.5(a) also will 
allow VA to give priority to proposals that will provide adaptive 
sports activities that are aligned with the identified needs of 
disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Moreover, 
the criteria will allow VA, to the extent feasible, to target 
geographic areas which have limited adaptive sports opportunities. 
Section 77.5(b) establishes that supplementary information that 
clarifies the selection criteria in Sec.  77.5(a) may be set forth in 
the NOFA. Section 77.5(b) also establishes that VA will establish in 
the NOFA a relative weight for each selection criteria.

77.6 Amendments to Grant Applications

    Section 77.6 authorizes an applicant to amend an adaptive sports 
grant application. The section limits the type of amendment that will 
be accepted after the deadline for submitting applications. These 
limits are necessary because allowing major changes such as a change in 
scope of an application or increasing the grant amount by more than a 
total of 10 percent after the deadline would most likely disrupt VA's 
review of the grant applications and result in a delay or cancellation 
of grant awards.

77.7 Withdrawal of Grant Applications

    Section 77.7 establishes the process for an applicant to withdraw 
an adaptive sports grant application from consideration for award.

77.8 Additional Requirements and Procedures for Applications

    Section 77.8 establishes additional requirements and procedures for 
adaptive sports grant applications. Section 77.8(a) requires 
applications to meet the requirements of the NOFA and permits VA to 
require applicants to submit pre-applications prior to submission of an 
application. Section 77.8(b) authorizes cooperative arrangements among 
eligible entities and submission of joint applications. Section 77.8(c) 
authorizes evaluation of all applications. Section 77.8(d) authorizes 
VA consideration of an applicant's performance on prior awards and an 
applicant's past noncompliance with grant requirements. Section 77.8(e) 
requires applicants to meet Federal fiscal standards as reflected in 2 
CFR 200. Section 77.8(f) sets forth the options that VA has with 
respect to applications based on the review of the applications. 
Section 77.8(g) requires that VA must notify an applicant in writing of 
the disposition of an application and must issue a signed grant 
agreement to an applicant of an approved application. Section 77.8(h) 
discusses the availability of grant funds and the effective date of the 
grant. Additionally, Sec.  77.8(h) provides that grant funds will only 
be used to pay for costs incurred prior to the effective date of the 
grant if the costs are authorized by VA and are otherwise allowable.

77.9 Use of Pre-Applications

    Section 77.9 authorizes VA to use pre-applications for adaptive 
sports grants. In the case of competitive grant awards for which a 
large number of applications is expected, VA may require pre-
applications (concept papers) which may be used to eliminate those pre-
applications which fail to meet minimum requirements for a grant 
criteria under this regulation or clearly lack sufficient merit to 
qualify as potential candidates for funding consideration. A pre-
application in a noncompetitive grant situation may validate both the 
capability of the adaptive sports entity to provide the unique activity 
sought and verify that a noncompetitive condition exists prior to 
engaging in a thorough adaptive sports grant development process.

77.10 Peer Review Methods

    The quantity and complexity of formal adaptive sports grant 
applications that meet minimum requirements may create a large 
administrative workload; thus Sec.  77.10 permits VA to subject both 
pre-applications and formal applications to the peer review process in 
order to more efficiently and effectively manage the selection of 
adaptive sports grants. Section 77.10(a) establishes how peer reviewers 
will provide their views and that peer review may be conducted at 
meetings and through mail reviews. Site visits may also be scheduled. 
Prior to conducting a meeting of peer reviewers, VA will take steps to 
comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. To further the 
efficient review of formal grant applications, Sec.  77.10(b) 
establishes that VA staff will conduct an initial review of grant 
applications prior to peer review and eliminate from further 
consideration those applications that do not meet minimum program 
requirements specified in this regulation and weighting factors 
provided in the NOFA.

77.11 Outreach Required

    Section 77.11(a) requires eligible entities to agree to conduct 
outreach as required by 38 U.S.C. 521A(e). In order to ensure that 
outreach is appropriate for adaptive sports programs being conducted at 
the community level, Sec.  77.11(b) establishes outreach

[[Page 37215]]

requirements for those programs. Similarly, to ensure that outreach is 
appropriate for adaptive sports programs occurring at the national and 
regional levels, Sec.  77.11(c) establishes outreach requirements for 
grantees conducting programs at that level.

77.12 Notice of Funding Availability

    To comply with OMB rules regarding notices of funding opportunities 
in 2 CFR Part 200, Sec.  77.12 establishes that VA will publish a NOFA 
in the OMB-designated government-wide Web site when funds are available 
to award grants. Section 77.12(a)-(f) specifies additional information 
that a NOFA must include. This additional information is intended to 
ensure that eligible entities have the information required to apply 
for grants.

77.13 Applications for Noncompetitive Adaptive Sports Grants

    VA believes that in some cases awarding adaptive sports grants 
using a noncompetitive process may be more effective and efficient than 
using the competitive grant process. This includes instances where 
there is only one responsible source for a particular adaptive sport 
and no other providers capable of meeting the agency requirements. To 
set forth when noncompetitive adaptive sports grants are appropriate, 
Sec.  77.13(a) establishes the criteria for an entity to qualify for a 
noncompetitive adaptive sports grant. Section 77.13(b) establishes that 
an applicant for a noncompetitive grant must submit an adaptive sports 
grant application in a manner similar to the competitive adaptive 
sports grant process. Section 77.13(c) establishes information that 
must be included in the application for a noncompetitive adaptive 
sports grant.

77.14 Grant Agreements

    Section 77.14(a) establishes that upon a grantee being awarded a 
grant, VA will draft a grant agreement to be executed by VA and the 
grantee. Upon execution, VA obligates the grant amount. Section 
77.14(a) also requires that a grantee agree to operate the program in 
accordance with the pertinent regulations and in accordance with the 
grant application. To ensure that someone is responsible for equipment 
purchased with grant money, to protect veterans using adaptive sports 
equipment, and to ensure that those injured using the equipment are 
fairly compensated, Sec.  77.14(b) mandates that grant agreements 
include provisions to address these issues. Section 77.14(c) 
establishes authorized levels of administrative and personnel expenses 
as directed in 38 U.S.C. 521A(d)(4). VA has determined administrative 
and personnel expenses are necessary to implement adaptive sports 
grants and declines to prohibit grant funds from being used for these 
purposes. Section 77.14(d) implements section 521A(a)(1), (d)(2)(C)(i), 
and (ii) to permit the grant agreement to authorize grantees to support 
or provide services (including adaptive sports activities) to 
individuals with disabilities who are not veterans or members of the 
Armed Forces, or both, but to prohibit grant funds from being used to 
support or provide services (including adaptive sports activities) to 
those individuals. Finally, Sec.  77.14(e) provides that the agreement 
will prohibit grant funds from being used to support or provide 
services to veterans or former servicemembers who are generally barred 
from qualifying for VA benefits or services due to the character of 
their discharge or other disqualifying aspects of their service.

77.15 Payments Under the Grant

    Section 77.15(a) notifies grantees that information regarding the 
timeframe and manner of payment of grants will be described in the 
NOFA. Section 77.15(b) implements the requirement in 38 U.S.C. 521A(d) 
that payments of grant funds by grantees to subgrantees for 
instruction, participation, and competition in sports may only be made 
for instruction, participation, and competition in Paralympic sports. 
This means that payments of grant funds to subgrantees cannot be used 
for instruction, participation, and competition in sports other than 
Paralympic sports. This limitation is not applicable to the grantee's 
use of grants funds for other than subgrants.

77.16 Grantee Reporting Requirements

    In order to comply with 38 U.S.C. 521A(j) and to obtain information 
in order to analyze the performance of the grantee's program, Sec.  
77.16(a) specifies that all grantees must submit an annual report with 
specific information.
    To obtain information in order to analyze the grantee's program, 
Sec.  77.16(b) requires that all grantees also submit quarterly reports 
containing the same information required to be in the annual report. 
Section 77.16(c) requires that any changes occurring in a grantee's 
program which deviate from the grant agreement must be reported to VA. 
Review of the reports detailed in Sec.  77.16(a)-(c) ensures that grant 
funds are being consistently used in accordance with the grant 
agreements. Section 77.16(d) allows VA to request other information or 
documentation related to a grant, in the event that information is 
necessary, to fully assess the success of the program. This further 
assists VA in determining whether grant funds were used appropriately 
if any part of the required reports as submitted by a grantee is 
inadequate. Section 77.16(e) cites non-compliance effects, because if a 
grantee does not submit the annual report required under this section 
for any fiscal year, the grantee shall not be eligible to receive a 
grant under this part for the subsequent fiscal year.

77.17 Recovery of Funds by VA

    Section 77.17 establishes that VA may recover grant funds from a 
grantee under certain circumstances. Section 77.17(a) provides that VA 
may recover grant funds where the funds were not used in accordance 
with the grant agreement. Section 77.17(a) also explains that VA will 
issue a notice to the grantee expressing VA's intent to recover funds 
and that VA will provide the grantee an opportunity to respond prior to 
VA's final decision that action be taken to recover the funds. Section 
77.17(b) specifies that, where VA makes a final decision that action 
will be taken to recover grant funds from a grantee, the grantee will 
be prohibited from receiving further grant funds from VA. This helps 
safeguard Federal funds and ensures the best use of the grants.

77.18 Visits To Monitor Operations and Compliance

    Section 77.18 establishes the right for VA to conduct reasonable 
visits to all grantee locations where a grantee is using adaptive 
sports grant funds in order to review grantee accomplishments and 
management control systems, determine compliance with grant provisions, 
and to provide such technical assistance as may be required. In the 
event that a grantee delivers services at a location away from the 
grantee's place of business, VA may accompany the grantee. If any visit 
is made by VA on the premises of the grantee or a subcontractor under 
the adaptive sports grant, the grantee must provide, and must require 
its subcontractors to provide, all reasonable facilities and assistance 
for the safety and convenience of the VA representatives in the 
performance of their duties. All visits and evaluations will be 
performed in such as manner as will not unduly delay services.

77.19 Financial Management

    Section 77.19 establishes the requirement for grant recipients to 
comply with financial management

[[Page 37216]]

requirements for recipients of Federal awards.

77.20 Recordkeeping

    Section 77.20 establishes the recordkeeping requirements for grant 
recipients and authority for VA to request information during the 
timeframe of record retention.

77.21 Application of Other Regulations

    Section 77.21 establishes that VA's administrative requirements for 
grantees in 38 CFR Parts 43 and 49 do not apply to grants under this 
part. The requirements in Parts 43 and 49 have been superseded by the 
regulations in 2 CFR Part 200.

Effect of Rulemaking

    The Code of Federal Regulations, as revised by this rulemaking, 
represents the exclusive legal authority on this subject. No contrary 
rules or procedures will be authorized. All VA guidance will be read to 
conform with this rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such 
guidance will be superseded by this rulemaking.

Administrative Procedure Act

    Pursuant to section 5 of Public Law 113-59 (December 20, 2013), to 
ensure the uninterrupted provision of adaptive sports for disabled 
veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces, any regulations that 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines are necessary to implement 
the amendments made by this section may be promulgated by interim final 
rules to ensure the award of grants before the end of fiscal year 2014.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This interim final rule includes a collection of information under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) that requires 
approval by OMB. Accordingly, under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), VA has submitted 
a copy of this rulemaking action to OMB for review.
    OMB assigns a control number for each collection of information it 
approves. VA may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. Sections 77.4, 77.8, 77.9, 77.13, 
77.16, and 77.19 contain collections of information under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995. If OMB does not approve the collections of 
information as requested, VA will immediately remove the provisions 
containing a collection of information or take such other action as is 
directed by OMB.
    Comments on the collections of information contained in this 
interim final rule should be submitted to the Office of Management and 
Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20503, or sent through electronic mail to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. Comments should indicate that they are 
submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AP07-Grants for Adaptive Sports 
Programs for Disabled Veterans and Disabled Members of the Armed 
Forces.''
    VA is requesting expedited review of the collections of information 
by OMB, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(j). Comments must be received within 
14 days of the publication of this rulemaking. This does not affect the 
deadline for the public to comment on the interim final rule. VA 
considers comments by the public on proposed collections of information 
in--
     Evaluating whether the collections of information are 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 
Department, including whether the information will have practical 
utility;
     Evaluating the accuracy of the Department's estimate of 
the burden of the collections of information, including the validity of 
the methodology and assumptions used;
     Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Minimizing the burden of the collections of information on 
those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting 
electronic submission of responses.
    The amendments to title 38 CFR Part 77 contain collections of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for which we are 
requesting approval by OMB. These collections of information are 
described immediately following this paragraph, under their respective 
titles.
    Title: Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for Disabled Veterans 
and Disabled Members of the Armed Forces.
    Summary of collections of information: The interim final rule at 
Sec.  77.4(a) contains application provisions for initial grants and at 
Sec.  77.4(b) application provisions for renewal grants. The interim 
final rule at Sec.  77.6 contains provisions for submitting amendments 
to grant applications. The interim final rule at Sec.  77.8(a) contains 
additional provisions for grant applications and pre-applications. The 
interim final rule at Sec.  77.9 contains provisions for pre-
applications for competitive and noncompetitive grants. The interim 
final rule at Sec.  77.13 contains application provisions for 
noncompetitive adaptive sports grants and provides provisions for an 
adaptive sports entity to submit documentation to be considered 
eligible for a noncompetitive grant.
    The interim final rule at Sec.  77.16 requires each grantee submit 
to VA annual and quarterly reports; the annual and quarterly reports 
would include detailed records of the direct and supporting time 
expended in the provision of adaptive sports activities, individual 
adaptive sports activities conducted in the provision of the adaptive 
sports grant, adaptive sports programs carried out through partnerships 
with VA, DoD, VSOs, and other adaptive sports entities, the number of 
veterans who participated in the adapted sports activities funded by 
the grant, the locations where adaptive sports activities were 
conducted, accounting of how the grant funds were used including the 
administrative and personnel expenses incurred by the grantee in 
carrying out the program and such expenses paid for using grant funds, 
description of all partnerships at the national and local levels and 
the programs carried out under such partnerships, and any changes in a 
grantee's program activities which result in deviations from the grant 
agreement. The interim final rule at Sec.  77.19 requires grantees must 
maintain financial management systems that comply with applicable 
requirements established in 2 CFR Part 200.

Grant Applications

    Description of the need for information and proposed use of 
information: This information is needed to award initial grants and to 
award renewal grants to eligible entities.
    Description of likely respondents: National Paralympic Committees, 
National Governing Bodies, Veterans Service Organizations, colleges and 
universities, hospitals, Paralympic Sport Clubs, Parks and Recreation 
Departments, and other qualified adaptive sport entities.
    Estimated number of respondents per year: Initial Grants 100. 
Renewal Grants 50.
    Estimated frequency of responses per year: Initial Grants 1. 
Renewal Grants 1.
    Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: 2625 
hours.

[[Page 37217]]

    Estimated average burden per response: Initial Grant 25 hours. 
Renewal Grants 10 hours.

Annual Reports

    Description of the need for information and proposed use of 
information: This information is needed to determine compliance with 
the requirements for a grant.
    Description of likely respondents: National Paralympic Committees, 
National Governing Bodies, Veterans Service Organizations, colleges and 
universities, hospitals, Paralympic Sport Clubs, Parks and Recreation 
Departments, and other qualified adaptive sport entities.
    Estimated number of respondents per year: 150.
    Estimated frequency of responses per year: 1.
    Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: 300 
hours.
    Estimated average burden per response: 2 hours.

Quarterly Fiscal Reports

    Description of the need for information and proposed use of 
information: This information is needed to determine compliance with 
the requirements for a grant.
    Description of likely respondents: National Paralympic Committees, 
National Governing Bodies, Veterans Service Organizations, colleges and 
universities, hospitals, Paralympic Sport Clubs, Parks and Recreation 
Departments, and other qualified adaptive sport entities.
    Estimated number of respondents per year: 150.
    Estimated frequency of responses per year: 4.
    Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: 450 
hours.
    Estimated annual burden per response: 45 minutes.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Acting Secretary hereby certifies that this interim final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601-612. Due to demographic, economic, infrastructure, and many 
other factors, a large percentage of small adaptive sports entities do 
not have sufficient participants, programs and outreach to qualify as 
an eligible entity under Public Law 113-59. In regions where the 
disabled veteran population is small relative to participants needed in 
the entity's applicable adaptive sports areas of expertise, an adaptive 
sports entity faces constraints in developing a viable grant program. 
Therefore, the number of small adaptive sports entities involved will 
be few and their existing programs that meet threshold criteria for 
eligibility would indicate competence to conduct a viable adaptive 
sports grant program. There would be no economic impact on any of the 
eligible entities, as they are not required to provide matching funds 
to obtain the maximum grant allowance as established under 38 U.S.C. 
521A. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt 
from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements 
of sections 603 and 604.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a 
``significant regulatory action,'' which requires review by OMB, unless 
OMB waives such review, as ``any regulatory action that is likely to 
result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, 
a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the 
environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or 
otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; 
(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
this Executive Order.''
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this interim final rule have been examined, and it has 
been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a 
supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 
hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy 
of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web 
site at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ``VA 
Regulations Published.''

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This rule will have no such effect on 
State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number and title for the 
program affected by this document is 64.034, Grants for Adaptive Sports 
Programs for Disabled Veterans and Disabled Members of the Armed 
Forces.

Signing Authority

    The Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved 
this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the 
document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication 
electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs. Jose D. Riojas, Chief of Staff, approved this document on June 
23, 2014 for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 77

    Administrative practice and procedure, Grant programs--health, 
Grant programs--veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Travel and transportation expenses, 
Veterans.

    Dated: June 24, 2014.
William F. Russo,
Deputy Director, Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the 
General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR chapter I 
by adding part 77, to read as follows:

PART 77--GRANTS FOR ADAPTIVE SPORTS PROGRAMS FOR DISABLED VETERANS 
AND DISABLED MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES

Sec.
77.1 Purpose and scope.
77.2 Definitions.
77.3 Grants--general.
77.4 Applications.
77.5 Selection criteria.
77.6 Amendments to grant applications.
77.7 Withdrawal of grant application.

[[Page 37218]]

77.8 Additional requirements and procedures for applications.
77.9 Use of pre-applications.
77.10 Peer review methods.
77.11 Outreach required.
77.12 Notice of funding availability.
77.13 Applications for noncompetitive adaptive sports grants.
77.14 Grant agreements.
77.15 Payments under the grant.
77.16 Grantee reporting requirements.
77.17 Recovery of funds by VA.
77.18 Visits to monitor operations and compliance.
77.19 Financial management.
77.20 Recordkeeping.
77.21 Application of other regulations.


Sec.  77.1  Purpose and scope.

    This section establishes the Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs 
for Disabled Veterans and Disabled Members of the Armed Forces program. 
Under this program, VA may provide grants to eligible entities to plan, 
develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports 
activities for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed 
Forces.
    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A)


Sec.  77.2  Definitions.

    For the purposes of this part and any Notice of Funding 
Availability (NOFA) issued pursuant to this part:
    Adaptive sports means a sport that has either been adapted 
specifically for persons with a disability or created specifically for 
persons with a disability.
    Adaptive sports activities means:
    (1) Instruction, participation, and competition in adaptive sports;
    (2) Training and technical assistance to program administrators, 
coaches, recreational therapists, instructors, Department employees, 
and other appropriate individuals; and
    (3) Coordination, Paralympic classification of athletes, athlete 
assessment, sport-specific training techniques, program development 
(including programs at the local level), sports equipment, supplies, 
program evaluation, and other activities related to the implementation 
and operation of the program.
    Adaptive sports grant means a grant awarded or to be awarded under 
this part.
    Adaptive sports grant agreement means the agreement executed 
between VA and a grantee as specified under Sec.  77.17.
    Applicant means an eligible entity that submits an application for 
an adaptive sports grant announced in a NOFA.
    DoD means the Department of Defense.
    Eligible entity means a Non-Federal Government entity with 
significant experience in managing a large-scale adaptive sports 
program for persons with disabilities if those disabilities are those 
that many disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces 
have. To demonstrate significant experience, all the key personnel 
identified in the adaptive sports grant application of the entity must 
have experience implementing the adaptive sports activities to be 
provided and have experience working with persons with disabilities 
that many disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces to 
be served through the adaptive sports grant have. The experience must 
be for two continuous years immediately prior to the date of submission 
to VA of the grant application. When more than one entity would be 
engaged in the provision of the adaptive sport activities, the entity 
applying for the adaptive sports grant must provide documentation that 
verifies that through the partnership, it has the experience necessary 
to implement all of the adaptive sports activities proposed in the 
adaptive sports grant application.
    Grantee means an entity that is awarded an adaptive sports grant 
under this part.
    International Paralympic Committee (IPC) means the global governing 
body of the Paralympic movement.
    Large-scale adaptive sports program means
    (1) An adaptive sports program of a National Paralympic Committee 
(NPC) or of a National Governing Body (NGB) that is authorized to 
provide Paralympic sports programs in one or more States;
    (2) An adaptive sports program of a NGB that has been recognized by 
an external validating authority if the programs validated by that 
authority would meet the requirements of paragraph (3) of this 
definition if considered one program; and
    (3) An adaptive sports program in which at least 50 persons with 
disabilities participate or in which the persons with disabilities who 
participate in the program reside in at least five different 
congressional districts.
    National Governing Body (NGB) means an organization that looks 
after all aspects of a sport and is responsible for training, 
competition and development for their sports.
    National Paralympic Committee (NPC) means the national organization 
recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as the sole 
representative of athletes with disabilities from their respective 
jurisdiction.
    Notice of funding availability (NOFA) means a Notice of Funding 
Availability published in the OMB-designated government-wide Web site 
in accordance with Sec.  77.13 and 2 CFR Part 200.
    Paralympics means a series of international contests for athletes 
with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including 
mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and traumatic brain 
injury, that are associated with and held following the summer and 
winter Olympic Games.
    Participant means a disabled veteran or disabled member of the 
Armed Forces who is receiving adaptive sport activities from a grantee.
    Partnership means any type of arrangement in which the parties 
agree to cooperate and is not limited to a legal partnership.
    Peer review means the technical and programmatic evaluation by a 
group of experts qualified by training and experience to give expert 
advice, based on selection criteria established under Sec.  77.13 or in 
a program announcement, on the technical and programmatic merit of 
adaptive sports grant applications.
    Persons with a disability includes persons with physical and 
intellectual disabilities.
    Sport means a usually competitive individual or group physical 
activity governed by a set of rules or customs, which, through casual 
or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical 
ability and skills while normally providing entertainment to 
participants.
    VA means the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Veteran means a person described in Sec.  3.1 of this title.
    Veterans Service Organization (VSO) means an organization 
recognized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the representation 
of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code, a 
subgroup of such an organization, or a nonprofit entity registered with 
the U.S. Government that has a primary mission to provide services to 
veterans and members of the Armed Services.

 (Authority: Pub. L. 111-163, 38 U.S.C. 501)

Sec.  77.3  Grants--general.

    (a) Grants. VA may award adaptive sports grants to eligible 
entities.
    (b) Maximum amount. The maximum grant amounts to be awarded will be 
specified in the NOFA.
    (c) No matching requirement. A grantee will not be required to 
provide matching funds as a condition of receiving such grant.

[[Page 37219]]

    (d) Participants will not be charged. A grantee may not charge 
participants a fee for providing adaptive sports activities that were 
outlined in their adaptive sports grant application.
    (e) Grant is not veteran's benefit. The grant offered by this 
chapter is not a veteran's benefit. As such, the decisions of the 
Secretary are final and not subject to the same appeal rights as 
decisions related to veterans benefits.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A)

Sec.  77.4  Applications.

    (a) Initial application. To apply for an initial grant, an 
applicant must submit to VA a complete grant application package, as 
described in the NOFA.
    (b) Renewal application. After receiving an initial grant, grantees 
may apply for a renewal grant if the grantee's program will remain 
substantially the same. The grantee must submit to VA a complete 
renewal application as described in the NOFA. Because evaluations of 
renewal applications rely on performance data related to the initial 
grant, the application and supporting documentation may vary from the 
initial application; however, renewal applications are competitive 
grants and will be evaluated under competitive grant selection 
processes.
    (c) Noncompetitive application. When a condition exists for a 
noncompetitive grant as outlined in Sec.  77.15, the adaptive sports 
entity may submit a noncompetitive application that meets the same 
format as outlined for competitive grants set forth in the NOFA.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A)


    (OMB has approved the information collection requirements in this 
section that are within the scope of control numbers 0348-0043 for 
Standard Form 424 & 0348-0041 for Standard Form 424C. The additional 
information collection requirements have been submitted to OMB and are 
pending OMB approval.)


Sec.  77.5  Selection criteria.

    (a) VA will review all applications for adaptive sports grants 
using the following selection criteria:
    (1) The adaptive sports activities to be provided by the program 
are clearly stated;
    (2) The objectives of the proposed program are clearly defined;
    (3) The program design is based on facts, good reasoning, sound 
judgment, and logic, and contains program elements directly linked to 
the achievement of program objectives;
    (4) The program management structure is adequate to the successful 
conduct of the program;
    (5) The applicant's capability (including support provided by any 
partnership or partnerships) is demonstrated at a level sufficient to 
successfully support the program;
    (6) Budgeted costs are reasonable, allowable and produce good value 
for the amount of funds paid for the activities proposed to be 
undertaken;
    (7) The proposed program provides adaptive sports opportunities in 
geographic regions where VA has identified limited sports opportunities 
for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces;
    (8) The proposed program provides an adaptive sports activity or 
adaptive sports activities that meet the current needs and priorities 
for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces; and
    (9) Inclusion of all required information in the grant application 
as specified by 38 U.S.C. 521A(c).
    (b) NOFA announcements may also clarify the selection criteria in 
paragraph (a) of this section. The relative weight (point value) for 
each selection criterion will be specified in the NOFA.


Sec.  77.6  Amendments to grant applications.

    An applicant seeking to amend its grant application must submit a 
revised Standard Forms 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and 
424C (Budget Information) with a narrative description of, and 
justification for, the amendment. An applicant may submit an amendment 
after the deadline for submission of applications and prior to grant 
award if the amendment does not change the scope of the application. In 
addition, amendments submitted after the deadline and prior to grant 
award cannot increase the amount of the grant requested by more than a 
total of 10 percent.
    (OMB has approved the information collection requirements in this 
section under control number 0348-0043 for Standard Form 424 & 0348-
0041 for Standard Form 424C.)


Sec.  77.7  Withdrawal of grant application.

    An applicant may withdraw its application by submitting to VA a 
written document that withdraws the application.


Sec.  77.8  Additional requirements and procedures for applications.

    (a) Application for grants. An applicant may submit, on or before 
the submission deadline date established in a NOFA, an application in 
accordance with the instructions in the NOFA and including the forms 
specified in the NOFA. Such application must be signed by the applicant 
or an official or representative of the applicant duly authorized to 
make such application and to assume on behalf of the applicant the 
obligations imposed by law, applicable regulations, and any additional 
terms and conditions of the grant. VA may require in the NOFA for 
applicants to submit a pre-application for review and approval prior to 
the submission of an application.
    (b) Partnerships. (1) Eligible entities may enter into partnerships 
with other eligible entities, including those in other States, and 
submit joint applications for adaptive sports grants.
    (2) A joint application made by two or more applicants may have 
separate budgets corresponding to the programs, services and activities 
performed by each of the joint applicants or may have a combined 
budget. If a joint application presents separate budgets, VA may make 
separate awards, or may award a single award authorizing separate 
amounts for each joint applicant.
    (c) Evaluation of applications submitted. All applications 
submitted shall be evaluated. After the initial internal or peer 
review, additional internal evaluations and/or peer reviews may be 
used.
    (d) Applicant's performance on prior award. When the applicant has 
previously received an award from VA or another Federal agency, the 
applicant's noncompliance with requirements applicable to such prior 
award as reflected in past written evaluation reports and memoranda on 
performance, and the completeness of required prior submissions, may be 
considered by VA. In any case where VA proposes to deny a grant based 
upon the applicant's noncompliance with requirements applicable to the 
prior award, VA shall do so only after affording the applicant notice 
and a reasonable opportunity to rebut the proposed basis for denial of 
a grant.
    (e) Applicant's fiscal integrity. Applicants must meet and maintain 
standards of fiscal integrity for participation in Federal grant 
programs as reflected in 2 CFR part 200.
    (f) Disposition of applications. Upon review of an application and 
dependent on availability of funds, VA will:
    (1) Approve the application for funding, in whole or in part, for 
such amount of funds, and subject to such conditions that VA deems 
necessary or desirable;
    (2) Determine that the application is of acceptable quality for 
funding, in that it meets minimum criteria, but disapprove the 
application for funding because it did not rank sufficiently high in 
relation to other applications to

[[Page 37220]]

qualify for an award based on the level of funding available;
    (3) Disapprove the application for failure to meet the applicable 
selection criteria at a sufficiently high level in comparison to other 
applications to justify an award of funds, or for another reason as 
provided in the documentation of the decision; or
    (4) Defer action on the application for such reasons as lack of 
funds or a need for further review.
    (g) Notification of disposition. VA will notify the applicant in 
writing of the disposition of the application. A signed grant agreement 
form will be issued to the applicant of an approved application.
    (h) Availability of grant funds. Federal financial assistance is 
normally available only with respect to obligations incurred subsequent 
to the effective date of the grant. The effective date of grant will be 
set forth in the grant agreement. Recipients may be reimbursed for 
costs resulting from obligations incurred before the effective date of 
the grant, if such costs are authorized by VA in the NOFA, the grant 
agreement or subsequently by VA in writing, and otherwise would be 
allowable as costs of the grant under applicable guidelines, 
regulations, and terms and conditions of the grant agreement.

(The information collection requirements have been submitted to OMB 
and are pending OMB approval.)

Sec.  77.9  Use of pre-applications.

    VA may request pre-applications for competitive and noncompetitive 
grant applications. Such request would be made in a NOFA.

(OMB has approved the information collection requirements in this 
section that are within the scope of control numbers 0348-0043 for 
Standard Form 424 & 0348-0041 for Standard Form 424C. The additional 
information collection requirements have been submitted to OMB and 
are pending OMB approval.)

Sec.  77.10  Peer review methods.

    (a) VA may subject both pre-applications and formal applications to 
a peer review process. For both competitive and noncompetitive 
applications, peer review will normally consist of written comments 
based on the selection criteria established in Sec.  77.5 and any 
weighting factors identified in the NOFA or conveyed in writing to the 
noncompetitive applicant, together with the assignment of numerical 
values. Peer review may occur at meetings of peer reviewers that are 
held under VA oversight, through mail reviews, or a combination of 
both. When advisable, site visits may also be employed. The method of 
peer review anticipated for each announced competitive program, 
including the weighting factors to be used by peer reviewers, will be 
specified in each NOFA.
    (b) When formal applications are required in response to a NOFA, an 
initial review will be conducted by qualified VA staff, in order to 
eliminate from peer review consideration applications which do not meet 
minimum program requirements. Such requirements as listed in Sec.  77.5 
and weighting factors will be specified in the NOFA. Applications 
determined to be qualified and eligible for further consideration may 
then be considered under the peer review process.


Sec.  77.11  Outreach required.

    (a) As a condition of receiving a grant under this part, an 
eligible entity must agree to conduct a joint outreach campaign with VA 
to inform all eligible veterans and separating members of the Armed 
Forces with physical disabilities about the existence of the adaptive 
sports activities funded by the grant, as appropriate, and shall 
provide for, facilitate, and encourage participation of such veterans 
and separating members of the Armed Forces in programs under this part 
to the extent possible.
    (b) For grantees conducting adaptive sports activities at the 
community level, outreach must include active liaison with local VA and 
DoD facilities; State, local, and tribal governments; and VSOs, private 
agencies, and organizations providing adaptive sport activities to 
disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces to be served 
by the grantee.
    (c) For grantees conducting adaptive sports activities occurring at 
the national and regional levels, outreach must include active liaison 
with VA and DoD, State governments, VSOs, and private agencies and 
organizations providing adaptive sport services to disabled veterans 
and disabled members of the Armed Forces to be served by the grantee 
and tailored as appropriate to the deliverables of the grant.

(Authority: 38 USC 521A(e))

Sec.  77.12  Notice of funding availability.

    When funds are available for grants, VA will publish a NOFA in the 
OMB-designated government-wide Web site. The notice will identify:
    (a) The information required to be in notices of funding 
opportunities in 2 CFR Part 200;
    (b) The location for obtaining grant applications;
    (c) The date, time, and place for submitting completed grant 
applications;
    (d) The estimated amount and type of grant funding available;
    (e) The length of term for the grant award, covering the amount of 
time the award remains in effect through date of completion;
    (f) The minimum scores and scores per mandatory evaluation criteria 
area in Sec.  77.5 that an applicant must receive in order for a grant 
to be considered for funding; and
    (g) The timeframe and manner for payments under the grant.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A)

Sec.  77.13  Applications for noncompetitive adaptive sports grants.

    (a) When VA identifies that an eligible entity is the only entity 
capable of providing an adaptive sports activity for disabled veterans 
and disabled members of the Armed Forces, and VA determines that the 
award of a grant to this entity is warranted to enable adaptive sports 
activities for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed 
Forces, VA may request that entity to submit a grant application. To 
verify that only one entity is capable of providing an adaptive sports 
activity:
    (1) VA must determine that the adaptive sports activity is 
available only from one eligible entity;
    (2) VA must receive a written statement from an entity which 
verifies that a particular adaptive sports activity is only available 
from a named non-Federal entity; or
    (3) After VA attempts to find competition for a grant by issuing a 
NOFA, VA receives only one application to provide the adaptive sports 
activity sought under the NOFA or having received no applications, 
engages a qualified adaptive sport entity to negotiate provision of the 
adaptive sports activity sought.
    (b) To submit an application for a noncompetitive adaptive sports 
grant, an applicant must obtain from VA an adaptive sports grant 
application package and submit to VA the information called for in the 
adaptive sports grant application package within the time period 
established in the NOFA.
    (c) The noncompetitive adaptive sports grant application must 
include:
    (1) Information regarding the program design and supporting 
evidence directly linking the program to the achievement of the 
program's objectives;
    (2) Documentation on the eligibility of the applicant to receive an 
adaptive sports grant and on why the award of a noncompetitive grant is 
warranted;

[[Page 37221]]

    (3) Description of the type of adaptive sports activities that 
would be provided;
    (4) Documentation concerning the estimated operating costs and 
operating budget for the adaptive sports activities for which a grant 
is sought;
    (5) Documentation that the applicant has the technical expertise 
needed; and
    (6) Reasonable assurances that if the applicant receives an 
adaptive sports grant under this part:
    (i) It will provide adequate financial and administrative support 
for providing the services set forth in the adaptive sports grant 
application and will actually provide such services; and
    (ii) It will keep records and submit reports as VA may reasonably 
require, within the time frames required; and give VA, upon demand, 
access to the records upon which such information is based.

(The information collection requirements have been submitted to OMB 
and are pending OMB approval.)

Sec.  77.14  Grant agreements.

    (a) General. After a grant is approved for award, VA will draft a 
grant agreement to be executed by VA and the grantee. Upon execution of 
the grant agreement, VA will obligate the grant amount. The grant 
agreement will include a provision requiring that the grantee will 
operate the program in accordance with the provisions of this part, 2 
CFR Part 200, and the grant application.
    (b) Equipment. If grant funds will be used to procure or operate 
adaptive sports equipment to directly provide adaptive sports 
activities, the grant agreement must provide that:
    (1) Title to the adaptive sports equipment vests solely in the 
grantee, or, for leased equipment, in an identified lessor;
    (2) The grantee will at a minimum, provide liability insurance for 
the adaptive sports equipment to the same extent they would insure 
adaptive sports equipment procured with their own funds; and
    (3) Adaptive sports equipment will be safe to use and maintained in 
accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
    (c) Use of funds for administrative and personnel expenses. (1) An 
eligible entity that receives a grant under this part may use a portion 
of the grant for administrative expenses and personnel expenses of the 
eligible entity. The amount that may be used for such expenses may not 
exceed:
    (i) In the case of a grant made for adaptive sports activities 
taking place during fiscal year 2014, 10 percent of the total amount of 
the grant;
    (ii) In the case of a grant made for adaptive sports activities 
taking place during fiscal year 2015, 7.5 percent of the total amount 
of the grant; and
    (iii) In the case of a grant made for adaptive sports activities 
taking place during any subsequent fiscal year, 5 percent of the total 
amount of the grant.
    (2) For purposes of Sec.  77.14(c), personnel expenses include any 
costs associated with an employee of the eligible entity other than 
reimbursement for time spent by such an employee directly providing 
coaching or training for participants.
    (d) Use of grant funds for individuals who are not veterans or 
members of the Armed Forces. The grant agreement may authorize grantees 
to support or provide services (including adaptive sports activities) 
to individuals with disabilities who are not veterans or members of the 
Armed Forces, or both, but will prohibit grant funds from being used to 
support or provide services (including adaptive sports activities) to 
those individuals.
    (e) Restrictions on the participation of certain veterans and 
former servicemembers. The grant agreement will prohibit grant funds 
from being used to support or provide services (including adaptive 
sports activities) to veterans or former servicemembers who are barred 
from receiving VA benefits based on their service (see 38 U.S.C. 5303-
5303A) and to veterans or former servicemembers who, if otherwise 
eligible, would be barred from receiving VA pension, compensation or 
dependency and indemnity compensation based on the character of their 
discharge from military service (see 38 CFR 3.12).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A(d)(4))

Sec.  77.15  Payments under the grant.

    (a) Payments to grantees. Grantees are to be paid in accordance 
with the timeframes and manner set forth in the NOFA.
    (b) Payments to subgrantees. Payments of grant funds by grantees to 
subgrantees (including entities with which the grantee has entered into 
a partnership) for instruction, participation, and competition in 
sports may only be made for instruction, participation, and competition 
in Paralympic sports.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A)

Sec.  77.16  Grantee reporting requirements.

    (a) Annual report. All grantees must submit to VA, not later than 
60 days after the last day of the Federal fiscal year for which a grant 
is provided under this part, an annual report which sets forth the 
following information for that fiscal year:
    (1) A detailed record of the time involved in providing adaptive 
sports activities through direct personal interaction with participants 
and time expended in adaptive sports activities that do not involve 
direct personal interaction with participants;
    (2) A detailed record of the individual adaptive sports activities 
conducted;
    (3) A detailed record of the adaptive sports programs carried out 
at the national and local levels through partnerships with VA, DoD, 
VSOs, and other adaptive sports entities;
    (4) The number of veterans and the number of participants in the 
adapted sports activities funded by the grant including those who 
participated in any programs carried out through a partnership under 
this part;
    (5) The locations where adaptive sports activities were conducted; 
and
    (6) A detailed accounting of how the grant funds were used 
including the administrative and personnel expenses incurred by the 
grantee in carrying out the program and such expenses paid for using 
grant funds.
    (b) Quarterly report. All grantees must submit to VA a quarterly 
report 30 days after the close of each Federal fiscal quarter of the 
grant period which includes the same information required for annual 
reports, as well as projected change requests if applicable.
    (c) Program variations. Any changes in a grantee's program 
activities which result in deviations from the grant agreement must be 
reported to VA.
    (d) Additional reporting. Additional reporting requirements may be 
requested by VA to allow VA to fully assess program effectiveness.
    (e) Annual report compliance. If a grantee does not submit the 
annual report required under this section for any fiscal year, the 
grantee shall not be eligible to receive a grant under this part for 
the subsequent fiscal year.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A(j))


(The information collection requirements have been submitted to OMB 
and are pending OMB approval.)

Sec.  77.17  Recovery of funds by VA.

    (a) Recovery of funds. VA may recover from the grantee any funds 
that are not used in accordance with a grant agreement. If VA decides 
to recover funds, VA will issue to the grantee a notice of intent to 
recover grant funds, and grantee will then have 30 days to submit 
documentation demonstrating why the grant funds should not be 
recovered. After review of all submitted documentation, VA will 
determine

[[Page 37222]]

whether action will be taken to recover the grant funds.
    (b) Prohibition of additional adaptive sports grant payments. When 
VA makes a final decision that action will be taken to recover grant 
funds from the grantee, VA must stop further payments of grant funds 
under this part until the grant funds are recovered and the condition 
that led to the decision to recover grant funds has been resolved.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 521A)

Sec.  77.18  Visits to monitor operations and compliance.

    VA has the right, at all reasonable times, to make visits to all 
grantee locations where a grantee is using adaptive sports grant funds 
in order to review grantee accomplishments and management control 
systems and to provide such technical assistance as may be required. VA 
may conduct inspections of all program locations and records of a 
grantee at such times as are deemed necessary to determine compliance 
with the provisions of this part. In the event that a grantee delivers 
services at a location away from the grantee's place of business, VA 
may accompany the grantee. If any visit is made by VA on the premises 
of the grantee or a subcontractor under the adaptive sports grant, the 
grantee must provide, and must require its subcontractors to provide, 
all reasonable facilities and assistance for the safety and convenience 
of the VA representatives in the performance of their duties. All 
visits and evaluations will be performed in such as manner as will not 
unduly delay services.


Sec.  77.19  Financial management.

    (a) All recipients will comply with applicable requirements of the 
Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996, as implemented by 2 CFR part 200.
    (b) All grantees must use a financial management system that 
complies with 2 CFR Part 200. Grantees must meet the applicable 
requirements of OMB's regulations on Cost Principles at 2 CFR part 200.
    (The information collection requirements have been submitted to OMB 
and are pending OMB approval.)


Sec.  77.20  Recordkeeping.

    Grantees must ensure that records are maintained in accordance with 
2 CFR part 200. Grantees must produce such records at VA's request.


Sec.  77.21  Application of other regulations.

    For purposes of this part, the requirements in 38 CFR parts 43 and 
49 are superseded by those in 2 CFR part 200.
[FR Doc. 2014-15191 Filed 6-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P