FR Doc 03-15708
[Federal Register: June 20, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 119)]
[Page 37059-37061]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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[CFDA No. 84.341]

Community Technology Centers Program

AGENCY: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 
(FY) 2003 for novice applicants.


Purpose of Program: As authorized by Title V, Part D, Subpart 11, 
Section 5511-13 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 
(ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, the 
purpose of the Community Technology Centers (CTC) program is to assist 
eligible applicants to create or expand community technology centers 
that will provide disadvantaged residents of economically distressed 
urban and rural communities with access to information technology and 
related training.
    The CTC program novice applicant competition gives absolute 
priority to those applicants who will focus on improving the academic 
achievement of low-achieving secondary school students while continuing 
to provide a community technology center for all members of their 
community. Thus, grant recipients must meet this priority as they use 
grant funds to create or expand community technology centers that 
expand access to information technology and related training for 
disadvantaged residents of distressed urban or rural communities and 
evaluate the effectiveness of this project.

Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants shall be an institution of 
higher education, a State educational agency, a local educational 
agency, an entity (such as a foundation, museum, library, for-profit 
business, public or private nonprofit organization, or community-based 
organization, including faith-based organizations), or consortia 
thereof, that also meet the definition of a ``novice applicant,'' as 
that term is defined in 34 CFR 75.225(a)(1) (see ``Supplementary 
Information: Novice Applicants'' for more information on this 
requirement). In addition, eligible applicants shall have the capacity 
to significantly expand access to computers and related services for 
disadvantaged residents of economically distressed urban and rural 
communities who would otherwise be denied such access.


Novice Applicants

    The Department encourages the participation of novice applicants in 
the Community Technology Centers program. Therefore, the Secretary has 
determined, under 34 CFR 75.225(c)(1), to give special consideration to 
novice applicants. As a result, up to 25 percent of available program 
funds will be reserved for grants to novice entities submitting high-
quality applications.
    This notice invites applications for the novice applicant 
competition of the FY 2003 CTC program. Notices inviting applications 
and establishing priorities, selection criteria, and program 
requirements for the general CTC competition for FY 2003--for which 
both novices and non-novices may apply--previously have been published 
in the Federal Register on June 3, 2003 (68 FR 33318-33323). A novice 
may apply under the general competition or under this novice 
competition. A novice may also file a separate application under each 
competition. If a novice does this, it must take care that each of the 
separate applications meets the particular requirements of the 
competition under which it is being submitted.
    An applicant is considered a ``novice applicant'' if it meets the 
following definition taken from 34 CFR 75.225(a)(1):
    The applicant must--
    (i) Have never received a grant or subgrant under the Community 
Technology Centers program;
    (ii) Have never been a member of a group application, submitted in 
accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, that received a grant under the 
Community Technology Centers program; and
    (iii) Have not had an active discretionary grant from the Federal 
Government in the five (5) years before the deadline date for 
applications in this competition.

(34 CFR 75.225(a)(2) and (b) further interpret this definition in cases 
of group applications in this competition

[[Page 37060]]

and specify that a grant is ``active'' until the end of the grant's 
project or funding period, including any extensions of those periods 
that extend the grantee's authority to obligate funds).
    Applications Available: June 20, 2003.

Application Procedures

    The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998 (Public Law 
105-277) and the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement 
Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-107) encourage us to undertake initiatives 
to improve our grant processes. Enhancing the ability of individuals 
and entities to conduct business with us electronically is a major part 
of our response to these Acts. Therefore, the Department is taking 
steps to adopt the Internet as our chief means of conducting 
transactions in order to improve services to our customers and to 
simplify and expedite our processes.
    The Department is requiring that applications for the FY 2003 
Community Technology Centers Program competitions for new awards be 
submitted electronically using e-APPLICATION through the U.S. 
Department of Education's e-GRANTS system. The e-GRANTS system is 
accessible through its portal page at
    Applicants who are unable to submit an application through the e-
GRANTS systems may apply for a waiver to the electronic submission 
requirement. To apply for a waiver, applicants must explain the 
reason(s) that prevent(s) them from using the Internet to submit their 
applications. The reason(s) must be outlined in a letter addressed to: 
Gisela Harkin, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and 
Adult Education, 330 ``C'' Street, SW., Washington, DC., 20202-7100. 
Please mark your envelope ``CTC competition waiver request.'' The 
letter requesting the waiver is to be submitted no later than two (2) 
weeks before the deadline for transmittal of applications; last minute 
requests will not be considered.
    Any application that receives a waiver to the electronic submission 
requirement will be given the same consideration in the review process 
as an electronic application.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

    In FY 2003, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to 
expand its pilot project of electronic submission of applications to 
include additional formula programs and additional discretionary grant 
competitions. The Community Technology Centers (CTC) program (CFDA 
84.341) is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you 
are an applicant under the CTC program, you must submit your 
application to us in electronic format or receive a waiver.
    The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant 
Application System (e-APPLICATION, formerly e-GAPS) portion of the 
Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS). We shall continue to 
evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for improvement.
    Please note the following:

--Do not wait until the deadline date for the transmittal of 
applications to submit your application electronically. If you wait 
until the deadline date to submit your application electronically and 
you are unable to access the e-Application system, you must contact the 
Help Desk by 4:30 p.m. EST on the deadline date.
--Keep in mind that e-APPLICATIONS is not operational 24 hours a day, 7 
days a week. Click on ``Hours of Web Site Operation'' for specific 
hours of access during the week.
--You will have access to the e-APPLICATION Help Desk for technical 
support: 1 (888) 336-8930 (TTY: 1-[866] 697-2696, local [202] 401-
8363). The Help Desk hours of operation are limited to 8 a.m.--6 p.m. 
EST Monday through Friday.

    You must submit all documents electronically, including the 
Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED424), Budget 
Information--Non-Construction Programs (ED524), and assurances, 
certifications, and appendices, as appropriate.

--After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an 
acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying 
number unique to your application).
--Within three (3) working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education 
Assistance (ED424) to the Application Control Center after following 
these steps: (1) Print the ED424 from the e-Application system. (2) The 
institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this form. (3) Place 
the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard copy 
signature page of the ED424. (4) Fax the signed ED424 to the 
Application Control Center at (202) 260-1349.
--The Department may request that you give us original signatures on 
all other forms at a later date.
Closing Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability
    If you are prevented from submitting an application on the closing 
date because the e-APPLICATION system is unavailable, we will grant you 
an extension of one (1) business day in order to transmit your 
application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery.
    For us to grant this extension:
    (1) You must be a registered user of e-APPLICATION and have 
initiated an e-APPLICATION for this competition; and
    (2) (a) The e-APPLICATION system must be unavailable for 60 minutes 
or more between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. EST, on the 
deadline date; or (b) The e-APPLICATION system must be unavailable for 
any period of time during the last hours of operation (that is, for any 
period of time between 3:30 and 4:30 P.M. EST) on the deadline date. 
The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of 
unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this 
extension, you must contact the e-Grants Help Desk at 1 (888) 336-8930.
    You may access the electronic grant application for CFDA No. 84.341 
    Page limit: The application narrative (Part VI of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part VI to 
the equivalent of no more than 25 pages, using the following standards:
    [sbull] A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'' on one side only, with 1'' 
margins on the top, bottom, and both sides.
    [sbull] Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
    [sbull] Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
    In addition, you must limit Part VII (budget narrative) to four (4) 
pages and Part X (Appendices) to 15 pages, using the aforementioned 
standards. We will reject your application if:
    [sbull] You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
    [sbull] You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the 
page limit.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 21, 2003.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 18, 2003.
    Estimated Available Funds: $8,106,250. Note: The Department is

[[Page 37061]]

conducting a separate general competition for an estimated $24,318,750 
in funds available for both novice and non-novice applicants. Notices 
pertaining to that competition were published in the Federal Register 
on June 3, 2003 (68 FR 33318-33323).
    Range of Awards: $300,000-$500,000.
    In previous grant competitions, applicants have routinely requested 
more money than the above award ranges dictate. As a result, plans 
submitted to the Department have included any number of activities that 
could only be made possible if an applicant received a funding amount 
much higher than intended in the award range. Based on this experience, 
the Department will fund only those applications that correctly request 
funds within the award range specified in this notice. Therefore, 
applicants who request more than $500,000 will be declared ineligible 
and will not receive funding.

    Note: The size of awards will be based on a number of factors. 
These factors will include the scope, quality, and comprehensiveness 
of the proposed program, and the recommended range of awards 
indicated above.

    Matching Requirement: Pursuant to Section 5512(c) of ESEA, as 
amended by NCLB, Federal funds may not pay for more than 50 percent of 
total project costs. In order to apply for and receive a grant award 
under this competition, each applicant must furnish from nonfederal 
sources at last 50 percent of its total project costs. Applicants may 
satisfy this requirement in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, 
including services.

    Note: The U.S. Department of Education is not bound by any 
estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 12 months.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 
82, 85, 86, 97, 98 and 99 and (b) the regulations in the notice of 
final priority, program requirements, and selection criteria for FY 
2003 as published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Priority: This competition gives an absolute priority to applicants 
that meet the conditions outlined in the Notice of Final Priority for 
this program, which is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you need further assistance and 
need to speak with someone in the CTC program, you may contact Gisela 
Harkin by phone at (202) 205-4238, by mail at 330 C Street, SW., Room 
4324, Washington, DC 20202, or via e-mail at    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-
8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain this notice in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to one of the contact persons listed in the 
preceding paragraph.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site:
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have any questions about using PDF, call the 
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO); toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or 
in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at:

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7263-7263b.

    Dated: June 17, 2003.
Carol D'Amico,
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.
[FR Doc. 03-15708 Filed 6-19-03; 8:45 am]