15 CFR 2301.17 - Evaluation criteria for construction and planning applications.
(a) For each application that is filed in a timely manner by an applicant, is materially complete, and proposes an eligible project, the Agency will consider the evaluation criteria listed in § 2301.17(b):
(1) The criteria in paragraphs (b)(1), Applicant qualifications, (b)(2), Financial qualifications, of this section are qualifying criteria. Applications meeting the minimum qualifications on these criteria will be considered for further review.
(2) The remaining four criteria listed in § 2301.17(b) will be weighted in the evaluation as follows:
(i) Criteria in paragraph (b)(3), Project objectives, and (b)(4), Urgency, of this section will be given the most weight in the evaluation.
(ii) The remaining criteria in paragraph (b)(5), Technical/Planning qualifications, and (b)(4), Special consideration, of this section will be given less weight and are listed in descending order.
(b) Evaluation criteria -
(1) Applicant qualifications: Documentation that the applicant has or will have the ability to complete the project, including having sufficient qualified personnel to operate and maintain the facility, and to provide services of professional quality.
(2) Financial qualifications: Documentation reflecting the applicant's ability to provide non-Federal funds required for the project, including funds for the local match and funds to cover any ineligible costs required for completion of the project; and to ensure long-term financial support for the continued operation of the facility during the Federal interest period.
(3) Project objectives: The degree to which the application documents that the proposed project fulfills the objectives and specific requirements of one or more of the categories set forth in § 2301.4, documents the applicant's ability to implement the proposed project and adequately justify the need for Federal funds in excess of fifty (50) percent of total project costs (see § 2301.6(b)(2)), if requested for equipment replacement, improvement, or augmentation projects; and, in the case of planning, adequately justifies the need for Federal funds in excess of seventy five (75) percent of total project costs (see § 2301.6(a)(2)), if requested.
(4) Urgency: Documentation that justifies funding the proposed project during the current grant cycle or, when appropriate, that the condition of existing equipment justifies its prompt replacement.
(i) Technical qualifications (construction applicants only). Documentation that the eligible equipment requested is necessary to achieve the objectives of the project; that the proposed costs reflect the most efficient use of Federal funds in achieving project objectives; that the equipment requested meets current industry performance standards (and FCC standards, if appropriate) and that an evaluation of alternative technologies has been completed that justifies the selection of the requested technology (where alternative technologies are possible).
(ii) Planning qualifications (planning applicants only). Documentation of the feasibility of the proposed planning process and timetable for achieving the expected results; that costs proposed reflect the most efficient use of Federal funds; that the applicant has sufficient qualified staff or consultants to complete the planning project with professional results; and that an evaluation of alternative technologies will be incorporated into the plan, if appropriate.
(6) Special consideration: For this evaluation criterion, applicants should demonstrate that its broadcast or non-broadcast application will achieve significant diversity in the ownership of, operation of, and participation in public telecommunications facilities. Applicants may demonstrate how their project will better serve the characteristics, values and attitudes of diverse listeners by promoting the development of more effective programming strategies, conducting station outreach projects, through audience development efforts, and through the participation of minorities and women on the Board of Directors, and in other policy making positions.
(c) The Agency will provide each applicant with guidance in the application materials on the type of documentation necessary to meet each of the above evaluation criteria.