25 CFR 23.33 - Competitive off-reservation application contents and application selection criteria.
(a) An application for a competitive multi-year grant under this subpart shall be submitted to the appropriate Regional Director prior to or on the announced deadline date published in the Federal Register. The Regional Director shall certify the application contents pursuant to § 23.34 and forward the application within five working days to the area review committee, composed of members designated by the Regional Director, for competitive review and action. Modifications and/or information received after the close of the application period, as announced in the Federal Register, shall not be reviewed or considered by the area review committee in the competitive process.
(b) Mandatory application requirements for Indian organization applicants shall include:
(1) An official request for an ICWA grant program from the organization's board of directors covering the duration of the proposed program;
(2) A completed Application for Federal Assistance form, SF 424;
(3) Written assurances that the organization meets the definition of Indian organization at § 23.2;
(4) A copy of the organization's current Articles of Incorporation for the applicable grant years;
(5) Proof of the organization's nonprofit status;
(6) A copy of the organization's IRS tax exemption certificate and IRS employer identification number;
(7) Proof of liability insurance for the applicable grant years; and
(8) Current written assurances that the requirements of Circular A-128 for fiscal management, accounting, and recordkeeping are met.
(9) Pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, all grantees under this subpart shall comply with the mandatory Drug-Free Workplace Certification, a regulatory requirement for Federal grant recipients.
(c) Competitive application selection criteria. The Regional Director or his/her designated representative shall select those proposals which will in his/her judgment best promote the proposes of the Act. Selection shall be made through the area review committee process in which each application will be scored individually and ranked according to score, taking into consideration the mandatory requirements as specified above and the following selection criteria:
(1) The degree to which the application reflects an understanding of the social problems or issues affecting the resident Indian client population which the applicant proposes to serve;
(2) Whether the applicant presents a narrative needs assessment, quantitative data and demographics of the client Indian population to be served;
(3) Estimates of the number of Indian people to receive benefits or services from the program based on available data;
(4) Program goals and objectives to be achieved through the grant;
(5) A comprehensive developmental multi-year narrative plan describing what specific services and/or activities will be provided each program year and addressing the above-identified social problems or issues. At a minimum, the plan must include a narrative description of the program; the program goals and objectives, stated in measurable terms, to be achieved through the grant; and the methodology, including culturally defined approaches, and procedures by which the grantee will accomplish the identified goals and objectives;
(6) An internal monitoring system the grantee will use to measure progress and accomplishments, and to ensure that the quality and quantity of actual performance conforms to the requirements of the grant;
(7) Documentation of the relative accessibility which the Indian population to be served under a specific proposal already has to existing child and family service programs emphasizing the prevention of Indian family breakups, such as mandatory state services. Factors to be considered in determining accessibility include:
(i) Cultural barriers;
(ii) Discrimination against Indians;
(iii) Inability of potential Indian clientele to pay for services;
(iv) Technical barriers created by existing public or private programs;
(v) Availability of transportation to existing programs;
(vi) Distance between the Indian community to be served under the proposal and the nearest existing programs;
(vii) Quality of services provided to Indian clientele; and
(viii) Relevance of services provided to specific needs of the Indian clientele.
(8) If the proposed program duplicates existing Federal, state, or local child and family service programs emphasizing the prevention of Indian family breakups, proper and current documented evidence that repeated attempts to obtain services have been unsuccessful;
(9) Evidence of substantial support from the Indian community or communities to be served, including but not limited to:
(i) Tribal support evidenced by a tribal resolution or cooperative service agreements between the administrative bodies of the affected tribe(s) and the applicant for the duration of the grant period, or
(ii) Letters of support from social services organizations familiar with the applicant's past work experience;
(10) A staffing plan that is consistent with the implementation of the above-described program plan of operation and the procedures necessary for the successful delivery of services. The plan must include proposed key personnel, their qualifications, training or experience relevant to the services to be provided, responsibilities, Indian preference criteria for employment and position descriptions. In accordance with 25 U.S.C. 3201 et seq. (Pub. L. 101-630), title IV, the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, grantees shall conduct character and background investigations of those personnel identified in that statute prior to their actual employment;
(11) The reasonableness and relevance of the estimated overall costs of the proposed program or services and their overall relation to the organization's funding base, activities, and mission;
(12) The degree to which the detailed annual budget and justification for the requested funds are consistent with, and clearly supported by, the proposed plan and by appropriate program services and activities for the applicable grant year;
(13) The applicant's identification of any consultants and/or subgrantees it proposes to employ; description of the services to be rendered; the qualifications and experience of said personnel, reflecting the requirements for performing the identified services; and the basis for the cost and the amount to be paid for such services;
(14) Certification by a licensed accountant that the bookkeeping and accounting procedures that the applicant uses or intends to use meet existing Federal standards for grant administration and management specified at § 23.46;
(15) The compliance of property management and recordkeeping systems with subpart D of 43 CFR part 2 (the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a), and with existing Federal requirements for grants at 25 CFR 276.5 and 276.11, including the maintenance and safeguarding of direct service case records on families and/or individuals served by the grant;
(16) A description of the proposed facilities, equipment, and buildings necessary to carry out the grant activities; and
(17) Proof of liability insurance coverage for the applicable grant year(s).
(d) Two or more applications receiving the same competitive score will be prioritized in accordance with announcements made in the Federal Register pursuant to § 23.31 (b) for the applicable year(s).
(e) Continued annual funding of a multi-year grant award to an off-reservation ICWA program under this subpart shall be contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds and upon the existing grant program receiving a satisfactory program evaluation from the area social services office for the previous year of operation. A copy of this evaluation shall be submitted together with an annual budget and budget narrative justification in accordance with paragraph (c)(10) of this section. Minimum standards for receiving a satisfactory evaluation shall include the timely submission of all fiscal and programmatic reports; a narrative program report indicating work accomplished in accordance with the initial approved multi-year plan; and the implementation of mutually determined corrective action measures, if applicable.