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United States Regulations
46 CFR PART 385—RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GRANT AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS REGULATIONS
Title 46: Shipping
PART 385—RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GRANT AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS REGULATIONS
Authority: Sec. 204(b), Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended (46 U.S.C. 1114(b)); Reorganization Plans No. 21 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1273), and No. 7 of 1961 (75 Stat. 840), as amended by Pub. L. 91–469 (84 Stat. 1036); Department of Commerce Organization Order 10–8 (36 FR 19707, July 23, 1973); and Secretary's Circular 30 (Nov. 5, 1979).
Source: 45 FR 66168, Oct. 6, 1980, unless otherwise noted.
§ 385.1 Scope.
This part sets forth information about the Maritime Administration (MarAd) assistance regulations: Their purpose, authority, applicability, issuance, arrangement, implementation, and exception procedure; definitions of terms; and general MarAd assistance policies.
§ 385.2 Scope.
Sections 385.2 through 385.9 set forth introductory information pertaining to the MarAd assistance regulations: Their purpose, authority, applicability, exclusions, issuance, arrangement, publication, and exceptions.
§ 385.3 Purpose.
Sections 385.2 through 385.9 establish the MarAd assistance regulations which codify, implement, and publish uniform assistance policies and selected procedures applicable to MarAd and recipients of MarAd assistance awards. The MarAd assistance regulations do not, in and of themselves, provide authority for the use of assistance instruments nor the making of assistance awards where statutory authority has not been otherwise provided. Generic authority to award grants and cooperative agreements is provided in Pub. L. 95–224, the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977. The assistance regulations are distinct from the Federal and MarAd and Department of Transportation procurement regulations.
§ 385.4 Authority.
The MarAd assistance regulations are issued pursuant to section 204(b) of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended (46 U.S.C. 1114(b)), and pursuant to delegation of authority by the Secretary of Transportation to the Maritime Administrator, Department of Transportation.
§ 385.5 Applicability.
The MarAd assistance regulations apply to all MarAd research and development programs which will result in assistance awards, and to all recipients eligible for MarAd assistance awards such as state and local governments, institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations, individuals, profitmaking organizations, and foreign organizations. The provisions of this part govern the award and administration of all such financial assistance matters, including resolutions and guidelines issued by MarAd except:
(a) As otherwise required by statute; and,
(b) As otherwise provided by specific program regulations.
§ 385.6 Exclusions.
Excluded from this part are requirements pertaining to procurement contracts subject to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 and the Federal and MarAd procurement regulations, interagency agreements, memorandums of understanding and programs or projects which directly disseminate technical information, or provide consultation, technical service, information, and data counseling to recipients without the use of an assistance instrument. Also excluded is the sale, lease, license, or other authorization to use Federal property, when such use is not incidental to the purpose of stimulation or support.
§ 385.7 Issuance.
The MarAd assistance regulations are issued in the Code of Federal Regulations as Part 385, Chapter II, of Title 46, Shipping, after publication in the Federal Register. Copies of the MarAd assistance regulations in the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
§ 385.8 Arrangement.
(a) General Plan. The general format, numbering system, and nomenclature used in this part conform with Federal Register standards.
(b) Citation. The MarAd assistance regulations will be cited in accordance with Federal Register standards. Thus, this paragraph, when referred to within divisions of the MarAd assistance regulations, should be cited as “§385.8(b).” When this section is referred to formally in other documents outside of this part, it should be cited as “46 CFR 385.8(b).”
(c) Implementation. Instructions and procedures needed by MarAd to internally implement this part will be contained in a separate MarAd Financial Assistance Manual, which will be available to the public upon request.
§ 385.9 Exceptions, deviations, or waivers.
Requests for exceptions, deviations, or waivers from the requirements of this part, unless exceptions are required by program legislation or program regulations, shall be submitted to the Grants Officer. Exceptions may be approved by the Grants Officer on matters within the scope of his authority, or obtained by said Grants Officer from higher authority within the Department of Transportation or from the Office of Management and Budget when required by law or other applicable Federal requirement.
Definition of Terms
§ 385.20 Scope.
Only those definitions needed to understand this part will be defined. Generally, terms defined elsewhere in statutes, OMB circulars, and other Federal requirements will not be restated. Special attention is directed to the definitions in the Standard General Provisions of MarAd's grant and cooperative agreements (See §385.62).
§ 385.21 Definitions.
(a) Assistance is where the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services or anything of value to a recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute rather than of acquisition, by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government.
(b) Assistance instrument is a general term which identifies a class of instruments used to award assistance. These instruments include grant and cooperative agreements, as defined in §385.32 (c) and (d) of this part.
(c) Act means the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95–224).
(d) MarAd means the Maritime Administration within the Department of Transportation.
(e) Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation.
(f) Maritime Administrator means the Maritime Administrator, Department of Transportation to whom the Secretary has delegated authority to administer within MarAd the provisions of the Act.
(g) Grants Officer means the primary delegate of the Maritime Administrator responsible for administration of grants and cooperative agreements for research and development within MarAd.
(h) Awards Officer means the principal executive subordinate to the Grants Officer responsible for the day-to-day administration of grants and cooperative agreements for research and development.
§ 385.31 Scope.
Sections 385.31 through 385.62 set forth the regulations applicable to all assistance instruments as defined herein.
§ 385.32 Selection of award instrument.
(a) General. This section provides guidance on the appropriate use of award instruments consistent with the Act and the supplementary interpretative guidelines required by section 9 of the Act, which were published by the OMB in the Federal Register of August 18, 1978 (41 FR 36860), and are incorporated by reference herein. This section applies to all program and individual transactions where the choice of award instruments is within the administrative discretion of MarAd and is not otherwise prescribed or limited by law. A variety of award instruments is available as the means for defining the terms and conditions and the nature of the relationship between MarAd and eligible recipients. The award instruments are intended to be different in purpose, application, content, and nature. When properly employed, they create different relationships between the parties. Because of these differences, the decision to use a particular instrument must be made deliberately. The determination of whether a program, to be implemented through individual transactions, is principally one of acquisition or assistance will be made by the Grants Officer. MarAd generally will employ the cooperative agreement form of assistance instrument but will employ the grant form where deemed appropriate.
(b) Procurement contract. A procurement contract shall be used as the legal instrument to reflect a relationship between the Federal Government and a state or local government or other recipient whenever (1) the principal purpose of the instrument is the acquisition by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government; or (2) whenever MarAd determines in a specific instance that the use of a type of procurement contract is appropriate.
(c) Grant agreement. A type of grant agreement shall be used as the legal instrument to reflect a relationship between the Federal Government and a state or local government or other recipient whenever the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to the state or local government or other recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute, rather than acquisition, by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government; and no substantial involvement is anticipated between MarAd, acting for the Federal Government, and the state or local government or other recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.
(d) Cooperative agreement. A type of cooperative agreement shall be used as the legal instrument to reflect a relationship between the Federal Government and a state or local government or other recipient whenever the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to the state or local government or other recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute, rather than acquisition by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government; and substantial involvement is anticipated between MarAd, acting for the Federal Government, and the state or local government or other recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.
§ 385.33 Unsolicited applications and proposals for financial assistance awards.
(a) Policy. Although it is MarAd policy to solicit applications and proposals for assistance awards where possible, MarAd also values obtaining innovative ideas, methods, and approaches in maritime transportation areas offered by the public through unsolicited applications and proposals. It is the policy of the Government to foster and encourage the submission of unsolicited proposals. This §385.33 is designed to encourage the submisson of unsolicited proposals relating to MarAd's mission and to eliminate restraints which discourage the generation and acceptance of innovative ideas through unsolicited proposals.
(b) Scope. This section applies to unsolicited proposals being considered for support through an assistance instrument. This section does not apply when a procurement contract is the appropriate award instrument in accordance with §385.32(b).
(c) Definition of unsolicited proposal. The term unsolicited proposal means a written offer to perform a proposed task or effort, initiated and submitted to MarAd by a prospective recipient (offeror) without solicitation by MarAd, and with the objective of obtaining an award. The term may include both requests for support of a new project and requests for additional support of a previously funded project (renewals).
(d) Advance consultation. Organizations or individuals who are interested in submitting an unsolicited proposal are encouraged, before expending extensive effort in preparing a detailed unsolicited proposal or submitting any proprietary information to the Government, to make preliminary inquiries of MarAd program staff as to the general interest in the type of project contemplated. Prior contact with agency technical personnel is permissible and is encouraged, with the limited objectives of conveying to the prospective recipient an understanding of the agency mission and interest relative to the type of project contemplated. The project officer shall not indicate or imply in discussions with the potential proposer that a proposal will result in an award. Nothing is to be suggested to encourage or authorize the potential proposer to perform any work at MarAd expense in anticipation of support or an award. If there have been prior discussions with a particular MarAd program office, a statement of this fact should be stated on the face of the proposal.
(e) Guides. Guides for preparing the content of unsolicited proposals are available from the Awards Officer (M-900), Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590. Notwithstanding these guides, state and local governments may submit unsolicited applications or proposals using the application forms authorized by OMB Circular No. A–102, Attachment M.
(f) Submission point. All unsolicited proposals for new or renewals of financial assistance awards shall be submitted to Awards Officer (M-900), Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590.
(g) Receipt and review. (1) Receipt of unsolicited proposals will be acknowledged promptly by the Awards Officer and then forwarded expeditiously to potentially interested program offices for comment. Each unsolicited proposal that is circulated for a comprehensive evaluation shall have a legend attached or imprinted on it by the Awards Officer, identifying it as an unsolicited proposal and stating that it shall be used only for purposes of evaluation.
(2) The responsible program officials shall evaluate the proposal fairly and objectively using the criteria in §§385.50 through 385.52.
(3) An unsolicited proposal may include data which the proposer does not want disclosed for purposes other than the evaluation of the proposal. In such case, the proposer should mark each page containing such data with the words “Proprietory Data—Restricted Use” at the top of the page. In the event that an unsolicited proposal, in whole or in part, indicates that the proposer wishes to impose restrictions on the use or disclosure of the data contained in the proposal, MarAd personnel handling the proposal will take care to ensure that the information in the proposal is not disclosed outside of MarAd. The Awards Officer has responsibility for ensuring that proposal reviewers are free of any direct affiliation with the individual(s) or institution submitting the proposal. MarAd policy on the use of information contained in proposals is to use such information only for evaluation purposes, except to the extent such information is generally available to the public, is already the property of the Government, or is available to the Government without restriction. Accordingly, if a proposal contains information the proposer wishes to protect, the proposer shall mark the cover page of the proposal with the following Notice:
Notice: The data contained in pages __ of this proposal have been submitted in confidence and contain trade secrets and/or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, and such data shall be used or disclosed only for evaluation purposes: Provided, That if this proposer receives an award as a result of or in connection with the submission of this proposal the Government shall have the right to use or disclose the data herein to the extent provided in the award. This restriction does not limit the Government's right to use or disclose data obtained without restriction from any source, including the proposer.
MarAd shall ensure that all copies of the proposal carry the above Notice, and that it is not disclosed outside MarAd, except with the consent of the proposer.
(h) Criteria for acceptance of an unsolicited proposal are those listed in §§385.50 through 385.52. If an unsolicited proposal fails to meet any of the criteria, the proposer will be notified by the Awards Officer in accordance with paragraph (j) of this section.
(i) Funding determination. The responsibility for deciding funding availability rests solely with the Grants Officer and will not be considered by the proposal reviewers.
(j) Nonsupport of proposal. If the proposal does not offer sufficient technical merit or program value; is not relevant to the accomplishment of a public purpose authorized by MarAd program legislation; or if funds are not available; the proposal will be returned to the proposer, if the proposer so requests. The Awards Officer shall prepare a letter to the proposer which sets forth the basis for rejection of the unsolicited proposal or application.
(k) Support of proposal. There is no prescribed format for the program documentation necessary to justify providing assistance. The minimum requirements are that: there be a reasonable basis for acceptance based on the criteria set forth in §§385.50 through 385.52; the rationale for providing support be written, and approvals be obtained as required by MarAd; and, that a copy of the documentation be included in the assistance instrument award file. The rationale for providing assistance may be included in documents required for project approval.
§ 385.34 Responsibility for issuing solicitations for proposals or applications.
(a) It is MarAd policy to favor solicitation of proposals or applications, where discretionary assistance awards are available, in preference to relying on unsolicited proposals, in order to maximize opportunities for open participation by the public in MarAd assistance awards.
(b) The Awards Officer shall be responsible for issuing solicitations, announcements, or the like, which call for the submission of proposals and applications by a certain due date which, if favorably acted upon by MarAd, may result in assistance awards.
§ 385.35 Program opportunity notices.
(a) A program opportunity notice can be used to stimulate the flow of unsolicited proposals or applications when the program objectives cannot be defined sufficiently to prepare a program solicitation.
(b) The program opportunity notice will contain the following, at a minimum:
(1) A number assigned for control and reference purposes;
(2) A brief description of the broad, general technical program or areas needing investigation (generally 50 words or less);
(3) A statement of the principal program objective in possibly funding unsolicited proposals as either:
(i) The acquisition of concepts, property, or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government; or
(ii) The transfer of money, property, or services to a recipient for support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute;
(4) A statement about how unsolicited proposals will be evaluated and accepted:
(i) If the principal program objective is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation, the criteria in §§385.50 through 385.52 shall be applied;
(ii) If the principal program objective is the acquisition of concepts, property, or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government (i.e., procurement), the policy regarding evaluation and acceptance of unsolicited proposals in 41 CFR 9–4.9 shall apply;
(5) Restrictions, if any, as to who may submit proposals;
(6) A contact where additional information may be obtained;
(7) An expiration date which identifies when the program opportunity notice will no longer be current. This date shall not be used as a required common due date for submission of proposals;
(8) A statement that MarAd reserves the right to support or not support, in whole or in part, any or all proposals received;
(9) A statement that MarAd assumes no responsibility for any costs associated with specific proposal preparation if no award is made; but that if an award is made, MarAd will pay its allocable share of bid and proposal expenses as provided for in applicable Federal cost principles;
(10) A statement that proposals submitted pursuant to the notice shall be mailed to the Awards Officer (M–900), Maritime Administration, Room 4885, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590.
(11) A reference that detailed information concerning assistance policy and procedures is contained in these assistance regulations, 46 CFR part 385;
(12) As much information as possible as to how proposals and applications will be evaluated;
(13) Policies and procedures for patents, data, and copyrights. Proposers have the right to request in advance of or within thirty (30) days after the effective date of award a waiver of all or any part of the United States rights in subject inventions.
(c) The program opportunity notice shall be in a format that best reflects the needs of the specific program, for example, letter, booklet, bulletin, or other documents.
(d) The program opportunity notice shall be distributed widely. It may be distributed to industry associations, including small business associations; schools, colleges, and universities; appropriate professional and scientific journals; state, local, and regional governmental organizations; the Commerce Business Daily; other MarAd offices; and individuals and organizations who request copies on a one-time basis.
(e) The submission of innovative methods, approaches or ideas will not be restricted to those problems or technical areas published in the program opportunity notice. Alternatives will be eligible for consideration.
§ 385.36 Public notice of availability of assistance awards.
(a) In order to maximize involvement of prospective recipients in MarAd assistance programs, it is MarAd's policy, wherever possible, to provide timely notice to the public as to the availability of assistance awards.
(b) Early notice regarding legislated grant or other assistance programs will br provided by MarAd to the Office of Management and Budget for publication in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A–89. When legislated assistance programs or program objectives which are to be implemented through assistance instruments reach the point where applications or proposals need to be obtained, timely notice of such solicitations will be published in the Federal Register, Commerce Business Daily, trade and professional journals which are widely circulated to state and local governments, and news media, as appropriate to communicate with potentially interested applicants.
(c) When a MarAd assistance project involves making assistance available through prime recipients to subrecipients, such as through states to local governments, prime recipients should provide timely advance notice to subrecipients as to the availability of such assistance, and provide a reasonable time period for subrecipients to prepare applications and secure prerequisite local approvals.
§ 385.37 Requirement for unrestricted solicitations for discretionary assistance awards.
(a) Policy. It is MarAd policy to maximize the opportunity for prospective recipients to be considered for assistance awards where eligibility is not prescribed by law. Therefore, when eligibility is not prescribed by law or a final program regulation, and when discretionary assistance awards are selected to accomplish a program objective, applications or proposals will be obtained, wherever practicable, by issuance of a written solicitation. When MarAd initiates the solicitation of applications or proposals, eligibility to be considered for discretionary awards will not be restricted by MarAd to one category of recipients or to a single recipient without adequate basis.
(b) Justification of restricted eligibility. Where program legislation explicitly restricts eligibility, e.g., to state governments, no justification is required. When program regulations restrict eligibility beyond the restrictions required by the program legislation, the basis for the restriction shall be set forth in the program rulemaking.
41 CFR 9–3.805–51 shall be used as a guide in preparing the “justification for restricting eligibility.” The reasons offered will be evaluated for consistency with the policy in paragraph (a) of this section, MarAd's overall mission, and the objective of maintaining an open and fair system of making assistance awards.
(c) Approvals. Justifications of restricted eligibility will be signed by the Grants Officer and will be reviewed by Office of General Counsel for legal sufficiency prior to issuance of the restricted solicitation. The signed justification will be filed in official award file.
§ 385.38 Joint funding.
(a) Pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act, MarAd is authorized to participate in joint funded projects with other Federal agencies in any funding relationship which will serve the best interest of all of the participating agencies' program. Such joint funding project may include more than one type of assistance relationship, e.g., some components of project may be funded by grants and other components of the project may be funded by cooperative agreements.
(b) It is MarAd's positive policy, further, to encourage cost-sharing on the part of applicants for financial assistance. The willingness of applicants to cost-share is a primary factor in making, or not making, an assistance award.
§ 385.39 Socio-economic and environmental policies.
A number of socio-economic and environmental policies of the Federal Government are incorporated into the standard general provisions of the grant agreement and cooperative agreements, and are identified as explicit criteria in §§385.51 and 385.52.
§ 385.40 Disputes.
Procedures for resolution of disputes between a recipient and MarAd appear in the standard general provisions of the grant and cooperative agreements referenced in §385.62, of this part.
Criteria for Award
§ 385.50 Scope.
Sections 385.51 and 385.52 set forth the criteria to be used by MarAd in evaluating all projects and all potential recipients prior to award of a grant or cooperative agreement.
§ 385.51 Criteria: Projects.
The criteria to be used by MarAd in evaluating all projects prior to award of a grant or cooperative agreement are as follows:
(a) In terms of the accomplishment of a public purpose—
(1) The potential contribution which the proposed work is expected to make to the MarAd assistance mission;
(2) The economic, environmental, and societal significance which a successful demonstration or project may have for the nation, and in particular the national merchant marine program;
(3) The relationship of the proposal to:
(i) The public need for the potential results of the research, development, or demonstration effort, and whether it is unlikely that similar results would be achieved in a timely manner in the absence of Federal assistance;
(ii) Whether the potential opportunities for non-Federal interests to recapture the investment in the undertaking through the normal commercial utilization of proprietary knowledge appear inadequate to encourage timely results;
(iii) The extent of the problems treated and whether the objectives sought by the undertaking are national, widespread, or regional in their significance;
(iv) The extent of opportunities to induce non-Federal support of the undertaking;
(v) The degree of risk of loss of the investment inherent in the research, and the availability of risk capital to the non-Federal entities which might otherwise engage in the field of the research so as to further timely development of the technology; and,
(vi) The availability of appropriations to MarAd.
(b) In terms of the particular objectives of the project, whether the project has:
(1) High technical merit which promises or represents an innovative idea, method, or approach;
(2) Program value not previously recognized or pursued by MarAd; and,
(3) A reasonable degree of probability of achieving the stated objectives.
§ 385.52 Criteria: Applicant.
The criteria to be used by MarAd in evaluating all applicants prior to award of a grant or cooperative agreement are as follows:
(a) The qualifications, capabilities, resources (both financial and technical) and experience of the applicant;
(b) The facilities or techniques which the proposer possesses and offers which are considered to be integral factors for achieving the objectives of the proposal;
(c) The qualifications, capabilities, and experiences of the proposed investigator, team leader, or key personnel, who are considered to be critical in achieving the objectives of the proposal;
(d) The precision and detail with which the applicant states its plan to further the formally adopted socioeconomic and environmental policies of the United States e.g., the encouragement of minority business enterprises); and,
(e) The extent to which the applicant will share the total estimated cost of the project.
Forms of Agreements
§ 385.60 Scope.
Sections 385.61 through 385.62 describe the form and content of the two parts which comprise a grant agreement or a cooperative agreement which will be executed by MarAd and a recipient of financial assistance.
§ 385.61 Grant and cooperative agreements: Special provisions.
(a) MarAd has adopted two format matrices, one for grant agreements and one for cooperative agreements, to accommodate the variables inherent in undertaking a project with a particular recipient. These variables include, for example, identity of the recipient, scope of work, schedule of performance and obligations assumed by both parties.
(b) The format matrices are available on request from the Awards Officer, and a copy of each is included in the information kit provided to all potential recipients of financial assistance. 1
1 An informational copy of both format matrices accompany this regulation as filed in the Office of the Federal Register.
(c) MarAd will adapt the appropriate format matrix to the extent deemed necessary when drafting the particular agreement to be executed by MarAd and a recipient of financial assistance for a specific project.
§ 385.62 Grant and cooperative agreements: Standard general provisions.
(a) MarAd has adopted two standard general provisions which apply to grant and cooperative agreements, respectively, and said provisions are hereby incorporated by reference into these regulations. 2
2 A copy of both such incorporated provisions accompany this regulation and are on file in the Office of the Federal Register.
(b) MarAd reserves the right to amend or to render inapplicable any portion of the particular standard general provisions required for any particular grant or cooperative agreement: Provided, That such modification shall be accomplished only by means of an explicit statement in the special provisions executed by MarAd and a particular recipient.