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Business Daily when potential applicants include for-profit organizations or when there is the potential for significant contracting opportunities under the resulting financial assistance awards.

(b) Subawards. In accordance with the provisions of the applicable statute and program rules, if a DOE financial assistance program involves the award of financial assistance by a recipient to a subrecipient, the recipient shall provide sufficient advance notice so that potential subrecipients may prepare timely applications and secure prerequisite reviews and approvals.

(c) Contents of solicitation. Each solicitation shall provide information as may be necessary to allow potential applicants to decide whether to submit an application, to understand how applications will be evaluated, and to know what the obligations of a recipient would be. At a minimum, each solicitation must include:

(1) A control number assigned by the issuing DOE office;

(2) The amount of money available for award and, appropriate, the expected size of individual awards broken down by areas of priority or emphasis, and the expected number of awards;

(3) The type of award instrument or instruments to be used;

(4) The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for the program;

(5) Who is eligible to apply;

(6) The expected duration of DOE support or the period of performance;

(7) An application form or the format to be used, location for application submission, and number of copies required;

(8) The name of the responsible DOE Contracting Officer (or, for program notices or solicitations issued by the program office, the program office contact) to contact for additional information, and, as appropriate, an address where application forms may be obtained;

(9) Whether loans are available under the DOE Minority Economic Impact (MEI) loan program, 10 CFR part 800, to finance the cost of preparing a financial assistance application, and, if MEI loans are available, a general description of the eligibility requirements for such a loan, a reference to Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number

81.063, and the name and address of the DOE office from which additional information and loan application forms can be obtained;

(10) Appropriate periods or due dates for submission of applications and a statement describing the consequences of late submission. If programs have established a series of due dates to allow for the comparison of applications against each other, these dates shall be indicated in the solicitation;

(11) The types of projects or activities eligible for support;

(12) Evaluation criteria and the weight or relative importance of each, which may include one or more of the following or other criteria, as appropriate:

(i) Qualifications of the applicant's personnel who will be working on the project;

(ii) Adequacy of the applicant's facilities and resources;

(iii) Cost-effectiveness of the project;

(iv) Adequacy of the project plan or methodology;

(v) Management capability of the applicant;

(vi) Sources of financing available to the project. Any requirement cerning cost sharing shall be clearly stated (See also $ 600.30, Cost Sharing). Cost sharing is generally encouraged. However, unless cost sharing is required by the solicitation, it shall not be considered in the evaluation process and shall be considered only at the time the award is negotiated.

(vii) Relationship of the proposed project to the objectives of the solicitation;

(13) A listing of program policy factors, if any, indicating the relative importance of each, if appropriate. Examples of program policy factors are:

(i) Geographic distribution;

(ii) Diverse types and sizes of applicant entities;

(iii) A diversity of methods, approaches, kinds of work; and

(iv) Projects which are complementary to other DOE programs projects;

(14) References to or copies of:

(i) Statutory authority for the program;

(ii) Applicable rules, including the appropriate subparts of this part;

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(1) A brief description of the areas of interest for which DOE may provide financial assistance;

(2) A statement about how resulting applications will be evaluated and the criteria for selection and funding;

(3) An expiration date with an explanation that such a date does not represent a common deadline for applications but rather that applications may be submitted at any time before the notice expires; and

(4) The location for application submission.

(iii) Other terms and conditions applicable to awards to be made under the solicitation, including allowable and unallowable costs and reporting requirements;

(iv) Policies and procedures for patents, data, copyrights, audiovisual productions and exhibits;

(v) Any required assurances not included in the application form;

(15) The deadline for submission of required or optional preapplications;

(16) Date, time, and location of any briefing for applicants;

(17) Required presubmission reviews and clearances, including a statement as to whether review under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs", is required.

(18) Dates by which selections and awards are expected to be made and whether unsuccessful applications will be returned to the applicant or be retained by DOE and for what period of time;

(19) A statement that DOE is under no obligation to pay for any costs associated with preparation or submission of applications if an award is not made. If an award is made, such costs may be allowable as provided in the applicable cost principles (See $$ 600.127 and 600.222);

(20) A statement that DOE reserves the right to fund, in whole or in part, any, all, or none of the applications submitted in response to the solicitation; and

(21) Any other relevant information, including explanatory information or factual basis for justifications required by this part.

$ 600.10 Form and content of applica

tions. (a) General. Applications shall be required for all financial assistance projects or programs.

(b) Forms. Applications shall be on the form and in the number of copies specified in a program rule, the solicitation, or these regulations. (See also SS 600.112 and 600.210.) For unsolicited applications, a guide for preparation and submission is available from U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Technology Center, Attn: Unsolicited Proposal Manager, Post Office Box 10940, Pittsburgh, PA, 15236-0940.

(c) Contents of an application. In general, a financial assistance application shall include:

(1) facesheet containing basic identifying information. The facesheet shall be the Standard Form (SF)424 or other approved DOE application form;

(2) A detailed narrative description of the proposed project, including the objectives of the project and the applicant's plan for carrying it out;

(3) A budget with supporting justification; and

(4) Any required preaward assurances.

(d) Incomplete applications. DOE may return an application that:

(1) Is not signed, either in writing or electronically, by an official authorized to bind the applicant; or

(2) Omits any information or documentation required by statute, program rule, or the solicitation, if the nature of the omission precludes review of the application.

(e) Supplemental information. During the review of a complete application,

$600.9 Notice of program interest.

(a) General. (1) DOE may publish periodic Notices of Program Interest in the FEDERAL REGISTER and other media, as appropriate, which describes broad, general, technical problems and areas of investigation for which DOE may award grants or cooperative agreements.

(2) DOE shall evaluate any application submitted under a Notice of Program Interest as an unsolicited application. (b) Contents. The notice shall include:

DOE may request the submission of additional information only if the information is essential to evaluate the application. (61 FR 7166, Feb. 26, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 56420, Oct. 20, 1999)

(3) 1992 Amendments to the Standard Building Code, of the Southern Building Code Congress International.

$ 600.11 Intergovernmental review.

Intergovernmental review of DOE financial assistance shall be conducted in accordance with 10 CFR part 1005.

$ 600.13 Merit review.

(a) It is the policy of DOE that discretionary financial assistance be awarded through a merit-based selection process. A merit review means a thorough, consistent, and objective examination of applications based on preestablished criteria by persons who are independent of those submitting the applications and who are knowledgeable in the field of endeavor for which support is requested.

(b) Each program office must establish a merit review system covering the financial assistance programs it administers. Merit review of financial assistance applications is intended to be advisory and is not intended to replace the authority of the project/program official with responsibility for deciding whether an award will be made. (64 FR 56420, Oct. 20, 1999)

$ 600.12 Generally applicable require

ments. (a) Except as expressly exempted by Federal statute or program rule, recipients and subrecipients of DOE financial assistance shall comply with all generally applicable requirements to which they are subject. Generally applicable requirements include, but are not limited to, the requirements of this part, Federal statutes, the OMB Circulars and other Governmentwide guidance implemented by this part, Executive Orders, and the requirements identified in appendix A of this part.

(b) Provisions shall be made to design and construct all buildings, in which DOE funds are used, to meet appropriate seismic design and construction standards. Seismic codes and standards meeting or exceeding the provisions of each of the model codes listed in this paragraph are considered to be appropriate for purposes of this part. These codes provide a level of seismic safety that is substantially equivalent to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Recommended Provisions for the Development of Seismic Regulations for New Buildings, 1988 Edition (Federal Emergency Management Administration 222 and 223). Revisions of these model codes that are substantially equivalent to or exceed the then current or immediately preceding edition of the NEHRP Recommended Provisions (which are updated triennially) shall be considered to be appropriate standards. The model codes are as follows:

(1) 1991 Uniform Building Code, of the International Council of Building Officials,

(2) 1992 Supplement to the National Building Code, of the Building Official and Code Administrators International.

$ 600.15 Authorized uses of informa

tion. (a) General. Information contained in applications shall be used only for evaluation purposes unless such information is generally available to the public or is already the property of the Government. The Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905, prohibits the unauthorized disclosure by Federal employees of trade secret and confidential business information.

(b) Treatment of application information. (1) An application may include technical data and other data, including trade secrets and/or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, which the applicant does not want disclosed to the public or used by the Government for any purpose other than application evaluation. To protect such data, the applicant should specifically identify each page including each line or paragraph thereof containing the data to be protected and mark the cover sheet of the application with the following Notice as well as referring to the Notice on each page to which the Notice applies:

signed, either in writing or electronically, by a DOE Contracting Officer.

(b) DOE funds awarded under a grant or cooperative agreement shall be obligated as of the date the DOE Contracting Officer signs the award; however, the recipient is not authorized to incur costs under an award prior to the beginning date of the budget period shown in the award except as may be authorized in accordance with $$ 600.125(e) or 600.230 of this part. The duration of the DOE financial obligation shall not extend beyond the expiration date of the budget period shown in the award unless authorized by a DOE Contracting Officer by means of a continuation or renewal award or other extension of the budget period.

Notice of Restriction on Disclosure and Use

of Data The data contained in pages of this application have been submitted in confidence and contain trade secrets or proprietary information, and such data shall be used or disclosed only for evaluation purposes, provided that if this applicant receives an award as a result of or in connection with the submission of this application, DOE 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 applicant.

(2) Unless a solicitation specifies otherwise, DOE shall not refuse to consider an application solely on the basis that the application is restrictively marked.

(3) Data (or abstracts of data) marked with the Notice under paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be retained in confidence and used by DOE or its designated representatives as specified in 8600.13 solely for the purpose of evaluating the proposal. The data so marked shall not be disclosed or used for any other purpose except to the extent provided in any resulting award, or to the extent required by law, including the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) (10 CFR part 1004). The Government shall not be liable for disclosure or use of unmarked data and may use or disclose such data for any purpose.

(4) The Government shall obtain unlimited rights in the technical data contained in any application which results in an award except those portions of the technical data which the applicant asserts and properly marks as proprietary data, or which are not directly related to or will not be utilized in the project and are deleted from the application with the concurrence of DOE.

(5) The clause at 48 CFR 52.227-23, which applies only to technical data and not to other data such as privileged or confidential commercial or financial information shall apply to every award.

8 600.17 Contents of award.

Each financial assistance award shall be made on a Notice of Financial Assistance Award (DOE F 4600.1) which contains basic identifying and funding information together with attachments including a budget, any special terms and conditions, and any other provisions necessary to establish the respective right, duties, obligation, and responsibilities of DOE and the recipient, consistent with the requirements of this part. $ 600.18 Recipient acknowledgement of

award. (a) After signature by the DOE Contracting Officer, the award shall be sent to the recipient. The recipient shall acknowledge acceptance by returning a copy signed either in writing or electronically. No DOE funds shall be disbursed until the award document signed by the recipient is received by DOE.

(b) In the event a recipient declines an award, DOE shall deobligate the funds obligated by the award after providing the applicant with at least two weeks written notice of DOE's intention to deobligate.

(c) After the recipient acknowledges the award, the terms and conditions of the award may be amended only upon the written request or with the written concurrence of the recipient unless the amendment is one which DOE may make unilaterally in accordance with a program rule or this part.

$600.16 Legal authority and effect of

an award. (a) A DOE financial assistance award is valid only if it is in writing and is

$ 600.19 Notification to unsuccessful

applicants. DOE shall promptly notify in writing each applicant whose application has not been selected for award or whose application cannot be funded because of the unavailability of appropriated funds. If the application was not selected, the written notice shall briefly explain why the application was not selected and, if for grounds other than unavailability of funds, shall offer the unsuccessful applicant the opportunity for a more detailed explanation upon request.

$ 600.20 Maximum DOE obligation.

(a) The maximum DOE obligation to the recipient is

(1) For monetary awards, the amount shown in the award as the amount of DOE funds obligated, and

(2) Any designated property.

(b) DOE shall not be obligated to make any additional, supplemental, continuation, renewal, or other award for the same or any other purpose.

$ 600.21 Access to records.

(a) In addition to recipient and subrecipient responsibilities relative to access to records specified in $$ 600.153 and 600.242, for any negotiated contract or subcontract in excess of $10,000 under a grant or cooperative agreement, DOE, the Comptroller General of the United States, the recipient and the subrecipient (if the contract was awarded under a financial assistance subaward), or any of their authorized representatives shall have the right of access to any books, documents, papers, or other records of the contractor or subcontractor which are pertinent to that contract or subcontract, in order to make audit, examination, excerpts, and copies.

(b) The right of access may be exercised for as long as the applicable records are retained by the recipient, subrecipient, contractor,

or su

ontractor.

ing resolution through an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, shall be preferred over formal procedures available in 10 CFR Part 1024, to the extent practicable.

(b) Alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Before issuing a final determination in any dispute in which informal resolution has not been achieved, the Contracting Officer shall suggest that the other party consider the use of voluntary consensual methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation. The DOE dispute resolution specialist is available to provide assistance for such disputes, as are trained mediators of other federal agencies. ADR may be used at any stage of a dispute.

(c) Final determination. Whenever a dispute is not resolved informally or through an alternative dispute resolution process, DOE shall mail (by certified mail) a brief written determination signed by a Contracting Officer, setting forth DOE's final disposition of such dispute. Such determination shall contain the following information:

(1) A summary of the dispute, including a statement of the issues and of the positions taken by the Department and the party or parties to the dispute; and

(2) The factual, legal and, if appropriate, policy reasons for DOE's disposition of the dispute.

(d) Right of appeal. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the final determination under paragraph (c) of this section may be appealed to the Financial Assistance Appeals Board (the Board) in accordance with the procedures set forth in 10 CFR part 1024.

(2) If the final determination under paragraph (c) of this section involves a dispute over which the Board has jurisdiction as provided in paragraph (1)(2) of this section, the Contracting Officer's determination shall state that, with respect to such dispute, the determination shall be the final decision of the Department unless, within 60 days, a written notice of appeal is filed.

(3) If the final determination under paragraph (c) of this section involves a dispute over which the Board has no jurisdiction as provided in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the Contracting Officer's determination shall state that, effective immediately or on a

$ 600.22 Disputes and appeals.

(a) Informal dispute resolution. Whenever practicable, DOE shall attempt to resolve informally any dispute over the award or administration of financial assistance. Informal resolution, includ

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