Announcement issuance date: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Proposal submission deadline: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (EDT).
Proposals must be submitted through Grants.gov. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
Proposed Program Start Date: October 1, 2011.
Duration of Activity: An initial period beginning October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012, subject to the availability of funds. This agreement may be renewable for up to two additional fiscal years based upon budget submissions on an annual basis, as long as there remains a need for the RSC and the organization operating the RSC provides satisfactory service, and subject to the availability of funds.
I. Purpose of the Resettlement Support Center
The admissions process for refugee applicants seeking resettlement in the United States is overseen by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State (the Bureau).
The purpose of the Moscow Resettlement Support Center (RSC) is to assist the Bureau in preparing the necessary casework for persons in selected locations in Europe and Central Asia eligible for interview by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and, for those approved, to provide assistance in completing the additional requirements for refugee admission under Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In addition, the RSC forwards the necessary data on all DHS-approved cases to the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) for distribution to U.S. Reception and Placement agencies according to procedures established by the Bureau.
International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.
The organization selected to operate the RSC is expected to:
1) Provide regional refugee processing services for all U.S. Refugee Admissions Program applicants in Europe and Central Asia, except Austria, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, beginning on October 1, 2011.
2) Relate equitably to all domestic resettlement agencies. (This includes sharing relevant biographic and other background information with domestic resettlement agencies working in the Reception and Placement program (to facilitate their provision of required sponsorship assurances).
II. Program Objectives
The Bureau has established the following objectives for the organization serving as RSC in Moscow:
A. To provide refugee processing services in support of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program using the Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS) and in accordance with procedures established by the Bureau, as needs arise, in Europe and Central Asia, except Austria:
B. To ensure that each potential refugee applicant is screened to determine if he/she is eligible for interview under the processing priorities established for his/her nationality.
C. To conduct pre-screening interviews and casework in the countries in Europe and Central Asia, except Austria ,so as to capture all relevant information pertaining to the case, e.g. cross-referencing information, special medical needs, information about victims of torture, etc. To ensure that all necessary security name-checks are completed. To prepare the case file, including completion of all forms necessary for presentation of the case to USCIS for adjudication.
D. To enter all required information into WRAPS on a timely basis and to remain in close contact with the Refugee Processing Center (RPC), cooperating fully and at all times to ensure that the WRAPS system and related equipment remains functional and up to date.
E. For applicants approved by USCIS, to assist the refugees in completing all post-adjudication steps required for admission to the United States. This includes: coordinating with the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) to obtain sponsorship assurances from Reception and Placement agencies working under cooperative agreements with the Bureau; preparing travel packets; coordinating medical screening, conducting cultural orientation training, and coordinating with the International Organization for Migration on travel arrangements.
F. To develop a formal curriculum, in consultation with the Bureau, for cultural orientation training for refugees that will prepare them for travel and initial adjustment to life in the United States. To develop a training and management plan, in consultation with the Bureau, for RSC staff who will conduct cultural orientation training. To conduct cultural orientation in such a way as to achieve performance outcomes as delineated by the Bureau.
III. Refugee Processing Caseload
While it is impossible to predict what the precise number of refugee applicants processed by RSC Moscow will be, as the FY 2012 regional refugee admissions ceilings have not yet been established, proposals and budgets should be prepared based on a projection of 2,000 departures from the countries covered by RSC Moscow. If before or during the agreement period the projected number of individuals to be processed either dramatically falls short of or exceeds the level anticipated in this announcement and the approved proposal, the Bureau will negotiate an amended budget for the RSC.
The following information regarding caseloads and circuit rides in FY 2011may be helpful in formulating an organization’s proposal and budget for RSC Moscow for FY 2012:
The Bureau projects that the U.S. will admit some 2,000 individuals as refugees who will be processed in the countries covered by RSC Moscow in FY 2011, including some 680 in Ukraine, 600 in Russia, 500 in Malta, 360 in Moldova and 300 in Romania.
In order to admit these individuals in FY 2011, RSC Moscow will conduct circuit rides to Almaty (one), Baku (one), Bishkek (one),Chisinau(two), Kyiv(four), Krasnodar(two), Malta(four), Romania (three) and Western Europe (three).
IV. Funding and Funding Procedures
The Bureau intends to award a single Cooperative Agreement to a single qualified organization to provide the required services in the countries in Europe and Central Asia, except Austria , from a base located in Moscow. The organization with which the Bureau enters into a Cooperative Agreement for this RSC will be funded for all approved costs associated with providing the required processing services according to a budget submitted as part of this proposal (see Attachment B for budget preparation instructions) and based on the proposal submitted in response to this request. This financial support may be renewable for up to two additional fiscal years based upon budget submissions on an annual basis, as long as there remains a need for the RSC and the organization operating the RSC provides satisfactory service, and subject to the availability of funds. At the end of three years, if the need to operate the RSC continues, the Bureau will re-compete the project, and the recipient of this award may participate in that process.
V. Eligibility Requirements
Organizations eligible to submit proposals include entities that have demonstrated satisfactory performance working as a U.S. Department of State-funded organization with the United State Refugee Admissions Program, domestically or overseas, within the last five years.
Organizations must also meet the following requirements in order to be considered as candidates to operate the RSC:
a. Be authorized by the Government of Russia (GOR) to conduct activities relating to the welfare, protection, or maintenance of refugees in Russia, as evidenced for non-governmental organizations by a Certificate of Registration issued by the Federal Government per the Federal Laws Governing Non-Profit Organizations prior to June 21, 2011, or, for international organizations by accreditation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the organization is authorized by the government to conduct such activities as of June 21, 2011.
A. Have evidence of effective coordination with U.S. Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and International Organizations involved with the refugee admissions program.
B. Possess management capacity at the agency’s headquarters sufficient to oversee the operation of the RSC.
Failure to satisfy the above requirements will preclude any further consideration of a proposal.
VI. WRAPS Requirements
The Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS) is deployed in all refugee processing sites. The use of WRAPS is mandatory, and the RSC must therefore establish itself as WRAPS-ready. Equipment that will be procured by the RSC and related costs must be included in the proposal. (See Attachment C for the required qualifications for the RSC’s information technology personnel required to maintain WRAPS including the qualifications for the RSC Network Administrator as well as a list of hardware and software items that are currently needed to operate WRAPS, including the equipment to operate the Circuit Ride functionality.)
VII. Application and Submission Procedures
Each organization requesting consideration for entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau must submit all information as requested in Attachment I. All pages including appendices should be numbered in a single, consecutive numbering system.
Proposals that are incomplete and/or fail to respond to all required elements of this program announcement may not be found competitive. If the Bureau requests clarifications regarding information included in the proposal, failure to provide this information by the date specified may also preclude further consideration of the proposal.
If your application consists of multiple files you should pay careful attention to the guidance on Grants.gov's for file naming conventions: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/submit_application_faqs.jsp#6
A few tips:
If these guidelines are not followed, Grants.gov may reject your proposal.
VIII. Submission Procedures:
Proposals must be submitted electronically via Grants.gov by 12:00 p.m. (EDT), June 21, 2011.
Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should sign up well in advance of the June 21, 2011deadline as it can take up to two weeks for a registration to be finalized (and sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a DUNS number and register with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) which can take weeks and sometimes months. See “Applicant FAQs” section on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/help/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) for complete details on registering.
Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov at least one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in your application not being considered.
If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Overseas Processing Section Chief Kelly Gauger at (202)453-9268 or GaugerKA@state.gov immediately to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.
The Bureau will fax each agency a letter confirming receipt of the documents. An agency not receiving this acknowledgement within five days after submitting its request should immediately notify Ms. Delicia Spruell at 202-453-9257.
IX. Proposal Evaluation Process
The Bureau will conduct formal competitive reviews of the submitted proposals, which meet the aforementioned requirements and which are submitted by an eligible organization. Review panels will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced proposal evaluation criteria, the overall refugee processing experience of the proposing organization and the proposal’s cost effectiveness for providing comprehensive service provision to applicants of all ethnic groups.
PRM may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.
X. PRM Points of Contact:
Should NGOs have technical questions related to this announcement, they should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Informal feedback from PRM does not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.)
A. Required Information
B. Budget Preparation Instructions
C. WRAPS Requirements
D. Sample Budget Format