Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number:
19.018 - Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs) for U.S. Refugee Resettlement
Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Proposal submission deadline: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
**ADVISORY: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.**
Proposed Program Start Date: October 1, 2013
Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International Organizations (IOs) should not submit proposals through Grants.gov in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement. Rather IOs such as UN agencies and other Public International Organizations (PIOs) that are seeking funding for programs relevant to this announcement should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement. Please see Section V for additional eligibility requirements.
Duration of Activity: An initial period beginning October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, subject to the availability of FY 2014 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. 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. In funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years.
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 Resettlement Support Center (RSC) is to assist the Bureau in preparing the necessary casework for persons in sub-Saharan Africa 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 Reception and Placement agencies according to procedures established by the Bureau.
The Bureau will make one award for an RSC in sub-Saharan Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya, for an initial period beginning October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, subject to the availability of funds. Through the award, the Bureau will provide full financial support to the selected organization, based on the proposal submitted in response to this request.
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 sub-Saharan Africa regardless of nationality or ethnicity, beginning on October 1, 2013.
2) Relate equitably to all PRM-funded resettlement agencies. This includes sharing relevant biographic and other background information with 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 sub-Saharan Africa:
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 sub-Saharan Africa.
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 listed in section II (A) 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 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 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.
G. To provide quarterly reports to PRM/Admissions on RSC processing activities and cultural orientation.
III. Refugee Processing Caseload
It is impossible to predict what the precise number of refugee applicants processed by RSC sub-Saharan Africa will be because the FY 2014 regional refugee admissions ceilings have not yet been established. However, proposals and budgets should be prepared based on a projection of 12,000 individuals processed from the countries covered by RSC sub-Saharan Africa. 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 2013 may be helpful in formulating an organization’s proposal and budget for RSC sub-Saharan Africa for FY 2014:
The Bureau projects that the U.S. will admit approximately 11,000 individuals as refugees in FY 2013 who will be processed in the countries covered by RSC Africa. In FY 2013, we predict that there will be three to four USCIS adjudication visits (“circuit rides”) to the region per quarter. The major refugee groups that will be processed are Somalis, Congolese, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Sudanese, and Central Africans.
In order to reach the established goal of admitting at least 11,000 individuals in FY 2013, RSC Africa will conduct pre-screening circuit rides in 32 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Most refugees who are referred for processing will be in one of the following countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Chad, Djibouti, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia.
IV. Funding and Funding Procedures
The Bureau intends to make a single award to a single qualified organization to provide the required services in sub-Saharan Africa, with most of the casework expected to take place in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. The organization to which the Bureau makes an award 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.
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 States 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 Kenya to conduct activities relating to the welfare, protection, or maintenance of refugees in Kenya. This should be understood, when required by each government’s law, to include registration with or receipt of project approval from any relevant country ministry, agency or other official organ with jurisdiction over any activity to be conducted by the RSC.
B. Have evidence of effective coordination with U.S. Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and International Organizations involved with the refugee admissions program.
C. 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. Proposal Submission Requirements: Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. See “Applicant Resources” page on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/app_help_reso.jsp). Please also note the following highlights:
• Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (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 System for Award Management (SAM) which can take weeks and sometimes months. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.
• Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.
• 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 to the Grants.gov help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem, should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.
• International Organizations (IOs) should not submit proposals through Grants.gov in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement. Rather IOs such as UN agencies and other Public International Organizations (PIOs) that are seeking funding for programs relevant to this announcement should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer (as stated below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.
• Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68 ).
• A few tips:
o Limit file attachment name. File attachment names longer than approximately 50 characters can cause problems to Grants.gov processing the application package.
o Use numbers to indicate correct sequence (example: 1_proposal.doc; 2_budgetnarrative.doc)
o Do not use any special characters (example: %, /, #) or spacing in the file name or for word separation. The exception is an underscore, which Grants.gov says can be used in naming attachments. (example: my_Attached_File.pdf)
o 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
VIII. Proposal Content, Formatting and Templates:
Each organization requesting consideration for an award from the Bureau must submit all information as requested in Attachment A. 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.
To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including
• All information as requested in Attachment A.
• Proposal narrative for the first year of the program period.
• Budget and budget narrative for the first year of the program period.
• Signed completed SF-424.
In addition, proposal submissions to PRM should include the following information:
• Copy of the organization’s Code of Conduct (required before an award can be made).
• Copy of the organization’s Security Plan (required before an award can be made).
• Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.
• NGOs that have not received PRM funding since the U.S. Government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.
IX. Reports and Reporting Requirements:
Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement.
Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement.
X. Proposal Review 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 applicants of final decisions taken by Bureau management.
XI. Applicant Vetting as a Condition of Award: Applicants are advised that successful passing of vetting to evaluate the risk that funds may benefit terrorists or their supporters is a condition of award. Applicants may be asked to submit information required by DS Form 4184, Risk Analysis Information about their company and its principal personnel. Vetting information is also required for all subaward performance on assistance awards identified by DOS as presenting a risk of terrorist financing. When vetting information is requested by the Grants Officer, information may be submitted on the secure web portal at https://ramportal.state.gov, via Email to RAM@state.gov, or hardcopy to the Grants Officer. Questions the form may be emailed to RAM@state.gov. Failure to submit information when requested, or failure to pass vetting, may be grounds for rejecting your proposal. The following clause shall be included in Section 9, Special Award Conditions, or as an addendum to the solicitation, whenever assistance is awarded after vetting:
• Recipient Vetting After Award: Recipients shall advise the Grants Officer of any changes in personnel listed in the DS Form 4184, Risk Analysis Information, and shall provide vetting information on new individuals. The government reserves the right to vet these personnel changes and to terminate assistance awards for convenience based on vetting results.
XII. Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:
• As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity. Subrecipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the subrecipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement.
The Recipient shall state in all appropriate publications and printed descriptions, including press releases, annual reports and financial statements, that activities conducted under this agreement are financed by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The Recipient shall also comply with the “Style Guidelines for Resettlement Support Centers” dated April 2, 2012. Exemptions from this branding and marking requirement may be allowable but must be agreed to in writing by the Bureau. In the event the recipient does not comply with the branding and marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action.
XIII. 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. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.
PRM Program Officer: Sumi Siram, 202-453-9250, SiramS@state.gov, Washington, D.C.
The following attachments are available on www.grants.gov under this funding opportunity announcement:
A. Required Information
B. Budget Preparation Instructions
C. WRAPS Requirements
D. Sample Budget Format