55 FR 39234, Sept. 25, 1990, unless otherwise noted.
(a) This subpart of the regulation implements section 262(d)(1) (A) and (B) of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq.). This provision requires that project applications, selected for categorical assistance awards under part C - National Programs shall be selected through a competitive process established by rule by the Administrator, OJJDP. The statute specifies that this process must include announcement in the Federal Register of the availability of funds for assistance programs, the general criteria applicable to the selection of applications for assistance, and a description of the procedures applicable to the submission and review of assistance applications.
(b) This subpart of the regulation applies to all grant, cooperative agreement, and other assistance awards selected by the Administrator, OJJDP, or the Administrator's designee, under part C - National Programs, of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended, except as provided in the exceptions to applicability set forth below.
The following are assistance and procurement contract award situations that OJJDP considers to be outside the scope of the section 262(d)(1) competition requirement:
(a) Assistance awards to initially fund or continue projects if the Administrator has made a written determination that the proposed program is not within the scope of any program announcement expected to be issued, is otherwise eligible for an award, and the proposed project is of such outstanding merit, as determined through peer review under subpart B of this part, that an assistance award without competition is justified (section 262(d)(1)(B)(i));
(b) Assistance awards to initially fund or continue training services to be funded under part C, section 244, if the Administrator has made a written determination that the applicant is uniquely qualified to provide proposed training services and other qualified sources are not capable of providing such services (section 262(d)(1)(B)(ii));
(c) Assistance awards of funds transferred to OJJDP by another Federal agency to augment authorized juvenile justice programs, projects, or purposes;
(d) Funds transferred to other Federal agencies by OJJDP for program purposes as authorized by law;
(e) Procurement contract awards which are subject to applicable Federal laws and regulations governing the procurement of goods and services for the benefit and use of the government;
(f) Assistance awards from the 5% “set aside” of Special Emphasis funds under section 261(e); and
(g) Assistance awards under section 241(f).
(a) All individual project applications will, at a minimum, be subject to review based on the extent to which they meet the following general selection criteria:
(1) The problem to be addressed by the project is clearly stated;
(2) The objectives of the proposed project are clearly defined;
(3) The project design is sound and contains program elements directly linked to the achievement of project objectives;
(4) The project management structure is adequate to the successful conduct of the project;
(5) Organizational capability is demonstrated at a level sufficient to successfully support the project; and
(6) Budgeted costs are reasonable, allowable and cost effective for the activities proposed to be undertaken.
(b) The general selection criteria set forth under paragraph (a) of this section, may be supplemented for each announced competitive program by program-specific selection criteria for the particular part C program. Such announcements may also modify the general selection criteria to provide greater specificity or otherwise improve their applicability to a given program. The relative weight (point value) for each selection criterion will be specified in the program announcement.
(a) Applications for grants. Any applicant eligible for assistance may submit on or before such submission deadline date or dates as the Administrator may establish in program announcements, an application containing such pertinent information and in accordance with the forms and instructions as prescribed therein and any additional forms and instructions as may be specified by the Administrator. Such application shall be executed by the applicant or an official or representative of the applicant duly authorized to make such application and to assume on behalf of the applicant the obligations imposed by law, applicable regulations, and any additional terms and conditions of the assistance award. The Administrator may require any applicant eligible for assistance under this subpart to submit a preliminary proposal for review and approval prior to the acceptance of an application.
(b) Cooperative arrangements.
(1) When specified in program announcements, eligible parties may enter into cooperative arrangements with other eligible parties, including those in another State, and submit joint applications for assistance.
(2) A joint application made by two or more applicants for assistance may have separate budgets corresponding to the programs, services and activities performed by each of the joint applicants or may have a combined budget. If joint applications present separate budgets, the Administrator may make separate awards, or may award a single assistance award authorizing separate amounts for each of the joint applicants.
(c) Evaluation of applications submitted under part C of the Act. All applications filed in accordance with § 34.1 of this subpart for assistance with part C - National Programs funds shall be evaluated by the Administrator through OJJDP and other DOJ personnel (internal review) and by such experts or consultants required for this purpose that the Administrator determines are specially qualified in the particular part C program area covered by the announced program (peer review). Supplementary application review procedures, in addition to internal review and peer review, may be used for each competitive part C program announcement. The program announcement shall clearly state the application review procedures (peer review and other) to be used for each competitive part C program announcement.
(d) Applicant's performance on prior award. When the applicant has previously received an award from OJJDP or another Federal agency, the applicant's noncompliance with requirements applicable to such prior award as reflected in past written evaluation reports and memoranda on performance, and the completeness of required submissions, may be considered by the Administrator. In any case where the Administrator proposes to deny assistance based upon the applicant's noncompliance with requirements applicable to a prior award, the Administrator shall do so only after affording the applicant reasonable notice and an opportunity to rebut the proposed basis for denial of assistance.
(e) Applicant's fiscal integrity. Applicants must meet OJP standard of fiscal integrity (see OJP M 7100.1C, par. 24 and OJP HB 4500.2B, par. 48 a and b).
(f) Disposition of applications. On the basis of competition and applicable review procedures completed pursuant to this regulation, the Administrator will either:
(1) Approve the application for funding, in whole or in part, for such amount of funds, and subject to such conditions as the Administrator deems necessary or desirable for the completion of the approved project;
(2) Determine that the application is of acceptable quality for funding, in that it meets minimum criteria, but that the application must be disapproved for funding because it did not rank sufficiently high in relation to other applications approved for funding to qualify for an award based on the level of funding allocated to the program; or
(3) Reject the application for failure to meet the applicable selection criteria at a sufficiently high level to justify an award of funds, or for other reason which the Administrator deems compelling, as provided in the documentation of the funding decision.
(g) Notification of disposition. The Administrator will notify the applicant in writing of the disposition of the application. A signed Grant/Cooperative Agreement form will be issued to notify the applicant of an approved project application.
(h) Effective date of approved grant. Federal financial assistance is normally available only with respect to obligations incurred subsequent to the effective date of an approved assistance project. The effective date of the project will be set forth in the Grant/Cooperative Agreement form. Recipients may be reimbursed for costs resulting from obligations incurred before the effective date of the assistance award, if such costs are authorized by the Administrator in the notification of assistance award or subsequently in writing, and otherwise would be allowable as costs of the assistance award under applicable guidelines, regulations, and award terms and conditions.
(a) This subpart of the regulation implements section 262(d)(2) of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended. This provision requires that projects funded as new or continuation programs selected for categorical assistance awards under part C - National Programs shall be reviewed before selection and thereafter as appropriate through a formal peer review process. Such process must utilize experts (other than officials and employees of the Department of Justice) in fields related to the technical and/or subject matter of the proposed program.
(b) This subpart of the regulation applies to all applications for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance awards selected by the Administrator, OJJDP, for funding under part C - National Programs that are being considered for competitive and noncompetitive (including continuation) awards to begin new project periods, except as provided in the exceptions to applicability set forth below.
The assistance and procurement contract situations specified in § 34.2 (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of subpart A of this part are considered by OJJDP to be outside the scope of the section 262(d) peer review requirement as set forth in this subpart.
The OJJDP peer review process is contained in an OJJDP “Peer Review Guideline,” developed in consultation with the Directors and other appropriate officials of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health. In addition to specifying substantive and procedural matters related to the peer review process, the “Guideline” addresses such issues as standards of conduct, conflict of interest, compensation of peer reviewers, etc. The “Guideline” describes a process that evolves in accordance with experience and opportunities to effect improvements. The peer review process for all part C - National Programs assistance awards subject to this regulation will be conducted in a manner consistent with this subpart as implemented in the “Peer Review Guideline”.
Peer review means the technical and programmatic evaluation by a group of experts (other than officers and employees of the Department of Justice) qualified by training and experience to give expert advice, based on selection criteria established under subpart A of this part, in a program announcement, or as established by the Administrator, on the technical and programmatic merit of assistance.
(a) Peer review for competitive and noncompetitive applications.
(1) For competitive applications, each program announcement will indicate the program specific peer review procedures and selection criteria to be followed in peer review for that program. In the case of competitive programs for which a large number of applications is expected, preapplications (concept papers) may be required. Preapplications will be reviewed by qualified OJJDP staff to eliminate those pre-applications which fail to meet minimum program requirements, as specified in a program announcement, or clearly lack sufficient merit to qualify as potential candidates for funding consideration. The Administrator may subject both pre-applications and formal applications to the peer review process.
(2) For noncompetitive applications, the general selection criteria set forth under subpart A of this part may be supplemented by program specific selection criteria for the particular part C program. Applicants for noncompetitive continuation awards will be fully informed of any additional specific criteria in writing.
(b) When formal applications are required in response to a program announcement, an initial review will be conducted by qualified OJJDP staff, in order to eliminate from peer review consideration applications which do not meet minimum program requirements. Such requirements will be specified in the program announcement. Applications determined to be qualified and eligible for further consideration will then be considered under the peer review process.
(c) Ratings will be in the form of numerical scores assigned by individual peer reviewers as illustrated in the OJJDP “Peer Review Guideline.” The results of peer review under a competitive program will be a relative aggregate ranking of applications in the form of “Summary Ratings.” The results of peer review for a noncompetitive new or continuation project will be in the form of numerical scores based on criteria established by the Administrator.
(d) Peer review recommendations, in conjunction with the results of internal review and any necessary supplementary review, will assist the Administrator's consideration of competitive, noncompetitive, applications and selection of applications for funding.
(e) Peer review recommendations are advisory only and are binding on the Administrator only as provided by section 262(d)(B)(i) for noncompetitive assistance awards to programs determined through peer review not to be of such outstanding merit that an award without competition is justified. In such case, the determination of whether to issue a competitive program announcement will be subject to the exercise of the Administrator's discretion.
(a) For both competitive and noncompetitive applications, peer review will normally consist of written comments provided in response to the general selection criteria established under subpart A of this part and any program specific selection criteria identified in the program announcement or otherwise established by the Administrator, together with the assignment of numerical values. Peer review may be conducted at meetings with peer reviewers held under OJJDP oversight, through mail reviews, or a combination of both. When advisable, site visits may also be employed. The method of peer review anticipated for each announced competitive program, including the evaluation criteria to be used by peer reviewers, will be specified in each program announcement.
(b) When peer review is conducted through meetings, peer review panelists will be gathered together for instruction by OJJDP, including review of the OJJDP “Peer Review Guideline”. OJJDP will oversee the conduct of individual and group review sessions, as appropriate. When time or other factors preclude the convening of a peer review panel, mail reviews will be used. For competitive programs, mail reviews will be used only where the Administrator makes a written determination of necessity.
The number of peer reviewers will vary by program (as affected by the volume of applications anticipated or received). OJJDP will select a minimum of three peer reviewers (qualified individuals who are not officers or employees of the Department of Justice) for each program or project review in order to ensure a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. In no case will fewer than three reviews be made of each individual application.
OJJDP will use qualified OJJDP and other DOJ staff as internal reviewers. Internal reviewers determine applicant compliance with basic program and statutory requirements, review the results of peer review, and provide overall program evaluation and recommendations to the Administrator.
The Program Manager, through the Director of the OJJDP program division with responsibility for a particular program or project will propose a selection of peer reviewers from an extensive and varied pool of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention experts for approval by the Administrator. The selection process for peer reviewers is detailed in the OJJDP “Peer Review Guideline”.
The general reviewer qualification criteria to be used in the selection of peer reviewers are:
(a) Generalized knowledge of juvenile justice or related fields; and
(b) Specialized knowledge in areas or disciplines addressed by the applications to be reviewed under a particular program.
(c) Must not have a conflict of interest (see OJP M7100.1C, par. 94).
Additional details concerning peer reviewer qualifications are provided in the OJJDP “Peer Review Guideline”.
A technical support contractor may assist in managing the peer review process.
All peer reviewers will be eligible to be paid according to applicable regulations and policies concerning consulting fees and reimbursement for expenses. Detailed information is provided in the OJJDP “Peer Review Guideline”.