U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 24, 2023
(a) General. Panel Grants awarded will be made from amounts appropriated for grants under any provision of section 306(a) of the CONACT (7 U.S.C 1926(a)), not to exceed $100,000 annually to each eligible State. This section outlines Rural Development's policies and authorizations and sets forth procedures for making grants to designated States for administrative costs associated with a State rural economic development review panel.
(b) Objective. The objective of the Panel Grant program is to make grant funds available annually to each designated State to use for administrative costs associated with the State rural economic development review panels meeting requirements of § 1940.956 of this subpart.
(c) Authorities, delegations, and redelegations. The State Director is responsible for implementing the authorities in this section and to issue State supplements redelegating these authorities to appropriate Rural Development employees. Grant approval authorities are contained in subpart A of part 1901 of this chapter.
(d) Joint funds. Rural Development grant funds may be used jointly with funds furnished by the grantee or grants from other sources.
(e) Eligibility. A State designated by the Under Secretary to participate in this program is eligible to receive not more than $100,000 annually under this section. A State must become and remain an eligible State in order to receive funds under this section.
(f) Purpose. Panel Grant funds may be used to pay for reasonable administrative costs associated with the panel, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Travel and lodging expenses;
(2) Salaries for State coordinator and support staff;
(3) Reasonable fees and charges for professional services necessary for establishing or organizing the panel. Services must be provided by individuals licensed in accordance with appropriate State accreditation associations;
(4) Office supplies, and
(5) Other costs that may be necessary for panel operations.
(g) Limitations. Grant funds will not be used to:
(1) Pay costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant authorized under this subpart;
(2) Recruit preapplications/applications for any designated rural development loan or grant program or any loan or grant program;
(3) Duplicate activities associated with normal execution of any panel member's occupation;
(4) Fund political activities;
(5) Pay costs associated with preparing area development plans;
(6) Pay for capital assets; purchase real estate, equipment or vehicles; rent, improve, or renovate office space; or repair and maintain State or privately owned property;
(7) Pay salaries to panel members; or
(8) Pay per diem or otherwise reimburse panel members unless distance traveled exceed 50 miles.
(h) Other considerations—(1) Equal opportunity requirements. Grants made under this subpart are subject to title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as outlined in subpart E of part 1901 of this chapter.
(2) Environmental review requirements. Grants made under this subpart must comply with the environmental review requirements in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970.
(3) Management assistance. Grantees will be provided management assistance as necessary to assure that grant funds are used for eligible purposes for the successful operation of the panel. Grants made under this subpart will be administered under and are subject to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations in 2 CFR parts 416 and 417, as appropriate.
(4) Drug-free work place. The State must provide for a drug-free workplace in accordance with the requirements of RD Instruction 1940–M (available in any Rural Development office). Just prior to grant approval, the State must prepare and sign Form AD–1049, “Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants) Alternative I—For Grantees Other Than Individuals.”
(i) Application processing. (1) The State Director shall assist the State in application assembly and processing. Processing requirements should be discussed during an application conference.
(2) After the Governor has been notified that the State has been designated to participate in this program and the State has met all eligibility requirements of this subpart, the State may file an original and one copy of SF 424.1 with the State Director. The following information will be included with the application:
(i) State's financial or in-kind resources, if applicable, that will maximize the use of Panel Grant funds;
(ii) Proposed budget. The financial budget that is part of SF 424.1 may be used, if sufficient, for all panel income and expense categories;
(iii) Estimated breakdown of costs, including costs to be funded by the grantee or from other sources;
(iv) Financial management system in place or proposed. The system will account for grant funds in accordance with State laws and procedures for expending and accounting for its own funds. Fiscal control and accounting procedures of the State must be sufficient to permit preparation of reports required by Federal regulations and permit the tracing of funds to a level of expenditures adequate to establish that grant funds are used solely for authorized purposes;
(v) Method to evaluate panel activities and determine if objectives are met;
(vi) Proposed Scope-of-Work detailing activities associated with the panel and time frames for completion of each task, and
(vii) Other information that may be needed by Rural Development to make a grant award determination.
(3) The applicable provisions of § 1942.5 of subpart A of part 1942 of this chapter relating to preparation of loan dockets will be followed in preparing grant dockets. The docket will include at least the following:
(i) Form RD 400–4, “Assurance Agreement;”
(ii) Scope-of-work prepared by the applicant and approved by Rural Development;
(iii) Form RD 1940–1, “Request for Obligation of Funds,” with exhibit A, and
(iv) Certification regarding a drug-free workplace in accordance with RD Instruction 1940–M (available in any Rural Development office).
(j) Grant approval, obligation of funds, and grant closing. (1) The State Director will review the application and other documents to determine whether the proposal complies with this subpart.
(2) Exhibit A of this subpart (available from any Rural Development State Office) shall be attached to and become a permanent part of Form RD 1940–1 and the following paragraphs will appear in the comment section of that form:
The Grantee understands the requirements for receipt of funds under the Panel Grant program. The Grantee assures and certifies that it is in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and other generally applicable requirements, including those set out in 7 CFR, part 1940, subpart T, and 7 CFR, parts 3016 and 3017, including revisions through ______ (date of grant approval). The Grantee further agrees to use grant funds for the purposes outlined in the Scope-of-Work approved by Rural Development. Exhibit A is incorporated as a part hereof.
(3) Grants will be approved and obligated in accordance with the applicable parts of § 1942.5(d) of subpart A of part 1942 of this chapter.
(4) An executed copy of the Scope-of-Work will be sent to the State coordinator on the obligation date, along with a copy of Form RD 1940–1 and the required exhibit. Rural Development will retain the original of Form RD 1940–1 and the exhibit.
(5) Grants will be closed in accordance with the applicable parts of subpart A of part 1942 of this chapter, including § 1942.7. The grant is considered closed on the obligation date.
(6) A copy of Form RD 1940–1, with the required exhibit, and the Scope-of-Work will be submitted to the National Office when funds are obligated.
(7) If the grant is not approved, the State coordinator will be notified in writing of the reason(s) for rejection. The notification will state that a review of the decision by Rural Development may be requested by the State under subpart B of part 1900 of this chapter.
(k) Fund disbursement. Grant funds will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis. Requests for funds should not exceed one advance every 30 days. The financial management system of the State shall provide for effective control and accountability of all funds, property, and assets.
(1) SF 270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement,” will be completed by the State coordinator and submitted to the State Director not more frequently than monthly.
(2) Upon receipt of a properly completed SF 270, the State Director will request funds through the Automated Discrepancy Processing System. Ordinarily, payment will be made within 30 days after receipt of a properly prepared request for reimbursement.
(3) States are encouraged to use minority banks (a bank which is owned by at least 50 percent minority group members) for the deposit and disbursement of funds. A list of minority owned banks can be obtained from the Office of Minority Business Enterprises, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230.
(l) Title. Title to supplies acquired under this grant will vest, upon acquisition, in the State. If there is a residual inventory of unused supplies exceeding $5,000 in total aggregate fair market value upon termination or completion of the grant awarded, and if the supplies are not needed for any other federally sponsored programs, the State shall compensate Rural Development for its share.
(m) Costs. Costs incurred under this grant program are subject to cost principles established in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E.
(n) Budget changes. Rebudgeting within the approval direct cost categories to meet unanticipated requirements which do not exceed 10 percent of the current total approved budget shall be permitted. The State shall obtain prior approval from the State Director for any revisions which result in the need for additional funding.
(o) Programmatic changes. The State shall obtain prior written approval from the State Director for any change to the scope or objectives for which the grant was approved or for contracting out or otherwise obtaining services of a third party to perform activities which are central to the purposes of the grant. Failure to obtain prior approval of changes to the scope can result in suspension or termination of grant funds.
(p) Financial reporting. SF 269, “Financial Status Report,” and a Project Performance Report are required on a quarterly basis. The reports will be submitted to the State Director not later than 30 days after the end of each quarter. A final SF 269 and Project Performance Report shall be due 90 days after the expiration or termination of grant support. The final report may serve as the last quarterly report. The State coordinator will constantly monitor performance to ensure that time schedules are met, projected work by time periods is accomplished, and other performance objectives are achieved. Program outlays and income will be reported on an accrual basis. Project Performance Reports shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives established for that period;
(2) Reasons why established objectives were not met;
(3) Problems, delays, or adverse conditions which will affect the ability to meet the objectives of the grant during established time periods. This disclosure must include a statement of the action taken or planned to resolve the situation; and
(4) Objectives and timetable established for the next reporting period.
(q) Audit requirements. Audit reports will be prepared and submitted in accordance with § 1942.17(q)(4) of subpart A of part 1942 of this chapter. The audit requirements only apply to the year(s) in which grant funds are received. Audits must be prepared in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards using publication, “Standards for Audits of Governmental Organizations, Programs, Activities and Functions.”
(r) Grant cancellation. Grants which have been approved and funds obligated may be cancelled by the grant approval official in accordance with § 1942.12 of subpart A of part 1942 of this chapter. The State Director will notify the State coordinator that the grant has been cancelled.
(s) Grant servicing. Grants will be serviced in accordance with subparts E and O of part 1951 of this chapter.
(t) Subsequent grants. Subsequent grants will be processed in accordance with the requirements of this subpart for each additional time period a State is designated to participate in this program.