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Welcome to the Computer Security

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Note: this is an informal listing of questions and supplied answers. This does not supercede The Federal Register Notice. Also, the .pdf files listed are best viewed using Acrobat Reader 4.0, the files are viewable using an earlier version, but some features will not display (contains some special characters).

Question: Why was I not selected?
Answer: With 133 proposals received requesting nearly $75M against an availability of $5M it was a highly competitive selection process. Our funding only permitted us to fund nine proposals in FY01. All selections were made in accordance with the criteria and procedures outline in the April 13, 2001 Federal Register announcement.

Question: If I was not selected, will I be considered during the FY02 selection process?
Answer: Yes. In the June 8, 2001, Federal Register announcement we stated that, "Should NIST receive additional funding for the CIPGP in fiscal year 2002, NIST may use that funding for making additional awards to proposals evaluated under the fiscal year 2001 competition." NOTE: Only those applications that were complete and responsive to the FY 2001 competition will be considered for awards in FY 2002.

Question: Will I be notified?
Answer: The 9 award recipients have been notified. If you did not receive a FY 2001 award we will be sending a letter stating whether your proposal was rejected (because it was incomplete or non-responsive) or not selected.

Question: Can I change, amend or modify my proposal for FY 2002 consideration? Answer: No.

Question: I cannot make the deadline. Can I get an extension?
Answer: No. The schedules to review, approve, and commit funds for the program is extremely tight. All proposals must be received (not just postmarked) by the deadline.

Question: Is the evaluation process different for one-year proposals versus four-year proposals?
Answer: All proposals are evaluated against the same criteria and with the same process. However, the reviewers must be satisfied that each year of the grant, including the last, will produce valuable results. Since the IT field is changing rapidly, it may be hard to prove to the reviewers that the problem will not have been solved before the start of year 4. It is recommended that all proposals be targeted to the minimum amount of time necessary for the project.

Question: Do smaller proposals receive preference over large grants?
Answer: No. All proposals are evaluated and shall be selected in accordance with the criteria published in the Federal Register Notice dated April 13, 2001. However, a large proposal must have a proportionally larger effort and show the promise for proportionally greater progress. That is, a $1,000,000 proposal should be 10 times as valuable as a $100,000 proposal. It is recommended that all proposals be targeted to the minimum amount of funding necessary for the project.

Question: Are no-cost extensions possible?
Answer: Any grant award made by NIST will be subject to the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Non-Profit, and Commercial Organizations (15 CFR Part 14) or Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments (15 CFR Part 24). The post-award administrative guidelines related to no-cost extensions are found at 14.25(2) and 24.30(d). Generally, a one-time extension of up to 12 months after the date of expiration can be approved by the Grant Officer after certain conditions are met.

Question: How does this program differ from the previous Information Assurance programs sponsored by DoD?
Answer: The CIPGP is focussed upon commercial, not military, systems and on critical infrastructure issues. Most of the critical infrastructure is owned and managed by the private sector. CIPGP will focus on large-scale infrastructure networks.

Question: Are foreign entities eligible?
Answer: Provided that all other eligibility considerations are met, foreign entities are eligible. However, the research proposed must be applicable to the U.S. critical infrastructure protection issues. For example, foreign policy and regulatory issues would not be within scope of the program.

Question: How are intellectual property (IP) rights handled?
Answer: Applicants should review regulations applicable to most Federal grants, codified in the Commerce Department at 15 CFR Sec. 14.36, which establishes intellectual property requirements for recipients of grants and cooperative agreements. In addition, applicants should review 37 CFR Part 401 that regulates grantee inventions.

The legal department for an applicant may contact the legal counsel at the NIST Grants Office for more specific information relating to special circumstances. They can be reached at 301-975-5035

Question: Are agencies of the federal government eligible?
Answer: No.

Question: Why are other federal agencies excluded?
Answer: The short answer is that the congressional directive is for a "grants" program, not a general mandate to support CIP. Grants and cooperative agreements are "financial assistance"--that is, Federal support for an activity will benefit the public. See 31 USC Sec. 6304-05. A Federal organization does not have legal authority to "augment" its appropriations with financial assistance from another Federal entity unless Congress has passed a law specifically stating that the entity is authorized to be eligible for a financial assistance program or programs.

In the case of CIP, the legal authority is the same authority that is applicable to all of the NIST labs, 15 USC Sec. 272(b) and (c). This authority does not authorize providing financial assistance to Federal entities.

Sometimes Federal entities mistakenly propose to participate in financial assistance programs under the authority of the Economy Act, 31 USC Sec. 1535. This law allows Federal agencies to purchase goods or services from other agencies under specified conditions. This is not an appropriate authority for financial assistance, however, because that law involves procuring goods or services. CIP is a financial assistance program, not a program that seeks to procure services for NIST. Thus, the Economy Act would not be an appropriate legal authority for Federal participation in CIP.

Question: Can Federal agencies participate as sub-contractors or partners?
Answer: If a Federal entity is not eligible to receive financial assistance, it is also not eligible as a subrecipient. The eligibility requirements for a recipient flow down to a subrecipient. Federal entities might be able to participate in other ways, however.

For example, a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, or other agreement in which each side bore its own costs might be appropriate, and would also provide the benefit of encouraging Federal technology transfer. As one Federal entity would not be providing funds to another, there is no possibility of an inappropriate augmentation of appropriations. In addition, some Federal entities have legal authority to charge for services performed (for example, Congress passed a law that allows NIST to charge for some calibration services). So, if a Federal entity had legal authority to charge for certain services, that might be an acceptable "subcontract" under a financial assistance award. This authority should be clearly identified in the proposal. It must be clear that the contract truly involved procurement and not fundamental work on the project, which would suggest that the agreement was really a subaward, even if someone titled it as a contract.

Question: Are commercial companies allowed to make a profit on these grants?
Answer: Profit is not customarily allowed in Federal grant and cooperative agreement programs. Grants and cooperative agreements are "financial assistance"-that is, the purpose of the arrangement is to provide Federal support for an activity that will benefit the public. See 31 USC Sec. 6304-05. In financial assistance, the Federal government ordinarily supports only the actual costs of fulfilling the project activities. In contrast, profit is customary in Federal procurement contracts, because the purpose of the arrangement is for a company to provide a service directly to the government. See 31 USC Sec. 6303.

Question: Where can I retrieve an electronic copy of OMB Circular A-102?
Answer: The web site for OMB Circulars for financial assistance is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/#circulars

Question: Where on the application forms do I actually describe the project?
Answer: You may attach up to 25 pages to SF 424 to completely describe the project, the facilities and resumes of the principal investigators if you chose to include everything. In this narrative, you should address all the pertinent issues as stated in the FRN.

Question: Where can we locate the Federal Domestic Assistance number for the CIGP? Is this the same as the docket number listed on the federal register notice?
Answer: The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number is 11.609 "Measurement and Engineering Research and Standards" for this program.

Question: Does Section D of Budget Form 424a forecast cash needs during performance or would that be N/A as Federal Funds for future project covers this? Or, is Section D for the current project year and Section E for future projects?
Answer: Section D of the 424A, Forecasted Cash of Current Needs, is for the 1st year of funding by quarter when a multi-year project is proposed. Section E of the 424A, Budget Estimate of Federal Funds Needed for Balance of the Project, is for the out years.

Question: Is Form CD-346, Application for Funding Assistance, filled out for key personnel or all personnel proposed to work on the grant, or for the company?
Answer: The Form CD-346 is to be completed for "key-personnel" of the applicant organization (i.e., Business Official and/or Institution Official) and is required for "commercial" and "non-profit organizations" only.

Question: Is Form CD-512 for the company and CD-346 for individuals only?
Answer: The CD-511 is the Certification for Debarment, Suspension & Other Responsibility Matters; Drug Free Workplace Requirements and Lobbying and must be signed by a person that can bind the applicant to the certifications. The CD-512 Form is the Lobbying Certification that also reflects Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion--Lower Tier Covered Transactions and Lobbying and is also signed by a person that can bind the applicant to the certifications. The Form CD-346 is to be completed for "key-personnel" of the applicant organization (i.e., Business Official and/or Institution Official) and is required for "commercial" and "non-profit organizations" only.

Question: Is there any preference for breaking the proposal into Technical/Management/Cost, or should this be Technical only, to make easier for evaluators to find criteria for evaluation, with no Management discussion.
Answer: We have no preference.

Question: What is the ideal start date from your point of view? When do the funds have to used by (i.e one year from date of approval, end of FY 2001 etc).
Answer: It is our intention that selected proposals would be awarded by September 30, 2001. The start date would then be somewhere around the end of September 2001. Once the Government, in an award document, obligates the CIPGP funding it is then available for expenditure until the end of the award period, which could be more than one year.

Question: From a practical point of view. What is a viable project size in a dollar amount and time span? I have read the RFP and it is not clear what moneys are really allocated for new grants. Would it be best to create a list of options around a central theme?
Answer: The project size in dollar amount and time span will vary depending on the scope of the technical proposal. The FR notice indicates the anticipated funding availability.

Question: Where can I find more information on the intellectual property (intangible property), and on patents/inventions?
Answer: Intangible property provisions can be found at 15 CFR Part 14, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Non-Profit, and Commercial Organizations. This reference can be found at http://www.doc.gov/oebam/cfr14.htm.

And patents/inventions are discussed on http://www.gpo.gov/su_docs CFR Title 37 Part 401.

Question: What is Federal Executive Order 12372?
Answer: Please see the following website http://www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/ptfp/Application/eo12372.html

Question: Is form SF-LLL required?
Answer: Form SF-LLL is only required if your organization has information to disclose on lobbying activities. The form can be found online at http://whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/#forms

Question: Does the 25-page limit include the budget?
Answer: No. The 25-page limit is only for the technical proposal portion that is attached as part of SF-424.

Last updated: March 27, 2014
Page created: February 23, 2001

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