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NIFA Publishes Interim Rule (7 CFR Part 3430)

On August 1, 2008, NIFA published an interim rule (in the Federal Register) establishing uniform administrative provisions for all competitive and noncompetitive grant programs with the exception of the Small Business Innovation Research Program and formula grant programs. Although this interim regulation became effective on August 1, 2008, NIFA is requesting comments on or before October 30, 2008. Subparts A through E of the interim rule support Federal initiatives to streamline and standardize all Federal assistance processes. This interim regulation codifies NIFA grant policies and procedures and business practices that it sought to standardize and streamline with other Federal grant-making agencies in response to various laws, regulations, and Presidential, Departmental, and Agency directives and initiatives. 7 CFR Part 3430 addresses policies and procedures that may conflict with Federal government-wide or Departmental assistance regulations due to statutory requirements, authorizing legislation, or when the Federal regulations provide discretion to the Agency.

Subpart F addresses program-specific regulations for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Subparts F and thereafter apply to specific NIFA programs and are organized in the following groups: Research programs (i.e., programs with a predominantly research focus), education and multicultural programs, extension programs, integrated programs (i.e., programs that statutorily require the integration of two or more components – research, education, and extension), and other programs. NIFA is, to the extent practical, using the following template for each program authority: (1) applicability of regulations, (2) purpose, (3) eligibility, (4) definitions specific to the program identified in the subpart, (5) project types and priorities, (6) funding restrictions (including indirect costs), and (7) matching. Additional sections may be added for a specific program if there is additional requirements or a need for additional rules for the program (e.g., additional reporting requirements).