Title: Fish and Wildlife Service logo - Description: Fish and wildlife service logo

516 FW 6
Issuing Discretionary Grant and Cooperative Agreement Awards without Competition

Supersedes 516 FW 6, 01/16/14

Date: March 10, 2020

Series: Federal Financial Assistance

Part 516: FWS Financial Assistance – Award Administration

Originating Office: Office of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topics

Sections

Overview

6.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

6.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

6.3 What is the overall policy?

6.4 What is the authority for this chapter?

6.5 What is a single source award?

Responsibilities

6.6 Who is responsible for decisions related to issuing single source awards?

Issuing a Single Source Award

6.7 What criteria must programs use to determine if they can make a single source award?

6.8 What are the requirements when the Service issues a single source award?

 

OVERVIEW

 

6.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This policy provides the information necessary for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employees working with grant and cooperative agreement awards to justify and document issuing discretionary awards without engaging in competition (i.e., single source awards).

 

6.2 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter:

 

A. Covers all Service programs that administer and manage discretionary grant and cooperative agreement awards. A discretionary award is a grant or cooperative agreement for which we may:

 

(1) Select the award recipient from among all eligible applicants,

 

(2) Decide to make or not to make an award based on the content of an application, and

 

(3) Decide the amount of funding to be awarded.

 

B. Does not apply to awards made under mandatory programs. Under a mandatory program, the authorizing statute requires us to make an award to each eligible entity under the conditions and in the amount or based on the formula specified in the statute. Table 6-1 lists the Service’s mandatory programs by Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number.

 

Table 6-1: The Service’s Mandatory Financial Assistance Programs

CFDA Number

Program Title

Award Type

15.605

Sport Fish Restoration Program

Formula Grants

15.611

Wildlife Restoration and Basic Hunter Education

Formula Grants

15.625

Wildlife Conservation and Restoration

Formula Grants

15.626

Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety Program

Formula Grants

15.634

State Wildlife Grants (this program also has a discretionary portion, to which this policy applies)

Formula Grants

15.659

National Wildlife Refuge Fund (Refuge Revenue Sharing)

Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use

 

6.3 What is the overall policy? We may issue single source awards only when at least one of the criteria in Table 6-3 is met.

 

6.4 What is the authority for this chapter? The authority for this chapter is the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200).

6.5 What is a single source award? A single source award means a discretionary financial assistance award that we give to a known entity without engaging in competition because it is appropriate based on the entity or the project meeting at least one of the criteria in Table 6-3.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

6.6 Who is responsible for decisions related to issuing single source awards? See Table 6-2.

 

Table 6-2: Responsibilities for Single Source Awards

These employees . . .

Are responsible for . . .

A. The Director

Making sure the Service has effective policy in place for issuing discretionary grants and cooperative agreements without competition.

B. The Assistant Director – Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (AD - WSFR), through the Division of Financial Assistance Support and Oversight (FASO), Branch of Policy and Compliance

(1) Developing policy to maximize transparency when issuing discretionary grants and cooperative agreements without competition, and

 

(2) Overseeing Service implementation of the policy.

C. Directorate members in Headquarters and the Regions

(1) Making sure the programs for which they are responsible consistently follow the requirements in this policy, and

 

(2) Requesting a Solicitor’s review when necessary because of complexity, novelty, intellectual property issues, potential conflicts of interest, or other such concerns.


ISSUING A SINGLE SOURCE AWARD

 

6.7 What criteria must programs use to determine if they can make a single source award?

 

A. We must encourage competition when making grant and cooperative agreement awards, but we may issue single source awards when at least one of the criteria in Table 6-3 is met.

 

Table 6-3: Criteria for Issuing a Single Source Award

Criterion

Description

Unsolicited proposal

The proposed award is the result of an unsolicited assistance application that represents a unique or innovative idea, method, or approach that is not the subject of a current or planned contract or assistance award, but is found to be advantageous to the program objectives.

Continuation

The activity to be funded is necessary for the satisfactory completion of, or is a continuation of, an activity presently being funded, and holding a competition would have a significant adverse effect on continuing or completing the activity.

Legislative intent

The language in the applicable authorizing legislation or legislative history clearly indicates the intent of Congress to restrict award to a particular recipient or purpose.

Unique qualifications

The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based on a variety of demonstrable factors such as location; property ownership; voluntary support capacity; cost-sharing ability, if applicable; technical expertise; or other such unique qualifications.

Emergencies

Because of a compelling and unusual urgency, or substantial danger to health or safety, there is not enough time to follow adequate competitive procedures.

 

B. Decisions to award discretionary funds to a single source without engaging in competition:

 

(1) Must withstand scrutiny,

 

(2) Should protect the public interest, and

 

(3) Should be in line with management priorities, objectives, and statutory requirements.

 

6.8 What are the requirements when the Service issues a single source award? For every single source award, regardless of the amount, we must:

 

A. Complete FWS Form 3-2452, Determination for Issuing a Single Source Financial Assistance Award. The form must be signed by both a program representative and the employee with signature authority for the award to be issued (see 516 FW 3, Signature Authority for Grant and Cooperative Agreement Awards to determine if you have signature authority); and

 

B. Maintain the signed form in the official award file.

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. For more information about this website, contact Krista Bibb in the Policy and Regulations Branch (PRB), Division of Policy, Economics, Risk Management, and Analytics.

 

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