MDCP Cooperator Tools
|1.||Parts A1 and A2 of Performance Progress Report||Exports||60 days after the end of each calendar quarter||Federal program officer|
|2.||Part B of Performance Progress Report||Milestones specific to each project||60 days after the end of each calendar quarter||Federal program officer|
|3.||SF-425 available in Grants Online||60 days after the end of each quarter||Grants officer|
|4.||Reimbursement||Drawing down your award funds||As often as you request it||Grants officer|
|5.||Acknowledge ITA support||Prior to each proposed use||Federal program officer and ITA-MDCP team lead|
|6.||Commits U.S. firms participating in project activity||Prior to each project activity||Federal program officer and ITA-MDCP team lead|
|7.||Success stories||Helps ITA plan for each federal fiscal year||As often as wanted||Federal program officer and ITA-MDCP team lead|
|8.||Helps ITA plan for each federal fiscal year||Mid-August||Federal program officer and ITA-MDCP team lead|
|9.||Performance Report, final||One-time report in addition to the quarterly PPR||90 days after end of project period||Federal program officer and ITA-MDCP team lead|
|10.||Financial report, final||SF-424||90 days after end of project period||Grants officer|
|11.||Specific award conditions (SACs)||Stipulations at the beginning of the project||30-90 days after end of project period||Federal program officer|
|12.||Fly America Act waiver request||Request to use a non-U.S. carrier for air travel funded by federal or non-federal share (match)||As soon as practicable (3 weeks prior to travel if possible)||
Federal program officer
|13.||Excessive cash on hand||Email message from Grants Online||Sent only when there have been no reimbursements claimed for an extended time||
Federal program officer
|14.||Change in project director||Cooperator work assignment changes||As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period||
Federal program officer
|15.||Change key project personnel||As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period||
Federal program officer
|16.||Change in institution name||If legal name of the cooperator changes||As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period||
Federal program officer
|17.||No-cost extension to project period||May be extended to no more than seven (7) years total||As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period||
Federal program officer
|18.||Change in MDCP project scope||Example changes: industry focus, target markets||As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period||
Federal program officer
|19.||Reallocation Among Budget Categories||Exceed 10% of the total project budget||As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period||
Federal program officer
|20.||Reallocation Among Budget Categories||Are less than 10% of the total project budget||As soon as possible||
Federal program officer
|21.||Other changes||Anything not covered elsewhere above||As soon as possible||Coordinate with ITA-MDCP team leader and federal program officer|
Financial Assistance Management Resources for Cooperators
- For questions about particular events in your project work, contact your ITA-MDCP team leader.
- For larger questions about policy and process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Other contacts specific to financial assistance management are set forth below.
For questions about Grants Online
- Email GrantsOnline.HelpDesk@noaa.gov.
- Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday (federal work days) 8:00am - 6:00pm Eastern Time
For ASAP payment questions and all other questions about the financial management of your MDCP award
- Contact email@example.com and we will route your inquiry to the right place.
B. Financial Assistance Management Resources for Cooperators
- Roles in Grants Online: Cooperator roles are the 4 that begin “Recip” on right of table
- For a glossary of financial assistance-related acronyms, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
C. General Federal Regulations
On December 26, 2013, OMB published final guidance titled Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements (OMB Uniform Guidance), which streamlines the language from eight existing OMB circulars, including Cost Principles (OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A 122) and administrative requirements (OMB Circulars A-102 and A 110), into one consolidated set of guidance applicable to federal assistance awards.
The OMB Uniform Guidance supersedes DOC’s uniform administrative requirements set out at 15 C.F.R. parts 14 and 24. In accordance with the Federal Register notice published on December 19, 2014 (79 FR 75871) and the regulation at 2 C.F.R. 1327.101, the DOC adopted the OMB Uniform Guidance, codified at 2 C.F.R. Part 200, effective December 26, 2014, which means that the guidance applies to all new awards and to additional funding to existing awards made on or after December 26, 2014.
Performance Progress Reports (PPRs)
See the description of the three parts of the quarterly reports in the table below. Can’t find the report templates we gave you at orientation? Any of the following can find the templates on the ITA MDCP internal site and email them to you:
- Leader of your Federal MDCP Team
- Any ITA member of the Federal MDCP Team
- MDCP Director or other staff in ITA/I&A/OIE (email@example.com)
Each cooperator always completes Part B. If your project includes export-development work, you should always complete Part A1. Complete Part A2 only if you have exports to report. Once completed, attach completed report parts in response to your “Submit Performance Progress Report” in GrantsOnline. Here are detailed instructions for submitting reports in GrantsOnline. Due within 60 days of the end of each calendar quarter.
Don’t forget to SUBMIT after you have attached your report in GrantsOnline.
|Submit if your project includes export-development activities for U.S. firms. If you are focused exclusively on trade barrier work, you do NOT need to submit.||
Report number of Success Agreements signed by firms committed to participate in project activities. Estimate future exports.
|Only if you have exports to report.||
(customized template for each cooperator)
|Yes. Every quarter.||
These are project-specific milestones.
Final Performance Report
The final report is due 90 days after the award period ends. There is no prescribed form but please limit it to two pages. There is no need to include the detailed information submitted over the course of the project period. Focus on trends, accomplishments, highlights, how ITA can do better, and what you might do differently.
ITA Emblem Use
Each cooperator must acknowledge its MDCP partnership by using the ITA emblem. ITA’s MDCP Director has delegated authority from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration and Transactions to review and approve each proposed use of the ITA emblem. The criteria for approval of use of the ITA emblem are set forth in Department Administrative Order (DAO) 201-1, Section 5.04.a. The review process outlined in DAO 201-1, Section 5.04.b is accomplished by the cooperator sending to its ITA MDCP project team leader and to the MDCP Director a proof of the proposed use. The MDCP Director decides whether or not the proposed use is approved and informs the cooperator.
Get an emblem file
Request an electronic file (png or jpg) to use in creating content at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of the ITA emblem is a graphic reminder that the project is backed by a partnership with ITA. The easiest and often the most appropriate way to indicate a cooperator’s MDCP partnership with ITA is to include the ITA emblem in a suitable place on the cooperator’s website, on printed programs, in promotional material, and in emails. The ITA emblem should never be more prominent than the cooperator’s logo. Use electronic versions of the ITA emblem and refer to the Graphics Standards Manual for more detailed guidance.
Note that for MDCP acknowledgment ITA authorizes only the use of the ITA emblem. Do not use the Commerce Department seal. The seal is already incorporated into the ITA emblem.
U.S. Commercial Service Logo Use
The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) is part ITA’s Global Markets business unit. Most MDCP activities are supported by CS; therefore, use of the CS logo can be used in conjunction with the ITA emblem. Acknowledgment of MDCP support always includes the ITA emblem and may include the CS logo. Please note:
- Use of the CS logo alone never constitutes appropriate acknowledgment of MDCP support. It must be used along with the ITA emblem.
- If the ITA emblem and CS logo are used together, the ITA emblem must be at least as prominent if not more prominent than the CS logo.
- Permission to use the CS logo is granted by a CS member of the ITA team for the cooperator’s project.
Emblem Use After Completion of MDCP Project
Only MDCP award recipients that have an active MDCP award may use the ITA emblem. After the project period ends a cooperator:
- Must remove the ITA emblem from all virtual content such as internet pages on website
- No longer has permission to use the ITA emblem based on the MDCP cooperative agreement
No permission needed for post-MDCP-project acknowledgment
It is an honor to be selected to receive an MDCP. Examples of post-MDCP project-period acknowledgment are provided below. Any wording that is the spirit of these examples is appropriate and encouraged. Prior approval from ITA is not required for any of the statements below or similar statements.
- [Cooperator] is a [insert year] recipient of MDCP financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration
- The [ name ] project was launched in [insert year] in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration
- [Cooperator] is one of five recipients in [insert year] of a Market Development Cooperator Program award from the International Trade Administration
Emblem Use Outside of MDCP Context
Any organization, whether or not it is a former MDCP cooperator, may request permission to use the ITA emblem. Such permission must be requested for each proposed use. On a case-by-case basis ITA reviews each request and determines whether it meets the requirements for such use.
Linking to Trade.gov
It is appropriate to link or print the link any time that a visit to https://www.trade.gov could be relevant to the audience.
The majority of MDCP projects include events in which U.S. firms that seek to export participate. When recruiting firms for such events a cooparator should use a success agreement. Use the table below as a guide for drafting a success agreement. Each U.S. company participating in MDCP export development activity should sign a success agreement as a condition of participating in project activity. An example success agreement is included in a mock application that you can request from email@example.com.
|Benefits to a U.S. company of participating in MDCP project activity||
WILL BE SPECIFIC TO YOUR PROJECT ACTIVITY:
Most cooperators create a benefits section of the success agreement that is unique to each distinct event or activity. What you include will depend on the specifics of your project.
|Pledge to report export success||
MAY VARY BUT MUST INCLUDE LANGUAGE SIMILAR TO THIS:
Reporting your success. Our partner, ITA, needs to be able to show that its financial assistance is a worthwhile investment of U.S. tax dollars. So, as a condition of benefiting from this project, you agree to report as set forth below.
|U.S. company and U.S. product affirmation||
I certify that I am, that my company is, or that I or my company represents:
AND I am, my company is, or the entity I or my company represents is, exporting, or seeks to export goods or services produced in the United States, or goods or services that contain at least 51 percent U.S. content.
I understand that this certification is a requirement to participate in the MDCP project activity described above and that an intentionally false certification may result in termination of participation in such activity. Information provided to the International Trade Administration (ITA) is intended solely for internal use.
ITA will protect business confidential information to the full extent permitted by law and Administration policy. U.S. law prohibits U.S. government employees from disclosing trade secrets.
Fiscal Year Operating Plan
Each July and August during the award period, the project team formulates an operating plan based on the work plan submitted in the application. The plan identifies:
- Projected dates
- Team responsibilities, and
- Rough cost estimates for each event and ongoing activity scheduled during the fiscal year (October through September).
Applicants do not submit fiscal year operating plans in their applications. These are developed only after receipt of an award and designation of the project team. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an example operating plan to use as a template.
- Cooperator provides ROUGH estimate of the value of major workplan items
- List of the three to ten most significant activities or other project undertakings planned for the federal fiscal year.
Very rough estimate of the total value of the MDCP project budget to be devoted to each item.
Approximate the portion of the total MDCP project budget (award, cash match, in-kind match, and indirect costs) that will be devoted to each item. The estimate NEED NOT TRACE to cooperator’s detailed project budget. The rough estimate is NOT used by or submitted to the Grants Management Division. The rough estimate is used only by ITA to gage the magnitude of cooperator effort against the amount of administrative support funds that ITA will apportion internally. It need not match to quarterly financial reports or award draw downs.
Cooperators should not overwork this rough estimate. Depending on the size of the project budget, rounding to the nearest $5,000 or $10,000 is probably accurate enough.
Federal team estimates cost of its participation which may include:
Travel cost of any federal team member to participate in cooperator project activity
Cost of other research, trade press subscriptions, etc. needed to support the project.
- Federal team does not include cost of Gold Key or other CS products.
- Once exception: Market research report commissioned by CS.
- Federal team maintains principle of mutual benefit
- The administrative funds that pay for resources for the ITA team to support project activities and undertakings may be used only to pay the cost of resources that benefit both the cooperator’s project and the ITA team.
- The ITA MDCP team leader submits the plan to the MDCP Director by August 31. The MDCP Director considers the competing needs of all active cooperator projects and recommends an allocation of administrative funds to be used by each ITA MDCP team.
Special Award Conditions
Each MDCP award is subject to Standard Terms and Conditions. These are “standard” because they apply generally to all grants and cooperative agreement made by the Department of Commerce. They are part of the award package summarized on form CD-450, available to a cooperator on Grants Online. By contrast, Specific Award Conditions (SACs) are stipulations that are not standard for recipients of Department of Commerce financial assistance awards. SACs may be specific to all MDCP awards, but may also be specific to just one particular MDCP award.
SACs often require that the award recipient (cooperator) certify that the SAC has beeen satisfied. Here’s how to do this in Grants Online:
- Select the action Create Award Action Request
- Choose the link Satisfy Special Award Condition
- Choose the SAC that you are requesting to satisfy
- Input data into the description box; save
- Attach any supporting documents with the request
- Save and start workflow and forward to agency for review.
If you need help, see Financial Assistance Management Resources, to identify a grants specialist from NOAA assigned to support MDCP.
Fly America Act Waiver Requests
For travel that is funded by the federal share (your MDCP award) or the non-federal share (match) of the project budget, you must comply with the provisions of the Fly America Act. When this is not possible of practicable, you can request a waiver through Grants Online. Before you do so, first run it by the MDCP Director. Refer to the summary of allowable waiver reasons below.
|Allowable Waivers||Description||Justification/ Documentation|
|U.S. flag carrier service not available||
1. U.S. carrier involuntarily re-routes traveler on a foreign carrier.
2. No U.S. carrier serves a particular leg of the trip.
1. Attach carrier/travel agent document.
2. Attach search results showing that no U.S. carriers serve destination(s) in the leg of the trip.
|Increased travel time||
1. When the flight from origin to destination airport by a foreign carrier is 3 hours or less and:
a. Use of U.S. carrier extends travel by 6 hours or more, or
b. Use of U.S. carrier doubles travel time.
2. Air travel beteern U.S. gateway airport & foreign gateway airport and use of nonstop U.S. carrier extends travel by 24 hours or more.
Attach earch results (Kayak, Expedia, etc.):
-Limit search parameters to date/time when travels needs to be completed.
-Do not limit search parameters to non-stop flights.
-Priority sort by time, not by price.
-Include all search result screens.
-For any/all U.S. carriers that show search results, explain why such flighes cannot be used. (Hand-written notes on search reslults really help! For example, “increases travel time by more than 6 hrs.”)
|Bad foreign connections||
Use of U.S. carrier:
- Increases plan changes outside the United States by 2 or more.
- Has 4 hours or more at foreign interchange point.
Same as for “incresased travel time” above.
|Use of a foreign carrier is a “a matter of necessity” because:||
1. U.S. carrier cannot provie needed transportation:
a. For medical reasons
b. To avoid unreasonable risk to traveler’s safety
c. Seat in authorized class of service is available on foreign carrier
d. Other reasons U.S. carrier cannot provide transportation
2. Use of U.S. carrier will not accomplish the U.S. Department of Commerce’s mission.
1.a. & b.: Explain/document:
- Medical condition
- U.S. Govt. travel advisory
1.c. Attach carrier/travel agent document
1.d.& 2. Explain/document (Convenience of traveler and cost are not valid justifications.)
|Bi- or multi-lateral agreement with foreign carrier’s flag nation||Travel aboard carriers flagged in the countries below is treated the same as if it were travel on a U.S. flag carrier: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, or the European Union.||Explain that the travel will be on a carrier from one of the approved countries with a bi- or multi-lateral agreement with the United States.|
|No U.S. air travel segments.||Applies to travelers with a home duty sttion or place of work that is considered to be a foreign location.||Explain that the traveler is based abroad, not in the United States.|
“Excessive Cash on Hand” Message from GrantsOnline
Reason 1. for Receiving Message: Award Advance Remainder After 30 Days
As an award recipient, if you receive your MDCP award funds as an advance, you must spend such funds and claim the federal and non-federal share in GrantsOnline within 30 days. If you ever have over $5,000 of federal award funds after 30 days, GrantsOnline will send you this message to remind you that this is not permitted. This rule prevents recipients of federal financial assistance from earning substantial interest on federal award dollars.
If this accurately describes your situation, contact a the grants specialist identified on the Financial Assistance Management page to learn what action to take. It will probably include providing a written explanation on line 12 of your quarterly financial report.
Reason 2. for Receiving Message: Slow Draw-Down of Award Funds
Even if you draw down your award funds by reimbursement rather than by advance, you still may receive an “excessive cash on hand” message. GrantsOnline automatically checks to see how long it has been since the end of the last quarter that you have requested reimbursement for project activity expenses. If it has been more than several weeks, GrantsOnline with generate an “excessive cash on hand” message. bout your MDCP project should always be directed first to your ITA-MDCP team leader.
In such case, you can address the situation by emailing an explanation to the grants specialist and copying the MDCP director, who acts as the federal program officer. One or a combination of explanations below are likely to suffice for most MDCP projects. “Our draw-down of award funds has been delayed because…”
- The [name of event] listed in our work plan was postponed
- A staffing change temporarily interrupted personnel expense that we planned to charge as we had anticipated in our project budget
- A change in contractor temporarily interrupted contractual expense that we planned to charge as we had anticipated in our project budget
- The ITA-approved MDCP project work plan includes periods of time like the one at issue during which project expenses are too low to warrant a request for reimbursement or advance
- ITA has agreed that it would be better to participate in the [name of recurring event] during the next cycle [year, quarter, etc.] rather than the current cycle
A less timely alternative than the email suggested above will be to include an explanation such as one or more of those listed above on line 12 of your quarterly financial report.
Claim indirect costs as part of your required match
As an applicant, for every dollar of MDCP financial assistance, you must put up two dollars. But you can claim indirect costs as part of this required match. And you do not need an approved indirect cost rate to do it. Every applicant claims the same 10% of their direct costs. See the table for an example.
How to include indirect costs in an MDCP project budget
First, calculate direct costs. Then apply the indirect cost rate to the total direct costs. Take the amount that results and include it as part of the cash match. See the example below. When you are ready to create an MDCP application for funding, ask us at MDCP@trade.gov for an electronic spreadsheet to use to create a more detailed indirect cost allocation suitable for including in your application budget.
|Direct-subtotal||150,000||260,000||410,000 * 10% = 41,000|
|Total||150,000||301,000||Note that indirect costs are included in non-federal share (match)|
ITA policy on MDCP project indirect costs
The indirect cost rate is the ratio, expressed as a percentage, of an organization’s total indirect costs (numerator) to its direct cost base (denominator). ITA has an agency approved 10 percent indirect cost rate for MDCP awards. This rate is the same percent as the de minimis rate discussed in 2 C.F.R. §200.414. The 10 percent rate is used by all MDCP award recipients even if they have a negotiated indirect cost rate with the Department of Commerce or any other cognizant agency. Indirect costs constitute part of the cash match. Indirect costs are included in the budget by multiplying the 10 percent indirect cost rate by the total direct costs of the project.