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Market Development Cooperator Program
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MDCP Cooperator Tools

The table below summarizes tasks that recur or occur during the course of all or most multi-year MDCP projects. They are listed below in descending order of frequency/likelihood.

Common Cooperator Tasks - At a Glance

* The federal program officer is the MDCP director.

No. Item Explanation When Approval/Concurrence*
1. Performance Progress Report Parts A1 and A2  Exports 60 days after the end of each calendar quarter Federal program officer
2. Performance Progress Report Part B Milestones specific to each project 60 days after the end of each calendar quarter Federal program officer
3. Financial Report SF-425 available in Grants Online 30 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.  Co-Branding Acknowledge ITA support Prior to each proposed use Federal program officer and ITA-MDCP team lead
6. Success Agreement 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. Operating Plan 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

Grants 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

Grants 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

Grants officer

15. Change key project personnel Any changes to the cooperator’s MDCP team or top leadership. As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period

Federal program officer

Grants 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

Grants officer

17. No-cost extension to project period May be extended to no more than five (5) years total As soon as possible but not later than 30 days prior to the end of the award period

Federal program officer

Grants 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

Grants 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

Grants officer

20. Reallocation Among Budget Categories Are less than 10% of the total project budget As soon as possible

Federal program officer

Grants office

21. Other changes Anything not covered elsewhere above As soon as possible Coordinate with ITA-MDCP team leader and federal program officer

** See the separate section “Budget: Why and How to Amend.”

 

Financial Assistance Management Resources for Cooperators

A. Contact

General Questions

  • For questions about particular events in your project work, contact your ITA-MDCP team leader.
  • For larger questions about policy and process, contact mdcp@trade.gov.
  • Other contacts specific to financial assistance management are set forth below.

For questions about Grants Online

For ASAP payment questions and all other questions about the financial management of your MDCP award

  • Contact mdcp@trade.gov 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 mdcp@trade.gov.

C. General Federal Regulations 

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 (mdcp@trade.go)

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.

Quarterly Project Progress Reports (PPRs)

Part Required? Description Status

A 1

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.

 

PUBLIC

A 2

Only if you have exports to report.

Exports generated.

PRIVILEGED-NOT PUBLIC

B

(customized template for each cooperator)

 

Yes. Every quarter.

 

These are project-specific milestones. 

PUBLIC

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 mdcp@trade.gov.

The emblem comes in two configurations: stacked or horiontal. Each of these has several variations: black on white, blue on white, white on blue, white on blank, blue on blank. And they usually come in both jpg and png formats. Just ask for them and we’ll send a full complement for you to use in your graphic designs.

Global Credibility 

Use of the ITA emblem is a graphic reminder that the project is backed by a partnership with ITA. 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, in emails, etc.. 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 as 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.

Success Agreements

Most MDCP projects include events in which U.S. companies 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. Find it at on the Application Worksheets page, Part B: Budget, Section 3, MDCP App Other Attachments. Contact us at mdcp@trade.gov if you have questions.

Section Text
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.

  1. Photographs and video. ITA or [name of cooperator] may arrange to take photographs or shoot video of project activity. ITA and [name of cooperator] will use such media to promote the project, to describe what progress has been made generally, and to promote MDCP generally. ITA will secure approval from individual companies before highlighting company-specific success or other activity.
  2. Sharing export results with ITA. Each quarter, as a participant, you report to [name of coopertor] the destination market, value, and brief description of each export and/or export-related developments that are generated, in whole or in part, by participating in this activity. If you prefer not to report this information to [name of cooperator], you may report it to an ITA official, who will not, in such case, divulge details of such individual sales to [name of cooperator].
  3. Confidentiality. ITA does not share your submitted export information publicly unless you specifically authorize it to do so.
  4. Public highlighting of your successes. If ITA wants to publicize any of your successes, it will always show you what it proposes to do and secure your express approval in writing.
U.S. company and U.S. product affirmation

MUST INCLUDE:

I certify that I am, that my company is, or that I or my company represents:

  • (a) a United States citizen;
  • (b) a corporation, partnership or other association created under the laws of the United States or of any State; or
  • (c) a foreign corporation, partnership, or other association, more than 95 percent of which is owned by persons described in (a) and (b) above;

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 August during the award period, the project team formulates an operating plan based on the work plan submitted in the application. The plan identifies:

  • Work items: Events and/or significant ongoing undertakings
  • Projected dates
  • Team responsibilities, and
  • Rough cost estimates for each work item during 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 mdcp@trade.gov to request an example operating plan to use as a template. Or ask your ITA-MDCP team lead.

  1. By Aug. 22: COOPERATOR provides a ROUGH estimate of the value of major workplan activities  
    • List 3-10 most significant work items 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. These NEED NOT TRACE to cooperator’s detailed project budget. The rough estimate is NOT used by or submitted to the Grants Management Division. ITA needs cooperator’s rough estimate to measure the magnitude of cooperator effort against internal ITA requests for support “admin” funds.

      Cooperators should not overwork this rough estimate. It need NOT reconcile to financial reports. Depending on the size of the project budget, rounding to the nearest $5,000 or $10,000 is probably accurate enough.

  2. By Sep. 6: 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.

  3. Federal team does not include cost of Gold Key or other CS products.
    • One exception: Market research report commissioned by CS.
  4. ​​​​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-led federal team.
  • The ITA MDCP team leader submits the plan to the MDCP Director by September 6. 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.    

Specific 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:

  1. Select the action Create Award Action Request
  2. Choose the link Satisfy Special Award Condition
  3. Choose the SAC that you are requesting to satisfy
  4. Input data into the description box; save
  5. Attach any supporting documents with the request
  6. 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. Or email the MDCP support team mdcp@trade.gov.

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

- Other

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.

 

Indirect cost effect on match
Category Fed Non-Fed Total Budget Notes/Calculations
Personnel 0 200,000 200,000  
Fringe 0 40,000 40,000  
Travel 50.000 20,000 70,000  
Contractual 100.000 0 100,000  
Supplies 0 0 0  
Equipment 0 0 0  
–––––- –––- –––— –––— –––––––––––
Direct-subtotal 150,000 260,000 410.000  410,000 * 10% = 41,000
Indirect costs   41,000   Indirect costs are included in non-federal share (match).
Total 150,000 301,000 451,000 For the non-federal share, cash match must at least equal the federal share. The rest of the non-federal share (match) can be either cash or in-kind contribution. In this example, total match must be at least $300,000, twice what the federal share is. All match in this example is cash.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Review a more detailed example of match requirements and indirect cost calculations, go to our Application Worksheets page, scroll down, and select Part B: Budget.

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. 

Match (non-federal share): Cash v in-kind

Each MDCP award dollar (federal share) must be matched on a 2-to-1 basis. The applicant must put up the first dollar of match. The second dollar of the match may include additional cash or in-kind contribution by the applicant. It may also include contribution by other organizations. All contributions for entities other than the award recipient are considerder to be in-kind. 

See the table below for an example based on the same MDCP budget example as that used in the discussion of indirect costs above.

I
Category Fed

Non-Fed Cash Match

Non-Fed In-Kind Match

Total Budget Notes/Calculations
Personnel 0 100,000 100,000[a] 200,000 [a] In this example, in-kind match is the air market value of time spent on project activity by an entity other than the award recipient (cooperator).
Fringe 0 20,000 20,000[b] 40,000 [b] In-kind fringe benefits portion of personnel cost described above.
Travel 50.000 11,000[c] 9,000[d] 70,000

[c] In this example, U.S. firms participating in project activity pay the cooperator $11,000 fees that include travel expenses. This is program income and is counted as cash match because it adds value to the project.

[d] In this example, an airline contributes $9,000 in complementary tickets to cover some of the project-related travel. It is in-kind.

Contractual 100.000 0 0 100,000  
Supplies 0 0 0 0  
Equipment 0 0 0 0  
––––––– ––––– –––—– –––— –––— –––––––––
Direct-subtotal 150,000 131,000 129,000 410,000  410,000 
Indirect costs   41,000[e]     [e] The cash portion of the match must be at least as great as the MDCP award, the federal share. This is the case in this example. The award is $150,000 and the cash match is $171,000 (130,000 + 41,000).
Total 150,000 302,000   451,000  
Reimbursement Ratio 33.26%[f]       [f] Federal share (award amount) divided by the total project cost (150,000 / 451/000). This means that, on average, for every $10,000 of budgeted project expendures of both cash and in-kind, the cooperator is reimbursed $3,326.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Review a more detailed example of match requirements and indirect cost calculations, go to our Application Worksheets page, scroll down, and select Part B: Budget.

Need a source of cash match? Claim program income if there is value added.

Program income expended on project activity may be counted as cash match if it represents value added by the cooperator for project activity. For example, a cooperator could claim as program income fees paid to it by the prospective exporter for technical seminar participation if these fees are paid in recognition of the value added by the cooperator’s project. In this example, the value could be evident in the technical-seminar participation package that the cooperator creates. This might include organizing pre-seminar training, finding optimal hotel accommodations, securing group airfare, meeting with seminar organizers beforehand, and organizing a reception. Such a cooperator package helps determine project success.

Buy-in by participating U.S. firms

When companies seeking to export pay fees for such a package to the cooperator, they are doing more than getting themselves to a technical seminar; they are agreeing that the project itself has value. Because the cooperator’s package adds value and furthers project goals, the cooperator could charge fees, use the fees to pay for the project package, and claim the fees paid as cash match. Payment by a prospective exporter to a cooperator may only be claimed as program income and cash match if the payment is for a project participation package created by or facilitated by the cooperator.

Cannot count expenses incurred by participating firms

If it is a prospective exporter participating in your project that makes the arrangements, then the cooperator has not added value that the exporter is paying for and the cooperator cannot claim any program income.

Example

This can be illustrated in the example of a prospective exporter that attends a technical seminar as part of a cooperator’s project. If the prospective exporter negotiates amounts for its own arrangements with vendors, pays the total amount to the cooperator, then has the cooperator pay the amount to the vendors, the cooperator has not added value that the exporter is paying for. Except for the final payment to vendors, it is the prospective exporter, not the cooperator that has made all of the arrangements. The prospective exporter’s payment to the cooperator is not in recognition of any value that the cooperator had added with its project. Accordingly, it could not be claimed as program income. When structuring participation packages designed to elicit program income an applicant may include expenses that a prospective exporter might otherwise arrange and pay by itself. Common examples include hotel accommodations and exhibition hall booth rental. By grouping such expenses together, negotiating more favorable group rates, and adding additional activities that a prospective exporter is unlikely to arrange on its own, the cooperator adds value. The prospective exporter’s payment to the cooperator for the full amount of the participation package recognizes this value. Accordingly, it is program income to be counted as cash match.

Example in the table above

The example explained in the paragraph above is detailed and instructiive. But the table above includes a more simple example of “cash match if value added” identified as note [e]. 

Per Diem Rates

When formulating an MDCP project budget you need to estimate travel costs. For the airfare portion, just query a reputable travel site, ensuring that you are using U.S. flag carriers. For the per diem rates, you can use your organization’s pre-existing travel policy or you can use the federal GSA rate for domestic travel. For international travel, use the State Department rates

Bid Threshold

For contractual expenses you include in your budget, no bids are required for anything less than the $10,000 micro-purchase threshold. For contracts valued at $10,000 to $250,000, you are required to have at least three bids. You do not necessarily have to choose the lowest bid. Ensure that the bidder you choose fulfills your statement of work. You are not required to include your bids in your MDCP project budget or supporting information. Just keep good records in case of an audit.

In-Kind Match: Fair Market Value

When you claim in-kind contribution as part of your required match, ensure that the amount claimed is fair market value. Consider the example of a member of your board who is the CEO of a company and earns $500,000 a year in that capacity. This translates, roughly, to $250 an hour. As part of your MDCP project, this CEO/board member will serve on a panel of experts about how companies in your industry can better compete abroad. If you were to hire a consultant on international business competitiveness, you would pay the market rate of $100 per hour. So, for the CEO/board member’s preparation and presentation time for service on the panel, you would claim $100 per hour, not $250 per hour.

Do you need to amend your project budget? 

Most changes to an MDCP project budget are agreed and approved by the cooperator discussing such changes with the ITA-led federal support team. However, when cumulative transfers between the 8 standard OMB budget categories exceed 10% of the total project budget, you will need to submit a revised budget for approval. The best way to do this is to use the same linked spreadsheets that you used to generate the budget you submitted in your MDCP application. Most applicants use the MDCP budget worksheet Excel file as the basis for their budget worksheets.

Steps for amending a budget that exceeds the 10% threshold

1. Draft a short description of the changes between your originally-approved budget and your revised budget.

2. Show the changes on a worksheet.

3. Summarize the changes on a new form 424A. Note that the mock application generates a 424A that includes columns for “Previous Fed” and “Prev/ Non-Fed”. These columns are where you can record your original budget as presented on the 424A you included in your application.

4. Attach the worksheets & 424A on Grants Online. See below an example of what section 6 of you Form 424A should look like.

SECTION B - BUDGET CATEGORIES
6. Category Fed Non-Fed Previous Fed Previous Non-Fed
a. Personnel 0 468,182   468,182
b. Fringe 0       
c. Travel 255,000   300,000  
d. Equipment 0 0    
e. Supplies 0 0 0  
f. Contractual   45,000   50,000 0 0
g. Construction 0 0    
h. Other 0 0      50,000
i. Total Direct     300,000  
j. Indirect costs     81,818     81,818
k. TOTALS 300,000 600,000 300,000 600,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example 1: In a $900,000 total project budget, re-allocating $45,000 from travel to contractual expenses does not trigger need for an amendment request because it is less than 10% of the total.

Example 2, shown above: Continuing on Example 1, later in the same year the same cooperator wants to move $50,000 from other to contractual. This would trigger the need for an amendmennt request because the cumulative of cross-category re-allocations exceed 10%: $45,000 + $50,000 = $95,000, which exceeds $90,000, 10% of the total budget.

Example 3: In a $900,000 total project budget (fed & non-fed shares together), spending $91,000 on travel to an expo in Hamburg instead of $$90,000 for an expo in Munich exceeds 10% of the total budget but does not trigger a need for an amendment because the change remains within one budget category, travel, in this example.