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Application Review Information

This Section briefly describes the review process that NTIA will undertake in assessing submissions by Eligible Entities in connection with the BEAD Program.

A. Review Process for the BEAD Program

Letters of Intent, Initial Planning Funds requests, Initial Proposals, and Final Proposals will be evaluated by the Assistant Secretary to determine compliance with all necessary requirements outlined in the Infrastructure Act, this NOFO, and additional regulations and/or guidance that may be issued by NTIA.

After receipt of a completed Initial Proposal, the Assistant Secretary shall determine whether the use of funds proposed in the Initial Proposal complies with applicable Program guidelines, is in the public interest, and effectuates the purposes of the Infrastructure Act. Based on that assessment, the Assistant Secretary will approve or disapprove the Initial Proposal. If the Initial Proposal is approved, the Assistant Secretary will make at least 20 percent of the total allocation available to the Eligible Entity. If the Initial Proposal is incomplete or is disapproved, the Assistant Secretary shall notify the Eligible Entity and provide the Eligible Entity with an opportunity to resubmit the Initial Proposal for consideration under the factors mentioned above.

After receipt of a completed Final Proposal, the Assistant Secretary shall determine whether the use of funds proposed in the Final Proposal complies with applicable Program guidelines, is in the public interest, and effectuates the purposes of the Infrastructure Act. Based on that assessment, the Assistant Secretary will approve or disapprove the Final Proposal. If the Final Proposal is approved, the Assistant Secretary will make the remainder of the grant funds allocated available to the Eligible Entity. If the Final Proposal is incomplete or is disapproved the Assistant Secretary shall notify the Eligible Entity and provide the Eligible Entity with an opportunity to resubmit the Final Proposal for consideration under the factors mentioned above. If an Eligible Entity fails to meet any applicable deadline and has not secured an extension from the Assistant Secretary before the applicable deadline, a political subdivision or consortium of political subdivisions of the Eligible Entity may submit the applicable type of covered application in place of the Eligible Entity.

Eligible Entities are encouraged to maintain an ongoing dialogue with NTIA throughout proposal development as a part of the technical assistance process. This partnership allows Eligible Entities to receive interim feedback and ensure alignment of Eligible Entity and federal priorities.

B. Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants

After applications are proposed for funding by the Selecting Official for the BEAD Program (specifically, the Assistant Secretary or the Assistant Secretary’s designee), the NIST Grants Management Division (GMD) will perform pre-award risk assessments in accordance with 2 C.F.R. § 200.206. Such assessments may include review of the financial stability of an applicant (i.e., an Eligible Entity), the quality of the applicant’s management systems, the history of performance, reports and findings from audits, and/or the applicant’s ability to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements imposed on non-federal entities. In addition, prior to making an award where the total federal share is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), NIST GMD will review and consider the non-publicly available information about that applicant in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). Upon completion of the pre-award risk assessment,

NIST GMD will determine whether the applicant is qualified to receive the award and, if so, whether appropriate specific award conditions that correspond to the degree of risk posed by the applicant should be applied to the award.

C. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

NTIA will review Letters of Intent, requests for Initial Planning Funds, Initial Proposals, and Final Proposals on a rolling basis. Additional timeline details will be provided to Eligible Entities once the Commission’s Broadband DATA Maps have been released and allocations have been calculated.