Lobbying and Litigation information for federal grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and loans
Lobbying (anti-Lobbying) (40 CFR Part 34) recipients of federal grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and loans are prohibited by 31 USC 1352, limitation on use of appropriated funds to influence certain federal contracting and financial transactions, from using federal (appropriated) funds to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence any officer or employee of an agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress with respect to the award, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any of these instruments. These requirements are implemented for EPA in 40 CFR part 34, which also describes types of activities, such as legislative liaison activities and professional and technical services, which are not subject to this prohibition.
Applicants for EPA awards with total costs expected to exceed $100,000 are required to certify that (1) they have not made, and will not make, such a prohibited payment, (2) they will be responsible for reporting the use of non-appropriated funds for such purposes, and (3) they will include these requirements in consortium agreements and contracts under grants that will exceed $100,000 and obtain necessary certifications from those consortium participants and contractors. The signature of the authorized organizational official on the application serves as the required certification of compliance for the applicant organization. EPA appropriated funds may not be used to pay the salary or expenses of an employee of a grantee, consortium participant, or contractor or those of an agent related to any activity designed to influence legislation or appropriations pending before Congress or any state legislature.
- Civil Rights (40 CFR Part 7) The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI, requires that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The EPA implementing regulations are codified at 40 CFR Part 7.
- Debarment (40 CFR Part 32) This action is taken by a debarring official in accordance with federal agency regulations implementing executive order 12549 to exclude a person or organization from participating in transactions. Grantees may be debarred or suspended if they are found to have seriously and willfully not complied with grant conditions or are found to have engaged in scientific misconduct. If debarred, a grantee may not receive federal assistance funds and may not participate in covered transactions for the period covered by the debarment.
- Drug-Free Workplace (40 CFR Part 32, Subpart F) The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D, as amended) requires that all organizations receiving grants from any federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. Under this law, employees of grantees are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance at work. By signing the application, the authorized organizational official agrees that the grantee will provide a drug-free workplace and will comply with requirements to notify NCI in the event that an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. EPA implementing regulations are set forth in 40 CFR Part 32, Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-procurement) and Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants).
- Sex Discrimination (40 CFR Part 5) Section 901 of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 USC 1681), as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The EPA implementing regulations are codified at 40 CFR Part 5.
- Protection of Human Subjects (40 CFR Part 26) Protection of human subjects, in accordance with 40 CFR Part 26, is required of all research activities in which human subjects are involved. A human subject is defined in 40 CFR Part 26 as a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (a) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (b) identifiable private information. The regulation also extends to the use of human organs, tissues, and body fluids from individually identifiable human beings. There is additional protection for certain classes of human research involving fetuses, pregnant women, human in-vitro fertilization, and prisoners. The regulation exempts certain categories of research involving human subjects (listed in 40 CFR Part 26.101(b)) which normally involve little or no risk.
Notice of Grant Award
The grant award document is the official notification to the applicant that a project has been funded. Each grant award is authorized by statute. For example, in the sample grant award in this manual the authorizing legislation is Clean Air Act, Section 103. Each award also cites particular regulations that authorize its issuance. The final sources of requirements imposed on projects supported by federal grants are the specific terms and conditions that are attached to an individual grant and incorporated into the formal award document. These terms and conditions may include the basic purpose of the award, policy statements, and OMB Circulars. These latter materials may be incorporated by reference. By accepting the award every grant recipient agrees to comply with everything incorporated by reference on the award document.
Grantee Organization Responsibility
In applying for grant support, the grantee organization agrees to administer any awarded grant in accordance with the regulations and current policies that govern the assistance programs of the EPA. Acceptance of an award imposes upon the grantee organization and the project manager responsibility for conducting the project and using grant funds prudently and in accordance with cost principles, for the purposes set forth in the approved application. The grantee assumes responsibility for the fiscal and administrative management of the project and fulfillment of any special terms or conditions of award that may be prescribed for conducting the project.
As noted under the previous section on Notice of Grant Award, the grantee indicates acceptance of the general and special provisions of an award by signing and returning the award document. The grantee organization is not required to guarantee the success of the project, nor are penalties generally imposed for lack of success in attaining environmental outcomes. However, in certain situations, EPA may take action to resolve problems or weaknesses that arise during the course of the project (see Recipients Roles and Responsibilities during Post Award section for further information).
Legal Implication of Application
The signature of an authorized organizational official on the application indicates the organization's intent to comply with the laws, regulations, and policies to which a grant is subject, including applicable public policy requirements. That official is also attesting to the fact that the information contained in the application is true and complete, and in conformance with Federal requirements and the organization's own policies and requirements. Applicants for and recipients of EPA grant funds, whether such funds are received directly from EPA, indirectly under a contract agreement, or as student assistance under a training grant, are responsible for and must adhere to all applicable federal statutes, regulations, and policies, including income tax regulations. Questions concerning the applicability of income tax regulations to grant funds should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The applicant is also expected to be in compliance with applicable state and local laws and ordinances.