NB_440_19_25 - NB 440-19-25 PGM – RCPP Renewals Policy and Implementation Guidance
NB 440-19-25 PGM – RCPP Renewals Policy and Implementation Guidance
National Bulletin: 440-19-25 Date:  August 13, 2019
Subject: PGM – RCPP Renewals Policy and Implementation Guidance

Purpose.  To initiate the FY 2020 RCPP Renewals process and inform State Conservationists of necessary actions to take with RCPP lead partners.
Expiration Date.  December 31, 2019
Background.  The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) gives USDA the opportunity to develop a process to allow for noncompetitive renewals of successful RCPP projects. NRCS intends to provide up to $50 million for renewals in FY 2020. This bulletin provides policy guidance and actions required by both NRCS State offices and lead partners interested in renewing their existing RCPP projects.     
Explanation.  Explanation. RCPP operates on a principle of competition among partners to identify the most compelling and innovative projects with robust partnerships that can substantially leverage NRCS funding. Noncompetitive renewals are reserved for the most successful projects that continue to present compelling approaches to addressing natural resource challenges. Following are action items and deadlines to which NRCS State offices must adhere for timely implementation of renewals in FY 2020.
Projects where 90 percent or more of the allocated NRCS financial assistance (FA) funds are obligated or scheduled for obligation by September 30, 2020, will receive priority consideration for renewal. Date of agreement expiration is not an eligibility criterion, though if funds are constrained, projects expiring in FY 2020 may be given priority consideration for available funds.
Action by September 1, 2019—each lead state must use the attachments to this Bulletin to notify each project’s lead partner of the 2020 renewal opportunity. While all existing projects are not eligible for renewals in 2020, all lead partners should be notified of the policy guidance for RCPP renewals.
Action by September 30, 2019—upload completed self-assessment worksheets (one project per worksheet) to the RCPP SharePoint in the RCPP FY 2020 Renewals folder, using the following naming convention: 0123 (4-digit RCPP project id) Renewal Worksheet. Lead partners interested in a renewal must complete the attached Renewals Worksheet and then submit it to the lead State RCPP Coordinator. The lead State Coordinator and State Conservationist must then evaluate the worksheet. If the State Conservationist concurs with the information in the worksheet and supports offering a renewal to the lead partner, he or she must indicate that on the worksheet and provide a justification statement for supporting the renewal. For multi-state projects, the lead State Conservationist should consult with the other relevant State Conservationists.

Additional FA funding provided to existing RCPP projects under National Bulletin 440-19-18 should not be considered when evaluating a project for a renewal.

It is anticipated that the NRCS Chief will make renewal selections and announce the provisionally renewed projects no later than November 15, 2019.

All projects provisionally offered a renewal will be required to submit a streamlined project application and negotiate an RCPP 2020 agreement in the RCPP Portal to ensure consistency with the rules and regulations of the new RCPP. It is NRCS’s goal to execute RCPP partnership agreements for renewed projects by March 31, 2020. Renewed projects will be subject to the RCPP 2018 rules, regulations and contracting structure.   
Contact.   Submit questions about this bulletin to the RCPP inbox—rcpp@wdc.usda.gov.     


 Deputy Chief for Programs   

Attachment A—FY 2020 RCPP Renewals Guidance

Attachment B—FY 2020 RCPP Renewals Self-assessment Worksheet     
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