(a) Processing of applications
Within 12 months after October 29, 1992, the Secretary of Commerce shall develop and, after notice and opportunity for public comment, promulgate regulations or guidelines to ensure that a completed application for a grant, contract, or other financial assistance under a nondiscretionary assistance program shall be processed and approved or disapproved within 75 days after submission of the application to the responsible program office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
(b) Notification of applicant
Not later than 14 days after the date on which the Secretary of Commerce receives an application for a contract, grant, or other financial assistance provided under a nondiscretionary assistance program administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary shall indicate in writing to the applicant whether or not the application is complete and, if not complete, shall specify the additional material that the applicant must provide to complete the application.
In the case of a program for which the recipient of a grant, contract, or other financial assistance is specified by statute to be, or has customarily been, a State or an interstate fishery commission, such financial assistance may be provided by the Secretary to that recipient on a sole-source basis, notwithstanding any other provision of law.
(d) "Nondiscretionary assistance program" defined
In this section, the term "nondiscretionary assistance program" means any program for providing financial assistance—
(1) under which the amount of funding for, and the intended recipient of, the financial assistance is specified by Congress; or
(2) the recipients of which have customarily been a State or an interstate fishery commission.
15 U.S.C. § 1539 (2018)