Title 7

SECTION 1464.24

1464.24 Modification, noncompliance, termination, and remedies.

§ 1464.24 Modification, noncompliance, termination, and remedies.

(a) Modifications. NRCS may modify a partnership agreement, including associated supplemental agreements, if -

(1) The lead partner or, as applicable, the nonlead partner agrees to the modification; and

(2) NRCS determines the modified partnership agreement or associated supplemental agreement continues to meet the purposes of the program.

(b) Noncompliance. In the event of noncompliance with the partnership agreement terms, NRCS will provide the lead partner written notice as specified in the partnership agreement, and, where appropriate, a reasonable opportunity to correct voluntarily the noncompliance in accordance with the terms of the partnership agreement.

(c) Terminations. (1) Lead partners may request that NRCS terminate the partnership agreement, provided the request for termination is in writing, and includes the reasons for termination.

(2) NRCS may terminate a partnership agreement if -

(i) Justified by the reasons provided by the lead partner;

(ii) NRCS determines that a modification of the partnership agreement is necessary to comply with applicable law and the partner does not concur with such modification; or

(iii) The lead partner fails to correct noncompliance with a term of the partnership agreement under paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) A termination may be justified by circumstances beyond the lead partners' control that prevents completion of one or more provisions of the partnership agreement, such as a natural disaster or other circumstances in which NRCS may determine that termination is in the public interest.

(4) If a program agreement is terminated, the lead partner forfeits all rights to any remaining technical or financial assistance under the partnership agreement.

(d) Effect on other agreements. Termination of a partnership agreement under this section will -

(1) Not affect the validity of any program contract that was entered into within the project area encompassed by the partnership agreement; and

(2) Result in the termination of a supplemental agreement unless NRCS determines that the supplemental agreement would continue to provide necessary program implementation assistance to producers with program contracts or otherwise advance an eligible program activity within the project area.

(e) Refund and right to future assistance. If NRCS terminates a partnership agreement due to noncompliance with its terms or conditions, the lead partner will forfeit any right to future assistance under the partnership agreement and will refund all or part of any payments received directly by the lead partner, plus interest.

(f) Liquidated damages. (1) NRCS may include terms in a partnership agreement that allow for the assessment of liquidated damages against the lead partner in the event of an intentional breach.

(2) The amount of any liquidated damages will be set at an amount reasonably calculated to reimburse NRCS for its foreseeable losses in the event of noncompliance and will not be punitive in nature.