U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 31, 2020
The application of these cost principles is based on the fundamental premises that:
(a) The non-Federal entity is responsible for the efficient and effective administration of the Federal award through the application of sound management practices.
(b) The non-Federal entity assumes responsibility for administering Federal funds in a manner consistent with underlying agreements, program objectives, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award.
(c) The non-Federal entity, in recognition of its own unique combination of staff, facilities, and experience, has the primary responsibility for employing whatever form of sound organization and management techniques may be necessary in order to assure proper and efficient administration of the Federal award.
(d) The application of these cost principles should require no significant changes in the internal accounting policies and practices of the non-Federal entity. However, the accounting practices of the non-Federal entity must be consistent with these cost principles and support the accumulation of costs as required by the principles, and must provide for adequate documentation to support costs charged to the Federal award.
(e) In reviewing, negotiating and approving cost allocation plans or indirect cost proposals, the cognizant agency for indirect costs should generally assure that the non-Federal entity is applying these cost accounting principles on a consistent basis during their review and negotiation of indirect cost proposals. Where wide variations exist in the treatment of a given cost item by the non-Federal entity, the reasonableness and equity of such treatments should be fully considered. See § 200.56 Indirect (facilities & administrative (F&A)) costs.
(f) For non-Federal entities that educate and engage students in research, the dual role of students as both trainees and employees (including pre- and post-doctoral staff) contributing to the completion of Federal awards for research must be recognized in the application of these principles.
(g) The non-Federal entity may not earn or keep any profit resulting from Federal financial assistance, unless explicitly authorized by the terms and conditions of the Federal award. See also § 200.307 Program income.
(a) General. These principles must be used in determining the allowable costs of work performed by the non-Federal entity under Federal awards. These principles also must be used by the non-Federal entity as a guide in the pricing of fixed-price contracts and subcontracts where costs are used in determining the appropriate price. The principles do not apply to:
(1) Arrangements under which Federal financing is in the form of loans, scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, or other fixed amounts based on such items as education allowance or published tuition rates and fees.
(2) For IHEs, capitation awards, which are awards based on case counts or number of beneficiaries according to the terms and conditions of the Federal award.
(3) Fixed amount awards. See also Subpart A - Acronyms and Definitions, §§ 200.45 Fixed amount awards and 200.201 Use of grant agreements (including fixed amount awards), cooperative agreements, and contracts.
(4) Federal awards to hospitals (see Appendix IX to Part 200 - Hospital Cost Principles).
(5) Other awards under which the non-Federal entity is not required to account to the Federal Government for actual costs incurred.
(b) Federal Contract. Where a Federal contract awarded to a non-Federal entity is subject to the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), it incorporates the applicable CAS clauses, Standards, and CAS administration requirements per the 48 CFR Chapter 99 and 48 CFR part 30 (FAR Part 30). CAS applies directly to the CAS-covered contract and the Cost Accounting Standards at 48 CFR parts 9904 or 9905 takes precedence over the cost principles in this Subpart E - Cost Principles of this part with respect to the allocation of costs. When a contract with a non-Federal entity is subject to full CAS coverage, the allowability of certain costs under the cost principles will be affected by the allocation provisions of the Cost Accounting Standards (e.g., CAS 414 - 48 CFR 9904.414, Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Facilities Capital, and CAS 417 - 48 CFR 9904.417, Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Capital Assets Under Construction), apply rather the allowability provisions of § 200.449 Interest. In complying with those requirements, the non-Federal entity's application of cost accounting practices for estimating, accumulating, and reporting costs for other Federal awards and other cost objectives under the CAS-covered contract still must be consistent with its cost accounting practices for the CAS-covered contracts. In all cases, only one set of accounting records needs to be maintained for the allocation of costs by the non-Federal entity.
(c) Exemptions. Some nonprofit organizations, because of their size and nature of operations, can be considered to be similar to for-profit entities for purpose of applicability of cost principles. Such nonprofit organizations must operate under Federal cost principles applicable to for-profit entities located at 48 CFR 31.2. A listing of these organizations is contained in Appendix VIII to Part 200 - Nonprofit Organizations Exempted From Subpart E - Cost Principles of this part. Other organizations, as approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs, may be added from time to time.
Total cost. The total cost of a Federal award is the sum of the allowable direct and allocable indirect costs less any applicable credits.
Except where otherwise authorized by statute, costs must meet the following general criteria in order to be allowable under Federal awards:
(a) Be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the Federal award and be allocable thereto under these principles.
(b) Conform to any limitations or exclusions set forth in these principles or in the Federal award as to types or amount of cost items.
(c) Be consistent with policies and procedures that apply uniformly to both federally-financed and other activities of the non-Federal entity.
(d) Be accorded consistent treatment. A cost may not be assigned to a Federal award as a direct cost if any other cost incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances has been allocated to the Federal award as an indirect cost.
(e) Be determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), except, for state and local governments and Indian tribes only, as otherwise provided for in this part.
(f) Not be included as a cost or used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements of any other federally-financed program in either the current or a prior period. See also § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching paragraph (b).
(g) Be adequately documented. See also §§ 200.300 Statutory and national policy requirements through 200.309 Period of performance of this part.
A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost. The question of reasonableness is particularly important when the non-Federal entity is predominantly federally-funded. In determining reasonableness of a given cost, consideration must be given to:
(a) Whether the cost is of a type generally recognized as ordinary and necessary for the operation of the non-Federal entity or the proper and efficient performance of the Federal award.
(b) The restraints or requirements imposed by such factors as: sound business practices; arm's-length bargaining; Federal, state, local, tribal, and other laws and regulations; and terms and conditions of the Federal award.
(c) Market prices for comparable goods or services for the geographic area.
(d) Whether the individuals concerned acted with prudence in the circumstances considering their responsibilities to the non-Federal entity, its employees, where applicable its students or membership, the public at large, and the Federal Government.
(e) Whether the non-Federal entity significantly deviates from its established practices and policies regarding the incurrence of costs, which may unjustifiably increase the Federal award's cost.
(a) A cost is allocable to a particular Federal award or other cost objective if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to that Federal award or cost objective in accordance with relative benefits received. This standard is met if the cost:
(1) Is incurred specifically for the Federal award;
(2) Benefits both the Federal award and other work of the non-Federal entity and can be distributed in proportions that may be approximated using reasonable methods; and
(3) Is necessary to the overall operation of the non-Federal entity and is assignable in part to the Federal award in accordance with the principles in this subpart.
(b) All activities which benefit from the non-Federal entity's indirect (F&A) cost, including unallowable activities and donated services by the non-Federal entity or third parties, will receive an appropriate allocation of indirect costs.
(c) Any cost allocable to a particular Federal award under the principles provided for in this part may not be charged to other Federal awards to overcome fund deficiencies, to avoid restrictions imposed by Federal statutes, regulations, or terms and conditions of the Federal awards, or for other reasons. However, this prohibition would not preclude the non-Federal entity from shifting costs that are allowable under two or more Federal awards in accordance with existing Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the Federal awards.
(d) Direct cost allocation principles. If a cost benefits two or more projects or activities in proportions that can be determined without undue effort or cost, the cost must be allocated to the projects based on the proportional benefit. If a cost benefits two or more projects or activities in proportions that cannot be determined because of the interrelationship of the work involved, then, notwithstanding paragraph (c) of this section, the costs may be allocated or transferred to benefitted projects on any reasonable documented basis. Where the purchase of equipment or other capital asset is specifically authorized under a Federal award, the costs are assignable to the Federal award regardless of the use that may be made of the equipment or other capital asset involved when no longer needed for the purpose for which it was originally required. See also §§ 200.310 Insurance coverage through 200.316 Property trust relationship and 200.439 Equipment and other capital expenditures.
(e) If the contract is subject to CAS, costs must be allocated to the contract pursuant to the Cost Accounting Standards. To the extent that CAS is applicable, the allocation of costs in accordance with CAS takes precedence over the allocation provisions in this part.
(a) Applicable credits refer to those receipts or reduction-of-expenditure-type transactions that offset or reduce expense items allocable to the Federal award as direct or indirect (F&A) costs. Examples of such transactions are: purchase discounts, rebates or allowances, recoveries or indemnities on losses, insurance refunds or rebates, and adjustments of overpayments or erroneous charges. To the extent that such credits accruing to or received by the non-Federal entity relate to allowable costs, they must be credited to the Federal award either as a cost reduction or cash refund, as appropriate.
(b) In some instances, the amounts received from the Federal Government to finance activities or service operations of the non-Federal entity should be treated as applicable credits. Specifically, the concept of netting such credit items (including any amounts used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements) must be recognized in determining the rates or amounts to be charged to the Federal award. (See §§ 200.436 Depreciation and 200.468 Specialized service facilities, for areas of potential application in the matter of Federal financing of activities.)
Under any given Federal award, the reasonableness and allocability of certain items of costs may be difficult to determine. In order to avoid subsequent disallowance or dispute based on unreasonableness or nonallocability, the non-Federal entity may seek the prior written approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs or the Federal awarding agency in advance of the incurrence of special or unusual costs. Prior written approval should include the timeframe or scope of the agreement. The absence of prior written approval on any element of cost will not, in itself, affect the reasonableness or allocability of that element, unless prior approval is specifically required for allowability as described under certain circumstances in the following sections of this part:
(a) § 200.201 Use of grant agreements (including fixed amount awards), cooperative agreements, and contracts, paragraph (b)(5);
(b) § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching;
(c) § 200.307 Program income;
(d) § 200.308 Revision of budget and program plans;
(e) § 200.311 Real property;
(f) § 200.313 Equipment;
(g) § 200.332 Fixed amount subawards;
(h) § 200.413 Direct costs, paragraph (c);
(i) § 200.430 Compensation - personal services, paragraph (h);
(j) § 200.431 Compensation - fringe benefits;
(k) § 200.438 Entertainment costs;
(l) § 200.439 Equipment and other capital expenditures;
(m) § 200.440 Exchange rates;
(n) § 200.441 Fines, penalties, damages and other settlements;
(o) § 200.442 Fund raising and investment management costs;
(p) § 200.445 Goods or services for personal use;
(q) § 200.447 Insurance and indemnification;
(r) § 200.454 Memberships, subscriptions, and professional activity costs, paragraph (c);
(s) § 200.455 Organization costs;
(t) § 200.456 Participant support costs;
(u) § 200.458 Pre-award costs;
(v) § 200.462 Rearrangement and reconversion costs;
(w) § 200.467 Selling and marketing costs;
(x) § 200.470 Taxes (including Value Added Tax); and
(y) § 200.474 Travel costs.
The Federal award may be subject to statutory requirements that limit the allowability of costs. When the maximum amount allowable under a limitation is less than the total amount determined in accordance with the principles in this part, the amount not recoverable under the Federal award may not be charged to the Federal award.
In addition to the basic considerations regarding the allowability of costs highlighted in this subtitle, other subtitles in this part describe special considerations and requirements applicable to states, local governments, Indian tribes, and IHEs. In addition, certain provisions among the items of cost in this subpart, are only applicable to certain types of non-Federal entities, as specified in the following sections:
(a) Direct and Indirect (F&A) Costs (§§ 200.412 Classification of costs through 200.415 Required certifications) of this subpart;
(b) Special Considerations for States, Local Governments and Indian Tribes (§§ 200.416 Cost allocation plans and indirect cost proposals and 200.417 Interagency service) of this subpart; and
(c) Special Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education (§§ 200.418 Costs incurred by states and local governments and 200.419 Cost accounting standards and disclosure statement) of this subpart.
Payments made for costs determined to be unallowable by either the Federal awarding agency, cognizant agency for indirect costs, or pass-through entity, either as direct or indirect costs, must be refunded (including interest) to the Federal Government in accordance with instructions from the Federal agency that determined the costs are unallowable unless Federal statute or regulation directs otherwise. See also Subpart D - Post Federal Award Requirements of this part, §§ 200.300 Statutory and national policy requirements through 200.309 Period of performance.
§ 200.411 - Adjustment of previously negotiated indirect (F&A) cost rates containing unallowable costs.
(a) Negotiated indirect (F&A) cost rates based on a proposal later found to have included costs that:
(1) Are unallowable as specified by Federal statutes, regulations or the terms and conditions of a Federal award; or
(2) Are unallowable because they are not allocable to the Federal award(s), must be adjusted, or a refund must be made, in accordance with the requirements of this section. These adjustments or refunds are designed to correct the proposals used to establish the rates and do not constitute a reopening of the rate negotiation. The adjustments or refunds will be made regardless of the type of rate negotiated (predetermined, final, fixed, or provisional).
(b) For rates covering a future fiscal year of the non-Federal entity, the unallowable costs will be removed from the indirect (F&A) cost pools and the rates appropriately adjusted.
(c) For rates covering a past period, the Federal share of the unallowable costs will be computed for each year involved and a cash refund (including interest chargeable in accordance with applicable regulations) will be made to the Federal Government. If cash refunds are made for past periods covered by provisional or fixed rates, appropriate adjustments will be made when the rates are finalized to avoid duplicate recovery of the unallowable costs by the Federal Government.
(d) For rates covering the current period, either a rate adjustment or a refund, as described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, must be required by the cognizant agency for indirect costs. The choice of method must be at the discretion of the cognizant agency for indirect costs, based on its judgment as to which method would be most practical.
(e) The amount or proportion of unallowable costs included in each year's rate will be assumed to be the same as the amount or proportion of unallowable costs included in the base year proposal used to establish the rate.
There is no universal rule for classifying certain costs as either direct or indirect (F&A) under every accounting system. A cost may be direct with respect to some specific service or function, but indirect with respect to the Federal award or other final cost objective. Therefore, it is essential that each item of cost incurred for the same purpose be treated consistently in like circumstances either as a direct or an indirect (F&A) cost in order to avoid possible double-charging of Federal awards. Guidelines for determining direct and indirect (F&A) costs charged to Federal awards are provided in this subpart.
(a) General. Direct costs are those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular final cost objective, such as a Federal award, or other internally or externally funded activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. Costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances must be treated consistently as either direct or indirect (F&A) costs. See also § 200.405 Allocable costs.
(b) Application to Federal awards. Identification with the Federal award rather than the nature of the goods and services involved is the determining factor in distinguishing direct from indirect (F&A) costs of Federal awards. Typical costs charged directly to a Federal award are the compensation of employees who work on that award, their related fringe benefit costs, the costs of materials and other items of expense incurred for the Federal award. If directly related to a specific award, certain costs that otherwise would be treated as indirect costs may also include extraordinary utility consumption, the cost of materials supplied from stock or services rendered by specialized facilities or other institutional service operations.
(c) The salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as indirect (F&A) costs. Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate only if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) Administrative or clerical services are integral to a project or activity;
(2) Individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity;
(3) Such costs are explicitly included in the budget or have the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency; and
(4) The costs are not also recovered as indirect costs.
(d) Minor items. Any direct cost of minor amount may be treated as an indirect (F&A) cost for reasons of practicality where such accounting treatment for that item of cost is consistently applied to all Federal and non-Federal cost objectives.
(e) The costs of certain activities are not allowable as charges to Federal awards. However, even though these costs are unallowable for purposes of computing charges to Federal awards, they nonetheless must be treated as direct costs for purposes of determining indirect (F&A) cost rates and be allocated their equitable share of the non-Federal entity's indirect costs if they represent activities which:
(1) Include the salaries of personnel,
(2) Occupy space, and
(3) Benefit from the non-Federal entity's indirect (F&A) costs.
(f) For nonprofit organizations, the costs of activities performed by the non-Federal entity primarily as a service to members, clients, or the general public when significant and necessary to the non-Federal entity's mission must be treated as direct costs whether or not allowable, and be allocated an equitable share of indirect (F&A) costs. Some examples of these types of activities include:
(1) Maintenance of membership rolls, subscriptions, publications, and related functions. See also § 200.454 Memberships, subscriptions, and professional activity costs.
(2) Providing services and information to members, legislative or administrative bodies, or the public. See also §§ 200.454 Memberships, subscriptions, and professional activity costs and 200.450 Lobbying.
(3) Promotion, lobbying, and other forms of public relations. See also §§ 200.421 Advertising and public relations and 200.450 Lobbying.
(4) Conferences except those held to conduct the general administration of the non-Federal entity. See also § 200.432 Conferences.
(5) Maintenance, protection, and investment of special funds not used in operation of the non-Federal entity. See also § 200.442 Fund raising and investment management costs.
(6) Administration of group benefits on behalf of members or clients, including life and hospital insurance, annuity or retirement plans, and financial aid. See also § 200.431 Compensation - fringe benefits.
(a) Facilities and Administration Classification. For major IHEs and major nonprofit organizations, indirect (F&A) costs must be classified within two broad categories: “Facilities” and “Administration.” “Facilities” is defined as depreciation on buildings, equipment and capital improvement, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, and operations and maintenance expenses. “Administration” is defined as general administration and general expenses such as the director's office, accounting, personnel and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of “Facilities” (including cross allocations from other pools, where applicable). For nonprofit organizations, library expenses are included in the “Administration” category; for institutions of higher education, they are included in the “Facilities” category. Major IHEs are defined as those required to use the Standard Format for Submission as noted in Appendix III to Part 200 - Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) paragraph C. 11. Major nonprofit organizations are those which receive more than $10 million dollars in direct Federal funding.
(b) Diversity of nonprofit organizations. Because of the diverse characteristics and accounting practices of nonprofit organizations, it is not possible to specify the types of cost which may be classified as indirect (F&A) cost in all situations. Identification with a Federal award rather than the nature of the goods and services involved is the determining factor in distinguishing direct from indirect (F&A) costs of Federal awards. However, typical examples of indirect (F&A) cost for many nonprofit organizations may include depreciation on buildings and equipment, the costs of operating and maintaining facilities, and general administration and general expenses, such as the salaries and expenses of executive officers, personnel administration, and accounting.
(c) Federal Agency Acceptance of Negotiated Indirect Cost Rates. (See also § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching.)
(1) The negotiated rates must be accepted by all Federal awarding agencies. A Federal awarding agency may use a rate different from the negotiated rate for a class of Federal awards or a single Federal award only when required by Federal statute or regulation, or when approved by a Federal awarding agency head or delegate based on documented justification as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
(2) The Federal awarding agency head or delegate must notify OMB of any approved deviations.
(3) The Federal awarding agency must implement, and make publicly available, the policies, procedures and general decision making criteria that their programs will follow to seek and justify deviations from negotiated rates.
(4) As required under § 200.203 Notices of funding opportunities, the Federal awarding agency must include in the notice of funding opportunity the policies relating to indirect cost rate reimbursement, matching, or cost share as approved under paragraph (e)(1) of this section. As appropriate, the Federal agency should incorporate discussion of these policies into Federal awarding agency outreach activities with non-Federal entities prior to the posting of a notice of funding opportunity.
(d) Pass-through entities are subject to the requirements in § 200.331 Requirements for pass-through entities, paragraph (a)(4).
(e) Requirements for development and submission of indirect (F&A) cost rate proposals and cost allocation plans are contained in Appendices III-VII and Appendix IX as follows:
(1) Appendix III to Part 200 - Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs);
(2) Appendix IV to Part 200 - Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Nonprofit Organizations;
(3) Appendix V to Part 200 - State/Local Governmentwide Central Service Cost Allocation Plans;
(4) Appendix VI to Part 200 - Public Assistance Cost Allocation Plans;
(5) Appendix VII to Part 200 - States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals; and
(6) Appendix IX to Part 200 - Hospital Cost Principles.
(f) In addition to the procedures outlined in the appendices in paragraph (e) of this section, any non-Federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, except for those non-Federal entities described in Appendix VII to Part 200 - States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph D.1.b, may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely. As described in § 200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time.
(g) Any non-Federal entity that has a current federally negotiated indirect cost rate may apply for a one-time extension of the rates in that agreement for a period of up to four years. This extension will be subject to the review and approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs. If an extension is granted the non-Federal entity may not request a rate review until the extension period ends. At the end of the 4-year extension, the non-Federal entity must re-apply to negotiate a rate. Subsequent one-time extensions (up to four years) are permitted if a renegotiation is completed between each extension request.
Required certifications include:
(a) To assure that expenditures are proper and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Federal award and approved project budgets, the annual and final fiscal reports or vouchers requesting payment under the agreements must include a certification, signed by an official who is authorized to legally bind the non-Federal entity, which reads as follows: “By signing this report, I certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that the report is true, complete, and accurate, and the expenditures, disbursements and cash receipts are for the purposes and objectives set forth in the terms and conditions of the Federal award. I am aware that any false, fictitious, or fraudulent information, or the omission of any material fact, may subject me to criminal, civil or administrative penalties for fraud, false statements, false claims or otherwise. (U.S. Code Title 18, Section 1001 and Title 31, Sections 3729-3730 and 3801-3812).”
(b) Certification of cost allocation plan or indirect (F&A) cost rate proposal. Each cost allocation plan or indirect (F&A) cost rate proposal must comply with the following:
(1) A proposal to establish a cost allocation plan or an indirect (F&A) cost rate, whether submitted to a Federal cognizant agency for indirect costs or maintained on file by the non-Federal entity, must be certified by the non-Federal entity using the Certificate of Cost Allocation Plan or Certificate of Indirect Costs as set forth in Appendices III through VII, and Appendix IX. The certificate must be signed on behalf of the non-Federal entity by an individual at a level no lower than vice president or chief financial officer of the non-Federal entity that submits the proposal.
(2) Unless the non-Federal entity has elected the option under § 200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs, paragraph (f), the Federal Government may either disallow all indirect (F&A) costs or unilaterally establish such a plan or rate when the non-Federal entity fails to submit a certified proposal for establishing such a plan or rate in accordance with the requirements. Such a plan or rate may be based upon audited historical data or such other data that have been furnished to the cognizant agency for indirect costs and for which it can be demonstrated that all unallowable costs have been excluded. When a cost allocation plan or indirect cost rate is unilaterally established by the Federal Government because the non-Federal entity failed to submit a certified proposal, the plan or rate established will be set to ensure that potentially unallowable costs will not be reimbursed.
(c) Certifications by non-profit organizations as appropriate that they did not meet the definition of a major nonprofit organization as defined in § 200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs, paragraph (a).
(d) See also § 200.450 Lobbying for another required certification.
(a) For states, local governments and Indian tribes, certain services, such as motor pools, computer centers, purchasing, accounting, etc., are provided to operating agencies on a centralized basis. Since Federal awards are performed within the individual operating agencies, there needs to be a process whereby these central service costs can be identified and assigned to benefitted activities on a reasonable and consistent basis. The central service cost allocation plan provides that process.
(b) Individual operating agencies (governmental department or agency), normally charge Federal awards for indirect costs through an indirect cost rate. A separate indirect cost rate(s) proposal for each operating agency is usually necessary to claim indirect costs under Federal awards. Indirect costs include:
(1) The indirect costs originating in each department or agency of the governmental unit carrying out Federal awards and
(2) The costs of central governmental services distributed through the central service cost allocation plan and not otherwise treated as direct costs.
(c) The requirements for development and submission of cost allocation plans (for central service costs and public assistance programs) and indirect cost rate proposals are contained in appendices IV, V and VI to this part.
The cost of services provided by one agency to another within the governmental unit may include allowable direct costs of the service plus a pro-rated share of indirect costs. A standard indirect cost allowance equal to ten percent of the direct salary and wage cost of providing the service (excluding overtime, shift premiums, and fringe benefits) may be used in lieu of determining the actual indirect costs of the service. These services do not include centralized services included in central service cost allocation plans as described in Appendix V to Part 200 - State/Local Government and Indian Tribe-Wide Central Service Cost Allocation Plans.
Costs incurred or paid by a state or local government on behalf of its IHEs for fringe benefit programs, such as pension costs and FICA and any other costs specifically incurred on behalf of, and in direct benefit to, the IHEs, are allowable costs of such IHEs whether or not these costs are recorded in the accounting records of the institutions, subject to the following:
(a) The costs meet the requirements of §§ 200.402 Composition of costs through 200.411 Adjustment of previously negotiated indirect (F&A) cost rates containing unallowable costs, of this subpart;
(b) The costs are properly supported by approved cost allocation plans in accordance with applicable Federal cost accounting principles in this part; and
(c) The costs are not otherwise borne directly or indirectly by the Federal Government.
(a) An IHE that receives aggregate Federal awards totaling $50 million or more in Federal awards subject to this part in its most recently completed fiscal year must comply with the Cost Accounting Standards Board's cost accounting standards located at 48 CFR 9905.501, 9905.502, 9905.505, and 9905.506. CAS-covered contracts awarded to the IHEs are subject to the CAS requirements at 48 CFR 9900 through 9999 and 48 CFR part 30 (FAR Part 30).
(b) Disclosure statement. An IHE that receives aggregate Federal awards totaling $50 million or more subject to this part during its most recently completed fiscal year must disclose their cost accounting practices by filing a Disclosure Statement (DS-2), which is reproduced in Appendix III to Part 200 - Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). With the approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs, an IHE may meet the DS-2 submission by submitting the DS-2 for each business unit that received $50 million or more in Federal awards.
(1) The DS-2 must be submitted to the cognizant agency for indirect costs with a copy to the IHE's cognizant agency for audit.
(2) An IHE is responsible for maintaining an accurate DS-2 and complying with disclosed cost accounting practices. An IHE must file amendments to the DS-2 to the cognizant agency for indirect costs six months in advance of a disclosed practice being changed to comply with a new or modified standard, or when a practice is changed for other reasons. An IHE may proceed with implementing the change only if it has not been notified by the Federal cognizant agency for indirect costs that either a longer period will be needed for review or there are concerns with the potential change within the six months period. Amendments of a DS-2 may be submitted at any time. Resubmission of a complete, updated DS-2 is discouraged except when there are extensive changes to disclosed practices.
(3) Cost and funding adjustments. Cost adjustments must be made by the cognizant agency for indirect costs if an IHE fails to comply with the cost policies in this part or fails to consistently follow its established or disclosed cost accounting practices when estimating, accumulating or reporting the costs of Federal awards, and the aggregate cost impact on Federal awards is material. The cost adjustment must normally be made on an aggregate basis for all affected Federal awards through an adjustment of the IHE's future F&A costs rates or other means considered appropriate by the cognizant agency for indirect costs. Under the terms of CAS covered contracts, adjustments in the amount of funding provided may also be required when the estimated proposal costs were not determined in accordance with established cost accounting practices.
(4) Overpayments. Excess amounts paid in the aggregate by the Federal Government under Federal awards due to a noncompliant cost accounting practice used to estimate, accumulate, or report costs must be credited or refunded, as deemed appropriate by the cognizant agency for indirect costs. Interest applicable to the excess amounts paid in the aggregate during the period of noncompliance must also be determined and collected in accordance with applicable Federal agency regulations.
(5) Compliant cost accounting practice changes. Changes from one compliant cost accounting practice to another compliant practice that are approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs may require cost adjustments if the change has a material effect on Federal awards and the changes are deemed appropriate by the cognizant agency for indirect costs.
(6) Responsibilities. The cognizant agency for indirect cost must:
(i) Determine cost adjustments for all Federal awards in the aggregate on behalf of the Federal Government. Actions of the cognizant agency for indirect cost in making cost adjustment determinations must be coordinated with all affected Federal awarding agencies to the extent necessary.
(ii) Prescribe guidelines and establish internal procedures to promptly determine on behalf of the Federal Government that a DS-2 adequately discloses the IHE's cost accounting practices and that the disclosed practices are compliant with applicable CAS and the requirements of this part.
(iii) Distribute to all affected Federal awarding agencies any DS-2 determination of adequacy or noncompliance.
This section provides principles to be applied in establishing the allowability of certain items involved in determining cost, in addition to the requirements of Subtitle II. Basic Considerations of this subpart. These principles apply whether or not a particular item of cost is properly treated as direct cost or indirect (F&A) cost. Failure to mention a particular item of cost is not intended to imply that it is either allowable or unallowable; rather, determination as to allowability in each case should be based on the treatment provided for similar or related items of cost, and based on the principles described in §§ 200.402 Composition of costs through 200.411 Adjustment of previously negotiated indirect (F&A) cost rates containing unallowable costs. In case of a discrepancy between the provisions of a specific Federal award and the provisions below, the Federal award governs. Criteria outlined in § 200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs must be applied in determining allowability. See also § 200.102 Exceptions.
(a) The term advertising costs means the costs of advertising media and corollary administrative costs. Advertising media include magazines, newspapers, radio and television, direct mail, exhibits, electronic or computer transmittals, and the like.
(b) The only allowable advertising costs are those which are solely for:
(1) The recruitment of personnel required by the non-Federal entity for performance of a Federal award (See also § 200.463 Recruiting costs);
(2) The procurement of goods and services for the performance of a Federal award;
(3) The disposal of scrap or surplus materials acquired in the performance of a Federal award except when non-Federal entities are reimbursed for disposal costs at a predetermined amount; or
(4) Program outreach and other specific purposes necessary to meet the requirements of the Federal award.
(c) The term “public relations” includes community relations and means those activities dedicated to maintaining the image of the non-Federal entity or maintaining or promoting understanding and favorable relations with the community or public at large or any segment of the public.
(d) The only allowable public relations costs are:
(1) Costs specifically required by the Federal award;
(2) Costs of communicating with the public and press pertaining to specific activities or accomplishments which result from performance of the Federal award (these costs are considered necessary as part of the outreach effort for the Federal award); or
(3) Costs of conducting general liaison with news media and government public relations officers, to the extent that such activities are limited to communication and liaison necessary to keep the public informed on matters of public concern, such as notices of funding opportunities, financial matters, etc.
(e) Unallowable advertising and public relations costs include the following:
(1) All advertising and public relations costs other than as specified in paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section;
(2) Costs of meetings, conventions, convocations, or other events related to other activities of the entity (see also § 200.432 Conferences), including:
(i) Costs of displays, demonstrations, and exhibits;
(ii) Costs of meeting rooms, hospitality suites, and other special facilities used in conjunction with shows and other special events; and
(iii) Salaries and wages of employees engaged in setting up and displaying exhibits, making demonstrations, and providing briefings;
(3) Costs of promotional items and memorabilia, including models, gifts, and souvenirs;
(4) Costs of advertising and public relations designed solely to promote the non-Federal entity.
Costs incurred by advisory councils or committees are unallowable unless authorized by statute, the Federal awarding agency or as an indirect cost where allocable to Federal awards. See § 200.444 General costs of government, applicable to states, local governments and Indian tribes.
Costs incurred by IHEs for, or in support of, alumni/ae activities are unallowable.
(a) A reasonably proportionate share of the costs of audits required by, and performed in accordance with, the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501-7507), as implemented by requirements of this part, are allowable. However, the following audit costs are unallowable:
(1) Any costs when audits required by the Single Audit Act and Subpart F - Audit Requirements of this part have not been conducted or have been conducted but not in accordance therewith; and
(2) Any costs of auditing a non-Federal entity that is exempted from having an audit conducted under the Single Audit Act and Subpart F - Audit Requirements of this part because its expenditures under Federal awards are less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year.
(b) The costs of a financial statement audit of a non-Federal entity that does not currently have a Federal award may be included in the indirect cost pool for a cost allocation plan or indirect cost proposal.
(c) Pass-through entities may charge Federal awards for the cost of agreed-upon-procedures engagements to monitor subrecipients (in accordance with Subpart D - Post Federal Award Requirements of this part, §§ 200.330 Subrecipient and contractor determinations through 200.332 Fixed Amount Subawards) who are exempted from the requirements of the Single Audit Act and Subpart F - Audit Requirements of this part. This cost is allowable only if the agreed-upon-procedures engagements are:
(1) Conducted in accordance with GAGAS attestation standards;
(2) Paid for and arranged by the pass-through entity; and
(3) Limited in scope to one or more of the following types of compliance requirements: activities allowed or unallowed; allowable costs/cost principles; eligibility; and reporting.
Bad debts (debts which have been determined to be uncollectable), including losses (whether actual or estimated) arising from uncollectable accounts and other claims, are unallowable. Related collection costs, and related legal costs, arising from such debts after they have been determined to be uncollectable are also unallowable. See also § 200.428 Collections of improper payments.
(a) Bonding costs arise when the Federal awarding agency requires assurance against financial loss to itself or others by reason of the act or default of the non-Federal entity. They arise also in instances where the non-Federal entity requires similar assurance, including: bonds as bid, performance, payment, advance payment, infringement, and fidelity bonds for employees and officials.
(b) Costs of bonding required pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Federal award are allowable.
(c) Costs of bonding required by the non-Federal entity in the general conduct of its operations are allowable as an indirect cost to the extent that such bonding is in accordance with sound business practice and the rates and premiums are reasonable under the circumstances.
The costs incurred by a non-Federal entity to recover improper payments are allowable as either direct or indirect costs, as appropriate. Amounts collected may be used by the non-Federal entity in accordance with cash management standards set forth in § 200.305 Payment.
For IHEs, costs incurred for commencements and convocations are unallowable, except as provided for in Appendix III to Part 200 - Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), paragraph (B)(9) Student Administration and Services, as student activity costs.
(a) General. Compensation for personal services includes all remuneration, paid currently or accrued, for services of employees rendered during the period of performance under the Federal award, including but not necessarily limited to wages and salaries. Compensation for personal services may also include fringe benefits which are addressed in § 200.431 Compensation - fringe benefits. Costs of compensation are allowable to the extent that they satisfy the specific requirements of this part, and that the total compensation for individual employees:
(1) Is reasonable for the services rendered and conforms to the established written policy of the non-Federal entity consistently applied to both Federal and non-Federal activities;
(2) Follows an appointment made in accordance with a non-Federal entity's laws and/or rules or written policies and meets the requirements of Federal statute, where applicable; and
(3) Is determined and supported as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, Standards for Documentation of Personnel Expenses, when applicable.
(b) Reasonableness. Compensation for employees engaged in work on Federal awards will be considered reasonable to the extent that it is consistent with that paid for similar work in other activities of the non-Federal entity. In cases where the kinds of employees required for Federal awards are not found in the other activities of the non-Federal entity, compensation will be considered reasonable to the extent that it is comparable to that paid for similar work in the labor market in which the non-Federal entity competes for the kind of employees involved.
(c) Professional activities outside the non-Federal entity. Unless an arrangement is specifically authorized by a Federal awarding agency, a non-Federal entity must follow its written non-Federal entity-wide policies and practices concerning the permissible extent of professional services that can be provided outside the non-Federal entity for non-organizational compensation. Where such non-Federal entity-wide written policies do not exist or do not adequately define the permissible extent of consulting or other non-organizational activities undertaken for extra outside pay, the Federal Government may require that the effort of professional staff working on Federal awards be allocated between:
(1) Non-Federal entity activities, and
(2) Non-organizational professional activities. If the Federal awarding agency considers the extent of non-organizational professional effort excessive or inconsistent with the conflicts-of-interest terms and conditions of the Federal award, appropriate arrangements governing compensation will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
(d) Unallowable costs. (1) Costs which are unallowable under other sections of these principles must not be allowable under this section solely on the basis that they constitute personnel compensation.
(2) The allowable compensation for certain employees is subject to a ceiling in accordance with statute. For the amount of the ceiling for cost-reimbursement contracts, the covered compensation subject to the ceiling, the covered employees, and other relevant provisions, see 10 U.S.C. 2324(e)(1)(P), and 41 U.S.C. 1127 and 4304(a)(16). For other types of Federal awards, other statutory ceilings may apply.
(e) Special considerations. Special considerations in determining allowability of compensation will be given to any change in a non-Federal entity's compensation policy resulting in a substantial increase in its employees' level of compensation (particularly when the change was concurrent with an increase in the ratio of Federal awards to other activities) or any change in the treatment of allowability of specific types of compensation due to changes in Federal policy.
(f) Incentive compensation. Incentive compensation to employees based on cost reduction, or efficient performance, suggestion awards, safety awards, etc., is allowable to the extent that the overall compensation is determined to be reasonable and such costs are paid or accrued pursuant to an agreement entered into in good faith between the non-Federal entity and the employees before the services were rendered, or pursuant to an established plan followed by the non-Federal entity so consistently as to imply, in effect, an agreement to make such payment.
(g) Nonprofit organizations. For compensation to members of nonprofit organizations, trustees, directors, associates, officers, or the immediate families thereof, determination must be made that such compensation is reasonable for the actual personal services rendered rather than a distribution of earnings in excess of costs. This may include director's and executive committee member's fees, incentive awards, allowances for off-site pay, incentive pay, location allowances, hardship pay, and cost-of-living differentials.
(h) Institutions of higher education (IHEs). (1) Certain conditions require special consideration and possible limitations in determining allowable personnel compensation costs under Federal awards. Among such conditions are the following:
(i) Allowable activities. Charges to Federal awards may include reasonable amounts for activities contributing and directly related to work under an agreement, such as delivering special lectures about specific aspects of the ongoing activity, writing reports and articles, developing and maintaining protocols (human, animals, etc.), managing substances/chemicals, managing and securing project-specific data, coordinating research subjects, participating in appropriate seminars, consulting with colleagues and graduate students, and attending meetings and conferences.
(ii) Incidental activities. Incidental activities for which supplemental compensation is allowable under written institutional policy (at a rate not to exceed institutional base salary) need not be included in the records described in paragraph (i) of this section to directly charge payments of incidental activities, such activities must either be specifically provided for in the Federal award budget or receive prior written approval by the Federal awarding agency.
(2) Salary basis. Charges for work performed on Federal awards by faculty members during the academic year are allowable at the IBS rate. Except as noted in paragraph (h)(1)(ii) of this section, in no event will charges to Federal awards, irrespective of the basis of computation, exceed the proportionate share of the IBS for that period. This principle applies to all members of faculty at an institution. IBS is defined as the annual compensation paid by an IHE for an individual's appointment, whether that individual's time is spent on research, instruction, administration, or other activities. IBS excludes any income that an individual earns outside of duties performed for the IHE. Unless there is prior approval by the Federal awarding agency, charges of a faculty member's salary to a Federal award must not exceed the proportionate share of the IBS for the period during which the faculty member worked on the award.
(3) Intra-Institution of Higher Education (IHE) consulting. Intra-IHE consulting by faculty is assumed to be undertaken as an IHE obligation requiring no compensation in addition to IBS. However, in unusual cases where consultation is across departmental lines or involves a separate or remote operation, and the work performed by the faculty member is in addition to his or her regular responsibilities, any charges for such work representing additional compensation above IBS are allowable provided that such consulting arrangements are specifically provided for in the Federal award or approved in writing by the Federal awarding agency.
(4) Extra Service Pay normally represents overload compensation, subject to institutional compensation policies for services above and beyond IBS. Where extra service pay is a result of Intra-IHE consulting, it is subject to the same requirements of paragraph (b) above. It is allowable if all of the following conditions are met:
(i) The non-Federal entity establishes consistent written policies which apply uniformly to all faculty members, not just those working on Federal awards.
(ii) The non-Federal entity establishes a consistent written definition of work covered by IBS which is specific enough to determine conclusively when work beyond that level has occurred. This may be described in appointment letters or other documentations.
(iii) The supplementation amount paid is commensurate with the IBS rate of pay and the amount of additional work performed. See paragraph (h)(2) of this section.
(iv) The salaries, as supplemented, fall within the salary structure and pay ranges established by and documented in writing or otherwise applicable to the non-Federal entity.
(v) The total salaries charged to Federal awards including extra service pay are subject to the Standards of Documentation as described in paragraph (i) of this section.
(5) Periods outside the academic year. (i) Except as specified for teaching activity in paragraph (h)(5)(ii) of this section, charges for work performed by faculty members on Federal awards during periods not included in the base salary period will be at a rate not in excess of the IBS.
(ii) Charges for teaching activities performed by faculty members on Federal awards during periods not included in IBS period will be based on the normal written policy of the IHE governing compensation to faculty members for teaching assignments during such periods.
(6) Part-time faculty. Charges for work performed on Federal awards by faculty members having only part-time appointments will be determined at a rate not in excess of that regularly paid for part-time assignments.
(7) Sabbatical leave costs. Rules for sabbatical leave are as follow:
(i) Costs of leaves of absence by employees for performance of graduate work or sabbatical study, travel, or research are allowable provided the IHE has a uniform written policy on sabbatical leave for persons engaged in instruction and persons engaged in research. Such costs will be allocated on an equitable basis among all related activities of the IHE.
(ii) Where sabbatical leave is included in fringe benefits for which a cost is determined for assessment as a direct charge, the aggregate amount of such assessments applicable to all work of the institution during the base period must be reasonable in relation to the IHE's actual experience under its sabbatical leave policy.
(8) Salary rates for non-faculty members. Non-faculty full-time professional personnel may also earn “extra service pay” in accordance with the non-Federal entity's written policy and consistent with paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this section.
(i) Standards for Documentation of Personnel Expenses (1) Charges to Federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed. These records must:
(i) Be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated;
(ii) Be incorporated into the official records of the non-Federal entity;
(iii) Reasonably reflect the total activity for which the employee is compensated by the non-Federal entity, not exceeding 100% of compensated activities (for IHE, this per the IHE's definition of IBS);
(iv) Encompass both federally assisted and all other activities compensated by the non-Federal entity on an integrated basis, but may include the use of subsidiary records as defined in the non-Federal entity's written policy;
(v) Comply with the established accounting policies and practices of the non-Federal entity (See paragraph (h)(1)(ii) above for treatment of incidental work for IHEs.); and
(vii) Support the distribution of the employee's salary or wages among specific activities or cost objectives if the employee works on more than one Federal award; a Federal award and non-Federal award; an indirect cost activity and a direct cost activity; two or more indirect activities which are allocated using different allocation bases; or an unallowable activity and a direct or indirect cost activity.
(viii) Budget estimates (i.e., estimates determined before the services are performed) alone do not qualify as support for charges to Federal awards, but may be used for interim accounting purposes, provided that:
(A) The system for establishing the estimates produces reasonable approximations of the activity actually performed;
(B) Significant changes in the corresponding work activity (as defined by the non-Federal entity's written policies) are identified and entered into the records in a timely manner. Short term (such as one or two months) fluctuation between workload categories need not be considered as long as the distribution of salaries and wages is reasonable over the longer term; and
(C) The non-Federal entity's system of internal controls includes processes to review after-the-fact interim charges made to a Federal awards based on budget estimates. All necessary adjustment must be made such that the final amount charged to the Federal award is accurate, allowable, and properly allocated.
(ix) Because practices vary as to the activity constituting a full workload (for IHEs, IBS), records may reflect categories of activities expressed as a percentage distribution of total activities.
(x) It is recognized that teaching, research, service, and administration are often inextricably intermingled in an academic setting. When recording salaries and wages charged to Federal awards for IHEs, a precise assessment of factors that contribute to costs is therefore not always feasible, nor is it expected.
(2) For records which meet the standards required in paragraph (i)(1) of this section, the non-Federal entity will not be required to provide additional support or documentation for the work performed, other than that referenced in paragraph (i)(3) of this section.
(3) In accordance with Department of Labor regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (29 CFR part 516), charges for the salaries and wages of nonexempt employees, in addition to the supporting documentation described in this section, must also be supported by records indicating the total number of hours worked each day.
(4) Salaries and wages of employees used in meeting cost sharing or matching requirements on Federal awards must be supported in the same manner as salaries and wages claimed for reimbursement from Federal awards.
(5) For states, local governments and Indian tribes, substitute processes or systems for allocating salaries and wages to Federal awards may be used in place of or in addition to the records described in paragraph (1) if approved by the cognizant agency for indirect cost. Such systems may include, but are not limited to, random moment sampling, “rolling” time studies, case counts, or other quantifiable measures of work performed.
(i) Substitute systems which use sampling methods (primarily for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and other public assistance programs) must meet acceptable statistical sampling standards including:
(A) The sampling universe must include all of the employees whose salaries and wages are to be allocated based on sample results except as provided in paragraph (i)(5)(iii) of this section;
(B) The entire time period involved must be covered by the sample; and
(C) The results must be statistically valid and applied to the period being sampled.
(ii) Allocating charges for the sampled employees' supervisors, clerical and support staffs, based on the results of the sampled employees, will be acceptable.
(iii) Less than full compliance with the statistical sampling standards noted in subsection (5)(i) may be accepted by the cognizant agency for indirect costs if it concludes that the amounts to be allocated to Federal awards will be minimal, or if it concludes that the system proposed by the non-Federal entity will result in lower costs to Federal awards than a system which complies with the standards.
(6) Cognizant agencies for indirect costs are encouraged to approve alternative proposals based on outcomes and milestones for program performance where these are clearly documented. Where approved by the Federal cognizant agency for indirect costs, these plans are acceptable as an alternative to the requirements of paragraph (i)(1) of this section.
(7) For Federal awards of similar purpose activity or instances of approved blended funding, a non-Federal entity may submit performance plans that incorporate funds from multiple Federal awards and account for their combined use based on performance-oriented metrics, provided that such plans are approved in advance by all involved Federal awarding agencies. In these instances, the non-Federal entity must submit a request for waiver of the requirements based on documentation that describes the method of charging costs, relates the charging of costs to the specific activity that is applicable to all fund sources, and is based on quantifiable measures of the activity in relation to time charged.
(8) For a non-Federal entity where the records do not meet the standards described in this section, the Federal Government may require personnel activity reports, including prescribed certifications, or equivalent documentation that support the records as required in this section.
(a) Fringe benefits are allowances and services provided by employers to their employees as compensation in addition to regular salaries and wages. Fringe benefits include, but are not limited to, the costs of leave (vacation, family-related, sick or military), employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans. Except as provided elsewhere in these principles, the costs of fringe benefits are allowable provided that the benefits are reasonable and are required by law, non-Federal entity-employee agreement, or an established policy of the non-Federal entity.
(b) Leave. The cost of fringe benefits in the form of regular compensation paid to employees during periods of authorized absences from the job, such as for annual leave, family-related leave, sick leave, holidays, court leave, military leave, administrative leave, and other similar benefits, are allowable if all of the following criteria are met:
(1) They are provided under established written leave policies;
(2) The costs are equitably allocated to all related activities, including Federal awards; and,
(3) The accounting basis (cash or accrual) selected for costing each type of leave is consistently followed by the non-Federal entity or specified grouping of employees.
(i) When a non-Federal entity uses the cash basis of accounting, the cost of leave is recognized in the period that the leave is taken and paid for. Payments for unused leave when an employee retires or terminates employment are allowable in the year of payment.
(ii) The accrual basis may be only used for those types of leave for which a liability as defined by GAAP exists when the leave is earned. When a non-Federal entity uses the accrual basis of accounting, allowable leave costs are the lesser of the amount accrued or funded.
(c) The cost of fringe benefits in the form of employer contributions or expenses for social security; employee life, health, unemployment, and worker's compensation insurance (except as indicated in § 200.447 Insurance and indemnification); pension plan costs (see paragraph (i) of this section); and other similar benefits are allowable, provided such benefits are granted under established written policies. Such benefits, must be allocated to Federal awards and all other activities in a manner consistent with the pattern of benefits attributable to the individuals or group(s) of employees whose salaries and wages are chargeable to such Federal awards and other activities, and charged as direct or indirect costs in accordance with the non-Federal entity's accounting practices.
(d) Fringe benefits may be assigned to cost objectives by identifying specific benefits to specific individual employees or by allocating on the basis of entity-wide salaries and wages of the employees receiving the benefits. When the allocation method is used, separate allocations must be made to selective groupings of employees, unless the non-Federal entity demonstrates that costs in relationship to salaries and wages do not differ significantly for different groups of employees.
(e) Insurance. See also § 200.447 Insurance and indemnification, paragraphs (d)(1) and (2).
(1) Provisions for a reserve under a self-insurance program for unemployment compensation or workers' compensation are allowable to the extent that the provisions represent reasonable estimates of the liabilities for such compensation, and the types of coverage, extent of coverage, and rates and premiums would have been allowable had insurance been purchased to cover the risks. However, provisions for self-insured liabilities which do not become payable for more than one year after the provision is made must not exceed the present value of the liability.
(2) Costs of insurance on the lives of trustees, officers, or other employees holding positions of similar responsibility are allowable only to the extent that the insurance represents additional compensation. The costs of such insurance when the non-Federal entity is named as beneficiary are unallowable.
(3) Actual claims paid to or on behalf of employees or former employees for workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, severance pay, and similar employee benefits (e.g., post-retirement health benefits), are allowable in the year of payment provided that the non-Federal entity follows a consistent costing policy.
(f) Automobiles. That portion of automobile costs furnished by the entity that relates to personal use by employees (including transportation to and from work) is unallowable as fringe benefit or indirect (F&A) costs regardless of whether the cost is reported as taxable income to the employees.
(g) Pension Plan Costs. Pension plan costs which are incurred in accordance with the established policies of the non-Federal entity are allowable, provided that:
(1) Such policies meet the test of reasonableness.
(2) The methods of cost allocation are not discriminatory.
(3) For entities using accrual based accounting, the cost assigned to each fiscal year is determined in accordance with GAAP.
(4) The costs assigned to a given fiscal year are funded for all plan participants within six months after the end of that year. However, increases to normal and past service pension costs caused by a delay in funding the actuarial liability beyond 30 calendar days after each quarter of the year to which such costs are assignable are unallowable. Non-Federal entity may elect to follow the “Cost Accounting Standard for Composition and Measurement of Pension Costs” (48 CFR 9904.412).
(5) Pension plan termination insurance premiums paid pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1301-1461) are allowable. Late payment charges on such premiums are unallowable. Excise taxes on accumulated funding deficiencies and other penalties imposed under ERISA are unallowable.
(6) Pension plan costs may be computed using a pay-as-you-go method or an acceptable actuarial cost method in accordance with established written policies of the non-Federal entity.
(i) For pension plans financed on a pay-as-you-go method, allowable costs will be limited to those representing actual payments to retirees or their beneficiaries.
(ii) Pension costs calculated using an actuarial cost-based method recognized by GAAP are allowable for a given fiscal year if they are funded for that year within six months after the end of that year. Costs funded after the six month period (or a later period agreed to by the cognizant agency for indirect costs) are allowable in the year funded. The cognizant agency for indirect costs may agree to an extension of the six month period if an appropriate adjustment is made to compensate for the timing of the charges to the Federal Government and related Federal reimbursement and the non-Federal entity's contribution to the pension fund. Adjustments may be made by cash refund or other equitable procedures to compensate the Federal Government for the time value of Federal reimbursements in excess of contributions to the pension fund.
(iii) Amounts funded by the non-Federal entity in excess of the actuarially determined amount for a fiscal year may be used as the non-Federal entity's contribution in future periods.
(iv) When a non-Federal entity converts to an acceptable actuarial cost method, as defined by GAAP, and funds pension costs in accordance with this method, the unfunded liability at the time of conversion is allowable if amortized over a period of years in accordance with GAAP.
(v) The Federal Government must receive an equitable share of any previously allowed pension costs (including earnings thereon) which revert or inure to the non-Federal entity in the form of a refund, withdrawal, or other credit.
(h) Post-Retirement Health. Post-retirement health plans (PRHP) refers to costs of health insurance or health services not included in a pension plan covered by paragraph (g) of this section for retirees and their spouses, dependents, and survivors. PRHP costs may be computed using a pay-as-you-go method or an acceptable actuarial cost method in accordance with established written policies of the non-Federal entity.
(1) For PRHP financed on a pay-as-you-go method, allowable costs will be limited to those representing actual payments to retirees or their beneficiaries.
(2) PRHP costs calculated using an actuarial cost method recognized by GAAP are allowable if they are funded for that year within six months after the end of that year. Costs funded after the six month period (or a later period agreed to by the cognizant agency) are allowable in the year funded. The Federal cognizant agency for indirect costs may agree to an extension of the six month period if an appropriate adjustment is made to compensate for the timing of the charges to the Federal Government and related Federal reimbursements and the non-Federal entity's contributions to the PRHP fund. Adjustments may be made by cash refund, reduction in current year's PRHP costs, or other equitable procedures to compensate the Federal Government for the time value of Federal reimbursements in excess of contributions to the PRHP fund.
(3) Amounts funded in excess of the actuarially determined amount for a fiscal year may be used as the non-Federal entity contribution in a future period.
(4) When a non-Federal entity converts to an acceptable actuarial cost method and funds PRHP costs in accordance with this method, the initial unfunded liability attributable to prior years is allowable if amortized over a period of years in accordance with GAAP, or, if no such GAAP period exists, over a period negotiated with the cognizant agency for indirect costs.
(5) To be allowable in the current year, the PRHP costs must be paid either to:
(i) An insurer or other benefit provider as current year costs or premiums, or
(ii) An insurer or trustee to maintain a trust fund or reserve for the sole purpose of providing post-retirement benefits to retirees and other beneficiaries.
(6) The Federal Government must receive an equitable share of any amounts of previously allowed post-retirement benefit costs (including earnings thereon) which revert or inure to the non-Federal entity in the form of a refund, withdrawal, or other credit.
(i) Severance Pay. (1) Severance pay, also commonly referred to as dismissal wages, is a payment in addition to regular salaries and wages, by non-Federal entities to workers whose employment is being terminated. Costs of severance pay are allowable only to the extent that in each case, it is required by (a) law, (b) employer-employee agreement, (c) established policy that constitutes, in effect, an implied agreement on the non-Federal entity's part, or (d) circumstances of the particular employment.
(2) Costs of severance payments are divided into two categories as follows:
(i) Actual normal turnover severance payments must be allocated to all activities; or, where the non-Federal entity provides for a reserve for normal severances, such method will be acceptable if the charge to current operations is reasonable in light of payments actually made for normal severances over a representative past period, and if amounts charged are allocated to all activities of the non-Federal entity.
(ii) Measurement of costs of abnormal or mass severance pay by means of an accrual will not achieve equity to both parties. Thus, accruals for this purpose are not allowable. However, the Federal Government recognizes its obligation to participate, to the extent of its fair share, in any specific payment. Prior approval by the Federal awarding agency or cognizant agency for indirect cost, as appropriate, is required.
(3) Costs incurred in certain severance pay packages which are in an amount in excess of the normal severance pay paid by the non-Federal entity to an employee upon termination of employment and are paid to the employee contingent upon a change in management control over, or ownership of, the non-Federal entity's assets, are unallowable.
(4) Severance payments to foreign nationals employed by the non-Federal entity outside the United States, to the extent that the amount exceeds the customary or prevailing practices for the non-Federal entity in the United States, are unallowable, unless they are necessary for the performance of Federal programs and approved by the Federal awarding agency.
(5) Severance payments to foreign nationals employed by the non-Federal entity outside the United States due to the termination of the foreign national as a result of the closing of, or curtailment of activities by, the non-Federal entity in that country, are unallowable, unless they are necessary for the performance of Federal programs and approved by the Federal awarding agency.
(j)(1) For IHEs only. Fringe benefits in the form of undergraduate and graduate tuition or remission of tuition for individual employees are allowable, provided such benefits are granted in accordance with established non-Federal entity policies, and are distributed to all non-Federal entity activities on an equitable basis. Tuition benefits for family members other than the employee are unallowable.
(2) Fringe benefits in the form of tuition or remission of tuition for individual employees not employed by IHEs are limited to the tax-free amount allowed per section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code as amended.
(3) IHEs may offer employees tuition waivers or tuition reductions, provided that the benefit does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. Employees can exercise these benefits at other institutions according to institutional policy. See § 200.466 Scholarships and student aid costs, for treatment of tuition remission provided to students.
(k) For IHEs whose costs are paid by state or local governments, fringe benefit programs (such as pension costs and FICA) and any other benefits costs specifically incurred on behalf of, and in direct benefit to, the non-Federal entity, are allowable costs of such non-Federal entities whether or not these costs are recorded in the accounting records of the non-Federal entities, subject to the following:
(1) The costs meet the requirements of Basic Considerations in §§ 200.402 Composition of costs through 200.411 Adjustment of previously negotiated indirect (F&A) cost rates containing unallowable costs of this subpart;
(2) The costs are properly supported by approved cost allocation plans in accordance with applicable Federal cost accounting principles; and
(3) The costs are not otherwise borne directly or indirectly by the Federal Government.
A conference is defined as a meeting, retreat, seminar, symposium, workshop or event whose primary purpose is the dissemination of technical information beyond the non-Federal entity and is necessary and reasonable for successful performance under the Federal award. Allowable conference costs paid by the non-Federal entity as a sponsor or host of the conference may include rental of facilities, speakers' fees, costs of meals and refreshments, local transportation, and other items incidental to such conferences unless further restricted by the terms and conditions of the Federal award. As needed, the costs of identifying, but not providing, locally available dependent-care resources are allowable. Conference hosts/sponsors must exercise discretion and judgment in ensuring that conference costs are appropriate, necessary and managed in a manner that minimizes costs to the Federal award. The Federal awarding agency may authorize exceptions where appropriate for programs including Indian tribes, children, and the elderly. See also §§ 200.438 Entertainment costs, 200.456 Participant support costs, 200.474 Travel costs, and 200.475 Trustees.
(a) Contingency is that part of a budget estimate of future costs (typically of large construction projects, IT systems, or other items as approved by the Federal awarding agency) which is associated with possible events or conditions arising from causes the precise outcome of which is indeterminable at the time of estimate, and that experience shows will likely result, in aggregate, in additional costs for the approved activity or project. Amounts for major project scope changes, unforeseen risks, or extraordinary events may not be included.
(b) It is permissible for contingency amounts other than those excluded in paragraph (a) of this section to be explicitly included in budget estimates, to the extent they are necessary to improve the precision of those estimates. Amounts must be estimated using broadly-accepted cost estimating methodologies, specified in the budget documentation of the Federal award, and accepted by the Federal awarding agency. As such, contingency amounts are to be included in the Federal award. In order for actual costs incurred to be allowable, they must comply with the cost principles and other requirements in this part (see also §§ 200.300 Statutory and national policy requirements through 200.309 Period of performance of Subpart D of this part and 200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs); be necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project or program objectives, and be verifiable from the non-Federal entity's records.
(c) Payments made by the Federal awarding agency to the non-Federal entity's “contingency reserve” or any similar payment made for events the occurrence of which cannot be foretold with certainty as to the time or intensity, or with an assurance of their happening, are unallowable, except as noted in §§ 200.431 Compensation - fringe benefits regarding self-insurance, pensions, severance and post-retirement health costs and 200.447 Insurance and indemnification.
(a) Costs of contributions and donations, including cash, property, and services, from the non-Federal entity to other entities, are unallowable.
(b) The value of services and property donated to the non-Federal entity may not be charged to the Federal award either as a direct or indirect (F&A) cost. The value of donated services and property may be used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements (see § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching). Depreciation on donated assets is permitted in accordance with § 200.436 Depreciation, as long as the donated property is not counted towards cost sharing or matching requirements.
(c) Services donated or volunteered to the non-Federal entity may be furnished to a non-Federal entity by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor. The value of these services may not be charged to the Federal award either as a direct or indirect cost. However, the value of donated services may be used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements in accordance with the provisions of § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching.
(d) To the extent feasible, services donated to the non-Federal entity will be supported by the same methods used to support the allocability of regular personnel services.
(e) The following provisions apply to nonprofit organizations. The value of services donated to the nonprofit organization utilized in the performance of a direct cost activity must be considered in the determination of the non-Federal entity's indirect cost rate(s) and, accordingly, must be allocated a proportionate share of applicable indirect costs when the following circumstances exist:
(1) The aggregate value of the services is material;
(2) The services are supported by a significant amount of the indirect costs incurred by the non-Federal entity;
(i) In those instances where there is no basis for determining the fair market value of the services rendered, the non-Federal entity and the cognizant agency for indirect costs must negotiate an appropriate allocation of indirect cost to the services.
(ii) Where donated services directly benefit a project supported by the Federal award, the indirect costs allocated to the services will be considered as a part of the total costs of the project. Such indirect costs may be reimbursed under the Federal award or used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements.
(f) Fair market value of donated services must be computed as described in § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching.
(g) Personal Property and Use of Space.
(1) Donated personal property and use of space may be furnished to a non-Federal entity. The value of the personal property and space may not be charged to the Federal award either as a direct or indirect cost.
(2) The value of the donations may be used to meet cost sharing or matching share requirements under the conditions described in §§ 200.300 Statutory and national policy requirements through 200.309 Period of performance of subpart D of this part. The value of the donations must be determined in accordance with §§ 200.300 Statutory and national policy requirements through 200.309 Period of performance. Where donations are treated as indirect costs, indirect cost rates will separate the value of the donations so that reimbursement will not be made.
§ 200.435 - Defense and prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings, claims, appeals and patent infringements.
(a) Definitions for the purposes of this section. (1) Conviction means a judgment or conviction of a criminal offense by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether entered upon verdict or a plea, including a conviction due to a plea of nolo contendere.
(2) Costs include the services of in-house or private counsel, accountants, consultants, or others engaged to assist the non-Federal entity before, during, and after commencement of a judicial or administrative proceeding, that bear a direct relationship to the proceeding.
(3) Fraud means:
(i) Acts of fraud or corruption or attempts to defraud the Federal Government or to corrupt its agents,
(ii) Acts that constitute a cause for debarment or suspension (as specified in agency regulations), and
(4) Penalty does not include restitution, reimbursement, or compensatory damages.
(5) Proceeding includes an investigation.
(b) Costs. (1) Except as otherwise described herein, costs incurred in connection with any criminal, civil or administrative proceeding (including filing of a false certification) commenced by the Federal Government, a state, local government, or foreign government, or joined by the Federal Government (including a proceeding under the False Claims Act), against the non-Federal entity, (or commenced by third parties or a current or former employee of the non-Federal entity who submits a whistleblower complaint of reprisal in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2409 or 41 U.S.C. 4712), are not allowable if the proceeding:
(i) Relates to a violation of, or failure to comply with, a Federal, state, local or foreign statute, regulation or the terms and conditions of the Federal award, by the non-Federal entity (including its agents and employees); and
(ii) Results in any of the following dispositions:
(A) In a criminal proceeding, a conviction.
(B) In a civil or administrative proceeding involving an allegation of fraud or similar misconduct, a determination of non-Federal entity liability.
(C) In the case of any civil or administrative proceeding, the disallowance of costs or the imposition of a monetary penalty, or an order issued by the Federal awarding agency head or delegate to the non-Federal entity to take corrective action under 10 U.S.C. 2409 or 41 U.S.C. 4712.
(D) A final decision by an appropriate Federal official to debar or suspend the non-Federal entity, to rescind or void a Federal award, or to terminate a Federal award by reason of a violation or failure to comply with a statute, regulation, or the terms and conditions of the Federal award.
(E) A disposition by consent or compromise, if the action could have resulted in any of the dispositions described in paragraphs (b)(1)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section.
(2) If more than one proceeding involves the same alleged misconduct, the costs of all such proceedings are unallowable if any results in one of the dispositions shown in paragraph (b) of this section.
(c) If a proceeding referred to in paragraph (b) of this section is commenced by the Federal Government and is resolved by consent or compromise pursuant to an agreement by the non-Federal entity and the Federal Government, then the costs incurred may be allowed to the extent specifically provided in such agreement.
(d) If a proceeding referred to in paragraph (b) of this section is commenced by a state, local or foreign government, the authorized Federal official may allow the costs incurred if such authorized official determines that the costs were incurred as a result of:
(1) A specific term or condition of the Federal award, or
(2) Specific written direction of an authorized official of the Federal awarding agency.
(e) Costs incurred in connection with proceedings described in paragraph (b) of this section, which are not made unallowable by that subsection, may be allowed but only to the extent that:
(1) The costs are reasonable and necessary in relation to the administration of the Federal award and activities required to deal with the proceeding and the underlying cause of action;
(2) Payment of the reasonable, necessary, allocable and otherwise allowable costs incurred is not prohibited by any other provision(s) of the Federal award;
(3) The costs are not recovered from the Federal Government or a third party, either directly as a result of the proceeding or otherwise; and,
(4) An authorized Federal official must determine the percentage of costs allowed considering the complexity of litigation, generally accepted principles governing the award of legal fees in civil actions involving the United States, and such other factors as may be appropriate. Such percentage must not exceed 80 percent. However, if an agreement reached under paragraph (c) of this section has explicitly considered this 80 percent limitation and permitted a higher percentage, then the full amount of costs resulting from that agreement are allowable.
(f) Costs incurred by the non-Federal entity in connection with the defense of suits brought by its employees or ex-employees under section 2 of the Major Fraud Act of 1988 (18 U.S.C. 1031), including the cost of all relief necessary to make such employee whole, where the non-Federal entity was found liable or settled, are unallowable.
(g) Costs of prosecution of claims against the Federal Government, including appeals of final Federal agency decisions, are unallowable.
(h) Costs of legal, accounting, and consultant services, and related costs, incurred in connection with patent infringement litigation, are unallowable unless otherwise provided for in the Federal award.
(i) Costs which may be unallowable under this section, including directly associated costs, must be segregated and accounted for separately. During the pendency of any proceeding covered by paragraphs (b) and (f) of this section, the Federal Government must generally withhold payment of such costs. However, if in its best interests, the Federal Government may provide for conditional payment upon provision of adequate security, or other adequate assurance, and agreement to repay all unallowable costs, plus interest, if the costs are subsequently determined to be unallowable.
(a) Depreciation is the method for allocating the cost of fixed assets to periods benefitting from asset use. The non-Federal entity may be compensated for the use of its buildings, capital improvements, equipment, and software projects capitalized in accordance with GAAP, provided that they are used, needed in the non-Federal entity's activities, and properly allocated to Federal awards. Such compensation must be made by computing depreciation.
(b) The allocation for depreciation must be made in accordance with Appendices III through IX.
(c) Depreciation is computed applying the following rules. The computation of depreciation must be based on the acquisition cost of the assets involved. For an asset donated to the non-Federal entity by a third party, its fair market value at the time of the donation must be considered as the acquisition cost. Such assets may be depreciated or claimed as matching but not both. For the purpose of computing depreciation, the acquisition cost will exclude:
(1) The cost of land;
(2) Any portion of the cost of buildings and equipment borne by or donated by the Federal Government, irrespective of where title was originally vested or where it is presently located;
(3) Any portion of the cost of buildings and equipment contributed by or for the non-Federal entity where law or agreement prohibits recovery; and
(4) Any asset acquired solely for the performance of a non-Federal award.
(d) When computing depreciation charges, the following must be observed:
(1) The period of useful service or useful life established in each case for usable capital assets must take into consideration such factors as type of construction, nature of the equipment, technological developments in the particular area, historical data, and the renewal and replacement policies followed for the individual items or classes of assets involved.
(2) The depreciation method used to charge the cost of an asset (or group of assets) to accounting periods must reflect the pattern of consumption of the asset during its useful life. In the absence of clear evidence indicating that the expected consumption of the asset will be significantly greater in the early portions than in the later portions of its useful life, the straight-line method must be presumed to be the appropriate method. Depreciation methods once used may not be changed unless approved in advance by the cognizant agency. The depreciation methods used to calculate the depreciation amounts for indirect (F&A) rate purposes must be the same methods used by the non-Federal entity for its financial statements.
(3) The entire building, including the shell and all components, may be treated as a single asset and depreciated over a single useful life. A building may also be divided into multiple components. Each component item may then be depreciated over its estimated useful life. The building components must be grouped into three general components of a building: building shell (including construction and design costs), building services systems (e.g., elevators, HVAC, plumbing system and heating and air-conditioning system) and fixed equipment (e.g., sterilizers, casework, fume hoods, cold rooms and glassware/washers). In exceptional cases, a cognizant agency may authorize a non-Federal entity to use more than these three groupings. When a non-Federal entity elects to depreciate its buildings by its components, the same depreciation methods must be used for indirect (F&A) purposes and financial statements purposes, as described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section.
(4) No depreciation may be allowed on any assets that have outlived their depreciable lives.
(5) Where the depreciation method is introduced to replace the use allowance method, depreciation must be computed as if the asset had been depreciated over its entire life (i.e., from the date the asset was acquired and ready for use to the date of disposal or withdrawal from service). The total amount of use allowance and depreciation for an asset (including imputed depreciation applicable to periods prior to the conversion from the use allowance method as well as depreciation after the conversion) may not exceed the total acquisition cost of the asset.
(e) Charges for depreciation must be supported by adequate property records, and physical inventories must be taken at least once every two years to ensure that the assets exist and are usable, used, and needed. Statistical sampling techniques may be used in taking these inventories. In addition, adequate depreciation records showing the amount of depreciation taken each period must also be maintained.
(a) Costs incurred in accordance with the non-Federal entity's documented policies for the improvement of working conditions, employer-employee relations, employee health, and employee performance are allowable.
(b) Such costs will be equitably apportioned to all activities of the non-Federal entity. Income generated from any of these activities will be credited to the cost thereof unless such income has been irrevocably sent to employee welfare organizations.
(c) Losses resulting from operating food services are allowable only if the non-Federal entity's objective is to operate such services on a break-even basis. Losses sustained because of operating objectives other than the above are allowable only:
(1) Where the non-Federal entity can demonstrate unusual circumstances; and
(2) With the approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs.
Costs of entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any associated costs are unallowable, except where specific costs that might otherwise be considered entertainment have a programmatic purpose and are authorized either in the approved budget for the Federal award or with prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency.
(a) See §§ 200.13 Capital expenditures, 200.33 Equipment, 200.89 Special purpose equipment, 200.48 General purpose equipment, 200.2 Acquisition cost, and 200.12 Capital assets.
(b) The following rules of allowability must apply to equipment and other capital expenditures:
(1) Capital expenditures for general purpose equipment, buildings, and land are unallowable as direct charges, except with the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.
(2) Capital expenditures for special purpose equipment are allowable as direct costs, provided that items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more have the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.
(3) Capital expenditures for improvements to land, buildings, or equipment which materially increase their value or useful life are unallowable as a direct cost except with the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency, or pass-through entity. See § 200.436 Depreciation, for rules on the allowability of depreciation on buildings, capital improvements, and equipment. See also § 200.465 Rental costs of real property and equipment.
(4) When approved as a direct charge pursuant to paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section, capital expenditures will be charged in the period in which the expenditure is incurred, or as otherwise determined appropriate and negotiated with the Federal awarding agency.
(5) The unamortized portion of any equipment written off as a result of a change in capitalization levels may be recovered by continuing to claim the otherwise allowable depreciation on the equipment, or by amortizing the amount to be written off over a period of years negotiated with the Federal cognizant agency for indirect cost.
(6) Cost of equipment disposal. If the non-Federal entity is instructed by the Federal awarding agency to otherwise dispose of or transfer the equipment the costs of such disposal or transfer are allowable.
(7) Equipment and other capital expenditures are unallowable as indirect costs. See § 200.436 Depreciation.
(a) Cost increases for fluctuations in exchange rates are allowable costs subject to the availability of funding. Prior approval of exchange rate fluctuations is required only when the change results in the need for additional Federal funding, or the increased costs result in the need to significantly reduce the scope of the project. The Federal awarding agency must however ensure that adequate funds are available to cover currency fluctuations in order to avoid a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act.
(b) The non-Federal entity is required to make reviews of local currency gains to determine the need for additional federal funding before the expiration date of the Federal award. Subsequent adjustments for currency increases may be allowable only when the non-Federal entity provides the Federal awarding agency with adequate source documentation from a commonly used source in effect at the time the expense was made, and to the extent that sufficient Federal funds are available.
Costs resulting from non-Federal entity violations of, alleged violations of, or failure to comply with, Federal, state, tribal, local or foreign laws and regulations are unallowable, except when incurred as a result of compliance with specific provisions of the Federal award, or with prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency. See also § 200.435 Defense and prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings, claims, appeals and patent infringements.
(a) Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions are unallowable. Fund raising costs for the purposes of meeting the Federal program objectives are allowable with prior written approval from the Federal awarding agency. Proposal costs are covered in § 200.460 Proposal costs.
(b) Costs of investment counsel and staff and similar expenses incurred to enhance income from investments are unallowable except when associated with investments covering pension, self-insurance, or other funds which include Federal participation allowed by this part.
(c) Costs related to the physical custody and control of monies and securities are allowable.
(d) Both allowable and unallowable fund raising and investment activities must be allocated as an appropriate share of indirect costs under the conditions described in § 200.413 Direct costs.
(a) Gains and losses on the sale, retirement, or other disposition of depreciable property must be included in the year in which they occur as credits or charges to the asset cost grouping(s) in which the property was included. The amount of the gain or loss to be included as a credit or charge to the appropriate asset cost grouping(s) is the difference between the amount realized on the property and the undepreciated basis of the property.
(b) Gains and losses from the disposition of depreciable property must not be recognized as a separate credit or charge under the following conditions:
(1) The gain or loss is processed through a depreciation account and is reflected in the depreciation allowable under §§ 200.436 Depreciation and 200.439 Equipment and other capital expenditures.
(2) The property is given in exchange as part of the purchase price of a similar item and the gain or loss is taken into account in determining the depreciation cost basis of the new item.
(3) A loss results from the failure to maintain permissible insurance, except as otherwise provided in § 200.447 Insurance and indemnification.
(4) Compensation for the use of the property was provided through use allowances in lieu of depreciation.
(5) Gains and losses arising from mass or extraordinary sales, retirements, or other dispositions must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
(c) Gains or losses of any nature arising from the sale or exchange of property other than the property covered in paragraph (a) of this section, e.g., land, must be excluded in computing Federal award costs.
(d) When assets acquired with Federal funds, in part or wholly, are disposed of, the distribution of the proceeds must be made in accordance with §§ 200.310 Insurance Coverage through 200.316 Property trust relationship.
(a) For states, local governments, and Indian Tribes, the general costs of government are unallowable (except as provided in § 200.474 Travel costs). Unallowable costs include:
(1) Salaries and expenses of the Office of the Governor of a state or the chief executive of a local government or the chief executive of an Indian tribe;
(2) Salaries and other expenses of a state legislature, tribal council, or similar local governmental body, such as a county supervisor, city council, school board, etc., whether incurred for purposes of legislation or executive direction;
(3) Costs of the judicial branch of a government;
(4) Costs of prosecutorial activities unless treated as a direct cost to a specific program if authorized by statute or regulation (however, this does not preclude the allowability of other legal activities of the Attorney General as described in § 200.435 Defense and prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings, claims, appeals and patent infringements); and
(5) Costs of other general types of government services normally provided to the general public, such as fire and police, unless provided for as a direct cost under a program statute or regulation.
(b) For Indian tribes and Councils of Governments (COGs) (see § 200.64 Local government), up to 50% of salaries and expenses directly attributable to managing and operating Federal programs by the chief executive and his or her staff can be included in the indirect cost calculation without documentation.
(a) Costs of goods or services for personal use of the non-Federal entity's employees are unallowable regardless of whether the cost is reported as taxable income to the employees.
(b) Costs of housing (e.g., depreciation, maintenance, utilities, furnishings, rent), housing allowances and personal living expenses are only allowable as direct costs regardless of whether reported as taxable income to the employees. In addition, to be allowable direct costs must be approved in advance by a Federal awarding agency.
(a) As used in this section the following terms have the meanings set forth in this section:
(1) Facilities means land and buildings or any portion thereof, equipment individually or collectively, or any other tangible capital asset, wherever located, and whether owned or leased by the non-Federal entity.
(2) Idle facilities means completely unused facilities that are excess to the non-Federal entity's current needs.
(3) Idle capacity means the unused capacity of partially used facilities. It is the difference between:
(i) That which a facility could achieve under 100 percent operating time on a one-shift basis less operating interruptions resulting from time lost for repairs, setups, unsatisfactory materials, and other normal delays and;
(ii) The extent to which the facility was actually used to meet demands during the accounting period. A multi-shift basis should be used if it can be shown that this amount of usage would normally be expected for the type of facility involved.
(4) Cost of idle facilities or idle capacity means costs such as maintenance, repair, housing, rent, and other related costs, e.g., insurance, interest, and depreciation. These costs could include the costs of idle public safety emergency facilities, telecommunications, or information technology system capacity that is built to withstand major fluctuations in load, e.g., consolidated data centers.
(b) The costs of idle facilities are unallowable except to the extent that:
(1) They are necessary to meet workload requirements which may fluctuate and are allocated appropriately to all benefiting programs; or
(2) Although not necessary to meet fluctuations in workload, they were necessary when acquired and are now idle because of changes in program requirements, efforts to achieve more economical operations, reorganization, termination, or other causes which could not have been reasonably foreseen. Under the exception stated in this subsection, costs of idle facilities are allowable for a reasonable period of time, ordinarily not to exceed one year, depending on the initiative taken to use, lease, or dispose of such facilities.
(c) The costs of idle capacity are normal costs of doing business and are a factor in the normal fluctuations of usage or indirect cost rates from period to period. Such costs are allowable, provided that the capacity is reasonably anticipated to be necessary to carry out the purpose of the Federal award or was originally reasonable and is not subject to reduction or elimination by use on other Federal awards, subletting, renting, or sale, in accordance with sound business, economic, or security practices. Widespread idle capacity throughout an entire facility or among a group of assets having substantially the same function may be considered idle facilities.
(a) Costs of insurance required or approved and maintained, pursuant to the Federal award, are allowable.
(b) Costs of other insurance in connection with the general conduct of activities are allowable subject to the following limitations:
(1) Types and extent and cost of coverage are in accordance with the non-Federal entity's policy and sound business practice.
(2) Costs of insurance or of contributions to any reserve covering the risk of loss of, or damage to, Federal Government property are unallowable except to the extent that the Federal awarding agency has specifically required or approved such costs.
(3) Costs allowed for business interruption or other similar insurance must exclude coverage of management fees.
(4) Costs of insurance on the lives of trustees, officers, or other employees holding positions of similar responsibilities are allowable only to the extent that the insurance represents additional compensation (see § 200.431 Compensation - fringe benefits). The cost of such insurance when the non-Federal entity is identified as the beneficiary is unallowable.
(5) Insurance against defects. Costs of insurance with respect to any costs incurred to correct defects in the non-Federal entity's materials or workmanship are unallowable.
(6) Medical liability (malpractice) insurance. Medical liability insurance is an allowable cost of Federal research programs only to the extent that the Federal research programs involve human subjects or training of participants in research techniques. Medical liability insurance costs must be treated as a direct cost and must be assigned to individual projects based on the manner in which the insurer allocates the risk to the population covered by the insurance.
(c) Actual losses which could have been covered by permissible insurance (through a self-insurance program or otherwise) are unallowable, unless expressly provided for in the Federal award. However, costs incurred because of losses not covered under nominal deductible insurance coverage provided in keeping with sound management practice, and minor losses not covered by insurance, such as spoilage, breakage, and disappearance of small hand tools, which occur in the ordinary course of operations, are allowable.
(d) Contributions to a reserve for certain self-insurance programs including workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, and severance pay are allowable subject to the following provisions:
(1) The type of coverage and the extent of coverage and the rates and premiums would have been allowed had insurance (including reinsurance) been purchased to cover the risks. However, provision for known or reasonably estimated self-insured liabilities, which do not become payable for more than one year after the provision is made, must not exceed the discounted present value of the liability. The rate used for discounting the liability must be determined by giving consideration to such factors as the non-Federal entity's settlement rate for those liabilities and its investment rate of return.
(2) Earnings or investment income on reserves must be credited to those reserves.
(3)(i) Contributions to reserves must be based on sound actuarial principles using historical experience and reasonable assumptions. Reserve levels must be analyzed and updated at least biennially for each major risk being insured and take into account any reinsurance, coinsurance, etc. Reserve levels related to employee-related coverages will normally be limited to the value of claims:
(A) Submitted and adjudicated but not paid;
(B) Submitted but not adjudicated; and
(C) Incurred but not submitted.
(ii) Reserve levels in excess of the amounts based on the above must be identified and justified in the cost allocation plan or indirect cost rate proposal.
(4) Accounting records, actuarial studies, and cost allocations (or billings) must recognize any significant differences due to types of insured risk and losses generated by the various insured activities or agencies of the non-Federal entity. If individual departments or agencies of the non-Federal entity experience significantly different levels of claims for a particular risk, those differences are to be recognized by the use of separate allocations or other techniques resulting in an equitable allocation.
(5) Whenever funds are transferred from a self-insurance reserve to other accounts (e.g., general fund or unrestricted account), refunds must be made to the Federal Government for its share of funds transferred, including earned or imputed interest from the date of transfer and debt interest, if applicable, chargeable in accordance with applicable Federal cognizant agency for indirect cost, claims collection regulations.
(e) Insurance refunds must be credited against insurance costs in the year the refund is received.
(f) Indemnification includes securing the non-Federal entity against liabilities to third persons and other losses not compensated by insurance or otherwise. The Federal Government is obligated to indemnify the non-Federal entity only to the extent expressly provided for in the Federal award, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.
(a) Patent costs. (1) The following costs related to securing patents and copyrights are allowable:
(i) Costs of preparing disclosures, reports, and other documents required by the Federal award, and of searching the art to the extent necessary to make such disclosures;
(ii) Costs of preparing documents and any other patent costs in connection with the filing and prosecution of a United States patent application where title or royalty-free license is required by the Federal Government to be conveyed to the Federal Government; and
(iii) General counseling services relating to patent and copyright matters, such as advice on patent and copyright laws, regulations, clauses, and employee intellectual property agreements (See also § 200.459 Professional service costs).
(2) The following costs related to securing patents and copyrights are unallowable:
(i) Costs of preparing disclosures, reports, and other documents, and of searching the art to make disclosures not required by the Federal award;
(ii) Costs in connection with filing and prosecuting any foreign patent application, or any United States patent application, where the Federal award does not require conveying title or a royalty-free license to the Federal Government.
(b) Royalties and other costs for use of patents and copyrights. (1) Royalties on a patent or copyright or amortization of the cost of acquiring by purchase a copyright, patent, or rights thereto, necessary for the proper performance of the Federal award are allowable unless:
(i) The Federal Government already has a license or the right to free use of the patent or copyright.
(ii) The patent or copyright has been adjudicated to be invalid, or has been administratively determined to be invalid.
(iii) The patent or copyright is considered to be unenforceable.
(iv) The patent or copyright is expired.
(2) Special care should be exercised in determining reasonableness where the royalties may have been arrived at as a result of less-than-arm's-length bargaining, such as:
(i) Royalties paid to persons, including corporations, affiliated with the non-Federal entity.
(ii) Royalties paid to unaffiliated parties, including corporations, under an agreement entered into in contemplation that a Federal award would be made.
(iii) Royalties paid under an agreement entered into after a Federal award is made to a non-Federal entity.
(3) In any case involving a patent or copyright formerly owned by the non-Federal entity, the amount of royalty allowed must not exceed the cost which would have been allowed had the non-Federal entity retained title thereto.
(a) General. Costs incurred for interest on borrowed capital, temporary use of endowment funds, or the use of the non-Federal entity's own funds, however represented, are unallowable. Financing costs (including interest) to acquire, construct, or replace capital assets are allowable, subject to the conditions in this section.
(b)(1) Capital assets is defined as noted in § 200.12 Capital assets. An asset cost includes (as applicable) acquisition costs, construction costs, and other costs capitalized in accordance with GAAP.
(2) For non-Federal entity fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, intangible assets include patents and computer software. For software development projects, only interest attributable to the portion of the project costs capitalized in accordance with GAAP is allowable.
(c) Conditions for all non-Federal entities. (1) The non-Federal entity uses the capital assets in support of Federal awards;
(2) The allowable asset costs to acquire facilities and equipment are limited to a fair market value available to the non-Federal entity from an unrelated (arm's length) third party.
(3) The non-Federal entity obtains the financing via an arm's-length transaction (that is, a transaction with an unrelated third party); or claims reimbursement of actual interest cost at a rate available via such a transaction.
(4) The non-Federal entity limits claims for Federal reimbursement of interest costs to the least expensive alternative. For example, a capital lease may be determined less costly than purchasing through debt financing, in which case reimbursement must be limited to the amount of interest determined if leasing had been used.
(5) The non-Federal entity expenses or capitalizes allowable interest cost in accordance with GAAP.
(6) Earnings generated by the investment of borrowed funds pending their disbursement for the asset costs are used to offset the current period's allowable interest cost, whether that cost is expensed or capitalized. Earnings subject to being reported to the Federal Internal Revenue Service under arbitrage requirements are excludable.
(7) The following conditions must apply to debt arrangements over $1 million to purchase or construct facilities, unless the non-Federal entity makes an initial equity contribution to the purchase of 25 percent or more. For this purpose, “initial equity contribution” means the amount or value of contributions made by the non-Federal entity for the acquisition of facilities prior to occupancy.
(i) The non-Federal entity must reduce claims for reimbursement of interest cost by an amount equal to imputed interest earnings on excess cash flow attributable to the portion of the facility used for Federal awards.
(ii) The non-Federal entity must impute interest on excess cash flow as follows:
(A) Annually, the non-Federal entity must prepare a cumulative (from the inception of the project) report of monthly cash inflows and outflows, regardless of the funding source. For this purpose, inflows consist of Federal reimbursement for depreciation, amortization of capitalized construction interest, and annual interest cost. Outflows consist of initial equity contributions, debt principal payments (less the pro-rata share attributable to the cost of land), and interest payments.
(B) To compute monthly cash inflows and outflows, the non-Federal entity must divide the annual amounts determined in step (i) by the number of months in the year (usually 12) that the building is in service.
(C) For any month in which cumulative cash inflows exceed cumulative outflows, interest must be calculated on the excess inflows for that month and be treated as a reduction to allowable interest cost. The rate of interest to be used must be the three-month Treasury bill closing rate as of the last business day of that month.
(8) Interest attributable to a fully depreciated asset is unallowable.
(d) Additional conditions for states, local governments and Indian tribes. For costs to be allowable, the non-Federal entity must have incurred the interest costs for buildings after October 1, 1980, or for land and equipment after September 1, 1995.
(1) The requirement to offset interest earned on borrowed funds against current allowable interest cost (paragraph (c)(5), above) also applies to earnings on debt service reserve funds.
(2) The non-Federal entity will negotiate the amount of allowable interest cost related to the acquisition of facilities with asset costs of $1 million or more, as outlined in paragraph (c)(7) of this section. For this purpose, a non-Federal entity must consider only cash inflows and outflows attributable to that portion of the real property used for Federal awards.
(e) Additional conditions for IHEs. For costs to be allowable, the IHE must have incurred the interest costs after July 1, 1982, in connection with acquisitions of capital assets that occurred after that date.
(f) Additional condition for nonprofit organizations. For costs to be allowable, the nonprofit organization incurred the interest costs after September 29, 1995, in connection with acquisitions of capital assets that occurred after that date.
(g) The interest allowability provisions of this section do not apply to a nonprofit organization subject to “full coverage” under the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), as defined at 48 CFR 9903.201-2(a). The non-Federal entity's Federal awards are instead subject to CAS 414 (48 CFR 9904.414), “Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Facilities Capital”, and CAS 417 (48 CFR 9904.417), “Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Capital Assets Under Construction”.
(a) The cost of certain influencing activities associated with obtaining grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or loans is an unallowable cost. Lobbying with respect to certain grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and loans is governed by relevant statutes, including among others, the provisions of 31 U.S.C. 1352,as,New,1990,including,and,1989,55,1990,57,1992,and,1996.
(b) Executive lobbying costs. Costs incurred in attempting to improperly influence either directly or indirectly, an employee or officer of the executive branch of the Federal Government to give consideration or to act regarding a Federal award or a regulatory matter are unallowable. Improper influence means any influence that induces or tends to induce a Federal employee or officer to give consideration or to act regarding a Federal award or regulatory matter on any basis other than the merits of the matter.
(c) In addition to the above, the following restrictions are applicable to nonprofit organizations and IHEs:
(1) Costs associated with the following activities are unallowable:
(i) Attempts to influence the outcomes of any Federal, state, or local election, referendum, initiative, or similar procedure, through in-kind or cash contributions, endorsements, publicity, or similar activity;
(ii) Establishing, administering, contributing to, or paying the expenses of a political party, campaign, political action committee, or other organization established for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections in the United States;
(iii) Any attempt to influence:
(A)The introduction of Federal or state legislation;
(B) The enactment or modification of any pending Federal or state legislation through communication with any member or employee of the Congress or state legislature (including efforts to influence state or local officials to engage in similar lobbying activity);
(C) The enactment or modification of any pending Federal or state legislation by preparing, distributing, or using publicity or propaganda, or by urging members of the general public, or any segment thereof, to contribute to or participate in any mass demonstration, march, rally, fund raising drive, lobbying campaign or letter writing or telephone campaign; or
(D) Any government official or employee in connection with a decision to sign or veto enrolled legislation;
(iv) Legislative liaison activities, including attendance at legislative sessions or committee hearings, gathering information regarding legislation, and analyzing the effect of legislation, when such activities are carried on in support of or in knowing preparation for an effort to engage in unallowable lobbying.
(2) The following activities are excepted from the coverage of paragraph (c)(1) of this section:
(i) Technical and factual presentations on topics directly related to the performance of a grant, contract, or other agreement (through hearing testimony, statements, or letters to the Congress or a state legislature, or subdivision, member, or cognizant staff member thereof), in response to a documented request (including a Congressional Record notice requesting testimony or statements for the record at a regularly scheduled hearing) made by the non-Federal entity's member of congress, legislative body or a subdivision, or a cognizant staff member thereof, provided such information is readily obtainable and can be readily put in deliverable form, and further provided that costs under this section for travel, lodging or meals are unallowable unless incurred to offer testimony at a regularly scheduled Congressional hearing pursuant to a written request for such presentation made by the Chairman or Ranking Minority Member of the Committee or Subcommittee conducting such hearings;
(ii) Any lobbying made unallowable by paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section to influence state legislation in order to directly reduce the cost, or to avoid material impairment of the non-Federal entity's authority to perform the grant, contract, or other agreement; or
(iii) Any activity specifically authorized by statute to be undertaken with funds from the Federal award.
(iv) Any activity excepted from the definitions of “lobbying” or “influencing legislation” by the Internal Revenue Code provisions that require nonprofit organizations to limit their participation in direct and “grass roots” lobbying activities in order to retain their charitable deduction status and avoid punitive excise taxes, I.R.C. §§ 501(c)(3), 501(h), 4911(a), including:
(A) Nonpartisan analysis, study, or research reports;
(B) Examinations and discussions of broad social, economic, and similar problems; and
(C) Information provided upon request by a legislator for technical advice and assistance, as defined by I.R.C. § 4911(d)(2) and 26 CFR 56.4911-2(c)(1)-(c)(3).
(v) When a non-Federal entity seeks reimbursement for indirect (F&A) costs, total lobbying costs must be separately identified in the indirect (F&A) cost rate proposal, and thereafter treated as other unallowable activity costs in accordance with the procedures of § 200.413 Direct costs.
(vi) The non-Federal entity must submit as part of its annual indirect (F&A) cost rate proposal a certification that the requirements and standards of this section have been complied with. (See also § 200.415 Required certifications.)
(vii)(A) Time logs, calendars, or similar records are not required to be created for purposes of complying with the record keeping requirements in § 200.302 Financial management with respect to lobbying costs during any particular calendar month when:
(1) The employee engages in lobbying (as defined in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section) 25 percent or less of the employee's compensated hours of employment during that calendar month; and
(2) Within the preceding five-year period, the non-Federal entity has not materially misstated allowable or unallowable costs of any nature, including legislative lobbying costs.
(B) When conditions in paragraph (c)(2)(vii)(A)(1) and (2) of this section are met, non-Federal entities are not required to establish records to support the allowability of claimed costs in addition to records already required or maintained. Also, when conditions in paragraphs (c)(2)(vii)(A)(1) and (2) of this section are met, the absence of time logs, calendars, or similar records will not serve as a basis for disallowing costs by contesting estimates of lobbying time spent by employees during a calendar month.
(viii) The Federal awarding agency must establish procedures for resolving in advance, in consultation with OMB, any significant questions or disagreements concerning the interpretation or application of this section. Any such advance resolutions must be binding in any subsequent settlements, audits, or investigations with respect to that grant or contract for purposes of interpretation of this part, provided, however, that this must not be construed to prevent a contractor or non-Federal entity from contesting the lawfulness of such a determination.
Any excess of costs over income under any other award or contract of any nature is unallowable. This includes, but is not limited to, the non-Federal entity's contributed portion by reason of cost-sharing agreements or any under-recoveries through negotiation of flat amounts for indirect (F&A) costs. Also, any excess of costs over authorized funding levels transferred from any award or contract to another award or contract is unallowable. All losses are not allowable indirect (F&A) costs and are required to be included in the appropriate indirect cost rate base for allocation of indirect costs.
Costs incurred for utilities, insurance, security, necessary maintenance, janitorial services, repair, or upkeep of buildings and equipment (including Federal property unless otherwise provided for) which neither add to the permanent value of the property nor appreciably prolong its intended life, but keep it in an efficient operating condition, are allowable. Costs incurred for improvements which add to the permanent value of the buildings and equipment or appreciably prolong their intended life must be treated as capital expenditures (see § 200.439 Equipment and other capital expenditures). These costs are only allowable to the extent not paid through rental or other agreements.
(a) Costs incurred for materials, supplies, and fabricated parts necessary to carry out a Federal award are allowable.
(b) Purchased materials and supplies must be charged at their actual prices, net of applicable credits. Withdrawals from general stores or stockrooms must be charged at their actual net cost under any recognized method of pricing inventory withdrawals, consistently applied. Incoming transportation charges are a proper part of materials and supplies costs.
(c) Materials and supplies used for the performance of a Federal award may be charged as direct costs. In the specific case of computing devices, charging as direct costs is allowable for devices that are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance of a Federal award.
(d) Where federally-donated or furnished materials are used in performing the Federal award, such materials will be used without charge.
(a) Costs of the non-Federal entity's membership in business, technical, and professional organizations are allowable.
(b) Costs of the non-Federal entity's subscriptions to business, professional, and technical periodicals are allowable.
(c) Costs of membership in any civic or community organization are allowable with prior approval by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.
(d) Costs of membership in any country club or social or dining club or organization are unallowable.
(e) Costs of membership in organizations whose primary purpose is lobbying are unallowable. See also § 200.450 Lobbying.
Costs such as incorporation fees, brokers' fees, fees to promoters, organizers or management consultants, attorneys, accountants, or investment counselor, whether or not employees of the non-Federal entity in connection with establishment or reorganization of an organization, are unallowable except with prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.
Participant support costs as defined in § 200.75 Participant support costs are allowable with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.
Necessary and reasonable expenses incurred for protection and security of facilities, personnel, and work products are allowable. Such costs include, but are not limited to, wages and uniforms of personnel engaged in security activities; equipment; barriers; protective (non-military) gear, devices, and equipment; contractual security services; and consultants. Capital expenditures for plant security purposes are subject to § 200.439 Equipment and other capital expenditures.
Pre-award costs are those incurred prior to the effective date of the Federal award directly pursuant to the negotiation and in anticipation of the Federal award where such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of the Federal award and only with the written approval of the Federal awarding agency.
(a) Costs of professional and consultant services rendered by persons who are members of a particular profession or possess a special skill, and who are not officers or employees of the non-Federal entity, are allowable, subject to paragraphs (b) and (c) when reasonable in relation to the services rendered and when not contingent upon recovery of the costs from the Federal Government. In addition, legal and related services are limited under § 200.435 Defense and prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings, claims, appeals and patent infringements.
(b) In determining the allowability of costs in a particular case, no single factor or any special combination of factors is necessarily determinative. However, the following factors are relevant:
(1) The nature and scope of the service rendered in relation to the service required.
(2) The necessity of contracting for the service, considering the non-Federal entity's capability in the particular area.
(3) The past pattern of such costs, particularly in the years prior to Federal awards.
(4) The impact of Federal awards on the non-Federal entity's business (i.e., what new problems have arisen).
(5) Whether the proportion of Federal work to the non-Federal entity's total business is such as to influence the non-Federal entity in favor of incurring the cost, particularly where the services rendered are not of a continuing nature and have little relationship to work under Federal awards.
(6) Whether the service can be performed more economically by direct employment rather than contracting.
(7) The qualifications of the individual or concern rendering the service and the customary fees charged, especially on non-federally funded activities.
(8) Adequacy of the contractual agreement for the service (e.g., description of the service, estimate of time required, rate of compensation, and termination provisions).
(c) In addition to the factors in paragraph (b) of this section, to be allowable, retainer fees must be supported by evidence of bona fide services available or rendered.
Proposal costs are the costs of preparing bids, proposals, or applications on potential Federal and non-Federal awards or projects, including the development of data necessary to support the non-Federal entity's bids or proposals. Proposal costs of the current accounting period of both successful and unsuccessful bids and proposals normally should be treated as indirect (F&A) costs and allocated currently to all activities of the non-Federal entity. No proposal costs of past accounting periods will be allocable to the current period.
(a) Publication costs for electronic and print media, including distribution, promotion, and general handling are allowable. If these costs are not identifiable with a particular cost objective, they should be allocated as indirect costs to all benefiting activities of the non-Federal entity.
(b) Page charges for professional journal publications are allowable where:
(1) The publications report work supported by the Federal Government; and
(2) The charges are levied impartially on all items published by the journal, whether or not under a Federal award.
(3) The non-Federal entity may charge the Federal award before closeout for the costs of publication or sharing of research results if the costs are not incurred during the period of performance of the Federal award.
(a) Costs incurred for ordinary and normal rearrangement and alteration of facilities are allowable as indirect costs. Special arrangements and alterations costs incurred specifically for a Federal award are allowable as a direct cost with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.
(b) Costs incurred in the restoration or rehabilitation of the non-Federal entity's facilities to approximately the same condition existing immediately prior to commencement of Federal awards, less costs related to normal wear and tear, are allowable.
(a) Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, and provided that the size of the staff recruited and maintained is in keeping with workload requirements, costs of “help wanted” advertising, operating costs of an employment office necessary to secure and maintain an adequate staff, costs of operating an aptitude and educational testing program, travel costs of employees while engaged in recruiting personnel, travel costs of applicants for interviews for prospective employment, and relocation costs incurred incident to recruitment of new employees, are allowable to the extent that such costs are incurred pursuant to the non-Federal entity's standard recruitment program. Where the non-Federal entity uses employment agencies, costs not in excess of standard commercial rates for such services are allowable.
(b) Special emoluments, fringe benefits, and salary allowances incurred to attract professional personnel that do not meet the test of reasonableness or do not conform with the established practices of the non-Federal entity, are unallowable.
(c) Where relocation costs incurred incident to recruitment of a new employee have been funded in whole or in part to a Federal award, and the newly hired employee resigns for reasons within the employee's control within 12 months after hire, the non-Federal entity will be required to refund or credit the Federal share of such relocation costs to the Federal Government. See also § 200.464 Relocation costs of employees.
(d) Short-term, travel visa costs (as opposed to longer-term, immigration visas) are generally allowable expenses that may be proposed as a direct cost. Since short-term visas are issued for a specific period and purpose, they can be clearly identified as directly connected to work performed on a Federal award. For these costs to be directly charged to a Federal award, they must:
(1) Be critical and necessary for the conduct of the project;
(2) Be allowable under the applicable cost principles;
(3) Be consistent with the non-Federal entity's cost accounting practices and non-Federal entity policy; and
(4) Meet the definition of “direct cost” as described in the applicable cost principles.
(a) Relocation costs are costs incident to the permanent change of duty assignment (for an indefinite period or for a stated period of not less than 12 months) of an existing employee or upon recruitment of a new employee. Relocation costs are allowable, subject to the limitations described in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, provided that:
(1) The move is for the benefit of the employer.
(2) Reimbursement to the employee is in accordance with an established written policy consistently followed by the employer.
(3) The reimbursement does not exceed the employee's actual (or reasonably estimated) expenses.
(b) Allowable relocation costs for current employees are limited to the following:
(1) The costs of transportation of the employee, members of his or her immediate family and his household, and personal effects to the new location.
(2) The costs of finding a new home, such as advance trips by employees and spouses to locate living quarters and temporary lodging during the transition period, up to maximum period of 30 calendar days.
(3) Closing costs, such as brokerage, legal, and appraisal fees, incident to the disposition of the employee's former home. These costs, together with those described in (4), are limited to 8 per cent of the sales price of the employee's former home.
(4) The continuing costs of ownership (for up to six months) of the vacant former home after the settlement or lease date of the employee's new permanent home, such as maintenance of buildings and grounds (exclusive of fixing-up expenses), utilities, taxes, and property insurance.
(5) Other necessary and reasonable expenses normally incident to relocation, such as the costs of canceling an unexpired lease, transportation of personal property, and purchasing insurance against loss of or damages to personal property. The cost of canceling an unexpired lease is limited to three times the monthly rental.
(c) Allowable relocation costs for new employees are limited to those described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section. When relocation costs incurred incident to the recruitment of new employees have been charged to a Federal award and the employee resigns for reasons within the employee's control within 12 months after hire, the non-Federal entity must refund or credit the Federal Government for its share of the cost. However, the costs of travel to an overseas location must be considered travel costs in accordance with § 200.474 Travel costs, and not this § 200.464 Relocation costs of employees, for the purpose of this paragraph if dependents are not permitted at the location for any reason and the costs do not include costs of transporting household goods.
(d) The following costs related to relocation are unallowable:
(1) Fees and other costs associated with acquiring a new home.
(2) A loss on the sale of a former home.
(3) Continuing mortgage principal and interest payments on a home being sold.
(4) Income taxes paid by an employee related to reimbursed relocation costs.
(a) Subject to the limitations described in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, rental costs are allowable to the extent that the rates are reasonable in light of such factors as: rental costs of comparable property, if any; market conditions in the area; alternatives available; and the type, life expectancy, condition, and value of the property leased. Rental arrangements should be reviewed periodically to determine if circumstances have changed and other options are available.
(b) Rental costs under “sale and lease back” arrangements are allowable only up to the amount that would be allowed had the non-Federal entity continued to own the property. This amount would include expenses such as depreciation, maintenance, taxes, and insurance.
(c) Rental costs under “less-than-arm's-length” leases are allowable only up to the amount (as explained in paragraph (b) of this section). For this purpose, a less-than-arm's-length lease is one under which one party to the lease agreement is able to control or substantially influence the actions of the other. Such leases include, but are not limited to those between:
(1) Divisions of the non-Federal entity;
(2) The non-Federal entity under common control through common officers, directors, or members; and
(3) The non-Federal entity and a director, trustee, officer, or key employee of the non-Federal entity or an immediate family member, either directly or through corporations, trusts, or similar arrangements in which they hold a controlling interest. For example, the non-Federal entity may establish a separate corporation for the sole purpose of owning property and leasing it back to the non-Federal entity.
(4) Family members include one party with any of the following relationships to another party:
(i) Spouse, and parents thereof;
(ii) Children, and spouses thereof;
(iii) Parents, and spouses thereof;
(iv) Siblings, and spouses thereof;
(v) Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
(vi) Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic partners of any individual in 2 through 5 of this definition; and
(vii) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
(5) Rental costs under leases which are required to be treated as capital leases under GAAP are allowable only up to the amount (as explained in paragraph (b) of this section) that would be allowed had the non-Federal entity purchased the property on the date the lease agreement was executed. The provisions of GAAP must be used to determine whether a lease is a capital lease. Interest costs related to capital leases are allowable to the extent they meet the criteria in § 200.449 Interest. Unallowable costs include amounts paid for profit, management fees, and taxes that would not have been incurred had the non-Federal entity purchased the property.
(6) The rental of any property owned by any individuals or entities affiliated with the non-Federal entity, to include commercial or residential real estate, for purposes such as the home office workspace is unallowable.
(a) Costs of scholarships, fellowships, and other programs of student aid at IHEs are allowable only when the purpose of the Federal award is to provide training to selected participants and the charge is approved by the Federal awarding agency. However, tuition remission and other forms of compensation paid as, or in lieu of, wages to students performing necessary work are allowable provided that:
(1) The individual is conducting activities necessary to the Federal award;
(2) Tuition remission and other support are provided in accordance with established policy of the IHE and consistently provided in a like manner to students in return for similar activities conducted under Federal awards as well as other activities; and
(3) During the academic period, the student is enrolled in an advanced degree program at a non-Federal entity or affiliated institution and the activities of the student in relation to the Federal award are related to the degree program;
(4) The tuition or other payments are reasonable compensation for the work performed and are conditioned explicitly upon the performance of necessary work; and
(5) It is the IHE's practice to similarly compensate students under Federal awards as well as other activities.
(b) Charges for tuition remission and other forms of compensation paid to students as, or in lieu of, salaries and wages must be subject to the reporting requirements in § 200.430 Compensation - personal services, and must be treated as direct or indirect cost in accordance with the actual work being performed. Tuition remission may be charged on an average rate basis. See also § 200.431 Compensation - fringe benefits.
Costs of selling and marketing any products or services of the non-Federal entity (unless allowed under § 200.421 Advertising and public relations.) are unallowable, except as direct costs, with prior approval by the Federal awarding agency when necessary for the performance of the Federal award.
(a) The costs of services provided by highly complex or specialized facilities operated by the non-Federal entity, such as computing facilities, wind tunnels, and reactors are allowable, provided the charges for the services meet the conditions of either paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section, and, in addition, take into account any items of income or Federal financing that qualify as applicable credits under § 200.406 Applicable credits.
(b) The costs of such services, when material, must be charged directly to applicable awards based on actual usage of the services on the basis of a schedule of rates or established methodology that:
(1) Does not discriminate between activities under Federal awards and other activities of the non-Federal entity, including usage by the non-Federal entity for internal purposes, and
(2) Is designed to recover only the aggregate costs of the services. The costs of each service must consist normally of both its direct costs and its allocable share of all indirect (F&A) costs. Rates must be adjusted at least biennially, and must take into consideration over/under applied costs of the previous period(s).
(c) Where the costs incurred for a service are not material, they may be allocated as indirect (F&A) costs.
(d) Under some extraordinary circumstances, where it is in the best interest of the Federal Government and the non-Federal entity to establish alternative costing arrangements, such arrangements may be worked out with the Federal cognizant agency for indirect costs.
Costs incurred for intramural activities, student publications, student clubs, and other student activities, are unallowable, unless specifically provided for in the Federal award.
(a) For states, local governments and Indian tribes:
(1) Taxes that a governmental unit is legally required to pay are allowable, except for self-assessed taxes that disproportionately affect Federal programs or changes in tax policies that disproportionately affect Federal programs.
(2) Gasoline taxes, motor vehicle fees, and other taxes that are in effect user fees for benefits provided to the Federal Government are allowable.
(3) This provision does not restrict the authority of the Federal awarding agency to identify taxes where Federal participation is inappropriate. Where the identification of the amount of unallowable taxes would require an inordinate amount of effort, the cognizant agency for indirect costs may accept a reasonable approximation thereof.
(b) For nonprofit organizations and IHEs:
(1) In general, taxes which the non-Federal entity is required to pay and which are paid or accrued in accordance with GAAP, and payments made to local governments in lieu of taxes which are commensurate with the local government services received are allowable, except for:
(i) Taxes from which exemptions are available to the non-Federal entity directly or which are available to the non-Federal entity based on an exemption afforded the Federal Government and, in the latter case, when the Federal awarding agency makes available the necessary exemption certificates,
(ii) Special assessments on land which represent capital improvements, and
(iii) Federal income taxes.
(2) Any refund of taxes, and any payment to the non-Federal entity of interest thereon, which were allowed as Federal award costs, will be credited either as a cost reduction or cash refund, as appropriate, to the Federal Government. However, any interest actually paid or credited to an non-Federal entity incident to a refund of tax, interest, and penalty will be paid or credited to the Federal Government only to the extent that such interest accrued over the period during which the non-Federal entity has been reimbursed by the Federal Government for the taxes, interest, and penalties.
(c) Value Added Tax (VAT) Foreign taxes charged for the purchase of goods or services that a non-Federal entity is legally required to pay in country is an allowable expense under Federal awards. Foreign tax refunds or applicable credits under Federal awards refer to receipts, or reduction of expenditures, which operate to offset or reduce expense items that are allocable to Federal awards as direct or indirect costs. To the extent that such credits accrued or received by the non-Federal entity relate to allowable cost, these costs must be credited to the Federal awarding agency either as costs or cash refunds. If the costs are credited back to the Federal award, the non-Federal entity may reduce the Federal share of costs by the amount of the foreign tax reimbursement, or where Federal award has not expired, use the foreign government tax refund for approved activities under the Federal award with prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.
Termination of a Federal award generally gives rise to the incurrence of costs, or the need for special treatment of costs, which would not have arisen had the Federal award not been terminated. Cost principles covering these items are set forth in this section. They are to be used in conjunction with the other provisions of this part in termination situations.
(a) The cost of items reasonably usable on the non-Federal entity's other work must not be allowable unless the non-Federal entity submits evidence that it would not retain such items at cost without sustaining a loss. In deciding whether such items are reasonably usable on other work of the non-Federal entity, the Federal awarding agency should consider the non-Federal entity's plans and orders for current and scheduled activity. Contemporaneous purchases of common items by the non-Federal entity must be regarded as evidence that such items are reasonably usable on the non-Federal entity's other work. Any acceptance of common items as allocable to the terminated portion of the Federal award must be limited to the extent that the quantities of such items on hand, in transit, and on order are in excess of the reasonable quantitative requirements of other work.
(b) If in a particular case, despite all reasonable efforts by the non-Federal entity, certain costs cannot be discontinued immediately after the effective date of termination, such costs are generally allowable within the limitations set forth in this part, except that any such costs continuing after termination due to the negligent or willful failure of the non-Federal entity to discontinue such costs must be unallowable.
(c) Loss of useful value of special tooling, machinery, and equipment is generally allowable if:
(1) Such special tooling, special machinery, or equipment is not reasonably capable of use in the other work of the non-Federal entity,
(2) The interest of the Federal Government is protected by transfer of title or by other means deemed appropriate by the Federal awarding agency (see also § 200.313 Equipment, paragraph (d), and
(3) The loss of useful value for any one terminated Federal award is limited to that portion of the acquisition cost which bears the same ratio to the total acquisition cost as the terminated portion of the Federal award bears to the entire terminated Federal award and other Federal awards for which the special tooling, machinery, or equipment was acquired.
(d) Rental costs under unexpired leases are generally allowable where clearly shown to have been reasonably necessary for the performance of the terminated Federal award less the residual value of such leases, if:
(1) The amount of such rental claimed does not exceed the reasonable use value of the property leased for the period of the Federal award and such further period as may be reasonable, and
(2) The non-Federal entity makes all reasonable efforts to terminate, assign, settle, or otherwise reduce the cost of such lease. There also may be included the cost of alterations of such leased property, provided such alterations were necessary for the performance of the Federal award, and of reasonable restoration required by the provisions of the lease.
(e) Settlement expenses including the following are generally allowable:
(1) Accounting, legal, clerical, and similar costs reasonably necessary for:
(i) The preparation and presentation to the Federal awarding agency of settlement claims and supporting data with respect to the terminated portion of the Federal award, unless the termination is for cause (see Subpart D - Post Federal Award Requirements of this part, §§ 200.338 Remedies for Noncompliance through 200.342 Effects of Suspension and termination); and
(ii) The termination and settlement of subawards.
(2) Reasonable costs for the storage, transportation, protection, and disposition of property provided by the Federal Government or acquired or produced for the Federal award.
(f) Claims under subawards, including the allocable portion of claims which are common to the Federal award and to other work of the non-Federal entity, are generally allowable. An appropriate share of the non-Federal entity's indirect costs may be allocated to the amount of settlements with contractors and/or subrecipients, provided that the amount allocated is otherwise consistent with the basic guidelines contained in § 200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs. The indirect costs so allocated must exclude the same and similar costs claimed directly or indirectly as settlement expenses.
The cost of training and education provided for employee development is allowable.
Costs incurred for freight, express, cartage, postage, and other transportation services relating either to goods purchased, in process, or delivered, are allowable. When such costs can readily be identified with the items involved, they may be charged directly as transportation costs or added to the cost of such items. Where identification with the materials received cannot readily be made, inbound transportation cost may be charged to the appropriate indirect (F&A) cost accounts if the non-Federal entity follows a consistent, equitable procedure in this respect. Outbound freight, if reimbursable under the terms and conditions of the Federal award, should be treated as a direct cost.
(a) General. Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on official business of the non-Federal entity. Such costs may be charged on an actual cost basis, on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred, or on a combination of the two, provided the method used is applied to an entire trip and not to selected days of the trip, and results in charges consistent with those normally allowed in like circumstances in the non-Federal entity's non-federally-funded activities and in accordance with non-Federal entity's written travel reimbursement policies. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 200.444 General costs of government, travel costs of officials covered by that section are allowable with the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity when they are specifically related to the Federal award.
(b) Lodging and subsistence. Costs incurred by employees and officers for travel, including costs of lodging, other subsistence, and incidental expenses, must be considered reasonable and otherwise allowable only to the extent such costs do not exceed charges normally allowed by the non-Federal entity in its regular operations as the result of the non-Federal entity's written travel policy. In addition, if these costs are charged directly to the Federal award documentation must justify that:
(1) Participation of the individual is necessary to the Federal award; and
(2) The costs are reasonable and consistent with non-Federal entity's established travel policy.
(c)(1) Temporary dependent care costs (as dependent is defined in 26 U.S.C. 152) above and beyond regular dependent care that directly results from travel to conferences is allowable provided that:
(i) The costs are a direct result of the individual's travel for the Federal award;
(ii) The costs are consistent with the non-Federal entity's documented travel policy for all entity travel; and
(iii) Are only temporary during the travel period.
(2) Travel costs for dependents are unallowable, except for travel of duration of six months or more with prior approval of the Federal awarding agency. See also § 200.432 Conferences.
(d) In the absence of an acceptable, written non-Federal entity policy regarding travel costs, the rates and amounts established under 5 U.S.C. 5701-11, (“Travel and Subsistence Expenses; Mileage Allowances”), or by the Administrator of General Services, or by the President (or his or her designee) pursuant to any provisions of such subchapter must apply to travel under Federal awards (48 CFR 31.205-46(a)).
(e) Commercial air travel. (1) Airfare costs in excess of the basic least expensive unrestricted accommodations class offered by commercial airlines are unallowable except when such accommodations would:
(i) Require circuitous routing;
(ii) Require travel during unreasonable hours;
(iii) Excessively prolong travel;
(iv) Result in additional costs that would offset the transportation savings; or
(v) Offer accommodations not reasonably adequate for the traveler's medical needs. The non-Federal entity must justify and document these conditions on a case-by-case basis in order for the use of first-class or business-class airfare to be allowable in such cases.
(2) Unless a pattern of avoidance is detected, the Federal Government will generally not question a non-Federal entity's determinations that customary standard airfare or other discount airfare is unavailable for specific trips if the non-Federal entity can demonstrate that such airfare was not available in the specific case.
(f) Air travel by other than commercial carrier. Costs of travel by non-Federal entity-owned, -leased, or -chartered aircraft include the cost of lease, charter, operation (including personnel costs), maintenance, depreciation, insurance, and other related costs. The portion of such costs that exceeds the cost of airfare as provided for in paragraph (d) of this section, is unallowable.