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2 CFR--PART 200

View Printed Federal Register page 85 FR 49577 in PDF format.

Amendment(s) published August 13, 2020, in 85 FR 49577

Effective Dates: Nov. 12, 2020

120. Amend appendix III to part 200:

a. Under section A by revising the introductory text and paragraphs 1.d introductory text, 2.b, 2.d(4) introductory text, 2.d.(4)(b), 2.d.(5), and 2.e.(1); and

b. Under section B by revising paragraphs 1, 2.a and b introductory text, 3, 4.c.(2)(ii)B, 5.a, 6.a.(2)(a), 6.b.(1), 8.a., and 9.a;

c. Under section C by revising paragraphs 1.a.(1) and (3), 2., 7, 8.a., 9.a., 11.a. introductory text, 11.a.(1), 11.a.(2)b;

d. By revising section E;

e. Under section F by revising paragraph 2.c.

The revisions read as follows:

Appendix III to Part 200—Indirect (F&A) Costs Identification and Assignment, and Rate Determination for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)

A. General

This appendix provides criteria for identifying and computing indirect (or indirect (F&A)) rates at IHEs (institutions). Indirect (F&A) costs are those that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. See subsection B.1 for a discussion of the components of indirect (F&A) costs.

1. Major Functions of an Institution

*   *   *   *   *

d. Other institutional activities means all activities of an institution except for instruction, departmental research, organized research, and other sponsored activities, as defined in this section; indirect (F&A) cost activities identified in this Appendix paragraph B, Identification and assignment of indirect (F&A) costs; and specialized services facilities described in §200.468 of this part.

*   *   *   *   *

2. Criteria for Distribution

*   *   *   *   *

b. Need for cost groupings. The overall objective of the indirect (F&A) cost allocation process is to distribute the indirect (F&A) costs described in Section B, Identification and assignment of indirect (F&A) costs, to the major functions of the institution in proportions reasonably consistent with the nature and extent of their use of the institution's resources. In order to achieve this objective, it may be necessary to provide for selective distribution by establishing separate groupings of cost within one or more of the indirect (F&A) cost categories referred to in subsection B.1. In general, the cost groupings established within a category should constitute, in each case, a pool of those items of expense that are considered to be of like nature in terms of their relative contribution to (or degree of remoteness from) the particular cost objectives to which distribution is appropriate. Cost groupings should be established considering the general guides provided in subsection c of this section. Each such pool or cost grouping should then be distributed individually to the related cost objectives, using the distribution base or method most appropriate in light of the guidelines set forth in subsection d of this section.

*   *   *   *   *

d. *  *  *

(4) If a cost analysis study is not performed, or if the study does not result in an equitable distribution of the costs, the distribution must be made in accordance with the appropriate base cited in Section B, unless one of the following conditions is met:

*   *   *   *   *

(b) The institution qualifies for, and elects to use, the simplified method for computing indirect (F&A) cost rates described in Section D.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (3), effective July 1, 1998, a cost analysis or base other than that in Section B must not be used to distribute utility or student services costs. Instead, subsection B.4.c, may be used in the recovery of utility costs.

e. *  *  *

(1) Indirect (F&A) costs are the broad categories of costs discussed in Section B.1.

*   *   *   *   *

B. Identification and Assignment of Indirect (F&A) Costs

1. Definition of Facilities and Administration

See §200.414 which provides the basis for these indirect cost requirements.

2. Depreciation

a. The expenses under this heading are the portion of the costs of the institution's buildings, capital improvements to land and buildings, and equipment which are computed in accordance with §200.436.

b. In the absence of the alternatives provided for in Section A.2.d, the expenses included in this category must be allocated in the following manner:

3. Interest

Interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, as defined in §200.449, must be classified as an expenditure under the category Facilities. These costs must be allocated in the same manner as the depreciation on the buildings, equipment and capital improvements to which the interest relates.

4. Operation and Maintenance Expenses

*   *   *   *   *

c. *  *  *

(2) *  *  *

(ii) *  *  *

B. In July 2012, values for these two indices (taken respectively from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory “Labs for the 21st Century” benchmarking tool and the US Department of Energy “Buildings Energy Databook” and were 310 kBtu/sq ft-yr. and 155 kBtu/sq ft-yr., so that the adjustment ratio is 2.0 by this methodology. To retain currency, OMB will adjust the EUI numbers from time to time (no more often than annually nor less often than every 5 years), using reliable and publicly disclosed data. Current values of both the EUIs and the REUI will be posted on the OMB website.

5. General Administration and General Expenses

a. The expenses under this heading are those that have been incurred for the general executive and administrative offices of educational institutions and other expenses of a general character which do not relate solely to any major function of the institution; i.e., solely to (1) instruction, (2) organized research, (3) other sponsored activities, or (4) other institutional activities. The general administration and general expense category should also include its allocable share of fringe benefit costs, operation and maintenance expense, depreciation, and interest costs. Examples of general administration and general expenses include: Those expenses incurred by administrative offices that serve the entire university system of which the institution is a part; central offices of the institution such as the President's or Chancellor's office, the offices for institution-wide financial management, business services, budget and planning, personnel management, and safety and risk management; the office of the General Counsel; and the operations of the central administrative management information systems. General administration and general expenses must not include expenses incurred within non-university-wide deans' offices, academic departments, organized research units, or similar organizational units. (See subsection 6.)

*   *   *   *   *

6. Departmental Administration Expenses

a. *  *  *

(2) *  *  *

(a) Salaries and fringe benefits attributable to the administrative work (including bid and proposal preparation) of faculty (including department heads) and other professional personnel conducting research and/or instruction, must be allowed at a rate of 3.6 percent of modified total direct costs. This category does not include professional business or professional administrative officers. This allowance must be added to the computation of the indirect (F&A) cost rate for major functions in Section C; the expenses covered by the allowance must be excluded from the departmental administration cost pool. No documentation is required to support this allowance.

*   *   *   *   *

b. The following guidelines apply to the determination of departmental administrative costs as direct or indirect (F&A) costs.

(1) In developing the departmental administration cost pool, special care should be exercised to ensure that costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances are treated consistently as either direct or indirect (F&A) costs. For example, salaries of technical staff, laboratory supplies (e.g., chemicals), telephone toll charges, animals, animal care costs, computer costs, travel costs, and specialized shop costs must be treated as direct costs wherever identifiable to a particular cost objective. Direct charging of these costs may be accomplished through specific identification of individual costs to benefitting cost objectives, or through recharge centers or specialized service facilities, as appropriate under the circumstances. See §§200.413(c) and 200.468.

*   *   *   *   *

8. Library Expenses

a. The expenses under this heading are those that have been incurred for the operation of the library, including the cost of books and library materials purchased for the library, less any items of library income that qualify as applicable credits under §200.406. The library expense category should also include the fringe benefits applicable to the salaries and wages included therein, an appropriate share of general administration and general expense, operation and maintenance expense, and depreciation. Costs incurred in the purchases of rare books (museum-type books) with no value to Federal awards should not be allocated to them.

*   *   *   *   *

9. Student Administration and Services

a. The expenses under this heading are those that have been incurred for the administration of student affairs and for services to students, including expenses of such activities as deans of students, admissions, registrar, counseling and placement services, student advisers, student health and infirmary services, catalogs, and commencements and convocations. The salaries of members of the academic staff whose responsibilities to the institution require administrative work that benefits sponsored projects may also be included to the extent that the portion charged to student administration is determined in accordance with subpart E of this Part. This expense category also includes the fringe benefit costs applicable to the salaries and wages included therein, an appropriate share of general administration and general expenses, operation and maintenance, interest expense, and depreciation.

*   *   *   *   *

C. Determination and Application of Indirect (F&A) Cost Rate or Rates

1. Indirect (F&A) Cost Pools

a. (1) Subject to subsection b, the separate categories of indirect (F&A) costs allocated to each major function of the institution as prescribed in Section B, must be aggregated and treated as a common pool for that function. The amount in each pool must be divided by the distribution base described in subsection 2 to arrive at a single indirect (F&A) cost rate for each function.

*   *   *   *   *

(3) Each institution's indirect (F&A) cost rate process must be appropriately designed to ensure that Federal sponsors do not in any way subsidize the indirect (F&A) costs of other sponsors, specifically activities sponsored by industry and foreign governments. Accordingly, each allocation method used to identify and allocate the indirect (F&A) cost pools, as described in Sections A.2 and B.2 through B.9, must contain the full amount of the institution's modified total costs or other appropriate units of measurement used to make the computations. In addition, the final rate distribution base (as defined in subsection 2) for each major function (organized research, instruction, etc., as described in Section A.1 functions of an institution) must contain all the programs or activities which utilize the indirect (F&A) costs allocated to that major function. At the time an indirect (F&A) cost proposal is submitted to a cognizant agency for indirect costs, each institution must describe the process it uses to ensure that Federal funds are not used to subsidize industry and foreign government funded programs.

2. The Distribution Basis

Indirect (F&A) costs must be distributed to applicable Federal awards and other benefitting activities within each major function (see section A.1) on the basis of modified total direct costs (MTDC), consisting of all salaries and wages, fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period covered by the subaward). MTDC is defined in §200.1. For this purpose, an indirect (F&A) cost rate should be determined for each of the separate indirect (F&A) cost pools developed pursuant to subsection 1. The rate in each case should be stated as the percentage which the amount of the particular indirect (F&A) cost pool is of the modified total direct costs identified with such pool.

*   *   *   *   *

7. Fixed Rates for the Life of the Sponsored Agreement

a. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of §200.414, Federal agencies must use the negotiated rates in effect at the time of the initial award throughout the life of the Federal award. Award levels for Federal awards may not be adjusted in future years as a result of changes in negotiated rates. “Negotiated rates” per the rate agreement include final, fixed, and predetermined rates and exclude provisional rates. “Life” for the purpose of this subsection means each competitive segment of a project. A competitive segment is a period of years approved by the Federal awarding agency at the time of the Federal award. If negotiated rate agreements do not extend through the life of the Federal award at the time of the initial award, then the negotiated rate for the last year of the Federal award must be extended through the end of the life of the Federal award.

b. Except as provided in §200.414, when an educational institution does not have a negotiated rate with the Federal Government at the time of an award (because the educational institution is a new recipient or the parties cannot reach agreement on a rate), the provisional rate used at the time of the award must be adjusted once a rate is negotiated and approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs.

8. Limitation on Reimbursement of Administrative Costs

a. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C.1.a, the administrative costs charged to Federal awards awarded or amended (including continuation and renewal awards) with effective dates beginning on or after the start of the institution's first fiscal year which begins on or after October 1, 1991, must be limited to 26% of modified total direct costs (as defined in subsection 2) for the total of General Administration and General Expenses, Departmental Administration, Sponsored Projects Administration, and Student Administration and Services (including their allocable share of depreciation, interest costs, operation and maintenance expenses, and fringe benefits costs, as provided by Section B, and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of facilities in Section B.

*   *   *   *   *

9. Alternative Method for Administrative Costs

a. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C.1.a, an institution may elect to claim a fixed allowance for the “Administration” portion of indirect (F&A) costs. The allowance could be either 24% of modified total direct costs or a percentage equal to 95% of the most recently negotiated fixed or predetermined rate for the cost pools included under “Administration” as defined in Section B.1, whichever is less. Under this alternative, no cost proposal need be prepared for the “Administration” portion of the indirect (F&A) cost rate nor is further identification or documentation of these costs required (see subsection c). Where a negotiated indirect (F&A) cost agreement includes this alternative, an institution must make no further charges for the expenditure categories described in Section B.5, Section B.6, Section B.7, and Section B.9.

*   *   *   *   *

11. Negotiation and Approval of Indirect (F&A) Rate

a. Cognizant agency for indirect costs is defined in Subpart A.

(1) Cost negotiation cognizance is assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Department of Defense's Office of Naval Research (DOD), normally depending on which of the two agencies (HHS or DOD) provides more funds directly to the educational institution for the most recent three years. Information on funding must be derived from relevant data gathered by the National Science Foundation. In cases where neither HHS nor DOD provides Federal funding directly to an educational institution, the cognizant agency for indirect costs assignment must default to HHS. Notwithstanding the method for cognizance determination described in this section, other arrangements for cognizance of a particular educational institution may also be based in part on the types of research performed at the educational institution and must be decided based on mutual agreement between HHS and DOD. Where a non-Federal entity only receives funds as a subrecipient, see §200.332.

(2) *  *  *

b. Acceptance of rates. See §200.414.

*   *   *   *   *

E. Documentation Requirements

The standard format for documentation requirements for indirect (indirect (F&A)) rate proposals for claiming costs under the regular method is available on the OMB website.

F. Certification

*   *   *   *   *

2. *  *  *

c. Certificate. The certificate required by this section must be in the following form:

Certificate of Indirect (F&A) Costs

This is to certify that to the best of my knowledge and belief:

(1) I have reviewed the indirect (F&A) cost proposal submitted herewith;

(2) All costs included in this proposal [identify date] to establish billing or final indirect (F&A) costs rate for [identify period covered by rate] are allowable in accordance with the requirements of the Federal agreement(s) to which they apply and with the cost principles applicable to those agreements.

(3) This proposal does not include any costs which are unallowable under subpart E of this part such as (without limitation): Public relations costs, contributions and donations, entertainment costs, fines and penalties, lobbying costs, and defense of fraud proceedings; and

(4) All costs included in this proposal are properly allocable to Federal agreements on the basis of a beneficial or causal relationship between the expenses incurred and the agreements to which they are allocated in accordance with applicable requirements.

I declare that the foregoing is true and correct.

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