Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Help button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of September 24, 2020

Amendment


2 CFR--PART 200

View Printed Federal Register page 85 FR 49529 in PDF format.

Amendment(s) published August 13, 2020, in 85 FR 49529

Effective Dates: Nov. 12, 2020

34. Revise §200.1 to read as follows:

§200.1   Definitions.

These are the definitions for terms used in this part. Different definitions may be found in Federal statutes or regulations that apply more specifically to particular programs or activities. These definitions could be supplemented by additional instructional information provided in governmentwide standard information collections. For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

Acquisition cost means the cost of the asset including the cost to ready the asset for its intended use. Acquisition cost for equipment, for example, means the net invoice price of the equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. Acquisition costs for software includes those development costs capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in transit insurance, freight, and installation may be included in or excluded from the acquisition cost in accordance with the non-Federal entity's regular accounting practices.

Advance payment means a payment that a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity makes by any appropriate payment mechanism, including a predetermined payment schedule, before the non-Federal entity disburses the funds for program purposes.

Allocation means the process of assigning a cost, or a group of costs, to one or more cost objective(s), in reasonable proportion to the benefit provided or other equitable relationship. The process may entail assigning a cost(s) directly to a final cost objective or through one or more intermediate cost objectives.

Assistance listings refers to the publicly available listing of Federal assistance programs managed and administered by the General Services Administration, formerly known as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

Assistance listing number means a unique number assigned to identify a Federal Assistance Listings, formerly known as the CFDA Number.

Assistance listing program title means the title that corresponds to the Federal Assistance Listings Number, formerly known as the CFDA program title.

Audit finding means deficiencies which the auditor is required by §200.516(a) to report in the schedule of findings and questioned costs.

Auditee means any non-Federal entity that expends Federal awards which must be audited under subpart F of this part.

Auditor means an auditor who is a public accountant or a Federal, State, local government, or Indian tribe audit organization, which meets the general standards specified for external auditors in generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS). The term auditor does not include internal auditors of nonprofit organizations.

Budget means the financial plan for the Federal award that the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity approves during the Federal award process or in subsequent amendments to the Federal award. It may include the Federal and non-Federal share or only the Federal share, as determined by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.

Budget period means the time interval from the start date of a funded portion of an award to the end date of that funded portion during which recipients are authorized to expend the funds awarded, including any funds carried forward or other revisions pursuant to §200.308.

Capital assets means:

(1) Tangible or intangible assets used in operations having a useful life of more than one year which are capitalized in accordance with GAAP. Capital assets include:

(i) Land, buildings (facilities), equipment, and intellectual property (including software) whether acquired by purchase, construction, manufacture, exchange, or through a lease accounted for as financed purchase under Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards or a finance lease under Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards; and

(ii) Additions, improvements, modifications, replacements, rearrangements, reinstallations, renovations or alterations to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life (not ordinary repairs and maintenance).

(2) For purpose of this part, capital assets do not include intangible right-to-use assets (per GASB) and right-to-use operating lease assets (per FASB). For example, assets capitalized that recognize a lessee's right to control the use of property and/or equipment for a period of time under a lease contract. See also §200.465.

Capital expenditures means expenditures to acquire capital assets or expenditures to make additions, improvements, modifications, replacements, rearrangements, reinstallations, renovations, or alterations to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life.

Central service cost allocation plan means the documentation identifying, accumulating, and allocating or developing billing rates based on the allowable costs of services provided by a State or local government or Indian tribe on a centralized basis to its departments and agencies. The costs of these services may be allocated or billed to users.

Claim means, depending on the context, either:

(1) A written demand or written assertion by one of the parties to a Federal award seeking as a matter of right:

(i) The payment of money in a sum certain;

(ii) The adjustment or interpretation of the terms and conditions of the Federal award; or

(iii) Other relief arising under or relating to a Federal award.

(2) A request for payment that is not in dispute when submitted.

Class of Federal awards means a group of Federal awards either awarded under a specific program or group of programs or to a specific type of non-Federal entity or group of non-Federal entities to which specific provisions or exceptions may apply.

Closeout means the process by which the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the Federal award have been completed and takes actions as described in §200.344.

Cluster of programs means a grouping of closely related programs that share common compliance requirements. The types of clusters of programs are research and development (R&D), student financial aid (SFA), and other clusters. “Other clusters” are as defined by OMB in the compliance supplement or as designated by a State for Federal awards the State provides to its subrecipients that meet the definition of a cluster of programs. When designating an “other cluster,” a State must identify the Federal awards included in the cluster and advise the subrecipients of compliance requirements applicable to the cluster, consistent with §200.332(a). A cluster of programs must be considered as one program for determining major programs, as described in §200.518, and, with the exception of R&D as described in §200.501(c), whether a program-specific audit may be elected.

Cognizant agency for audit means the Federal agency designated to carry out the responsibilities described in §200.513(a). The cognizant agency for audit is not necessarily the same as the cognizant agency for indirect costs. A list of cognizant agencies for audit can be found on the Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) website.

Cognizant agency for indirect costs means the Federal agency responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and approving cost allocation plans or indirect cost proposals developed under this part on behalf of all Federal agencies. The cognizant agency for indirect cost is not necessarily the same as the cognizant agency for audit. For assignments of cognizant agencies see the following:

(1) For Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs): Appendix III to this part, paragraph C.11.

(2) For nonprofit organizations: Appendix IV to this part, paragraph C.2.a.

(3) For State and local governments: Appendix V to this part, paragraph F.1.

(4) For Indian tribes: Appendix VII to this part, paragraph D.1.

Compliance supplement means an annually updated authoritative source for auditors that serves to identify existing important compliance requirements that the Federal Government expects to be considered as part of an audit. Auditors use it to understand the Federal program's objectives, procedures, and compliance requirements, as well as audit objectives and suggested audit procedures for determining compliance with the relevant Federal program.

Computing devices means machines used to acquire, store, analyze, process, and publish data and other information electronically, including accessories (or “peripherals”) for printing, transmitting and receiving, or storing electronic information. See also the definitions of supplies and information technology systems in this section.

Contract means, for the purpose of Federal financial assistance, a legal instrument by which a recipient or subrecipient purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program under a Federal award. For additional information on subrecipient and contractor determinations, see §200.331. See also the definition of subaward in this section.

Contractor means an entity that receives a contract as defined in this section.

Cooperative agreement means a legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency and a recipient or a pass-through entity and a subrecipient that, consistent with 31 U.S.C. 6302-6305:

(1) Is used to enter into a relationship the principal purpose of which is to transfer anything of value to carry out a public purpose authorized by a law of the United States (see 31 U.S.C. 6101(3)); and not to acquire property or services for the Federal Government or pass-through entity's direct benefit or use;

(2) Is distinguished from a grant in that it provides for substantial involvement of the Federal awarding agency in carrying out the activity contemplated by the Federal award.

(3) The term does not include:

(i) A cooperative research and development agreement as defined in 15 U.S.C. 3710a; or

(ii) An agreement that provides only:

(A) Direct United States Government cash assistance to an individual;

(B) A subsidy;

(C) A loan;

(D) A loan guarantee; or

(E) Insurance.

Cooperative audit resolution means the use of audit follow-up techniques which promote prompt corrective action by improving communication, fostering collaboration, promoting trust, and developing an understanding between the Federal agency and the non-Federal entity. This approach is based upon:

(1) A strong commitment by Federal agency and non-Federal entity leadership to program integrity;

(2) Federal agencies strengthening partnerships and working cooperatively with non-Federal entities and their auditors; and non-Federal entities and their auditors working cooperatively with Federal agencies;

(3) A focus on current conditions and corrective action going forward;

(4) Federal agencies offering appropriate relief for past noncompliance when audits show prompt corrective action has occurred; and

(5) Federal agency leadership sending a clear message that continued failure to correct conditions identified by audits which are likely to cause improper payments, fraud, waste, or abuse is unacceptable and will result in sanctions.

Corrective action means action taken by the auditee that:

(1) Corrects identified deficiencies;

(2) Produces recommended improvements; or

(3) Demonstrates that audit findings are either invalid or do not warrant auditee action.

Cost allocation plan means central service cost allocation plan or public assistance cost allocation plan.

Cost objective means a program, function, activity, award, organizational subdivision, contract, or work unit for which cost data are desired and for which provision is made to accumulate and measure the cost of processes, products, jobs, capital projects, etc. A cost objective may be a major function of the non-Federal entity, a particular service or project, a Federal award, or an indirect (Facilities & Administrative (F&A)) cost activity, as described in subpart E of this part. See also the definitions of final cost objective and intermediate cost objective in this section.

Cost sharing or matching means the portion of project costs not paid by Federal funds or contributions (unless otherwise authorized by Federal statute). See also §200.306.

Cross-cutting audit finding means an audit finding where the same underlying condition or issue affects all Federal awards (including Federal awards of more than one Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity).

Disallowed costs means those charges to a Federal award that the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the Federal award.

Discretionary award means an award in which the Federal awarding agency, in keeping with specific statutory authority that enables the agency to exercise judgment (“discretion”), selects the recipient and/or the amount of Federal funding awarded through a competitive process or based on merit of proposals. A discretionary award may be selected on a non-competitive basis, as appropriate.

Equipment means tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. See also the definitions of capital assets, computing devices, general purpose equipment, information technology systems, special purpose equipment, and supplies in this section.

Expenditures means charges made by a non-Federal entity to a project or program for which a Federal award was received.

(1) The charges may be reported on a cash or accrual basis, as long as the methodology is disclosed and is consistently applied.

(2) For reports prepared on a cash basis, expenditures are the sum of:

(i) Cash disbursements for direct charges for property and services;

(ii) The amount of indirect expense charged;

(iii) The value of third-party in-kind contributions applied; and

(iv) The amount of cash advance payments and payments made to subrecipients.

(3) For reports prepared on an accrual basis, expenditures are the sum of:

(i) Cash disbursements for direct charges for property and services;

(ii) The amount of indirect expense incurred;

(iii) The value of third-party in-kind contributions applied; and

(iv) The net increase or decrease in the amounts owed by the non-Federal entity for:

(A) Goods and other property received;

(B) Services performed by employees, contractors, subrecipients, and other payees; and

(C) Programs for which no current services or performance are required such as annuities, insurance claims, or other benefit payments.

Federal agency means an “agency” as defined at 5 U.S.C. 551(1) and further clarified by 5 U.S.C. 552(f).

Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) means the clearinghouse designated by OMB as the repository of record where non-Federal entities are required to transmit the information required by subpart F of this part.

Federal award has the meaning, depending on the context, in either paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition:

(1)(i) The Federal financial assistance that a recipient receives directly from a Federal awarding agency or indirectly from a pass-through entity, as described in §200.101; or

(ii) The cost-reimbursement contract under the Federal Acquisition Regulations that a non-Federal entity receives directly from a Federal awarding agency or indirectly from a pass-through entity, as described in §200.101.

(2) The instrument setting forth the terms and conditions. The instrument is the grant agreement, cooperative agreement, other agreement for assistance covered in paragraph (2) of the definition of Federal financial assistance in this section, or the cost-reimbursement contract awarded under the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

(3) Federal award does not include other contracts that a Federal agency uses to buy goods or services from a contractor or a contract to operate Federal Government owned, contractor operated facilities (GOCOs).

(4) See also definitions of Federal financial assistance, grant agreement, and cooperative agreement.

Federal award date means the date when the Federal award is signed by the authorized official of the Federal awarding agency.

Federal financial assistance means

(1) Assistance that non-Federal entities receive or administer in the form of:

(i) Grants;

(ii) Cooperative agreements;

(iii) Non-cash contributions or donations of property (including donated surplus property);

(iv) Direct appropriations;

(v) Food commodities; and

(vi) Other financial assistance (except assistance listed in paragraph (2) of this definition).

(2) For §200.203 and subpart F of this part, Federal financial assistance also includes assistance that non-Federal entities receive or administer in the form of:

(i) Loans;

(ii) Loan Guarantees;

(iii) Interest subsidies; and

(iv) Insurance.

(3) For §200.216, Federal financial assistance includes assistance that non-Federal entities receive or administer in the form of:

(i) Grants;

(ii) Cooperative agreements;

(iii) Loans; and

(iv) Loan Guarantees.

(4) Federal financial assistance does not include amounts received as reimbursement for services rendered to individuals as described in §200.502(h) and (i).

Federal interest means, for purposes of §200.330 or when used in connection with the acquisition or improvement of real property, equipment, or supplies under a Federal award, the dollar amount that is the product of the:

(1) The percentage of Federal participation in the total cost of the real property, equipment, or supplies; and

(2) Current fair market value of the property, improvements, or both, to the extent the costs of acquiring or improving the property were included as project costs.

Federal program means:

(1) All Federal awards which are assigned a single Assistance Listings Number.

(2) When no Assistance Listings Number is assigned, all Federal awards from the same agency made for the same purpose must be combined and considered one program.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition, a cluster of programs. The types of clusters of programs are:

(i) Research and development (R&D);

(ii) Student financial aid (SFA); and

(iii) “Other clusters,” as described in the definition of cluster of programs in this section.

Federal share means the portion of the Federal award costs that are paid using Federal funds.

Final cost objective means a cost objective which has allocated to it both direct and indirect costs and, in the non-Federal entity's accumulation system, is one of the final accumulation points, such as a particular award, internal project, or other direct activity of a non-Federal entity. See also the definitions of cost objective and intermediate cost objective in this section.

Financial obligations, when referencing a recipient's or subrecipient's use of funds under a Federal award, means orders placed for property and services, contracts and subawards made, and similar transactions that require payment.

Fixed amount awards means a type of grant or cooperative agreement under which the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity provides a specific level of support without regard to actual costs incurred under the Federal award. This type of Federal award reduces some of the administrative burden and record-keeping requirements for both the non-Federal entity and Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity. Accountability is based primarily on performance and results. See §§200.102(c), 200.201(b), and 200.333.

Foreign organization means an entity that is:

(1) A public or private organization located in a country other than the United States and its territories that is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located, irrespective of the citizenship of project staff or place of performance;

(2) A private nongovernmental organization located in a country other than the United States that solicits and receives cash contributions from the general public;

(3) A charitable organization located in a country other than the United States that is nonprofit and tax exempt under the laws of its country of domicile and operation, and is not a university, college, accredited degree-granting institution of education, private foundation, hospital, organization engaged exclusively in research or scientific activities, church, synagogue, mosque or other similar entities organized primarily for religious purposes; or

(4) An organization located in a country other than the United States not recognized as a foreign public entity.

Foreign public entity means:

(1) A foreign government or foreign governmental entity;

(2) A public international organization, which is an organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities as an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288-288f);

(3) An entity owned (in whole or in part) or controlled by a foreign government; or

(4) Any other entity consisting wholly or partially of one or more foreign governments or foreign governmental entities.

General purpose equipment means equipment which is not limited to research, medical, scientific or other technical activities. Examples include office equipment and furnishings, modular offices, telephone networks, information technology equipment and systems, air conditioning equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, and motor vehicles. See also the definitions of equipment and special purpose equipment in this section.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) has the meaning specified in accounting standards issued by the GASB and the FASB.

Generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS), also known as the Yellow Book, means generally accepted government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, which are applicable to financial audits.

Grant agreement means a legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and a non-Federal entity that, consistent with 31 U.S.C. 6302, 6304:

(1) Is used to enter into a relationship the principal purpose of which is to transfer anything of value to carry out a public purpose authorized by a law of the United States (see 31 U.S.C. 6101(3)); and not to acquire property or services for the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity's direct benefit or use;

(2) Is distinguished from a cooperative agreement in that it does not provide for substantial involvement of the Federal awarding agency in carrying out the activity contemplated by the Federal award.

(3) Does not include an agreement that provides only:

(i) Direct United States Government cash assistance to an individual;

(ii) A subsidy;

(iii) A loan;

(vi) A loan guarantee; or

(v) Insurance.

Highest level owner means the entity that owns or controls an immediate owner of the offeror, or that owns or controls one or more entities that control an immediate owner of the offeror. No entity owns or exercises control of the highest-level owner as defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) (48 CFR 52.204-17).

Hospital means a facility licensed as a hospital under the law of any state or a facility operated as a hospital by the United States, a state, or a subdivision of a state.

Improper payment means:

(1) Any payment that should not have been made or that was made in an incorrect amount under statutory, contractual, administrative, or other legally applicable requirements.

(i) Incorrect amounts are overpayments or underpayments that are made to eligible recipients (including inappropriate denials of payment or service, any payment that does not account for credit for applicable discounts, payments that are for an incorrect amount, and duplicate payments). An improper payment also includes any payment that was made to an ineligible recipient or for an ineligible good or service, or payments for goods or services not received (except for such payments authorized by law).

Note 1 to paragraph (1)(i) of this definition. Applicable discounts are only those discounts where it is both advantageous and within the agency's control to claim them.

(ii) When an agency's review is unable to discern whether a payment was proper as a result of insufficient or lack of documentation, this payment should also be considered an improper payment. When establishing documentation requirements for payments, agencies should ensure that all documentation requirements are necessary and should refrain from imposing additional burdensome documentation requirements.

(iii) Interest or other fees that may result from an underpayment by an agency are not considered an improper payment if the interest was paid correctly. These payments are generally separate transactions and may be necessary under certain statutory, contractual, administrative, or other legally applicable requirements.

(iv) A “questioned cost” (as defined in this section) should not be considered an improper payment until the transaction has been completely reviewed and is confirmed to be improper.

(v) The term “payment” in this definition means any disbursement or transfer of Federal funds (including a commitment for future payment, such as cash, securities, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance subsidies) to any non-Federal person, non-Federal entity, or Federal employee, that is made by a Federal agency, a Federal contractor, a Federal grantee, or a governmental or other organization administering a Federal program or activity.

(vi) The term “payment” includes disbursements made pursuant to prime contracts awarded under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Federal awards subject to this part that are expended by recipients.

(2) See definition of improper payment in OMB Circular A-123 appendix C, part I A (1) “What is an improper payment?” Questioned costs, including those identified in audits, are not an improper payment until reviewed and confirmed to be improper as defined in OMB Circular A-123 appendix C.

Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. Chapter 33), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians (25 U.S.C. 450b(e)). See annually published Bureau of Indian Affairs list of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services.

Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) is defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001.

Indirect (facilities & administrative (F&A)) costs means those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. To facilitate equitable distribution of indirect expenses to the cost objectives served, it may be necessary to establish a number of pools of indirect (F&A) costs. Indirect (F&A) cost pools must be distributed to benefitted cost objectives on bases that will produce an equitable result in consideration of relative benefits derived.

Indirect cost rate proposal means the documentation prepared by a non-Federal entity to substantiate its request for the establishment of an indirect cost rate as described in appendices III through VII and appendix IX to this part.

Information technology systems means computing devices, ancillary equipment, software, firmware, and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources. See also the definitions of computing devices and equipment in this section.

Intangible property means property having no physical existence, such as trademarks, copyrights, patents and patent applications and property, such as loans, notes and other debt instruments, lease agreements, stock and other instruments of property ownership (whether the property is tangible or intangible).

Intermediate cost objective means a cost objective that is used to accumulate indirect costs or service center costs that are subsequently allocated to one or more indirect cost pools or final cost objectives. See also the definitions of cost objective and final cost objective in this section.

Internal controls for non-Federal entities means:

(1) Processes designed and implemented by non-Federal entities to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories:

(i) Effectiveness and efficiency of operations;

(ii) Reliability of reporting for internal and external use; and

(iii) Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

(2) Federal awarding agencies are required to follow internal control compliance requirements in OMB Circular No. A-123, Management's Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control.

Loan means a Federal loan or loan guarantee received or administered by a non-Federal entity, except as used in the definition of program income in this section.

(1) The term “direct loan” means a disbursement of funds by the Federal Government to a non-Federal borrower under a contract that requires the repayment of such funds with or without interest. The term includes the purchase of, or participation in, a loan made by another lender and financing arrangements that defer payment for more than 90 days, including the sale of a Federal Government asset on credit terms. The term does not include the acquisition of a federally guaranteed loan in satisfaction of default claims or the price support loans of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

(2) The term “direct loan obligation” means a binding agreement by a Federal awarding agency to make a direct loan when specified conditions are fulfilled by the borrower.

(3) The term “loan guarantee” means any Federal Government guarantee, insurance, or other pledge with respect to the payment of all or a part of the principal or interest on any debt obligation of a non-Federal borrower to a non-Federal lender, but does not include the insurance of deposits, shares, or other withdrawable accounts in financial institutions.

(4) The term “loan guarantee commitment” means a binding agreement by a Federal awarding agency to make a loan guarantee when specified conditions are fulfilled by the borrower, the lender, or any other party to the guarantee agreement.

Local government means any unit of government within a state, including a:

(1) County;

(2) Borough;

(3) Municipality;

(4) City;

(5) Town;

(6) Township;

(7) Parish;

(8) Local public authority, including any public housing agency under the United States Housing Act of 1937;

(9) Special district;

(10) School district;

(11) Intrastate district;

(12) Council of governments, whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law; and

(13) Any other agency or instrumentality of a multi-, regional, or intra-State or local government.

Major program means a Federal program determined by the auditor to be a major program in accordance with §200.518 or a program identified as a major program by a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity in accordance with §200.503(e).

Management decision means the Federal awarding agency's or pass-through entity's written determination, provided to the auditee, of the adequacy of the auditee's proposed corrective actions to address the findings, based on its evaluation of the audit findings and proposed corrective actions.

Micro-purchase means a purchase of supplies or services, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold. Micro-purchases comprise a subset of a non-Federal entity's small purchases as defined in §200.320.

Micro-purchase threshold means the dollar amount at or below which a non-Federal entity may purchase property or services using micro-purchase procedures (see §200.320). Generally, the micro-purchase threshold for procurement activities administered under Federal awards is not to exceed the amount set by the FAR at 48 CFR part 2, subpart 2.1, unless a higher threshold is requested by the non-Federal entity and approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs.

Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) means all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards under the award). MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000. Other items may only be excluded when necessary to avoid a serious inequity in the distribution of indirect costs, and with the approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs.

Non-discretionary award means an award made by the Federal awarding agency to specific recipients in accordance with statutory, eligibility and compliance requirements, such that in keeping with specific statutory authority the agency has no ability to exercise judgement (“discretion”). A non-discretionary award amount could be determined specifically or by formula.

Non-Federal entity (NFE) means a State, local government, Indian tribe, Institution of Higher Education (IHE), or nonprofit organization that carries out a Federal award as a recipient or subrecipient.

Nonprofit organization means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization, not including IHEs, that:

(1) Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest;

(2) Is not organized primarily for profit; and

(3) Uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operations of the organization.

Notice of funding opportunity means a formal announcement of the availability of Federal funding through a financial assistance program from a Federal awarding agency. The notice of funding opportunity provides information on the award, who is eligible to apply, the evaluation criteria for selection of an awardee, required components of an application, and how to submit the application. The notice of funding opportunity is any paper or electronic issuance that an agency uses to announce a funding opportunity, whether it is called a “program announcement,” “notice of funding availability,” “broad agency announcement,” “research announcement,” “solicitation,” or some other term.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) means the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget.

Oversight agency for audit means the Federal awarding agency that provides the predominant amount of funding directly (direct funding) (as listed on the schedule of expenditures of Federal awards, see §200.510(b)) to a non-Federal entity unless OMB designates a specific cognizant agency for audit. When the direct funding represents less than 25 percent of the total Federal expenditures (as direct and sub-awards) by the non-Federal entity, then the Federal agency with the predominant amount of total funding is the designated cognizant agency for audit. When there is no direct funding, the Federal awarding agency which is the predominant source of pass-through funding must assume the oversight responsibilities. The duties of the oversight agency for audit and the process for any reassignments are described in §200.513(b).

Participant support costs means direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects.

Pass-through entity (PTE) means a non-Federal entity that provides a subaward to a subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal program.

Performance goal means a target level of performance expressed as a tangible, measurable objective, against which actual achievement can be compared, including a goal expressed as a quantitative standard, value, or rate. In some instances (e.g., discretionary research awards), this may be limited to the requirement to submit technical performance reports (to be evaluated in accordance with agency policy).

Period of performance means the total estimated time interval between the start of an initial Federal award and the planned end date, which may include one or more funded portions, or budget periods. Identification of the period of performance in the Federal award per §200.211(b)(5) does not commit the awarding agency to fund the award beyond the currently approved budget period.

Personal property means property other than real property. It may be tangible, having physical existence, or intangible.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) means information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual. Some information that is considered to be PII is available in public sources such as telephone books, public websites, and university listings. This type of information is considered to be Public PII and includes, for example, first and last name, address, work telephone number, email address, home telephone number, and general educational credentials. The definition of PII is not anchored to any single category of information or technology. Rather, it requires a case-by-case assessment of the specific risk that an individual can be identified. Non-PII can become PII whenever additional information is made publicly available, in any medium and from any source, that, when combined with other available information, could be used to identify an individual.

Program income means gross income earned by the non-Federal entity that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the Federal award during the period of performance except as provided in §200.307(f). (See the definition of period of performance in this section.) Program income includes but is not limited to income from fees for services performed, the use or rental or real or personal property acquired under Federal awards, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under a Federal award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and principal and interest on loans made with Federal award funds. Interest earned on advances of Federal funds is not program income. Except as otherwise provided in Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the Federal award, program income does not include rebates, credits, discounts, and interest earned on any of them. See also §200.407. See also 35 U.S.C. 200-212 “Disposition of Rights in Educational Awards” applies to inventions made under Federal awards.

Project cost means total allowable costs incurred under a Federal award and all required cost sharing and voluntary committed cost sharing, including third-party contributions.

Property means real property or personal property. See also the definitions of real property and personal property in this section.

Protected Personally Identifiable Information (Protected PII) means an individual's first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of types of information, including, but not limited to, social security number, passport number, credit card numbers, clearances, bank numbers, biometrics, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, criminal, medical and financial records, educational transcripts. This does not include PII that is required by law to be disclosed. See also the definition of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in this section.

Questioned cost means a cost that is questioned by the auditor because of an audit finding:

(1) Which resulted from a violation or possible violation of a statute, regulation, or the terms and conditions of a Federal award, including for funds used to match Federal funds;

(2) Where the costs, at the time of the audit, are not supported by adequate documentation; or

(3) Where the costs incurred appear unreasonable and do not reflect the actions a prudent person would take in the circumstances.

(4) Questioned costs are not an improper payment until reviewed and confirmed to be improper as defined in OMB Circular A-123 appendix C. (See also the definition of Improper payment in this section).

Real property means land, including land improvements, structures and appurtenances thereto, but excludes moveable machinery and equipment.

Recipient means an entity, usually but not limited to non-Federal entities that receives a Federal award directly from a Federal awarding agency. The term recipient does not include subrecipients or individuals that are beneficiaries of the award.

Renewal award means an award made subsequent to an expiring Federal award for which the start date is contiguous with, or closely follows, the end of the expiring Federal award. A renewal award's start date will begin a distinct period of performance.

Research and Development (R&D) means all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are performed by non-Federal entities. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function. “Research” is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. “Development” is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

Simplified acquisition threshold means the dollar amount below which a non-Federal entity may purchase property or services using small purchase methods (see §200.320). Non-Federal entities adopt small purchase procedures in order to expedite the purchase of items at or below the simplified acquisition threshold. The simplified acquisition threshold for procurement activities administered under Federal awards is set by the FAR at 48 CFR part 2, subpart 2.1. The non-Federal entity is responsible for determining an appropriate simplified acquisition threshold based on internal controls, an evaluation of risk, and its documented procurement procedures. However, in no circumstances can this threshold exceed the dollar value established in the FAR (48 CFR part 2, subpart 2.1) for the simplified acquisition threshold. Recipients should determine if local government laws on purchasing apply.

Special purpose equipment means equipment which is used only for research, medical, scientific, or other technical activities. Examples of special purpose equipment include microscopes, x-ray machines, surgical instruments, and spectrometers. See also the definitions of equipment and general purpose equipment in this section.

State means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any agency or instrumentality thereof exclusive of local governments.

Student Financial Aid (SFA) means Federal awards under those programs of general student assistance, such as those authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (20 U.S.C. 1070-1099d), which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, and similar programs provided by other Federal agencies. It does not include Federal awards under programs that provide fellowships or similar Federal awards to students on a competitive basis, or for specified studies or research.

Subaward means an award provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal award received by the pass-through entity. It does not include payments to a contractor or payments to an individual that is a beneficiary of a Federal program. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract.

Subrecipient means an entity, usually but not limited to non-Federal entities, that receives a subaward from a pass-through entity to carry out part of a Federal award; but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such award. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding agency.

Subsidiary means an entity in which more than 50 percent of the entity is owned or controlled directly by a parent corporation or through another subsidiary of a parent corporation.

Supplies means all tangible personal property other than those described in the definition of equipment in this section. A computing device is a supply if the acquisition cost is less than the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes or $5,000, regardless of the length of its useful life. See also the definitions of computing devices and equipment in this section.

Telecommunications cost means the cost of using communication and telephony technologies such as mobile phones, land lines, and internet.

Termination means the ending of a Federal award, in whole or in part at any time prior to the planned end of period of performance. A lack of available funds is not a termination.

Third-party in-kind contributions means the value of non-cash contributions (i.e., property or services) that—

(1) Benefit a federally-assisted project or program; and

(2) Are contributed by non-Federal third parties, without charge, to a non-Federal entity under a Federal award.

Unliquidated financial obligations means, for financial reports prepared on a cash basis, financial obligations incurred by the non-Federal entity that have not been paid (liquidated). For reports prepared on an accrual expenditure basis, these are financial obligations incurred by the non-Federal entity for which an expenditure has not been recorded.

Unobligated balance means the amount of funds under a Federal award that the non-Federal entity has not obligated. The amount is computed by subtracting the cumulative amount of the non-Federal entity's unliquidated financial obligations and expenditures of funds under the Federal award from the cumulative amount of the funds that the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity authorized the non-Federal entity to obligate.

Voluntary committed cost sharing means cost sharing specifically pledged on a voluntary basis in the proposal's budget on the part of the non-Federal entity and that becomes a binding requirement of Federal award. See also §200.306.

Need assistance?