Part 3 – compliance requirements introduction



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Allowable Costs – Special Requirements – Unallowable Direct Costs

1. Compliance Requirements – Unallowable Direct Costs

a. The costs of certain activities are not allowable as charges to Federal awards (see, for example, fundraising costs in A-122, Attachment B, paragraph 17.a). 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 cost rates and be allocated their share of the organization’s indirect costs if they represent activities which (1) include the salaries of personnel, (2) occupy space, and (3) benefit from the organization’s indirect costs.

b. Costs should be recorded in the organization’s cost records as direct or indirect costs based on their relationship to the cost objectives or activities. The costs of activities performed primarily as a service to members, clients, or the general public when significant and necessary to the organization’s mission must be treated as direct costs--whether or not allowable--and be allocated an equitable share of indirect costs.

2. Audit Objectives – Unallowable Direct Costs

a. Obtain an understanding of internal control, assess risk, and test internal control as required by OMB Circular A-133 §___.500(c).

b. Determine whether all unallowable costs categorized as direct costs are included in the allocation base for the purpose of allocating indirect costs.

3 Suggested Internal Control Audit Procedures – Unallowable Direct Costs

a. Using the guidance provided in Part 6 – Internal Control, perform procedures to obtain an understanding of internal control sufficient to plan the audit to support a low assessed level of control risk for the program.

b. Plan the testing of internal control to support a low assessed level of control risk for allowable costs/cost principles and perform the testing of internal control as planned. If internal control over some or all of the compliance requirements is likely to be ineffective, see the alternative procedures in §___.500(c)(3) of OMB Circular A-133, including assessing the control risk at the maximum and considering whether additional compliance tests and reporting are required because of ineffective internal control.

c. Consider the results of the testing of internal control in assessing the risk of noncompliance. Use this as the basis for determining the nature, timing, and extent (e.g., number of transactions to be selected) of substantive tests of compliance.



4. Suggested Compliance Audit Procedures – Unallowable Direct Costs

a. Determine whether all unallowable costs categorized as direct costs are included in the allocation base for the purpose of allocating indirect costs.

b. Determine whether the following costs are charged as direct costs and allocated an equitable share of indirect costs.

(1) Maintenance of membership rolls, subscriptions, publications, or related functions.

(2) Providing services and information to members, legislative or administrative bodies, or the public.

(3) Meetings and conferences except those held to conduct the general administration of the organization.

(4) Maintenance, protection, and investment of special funds not used in operation of the organization.

(5) Administration of group benefits on behalf of members or clients, including life and hospital insurance, annuity or retirements plans, financial aid, etc.



Special Requirements – Disclosure Statements (DS-1) Required by Cost Accounting Standards

1. Compliance Requirements – CAS and Disclosure Statements

a. Pub. L. No. 100-679 (41 USC 422) requires certain contractors and subcontractors (which includes NPOs) to comply with CAS and to disclose in writing and follow consistently their cost accounting practices.

b. 48 CFR section 9903.201-1 (FAR Appendix) describes the rules for determining whether a proposed contract or subcontract is exempt from CAS. Negotiated contracts not exempt in accordance with 48 CFR section 9903.201-1(b) are subject to CAS. A CAS-covered contract may be subject to either full or modified coverage. The rules for determining whether full or modified coverage applies are in 48 CFR section 9903.201-2 (FAR Appendix).

(1) Full coverage requires that a business unit comply with all the CAS specified in 48 CFR part 9904 that are in effect on the date of the contract award and with any CAS that become applicable because of later award of a CAS-covered contract. Full coverage applies to contractor business units that (a) receive a single CAS-covered contract award of $50 million or more; or (b) receive $50 million or more in net CAS-covered awards during their preceding cost accounting period (48 CFR section 9903.201-2(a)).

(2) Modified Coverage (48 CFR section 9903.201-2(b))

(a) Modified CAS coverage requires only that the contractor comply with Standard 9904.401, Consistency in Estimating, Accumulating, and Reporting Costs; Standard 9904.402, Consistency in Allocating Costs Incurred for the Same Purpose; Standard 9904.405, Accounting for Unallowable Costs; and Standard 9904.406, Cost Accounting Standard—Cost Accounting Period. Modified, rather, than full, CAS coverage may be applied to a covered contract of less than $50 million awarded to a business unit that received less than $50 million in net CAS-covered awards in the immediately preceding cost accounting period.

(b) If any one contract is awarded with modified CAS coverage, all CAS-covered contracts awarded to that business unit during that cost accounting period must also have modified coverage with the following exception: if the business unit receives a single CAS-covered contract award of $50 million or more, that contract must be subject to full CAS coverage. Thereafter, any covered contract awarded in the same cost accounting period must also be subject to full CAS coverage.

(c) A contract awarded with modified CAS coverage shall remain subject to such coverage throughout its life regardless of changes in the business unit’s CAS status during subsequent cost accounting periods.

b. 48 CFR section 9903.202 (FAR Appendix) describes the general Disclosure Statement requirements. A Disclosure Statement is a written description of a contractor’s cost accounting practices and procedures. The submission of a new or revised Statement is not required for any non-CAS covered contract or from any small business concern. Completed Disclosure Statements are required under the following circumstances:

(1) Any business unit that is selected to receive a CAS-covered contract or subcontract of $50 million or more shall submit a Disclosure Statement before award.

(2) Any company which, together with its segments, receive net awards of negotiated prime contracts and subcontracts subject to CAS totaling $50 million or more in its most recent cost accounting period, must submit a Disclosure Statement before award of its first CAS-covered contract in the immediately following cost accounting period. However, if the first CAS-covered contract is received within 90 days of the start of the cost accounting period, the contractor is not required to file until the end of the 90 days.

c. 48 CFR section 9903.201-7 (FAR Appendix) describes the cognizant Federal agency responsibilities.

(1) The requirements of 48 CFR part 9903 shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be administered by the cognizant Federal agency responsible for a particular contractor organization or location, usually the Federal agency responsible for negotiating indirect cost rates on behalf of the Government.

(2) The cognizant Federal agency should take the lead role in administering the requirements of 48 CFR part 9903 and coordinating CAS administrative actions with all affected Federal agencies. When multiple CAS-covered contracts or more than one Federal agency are involved, agencies should discourage Contracting/Grants Officers from individually administering CAS on a contract-by-contract basis. Coordinated administrative actions will provide greater assurances that individual contractors follow their cost accounting practices consistently under all their CAS-covered contracts and that changes in cost accounting practices or CAS noncompliance issues are resolved, equitably, in a uniform overall manner.



2. Audit Objectives – CAS and Disclosure Statements

a. Determine whether the NPO’s accounting practices, for direct and indirect costs, are compliant with CAS, based on its required CAS coverage (full or modified).

b. Determine whether the NPO’s Disclosure Statement (including amendments) is current, accurate, complete, and properly filed with the cognizant Federal Administrative Officer in accordance with 48 CFR section 9903.202-5.

c. Determine whether the NPO’s actual accounting practices are consistent with its disclosed practices.



3. Suggested Internal Control Audit Procedures – CAS and Disclosure Statements

a. Using the guidance provided in Part 6 – Internal Control, perform procedures to obtain an understanding of internal control sufficient to plan the audit to support a low assessed level of control risk for the program.

b. Plan the testing of internal control to support a low assessed level of control risk for allowable costs/cost principles and perform the testing of internal control as planned. If internal control over some or all of the compliance requirements is likely to be ineffective, see the alternative procedures in §___.500(c)(3) of OMB Circular A-133, including assessing the control risk at the maximum and considering whether additional compliance tests and reporting are required because of ineffective internal control.

c. Consider the results of the testing of internal control in assessing the risk of noncompliance. Use this as the basis for determining the nature, timing, and extent (e.g., number of transactions to be selected) of substantive tests of compliance.



4. Suggested Compliance Audit Procedures – CAS and Disclosure Statements

a. Determine whether the NPO has any CAS-covered contract or subcontracts. If so, determine which type of CAS coverage is applicable (full or modified) and if a Disclosure Statement is required to be submitted to the cognizant Federal agency.

b. Test the NPO’s actual accounting practices for direct and indirect costs are compliant with applicable CAS.

c. If a Disclosure Statement is required, obtain a copy and any amendments. Review these to ensure the disclosures are current, accurate, compliant with CAS, and approved by the cognizant Federal agency.

d. Test whether the NPO’s actual accounting practices are consistent with the disclosed practices.

Allowable Costs – Special Requirements – Internal Service, Central Service, Pension, or Similar Activities or Funds

1. Compliance Requirement

NPOs using internal service, central service, pension, or similar activities or funds must follow the applicable cost principles found in A-122.



2. Audit Objectives

Obtain an understanding of internal control, assess risk, and test internal control as required by OMB Circular A-133 §___.500(c). Determine whether charges are made from internal service, central service, pension, or similar activities or funds, are in accordance with A-122.



3. Suggested Internal Control Audit Procedures

a. Using the guidance provided in Part 6 – Internal Control, perform procedures to obtain an understanding of internal control sufficient to plan the audit to support a low assessed level of control risk for the program.

b. Plan the testing of internal control to support a low assessed level of control risk for allowable costs/cost principles and perform the testing of internal control as planned. If internal control over some or all of the compliance requirements is likely to be ineffective, see the alternative procedures in §___.500(c)(3) of OMB Circular A-133, including assessing the control risk at the maximum and considering whether additional compliance tests and reporting are required because of ineffective internal control.

c. Consider the results of the testing of internal control in assessing the risk of noncompliance. Use this as the basis for determining the nature, timing, and extent (e.g., number of transactions to be selected) of substantive tests of compliance.



4. Suggested Compliance Audit Procedures

Perform the following procedures as applicable:

a. For activities accounted for in separate funds, ascertain that: (1) retained earnings/fund balances (including reserves) were computed in accordance with the applicable cost principles; (2) working capital reserves were not excessive in amount (generally not greater than 60 days for cash expenses for normal operations incurred for the period exclusive of depreciation, capital costs, and debt principal costs); and (3) refunds were made to the Federal Government for its share of any amounts transferred or borrowed from internal service, central service, pension, insurance, or other similar activities or funds for purposes other than to meet the operating liabilities, including interest on debt, of the fund.

b. Test that all users of services are billed in a consistent manner.

c. Test that billing rates exclude unallowable costs in accordance with A-122.

d. Test, where activities are not accounted for in separate funds, that billing rates (or charges) are developed based on actual costs and were adjusted to eliminate profits.

e. For organizations that have self-insurance and a certain type of fringe benefit programs (e.g., pension funds), ascertain if independent actuarial studies appropriate for such activities are performed at least biennially and that current period costs were allocated based on an appropriate study which is not over two years old.

Note: The suggested audit procedures above for internal control and compliance testing may be accomplished using dual-purpose testing.



C. CASH MANAGEMENT

Compliance Requirements

When entities are funded on a reimbursement basis, program costs must be paid for by entity funds before reimbursement is requested from the Federal Government. When funds are advanced, recipients must follow procedures to minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds from the U.S. Treasury and disbursement. When advance payment procedures are used, recipients must establish similar procedures for subrecipients.

Pass-through entities must establish reasonable procedures to ensure receipt of reports on subrecipients’ cash balances and cash disbursements in sufficient time to enable the pass-through entities to submit complete and accurate cash transactions reports to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity. Pass-through entities must monitor cash drawdowns by their subrecipients to ensure that subrecipients conform substantially to the same standards of timing and amount as apply to the pass-through entity.

U. S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) regulations at 31 CFR part 205, which implement the Cash Management Improvement Act of 1990 (CMIA), as amended (Pub. L. No. 101-453; 31 USC 6501 et seq.), require State recipients to enter into agreements that prescribe specific methods of drawing down Federal funds (funding techniques) for selected large programs. The agreements also specify the terms and conditions in which an interest liability would be incurred. Programs not covered by a Treasury-State Agreement are subject to procedures prescribed by Treasury in Subpart B of 31 CFR part 205 (Subpart B).

Except for interest earned on advances of funds exempt under the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (31 USC 6501 et seq.) and the Indian Self-Determination Act (23 USC 450), interest earned by local government and Indian tribal government grantees and subgrantees on advances is required to be submitted promptly, but at least quarterly, to the Federal agency. Up to $100 per year may be kept for administrative expenses. Interest earned by non-State non-profit entities on Federal fund balances in excess of $250 is required to be remitted to Department of Health and Human Services, Payment Management System, P.O. Box 6021, Rockville, MD 20852.

Source of Governing Requirements

The requirements for cash management are contained in the A-102 Common Rule (§___.21), OMB Circular A-110 (2 CFR section 215.22), Treasury regulations at 31 CFR part 205, program legislation, Federal awarding agency regulations, and the terms and conditions of the award.



Availability of Other Information

Treasury’s Financial Management Service maintains a Cash Management Improvement Act page on the Internet (http://www.fms.treas.gov/cmia/).



Audit Objectives

1. Obtain an understanding of internal control, assess risk, and test internal control as required by OMB Circular A-133 §___.500(c).

2. Determine whether the recipient/subrecipient followed procedures to minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds from the U.S. Treasury, or pass-through entity, and their disbursement.

3. Determine whether States have complied with the terms and conditions of the Treasury-State Agreement or Subpart B procedures prescribed by Treasury.

4. Determine whether the pass-through entity implemented procedures to ensure that subrecipients conformed substantially to the same timing requirements that apply to the pass-through entity.

5. Determine whether interest earned on advances was reported/remitted as required.



Suggested Audit Procedures – Internal Control

1. Using the guidance provided in Part 6 – Internal Control, perform procedures to obtain an understanding of internal control sufficient to plan the audit to support a low assessed level of control risk for the program.

2. Plan the testing of internal control to support a low assessed level of control risk for cash management and perform the testing of internal control as planned. If internal control over some or all of the compliance requirements is likely to be ineffective, see the alternative procedures in §___.500(c)(3) of OMB Circular A-133, including assessing the control risk at the maximum and considering whether additional compliance tests and reporting are required because of ineffective internal control.

3. Consider the results of the testing of internal control in assessing the risk of noncompliance. Use this as the basis for determining the nature, timing, and extent (e.g., number of transactions to be selected) of substantive tests of compliance.



Suggested Audit Procedures – Compliance

Note: The following procedures are intended to be applied to each program determined to be major. However, due to the nature of cash management and the system of cash management in place in a particular entity, it may be appropriate and more efficient to perform these procedures for all programs collectively rather than separately for each program.



States

1. For programs tested as major for States, verify which of those programs are covered by the Treasury-State Agreement in accordance with the materiality thresholds in 31 CFR section 205.5, Table A).

2. For those programs identified in procedure 1, determine the funding techniques used for those programs. For those funding techniques that require clearance patterns to schedule the transfer of funds to the State, review documentation supporting the clearance pattern and verify that the clearance pattern conforms to the requirements for developing and maintaining clearance patterns as specified in the Treasury-State Agreement
(31 CFR sections 205.12, 205.20, and 205.22.

3. Select a sample of Federal cash draws and verify that:

a. The timing of the Federal cash draws was in compliance with the applicable funding techniques specified in the Treasury-State Agreement or Subpart B procedures, whichever is applicable (31 CFR sections 205.11 and 205.33).

b. To the extent available, program income, rebates, refunds, and other income and receipts were disbursed before requesting additional Federal cash draws as required by the A-102 Common Rule (§___.21) and OMB Circular A-110 (2 CFR section 215.22).

4. Where applicable, select a sample of reimbursement requests and trace to supporting documentation showing that the costs for which reimbursement was requested were paid prior to the date of the reimbursement request (31 CFR section 205.12(b)(5)).

5. Review the calculation of the interest obligation owed to or by the Federal Government, reported on the annual report submitted by the State to ascertain that the calculation was in accordance with Treasury regulations and the terms of the Treasury-State Agreement. Trace amounts used in the calculation to supporting documentation.

6. For those programs where Federal cash draws are passed through to subrecipients:

a. Select a representative sample of subrecipients and ascertain the procedures implemented to ensure that subrecipients minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of Federal funds from the recipient and the disbursement of funds for program purposes (A-102 Common Rule §___.37(a)(4)).

b. Select a representative sample of Federal cash draws by subrecipients and ascertain that they conformed to the procedures.

Recipients Other than States and Subrecipients

1. For those programs that received advances of Federal funds, ascertain the procedures established with the Federal agency or pass-through entity to minimize the time between the transfer of Federal funds and the disbursement of funds for program purposes.

2. Select a sample of Federal cash draws and verify that:

a. Established procedures to minimize the time elapsing between drawdown and disbursement were followed.

b. To the extent available, program income, rebates, refunds, and other income and receipts were disbursed before requesting additional cash payments as required by the A-102 Common Rule (§___.21) and OMB Circular A-110 (2 CFR section 215.22).

3. When entities are funded on a reimbursement basis, select a sample of reimbursement requests and trace to supporting documentation showing that the costs for which reimbursement was requested were paid prior to the date of the reimbursement request.

4. Review records to determine if interest was earned on Federal cash draws. If so, review evidence to ascertain whether it was returned to the appropriate agency.

Note: The suggested audit procedures above for internal control and compliance testing may be accomplished using dual-purpose testing.



D. DAVIS-BACON ACT

Compliance Requirements

When required by the Davis-Bacon Act, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) governmentwide implementation of the Davis-Bacon Act, or by Federal program legislation, all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors to work on construction contracts in excess of $2000 financed by Federal assistance funds must be paid wages not less than those established for the locality of the project (prevailing wage rates) by the DOL (40 USC 3141-3144, 3146, and 3147 (formerly 40 USC 276a to 276a-7)).

Non-federal entities shall include in their construction contracts subject to the Davis-Bacon Act a requirement that the contractor or subcontractor comply with the requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the DOL regulations (29 CFR part 5, Labor Standards Provisions Applicable to Contacts Governing Federally Financed and Assisted Construction). This includes a requirement for the contractor or subcontractor to submit to the non-Federal entity weekly, for each week in which any contract work is performed, a copy of the payroll and a statement of compliance (certified payrolls) (29 CFR sections 5.5 and 5.6). This reporting is often done using Optional Form WH-347, which includes the required statement of compliance (OMB No. 1215-0149).

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