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Circular No. A-87
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE COST ALLOCATION PLANS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. State public assistance agency
2. State public assistance agency costs
D. Submission, Documentation, and Approval of Public Assistance Cost Allocation Plans
E. Review of Implementation of Approved Plans
F. Unallowable Costs
. Federally-financed programs administered by State public assistance agencies are funded predominately by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In support of its stewardship requirements, HHS has published requirements for the development, documentation, submission, negotiation, and approval of public assistance cost allocation plans in Subpart E of 45 CFR Part 95. All administrative costs (direct and indirect) are normally charged to Federal awards by implementing the public assistance cost allocation plan. This Attachment extends these requirements to all Federal agencies whose programs are administered by a State public assistance agency. Major federally-financed programs typically administered by State public assistance agencies include: Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Child Support Enforcement, Adoption Assistance and Foster Care, and Social Services Block Grant.
"State public assistance agency" means a State agency administering or supervising the administration of one or more public assistance programs operated by the State as identified in Subpart E of 45 CFR Part 95. For the purpose of this Attachment, these programs include all programs administered by the State public assistance agency.
"State public assistance agency costs" means all costs incurred by, or allocable to, the State public assistance agency, except expenditures for financial assistance, medical vendor payments, food stamps, and payments for services and goods provided directly to program recipients.
. State public assistance agencies will develop, document and implement, and the Federal Government will review, negotiate, and approve, public assistance cost allocation plans in accordance with Subpart E of 45 CFR Part 95. The plan will include all programs administered by the State public assistance agency. Where a letter of approval or disapproval is transmitted to a State public assistance agency in accordance with Subpart E, the letter will apply to all Federal agencies and programs. The remaining sections of this Attachment (except for the requirement for certification) summarize the provisions of Subpart E of 45 CFR Part 95.
Submission, Documentation, and Approval of Public Assistance Cost Allocation Plans
State public assistance agencies are required to promptly submit amendments to the cost allocation plan to HHS for review and approval.
Under the coordination process outlined in subsection E, affected Federal agencies will review all new plans and plan amendments and provide comments, as appropriate, to HHS. The effective date of the plan or plan amendment will be the first day of the quarter following the submission of the plan or amendment, unless another date is specifically approved by HHS. HHS, as the cognizant agency acting on behalf of all affected Federal agencies, will, as necessary, conduct negotiations with the State public assistance agency and will inform the State agency of the action taken on the plan or plan amendment.
Review of Implementation of Approved Plans
Since public assistance cost allocation plans are of a narrative nature, the review during the plan approval process consists of evaluating the appropriateness of the proposed groupings of costs (cost centers) and the related allocation bases. As such, the Federal Government needs some assurance that the cost allocation plan has been implemented as approved. This is accomplished by reviews by the funding agencies, single audits, or audits conducted by the cognizant audit agency.
Where inappropriate charges affecting more than one funding agency are identified, the cognizant HHS cost negotiation office will be advised and will take the lead in resolving the issue(s) as provided for in Subpart E of 45 CFR Part 95.
If a dispute arises in the negotiation of a plan or from a disallowance involving two or more funding agencies, the dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the appeals procedures set out in 45 CFR Part 75. Disputes involving only one funding agency will be resolved in accordance with the funding agency's appeal process.
To the extent that problems are encountered among the Federal agencies and/or governmental units in connection with the negotiation and approval process, the Office of Management and Budget will lend assistance, as required, to resolve such problems in a timely manner.
. Claims developed under approved cost allocation plans will be based on allowable costs as identified in this Circular. Where unallowable costs have been claimed and reimbursed, they will be refunded to the program that reimbursed the unallowable cost using one of the following methods: (a) a cash refund, (b) offset to a subsequent claim, or (c) credits to the amounts charged to individual awards.