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335.5 - Cost Recovery for Services Provided to the Non-Federal Sector

This chapter provides basic USGS policy governing cost recovery charges to the non-Federal sector for services.


OPR: Admin/Financial Management

1. Purpose. This chapter provides basic USGS policy governing cost recovery charges to the non-Federal sector for services such as reproduction and distribution of published maps; photographic map products; digital cartographic products; aircraft data products; miscellaneous reproductions; remote sensing training services; work performed for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and training of foreign participants sponsored by the United Nations or other foreign countries.

2. Objectives. The objectives of the cost recovery program are to recover the costs of services to the non-Federal sector for Bureau services in a manner that:

A. Complies with legislative authority for cost recovery.

B. Reflects Departmental cost recovery policy as stated in the Departmental Manual, Part 346.

C. Relies on acceptable cost accounting practices for identifying and compiling recoverable costs.

D. Promotes consistency in the application of cost identification techniques, accounting procedures, and reporting requirements.

E. Utilizes an effective system of internal controls to assure that all allowable costs are recovered and that costs charged are proper and correctly recorded for those costs recoverable activities which are identified by a project number or other identifiable means within the official accounting records of the USGS.

3. Policy.

A. General. It is USGS policy to require that a charge, which recovers the division or office costs, be imposed for services which provide special benefits or privileges to an identifiable non-Federal recipient above and beyond those which accrue to the public at large. This charge may be either: a fee, rate, or price pursuant to a schedule established by the division or office as accumulated in the formal accounting system.

B. Costs to be Recovered. Recovered costs will include both direct and indirect costs of the performing division or office in furnishing the services. A discussion of the types of direct and indirect costs to be included in the cost recovery computation is contained in 346 DM 3.

C. Cost Recovery Exemptions. USGS divisions and offices may exempt certain activities from cost recovery under the conditions described below. Written standards for exemption from cost recovery must be clearly established by the division or office, and application of the standards resulting in an exemption in a particular instance must be adequately documented so as to leave no doubt as to the considerations which led to the exemption. This documentation is to accompany the annual report required in SM 335.5.6B. Exemptions are appropriate when:

(1) The charge is prohibited by legislation or executive order.

(2) The incremental cost of collecting the charges would be an unduly large part of the receipts from the activity.

(3) The furnishing of the service without charge is an appropriate courtesy to a foreign country or international organization; or comparable charges are set on a reciprocal basis with a foreign country.

(4) The recipient is engaged in a nonprofit activity designed for the public safety, health, or welfare.

(5) The division or office has some other reason to exempt the program, subject to the approval of the Chief, Office of Financial Management.

4. Authority.

A. Specific Authority. The USGS has specific statutory cost recovery authority for individual programs or services. The principles and guidelines in this Part must be used in recovering costs to the extent they are not in conflict with the specific authority. Some specific cost recovery authorities are:

(1) 5 U.S.C. 3343

(2) 16 U.S.C. 797a and 797c

(3) 43 U.S.C. 45

(4) 43 U.S.C. 1640

(5) P.L. 80-402

(6) P.L. 87-195

(7) P.L. 91-648

(8) P.L. 98-146

(9) DM 346

B. Disposition of Receipts. Receipts may be used to reimburse the financing appropriation only when so stipulated by legislation. Otherwise, the receipts must be deposited into the General Fund of the Treasury as Miscellaneous Receipts. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-25, Section 5c, provides guidelines for determining when legislative changes would be appropriate for having receipts reimburse the financing appropriation.

5. Responsibility.

A. The Director and Associate Director, acting under broad Departmental guidance, are responsible for overall compliance with statutory authorities and Departmental policies governing cost recovery.

B. The Assistant Director for Administration exercises leadership, direction and authority from a bureauwide perspective for the management of the cost recovery program of the USGS.

C. The Chief, Office of Financial Management has staff responsibility for developing, implementing, and monitoring the costs recovery program of the USGS described in Paragraph 1 of this Chapter.

D. The heads of divisions and offices within the USGS have staff responsibility for developing, implementing, and monitoring the operational aspects of their programs.

6. Annual Review and Report.

A. Annual Review. USGS divisions and offices will annually review their costs recovery activities and adjust procedures as necessary. This review is to include every program that provides any type of service to the non-Federal sector.

B. Annual Report. Each USGS division or office will provide the Chief, Office of Financial Management a narrative report of the review process outlined in SM 335.5.6A and quantitative data which supports their cost recovery activities.

C. Reporting Requirements. Narrative reports will be submitted on an annual basis for cost recovery activities occurring in each fiscal year. The reports are to (a) identify all non-Federal services provided by reporting organizations, and (b) indicate whether or not the services are subject to the USGS cost recovery policies specified herein. For any service considered not to be subject to the USGS cost recovery policies, the reasons therefore must be stated in the report (including appropriate references to any statute, executive order, or other authority that prohibits or limits cost recovery). For any service considered to be subject to the USGS cost recovery policy but where there is noncompliance with a prescribed practice, the report must state the reasons for the noncompliance, the planned corrective actions, and the target date for accomplishment thereof. The report is also to identify any previously reported activities no longer subject to cost recovery and the reasons therefore. In addition to these narrative reports, each division or office is to provide the Chief, Office of Financial Management specific quantitative data related to each cost activity. The format and content of this information are illustrated in Appendix A.

This data, after review and consolidation, will provide the basis for reporting cost recovery information to the Department by December 30 following the close of each fiscal year.

D. Inventory of Activities. Each USGS division or office will maintain an inventory of activities providing goods or services for which costs are recovered. This inventory will be reviewed and updated annually in conjunction with the preparation of the annual cost recovery report. This review will determine the existence of any special benefits provided and will also identify activities for which costs are not currently recovered, if appropriate. The current inventory of USGS activities is shown in Appendix B.