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3.11 Indirect Costs

Establishment of Indirect Cost Rates

The requirements for the development and submission of indirect cost proposals and cost allocation plans are set out in Appendices III – VII of 2 C.F.R. § 200. A non-federal entity should follow the guidelines applicable to its type of organization:

If a recipient determines that OJP is their cognizant agency for indirect cost negotiation, refer to Indirect Costs resource document [PDF – 32Kb] for instructions on how to prepare an indirect cost proposal for submission to OJP. If it is determined that OVW is the cognizant agency for indirect costs, instructions on how to prepare and submit an indirect cost proposal may be found at

information iconFinancial Management Tip

There is an exception: Units of local government are not required to submit an indirect rate cost proposal. However, the indirect cost proposal must be prepared and retained on file for review. See 2 C.F.R. Part 200, Appendix VII.D. 

OJP Specific Tip

Generally, if an indirect cost proposal is not submitted within 90 days after the award date, indirect costs may not be recovered for the period prior to submission of the proposal.

  • To support the indirect cost proposal, recipients you are responsible for ensuring that independent organizational audits are conducted in accordance with existing Federal auditing and reporting standards set forth in the applicable audit requirements. A copy of the audit report must be submitted to the cognizant Federal agency to support the indirect cost proposal.
  • As part of requesting an indirect cost rate, a signed certification stating that the plan only includes allowable costs must be submitted with the proposal.
  • Additional guidance for completing an indirect proposal as an award recipient, as well as examples of how certain information should be provided, is available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Program Support Center website.

After negotiations, the cognizant Federal agency will establish either a provisional, final, or fixed-with-carry-forward indirect cost rate.

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