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History of EDA’s Indirect Cost Rate Program

Overview

Prior to 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Office of Acquisition Management (OAM) managed indirect cost rate negotiations for the bureaus under DOC. In 2013, the responsibility was transferred to each of DOC’s bureaus, which is when EDA began administering the program. Direct administration of the indirect cost rate program by EDA proved to be burdensome for both EDA and its applicants.

To improve its customer service, EDA entered into a working relationship in August 2017 with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Interior Business Center (IBC) to issue indirect cost rates to organizations for which EDA is the cognizant agency.

Since then, the Office of Indirect Cost Services for IBC has been negotiating, issuing, and countersigning indirect rate agreements on behalf of EDA. It is important to note here that cognizant agency status has not changed, EDA is still the cognizant agency.

This Interagency Agreement (IAA) has been renewed annually since 2017 to continue this service.

As of December 2020, this IAA has been expanded to include the provision of technical assistance to both grantees and EDA staff, training, and complete management of EDA’s entire indirect cost portfolio. As part of this revised agreement, DOI is now able to receive Certificates of Indirect Costs and generate acknowledgment letters in alignment with the process EDA has been following since 2017.

More Information about DOI

DOI runs Interior Business Center, a federal shared service specializing in indirect cost rate management.

The provide a full range of indirect cost rate services, including:

  • Receiving proposals directly from grantees
  • coordinating with the grantees as needed
  • answering questions
  • negotiating indirect cost rates
  • signing and sending grantee acceptance letters
  • reviewing and considering requests to change a grantee’s cognizant agency

DOI has the expertise and ability to determine the best rate type for both the organization and EDA. They also have the capacity to review and approve requests for extensions of negotiated indirect costs rates for 1 to 4 years in accordance with 2 C.F.R. § 200.414(g).

Additionally, DOI is moving towards an online database system for tracking organizations’ indirect cost rates, which will greatly increase the level of customer service they are able to provide.

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