Disputes and Interpretation of Terms & Conditions
- Grant related disputes may be programmatic, financial, or may fall into another category altogether.
- Programmatic disputes include suspension or termination of funding.
- Financial disputes, which are typically resolved through audit proceedings, are often a result of cost disallowances.
- Additional types of disputes include declaratory actions and debarment and suspension. Disputes may be adjudicated in administrative agency proceedings, U.S. District Court, or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Cost Disallowances and Debt Establishment
Cost disallowance occurs when a grantee spends money in a way not permitted by the grant agreement or federal law. Be sure to refer to the Supercircular to determine if your costs are:
The Cost Principles applicable to a non-Federal entity apply to all Federal awards received by the entity, regardless of whether the awards are received directly from the Federal Government or indirectly through a pass-through entity. The Supercircular describes selected cost items, allowable and unallowable costs, and standard methodologies for calculating indirect costs rates.
Debarment and Suspension
By Executive Orders and public law, Federal debarment and suspension applies across all agencies. However, individual departments have codified rules relating to debarment and suspension.
Debarment may be based on criminal conviction or other activities “affecting the integrity of an agency program,” whereas suspension is temporary pending completion of investigation or other administrative proceeding. Indictment is adequate evidence for suspension.
Both debarment and suspension are appealable, although there is no opportunity to contest earlier grounds for conviction.
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