National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The National Oceanic Administration's (NOAA) Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (DARP) is announcing new indirect cost rates on the recovery of indirect costs for its component organizations involved in natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities for fiscal years (FY) 2000 and 2001. The indirect cost rates for these fiscal years and dates of implementation are provided in this notice. More information on these rates and the DARP policy can be found at the DARP Web site at: http://www.darp.noaa.gov.Start Further Info
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The mission of the DARP is to restore natural resource injuries caused by releases of hazardous substances or oil under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), and support restoration of physical injuries to National Marine Sanctuary resources under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) The NOAA DARP consists of three component organizations: the Damage Assessment Center (DAC) within the National Ocean Service; the Restoration Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service; and the Office of the General Counsel for Natural Resources (GCNR). The DARP conducts Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) as a basis for recovering damages from responsible parties, and uses the funds Start Printed Page 71537recovered to restore injured natural resources.
Consistent with Federal accounting requirements, the DARP is required to account for and report the full costs of its programs and activities. Further, the DARP is authorized by law to recover reasonable costs of damage assessment and restoration activities under CERCLA, OPA, and the NMSA. Within the constraints of these legal provisions and their regulatory applications, the DARP has the discretion to develop indirect cost rates for its component organizations and formulate policies on the recovery of indirect cost rates subject to its requirements.
The DARP's Indirect Cost Effort
In December 1998, the DARP hired the public accounting firm Rubino & McGeehin, Chartered (R&M), to: evaluate the cost accounting system and allocation practices; recommend the appropriate indirect cost allocation methodology; and determine the indirect cost rates for the three organizations that comprise the DARP. A Federal Register notice on R&M's effort, their assessment of the DARP's cost accounting system and practice, and their determination respecting the most appropriate indirect cost methodology and rates for FYs 1993 through 1999 was published on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611). The notice and report by R&M can also be found on the DARP Web site at: http://www.darp.noaa.gov.
R&M continued its assessment of DARP's indirect cost rate system and structure for FYs 2000 and 2001. As in the prior years, R&M concluded that the cost accounting system and allocation practices of the DARP component organizations are consistent with Federal accounting requirements. R&M also determined that the most appropriate indirect allocation method continues to be the Direct Labor Cost Base for all three DARP component organizations. The Direct Labor Cost Base is computed by allocating total indirect cost over the sum of direct labor dollars plus the application of NOAA's leave surcharge and benefits rates to direct labor. The indirect costs rates that R&M computed for each of the three DARP component organizations were further assessed as being fair and equitable. A report on R&M's recent assessment of the DARP's cost accounting system and recommended cost rate structure can also be found on the DARP Web site at: http://www.darp.noaa.gov.
The DARP's Indirect Cost Rates and Policies
The DARP will apply the indirect cost rates for FY 2000 and 2001 as recommended by R&M for each of the DARP component organizations as provided in the following table:
|DARP Component organization||Fiscal years (percent)|
|Damage Assessment Center (DAC)||198.54||217.27|
|Restoration Center (RC)||219.60||257.79|
|General Counsel for Natural Resources (GCNR||270.10||239.24|
These rates are based on the Direct Labor Cost Base allocation methodology.
The FY 2000 and 2001 revised rates identified in the above table will be applied to all damage assessment and restoration case costs for the respective fiscal year periods. The FY 2000 rate is effective as of May 16, 2002. The FY 2001 rate is effective as of September 30, 2002. DARP will use FY 2001 indirect cost rates for future fiscal years until year-specific rates can be developed.
For cases that have settled and for cost claims paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in question, the DARP will not re-open any resolved matters for the purpose of applying the revised rates in this policy for these fiscal years. For cases not settled and cost claims not paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in question, costs will be recalculated using the revised rates in this policy for these fiscal years. Where a responsible party has agreed to pay costs using previous year's indirect rates, but has not yet made the payment because the settlement documents are not finalized, the costs will not be recalculated.
The DARP indirect cost rate policies and procedures approved as of October 18, 2000 and published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611) remain in effect except as updated by this notice.Start Signature
Dated: November 22, 2002.
Jamison S. Hawkins,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management.
[FR Doc. 02-30416 Filed 11-29-02; 8:45 am]
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