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Project Administration - Unallowable Costs

Effective December 26th, 2014, OMB Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133 will be replaced by regulations under the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (also known as the Uniform Guidance).  Please refer to the University’s Uniform Guidance website http://spa.columbia.edu/uniform-guidance for further details that may supersede information outlined in this policy.  Revised policies will be posted once they are available. 

 

OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, contains specific language which precludes or limits charging certain expenses to federal grants and contracts. These expenses include specifically unallowable costs, clerical and administrative salaries, and office supplies.

 

Specifically unallowable costs include the following expenses, which may never be charged either directly or indirectly to a Federal grant or contract:

• alcoholic beverages• entertainment• membership in non-professional organizations• first & business class travel (coach class or its equivalent can be charged)

 

Consult Controller's Office Policy Statement 92-1, Natural accounts for Segregation of "Unallowable" Expenses, for a detailed explanation and listing.

Clerical and administrative salaries generally may not be charged directly to grants and contracts. There are important exceptions to this rule. Consult Controller's Office Policy Statement 92-3, Charging Administrative and Clerical Salaries to Federal Grants and Contracts, for detailed explanation and institutional policy.

Office expenses, such as postage, office supplies and local telephone calls, generally may not be directly charged to grants and contracts. There are important exceptions to this rule. Consult Controller's Office Policy Statement 92-4, Charging Office Supplies and Other Administrative Expenses (other than salaries) to Federal Awards, for further information.

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