Notice of Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 200 (Wednesday, October 16, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 200 (Wednesday, October 16, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55283-55284]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22554]
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Notice of Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment,
Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017
AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment,
Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017.
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SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's)
Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) 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) 2016 and
2017. The indirect cost rates for this fiscal year and date of
implementation are provided in this notice. More information on these
rates and the DARRP policy can be found at the DARRP website at
www.darrp.noaa.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information, contact LaTonya
Burgess at 240-533-0428, by fax at 301-713-4389, or email at
[email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The mission of the DARRP 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.) and the Oil Pollution
Act of 1990 (OPA) (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), and to 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
DARRP consists of three component organizations: The Office of Response
and Restoration (ORR) within the National Ocean Service; the
Restoration Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service; and
the Office of the General Counsel Natural Resources Section (GCNRS).
The DARRP conducts Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) as a
basis for recovering damages from responsible parties, and uses the
funds recovered to restore injured natural resources.
    Consistent with federal accounting requirements, the DARRP is
required to account for and report the full costs of its programs and
activities. Further, the DARRP 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 DARRP 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 DARRP's Indirect Cost Effort
    In December 1998, the DARRP hired the public accounting firm Rubino
& McGeehin, Chartered (R&M) to: Evaluate the DARRP 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 DARRP. A Federal Register
notice on R&M's effort, their assessment of the DARRP's cost accounting
system and practice, and their determination regarding the most
appropriate indirect cost methodology and rates for FYs 1993 through
1999 was published on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611).
    R&M continued its assessment of DARRP's indirect cost rate system
and structure for FYs 2000 and 2001. A second federal notice specifying
the DARRP indirect rates for FYs 2000 and 2001 was published on
December 2, 2002 (67 FR 71537).
    In October 2002, DARRP hired the accounting firm of Cotton and
Company LLP (Cotton) to review and certify DARRP costs incurred on
cases for purposes of cost recovery and to develop indirect rates for
FY 2002 and subsequent years. As in the prior years, Cotton concluded
that the cost accounting system and allocation practices of the DARRP
component organizations are consistent with federal accounting
requirements. Consistent with R&M's previous analyses, Cotton also
determined that the most appropriate indirect allocation method
continues to be the Direct Labor Cost Base for all three DARRP
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. Direct labor costs for contractors from ERT, Inc. (ERT),
Freestone Environmental Services, Inc. (Freestone), and Genwest
Systems, Inc. (Genwest) were included in the direct labor base because
Cotton determined that these costs have the same relationship to the
indirect cost pool as NOAA direct labor costs. ERT, Freestone, and
Genwest provided on-site support to the DARRP in the areas of injury
assessment, natural resource economics, restoration planning and
implementation, and policy analysis. Subsequent federal notices have
been published in the Federal Register as follows:
 FY 2002, published on October 6, 2003 (68 FR 57672)
 FY 2003, published on May 20, 2005 (70 FR 29280)
 FY 2004, published on March 16, 2006 (71 Fed Reg. 13356)
 FY 2005, published on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6221)
 FY 2006, published on June 3, 2008 (73 FR 31679)
[[Page 55284]]
 FY 2007 and FY 2008, published on November 16, 2009 (74 FR
58948)
 FY 2009 and FY 2010, published on October 20, 2011 (76 FR
65182)
 FY 2011, published on September 17, 2012 (77 FR 57074)
 FY 2012, published on August 29, 2013 (78 FR 53425)
 FY 2013, published on October 14, 2014 (79 FR 61617)
 FY 2014, published on December 17, 2015 (80 FR 78718)
 FY 2015, published on August 22, 2016 (81 FR 56580)
Cotton's reports on these indirect rates can be found on the DARRP
website at www.darrp.noaa.gov.
    Empirical Concepts developed the DARRP indirect rates for FY 2016
and 2017. Empirical reaffirmed that the Direct Labor Cost Base is the
most appropriate indirect allocation method for the development of the
FY 2016 and 2017 indirect cost rates.
The DARRP's Indirect Cost Rates and Policies
    The DARRP will apply the indirect cost rates for FY 2016 and 2017
as recommended by Empirical for each of the DARRP component
organizations as provided in the following table:
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                                                     FY 2016    FY 2017
                                                     Indirect   Indirect
           DARRP component organization                rate       rate
                                                    (percent)  (percent)
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Office of Response and Restoration (ORR)..........     133.62     137.45
Restoration Center (RC)...........................      64.46      73.26
General Counsel, Natural Resources Section (GCNRS)      62.67      77.30
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    These rates are based on the Direct Labor Cost Base allocation
methodology.
    The FY 2016 rates will be applied to all damage assessment and
restoration case costs incurred between October 1, 2015 and September
30, 2016. The FY 2017 rates will be applied to all damage assessment
and restoration case costs incurred between October 1, 2016 and
September 30, 2017. DARRP will use the FY 2017 indirect cost rates for
future fiscal years, beginning with FY 2018, until subsequent 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 DARRP 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.
David Westerholm,
Director, Office of Response and Restoration.
[FR Doc. 2019-22554 Filed 10-15-19; 8:45 am]
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