10 CFR § 600.342 - Retention and access requirements for records.

§ 600.342 Retention and access requirements for records.

(a) This section sets forth requirements for records retention and access to records for awards to recipients and sub recipients.

(b) Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. The only exceptions are the following.

(1) If any litigation, claim, or audit is started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims, or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken.

(2) Records for real property and equipment acquired with Federal funds must be retained for 3 years after final disposition.

(3) If records are transferred to or maintained by DOE, the 3-year retention requirement is not applicable to the recipient.

(4) Indirect cost rate proposals, cost allocation plans, and related records must be retained in accordance with the requirements specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

(c) Copies of original records may be substituted for the original records if authorized by the contracting officer.

(d) The contracting officer may request that recipients transfer certain records to DOE custody if he or she determines that the records possess long term retention value. However, in order to avoid duplicate recordkeeping, a contracting officer may make arrangements for recipients to retain any records that are continuously needed for joint use.

(e) DOE, the Inspector General, Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, have the right of timely and unrestricted access to any books, documents, papers, or other records of recipients that are pertinent to the awards, in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, transcripts and copies of such documents. This right also includes timely and reasonable access to a recipient's personnel for the purpose of interview and discussion related to such documents. The rights of access in this paragraph are not limited to the required retention period, but must last as long as records are retained.

(f) Unless required by statute, DOE must not place restrictions on recipients that limit public access to the records of recipients that are pertinent to an award, except when DOE can demonstrate that such records would be kept confidential and would be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) if the records belonged to DOE.

(g) Indirect cost proposals, cost allocation plans, and other cost accounting documents (such as documents related to computer usage chargeback rates), along with their supporting records, must be retained for a 3-year period, as follows:

(1) If the recipient or the subrecipient is required to submit an indirect-cost proposal, cost allocation plan, or other computation to the cognizant Federal agency for purposes of negotiating an indirect cost rate or other rates, the 3-year retention period starts on the date of the submission.

(2) If the recipient or the subrecipient is not required to submit the documents or supporting records for negotiating an indirect cost rate or other rates, the 3-year retention period for the documents and records starts at the end of the fiscal year (or other accounting period) covered by the proposal, plan, or other computation.

(h) If the information described in this section is maintained on a computer, recipients must retain the computer data on a reliable medium for the time periods prescribed. Recipients may transfer computer data in machine readable form from one reliable computer medium to another. Recipients' computer data retention and transfer procedures must maintain the integrity, reliability, and security of the original computer data. Recipients must also maintain an audit trail describing the data transfer. For the record retention time periods prescribed in this section, recipients must not destroy, discard, delete, or write over such computer data.

Termination and Enforcement