38 CFR 21.4153 - Reimbursement of expenses.
For the purposes of this section, other than paragraph (d)(4) of this section, “educational institution” includes an organization or entity offering licensing or certification tests.
(a) Expenses will be reimbursed under contract -
(1) Scope of contracts.
(i) If a State or local agency requests payment for service contemplated by law, and submits information prescribed in paragraph (e) of this section, VA will negotiate a contract or agreement with the State or local agency to pay (subject to available funds and acceptable annual evaluations) reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the State or local agency in -
(A) Determining the qualifications of educational institutions and training establishments to furnish programs of education to veterans and eligible persons,
(B) Supervising educational institutions and training establishments, and
(C) Furnishing any other services VA may request in connection with the law governing VA education benefits.
(ii) VA will take into account the results of annual evaluations carried out under § 21.4155 of this part when negotiating the terms and conditions of the contract or agreement.
(2) Reimbursable supervision. Supervision will consist of the services required:
(i) To determine that the programs are furnished in accordance with the law and with any other reasonable criteria as may be imposed by the State, and
(ii) To disapprove any programs which fail to meet the law and the established criteria.
(b) Reimbursement. The Under Secretary for Benefits and the Director, Education Service, are authorized to enter into agreements necessary to fulfill the purpose of paragraph (a) of this section. See § 21.4001(b).
(c) Reimbursable expenses. Reimbursement may be made from the funds provided in the existing contract with the State approving agency under the provisions of this section. No reimbursement may be authorized for expenses incurred by any individual who is not an employee of the State approving agency.
(1) Salaries. Salaries for which reimbursement may be authorized under a contract:
(i) Will not be in excess of the established rate of pay for other employees of the State with comparable or equivalent duties and responsibilities,
(ii) Will be limited to the actual salary expense incurred by the State, and
(iii) Will include the basic salary rate plus fringe benefits, such as social security, retirement, and health, accident, or life insurance, that are payable to all similarly circumstanced State employees.
(i) Reimbursement will be made under the terms of the contract for travel of personnel engaged in activities in connection with the inspection, approval or supervision of educational institutions, including -
(A) Travel of personnel attending training sessions sponsored by VA and the State approving agencies.
(B) Expenses of attending out-of-State meetings and conferences only if the Director, Education Service, authorizes the travel.
(ii) Travel expenses for which reimbursement may be authorized under a contract will be limited to:
(A) Expenses allowable under applicable State laws or travel regulations of the State or agency;
(B) Expenses for travel actually performed by employees specified under the terms of the contract and;
(C) Either actual expenses for transportation, meals, lodging and local telephone calls, or the regular State or agency per diem allowance.
(iii) All claims for travel expenses payable under the terms of a contract must be supported by factual vouchers and all transportation allowances must be supported by detailed claims which can be checked against work assignments in the office of the State approving agency.
(3) Administrative expenses. In determining the allowance for administrative expenses for which payment may be authorized, VA will apply the provisions of 38 U.S.C. 3674(b). In making that application, VA will determine reimbursable salary cost pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(4) Subcontracts. The State approving agency may also be reimbursed for work performed by a subcontractor provided:
(ii) The Contracting Officer has approved the subcontract in advance.
(d) Nonreimbursable expenses. The Department of Veterans Affairs will not provide reimbursement under reimbursement contracts for:
(1) Expenditures other than salaries and travel of personnel required to perform the services specified in the contract and Department of Veterans Affairs regulations.
(2) Supplies, equipment, printing, postage, telephone services, rentals, and other miscellaneous items or a service furnished directly or indirectly.
(3) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the salaries and travel of personnel while attending training sessions, or when they are engaged in activities other than those in connection with the inspection, approval, or supervision of educational institutions.
(4) The supervision of educational institutions which do not have veterans or eligible persons enrolled.
(5) Expenses incurred in the administration of an educational program which are costs properly chargeable as tuition costs, such as the development of course material or individual educational programs, teacher training or teacher improvement activities, expenses of coordinators, or administrative costs, such as those involving selection and employment of teachers. (This does not preclude reimbursement for expenses of the State agency incurred in the development of standards and criteria for the approval of courses under the law.)
(6) Expenses of a State approving agency for inspecting, approving or supervising courses when the agency is responsible for establishing, conducting or supervising those courses.
(7) Any expense for supervision or other services to be covered by contract which are already being reimbursed or paid from tuition funds under this law.
(e) Agency operating plan. A request by a State approving agency for reimbursement under the law will be subject to the requirements of 41 CFR 8-7.5101-8 as to “Equal Opportunity”. The request will be accompanied by the proposed plan of operation and the specific duties and responsibilities of all personnel for which reimbursement of salaries and travel expense is required.
(1) The Department of Veterans Affairs will determine personnel requirements for which the Department of Veterans Affairs provides reimbursement on the basis of estimated workloads agreed upon between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the State agency. Agreements are subject to review and adjustment.
(2) Workloads will be determined upon three factors:
(i) Inspection and approval visits,
(ii) Supervisory visits, and
(iii) Special visits at the request of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(f) Contract compliance. Reimbursement under each contract or agreement is conditioned upon compliance with the standards and provisions of the contract and the law. If the Contracting Officer determines that the State has failed to comply with the standards or provisions of the law or with terms of the reimbursement contract, he or she will withhold reimbursement for claimed expenses under the contract. If the State disagrees, the State may request the Contracting Officer to reconsider his or her decision or may initiate action under the Disputes clause of the contract. See 48 CFR 801.602.
(g) Contract disputes. The State approving agency reimbursement contract is subject to the Contract Disputes Act of 1978. Disputes arising under, or relating to, the contract will be resolved in accordance with the disputes article of the contract and with appropriate procurement regulations.