§ 31.42Retention and access requirements for records.
(1) This section applies to all financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other records of grantees or subgrantees which are:
(i) Required to be maintained by the terms of this part, program regulations or the grant agreement, or
(ii) Otherwise reasonably considered as pertinent to program regulations or the grant agreement.
(2) This section does not apply to records maintained by contractors or subcontractors. For a requirement to place a provision concerning records in certain kinds of contracts, see § 31.36(i)(10).
(b)Length of retention period.
(1) Except as otherwise provided, records must be retained for three years from the starting date specified in paragraph (c) of this section.
(2) If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit or other action involving the records has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.
(3) To avoid duplicate recordkeeping, awarding agencies may make special arrangements with grantees and subgrantees to retain any records which are continuously needed for joint use. The awarding agency will request transfer of records to its custody when it determines that the records possess long-term retention value. When the records are transferred to or maintained by the Federal agency, the 3-year retention requirement is not applicable to the grantee or subgrantee.
(c)Starting date of retention period—
(1)General. When grant support is continued or renewed at annual or other intervals, the retention period for the records of each funding period starts on the day the grantee or subgrantee submits to the awarding agency its single or last expenditure report for that period. However, if grant support is continued or renewed quarterly, the retention period for each year's records starts on the day the grantee submits its expenditure report for the last quarter of the Federal fiscal year. In all other cases, the retention period starts on the day the grantee submits its final expenditure report. If an expenditure report has been waived, the retention period starts on the day the report would have been due.
(2)Real property and equipment records. The retention period for real property and equipment records starts from the date of the disposition or replacement or transfer at the direction of the awarding agency.
(3)Records for income transactions after grant or subgrant support. In some cases grantees must report income after the period of grant support. Where there is such a requirement, the retention period for the records pertaining to the earning of the income starts from the end of the grantee's fiscal year in which the income is earned.
(4)Indirect cost rate proposals, cost allocations plans, etc. This paragraph applies to the following types of documents, and their supporting records: indirect cost rate computations or proposals, cost allocation plans, and any similar accounting computations of the rate at which a particular group of costs is chargeable (such as computer usage chargeback rates or composite fringe benefit rates).
(i)If submitted for negotiation. If the proposal, plan, or other computation is required to be submitted to the Federal Government (or to the grantee) to form the basis for negotiation of the rate, then the 3-year retention period for its supporting records starts from the date of such submission.
(ii)If not submitted for negotiation. If the proposal, plan, or other computation is not required to be submitted to the Federal Government (or to the grantee) for negotiation purposes, then the 3-year retention period for the proposal plan, or computation and its supporting records starts from end of the fiscal year (or other accounting period) covered by the proposal, plan, or other computation.
(d)Substitution of microfilm. Copies made by microfilming, photocopying, or similar methods may be substituted for the original records.
(e)Access to records—
(1)Records of grantees and subgrantees. The awarding agency and the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their authorized representatives, shall have the right of access to any pertinent books, documents, papers, or other records of grantees and subgrantees which are pertinent to the grant, in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, and transcripts.
(2)Expiration of right of access. The rights of access in this section must not be limited to the required retention period but shall last as long as the records are retained.
(f)Restrictions on public access. The Federal Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) does not apply to records Unless required by Federal, State, or local law, grantees and subgrantees are not required to permit public access to their records.
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