45 CFR 1630.7 - Review of questioned costs and appeal of disallowed costs.
(a) When the Office of Inspector General, the General Accounting Office, or an independent auditor or other audit organization authorized to conduct an audit of a recipient has identified and referred a questioned cost to the Corporation, Corporation management shall review the findings of the Office of Inspector General, General Accounting Office, or independent auditor or other authorized audit organization, as well as the recipient's written response to the findings, in order to determine accurately the amount of the questioned cost, the factual circumstances giving rise to the cost, and the legal basis for disallowing the cost. Corporation management may also identify questioned costs in the course of its oversight of recipients.
(b) If Corporation management determines that there is a basis for disallowing a questioned cost, and if not more than five years have elapsed since the recipient incurred the cost, Corporation management shall provide to the recipient written notice of its intent to disallow the cost. The written notice shall state the amount of the cost and the factual and legal basis for disallowing it.
(c) Within thirty (30) days of receiving written notice of the Corporation's intent to disallow the questioned cost, the recipient may respond with written evidence and argument to show that the cost was allowable, or that the Corporation, for equitable, practical, or other reasons, should not recover all or part of the amount, or that the recovery should be made in installments. If the recipient does not respond to the Corporation's written notice, Corporation management shall issue a management decision on the basis of information available to it.
(d) Within sixty (60) days of receiving the recipient's written response to the notice of intent to disallow the questioned cost, Corporation management shall issue a management decision stating whether or not the cost has been disallowed, the reasons for the decision, and the method of appeal as provided in this section.
(1) If Corporation management has determined that the questioned cost should be allowed, and that no corrective action by the recipient is necessary, final action with respect to the questioned cost occurs at the time when the Corporation issues the management decision.
(2) If Corporation management has determined that the questioned cost should be disallowed, the management decision shall also describe the expected recipient action to repay the cost, including the method and schedule for collection of the amount of the cost. The management decision may also require the recipient to make financial adjustments or take other corrective action to prevent a recurrence of the circumstances giving rise to the disallowed cost.
(e) If the amount of a disallowed cost exceeds $2,500, the recipient may appeal in writing to the Corporation President within thirty (30) days of receiving the Corporation's management decision to disallow the cost. The written appeal should state in detail the reasons why the Corporation should not disallow part or all of the questioned cost. If the amount of a disallowed cost does not exceed $2,500, or if the recipient elects not to appeal the disallowance of a cost in excess of $2,500, the Corporation's management decision shall be final.
(f) Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the recipient's appeal of a disallowed cost in excess of $2,500, the President shall either adopt, modify, or reverse the Corporation's management decision to disallow the cost. If the President has had prior involvement in the consideration of the disallowed cost, the President shall designate another senior Corporation employee who has not had prior involvement to review the recipient's appeal. The President shall also have discretion, in circumstances where the President has not had prior involvement in the disallowed cost, to designate another senior Corporation employee to review the recipient's appeal, provided that the senior Corporation employee has not had prior involvement in the disallowed cost.
(g) The decision of the President or designee shall be final and shall be based on the written record, consisting of the Corporation's notice of intent to disallow the questioned cost, the recipient's response, the management decision, the recipient's written appeal, any additional response or analysis provided to the President or designee by Corporation staff, and the relevant findings, if any, of the Office of Inspector General, General Accounting Office, or other authorized auditor or audit organization. Upon request, the Corporation shall provide a copy of the written record to the recipient.