7 CFR 632.31 - Cost-share payment.
(a) Amount of cost-share payment. Cost-share payments are to be made at rates specified in the contract. The cost-share payment is to be determined by one of the following methods:
(1) Average cost.
(2) Actual cost but not more than the average cost.
(3) Specified maximum cost. If the average cost or the specified maximum cost at the time of starting the installation of a conservation practice or identifiable unit is less than the cost specified in the contract, payment is to be made at the lower rate. If the cost at the start of installation is higher, payment may be made at the higher rate. A contract modification is necessary if NRCS determines that the higher cost is a significant increase in the total cost-share obligation. If costs are significant, cost-share payment is not to be made until the modification reflecting the increase is approved. If the higher costs are not significant, cost-share payments may be made if funds are available.
(b) Time of payment. Cost-share payments are to be made to the land user after a practice or an identifiable unit has been satisfactorily applied. The land user is to submit claims for payment to the district conservationist no later than September 30 of the year after application. Late claims require approval of the State conservationist before payment can be made. A claim is to show the proportion of each land user's contribution to the applied practice or identifiable unit.
(c) Approval. The district conservationist must certify that a practice or identifiable unit has been satisfactorily applied before NRCS can make cost-share payments.
(d) Ineligible claim. A land user is not eligible to receive cost-share payments for a practice or an identifiable unit that was not carried out under program requirements.
(e) Authorization for payment.
(1) Materials or services needed to carry out contracts are to be obtained by land users. Contracts may provide for part or all of the cost-share payment for a practice or identifiable unit to be made directly to suppliers of materials or services. The materials or services must be delivered or performed before payment is made.
(2) The contracting officer is to authorize payment for materials or services not exceeding:
(i) The cost share of the material or service used, or
(ii) The total cost share of the practices or identifiable unit if requested by the land user.
(3) The land user who purchases materials or services to carry out a contract is responsible for them until the district conservationist determines that the material or service was used for the intended purpose. If a material or service cost-shared by NRCS is used for a purpose other than to carry out the contract, the land user is indebted to the United States for the cost of the misused material or service. This indebtedness is to be repaid to NRCS as a refund or withheld from cost-share payments otherwise due the land user under the contract.
(4) NRCS has the right to inspect materials or services and to take samples for testing. Inspections by NRCS will not be necessary if NRCS considers State inspection regulations adequate.
(5) Materials or services must meet the quality standards as specified. NRCS may make exceptions for materials or services that do not meet the standards only if they will satisfactorily serve the intended purpose. NRCS is to deduct from the cost-share payment the difference between the price of the materials or services specified and the actual value of the different materials or services.
(f) Division of cost-share payments. Federal cost-share payments made directly to suppliers of materials or services are credited to the land user who was issued the authorization. The remainder of the cost share is credited to the land user who carried out the remainder of the practice or identifiable unit. If more than one land user contributed to carrying out a practice or identifiable unit, the cost-share payment is to be divided proportionately according to the contribution made by each of the land users. Furnishing a landright or water right is not a contribution for cost-share payment purposes.
(g) Other aid. Non-Federal public entities may furnish all or part of the land user's portion of the cost of applying a practice or identifiable unit with no reduction in the Federal cost share.
(h) Assignments and claims. Land users may not assign cost-share payments except as provided under the authority of 31 U.S.C. 203, as amended by 41 U.S.C. 15. Federal cost-share payments due any land user are not subject to claims for advances except as provided in this section.