[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 180 (Monday, September 17, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57074-57076]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22826]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and 
Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2011

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, 
Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2011.

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SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) 
Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) is 
announcing new indirect cost rates on the recovery of indirect costs 
for its component organizations involved in natural resource damage 
assessment and restoration activities for fiscal year (FY) 2011. The 
indirect cost rates for this fiscal year and date of

[[Page 57075]]

implementation are provided in this notice. More information on these 
rates and the DARRP policy can be found at the DARRP web site at: 
http://www.darrp.noaa.gov/library/12_b.html

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, contact 
LaTonya Burgess at 301-713-4248, ext. 211, by fax at 301-713-4389, or 
email at LaTonya.Burgess@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The mission of the DARRP is to restore 
natural resource injuries caused by releases of hazardous substances or 
oil under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), the Oil Pollution Act 
of 1990 (OPA) (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), and support restoration of 
physical injuries to National Marine Sanctuary resources under the 
National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.). The 
DARRP consists of three component organizations: The Office of Response 
and Restoration (ORR) within the National Ocean Service; the 
Restoration Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service; and 
the Office of the General Counsel for Natural Resources (GCNR). The 
DARRP conducts Natural Resource
    Damage Assessments (NRDAs) as a basis for recovering damages from 
responsible parties, and uses the funds recovered to restore injured 
natural resources.
    Consistent with Federal accounting requirements, the DARRP is 
required to account for and report the full costs of its programs and 
activities. Further, the DARRP is authorized by law to recover 
reasonable costs of damage assessment and restoration activities under 
CERCLA, OPA, and the NMSA. Within the constraints of these legal 
provisions and their regulatory applications, the DARRP has the 
discretion to develop indirect cost rates for its component 
organizations and formulate policies on the recovery of indirect cost 
rates subject to its requirements.

The DARRP's Indirect Cost Effort

    In December 1998, the DARRP hired the public accounting firm Rubino 
& McGeehin, Chartered (R&M) to: Evaluate the DARRP cost accounting 
system and allocation practices; recommend the appropriate indirect 
cost allocation methodology; and determine the indirect cost rates for 
the three organizations that comprise the DARRP. A Federal Register 
notice on R&M's effort, their assessment of the DARRP's cost accounting 
system and practice, and their determination regarding the most 
appropriate indirect cost methodology and rates for FYs 1993 through 
1999 was published on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611). The notice and 
report by R&M can also be found on the DARRP Web site at: http://www.darrp.noaa.gov/library/12_b.html.
    R&M continued its assessment of DARRP's indirect cost rate system 
and structure for FYs 2000 and 2001. A second federal notice specifying 
the DARRP indirect rates for FYs 2000 and 2001 was published on 
December 2, 2002 (67 FR 71537).
    In October 2002, DARRP hired the accounting firm of Cotton and 
Company LLP (Cotton) to review and certify DARRP costs incurred on 
cases for purposes of cost recovery and to develop indirect rates for 
FY 2002 and subsequent years. As in the prior years, Cotton concluded 
that the cost accounting system and allocation practices of the DARRP 
component organizations are consistent with Federal accounting 
requirements. Consistent with R&M's previous analyses, Cotton also 
determined that the most appropriate indirect allocation method 
continues to be the Direct Labor Cost Base for all three DARRP 
component organizations. The Direct Labor Cost Base is computed by 
allocating total indirect cost over the sum of direct labor dollars, 
plus the application of NOAA's leave surcharge and benefits rates to 
direct labor. Direct labor costs for contractors from I.M. Systems 
Group (IMSG) were included in the direct labor base because Cotton 
determined that these costs have the same relationship to the indirect 
cost pool as NOAA direct labor costs. IMSG provided on-site support to 
the DARRP in the areas of injury assessment, natural resource 
economics, restoration planning and implementation, and policy 
analysis. IMSG continues to provide on-site support to the DARRP. 
Starting in FY 2010, contractors from Genwest provide on-site support 
for cost documentation. A third federal notice specifying the DARRP 
indirect rates for FY 2002 was published on October 6, 2003 (68 FR 
57672), a fourth notice for the FY 2003 indirect cost rates appeared on 
May 20, 2005 (70 FR 29280), and a fifth notice for the FY 2004 indirect 
cost rates was published on March 16, 2006 (71 FR 13356). The notice 
for the FY 2005 indirect cost rates was published on February 9, 2007 
(72 FR 6221). The notice for the FY 2006 rates was published on June 3, 
2008 (73 FR 31679). The notice for the FY 2007 and FY 2008 rates was 
published on November 16, 2009 (74 FR 58948). Finally, the notice for 
the FY 2009 and FY 2010 rates was published on October 20, 2011 (76 FR 
65182). Cotton's reports on these indirect rates can also be found on 
the DARRP Web site at: http://www.darrp.noaa.gov/library/12_b.html
    Cotton reaffirmed that the Direct Labor Cost Base is the most 
appropriate indirect allocation method for the development of the FY 
2011 indirect cost rates.

The DARRP's Indirect Cost Rates and Policies

    The DARRP will apply the indirect cost rates for FY 2011 as 
recommended by Cotton for each of the DARRP component organizations as 
provided in the following table:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                FY2011
                                                               Indirect
                DARRP component organization                     rate
                                                              (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Office of Response and Restoration (ORR)...................       113.03
Restoration Center (RC)....................................        49.34
General Counsel for Natural Resources (GCNR)...............        20.97
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     These rates are based on the Direct Labor Cost Base allocation 
methodology.
    The FY 2011 rates will be applied to all damage assessment and 
restoration case costs incurred between October 1, 2010 and September 
30, 2011. DARRP will use the FY 2011 indirect cost rates for future 
fiscal years, beginning with FY 2012, until subsequent year-specific 
rates can be developed.
    For cases that have settled and for cost claims paid prior to the 
effective date of the fiscal year in question, the DARRP will not re-
open any resolved matters for the purpose of applying the revised rates 
in this policy for these fiscal years. For cases not settled and cost 
claims not paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in 
question, costs will be recalculated using the revised rates in this 
policy for these fiscal years. Where a responsible party has agreed to 
pay costs using previous year's indirect rates, but has not yet made 
the payment because the settlement documents are not finalized, the 
costs will not be recalculated.
    The DARRP indirect cost rate policies and procedures published in 
the Federal Register on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611), on December 2, 
2002 (67 FR 71537), October 6, 2003 (68 FR 57672), May 20, 2005 (70 FR 
29280), March 16, 2006 (71 FR 13356), February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6221), 
June 3, 2008 (73 FR 31679), November 16, 2009 (74 FR 58948), and 
October 20, 2011 (76 FR65182) remain in effect except as updated by 
this notice.


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    Dated: September 7, 2012.
David Westerholm,
Director, Office of Response and Restoration.
[FR Doc. 2012-22826 Filed 9-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-JE-P