Jump to main content.


ACCRUED EXPENDITURES: The charges incurred by the recipient during a given period requiring the provision of funds for

(a) goods and other tangible property received;

(b) services performed by employees, contractors, subrecipients, and other payees, and

(c) other amounts becoming owed under programs for which no current services or performance is required (such as annuities, insurance claims, and other benefit payments. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)


(a) earnings during a given period from services performed by the recipient and goods and other tangible property delivered to purchasers, and

(b) amounts becoming owed to the recipient for which no current services or performance is required by the recipient. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

ACQUISITION COST OF EQUIPMENT: The net invoice unit price of the equipment, including the cost of modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the property usable for the purpose for which it was acquired. Other charges such as the cost of installation, transportation, taxes, duty or protective in transit insurance, shall be included or excluded from the unit acquisition cost in accordance with the recipient's regular accounting practices. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS: Those matters common to grants in general, such as financial management, kinds and frequency of reports, and retention of records. These are distinguished from programmatic requirements, which concern matters that can be treated only on a program by program or grant by grant basis, such as activities
that can be supported by grants under a particular program. (40 CFR Part 31)

ADVANCE: A payment made by treasury check or other appropriate payment mechanism to a recipient upon its request either before outlays are made by the recipient or through the use of predetermined payment schedules. (40 CFR Part 30)


(a) A cost is allowable to a particular cost objective if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to such cost objective in accordance with relative benefits received.

(b) All activities which benefit from the governmental unit's indirect cost, including unallowable activities and services donated to the governmental unit by third parties, will receive and appropriate allocation of indirect costs.

(c) Any cost allowable to a particular Federal award or cost objective under the principles provided for in OMB Circular A 87 may not be charged to other Federal awards to overcome fund deficiencies, to avoid restriction imposed by law or terms of the Federal awards, or for other reasons. However, this prohibition would not preclude governmental units from shifting costs that are allowable under two or more awards in accordance with existing program agreements.

(d) Where an accumulation of indirect costs will ultimately result in charges to a Federal award, a cost allocation plan will be required as described in Attachments C, D, and E of OMB Circular A 87. (OMB Circular A 87)

ALLOTMENT: An amount representing a state's share of funds requested in the president's budget or appropriated by Congress for an environmental program, as EPA determines after considering any factors indicate by 40 CFR Part 35 Subpart A. The allotment is not an entitlement but rather the objective basis for determining the range for a state's planning target. (40 CFR Par 35 Subpart A)

ALLOWABLE COSTS: Even though a proposal may involve an eligible applicant, eligible activity, and eligible purpose, grant funds cannot necessarily pay for all of the costs that the recipient might incur in the course of carrying out the project. Allowable costs are determined by reference to the applicable EPA regulations and to the OMB Circulars A-21, ACost Principles for Education Institutions,@ A-122, ACost Principals for Nonprofit Organizations,@ and A-87, ACost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments.@ Some examples of costs which are allowable include: accounting, budgeting, communications, direct salaries, fringe benefits, equipment, supplies, and allocable indirect costs, as long as these costs are Anecessary and reasonable.@ Examples of unallowable costs include: alcohol, entertainment costs, legislative expenses, bad debts and contingencies, and charging indirect type costs as direct costs. These are more explicitly defined in the above referenced circulars.


(a) FORMAL AMENDMENT: A written modification of an assistance agreement signed by both the Award Official and the authorized representative of the recipient. (Assistance Administration Manual)

(b) INFORMAL AMENDMENT: Proposed project change which does not substantially alter the objective or scope of the project.


(a) Those receipts or reduction of expenditure type transactions that offset or reduce expense items allocable to Federal awards as direct or indirect costs, eg., purchase discounts; rebates or allowances, recoveries or indemnities on losses, insurance refunds or rebates, and adjustments of overpayments or erroneous charges. To the extent that such credits accruing to or received by the governmental unit relate to allowable costs, they shall be credited to the Federal award either as a cost reduction or cash refund, as appropriate.

(b) In some instances the amounts received from the Federal Government to finance activities or service operations of the governmental unit should be treated as applicable credits. Specifically, the concept of netting such credit items (including amounts used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements) should be recognized in determining the rates or amounts to be charged to Federal awards. (See Attachment B of OMB Circular A 87, item 15, "Depreciation and use allowances," for areas of potential application in the matter of Federal Financing of activities.)

APPLICANT: Any entity that files an application or unsolicited proposal for EPA Financial assistance under 40 Chapter I Environmental Protection Agency, Subchapter A General. (40 CFR Part 30)

APPROVAL MEMO: A memo originated by the Project Officer and concurred in by the immediate supervisor which denotes work plan and Federal funding approval. (Region 9)

APPROVAL OFFICIAL: An EPA official delegated the authority to approve or reject applications for assistance and the technical/programmatic terms and conditions of proposed assistance projects. (Assistance Administration Manual)

ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT: The legal instrument EPA uses to transfer money, property, services, or anything of value to a recipient to accomplish a public purpose. It is either a grant or a cooperative agreement and will specify: budget and project periods; the Federal share of eligible project costs; a description of the work to be accomplished, and any terms and conditions/special conditions.

AUTOMATED CLEARING HOUSE (ACH): Electronic wire transfer system to pay recipients through the Federal Reserve System and their local bank (Replaced former letter of credit system.) (Region 9)

AWARD: (see also "Assistance Agreement", "Cooperative Agreement", "Grant", "Grant Agreement")

(a) Financial assistance that provides support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose. Awards include grants and other agreements in the form of money or property in lieu of money by the Federal Government to an eligible recipient. The term does not include: technical assistance which provides services instead of money, other assistance in the form of leans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals, and contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under procurement laws and regulations. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) Grants, cost reimbursement contracts and other agreements between a State, local and Indian tribal government and the Federal Government. (OMB Circular A 87)

AWARD OFFICIAL: The EPA official with the authority to execute assistance agreements and to take other actions authorized by 40 CFR Chapter 1, Subchapter A and by EPA Orders. (40 CFR Part 30) The EPA official delegated the authority to execute assistance agreements. (Assistance Administration Manual)


(a) With respect to a grant, cooperative agreement, or cost reimbursement contract, the Federal agency, and

(b) With respect to a subgrant/subaward, the party that awarded the subgrant/subaward. (40 CFR Part 31 & OMB Circular A 87)

BUDGET PERIOD: (see also "Funding Period"): The length of time EPA specifies in an assistance agreement during which the recipient may expend or obligate Federal funds.


(a) The recipient's cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient or subrecipient by other public agencies and institutions, and private organizations and individuals (i.e., third parties). When authorized by federal legislation, Federal funds received from other assistance agreements may be considered as recipient or subrecipient cash contributions. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

(b) Actual non Federal dollars that a recipient expended for goods and services and real or personal property used to satisfy cost sharing requirements (see "In kind Contributions"). (Assistance Administration Manual)

CBO: The Congressional Budget Office

CENTRAL SERVICE COST ALLOCATION PLAN: The documentation identifying, accumulating, and allocating or developing billing rates based on the allowable costs of services provided by a governmental unit on a centralized basis to its departments and
agencies. The costs of these services may be allocated or billed to users.


(a) The process by which a Federal awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed by the recipient and federal awarding agency. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) The final EPA actions to assure satisfactory completion of project work and administrative requirements: the submission of acceptable required final reports; Financial settlement; the resolution of any outstanding issues under an assistance
agreement, and the notification of the recipient. (Assistance Administration Manual)

CLOSEOUT MEMO: The Project Officer's memo which documents their review of the recipient's Financial status report against their performance; states that performance has been completed, and identifies the disposition of any remaining Federal funds. (Region 9)

COGNIZANT AGENCY: The Federal agency responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and approving cost allocation plans or indirect cost proposals developed under OMB Circular A 87 on behalf of all Federal agencies. OMB publishes a listing of cognizant agencies. (OMB Circular A 87)


(a) The official reservation of funds and authorization to incur obligations. (Assistance Administration Manual)

(b) A formal action to reserve funds for a specific purpose in the future (e.g., a grant/cooperative agreement). For financial assistance, the commitment is reflected by a commitment notice. (Region 9)

COMPETITION: A policy and procedure in which individuals or organizations submit application(s) in response to an announcement by the EPA that funding is available for a particular project or type of project. The Agency provides the competitors with access to the same information and evaluates the competing applications against disclosed evaluation criteria. The goal of the process is to determine which of the competitors will carry out the project most effectively and to award a grant or cooperative agreement to a responsible applicant.

CONGRESSIONAL EARMARK: Assistance agreements awarded in response to direction from Congress or a Congressional Committee as reflected in appropriation or authorizing legislation or applicable legislative history.

CONTINUATION: An extension of an assistance agreement for an additional funding/budget period for a project the agency initially agreed to fund for a definite number of years. (Assistance Administration Manual)

CONTINUATION AWARD: (see also "Renewal") An assistance agreement after the initial award, for a project which has more than one budget period in its approved project period, or annual awards, after the First award, to state, interstate, or local agencies for Continuing Environmental Programs. (40 CFR Part 30)

CONTINUING ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM: A state/interstate/local environmental agency pollution control program which will not be completed within a definable time period. (See 40 CFR Part 35 Subpart A.)

CONTINUING RESOLUTION: Legislation enacted by Congress to provide budget authority for Federal agencies and/or specific activities to continue in operation until the regular appropriations are enacted. Continuing Resolutions are enacted when action on appropriations is not completed by the beginning of a Fiscal Year. ("Principles of Federal
Appropriations Law")


(a) A procurement contract under a grant or subgrant, and a procurement subcontract under a contract. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

(b) A mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish the supplies or services (including construction) and the buyer to pay for them. It includes all types of commitments that obligate the government to an expenditure of appropriated funds and that, except as otherwise authorized, are in writing. In addition to bilateral instruments, contracts include (but are not limited to): awards and notices of awards; job orders or task orders issued under basic ordering agreements; letter contracts; orders, such as purchase orders, under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance; and, bilateral contract modifications. Contracts do not include grants and cooperative agreements covered by 31 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.

CONTRACTOR: Any party to whom a recipient awards a contract.

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT: (see also "Assistance Agreement", "Award"): The legal instrument used when the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, or anything of value to a State or local government or other eligible recipient to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute in which substantial involvement is anticipated between EPA and the recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.

COST: An amount as determined on a cash, accrual, or other basis acceptable to the Federal awarding or cognizant agency. It does not include transfers to a general or similar fund. (OMB Circular A 87)

COST ALLOCATION PLAN (CAP): Central service cost allocation plan, public assistance cost allocation plan, and indirect cost rate proposal. (OMB Circular A 87)

(a) "Central service cost allocation plan" the documentation identifying, accumulating, and allocating or billing the
allowable costs of services provided by a governmental unit on a centralized basis to its departments/agencies as described in Attachment C of OMB Circular A 87.

(b) "Public assistance cost allocation plan" the documentation identifying, accumulating, and distributing the allowable costs of services provided by a public assistance agency/department in support of all federal Financial assistance programs administered or supervised by that agency/department as described in Attachment D of OMB Circular A 87. A narrative description of the procedures that will be used in identifying, measuring and allocating all administrative costs to all of the programs administered or supervised by State public assistance agencies as described in Attachment D of OMB Circular A 87.

(c) "Indirect cost rate proposal" the documentation prepared by a governmental unit or component thereof to substantiate
its request for the establishment of an indirect cost rate as described in Attachment E of OMB Circular A 87.

COST OBJECTIVE: A function, organizational subdivision, contract, grant, or other activity for which cost data are needed and for which costs are incurred. (OMB Circular A 87)

COST SHARING: (see also "Matching Funds") The portion of allowable project costs that a recipient contributes toward completing its project (i.e., non Federal share, matching share). (40 CFR Part 30)

COST TYPE CONTRACT: A contract or subcontract under a grant in which the contractor or subcontractor is paid on the basis of the costs it incurs, with or without a fee. (40 CFR Part 31)

DATE OF COMPLETION: The date on which all work under an award is completed or the date on the award document, or any supplement or amendment thereto, on which Federal sponsorship ends. (40 CFR Part 30)

DECISION OFFICIAL: (see "Approval Official")

DEVIATION: Written approval from the Director, Grants Administration Division for exception(s) from financial assistance regulations not based on statutory or Executive Order requirements. (Grants Administration Division)

DISALLOWED COSTS: Those charges to an award that the Federal awarding agency determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable Federal cost principles or other terms and conditions contained in the award. (40 CFR Part 30)

EQUIPMENT: Tangible, nonexpendable, personal property including exempt property charged directly to the award having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. However, consistent with recipient policy, lower limits may be established. A recipient may use its own definition of equipment provided that such definition would at least include all equipment defined above. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

ENVIRONMENTALLY RELATED MEASUREMENTS: Any data collection activity or investigation involving the assessment of chemical, physical, or biological factors in the environment which affect human health or the quality of life.

EXCESS PROPERTY: Property under the control of any federal awarding agency that, as determined by the head thereof, is no longer required for its needs or the discharge of its responsibilities. (40 CFR Part 30)

EXEMPT PROPERTY: Tangible personal property acquired in whole or in part with Federal funds, where the Federal awarding agency has statutory authority to vest title in the recipient without further obligation to the Federal Government. An example of exempt property authority is contained in The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement

Act (31 U.S.C. 6306) for property acquired under an award to conduct basic or applied research by a non profit institution of higher education or non profit organization whose principal purpose is conducting scientific research. (40 CFR Part 30)


(a) For non construction grants, the SF 269 "Financial Status Report" (FSR) (or equivalent report);

(b) For construction grants, the SF 271 "Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement" (or equivalent report). (40 CFR
Part 31)

FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY: The Federal agency that provides an award to the recipient. (40 CFR Part 30)

FEDERAL FUNDS AUTHORIZED: The total amount of Federal funds obligated by the Federal Government for use by the recipient. This amount may include any authorized carryover of unobligated funds from prior funding periods when permitted by agency regulations or agency implementing instructions. (40 CFR Part 30)

FEDERAL SHARE OF REAL PROPERTY, EQUIPMENT, OR SUPPLIES: That percentage of the property's acquisition costs and any improvement expenditures paid with Federal funds. (40 CFR Part 30)

FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED INDIAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENT: The governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian Tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including any native village as defined in Section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 85 Stat. 688) certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided through the Bureau of
Indian Affairs. (OMB Circular A 87 & 40 CFR Part 31)

FINAL INDIRECT COST RATE: A permanent rate established after the actual costs for a given fiscal year of the organization are known and the actual amount of indirect costs applicable to Federally sponsored programs have been determined. This type of rate is not subject to subsequent adjustment.

FINANCIAL STATUS REPORT (FSR): A standard, government wide report recipients must submit to the Federal funding agency that identities the status of funds for a specific grant or cooperative agreement. (40 CFR Part 31)

FORMULA GRANTS: Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with a distribution formula prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

FUNDING PERIOD: (see also "Budget Period") The period of time when Federal funding is available for obligation by the recipient. (40 CFR Part 30)

FFY - FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR: (e.g., October 1, 2001 - September 30, 2002)

GAO: The U.S. General Accounting Office.

GOVERNMENT: A State or local government or a Federally recognized Indian tribal government. (40 CFR Part 31)

GRANT: (see also "Assistance Agreement", "Award", "Cooperative Agreement", "Grant Agreement") An award of Financial assistance, including cooperative agreements, in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, by the Federal government to an eligible grantee. The term does not include technical assistance which provides services
instead of money, or other assistance in the form of revenue sharing, loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, insurance, or direct appropriations. Also, the term does not include assistance, such as a fellowship or other lump sum award, which the grantee is not required to account for. (40 CFR Part 31)

GRANT AGREEMENT: (see also "Assistance Agreement") An assistance agreement that does not substantially involve EPA in the project and where the recipient has the authority and capability to complete all elements of the program (does not include fellowships). (40 CFR Part 30)

GRANTS MANAGEMENT OFFICE (GMO): The Headquarters and Regional units responsible for all business management aspects associated with the review and negotiation of applications, the award of assistance agreements, and the post award monitoring and administration of funded projects through audit resolution and final close out.

GRANT SPECIALIST: The EPA official designated in the assistance agreement as EPA's administrative contact with the recipient. The grant specialist provides Acradle to grave@ administrative guidance to recipients and Project Officers; reviews and approves the administrative portion of the application; prepares the assistance agreement; evaluates
effectiveness/compliance with administrative conditions, performs post award management activities and closes out assistance agreements.

GRANTEE: (see also "Recipient") The government to which a grant is awarded and which is accountable for the use of the funds provided. The grantee is the entire legal entity even if only a particular component of the entity is designated in the grant award document. (40 CFR Part 31)


(a) incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective and

(b) not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted without effort disproportionate to the results
achieved. (OMB Circular A 87)

INDIRECT COST RATE: The ratio, expressed as a percentage, of an organization's total indirect costs to its direct cost base (commonly direct salaries and wages). When a rate is established for a specific activity or program (e.g., research) the rate represents the
ratio of the total indirect costs allocated to the activity or program to the direct base costs of the activity or program.

INDIRECT COST RATE AGREEMENT: An agreement between the recipient and the cognizant Federal agency which identities the basis for the indirect cost rate. (Region 9)

INDIRECT COST RATE PROPOSAL: The documentation prepared by a governmental unit or component thereof to substantiate its request for the establishment of an indirect cost rate as described in OMB Circular A 87.

IN KIND CONTRIBUTION: The value of a non cash contribution to meet a recipient's cost sharing requirements. An in kind contribution may consist of charges for real property and equipment or the value of goods and services directly benefitting the EPA funded project. (40 CFR Part 30) note: the assistance amount may also include an EPA in kind contribution. (See "cost sharing" and "cash contributions.") (Assistance Administration Manual)

INTEGRATED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (IFMS): EPA's official automated accounting system.


(a) a written agreement between Federal agencies under which goods and services are provided in exchange for funds,
or where services are provided without payment.

(b) A written agreement between a Federal agency and a State or local government under which the State or local
government reimburses the Federal agency for the costs of providing a specific technical service, e.g., statistical studies
and compilations, technical tests and evaluations, training, surveys, reports, documents, and data.

(c) A written agreement between a Federal agency and a foreign government under which work will be conducted for, or
services provided to, a foreign government or international organization. (Grants Administration Division)

INTANGIBLE PROPERTY AND DEBT INSTRUMENTS: Means (but is not limited to) trademarks, copyrights, patents and patent applications and such property as loans, notes and other debt instruments, lease agreements, stock and other instruments of property ownership, whether considered tangible or intangible. (40 CFR Part 30)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: A county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including any public and Indian housing agency under the United States Housing Act of 1937), school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law), any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government. (OMB Circular A 87 & 40 CFR Part 31)

MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT: A requirement contained in certain legislation or regulations that a recipient must maintain/contribute a specified level of financial effort in a specified area in order to receive Federal assistance funds, which ensures that those Federal funds are used to supplement, but not supplant, expenditures of the recipient's
funds. (Assistance Administration Manual)

MATCHING FUNDS: (see also "Cost Sharing") The portion of allowable project costs a recipient contributes to a Federally funded project (sometimes determined by statute). The match may include in kind as well as cash contributions. (Region 9)

NEGOTIATION: The process of give and take by assistance Project Officers and applicants to agree on work plans and funds available to carry out the work plan activities. (Region 9)

NONEXPENDABLE PERSONAL PROPERTY: Personal property with a useful life of at least two years and an acquisition cost of $500 or more. (Assistance Administration Manual)

OBLIGATIONS: The amounts of orders placed, contracts and grants/subgrants awarded, goods and services received and similar transactions during a given period that will require payment by the grantee/recipient during the same or a future period. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

OFFICIAL FILE: The administrative file for each assistance agreement (or each application or unsolicited proposal) that is established and maintained by the appropriate grants management office and/or State office when provided for under a delegation
agreement. (The official technical file and the official Financial management file both complement the official administrative file.) (Assistance Administration Manual)

OMB: The U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

OUTLAYS OR EXPENDITURES: Charges made to the project or program. They may be reported on a cash or accrual basis. For reports prepared on a cash basis, outlays are the sum of actual cash disbursements for direct charges for goods and services, the amount of indirect expense incurred [charged], the value of [third party] in kind contributions applied, and the amount of cash advances and payments made to contractors and subgrantees [subrecipients]. For reports prepared on an accrued expenditure [accrual] basis, outlays are the sum of actual cash disbursements [for goods and services], the amount of indirect expense incurred, the value of [third party] in kind contributions applied, and the new [net] increase (or decrease) in the amounts owed by the grantee for goods and other property received, for services performed by employees, contractors, subgrantees/subrecipients, subcontractors, and other payees, and other amounts becoming owed under programs for which no current services or performance are required, such as annuities, insurance claims, and other benefit payments. (A combination of OMB Circulars A 102 & A 110; 40 CFR Part 35)

OUTPUT: An activity or product which the applicant agrees to complete during the budget period.

PERCENTAGE OF COMPLETION METHOD: A system under which payments are made for construction work according to the percentage of completion of the work, rather than to the grantee's/recipient's cost incurred. (40 CFR Part 31)


(a) Property of any kind except real property. It may be tangible, having physical existence, or intangible, having no
physical existence, such as copyrights, patents, or securities. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) Property other than real property. It may be tangible (having physical existence) such as equipment and supplies, or intangible (having no physical existence), such as patents inventions, and copyrights. (40 CFR Part 30 & Assistance Administration Manual)

PLANNING TARGET: The amount of Financial assistance which the Regional Administrator suggests that an applicant for Continuing Environmental Program Support (State, interstate or local agency) consider in developing its application and work program. (Assistance Administration Manual)

PRICE ANALYSIS: The process of evaluating a prospective price without regard to the contractor's separate cost elements and proposed profit. Price analysis determines the reasonableness of the proposed contract price based on adequate price competition, previous experience with similar work, established catalog or market price, law, or regulation. (Assistance Administration Manual)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: (see "Project Manager")

PRIOR APPROVAL: Documentation/written approval by an authorized official evidencing consent prior to incurring specific cost. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

PROFIT: The net proceeds obtained by deducting all allowable costs (direct and indirect) from the price. (Because this definition of profit is based on applicable Federal Cost Principles, it may vary from many firms' definition of profit, and may correspond to those firms' definition of "fee".)

PROGRAM ELEMENT: One of the major groupings of outputs of a Continuing Environmental Program (e.g., administration, enforcement, monitoring). (Assistance Administration Manual)


(a) Gross income earned by the recipient that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award (see exclusions in paragraphs 30.24(e) and (h)). Program income includes, but is not limited to, income from fees for services performed, the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under Federally funded projects, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and interest on loans made with award funds. Interest earned on advances of Federal funds is not program income. Except as otherwise provided in Federal awarding agency regulations or the terms and conditions of the award, program income does not include the receipt of principal on loans, rebates, credits, discounts, etc., or interest earned on any of them. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) Gross income the recipient earns during its project period from charges for the project. This may include income from
service fees, sale of commodities, trade in allowances, or usage or rental fees. Fees from royalties are program income
only if the Assistance Agreement so states. Revenue generated under the governing powers of a State or local
government which could have been generated without an award is not considered program income. Such revenues
include fines or penalties levied under judicial or penal power and used as a means to enforce laws. (Revenue from
wastewater treatment construction grant projects under title H of the Clean Water Act, as amended, is not program income. It
must be used for operation and maintenance costs of the recipient's wastewater facilities.) (Assistance Administration

PROGRAM OFFICE: The Headquarters Program Office, Lab or Regional Program Office responsible for managing the technical or programmatic aspects of a specific program.

PROJECT COSTS: All allowable costs, as set forth in the applicable Federal cost principles, incurred by a recipient and the value of the contributions made by third parties in accomplishing the objectives of the award during the project period. (40 CFR Part 30)

PROJECT GRANTS: The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects or the delivery of specific services or products, without liability for damages for failure to perform. Project grants include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, construction grants, and unsolicited contractual agreements.

PROJECT MANAGER: (see also "Principal Investigator") The researcher, business officer, or other person authorized and designated by the recipient to serve as its principal contact with EPA.

PROJECT NARRATIVE: (see "Work plan/Work program")

PROJECT OFFICER (PO): The EPA official designated in the assistance agreement as EPA's program contact with the recipient. Project Officers are responsible for monitoring the programmatic aspects of the project and must have completed a PO training class and be certified. (Assistance Administration Manual)


(a) The period established in the award document during which Federal sponsorship begins and ends. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) The length of time EPA specifies in the assistance agreement for completion of all project work It may be
composed of more than one budget period. (Assistance Administration Manual)

PROPERTY: Unless otherwise stated, real property, equipment, intangible property and debt instruments. (40 CFR Part 35; 40 CFR Part 30)

PROVISIONAL INDIRECT COST RATE: A temporary rate established for a given period to permit interim reimbursement of indirect costs pending the establishment of a permanent rate for the period. When a permanent rate is established, the indirect costs
reimbursed based on the provisional rate are adjusted upward or downward to reflect the costs based on the permanent rate.

QUALITY ASSURANCE NARRATIVE STATEMENT: A description included in an application which explains how precision, accuracy, representativeness, completeness, and comparability will be assessed, and which is sufficiently detailed to allow an unambiguous determination of the quality assurance practices to be followed throughout a research project. (Assistance Administration Manual)

QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM PLAN: A formal document which describes an orderly assembly of management policies, objectives, principles, organizational responsibilities, and procedures by which an agency or laboratory specifies how it intends to: (a) produce data of documented quality, and (b) provide for the preparation of Quality Assurance Project Plans and standard operating procedures. (Assistance Administration Manual)

QUALITY ASSURANCE PROJECT PLAN: An organization's written procedures which delineate how it produces quality data for a specific project or measurement method. (Assistance Administration Manual)

REAL PROPERTY: Land, including land improvements, structures and appurtenances thereto, excluding movable machinery and equipment. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31; Assistance Administration Manual)

RECIPIENT: (see also "Grantee")

(a) An organization receiving financial assistance directly from Federal awarding agencies to carry out a project or program.
The term includes public and private institutions of higher education, public and private hospitals, and other quasi public
and private non profit organizations such as, but not limited to, community action agencies, research institutes, educational
associations and health centers. The term may include commercial organizations, foreign or international
organizations (such as agencies of the United Nations) which are recipients, subrecipients, or contractors or subcontractors
of recipients or subrecipients at the discretion of the Federal awarding agency. The term does not include
government owned contractor operated facilities or research centers providing continued support for mission oriented,
large scale programs that are government owned or controlled, or are designated as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) Any entity which has been awarded and accepted an EPA assistance agreement. (Assistance Administration Manual)

RECURRENT EXPENDITURES: Those expenses associated with the activities of a Continuing Environmental Program. All expenditures, except those for equipment purchases with a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, are considered recurrent unless justified by the applicant as unique and approved as such by the Award Official in the
assistance award. (Assistance Administration Manual; 40 CFR Part 35)

RENEWAL: (see also "Continuation Award") An extension for an additional funding/budget period for a project having no projected completion date, but for which Federal support must be renewed each year. (Assistance Administration Manual)

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: All research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are supported at universities, colleges, and other non profit institutions. "Research" is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. "Development" is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities use the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are
not included in the instruction function. (40 CFR Part 30)

SERVICES: A contractor's labor, time, or efforts which do not involve the delivery of a specific end item, other than documents, (e.g., Reports, design drawings, specifications). This term does not include employment agreements or collective bargaining agreements. (Assistance Administration Manual)

SHARE: When referring to the awarding agency's portion of real property, equipment or supplies, share means the same percentage as the awarding agency's portion of the acquiring party's total costs under the grant to which the acquisition cost of the property was charged. Only costs are to be counted not the value of third party in kind
contributions. (40 CFR Part 31)

SMALL AWARD: A grant or cooperative agreement not exceeding the small purchase threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. 403(11) (Currently $100,000). (40 CFR Part 30 and 40 CFR Part 31)

STATE: Any of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, or any agency or instrumentality of a State exclusive of local governments. The term does not include any public and Indian housing agency under United States Housing Act of
1937. (OMB Circular A 87)

STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT: A broad spectrum, multi-sector involvement of affected and interested groups or individuals, using an inclusive process that will allow for informed and engaged participation of diverse interests and perspectives which characterize your program objectives.

SUBAWARD: An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes Financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of "award". (40 CFR Part 30)

SUBGRANT: An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under a grant by a grantee to an eligible subgrantee. The term includes financial assistance when provided by contractual legal agreement, but does not include
procurement purchases, nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of grant in 40 CFR Part 31. (40 CFR Part 31)

SUBGRANTEE: The government or other legal entity to which a subgrant is awarded and which is accountable to the grantee for the use of the funds provided. (40 CFR Part 31)

SUBRECIPIENT: The legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided. The term may include foreign or international organizations (such as agencies of the United Nations) at the discretion of the Federal awarding agency. (40 CFR Part 30)


(a) All tangible personal property other than equipment as defined in 40 CFR Part 31. (40 CFR Part 31)

(b) All tangible personal property excluding equipment, intangible property, and debt instruments, and inventions of a
contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of work under a funding agreement ("subject
inventions"), as defined in 37 CFR 401, "Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms
Under Government Grants, Contracts, and Cooperative Agreements." (40 CFR Part 30)


(a) An action by a federal awarding agency that temporarily withdraws Federal sponsorship under an award, pending
corrective action by the grantee/recipient or pending a decision to terminate the award by the Federal awarding
agency. Suspension of an award is a separate act from suspension under Federal agency regulations implementing
E.O.s 12549 And 12689, "Debarment and Suspension." (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) Depending on the context, either (1) temporary withdrawal of the authority to obligate grant funds pending corrective action by the grantee or subgrantee or a decision to terminate the grant, or (2) an action taken by a Suspending Official in accordance with agency regulations implementing E.O. 12549 to immediately exclude a person from participating in grant transactions for a period, pending completion of an investigation and such legal or debarment proceedings as may ensue. (40 CFR Part 31)


(a) Permanent withdrawal of the authority to obligate previously awarded grant funds before that authority would otherwise expire. It also means the voluntary relinquishment of that authority by the grantee or subgrantee. Termination does not include: (1) withdrawal of funds awarded on the basis of the grantee's underestimate of the unobligated balance in a prior period; (2) withdrawal of the unobligated balance as of the expiration of a grant; (3) refusal to extend a grant or award additional funds, to make a competing or noncompeting continuation, renewal, extension, or supplemental award; or (4) voiding of a grant upon determination that the award was obtained fraudulently, or was otherwise illegal or invalid from inception. (40 CFR Part 31)

(b) The cancellation of Federal sponsorship, in whole or in part, under an agreement at any time prior to the date of completion. (40 CFR Part 30)

(c) The cancellation of an assistance agreement, in whole or in part, before the scheduled project completion date. The
recipient is entitled to be paid the EPA share of allowable costs incurred up to the date of termination and of allowable
costs related to non-cancel commitments made prior to termination. (Assistance Administration Manual)

TERMS OF A GRANT OR SUBGRANT: All requirements of the grant or subgrant, whether in statute, regulations or the award document. (40 CFR Part 31)


(a) The value of non cash contributions provided by non Federal third parties. Third party in kind contributions may
be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services
directly benefitting and specifically identifiable to the project or program. (40 CFR Part 30)

(b) Property or services which benefit a Federally assisted project or program and which are contributed by non Federal
third parties without charge to the grantee, or a cost type contractor under the grant agreement. (40 CFR Part 31)

TOTAL COST: Total cost of Federal award is comprised of the allowable direct cost of the program, plus its allocable portion of allowable indirect costs, less applicable credits. (OMB Circular A 87)

UNEXPENDED FEDERAL FUNDS: (see also "Unobligated Balance") Federal funds obligated but not yet disbursed. Represents the difference between the amount of EPA funds awarded to the recipient of an assistance agreement and the amount EPA has paid that recipient. (Assistance Administration Manual)


(a) For reports prepared on a cash basis the amount of obligations incurred by the grantee that have not been paid.
For reports prepared on an accrued expenditure basis, they represent the amount of obligations incurred by the grantee for
which an outlay has not been recorded. (40 CFR Part 31)

(b) The portion of the funds authorized by the Federal awarding agency that has not been obligated by the recipient
and is determined by deducting the cumulative obligations from the cumulative funds authorized. (40 CFR Part 30)

(c) An obligation for which payment has not been made; contingent liabilities for contracts and orders outstanding. (Assistance Administration Manual)

UNOBLIGATED BALANCE: The portion of the funds authorized by the federal awarding agency that has not been obligated by the grantee/recipient and is determined by deducting the cumulative obligations from the cumulative funds authorized. (40 CFR Parts 30 & 31)

UNOBLIGATED FEDERAL FUNDS: Federal funds that the recipient has not spent; the difference between the amount of EPA funds awarded to the recipient of an assistance agreement and the EPA share of the project obligations that the recipient has incurred under that agreement. (Assistance Administration Manual)

UNRECOVERED INDIRECT COST: The difference between the amount awarded and the amount which could have been awarded under the recipient's approved negotiated indirect cost rate. (40 CFR Part 30)

UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL: An informal written offer to perform EPA funded work for which EPA did not publish a solicitation. (40 CFR Part 30; Assistance Administration Manual)

VIOLATING FACILITY: Any facility that is owned, leased, or supervised by an applicant, recipient, contractor, or subcontractor that EPA lists under 40 CFR Part 15 as not in compliance with Federal, State, or local requirements under the Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act. A facility includes any building, plant, installation, structure, mine, vessel, or other floating craft. (40 CFR Part 30; Assistance Administration Manual)

VOLUNTARY EXCLUSION: A term of settlement in lieu of a finding for debarment under which a person or entity agrees to voluntarily abstain from participation in EPA assisted projects. (Assistance Administration Manual)

WORKING CAPITAL ADVANCE: A procedure whereby funds are advanced to the recipient to cover its estimated disbursement needs for a given initial period. (40 CFR Part 30)

WORK PLAN/WORK PROGRAM: (see also "Project Narrative") The document which identifies how and when the applicant will use program funds to produce specific outputs. (40 CFR Part 35; Assistance Administration Manual)

| New National Term on Suspension and Debarment | Tips On Writing a Grant Proposal | Sample Indirect Cost Proposal Format For Nonprofit Organizations | EPA Organization Chart | Grant Award Activity Summary | Historical Information | OMB Circulars | Cross-Cutting Public Policies | Lobbying and Litigation | The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 | Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance | Competition for Assistance Agreements | MBE/WBE Utilization | Overview of the Award Document and Terms and Conditions | Use of a Universal Identifier by Grant Applicants | Responsibilities - Award Phase | Assistance Agreement Payment Process | Purchasing Supplies, Equipment and Services Under EPA Grants | Indirect Costs | Best Practices Guide for Conferences | Glossary | Accessibility | Return to the Grants and Debarment Home Page |

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.