Sponsored Research Policies and Procedures
External grants are binding contracts between the sponsoring agency and Ithaca College. As such, applications for federal, private, and family foundation grants require routing through Sponsored Research for approval by Ithaca College administration. Ithaca College's routing process ensures that proposals are supported by the administration and adhere to Ithaca College policies. Applicants are encouraged to discuss forthcoming proposals with their department chair and dean in advance of the routing process.
The “Intent to Submit” form is required to be submitted six to eight weeks prior to the grant submission due date and includes an estimated budget, release time requested (if applicable), and a brief summary of the proposal. This form is routed to the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Sponsored Research, the Financial Services Associate Controller, the applicant's department chair, the applicant's Dean, the Provost, and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for approval.
The “Accelerated Routing” form is required to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the grant submission due date and includes the final proposal budget, budget justification, and one page summary/abstract. This form is routed to the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Sponsored Research, the Financial Services Associate Controller, and the applicant's Dean for approval.
Dollar thresholds: The President has signatory authority on behalf of the College. The President also grants signatory authority to all Vice Presidents. A listing of all positions on campus with limited signatory authority, along with the dollar thresholds, can be found here:
All project budget revision requests, regardless of amount, are submitted to the Financial Services Associate Controller. The Associate Controller then determines if prior approval from the sponsor agency is required and facilitates the communication with the agency if necessary. If no approval is needed, or approval is received, the Associate Controller then processes the budget revision in the accounting system. E-mail requests documenting budget revisions are kept on record and reviewed before approval to ensure appropriateness and allowability
Common reasons budget revision requests would be denied:
- Attempts to spend grant funds on unallowable expenses
- Moving non-salary budget funds into salary lines to increase faculty salary amount paid from the grant
- Moving Participant Support Cost budget funds to other categories
- Moving funds that would result in a change of scope
- Moving funds to spend down grant funding within three months of the grant expiration date
According to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200, costs charged to federally funded awards must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable. Below is guidance on these requirements:
Allowability of costs:
Except where otherwise authorized by statute, costs must meet the following general criteria in order to be allowable under Federal awards:
(a) Be necessary and reasonable for the performance of the Federal award and be allocable thereto under these principles.
(b) Conform to any limitations or exclusions set forth in these principles or in the Federal award as to types or amount of cost items.
(c) Be consistent with policies and procedures that apply uniformly to both federally-financed and other activities of the non-Federal entity.
(d) Be accorded consistent treatment. A cost may not be assigned to a Federal award as a direct cost if any other cost incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances has been allocated to the Federal award as an indirect cost.
(e) Be determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), except, for state and local governments and Indian tribes only, as otherwise provided for in this part.
(f) Not be included as a cost or used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements of any other federally-financed program in either the current or a prior period.
(g) Be adequately documented.
(h) Cost must be incurred during the approved budget period. The Federal awarding agency is authorized, at its discretion, to waive prior written approvals to carry forward unobligated balances to subsequent budget periods.
A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost. The question of reasonableness is particularly important when the non-Federal entity is predominantly federally-funded. In determining reasonableness of a given cost, consideration must be given to:
(a) Whether the cost is of a type generally recognized as ordinary and necessary for the operation of the non-Federal entity or the proper and efficient performance of the Federal award.
(b) The restraints or requirements imposed by such factors as: sound business practices; arm's-length bargaining; Federal, state, local, tribal, and other laws and regulations; and terms and conditions of the Federal award.
(c) Market prices for comparable goods or services for the geographic area.
(d) Whether the individuals concerned acted with prudence in the circumstances considering their responsibilities to the non-Federal entity, its employees, where applicable its students or membership, the public at large, and the Federal Government.
(e) Whether the non-Federal entity significantly deviates from its established practices and policies regarding the incurrence of costs, which may unjustifiably increase the Federal award's cost.
A cost is allocable to a particular Federal award or other cost objective if the goods or services involved are chargeable or assignable to that Federal award or cost objective in accordance with relative benefits received. This standard is met if the cost:
(1) Is incurred specifically for the Federal award;
(2) Benefits both the Federal award and other work of the non-Federal entity and can be distributed in proportions that may be approximated using reasonable methods; and
(3) Is necessary to the overall operation of the non-Federal entity and is assignable in part to the Federal award in accordance with the principles in this subpart.
All activities which benefit from the non-Federal entity's indirect (F&A) cost, including unallowable activities and donated services by the non-Federal entity or third parties, will receive an appropriate allocation of indirect costs.
Any cost allocable to a particular Federal award under the principles provided for in this part may not be charged to other Federal awards to overcome fund deficiencies, to avoid restrictions imposed by Federal statutes, regulations, or terms and conditions of the Federal awards, or for other reasons. However, this prohibition would not preclude the non-Federal entity from shifting costs that are allowable under two or more Federal awards in accordance with existing Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the Federal awards.
Direct cost allocation principles: If a cost benefits two or more projects or activities in proportions that can be determined without undue effort or cost, the cost must be allocated to the projects based on the proportional benefit. If a cost benefits two or more projects or activities in proportions that cannot be determined because of the interrelationship of the work involved, then, notwithstanding paragraph (c) of this section, the costs may be allocated or transferred to benefitted projects on any reasonable documented basis. Where the purchase of equipment or other capital asset is specifically authorized under a Federal award, the costs are assignable to the Federal award regardless of the use that may be made of the equipment or other capital asset involved when no longer needed for the purpose for which it was originally required.
Below are examples of allowable and unallowable costs related to federal grants:
Advertising: Only for the recruitment of personnel required for the project
Alcoholic beverages: Unallowable
Alterations, non-construction: Must be budgeted or approved
Animals: Generally allowable
Bonus payments: Allowable if part of compensation
Books: Generally allowable
Business meals and meeting costs: Only when specifically permitted by the sponsoring agency
Communication costs: Generally allowable
Computer costs: Allowable if essential to the performance of the work and will be used solely for such project
Conferences: Only when specifically permitted by the sponsoring agency
Construction: Unallowable unless authorized by sponsoring agency
Consultant services: Generally allowable
Dues: Generally allowable
Entertainment: Unallowable unless specifically approved
Equipment, general purpose (desks, file cabinets, fax machines): Usually must be budgeted or approved in advance
Equipment, Scientific: Allowable when necessary and will be used primarily, or exclusively for the project(s) to which the costs will be charged
Equipment maintenance and repair: Generally allowable as noted above
Equipment rental: Generally allowable as noted above
Fines and penalties: Unallowable
Fringe benefits: Generally allowable
Fund raising costs: Unallowable
Goods or services for personal use: Unallowable
Human subjects: Generally allowable
Insurance: Only allowed to the extent required or approved
Legal costs: Generally allowable
Maintenance: Generally allowable
Materials: Generally allowable
Meals: Allowable for subjects and participants or employees on trips
Memberships: Business, technical and professional organizations only if specifically approved
News releases: Allowable with approval
Overtime: Allowable, with institutional approval
Patient costs: Generally allowable
Periodicals: Unallowable unless approved by the sponsoring agency or essential to the daily conduct of the project and not readily available from other sources (such as the library)
Postage, Routine postage: Unallowable except where a project requires specifically identifiable large mailings or the like
Postage, Special mailing or delivery costs: Allowable when necessary for the success or completion of project
Pre-award Costs: Generally unallowable, only allowable when specifically permitted by the sponsoring agency
Promotional items and memorabilia, including models, gifts and souvenirs: Unallowable unless specifically requested and approved in proposal
Proposal costs: Unallowable as a direct expense
Publication costs: Unallowable unless approved by the sponsoring agency or essential to the daily conduct of the project and not readily available from other sources (such as the library)
Registration fees: Generally allowable
Recruiting costs: Generally allowable
Relocation costs: Generally allowable
Rental/lease of facilities or Equipment: Generally allowable
Repairs: Generally allowable
Royalty costs: Generally allowable
Salaries and wages, Faculty/Technical: Costs of personnel are allowable on research agreements to the extent supported by actual effort performed on the project and approved in the award budget. An individual's base salary must be used to compute the cost charged to a sponsored agreement.
Salaries and wages, Administrative and Clerical: Generally recovered through indirect costs; therefore, they are usually unallowable as direct costs on federal agreements. Exceptions include: projects that involve extensive data accumulation, require making travel and meeting arrangements for large numbers of participants, projects where the principle focus is the preparation and production of manuals, books, etc, projects that are geographically inaccessible to normal department administrative services, such as field offices; projects requiring significant amounts of project-specific database management.
Scholarships and student aid: Allowable costs for training grants only
Service charges: Generally allowable
Subject costs: Generally allowable
Supplies, Project Supplies: Allowable if identified as being exclusively for the support of a sponsored agreement. Chemicals, laboratory supplies, pens, pencils, folders, notebooks and the like.
Supplies, Office Supplies: Unallowable if items commonly found in any office such as wall clocks, calendars, waste cans, letterhead, staples, etc. that would likely be used for other purposes except in specific circumstances.
Telephone, Local: Generally unallowable as direct cost
Telephone, Long Distance: Allowable when specifically identified with an individual project
Transportation costs: Generally allowable
Travel costs: Allowable within the approved budget limits and institution policy. Please note – when traveling detailed receipts for meals, airfare, and all other costs submitted, are required to be attached to travel expense form.
Treatment on unallowable costs and cost overruns:
The Associate Controller reviews individual transactions charged to grants on a monthly basis. During the monthly review of federal awards, the Associate Controller would identify unallowable costs and initiate the cost transfer process by contacting the PI and their administrative assistant to gather more information on the charge. The Associate Controller would then transfer the charge to an internal departmental account.
The Associate Controller reviews salary and benefits related accounts related to federal awards on a monthly basis for overruns and would transfer overages, if any, to an internal department account. Cost overruns in non-payroll related accounts would not occur due to the pre-incurrence budget controls in place.
Initiating Expenditure Requests
The Principal Investigator either processes the requisition or requests their administrative assistant to process the purchase requisition. Sufficient budget funds must be available for the requisition to be eligible for approval. Once approved, the requisition becomes a purchase order and is transmitted to the supplier.
The Accounts Payable department processes expenditures to suppliers. Payment vouchers undergo 3-way matching to become validated: purchase orders must be matched with an invoice from the supplier, and a receiving action from the PI or admin assistant. Payment of complete vouchers is initiated by the Accounts Payable Specialist.
The dollar limits for approvals for requisitions are determined by an employee's Job Level. A transaction moves through its approval chain until it reaches an employee whose Job Level has an approval limit at or above the dollar amount of the transaction. See below for a listing of Job Levels with their associated Jobs, followed by listings of the approval dollar amount thresholds:
Job Level 1 - Admin Assistant - Up to $500
Job Level 2 - Assistant Manager/Bookkeeper - Up to $1,000
Job Level 3 - Faculty - Up to $2,000
Job Level 4 - Associate Dean/Business Coordinator - Up to $5,000
Job Level 5 - Director - Up to $10,000
Job Level 6 - Executive Director/Dean - Up to $15,000
Job Level 7 - Vice Provost/Controller - Up to $20,000
Job Level 8 - Vice President/Provost - Up to $25,000
Refer to the "Approval in IC Finance Cloud" article for further information on the approval chain for the various types of transactions in IC Finance Cloud.
Pre-Incurrence Budget Controls and Budget monitoring:
Upon receiving the Notice of Award from the Federal agency, the Associate Controller creates a unique project number to track the activity on the award and uploads the budget into Cloud. Each non-salary transaction processed in Cloud must pass a funds check before it is completed and posted. Funds are checked by the system by comparing the transaction total against the total available funds in the expense category that is charged. The total available funding is calculated by subtracting all expenditures and commitments from the budget funds. These pre-incurrence budget controls prohibit incurring obligations in excess of total funds available on an award.
The Principal Investigator is also responsible for monitoring available funds on the award and staying within the approved award budget.
The Associate Controller reviews all individual transactions charged to federal awards on a monthly basis to ensure reasonableness, allocability and allowability. During the monthly review of federal awards, the Associate Controller would identify unallowable costs and initiate the cost transfer process by contacting the PI and their administrative assistant to gather more information on the charge. The Associate Controller would then transfer the charge to an internal departmental account. The Principal Investigator is also responsible for reviewing charges made against their federal awards on a periodic basis.
The Associate Controller reviews salary and benefits related accounts related to federal awards on a monthly basis for overruns and would transfer overages, if any, to an internal department account. Cost overruns in non-payroll related accounts would not occur due to the pre-incurrence budget controls in place.
Uniform Guidance (“UG”) is a set of regulations (located at 2 CFR 200) that consolidates federal guidelines impacting research administration. Per the OMB website, this guidance “supersedes and streamlines requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which have been placed in 2 C.F.R. Parts 220, 225, 215, and 230); Circulars A-89, A-102, and A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up.”
Link to the eCFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Uniform Guidance 200.320 Methods of procurement to be followed.
In order to keep policies for managing sponsored projects consistent, Ithaca College will implement the Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards for all sponsored projects as of July 1, 2018.
ITHACA COLLEGE PROCUREMENT STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL GRANTS
1. GENERAL PROCUREMENT STANDARDS (§200.318)
Procurement Policy. The College has a Purchasing policy and procedures. Recipients of Federal funds are directed to follow both the College’s Purchasing Policy and the Procurement Standards for Federal Grants. The combined policy and procedures conform to applicable Federal law and UG procurement standards.
- Conflict of Interest. The College’s Conflicts of Interest Policy is in compliance with UG Procurement Standards. College employees, officers, and agents are directed to review the policy and self-identify conflicts in writing before participating in the selection, award, or administration of a contract.
- Contractor Performance. College employees, officers, and agents must maintain oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of their contracts or purchase orders. Contract managers may utilize the Supplier/Contractor/Consultant Evaluation Form to track performance.
- Duplicate Items. College employees, officers, and agents should avoid acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. Consideration should be given to consolidating or breaking out procurements to obtain a more economical purchase. Where appropriate, an analysis will be made of lease versus purchase alternatives, and any other appropriate analysis to determine the most economical approach.
- Group Purchasing Organizations. To foster greater economy and efficiency, and in accordance with efforts to promote cost-effective use of shared services across the Federal Government, College employees, officers, and agents are encouraged to enter into state and local intergovernmental agreements or inter-entity agreements where appropriate for procurement or use of common or shared goods and services. Competition requirements will be met with documented procurement actions using strategic sourcing, shared services, and other similar procurement arrangements.
- Surplus. College employees, officers, and agents are encouraged to use Federal and State excess/surplus property services whenever such use is feasible and reduces project costs. The College also has an account with GovDeals, a non-governmental liquidity service.
- Value Engineering. The College is encouraged to use value engineering clauses in contracts for construction projects of sufficient size to offer reasonable opportunities for cost reductions. Value engineering is a systematic and creative analysis of each contract item or task to ensure that its essential function is provided at the overall lower cost.
- Contractors. College employees, officers, and agents must award contracts only to responsible contractors possessing the ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of a proposed procurement. Consideration will be given to such matters as contractor integrity, compliance with public policy, record of past performance, and financial and technical resources.
- Record Retention. The College must maintain records sufficient to detail the history of procurement. These records will include but are not necessarily limited to the following: rationale for the method of procurement, selection of contract type, contractor selection or rejection, and the basis for the contract price.
- Time and Materials. The College may use a time and materials type contract only after a determination that no other contract is suitable and if the contract includes a ceiling price that the contractor exceeds at its own risk. Time and materials type contract means a contract whose cost to the College is the sum of: The actual cost of materials; and direct labor hours charged at fixed hourly rates that reflect wages, general and administrative expenses, and profit. Since this formula generates an open-ended contract price, a time-and-materials contract provides no positive profit incentive to the contractor for cost control or labor efficiency. Therefore, each contract must set a ceiling price that the contractor exceeds at its own risk. Further, the College awarding such a contract must assert a high degree of oversight in order to obtain reasonable assurance that the contractor is using efficient methods and effective cost controls.
- Disputes. The College alone must be responsible, in accordance with good administrative practice and sound business judgment, for the settlement of all contractual and administrative issues arising out of procurements. These issues include, but are not limited to, source evaluation, protests, disputes, and claims. These standards do not relieve the College of any contractual responsibilities under its contracts. The Federal awarding agency will not substitute its judgment for that of the College unless the matter is primarily a Federal concern. Violations of law will be referred to the local, state, or Federal authority having proper jurisdiction.
2. COMPETITION (§200.319)
All procurement transactions for the acquisition of property or services required under a Federal award must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with the standards of this section. In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements. Some additional situations considered to be restrictive of competition include but are not limited to:
- Placing unreasonable requirements on firms in order for them to qualify to do business;
- Requiring unnecessary experience and excessive bonding;
- Noncompetitive pricing practices between firms or between affiliated companies;
- Noncompetitive contracts to consultants that are on retainer contracts;
- Organizational conflicts of interest;
- Specifying only a “brand name” product instead of allowing “an equal” product to be offered and describing the performance or other relevant requirements of the procurement; and
- Any arbitrary action in the procurement process.
The College must conduct procurements in a manner that prohibits geographical preferences in the evaluation of bids or proposals, except in those cases where applicable Federal statutes expressly mandate or encourage geographic preference. Nothing in this section preempts state licensing laws. When contracting for architectural and engineering (A/E) services, geographic location may be a selection criterion provided its application leaves an appropriate number of qualified firms, given the nature and size of the project, to compete for the contract.
The College requires that procurement solicitations:
- Include a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product, or service to be procured. Such description must not, in competitive procurements, contain features which unduly restrict competition. The description may include a statement of the qualitative nature of the material, product or service to be procured and, when necessary, must set forth those minimum essential characteristics and standards to which it must conform if it is to satisfy its intended use. Detailed product specifications should be avoided if at all possible. When it is impractical or uneconomical to make a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements, a “brand name or equivalent” description may be used as a means to define the performance or other salient requirements of procurement. The specific features of the named brand which must be met by offers must be clearly stated.
- Identify all requirements which the offerors must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids or proposals.
- Ensure that all prequalified lists of persons, firms, or products which are used in acquiring goods and services are current and include enough qualified sources to ensure maximum open and free competition. Also, the College must not preclude potential bidders from qualifying during the solicitation period. (§200.320)
- (f) Noncompetitive procurements can only be awarded in accordance with §200.320(c).
3. METHODS OF PROCUREMENT TO BE FOLLOWED (§200.320)
- Procurement by micro-purchases ($2,000 to $5,000). Procurement by micro-purchase is the acquisition of supplies or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold. To the extent practicable, the College must distribute micro-purchases equitably among qualified suppliers. Micro-purchases may be awarded without soliciting competitive quotations if the College considers the price to be reasonable.
- Procurement by small purchase ($5,000 to $10,000). Small purchase procedures are those relatively simple and informal procurement methods for securing services, supplies, or other property that do not cost more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. If small purchase procedures are used, written quotes should be obtained from various suppliers to show evidence of competitive pricing, clarify specifications, payment terms, delivery time, and shipping cost unless the item can be sole‐source justified briefly in writing to the procurement department.
- Procurement by sealed bids (>$10,000) Bids are publicly solicited and a firm fixed price contract (lump sum or unit price) is awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid, conforming with all the material terms and conditions of the invitation for bids, is the lowest in price. The sealed bid method is the preferred method for procuring construction, if the following conditions apply:
- A complete, adequate, and realistic specification or purchase description is available
- Two or more responsible bidders are willing and able to compete effectively for the business
- Provide sufficient response time prior to the date set for opening the bids
- Contract award will be made in writing to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder
- The procurement lends itself to a firm fixed price contract
- Factors such as discounts, transportation cost, and life cycle costs must be considered in determining which bid is lowest.
- If sealed bids are used, the following terms must also apply
- All bids will be opened at the time and place prescribed int he invitation for bids
- The invitation for bids must be publicly advertised
- Any or all bids may be rejected if there is a sound documented reason
- Procurement by competitive proposals (>$10,000), The technique of competitive proposals is normally conducted with more than one source submitting an offer, and either a fixed price or cost-reimbursement type contract is awarded. It is generally used when conditions are not appropriate for the use of sealed bids. If this method is used, the following requirements apply:
- Requests for proposals must be publicized and identify all evaluation factors and their relative importance. Any response to publicized requests for proposals must be considered to the maximum extent practical;
- Proposals must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified sources;
- The College must have a written method for conducting technical evaluations of the proposals received and for selecting recipients;
- Contracts must be awarded to the responsible firm whose proposal is most advantageous to the program, with price and other factors considered; and
- The College may use competitive proposal procedures for qualifications-based procurement of architectural/engineering (A/E) professional services whereby competitors' qualifications are evaluated and the most qualified competitor is selected, subject to negotiation of fair and reasonable compensation. The method, where price is not used as a selection factor, can only be used in procurement of A/E professional services. It cannot be used to purchase other types of services though A/E firms are a potential source to perform the proposed effort.
- Procurement by noncompetitive proposals. Procurement by noncompetitive proposals is procurement through solicitation of a proposal from only one source. This process may be used if a “Sole Source & Price Pre-Purchase Justification” form is completed and when one or more of the following circumstances apply:
- The item is only available from a single source
- A public emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from competitive solicitation
- Inadequate competition
- The Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity expressly authorizes a noncompetitive procurement in response to a written request from the non-Federal entity
- Conflict of interest, Suitability, procurement standards were properly addressed
4. INCLUSION OF SMALL AND DISADVANTAGED BUSINESSES (§200.321)
The College must take proactive steps to ensure Small and Disadvantaged businesses are used when possible. For more information, please check Small Business / Diversity Procedures.
5. DOMESTIC PREFERENCES FOR PROCUREMENT (§200.322)
As appropriate and to the extent consistent with law, the College should, to the greatest extent practicable under a Federal award, provide a preference for the purchase, acquisition, or use of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States (including but not limited to iron, aluminum, steel, cement, and other manufactured products). The requirements of this section must be included in all subawards including all contracts and purchase orders for work or products under this award.
6. PROCUREMENT OF RECOVERED MATERIALS (§200.323)
Since Ithaca College is a private institution, this provision is not a required provision for Federal procurement. However, recognizing that sustainability is of primary importance to the College community, the College may choose to utilize this provision when possible. The guideline 40 CFR 247.1 designates items that are or can be made with recovered materials and whose procurement by the College will carry out the objectives of section 6002 of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
7. CONTRACT COST AND PRICE (§200.324)
The College must perform a cost or price analysis in connection with every procurement action in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($10K) including contract modifications. The method and degree of analysis is dependent on the facts surrounding the particular procurement situation, but as a starting point, the College must make independent estimates before receiving bids or proposals.
- The College must negotiate profit as a separate element of the price for each contract in which there is no price competition and in all cases where cost analysis is performed. To establish a fair and reasonable profit, consideration must be given to the complexity of the work to be performed, the risk borne by the contractor, the contractor's investment, the amount of subcontracting, the quality of its record of past performance, and industry profit rates in the surrounding geographical area for similar work.
- Costs or prices based on estimated costs for contracts under the Federal award are allowable only to the extent that costs incurred or cost estimates included in negotiated prices would be allowable for the College under Subpart E—Cost Principles of this part. The College may reference its own cost principles that comply with the Federal cost principles.
- The cost plus a percentage of cost and percentage of construction cost methods of contracting must not be used.
8. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY/PASS THROUGH ENTITY (§200.325)
The College must make available, upon request of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity, technical specifications on proposed procurements where the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity believes such review is needed to ensure that the item or service specified is the one being proposed for acquisition. This review generally will take place prior to the time the specification is incorporated into a solicitation document. However, if the College desires to have the review accomplished after a solicitation has been developed, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity may still review the specifications, with such review usually limited to the technical aspects of the proposed purchase.
The College must make available upon request, for the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity pre-procurement review, procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, or independent cost estimates, when:
- The College's procurement procedures or operation fails to comply with the procurement standards in this part
- The procurement is expected to exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($250K) and is to be awarded without competition or only one bid or offer is received in response to a solicitation
- The procurement, which is expected to exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, specifies a “brand name” product
- The proposed contract is more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and is to be awarded to other than the apparent low bidder under a sealed bid procurement
- Proposed contract modification changes the scope of a contract or increases the contract amount by more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.
The College is exempt from the pre-procurement review when the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity determines that its procurement systems comply with the standards of this part.
- The College may request that its procurement system be reviewed by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity to determine whether its system meets these standards in order for its system to be certified. Generally, these reviews must occur where there is continuous high-dollar funding, and third party contracts are awarded on a regular basis
- The College may self-certify its procurement system. Such self-certification must not limit the Federal awarding agency's right to survey the system. Under a self-certification procedure, the Federal awarding agency may rely on written assurances from the College that it is complying with these standards. The College must cite specific policies, procedures, regulations, or standards as being in compliance with these requirements and have its system available for review
9. BONDING REQUIREMENTS (§200.326)
For construction or facility improvement contracts or subcontracts exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($10K), the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity may accept the bonding policy and requirements of the College provided that the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity has made a determination that the Federal interest is adequately protected. If such a determination has not been made, the minimum requirements must be as follows:
- A bid guarantee from each bidder equivalent to 5% of the bid price. The bid guarantee must consist of a firm commitment such as a bid bond, certified check, or other negotiable instrument accompanying a bid as assurance that the bidder will, upon acceptance of the bid, execute such contractual documents as may be required within the time specified.
- A performance bond on the part of the contractor for 100% of the contract price. A performance bond is one executed in connection with a contract to secure fulfillment of all the contractor's obligations under such contract.
- A payment bond on the part of the contractor for 100% of the contract price. A payment bond is one executed in connection with a contract to assure payment as required by law of all persons supplying labor and material in the execution of the work provided for in the contract.
10. CONTRACTING PROVISIONS (§200.327)
College contracts utilizing Federal funding must also contain the applicable provisions described in Appendix II to Part 200: Contract Provisions.
Should a cost transfer be necessary, the Associate Controller shall process the JE to transfer the cost to/from the grant.
Cost transfers must be requested, in writing, by the faculty member or faculty administrator (Journal Entry Request form or email requests are acceptable). All cost transfer requests must be made within 150 days of the date the expense was originally booked in the general ledger. Cost transfers related to NIH funded grants must be made within 90 days of when the error was discovered. Prior to the transfer, the following documentation is required:
- Description of expense/purchase
- Original date of expense/purchase
- Vendor if applicable
- Receipt, travel reimbursement detail
- Reason for transfer
- Reclassification account
Once the documentation is received, the Associate Controller shall approve and process the cost transfer via a Journal Entry.
Cost transfers to and from an approved grant that affect an internal operating account shall be processed by the Colleges’ fiscal year end, grant award ending date if the grant award ending date precedes the fiscal year end, or 180 days from the date the expense was originally booked, whichever occurs first.
The purpose of this document is to ensure that the Ithaca College community is compliant with federal requirements on sexual harassment and other forms of harassment related to work performed on federally funded projects, and how Ithaca College expects to implement the notification requirements of federal agencies.
Ithaca College is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment free from all forms of harassment and sexual misconduct. On February 8, 2018, NSF released Important Notice No. 144. The notice communicates that the research community has obligations to fully investigate complaints of sexual or other harassment and compliance with federal nondiscrimination law. Effective October 21, 2018, NSF implemented a new term and condition, Article X: Notification Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault.
This policy applies to federally funded investigators.
The policy and procedures address the expectations of Ithaca College in the implementation of the NSF agency notifications requirements. The requirements include the following:
All grant personnel (PI, Co-PI roles trigger reporting requirement);
All locations where grant and related work is undertaken (including conferences, workshops, field sites, on- and off-campus research facilities, online);
The new term and condition will be applied to new federal awards and funding amendments to existing awards made on or after October 21, 2018.
Administrative leave or action: Any temporary/interim suspension or permanent removal of the PI or co-PI, or any administrative action imposed on the PI or co-PI by the awardee under organizational policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders, relating to activities, including but not limited to the following: teaching, advising, mentoring, research, management/administrative duties, or presence on campus.
Finding/determination: The final disposition of a matter involving sexual harassment or other form of harassment under organizational policies and processes, to include the exhaustion of permissible appeals exercised by the PI or co-PI, or a conviction of a sexual offense in a criminal court of law.
4. Policy Guidelines
4.1 Institutional Requirements
4.1.1 Maintain Harassment-Free Research Workplaces.
188.8.131.52 Establish and maintain clear standards of behavior.
184.108.40.206 Establish notification mechanisms for all personnel, including students, regardless of workplace location.
220.127.116.11 Provide evident and accessible means for reporting violations, including reporting when personnel are engaged in conferences, workshops, field work, or other research facilities.
18.104.22.168 Ensure institutional due diligence with timely investigations of allegations and corrective actions.
4.2 Investigator Responsibilities
4.2.1 Conduct yourself in a manner free of harassment, this includes performance of Ithaca College related or sponsored research activities on and off institutional premises.
4.2.2 Adhere to sponsored research conferences code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment and other forms of harassment.
4.2.3 Report violations that do not adhere to sponsored conferences code-of-conduct.
4.2.4 In compliance with NSF requirements, Investigators considering hosting or organizing an NSF-funded conference should contact the Office of Sponsored Research for information and support in the development of policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual and other forms of harassment to be disseminated to conference participants.
4.3 Reporting to Federal Agencies
Ithaca College must report to the respective federal agency if:
4.3.1 It places a PI/Co-PI on administrative leave related to an investigation of an alleged violation or a finding/determination demonstrating a violation of awardee policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.
4.3.2 It imposes any administrative action on a PI/Co-PI related to an investigation of an alleged violation or a finding/determination demonstrating a violation of awardee policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.
4.3.3 It issues a finding/determination regarding a PI/Co-PI demonstrating a violation of awardee policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.
4.3.4 Ithaca College must report as a direct recipient or as a sub-recipient of a federal award that includes the term.
4.3.5 Ithaca College must submit the report to the respective federal agency within ten (10) business days from the placement on administrative leave, imposition of administrative action, or the date of the finding/determination. The report submissions will be initiated by the Office of Sponsored Research based on information provided by the Office of Human Resources or the Title IX Office.
4.4 Potential Federal Agency Actions
After receiving and reviewing the information, the federal agency will consult with the institution and may:
4.4.1 Initiate the substitution of the PI/Co-PI.
4.4.2 Reduce the award funding amount.
4.4.3 Suspend or terminate the award.
4.5.1 Safety and security of personnel supported by the federal award.
4.5.2 Overall impact to federally funded activity.
4.5.3 Continued advancement of taxpayer-funded investments in science and scientists.
4.5.4 Whether the awardee has taken appropriate action(s) to ensure continuity of science and that continued progress can be made under funded project.
Ithaca College has processes to adhere to the federal notification requirements to comply with the grant term and conditions regarding sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault. To comply with these requirements, the processes will include the following steps:
5.1 The Office of Human Resources or Title IX Office receives a report of an allegation of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault, as defined in the NSF requirements.
5.2 An investigation of the allegation is conducted in accordance with the applicable Ithaca College investigatory or disciplinary procedures. Depending on the nature of the allegation, investigations involving sexual harassment will be led by the Title IX Office, while other forms of harassment will be led by the Office of Human Resources.
5.3 Depending on the circumstances, prior to, during, or after an investigation, an individual (respondent) may be put on administrative leave or have an administrative action imposed.
5.4 If a finding/determination is made regarding a respondent, the Office of Human Resources or Title IX Office will screen the list of federally funded investigators provided by the Office of Sponsored Research to determine if the PI/Co-PI is on a federally funded award/subaward. Screening will occur at the time a finding/determination has been made.
5.4.1 The appropriate administrative office will send an email informing the Office of Sponsored Research of the administration action/finding.
5.5 If an administrative leave or action is imposed, the Office of Human Resources or Title IX Office (dependent on the nature of the allegation) will screen the list of federally funded investigators provided by Office of Sponsored Research to determine if the respondent is a PI /Co-PI on a federally funded award/sub-award. Screening will occur at the time administrative leave or action has been imposed.
5.5.1 A listing of federally funded investigator/co-investigator will be provided at the direct request of the appropriate administrative office via email.
5.6 The Authorized Organization Representative is responsible for submitting the notification to the appropriate federal agency, which is due within 10 business days of the date of the administrative leave/action or finding/determination, in accordance with NSF requirements.
5.7 When Ithaca College is a sub-awardee or non-lead institution under a federal award, notifications will be made directly to the appropriate federal agency, per current NSF guidance. However, Ithaca College may also communicate with the prime awardee as necessary or appropriate under the circumstances.
5.8 The Office of Sponsored Research will work with the appropriate federal agency and other appropriate offices as needed, with the primary goals of ensuring the safety and security of other award personnel and the continued progress of the funded project. Actions that may be necessary may include, but are not limited to:
5.8.1 Replacement of the PI or Co-PI.
5.8.2 Review of expenditures on the award.
5.8.3 When necessary, transfer of unallowable charges off the award.
Ithaca College will take the appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of sexual or other form of harassment has been substantiated.
7. Harassment and Discrimination Protections: NSF Sponsored Conferences
Ithaca College has zero tolerance for hostile and harassing conduct while attending Ithaca College related or sponsored activities off institutional premises. Persons founds to be in violation of the Ithaca College harassment policies will be subject to disciplinary action. If any employee believes that he/she is or has been the subject of any form of harassment, contact the Office of Human Resources immediately.
Effective January 28, 2019, NSF’s Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) requires conference proposers to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct. This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to attendance at the conference as well as made available at the conference itself.
Those considering hosting or organizing an NSF-funded conference should contact the Office of Sponsored Research for additional information and support in the development of the required policy or code-of-conduct.
8. Related Documents
Links to Ithaca College information that support this policy: