Architectural and Engineering

Indirect Cost Rate (ICR) Acceptance/Approval ID (HTML)

  • Find your Indirect Cost Rate (ICR) Acceptance/Approval ID here. 

Accounting and Audit Guidelines for Contracts with Caltrans (HTML)

  • Find Guidelines to Accounting and Audits with Caltrans

Indirect Cost Rate Proposal / Indirect Cost Allocation Plan


This serves as a reminder and clarification of the role of a cognizant agency with respect to the review of Indirect Cost Allocation Plan/Indirect Cost Rate Proposals (ICAP/ICRPs) and approval of indirect cost rates. A cognizant agency is defined as the Federal agency with the largest dollar value of direct Federal awards with a governmental unit or component, as appropriate.

Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 200 Appendix VII D. 1. b.

A governmental department or agency (local agency) is required to submit their ICAP/ICRP to their cognizant agency if the local agency receives more than $35 million in direct federal funding. If the local agency receives $35 million or less in direct federal funding, submission of their ICAP/ICRP is at the discretion of their cognizant agency. In other words, cognizant agencies may approve ICAP/ICRPs without receiving the proposals. In these instances, local agencies are still required to prepare and maintain their proposals.

If a local agency only receives federal funds that are passed-through Caltrans, then Caltrans is responsible for negotiating and monitoring the local agency’s indirect costs as the pass-through entity. As a result, Caltrans takes on the role of a cognizant agency, but it is not a cognizant agency. In these instances, Caltrans will be reviewing and approving the local agency’s ICAP/ICRP.

Title 2 CFR 200 Appendix VII E.

Indirect rates approved by the cognizant agency are to be accepted by all entities unless limited or prohibited by statute. If the only federal funds received by a local agency are passed-through Caltrans, then rates approved by Caltrans can be accepted by all entities. Other federal agencies may accept rates reviewed by Caltrans or they may choose to review themselves.

Title 2 CFR 200 Appendix V F. 1. And 2 CFR 200.513
Once identified, the cognizant agency will maintain the cognizant agency role for five years as follows: FY 2018/19; FY 2023/24; and every fifth year afterwards.
Caltrans Local Assistance Procedures Manual Chapter 5.3

Any local agency seeking reimbursement of indirect costs must receive approval for the local agency’s ICAP/ICRP for the applicable fiscal years prior to billing Caltrans any indirect costs.

If a local agency has an ICAP/ICRP approved by a federal cognizant agency, the local agency must provide Caltrans their ICAP/ICRP approval every fiscal year.

Examples of local agencies:

City, County, Town, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Regional Transportation Planning Agency, Tribe, Department, Unit.

In order to appropriately determine the cognizant agency, should there be one, local agencies are required to submit a report identifying all FY 2018/19 funding source(s) when submitting their ICAP/ICRP packages to

ICAP / ICRP Submission Processes and Documentation of Proposal (PDF)

ICAP /ICRP External Local Government Rates (HTML)

  • Find your ICAP / ICRP External Local Government Rate

ICAP/ICRP Checklist (PDF) 

  • ICAP/ICRP Checklist for Local Government Agencies

ICAP/ICRP Local External Government FIXED WITH CARRYFORWARD Submission Certification (PDF)

  • Download the ICAP / ICRP Local External Government FIXED With Carryforward Submission Certification

ICAP/ICRP Local External Government FINAL Submission Certification (PDF)

  • Download the ICAP / ICRP Local External Government FINAL Without Carryforward Submission Certification

ICAP-ICRP Local External Government PREDETERMINED Submission Certification (PDF)

  • Download the ICAP / ICRP Local External Government PREDETERMINED Submission Certification

De Minimis Certification (PDF)

  • Download the De Minimis Certification