RCF Annual Cost Analysis Process
RCFs are expected to operate according to the cost principles established in OMB CASB Circular A-21 and in a manner compliant with UO policies (“Managing a Service Center” and “Guidelines on Service Centers” http://brp.uoregon.edu/node/39) that collectively allocate the allowable costs of facility operation to projects in proportion to its use. By definition, research core facilities are required to achieve a service center compliance balance at the end of every fiscal year, with rate setting review that will cost recover with total resources allocated for activity processed and not operate in deficit. In 2014, a scheduled three year program was developed to create sustainable allocations for essential research core facilities with collaboration and input from faculty advisory committee, core directors and core business staff.
The RCF cost analysis process below is expected to be conducted annually, according to the timetable described on pages 20-21. The process is designed to consistently review the rates in proportion to facility expenses. This rate setting process may be initiated by the Director/Manager or VPRI and conducted at other times during the year as circumstances warrant, in order to enable the RCF to meet its fiscal obligations set forth in university, state, and federal policies and regulations.
In collaboration with VPRI, the Research Core Business Services staff pulls costs from Banner for previous fiscal year and loads it into the standard VPRI budget format. The material is updated based upon known and/or approved changes and includes estimates of revenue in the next year. Costs are organized in categories according to BAO guidelines, which determine allowableness and preliminarily allocates to the various RCF activities, services or products.
The AVPR, VPRI Divisional Budget Director, Research Core Business Services Business Manager, Facility Director/Manager and Faculty Advisory Committee Chair will have an opportunity to review the material to ensure expenses and charging schemas are appropriate, are allocable and allowable, and applied consistently with university, state, and federal policies and regulations. On-campus Facilities & Administrative costs are included in all rates charged to external users and are recovered centrally according to standard UO Sponsored Projects Services procedures. The rate estimates for the next year are constructed and reviewed against the estimated budget and its component. This process is performed iteratively until rates, revenues and expenses are in compliance or clear alternative scenarios are developed to achieve the compliance target for subsequent discussion with the FAC.
The AVPR, Director/Manager and Chair discuss the documents with the FAC and gather input on the rates, including increasing charges, decreasing expenses, or expanding or reducing services. Research Core Business Services staff will attend and take minutes of these discussions.
The Director/Manager works with the VPRI Divisional Budget Director, RCBS staff to finalize the recommendation regarding RCF product and service annual rates.
The RCF Director/Manager, with assistance from RCBS, develops and updates the annual RCF review and rate setting documents:
- VPRI Cost Analysis cover sheet and FY estimated Expense Review
- Rate sheet for existing and any changing rates
- Memorandum for communication to the research community
- Organizational Chart (Attach Job Descriptions)
After VPRI approval is secured, the VPRI Cost Analysis package is submitted to Budget and Resource Planning (BRP) for review. BRP reviews and makes recommendation to the Vice President for Finance & Administration (VPFA).
After VPFA approval is secured, the approved rate can be implemented on July 1st of the following fiscal year, with any personnel or service changes necessary to implement the approved rates being conducted in accordance with university policy prior to July as dictated. If the rate setting process is conducted in an off-cycle manner, the rates will be implemented with at least 90 days notice to research community.