(a) Purpose. This section sets forth the requirements for record retention and access to records for awards to recipients. SSA may not impose any other record retention or access requirements upon recipients.
(b) Retention periods. Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report or, for awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, from the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report, as authorized by SSA. The only exceptions are the following:
(1) If any litigation, claim, or audit is started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken.
(d) Records with long term retention value. SSA will request transfer of certain records to its custody from recipients when it determines that the records possess long term retention value. However, in order to avoid duplicate recordkeeping, SSA may make arrangements for recipients to retain any records that are continuously needed for joint use.
(e) Federal access to records. SSA, the Inspector General, Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, have the right of timely and unrestricted access to any books, documents, papers, or other records of recipients that are pertinent to the awards, in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, transcripts and copies of such documents. This right also includes timely and reasonable access to a recipient's personnel for the purpose of interview and discussion related to such documents. The rights of access in this paragraph are not limited to the required retention period, but will last as long as records are retained.
(f) Public access to records. Unless required by statute, SSA may not place restrictions on recipients that limit public access to the records of recipients that are pertinent to an award, except when SSA can demonstrate that such records will be kept confidential and would have been exempted from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) if the records had belonged to SSA.
(g) Retention of indirect cost rate proposals, cost allocations plans, etc. Paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this section apply to the following types of documents, and their supporting records: indirect cost rate computations or proposals, cost allocation plans, and any similar accounting computations of the rate at which a particular group of costs is chargeable (such as computer usage chargeback rates or composite fringe benefit rates).
(1) If submitted for negotiation. If the recipient submits to SSA or the subrecipient submits to the recipient the proposal, plan, or other computation to form the basis for negotiation of the rate, then the 3-year retention period for its supporting records starts on the date of such submission.
(2) If not submitted for negotiation. If the recipient is not required to submit to SSA or the subrecipient is not required to submit to the recipient the proposal, plan, or other computation for negotiation purposes, then the 3-year retention period for the proposal, plan, or other computation and its supporting records starts at the end of the fiscal year (or other accounting period) covered by the proposal, plan, or other computation.