United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 25, 2023
Specific costs not allowable
The following costs are not allowable under a covered contract:
Costs of entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities, and any costs directly associated with those costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities).
Costs incurred to influence (directly or indirectly) legislative action on any matter pending before Congress, a State legislature, or a legislative body of a political subdivision of a State.
Costs incurred in defense of any civil or criminal fraud proceeding or similar proceeding (including filing of any false certification) brought by the Federal Government where the contractor is found liable or had pleaded nolo contendere to a charge of fraud or similar proceeding (including filing of a false certification).
Payments of fines and penalties resulting from violations of, or failure to comply with, Federal, State, local, or foreign laws and regulations, except when incurred as a result of compliance with specific terms and conditions of the contract or specific written instructions from the contracting officer authorizing in advance those payments in accordance with applicable provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Costs of membership in any social, dining, or country club or organization.
Costs of alcoholic beverages.
Contributions or donations, regardless of the recipient.
Costs of advertising designed to promote the contractor or its products.
Costs of promotional items and memorabilia, including models, gifts, and souvenirs.
Costs for travel by commercial aircraft that exceed the amount of the standard commercial fare.
Costs incurred in making any payment (commonly known as a “golden parachute payment”) that is—
in an amount in excess of the normal severance pay paid by the contractor to an employee on termination of employment; and
paid to the employee contingent on, and following, a change in management control over, or ownership of, the contractor or a substantial portion of the contractor’s assets.
Costs of commercial insurance that protects against the costs of the contractor for correction of the contractor’s own defects in materials or workmanship.
Costs of severance pay paid by the contractor to foreign nationals employed by the contractor under a service contract performed outside the United States, to the extent that the amount of severance pay paid in any case exceeds the amount paid in the industry involved under the customary or prevailing practice for firms in that industry providing similar services in the United States, as determined under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Costs of severance pay paid by the contractor to a foreign national employed by the contractor under a service contract performed in a foreign country if the termination of the employment of the foreign national is the result of the closing of, or the curtailment of activities at, a Federal Government facility in that country at the request of the government of that country.
Costs incurred by a contractor or subcontractor, or personal service 1
contractor in connection with any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding commenced by the Federal Government or a State, to the extent provided in section 4310 of this title.
1So in original. Probably should be “services”.
Costs of compensation of any contractor employee for a fiscal year, regardless of the contract funding source, to the extent that such compensation exceeds $625,000 adjusted annually for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index for total compensation for private industry workers, by occupational and industry group not seasonally adjusted, except that the executive agency may establish exceptions for positions in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical, and cybersecurity fields and other fields requiring unique areas of expertise upon a determination that such exceptions are needed to ensure that the executive agency has continued access to needed skills and capabilities.
2So in original. Two pars. (16) have been enacted.
2 Costs of compensation of contractor and subcontractor employees for a fiscal year, regardless of the contract funding source, to the extent that such compensation exceeds $487,000 per year, adjusted annually to reflect the change in the Employment Cost Index for all workers, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, except that the head of an executive agency may establish one or more narrowly targeted exceptions for scientists, engineers, or other specialists upon a determination that such exceptions are needed to ensure that the executive agency has continued access to needed skills and capabilities.
Pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Regulation and subject to the availability of appropriations, an executive agency, in awarding a covered contract, may waive the application of paragraphs (13) and (14) of subsection (a) to that contract if the executive agency determines that—
the application of those provisions to that contract would adversely affect the continuation of a program, project, or activity that provides significant support services for employees of the executive agency posted outside the United States;
the contractor has taken (or has established plans to take) appropriate actions within the contractor’s control to minimize the amount and number of incidents of the payment of severance pay by the contractor to employees under the contract who are foreign nationals; and
the payment of severance pay is necessary to comply with a law that is generally applicable to a significant number of businesses in the country in which the foreign national receiving the payment performed services under the contract or is necessary to comply with a collective bargaining agreement.
An executive agency shall include in the solicitation for a covered contract a statement indicating—
that a waiver has been granted under paragraph (1) for the contract; or
whether the executive agency will consider granting a waiver and, if the executive agency will consider granting a waiver, the criteria to be used in granting the waiver.
An executive agency shall make the final determination whether to grant a waiver under paragraph (1) with respect to a covered contract before award of the contract.
The provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation implementing this chapter may establish appropriate definitions, exclusions, limitations, and qualifications. A submission by a contractor of costs that are incurred by the contractor and that are claimed to be allowable under Department of Energy management and operating contracts shall be considered a proposal for settlement of indirect costs incurred by the contractor for any period after those costs have been accrued.
(Pub. L. 111–350, § 3,
Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3785; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title VIII, § 811(b), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 806; Pub. L. 113–67, div. A, title VII, § 702(a)(1), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 1189; Pub. L. 114–261, § 1(b)(2)(B), Dec. 14, 2016, 130 Stat. 1363.)
cite as: 41 USC 4304