Federally Sponsored Research:

Indirect Costs Charged By Stanford University

T-RCED-91-18: Published: Mar 13, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1991.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed how universities conducting federally sponsored research charged indirect costs and if those costs were in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines, focusing on Stanford University's accounting system. GAO noted that: (1) Stanford's deficient cost allocation and charging practices, and inadequate federal oversight, led to significant overcharges to the government; (2) Stanford's indirect cost rates rose from 58 percent in fiscal year (FY) 1980 to 74 percent in FY 1990; (3) Stanford made $3.6 million in unallowable or inappropriate charges, with almost $1 million erroneously charged to the government; and (4) several key memorandums of understanding between Stanford and the federal government included questionable assumptions, did not provide adequate justification for allocation methods, and resulted in higher allocations of costs to organize research than the default method allowed. GAO believes that: (1) overcharges resulted because Stanford officials did not ensure the charging of proper costs to the government and either did not review, inadequately reviewed, or otherwise allowed unallowable costs; and (2) Stanford initiated actions recognizing shortcomings in its accounting system and announced a three-step approach that could bring the identified problems under control.

Feb 16, 2017

Jan 18, 2017

Jan 17, 2017

Jan 12, 2017

Dec 20, 2016

Dec 8, 2016

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2016 Update
    GAO-17-213SP: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2016.

Dec 1, 2016

Nov 17, 2016

Oct 5, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here