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Contract Cost Principles

Legal text for SACC item

1031-2 01 (2008-05-12) General Principle

The total cost of the Contract must be the sum of the applicable direct and indirect costs which are, or must be reasonably and properly incurred and/or allocated, in the performance of the Contract, less any applicable credits. These costs must be determined in accordance with the Contractor's cost accounting practices as accepted by Canada and applied consistently over time.

1031-2 02 (2008-05-12) Definition of a Reasonable Cost

  1. A cost is reasonable if the nature and amount do not exceed what would be incurred by an ordinary prudent person in the conduct of a competitive business.
  2. In determining the reasonableness of a particular cost, consideration will be given to:
    1. whether the cost is of a type generally recognized as normal and necessary for the conduct of a contractor's business or performance of the Contract;
    2. the restraints and requirements by such factors as generally accepted sound business practices, arm's length bargaining, federal, provincial and local laws and regulations, and contract conditions;
    3. the action that prudent business persons would take in the circumstances, considering their responsibilities to the owners of the business, their employees, customers, the Government and public at large;
    4. significant deviations from the established practices of the Contractor which may unjustifiably increase the contract costs; and
    5. the specifications, delivery schedule and quality requirements of the particular contract as they affect costs.

1031-2 03 (2008-05-12) Direct Costs

There are three categories of direct costs:

  1. "Direct Material Costs" meaning the cost of materials which can be specifically identified and measured as having been used or to be used in the performance of the Contract and which are so identified and measured consistently by the Contractor's cost accounting practices as accepted by Canada.
    1. These materials may include, in addition to materials purchased solely for the performance of the Contract and processed by the Contractor, or obtained from subcontractors, any other materials issued from the Contractor's general stocks.
    2. Materials purchased solely for the performance of the Contract or subcontracts must be charged to the Contract at the net laid-down cost to the Contractor before cash discounts for prompt payment.
    3. Materials issued from the Contractor's general stocks must be charged to the Contract in accordance with the method as used consistently by the Contractor in pricing material inventories.
  2. "Direct Labour Costs" meaning the costs of the portion of gross wages or salaries incurred for the Work, which can be specifically identified and measured as having been incurred or to be incurred in the performance of the Contract and which are so identified and measured consistently by the Contractor's cost accounting practices as accepted by Canada.
  3. "Other Direct Costs" meaning those applicable costs, not falling within the categories of direct material or direct labour, but which can be specifically identified and measured as having been incurred or to be incurred in the performance of the Contract and which are so identified and measured consistently by the Contractor's cost practices as accepted by Canada.

1031-2 04 (2012-07-16) Indirect Costs

  1. "Indirect Costs (overhead)" meaning those costs which, though necessarily having been incurred during the performance of the Contract for the conduct of the Contractor's business in general, cannot be identified and measured as directly applicable to the performance of the Contract.
  2. These Indirect Costs may include, but are not necessarily restricted to, such items as:
    1. indirect materials and supplies (*);
    2. indirect labour;
    3. fringe benefits (the Contractor's contribution only);
    4. public services expenses: expenses of a general nature such as power, heat, light, operation and maintenance of general assets and facilities;
    5. fixed/period charges: recurring charges such as property taxes, rentals and reasonable depreciation costs;
    6. general and administrative expenses: including remuneration of executive and corporate officers, office wages and salaries and expenses such as stationery, office supplies, postage and other necessary administration and management expenses;
    7. selling and marketing expenses associated with the goods, services or both being acquired under the Contract;
    8. general research or development expenses as considered applicable by Canada.

(*) For supplies of similar low-value, high-usage items the costs of which meet the above definition of Direct Material Costs but for which it is economically expensive to account for these costs in the manner prescribed for direct costs, then they may be considered to be indirect costs for the purposes of the Contract.

1031-2 05 (2008-05-12) Allocation of Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs must be accumulated in appropriate indirect cost pools, reflecting a contractor's organizational or operational lines and these pools subsequently allocated to contracts in accordance with the following two principles:

  1. the costs included in a particular indirect cost pool should have a similarity of relationship with each contract to which that indirect cost pool is subsequently distributed; further, the costs included in an indirect cost pool should be similar enough in their relationship to each other that the allocation of the total costs in the pool provides a result which would be similar to that achieved if each cost within that pool were separately distributed;
  2. the allocation basis for each indirect cost pool should reflect, as far as possible, the causal relationship of the pooled costs to the contracts to which these costs are distributed.

1031-2 6 (2008-05-12) Credits

The applicable portion of any income, rebate, allowance, or any other credit relating to any applicable direct or indirect cost, received by or accruing to the Contractor, must be credited to the Contract.

1031-2 07 (2012-07-16) Non-applicable Costs

Despite that the following costs may have been or may be reasonably and properly incurred by the Contractor in the performance of the Contract, they are considered non-applicable costs to the Contract:

  1. allowance for interest on invested capital, bonds, debentures, bank or other loans together with related bond discounts and finance charges;
  2. legal, accounting and consulting fees in connection with financial reorganization, security issues, capital stock issues, obtaining of patents and licenses and prosecution of claims against Canada;
  3. losses on investments, bad debts and collection charges;
  4. losses on other contracts;
  5. federal and provincial income taxes, excess profit taxes or surtaxes and/or special expenses in connection with those taxes;
  6. provisions for contingencies;
  7. premiums for life insurance on the lives of officers and/or directors where proceeds accrue to the Contractor;
  8. amortization of unrealized appreciation of assets;
  9. depreciation of assets paid for by Canada;
  10. fines and penalties;
  11. expenses and depreciation of excess facilities;
  12. unreasonable compensation for officers and employees;
  13. specific product development or improvement expenses not associated with the product being acquired under the Contract;
  14. advertising, except reasonable advertising of an industrial or institutional character placed in trade, technical or professional journals for the dissemination of information for the industry or institution;
  15. entertainment expenses;
  16. donations except those to charities registered under the Income Tax Act;
  17. dues and other memberships other than regular trade and professional associations;
  18. fees, extraordinary or abnormal for professional advice in regard to technical, administrative or accounting matters, unless approval from the Contracting Authority is obtained.
  19. compensation in the form of dividend payments or calculated based on dividend payments;
  20. compensation calculated, or valued, based on changes in the price of corporate securities, such as stock options, stock appreciation rights, phantom stock plans or junior stock conversions; or, any compensation in the form of a payment made to an employee in lieu of an employee receiving or exercising a right, option, or benefit.