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    Site Support Expenses

    Publication date:


    Effective date:



    Policy Summary

    This policy provides guidance for the accumulation and allocation of Site Support expenses to final cost objectives at Berkeley Lab.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    All Berkeley Lab employees with financial responsibilities.

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    Indirect Budget Manager, Office of the Chief Financial Officer


    Site Support Expenses

    Publication date:


    Effective date:



    A. Purpose

    This policy provides guidance for the accumulation and allocation of Site Support expenses to final cost objectives, in accordance with Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) and the terms of Contract 31.

    B. Persons Affected

    All Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) employees with financial responsibilities.

    C. Exceptions


    D. Policy Statement

    1. General. Site Support expenses represent costs of site-wide support functions and activities of Berkeley Lab as a whole. Site Support expenses will be:
      1. Appropriately budgeted and accounted for on a consistent basis.
      2. Accumulated in a separate Site Support cost pool.
      3. Allocated in a practical and equitable manner in reasonable proportion to the beneficial or causal relationship of the costs to final cost objective.
    1. Cost Pool
      1. The Budget Office will identify activities and functions cost elements that represent the cost of site-wide support functions and activities of Berkeley Lab as a whole and group those cost elements in a separate Site Support cost pool. Examples of the functions in Site Support include Environmental, Health & Safety, Facilities, Security & Emergency Services, and departments of the Projects and Infrastructure Modernization Division. The Site Support pool      collects site support costs on projects that benefit from site support activities as described above.
      2. Cost elements may include labor and other operating expenses associated with the above functions.
      3. The Site Support pool shall not include research and development (R&D) activities.
      4. The cost pool shall not include expenses which are unallowable per the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) or the terms of Contract 31.
    2. Distribution Base
      1. The Site Support expense pool for a cost-accounting period is allocated to final cost objectives of that cost-accounting period by means of a value-added cost input base.
      2. The following project types are excluded from the distribution base for Site Support expenses:
        1. Construction
        2. Conferences
        3. Fabrications and MIE projects
        4. Fellowship and career-development Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP) award projects and work-study students
        5. Contract Supported Research (CSR), Gift, and Royalty
        6. Multiple location assignments (MLAs), inter-jurisdictional employee exchanges (IJEs), intergovernmental personnel appointments (IPAs), and Department of Energy (DOE) detailee projects
      3. All exclusions are detailed in the Lab’s annual Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Disclosure Statement.
      4. The Site Support pool is not applied to certain offsite employees and facilities. See Section 5 below.
    3. Rate Execution and Monitoring
      1. Site Support expenses are allocated using pre-established rates. Rates are based on forecasted costs for the applicable fiscal year.
      2. Preliminary Site Support rates are developed on a break-even basis, with the objective of establishing a rate to recover the exact total of costs in the cost pool at fiscal year-end. The pre-established rates are monitored throughout the fiscal year. If a material variance is anticipated, the pre-established rate will be revised to ensure the variance is reallocated to the original cost objectives in the proportion it was originally recovered. Revised rates are retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year.
      3. Establishment of Site Support rates, forecasts, and revisions of predetermined rates for the applicable cost accounting period(s) are prepared by appropriate Budget Office Staff.
    4. Site Support Exclusion for Offsite Employees
      1. This section prescribes guidelines to ensure that allocations of indirect expenses to offsite employees and to offsite facilities are appropriately budgeted and accounted for on a consistent basis and in compliance with disclosed financial practices.
      2. Employees meeting the below criteria for an offsite employee will be excluded from the Site Support base. All other indirect costs and burdens will apply, as appropriate. 
        1. The employee has a scientific mission-need for their work to be performed at an offsite location.     
        2. The employee will perform their work at an offsite location for a period of at least six months of uninterrupted effort.
        3. The employee does not materially use or benefit from site support services such as those described in the section above. Work is supported by services at the off-site location.
        4. The employee who does not maintain a workspace (office/cubicle/lab) onsite at Berkeley Lab.
        5. In addition, the employee performs all of the scientific mission-need work at a location that is outside the local travel areas as defined in the Lab’s Travel Policy.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Managers, supervisors, and employees have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy.



    Requester for Offsite Employee Site Support Exemption

    • Completes a Site Support Exemption for Offsite Employee Approval Form.
    • Submits the Offsite Employee Approval Request Form to the Budget Office, in order to obtain Budget Office approval before the employee begins an offsite appointment. Offsite employee status will not be in effect until the Budget Office approves the request.

    Division Director (or Designee)

    • Reviews and signs the Offsite Employee Approval Request Form, to ensure the exemption meets the Site Support exemption criteria, and is in line with the Division, Area and Lab’s mission.

    Indirect Budget Group   

    • Leads the formulation and coordination of the Site Support expense pool and allocation base.
    • Executes the Site Support expense-rate forecasts, establishes the predetermined rate for the applicable cost accounting period(s).
    • Prepares and analyzes monthly indirect cost pool collection projections.
    • Coordinates and executes approved revisions to the pre-established budget and rate.
    • Submits the forward pricing rates to the appropriate DOE office for approval.
    • Identifies cost accounting practice changes, makes appropriate Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB) Disclosure Statement revisions, and submits changes to the appropriate DOE office for approval.
    • As necessary, reviews and approves/declines the Offsite Employee Approval Request Form.
    • Informs the requester if the Site Support exemption is approved or declined, by email.
    • Manually changes the location of the offsite employee in the Financial Management System (FMS), and adds an end date as appropriate.
    • Annually reviews offsite employee Site Support exemptions.
    Chief Financial Officer
    • Recommends Site Support cost pool and rate changes when warranted to support achievement of institutional priorities and objectives.
    • Communicates the approved Site Support budget and rate.

    Lab Director

    • Approves Site Support rates to support achievement of institutional priorities and objectives.

    Deputy Director for Operations

    • With guidance from the Director or designee and input from the CFO, approves the Site Support budget in alignment with institutional priorities and objectives.

    Division Leadership

    • Executes to its budgeted costs, monitoring costs to budget.

    F. Definitions/Acronyms




    To assign an item of cost, or a group of items of cost, to one or more cost objectives. This term includes both direct assignment of cost and the reassignment of a share from an indirect cost pool.
    Capital Equipment  Movable personal property with an anticipated service life of two years or more and a cost of $500,000 or more, which substantially retains its original characteristics. Capital equipment does not include application software, maintenance, repair, warranties, real property improvements, or related personal property.
    Contract 31

    The contract between the University of California, as the contractor responsible for the management and operation of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Federal Government (DE-AC02-05CH11231)

    Cost Input The cost, except G&A expenses, that for program costing purposes is allocable to the production of goods and services during a cost-accounting period.
    Cost Objective A function, organizational subdivision, program, or other work unit for which cost data are desired and for which provision is made to accumulate and measure the cost of processes, products, jobs, projects, etc.
    Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) The primary regulation for use by all federal executive agencies in their acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds.
    Final Cost Objective A cost objective that has allocated or assigned to it both direct and indirect costs and is one of the final cost accumulation points. Examples of final cost objectives are DOE or other sponsor-funded projects contracts and grants.
    Indirect Cost Any cost identified with two or more joint final cost objectives that cannot be identified specifically with a particular activity or project.
    Indirect Cost Pool A grouping of incurred costs identified with two or more cost objectives, but not identified specifically with any final cost objective.
    Site Support Any management, financial, and other expense incurred by or allocated to the Laboratory that is for site-wide functions and activities of the Laboratory as a whole. Site Support expense does not include management expenses whose beneficial or causal relationship to cost objectives can be more directly measured by a base other than the established value-added cost input base.
    Sponsored Research The performance of work for non-DOE entities by DOE/contractor personnel and/or the utilization of DOE facilities that are not directly funded by DOE appropriations.
    Total Cost Input (TCI) The cost, except Site Support expenses, that for costing purposes represents the total activity of the Laboratory during a cost-accounting period.
    Value-Added Cost Input TCI less material and subcontract costs.

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements


    H. Implementing Documents

    Document number Title Type
    N/A Site Support Exemption For Offsite Employee Approval Form Form Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB) Disclosure Statement, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Official Guidance 

    I. Contact Information

    Indirect Budget Manager, Office of the Chief Financial Officer 

    J. Revision History



    By whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) affected

    Change Type



    J. Coyne

    New policy





    Site Support Expenses

    Document number

    Revision number


    Publication date:


    Effective date:


    Next review date:


    Policy Area:


    RPM Section (home)

    Financial Management

    RPM Section (cross-reference)


    Functional Division


    Prior reference information (optional)

    RPM Section 11.28

    Source Requirements Documents

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