Submit your Submission Review to CIAO: Step-by-Step Process

Note: As of July 1, 2022, Caltrans Internal Audits Office is responsible for reviewing all Caltrans pass-through agencies requesting Indirect Cost Rates starting with fiscal year 2019/2020.  Caltrans Internal Audit Office will not be accepting Indirect Costs Rates prior to 2019/2020.

Step 1: Application and Certification

Complete the Application:

Next, Select one of the following certification processes and complete:

If the link is not working, please e-mail for a copy of the form.

Step 2) Complete forms, Save, and Rename the files:

Rename the file from "submission-review-calc-fixed-rate-a11y.pdf" to: "[Fiscal Year] - [Local Government Agency] - [Department] - [Type of Rate Requested].pdf". This will avoid reviewing an incorrect file. To submit, e-mail your application form and certification form to:

Step 3) CIAO's Response and Supporting Documentation:

Once e-mailed, wait for a response from CIAO within 3-5 business days. This response will provide information on how to upload the supporting documents needed from you. which can be uploaded safely via FILR.

Step 4) Check Status via Tableau:

Click on the Tableau Status Link to check progress.  (Data is updated daily)

Step 5) Review your Rate via Tableau:

Once complete, click on the Issued Rates.  (Data is updated daily)

Required documents for Final rate and Fixed rate with carryover:

  • Methodology - Please explain how the costs are tabulated.
  • Organization Charts
  • Financial Statement (detailed Balance Sheet containing transactions to justify each cost category)
  • Unallowed cost must be identified in the transaction level.
  • Carryover, include the issued rate from the agency (IOAI, others) for the carryover year.
  • Please keep a copy of the unsigned fixed and final rate form.  CIAO may ask for a copy if any revisions are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many calculation sheets do I have to submit?               

One Calculation sheet equates to one Department. So, for example, if your agency has five departments, you must download five calculation sheets.

What is the overall process for submitting a submission review?

Complete the Intake Form.

First, complete the CIAO intake form, which is required prior to submitting an indirect cost rate plan.

Next, email intake to

Complete the Application and Calculation forms

Then, CIAO will determine if Caltrans is the cognizant agency based on the stewardship agreement, and respond to you.

If approved, you will then complete the application and calculation forms.

Check Tableau Report

Finally, you may check updates on the Tableau Report, which will include the reviewed indirect cost rate.

What if the application do not have enough lines for our agency?  

Please email to and request an application with more cost category lines.


Can an agency request a De Minims rate for one department, and a fixed/final rate request for another department? 

Yes, as long as the agency receives less than $35 million in direct Federal Funding AND do not currently have a negotiated indirect cost rate.

An agency has a federal cognizant agency, however, the federal cognizant agency will not accept Caltrans' prior carryover rate. 

Federal agencies have the option to accept or not accept Caltrans' approved rate because Caltrans is a pass-through entity.  If the federal agency do not accept the rate, it is up to the federal agency to determine what rate, if any, they will accept.

What happened to the streamline process?

The streamline process was one of the approval process from IOAI.  We have standardized our process to ensure the application gets processed as soon as possible.

Can a consultant fill in the information for the agency's behalf?

Yes, however, the agency is responsible and certifying the information in the application is correct.

Will there be an official letter?

Yes, we will email once it is issued.  We can re-email upon request.

Common mistakes? 

We try to minimize errors by creating calculation applications.  We recommend the contents in the application is reconciled with the supporting documentation.  Failure to reconcile the supporting documentation and the application WILL result in a delay in your application.

Fringe Benefit Calculation

The fringe benefit calculation will identify a percentage without any fringe benefit cost.  Please ignore the fringe benefit rate if no fringe benefit cost is entered.


Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 200 Appendix VII D.1.b. A governmental department or agency (local agency) is required to submit their ICAP/ICRP to their cognizant agency if the local agency receives more than $35 million in direct federal funding. If the local agency receives $35 million or less in direct federal funding, submission of their ICAP/ICRP is at the discretion of their cognizant agency. In other words, cognizant agencies may approve ICAP/ICRPs without receiving the proposals. In these instances, local agencies are still required to prepare and maintain their proposals. If a local agency only receives federal funds that are passed-through Caltrans, then Caltrans is responsible for negotiating and monitoring the local agency’s indirect costs as the pass-through entity. As a result, Caltrans will be reviewing and approving the local agency’s ICAP/ICRP. 

Title 2 CFR 200 Appendix VII E. 1 Indirect rates approved by the cognizant agency are to be accepted by all entities unless limited or prohibited by statute. If the only federal funds received by a local agency are passed-through Caltrans, then rates approved by Caltrans can be accepted by all entities. Other federal agencies may accept rates reviewed by Caltrans or they may choose to review themselves. 

Title 2 CFR 200 Appendix V F. 1. In general, unless different arrangements are agreed to by the concerned Federal agencies, for central service cost allocation plans, the cognizant agency responsible for review and approval is the Federal agency with the largest dollar value of total Federal awards with a governmental unit. For indirect cost rates and departmental indirect cost allocation plans, the cognizant agency is the Federal agency with the largest dollar value of direct Federal awards with a governmental unit or component, as appropriate. Once designated as the cognizant agency for indirect costs, the Federal agency must remain so for a period of five years. 

Caltrans Local Assistance Procedures Manual Chapter 5.3 Any local agency seeking reimbursement of indirect costs must receive approval for the local agency’s ICAP/ICRP for the applicable fiscal years prior to billing Caltrans any indirect costs. If a local agency has an ICAP/ICRP approved by a federal cognizant agency, the local agency must provide Caltrans their ICAP/ICRP approval every fiscal year.