Pima County has until Monday to submit a response to the Arizona Department of Homeland Security for indirect expense reimbursement for Operation Stonegarden.
According to a memo from County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry on Tuesday, AZDOHS might be reconsidering the county's indirect expenses reimbursement.
The county had its request for money to go toward paying indirect expenses tied to the grant because it lacked a federally approved indirect expense rate. The county uses a 28.58 percent rate internally to calculate indirect expenses.
While the Department of Homeland Security had denied the county's indirect expense rate, the Department of Justice has allowed the county the reimbursement with its grants.
The county was assured at an Arizona Border Counties Coalition meeting that it would receive indirect costs but was later told by AZDOHS that they wouldn't without an approved federal cost allocation plan, Huckelberry said in the memo.
The county was relying on a de minimis rate – a 10 percent reimbursement rate for the county – that AZDOHS also said wouldn't be allowed.
AZDOHS Assistant Director Susan Dzbanko informed the county by email that FEMA Assistant Administrator Bridget Bean would consider case-by-case exceptions. The email was attached to the memo from Huckelberry.
According to Dzbanko's email, Bean "will entertain a request to allow Pima County the de minimis indirect cost rate" for Stonegarden.
The county will need to address eight questions for Bean as part of the request due by Monday.
Bean's questions center around whether the county has ever negotiated an indirect cost rate before, how a de minimis rate would be applied and what the county considers indirect expenses.
Huckelberry said in the memo that a de minimis rate would be better than nothing, but the county needs a quicker and shorter path to having an indirect cost ratio to use with federal grants.