Records Management


All sponsored program grants and contracts permit audit rights to sponsors for at least three years after the program completion date. Clemson University’s cognizant audit agency is the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Clemson University is required to perform a single audit review of Federal expenditures every year, which is performed by an external audit firm.

In addition to external audits, the University’s office of internal auditing continuously audits sponsored programs. Grants and Contracts Administration assists with each audit and provides documentation and discussion with other campus personnel as required by the audit team. All questions regarding allowability of expenditures, contract modifications, etc., may be directed to Grants and Contracts Administration to ensure accuracy.

Grants and Contracts Administration may find it necessary to contact departments or principal investigators to request information about a specific contract or grant during an audit. It is the responsibility of each department to keep accurate records supporting all sponsored program costs for a minimum of three years after the sponsoring agency accepts the final report. Departments must also maintain copies of progress reports, documentation of the selection process used to hire consultants, and of time and effort expended for the same period. If a cost is disallowed on a specific grant or contract, a review will be performed to determine the responsibility for repayment.

Records Retention

Federal and state agencies, as well as many private sponsors, local agencies, and foundations, require the University to maintain all project-related records for a minimum of three years after the acceptance of the final report for audit purposes. Consequently, principal investigators and project directors should ensure that their department retains complete grant files for a minimum of three years after project termination and acceptance of the final report. After that date, the department and principal investigator may follow its record retention process unless a Records Hold communication has been received, typically due to an active audit or investigation, requiring an extension of the retention period.

Grants and Contracts Administration maintains sponsored project records on-site for one year after final report acceptance and closeout. Records are then transferred off-site to records storage for the remaining two (2) years of the retention cycle.

Contact Grants and Contracts Administration if assistance is needed regarding the disposition of sponsored project records.