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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2017-652: Claim Remanded to Reconsider Re-allocation of Catholic School’s Non-Tuition Revenue

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The following is an Appeal Panel Decision issued pursuant to Section 6 of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Rules Governing the BP Appeals Process. Links may have been added to assist the reader. The original decision may be found here, as well as a glossary of BP Settlement terms

This is a BEL Claim filed by a Catholic high school located in Slidell, Louisiana. The Claims Administrator’s professional accountant, citing Attachment E of Policy 495, restated Claimant’s non-tuition revenue on a straight line basis just as it had done with tuition revenue. After that restatement, Claimant failed the requirements of Exhibit 4B. Claimant appeals.
There have been several recent appeal panel decisions dealing with the issue of allocation of non-tuition revenue under the Education Methodology of Policy 495. For example, facing this exact issue or appeal, the panelist in Claim ID XXX wrote:
“Several recent appeal panel decisions have addressed the allocation of non-tuition revenue under the Educational
Methodology. These decisions have uniformly determined that only matching issues that arise when tuition fees are
recorded and/or paid are subject to reallocation  ‘on a straight line basis to those months covered by the tuition.’ These
decisions emphasized the exercise of professional judgment by the program accountants in determining whether and
how to reallocate non-tuition revenue: Nothing in this decision should be interpreted as prohibiting the Program from
reallocating non-tuition revenue. However, the rationale for reallocating non-tuition revenue should be based
on a Policy 495 provision other than part (a) of Attachment E. The Program should exercise its independent discretion
as to whether or not to reallocated non-tuition revenue, and further, shouldnot be bound by the mandated straight line
basis allocation.”  See Claim ID XXX
This panelist agrees with this approach. “Implicit in this rule is the conclusion that the Educational Methodology was properly applied to the aspects of this claim that involved mismatched tuition payments. This claim is therefore remanded for re-analysis if the non-tuition revenue in accordance with this decision. No opinion is expressed as to the appropriate methodology or the effect, if any, on causation.”
This panelist adopts the reasoning of the above-quoted panelist and other recent decisions on this issue. Accordingly, this matter is remanded to the Claims Administrator to determine if there is a valid rationale for reallocating non-tuition revenue without reliance on part (a) of Attachment E of Policy 495.
Finally, the other issues raised an appeal by Claimant are without merit.

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