Are both the wages and the mileage reimbursement allowable in accordance with FAR 31.205-1(d)(3) (see below)?
(3) Costs of participation in community service activities (e.g., blood bank drives, charity drives, savings bond drives, disaster assistance, etc.).
FAR 31.205-1(a)(2) Public relations are described as "Maintaining or Promoting reciprocal understanding and favorable relations with the public at large, or any segment of the public. The term public relations include activities associated with areas such as advertising, customer relations, etc."
FAR 31.205-1(c) states "Public relations and advertising costs include the costs of media time and space, purchased services performed by outside organizations, as well as the applicable portion of salaries, travel, and fringe benefits of employees engaged in the functions and activities identified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection."
FAR 31.205-1(e) further states, "Allowable public relations costs include the
following: at paragraph (3), "Costs of participation in community service activities (e.g., blood bank drives, charity drives, savings bond drives, disaster assistance, etc.) (But see paragraph (f) (8) of this subsection.)." The subsection (f) (8) addresses donation of excess food, which would not apply in the given scenario.
It is ultimately the cognizant contracting officer's decision to determine allowability of such costs, and there are other tests any cost must meet before determining allowability, such as reasonableness and allocability. Note that if these costs were determined to be allowable, they would be charged indirectly, more than likely to some sort of General and Administrative (G&A) account as opposed to being directly charged to any one particular contract. Additionally, the applicable portion of salaries, travel, and fringe benefits of employees engaged in the public relations activities would be allowable (with same caveats as addressed above).