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Authorities to Accept Funds Through Agreements. Louie Pectol Chief, Office of Policy and Analysis U.S. Geological Survey. Topics To Be Covered. Statutes Governing Acceptance of Funds Authorities to Accept Funds from: DOI Other Federal Agencies State and Local Governments

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Authorities to Accept Funds Through Agreements

Louie Pectol

Chief, Office of Policy and Analysis

U.S. Geological Survey


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Topics To Be Covered

  • Statutes Governing Acceptance of Funds

  • Authorities to Accept Funds from:

    • DOI

    • Other Federal Agencies

    • State and Local Governments

    • Non-Governmental Entities


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Augmentation (31 USC 3302(b) & 31USC1301(a))

  • An agency may not augment its appropriations from outside sources without specific statutory authority.

  • Reimbursements must generally, absent statutory authority to the contrary, be deposited as miscellaneous receipts.


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Federal Authorities to Accept Funds

  • Many Federal Agencies have statutory authority to enter into cooperative or reimbursable agreements with other Federal agencies.

  • Specific statute cites programs for which authority may be used.


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Federal Authorities to Accept Funds

  • Unless the authority explicitly covers both the ordering (funding) agency and the performing agency, each agency must have its own authority to enter into the agreement.

  • Funds are not subject to de-obligation if an authority other than the Economy Act is cited.


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Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535(a))

  • Must be between U.S. Federal agencies.

  • Amounts are available.

  • Best interest of the U.S. government.

  • Agency filling the order must be able to provide or get by contract the ordered goods or services.

  • The ordering agency must decide that the ordered goods or services cannot be provided by contract as cheaply by a commercial enterprise.


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Economy Act Requirements(31 U.S.C. 1535(d))

  • An Economy Act agreement obligates the ordering agency’s appropriation.

  • The performing agency must incur obligations to fill the order within the period of availability of the ordering agency’s appropriation. Otherwise, the funds must be deobligated.


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Government Employees Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4104)

  • A Federal agency may, through agreements with agencies in any branch of the Government, provide:

    • Use of Government facilities

    • Use of the agency’s training program

  • Training and use of facilities may be provided on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis.


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Joint Funding of a Common-Interest Project

If a project will benefit more than one agency, and as long as it is not something one of the agencies is required to do as part of its mission without reimbursement, then there is nothing that prohibits the agencies from funding the project in proportion to their benefit.


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DOI Agreement Authorities

  • Numerous statutes authorize the Interior Secretary and DOI bureaus to accept funds from other Federal agencies for specified programs.

  • DOI Partnership website (http://www.doi.gov/partnerships/partnership_legal_framework.html) provides information on many authorities – some of which can be used for agreements between bureaus.


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USGS Agreement Authorities

  • 43 USC 36c: Authorizes USGS “to accept lands, buildings, equipment, and other contributions from public and private sources and to prosecute projects in cooperation with other agencies, Federal, State or private.”



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USGS Authority - State & Local Governments

  • 43 USC 50: “The share of the USGS in any topographic mapping or water resources investigations carried on in cooperation with any State or municipality shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost thereof.”


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USGS Authority to Execute Cooperative Projects with States

  • 43 USC 36c: Authorizes USGS “to accept lands, buildings, equipment, and other contributions from public and private sources and to prosecute projects in cooperation with other agencies, Federal, State or private.”

  • Also cite 43 USC 50b if the state is not providing advance funding.


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Intergovernmental Cooperation Act 31 USC 6505

  • Authorizes Federal agencies to provide specialized and technical services to a State or local government on a reimbursable basis when a written request is made by the State or Local Government.

  • Federal agencies must be 100% reimbursed.

  • State or Local government must certify that services cannot be procured reasonably and expeditiously by it through ordinary business channels.


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Authorities to Accept Funds from Non-Governmental Entities

  • USGS Specific Authority (43 USC 36c)

  • Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act as amended (15 USC 3710(a))

  • Other Authorities


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Technology Transfer

  • Tech Transfer (TT) projects can be performed with non-federal, public, private and non-profit entities.

  • A Federal laboratory can provide services, personnel, equipment, intellectual property or other resources with or without remuneration to a collaborator; a laboratory may NOT transfer funds directly to a partner in a cooperative project.

  • A Federal laboratory may receive funds in- services, personnel, equipment, intellectual property or other resources from the collaborator.

  • The legislation provides the partner with a protected research and development exemption from Freedom of Information for up to five years for participating in joint development effort.


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