370.334.2 - Intergovernmental Assignments - Assignment Agreements
Information on the Intergovernment Personnel Act Mobility Program can be found on OPM's website at http://www.opm.gov/programs/ipa/. Questions may be directed to the USGS IPA Coordinator, Annie Smith, at (703) 648-4402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Arranging An Assignment.
A. The Bureau IPA Coordinator will assist in furnishing advice and guidance. The following are essential elements that should be resolved during preliminary discussions with the divisions in arranging an assignment.
(1) Purpose and objectives of the proposed assignment and how the goals are to be achieved.
(2) Manner in which work supervision responsibilities are to be exercised by either or both organizations.
(3) Employee rights and benefits coverage to be retained or options exercised if assigned on LWOP.
(4) Method of assignment (detail or LWOP) and period covered.
(5) The applicability of Federal conflict of interest laws.
(6) Arrangements for maintaining leave-earning and leave-charging records.
(7) The degree to which payment for salary, supplemental pay (if any), leave, holidays, travel and transportation expenses, and agency contributions for retirement, life insurance, and health benefits will be reimbursed by the respective parties.
B. The assignment and terms must be acceptable and agreed to by the assignees. Before the assignees make their decision, they should be informed of all aspects of the proposed action with particular reference to the alternative methods of assignment (detail or LWOP), the choices they have in connection with their rights and benefits if they are assigned on LWOP, the applicable conflict of interest laws, annual and sick leave provisions, etc. If travel expenses are paid by USGS to and from place of assignment, they must be informed of their obligation to make refund if they fail to serve the full period of assignment or 1 year, whichever is shorter, unless the assignment is terminated earlier by either employer. Also, a Federal employee must serve in the Civil Service upon completion of the assignment for a period equal to that of the assignment or be liable to the United States for all expenses (except salary) of the assignment.
2. Assignment Agreements.
A. After the details of the assignment have been worked out, the affected division will prepare an OF 69, Assignment Agreement (Figure 1), and forward a copy to the Bureau IPA coordinator for review before signatures are obtained. Once reviewed and changes, if any, are made the affected division will obtain the signatures of the employee and the non-Federal organization. When this has been accomplished, the division will forward the original OF 69 with an endorsing memo to the Bureau IPA Coordinator. The Bureau IPA Coordinator will obtain the approval of the Assistant Director for Administration and distribute necessary copies.
B. Where USGS is paying more than 50% of the total costs of assignments lasting longer than 6 months, a justification for this cost sharing arrangement will be included as a part of the agreement.
C. When USGS is to receive an invoice from a non-Federal organization for reimbursement of funds, the upper right hand corner of the first page of the OF 69 will include a requisition number and an account number to be charged. This will enable the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to match the invoice with the IPA agreement.
D. Under Item 26 on the OF 69, divisions will include the name and address of the division employee or office that should receive the invoice from the non-Federal organization. Once the invoice is received and determined to be accurate, the division adds the correct requisition number and account number, the invoice certified as correct, and is forwarded to OFM for payment.
3. Evaluation of Assignments.
A. Performance Appraisals. All employees serving on an IPA assignment must receive an appraisal of their performance annually or at the end of the assignment, whichever comes first.
(1) USGS employees on an IPA assignment to a non-Federal organization for 120 days or more are responsible for obtaining performance standards and performance appraisals covering their performance during the IPA assignment.
(a) Performance standards must be developed by the employee and the supervisor at the outside organization within 60 days of the beginning of the assignment. Standards must be recorded on the Employee Work Plan (Forms 9-2011 and 9-2011-A) and signed by the employee's first-level supervisor (as rating official) and second level supervisor (as reviewing official). The original of the Work Plan must be retained by the first-level supervisor and a copy must be provided to the employee.
(b) At the end of the appraisal period (March 31 for general workforce and research employees and June 30 for Performance Management and Recognition System (GM) employees), the employee's supervisor at the outside organization must prepare an annual performance appraisal, provided the employee has worked under performance standards for 120 days. (If the employee has not worked under performance standards for 120 days, the appraisal period must be extended to allow the employee to work under standards for 120 days and the employee must be rated at the end of the extension.) To prepare the annual appraisal, the supervisor at the outside organization must complete the Actual Performance narrative of the Employee Work Plan and the Annual Employee Performance Appraisal (Form 9-2015). The appraisal must be signed by the first- and second-level supervisors and the employee, and the original must be forwarded to the employee's USGS servicing personnel office within 60 days following the end of the appraisal period. A copy of the appraisal must also be provided to the employee.
(c) If the employee will continue on the IPA assignment during the next appraisal period, a new Employee Work Plan must be developed and signed; the original of the Work Plan must be retained by the first-level supervisor, and a copy must be provided to the employee.
(d) If the employee's IPA assignment ends before the conclusion of an appraisal period, the employee's supervisor at the outside organization must prepare an interim performance appraisal, provided the employee has worked under performance standards for 120 days. To prepare an interim appraisal, the supervisor at the outside organization must complete the Actual Performance narrative on the Employee Work Plan and Interim Employee Performance Appraisal (Form 9-2099). The appraisal must be signed by the first- and second-level supervisors and the employee, and the original must be forwarded to the employee's USGS servicing personnel office within 60 days following the end of the IPA assignment. A copy of the appraisal must also be provided to the employee.
(2) Non-Federal employees on assignment to the USGS must have an appraisal prepared as of March 31 each year, provided they have completed at least 120 days in the assignment but have not completed the assignment by that time. For assignees who have less than 120 days as of March, the appraisal will be completed at the end of the 120-day period. For assignees whose details/appointments are completed prior to March 31, an appraisal must be prepared at the end of the assignment. The Appraisal of Assignee Form (Figure 3) will be used to appraise the non-Federal employee. A copy of the appraisal must be given to the assignee, and the original must be forwarded to the Bureau Coordinator, Office of Personnel, MS 215. The Bureau IPA Coordinator will furnish a copy of the appraisal to the assignee's home agency supervisor.
B. Merit Pay. USGS employees detailed on a IPA assignment who are covered under the Performance Management and Recognition System (PMRS) will continue to be covered during the assignment. Their comparability increases, merit increases, and performance awards will be based on their performance appraisals. Non-Federal employees appointed to positions covered under the PMRS will be covered and have their comparability increases, merit increases, and performance awards based on their performance appraisals.
C. Assignment Evaluation. A questionnaire will be sent to the IPA assignee, the supervisor of the assignment, and the supervisor at the assignee's home agency (see Figure 4, 5, and 6). These questionnaires are distributed at the end of the assignment even if the assignment is terminated early. Two copies of the completed questionnaires are to be submitted with the Annual Evaluation Report (370.334.2.4B).
4. Documentation Required.
A. Assignment Agreement. Three copies of the assignment agreement will be submitted to the Department of the Interior IPA Coordinator by the bureau IPA Coordinator. Two copies will be sent to the division involved (one for the assignee), one copy to the non-Federal organization with a cover memo from the Assistant Director for Administration, and one copy to OFM when an invoice will be received from the non-Federal organization. When a USGS employee is detailed/assigned to a non-Federal organization, a copy of the agreement will also be placed in the employee's Official Personnel Folder.
B. Annual Report. At the end of each fiscal year, an annual evaluation report will be sent to the Department utilizing the format shown in Figure 7. This report is prepared by the Bureau IPA Coordinator in the Office of Personnel. A consolidated report is sent by the Department of the Interior IPA Coordinator to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
5. Termination of Assignments.
A. If an assignee initiates early termination of the assignment, he/she could be required to reimburse the government for travel, relocation, and per diem expenses received while on assignment (see FPM 334.1-7f, Appendix A). A request for a waiver of reimbursement must be submitted through appropriate division channels to the Headquarters Personnel Officer with the reasons why a waiver should be granted.
B. If the OPM directs the termination of an assignment or requires corrective actions for violations of the Act and/or Program regulations, two copies of the corrected agreement, or a memorandum verifying that OPM's requested action has been completed, are to be sent to the Department IPA Coordinator. If OPM does not provide a due date, the due date is 15 days from the time the USGS is notified of the requested action/change.
C. When an assignment is terminated because the employee is no longer employed by the original employer, two copies of the notification of termination are to be sent to the Department IPA Coordinator within 15 days from the notification to the assignee.