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IM OA 2018-01, Collaborative Agreement Revisions, Survey Manual Chapter 205.13, Appendix A


Issuance Date: 10/26/2017

Expiration Date: Retain until suspended 

1. Purpose.  This Instructional Memorandum (IM) establishes changes to Collaborative Agreements within Survey Manual (SM) Chapter 205.13, Appendix A, while additional revisions are finalized. 

2. Policy.  SM 205.13 establishes the delegations of authority necessary to approve agreements and accept contributions within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  The previous delegations of authority required that all Collaborative Agreements, both Standard and Non-Standard, be reviewed and approved by the Office of Policy and Analysis (OPA).  This IM is intended to increase process efficiency by providing Center Directors with approval authority for Standard Collaborative Agreements, so long as the OPA template is used and no terms are changed.  

Previously listed exceptions for Collaborative Agreements are removed to reduce confusion and to provide clarity on when Collaborative Agreements should be sent for OPA review and approval.  Removing exceptions also reduces the risk of legally insufficient agreements.  This change is expected to have little to no impact to Center productivity. 

All Non-Standard Collaborative Agreements must still be reviewed and approved by OPA prior to signing.  The USGS Checklist for Reimbursable Agreements must be completed and a copy must be maintained with the approved agreement.  Collaborative Agreements with private entities, non-profits, and academic organizations require a Conflict of Interest form signed by the Principal Investigator.  If certain conditions are met, the agreement will require a review by the Ethics Office (Use Form 9-3142).  Centers should consult the FOP Handbook for what constitutes a Standard Collaborative Agreement. 

3. Responsibilities.  Managers and supervisors retain the power to exercise the authority that is being delegated to their subordinates.  An official entering into an agreement is responsible for ensuring their statutory authority to enter into such an agreement.



/s/ Roseann Gonzales-Schreiner                                                October 26, 2017        
Associate Director for Administration