The Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) allows for the detail of employees from Federal, State and local governments, institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, qualifying non-profit organizations, and federally funded research and development centers to serve on temporary, short term assignments. Assignments are management-initiated, voluntary and must be agreed to by the employee.
The IPA program facilitates the movement of skilled employees between participating organizations for short periods of time when this movement can serve a sound public purpose. The program provides a means for effectively and efficiently accomplishing work of mutual concern and benefits to the Army and to the participating organization. IPA assignment may be used to achieve objectives such as:
- Strengthening management capabilities of participating organizations
- Sharing scarce expertise
- Assisting in the transfer and use of new technologies and approaches to solving governmental problems
- Providing program and developmental experience that will enhance the individual's performance.
Organizations interested in participating in the IPA program must be determined eligible by the Army organization where the assignment is located. A new eligibility determination is not required if the organization had been previously found eligible by another agency. However, the authorizing official in the Army organization must verify the previous eligibility before taking further action.
Before an assignment is made, the Army authorizing official, the participating organization and the assigned employee must enter into a written agreement. The agreement will record the obligations and responsibilities of the parties, such as the type of assignment and goals of the assignment. Officials must negotiate the costs of the assignee's salary, benefits, leave, travel and how the organization will administer these items.
Federal and non-Federal employees on IPA assignments are subject to the conditions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 5 CFR part 735 which regulates employee responsibilities and conduct, as well as agency standard of conduct regulations. In addition, conflict of interest rules should be reviewed with employees prior to assignments to ensure that any conflict of interest issues do not arise during assignments.