2.2.4 Interagency Personnel Act (IPA) Agreements

Policy No: RESEARCH 2.2.4  
Type of Policy: Administrative
Effective Date: October 2013    
Last Revised: October 2013

Policy Owner: OSP
Policy Contact: Duane Hutchison, Director of Sponsored Programs, Duane.Hutchison@osp.gatech.edu

1. Policy Statement

It is the policy of Georgia Tech to utilize an Interagency Personnel Act (IPA) agreement to facilitate Federal-State-Local cooperation through the temporary assignment of Georgia Tech academic and research faculty to governmental agencies to provide skills that meet a national need, to engage in policy advice and formation in the area of the faculty member’s scholarship, or gain new research insights or perspectives. Georgia Tech encourages faculty to consider IPA service when such service is consistent with the mission of the Institute.

Appropriate Use: An IPA permits the temporary assignment of skilled career employees to positions with Federal Agencies, State, local governments, Indian tribes, institutes of higher learning and other eligible organizations as defined in 5 CFR 334. The assignment must be for specific work beneficial to both entities. The assignment should be used to achieve one of the following objectives:

  1. For the strengthening of management capabilities of the Federal Agency and Georgia Institute of Technology.
  2. Assisting with the transfer and use of new technology and approaches to solving governmental problems.
  3. Serving as a means of involving non-federal officials in developing and implementing Federal programs.
  4. Providing developmental experience to enhance job performance of the IPA Assignees.

Career employees may participate on an IPA provided that they have been employed in a regular career position at Georgia Tech for a minimum of 90 days prior to beginning an IPA assignment and their assignment meets one of the objectives stated above. The Georgia Tech Assignee may not be employed by Georgia Tech for the sole purpose of becoming an eligible participant of the IPA program. Employees hired for a 90 day research contract for a particular federal government agency, to be sent on an IPA assignment to that federal government agency are not career employees for the purposes of this policy. The Provost may waive the provisions of this paragraph as a policy exception as provided below.

During the period of an IPA assignment a Georgia Tech Assignee will remain a regular employee of Georgia Tech, and will remain bound by Georgia Tech policies and procedures and the terms of the employment agreement for all purposes including but not limited to, salary increases, benefits and the assignment of Intellectual Property to GTRC.

An assignment may be for a period of 2 years. The assignment may be extended for up to another 2 years with the approval of all parties. Extensions beyond a 4 year period require additional justification and written approval. In no event shall a Georgia Tech Employee remain on a continuous IPA Assignment for more than 6 years.

An IPA assignment may be terminated upon request of either party upon 30 days advance notice or automatically when the employer/employee relationship ceases to exist between the IPA assignee and his/her original employer as provided in 5 CFR 334.107. At the end of the IPA assignment, the IPA Assignee should return to the career position such employee held at Georgia Tech prior to the IPA.

Employees on IPA assignment are subject to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 5 CFR Chapter 735 which regulates employee responsibilities and conduct as well as any agency standards of conduct.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all Georgia Tech faculty and staff members.

3. Procedure

After a Georgia Tech Department Head determines that it is appropriate to place an employee on an IPA, the Department Head will provide the Office of Human Resources (OHR) and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) with all information regarding the terms of the assignment, such information includes a routing sheet, proposal, copy of the IPA Agreement and budget information.

The IPA Agreement will be negotiated and processed by OSP. Any terms in the Agreement relating to personnel administration should be reviewed and approved by OHR in advance of action being taken. The Agreement should describe responsibilities and obligations of all parties.

The Agreement shall be signed on behalf of Georgia Tech, The Federal Agency and the IPA Participant.

Federal Appropriations are available to pay or reimburse, a federal, state or local government employee in accordance with the provisions of the IPA Act. An IPA Proposal or Agreement containing any cost recovery not specifically authorized by the IPA Act or IPA Regulations will not be processed without the prior written approval of Legal Counsel for the Federal Agency receiving the IPA assignee. The Georgia Tech Office of Legal Affairs will obtain the necessary written approval from the Federal Agency’s legal counsel.

Any exceptions to this Policy or Procedure must be approved by the Provost in advance writing.

Applicable Rules and Regulations:

4. Related Information

Resource Link
OSP http://www.osp.gatech.edu
U.S. Office of Personnel Management Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program http://www.opm.gov/programs/ipa/Mobility.htm

5. Policy History

Revision Date Author Description
1-2-2014 OSP Rev 1.0