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Service First - Agreements & Financial Processes


Agreements

The core of Service First is an agreement between two or more agencies to do things from an integrated perspective.

Interagency Agreement, FMS-7600B (1.26 MB PDF)

  • Color-coded completion instructions specific to Service First arrangements (108 KB PDF).

Interagency Agreement Overview and Completion Instructions Presentation (962 KB PDF).

 

Process for Establishing an Interagency Agreement

[GRAPHIC: Process for establishing a Service First Interagency Agreement that involves transfer of funds between agencies.]
[LINK: Click for Department of Interior Agency Program Lead responsibilities.] [LINK: Click for Forest Service Program Manager responsibilities.] [LINK: Click for Department of Interior Agency Procurement responsibilities.] [LINK: Click for Forest Service Grants Management Specialist responsibilities.] [LINK: Click for Forest Service Program Manager responsibilities.] [LINK: Click for Forest Service Grants Management Specialist responsibilities.] [LINK: Click for Department of Interior Agency District Budget Analyst responsibilities.]

IA Agreement Process Graphic - Basic (352 KB PDF)
IA Agreement Process Graphic - Detailed (1.93 MB PDF)

 

Managers agree to a project, then jointly develop the scope of work and financial plan.

FS Grants & Agreements
Web site (internal)

Interagency Agreement process and roles when a Department of the Interior Agency reimburses the Forest Service:

[GRAPHIC: National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management logos.]DOI Agency Program Lead Responsibilities:

  • Input Purchase Request (PR) into FBMS.
  • Submit to DOI Agency Procurement.
  • Work with FS Program Manager to draft IAA 7600B, scope of work and financial plan tiered to the Master Service First Agreement.

[Graphic: Forest Service logo.]FS Program Manager Responsibilities:

  • Complete NRM IWeb proposal.
  • Create Work Plan Acquisition Plan (WPAP).
  • Work with DOI Agency Program Manager to complete IAA 7600B articles and financial plan to match DOI Agency PR.

[GRAPHIC: National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management logos.]DOI Agency Procurement Responsibilities:

  • Complete IAA 7600B and send electronically to FS Grants Management Specialist for review.
  • Generate FBMS obligating document.
  • 2 original copies for FS Forest Supervisor signature (or acting).
  • DOI Agency Contracting Officer's signature.
  • Scan and distribute electronic copy to FS Grants Management Specialist and FS/DOI Agency Technical Point of Contacts; Send one original copy to Grants Management Specialist for processing.

[Graphic: Forest Service logo.]FS Grants Management Specialist Responsibilities:

  • Send one original copy of the IAA 7600B to FS Grants Management Specialist to assign a reimbursable job code. This process takes 2 - 4 weeks.
  • Notify DOI Agency Budget Analyst and FS Technical POC of reimbursable job code.
  • ASC sends IPAC bills and transaction registers to DOI Agency for documentation purposes.

Successful Service First Project!

 

Interagency Agreement process and roles when Forest Service reimburses a Department of Interior Agency:

[Graphic: Forest Service logo.]FS Program Manager Responsibilities:

  • Work with DOI Agency Program Lead to draft IAA 7600B, scope of work and financial plan tiered to the Master Service First Agreement.
  • Submit both to Budget for Approval.
  • Complete NRM IWeb proposal; input funds for commitment.
  • Create Work Plan Acquisition Plan (WPAP).

[Graphic: Forest Service logo.]FS Grants Management Specialist Responsibilities:

  • Complete IAA 7600B, scope of work, and financial plan for signature; send electronically to DOI Agency Budget Analyst to review.
  • 2 original copies for DOI Agency District Manager's signature (or acting).
  • FS Signature & return to Forest Service Agreements.
  • Scan and distribute electronic copy to DOI Agency District Budget Analyst and FS/DOI Agency Technical Point of Contacts; Send one original copy to DOI Agency District Budget Analyst for processing.

[GRAPHIC: National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management logos.]DOI Agency District Budget Analyst Responsibilities:

  • Send completed/signed IAA 7600B to Budget Analyst to assign a reimbursable job code. This process takes 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Notify Forest Service Grants Management Specialist and FS/DOI Agency Technical POC of reimbursable job code.
  • DOI Agency sends IPAC bills and transaction registers to Forest Service for documentation purposes.

Successful Service First Project!

 

Financial Processes

Managing financial transactions, particularly moving funds, between two or more agencies can be a challenging aspect of Service First. While agencies can share staff, resources, equipment and workloads, funding and expenditures have to be tracked and reported by agency. Fortunately, all four agencies basically have the same process for moving funds.

There are two main methods of moving money between agencies to fulfill the terms of Service First agreement: reimbursable accounts and direct transfers.

Reimbursable Agreements – General Process

The Interagency MOU allows all agencies to use Interagency Agreement - Agreement Between Federal Agencies (IAA), FMS-7600B to establish reimbursable accounts for Service First projects. Specifically:

  • Agencies must establish a separate IAA for each project or category of projects
  • The billing process must ensure that payments are correctly applied against appropriated funds
  • Reimbursable accounts are established at least on an annual basis
  • Advance payment may not exceed 50% of the order amount
  • Document each agency’s obligations, awards, modifications and payments during the life of the contract

Agencies do not need to complete a separate MOU for their specific project(s). The Interagency MOU is a blanket MOU that all agencies can use and cite. Remember, MOUs are not fund vehicles and cannot obligate funds. In other words, you cannot move money from one agency to another using an MOU. You must create a separate obligating agreement, using specific forms provided by each agency, whether you are the receiver of funds or the payer of funds.

The two agencies’ staff negotiates the deliverables of the agreement, considering scope of work and cost elements, duration of agreement, special reporting or time-frames, billing frequency, supervision and standard operating procedures, and any delegation of authority requirements. Please involve your respective grants and agreement staff at this point.

Once you have this form filled out, follow both agencies’ policies for processing agreements. Generally, you will need to have an agreement specialist review your agreement prior to have a manager sign it. Some agencies have automated databases, such as the Forest Service’s I-WEB database, while others do not. You need to discuss the process and steps with your grants and agreements specialists.

When the agreement has been signed, a reimbursable account will be created by the agency receiving the funds to charge to when fulfilling the terms of the agreement.

Direct Transfer of Funds

Service First authority provides for agencies to enter into reimbursable agreements, but also to directly transfer funds via Treasury Codes to another agency. This is a new process and is currently being piloted at several sites across the country. At this point, this option is not open to all units nation-wide, but based on the outcome of the pilots, we are crafting procedures and criteria for use.

Offset Plans

When estimated costs for Service First agencies for a longstanding project(s), co-location, or position(s) are generally the same, the agencies may enter into an arrangement (not a formal interagency agreement) to provide for offsetting of the costs for goods or services that will be exchanged between the agencies.

2013 Interagency Memorandum of Understanding

Interagency Memorandum of Understanding, Sept 2013 (186 KB PDF)

This MOU enables all four Service First agencies to share resources, re-delegate authorities, duties and responsibilities and simplify the reimbursable process. The Interagency Memorandum of Understanding defines the mechanism for Intra-governmental Orders (IGO) and Task Orders (TO) among the agencies. The IGO or TO should include a statement of work that describes the project and mutual agreement between the agencies affected. Agencies do not need a separate Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Service First project.

The BLM and Forest Service have manual direction to assist field units in implementing Service First projects. The National Park Service and United States Fish and Wildlife do not have specific agency direction; see examples below or contact your agency agreements coordinator for assistance.

Sample Agreements

National Agreements Coordinators

Before contacting the staff below, please consult your local or state/region coordinators.

  • BLM: Nancy Adrain
  • Forest Service: Patricia Palmer
  • National Park Service: Kathy Fleming
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Kathy Scully
https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/partnerships/servicefirst/rt/how-do-i/agreements-financial