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This Directive was canceled July 28, 2004.

Personnel Management Manual: Chapter 3: Assignment and Utilization of Employees, Section 4: Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignments
Classification Code Date
M3000.1B June 28, 1996  


  1. Purpose

  2. References

  3. Policy

  4. Coverage

  5. Procedures for Negotiating an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment

  6. Authorizing Officials

  7. Length of IPA Assignment

  8. Financing an IPA Assignment

  9. Travel and Transportation Expenses

  10. Reporting Requirements

  11. Termination of the IPA Agreement

  1. PURPOSE. To implement the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) of 1970, and the regulations and guidelines established by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to govern the development of IPA Assignments between Executive agencies and State and local governments, or institutions of higher education.


    1. Title 5, U.S. Code, Sections 3371-3376,

    2. Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 334, and

    3. Departmental Personnel Manual (DPM), Chapter 334, Temporary Assignments under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, dated April 23, 1984.

  3. POLICY. It is the policy of FHWA to encourage IPA Assignments, when appropriate, as a vehicle for the temporary exchange of career employees between the Federal Government and State and local governments, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribal governments in order to facilitate Federal-State-local governments' cooperation or to develop programs of mutual concern through the short-term, temporary assignment of skilled personnel.


    1. Employee. In general, all employees of FHWA who hold appointments without a time limitation may be eligible to be considered for IPA's with an agency or organization identified below.

    2. Agency. Assignments may be developed between FHWA and any agency of a State or local government, at any level, or any multi-State or intra-State authority. Assignments may also be developed with public or private institutions of higher learning.


    1. State/Local Government-Initiated Assignment

        (1) In order to initiate an IPA Assignment, the appropriate official of a State or local organization should submit an assignment proposal to the appropriate program office in FHWA.

        (2) If the proposal does not pertain to a specific program office, or the office is not known, the State/local agency or organization may submit its proposal to the Office of Personnel and Training, Personnel Operations Division, HPT-20, or to the appropriate Regional Administrator. If the proposal involves transportation programs outside FHWA, it should be forwarded to the Office of the Secretary, Office of Personnel, Personnel Policy Division, M-16 (Attn: IPA Coordinator).

        (3) The assignment proposal should be reviewed and evaluated by the appropriate program office to ensure that if consummated it would be of mutual benefit to both contracting parties, and that it includes the following:

          (a) purpose of the assignment, its priority, and a description of the duties and responsibilities to be carried out,

          (b) employee (assignee) skills and background required, or an OF-612 "Optional Application for Federal Employment"; a Resume; a SF-171, "Application for Federal Employment"; or any other application document,

          (c) estimated length of the assignment,

          (d) share of salary and other expenses the requesting organization is willing to assume. (Cost-sharing arrangements shouldbe based on the extent to which participating organizations benefit from the assignment. Only in exceptional circumstances should agreed upon salary-sharing costs exceed 50 percent), and

          (e) the anticipated utilization of the assignee upon return to his/her permanent agency.

        (4) If upon review by the appropriate program office, there is a desire to negotiate an agreement, the proposal should be forwarded to the Chief, Personnel Operations Division, or to the Regional Administrator, for negotiation.

        (5) Based on the assignment proposal, an IPA Agreement may be negotiated, using OPM Optional Form (OF-69), Assignment Agreement.

    2. FHWA Initiated Assignment. If the assignment proposal is initiated by a program office within FHWA, the basic procedures remain the same as for a State initiated assignment, except that the FHWA program office involved is responsible for defining the necessary details of the proposal. Forward the proposal by memorandum to the Chief, Personnel Operations Division, or to the Regional Administrator.

  6. AUTHORIZING OFFICIALS. The FHWA Administrator is authorized to approve IPA agreements or extensions. The initiating regional or Headquarters office should forward the proposed agreement, together with a memorandum justifying the agreement or extension, to the Chief, Personnel Operations Division, HPT-20.

  7. LENGTH OF IPA ASSIGNMENT. Assignments should be kept to the minimum time periods necessary to complete the assigned tasks, normally for a period not to exceed one year.

  8. FINANCING AN IPA ASSIGNMENT. The financial arrangements of an IPA Assignment are negotiable between FHWA and the participating government agency or institution of higher education.

  9. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. At its discretion, FHWA may pay or reimburse Federal, State, or local government employees on IPA Assignment for travel and transportation expenses.

  10. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. The Director, Office of Personnel and Training (OPT), will submit one copy of each IPA assignment to the Office of PersonnelManagement. The OPT will submit an annual report on IPA agreements to the Office of the Secretary, Office of Personnel, which includes the following:

    1. three copies of all assignment agreements (one for DOT and two for OPM records), and notifications of assignments which are extended or terminated on dates other than as specified in the original agreement, and

    2. periodic reports, as requested by OPM or DOT, evaluating the status of IPA Assignments within FHWA.


    1. An IPA Assignment will normally terminate upon the projected completion date established under Part 5 of the Agreement. The assigned employee, on his/her own accord, cannot terminate an agreement early, but may request initiation of early termination, with appropriate justification, from the agency or organization which permanently employs the assignee.

    2. When an IPA Assignment is to be terminated early, the party seeking to terminate the agreement must give written notice to the other contracting party, and the employee involved, of the reasons for the proposed termination. At that point, a request for waiver of the obligated service agreement must be approved by the Office of the FHWA Administrator, if justified.
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