Canceled by IPA Policy Memo


Procurement Information Circular

June 13, 2003



PURPOSE:  To provide guidance in determining the reimbursement of allocable indirect costs for all existing and future IPA agreements.


BACKGROUND:  The IPA Mobility Program (5 USC Sections 3371 through 3375) provides for the temporary assignment of personnel between the Federal Government and state and local governments, institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and other eligible organizations.  These assignments are intended to facilitate cooperation between the Federal Government and the non-Federal entity through the temporary assignment of skilled personnel.  When non-Federal personnel are assigned to a Federal entity, there is a written agreement which records the obligations and responsibilities of the Federal and non-Federal entities, including provisions for reimbursement of costs associated with the program.


The regulations governing the implementation of the IPA program are contained at 5 CFR Part 334.  In addition, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has published guidance regarding various aspects of the IPA program at  This guidance includes the following statement:


"Agencies should not authorize reimbursement for indirect or administrative costs associated with the assignment.  These include charges for preparing and maintaining payroll records, developing reports on the mobility assignment, and negotiating the agreement.  Other prohibited costs include tuition credits, office space, furnishings, supplies, staff support and computer time."


The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) recently determined that the above guidance from OPM was contrary to CAS 410-50.  Specifically, DCAA recommended, “that the direct labor and associated fringe costs for IPAs remain in the G&A base to receive its proportionate share of G&A expenses.”


Discussions with OPM disclosed that its guidance is not intended to prohibit the reimbursement of an allocable share of contractor indirect costs, including the types of costs specifically listed, provided such allocation is consistent with the contractor's established cost accounting practices.  OPM is currently clarifying the guidance to state that (1) the statutory authority establishing the IPA program does not specifically prohibit reimbursement of indirect costs, and (2) reimbursement of such costs should be determined by the agency that enters into the agreement.  Based on these discussions, the Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, informed contracting personal in the Department of Defense “ to provide for the reimbursement of contractor indirect costs associated with the IPA program.”


GUIDANCE:  Procurement personnel are instructed to provide for the reimbursement of contractor indirect costs associated with the IPA program, provided such costs are the type that are allocable and allowable under the regulations that govern the contractor's cost-based Government contract business (e.g. FAR Part 31 or applicable OMB Circulars).  In addition, when determining the allocability of indirect costs associated with the IPA program, contracting officers should assure that any allocation of indirect costs to the IPA program are commensurate with the benefits being received.  For contractors that are performing on contracts subject to the Cost Accounting Standards, this may necessitate a special allocation of indirect costs to the IPA program (48 CFR 9904.410-50(j) and/or 48 CFR 9904.418-50(f)).


The guidance in this PIC should be applied in determining the reimbursement of allocable indirect costs for all existing and future IPA agreements, unless such agreement specifically prohibits reimbursement of indirect costs.  If an IPA is going to allow for reimbursement of allocable indirect costs, the rate should be negotiated prior to executing the IPA, and should be included in the agreement.  If it is necessary to modify an existing IPA agreement to allow for reimbursement of indirect costs, adequate consideration should be pursued.


EFFECTIVE DATE:  This PIC is effective as dated and shall remain in effect until canceled or superseded.


HEADQUARTERS CONTACT:  Lou Becker, Code HK, (202) 358-4593, e-mail:


R. Scott Thompson
Director, Contract Management Division