Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970:

Intergovernmental Purpose No Longer Emphasized

GGD-89-95: Published: Jun 19, 1989. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 1989.

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Bernard L. Ungar
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) mobility program, focusing on: (1) changes to the program; (2) the extent and nature of the program's use; (3) program cost; (4) agreement purposes and benefits; and (5) Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance and oversight.

GAO found that: (1) 36 federal agencies made a total of 3,996 assignment agreements with nonfederal organizations from fiscal years 1984 through 1988; (2) although the program's original purpose was to improve federal-state-local government cooperation by strengthening state and local governments' personnel capabilities, federal agencies have made most of their mobility assignments with colleges and universities in order to bring personnel with higher education into the federal government; (3) 96 percent of the federal and nonfederal employees assigned to the program were on detail; (4) federal agencies were the principal beneficiaries of mobility assignments and paid most of the assignment costs; (5) OPM has exercised minimal guidance and oversight over the program since 1982 and does not always obtain timely corrections of improper agreements; (6) OPM was not required to report to Congress on the program; and (7) agencies did not always require employees detailed to federal agencies to file financial disclosure reports for use in identifying and resolving any apparent conflicts of interest.

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