The Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 created a talent exchange designed to increase partnerships between federal, and state or local governments.1 The act allows federal agencies to temporarily employ individuals from academia, nonprofit organizations, and state and local government for up to two years without going through the arduous traditional federal hiring process. Agencies do not need a billet to hire an IPA, which is an additional benefit of the act.
Each agency is responsible for managing its own IPA program and have maximum flexibility to design the job assignments and work schedules for incoming IPA candidates. However, this flexibility can often lead agencies to misunderstand candidate eligibility requirements, overlook recruitment opportunities and underuse the program in general. Through its Talent Exchange program, the Partnership will help agencies better understand—and take full advantage of—the benefits of the IPA hiring authority.
Types of IPA assignments
IPA assignments should be used for roles that require technical/subject matter expertise that is critically needed or experience that will advance urgent policy goals. IPA roles can be designated as one of the following:
- Appointment – typically assigned to roles funded by the federal agency and affords the IPA access/responsibilities enjoyed by full-time federal employees.
- Detail – typically assigned to roles funded by the placement’s home employer with some limitations on the IPA’s access/responsibilities while serving within a federal agency.
How to get started
Agencies will need to gather some initial information and obtain approvals before beginning the IPA hiring process:
- Obtain approval for the temporary placement of an IPA for a 12-24 month term.
- No billet is required for IPA roles.
- Create a clearly defined IPA job description that is at least a GS-12 level role, including:
- Specific job responsibilities/duties
- Term length
- Type of work environment, i.e. in-person, hybrid, fully remote
- Assign a GS level to the role (even if your office is not providing funding)
- Security clearance level (if applicable)
- Tentative start date
- Determine the amount of funding your agency can provide for the participant’s salary and benefits.
- Agencies can provide full, partial, or no funding for their IPA placement.
Once these details are decided, apply to the IPA Talent Exchange using the Agency Application on the right side bar.
Already have a candidate in mind?
Traditionally, IPA placements have been secured through direct outreach, networking, and referrals between federal agencies and interested candidates. Agencies are then able to engage in the hiring process directly with their desired candidate and the candidate’s home employer. If you have already identified a potential candidate for an IPA role in your office, the Partnership is happy to guide you through the hiring process at no charge.
Please reach out to us if you would like more information about the assistance we can provide.
Need more details?
For more information on the IPA hiring process, please see our FAQs for Hiring Managers tab or contact us at [email protected].
1 The exchange is authorized under 5 USC Sections 3371-3375, and is described in detail in the Code of Federal Regulations, part 5, Chapter 334.