Government Cooperative Agreements

The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-224, 31 USC 6301 and following) establishes the fundamental distinctions between purchase contracts, grants and cooperation contracts. The distinction between subsidies and cooperation agreements concerns the existence or absence of substantial participation. In research activities, significant involvement is likely when a federal collaborator assists, directs, coordinates or actively participates in the project. This essential participation is most common, either through the management (1) of the allocation of resources between sub-projects, sites or institutions, or through active participation (2) in the conduct of research. Normal supervision and trust are not a significant interest. With regard to cooperation agreements, a significant participation is expected between the IJ and the winner. The fellow is required to cooperate with the NIJ Grant Manager, who is the authorized representative of NIJ, who is responsible for the proper management of the prize. In addition, an NIJ scientist is responsible for collaborating with the recipient`s researchers on substantive issues related to the award – support, advice, coordination and participation in project activities to ensure success. The NIJ scientist may also publish and be present with the recipient`s investigators as representatives of the NIJ. Both cooperation contracts and grants “transfer value from the federal awarding agency or pass-through-unit to the non-federal agency to fulfill a public purpose.” [Note 1] Significant participation means that scientific staff support, guide, coordinate or participate in project activities after the scientific or program staff are awarded. In general, the cost of cooperation agreements indicates that the responsibility for the implementation of the supported project rests with the recipient of the implementation of the funded and approved proposal and budget, as well as the conditions for allocation. Responsibility for monitoring and diverting the project, if any, rests with the NIJ.

Moreover, substantial participation is a more relative than absolute concept. NIJ`s participation in a cooperation project will depend on the circumstances. Examples of this include the review and approval of IJ`s implementation, monitoring and evaluation plans; The necessary review and approval of the IJ after completion of a phase of work before it passes the next phases; IJ`s verification and authorization of subcontracting or sub-subsidy; joint actions and cooperation or participation, such as between the NIJ and the laureate, in carrying out certain technical activities involved in the implementation of the project. Here, for example, is a cooperation agreement of the Department of Geological Survey of the Interior (USGS).

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