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Chapter IHS 8-79


IHS Chapter 8-79
IHS Transmittal 90.02 (05/17/90)


IHS 8-79-00 Purpose
8-79 - 10 Applicability
8-79 - 20 Definition
8-79 - 30 Preclearance For Use of a Collaborative Agreement
8-79- 40 Contents of a Collaborative Agreement
8-79 - 50 Signatory Authority

8-79-00  PURPOSE

The Indian Health Service (IHS) has historically used a variety of instruments to formalize relationships with non Federal entities.  Questions are often raised concerning how to determine which is the appropriate instrument to use given the various instruments available and the differing conditions for their use.

The purpose of this Chapter is to specify the policy and procedures that will apply to the use and award of agreements with non-Federal entities that do not involve the transfer of Federal funds (or property in lieu of funds).


  1. This Chapter applies to all IHS components.
  2. This Chapter applies to new agreements entered into as of the issuance date of this Chapter and to proposed extensions or modifications to on-going agreements that were entered into prior to the issuance date of this Chapter.
  3. Area offices should issue procedures, as necessary to implement this Chapter within their respective organizations.


"Collaborative agreement" means a formal written agreement between IHS and a non-Federal organization which describes the way which the two organizations will cooperate in an activity(ies) within the IHS mission and which does not involve the transfer of Federal funds (or property in lieu of funds).  This includes reciprocal or reimbursable arrangements entered into under the authority of Section 327A of the Public Health Service Act if they do not involve the transfer of Federal funds (or property in lieu of funds).  (When an arrangement under the authority of Section 327A does involve the transfer of funds or property in lieu of funds, the instrument used will ordinarily be a cooperative agreement as prescribed in IHS General Administration Manual Chapter 8-78, "Guidelines For Selection Of Instrument For Use with Non-IHS Entities.")

Examples of collaborative agreements include:

  • Delineating local responsibilities of IHS and non federal Emergency Medical Services Programs to assure emergency medical coverage.
  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of IHS and tribal and local entities to provide comprehensive substance abuse services.
  • Agreements with colleges and universities to accept medical and other health professional students at IHS facilities for training.
  • Utilization review agreements with a Peer Review Organization.
  • Agreements concerning local disaster planning with local organizations.


  1. Prior to initiating negotiations for a proposed collaborative agreement, the sponsoring office must submit a request for preclearance and must obtain concurrence for the use of such an agreement from the Director, IHS or his/her designee (for collaborative agreements to be entered into at Headquarters) or the Area Director (for collaborative agreements to be entered into by an Area, Office or Service Unit).  For Area Offices and Service Units, the Area Director is the only Area Office official that can provide the required concurrence.  The purpose of obtaining preclearance is to ensure that the proposed effort is one that is within the IHS mission, will be of value to IHS, and the concept is supported by the official authorized to enter into the agreement.  Therefore, in order not to expend significant resources or make any commitment on an arrangement not subsequently approved, the sponsoring office shall not begin negotiation of a collaborative agreement until concurrence is received.
  2. At a minimum, the request for preclearance must address the need and purpose of the activity, expected benefits all resource requirements, responsibilities of all parties, expected duration of the agreement, name of the proposed organization, and reason(s) for its selection.  As part of the review, the concurring official, as specified in paragraph A immediately above, will determine which other offices should participate in the preclearance process.
  3. Proposed collaborative agreements at the Area involving any of the following must also be concurred in by the Director, IHS, or his/her designee:
    1. sensitive areas such as those having political, religious, and moral implications;
    2. when the agreement will have an impact on American Indians and Alaska natives generally, i.e. not limited to an individual Area Office or
    3. when there may be more than an incidental commitment of IHS resources
  4. Based upon the preclearance review of a proposed collaborative agreement which includes any of the considerations listed in paragraph C above, the Director, IHS (or his/her designee) may determine that the intended agreement should be announced in the Federal Register if he/she believes it would be beneficial to inform the public of the proposed activity.  In addition, the Director, IHS, (or his/her designee) may qualify, the preclearance approval to require that the proposed collaborative agreement document also be provided to the Director, IHS, (or his/her designee) for concurrence prior to signature.
  5. Once concurrence required by this section has been granted, the sponsoring office may proceed with negotiation and development of a collaborative agreement in accordance with this Chapter.


  1. While there is no required format for a collaborative agreement, the sponsoring office is responsible for ensuring that, at a minimum, the document developed clearly conveys the scope of the activity to be performed and sets forth the responsibilities and obligations of all parties.
  2. At a minimum, a collaborative agreement shall include the following:
    • Name and address of the non-Federal organization(s) and the IHS sponsoring organization.
    • A collaborative agreement number.
    • Title of the agreement and a description of its purpose.
    • Responsibilities of all parties and anticipated results.
    • Duration of the agreement.
    • A provision affording IHS the right to terminate upon thirty days.
    • Language to protect the Government's interests e.g. data rights, Privacy Act, Federal Tort Claims Act. etc., determined necessary by a legal review.  A statement that the Director, IHS will make final decisions concerning any disputes resulting from the collaborative agreement.
    • Name and address of the responsible official for each party to the agreement.
    • Signature of the authorized IHS official (See IHS 8-79-50) and the authorized official of the collaborating organization.
  3. Collaborative agreements will be given identification numbers by the respective contracting office for purposes of tracking and reporting.  Collaborative agreements are to be sequentially numbered, using the awarding unit acronym (listed below), the prefix CA (collaborative agreement), the last two digits of the fiscal year the agreement was entered into, and an agreement number beginning with 0001 each fiscal year, e.g. SD-CA-90-0001, SD-CA-90-0002.  The awarding unit acronyms are:

IHS, Headquarters: HQ .
Area Offices: AZ - Tucson
AK - Alaska CA - California
MT - Montana NM - New Mexico
OK - Oklahoma OR - Portland
PHX - Phoenix SD - Aberdeen
TN - Nashville NAV - Navajo

The contracting office shall maintain the official file for each collaborative agreement.


Collaborative agreements shall be signed by the official that provided preclearance as specified in paragraph A of Section 79-30 of this Chapter; however a collaborative agreement affecting Service Unit only, may, if provided in the Area Office's implementation of the Chapter, be signed by the cognizant service Unit Director.

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