Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

Intergovernmental Exchange of Personnel

Intergovernmental Exchange of Personnel
State Program Management
Date Revised:
June 12, 1981


To encourage the exchange of personnel between FDA and State governments as a means of promoting better Federal-State relationships.


The exchange of personnel between Federal, State and local governments provides an excellent method of trading expertise on a temporary basis with the consumer being the primary beneficiary.

FDA has taken advantage of the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act in a limited way during the past several years. The relatively short (30-60 day) detail of supervisory or administrative personnel appears to be a realistic method implementing exchanges at this time, in view of the limited manpower and monies.

With the continuous recruitment of new personnel in both State programs and FDA, consideration should be given to utilizing the IPA as a means for the assignees to gain experience in methodology used in these agencies and understanding of their policies and operations. This will assist in the strengthening of Federal-State relations and have effective impact on the State Contract Program and our work-sharing agreement.

Exchanges of personnel with State and local agencies under the provisions of IPA are normally initiated by the Regional or District offices. Such exchanges should clearly state the objectives to be attained and the benefits to be derived from the exchange. As an example, a supervisory State employee assigned to a Federal unit to study or review FDA laws and regulations may have as his major objective the up-date or modification of the applicable laws within his area of jurisdiction when he returns to his permanent assignment.

FDA personnel, on exchange to a State, are afforded an excellent opportunity to experience first hand the unique problems of that particular State; consequently, solutions can be arrived at and technical advice provided more efficiently because of a better understanding of the particular problems.

Several salient provisions of the IPA are summarized below:

  1. Intergovernmental personnel exchanges are recognized as an effective method of improving Federal-State working relationships.
  2. Exchanges are not limited to the three levels of government. Institutions of higher education may be included.
  3. No person-for-person exchange is required, although this can and does happen.
  4. Federal employees' salary, job rights, and benefits are protected and travel and moving expenses may be authorized.
  5. Personnel on exchange to the Federal government usually continue the same pay plan; however, per diem and travel may be a Federal expense depending on negotiations.
  6. A few weeks may be the most practical period for most personnel exchanges. This will vary according to the situation.


RFDD's and DD's are requested to be alert to opportunities where the exchange of personnel under the IPA will provide mutual benefits in the common goal of better consumer protection. A goal of at least one exchange in each district might be considered.

The designation of realistic objectives should be clearly stated on the assignment. Operational improvement should be a consequence of every exchange.

At the present time, FDA has no separate appropriation for exchanges. However, there has been a limited amount set aside in the budget of DFSR for short-term exchanges. If extended assignments are contemplated and funding appears to be a problem, please advise DFSR of the circumstances and the possibility of additional funding will be explored.

The basic FDA reference is "Exchange of Personnel with State or Local Governments", Chapter 3-10, Part 3, Federal-State Relations, Regulatory Procedures Manual.

For assistance in preparing the assignment agreement forms or for additional information concerning exchange of personnel, contact State Program Coordinator Branch, HFO-320.

DISTRIBUTION: Regional Food and Drug Directors and District Directors; FDA Headquarters Offices

ISSUED BY: ORA/ORO/Division of Federal-State Relations (HFC-150)



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