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Many interagency partnerships have creatively shared staff to improve customer service and increase efficiency. However, every Service First collaboration has to abide by OPM regulations. Different agencies cannot share a single position. For example, a BLM position cannot exist within a FS organization, and a FS position cannot exist within a BLM organization.
Ideally, each agency will develop an organization chart that accurately displays the official organization (chain of command) for the positions involved in the Service First project. In addition, a working relationships organization chart which displays the actual working relationships between positions (which may cross agency lines) within the Service First project is also helpful. However, personnel can be assigned to perform the duties of a position in another agency, short of actually being transferred or formally detailed to the position. Usually this is accomplished by sharing a position and/or delegating authority from one agency to another for specific duties. The employee conforms to the policies of the agency under which the position is classified.
Delegation of Authority
The Concept of Operations was developed in the Forest Service and National Federation of Federal Employees Memorandum of Understanding appendices. It covers human resources topics, notably delegation of authority, and has been adopted by the BLM and Forest Service for Service First Operations.
Cross delegation of authority means that an employee of one agency is delegated authority by the other agency to perform duties of a position within that agency without actually being detailed or reassigned into that position. A person assigned to perform the duties of a position in the other agency must be delegated the authority requisite to the performance of those duties. Both agencies work collaboratively to clarify which additional authorities may be delegated and how the delegation is to be executed. This delegation of authority must be documented by a letter from the appropriate supervisory level to the person being delegated the authority. Each agency has their specific method of delegating authority; however, review the Concept of Operations (link above) to view basic issues that should be included in the delegation letter. Note that agencies need to be explicit about delegating authority to obligate or expend another agency’s funds. See the sample delegation of authority letter below for an example.
Forest Service 6130-2 letter, dated August 14, 2008, titled "BLM and FS Service First Project: Time limited Promotions - Interim Direction" (27 KB PDF)