Types of Partnerships
A partnership is an agreement between two or more organizations, created to achieve or assist in reaching a common goal. Partnerships may involve one organization using another's unique abilities, equipment or services, or they can be a sharing of resources (money, time, knowledge, equipment, etc.), to accomplish short- or long-term objectives for one or all of the participating partners.
The Service engages in many types of formal and informal partnership arrangements including: grants and cooperative agreements, memoranda of understanding, donations to the Service, and statutory partnerships. These tools are available for use in structuring the partnership arrangements specific to the needs of, and to the mutual benefit of, the parties involved.
Grants and Cooperative Agreements
Memoranda of Understanding
Although most partnerships do not involve a direct transfer of resources to the Service, there are certain situations in which an outside party may want to donate money, property, or services the Service. These donations are considered gifts and are generally defined as gratuitous conveyances of ownership in property without anything being given by the Service in return. Gifts can only be accepted if there is specific statutory authority to receive it. The Service has bureaus have gift acceptance authority; however each situation must be evaluated separately. Gifts must conform to ethics rules and must not create the appearance of impropriety.
These partnership tools often define a relationship in which the Service will work with other Federal or non-Federal entities, including State, local and Tribal governments. In these situations, Congress determines the scope of the partnership and usually provides specific authority in addition to the Service’s general statutory authorities. Legislation to implement a particular partnership activity may be proposed to Congress through appropriate official channels and through the Service’s congressional liaison office.