Today we are not talking about the ideal brew time lengths of a hoppy pale ale, but rather IPAs of the inter-institutional paperwork variety. If your department has an IPA, you probably know that IPAs can be made for a period of up to two years and can be extended for an additional two year period. You may also know that it will take at least thirty days from the date the IPA agreement is generated by the VA for the processing and execution of the agreement. But did you know that IPAs are only applicable to employees that have been with WSU for more than 90 days? It’s true! Read all about it on the OPM Hiring Authorities page.
For those who are unfamiliar with IPAs, the acronym stands for “Interagency Personnel Agreement.” An IPA is a funding mechanism for the VA to reimburse departments within the WSU School of Medicine for salary and fringe benefits (a portion or all) of WSU employees working on sponsored research projects funded by the VA. Ideally this type of agreement strengthens the relationship between WSU and the VA through shared knowledge and resources. Assignment agreements may be intermittent, part-time, or full-time, and the agency has the discretion of extending an assignment when the extension will benefit both organizations. Though the VA controls the terms of the assignment, the person on the IPA is still considered a WSU employee and retains all rights, benefits, duties and responsibilities associated therewith. By agreeing to the IPA, WSU assures, at the completion of the assignment, the participating employee will be returned to the position that s/he occupied at the time the agreement was executed (or a position of like seniority, status and pay).
There are some limitations on IPA eligibility:
- Post Docs and Graduate Students cannot be on an IPA
- The WSU employee must be a full-time regular or part-time regular status employee for at least 3 months/90 days
- Those residing in the US on a student visa cannot be placed on an IPA
If a VA investigator has notified you of an employee in your department that is a candidate and you are now executing an IPA agreement, be sure to work with your GCO in SPA. An IPA is classified as a “sponsored agreement” and your GCO will help ensure that the IPA is properly recorded within university systems. You will need to coordinate a letter/email to the VA that includes the employee’s salary, fringe, work location and supervisor, as well as the completion of the OF-69 form (likely this will be provided by your contact at the VA, but it is available on the John Dingell VA Medical Center website). If you have any questions about process or eligibility, give us a call!