U.S. Geological Survey Manual
321.1 - Financing Interagency Programs
OPR: Admin/Financial Management
1. Introduction. Section 501 of the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1536) authorizes the purchase of supplies, equipment or services by one Government agency from another provided:
A. Amounts are available.
B. The head of the ordering agency or unit decides the order is in the best of interests of the U.S. Government.
C. The agency or unit to fill the order is able to provide the ordered goods or services.
D. The head of the agency decides ordered goods or services cannot be provided as conveniently or cheaply by a commercial enterprise.
2. Method of Financing. Interagency programs are financed by either direct reimbursement (payment after services are rendered) or an advance of funds (consolidated working fund).
Special working funds are established under the authority of 31 U.S.C. 1535 to receive advance payments from other agencies. Consolidated working funds are not used to finance work directly, but only to reimburse the appropriation or fund account that will finance the work to be performed. Amount advanced must be available for the same period as those of the accounts advancing the funds (GAO) Title 7, 3, .8, B.2). Proper adjustment of amounts paid in advance will be made on the basis of the actual cost of goods or services provided.
If advance payments are not made, the furnishing of goods and service by one agency to another on a reimbursable basis places certain responsibilities on the billing agency as follows:
The billing system should provide for forwarding bills to another Government agency for reimbursement only after there is evidence of actual receipt of goods or services by, or shipment of goods to, the billed agency. A reasonable billing schedule should be agreed to by the agencies involved.
Each bill should be prepared so that the billed agency can readily identify the related order. See SM 336.1 for required information on interagency billing documents.
Accounts receivable established on the basis of bills to another Government agency should be collected promptly. A disputed inter-agency bill for goods or services, together with applicable documents and reports, may be submitted by the billing agency to the Claims Group, Accounting and Financial Management Division, United States General Accounting Office, Washington, D.C. 20548, for settlement.