The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 (FGCAA) sets forth the requirements for using cooperative agreements and grants to transfer funds to non-federal entities. However, use of cooperative agreements must be specifically authorized, and the FGCAA does not provide such authority. There is no general authority for the Corps to use cooperative agreements.
A cooperative agreement is a legal instrument as described by 31 USC 63, the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act where funds are being transferred to a partner, which is used to enter into the same kind of relationship as a grant, except that substantial involvement is expected between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the partner when carrying out the activities within the agreement. Substantial involvement may include collaboration, participation, or intervention in the program or activity to be performed under the cooperative agreement. These agreements must be executed by a certified grants officer. Procedures for administering these agreements must comply with Department of Defense Directive 3210.06 (Defense Grant and Agreement Regulatory System (DGARS).
USACE authority for cooperative agreements is limited to the following specific types/purposes:
Management of Undesirable Plants
Educational and training activities
Research and development
Agreements with Indian Tribes
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU)
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