Q. Are we required to develop a local MOU or MOA?
A. Local MOUs or MOAs are not required if the proposed partner's parent organization or primary organization has an existing National MOU or MOA with the Corps of Engineers. However, if the potential partner requests a local MOU or MOA as a condition to partner with the Corps, you may use the National MOU/MOA as a model example to create a local version.
Q. What is an MOU?
A. MOUs often state common goals and nothing more. Thus, MOUs do not contemplate funds transfers and should usually include language that states something similar to: "This is not a funds obligating document; by signing this agreement the parties are not bound to take any action or fund any initiative." An MOU may be used to outline the operation of a program so that it functions a certain way. For example, two agencies that have similar goals may agree to work together to solve a problem or support each other activities by using an MOU. The MOU is nothing more than a formalized handshake.
Q. What is a MOA?
A. An MOA is a "conditional agreement" where the transfer of funds for services are anticipated. The MOA is prepared in advance of a "Support for Others Reimbursable Order" form. MOAs often establish common legal terms that will be read into every reimbursable order that follows. MOAs do not obligate any funds themselves, but they establish the terms for future service and cite one of the appropriate authorities to do so.
Q. Who can sign a MOU?
A. A draft of the MOU should be forwarded for review by the District Office Partnership Coordinator and the other agency before finalizing the draft. Signature of the MOU should be made in accordance with USACE District policies and authorizations. MOUs can be signed by the OPM, District Operations Chiefs, District Engineers, Division Commanders, or HQ representatives depending on the scope of the activity.
Q. Who can sign a MOA?
A. A draft of the MOA should be forwarded for review by the District Office Partnership Coordinator and the other agency before finalizing the draft. Signature of the MOA should be made in accordance with USACE District policies and authorizations. Typically the MOA is signed at the District level by the District Engineer or their authorized representative.
Q. What is the financial instrument that transfers funds related to the terms set in the MOA?
A. A "Support for Others reimbursable order" is the document used to transfer funds. Each District has different processes and procedures; contact your District Office Partnership Coordinator.