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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Cooperative Agreements and Grants

Cooperative Service Agreements

Interagency Agreements

Memorandums of Understanding


Is it a grant or cooperative agreement?

Cooperative Agreement: APHIS is supporting a non-federal cooperator with funds or items of value and has substantial involvement in the project being funded. The agency is substantially involved when it acts as a partner with the cooperator.

Grant: APHIS is supporting a non-federal cooperator with funds or items of value but has no significant involvement in the project being funded.

Can we award an agreement for more than one year?

Cooperative agreements and grants are funded for a maximum of one year from the effective date in the notice of award.

Does APHIS give no-cost extensions?

Agreements can be granted a one-time extension of up to one year to complete a project. There must be a justifiable reason to grant the extension; once the project work is complete, extensions merely to obligate remaining funds are not authorized. The Cooperator must submit a written request for extension, including a SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, to be received by APHIS at least 10 days prior to the expiration of the funding period. The SF-424 must be accompanied by a justification explaining the reason for programs delays, the program impact without the extension, and the anticipated completion date. All extensions must be approved, in writing, by the APHIS awarding official prior to the expiration of the original funding period.

Extensions may also be granted to allow Cooperators additional time for the submission of reports and paperwork. Any requests for extension of time to submit reports must be made by the Cooperator in writing to APHIS' awarding official through the designated representative before the report's due date. Approval of extensions of time to submit reports will be made in writing by APHIS' awarding official.

Can the Cooperator spend more than was awarded?

If the cooperator's expenditures exceed the budget estimates, the cooperator absorbs the additional costs as part of the cooperator's share.

What is the difference between a continuation and a revision?

A revision is a written change in the terms and conditions of an award document before its expiration date. An award is continued when a current funding period expires and an applicant is awarded funding in a subsequent year.

How do I change an ADODR designation?

The Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) must issue a written redelgation to include the effective date. If a temporary delegation is necessary due to a temporary absence of the incumbent, a letter should be issued by the ADO advising the cooperator of this change and providing a copy to the temporary appointee and the incumbent.

Who should sign my agreement?

The Administrator has ultimate responsibility for all agreement types. However, the Administrator has delegated signatory authority for entering into agreements to the Deputy Administrators or equivalents. These Deputy Administrators may redelegate authority to other officials within their programs, and are documented as an exhibit to the APHIS Agreements Management Manual.

What are SF-425's and SF-270's?

The SF-425, “Federal Financial Report”, is prepared by the Cooperator and submitted according to the terms in the Notice of Award. It reflects the obligations, program income, and unobligated balances of the project.

The SF-270, "Request for Advance or Reimbursement", is prepared by the cooperator and used to obtain advances or reimbursement for expenditures for the current funding period.

What is a Single Point of Contact (SPOC)?

A SPOC is an individual within a state government structure, often residing in the Governor's office, that serves as a point of contact for the state's review of federal projects for which awards are anticipated. Under Executive Order 12372, federal agencies are required to comply with a state's desire to review our programs as identified by a Catalog of Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number. APHIS has two CFDA numbers, 10.025 for all Program Units except Wildlife Services which is covered by 10.028. If the state identifies one or both of our CFDA numbers as being subject to their review, the cooperator must submit the application to the SPOC to start the process. A State Application Identifier (SAI) number is assigned to the application by the SPOC for tracking purposes. A chart indicating the states that require review of APHIS programs can be found in the toolkit .

What is a DUNS number?

The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is a unique nine character identification number provided by Dun & Bradstreet. It is a universal identifier to facilitate award tracking and expenditure of federal dollars throughout the grants life cycle. It is a required field in the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance.

What are Cooperative Service Agreements?

These agreements are used to establish arrangements with non-federal entities for APHIS to provide technical assistance, goods, or services on a full cost-recovery basis.

What is overhead and when do I apply it under an interagency agreement or cooperative service agreement (trust fund or reimbursable)?

Overhead covers administrative costs associated with managing the agreement. Overhead is charged by the performing agency and is assessed on each agreement unless an authorized official waives it. Authority to waive APHIS overhead resides with the Administrator. Each federal agency sets its own rates. For additional information, contact your agreements specialist.

What are Interagency Agreements?

APHIS cooperates with another Federal agency in a project involving a transfer of funds. Interagency agreement funding periods do not cross fiscal years.

What are Memorandums of Understanding?

APHIS and the cooperator are cooperating on a project of mutual interest and no funds or other things of value are being transferred. MOU's can be effective for up to five years.

What is an ADODR?

The ADODR is the Authorized Departmental Officer's Designated Representative. The ADODR is responsible for the oversight of the project. A list of responsibilities can be obtained from your agreements administrative support staff; they can also be found in the APHIS Agreements Management Manual.

What is a workplan?

A workplan identifies the goals and objectives and details the work to be performed and specific roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the project as well as the resources to be contributed by each. A sample workplan can be found in the toolkit on this website.

What is a financial plan/budget?

This document translates the activities of the workplan into resource requirements such as dollars, people, and equipment. It should reflect anticipated costs by budget object class in sufficient detail to evaluate the reasonableness, allowability, and allocability of the costs.

Related Links

Additional ASC information for Employees (Employees Only) Employees Only

  • Agreements Management Manual
  • Authorized Departmental Officer's Designated Representative (ADODR) Tools 
  • Cooperator's Authorized Signature Forms
  • Updates for Cooperative Agreements and Grants


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