Partnerships, like all activities of the federal government, must operate within the legal framework established by Congress in statute. Partnerships also must comply with applicable regulations and policy guidance. As a result, both federal and non-federal partners should understand the legal underpinnings of the partnership, to enable an efficient, effective, and legally compliant partnership. This portion of the website is designed to provide a very basic introduction of the federal law affecting partnerships, to enable both partners to understand how the law affects the partnership. It is not designed to answer the complex and varied legal questions raised by partnerships, but rather to alert employees and potential partners to issues that may arise. Bureaus should consult the Solicitor's Office regarding specific questions about the application of federal law to the partnership.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers about legal authorities affecting Federal partnerships

Specific information on legal framework and limitations for partnerships:

Statutory & Funding Authority (12 KB)
Effect of Federal Status (35 KB)
General Department-Level & Government-Wide Authorities (55 KB)
Use of Federal Property & Equipment (22.3 KB)
Information Management & Control (15.3 KB)

Specific authorities that enable the Department of Interior to participate in partnership activities:

Bureau of Indian Affairs (192 KB)
Bureau of Land Management (28 KB)
Bureau of Reclamation (32 KB)
Fish and Wildlife Service (44 KB)
Geological Survey (43 KB)
Minerals Management Service (30 KB)
National Park Service (141 KB)
Office of Surface Mining (26 KB)
Authorities Facilitating International Partnerships (28 KB)
Criminal & Civil Actions with Partnership Implications (10 KB)

Full text of the DOI Partnership Legal Primer (307 KB)