IPAs and MOAs assigned to the Nation are directed by the Nation in their day-to-day activities. On a daily basis, an IPA/MOA (federal) employee may be supervised by a Nation employee, or a Nation employee may be supervised by an IPA/MOA employee, as determined by the Nation's organizational structure. The Nation has determined that the lines of supervision as it was previously with IHS will remain in effect until and unless an employee is notified otherwise.
Each IPA and MOA is also assigned a federal supervisor, for purposes of reviewing and approving all federal personnel actions, such as timekeeping. This supervisor is assigned by the IHS Tucson Area to process any necessary federal personnel action during the course of the assignment.
The IHS will continue to observe Federal, not Tribal holidays. All operations assumed by the Nation will observe Tribal holidays and health operational schedule. IPAs will continue to receive holiday pay on the Federal schedule. IPAs will not receive holiday pay on the Tribal holiday schedule.
Tribal direct hires will receive Tribal benefits rather than Federal benefits. For questions about the Tribal benefits package, please contact the Nation's Human Resources staff.
Federal civil service employees are assigned to a Tribe with an IPA. Commissioned officers are assigned to a Tribe with a MOA.
No. All employees to be transferred to the Nation have the option to accept a Tribal direct hire.
Because this is very specific situation, it is advised that you discuss with your Federal Human Resources contact and the Nation Human Resources contact. The Nation would like to make every effort to retain all the employees currently working in these health program
The Nation will be present at least two times weekly at Federal facilities to be available for individual appointments. The Nation is requesting employees turn in the questionnaire and release of information no later than April 1 to allow for timely follow up. Following submittal of the questionnaire and release of information, it is possible to have an individual meeting within approximately a week.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) covers all Federal employees, including those under IPAs and MOAs. It also covers all Tribal direct hires who are performing services under the Self-Governance Compact. The templates used for these agreements are Federal templates, and although it is mentioned in one and not the other, does not affect the applicability of the FTCA.
For IPAs and MOAs, the pay date is unaffected. For employees electing a Tribal direct hire, the pay date will coincide with the Nation's pay schedule.
For IPAs and MOAs, the Federal benefits and associated rules remain the same. For Tribal direct hire Yes, any employee can opt out of medical insurance with the Nation. They just need to sign a form checking box to waive coverage and give reason as to why they are opting out.
Release of Information?,
Yes, the IHS/Nation would need 7-10 days processing time following receipt of the “Release of Information”. The IHS will prepare the requisite information that will allow the Nation to prepare a specific offer for the employee. IPA or MOA agreements would later be developed depending upon the employee’s decision.
For the vast majority of staff, there will be little change in job duties, whether an IPA, MOA or a Tribal direct hire.
For IPA and MOA, pay will remain unchanged. For offers as Tribal direct hire, offers will be made at the same annual salary level that is currently being received at IHS. Any increases following hire would follow the Nation’s Human Resources policy and health professional salary schedule.
The Nation is targeting July 1, 2016 as the effective date for the transfer of health programs. As there are Federal timelines on notices for changes in employment status, the Nation is targeting to have all offers available to IHS employee no later than April 30, 2016.
The Nation cannot terminate Federal employees. However, should there be performance issues, the Nation can recommend reassignment or notice to terminate an IPA/MOA agreement. For Tribal direct hires, terminations must comply with the Nation’s Human Resources Policy.
The Nation will be constructing personnel records on all employees, including those assigned under IPAs and MOAs. A Release of Information will allow information to be shared to construct that record, and avoid having the employee to provide this information again. Further, it will allow the Nation to accept the Federal background check information without having to perform an entirely new background check.
It is the Nation’s intention that all Federal vacancies continue to be posted and filled as usual, to prevent unnecessary delays in recruitment. We encourage the IHS to do so.
The length of an IPA is two years, with the initial IPA beginning effective July 1, 2016. IPAs may be extended indefinitely as long as the employee and the Nation are in agreement to continue the relationship. The Nation intends to extend IPAs indefinitely as long as there are no performance issues needing resolution.
Yes, in individual sessions, HR staff can answer any questions on benefits and make estimates of pay deductions for optional benefits.
Medical costs WILL NOT increase for FY17.
As a Tribal employee, position review may occur under the Human Resources policy. However, it is not expected that initial offers will encompass a new position review.
For Tribal direct hire, benefits, holiday pay, etc are provided under the Human Resources Policy. For health professionals, the Nation will have its own Health Professionals Salary Schedule that can be shared during individual meetings. The Nation also has an annual bonus available to all staff, as well as COLA increases that are provided at the direction of Tribal leadership.
Contractors are not eligible for IPA, and the Nation will handle these on a case-by-case basis. The Nation may either continue a contract relationship or make an offer for Tribal direct hire, depending upon the need for the services. The intention of the Nation is that all employees be retained to the extent possible.
There is a 60-day requirement for notice if there is no other assignment available. An IPA appointment is for a 2-year period. The Nation intends to extend IPAs indefinitely at the option of the employee unless there are any performance issues. A Reduction in Force (RIF) would only be necessary if the employee did not choose the IPA.
Yes. The IHS and the Nation will coordinate on dates so that employees may have the opportunity to meet with both.
Although the Nation has made some exceptions for the transition, the health benefits applicable to all Nation employees (including premiums) will be applicable to Tribal direct hires from IHS.
The Nation plans to continue this program.
This is not currently provided, but the Nation will consider.
If the position is vacated and full-time effort is still necessary, the Nation will likely fill the position as a full-time position. However, the Nation will consider on a case-by-case basis, as retention of all employees is a high priority.
Yes, if the agreement was made, only I.H.S will terminate. The Nation’s intention is to continue benefit for recruitment or incentive.
No employee choosing a Tribal direct hire offer will be required to go through an application process. The Nation’s effort is to make the transition for employees as seamless as possible.
For Tribal direct hires, IHS will pay the employee for annual leave according to Federal policy. However, the Nation will credit the employee with the IHS date of hire for accrual of annual leave without a waiting period for use. For Tribal direct hires, the employee will not be paid a balance of sick leave from IHS upon transfer to the Nation. Therefore, the Nation will start Tribal direct hires with the lesser of their sick leave balance at IHS, or 80 hours, and there will be no waiting period for use of leave. The IHS date of hire will also be used for accrual of sick leave.
Any position that is classified as exempt does not receive overtime pay. Overtime is paid to all non-exempt, hourly employees.
No, the compensation remains as per the Federal schedule.
The Manual says 30 days for termination, but the employee and the Nation can negotiate a longer time period.
Yes. Most supervisor/reporting relationships will remain the same.
Administrative support, similar in nature as currently. There may be some changes due to additional health services designed by the Nation, or from application of Nation administrative policy.
Tribal Self-Governance is authorized under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, which was passed by the United States Congress in 1975. This federal law was designed to give Tribes the ability to assume operations traditionally performed by the federal government in order to give Tribes more authority to operate services for their own tribal communities. Self-Governance will allow the Nation to capture the federal dollars associated with IHS operation of compacted Programs, Services, Functions and Activities (PSFAs) to support the Nation's operation of those services within tribal programming. Visit the IHS Office of Tribal Self-Governance Website for more information concerning the history and legal authorities for the Self-Governance program.
Self-Governance will allow the Nation more flexibility in policymaking, greater control over health system design, and enhanced budgetary control for health programs. Funding will be prioritized according to citizen's needs, new programs may be designed, and partnerships can be created to synergize health services resources. Self-Governance strengthens tribal sovereignty through increased tribal control and involvement in all aspects of delivery of health services for Tohono O'odham Nation communities.
The Nation currently operates some health services through Title I contracts with IHS. These contracts are based on model contracts, which direct the Nation's operation of Title I programs. Title I contracts do not provide redesign authority without IHS approval. Title I contracts require the Nation to largely adhere to the federal structure for operation of the PSFAs assumed in the contract.
A Title V compact, by comparison, would allow the Nation to negotiate the provisions and terms that are most likely to help the Nation meet its goals for improving health services delivery throughout the Nation. A Title V compact would provide the Nation redesign and re-budgeting authority, without requiring IHS approval. With this enhanced authority, the Nation can be responsive to the direct needs of tribal citizens. Click here for more information about differences in contracting and compacting.
The Nation has requested several pieces of information from the IHS so it can begin analyzing the services currently provided and make an informed decision on whether the Nation should assume any of those operations under tribal control. The planning process also includes intensive analysis of the budgetary feasibility for assuming operations. The goal of the planning process is to identify those operations the Nation feels can be improved through tribal operation.
The planning process allows the Nation to review all IHS programs at each administrative level, including the Sells Service Unit, Tucson Area and IHS Headquarters in Rockville, MD. This review will allow the Nation to determine which operations to assume, and which operations the Nation may want to leave under IHS control. Self-Governance does not require an
all or nothing approach, but instead provides the Nation flexibility to design tribal programming to best meet the needs of its members. The Nation's focus is on assuming the direct health services offered in the Sells Service unit, including the San Simon Health Center, the Santa Rosa Health Center, the Sells Hospital and the San Xavier Health Center, as well as many of the Area Office and Headquarters activities that support them.
The Nation is carefully studying all IHS services to assess which ones the Nation believes would be improved by tribal operation. Tribal leadership is committed to improving health services delivery for tribal members.
The Tohono O'odham Nation Legislative Council passed Resolution 15-365, which states:
It is the intent of the Legislative Council, to the greatest extent feasible, to maintain stability in staffing of any PSFAs assumed by the Nation by offering the opportunity to continue in federal employment to all current and eligible IHS employees, using Intergovernmental Personnel Agreements, Memoranda of Agreements, or direct hire employment.
Click here to view the Resolution.
The Tohono O'odham Nation will be conducting several meetings with current IHS employees to discuss employee options and provide real-time information regarding compacting progress. Transparency is of the utmost importance in this process, and the Nation is committed to ensuring IHS employees are treated with value and respect as we move forward together.
The Tohono O'odham Nation will receive any funding that is associated with PSFAs transferred to the Nation, including funding provided through federal appropriations to the Service Unit, Area Office, and Headquarters. The Nation will also receive contract support costs, which fund the administrative and overhead-type costs that the Nation must spend to prudently and lawfully carry out the compact.
The Nation will be conducting planning activities throughout 2015 and into 2016.
The Tohono O'odham Nation is planning to assume the selected PSFAs in mid to late 2016.
All eligible federal employees holding positions that are to be transferred to the Nation will be offered the option to retain their federal employment status. The Tohono O'odham Nation Legislative Council passed Resolution 15-365, which states: “It is the intent of the Legislative Council, to the greatest extent feasible, to maintain stability in staffing of any PSFAs assumed by the Nation by offering the opportunity to continue in federal employment to all current and eligible IHS employees, using Intergovernmental Personnel Agreements, Memoranda of Agreements, or direct hire employment.” Click here to view the Resolution.
Yes. As evidenced by the Council Resolution, the Nation highly values the existing IHS staff, and a high priority has been placed on retaining all federal staff that have been serving in health programs benefiting the Nation’s citizens.
An IPA is an agreement that is entered with IHS that will allow a federal civil service employee to be assigned to the Nation. A MOA is a similar agreement for federal commissioned personnel to be assigned to the Nation. In both cases, the employee retains his or her federal employment status, including compensation, insurance and retirement benefits.
Any federal personnel assigned to the Nation under IPAs or MOAs continue to receive their paychecks and all benefits from the federal agency – in this case, IHS. The Nation will be invoiced by IHS for IPA/MOA staff and will reimburse the agency for these costs.
The Nation does not interact with employee unions. However, any IPA or MOA staff who retain federal status may remain members of a union for purposes of interacting with the federal government.
Yes. Existing federal staff holding positions that are to be transferred to the Nation will have the option to transfer to a direct tribal hire. A tribal position can be attractive to certain employees, depending on their career goals and federal tenure. For example, a federal employee eligible for retirement may wish to consider retiring from federal employment to begin receiving retirement benefits, and then become a tribal employee.
The Nation currently has a number of employees providing Health and related services under existing tribal programs. These employees will continue to be needed to deliver these vital programs and services. All existing tribal employees’ employment, including compensation and benefits levels will not be reduced as a result of this project.
The Nation will be conducting several meetings with current IHS employees to discuss employee options and provide real-time information regarding compacting progress. Transparency is of the utmost importance in this process, and the Nation is committed to ensuring IHS employees are treated with value and respect as we move forward together. More detailed information will be available in early Spring 2016.
IHS decides which employees are eligible for an IPA or MOA position in accordance with its own internal policies, but most IHS employees are generally eligible for these opportunities. You may not be eligible if: (1) you are a federal employee holding a time-limited, temporary or term appointment; or (2) your current summary performance ratings are less than fully satisfactory and/or unacceptable. For more information, contact your IHS Human Resources contact or review the IHS Personnel Aspects of the ISDEAA Handbook.
No. There is no length of federal employment required to become an IPA or MOA. Special purpose IPA assignments may be made for full-time, part-time, and intermittent employees serving under career or conditional (competitive or equivalent excepted) appointments. The individual does not have to have been a full-time employee of the Department for 90 days to be eligible for a special purpose IPA.
No. All eligible federal employees holding positions that are to be transferred to the Nation will be offered the option to retain their federal employment status.
Once programs are assumed by the Nation, hours of operation and work schedules for all staff (including IPA and MOA staff) will be directed by the Nation.
Yes. It is quite common for Tribes to retain federal employees as IPA or MOA staff when they assume operations of IHS programs. MOA staff are fairly easy to spot in tribally run facilities as they continue to wear the commissioned corps uniform.
No. Only federal employees are eligible for an IPA or MOA position.
The Nation will be conducting several meetings next Spring with current IHS employees to discuss employee options. You can also contact the Nation's Human Resources department with specific questions at email@example.com.
There is no time limit on how long a federal employee may remain in an IPA or MOA position.
You can contact the Nation's staff directly by email for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nation has been conducting active self-governance planning since September, 2015, and has established six (6) Planning/Transition Teams and a Steering Committee that has been meeting very frequently and working with IHS staff to review a large amount of information about the programs and services IHS is operating. While there is a great deal of work, the Nation’s staff and leadership are committed to ensure that transition of programs to Tribal operation occurs smoothly and successfully without disruption. In addition to qualified and dedicated Nation staff, the IHS staff who are currently providing these health services are being extended the offer to retain their Federal employment status and keep working in these health programs once the Nation begins under self-governance.
Under Self-Governance, the Nation will be eligible to receive all of the funding that IHS uses to hire doctors and other healthcare providers. So while recruiting health providers is challenging for everyone, the Nation will receive all of the funding that IHS uses to provide these programs, and that is what will be used to pay these salaries.