INST. 103.1

JOINT EXERCISE OF POWERS AGREEMENTS - CHECKLIST

Joint Exercise of Powers Agreements are authorized under the Joint Exercise of Powers Statute, Idaho Code 67-2328.  Sample agreements for Mutual Aid have been provided.  The following is a checklist which should be consulted when considering and entering into these Agreements. 

1.   All parties to the agreement must be "public agencies" as defined by Idaho Code 67-2327.  This includes, but is not limited to, counties, school districts, highway districts, port authorities, instrumentalities of counties, cities, any political subdivision of the state, any agency of state government, any Indian tribe or any city or political subdivision of another state.  If a public agency from another state is involved, the State Attorney General must approve the agreement.  The entity should also review the foreign agencies enabling statutes.

2.   Confer with your own staff to determine the exact nature of mutual aid assistance which will be requested from other parties and which you can provide to other public agencies.  Place this in writing in a memo to all of your personnel so that everyone will know exactly what will be involved under the Agreement. 

3.   Confer with the other public agencies and choose an "Administrator" who will coordinate the mutual aid assistance.  This should be an employee of one of the agencies involved and obviously should be someone with expertise in the area of the mutual aid.  The agencies must then decide whether this job will be in addition to the regular duties of this employee or whether a paying position should be created.  If a paying position is created, or if additional compensation will be paid to this employee for this service, the cost should be borne equally by all parties.  The choice of the Administrator is important as he or she should be someone who will have the respect of the personnel involved.

4.   Determine who will supervise and command mutual aid assistance provided by another public agency.  It is important to make this chain of command very clear, so that everyone will know who is supervising the personnel and equipment furnished by another public agency.  Also determine who will be in charge and command of the furnishing of mutual aid assistance to another public agency.  This should be placed in written form, as a memo to all affected parties, so that when a request for mutual aid assistance is received, you will know exactly to whom it should be referred. 

5.   Determine the extent of personnel and equipment your entity can provide for mutual aid assistance to another public agency.  This also ought to be placed in writing by a memo to all affected departments so that you will know, in advance, from where you can select personnel for needed assistance or where you will obtain equipment for such assistance without impairing your own operation.  The agreement should provide the responding party with discretion in assisting another governmental entity, depending upon the circumstances.

6.   Negotiate with the other public agencies involved to arrive at a definite proposal for the giving of mutual aid assistance.  While in these negotiations,  consider plans for joint training to insure the most beneficial use of mutual aid assistance.  Your negotiations should also be confirmed by cross-letters or other writings setting out, in lay-terms, exactly what you agree upon. 

7.   Have your attorney draft a Joint Exercise of Power Agreement for mutual aid assistance and submit it to the other public agencies.  When the agreement has been executed by the authorized officials of the other public agency, such as a mayor, county commissioners, etc., it must then be submitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to Idaho Code  67-2329, if it is an interstate agreement.  The Secretary of State then obtains an opinion from the Attorney General as to the validity of the agreement.  You should receive an opinion from the Attorney General, through the Secretary of State, within thirty (30) days.  After this approval, Idaho Code 67-2330 then requires that this agreement be submitted to the "officer or agency of the state government that has constitutional or statutory powers of control" over the personnel and equipment involved, if it involves an officer or agency of the state.  If that official does not do anything for thirty (30) days, the agreement shall be deemed approved.  Only after going through these procedural steps can the agreement be made effective. 

8.   The final agreement should be distributed to all affected personnel of each public agency involved and discussed in detail in administrative meetings.  It is extremely important for everyone to know, to the greatest extent possible, what will happen when a request for mutual aid assistance is made upon your public agency by another party to the agreement.  Meetings should be held by the Administrator with key personnel of each public agency to review the procedures that will be used.

9.   The Agreement should be reviewed by members of your entity, and by the other entities involved on a periodic basis, to consider any need for changes in the Agreement in light of events that have occurred.  It is suggested that this be done at least annually or semi-annually.  Your personnel, equipment and needs may change from time to time, and the Agreement should be adjusted to reflect material changes.