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Training and Development Policy

Information Technology Exchange Program (ITEP)



The Information Technology Exchange Program (ITEP) was authorized by the E-Government Act of 2002 (Act).

Program Highlights:

The ITEP allows exceptional individuals from the Federal information technology (IT) workforce and exceptional individuals from the private sector IT workforce to participate in an exchange program which will enable both sides to share rather than compete for critical IT expertise. Federal IT workers would be exposed to private industry's best practices management, while private sector employees would gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the challenges Federal agencies face in meeting the growing demand for government services.

The ITEP is envisioned as a vehicle to promote the interchange of Federal and private sector IT workers and to develop, supplement, and modernize IT skills while improving overall competencies in the Federal IT workforce.

General Requirements:

  • Agencies must have plans in place before using this authority.
  • The minimum grade level for participation is GS-11 or equivalent.
  • Federal employees remain subject to all Federal rules, regulations, and restrictions while detailed to the private sector. Private sector employees become subject to numerous ethics and standards of conduct rules and regulations.
  • Private sector employees detailed under this program must meet citizenship requirements and participating private sector organizations must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration Database.
  • Before the detail begins, the agency and private sector organization must enter into a written agreement with the individual(s) being detailed.
  • Details may be for a period of between 3 months and 1 year, and may be extended in 3-month increments for a total of not more than 1 additional year.
  • Agencies may not approve or extend details after December 17, 2007. An individual serving on a detail prior to this date may continue to do so as long as the detail began or was extended on or before December 17, 2007.
  • Agencies must submit semi-annual reports to OPM on their usage of the Program.


To be eligible for a detail under this program, both Federal and private sector employees must:

  • Work in the field of information technology management.
  • Be considered an exceptional performer by the individual's current employer.
  • Be expected by the individual's current employer to assume increased responsibilities for the management of information technology in the future.

In addition to meeting the requirements above, individuals from the Federal sector must be serving at the GS-11 level or above (or equivalent), under a career or career-conditional appointment or an appointment of equivalent tenure in the excepted service. Positions of equivalent tenure in the excepted service are limited to permanent appointments. Additionally, only career members of the Senior Executive Service are eligible for a detail under this Program.

Agency Plans:

Before detailing agency employees or receiving private sector employees under this program, an agency must establish an Information Technology Exchange Program plan.

Note: We have included a template for an agency plan which agencies may use and adapt to meet their needs.

Termination of Details:

Details may be terminated by the agency (agency head or designee) or private sector organization concerned for any reason at any time. This should be stated in the written agreement.

Written Agreements:

The Act requires the agency and private sector organization to enter into a written agreement with the individual(s) being detailed before a detail can begin. The written agreement must be a three-party agreement between the Federal agency (agency head or designee), the individual (private sector or Federal), and the private sector organization. The agreement documents such things as what is expected of the employee while on assignment (duties, assignments, etc), who will supervise the employee, etc.

Note: We have included a template for a written agreement which agencies may use and adapt to meet their needs.

Assignments to Small Business Concerns:

The head of each agency shall ensure that, of the assignments made to private sector organizations in each year, at least 20 percent are to small business concerns. Agencies must round up to the nearest whole number when calculating the percentage of assignments to small business concerns needed to meet the requirements of this section.

For example, an agency assigned 11 individuals to private sector organizations during a given year. To meet the 20 percent requirement, the agency must have made at least three (rounded up from 2.2) of these assignments to small business concerns. An agency in any year which makes fewer than five assignments to private sector organizations is not subject to this section.

Agency Reporting Requirements to OPM:

Federal agencies using this program must prepare and submit to OPM semiannual reports. These reports are due to OPM no later than April 7 and October 7 of each year for the immediately preceding 6-month period ending March 31 and September 30, respectively. The reports will include the following:

  • The total number of individuals assigned to, and the total number of individuals assigned from the agency.
  • A brief description of each assignment.
  • The name of the assigned individuals, as well as the private sector organization and the agency (including the specific bureau or other agency component) to or from which such individual was assigned.
  • The respective positions to and from which the individual was assigned, including the duties and responsibilities and the pay grade or level associated with each.
  • The duration and objectives of the assignment.
  • Other information as OPM considers appropriate.

Other Reporting:

Agencies that do not meet the 20 percent rule for five or more assignments to Small Business Concerns have to report to Congress on:

  • The total number of individual assignments made to private organizations in a year.
  • The total number and percentage made to small business concerns.
  • The reasons for the agency's non-compliance with the 20 percent rule.


ITEP Final Rule in Federal Register

Frequently Asked Questions

For IT Exchange opportunities with other Federal agencies

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