Original Issuance Date: January 12, 2021
Last Revision Date: January 12, 2021

1. Policy Purpose

This policy establishes the circumstances under which UW System Institutions may lend or borrow employees to or from other UW System Institutions, Wisconsin State agencies, the Federal Government, local governmental entities and foreign governments. The temporary interchange of employees between and among governmental agencies is intended to facilitate the use of the specialized knowledge and experience of skilled people to address state and local problems, improve the delivery of government services, enhance the career development of governmental employees, strengthen intergovernmental understanding, and increase the capacity of personnel resources.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

3. Scope

This policy applies to all UW System Institutions, including all campuses and UW System Administration.  This policy does not apply to employee exchange or consulting agreements with private sector employers. 

4. Background

Intergovernmental cooperation, including that specified in the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970, is an essential factor in resolving problems affecting this state. The interchange of personnel on a temporary basis between and among governmental agencies at the same or different levels of government and with institutions of higher education is a significant factor in achieving such cooperation. Employee Interchange Agreements are authorized under s.230.047 Wisconsin Statutes and chapter ER-47 of the Wisconsin Administrative code. The policy governing these interchanges was previously rolled into the rescinded policies SYS 235 and SYS 1236.

5. Definitions

Local Government: Any political subdivision, instrumentality or authority of a state or any general or special purpose agency of such a political subdivision, instrumentality or authority.

Receiving Agency: Any department or agency of a foreign government, the federal government or a state or local government, an institution of higher education or other municipal corporate agency which receives an employee of another agency under this section.

Sending Agency: Any department or agency of a foreign government, the federal government or a state or local government, an institution of higher education or other municipal corporate agency which sends any employee thereof to another agency under this section.

Please see SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions, for a list of general terms and definitions.

6. Policy Statement

Any institution in the University of Wisconsin System is authorized to participate in a program of interchange of employees with departments, agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign government, the federal government, another state or local government, an institution of higher education, other municipal corporate agencies or other agencies or instrumentalities of the State of Wisconsin as a sending or receiving agency. 

A. Status of UW System Employees During Interchange

  1. Employees of a UW System institution participating in an exchange of personnel are assigned to a regular work detail at the receiving agency.
  2. Employees assigned via an interchange agreement are entitled to the same salary and benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled and shall remain employees of the UW System institution for all purposes, including the payment of their salaries, and their continuous service benefits, except: that the supervision of their duties during the period of detail may be governed by agreement between the sending institution and the receiving agency, and that a receiving agency may provide supplemental salary and benefits to the employee for the duration of the interchange.
  3. Any employee who participates in an exchange under the terms of this policy, who suffers disability or death as a result of personal injury arising out of the duties connected to that exchange, is an employee of the sending institution or agency for the purposes of Wisconsin worker’s compensation law.

B. Duration of the Exchange

The maximum duration of the exchange under this policy is one year. Longer exchanges require the approval of the UW System President.

C. Payment of Travel Expenses

The sending agency may not pay travel expenses of the employee in connection with the assignment at the receiving agency. The receiving agency shall pay any travel expenses and may provide certain maintenance allowances for the employee assigned to it. These allowances may include, but are not limited to: the maintenance of a separate residence or costs associated with periodic travel to the employee’s place of permanence residence.

A receiving UW System institution, in accordance with the UW System travel regulations, shall pay travel expenses of persons assigned to it under this policy during the period of such assignments on the same basis as if they were regular employees of the UW System Institution.

D. Employee Interchange Agreement Required

An interchange assignment may only being after a written agreement and has been prepared and executed by the UW System Institution and the other agency. (SeeSYS 237 - Attachment 1 docx ) The sending agency may provide for the receiving agency to reimburse the sending agency for all or part of the salary and employee benefits expenditures incurred during the period of assignment.

  1. Any funds received by a UW System institution from a receiving agency as reimbursement for salary expenditures made under an employee interchange agreement shall be credited to the appropriation from which the expenditures were paid.

E. $12000 Cap on Additional Compensation for Exchanges with State

If the sending or receiving agency is an office, department, independent agency, institution of higher education, association, society, or other body in state government, and the exchange agreement results in compensation to the employee above and beyond their normal salary, such additional compensation is limited to $12000. This cap does not apply to an individual employed by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, but only with respect to additional compensation received within the UW System.

F. Status of Employees of Other Entities

  1. When a UW System institution acts as a receiving agency, employees of the sending agency who are assigned under authority of this policy are on detail to the receiving UW institution.
  2. Employees who are detailed to the receiving UW System institution shall not by virtue of such detail be considered to be employees thereof, nor shall they be paid a salary or wage by the receiving UW System institution during the period of their detail. The supervision of the duties of such employees during the period of detail will be governed by agreement between the sending agency and the receiving UW System institution.

A sample Employee Interchange Agreement may be found here: SYS 237 - Attachment 1 docx

7. Related Documents

Wis. Stats 230.047, Temporary interchange of employees
Wis. Stats s. 16.417(2), Dual Employment or Retention
Administrative Code ER 47, Temporary Interchange
SYS 324, Inter-Institutional Financial Transactions
SYS 157, Faculty Development and Renewal- A System Policy for Faculty Transfer and Exchange
SYS 240, Relocation (Household Moves) and Temporary or Indefinite Work Assignments
SYS 165, Academic Year Definition and Assorted Derivatives (Relevant to the utilization of “overload” payments to Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff.)
Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970

SYS 237 - Attachment 1 docx – Employee Interchange Agreement Form

8. Policy History

First Approved: January 12, 2021

9. Scheduled Review

January 2026