43 U.S. Code § 1457b - Use of cooperative agreements
For fiscal year 2010, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary of the Interior may enter into cooperative agreements with a State or political subdivision (including any agency thereof), or any not-for-profit organization if the agreement will:
(1) serve a mutual interest of the parties to the agreement in carrying out the programs administered by the Department of the Interior; and
(2) all parties will contribute resources to the accomplishment of these objectives. At the discretion of the Secretary, such agreements shall not be subject to a competitive process.