7 U.S. Code § 3318. Contract, grant, and cooperative agreement authorities

(a) Purposes, nature and construction

The purpose of this section is to confer upon the Secretary general authority to enter into contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to further the research, extension, or teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences of the Department of Agriculture. This authority supplements all other laws relating to the Department of Agriculture and is not to be construed as limiting or repealing any existing authorities.

(b) Authority of Secretary; legal effect of agreement; participation by other Federal agencies
(1) Notwithstanding chapter 63 of title 31, the Secretary may use a cooperative agreement as the legal instrument reflecting a relationship between the Secretary and a State cooperative institution, State department of agriculture, college, university, other research or educational institution or organization, Federal or private agency or organization, individual, or any other party, if the Secretary determines that—
the objectives of the agreement will serve a mutual interest of the parties to the agreement in agricultural research, extension, and teaching activities, including statistical reporting; and
all parties will contribute resources to the accomplishment of those objectives.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any Federal agency may participate in any such cooperative agreement by contributing funds through the appropriate agency of the Department of Agriculture or otherwise if it is mutually agreed that the objectives of the agreement will further the authorized programs of the contributing agency.
(c) Duration and eligibility

The Secretary may enter into contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements, for periods not to exceed five years, with State agricultural experiment stations, State cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research or education institutions and organizations, Federal and private agencies and organizations, individuals, and any other contractor or recipient, either foreign or domestic, to further research, extension, or teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences of the Department of Agriculture.

(d) Vesting of title

The Secretary may vest title to expendable and nonexpendable equipment and supplies and other tangible personal property in the contractor or recipient when the contractor or recipient purchases such equipment, supplies, and property with contract, grant, or cooperative agreement funds and the Secretary deems such vesting of title a furtherance of the agricultural research, extension, or teaching objectives of the Department of Agriculture.

(e) Applicable requirements

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the Secretary may enter into contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements, as authorized by this section, without regard to any requirements for competition, the provisions of section 6101 of title 41, and the provisions of section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31.

(Pub. L. 95–113, title XIV, § 1472, as added Pub. L. 97–98, title XIV, § 1439(a), Dec. 22, 1981, 95 Stat. 1315; amended Pub. L. 99–198, title XIV, § 1424, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1552.)
References in Text

For definition of “this chapter”, referred to in subsec. (e), see note set out under section 3102 of this title.


In subsec. (e), “section 6101 of title 41” substituted for “section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5)” on authority of Pub. L. 111–350, § 6(c), Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3854, which Act enacted Title 41, Public Contracts.

In subsec. (e), “section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31” substituted for reference to section 3648 of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C. 529) on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, § 4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.


1985—Subsecs. (b) to (e). Pub. L. 99–198 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsecs. (b) to (d) as (c) to (e), respectively.

Effective Date

Section effective Dec. 22, 1981, see section 1801 of Pub. L. 97–98, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.