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Shared Services and Joint Use – Resources and Tools
Intergovernmental Collaboration


Local agencies throughout California are employing joint-use and shared services agreements as a tool to stretch taxpayer resources as far as possible in service to shared constituents. These approaches can serve as helpful, creative ways to continue providing local services while reducing operation and maintenance costs

“Joint use” refers to two or more entities sharing indoor and outdoor spaces like school facilities, civic centers and other kinds of public facilities. The concept is simple: Multiple organizations share a resource to keep costs down and more broadly benefit the community.


Resources for Local Officials on Joint Use of Facilities

Several organizations provide joint use of facilities resources to local officials. Much of this work has been motivated by public health goals of enabling both children and adults to be more physically active by joint use of school/recreational facilities. Irrespective of an agency’s policy goals in pursuing joint use of facilities, these resources offer helpful guidance to local officials on joint use issues.


The Importance of Written Agreements

In the past, joint-use arrangements were sometimes based on informal agreements. However, the better practice is to use written agreements, formally approved by each participating agency’s governing body as a binding contract. Such agreements protect participating entities and prevent misunderstandings related to maintenance, operations, liability, ownership or cost sharing.

Joint use agreements typically include the following components:


CSAC Institute – Fostering Effective Relationships Across Boundaries
Intergovernmental Collaboration Session, Fall 2012

Materials provided at right were presented at a workshop on intergovernmental collaboration for the CSAC Institute.  Special thanks to the presenters who took time to share relevant and practical knowledge on sharing services and “Fostering Effective Relationships Across Boundaries:”

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