Safety and Security Agreements Toolkit

2.5 Comparing Agreements

The chart below compares the characteristics of the types of agreement. One of the primary differences between the MOU and the MAA is reciprocity. Both the interlocal agreement and the contract are binding agreements; however, the interlocal agreements are between governmental entities and the contracts are with private vendors.

There may not always be a clear distinction between the MOU and the MAA. An agreement may be entitled “A Memorandum of Understanding for Mutual Aid.” You may also see an agreement with a local agency entitled as an MOU instead of an interlocal agreement. The title is incidental to the content and to compliance with legal provisions, policies and approval procedures. For example, contracts must comply with purchasing procedures or qualify as an emergency exception. Agreements should be signed by the authorized representative or his or her designee.