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Summary of Researched Information What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)? The Business Dictionary defines MOU as “a document that expresses mutual accord on an issue between two or more parties”. (1) In another perspective, an MOU can be referred to as “a signed non-obligating and legally non-binding document that describes the intentions of the alliance members to work together to address a shared development challenge”. In some instances, the non-legally binding document is referred to as “letter of intent” or “partnership agreement”. (2) What is the purpose of using an MOU? The MOU serves as the instrument for establishing an agreement between two or more parties for a common purpose. Although it is not legally binding, the MOU…show more content…
The MOU is initiated by a process of negotiation and mutual agreement. This is followed by acceptance of the terms of the MOU by both parties. Upon approval by both parties, the document is sealed with signatures from the appropriate representatives of both parties on the MOU. Negotiating an MOU can be tasking usually requiring considerable amount of time, energy and resources.(3) There is no standard MOU format but the idea of partnering agencies should be reflected in the format.(5) During the process of negotiating the establishment of an MOU, the following should be considered: i. The goals and objectives of the document should be kept broad and in a simple language.(5) ii. The roles of parties involved should be well defined and the resources to be provided by each member stated. (5) iii. The terms, units of service, service definition, procedures for amending the MOU and proposed review dates should be well defined. (5) iv. Expectations regarding the functions of each party should be realistic and specific.(5) v. Establishing a good relationship between the parties involved at first contact will minimize the need for renegotiation in future.(5) vi. Underlying party feuds which may affect the implementation of the MOU should not be left unattended. (5) Special Concerns in developing an MOU: a. Timing: The time required in
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