050 FW 3
Supersedes 050 FW 3, 03/27/96 and
National Policy Issuance #94-02, 01/31/04
Date: August 21, 2008
Series: Planning and Management
Part 050: Service Management Policies
Originating Office: Division of Policy and Directives Management
3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes our policy and procedures for issuing and responding to management communications.
3.2 What is the objective of this chapter? Our objective is to establish consistent and efficient procedures for issuing and responding to communications from the Secretary and other Department of the Interior officials, the Director, Headquarters programs, and Regional Offices.
3.3 What are the procedures for work assignments and other requests coming from Headquarters to the Regional offices or field stations, and from Regional offices to field stations?
A. From Headquarters (HQ) to Regional offices or field stations: The Director or Deputy Director approves work assignments and other requests coming from the HQ (see section 3.4 for exceptions).
(1) Request Preparation and Clearance. The program office making the request must:
(a) Prepare a memorandum from the Director to the supervising Directorate member(s) explaining the assignment. The memorandum:
(i) Should allow at least 30 days for response, and
(ii) Must include the name and office of the person who should receive the response.
(b) Ensure appropriate surnames are received on the request.
(c) Send the request through the chain of command to the supervising Assistant Director and on to the Director’s office for signature.
(2) Tracking the Response(s).
(a) The program office making the request must upload the request memorandum and any accompanying material into the Data Tracking System (DTS) and assign it to the first official on the routing for surnames.
(b) After the Director signs the request memorandum, the Correspondence Control Unit (CCU) uploads the signed memorandum and uses the DTS email function to notify the office(s) responsible for responding. The program office may request that CCU return the signed memorandum to the program so that the program office may control notification to the office(s) responsible for responding.
(c) The responding office(s) uploads the response in DTS and notifies (using the email function in DTS) the program office making the request that the response has been uploaded.
B. From Regional offices to field stations: All work assignments that Regional offices send to field stations must go through the Project Leader’s supervisory chain of command.
A. Assistant Directors needing budget information from offices and field stations may make those requests directly after coordinating with the Chief, Division of Budget. The Director should approve budget assignments that involve sensitive information or entail a significant level of effort to complete, unless there is a short turn-around time. Sensitive information is, for example, information on employees or the public that we can retrieve by personal identifier (such as name, social security number, or employee number).
B. The Assistant Directors – Business Management and Operations and Information Resources and Technology Management may make assignments related to financial audits, including sending requests from auditors. The Director should approve audit-related assignments that involve sensitive information or a significant level of effort to complete.
C. The Assistant Director – External Affairs may send requests for briefing papers for confirmation or budget hearings, Secretarial or other Departmental travel, or similar information requests directly to the Directorate.
D. The Assistant Director – Information Resources and Technology Management may send out assignments to secure the Service’s Wide Area Network and information technology infrastructure. The Director should approve assignments that involve sensitive information or a significant level of effort to complete.
E. A Directorate member or the Chief, Division of Budget may ask for a response without following the procedures in this policy if anything other than an immediate response would:
(1) Be detrimental to the Service mission,
(2) Place the Service in non-compliance with the Department’s or Administration’s policy, or
(3) Adversely impact our ability to respond to the Office of Management and Budget or Congress.
F. This policy does not apply to recurring national reports that the Director has already approved (see 281 FW 1). A national report is a report that a Region or field office must send to or through the HQ to meet a reporting requirement. These requirements may be statutory; from Congress, another agency, or the Department; or from the Director.
G. This policy does not apply to routine staff discussions and requests for information that do not require a significant level of effort, or feedback among staff in the HQ, the Regions, and the field. Following are a few examples of the types of communications that may continue to take place without complying with the clearance procedures in this chapter:
(1) Routine conference calls and meetings,
(2) Telephone calls and emails with requests for information and verification or clarification of information that do not require a significant level of effort and constitute a normal and routine way of doing business, and
(3) Non-decisionmaking discussions about projects, issues, and events.
3.5 What are the procedures for responding to requests for information from the Secretary or other high level Department officials?
B. Tracking the Request and Response.
(1) The office that receives the request must enter it into DTS. The Correspondence Control Unit (CCU) enters these requests for the Director’s office.
(2) The responding office/field station must upload the response into DTS and use the email notification function to notify the next office in the routing that the response is ready for surname. This notification continues until all appropriate officials surname the response.
(3) The office of the supervising Directorate member overseeing the response must prepare the final response memorandum and send it to the requesting high level Department official.
3.6 What should offices/field stations do if they receive requests from Headquarters or Regional Offices that do not comply with this chapter or from oversight entities outside of the Service?
A. Non-compliant requests from Headquarters and Regional Offices:
(1) The office/field station receiving the request should reply that the request does not comply with this policy.
(2) The requesting office should revise the request to comply with this policy and re-send it.
B. Requests received directly from the Department: See Table 3-1 for information about what to do with requests that come directly from the Department.
C. Requests received directly from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress, or other oversight entities: The Division/Branch Chief or Project Leader who receives the request should follow the notification and preparation steps the same as if he/she got a request directly from the Department (see the first three columns in Table 3-1). However, the Director must review and approve all responses to requests from oversight entities.
For information on the content of this chapter, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management, at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov.