U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service   251 FW 2, Capability Statements

FWM#:         336 (New)
Date:             April 12, 1999
Series:           Budget
Part 251:       Budget Justification
Originating Office:  Division of Budget   

2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter provides guidance, instructions, and formats for preparing capability statements for submission to House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees.

2.2 What are capability statements? Capability statements provide the subcommittees with the official position of the Administration on budgetary and policy matters. They assess the impact to the President's budget request of proposed changes originating from interest groups or elected representatives.

2.3 When are capability statements prepared? Requests from Members of Congress involving a new initiative or change in funding for a program require preparation of capability statements. Such requests are considered confidential, and the Division of Budget may not distribute them to Headquarters and Regional Offices. In addition, capability statements may be prepared in response to proposed changes in statutory language, proposed reprogrammings, or to state a position on an issue.

2.4 Who coordinates the preparation and review of statements? The Division of Budget coordinates the preparation and review of capability statements and establishes due dates. Depending upon the proposal, the Division of Budget determines which office--Assistant Director or other Headquarters office or Regional Director--will prepare the response.

2.5 Who reviews capability statements? Regional Offices will submit statements to the appropriate Assistant Director or Headquarters office for review before submission to the Division of Budget. Due dates reflect when statements must be received by the Division of Budget. Consider this and allow sufficient time when submitting statements to the Headquarters offices for review. The Division of Budget, the Departmental Budget Office, and, depending on the political sensitivity of the proposal, the Office of Management and Budget will review capability statements. Since capability statements are confidential communications from the Administration to the Congress, Service employees cannot send copies of such statements to anyone outside of the Executive Branch.

2.6 How are capability statements written? Capability statements will contain clear, concise, and objective information describing the proposed budget amendment. Our response will support the President's budget. Clearly explain any change in circumstances since the President's budget was prepared. Ensure that information contained in capability statements is consistent with other information that we previously supplied to Congress. If the Department supports a proposed amendment, the capability statement will serve as a budget justification for the requested change.

2.7 What is the format for a capability statement? Prepare capability statements for all Service accounts, except Land Acquisition and Construction, in the format shown in Exhibit 1.

A. Statutory Language Format. Exhibit 2 is an example of a proposed statutory language change capability statement. Include the same headings and sections as in other capability statements, but typically leave blank the "amount budgeted" and "outlay rate" sections.

B. Land Acquisition Format. Land acquisition capability statements require a different format. These statements, also referred to as "Fact Sheets," provide detailed information relating to a proposed project, including the purpose of the acquisition, the statutory authority, a history of funding, and the status of the proposed land acquisition. Exhibit 3 provides an example of a land acquisition funding request and the corresponding format for preparing a response.

D. Construction Format. Prepare capability statements for Service construction projects as Construction Fact Sheets, which provide a detailed accounting of the impacts of a proposed construction project. Include general project information followed by responses to standardized questions relating to statutory authority, planning, construction, and operational and maintenance impacts. Exhibits 4 and 5 highlight the format for preparing fact sheets.



For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management, at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov.  For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Budget. 
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