343 FW 2, Standards and Procedures

FWM#:     230 (new)
Date:        October 9, 1995
Series:      Real Property
Part 343:  Cadastral Surveys and Maps
Originating Office: Division of Realty

2.1 Tract Plat.

A. Tracts surveyed shall be delineated on one or more plats, as required, to include all of one ownership being acquired, regardless of the number of tracts in the ownership. The ownership name and number shall be in accordance with 342 FW 3, Negotiations, and the number shown on the land status map. In the event a tract must be broken into two or more parts due to overlaps, adverse claim, or occupancy, the area of clouded title will be identified with the established tract designation followed by a hyphen and a Roman numeral, affixed by the land surveyor.

B. Tract plats are to be formatted in accordance with Exhibit 1 on highly stable transparent media (a Record of Survey, prepared and recorded in accordance to State standards, that incorporates the basic information prescribed in 2.1D may be used in lieu of the tract plat). If dimensions larger than 21.59 cm x 27.94 cm (8 1/2 in x 11 in) are required to clearly depict all necessary data, then a copy of the tract plat shall be properly folded to fit neatly in the tract report. To the greatest extent possible, tract plats will be prepared using Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) or Geographic Information System (GIS) software (Also reference 343 FW 3, Realty Maps).

C. Basic lettering can be by a mechanical lettering device, a typewriter (if nonseeping ribbon is used), a varitype (headliner) or other suitable methods. Legible freehand may be used for the detail lettering.

D. The plat shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Geographic Elements.

(a) Tract boundary.

(b) Corner monumentation and numbers with location and kind of each monument set, found, or replaced (corner identification marked by circles or other identifiable symbols will NOT be used on those lines that have not been physically surveyed on the ground, unless labeled as a computed point).

(c) Identified legal lines and adjoining ownership.

(d) Ties to monuments of geographic positions, coordinate systems and bench marks.

(e) Cultural and physical features.

(f) Easements located in accordance with descriptions furnished.

(g) Encroachments and possession of the title lines.

(h) Location and name of each road, stream, landmark, etc.

(2) Cartographic Elements.

(a) Tract installation name and location.

(b) The total actual surveyed acreage of all tracts depicted shall be stated in the title block below the tract designation.

(c) Graphical scale in both metric and English units with a corresponding note stating the scale of which the map was drawn.

(d) Direction of the meridian. A notation shall show whether the survey courses are on true north or grid north (south, where applicable).

(e) Legend or key to symbols shown.

(f) Curve data (central angle, radius, arc).

(g) Tabulation of bearings and distances. (See Exhibit 2 for format.)

(h) Acreage tabulation by tract.

(i) Date of survey.

(j) Land Surveyor's Certificate. This certificate will state, among other things, that a survey has been made if it has been. If no survey has been made, a statement as to source of plat information and data shall be included.

(k) Draftsperson initials and date plat was drawn.

2.2 Tract Report. A formal Tract Report (see Exhibits 3 and 4) will be prepared by the Regional Land Surveyor, or under his direct supervision, for each tract of land on which surveys have been made or where the plat has been prepared without a survey. These descriptions comprise an essential part of the land record material for vesting title in the United States and are the basis on which land being acquired are described in deeds to the United States and condemnation proceedings. Management surveys after title is vested in the United States are excluded from this requirement. The distribution of the Tract Report: original copy to the title file and extra xerox copies (as required) to Realty files, including Surveys and Maps, and one copy to Station Manager. The Tract Report includes, in order of binding, the cover sheet, legal description, tract plat, surveyor's certificate, and certificate of occupancy.

A. Cover Sheet.  The cover sheet gives the Department, Agency, and Office titles, the tract name and number, the installation name, the county, the acreage if determined, the name of the preparing official, and the date.

B. Legal Description. The tract legal description must be prepared for use in the deed of conveyance to the United States.  The legal description of tracts surveyed shall be accurate and concise, containing enough information to permit a surveyor to definitely locate the tract on the ground and to establish, or reestablish, its boundary, lines, and corners.  The use of the record plats or record metes and bounds description is allowed, especially if required by State platting laws, provided the area is an aliquot part of a section, or when sufficient ties have been made between physical features and land corners.  Descriptions must also include areas of ambulatory riparian or littoral rights that are apurtenant to the tract.

(1) Description of lands within the scope of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) should conform to the accepted nomenclature of that system, citing the name of the State, the proper reference meridian, the appropriate township and range numbers and, where necessary, the section and sectional subdivision shown on the official plats of survey (see Specifications for Descriptions of Tracts of Land for Use in Land Orders and Proclamations, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1979). This document is available in Realty offices.

(2) There are five general types of legal descriptions, three in the narrative form and two in the tabular form. The person preparing the description should use the form he/she deems appropriate to save preparation time. Frequent cases will arise where the narrative form will require no more time to prepare, and will be more suitable from a record standpoint.

(a) Narrative.

(i) Metes and bounds. A series of lines around the perimeter of an area. "Metes" meaning bearing and distances, and "bounds" meaning and referring to monuments both physical and legal.

(ii) Adjoiners. A boundary description stated totally by reference to the recorded deeds of the owners adjoining each boundary line of the property being described.

(iii) Strips. Strip descriptions for rights-of-way of pipelines, roads, utility lines, railroads, etc.

(b) Tabular.

(i) Aliquot Part. All or part of a township, section, lot, parcel, or tract of the PLSS.

(ii) Lot and Block. A lot and block description as shown on a map of a recorded subdivision or parcel map.

(3) Spelling out of subdivisions (e.g., Northeast Quarter for NE1/4), section numbers, or lot numbers, in addition to using symbols and figures, is not mandatory, but preferable. Careful verification of symbols will be required whenever used alone.

C. Surveyor's Certificate. The surveyor's certificate shall describe the authenticity of the plat and be completed by the Regional Land Surveyor, or in the case of a contract survey by a registered land surveyor.

D. Certificate of Occupancy. The Certificate of Occupancy must include all visible use and occupancy, past and present. The described use and occupancy will include the type; by whom; approximate location; period of use or occupancy; and also, if known, the right under which such use was made. Cases of possible adverse occupancy and use that should not be overlooked are timber cutting, harvest of marine products, mining and quarrying, etc. The person signing the Certificate of Occupancy shall either make an actual field inspection of the tract(s), or he/she may accept a statement from others who have an intimate knowledge of the tract(s), and whose experience qualifies them to make such an investigation. The Certificate of Occupancy is intended to show possession at the time the field survey was made. In no instance shall the certificate be more than six (6) months old from the time the Tract Report is prepared.

2.3 Tract Acreage Determination.

A. Acreage for surveyed tracts shall be determined by appropriate area calculation methods. For tracts with straight boundary lines, the methods of Double Meridian Distance, triangles, or coordinates can be employed. For tracts with irregular or curved boundaries, such as a stream or road, the trapezoidal rule or Simpson's one-third rule can be used, as appropriate. Coordinate Geometry (COGO), CADD, and GIS software offer area routines for closed tracts, drawing entities, and polygons.

B. For ordinary plane land surveying, the area of a tract of land is an approximation of the actual ground surface as represented by a projection onto a horizontal or flattened surface. Map projections, including State Plane Coordinate Systems, distort some or all of five geometric relationships: distances, directions, angles, shapes, and areas. On small tracts these distortions are normally insignificant. However, the land surveyor should recognize that area computations using different datums, ellipsoids, and mapping projections will usually result in different acreage for the identical tract.

C. The land surveyor should ensure that the resultant acreage meets the minimum survey and mapping accuracy standards for the particular project.

D. The official Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or General Land Office (GLO) acreage shall be used for all regular parts of a section not physically surveyed by the Service. In the event that the total of subdivision acreage is not the same as shown on the township plat for the whole section, the total subdivision acreage shall be used. Acreage of land that accrue to the tract(s) through accretion or reliction should also be included.

E. The actual acreage shall be reported whether it is more or less than the acreage shown on the official BLM/GLO township plats for all sections, lots, or aliquot parts of the PLSS when physically surveyed by the Service.

F. Surveys are not necessary merely to ascertain accurate areas of such PLSS subdivisions, unless required for acquisition purposes.

2.4 Office Procedures.

A. Record Search. The appraisers and/or realty specialists shall make available to the Regional Land Surveyor the following:

(1) Title records including copies of deeds for lands being acquired and adjacent thereto.

(2) Recorded and/or unrecorded survey plats of property being acquired and lands adjacent thereto.

(3) Names and addresses of adjoining owners.

(4) Known encumbrances, adverse claims, and county land use restrictions.

(5) Highway, road, and street alignment and acquisition plats when appropriate.

(6) Utility acquisition or easement plats when appropriate.

(7) Sketch of tracts under option showing the location of all exclusions staked on the ground, numbered in sequence, beginning with number one and running consecutively throughout the optioned tract. (See 342 FW 4, Title Curative and Conveyancing.)

B. Title Records. When a title policy is being issued in lieu of an abstract and to avoid duplication of searching title for a suitable description, every effort should be made to obtain the chain of title from the insurer.

2.5 Field Procedures.

A. Methods of Survey. Recognized and accepted methods and procedures for conducting land boundary retracements, surveys, and resurveys are documented in numerous texts and handbooks. These references shall be followed where not in conflict with the following instructions:

(1) Measurements. All conventional surveys shall be made by transit, theodolite, or total station using the repetition method for all angles. Measurements of distances shall be made by electronic distance measuring (EDM) equipment or with graduated steel tapes. The quality of direction shall be consistent with the quality of distance. Horizontal distances are required in final returns.

(2) Ties. Ties shall be made to monumented benchmarks and triangulation stations. A complete description of the benchmark and/or triangulation stations shall be kept in the field notes. Ties shall also be taken to topographic, occupation, and cultural features as they are encountered along the lines being surveyed. Buildings, towers, and similar improvements on each side of the line should be documented by taking side shots or triangulation from transit points. The land survey shall tie points of diversion of water and depict the size of the canal, its right-of-way, and evidence of abandoned water handling facilities.

(3) Conflicts. In the event the position of boundary lines is disputed or there is conflicting evidence, the surveyor shall fix the position of the disputed line(s) based upon customary surveying practices and appropriate legal precedents. Evidence used in determining the location shall be fully documented so that the decision reached can be successfully defended in Federal courts. If there appears to be a valid conflict to part of a tract, the disputed land shall be surveyed separately. A separate tract report shall be made of the findings and a report of recommended action to be taken will be submitted.

(4) Orientation. The reported bearing or azimuth shall be oriented to either astronomic (true) or grid north (south, where applicable). Astronomic azimuths shall be determined by hour-angle observations on the sun or Polaris, or by rotation from geodetic azimuth using the LaPlace correction (see National Geodetic Survey (NGS) "Deflect 93" computation program). Grid azimuth shall be determined by ties to monuments of the National Geodetic Reference System (NGRS). Azimuth determinations made by observations on the sun or Polaris shall be recorded on computer printout and made a part of the field notes. Record azimuths may be used when the preferred methods are economically unfeasible.

(5) Accuracy. Measurements for distance shall be recorded to a millimeter or to the nearest hundredth of a foot. The minimum relative accuracy for traverses shall meet the horizontal point closure classification of 3rd-order class II after azimuth adjustment (i.e., relative accuracy shall meet 1:5,000), unless a higher accuracy is required by State law. The detail and accuracy of horizontal and vertical control work is governed by the use to which the data will be placed (refer to 2.6). 

(6) Subdivisions. All lot splits and parcel subdivisions shall meet applicable State subdivision map act requirements, unless waiver for Federal Government applies.

(7) Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies may be used to determine relative horizontal and vertical positions with a great deal of accuracy. Because of this implied precision of GPS derived survey positions, great care must be taken in the gathering and computation of GPS data. Minimum accuracy standards are given in 2.6. In addition, reference should be made to the manufacturers recommended observation and reduction procedures.

B. Monumentation and Marking. The boundaries and corners of land define the physical limits of a variety of real property rights and interests. The corner monument is direct evidence of the position of the corner and the location of boundaries. The courts attach major importance to evidence relating to the original position of the corner, such evidence being given far greater weight than the record relating to bearings and lengths of lines. The legal importance of the corner makes mandatory the workmanlike construction of lasting monuments skillfully related to natural objects or ties to improvements so that the greatest practicable permanence is secured. If it is necessary to remonument or rehabilitate an existing corner, the utmost care should be taken to carefully perpetuate the evidence which served to identify that position. A complete record will be kept of the description of the old monument as identified, together with any alterations and additions. The accurate location, marking, posting, and maintenance of Service boundaries identifies and preserves the rights of the Service and its adjoiners, while concurrently benefitting most resource activities. The general requirements for monumenting corners and marking boundaries of Service lands are as follows:

(1) Class "A" monuments shall consist of iron, aluminum, stainless steel or PVC pipes or rods (the monument material shall be compatible with soil type). Dig-in pipe monuments shall be a minimum of 6.35 cm (2 in) in diameter. Drive-in rods shall be a minimum of 2.54 cm (1 in) in diameter. Class "A" monument caps and rock tablets shall be made of aluminum or brass, have a minimum diameter of 6.35 cm (2 in), and be inscribed "U.S. DEPT. OF THE INTERIOR U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE UNLAWFUL TO DISTURB" around the top perimeter. The caps shall be stamped with markings necessary to identify the position of the corner (BLM designations in public land States or the tract and corner number in non-public land States), and may bear, for ready reference, a serial number (the caps shall also bear the land surveyor's license number on all contract surveys). The monuments shall be oriented with the date on the south side. Class "A" monuments shall be set along the perimeter boundary of a purchase unit at all critical corners and not more than 1.6 km (approximately one-mile) intervals where practical. Fiberglass posts or similar shall be set intervisible on long tangent lines.

(2) Class "B" monuments shall consist of iron pipe ranging from 2.54 cm to 5.08 cm (1 to 2 inches) in diameter, rebar, native stone, or a healthy tree. The marking of class "B" monuments is not mandatory unless required by State law. However, it is desirable to stamp the position (BLM designation or the tract and corner number) on a cap or near the top of the iron pipe; a chiseled cross on stone; or a blaze at breast height with three hacks above facing each of the intersecting lines on healthy trees.

(3) A witness corner is a monumented point usually on a line of a survey and near a corner. Witness corners shall be set only when the true corner position cannot be monumented or occupied, such as in a watercourse. They shall be set on the property line or within the purchase tract. The witness corner monument cap shall be stamped W.C. or WITNESS at the top of the cap along with the appropriate corner markings as outlined in (1) above, with an arrow pointing to the true corner position.

(4) Reference monuments are accessories to the true corner position. Reference monuments shall be set when the true corner position can be monumented, but is subject to destruction or inaccessibility (such as a sub-surface monument in a road right-of-way or a corner tree). The reference monuments shall be set off-line and within the purchase unit, if possible. The monument cap shall be stamped R.M. at the top of the cap along with the appropriate corner markings for the corner that it references as outlined in (1) above, with an arrow pointing to the true corner position.

(5) All monuments should be surrounded by a mound of stone or earth where practical to do so.

(6) All corners forming the exterior boundary of a part or all of a project area, including the intersections of tangent lines with meanders of topographic or cultural features, shall be monumented, where practical.

(7) Where practicable, each corner monument will be witnessed by two healthy bearing trees located on land embraced by the survey, or on Government land. Bearing trees shall be tied to the monument by bearing and horizontal distance measurement to the center of the tree at the root crown.

(8) Lines in timbered lands shall be marked by cutting a blaze at least 20.32 cm (8 in) long, at breast height, with a hack 15.24 cm (6 in) above and below the blaze facing the true line. Center line trees shall be similarly marked with the marking fore and aft in the line on both sides of the tree. Sufficient trees shall be blazed to maximum distance of 1.83 m (6 feet) each side of the true line to afford easy identification of the line. All blazes, as well as Class "B" corner markers, shall be painted.

(9) Lines in open land shall be marked on line with fence posts or signs as intervisible pairs so the exterior boundary can be posted or fenced without time consuming and costly resurveys.

(10) When applicable, every monumented corner should be perpetuated with a steel fence post, refuge type sign post, treated wood post, or fiberglass post set adjacent to the monument to serve as a guard and locator. The Regional Land Surveyor should make every effort to solicit the assistance of station personnel in the preservation of the monuments with guard posts. This will provide station personnel with an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the location and types of monuments and the location of the property lines.

(11) The station manager must maintain the property lines and corners in their original condition. Should any line or corner on a station become lost, obliterated, or destroyed he/she will immediately notify the Regional Land Surveyor. When working on an installation, the Regional Land Surveyor or a member of his/her staff will make a physical inspection of nearby boundary conditions. The surveyor shall inspect the perimeter boundary line and note such items as missing corners; guard posts rotted or destroyed; improper posting; and possible encroachments. The surveyor will then submit a written report to the Regional Supervisor of the installation of his findings together with recommendations for corrective actions.

(12) The same requirements of monumentation and guard posts shall apply to any contracted survey acquisition work (see 2.7).

(13) Exterior project area lines in timbered land which follow natural or topographic features such as water courses, ridge tops, and roads shall be marked and painted on line trees or those facing the feature. Interior lines which follow outstanding fee right-of-way boundaries shall also be marked and painted, but hacks may be omitted.

(14) On all horizontal and vertical control surveys, the surveyor shall establish sufficient permanent benchmarks, control points, and offset monuments around the project to preserve the value of the major control network.

C. Survey Records. Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3102, the Service is required to promote the maintenance and security of records deemed appropriate for preservation. In general, records that relate to Real Property Files are considered permanent. Survey and map records should be properly protected until accessioned into the National Archives and Records Administration according to the schedule provided in the Records Disposition Authority (see 282 FW 5).

(1) Field Notes. Field notes shall be recorded on looseleaf sheets or bound notebooks. If bound notebooks are used for any purpose, the survey notes for more than one project area shall not be placed in the same book. Survey notes provide the basic information necessary to retrace the survey. Survey notes should be neat, legible, and understandable to another competent surveyor. They have legal significance and must be preserved as project records. As a disaster recovery measure, a duplicate copy on microfiche or other suitable media shall be maintained and stored offsite.

(2) Computation Sheets. Computer printout sheets will be properly annotated before filing. The sheets shall be bound with the individual tract associated with the computations and filed by project area.

(3) Survey Base Maps. On all new refuges, fish hatcheries, and other Service installations, survey information should be compiled into a composite digital survey base map. New coordinate data shall reference an appropriate grid system, such as the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid or the State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS), on the North American Datum 1983 (NAD 83). Previously surveyed boundary and land net information shall be incorporated as necessary and practical to properly and completely identify the unit. Older information shall be adjusted, transformed, and translated to be consistent with the datum and grid system of the new survey data. The survey base map shall consist of all available field gathered information, available planimetric data, and any other information determined to be beneficial. The survey base map shall be consistent with the type of information required by applicable State surveying practice. The descriptive information may be added as attribute information in a relational data base for use by a Geographic/Land Information System. The survey base map must be capable of producing a hardcopy official base map plotted using permanent ink on the appropriate "C" or "E" size stable base mylar film (see 343 FW 3, Realty Maps). In general, the survey base map should contain most of the data required for Tract Plats (see 2.1), but as a minimum shall include the following:

(a) State, county, and unit name/division.

(b) All monuments found, set, reset, replaced, or removed, describing their kind, size, and location, and giving other data relating thereto (descriptive relational data).

(c) Bearing trees, reference monuments, witness corners, and ties to improvements, basis of bearings, bearing and length of lines (descriptive relational data).

(d) Scale of map and north arrow.

(e) Datum, coordinate system, mapping angle, and adjustments.

(f) The relationship to those portions of adjacent tracts, streets, or senior conveyances which have common lines with the survey (descriptive relational data).

(g) Date of compilation.

(h) Date of revision.

(i) Land surveyor and cartographer certification.

(j) Source of data with proper lineage information such as date, scale, projection, and method of data acquisition.

(k) Any other features/data that are required by 343 FW 3 and are necessary for the intelligent interpretation of the various items and locations of the points, lines, and areas shown.

D. Access to Private Property. There is no Federal authority giving Government surveyors the right to enter upon or to survey private land lines in connection with surveys of land being acquired or under control of the Service. There may be limited access authority under specific State statutes. It is therefore imperative that personnel obtain permission from the landowner(s) or operator, duly constituted officials, or responsible land or resource management agencies before entering on their property to perform work of any kind.

(1) A written notice to survey should be mailed to the vendor and to each abutting landowner when deemed applicable by the Regional Land Surveyor. The landowner or otherwise, as appropriate, shall be informed by certified mail of the following facts:

(a) Date and time of entry on the land, and period during which entry will occur.

(b) Kind and number of vehicles to be used.

(c) Number of personnel involved with name and address of person in charge.

(d) Purpose of work.

(e) Approximate locations on the property where work is to be done.

(2) The landowner or otherwise, as appropriate, shall be notified by the surveyor in charge before the survey party initially enters on the private property. This shall be done by an official visit, if possible, and shall be documented for the files. In the event of damage as a result of the survey, the owner will be entitled to make a claim for compensation through established channels.

(3) There is limited protection for land surveyors by a Federal marshal in the survey of any public lands (43 U.S.C. 774). This includes those lands that have been withdrawn and are under control of the Service. If forcible opposition is encountered by a survey crew, the Regional Solicitor working with the U.S. Attorney should make an Application for Writ of Assistance to the U.S. District Court having jurisdiction in the area. Once the court has entered the Writ, then the survey crew can coordinate assistance directly with the Marshal's office.

2.6 Accuracy Standards.

A. Survey accuracy standards relate to the relative accuracy derived from a particular survey. Relative survey accuracy is a function of the specifications and procedures used and is expressed as a ratio of the misclosure to the total length of the survey, for example 1:20,000. Relative survey accuracy differs from map accuracy.

B. Map accuracy is determined by comparing the mapped location of selected well-defined points to their "true" location as determined by a conventional survey of higher accuracy. Map accuracies are expressed in terms of limiting positional error. For small scale mapping the U.S. National Map Accuracy Standards (NMAS) give the following very general instructions, "Horizontal accuracy: For maps on publication scales larger than 1:20,000, not more than 10 percent of the points tested shall be in error by more than 1/30 inch, measured on the publication scale; for maps on publication scales of 1:20,000 or smaller, 1/50 inch. These limits of accuracy shall apply in all cases to positions of well-defined points only." The surveyor and cartographer must be aware that the NMAS do not apply to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) digital line graph (DLG) series of products. For large scale mapping the Engineering Map Accuracy Standards and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing's (ASPRS) specification for large scale mapping provide appropriate standards. In all cases the accuracy of the conventional field survey used to test or control map accuracy must exceed that of the map.

C. A survey shall be classified based on its horizontal point closure ratio, or the vertical elevation difference closure standard as given in Exhibit 5, Accuracy Classification Standards.

D. Global Positioning System.

(1) A complete review of GPS methods, concepts, techniques, and adjustments is outside of the scope of this manual. GPS surveys should follow the recommended procedures of the manufacturer and textbooks on the subject. In general, GPS surveys can be graded into the following three categories, geodetic, survey, and resource:

(a) Geodetic quality GPS surveys are normally outside of the mission of the Service. In general, geodetic quality GPS surveys should comply with the specifications and guidelines set forth by the Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee and should be directed by a qualified geodesist or geodetic surveyor.

(b) Survey quality GPS surveys can be used for local control networks and boundary surveys. Survey quality GPS surveys should be overseen by a qualified geodesist or land surveyor. The procedures and classification standards given in Exhibit 6 describe a simple and straightforward method for confirming the implied accuracy of GPS derived survey positions.

(c) Resource quality GPS surveys can be used for applications such as field locations, navigation, map editing, area estimating, facilities management, and ground truthing of remotely sensed data. Resource quality GPS surveys may be done by individuals that have a basic background in mapping science. Such basic background should include knowledge of reference datums, coordinate systems, mapping projections, area calculations, coordinate transformations, datum transformations, error analysis, geodetic computations, unit conversions, and reference bearing/azimuth conversions.

(2) GPS offers two levels of navigation service: the Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and the Precise Positioning Service (PPS). The SPS is available to all GPS users. The PPS is controlled using cryptographic techniques and is only available to users authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Service is authorized to use the PPS pursuant to the requirements set forth in Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior, dated August 26, 1994, and September 14, 1994.

(3) The user should be aware of the autonomous (single receiver) accuracies of each service. The following lists the published positional accuracies for both the SPS and the PPS. The accuracies are listed with a confidence statement that is represented by a specific numerical value together with a corresponding confidence level (probability). The Circular Error Probable (CEP) is a two-dimensional measure of accuracy. It refers to the radius of a circle inside of which there is a specified probability of being located. The Spherical Error Probable (SEP) is a three-dimensional measure of accuracy. It refers to the radius of a sphere inside of which there is a specified probability of being located.

(a) SPS - 156 m (SEP-95%) and 100 m (CEP-95%).

(b) PPS - 30 m (SEP-95%) and 25 m (CEP-95%). The user should be aware that specifications will normally list the PPS at the 50% confidence level (e.g., 16 m (SEP-50%) and 10 m (CEP-50%)).

2.7 Contracting. Contracts for surveying and mapping services are generally of the indefinite-quantity type and follow the requirements for Architect and Engineer Services as provided in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Part 36. The indefinite-quantity contract is derived from the indefinite-delivery type contract. This type is classified into the definite quantity, indefinite-quantity, and requirements contract types. All three types may be used with pricing arrangements that are firm fixed-price, fixed-price with escalation, or fixed-price redeterminable. A definite quantity contract is one in which the quantity of supplies or services is known but the time of delivery is not. An indefinite-quantity contract is one in which the precise quantity is not known but an estimate is given, along with a minimum and a maximum that may be ordered by the Government within a given delivery period. This type of contract provides flexibility as to both quantity and time of delivery. A requirements contract is an agreement by the Government to buy all of its needs for a certain stated period of time from the contractor, with no specified amount or time of delivery. It differs from indefinite-quantity only to the extent that no maximum quantity is stated. The Regional Land Surveyor should work closely with the Contracting Officer in the preparation and assist with technical matters relating to the negotiation of all survey and mapping contracts. In general, the procedure for contracting should follow the sequence outlined in Exhibit 7.

A. Solicitation. The Request for Proposal (RFP) will normally contain four parts, with each part containing several sections:

Part I - The Schedule
Part II - Contract Clauses
Part III - List of Documents, Exhibits, and Other Attachments
Part IV - Representations and Instructions

The majority of the contract will be prepared by the Contracting Officer. The Regional Land Surveyor, or a designated member of the surveying staff, should assist the Contracting Officer in the preparation of specific sections of Part I, II and III of the Request for Proposal. In Part I, the land surveyor can be expected to assist with the preparation of The Statement of Work, Inspection and Acceptance, Contract Administration, and any Special Contract Requirements. Part II should include a Contractor responsibility clause. In Part III, the land surveyor can be expected to assist with the preparation and submission of necessary attachments and exhibits.

(1) Statement of Work/Specifications. The statement of work should be clear, concise, and deliverable. The statement of work should have as a minimum six parts Requirements, General, Definitions, Standards, Tract Report, Deliverable Items, and Identification of Photography. Specific language and format may be found in Exhibit 8.

(2) Inspection and Acceptance. During the progress of work, any inspections of the field control installations, field notes, computations, compilations, drafting, etc., is at the option of the Contracting Officer, or his/her designated representative. All work and equipment shall be available for inspection by the Contracting Officer or designated representative upon request.

(3) Site Inspection and Representations. Unless otherwise provided for, the Contractor is responsible for all research and investigation into the nature, location, topography, equipment, and facilities which can in any way affect the work or the cost thereof. Any failure of the Contractor to be properly acquainted with the scope and complexity of the project does not relieve the Contractor from the responsibility of full performance of the work.

(4) Contract Administration. A Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) will be designated in each individual work order. The COTR is authorized to provide information of a technical nature relating to the work under the contract. The COTR is NOT authorized to give any guidance or direction which would affect the cost of, or time required to perform activities required by the contract, nor any matter which would be subject to appeal under the "Disputes" clause of the contract.

(5) Special Contract Requirements. Special Contract Requirements can cover a variety of items such as rights of entry, damages, clean-up, reports, and accuracy.

(6) Contract Clauses. This part of the RFP will contain numerous federal acquisition regulation clauses. In particular, all survey and mapping contracts should contain a contractor responsibility clause as given in FAR 52.236-23.

(7) Attachments and Exhibits. This part of the RFP provides the contractor with examples of deliverables and government-furnished supplies. For example, the Contractor should be provided with clean and recent copies of tract reports, tract plats, certificates, monument and witness post specifications, field notes, and any other applicable specifications that are required for fulfillment of the contract.

B. Evaluation Process.

(1) The evaluation is conducted in accordance with requirements outlined in the FAR Subpart 36.6, Architect-Engineer Services and the Source Selection Plan that is provided by the Source Selection Authority. The Source Selection Plan is prepared by the Chief, Contracting and General Services for the respective Region and contains all the specifics for the selection process including solicitation number, brief description of services, acquisition strategy for type of contract, cost estimate, list of technical proposal evaluation committee members, source selection authority, special instructions to offerors, evaluation process, evaluation factors, factor weights, presolicitation/preproposal conference schedule, and milestone schedule.

(2) The technical proposal evaluation committee is responsible for ranking offerors based upon the evaluation process set forth by the Source Selection Plan together with the evaluation factors and factor weights. Members of the technical proposal evaluation committee will be required to sign a Confidentiality Certificate and a Conflict of Interest Statement. Specific duties of the technical proposal evaluation committee include the following:

(a) Review of current data files on eligible firms and those firms submitting responses to the Commerce Business Daily notice.

(b) Evaluation of firms in accordance with the evaluation criteria established in the solicitation.

(c) Discussions with at least three of the most highly qualified firms regarding concepts and the relative utility of alternative methods of furnishing the required services. Fees shall not be considered, or even discussed, during these discussions.

(d) Preparation of a selection report for the Source Selection Authority. The selection report recommends, in order of preference, at least three firms that are considered to be the most highly qualified to perform the required services. In addition, the report includes a description of the discussions and evaluations conducted by the board to allow the Source Selection Authority to review the considerations upon which the recommendations are based.

(3) The Source Selection Authority makes the final selection as provided in FAR 36.602-4.

(4) The Source Selection Authority conducts negotiations with the firm designated as the most highly qualified. If a satisfactory price structure is negotiated then the contract is awarded. If a satisfactory price structure cannot be concluded, the Contracting Officer formally discontinues negotiations with that firm and initiates discussions with the second-rated firm this process continues until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.

C. Task Orders.

(1) The base IDQ contract for surveying and mapping services is negotiated by the Contracting Officer to include fixed rates for labor, overhead, travel, profit, etc. Subsequent task orders are unilateral and do not entail negotiations for these same items.

(2) Procedural guidance regarding the use of IDQ contracts for professional or technical support services is set forth in Department of the Interior Acquisition Policy Release (DIAPR) 88-14, dated December 9, 1987. DIAPR 88-14 states in part, "Pursuant to FAR 16.506, delivery orders issued under an indefinite-quantity contract must include, inter alia, the quantity and price of the supplies or services required and the delivery date. Such orders are issued unilaterally by the contracting officer or other parties specifically authorized to issue orders under the contract. Thus, solicitations based on use of indefinite-quantity type contracts (and the resulting contract) should not require the negotiation of delivery orders. However, a proposal for the work to be performed under a delivery order may be requested from the contractor if the contracting officer determines that additional information on the terms of the order (i.e., labor hours, delivery, or cost/price) is necessary before it can be finalized and issued. If the contracting officer and the contractor are unable to agree on all terms of the order prior to issuance, the contractor is obligated to perform the work under the terms of the order as issued by the contracting officer. Any terms of an order with which the contractor disagrees are subject to the disputes clause."

(3) The Regional Land Surveyor is responsible for preparing the Statement of Work for a task order. The task order shall contain a realistic estimate of Service requirements as they relate to various items within the Rate Schedule. An initial estimate is obtained by a review of the Statement of Work and project resource requirements in the following categories: labor effort by category of labor in the Rate Schedule; travel requirements; subconsultants; and equipment/supplies within the Rate Schedule. The estimate is further refined through a combination of efforts solicited from subject matter experts, historical data, and the IDQ contractor. Costs are applied to the determined level of effort using the fee schedule negotiated under the base IDQ contract to arrive at the task order amount. In accordance with the Ordering clause of the base IDQ contract a unilateral task order is issued by the Contracting Officer or other parties specifically authorized to issue orders under the contract. The Regional Land Surveyor shall maintain project files that contain documentation supporting the level of effort determination.

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