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371 FW 1
Policies and Responsibilities for Quarters Management

Supersedes 371 FW 1, FWM 259, 06/28/96

Date:  October 26, 2010

Series: Facility Management

Part 371: Quarters Management

Originating Office: Division Contracting and Facilities Management

 

 

PDF Version


 

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the authorities and responsibilities for all the chapters in Part 371, Quarters Management. Part 371 supplements 400 DM 3 and the Department of the Interior’s Housing Management Handbook.

 

1.2 How is Part 371 on Quarters Management organized? Table 1-1 shows how we have organized Part 371.

 

Table 1-1: Part 371, Quarters Management

Chapter

Title

371 FW 1

Policies and Responsibilities for Quarters Management

371 FW 2

Quarters Maintenance and Using Rent Funds

371 FW 3

Certification of Required Occupancy

371 FW 4

Challenging Quarters Rental Rates

371 FW 5

Housing for Volunteers

371 FW 6

Management Controls for Quarters

 

1.3 Why does the Service supply quarters? We supply quarters (housing units) to our employees, contractors, volunteers, and others when:

 

A. We determine that they are essential to fulfilling our mission, or

 

B. There is an inadequate supply of suitable private housing.

 

1.4 What are the authorities for Part 371?

 

A. Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-616) [section 4(c)(1) authorizes housing for volunteers].

 

B. 400 DM 3, Quarters Management.

 

C. Department of the Interior Housing Management Handbook.

 

D. Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 713 et. seq.).

 

E. Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act (31 U.S.C. 901 et. seq.).

 

F. Government Performance and Results Act (31 U.S.C. 1116 et. seq.).

 

G. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, Management’s Responsibility for Internal Control.

 

1.5 Who in the Service is responsible for quarters-related duties?

 

A. The Director approves Service policy for quarters management.

 

B. The Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations (ABMO):

 

(1) Approves requests for:

 

(a) Construction and acquisition of new, additional, or replacement housing (this includes house trailers and mobile homes for temporary use), and

 

(b) Use of facilities as Government furnished quarters (Form DI 1871, Justification for New or Replacement Housing);

 

(2) Establishes employee grievance procedures involving quarters; and

 

(3) Annually reviews and approves the continued use of Government furnished quarters that are obsolete or not energy efficient if the managing Regional Director recommends and can justify their use. ABMO will authorize continued use for no longer than 1 year.

 

C. Regional Directors:

 

(1) Review and recommend for the ABMO's approval Justifications for New or Replacement Housing, Form DI 1871;

 

(2) Approve Certificates of Required Occupancy, Form DI 1872;

 

(3) Review the Regional Quarters Maintenance Management program annually to evaluate its effectiveness and correct deficiencies;

 

(4) Review employee grievances involving their required occupancy of Government furnished quarters and work with employees to resolve them; and

 

(5) Appoint a Regional Quarters Officer. Regional Directors may not assign the quarters operations or policy functions in Part 371 to program offices whose employees reside in quarters.

 

D. Assistant Regional Directors responsible for Government furnished quarters ensure that biennial station inspections include a review of quarters management and quarters maintenance expenditures.

 

E. The National Quarters Officer is in the Division of Contracting and Facilities Management, Branch of Facilities and Property Policy. The National Quarters Officer:

 

(1) Reviews Justifications for New or Replacement Housing, Form DI 1871, for compliance with Departmental policy. He/she sends requests through the appropriate Washington National Wildlife Refuge System or National Fish Hatchery program office for concurrence before the ABMO reviews them for approval;

 

(2) Develops and implements quarters policy and supplemental procedures and interprets them for employees;

 

(3) Notifies Regional offices about the Quarters Regional Surveys and adjustments to the Consumer Price Index Rent Series and distributes Departmental Regional Surveys to the Regional Quarters Officers;

 

(4) Coordinates Service contact with Departmental Quarters officials; and

 

(5) Reviews expenditures from the Regional Quarters account funds to ensure they are authorized.

 

F. Regional Quarters Officers (RQO) are the initial contacts for Project Leaders/supervisors and tenants who need help with quarters issues. RQOs:

 

(1) Work with the National Quarters Officer and Project Leaders/supervisors to provide reports, data, and communications about quarters.

 

(2) Review Justifications for New or Replacement Housing (Form DI 1871) and Certificates of Required Occupancy (Form DI 1872) to ensure they comply with policy. Justifications should be assigned a Document Control Number (DCN) and entered into and transmitted through the Document Tracking System (DTS).

 

(3) After quarters are approved, send a Government Housing Inventory Form, DI 1875, to the Project Leader/supervisor responsible for the quarters.

 

(4) Review Requests for Reconsideration of rental rates and ensure there is adequate comparable rental data. The Requests for Reconsideration must be supported by at least three comparable rentals using the Private Rental Survey Form OS-2000 (for houses, apartments, and mobile homes) and OS-2001 (for trailer spaces), if applicable. Regional Realty personnel, contract real estate agents, or appraisers must collect the private comparable rentals or reverify comparable rentals if the tenant collects them.

 

(5) Update the Quarters database inventory and tenant data to set new net rents for the Quarters Regional Surveys and Consumer Price Index adjustments.

 

(6) Determine and grant or disallow rent deductions for lack of amenities, loss of privacy, etc. based on the documentation provided by the Project Leaders/supervisors in accordance with 400 DM 3 and the Departmentís Housing Management Handbook. Keep documentation supporting deductions at least 3 years.

 

(7) Calculate the electricity and fuel used in quarters that have unmetered electricity or fuel included in the rent using Regional Survey tables or computer programs. RQOs ensure that the Department has approved not installing meters.

 

(8) When rents change, prepare rent implementation forms by:

 

(a) Sending the Notice of Rental Adjustment, Form DI 1882, to each affected tenant through the Project Leader/supervisor at least 40 days before the rent change is scheduled to go into effect. This gives the tenant the required 30-day notice, or

 

(b)  Sending a copy of the Form DI 1882 to the Project Leader/supervisor responsible for the quarters, if the notices were sent to the tenant directly, and

 

(c) Emailing a copy of the updated Quarters database, including the new net rents, to the National Quarters Officer within 2 weeks of sending out rental adjustment forms.

 

(9) Produce and verify the Division of Payroll Operations Deduction Input Form using the automated Quarters Management Information System. Send the deduction form to the payroll office so that rents are deducted from pay when scheduled.

 

(10) Determine if quarters should be classified as a dormitory or bunkhouse based on the three criteria in the Departmentís Housing Management Handbook.  RQOs must:

 

(a) Include documentation for units they classify as a bunkhouse or dormitory that describes which of the three criteria they meet, and

 

(b) Send a copy of this documentation to the National Quarters Officer, with floor plans and pictures if necessary.

 

(11) If using a single family residence to house multiple unrelated people, must not set its planned or rated occupancy in excess of the maximum occupants allowed within the past 3 years. To ensure some stability in rents because people may move out or in to these houses frequently, actual occupancy may at times exceed the planned occupancy.

 

(12) May close off unused bedrooms and bathrooms and compute the rent based on the bedrooms and bathrooms used. The tenant must document that the rooms are closed off and not used for any purpose.

 

G. Regional Human Capital Officers must:

 

(1) Document an employee's status as a required occupant on the SF 50, Notification of Personnel Action,

 

(2) Include a position's occupancy requirement in the position description and the vacancy announcement for each position having such a requirement, and

 

(3) Ensure that unions with exclusive recognition are contacted and collective bargaining impact and implementation obligations are satisfied in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 71.

 

H. Project Leaders/supervisors with Government furnished quarters:

 

(1) Initiate Justifications for New or Replacement Housing (Form DI 1871) and Certificates of Required Occupancy (Form DI 1872). Send these forms to the affected Regional program office for concurrence before they go to the Regional Director, the National Quarters Officer, and the ABMO.

 

(2) Notify the servicing Human Capital office of any position that requires an employee to live in Government furnished quarters.

 

(3) Ensure the appropriate forms are completed and signed (see Table 1-2).

 

Table 1-2: Forms that must be completed

This type of tenant…

Must complete these forms…

Tenants who are employees and volunteers

Form DI 1881, Quarters Assignment Agreement

Tenants from another Federal agency

Form DI 1881 and

GSA Form 1583, Permit for Use of Real Property by Federal Agency

Non-Federal tenants

Form DI 1881 and

GSA Form 1582, Revocable License for Non-Federal Use of Real Property

 

(4) Deliver Notices of Rental Adjustment, Form DI-1882, to all paying tenants as soon as the forms are provided by the Regional Quarters Officer (unless they are sent directly to the tenant). Ensure that the applicable forms are signed by the tenants and the station manager and sent to the Regional Quarters Officer. If the tenant is also the station manager, the agreement should be cosigned by his/her superior.

 

(5) Annually update and sign documentation for rent deductions because of lack of amenities, loss of privacy, excess or inadequate size, excess heating and cooling costs, and poor condition. Send this documentation to the RQO annually by November 30th.

 

(6) Send housing inventory changes resulting from maintenance work to the RQO within 30 days of completion.

 

(7) Make sure employees affected by required occupancy determinations are aware of their rights for appeal (see 371 FW 3 and 4).

 

(8) Ensure that tenants receive at least 30 days notice to vacate unless the Quarters Assignment Agreement requires less notice. (The tenant may agree to a shorter period to vacate.)

 

(9) May add a prohibition on indoor smoking in quarters in Clause 10, Other Conditions, on the back of the Quarters Assignment Agreement, Form DI 1881, before the tenant signs it. See 242 FW 13.

 

(10) May allow pets, livestock, and personal gardens in accordance with our Personal Privileges policy (see 055 FW 4).

 

I. Tenants:

 

(1) Certify annually that they are not using any bedrooms or other rooms that they claim are not in use.

 

(2) Provide a list of family members and other occupants living in the quarters. If the tenant claims the quarters are an inadequate size or that he/she is not using specific rooms, the list should include names, ages, and genders of all occupants.

 

(3) If the tenant is claiming a loss of privacy deduction, annually provide the RQO by November 30th with a log of the date, time, and nature of public visits and calls during non-duty hours.

 

(4) May keep personal firearms at the quarters unless a law or regulation prohibits it. Quarters are not considered Federal facilities because employees are not present for the purpose of performing their official duties.

 

 


For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Contracting and Facilities Management. For more information about this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  


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