Purpose, Policy, and Responsibilities for Printing

121 FW 1
FWM Number
Amended Date(s)
121 FW 1, 07/15/11
Originating Office
Division of Marketing Communications

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

1.3 What is the Service policy on publications?

1.4 What are the authorities for this chapter?

RESPONSIBILITIES1.5 Who is responsible for printing in the Service?
TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS1.6 What are the types and functions of Service publications?

1.7 Where do Regional Publications Coordinators obtain contracts for creative services, such as writing, editing, and graphics?

1.8 When does the Service use GPO for printing services?


1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter identifies the policy and responsibilities for approval, development, review, printing, and distribution of all publications the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) funds, sponsors, and publishes. 

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

A. This chapter applies to all:

(1) Service publications, regardless of medium, including those resulting from contracts, cooperative agreements, or grants (see section 1.2B for exceptions), and

(2) Manuals and handbooks that relate to the production or distribution of Service publications.

B. This chapter does not apply to reports published by the states as part of Federal Assistance grants projects, publications that are part of cooperative agreements, or Federal Extension Service publications.

C. Other agreements that include publishing are subject to Department of the Interior (Department) and Service budget appropriations. For example, current appropriations language describes publications where the partner or cooperator contributes more than 50% of in-kind services to the publication as under the control of the partner/cooperator. In these circumstances, this policy does not apply to the publication.

1.3 What is the Service policy on publications? Our policy is to provide and maintain an active and continuing printing and publications management program to ensure effective design, printing, duplication, and distribution of Service documents.

1.4 What are the authorities for this chapter?

A. Public Printing and Documents (44 U.S.C., sections 103, 501, 1105, 1705, and 1707).

B. Government Printing and Binding Regulations, Joint Committee on Printing, U.S. Congress, February 1990, No. 26.

C. Agency Records Management Responsibilities (36 CFR 1220.30).

D. 314 Departmental Manual (DM) 1, Printing and Publications Purpose, Policy, and Procedures.

E. 471 DM 4, Production, Storage, and Dissemination of Departmental Publications.

F. 476 DM 1 through 5, Utilizing Non-Government Publications to Disseminate Information.

G. 380 DM 1, Records Management Program and Responsibilities.

H. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 – 12213).

I. Combined USFWS Disposition Manual, Series INFO-100 Publications.


1.5 Who is responsible for printing in the Service? See Table 1-1.

Table 1-1: Responsibilities for the printing program

These employees…Are responsible for…
A. The DirectorApproving or declining to approve policy on printing publications.
B. Directorate members

(1) Approving procedures for publications under their authority,

(2) Setting priorities for publications in their areas of responsibility,

(3) Approving program publications proposed by requesting offices through the clearance process,

(4) Allocating staff and funds for publications, and

(5) Monitoring expenditures for all publications that their programs develop.

C. Assistant Regional Directors – Office of Communications

(1) Reviewing Service and Departmental policy to ensure that the publications we intend to disseminate to the general public comply with those policies, and

(2) Determining if and when they should send publications to the Headquarters Division of Marketing Communications for further review prior to production.

D. The Chief, Division of Marketing Communications, through the Chief, Branch of Printing and Publishing

(1) Ensuring the Service Publications Management Officer works with the appropriate Departmental authorities;

(2) Ensuring offices/divisions complete and receive the necessary approvals by using FWS Form 3-550, Publications Approval Request and Control Document;

(3) Assisting offices and divisions in procuring printing and related services by:

     (a) Coordinating the Servicewide participation in the Government Printing Office (GPO) Express Program,

     (b) Administering the GPO Simplified Purchase Agreement program for Headquarters,

     (c) Establishing term contracts through GPO for products of a repetitive nature (e.g., newsletters), and

     (d) Submitting specifications for complex printing requirements to GPO for single award procurements using Standard Form 1 (SF-1), Printing and Binding Requisition to the Public Printer;

(4) Reviewing publications intended for distribution to the public to ensure they comply with Service policy;

(5) Serving as Publications Management Officer by:

     (a) Working with the Department on all publications matters;

     (b) Interpreting and implementing Departmental policies and maintaining centralized oversight for printing and publications activities;

     (c) Coordinating Servicewide submission of FWS Form 3-550s;

     (d) Developing policies and procedures for our publications management program;

     (e) Ensuring that documents that the Headquarters offices publish are:

     (i)  Produced efficiently and cost effectively,

     (ii) Of appropriate visual quality and incorporate the Service graphic standards, and

     (iii) Suitable for the intended audience,

     (f) Overseeing the review of all requisitions for printing and related services originating in Headquarters;

     (g) Coordinating review of Service publications with Regional Publications Coordinators to determine the need for new or updated products of national significance or Servicewide interest;

     (h) Consulting with and training employees involved in planning or producing publications;

     (i) In conjunction with the Equal Opportunity Officer, coordinating equal opportunity requirements in publications;

     (j) Representing the Service on the Department’s Publishing Council; and

     (k) Ensuring preparation of reports about printing for the Office of Management and Budget, the Joint Committee on Printing, and other authorities.

E. The Chief, Office of Diversity and Inclusive Workforce ManagementEnsuring that our publications are consistent with cultural diversity requirements.
F. The Director, National Conservation Training Center

(1) Providing policy and guidance on developing educational and interpretive publications, and

(2) Coordinating and assisting in the production and dissemination of educational and interpretive materials Servicewide.

G. Regional Publications Coordinators

(1) Ensuring all Region-specific publications requirements are met, including those for field stations;

(2) Serving as Regional contacts with the Publications Management Officer and ensuring his/her/their review of publications;

(3) Ensuring staff reviews publications for compliance with policy, technical and editorial quality, graphics, and equal opportunity considerations;

(4) Ensuring clearance documentation is complete for publications;

(5) Assisting in obtaining writing, editing, graphics, layout and design, and printing and distribution services within the Service or by contract through the Division of Public Affairs or Contracting and General Services (see section 1.7); and

(6) Making sure originating offices review their publications at least every other year or prior to reprinting to ensure that each publication is current and should be distributed.


1.6 What are the types and functions of Service publications?

A. Table 1-2 shows most, but not all, of the types of publications the Service develops.

Table 1-2: Types of Publications




Business cards





Environmental assessments

Environmental impact statements

Fact sheets










Planning documents



Product announcements

Program reports

Regulatory announcements

Scientific publications

Statistical reports/digests

Technical bulletins

Technical reports

B. Functional categories of publications. Table 1-3 describes and gives examples of the three functional categories of publications—education and interpretation, general interest/public information, and administrative materials. Some publications contain elements of more than one category; for example, an administrative publication may have general interest or educational aspects.

Table 1-3: Functional Categories of Publications

(1) Education and interpretation

(a) Educational materials:

     ·  Produced for schools, 4‑H clubs, scouts, and other conservation groups.

     ·  Developed for children ages 5 and up and adults.

     ·  Applicable for use both on and off Service‑managed lands.

(b) Interpretive materials:

     ·  Developed specifically for use and distribution on field stations, such as at visitor centers located on national wildlife refuges or national fish hatcheries.

     ·  Include general brochures and pamphlets addressing specific Service field operations, habitat types, cultural resources, diversity of fish or wildlife species, or hunting and fishing regulations.

(2) General interest and public information

     ·  Intended to inform the public about relevant laws, regulations, programs, initiatives, and activities required to accomplish our mission.

     ·  Often also serve an educational function.

     ·  Materials include, but are not limited to:

       - Brochures,

       - Leaflets,

       - Fact sheets,

       - Posters,

       - Books and booklets.

     ·  Produced through the Headquarters and Regional public affairs offices, as appropriate.

     ·  Programs and offices may supplement regulations published in the Federal Register by issuing fact sheets, brochures, and bulletins that explain the regulations.

(3) Administrative materials

     ·  Necessary for the day‑to‑day business of the Service.

     ·  For internal use and only distributed outside the Service when specifically requested.

     ·  Examples include:

       - Forms,

       - Reports,

       - Planning documents,

       - Directives, and

       - Letterhead.


1.7 Where do Regional Publications Coordinators obtain contracts for creative services, such as writing, editing, and graphics?

A. Regional Publications Coordinators who need contractors for creative services may obtain them through:

(1) The Region’s Contracting and General Services office, or

(2) The Branch of Printing and Publishing, Headquarters office.

B. Representatives from our Contracting offices:

(1) Provide, in conjunction with the Publications Management Officer, contractual guidelines for the publications services we receive through contractors, cooperative agreements, or grantees; and

(2) Arrange for the use of various mail permits (Business Reply Mail, Permit Imprint Mail, etc.).

1.8 When does the Service use GPO for printing services?

A. Employees must procure all printing, duplication, and related services through GPO if the publication will be paid for using appropriated Federal funds. If an employee does not use GPO, the employee must obtain a waiver from the Joint Committee on Printing before contracting with an outside vendor.

B. One exception to section 1.8A is that employees must use the Lighthouse for the Blind/Envision to develop business cards. The General Services Administration administers the contract with this organization.

C. Consult your Regional Publications Coordinator or the Publications Management Officer for more information.

Attachments (Exhibits, Amendments, etc)

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022