Planning and Executing Projects within Deferred Maintenance (DM) Budgets

372 FW 5
FWM Number
Originating Office
Infrastructure Management Division

5.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter broadly describes the responsibilities and process for planning and executing Deferred Maintenance (DM) budgets for constructed real property assets in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).

5.2 What are the objectives of this chapter? Our objectives are to:

A. Develop consistent 5-year DM plans that support the highest priority needs in a compelling manner, and

B. Execute funded projects, consistent with 5-year plans and in a cost-effective manner.

5.3 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter applies to DM planning and budgeting for all constructed real property assets that the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Fish Hatchery System own or manage.

5.4 What are the authorities and terms you need to know to understand this chapter? See 372 FW 1 for the authorities and definitions of terms for all the chapters in Part 372.

5.5 Who is responsible for planning and executing DM plans and budgets? See 372 FW 1, Table 1-3 for the overall responsibilities of Service management for constructed real property. Table 5-1 below is specific to the content of this chapter.

Table 5-1: Responsibilities for Planning and Executing Projects within DM Budgets

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. The Chief – National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS)

(1) Leading the Service’s national level DM planning and project execution activities and integrating them with other asset management activities related to managing constructed real property;

(2) Ensuring that DM, transportation, and construction plans are integrated with our other asset management activities in a framework of portfolio-based life-cycle management;

(3) Coordinating with the Assistant Director – Fish and Aquatic Conservation to develop and implement an effective overall approach to DM, construction, and transportation planning and budgeting;

(4) Leading development of the annual Director’s memorandum that asks the Regions to update information related to developing 5-year budget plans for DM, transportation, and construction projects (see 360 FW 1, Engineering and Construction Management for Construction Appropriation 5-Year Planning);

(5) Managing the Service Asset and Maintenance Management System (SAMMS), which is the official database of record for all information related to the development of DM, construction, and transportation budgets for the Service; and

(6) Ensuring that DM plans and project execution protect cultural resources, preserve water rights, promote sustainability when cost-effective, and comply with all legal mandates.

B. Assistant Director – Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Working in coordination with the Chief – NWRS to develop and implement the policy and procedures in this chapter.

C. Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations

Ensuring that information from specialized inspections (e.g., dam, bridge, seismic, energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability inspections) is available for integration with overall condition assessment data so that we can determine DM costs from the inspections.

D. Regional Directors and Assistant Regional Directors

Ensuring that for all DM projects within their areas of responsibility, the appropriate staff: 

(1) Identify the highest priority needs in 5-year DM plans;

(2) Provide accurate and complete information to support all 5-year DM projects;

(3) Develop clear, succinct, and compelling written justifications for projects that describe the projects’ benefits and explain, in a framework of portfolio-based life-cycle management, why the projects are needed;

(4) Track expenditures for all funded DM projects using unique Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) project codes and the appropriate Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to indicate whether costs will be capitalized or expensed;

(5) Create records for Assets Under Construction (AUC) during the design phase and use AUC-specific work orders to track project costs in FBMS;

(6) Complete DM projects consistent with 5-year DM plans and incorporate cost-effective approaches throughout all stages of project planning and execution; and

(7) Report project accomplishments, and promptly document and process asset acquisitions and disposals in a timely and appropriate manner.

E. Regional Facilities Program Supervisors

(1) Leading the program’s Regional 5-year DM planning effort to ensure that the entire Regional portfolio is considered when identifying and proposing funding for highest priority needs;

(2) Preparing and submitting a well-developed, accurate, and complete plan;

(3) Ensuring all Regional 5-year plan project data sheets are prepared in a complete, accurate, and professional manner before submission;

(4) Managing the execution of funded DM projects to achieve the highest return on investment by:

     (a) Coordinating early with Engineering and Contracting offices to plan the most efficient methods of project delivery,

     (b) Using force account and Maintenance Action Team (MAT) options to complete projects, and

     (c) Working with Field Station Managers and others wherever partnership efforts might yield cost savings; and

(5) Ensuring that project accomplishments, asset acquisitions, and disposals are promptly and accurately documented and processed in a timely and appropriate manner.

F. Field Station Managers

(1) Prioritizing DM work orders according to mission delivery needs within the station’s asset portfolio;

(2) Ensuring, before ranking replacement and major repair projects for consideration in the 5-year plan, that the station would have the resources to operate and maintain assets in acceptable condition when the project is complete; and

(3) Reviewing DM work orders annually to ensure that projects that have been completed are reported as accomplished and work orders that are no longer needed are cancelled in SAMMS and FBMS and removed from consideration for future funding.

5.6 How does the Service begin the annual update to the 5-year DM plan? The plan is updated each fiscal year after the Director signs a memorandum to the Directorate that provides guidance and sets milestones. The Chief – NWRS prepares the memorandum, which typically gives guidance on preparation of the three primary budget sources for large projects: DM, construction, and transportation.

5.7 What are the critical components of developing 5-year DM plans? Field Station Managers and Regional Facilities Program Supervisors must focus on the following during the 5-year planning process:

A. Mission delivery: Give top priority to projects with the highest contribution to mission accomplishment, starting with a current condition assessment work order and an appropriate Asset Priority Index (API) score (high for repairs and replacement, low for demolition without replacement). Apply a blend of local, Regional, and national perspectives to arrive at an understanding of which projects best contribute to the accomplishment of the organization’s mission.

(1) Project proponents need to provide a clear and compelling description of project benefits to assist in deliberations.

(2) Project benefits need to include both local strategic goals and purposes and their contribution to the overall Service mission.

B. Investment strategy: Apply cost-effective investment strategies, including: 

(1) Determining that the proposed project is the correct size and complexity to meet the mission need for it;

(2) Using standard designs wherever possible to reduce planning and design costs;

(3) Assessing life-cycle costs for proposed projects to ensure they will be operationally sustainable into the future;

(4) Providing a reliable comparison of annual operation and maintenance costs before and after the project;

(5) Assessing options for cost sharing, co-location, or other methods of meeting the needs of multiple organizations; and

(6) Integrating all life-cycle cost components to determine the project’s relative return on investment.

C. Consequences of failure to act: For some projects, there is a risk associated with continuing to defer maintenance, repair, replacement, or disposal. The risk may be to the safety of employees, visitors, and cooperators; damage to Government property or to property outside the station’s boundaries; or the loss of a major financial investment. The consequence could also take the form of a reduced capacity to carry out a mission action, such as managing a productive wetland impoundment. Describe in the project justification the risk of consequences of the failure to act. Immediate risks to human health and safety must be mitigated upon discovery. If risks include loss of major asset investments or other financial liabilities, describe the financial aspect of the investment strategy. You can find more information about mitigating or eliminating risks in the Constructed Real Property Management Handbook.

D. Project Phasing: Phase more complex projects over multiple years of the 5-year plan to ensure more accurate cost projections and to facilitate effective project execution. Replacement of an office building, for example, should be phased into two or more project segments—the first year being the phase for planning and design, with a second phase in a following year to accomplish construction. Attachment G to the Department’s annual budget guidance gives instructions for phasing projects. 

5.8 What are the critical components of executing funded DM projects? It is important to complete projects consistently with the way they were presented to Congress and at the lowest cost that still enables us to meet mission objectives. To help with budgeting for DM projects:

A. Our completed DM projects should be consistent with the manner in which they were proposed for funding (i.e., as they appeared on the project lists we sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress). From year to year, the 5-year plans we submit should have as few changes from the previous year’s submission as possible.

B. For funded DM projects, whether within or outside the 5-year plan, managers must:

(1) Work with their Asset Management Coordinator (AMC) to ensure that a unique WBS number is assigned;

(2) Charge expenditures to work orders for that WBS; and

(3) Charge all expenditures, regardless of fund source, to project-specific work orders.

C. Managers must balance life-cycle cost-effectiveness against mission benefits as we complete all phases of a project.

D. MATs should be used to accomplish projects whenever it’s feasible and cost-effective. MAT projects are completed using predominantly in-house staff and equipment, and they provide cost savings and workforce development opportunities. Regional Facilities Managers must review DM project proposals at least annually and develop plans to have MATs complete projects whenever it’s advantageous to the Service.

E. Regional Facilities Program Supervisors must ensure that all completed DM projects are marked as complete in FBMS (i.e., projects where the Service is spending managed or appropriated funds) and SAMMS (i.e., all 5-year plan projects and projects that partners fund and complete), as appropriate.

F. Regional Facilities Program Supervisors must complete an annual DM accomplishment report near the end of each fiscal year.

G. We can only obligate and expend DM funding in the direct accomplishment of DM projects. The annual accomplishment report must fully account for all DM appropriations. The Regional Facilities Program Supervisors must account for any DM funding used for purposes other than the direct accomplishment of DM projects during the appropriate reprogramming process. Proposals to use DM funds to complete projects not in the 5-year plan require prior approval by the Chief – NWRS or Assistant Director – Fish and Aquatic Conservation.

5.9 What is the database of record for developing and approving 5-year DM plans and for executing DM projects? 

A. SAMMS is the database of record for development and approval of projects in 5-year DM plans. 

B. FBMS is the database of record for DM budget execution, purchasing, real property financial management, and disposal reporting.

5.10 What other guidance is available on the detailed procedures for planning and executing DM projects?

A. The Constructed Real Property Management Handbook provides more detailed guidance on this topic. 

B. Attachment G to the Department of the Interior’s annual budget guidance gives us detailed information for formulating and executing the 5-year DM and capital improvement plans. 

C. Technical Bulletins and user guides also describe SAMMS and FMBS administrative procedures for real property financial management, work order management, and funds management.