Availability of Agents

440 FW 3
FWM Number
440 FW 3, FWM 471, 11/22/05
Originating Office
Division of Technical and Field Support

3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the availability requirements for special agents.

3.2 What are the authorities for this chapter? The authorities for this chapter are:

A. 16 U.S.C.

B. 446 DM, Law Enforcement.

3.3 What is the policy? We expect special agents in the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) to be available for assignment wherever and whenever we need them.

3.4 What are the authorized home-to-work commuting distances for special agents when using a Government vehicle (GOV)?

A. Special agents should commute no more than thirty (30) miles to/from home to their duty station when using a GOV. Under justifiable circumstances, there are exceptions to this rule. Circumstances that may lead to an exception to the rule include, but are not limited to:

(1) Major metropolitan areas where an agent must commute an additional distance to find suitable/affordable residences,

(2) Remote duty stations,

(3) Duty stations that are relocated after employees have established residence, or

(4) Other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

B. Special agents commuting more than thirty (30) miles, but less than forty (40) miles, using a GOV must get written approval from the appropriate Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC).

C. Special agents commuting more than forty (40) miles using a GOV must get written approval from the Chief, OLE.

3.5 When must Service special agents be available for duty?

A. All Service special agents must be available for any assignment wherever and whenever we need them.

B. Agents may use paging devices or other communication equipment, such as cell phones, to ensure their availability during working hours.

C. The Headquarters office (HQ/OLE) must have a duty agent available for communication 24 hours a day to respond to serious incident reports and to maintain contact with the Department of the Interior Watch Office.

D. Regional SAC offices, Resident Agent-in-Charge (RAC) offices, and other OLE field offices must maintain an acceptable telephone answering service or its equivalent, so that callers can leave messages for later action. The SAC has the option of using a "24-hour duty agent system" within the Region or at specific field offices if circumstances warrant it.

3.6 What are the requirements for notification when Service special agents are on official travel? When Service special agents in OLE go on official travel, they should give their supervisor an itinerary (in advance, if possible). When agents on duty are away from the office at other times, they should make arrangements so that their supervisor is able to contact them, unless compelling circumstances dictate otherwise (for example, undercover work, remote locations).

3.7 What are the requirements for notification when Service special agents are on annual leave?

A. When possible, we avoid calling agents who are on annual leave back for duty, but we will do so under emergency circumstances when we need additional personnel to respond to incidents.

B. Special agents on annual leave should provide contact information to their supervisor.

C. Special agents should notify their supervisor when personal travel affects their availability for duty. When on extended travel, they should give an itinerary and contact information to their supervisor.