[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Pages 3023-3024]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00654]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2012-0092; FXRS 84510900000-134-FF09R20000]
RIN 1018-AY36

Draft Policy on Donations, Fundraising, and Solicitation

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to 
establish a policy that covers Service procedures for accepting, using, 
and recognizing donations. This draft donations policy is an extension 
of the Department of the Interior's guidance on donations, found in the 
Departmental Manual (DM) at 374 DM 6. It focuses on the ethical 
considerations of all types of donations, as opposed to our Fish and 
Wildlife Service Manual (FW) guidance, 342 FW 5, Non-Purchase 
Acquisition, which covers the acquisition of real property rights by 
methods other than purchase, including donation.
    If finalized, this draft policy would establish procedures for 
reviewing and evaluating potential donors and donations. It lists 
delegations of authority for accepting donations and the roles and 
responsibilities of the Service's Donations Senior Manager and 
employees authorized to accept donations. It provides guidance on 
soliciting donations, where appropriate, and provides general guidance 
on fundraising by non-Federal entities on the Service's behalf. It also 
covers recognition of donors.
    We propose to incorporate this draft policy as 212 FW 8 in the Fish 
and Wildlife Service Manual (http://www.fws.gov/policy/manuals/).

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
February 14, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this draft policy by any of the 
following methods:
     Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: 
http://www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS-HQ-NWRS-2012-0092, which is 
the docket number for this notice. You may submit a comment by clicking 
on ``Comment Now!''
     By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: 
Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2012-0092; Division of 
Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 
N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2024-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

[[Page 3024]]

    We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see Request for Public Comments 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet Bruner, 703-358-1713.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The draft guidance document that is the 
subject of this notice is available at www.fws.gov/refuges/donations.


    The Department of the Interior issued ``ETHICS AND CONDUCT, 
Employee Responsibilities and Conduct, Donations'' (374 DM 6), in 2007. 
This guidance requires all Interior bureaus to develop their own policy 
on donations.
    Several authorities allow various types of donations, including 
real and personal property, services, and money. These include the Fish 
and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), which allows 
acceptance of funds or lands, pending State approval. A later amendment 
to the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f) allows the 
Service to accept real and personal property donations. Other 
authorities cited in this draft donations policy include the 
Partnerships for Wildlife Act (16 U.S.C. 3741); Alaska National 
Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3101); Migratory Bird 
Conservation Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 715-715r); National Wildlife 
Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 
1998, as amended (16 U.S.C. 742f); Great Lakes Fisheries Act of 1956 
(16 U.S.C 932); and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd(b)(2)).
    In addition to those broader authorities, individual units of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System or the National Fish Hatchery System 
may have specific legislative authority to accept donations. This draft 
donations policy is in keeping with statutory requirements as well as 
with the aforementioned Departmental guidance, 374 DM 6.

Draft Policy

    We recognize the value of donations, but also the potential 
problems with accepting them. This draft policy covers the ethical 
considerations for donations, fundraising, and solicitation. While 
donations can be a means to further our mission, not all donations are 
appropriate. This draft policy provides consistent procedures for 
evaluating potential donors and donations to determine if acceptance is 
appropriate. The policy also helps the reader determine who has 
authority to accept appropriate donations. That authority depends on 
the type (real property or non-real property) and the monetary value of 
the donation.
    This draft policy also covers soliciting donations and fundraising. 
Those activities are primarily done by Friends groups, groups of 
volunteers who support specific refuges. Requirements for solicitation 
of donations by Friends groups are covered in existing Service Manual 
chapters 150 FW 1-3. The draft donations policy we are putting out for 
comment now will list the limited circumstances when Service employees 
may solicit donations. It will describe inappropriate fundraising 
activities and also mention grant applications and acceptance.
    Recognizing donors is very important. This draft policy also 
contains information on that, including a template for a thank-you 

Request for Public Comments

    You may submit comment and materials on this notice by any of the 
methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not accept comments 
sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in the ADDRESSES 
section. We will not consider hand-delivered comments that we do not 
receive, or mailed comments that are not postmarked, by the date 
specified in the DATES section.
    We will post your entire comment on http://www.regulations.gov. 
Before including personal identifying information in your comment, you 
should be aware that we may make your entire comment--including your 
personal identifying information--publicly available at any time. While 
you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: December 21, 2012.
Daniel M. Ashe,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-00654 Filed 1-14-13; 8:45 am]