The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) policy prohibits employees from using official Government time and equipment to participate in surveys unless they have been approved in accordance with Service Manual Chapter 119 FW 1, Approving and Completing Surveys. The Service’s Policy and Regulations Branch (PRB) works with requestors to facilitate the survey approval process.  

Survey requests from non-Service employees (external survey requests) as well as from Service employees (internal survey requests) require advance approval prior to dissemination.

Steps to Obtain Survey Approval

To begin the approval process, provide the following information by email to

(1)  A copy of the final survey instrument,

(2)  List of employees (or positions) requested to participate in the survey, and

(3)  A formal request for the Service to participate in the survey, which includes the following: 

  • Names and titles of individuals administering the survey, to include affiliation to the requesting organization,
  • Purpose of the survey,
  • Explanation of how the survey will be implemented,
  • Approximate time it will take employees to complete the survey, and
  • Benefits of the survey to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Please provide the formal request on your organization’s letterhead, if possible. Email will work if letterhead is not available.

Next Steps After Submission of Request for Approval

The Policy and Regulations Branch will coordinate with the appropriate program(s) and experts to ensure the survey is of adequate quality to warrant employees using duty time to complete it. Following are examples of the types of officials/programs from whom PRB may seek input or concurrence, or both:

  • The Ethics office in the Department of the Interior,
  • The Service Associate Privacy Act Officer,
  • A Service survey expert,
  • The Service Science Integrity officer, for surveys related to scientific information or integrity, and
  • The Assistant Director(s) of the program(s) affected (e.g., the Chief – National Wildlife Refuge System for a survey about refuges).


After review by the appropriate officials, the Chief – PRB writes a decision memorandum recommending approval or disapproval of the survey request. The decision memorandum is forwarded to the Assistant Director – Management and Administration and the program Assistant Director (if the survey is of interest to or impacts a specific program) for consideration.

The Assistant Director – Management and Administration and, if applicable, the program Assistant Director sign the decision memorandum to indicate their approval or disapproval of the survey request.

PRB notifies the initiator of the survey of the approval/disapproval decision.

Point of Contact

Questions about the survey approval process may be emailed to PRB at the following email address: