Survey Manual

100.1 - Policies and Procedures for Organization Changes

This chapter describes the policies and procedures to be followed for all organization changes within headquarters and field offices of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), including the opening, closing, and relocation of field offices.

OPR: Office of Administration, Office of Human Capital, Office of Human Resources

Instruction: This Survey Manual (SM) issuance revises SM 100.1, Policies and Procedures for Organization Changes, dated September 17, 1993.

1.  Purpose and Scope. This SM chapter describes the policies and procedures to be followed for all organization changes within headquarters, field offices, and subordinate offices of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), including the opening, closing, and relocation of existing offices.

2.  Policies.

A.  Organizational planning within Bureaus and offices of the Department of the Interior (DOI) must adhere to policy and procedures set forth in 101 Departmental Manual (DM), Organization Management, Chapters 1-4. Organizational planning is the process by which Bureaus and offices identify their structures, determine placement of functions within their structures, and determine allocation of staff and other resources among the functional entities that comprise their organizations.

B.  Organizational structures are established and maintained to provide a framework of control and to delineate levels of responsibility required to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Department. Standards for organizational structures are contained in 101 DM 2, Standards.

C.  It is also the policy of the DOI and the USGS to maintain field organizations and locations that are well organized, coordinated, and positioned to carry out the agency’s mission with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. When considering the establishment or location of a field office, attention should be given to effective management and communications; cooperation with State, local, and other Federal Government organizations; impact on personnel; and the cost effectiveness of organizational alternatives. Field offices must be located to operate efficiently and to meet clientele needs while effectively carrying out USGS responsibilities to the extent practical. Whenever possible, USGS field offices should co-locate within a local area, either in the same or in adjacent buildings, to ensure economy in the use of required services.   

3.  Authorities. USGS must comply with Governmentwide policies affecting organization structures and the location of field offices. These policies are stated in the directives described below.

A.  Space Management. 41 CFR 102-79, 41 CFR part 102-74, and 425 DM, Space Management, Chapters 1-6, require certain steps to be taken in planning changes to A rural area is defined as an area outside the outer boundary of any city having a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants. All other locations are classified as urban areas.

(2) 41 CFR Part 102-83, subpart B provides requirements for the location of space in reference to rural and urbanized areas.

4.  Organizational Structure and Definitions.

A.  Departmental Organizational Structure. The DOI sets forth the organizational structure in 101 DM 2 and defines the organizational structure that falls under the Bureaus as follows:

(1)  Bureau. Major organizational units carrying out specific operating programs, and as necessary, maintaining field operating units. Such organizational units may have one of the following designations: Bureau, office, service, administration, or other designations established by law.

(2)  Field Offices. Used collectively, this term includes first-level and second-level field offices.

(3)  First-Level Field Offices. First-level field offices fall into one of the following two categories:

(a)  A regional office or office of equivalent status that has responsibility for program and/or administrative activities within a geographically defined area. Regional offices report to a headquarters organization and may provide services and supervision for other field offices; or

(b)  A non-regionalized field office which provides specialized services nationwide (such as administration, engineering, and research services), is not limited to a specific geographic area, and reports to a headquarters organization.

(4)  Second-Level Field Offices. The levels of field operations below the first-level field offices. These offices may be identified by various titles such as district, subdistrict, agency, refuge, hatchery, laboratory, park, monument, school, project, and field office. Second-level field offices report to first-level field offices or other second-level field offices.

(5)  Offices/Staffs. Refers to groups of persons with specialized duties reporting directly to a line manager. The term is also used for organizational units too small to be designated bureaus and for organizational units in the Office of the Secretary.

(6)  Subordinate Organizational Levels. Refers to subordinate organizational components in a headquarters or field office. Typically, these organizational components are called division, branch, section, unit, group, or team. Generally, they are used in descending order as listed.

(7)  Emergency Organizations. Organizations established and organized but not activated until there is a civil defense emergency or an attack upon the United States.

(8)  Committees. Any commission, council, board, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group established by the Department for providing advice and guidance. Committees are comprised of temporary or permanent groups of persons brought together to concentrate on a specific area, challenge or need. (The various types of committees that can be established are described in 308 DM 1, Committee Management – General. Departmental policies and requirements regarding the use of committees are published in 308 DM, Committee Management, Chapters 1-8.)

B.  USGS Organizational Structure. In accordance with the guidance above from 101 DM 2, the USGS defines the organizational structure as follows:

(1)  Bureau. Office of the Director and the immediate staff.

(2)  First-Level Field Offices. Sub-Bureau offices reporting directly to the Office of the Director (e.g., Associate Directors for the Science Mission Areas, Regional Directors, and the Associate Director for Administration).

(3)  Second-Level Field Offices. Offices and Science Centers reporting to the first-level field offices (e.g., Pennsylvania Water Science Center, Great Lakes Science Center, Office of Human Capital, Office of Acquisition and Grants). 

(4)  Subordinate Organizational Levels. Field units or satellite offices that report to the Bureau, Headquarters, first-level or second-level field offices (e.g., Office of Science Quality and Integrity, the Office of International Programs, Field Office-Williamsport, Lake Erie Biological Station).

C.  Definition of Organization Change. Any change in the established structure of an organizational component, including the establishment of a new component, the transfer or merger of significant functions from one component to another, the abolishment of an organizational component, the revision of servicing areas or boundaries, or a change in the title of a component.

5.  Approvals. Approvals for organizational changes within USGS will depend on the level of the organization. Changes to organizations deemed Bureau and first-level field offices must be approved by the Department as outlined below. Changes made to organizations deemed second-level field offices and below must be approved by the first-level field office to which they report. 

In accordance with Departmental requirements, no changes may be announced or enacted, no interim changes may be made, no funds may be reprogrammed, no requests for new space may be made, and no requests for personnel actions may be initiated until approval for the change is granted and the Office receives the approval in writing (101 DM 3.4B and 101 DM 4.4B, linked to DOI ELIPS below).

A.  Approval of Bureau and First-Level Field Offices. Any proposed Bureau or first-level field office organization change that will result in a change to the organization's description as defined in 101 DM Chapter 2.4A(10) requires prior approval and signature of the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science (AS-WS) and the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget (AS-PMB) before such changes may be implemented, even on an interim basis. The approval process and requirements are found in 101 DM 3, Planning and Approval for Headquarters and First-level Field Offices. The following requirements and responsibilities also apply:

(1)  Notification to the Congressional Liaison Office. The USGS Congressional Liaison Office must be notified before opening, closing, or relocating field offices. Notification of the USGS Congressional Liaison Office does not mean that members of Congress should be notified prior to approval. In accordance with 101 DM 4, Planning and Approval for Second-level Field Offices, Congress and the public can be notified ten working days from the Office of Planning and Performance Management’s receipt of the memorandum, if there are no questions or issues. If there are any, notices to Congress and the public can be made following resolution of those questions or issues.

(2)  Approval by the Director. All requests for Departmental approval require the prior approval and signature of the Director, USGS.

(3)  Department Submission. The USGS Director will submit requests for organizational changes through the Assistant Secretary—Water and Science (AS-WS) to the Assistant Secretary—Policy, Management and Budget (AS-PMB).

(4)  Office of Water and Science. The AS-WS will review and submit requests for changes to the AS-PMB.

(5)  Review Period. The AS-PMB will forward all requests to the Office of Planning and Performance Management. The Office of Planning and Performance Management will determine the appropriate reviewing offices, monitor, and coordinate the DOI review with the appropriate policy offices. Each reviewing office will be given ten working days to review the request and surname or submit comments to the Office of Planning and Performance Management. Upon receipt of the surnames and/or resolution of issues, the Office of Planning and Performance Management will forward the request to the AS-PMB (and when appropriate, the Secretary) for signature and final approval.

B.  Approval of Second-Level Field Offices. Any proposed second-level field office change that will result in a change to the organization’s description as defined in the 101 DM 2.4A(10) requires notification and signature of the AS-WS and the AS-PMB before such changes may be implemented, even on an interim basis. The approval process and requirements are found in 101 DM 4. The following requirements and responsibilities also apply:

(1)  Notification to the Congressional Liaison Office. The USGS Congressional Liaison Office must be notified before opening, closing, or relocating field offices. Notification of the USGS Congressional Liaison Office does not mean that members of Congress should be notified prior to approval. In accordance with 101 DM 4, Congress and the public can be notified ten working days from the Office of Planning and Performance Management’s receipt of the memorandum, if there are no questions or issues. If there are any, notices to Congress and the public can be made following resolution of those questions or issues.

(2)  Approval by the Associate Director or Regional Director. All requests require the prior approval and signature of the Associate or Regional Director for the Region, Office, or Mission Area.

(3)  Approval by the Director. All requests for organizational changes to second- level field offices require the prior approval of the Director, USGS.

(4)  Department Submission. The USGS Director will submit a memorandum through the AS-WS to the AS-PMB.

(5)  Office of Water and Science. The AS-WS will review and submit requests for changes to the AS-PMB.

(6)  Review Period. The AS-PMB will forward the memorandum to the Office of Planning and Performance Management. The Office of Planning and Performance Management will have ten working days from receipt of the memorandum to obtain the Departmental review and inform the Bureau or office of any Departmental concerns or issues with the proposed changes. The Office of Planning and Performance Management will forward the proposal to the Office of Budget, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, and to other offices for review, as appropriate. Departmental reviewing offices will have five working days to review the proposal and notify the Office of Planning and Performance Management of any concerns. 

C.  Approval of Subordinate Organization Levels. Changes in organization structure that do not meet the requirements for first- or second- level field offices may be approved by the appropriate first-level field office. The following requirements and responsibilities also apply:

(1)  Notification to the Congressional Liaison Office. The USGS Congressional Liaison Office must be notified before opening, closing, or relocating field offices. Notification of the USGS Congressional Liaison Office does not mean that members of Congress should be notified prior to approval. In accordance with 101 DM 4, Congress and the public can be notified ten working days from the Office of Planning and Performance Management’s receipt of the memorandum, if there are no questions or issues. If there are any, notices to Congress and the public can be made following resolution of those questions or issues.

(2)  Approval by the Associate Director or Regional Director. All requests require the prior approval and signature of the Associate Director or Regional Director to which the organization reports.

6.  Responsibilities. The office requesting an organization change provides all necessary information and coordinates the actions with appropriate administrative support organizations to ensure the provision of services that will be required by the proposed change. The Associate Director for Administration assures that all proposed changes comply with Governmentwide and Departmental policies and follow sound organization theory, position management, 5 U.S.C. 71, Labor Management Relations, space and facilities guidelines, and other established requirements. The Office of Human Resources has operational responsibility for these activities and should be consulted before submission of a request for a change to resolve any questions concerning the applicability of these policies. In addition, the Office of Human Resources will provide the following services if requested:

A.  Guidance concerning position management and the position management implications of proposed personnel actions and reorganizations;

B.  Studies of special challenges in order to develop systems, procedures, and policies to improve organizational effectiveness;

C.  Research to develop and evaluate new management techniques, practices, and systems in conjunction with a proposed organization change;

D.  Studies to evaluate general organizational and management effectiveness; and

E.  Determination of the applicability of and USGS compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidelines.

7.  General Procedures.

A.  Initial Planning Phase. When an organization or field office change is being planned, the office should contact the Associate Director for the Science Mission Area or the Regional Director as appropriate for advice and assistance regarding personnel implications, space requirements, organizational alternatives, and for guidance to expedite approval of the change. Additional procedural guidance is available from the Office of Human Resources.

B.  Contacting the Office of Human Resources. The field office must coordinate with the Office of Human Resources on the following specific items:

(1)  Position management and classification implications of any organizational change to ensure that necessary steps are taken to minimize any adverse impact on the workforce;

(2)  Organization changes involving personnel relocation, reassignment, or termination of employment, so that preparations can be made for applying pertinent Office of Personnel Management regulations concerning the issuance of advance notice and informing employees of their rights regarding retirement eligibility, severance pay, and health benefits; and

(3)  Responsibilities to labor unions whose members may be affected by the organization change so that steps may be taken to fulfill obligations to unions with national consultation rights and to ensure that impact bargaining commitments to local unions are met.

C.  Contacting the Office of Management Services. As appropriate, consult with the Office of Management Services on space and other general service needs. If a field office is to be established or relocated, management must determine the geographic location for the proposed field office before submitting a request for approval. The request to approve the field office change should be initiated and approved before a request is submitted to the GSA regional office to locate specific office space. When an office is to be relocated, the moving office must initiate the request for approval in sufficient time to allow approval of the change before vacating their present space. The time required for locating new office space by the responsible GSA regional office usually takes between 9 months and 1-1/2 years. More information on space policies and procedures is contained in DM Part 425 and SM 429.1.  

D.  Contacting the USGS Congressional Liaison Office. Contact the USGS Congressional Liaison Office for notification of the proposed change before submission to the approving official.

E.  Submitting Requests for Change. The organization requesting a change prepares the request for approval. The Office of Administration forwards all requests through the approval process.

(1)  Requests for changes in first-level field office organization structure must contain all items listed in 101 DM 3, Appendix 1.

(2)  Requests for changes to second-level field offices must contain all items listed in 101 DM 4, Appendix 1.

(3)  Requests for changes to subordinate organization level offices must be submitted by completing Form 9-3127, New/Change in Organization Code Form.

F.  Implementation. The following steps apply:

(1)  The Office of Administration notifies the first-level field office when approval is received for a requested change;

(2)  The requesting organization consults with the USGS Congressional Liaison Office to announce the organizational change to members of Congress;

(3)  The requesting organization consults with the Office of Human Resources on advance and final notice to employees; classification of positions and qualifications of employees; consultations with local unions; and initiation of personnel actions;

(4)  The requesting organization initiates and submits Form 9-3127, New/Change in Organization Code Form, prior to initiating any personnel actions;

(5)  The requesting organization consults with the Office Accounting and Financial Management to make any necessary adjustments in financial systems;

(6)  The requesting organization consults with the appropriate space and facilities office to arrange for space, lease agreements, renovations, telephones, moving employees, and other activities as needed;

(7)  The requesting organization notifies the Payroll Coordinator in writing when an office is established, relocated, or abolished and it requires a change of address for payroll documents.

8.  Expiration. This SM chapter must be reviewed and maintained every two years, or more frequently as needed.

 

/s/ Katherine M. McCulloch                                          8/12/2020

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Katherine M. McCulloch                                              Date

Associate Director for Administration