Science Support

431.5, Directives Management

Date: 08/24/2009

OPR: Administrative Policy and Services/Office of Policy and Analysis

Instruction: This replaces Survey Manual (SM) chapter 431.5 dated March 11, 2003.  This SM chapter is revised to include organizational and position titles changed due to the Bureau’s realignment, to remove the requirement that instructional memoranda could remain in effect for only 1 year, and to update the authorities.


1.  Purpose and Scope.  This chapter describes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Manual Directives System; establishes responsibilities, standards, and procedures for the issuance of the policies and procedures that are mandatory for all organizations and activities of the USGS; and documents the standards, guidelines, and instructions applicable to the preparation, clearance, approval, and publication of USGS directives.


2.  Authority.

A.  44 U.S.C. §3101, Federal Records Act, requires heads of agencies to make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency.

B.  5 U.S.C. §552, Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings, as amended, requires each agency to make available, including electronic formats, for public inspection and copying administrative staff manuals and instructions.

C.  Departmental Manual Chapter, 381 DM 1, requires the development and implementation of Bureau directives systems.


3.  Definitions.

ADirective.  A written communication that states policies and initiatives or governs action, conduct, or procedures.  Directives are often issued as manuals, circulars, notices, regulations, orders, and handbooks.

B.  USGS Directives SystemIncludes the Survey Manual, Survey Handbooks, and Instructional Memoranda.  The Directives System is used to establish policy and procedures, delegate authority and assign responsibility, establish or change organizational structure, revise or cancel directives, and establish reports and forms.  The Directives System is the single and only authorized system for communicating program and administrative policy throughout the USGS.

(1)  Survey ManualThe means by which long-standing program and administrative policies, standards, and instructions governing USGS operations are issued to USGS organizations.  The Survey Manual contains essential bureauwide policy information that is applicable to all or some organizations.

(2)  Survey HandbooksUsed for procedural or instructional material that implements basic policy documented in the Survey Manual.

(3)  Instructional MemorandaTemporary directives used to establish policy in advance of incorporation in the Survey Manual or to announce temporary procedural changes in a USGS handbook.  Instructional memoranda will remain in effect until superseded, rescinded, or incorporated in the Survey Manual or a USGS handbook.

C.  Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR).  The USGS organization responsible for the development, content, coordination, and currency of a USGS directive.


4.  Policy.   USGS activities are governed by governmentwide policy and procedures, Department of the Interior policy and procedures, and policies and procedures specific to and promulgated by the USGS.

A.  Governmentwide Policy and Procedures.  Include, but are not limited to, the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Federal Property Management Regulations, and Treasury Financial Manual. 

B.  Department of the Interior Policy and ProceduresInclude, but are not limited to, the Departmental Manual, Secretary’s Orders, and Departmental handbooks.

C.  USGS Policy and ProceduresInclude the Survey Manual, USGS handbooks, and Instructional Memoranda, which comprise and are issued through the USGS Directives System.


5.  Approving Official.

A.  Survey Manual.  The Director, Deputy Director, and the Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services are the only USGS officials authorized to sign and approve Survey Manual chapters.

B.  Survey Handbooks.  The Senior Executive Service Manager, with bureauwide responsibility for the activities covered in a USGS handbook, is responsible for signing and approving the handbook.

C.  Instructional Memoranda.  The Director, Deputy Director, and the Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services are the only officials authorized to sign and approve Instructional Memoranda that establish temporary policy in advance of incorporation in the Survey Manual.  The Office Chief with bureauwide responsibility for the activity being addressed is responsible for signing and approving the instructional memoranda that announce temporary procedural changes (those which require action by technical staff but not managerial action).  


6.  Responsibilities.

A.  Director.  Responsible for providing policy and procedural guidance through an established Directives System.

B.  Deputy Director, Associate Directors, and Regional Directors.  Responsible for ensuring that the organizational units in their areas of responsibility are in compliance with the Directives System policies and procedures.

C.  Heads of Offices of Primary Responsibility.  Responsible for:

(1)  Ensuring that their directives are technically accurate, adequate, and conform to governmentwide, Department of the Interior, and USGS policies.

(2)  Ensuring that proposed directives are coordinated with affected organizations and that their comments are incorporated, as appropriate.

(3)  Concurring/obtaining concurrence and or commenting/obtaining comments on directives sent to their respective organizations from other organizations.

(4)  Obtaining formal clearance of the directives using USGS Form 9-2032, Clearance Record, before submitting to the approving official for signature.

(5)  Reviewing directives biennially to validate that they are current, revising when necessary, or canceling when no longer needed.

D.  Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services.  Responsible for establishing and implementing the USGS Directives System and for appointing a Directives Officer.

E.  Directives Officer.  Responsible for managing the Directives System and will:

(1)  Implement the standards for directives prescribed by 381 DM 1.

(2)  Provide advice and guidance to officials responsible for the development, preparation, revision, and updating of USGS directives.

(3)  Review USGS directives to ensure compliance with established directives management policies, standards, and procedures.

(4)  Request that the offices of primary responsibility review the parts of the USGS Directives System for which they are responsible on a continuing and systematic basis to ensure that information is complete, accurate, and current.

(5)  Maintain the Survey Manual master subject identification system.

(6)  Assign series, part, and chapter numbers for the Survey Manual.

(7)  Ensure that the Survey Manual is available electronically, in compliance with 5 USC §522.

(8)  Ensure that Survey Manual directives are available electronically in a timely manner.


7.  Consultation with Employee Organizations.  Certain employee organizations have the right to be consulted before issuance of new or changed policies dealing with personnel or working conditions, e.g., safety, parking, Government quarters, food service, and office heating and lighting.  Prior to publication and formal clearance, a draft copy of directives dealing with such matters will be provided to the Office of Human Resources to solicit comments from locations with existing unions.


8.  Procedures. The USGS Directives Management Handbook (431-5-H) contains the standards and procedures to be followed by all personnel involved in the preparation and processing of USGS directives.



/s/ Karen D. Baker__________________________________          _        8/24/09___
Karen D. Baker                                                                                       Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services