Science Support

AEI 2012-07, Purchase of Promotional Items

Issuance Date: May 8, 2012

Expiration Date: Retain Until Superseded



1.  Purpose.

This IM establishes guidelines and procedures for purchase and distribution of promotional items and is in accordance with a memorandum dated March 29, 2012, from Deputy Assistant Secretary, Budget, Finance, Performance and Acquisition, regarding “Restriction on the Purchase of Promotional Items” (attached below) and Executive Order (EO) 13589, “Promoting Efficient Spending.

2.  Definitions.

Promotional items are tangible items with minimal USGS content distributed to members of the public or Government employees and officials as souvenirs or for public relations, advertising, recruitment, community relations, morale, or good will.  Promotional items are either USGS logoed or un-logoed and include, but are not limited to, the following: tee shirts, hats, pens, pencils, tablets, repositionable notes, tote bags, posters, pictures, USB (jump) drives, notebooks, mouse pads, mugs, water bottles, “stress balls,” and other similar articles.

3.  Policy.

A.  All purchases and distribution of promotional items must be approved in accordance with this instructional memorandum.  Purchases of promotional items are limited to those for which there is a compelling business and mission-related rationale and is cost-effective to do so.

B.  The Acting Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information and Human Capital is the Bureau approval authority. 

C.  All requests will be submitted in writing through the appropriate Executive Leadership Team member to the Acting Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information and Human Capital for approval in advance of any purchase or distribution.  Requests must demonstrate how the purchase is appropriate, necessary and cost-effective.  Additionally, the request will state the occasion, date, purpose, intended recipients, specific promotional item to be purchased, quantity, and cost.  Any information obtained to meet approval requirements must be done in accordance with acquisition rules regarding market research (e.g., detailed pricing information should not be requested from a potential vendor in advance).

D.  Promotional-type items presented to USGS employees as non-monetary awards are exempt from this policy provided they are purchased, managed, and awarded in accordance with USGS guidance on non-monetary awards.

E.  All existing stocks of promotional items must be managed in accordance with this policy and may not be distributed other than as non-monetary awards without specific approval.

F.  Third-party purchases of USGS promotional items whether using appropriated, reimbursable, or other funds must be approved in accordance with this policy and meet all criteria for USGS purchase of promotional items.

G.  Items purchased for use as gifts to foreign officials in the interests of diplomacy and protocol are exempt from this policy provided they are purchased, managed, and presented in accordance with statutes and guidance on such gifts.  This is not blanket approval to purchase promotional items for distribution at foreign conferences or meetings or meetings with foreigners in attendance.

H.  Bulk purchase of approved promotional items which results in purchasing items excess to approved need, should only be used if it offers significant savings over a more limited purchase.  “Extra” items must be inventoried and securely stored.  They may not be distributed without specific approval.

I.  The Office of Acquisition and Grants will not initiate procurement actions for promotional items prior to receipt of an approval memorandum.

J.  Holders of Government charge cards will not purchase promotional items without approval. The cardholder will maintain all supporting documentation including approval memorandums for any charge card transaction.

K.  The Office of Acquisition and Grants statistical sampling audit of charge cards incorporates promotional items, including review of purchases from vendors typically associated with manufacturing or sale of promotional items.  

L.   The Office of Acquisitions and Grants will maintain a log of approved requests and compile reports to the Executive Leadership Team and DOI quarterly by the 15th of the month following the end of quarter.

4.  Reporting Requirements.

USGS is required to provide a quarterly report to DOI on all purchases of promotional items.  This report will be compiled from approved purchase requests and statistical sampling audits.

5.  Monitoring.

The Office of Acquisition and Grants will provide quarterly reports to the USGS Executive Leadership Team.  This information will be extracted from the approval requests and from audits on statistical samplings of charge card data.

/s/ William H. Werkheiser                                                                                   May 8, 2012
__________________________________________                                    _________________ 
William H. Werkheiser                                                                                              Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and
Enterprise Information and Human Capital