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Service First Overview

Colorado Service First Background
Joint Leadership Meeting
Knowledge Sharing Partnership Between BLM and Forest Service
Moving Beyond Service First

Colordo Service First Background

BLM Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service, developed a joint strategy to help meet the management demands of the public lands and forests and better serve the public.  The agencies have worked collaboratively to effectively manage an intertwined and interdependent land and resource base.  Neither BLM nor the Forest Service possesses an entire compliment of needed skills or resources locally, but together the agencies jointly meet the demands of the public and leverage budget capabilities.  This ongoing Aone-stop-shopping@ approach combines the best of each agency and capitalizes on re-engineering public lands management that makes good business sense.  Agency offices throughout Colorado are co-locating; sharing scarce skills (e.g., archaeologists, geologists, range conservationists, volunteer coordinators), equipment, vehicles, and supplies; offering single permits for firewood and Christmas tree cutting; recreation and grazing permits; and consolidating into six regional fire dispatch centers.  The following field offices have a BLM/Forest Service manager: San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango; Dolores, Columbine, Pagosa and Del Norte Field Offices/Ranger Districts; Saguache; and LaJara.

Joint Leadership Team Meeting

The BLM Colorado State Office and USFS Region 2 co-sponsored the combined BLM Executive Leadership Team and U.S. Forest Service National Leadership Team meeting.  This marked the first time senior leadership from both Agencies will combine part of their quarterly meetings to focus on our Service First initiative (both agencies co-locating and sharing resources); the theme of the meeting was "Working Together." During the sessions, top managers from both Agencies reviewed what works, what can be improved and how to increase our joint efforts to improve service to our joint customers who use the public lands we manage.

Knowledge Sharing Partnership Between BLM and USFS
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U. S. Forest Service (FS) to share access to their individual knowledge assets.  Knowledge assets can be defined as the value-added information and data comprising what both organizations know or should know, including the skills and experiences of employees, and the documents in libraries, files, and databases. 

The BLM and FS are partners under Service First in sharing resources for more cost-effective delivery of services in a number of program areas for which they have related responsibilities.   The partner agencies believe that the efficiency and effectiveness of their respective workforces, the quality of resource management decisions, and delivery of products and services, will be significantly improved by:

  • Creating, sharing, and retaining essential information and data.

  •  Knowing and applying the other’s proven best practice

  • Closing the gaps between what is known and what should be known.

  • Having timely access to the right information to make the right decisions.

The BLM Colorado State Office and USFS Region 2 co-sponsored the combined BLM Executive Leadership Team and U.S. Forest Service National Leadership Team meeting.  This marked the first time senior leadership from both Agencies will combine part of their quarterly meetings to focus on our Service First initiative (both agencies co-locating and sharing resources); the theme of the meeting was "Working Together." During the sessions, top managers from both Agencies reviewed what works, what can be improved and how to increase our joint efforts to improve service to our joint customers who use the public lands we manage.Knowing and applying the other’s proven best practice

The MOU also establishes an Interagency Knowledge Management (IKM) Team comprised of qualified employees from both agencies, to design and implement partnership projects to help achieve the aforementioned mutual benefits in support of the President’s Management Agenda, the Office of Personnel Management’s Human Capital Scorecard, as well as the collaborative approach of Service First.

Knowledge Management (KM) is a way of doing business that values the sharing and retaining of essential information, data, and experience for better informed decisions and actions, now and in the future.  KM is a means of networking and maintaining the intellectual capabilities of an organization to learn from the lessons of the past, to better understand the present, and to achieve continual improvement.

 The work of the IKM Team shall be focused primarily on identifying the unique knowledge assets of both agencies and ways to share access to them across organizational boundaries and across employee generations.  KM project proposals can come from any source, including those recommended by Team members, as well as ones suggested by interested employees, managers, and other users.  The Team is accountable for delivering results in accordance with approved project plans to both theUSDA-FS Deputy Chief, Programs, Legislation, and Communication, and the USDI-BLM Assistant Director, Human Resources.

 
"Working Together is How We Do Business" - Moving Beyond Service First

Representatives of the Service First Steering Committee met with Forest Service and BLM leadership in Washington DC on May 6, 2003 to discuss the outlook and future approach for BLM and FS collaboration, commonly referred to as “Service First.”  

The Director and the Chief were firm in their commitment that working together will improve our service and stewardship.  Kathleen Clark, Director of the BLM, said, “working together is how we’ll do business.”   Dale Bosworth, Chief of the Forest Service said, “If the BLM and the FS have different standards for no good reason, we need to pick one and move on.”   Sally Collins, Associate Deputy Chief of the Forest Service said, “Pilots aren’t an effective way to institutionalize change and it’s time to make this way of working together permanent.”

Out of that discussion came an agreement to refocus the Service First Initiative as described below. 

Decision: 

The BLM and Forest Service share similar missions, partners, issues and constituents.  To improve stewardship and service, the Chief and the Director intend to drop the idea of Service First as an initiative and/or a pilot.  They expect the agencies to work together at all levels on a regular and routine basis. The results will be better stewardship, public service and more cost-effective government.  This move compliments and enhances President Bush’s Management Initiative; requiring agencies to respond in new ways to deliver enhance management and provide better service. 

 Actions Required:

1.   Hold a joint NLT/ELT in October 2003.  The Chief and Director will articulate their leadership commitment to the desired outcome of improved service and stewardship. They will describe their expectations that actions at all levels will be coordinated with the other agency, and their expectation that managers at all levels will be accountable to identify and implement all reasonable opportunities to work together.

2.   Coordinate WO level policy development and national initiatives between the appropriate Assistant Director and Deputy Chief and their staffs at the earliest stages of development.  The goal is to issue the same guidance, direction, standards, policy and legislative initiatives within the two agencies whenever possible.

3.   Hold regular meetings between the various Deputy Chiefs, Assistant Directors and their staffs to build relationships and enhance sharing, learning, and issue resolution.

4.   Include a representative from the other agency on standing teams (e.g. the BLM ELT, the USFS NLT, the BLM Field Committee, the USFS IREMCG, the USFS AMC) to ensure coordination, collaboration and accomplishment of collective goals.  Hold annual joint ELT/NLT meetings.  Consider an annual Field Committee/ Deputy Regional Forester meeting.

5.   Include BLM and FS representation on national and/or regional ad hoc teams formed to address issues of mutual interest.

6.   Schedule time on each NLT, ELT agenda to discuss issues of mutual importance. 

7.   Coordinate legislative initiatives and proposed legislation likely to impact both agencies; seek change in legislative authorities that hinder stewardship and/or service.

8.   Implement the BLM/FS collocation plan, emphasizing integration of operations.

9.   Identify opportunities to collaborate, share services, and integrate operations even if collocation is not warranted.  Implement them.

10. Evaluate intergovernmental achievements in leadership performance appraisals.

Decision:

The Service First Steering Committee was chartered primarily with field members to address and resolve field issues.  The current Committee has had some success addressing and influencing actions needed at the national level.  Yet a wide variety of different processes, systems, standards, authorities, policies, program management, cultures and beliefs remain continuing impediments to interagency collaboration.  To accelerate progress toward removing these agency barriers, the Service First Committee will be rechartered and the committee membership will be changed to give the Committee more authority to lead, make and honor multi-agency commitments

Actions Required:

1.   Revise the Steering Committee charter.

2.   Revise the Steering Committee membership

3.   Change the name of the Steering Committee

 

APPENDIX A  - DRAFT

Recharting, Renaming, and New Membership of Service First Steering Committee

Proposed Name

From Service First Steering Committee to Interagency Leadership Team

Proposed Charter

The Interagency Leadership Team has three primary duties:

1.   Develop a short term (18 months) and long term (5-10 years) Strategic Plan that articulates the goals for BLM/FS collaboration and the actions needed to implement the goals.

2.   Monitor the Strategic Plan to ensure implementation of the action items as well as ensuring that the implemented action items actually accomplish the goals and objectives.  The Strategic Plan will be modified as necessary.

Proposed Interagency Leadership Team Membership

Co-Leads:  Associate Chief, USFS  (Sally Collins)
Deputy Director, BLM  (Fran Cherry)
State Director, BLM
Assoc. State Director, BLM
District Manager, BLM
Assistant Director for Resources (200), BLM
Assistant Director, Use Authorizations (300), BLM
Assistant Director, Business and Fiscal Resources (800), BLM
Regional Forester, USFS
Deputy Regional Forester, USFS
Forest Supervisor, USFS
Deputy Chief, NFS, USFS
Deputy Chief, Business Ops, USFS
Union Rep, USFS
Staff assistance to team provided by Andrew Goldsmith, BLM, and Larry Coffelt, USFS.