UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
April 11, 2008
In Reply Refer To:
1784 (170) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 04/17/2008
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-109
To: All State Directors
Attn: State Office External Affairs Chiefs and National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) Leads
From: Director, National Landscape Conservation System and Community
Subject: Process for Compiling Charter and Nomination Packages for NLCS Advisory Committees
Project Areas: NLCS Advisory Committees
Purpose: To define process requirements and standard formats for NLCS advisory committee charter and/or member nomination packages sent to the Washington Office.
Policy/Action: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to establish, charter, appoint members, and meet regularly with advisory committees for advice. This Instruction Memorandum (IM) defines the requirements for submitting charter and member nomination packages to the Washington Office for NLCS units.
NLCS Washington Office Lead Responsibilities:
The NLCS Washington Office is responsible for all FACA-chartered advisory committees associated with NLCS units. Contact this office for assistance with questions regarding compilation of advisory committee packages.
The NLCS Washington Office is responsible for notifying the Designated Federal Official (DFO) of approaching deadlines, editing submitted package documents, writing transmittal memos from the BLM Director to the Secretary of the Interior, preparing issue summaries, drafting appointment letters for member nomination packages, overseeing the package approval process, and maintaining files.
State Responsibilities: The DFO for each NLCS advisory committee is responsible for ensuring that charter and nomination packages meet all requirements and are routed to the NLCS Washington Office in order to meet deadlines and ensure compliance with this IM. For nomination packages only, the DFO must also ensure that that the State Office External Affairs Chief receives a copy of the package and has an opportunity to comment on nominations before it is sent to the Washington Office. Please see Attachment 1 with the routing flowchart for advisory committee packages and Attachment 2 with the current list of DFOs.
Charter Package Guidelines:
- New charters: As new advisory committees are established, the DFO should coordinate with the State Office to develop a charter. Development of the charter and nomination of council members may occur concurrently, but no advisory committee may meet or take any action until a charter has been filed. Please see Attachment 3 for a charter template.
- Existing charters: In accordance with FACA, all existing charters expire two years from the date a charter is filed, and will need to be renewed.
- Charter package deadlines: Submit charter renewal packages no less than 120 days before a charter is proposed to expire to ensure ample time for the Bureau and Departmental review process. For new advisory committees, also submit charter packages no less than 120 days before the designated charter establishment deadline.
- Charter package contents: All charter packages must include the following:
- A detailed transmittal memorandum from the State Director to the BLM Director that explains why the charter is being submitted (i.e. renewal, need for new committee, etc.) and why the committee is important;
- The current/existing charter;
- If changes are suggested, a redline version of the charter;
- The proposed charter;
- A list of all current members and whether or not they are Special Government Employees (SGEs) or Representatives. For Representatives, also include the interest group represented based on that committee’s establishing authority; and
- For a discretionary (non-statutorily mandated) committee, a Justification Statement and a Federal Register notice announcing committee establishment, renewal or reestablishment; or for a non-discretionary committee, a copy of the public law that establishes the authority for the advisory committee.
- Charter package delivery: All of the above materials must be submitted electronically to the NLCS Director. If an electronic signature is not available for the transmittal memo, the transmittal memo may be sent in hard copy with original signature.
Nomination package guidelines:
- New and expired members: It is essential to recruit new committee members or reappoint existing committee members before terms expire. State public outreach efforts are critical for attracting new nominees. Consult with the Governor’s office throughout the nomination process. The State Director or Assistant Director must publish a “Call for Nominations” in the Federal Register and issue a press release for distribution in State and local newspapers. These notices must provide general information about the committees, including their purpose, composition, and the procedures for submitting nominations. Notices also must include the BLM State Office contact for providing specific information about vacancies and for receiving nominations.
- Nomination package deadlines: The State Director or Assistant Director must publish the “Call for Nominations” and issue a press release no less than 180 days before appointments are due to expire. Completed nomination packages must be received in the Washington Office no less than 120 days before appointments expire. It is recommended that the DFO and State External Affairs Officer coordinate and communicate to the advisory committee nominee(s) of the forwarded nomination package. For each term expiring in a given year, it is suggested that at least two qualified candidates be considered.
- Nomination package contents: All nomination packages must include the following:
- A detailed transmittal memorandum from the State Director to the BLM Director that provides the names of the recommended nominees and a justification statement of the selection, as well as the names of exiting members;
- The current/existing charter;
- A list of the proposed new, reappointed, and continuing members on each committee, including alternates if the charter permits, and whether or not they are SGEs or Representatives. For Representatives, include the interest group represented, based on that committee’s establishing authority;
- Individual summary sheets for the principal and alternate nominees;
- Background Information Nomination Form
- For representatives, nomination support letters/documents specific to the interest group they will represent;
- Nomination materials submitted for other candidates not selected as nominees;
- If the charter specifies categories of interest to be represented for which there is no suitable nominee, an explanation of recruitment efforts for the position and whether the lack of representation affects the committee’s balance; and
- For a non-discretionary committee, a copy of the public law that establishes the authority for the advisory committee.
Please see Attachment 4 for sample advisory committee nomination package templates.
- Nomination package delivery: All of the above materials must be submitted electronically to the NLCS Director. If an electronic signature is not available for the transmittal memorandum, the transmittal memorandum may be sent in hard copy with original signature.
Note on Advisory Committee Members Classification:
Advisory committee members may be appointed as SGEs or Representatives. The SGEs are experts in various fields (science, law, medicine, economics, etc.) appointed to provide expertise to the advisory committee. The SGEs must fill out financial disclosure statements and are subject to other statutory and regulatory ethics requirements. Representative members represent such groups as state, local, or tribal governments, public interest groups, or the public at large. Representative members do not fill out financial disclosure requirements and are only subject to the ethics guidelines stipulated in the BLM FACA regulations, the charter, and/or standing operating procedures of the committee. It is important to avoid erroneously classifying SGEs as Representative members.
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: The Director of the National Landscape Conservation System made a commitment to issue guidance relating to NLCS advisory committees to standardize and make the process more efficient. This IM is based on the guidance provided in IM No. 2005-112 that expired 09/30/2006.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: WO-170, WO-100, WO-640, OS
Contact: Robert Hellie, Program Lead for National Monuments and National Conservation Areas (WO-171), 202-452-7703.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Elena C. Daly Robert M. Williams
Director, National Landscape Conservation Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
System and Community Partnerships