U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
November 13, 2007
In Reply Refer To:
1400-300, 9210 (700) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 11/20/2007
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-029
To: ADs, SDs, and CDs
Attn: Human Resource Officers
From: Assistant Director, Human Capital Management
Subject: Change in Crediting Coursework for Meeting the Positive Educational Requirements for GS-401 Fire Management Positions DD: 11/23/2007
Program Area: Fire Management Specialist Positions
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) transmits interim guidance and requirements regarding current employees in or being considered for placement into GS-401 Fire Management Specialist positions. Additional guidance and instructions will be forthcoming from the Department of the Interior (DOI) by December 2007.
Policy/Action: State Human Resource Offices (HRO) are required to review all employees currently in GS-401 Fire Management positions to ensure proper qualification determinations have been made regardless of their date of entry into the position.
Following are the steps that need to be completed by each HRO for the complete review:
The qualification standards to be used for determining basic qualifications for these employees are as follows:
This information will be gathered and the results emailed to Cindy Pogue at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) by November 23, 2007. FA-202 will consolidate the responses and forward them to WO-700.
Background: The Department of the Interior met with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, BLM, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the USDA Forest Service and a representative from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to discuss the impact of the change to the educational standards effective February 15, 2005 and to develop a strategy for helping affected employees.
OPM changed the Operating Manual for Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions, effective February 15, 2005, to address the “Acceptability of Higher Education for Meeting Minimum Qualification Requirements.” The OPM changes address Congressional concerns about the issue of diploma mills to meet positive education requirements. These changes have impacted positions covered by the Supplemental Standard for Fire Management Specialist positions in the GS-401 Fire Management series.
With this change from OPM and the pending guidance from the Department, you can only credit educational coursework that is listed on an official transcript or other acceptable documentation from an accredited institution.
The BLM is required to verify to the OPM that we have reviewed all employees currently encumbering GS-401 Fire Management Specialist positions and have correctly identified the cases where improper basic qualification determinations have occurred. In addition we will be required to report periodically back to the OPM that we are working with employees who have been impacted by this change.
Timeframe: HROs need to submit their information to Fire and Aviation, at NIFC by November 23, 2007.
Budget Impact: The budgetary impact is unknown until after the States have had the opportunity to review how the changes may impact employees.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: This document was coordinated with WO-400, WO-700, NIFC, and the State HROs.
Contact: If you have any questions concerning this IM, please contact Janine Velasco, WO-700 at (202) 501-6723, Sandy Berain, NIFC at (208) 387-5514, or Cindy Pogue, NIFC, at (208) 387-5951.