U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
Print Page
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
 
January 9, 2008
 
In Reply Refer To:
1400-300, 9210 (700) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 01/23/2008
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-053
Expires: 06/04/2009
 
To:                   ADs, SDs, and CDs
                        Attn: Human Resource Officers
 
From:               Assistant Director, Human Capital Management
                       
Subject:            Bureau of Land Management Notification and Reporting Requirements for GS-0401 Fire Program Management Employees
DD: 04/1/2008, 07/01/2008, 10/01/2008, 01/02/2009, 04/01/2009, 06/04/2009
 
Program Area: Fire Management Specialist Positions
 
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides notification and reporting requirements for GS-0401 Fire Management Specialist reported as not meeting the qualification requirements. In addition, this IM provides guidance on notifying qualified GS-0401 Fire Management Specialists their status. 
 
Policy/Action: Employing offices are required to notify and counsel employees not meeting the basic qualifications for GS-0401 Fire Management positions using the attached counseling letter. These employees were identified by the State/Center Human Resource Offices (HRO) and reported as not meeting the basic qualification requirements as instructed in IM 2008-029 “Change in Crediting Coursework for Meeting the Positive Educational Requirements for GS-401 Fire Management Positions”. The Supervisor in partnership with the employee will develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) which will enable the employee to meet the basic education requirements for the GS-0401 series. 
 
All employees who have been determined as not currently meeting the basic qualification requirements for their position must meet the requirement for the GS-0401 Fire Management Specialist position by close of business June 4, 2009. Employees who do not meet the basic qualification requirements by June 4, 2009, will be required to be removed from their position. 
 
State/Center HRO’s need to ensure they keep apprised of the progress of the effected employees and submit reports on a quarterly basis using the attached spreadsheet. These reports will be submitted via email to Cindy Pogue at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), consolidated and forwarded to the Department of the Interior Human Capital Office, Office of Personnel Management and WO-700.
 
Following are the instructions for State/Center HRO’s to follow in regards to handling GS-0401 Fire Management Specialist employees:
 
  1. Employees reported as not meeting the basic qualification requirement for GS-0401 Fire Management Specialist.  
    1. Prepare and issue attached letter of understanding, placing a copy in the employees Official Personnel File (left side).
    2. Ensure the Individual Development Plan has been prepared and issued.
    3. Prepare and submit quarterly status reports using the attach spreadsheet, as instructed above, no later than the following dates: April 1, 2008, July 1, 2008, October 1, 2008, January 2, 2009, April 1, 2009, and June 4, 2009.
  2. Employees who met the basic qualifications for GS-0401 Fire Management positions and were placed into their position prior to February 15, 2005, And;
    1. Used NWCG qualifications to qualify: Notify employee they qualify for his/her current position but are not eligible for details, promotions or reassignments into other GS-401 Fire Management positions without obtaining additional education. Sample notification letter attached.
    2. Did not use NWCG qualification to qualify: Notify employee they qualify for his/her current position and may be eligible for details, promotions or reassignments into other GS-401 Fire Management positions. Final determinations regarding qualifications are made by the appropriate Human Resource Office. Sample notification letter attached.
  3. Employees who met the basic qualifications for GS-0401 Fire Management positions and were placed into their position on or after February 15, 2005: Notify employee they qualify for his/her current position and may be eligible for details, promotions or reassignments into other GS-401 Fire Management positions. Final determinations regarding qualifications are made by the appropriate Human Resource Office. Sample notification letter attached.
 
Background: The Department of the Interior (DOI) 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.
 
On December 3, 2007, the BLM verified to the DOI and OPM that all current GS-0401 Fire Management Specialists were reviewed to ensure basic qualifications were properly applied. The report to DOI and OPM identified the cases where improper basic qualification determinations have occurred. 
 
The DOI issued Personnel Bulletin 07-13 “Qualification Requirements for GS-0401 Fire Program Management” on December 4, 2007. This Personnel Bulletin provides the final guidance to be used for determining qualifications for GS-0401 Fire Management positions. 
 
Timeframes: Quarterly status reports for impacted employees are to be submitted no later than the following dates: April 1, 2008, July 1, 2008, October 1, 2008, January 2, 2009, April 1, 2009, and June 4, 2009.
 
Budget Impact: The budgetary impact is minimal. 
 
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.
 
Signed by:                                                                   
Authenticated by:
Janine Velasco                                                             
Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                        
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Human Capital Management
 
 
2 Attachments

 
Last updated: 10-21-2009