U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
http://www.blm.gov
 
July 27, 2009
 
In Reply Refer To:
1784 (620) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 07/29/2009 
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-182
Expires: 9/30/2010
 
To:                      All State Directors
                           Attn: Deputy State Directors for Communication, National Landscape    Conservation System Leads, Federal Advisory Committee Designated Federal     Officials, and State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinators
 
From:                  Acting Director
 
Subject:              Processing Charter and Nomination Packages under the Federal Advisory           Committee Act
 
Project Areas:  Federal Advisory Committees
 
Purpose: To define process requirements and standard formats for initiation or renewal of Federal Advisory Committee charters and/or member appointments and/or re-appointments.
 
Policy/Action: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes a standard procedure for coordination of all charter initiation/renewals and member appointments/re-appointments for BLM-sponsored or co-sponsored boards, advisory councils, or committees subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). For purposes of this IM, all such boards, councils, and committees may be referred to generically as “advisory committees.”
 
Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Division (WO-620) Responsibilities: Beginning in July 2009, the WO-620 Group Federal Officer (GFO) will serve as the central point for processing all advisory committee charter and nomination packages within the Washington Office. The Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Division Chief will designate a GFO within the Division, and provide that individual’s contact information to the Resource Advisory Council (RAC) National Program Lead, State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinators, Deputy State Directors for Communication, Wild Horse and Burro Program Lead, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Executive Secretariat, and the DOI White House Liaison. (Attachment 1 provides a list of personnel currently assigned to these areas of responsibility.) The WO-620 GFO is responsible for initiating the call for nominations notice to be published in the Federal Register for applicable advisory committees (see attachment 2); editing submitted charter and nomination package documentation; writing transmittal memos from the BLM Director to the Secretary of the Interior; drafting appointment letters for member nomination packages; overseeing the package approval process; and maintaining charter and nomination files. The GFO also serves as the primary point of contact for questions regarding charter and nomination packages.  
 
Resource Advisory Council (RAC) National Program Lead Responsibilities: The RAC National Program Lead (RAC Lead) reports directly to the Assistant Director for Communications and coordinates closely with BLM State Directors, Designated Federal Officials (DFO), and State RAC Coordinators to clarify policy and direction for RAC operations, including FACA guidance and interpretation.  The RAC Lead coordinates national outreach to the RACs on relevant issues of interest, develops and maintains a member orientation program, and compiles and distributes annual RAC accomplishments to the RACs. The RAC Lead also serves as liaison to other DOI and Federal agencies on matters of concern to the RACs.
 
State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinators Responsibilities: State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinators (Coordinators) are responsible for coordination between the DFOs and the WO-620 GFO. Coordinators who are not already assigned to the Deputy State Director for Communications are responsible for coordinating closely with that office on the status of all advisory committee charter renewals and member appointments. Coordinators have primary responsibility for notifying DFOs of approaching deadlines and initiating the “Call for Nominations” Notice to be published in the Federal Register for applicable advisory committees (see attachment 2). Additionally, Coordinators ensure the charter and nomination packages meet all requirements outlined in this IM; are appropriately coordinated/cleared through the DFO, Deputy State Director for Communication, and State/Program Director; and are submitted to the WO-620 GFO within sufficient lead time to meet required deadlines.
Designated Federal Officials Responsibilities: The DFO for each advisory committee is responsible for coordinating with their State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinator to ensure that charter and nomination packages meet all requirements and are routed to the WO-620 GFO (following applicable State/Program Office review) in order to meet deadlines and ensure compliance with this IM. For nomination packages only, the DFO must also ensure that the Deputy State Director for Communications receives a copy of the package and has an opportunity to comment on it before it is sent to the WO-620 GFO. The DFO is also responsible for ensuring proper execution of the recruitment and vetting process prior to package preparation and submission, and ensuring necessary coordination/clearance with state governments and other participating Federal agencies (where applicable). For each term expiring in a given year, it is suggested that at least two qualified candidates be considered. The DFO is also responsible for ensuring updates to the FACA database are accomplished for their advisory committee.
Deputy State Director for Communications Responsibilities: Deputy State Directors for Communication are responsible for outreach regarding advisory committee nominations, meetings, and other public notifications. Appropriate Deputy State Directors for Communication will have an opportunity to review nomination packages prior to submission to the WO-620 GFO.
 
Note on Advisory Committee Members Classification: Advisory committee members may be appointed as Special Government Employees (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 reflect the views of such groups as state, local, or tribal governments, public interest groups, or the public-at-large. Representative members do not fill out financial disclosure forms 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. 
 
State/Program Charter Package Guidelines: 
  • New charters: As new advisory committees are established, the DFO should collaborate with the State/Program Office to develop a charter. Development of the charter and nomination of advisory committee members may occur concurrently, but no advisory committee may meet or take any action until a charter has been filed.  
  • Existing charters: In accordance with FACA, all existing charters expire 2 years from the date a charter is filed, and will need to be renewed. 
  • Charter package deadlines: Submit charter renewal packages or new charters to the WO-620 GFO no less than 120 days before targeted effective date to ensure ample time for the BLM and Departmental review process. For new advisory committees, submit charter packages to the WO-620 GFO no less than 120 days before the designated charter establishment deadline. 
  • State/Program Charter package contents: All charter packages must include the following:

    1.      A detailed transmittal memorandum from the State/Program 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; 

    2.      The current/existing charter; 

    3.      If changes are suggested, a redline version of the charter; 

    4.      A list of all current members and whether or not they are SGEs or representatives. For representatives, also include the interest group represented based on that committee’s establishing authority; and 

    5.      For a discretionary (non-statutorily mandated) committee, a justification statement and the 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 and in hard copy to the WO-620 GFO. If an electronic signature is not available for the transmittal memo, the transmittal memo may be sent in hard copy with original signature. 
State/Program Office Nomination Package Guidelines:

  • New and re-appointed 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 when applicable. 
  • The BLM Director, State Director, or Assistant Director must publish a “Call for Nominations” in the Federal Register no less than 210 days before appointments are due to expire (see attachment 2 for Federal Register notice responsibilities). 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 contact for providing specific information about vacancies and for receiving nominations.
  • Deputy State Directors for Communication must issue a press release announcing the publication of the Call for Nominations and execute other appropriate outreach efforts.
  • Nomination package deadlines: Completed State/Program Office nomination packages must be received by the WO-620 GFO no less than 120 days before appointments expire. It is recommended that the DFO and Deputy State Director for Communications convey to the advisory committee nominee(s) that their application has been received and the nomination package has been submitted to the Washington Office. Specific recommendations contained in the packages will be kept confidential. 
  • State/Program Office nomination package contents: All nomination packages must include the following:
1.      A detailed transmittal memorandum from the State Director to the BLM Director that provides the names of the recommended nominees;
 
2.      A justification statement for any re-appointed members;
3.      A list of the proposed new, reappointed, continuing, and exiting members on each committee, including appointed 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;
4.      Individual summary sheets for the primary and alternate nominees;
5.      Background information;
6.      For Representatives, nomination support letters/documents specific to the interest group they will represent;
7.      Nomination materials submitted for other candidates not selected as nominees;
8.      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;
9.      The current/existing charter;
10. For a non-discretionary committee, a copy of the public law that establishes the authority for the advisory committee; and
 
11. A one-page candidate summary memo for subsequent referral to the White House Liaison.
 Please see Attachment 4 for sample advisory committee nomination package templates.
  • Nomination package delivery: All of the above materials must be submitted both electronically and in hard copy to the WO-620 GFO.   
Washington Office Coordination/Final Approval: The WO-620 GFO will review charter and nomination packages upon receipt, and prepare for routing within the Washington Office and Department. The WO-620 GFO will serve as the point of contact for all reviewer questions.  

BLM Charter package contents: All charter packages forwarded by the WO-620 GFO must include the following:

1.      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;

2.      A detailed transmittal memorandum from the BLM Director to the Secretary via the Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, that explains why the charter is being submitted (i.e., renewal, need for new committee, etc.) and why the committee is important;

3. The current/existing charter;

4. If changes are suggested, a redline version of the charter; 

5. The proposed charter;

6. 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

7. For a discretionary (non-statutorily mandated) committee, a justification statement and the 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 is also required.

BLM Nomination Package Contents: All nomination packages forwarded by the WO-620 GFO must include the following:

1.      A detailed transmittal memorandum from the State Director to the BLM Director providing recommendations for nominees filling vacant positions. 
 
2.      A detailed transmittal memorandum from the BLM Director to the Secretary, via the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, that provides the names of the recommended nominees as well as a justification statement for any re-appointed members;

 

3.      A list of the proposed new, reappointed, continuing, and exiting members on each committee, including appointed 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;

4.      Individual summary sheets for the primary and alternate nominees;

 

5.      Background information;

6.      For representatives, nomination support letters/documents specific to the interest group they will represent;

 

7.      Nomination materials submitted for other candidates not selected as nominees;

8.      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;

 

9.      The current/existing charter;

10. For a non-discretionary committee, a copy of the public law that establishes the authority for the advisory committee.
 
BLM Nomination Package Review:  Review of nomination packages will include the NLCS Director (if applicable); the program manager and AD (if applicable); Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Division Chief (WO-620); BLM Assistant Director for Communications (AD-600); BLM Director and Deputy Director; Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management; DOI’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs; DOI’s Office of External Affairs; DOI Ethics; and the Executive Secretariat. Concurrent with BLM/Department review, the WO-620 GFO will submit nomination materials to the DOI’s White House Liaison, prepared in accordance with departmental guidelines. Recommendations resulting from the two review processes will be reconciled (if necessary) before final submission to the Executive Secretariat for the Secretary’s signature. Signed appointment letters will be mailed from the WO-620 Office, and a faxed copy will be provided to the State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinator who will provide to the DFO.

Charter packages are sent to the Solicitor’s Office for review and approval. Once approved by the Solicitor’s Office, the packages are also surnamed by the NLCS Director (if applicable); program manager and AD (if applicable); Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Division Chief (WO-620); BLM Assistant Director for Communications (AD-600); BLM Director; Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management; DOI’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs; Assistant Secretary, Policy Management and Budget; DOI’s Office of External Affairs. The WO-620 GFO then prepares the charter for the Secretary’s signature. Once a charter is signed and the Federal Register Notice is published, the Committee Management Officer files the charter with the appropriate Congressional Office, the Library of Congress, and the General Service Administration. Copies of charters will also be provided to the State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinator who will provide it to the DFO. The DFO will also enter the charter into the FACA database.

Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately and supersedes IM-2008-109.
 
Budget Impact:  None.

 

Background:   Advisory Committees chartered under FACA serve an important role in the BLM’s management of the National System of Public Lands. These citizen-based groups provide an opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds and interests to have a voice in the management of these lands, and to help improve their health and productivity.  Advisory committee recommendations address all public land issues, including: land use planning, minerals development, recreation, noxious weeds, and wild horse and burro herd management areas. The Advisory Committees have been successful in bringing diverse and often competing interests to the table to deal with issues of mutual concern. This inclusive approach has shown great promise as a means to successfully deal with the long-standing challenges of public land management. The Advisory Committees have demonstrated that consensus-driven recommendations often lead to sustainable outcomes that benefit natural resources and often enjoy a high level of public support.

The BLM currently maintains 40 chartered Advisory Committees located in the western states. These include 24 statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils, 8 Advisory Committees affiliated with specific sites in BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System, 5 committees focused on county payments in Oregon, the Pinedale Anticline Working Group and Task Groups in Wyoming, the interagency North Slope Science Technical Group in Alaska, and the National

Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) generally requires the establishment of BLM Advisory Committees, and various other statutes require the establishment of Advisory Committees affiliated with specific geographic areas, e.g., certain National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) sites. This list is subject to change based upon legislation as well as re-evaluation of discretionary advisory committees. Charter renewal and nominations for the various committees and boards has been handled in a de-centralized manner. Beginning in July 2009, the WO-620 GFO will serve as the central point for processing all advisory committee charter and nomination packages within the Washington Office.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
 
Coordination: NLCS, WO-260, AD-200, AD-300, WO-610, WO-620, AD-600, WO-100
 
Contact: Allison Sandoval, WO-620 Group Federal Officer, 202-452-7704, or Patrick Wilkinson, Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Division Chief (WO-620), 202-452-7796.
                                               
 
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Mike Pool                                                                    Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director                                                          Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
 
 
4 Attachments

 
Last updated: 10-20-2009