UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
http://www.blm.gov
 
April 2, 2012
 
In Reply Refer To:
9672 (350) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 04/12/2012
Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-095
Expires:  09/30/2013
 
To:             All Washington Office and Field Officials
                  Attn: Field Office Managers and State Office Chief Cadastral Surveyors
 
From:         Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
 
Subject:     Cost Recovery of Cadastral Program Services in Commercial Projects
 
Program Area: All Land and Resource Programs.
 
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides interim guidance on the policy of cost recovery for oversight to ensure adequate Cadastral Program review of Boundary Evidence on significant commercial projects.
 
Policy/Action: Prior to approval of any commercial project application, the responsible field office will ensure adequate Cadastral Program review of Boundary Evidence by the respective State Office Chief Cadastral Surveyor and as described in IM No. 2011-122, “Plan to Ensure Adequate Cadastral Survey Review of Boundary Evidence Prior to the Approval of Significant Land and Resource Transactions and Commercial Projects.”  This review should not be confused with an on-the-ground cadastral survey but is an assessment of the Boundary Evidence for a particular commercial activity.
 
The responsible Authorized Officer (AO) will provide access to the relevant project documents for a boundary assessment analysis to the respective State Office Chief Cadastral Surveyor. Upon receipt of the required information, and within an agreed upon time, the State Office Chief Cadastral Surveyor will provide a response with recommended plan of action. The recommended plan of action will include a cost estimate to conduct cadastral services.
 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) costs associated with performing the boundary risk assessments required by IM No. 2011-122 are appropriately considered direct costs and should be incorporated into all cost recovery determinations and agreements.
The documentation of the condition of the Boundary Evidence and the risk management procedures must be in conformance with IM No. 2011-122, whenever applicable.
 
Attachment 1 provides guidance for implementation of this IM.
 
Attachment 2 is a list of frequently asked questions.
 
Timeframe: This IM and associated activities becomes effective on the date of issuance.
 
Budget Impact: There may be a small increase in initial costs at the application and planning stage of commercial projects to recover the reasonable cost of management of land boundaries services.
 
Background: The BLM has authority under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act[1](FLPMA) to establish fees with respect to transactions involving the public lands to recover the reasonable cost of services that provide a special benefit not shared by the general public to an identifiable recipient.[2]  Because Congress expects services provided by Federal agencies to be self-sustaining to the extent possible,[3] and the Office of Financial Management Accounting Handbook mandates cost recovery whenever possible, the BLM has an obligation to establish fees for all services for which it has cost recovery authority.
 
This IM addresses the BLM’s cost recovery efforts. It clarifies that when preparing estimates for the processing cost recovery category determination and cost recovery agreements for the proposal, ensure that work necessary to comply with IM 2011-122 is included in the hours estimate and, for Processing Category 6 determinations, included in the estimated costs in the cost recovery agreement.
 
The July 16, 2010, Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, Final Audit Report No. C-IN-MOA-0001-2009[4] (OIG Report), found that significant commercial projects on Federal interest lands with high value resources and unreliable boundary surveys were routinely processed and approved without the benefit of Boundary Evidence review by Cadastral Survey personnel. The OIG Report made nine recommendations related to management of land boundaries. The Director’s response through the Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) to Recommendation 6[5] stated, “[t]he BLM will develop an IM to establish the policy for cost recovery of Cadastral Survey services in commercial projects. This cost recovery will use existing regulatory authority to the extent possible or the BLM will pursue additional authority where needed.” 
                                                                                                                                                           
For commercial projects requiring entry into Legacy Rehost 2000, action codes have been established and must be used for documenting these Cadastral Program boundary assessments.  These codes include 981 – Cadastral Review Not Required; 982 - Cadastral Review Requested; and 983 – Cadastral Certificate Issued.
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: This IM transmits interim policy that the BLM will incorporate into BLM Manual 9672, Handbook H-9672-1 as Supplements impacted by the issuance of the directive.
 
Coordination: The Division of Lands, Realty and Cadastral Survey (WO-350) coordinated preparation of this IM with the ASLM, Deputy State Directors – Minerals and Resources, Cadastral Survey Offices, and the Solicitor’s Office.
 
Contact: For further information, please contact me at 202-208-4201, or your staff may contact Don Buhler, WO-350, at 202-912-7353, or Don_Buhler@blm.gov. For State specific questions, contact your State Office Chief Cadastral Surveyor.
 
 
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd                                                               Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                        Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management
 
 
2 Attachments
[1] 43 U.S.C. §§ 1734, 1735, and 1740.
[2] Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-25 Revised.
[3] Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 31 U.S.C. 9701.
[4] Entitled “Department of the Interior’s Management of Land Boundaries,” including the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management supplemental response of August 6, 2010. For copy see: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/cadastralsurvey/cadastral_review_of.html
[5] OIG Recommendation 6: “Require that costs for oversight of significant commercial projects be recovered from the commercial entities.”