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
January 23, 2013
In Reply Refer To:
1784 (600) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 01/25/2013
Instruction Memorandum No. 2013-053
Expires: 09/30/2014
 
To:                  All State Directors

                       Attn: Deputy State Directors for Communication/State Communications Chief, 

                       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 pursuant to 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 Bureau of Land Management (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.”
 
Correspondence, International, and Advisory Committee Office (WO 600) Responsibilities
The National Advisory Committee Coordinator will serve as the central point of contact for processing all advisory committee charter and nomination packages within the Washington Office. The Correspondence, International and Advisory Committee Office Supervisor will designate a National Advisory Committee Coordinator within the Office, and provide that individual’s contact information to the 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 National Advisory Committee Coordinator is responsible for initiating the call for nominations notice to be published in the Federal Register for applicable advisory committees (see attachment 2); ensuring submitted charter and nomination package documentation is clear and complete; drafting transmittal memos from the BLM Director to the Secretary of the Interior; drafting appointment letters for member nomination packages; overseeing the package approval process; maintaining charter and nomination files; and completing an annual comprehensive review of all BLM advisory committees. The National Advisory Committee Coordinator also serves as the primary point of contact for questions regarding charter and nomination packages.  
 
The National Advisory Committee Coordinator reports directly to the Correspondence, International and Advisory Committee Office Supervisor 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 National Advisory Committee Coordinator coordinates national outreach to the RACs on relevant issues of interest, and develops and maintains a member orientation program. In addition, the National Advisory Committee Coordinator 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 DFO and the National Advisory Committee Coordinator. Coordinators who are not already assigned to the Deputy State Director for Communications/State Communications Chief 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 Communications/State Communications Chief, and State/Program Director; and are submitted to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator 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 National Advisory Committee Coordinator 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/State Communications Chief receives a copy of the package and has an opportunity to comment on it before it is sent to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator. 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 by the end of each fiscal year.

Deputy State Director for Communications/State Communications Chief Responsibilities: Deputy State Directors for Communication/State Communications Chiefs are responsible for outreach regarding advisory committee nominations, meetings, and other public notifications. Appropriate Deputy State Directors for Communication/State Communications Chiefs will have an opportunity to review nomination packages prior to submission to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator.
 
Note on Advisory Committee Members Classification: Advisory committee members may be appointed as Special Government Employees (SGE) 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 each year they serve 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: 
  1. New charters: As new advisory committees are established, the DFO should coordinate with the State/Program Office and National Advisory Committee Coordinator 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.
  1. 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. 
  1. Charter package deadlines: Submit charter renewal packages or new charters to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator no less than 120 days before targeted effective date to ensure ample time for the BLM and DOI review process. For new advisory committees, submit charter packages to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator 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. If a new committee is being established, the package must also contain a justification statement;

2.  The current/existing charter;

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

4.  A list of all current members. Also, include the interest group represented based on that committee’s establishing authority and their term dates; 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 (via the advisory committee SharePoint site) to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator.  
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 270 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. The following statement must be included in all call for nominations notices: “The Obama Administration prohibits individuals who are currently federally registered lobbyists from being appointed or re-appointed to FACA and non-FACA boards, committees, or councils.”
  • Deputy State Directors for Communication/State Communications Chiefs 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-600 National Advisory Committee Coordinator no less than 190 days before appointments expire. It is recommended that the DFO and Deputy State Director for Communications/State Communications Chief communicate 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 must 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 recommendation form that includes a list of the proposed new, reappointed, continuing, and exiting members on each committee, including appointed alternates if the charter permits.  Include the interest group represented, based on that committee’s establishing authority and a strong justification statement for any re-appointed member(s);

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

4.  Signed Resource Advisory Council applications for all nominees (including those not selected as primary or alternate candidates;

5.  Nomination support letters/documents specific to the interest group nominees will represent;

6.  A candidate summary memo for subsequent referral to the White House Liaison.

  • Nomination package delivery: All of the above materials must be submitted electronically to the National Advisory Committee Coordinator via the advisory committee SharePoint site.   
Washington Office Coordination/Final Approval: The National Advisory Committee Coordinator will review charter and nomination packages upon receipt, and prepare for routing within the Washington Office and Department. The National Advisory Committee Coordinator will serve as the point of contact for all reviewer questions. 
 
BLM Charter package contents: All charter packages forwarded by the National Advisory Committee Coordinator must include the following:

1.  A detailed transmittal memorandum from the BLM Director to the Secretary 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.  The proposed charter;

5.  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 their term dates; and

6.  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 National Advisory Committee Coordinator must include the following: 
1.  A Note to Reviewers explaining the contents of the package; 

2.  A recommendation form that includes a list of the proposed new, reappointed, continuing, and exiting members on each committee, including appointed alternates if the charter permits.  Include the interest group represented, based on that committee’s establishing authority and a strong justification statement for any re-appointed member(s);

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

4.  Signed Resource Advisory Council applications for all primary and alternate nominees;

5.  A detailed transmittal memorandum from the BLM Director to the Secretary that provides the names of the recommended nominees;

6.  Appointment letters for all primary candidates in draft form. 

BLM Nomination Package Review:  Review of nomination packages will include the NLCS Director (if applicable); the program manager and AD (if applicable); Correspondence, International, and Advisory Committee Office Supervisor (WO 600); BLM Assistant Director for Communications (AD-600); and BLM Director (if applicable) and Deputy Director. It is then delivered to the Executive Secretariat who coordinates the surname with the DOI’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs; DOI Ethics; and DOI’s White House Liaison. The Executive Secretariat will secure the Secretary’s signature on appointment letters. The National Advisory Committee Coordinator will mail the appointment letters and provide a scanned copy to the State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinator.
 
Charters are first reviewed by the General Services Administration. Charter packages are sent to the Solicitor’s Office for review and approval. While being reviewed by the Solicitor’s Office, the packages are also reviewed by the NLCS Director (if applicable); program manager and AD (if applicable); Correspondence, International, and Advisory Committee Office Supervisor (WO 600); BLM Assistant Director for Communications (AD-600); and BLM Director (if applicable) and Deputy Director. It is then delivered to the Executive Secretariat who coordinates the surname with the DOI’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs; DOI Ethics; and DOI’s White House Liaison. The Executive Secretariat will secure the Secretary’s signature on the charter. Once a charter is signed and the Federal Register notice is published (only for establishment and re-establishment charters), the National Advisory Committee Coordinator  files the charter with the appropriate Congressional offices and the Library of Congress. Copies of charters will also be provided to the State/Program Advisory Committee Coordinator. The Department’s Committee Management Officer will also enter the charter into the FACA database.
 
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately and supersedes IM-2008-109 and IM-2009-182. 

Budget Impact:  None.

Background:   Advisory committees chartered pursuant to 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, 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 and cultural resources and often enjoy a high-level of public support.

The BLM currently maintains 42 chartered advisory groups located in the western states. These include 29 statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils, five advisory groups affiliated with specific sites in BLM’s NLCS, five committees focused on county payments in Oregon, the interagency North Slope Science Initiative Science Technical Advisory Panel in Alaska, and the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act requires the establishment of BLM Resource Advisory Councils, and various other statutes require the establishment of advisory groups affiliated with specific geographic areas (for example, certain NLCS sites). This list is subject to change based upon legislation as well as re-evaluation of discretionary advisory committees. 
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
 
Coordination: NLCS, WO-260, WO-610, AD-600, WO-100
 
Contact: Twinkle Thompson-Seitts, National Advisory Committee Coordinator, 202-208-7301.
 
 
Signed by:                                                     Authenticated by:
Mike Pool                                                       Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director                                              Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
 
 
3 Attachments

 
Last updated: 01-28-2013