U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
January 23, 2013
In Reply Refer To:
1784 (600) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 01/25/2013
Instruction Memorandum No. 2013-053
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:
State/Program Office Nomination Package Guidelines:
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:
BLM Nomination Package Contents: All nomination packages forwarded by the National Advisory Committee Coordinator must include the following:
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