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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

 March 10, 2008

In Reply To:
1550/1120 (912) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2008-042
Expires: 9/30/09
To:                   All Employees
From:               Chief of External Affairs 

Subject:            Montana/Dakotas Publication Procedures

Program Area: All programs 

Purpose:  This instruction memorandum provides guidance for producing publications within the BLM Montana/Dakotas. For this purpose, a publication includes brochures, pamphlets, and other similar printed materials. The approval process also applies to exhibits, interpretive signs, and informational and promotional items. With a few exceptions, all proposed publications are subject to review through use of the official publications approval form (1550-8).
Exceptions:  Web sites/pages used as stand-alone products are also considered publications; however, completion of a 1550-8 may not be required. Please refer to IM No. MT‑2008-040 for additional information related to the Internet. Additionally, resource management plans and associated planning documents are excluded from this process. No additional clearance is required for these documents.
Policy/Action:  This IM tiers from, and is in addition to, Washington Office IM Nos. 2005‑015, 2005‑156, 2000‑157, 2001‑100, 2002‑264, and Montana guidance IM No. 2008-040.
Time Frame: Effective upon receipt.
Budget Impact: Implementing this IM has minimal budget implications; however, it is expected to result in greater accountability and cost savings in future printing projects.
Background: Regardless of the publishing method used (printed or electronic), the bureau’s image must be maintained or enhanced. The bureau is committed to improving its image wherever and whenever possible. Publications that carry the BLM name, emblem, or message, or that incur an expenditure of BLM funds or work months, require approval from the chief of External Affairs (or the delegated public affairs officer) prior to development, production, and release. Publications that exceed $20,000, that cover areas beyond our three-state area, or that are national in scope, require additional approvals from the Washington Public Affairs Office. All publications, whether funded all or in part by the BLM, are subject to DOI and BLM policies, including the use of logos, emblems and other standards.
Action: The process for publication approval is identified below.
Process: Prior to submitting Form 1550-8 to External Affairs for approval, originators should coordinate with their respective public affairs specialist to fully develop the concept. Below is an outline of the recommended process:
1.      Present concept to local public affairs specialist.
2.      Initiate a Publications/Exhibits/Informational/Promotional Items Approval Request Form, 1550-8, which you can access and complete online at: https://web.eforms.blm.gov:8201/SP/show-form.do
3.      Indicate whether the project is a new concept or a revision of a previously printed publication. Typically, reprint work with minor changes that meets publication standards will be automatically approved if funding is available. New concepts, including interagency and partnership efforts, will be reviewed by the publications team to ensure proposals meet bureau and department requirements.
4.      Obtain the appropriate signatures in the “Concept Approvals” section. Send the form, along with a mock-up, to the state printing specialist (MT-912).
5.      Within five days, you will receive a status report from the publications team.
6.      Before the publication/exhibit is produced/printed, the “Final Approvals” section of Form 1550-8 must be completed. Once all signatures are obtained, the form becomes part of the project file and the publication process will proceed.
Depending on the project, members of the publications team will include representatives from the following areas:
  • Printing specialist (core member)
  • External Affairs representative (core member)
  • Originator of the request / project
  • Field public affairs specialist, when publication falls within his/her respective zone
  • Interpretive/accessibility specialist, when needed
  • National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) state office lead, when publication deals with any NLCS unit, including national monuments, wilderness areas, WSAs, wild and scenic rivers, and national and historic trails
  • Webmaster, if proposal is related to the external web site
  • Other subject matter experts may be asked to assist the team when the proposed publication pertains to their area(s) of expertise.
* Note: Team members will be determined based on the scope and complexity of each project. Teams will typically consist of three to seven members. From an efficiency and cost savings standpoint, it is recommended that the minimum number necessary be involved in each project.

Informational and Promotional Items
This IM also applies to the development of messages associated with informational and promotional items - including key chains, mugs, pens, pencils, shirts, jackets, and note pads. All items must be approved by External Affairs for state-specific items and by WO Public Affairs for national items.
The BLM must abide by all applicable laws, presidential executive orders, governing rules, regulations and policies issued by the BLM, department, Government Printing Office, Joint Committee on Printing, and Office of Management and Budget.
Manual/Handbook Sections affected: None.
Coordination: External Affairs
Contact:  Kathy Ives, at (406) 896-5380.
Signed by: Christine Tincher
Authenticated by: Ann Boucher, External Affairs
2 Attachments

Last updated: 06-28-2012