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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

1000.2 - USGS Workforce Accounting and Status Reporting Plan


OPR:  Office of Administration

Instructions: This is a new Survey Manual Chapter.

1.  Purpose and Scope.  It is essential to have the ability to account for and report the status of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) workforce during emergency incidents, disasters, or when otherwise requested by the Bureau.  This chapter describes responsibilities and provides guidance for reporting workforce (including employees, volunteers, and contractors) status information and reiterates the importance of the workforce for maintaining and sustaining USGS mission essential functions.  The chapter applies to all members of the USGS workforce and serves as a reminder to them of the importance of integrating their availability and personal status into the execution of daily responsibilities, USGS Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans, Occupant Emergency Plans (OEP), and mission-related activities.

2.  Authority.  This policy is established in compliance with Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and associated Presidential Directives authorities.  The mandates under which Federal agencies operate are:

A.  Emergency Management Policy Guidance Bulletin 2010-1/Personnel Bulletin 2010-2: Department of the Interior Employee Accountability Policy.

B.  U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Emergency Management, Employee Accountability Plan Office of the Secretary, March 2010.

C.  Department of Homeland Security, Federal Continuity Directive 1: FCD 1 Annex J, Page J-3, Bullet #4, 5, and 6 [regarding employee accountability].

D.  41 CFR 102-74 Facility Management, Occupant Emergency Program.

3.  Policy.

A.  The USGS must have plans and processes in place for reporting the availability of its employees, volunteers, and contractors at all levels, ranging from the local science center work unit to the Bureau as a whole.  These plans are needed to ensure that employees are available to fulfill mission critical duties and to accurately report or summarize the status of the Bureau workforce in the event of an emergency situation or when otherwise requested.

B.  All Bureau organizational units must establish procedures and review them annually for reporting the workforce status to supervisors or alternate reporting points in a timely manner during emergencies or as otherwise requested.  These procedures must be communicated to all members of the workforce and shall be reviewed and tested at least annually in October.  In addition, in geographic areas where specific hazards occur (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes), seasonal testing, at the discretion of the center, shall be performed, and additional communications are recommended.  First-line supervisors or their designees are integral to these procedures in that they receive status information, report information through the proper organizational management chain, and maintain communications with the members of the workforce throughout the incident.   

C.  Established electronic or automated methods of communication between members of the workforce and supervisors or designees on their status are preferred, and direct, personal communication is best.  If an individual is unable to make direct personal contact with a supervisor or designee, an electronic mass alert and response system shall be used where available.  In the absence of such a system, other notification and reporting mechanisms may be used, such as via the internet or a telephone number set up for emergencies.  If no electronic or automated method of communication is available, status reporting and communications may be provided to the supervisor or designee by a third party. 

D.  Written instructions specific to an organizational unit within its geographic location will be provided annually by the supervisors or their designees to the center/office workforce.  The instructions will be provided to new members of the workforce by the supervisors or designees within the first week of reporting to duty.  These instructions will provide specific guidance to the workforce on reporting status in emergency situations.  The same guidance will be provided to members of the workforce who are not organizationally part of the center/office but who are physically located in space assigned to the center/office.  Individuals shall, also, inform their line-management supervisors or designees (who are physically assigned to space in another center/office) that they have received such guidance.

E.  In some emergency situations, members of the workforce may be unable to communicate with their supervisors or designees regarding their whereabouts and ability to work due to technological failures or for other reasons.  Supervisors and designees themselves may be impacted by the event and unable to gather and compile workforce status data.  Although automated processes are preferred, in the event that they fail or are otherwise unavailable, manual processes will be utilized to maintain communications between the USGS and its workforce to the extent possible.

4.  Activation

A.  Workforce status reporting may be activated at several levels: individuals report in as part of mission or emergency responsibilities; Center Directors/Office Chiefs or local units report in as the result of local emergency situations; or as directed by a Senior Executive manager or designee.   The Bureau Emergency Management Coordinator (BEMC) or the Bureau Human Resources Officer (BHRO) may initiate and direct workforce status reporting as part of the ongoing reporting requirements during emergency incidents.

B.  The USGS COOP Plan and the OEP for each specific geographic facility or area will be followed in the case of an emergency or disaster or when otherwise requested.  Further direction is provided in individual office COOP plans for incidents that occur during the normal work period.  Members of the workforce are advised to be familiar with the Federal Government-wide, DOI, and USGS advisory systems, to be knowledgeable of reporting requirements and telework options, to be aware of warnings and public media notifications relating to hazardous incidents in their area(s), and to adhere to advisory warnings for evacuation or other directions for their safety and security.

5.  Reporting Procedures.  Collected workforce status information should be reported up the workforce member’s supervisory chain through the Regional Director/Associate Director to the Director/Deputy Director, BEMC, and BHRO.  Under most conditions, workforce status information will be reported by the BEMC to the DOI Office of Emergency Management.

6.  Responsibilities.  All members of the USGS workforce shall become familiar with the emergency management plans of their local organizational units and of their responsibilities for complying with those plans and this policy.  Specific responsibilities are as follows:

A.  Director and Deputy Director.  In consultation with the Senior Executive managers and the BEMC, the Director and/or Deputy Director provide leadership for the USGS and collaborate with the DOI to determine the course of action for dealing with the emergency incident. 

B.  Associate Directors and Regional Directors (ADs and RDs).

(1)  The ADs and RDs review and approve policy set by the organizational units under their leadership.  In an emergency situation, they maintain contact by telephone with the Center Directors and Center Cost/Office Chiefs under their leadership, to the extent possible, to relay information and provide guidance for dealing with the emergency. 

(2)  The ADs and RDs are responsible for ensuring that all organizational units under their direction maintain current emergency management plans, updated contact lists, current succession plans and delegations of authority, and ensure that all individuals under their leadership are trained in emergency management procedures.  This includes those members of the workforce who are physically located in facilities under their direction but who report to organizations not under their direction.  All individuals stationed in space under the direction of an AD or RD must be included in the planning and accounted for by that AD or RD, regardless of organizational alignment or line management authority.

(3)  The ADs and RDs report to the USGS Director and/or Deputy Director the status of the emergency in their areas and provide any recommendations for handling the situations.

C.  Bureau Emergency Management Coordinator

(1)  The BEMC or the designee advises the USGS Director and/or Deputy Director, Senior Executive managers, and other officials as appropriate, and the DOI in developing, implementing, and testing an emergency management system that is consistent throughout the USGS.   During an emergency, responsibilities include defining the nature of the emergency, coordinating response activities, and recommending courses of action. 

(2)  The BEMC, in coordination with the Director and/or Deputy Director, activates the emergency response system when an event occurs.

(3)  The BEMC works with the BHRO and the Senior Executive managers to determine the status of the USGS workforce during an event and communicates this information to the Director and/or Deputy Director. 

(4) The BEMC is the principal advisor to the Senior Executive managers to define the nature of the emergency, coordinate response activities, and recommend courses of action. 

(5) The BEMC or designee aggregates and reports information to the DOI and works with the USGS Office of Enterprise Information (OEI) to ensure that all telecommunications systems are maintained and operating to the extent possible.

D.  Office of Human Capital and the Bureau Human Resources Officer.  The Office of Human Capital is responsible for maintaining this policy chapter.  The BHRO collaborates with the BEMC to ensure that emergency management and workforce status procedures are developed and tested and in compliance with guidance from the DOI Office of Emergency Management. 

(1)  The BHRO is responsible for processing essential employee personnel actions. 

(2)  The BHRO receives workforce status information from the organizational units and compiles a Bureau-level workforce status report and submits it to the Senior Executive managers and the BEMC. 

(3)  The BHRO is responsible for providing appropriate support services, including employee and survivor benefits and claims information, to employees and their families affected by the emergency incident or event.

(4)  The BHRO advises supervisors and/or center/office staff on how to communicate appropriate information to members of the workforce and their families affected by the event. 

(5)  The BHRO works with the Senior Executive managers, Office of Communications and Publishing, and the BEMC to coordinate a response to the media and to members of the workforce that is appropriate for the event and that complies with any guidance from the DOI Office of Emergency Management.

E.  Office of Enterprise Information.  The Office of Enterprise Information (OEI) is responsible for overseeing the development, operation, and maintenance of software and telecommunications systems used in performing workforce status functions.  OEI works with the BEMC, the Senior Executive managers, and telecommunications providers to maintain and repair systems that may fail during emergencies.  OEI is responsible for ensuring that all USGS computers/servers are encrypted to protect and secure confidential and personally identifiable information and to maintain network security. 

F.  Office of Administration (OA).

(1)  The OA Office of Management Services is responsible for maintaining contact with the BEMC to oversee and manage issues relating to the safety and security of the facilities in the emergency area.  This includes providing status and advice on recovery activities in the areas of responsibility in accordance with the local OEP.

(2)  The OA Office of Acquisition and Grantsmay be required to assist the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) in contacting contractors to determine the status of contractor employees working in the affected location.   In areas where an emergency occurs, it is the responsibility of contractor employees working in those locations to inform their contractor employers as to their status.  The COR is the primary USGS contact for contractors should an emergency incident occur where status reporting is required. 

G.  Office of Communications and Publishing.  The Office of Communications and Publishing is responsible for working with the BEMC, the BHRO, and the Senior Executive managers to prepare an official response to the media and to communicate general information to members of the USGS workforce in the event of an emergency.

H.  Science Center Directors and Cost Center/Office Chiefs

(1)  Science Center Directors and Cost Center/Office Chiefs are responsible for developing and implementing an emergency management plan that includes all individuals stationed in their center/office, setting workforce status reporting requirements specific to the locality in which the center/office is located, collating all contact lists from supervisors under his/her direction, keeping the contact lists updated, maintaining succession plans and delegations of authority, and ensuring that all members of the center/office are trained in emergency management procedures. 

(2)  In cases where individuals are assigned to space in the center but reporting to a supervisor outside the center’s leadership, the Science Center Director or Cost Center/Office Chief where the employee is physically located shall account for that individual in his/her status report to the Regional Director/Associate Director.

(3)  The Science Center Director or Cost Center/Office Chief collects status information on members of the workforce from supervisors and reports the status in the center/office to the appropriate Regional Director/Associate Director.  This information would be reported to the Deputy Director, the BEMC, and the BHRO.  Any individual who has not reported in shall be specifically identified.  

I.  Supervisors. 

(1)  Supervisors or their designees shall maintain current, accurate contact lists and a Workforce Status Reporting Plan that identifies the individuals under their supervision or located at facilities under their supervision, regardless of duty station, telework arrangement, or any temporary duty-related activity. 

(2)  Supervisors or their designees shall ensure that all individuals, including those with disabilities, are familiar with the emergency management procedures and understand their responsibilities in emergency situations.   

(3)  Supervisors shall encourage members of the workforce to participate in emergency management drills/training offered for the geographic area in which they are located and ensure that they participate in any emergency management drills/training offered by the USGS. 

(4)  Supervisors shall advise members of the workforce to be familiar with the DHS National Terrorism Advisory System and to be aware of warnings and public media notifications relating to hazardous incidents in their area.

(5)  Supervisors or designees shall inform the Science Center Director, Cost Center/Office Chief, or designated management official of the status of their workforce members in emergency situations.  If an individual does not report in, the supervisor or designee shall try to ascertain the status of that person. 

(6)  Supervisors shall confirm that a communication method has been established between each individual in their organization and the USGS.  Supervisors must designate an alternate for employees and volunteers to contact and for coordinating and reporting on their status in the supervisor’s absence. 

(7)  Supervisors shall provide any instructions specific to an organizational unit to workforce members in writing within the first week of their reporting to duty.  These instructions will be tested annually in October.  Instructions will be provided to new volunteers when the volunteer and the supervisor or designee signs the volunteer agreement. 

J.  Employees and Volunteers. 

(1)  Employees and volunteers, including those who telework, are responsible for notifying their supervisors or designees during emergencies or disasters. 

(2)  Members of the workforce who are in travel status or assigned to an office outside their management chain, including universities and other non-USGS facilities, must understand and adhere to the emergency management procedures and OEP in the area where they are physically located at the time of the emergency or incident and report accordingly. 

(3)  Electronic or automated mechanisms, where established, shall be used by employees and volunteers to report their status during an emergency.  When possible, employees and volunteers shall provide notifications of their status within 2 hours after the emergency situation occurs.

(4)  Where available, an electronic mass alert and response system shall be used to report status if an employee or volunteer cannot make direct contact with the supervisor or designee or if explicit instructions have been given to report via the alert and response system.  Employees and volunteers, including those on leave or furlough, shall make every effort to notify supervisors of their status and provide a mechanism by which they can be reached.

(5)  If established electronic or automated methods of communication are not available, members of the workforce may use alternate notification and reporting mechanisms as needed, including communication via the internet, a telephone set up for emergencies, or through a third party to the supervisor or designee.

(6)  Workforce members on assignment to a foreign country shall adhere to guidance provided by the Office of International Programs.  Where possible, they shall also report their status in compliance with their center’s emergency management procedures.  

K.  Contractors. 

Contractor employees serving at USGS duty stations are responsible for reporting their status to their employers (contract vendors).  Where possible, contact between the contractor and the COR will be maintained regarding the status of contractors in the center/office.  In extreme or time-sensitive situations, USGS management may communicate instructions directly to all potentially affected staff.  Other than extreme circumstances, contact with contractor employees will be made through their employers.


/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                              March 24, 2014
____________________________________________              ________________________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                    Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Human Capital

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Last modification: 30-Aug-2017@12:55