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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

500.7 - Audiovisual Media and Products


OPR: Public Affairs Office

1. Purpose and Scope. This Chapter provides policies and procedures for producing audiovisual media and products. The provisions of this Chapter apply generally to audio and video tape recordings (VTR's), slide shows, and motion pictures which are produced by or attributed to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Included are VTR's, slide shows and motion pictures produced cooperatively by the USGS and a private organization. Also included are public service announcements.

2. Authority and References. Part 471, Departmental Manual (DM) Chapter, Audiovisual Media and Publications; Survey Manual Chapters (SM) 500.8 and 500.9, Approval by the Director for Outside Publications and Oral Presentation. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-114, revised March 20, 1985.

3. Policy. As prescribed by SM 500.8 and 500.9, USGS information-dissemination products in any medium or format require Director's approval. It is USGS policy to treat audiovisual products and public service announcements as written reports and, irrespective of the intended outside audience (general public or technical peers), to subject them to the same standards and approvals that govern USGS publications and technical reports in printed form.

4. Exceptions. Exceptions from the provisions of this Chapter are (see 471 DM 1.1 for general cases):

A. Collections of slides to be used for limited use as visual accompaniments to speeches or other verbal presentations by Bureau employees.

B. Productions by private organizations produced in cooperation with the USGS or sponsored in part by USGS through grants or cooperative agreements, provided that the USGS contribution does not exceed 50 percent of the total production costs.

5. General Procedures.

A. The USGS encourages the use of private-sector production, procurement, storage and distribution capabilities.

B. Announcement of the availability of audio-visual products will follow established USGS publication policies for release of information (see SM 500.9).

C. To minimize duplication or fragmentation of effort and to encourage coordination, the initiating division must prepare a Standard Form (SF) 282, Mandatory Title Check, for submission to the National Audiovisual Center in Suitland, Maryland. This form is available from, and is submitted through, the USGS Public Affairs Office.

D. VTR's, slide shows or motion pictures prepared by or for the USGS may be available for public showing, including television showing, provided that: (1) use of the material does not imply Department of the Interior (DOI) or USGS endorsement of a commercial product or service or of the particular viewpoint taken by a commercial firm or special-interest organization; and (2) the public is not charged a fee expressly and exclusively for viewing the videotape, slide show, or motion picture recording.

E. The titles and seals of the DOI and the USGS will be shown at the opening or close of a motion picture film, slide show or VTR. Credits for producers and directors, whether USGS staff or outside contractors, will be appropriate in size and placement to a Federal Government-produced product.

F. When the USGS is named in the narration accompanying a VTR, slide show, or film, the Bureau will be identified at least once as part of the DOI.

G. The provisions of OMB Circular A-114 will govern all audiovisual activities. A production report (SF 202, Report Control #0151-GS-XX) should be provided to the Department's Office of Communications when an on-line video edit, motion picture answer print, or slide show is completed and ready for duplication.

H. An SF 203, Report Control #0152-GSA-AN, listing all audiovisual productions for the preceding fiscal year, will be forwarded to the Department's Office of Communications by the Bureau Public Affairs Office no later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year. The USGS offices that have produced audiovisual materials during the fiscal year will be asked to provide information for this report.

I. The Bureau's Publications and Information Policy Committee in concert with the Bureau audiovisual officer (Chief, Public Affairs Office), may develop more detailed policies or guidelines to oversee audiovisual production within the USGS. Current guidelines governing audiovisual products that require approval by Form DI-551 involve a product that includes the following:

(1) Uses music (there are regulations on the use of copyrighted or original music).

(2) Uses a professional narrator from outside the USGS.

(3) Requires more than 40 hours of pre- and post-production time.

(4) Is designed for mass-media viewing by large numbers of people e.g., television, classrooms, public lectures, etc.

(5) Deals with an issue sensitive to Department or Bureau policy.

(6) Anticipates distribution of more than 100 copies.

J. Each division's publications officer is responsible for ensuring compliance with the approval of scripts (see paragraph 3 above), and for developing exceptions and internal guidelines regarding audiovisual products to meet the particular scientific needs of that division.

K. The USGS program official who authorizes the use of Federal funds for the production of an audiovisual product will be accountable for meeting all USGS, Department of the Interior, and other applicable regulations such as copyright laws, proper use of visual identification, contract management, and appropriate distribution to the public.

6. Authorization.

Prior to initiating a procurement requisition or beginning work on a VTR, slide show, or motion picture, a division must submit a fully-executed Form DI-551 (Audiovisual Authorization Request) through the bureau (Public Affairs Office) and the Department for processing and approval.

A. Form DI-551 will include approval at the Division level by appropriate officials charged with expenditure of funds and monitoring technical and policy standards. The form will be accompanied by a detailed explanation of the proposed audiovisual product and cost breakdown.

B. Any increase in estimated project cost (or contract amount) exceeding 20 percent of the amount approved on the DI-551 shall not be incurred (or authorized by a contracting officer) without prior approval from the Public Affairs Office (USGS) and the Office of Communications, DOI.

C. Prior to duplication of the completed product, the Division will work with the Public Affairs Office about a selected date and place of showing for final approval.

7. Periodic Review. All VTR's, slide shows or films (including those exempted by 471 DM 1.2A, B and C) will be reviewed by the responsible division at least once annually, and those deemed unsuitable for further circulation will be retired. All audiovisual records are to be maintained and disposed of in compliance with approved records disposal schedules. Projects taken out of circulation should be reported to the Department.

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