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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

U.S. Geological Survey Instructional Memorandum

No. APS 2004-14

Issuance Date: August 12, 2004

Expiration Date: Effective until Suspended

Subject: Emergency Spending Related to Extreme Natural Hazard Events

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is frequently involved in response to emergency situations involving extreme natural hazard events including hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, and landslides. Costs associated with these activities are normally absorbed into annual operating funds, but in some extreme cases, the bureau submits a request to the Congress for an emergency supplemental appropriation.

When USGS organizations are called upon to participate in various activities related to these events, it is possible that, ultimately, USGS will receive additional funding from the Congress to cover costs. So that USGS can report to the Congress the actual expenditures incurred, cost centers should adhere to the following guidelines for recording obligations and expenditures related to extreme natural hazard events.

Each cost center (primarily field cost centers) with a role in responding to these extreme events, should establish two unique account numbers to facilitate a nationally consistent method of recording and tracking costs. The first account should be titled "Continuity of Service" and the second account should be titled "Analysis of Risk". Subaccounts should also be established under the Continuity of Service and Analysis of Risk account numbers so that expenses can be tracked for each extreme event.

The following types of costs should be included in each subaccount:

Continuity of Service includes additional costs associated with maintaining normal operations during an emergency.

For example, keeping streamgaging stations operating and ensuring the data are available to those needing it during flooding. These activities include: collecting extra hydrologic data, including the collection and analysis of sediment and water-quality samples;

Analysis of Risk is primarily associated with post-event documentation and analysis. Appropriate costs to record and track include:

Examples of costs that should not be included are:

The numbering scheme for the Continuity of Service and Analysis of Risk account numbers will be:

08000 Account - Continuity of Service
08001 Sub account - Extreme Event #1
08002 Sub account - Extreme Event #2
08003 Sub account - Extreme Event #3, etc.

08100 Account - Analysis of Risk
08101 Sub account - Extreme Event #1
08102 Sub account - Extreme Event #2
08103 Sub account - Extreme Event #3, etc.

In the Biology, Geology, Geography and the Florida Integrated Science Center cost centers, the Continuity of Service and Analysis of Risk accounts and the event subaccounts will be tied to the cost center's "OOS" project at the cost center level.

However, in Water Resources cost centers, accounts 08000 and 08100 listed above will not be set up, but instead subaccounts will be tied to the cost center's data project parent account, 00100 using the same subaccount numbering scheme above. The subaccounts 08001 and 08101 will roll up to the parent account 00100 alleviating the need to move expenses to close out the account. Water Resources cost centers need to establish a new task under the 00100 parent for the Continuity of Service and the Analysis of Risk using the same fund code and 0002X default customer. For example:

00100 Data Account
08001 Sub account - Extreme Event #1 Continuity of Service
08101 Sub account - Extreme Event #1 Analysis of Risk

Please note that cost centers should expect to absorb the costs associated with extreme natural hazard events, and will be expected to close out the appropriate fiscal year properly. Continuing to track the costs in separate accounts will give USGS the information needed in order to request an emergency supplemental, if USGS has the opportunity to submit one.

If a cost center is unable to absorb the costs associated with a particular extreme natural hazard event within existing fiscal year resources or defer the costs until the next fiscal year, the cost center must contact the appropriate Regional Executive as soon as possible.


(signed) Karen D. Baker (for Carol Aten)
Chief, Office of Administrative Policy and Services

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: OA, Office of Policy and Analysis
Issuing Office: Office of Fiscal Services
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