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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

U.S. Geological Survey Instructional Memorandum

No.: APS 2009-01

Issuance Date: October 17, 2008

Expiration Date:  Retain Until Appropriation Enacted for FY 2009 or September 30, 2009

Subject:  Interim Policy for Work with Other Federal Agencies under a Continuing Resolution

1.  Purpose.  This Instructional Memorandum provides guidance on the limited circumstances under which USGS managers may begin work with other Federal agencies while the USGS is operating under a continuing resolution.

2.  Authority.  Instructional Memorandum No. APS 2006-08, When Work Can Begin on an Agreement for a Non-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Customer.

3.  Policy.  Conducting reimbursable work for other Federal agencies in FY 2009 is challenging because many Federal agencies (including the USGS) are reluctant to sign reimbursable agreements until an appropriation is enacted or the continuing resolution is passed through the end of FY 2009.  Since mission-related, reimbursable work for other Federal agencies is an important source of revenue to the USGS, authority is granted to approve work on unsigned agreements that meet the criteria described in paragraph 4 below.

4.  Procedures.  Criteria for beginning work.

A.  Time- and mission-critical activities associated with national emergencies (including natural disasters), national security considerations, or other extreme events.  An essential part of the USGS mission is to monitor and document the effects of significant events associated with hazards and emergency response activities (once they are declared and activated), and to provide timely information to emergency management and other Government authorities.

B.  Ensuring the continuity of ongoing, long-term data-collection, networks, and interpretive projects.  Long-term, continuous record data are critical to the scientific integrity of many USGS data networks.  These data networks provide valuable information that is used to manage and preserve natural resources throughout the Nation.

C.  The Cost Center Manager must evaluate the financial risk of starting work without a signed agreement.  To minimize the financial risk, work must be such that appropriated funds can be used to cover expenses if the agreement is not eventually signed.  In addition, requests should be limited to agreements with existing customers with whom the USGS has a longstanding history of agreement and funding renewal, and a reasonable expectation that the current agreement will be renewed.

D.  Prior approval is required before work begins.  Managers must certify to the urgency of the need and to the likelihood of payment.

(1)  Field Cost Center Chiefs will submit a written request to the appropriate Regional Executive seeking approval to start work prior to having a signed agreement. Headquarters and National Capabilities Cost Center Chiefs will submit a written request to their Associate Director.  The request should contain the following information:

(a)  Project name.
(b)  Customer name.
(c)  Period of performance.

(d)  Total amount of funding.

(e)  A justification describing the extenuating circumstances that make it imprudent to delay work.
(f)  A certification that an analysis of the risk of eventual non-payment has been made and found to be low.
(g)  Expected date of agreement execution.

(2)  The Regional Executive (Field Cost Centers) or Associate Director (Headquarters and National Capabilities Cost Centers) will promptly approve or deny the request in writing.  A copy of the approval or denial of the exception request should also be provided to their servicing Branch of Fiscal Services.
(3)  If the request is approved, the Cost Center will attach the approval to the agreement and forward the agreement to their servicing Branch of Fiscal Services for processing and for monitoring the status of the unsigned agreement.

E.  The Branch(s) of Fiscal Services will process these agreements in accordance with the procedures on unsigned agreements outlined in Chapter 4, Reimbursable Agreements, of the Financial Operating Procedures Handbook.

F.  Upon enactment of an appropriation or passage of a continuing resolution through the end of the fiscal year, agreements must be signed within 90 days or work must cease.
If you have any questions regarding the policy and guidelines above, please contact your servicing Branch of Fiscal Services Chief.
/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                               October 17, 2008
Karen D. Baker                                                                                                Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services

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