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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs are in progress.

What is a Forest Service Enterprise Program service line?
The Enterprise Program consists of a number of service lines, each composed of one or more Forest Service employees. Service Lines are home to business planning and monitoring, and are comprised of many offerings; offerings are the succinct services Enterprise is available to perform in exchange for funding. Service Lines are administered by Service Line Managers with oversight and coordination by the Assistant Directors.
Enterprisers do not receive any base/appropriated funding; rather, they market their services and products to customers within the Forest Service, or with other government agencies and their partners. The EP charges clients predetermined fees aimed at recovering all direct and indirect costs of doing business.

I have a question for the Enterprise Program, but I am unsure about which program area to contact or what service line it fits in. Who do I contact?
Not sure which service line to contact with your need? Any one of our service line managers can help you. If they do not have all the information you need, they will find the right point of contact for you. You can also contact the Enterprise Program general inbox (enterprise-program@fs.fed.us) to assist and direct you to the right point of contact.

What are the advantages of the Enterprise Program to Forest Service management?
Quality and timely deliverables: The Enterprise Program is sustained by the income generated by their project work. Enterprisers are accountable to their clients and bound by their service agreements. In order to be successful, Enterprisers must provide quality products and/or services within reasonable time limits to their clients.
Enterprise may reduce a client unit’s fixed costs, increase quality, and improve customer service by providing clients with alternatives for some services and products. The EP approach ties dollars directly to accomplishments on the ground.

Why would a customer hire the Enterprise Program if their funding is nondiscretionary or they have an existing program to support?
There are two distinct advantages to hiring the EP:
1) Specialized Expertise: Managers benefit by the specialized expertise offered by EP employees who are highly skilled in their fields.
2) Cultural Understanding: Because Enterprisers are Forest Service employees they understand the agency’s mission, culture and way of doing business. This allows them to "hit the ground running" as soon as a work order for a project is in place

How does the Enterprise Program obtain and manage their financing?

The EP charges fees that recover the total/full cost of running the service lines, including all development, direct and indirect costs. EP receives funds through work orders with their customers. Funds received are deposited into the Working Capital Fund (WCF) using the EP job code.

What factors need to be calculated in order to determine full-cost recovery?

EP is required to be completely self-sustaining and as such must recover their full operating costs. Once all costs are identified and estimated, the costs are spread across the billable time available within the EP to arrive at the hourly actual cost recovery rate. Some charge an hourly rate, others charge by the project or other means. Regardless of the charge method, the EP must be aware of their full costs and hourly cost recovery rates.

Where do Enterprise employees fit in the Forest Service organization?

All Enterprise Program service lines and their employees, regardless of their physical location, are assigned to the Enterprise Program, under Business Operations in the Washington Office. Enterprise employees retain their civil service status with all the associated rights and benefits.

What are the advantages of an Enterpriser to the employee?

Due to the virtual nature of the organization, Enterprise employees can usually live anywhere in the country. Enterprise employees take pride and ownership in their services and projects. Specialists are often able to focus on their area of expertise while serving clients throughout the agency.

Can Enterprisers compete outside the Forest Service?

Since Enterprise employees are government employees, they can write agreements and do work for any government agency. Our authority for this is 31 USC 1535, The Economy Act of June 30, 1932.

After a person retires from the Forest Service, are there any options for coming back to work with the Enterprise Program?

Yes, under the same terms and conditions as any federal employee would return to any federal sector position retirees can return to the federal government in a temporary or permanent position.

A list of abbreviations that you may find around our site or referenced in our documentation:
AD - Assistant Director
EP - Enterprise Program
EPLT - Enterprise Program Leadership Team (also referred to as EP CORE)
FS - Forest Service
NF - National Forest
NPS - National Park Service
OH - Office Hours
SL - Service Line
SLM or SLiM - Service Line Manager
WO - Washington Office

Can't find the answer to your question here?

Please call or email any of our service line managers who can speak with you personally. If you are a current federal employee, you can look at our internal FSWeb site: http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/enterprise-program/.