This Memorandum of Understanding (MU) clarifies and documents ownership roles and responsibilities for several major records categories created or received as part of the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP). This MU does not in any way change or relieve the agencies of the planning, implementation, monitoring, and quality assurance of any activities being implemented. Nor does this MU provide the agencies with the authority to award each other projects and/or obligate funds without the full consent of the responsible designated official.
III. STATEMENT OF WORK:
Several major groups of records have been identified and evaluated by an interagency team of records specialists. Recommendations regarding ownership were received from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), USDA Forest Service (FS) Records Managers and Administrators, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Temporary records, such as some general administrative files, publication copies, and duplicate references will be managed using the General Records Schedule, as recommended by NARA.
The recommendation was made and accepted by the REO Executive Director to classify the following records under the ownership policies of the FS: Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC), Regional Interagency Executive Committee (RIEC), Late Successional Reserve Assessment Committee (LSRA), Inter-organizational Resources Information Coordination Council (IRICC), Adaptive Management Areas (AMA), and the original NWFP Presidential Conference related records and files.
Based on this initial analysis, we expect the ownership of most NWFP records to be under FS control/ownership. Decisions regarding major groups of records under REO control will be documented through addendums to this MU.
Not all records groups have, as yet, been evaluated and additional analysis is needed. These records are currently stored in the REO Central Records, REO office areas, or computer systems and may be subject to searches under the Freedom of Information Act.
Records managers and administrators from the FS, and potentially other RIEC agencies, will be asked to consult with the REO staff on records ownership evaluations as needed (and recommended by NARA).
Agencies under this MU are expected to provide consultation services to the REO regarding Records Schedule interpretation, agency policies, preparation, shipment, transfer, and retrieval of records under their ownership. Shipment would be made through the agency owning the record.
If there are funding issues, they will be addressed using a separate Interagency Agreement, or mutually agreeable procurement document, to transfer funding and outline the specific roles, responsibilities, expectations, and deliverables. Each document will be supported by a Determination and Findings as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulations, subpart 17.5.
Any payment document utilized by each of the cooperating agencies will reference this MU. Individual payment actions/task orders will utilize local office numbers and follow local billing procedures.
This MU is based upon site visits and recommendations from the NARA review which were summarized in their October 29, 2002 letter to the REO, REO analysis (Developing a Strategic Vision and Action Plan for Managing and Protecting Northwest Forest Plan Records), and advice from agency specialists.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Roles and Responsibilities. The following process was originally described in an expired MU signed by the RIEC executives effective June 15, 1998 (ref. MOU-BLM-OR950-9807).
a) Incoming FOIA requests will be immediately transmitted to the FOIA Officer. A courtesy copy of the request will be provided to the REO staff.
b) The REO will respond to the requestor regarding the transfer of their request to the FOIA Officer for processing.
c) The FOIA Officer will make a preliminary determination, through consultation with REO staff and agency FOIA coordinators, regarding the proper distribution to agencies for response.
d) The FOIA Officer will inform the REO Executive Director as to the agency most appropriate to be responsible for providing the requested information and support actions needed from the REO staff, which may include transmitting the request to other Federal agencies for response.
e) Conflicts between agencies concerning procedures under this MU, which cannot be resolved at the operation level, will be referred to the REO Executive Director for resolution.
f) Agencies responding to the FOIA will provide a copy of their response to the REO.
g) The REO will create and retain a complete file on each incoming FOIA request and subsequent REO and agency responses.
FOIA Officer duties will be provided by the Bureau of Land Management,
Oregon State Office. If for some reason the BLM FOIA officer is not available, the
REO staff will seek counsel with FS FOIA Officer.
IV. IT IS MUTUALLY AGREED AND UNDERSTOOD BY AND BETWEEN THE PARTIES THAT:
1. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA). Any information furnished under this agreement is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).
2. MODIFICATION. Modifications within the scope of the agreement shall be made by mutual consent of the parties, by the issuance of a written modification, signed and dated by all parties, prior to any changes being performed.
3. PARTICIPATION IN SIMILAR ACTIVITIES. This agreement in no way restricts any of the agencies from participating in similar activities with other public or private agencies, organizations, and individuals.
4. COMMENCEMENT/EXPIRATION DATE. This agreement is executed as of the date of last signature and is effective through October 2008 (five years) at which time it will expire unless extended.
5. TERMINATION. Any of the parties, in writing, may terminate the agreement in whole, or in part, at any time before the date of expiration.
The principal contacts for this agreement are:
of Information Act Officer
6. NON-FUND OBLIGATING DOCUMENT. This agreement is neither a fiscal nor a funds obligation document. Any endeavor to transfer anything of value involving reimbursement or contribution of funds between the parties to this agreement will be handled in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and procedures including those for Government procurement and printing. Such endeavors will be outlined in separate agreements that shall be made in writing by representatives of the parties and shall be independently authorized by appropriate statutory authority. This agreement does not provide such authority. Specifically, this agreement does not establish authority for noncompetitive award to the cooperator of any contract or other agreement. Any contract or agreement for training or other services must fully comply with all applicable requirements for competition. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, all parties have executed this Memorandum of Understanding, as of the last date written below.
USDA Forest Service, Region 6
By: /s/ Linda
USDI Bureau of Land Management
/s/ Kathy Eaton for
Regional Ecosystem Office
By: /s/ Anne