Send comments on this draft to Phil Brueck by no later than May 23, 2003. Untitled Document



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I. Background and Purpose
II. Authority
III. Policy
IV. Responsibilities and Required Procedures

I. Background and Purpose

Management accountability is the expectation that managers protect park resources and provide for visitor use and enjoyment. They are responsible for the quality and timeliness of program performance, increasing productivity, controlling costs and mitigating adverse aspects of agency operations. Further, they assure that programs are managed with integrity and in compliance with applicable laws.

The Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123 and the Federal Manager's Financial Integrity Act (31 U.S.C. 3512) specifically require that all Federal agencies and individual managers take systematic actions to (i) develop and implement appropriate, cost-effective management controls for results-oriented management; (ii) assess the adequacy of management controls in Federal programs and operations; (iii) identify needed improvements; (iv) take corresponding corrective action; and (v) report annually on management controls.

As part of the National Park Service Restructuring in 1995, the Servicewide Operations Evaluation program was reengineered. Between 1995 and 1999 the seven regions independently developed forms of accountability reviews and management analysis. In 1999, the Service recognized the need for a consistent set of standards and key indicators and began development of the "Towards Excellence" project. In 2002 the National Leadership Council endorsed the Servicewide application of Towards Excellence, now referred to as the Management Accountability process.

II. Authority

This Director's Order is issued pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1 through 4 (the National Park Service Organic Act), and delegations of authority contained in Part 245 of the Department of the Interior Manual. Authority to establish management controls is found in the Federal Manager's Financial Integrity Act (P.L. 97-255). Part 340 of the Department of the Interior Manual places responsibility with Bureau heads to determine, on an annual basis, which programs or administrative functions should be subject to a formal review in order to supplement management's judgment as to the adequacy of management controls.

III. Policy

It is the policy of the National Park Service to apply the concept of management accountability to all strategies, plans, guidance and procedures that govern programs and operations at all levels of the National Park Service. The National Park Service will, through its organization, policies and procedures, implement management accountability systems to reasonably ensure that:

(1) Programs achieve their intended results;
(2) Resources are allocated consistent with the National Park Service mission;
(3) Programs and resources are protected from fraud, waste, abuse, and
(4) Laws and regulations are followed; and,
(5) Reliable and timely information is obtained, maintained, reported and used for decision-making.

The Reference Manual 54, "Management Accountability," will provide detailed information and the standards by which the National Park Service will assume accountability. Reference Manual 54 contains a description of all the management systems used by the National Park Service. All managers and employees must comply with all instructions prescribed in Reference Manual 54.

IV. Responsibilities and Required Procedures

All National Park Service managers and other officials will be held responsible for taking systematic actions to ensure that management accountability systems, as specified in section III (above) are in place and are modified whenever necessary to ensure the integrity of the program and operational activities that are within the scope of their responsibility.

(1) The Comptroller:
     (a) Is responsible for managing the management accountability process.
     (b) Administers the accountability process for the Washington and regional offices.
     (c) Prepares, maintains, and ensures the availability of Reference Manual 54.
     (d) Ensures that Regional Directors carry out the review process in their regions.
     (e) Reports to the Director on whether accountability is being adequately maintained in each of the programs, and will confirm the status of management accountability systems throughout the National Park Service by the conduct of reviews, audits, and investigations.
     (f) Analyzes, and summarizes annually for the Directorate, the results of regional management reviews conducted during the previous year.
     (g) Coordinates special reviews, audits, and investigations with the appropriate Regional Drectors and Associate Directors.

(2) Each Regional Director will administer the Management Accountability process within their region, as outlined in Reference Management 54, to ensure parks and programs are examined on an appropriate cycle to identify and assist in mitigating sub-standard practices or operational deficiencies.

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