What We Do

Photo of NPS Management Policies cover
Management Policies is the highest of three levels of guidance in the NPS Directives System.


The Office of Policy has three main program areas: Policy, Committee Management, and Geographic Names.

Policy sets the framework and provides direction for all NPS management decisions. The Office of Policy:

  • Provides counsel and support to the Director, deputies, and NPS senior managers on policy matters
  • Manages the NPS Directives System, which includes Management Policies, Director's Orders, Policy Memoranda, and related documents
  • Helps program managers develop policy documents with Service-wide applicability
  • Prepares Service-wide policy documents for topics that are not clearly within other program areas
  • Assists managers and other employees in interpreting and applying policies
  • Answers policy questions and communicates NPS policy to NPS employees and the public
  • Reviews significant plans and proposals for policy compliance (for example, General Management Plans)
Visit the Office of Policy website for more information on NPS policies and how they are developed.

Committee Management

The Office of Policy coordinates the management of 5 NPS operating commissions, more than 30 NPS advisory committees, and the National Park System Advisory Board. Our office:

  • Provides guidance on establishing and renewing committees
  • Prepares the formal charters that allow each commission and committee to function
  • Processes commission and committee member nominations for appointment by the Secretary of the Interior
  • Helps NPS employees and advisory committees understand and comply with Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requirements
  • Staffs and supports the National Park System Advisory Board

Geographic Names
The Office of Policy represents the NPS on the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. We provide Service-wide guidance and coordination on naming of geographic features in national parks.

Last updated: May 8, 2019