DIRECTOR'S ORDER #54:
I. Background and Purpose
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.
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.
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;
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.
(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
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