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Appendix III: Reference Material
 

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    Appendix III: Reference Material Appendix III: Reference Material Document Transcript

    • Feasibility of Conducting A Cost Comparison on Communication Activities in the USDA Forest Service Competitive Sourcing Program Office June 30, 2005
    • Table of Contents I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.......................................................................................................................................1 II. INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................................3 OBJECTIVES...................................................................................................................................................................3 ANALYTICAL APPROACH .................................................................................................................................................3 ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSTRAINTS......................................................................................................................................4 III. REVIEW FINDINGS.............................................................................................................................................5 BUSINESS NEEDS ASSESSMENT.........................................................................................................................................5 MARKET RESEARCH........................................................................................................................................................7 AS-IS ASSESSMENT.......................................................................................................................................................14 TO-BE ASSESSMENT.....................................................................................................................................................22 PERFORMANCE GAP ANALYSIS.......................................................................................................................................24 CIVIL RIGHTS IMPACT ANALYSIS (CRIA).......................................................................................................................26 SYSTEMS.....................................................................................................................................................................27 IV. ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................................................................29 APPLICATION OF THE EVALUATION CRITERIA....................................................................................................................29 RATIONALE AND DISCUSSION .........................................................................................................................................34 RECOMMENDATIONS ....................................................................................................................................................36 ACQUISITION STRATEGY................................................................................................................................................41 PROJECT LIFECYCLE SCHEDULE......................................................................................................................................45 Project Lifecycle Schedule for Feasibility Study................................................................................................45 Schedule for Standard 12-month Competition (no extension)............................................................................46 Schedule for Standard 18-month Competition (extension).................................................................................46 Schedule for Streamlined Competition with MEO (135 days)............................................................................46 Schedule for Business Process Reengineering....................................................................................................47 V. CONCLUDING REMARKS.................................................................................................................................48 APPENDIX I: WORK DESCRIPTIONS.................................................................................................................49 APPENDIX II: LOCATION OF COMMUNICATION EMPLOYEES...............................................................52 APPENDIX III: REFERENCE MATERIAL..........................................................................................................61 APPENDIX IV: CIVIL RIGHTS IMPACT ANALYSIS (CRIA)..........................................................................62 APPENDIX V: GENERIC PLANS FOR COMPETITIVE SOURCING / BPR STUDIES................................69 STANDARD STUDY (12 MONTHS)....................................................................................................................................69 STANDARD STUDY (18 MONTHS)....................................................................................................................................72 STREAMLINED STUDY....................................................................................................................................................75 BUSINESS PROCESS REENGINEERING (BPR).....................................................................................................................77 APPENDIX VI: ABBREVIATIONS/ACRONYMS................................................................................................81 List of Tables TABLE 1: INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS..................................................................................................................8 TABLE 2: EXISTING CONTRACTS........................................................................................................................9 TABLE 3: LABOR POOL WEBSITES....................................................................................................................10 TABLE 4: SAMPLING OF AVAILABLE COMMERCIAL ENTITIES.............................................................10 TABLE 5: EXAMPLES OF RECENT GOVERNMENT SOLICITATIONS......................................................13 ii
    • TABLE 6: EMPLOYEES BY OCCUPATIONAL SERIES...................................................................................16 MODEL 1: COMMUNICATION PRODUCT-RELATED WORKFLOW MODEL.........................................18 MODEL 2: COMMUNICATION CONSULTATIVE WORKFLOW MODEL..................................................19 TABLE 7: COMMUNICATION TASK/ACTIVITY SUMMARY RATINGS ...................................................30 iii
    • I. Executive Summary Competitive Sourcing is the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) item that can result in an OMB Circular A-76 competition (A-76) to perform a commercial activity. The USDA requires a feasibility study to assist in identifying activities for potential competition. Feasibility studies provide a rigorous analysis supported by empirical data to identify if any functions are suitable for competition. Forest Service leadership commissioned this service-wide Feasibility Study on the Communication functions. To complete this Feasibility Study, the Study Team relied on: • Reports and analyses performed over fifteen years by internal Forest Service teams and outside consultants on the practice, structure and results of communication • Current data supplied by the field and national Public Affairs Directors during the course of developing this Feasibility Study • Access to Forest Service leadership • The knowledge, experience, and input of four high-level subject matter experts (SMEs) with extensive experience as practitioners of Forest Service Communication and Public Affairs responsibilities and as line managers using those services • The Forest Service Competitive Sourcing Program Office, including its consulting firm that has fifteen years of experience in preliminary planning, A-76 and more recently, feasibility studies for other agencies The Team listed 14 major functions, and subdivided those into 115 tasks and activities representing activities currently performed by Communication and Public Affairs. The Team then estimated the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) involved with each of these tasks/activities, and developed evaluation factors and weighting criteria to determine whether a task or activity was a possible candidate for competitive sourcing. The Team then rated each task/activity on the evaluation factors. The Team concluded that most Communication activities are available commercially. Based upon data analysis and discussion, the Team proposed the following recommendations: 1. Perform a public-private competition of the following 21 Communication tasks/activities (plus existing contracts that are used to create part or all of the following activities): a. Non-science writing, including newsletters, website, reports, speech preparation, brochures, film scripts, trade publication articles, institutional ads, product or technical collateral materials, and other writing services b. Technical, environmental and other editing services, including editing of peer review publications and general technical reports (GTR) c. Creating multi-media communications d. Recording and editing audio-visual material e. Preparing audio-visual presentations f. Publication design g. Creating artwork h. Managing stock photos, and audio and visual tapes i. Meeting management and facilitation 1
    • 2. Conduct a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) of the Programs, Legislation & Communication (PL&C) Deputy Area plus related programs (Press office, conservation education, speechwriting, isolated positions) throughout all Deputy Areas performing Communication functions. The Team delivered the Feasibility Study and its recommendations to the Deputy Chiefs of Programs, Legislation, and Communication (PL&C) and Business Operations (OPS) on June 30, 2005. The Deputy Chiefs will send the recommendations to the field and Washington Office (WO) leadership for review and comment in July/August. There will also be a dialog with the following six audiences: 1. Communication Directors 2. National Leadership Team (NLT) 3. Administrative Management Council (AMC) 4. Inter-regional Ecosystem Management Coordination Group (IREMCG) 5. Civil Rights Directors 6. Forest Service Partnership Council After the agency review process, the Deputy Chiefs for PL&C and OPS will present the final set of recommendations for an agency decision, tentatively scheduled for fall, 2005. 2
    • II. Introduction A feasibility study is the first of many steps in a deliberative process to determine whether to conduct a cost comparison for specific commercial activities. The feasibility study is extremely important. First, a properly conducted feasibility study should provide a path toward improved organizational efficiency and cost saving opportunities for the agency, regardless of whether it recommends specific functions to study further. Second, the recommendations in this Feasibility Study could affect the lives of many Forest Service employees if leadership determines to conduct a competitive sourcing study. The Team members were well aware of the potential effect its recommendations could have on the Forest Service and its employees. Objectives There were two objectives for this Feasibility Study: 1. Comply with USDA and Forest Service direction. The Competitive Sourcing Green Plan FY 2004-2008 (June 2004) stated that the Forest Service would competitively source approximately 100 Communication FTEs in FY 2005. However, the USDA issued guidance requiring USDA agencies to conduct a feasibility study prior to conducting a public-private competition. Accordingly, the Forest Service revised its requirement from conducting a competitive sourcing study of 100 Communication FTEs to conducting a feasibility study of all Communication functions in FY 2005 (approximately 750 FTEs). 2. Ensure that the Forest Service makes the right decisions, based on the right information, about what – if any – functions are suitable for competitive sourcing. Prior to competitive sourcing activity, conduct a feasibility study that ensures a rigorous analysis, supported by empirical data. Analytical Approach In preparing for this Study, the Study Team had the benefit of fifteen years of research and reports produced by Forest Service employees or contractors on the function, effectiveness, structure, and skill needs of communication in general and within the agency. This information played a critical role in helping the Team develop an understanding of the problems, issues and successes the Forest Service Communication functions have experienced in that time. It also helped the Team develop final recommendations. A complete listing of reference material used is located in Appendix III: Reference Material. Management asked four subject matter experts (SMEs) to join the Feasibility Study Team. The SMEs have extensive Public Affairs/Communication background and experience at many levels of the agency, and were involved in many of the past studies of agency public affairs effectiveness listed in Appendix III. The SMEs now work in upper-level line or other senior staff positions, but they maintain networks in the public affairs community and key roles in line or staff that allow them to remain current on Communication needs and issues. The SMEs included one Regional Forester, one Assistant Station Director, one Forest Supervisor, and one Policy Analyst. 3
    • The Study Team also included members of an experienced consulting firm to provide technical expertise. The firm has worked on preliminary planning, A-76 and feasibility studies for 15 years. More recently, the firm has conducted feasibility studies with HUD, SBA, and HHS, and is currently working with a branch of the Army to help develop its first feasibility study. Management asked that the Study Team make minimal requests of the field data for data for the Feasibility Study, which required estimates of workload, staffing and current costs. This Study followed the guidance provided in the May 11, 2004 USDA bulletin, Guidance for Determining the Feasibility of Conducting Competitive Sourcing Competitions. Assumptions and Constraints The Study Team worked under the following assumptions for the Feasibility Study: • It should include suggestions that will make Communication/Public Affairs more effective and efficient • The Forest Service needs to reduce its indirect costs • The Forest Service will comply with the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), which includes the Competitive Sourcing Initiative • The USDA 2004-2008 Competitive Sourcing Green Plan, as revised, states that the Forest Service must complete a Feasibility Study on Communication by June 30, 2005 • The Forest Service Competitive Sourcing Green Plan FY 2005-2009 will propose to compete 100 FTEs in FY 2006 within the Communication function The Study Team assumed the following constraints when conducting the Feasibility Study: • A Congressional cap of $2.5 million on Forest Service A-76 studies in FY 2006 • The Feasibility Study must be completed by June 30, 2005 • The Forest Service needs to reduce indirect costs • The Forest Service needs to reduce Washington Office costs • The Forest Service is currently undergoing major organizational change in three areas: Information Resources Management (IRM), Budget and Finance (B&F), and Human Resources (HR) • Because of the three major reorganizations, HR has a heavy workload and another major reorganization or competition will be difficult • Field data requests should be held to a minimum 4
    • III. Review Findings Business Needs Assessment USDA requires that the Business Needs Assessment section identify the key business drivers of the functions considered for study, and determine alignment with the agency’s strategic goals and objectives. The Team quickly determined that the role of Communication is vital to the agency in achieving its goals and objectives. The USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004-2008 identified six goals for the Forest Service: 1. Reduce the risk from catastrophic wild land fire 2. Reduce the impacts from invasive species 3. Provide outdoor recreational opportunities 4. Help meet energy resource needs 5. Improve watershed condition 6. Conduct mission-related work in addition to that which supports the agency goals The Communication function indirectly supports all National Strategic Plan goals through the two-way flow of information and the building and maintenance of valuable relationships with the media, government and the public. Even though not stated as a specific goal in the Forest Service’s Strategic Plan, the Communication functions are critical to ensuring that the goals are achievable. Following are two examples from the Strategic Plan where a Communication-related activity is in italics/underlined text: 1. In the Forest Service’s second stated goal, “Reduce the impacts from invasive species,” the Means and Strategies section reads: To accomplish the objective, the Forest Service proposes to take these steps: Cooperate with other Federal, State, tribal, and nongovernmental partners in conservation education efforts that increase public awareness of invasive species and encourage support and participation in management actions. Two specific Communication functions would play a role in the accomplishment of this goal: Government Relations, which works on federal, state, local, and tribal relations; and Conservation Education, which would likely be responsible for developing the material and training educators on the education efforts. Additionally, Communication would develop the materials required to increase public awareness, whether in the form of a press release, posting information on a website, developing a poster, or some other product. 5
    • The Alaska Region Strategic Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2006-08 specifically addresses each of the Forest Service goals. For the second goal, the Means and Strategies to achieve these goals specifically include the use of Communication: • Provide outreach/education/technical assistance including an information/media campaign. • Work with Research to fill knowledge gaps. • Foster cooperation and coordinated invasive species management with adjacent landowners and partners. 2. The Forest Service’s fifth stated goal is to “improve watershed condition.” Within the Means and Strategies, several bullet points list examples of steps that require assistance from Communication functions in order to succeed: • Use collaborative stewardship and partnerships with community stakeholders to identify watersheds at risk of diminished water quality due to fire and other threats and to plan and implement mitigation or prevention measures. One role that falls within Communication is Contact and Relationships, which includes liaison with community and external groups, as well as public involvement activities. • Provide information and options to mitigate adverse impacts to watersheds from air pollution and acid rain. The Products and Services section of Communication create brochures, news releases, newsletters, etc., which will enable the Forest Service to get its message out about air pollution and acid rain. The Press Office section has well-developed relationships with news media reporters, editors, and producers. • Provide scientific information to support BMPs (Best Management Practices) for forests and grasslands to protect watershed values, and monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. Science Delivery includes an online library of information and varieties of products to convey science information to users. Communications Products and Services manages websites, provides brochures, newsletters, and news releases. A small amount of Communication Research monitors trends, public dialogue and concerns on natural resources issues. On a more long-term basis, the Communication functions: • Assist the agency in achieving its mission and vision by helping communicate and address issues with the federal, state, and local governments • Ensure critical information is delivered to the public, and • Help agency officials deliver the Forest Service message As the above examples demonstrate, Communication functions are woven into the fabric of the Forest Service strategic goals. In essence, the Communication functions help ensure the agency achieve its goals. 6
    • Market Research A major requirement of a feasibility study is to review the ability of public and private sources in the marketplace to provide the services of the target functions. An A-76 cost comparison is inappropriate if the marketplace cannot provide the service. Once market research determined that services were available in the marketplace, a secondary concern for the Team was to determine whether there were companies that offered the needed services in the required locations. Analytical Approach. To conduct market research, the Team consulted industry associations, existing Communication contracts, Forest Service subject matter experts, labor pool websites, internal studies, and recent government solicitations to determine the availability of existing commercial entities to perform the Communication functions. The Team conducted the market research in two phases. The primary analysis focused on the 14 major Communication functional areas, developed by using professional industry documents and internal reports as a baseline, and finalized with the help of the SMEs. A summary of each functional area is located in Appendix I: Work Descriptions. The Team then separated each functional area into 115 total tasks and activities. A full listing is located in the IV. Analysis and Recommendations section of this Feasibility Study. Once the Team determined the activities to recommend for further study, it began a secondary phase of market research. In this phase, research was completed to ensure that those commercial entities identified as being available to provide general public affairs and communication services could provide services comparable to each of the specific tasks/activities identified as suitable for further study. Findings. An initial search of industry associations, labor pool websites, and recent government solicitations provided a listing of thousands of companies that currently perform communications and public affairs activities throughout the U.S. The primary phase of market research showed that all 14 major functional groupings within Communication were commercially available. The Team found the widest range of tasks and activities that were commercially available were in the Communication Products and Services function, along with certain administrative tasks. Commercial availability was but one factor used early in the evaluation process. Once it was determined that there were commercial entities that could provide the Communication functions, the Team developed a set of evaluation criteria to weight and rank each of the 115 identified tasks/activities. These rankings ultimately helped the Team determine the final 21 activities/tasks recommended for further study. A detailed discussion of the entire evaluation process is in the Analysis and Recommendations section. Should Forest Service leadership determine to conduct a cost comparison competition, a team will conduct further market research during preliminary planning to ensure that specific business units included in the comparison have retained compatibility with the marketplace. During this phase, a team will use industry associations, SMEs, catalogs, government websites, and other resources to expand market research and further define the requirements of the study. 7
    • Industry Associations. During the initial market research phase, a review of more than 100 communications/public affairs-related industry associations showed there were commercial entities that could provide the same services/tasks as those provided by the Communication functions. The Team agreed that the following four associations were the most relevant to reviewing all Communication functions: Table 1: Industry Associations Association Website and Association Information International Association of http://www.iabc.com/ Provides a professional network of more Business Communications than 13,000 business communication professionals in more than 60 countries. Members hold positions in public relations/media relations, corporate communications, public affairs, government relations, writing and editing. Public Relations Society of America http://www.prsa.org/ The largest organization for public relations (PRSA) professionals, with nearly 20,000 members representing business and industry, technology, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. Publishes the Green Book: A Guide to Public Relations Service Organizations Society for Technical http://www.stc.org/about.asp An individual membership Communications organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of technical communication. It is the largest organization of its type. Its 18,000 members include technical writers and editors, content developers, documentation specialists, technical illustrators, instructional designers, academics, information architects, usability and human factors professionals, visual designers, web designers and developers, and translators, etc. O’Dwyer’s PR/Marketing http://www.odwyerspr.com/ Provides listing of 1,500 Communications Website Communications/PR service providers, as well as job listings and additional information for the marketplace. The Team conducted searches on these four association sites, using key words relating to the 14 defined major functional areas, such as “Press office,” “Communications Research,” and “Public Relations.” Preliminary efforts showed dozens of commercial entities in various locations that could perform services related to each of the queries. Once it was determined which specific activities to recommend for further study, the Team conducted a second round of research focused on those tasks and activities, such as “technical writing,” “audio-visual presentations,” and “speechwriting.” A sample of results drawn from the PRSA Green Book: A Guide to Public Relations Service Organizations follows: • Video services………………………….9 companies • Writing news releases and other…….....7 companies • Internet services………………………..5 companies • Event planning and management……....1 company • Public speaking and speech writing…....6 companies • Photo services………………………….4 companies 8
    • The identified companies are located throughout the U.S., many with multiple offices. The O’Dwyer’s website lists more than 1,500 service providers in categories such as Graphic Services, Editorial Services (includes writing and editing), Multimedia Services, Photography and Photo Stock Services, Speechwriting, Newsletters, Books, Website Development, and Miscellaneous Services. Existing Contracts. A request to the field for a summary of current contracts provided a listing of more than 200 existing contracts that support Communication activities. Contractors are generally located near Regional Offices, Station headquarters, or the Washington Office (this appears to be for convenience rather than a requirement). The total value of these contracts exceeds $1.5 million in the Products and Services area. Below are samples of these contracts, showing the service performed, the related task as defined by the Team, and the location of the service(s): Table 2: Existing Contracts Service(s) Performed Related Task/Activity Company Location Film and view distribution A/V recording and editing Agoura Hills, CA Music Soundtrack to Elkhorn Video A/V recording and editing Missoula, MT AV and Telecommunications Services A/V recording and editing Washington, DC Editing Video and Soundtrack A/V recording and editing Welches, OR Video editing services A/V recording and editing Welches, OR Artwork for national Fisheries & recruitment product Creating artwork Ketchikan, Alaska Edit Northern Region News submissions Editing Coeur d’Alene, ID Technical editing for research Editing peer review publications publications/GTR Houston, TX One-hour mini DVD tape master and Managing stock photos, audio and VHS preview video video tapes Portland, OR Meeting management services for the R-5 Centennial Forum Meeting management Troy, MT Display design and fabrication Multimedia communication Petersburg, VA Sound recording and video editing Preparing A/V presentations Welches, OR Printing maps / tabloids Publication design Albuquerque, NM Graphic design of brochure Publication design Maryland Page layout Publication design Atlanta, GA Design and layout Publication design Portland, OR Adobe Photoshop 7 training Publication design/creating artwork Asheville, NC Technical editing Technical editing Knoxville, TN Editing and layout services Technical editing Reston, VA Writing Effective Memos training Technical or other writing Woods Cross, UT Science writer for Science Perspective Technical writing Palo Alto, CA Website (webmaster & posting Web Mgt/Dreamweaver training materials) Asheville, NC Website (webmaster & posting Web design materials) Golden, CO 9
    • Web design - update program web Website (webmaster & posting pages materials) Vallejo, CA The request for information from the field resulted in contracts that included all 115 task/activities areas. After being reviewed for comparability, contracts for all but the 21 tasks recommended for study were filtered out of the list. This included existing contracts, prior contracts and some proposals from current solicitations. Relevant data extracted from existing contracts are: • Cost elements (labor, materials, travel, etc.) • Level of effort • Tasks (i.e., statement of work) • Standards of performance used by these service providers Should leadership decide to progress to a cost comparison, additional research will need to be conducted during the preliminary planning stage to determine which contracts should be included in the scope of study. Government Subject Matter Experts. In addition to the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on the Study Team, both field and Washington Office SMEs assisted the Team by answering questions about specific tasks associated with work identified in the requirements. Labor Pool Websites. A review of labor pool websites validated that the work requirements for the tasks/activities recommended for further study and the available civilian workforce are compatible. A number of labor categories follow the Forest Service series/occupation designations, such as Public Affairs (GS-1035), Writing and Editing (GS-1082), Technical Writing and Editing (GS-1083), Visual Information (GS-1084), Editorial Assistance (GS-1087), and Fine and Applied Arts (GS-1001). The Department of Labor (DOL) and Salary.com websites cover commercial equivalents with ranges for salaries and requirements on the local level. These websites provide listings of equivalent position descriptions throughout the U.S.: Table 3: Labor Pool Websites Company/Agency Website address General Services Administration http://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/ElibHome U.S. Department of Labor http://www.bls.gov/ Salary.com http://www.salary.com/home/layoutscripts/homl_display.asp The GSA website provided the Team with a list of companies available to provide tasks and activities on a service-wide or local basis. This supported results of the analysis of associations and current contracts – there are a large number of commercial vendors in this area. If leadership decides to conduct a cost comparison competition, the GSA website will be helpful for the contracting officer and preliminary planners. Table 4: Sampling of Available Commercial Entities Service(s) Performed Related Task/Activity Company/ Location Market Research and Public Opinion Services • Writing newsletters, speeches Mind & Media Inc. 10
    • Service(s) Performed Related Task/Activity Company/ Location • Speeches and presentations and presentations, brochures Alexandria, VA • Newsletters • Editing • Media and public information services • Creating communications • Creative development of draft scripts with multi-media Public Relations Services. Customized media • Writing speeches and Chemonics and public relation services: presentations International Inc. • Development of media • Editing Washington, DC messages and strategies • Creating communications • Speeches and presentations with multi-media • Related activities to public relations services Web Based Marketing Services. Develop • Website (webmaster & A.S.K. Associates, Inc. strategies to provide maximum use of Internet posting materials) Lawrence, KS capabilities. Typical tasks may involve the consultation, development and implementation of the following: • Website design and maintenance services • Search engine development • E-mail marketing • Interactive marketing • Web based training • Web casting • Video conferencing via the web Section 508 compliance, including captioning services On-Line media management Related activities to web based marketing services • Media provided in a format compatible with the software requirements Commercial Art and Graphic Design Services. • Technical editing Boyd-Fitzgerald, Inc. Types of services may include: • Publication design Bettendorf, IA • Developing conceptual design and layouts • Creating artwork • Providing copywriting and technical writing services • Creating sketches, drawings, publication designs, and typographic layouts • Furnishing custom or stock artwork (including electronic artwork) Document Conversion Services. State-of-the-art • Managing stock photos, audio MHA Associates Inc. scanning of original document’s text and graphic and video tapes Fairfield, CA image into digital data Records Management Services. • Managing stock photos, audio DATATRAC • Archiving and video tapes Information Services Richardson, TX Advertising Services. Services provided include: • Preparing A/V presentations Svanaco, Inc. 11
    • Service(s) Performed Related Task/Activity Company/ Location • Advertising objective determination • A/V recording and editing Park Ridge, IL • Message decision/creation • Media selection • Outdoor marketing and media services • Broadcast media (Radio, TV and Public Service Announcements) • Direct mail services • Media planning • Media placement services • Advertising evaluation • Related activities to advertising services Video/Film Production. Services provided to • Writing Bond Video Arts, Inc. public and Government agencies concerning the • Editing Littleton, CO latest products, services, and/or issues in various • Preparing A/V presentations outputs such as industry standard formats, CD- • A/V recording and editing ROM, DVD and video streaming development. Examples of services include: • Writing • Directing • Shooting • Arranging for talent/animation • Narration • Music and sound effects • Duplication • Distribution • Video scoring • Editing Conferences, Events and Tradeshow Planning • Meeting management and CMP Meeting Services Services. Include making all necessary facilitation Summerfield, NC arrangements for conferences, seminars and trade show, including: • Project management • Coordination and implementation of third party participation • Collection management of third party payment for participation • Liaison support with venue • Audiovisual and information technology support • Topic and speaker identification • Site location research • Reservation of facilities • On-site meeting and registration support • Editorial services • Automation and telecommunications support • Design and editing productions 12
    • Service(s) Performed Related Task/Activity Company/ Location • Mailing and other communication with attendees including pre-post meeting mailings/travel support and computer database creation Recent Solicitations. The Team reviewed recent applicable government solicitations to determine if companies have submitted bids for activities similar to the functions under study. The Team found several solicitations with parallel communication and media requirements at FedBizOpps.gov. The solicitations ranged from full functions such as Scientific Delivery or Management and Administrative Support, to tasks such as writing and editing, website management, or technical reports editing. Solicitations ranged from the entire communications function for an agency to individual service tasks. The applicable solicitations found through this research will provide a better scope and requirements solution if the leadership determines to conduct a cost comparison competition. A sample of the solicitations follows: Table 5: Examples of Recent Government Solicitations Services Requested Related Task/Activity Agency/Solicitation Number Editing and abstracting • Editing BLM DLQ050005 documents Writing and editing services • Writing and editing Dept of Commerce, NOAA, AB133F-05- RP-1135 Technical writing and editing • Writing and editing HHS/NIH, ESQ50039 Writing and editing services • Writing and editing BLM BAQ050007 Graphic design • Graphic design Dept of State, MMS-Notice 001 Website design Website design Editorial services Writing and editing Technical writing • Writing and editing EPA PR-C1-05-10007 Editing Multimedia support Multimedia support Interpretive writing and • Writing and editing National Park Service, N4250040010 editing Video recording and editing • Audio-visual preparation Dept of Air Force, F64605-01R-0014 services Photographic services Basic communications and • All functions Dept of Air Force, CommA-76 multimedia support Website design • Website design Dept of Air Force, FA4803-05-R-A010 Speech writer • Speech preparation BLM PAQ044006 If leadership decides to go forward with a cost comparison, the Performance Work Statement Team will need to develop the specific workload and work locations requirements, which will require additional research to ensure commercial availability in all required locations. However, the results of the primary and secondary phases of market research for this Feasibility Study show that there are commercial enterprises throughout the U.S. with the ability to provide the services for the 21 tasks/activities recommended for further study. 13
    • The Team’s first phase of market research determined that there were companies available across the U.S. to perform services similar to all 115 identified Communication tasks and activities. The second phase of market research determined that there were sufficient numbers of commercial entities available in various locations to provide the services for the 21 tasks/activities recommended for further study. As-Is Assessment The As-Is Assessment provides an summary of current Communication operations. This section includes an overview of all Communication functions; a detailed discussion of the Communication workforce, workload, and workflow; a review of internal functions; a summary of the 14 major functional groupings and tasks; a review of the potential effects of outsourcing; and a review of Communication customers, partners and stakeholders. Overview of Agency. The Forest Service is a highly decentralized agency with three major units: 1. The National Forest System (NFS), which consists of nine regions that report directly to the Chief, 115 Forest administrative units, and approximately 600 Ranger Districts. 2. Research, which has seven major units that report directly to the Chief, and more than 70 labs that report to Research unit headquarters . 3. State and Private Forestry, whose responsibilities are also decentralized; they are typically performed by the regional NFS offices, the Northeastern Research Station (NE), and the International Institute for Tropical Forestry (IITF). Like the Forest Service as a whole, the Communication function is also highly decentralized, consisting of: • The Washington Office (WO) – Several staffs handle the WO Communication functions, including the Chief’s Office, the Office of Communication, Legislative Affairs, Office of Regulatory and Management Services, and Conservation Education. This totals more than 75 positions. • Regional Offices - Each of the nine Regional Offices has an office of Public Affairs/Communication varying from 10 to 15 employees. • Research Units - Each of the seven major Research units has between eight and 18 employees in Communication with the exception of ITIF, which has no employees in the GS-1001 or GS-1035 series (discussed later). • The Northeastern Area of State and Private Forestry, which has a Public Affairs/Communication Office. • Forests - Each of the 115 Forests typically has a Public Affairs Officer or similar position and may have related support personnel. • Districts and Labs – some of which have Public Affairs Specialists (many Districts and Labs have employees in the GS-1001 series providing frontline and interpretive services). The lead Communication position and organization often report directly to the line officer or staff officer rather than reporting to a higher-level Communication official. We noted that on 14
    • units that typically have shared administrative services, such as R-6/PNW and NE/NA, there were still separate Communication/Public Affairs offices. The Team suggests reviewing the need for more than one Communication office in areas where there is apparent duplication. Workforce. The 2004 FAIR Act Inventory lists approximately 750 FTEs in the Public Affairs function code Y515. It also shows 30 FTEs in Legislative Affairs (Y620) and 571 FTEs in Administrative Support (Y000) that includes clerical support to Public Affairs and Legislative Affairs. Table 6 below shows the number of permanent employees in the GS-1001 General Arts and Information, GS-1035 Public Affairs, and the other series in the GS-1000 family. This table does not show vacancies, positions in occupational series outside the GS-1000 family, or temporary/summer-seasonal positions. Other occupational series perform Communication work and are not included in the table (without a data call, the actual employees who perform this type of work cannot be identified). However, the Team believes these numbers roughly offset one another and therefore the number in the table represents a good estimate of those who perform the Communication function. For the purposes of the Feasibility Study, the Team assumed that 750 FTEs currently perform the Communication functions. 15
    • Table 6: Employees by Occupational Series Line officers, program managers, scientists, and many other employees also play key roles in communication delivery. For example, a District Ranger is responsible for local public affairs, a Fire Management Officer is responsible for liaisons and other types of communications, and a scientist is responsible for many aspects of communicating research findings. These responsibilities are important, but are outside the scope of our study. The Team views those who use Communication function services as customers. Forest Service Communication employees are located at more than 300 different duty stations. A chart listing the locations and number of employees in the GS-1001 through GS-1099 series is in Appendix II: Location of Communication Employees. The draft Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) in Appendix IV: Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) includes additional tables showing Race, National Origin, Gender, and Age breakouts for the GS-1001 and GS-1035 occupational series. Workload. Service-wide, the workload is heavy and varied; the workload is greater in the summer due to tourism, and increases even more significantly during active fire seasons. 16
    • Because the Team identified 115 tasks performed in more than 300 locations, it was determined that further defining the workload for each of these tasks was impossible without a data call. However, if certain tasks are selected for an A-76 cost comparison, the workload of each task or activity will be fully determined as part of the Performance Work Statement (PWS). Customers, Partners, and Stakeholders. Customers are individuals or organizations that request a service from the Communication functions. For example, Forest Service employees are customers if they request Communication to assist with the creation of a report. The primary customers for Communication functions are management, scientists, other employees, news media, forest visitors, teachers and students, legislators and other elected officials, and some non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Partners are external individuals or organizations that agree to work with the agency to accomplish common interests and projects. The agency partners with many individuals and organizations. Many partnerships are specific to achieving natural resources work such as range or forest management but some directly involve Communication. The best example is the Fire program, where the agency works with other federal, state and local organizations to convey the message of fire prevention. Fire information officers from other agencies also handle communication; they provide information to the wildland fire agencies, affected communities, the news media, local officials and congressional offices, and others. (An area gaining increased management support is collaboration, which usually involves sharing information and ideas with stakeholders. The local line officer or resource specialist may lead the collaboration, but it involves significant support from Communication Specialists.) Other examples with significant Communication support include working with State Foresters, the Smokey Bear Program, or with BLM on joint projects through the Service First Program. The Communication function may help facilitate, develop, or document these partnerships. In some areas, the Forest Service may partner with a school and/or university and community groups to sponsor a conservation education field camp for youth. In some cases, the product is a joint effort between Communication and State & Private Forestry Fire outreach functions. Stakeholders are individuals or organizations affected by Forest Service decisions, and who have a stake in the Forest Service, the public lands, and/or a project, such as how the public might be affected by a Forest Service decision to close a campground, construct public facilities, etc. The Forest Service has a great deal of interaction with stakeholders, such as the public, local, state and national government representatives, interest group leaders, and industry. Communication Specialists help with this interaction – whether through face-to-face meetings, or a product supporting the interaction, such as a news release, editing of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis, research paper, public meeting or training session. Communication Specialists are often responsible for maintaining contact with key stakeholders and informing them of areas of interest. They may also arrange meetings, workshops or on-the- ground field visits. Internal stakeholders include management, scientists, employees, and bargaining units. 17
    • The WO Communication Office developed a Communications Plan for this study and is responsible for implementing the Plan. The Communications Plan is not contained in this report. Workflow. The workflow for Communication varies relative to the specific task, but most follow one of two models: a Product-related Model, or a Consultative Model. An example of a Product-related workflow is a Forest Service employee needs to publish a report, write a news release, print a bound report, or create a video. Depending on the task, the product may be created in-house, by another government unit (GPO, Regional Office, etc.), or by a commercial vendor. Examples include desktop publishing, printing, or CD creation. The resulting product may be the creation of a camera-ready report, copies, or CDs. Model 1: Communication Product-related Workflow Model Communication Functions Workflow Model Forest Service Need Vendors Stakeholders Communication functions Product Most work for tangible products typically stay at one organizational level. It is rare for one office to work on a product and then send it to the next level for further work or review. An exception would be if the product were legislative testimony regarding a local issue where the field may have significant input into what ultimately will be a Department position handled at the WO. However, even when the Regional Office assists with the completion of a Forest product, the Regional Office typically works with the client rather than work through a Forest Communication Specialist. Regional offices must do much of this work for Forests. The Consultative Model is slightly different. Consultative work may mean providing advice, names of crucial contacts, a communication plan, or facilitation for a difficult negotiation. 18
    • Consultative and advice-giving tasks generally stay at the lowest level of the organization where the issue can be addressed. For example, a Forest Service employee or manager may need advice on how to respond to Congress, assistance in developing a communications plan, or editing assistance. There may not be a tangible product and the employee may be the main vehicle of communication rather than a report, document, or video. The Consultative workflow follows the model below: Model 2: Communication Consultative Workflow Model Communication Functions Consultative Workflow Model Forest Service Communication Need functions Product Overview of Internal Functions. The National Forest System is a four-level organization: Washington Office (WO), Region, Forest, and District. Communication offices report to the local line officer, and not to the Communication office at the next highest level. The WO, Region and Forest Communication staffs have three major functions: • Develop communication policy and ensure compliance • Assist Forest Service managers and employees with their communication needs • Ensure a two-way flow of information between the agency and all stakeholders that allows the agency to achieve its mission The WO develops service-wide policy; the Regional Office is mainly responsible for Regional policy. A Forest Public Affairs Officer mainly develops local communication policy for the Forest. Regional Offices support field units for infrastructure-intensive tasks. For example, a Regional Office may have a desktop publishing expert and may complete the design of a brochure showing trails on the National Forests of Texas. Other Forests may contract for this service rather than use the Regional Office. Communication at a Research Station has many of the same responsibilities as a Regional Office, but is more involved in the technical review, editing and production of documents. As a result, co-located units typically have separate offices. For example, the Regional Office of 19
    • Region 6 and the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW) have separate Communication/Public Affairs offices, as do the Northeastern Research Station (NE) and the Northeastern Area of State and Private Forestry (NA) Communication offices in the National Forest System or the WO support most other State and Private Forestry (S&PF) activities. The NA (Northeastern Area of State and Private Forestry), however, has its own Public Affairs Office. Functional Groupings and Tasks. The Team agreed that a successful study required a solid understanding of the wide variety of tasks completed by the Communication employees, and spent a considerable amount of time defining the current Communication functional groupings and tasks. Using professional society and textbook definitions as a baseline,1 and additional help from organizational charts and the SMEs, the Team divided Communication into 115 tasks/activities that fell under fourteen functional groupings: • Communication Products and Services • Press Office • Communication Research • Management & Administration • Counseling • Special Events • Speaking • Training • Contact and Relationships • Governmental Relations • Conservation Education • Partnerships • Science Delivery • Interpretive Services The Analysis and Recommendations section contains the full listing of all functional task groupings and related tasks and activities. Potential Effects of Outsourcing. USDA guidance requires that the Feasibility Study analyze the potential effects on USDA and other organizations if the activity under study is outsourced. Communication has an indirect impact on the mission of the Forest Service in that it helps other functions accomplish their responsibilities. For example, the Communication staff may help with a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis, create a brochure on recreation opportunities, print a poster on fire prevention, or respond to Congressional inquiries. The Team does not believe that outsourcing the creation of many products and most services would have a negative effect on the Forest Service mission. In fact, many units already contract these services without any negative impact: 1 Effective Public Relations, Eighth Edition, Cutlip, Center, Broom, page 36-37 20
    • Many publications are “farmed out” (contracted) to non-agency companies for design, type-setting, illustrations, and printing. Much of the agency work in publications now involves overseeing quality of contracted products, distribution, and storage of extra copies….The old black and white photos…are being digitized for use by any number of researchers and writers from across the country. Slide shows or use of acetate overheads are being supplanted by Power Point presentations. Many historical documents will soon be transformed to digital format for viewing by thousands of internet users.”2 Data received from the field shows contract support for various products and services, such as writing, editing, creating newsletters, printing, copying, creating training courses, creating videos, press relations, research on communication issues, counseling on communication issues, supporting science delivery, and providing interpretive services. Outsourcing may have negative implications with some tasks and activities. It would be difficult to outsource many of the management functions since they are highly integrated with inherently governmental responsibilities. In addition, it may delay the time to make decisions and may increase expenses. For example, it may be possible to outsource some responsibilities of a Forest Public Affairs Officer, but the agency may not be able to abolish the position due to the inherently governmental responsibilities and other services inherent to that position. It may also be detrimental to outsource many of the advisory functions performed by public affair officers. These officers need to have a solid understanding of local issues, local politics, internal functioning of the agency and its mission, and be immediately available. Outsourcing these responsibilities may delay services and confuse communication. The Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) discusses the detailed affect that outsourcing might have on employees, but notes that women are most likely to be negatively impacted if leadership decides to proceed with a public-private competition. 73 percent of the combined GS-1001 and GS-1035 occupational series are women. Developing partnerships, speaking, contacts/relationships, counseling, and coordinating special activities could theoretically be outsourced, but the performance of these activities would be difficult without a strong understanding of local issues, local politics, internal functioning of the agency, and the Forest Service mission. Outsourcing these responsibilities may create a loss of personal involvement, harm the building of relationships, delay services and confuse communication. It is also unclear whether outsourcing these activities would result in savings. Conducting a service-wide study of Communication could also have a negative effect on the hundreds of small businesses who have current contracts with the Forest Service. If a single vendor begins conducting most work in this area, most of the current vendors will lose Forest Service work. Even if the agency creates a Communication Service Center, the Forest Service will greatly reduce the level of work with these small vendors. 2 USDA Forest Service Office of Communication: 125 Years of Information and Education, April 5, 2000, p. 11 21
    • Another issue the Team considered when determining whether to recommend activities for further study was the recent ruling by the GAO in a case concerning the Forest Service’s use of commercial public relations experts. A law enacted in 1913 was the basis for the GAO ruling (B-302992, September 10, 2004). The law “forbids spending for publicity experts any part of an appropriation unless that money is specifically appropriated by Congress.” In addition, Public Law 89-554, enacted in 1966 stated, “Appropriated funds may not be used to pay a publicity expert unless specifically appropriated for that purpose.” And in 1972, Public Law 92-351 decreed that no part of the current or any other act, or “funds available for expenditure by a corporation or agency, shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress. While the ruling found in favor of the USDA Forest Service, the GAO provided some insight as to the important role a Communication/Public Affairs Officer plays within the agency: An agency has a legitimate right to explain and defend its policies and respond to attacks on that policy…. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate an agency’s dissemination of information in exercising this legitimate right to explain and defend its policies from dissemination activities that are for purely political reasons…. A standard we apply to resolving this struggle is that the use of appropriated funds is improper only if the activity is “completely devoid of any connection with official functions.” We do not raise any objection to the use of appropriated funds if any agency can reasonably justify the activity as within its official duties. The Team found this to be a compelling argument for why some Communication roles are critical and should be performed by an employee with knowledge of Forest Service policies, activities, and official functions, and should not be outsourced, even if outsourcing provides a cost-savings opportunity. Key points. • Consultative and advice-giving tasks generally stay at the lowers level of the organization where the issue can be addressed • The Team does not believe that outsourcing the creation of many of the Communication products and most services would have a negative effect on the Forest Service mission • Hundreds of small businesses who have current contacts with the Forest Service would be affected by outsourcing. If the agency creates a central service center, the level of work to small vendors would be greatly diminished • The Team determined that there are compelling arguments for why some Communication roles are critical and should be performed by a Forest Service employee To-Be Assessment The To-Be section provides insight into management’s vision of Communication functions capabilities in the future. The Forest Service leadership expects that while there should be savings and improvements in efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the goals outlined by 22
    • Forest Service leadership, the overall emphasis of the To-Be organization should focus on program and process improvement. The Communication functions should: • Keep Public Affairs Officers (PAO) close to the line officer to provide advice and counsel on a routine basis • Provide expert advice on the techniques of public relations and support to executives in all facets of communications, especially during public appearances, special events, and crises • Monitor public opinion and trend data and effectively communicate that information to line officers. Forecast how different audiences will respond to different events • Develop strategic media- and external-relations programs that respond to current issues and develop opportunities for long-term reputation-building and relationships • Re-emphasize the public involvement and collaboration that leads decision-makers to effective implementation of decisions • Develop ongoing collaboration across administrative boundaries, organizational cultures, and geographic impediments • Provide a field organization that seamlessly integrates all aspects of communication, including public and legislative affairs • Continue ongoing efforts to reduce costs and become more efficient and effective than current costs/processes • Improve relationships and the flow of information among organization levels within the Communication community • Support a viable internal communication network that proactively informs employees in a timely manner and provides a forum for employee concerns and feedback (supervisor training and info, understanding how different levels function, etc.) • Convey the Forest Service message and events to rural, urban and international audiences. The organization will be able to adapt quickly to changes in demographics and culture (such as increased urbanization, the ability to reach audiences who have access to an enormous amount of information, increasingly niche interest groups, etc.) • Create an effective and interactive internet presence to ensure the media and the public have direct access to accurate and timely information • Provide ongoing training for employees who deliver communication internally and externally Forest Service Communication expects its workload to increase as the population grows near National Forests, the volume of recreating visitors to National Forests continues to increase, and environmental issues become more complex. In addition, communication with all stakeholders is becoming more important, complex and expensive. Budgets will likely continue to be restrained, but the agency must continue serving its customers while increasing program efficiency and effectiveness, all while continuing to accomplish its mission. The agency, however, will need to make tough decisions and adjustments. Should a cost comparison or BPR occur and provide savings, leadership envisions investing those funds back into mission-critical natural resources work. 23
    • Performance Gap Analysis This section identifies five areas that need performance improvement, identifying the “gap” between the Current As-Is and desired To-Be organizations. The Team has listed the following five performance gaps in order of priority, as per USDA guidance. Some of these gaps were previously alluded to in the 15 years of internal reports on Communication, and the Team has included references from some of these reports in this section to support the gap analysis. 1. Communicating to urban areas. Leadership envisions an agency that better connects with the public and media located in more urban areas. Some view the Forest Service as being good in communicating to those who already interact with the agency, but not as good at reaching out to everyone else. Leadership foresees a more successful use of modern technology to provide dynamic and up-to-date information to the media and public, and to disseminate Forest Service goals more effectively to varied and changing audiences. The U.S. Forest Service Program/Activity Business Plan Elements (Region 10, April 23, 2004) reflects the perception that the Forest Service has been unable to adapt successfully to changing demographics. “Failure to adapt quickly to meeting accelerating changes in demographics and culture…such as increased urbanization…the explosion of and access to information, and the rise of single focus interest groups…has left the agency at significant risk of failing to align with public values.” Improving Communications and Working Relationships (January 1991) noted that, “Brochures, newsletters and videos may be a part of an objective-driven approach, but should not be an end, in and of themselves. We should de-emphasize general purpose activities which aren’t tied to specific objectives or a target audience,” suggesting that the agency has a history of trying to communicate in a one-size-fits-all manner. The Team believes an integrated communication effort at the national level will allow coordinated outreach to urban areas through community groups, youth programs, and schools with collaborative and educational efforts. The future organization will continue to help other offices and the Forest Service as a whole to accomplish their goals, mission and vision. 2. Need to develop expertise. Communication Specialists in the Forest Service are often assigned many varied tasks. This results in “fragmentation,” which means the specialist must have many skills but may not be an expert in any single area. As a result, specialists respond very well to routine requests, but may not have specialized technical skills such as determining how best to communicate a message to a target audience, developing software that frontliners can access, or creating a web-based A/V presentation. This issue could be addressed by providing and requiring more training, requiring higher- level public affairs skills for management positions, reducing fragmentation in the communication functions so employees can focus on specific areas, etc. Previous internal studies also pointed out the agency’s need to improve the skills of Communication Specialists. For example, Improving Communications and Working Relationships (January 1991) recommended that to improve the ability to meet the public’s need for timely and relevant information, build strong working relationships, and support the 24
    • Forest Service mission, the agency should “strengthen qualifications and standards for the GS-1035 series to require a professional background.” The report also stated that the agency should “place a higher priority on communications and PA [public affairs] proficiencies in the evaluation and selection of managers.” A Compendium of Studies on USFS Public Affairs and References on Practice of Public Relations (July 1990), made similar comments. It stated that in its review of seven past studies dating to 1985, all agree, “that the public affairs functional area is not used by the agency to its greatest advantage. One of the most frequently cited reasons is the lack of appropriate skills possessed by those in public affairs jobs.” Recognizing that emphasis on improving proficiencies has occurred since 1991, training plus hiring new employees with state-of-the-art skills and knowledge continues to be a critical need. 3. Lack of integrated strategy. Several reports and executives commented on the lack of an integrated strategic approach to and organization of Communication, particularly in the WO. Past studies and current executives have commented that the structure discourages cooperation, creates duplication, and prevents most specialists from working with key management officials. One example that potentially discourages cooperation is having separate Communication and Legislative Affairs Staffs. Organizational Assessment, Office of Communications Washington Office (August 28, 1997) summarized, “A principal handicap to consistent messaging has arisen from the fragmentation of the external relations function in Washington.” It also noted, “…the corporate public affairs program of the Forest Service is fragmented. Account managers tend to emphasize the priorities of the staffs to which they are assigned. Promoting an agency corporate agenda such as the Chief’s principles is lost or relegated to secondary priority.” Business Plan Elements lists as its first issue: “The agency’s lack of consistent internal communication undermines relationships with its workforce, partners, and customers.” Restructuring the way the Washington Office works would encourage more cooperation throughout the agency, reduce expenses by eliminating some unnecessary duplication, and help assure that all of Communication speaks in one voice. Past studies suggested making changes that would improve internal communications. Improving Communications and Working Relations (January 1991), recommended requiring “top line officers at all levels to approve annual PA objectives, strategies and campaigns.” It recommends requiring “managers at all levels to develop and implement public affairs plans that are supportive of national communications objectives.” This report also stated, “Public Affairs officers are not part of the management team on many field units, even though there is a correlation between this and the success the unit has in carrying out its resource management program.” 4. Keeping up with changing technologies. Communication should take advantage of changing technologies. This issue came up in interviews with management, in discussion with the SMEs, and in several previous internal reports. The use of new technology could improve 25
    • the effectiveness of the agency’s communication efforts and lower costs. For example, providing frontliners with computer software designed to provide individually tailored trail maps or on-site information for visitors improves the service delivered to the public and reduces expenses such as designing, printing and distributing generic brochures. Excellent examples are scattered throughout the nation, but consistency and quality of delivery is lacking. In order to reach new and changing audiences, the agency must learn how to better use the internet and intranet, and better capitalize on improvements in audio-video communication, distance learning, email, online meetings, digital photography, graphics enhancements, computer software, etc. Varied audiences – Congress, college students, and retirees, for example – expect to receive information in varying ways. The Forest Service will need to meet those expectations in order to ensure its message is delivered, read, and understood. 5. Lowering costs. Nationally in the communications arena, the agency spends approximately $75 million for salary, benefits, travel, overhead and training for 750 FTEs, and this does not include the costs of contracts, equipment, materials, printing, and other costs. It also does not include the cost of line officers, managers, scientists, and others who deliver or draft communication products. The agency is working to lower all costs, especially indirect costs, and Communication must contribute. U.S. Forest Service Program/Activity Business Plan Elements (4/23/04), notes, “The failure to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of communications through technology…has created shadow communication channels, which reduce quality and increase costs.” The Team believes that bridging each of the five gaps is achievable, and that addressing each one will improve the role of Communication and its ability to help the agency achieve its mission. In particular, addressing the gaps on expertise and strategy will save money, and improving use of emerging technologies will enable Communication to reach its niche markets more effectively. Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) A CRIA identifies and categorizes the potential effect a cost comparison may have on the agency and its employees. The CRIA is conducted to assure the civil rights of the existing workforce is protected, and that potential risks of violation are identified prior to the Chief’s decision on whether to conduct a cost comparison of any tasks/functions within Communication. The CRIA in this document is a draft and has not been reviewed by the Civil Rights Staff. The Deputy Chief for PL&C will need to work with the Director, Civil Rights to finalize this draft prior to the ELT decision. This draft CRIA shows that women appear to be the primary group that may be negatively impacted by a study of the Communication functions, because almost three-fourths (73%) of those in the listed occupational series are women. Other race and national origin groups and persons with disabilities would be minimally affected since they appear to be underrepresented in the two occupational series. 26
    • Cost comparisons could result in abolishing positions if work is transferred outside the agency. If the work remains in-house, there could still be a loss of positions, whether the government proposal has significantly fewer positions than the current organization or whether the work is transferred to another geographical location. These abolished positions may result in reduction- in-force (RIF), early retirements, or buyouts. Fortunately, it is rare when permanent government employees lose their jobs because of a cost comparison. Still, any organizational change could have negative civil rights implications. The draft CRIA recommends considering several alternatives to an A-76 study: • Do not conduct any study on Communication (A-76 or BPR). This would eliminate all potential negative civil rights impact • Conduct a BPR rather than an A-76 study. Although there may still be a loss of jobs, a BPR would guarantee that the work would stay in-house. In addition, employees may be required to transfer to another duty station • Conduct an A-76 study on as few FTEs as possible. A smaller study will have less of a potential impact There are potential mitigations if a cost comparison is conducted: • Recommend an employment freeze on all Communication-related positions • Include existing contracts in the public-private competition • Allow affected employees the opportunity to comment or participate in the competitive sourcing study • Offer and approve early outs and buyouts to affected employees if there will be fewer jobs in the series and grade in the new organization than employees needing to be placed • Provide detailed information about the rights of employees under a transfer of function or directed reassignment, whichever is relevant • Early Notification of directed reassignments, if any • Consider other employee assistance tools, such as career transition training and counseling, WRAPS (Workforce Restructuring and Placement System, a priority placement listing for displaced or surplus workers), employee assistance services, and extensive communication of new guidance, policies, or decisions The full draft of the CRIA in Appendix IV discusses the possible effects of a cost comparison in greater detail. Systems This section provides an overview of all capital infrastructure systems used by Communication to complete the tasks and activities under study. Communication to customers and stakeholders relies on many functions that require a variety of systems. Forest Service Communication Specialists use: • Forest Service Lotus Notes system (email) • Forest Service Website (intranet site) • Forest Service Home Page (internet site) 27
    • • Directives system (Directives) • IBM Network (electronic records) • Pontius (contracting) • FS Travel (travel) • Paycheck (time and attendance) Listed below are some of the Communication information systems: 1. Visitor information. Some states use a computerized visitor information system that also accesses state and other government agency information; this is usually a touch-screen kiosk tied to a database. 2. National reservations system. This system is the responsibility of Recreation, but many frontliners must use it. It includes a database, contracted phone operators and feeder for local reservations. 3. Publications and map systems. The Geospatial Services and Technical Center in Salt Lake City is responsible for Forest Service maps, but has a partnership arrangement with the U.S. Geological Survey and Forest Service regional graphics shops. There is an on- line map system for this production. 4. Video database. There is a system supporting the creation, editing and filing of video content. 5. Lexis-Nexus. A commercial news media on-line database used to download articles concerning the Forest Service and other topics. There are some systems in Research that are unique, either because of their nature or because of their extensive deployment, including: 1. TreeSearch. The Research Stations have developed an online library of scientific papers produced by agency scientists. New publications are entered into the library, and older papers are added to the system as funding permits. Currently the library contains more than 10,000 research publications with new ones added almost daily. Downloads by Research customers number in the millions annually. 2. Online library search system. Formerly known as FSInfo, Westfornet, or Southfornet, the Forest Service library system provides literature search service, document deliveries, and other library services. Operated by Research, the system serves all Forest Service users. 3. Hypertext Encyclopedias. This is a new, web-based system for providing access to science syntheses with context-sensitive links to more technical information, ultimately to original research publications. It is currently under development at several locations throughout the country. 4. Interactive Websites. A variety of websites exist throughout the Research Stations, providing links to databases. 5. Desktop Publishing. Due to the size of the Research publication program, extensive use is made of more highly automated, desktop systems. These are often stand-alone systems that do not directly interface with the Forest Service computer systems. The recommendations made by the Team should not have an impact on the agency’s information-technology architecture standards and guidelines. 28
    • IV. Analysis and Recommendations This section describes the process the Team went through to conduct the Feasibility Study. It explains how the Team developed the evaluation of each Communication task/activity in detail, and the outcome of the evaluation criteria. Rationale and Discussion explains how the Team applied the results of the evaluation against the objectives of the study and the goals and mission of Communication and the Forest Service. Finally, Recommendations discusses the outcome of the Team’s analysis and discussions, and the expected financial impact, including cost estimates, benefits estimates, and savings analyses for both recommendations. Application of the Evaluation Criteria Determining which Communication functions to recommend for further study required a system of criteria used to rate and rank each task/activity. The Team developed nine evaluation factors based on similar criteria used in past competitions at the Forest Service and other agencies. The SMEs rated each of the 115 tasks according to the indicators listed below: Potential for savings: Can financial savings be obtained through more effective or efficient performance? A task with greater potential for savings was viewed as a stronger candidate. Indicator: Yes, Mixed, or No. Commercially available: Are there commercial companies that are able to provide the services and/or products required by the task? A task performed by a large number of commercial companies was viewed as a stronger candidate. Indicator: Yes, Mixed, or No. Severability: Can the task be performed by an independent business unit? A task that can be severed was viewed as a stronger candidate. Indicator: Yes, Mixed, or No. Preferred government performance: While not inherently governmental, is there a management preference for performance by a government employee for some valid reason? A task that management did not have this preference for was viewed as a stronger candidate. Indicator: Yes, Mixed, or No. Location: Can the task be performed anywhere, or must it be performed locally? A task that did not have to be performed locally was considered a stronger candidate. Indicator: Non-local, Mixed, or Local. Fragmentation: Is the task the responsibility of a limited number of positions (low fragmentation), or a minor portion of a large number of positions (high fragmentation)? Tasks with high fragmentation suggest that they could benefit from restructuring, even though they are difficult to compete. Tasks with mixed fragmentation were viewed as the least feasible. Indicator: Low or High degree of fragmentation. Central performance: Is the task typically performed at a Regional Office or other central location? Tasks that are already centralized may be better candidates for competitive sourcing 29
    • since it will be easier to determine workload and monitor performance. Selection of these activities also potentially would affect fewer employees. Indicator: High or Low. Potential for process improvement: Is there the opportunity for improvement in how the task is completed? Is there potential for technology, modernization, centralization, or reorganization to develop a more efficient or effective process? A task with greater potential was considered a stronger candidate. Indicator: Yes, Mixed, or No. Incident support: Does the task provide incident support, such as to Fire? Incident Support adds additional complexity to the task. Any task that supports emergency situations was judged a less likely candidate. Indicator: Yes, Mixed, or No. Since not all the evaluation criteria are of equal importance, the Team determined a tri-level ranking of the nine evaluation criteria, primary, secondary, and tertiary. Once all 115 tasks were rated according to the evaluation factors, those findings were calculated against the weighting factors. The primary factors, Severability, Fragmentation, and Central Performance, had a maximum score of six points. The secondary factors, Locality, Potential for Process Improvement, and Preferred Government Performance, were given a maximum rating of four points. Finally, the Tertiary Factors, Potential for Savings, Commercially Available, and Incident Support, had a maximum score of two points. The resulting ratings summarized into one final set of ratings, predominately based on the mode rating (if a majority selected one rating, that rating was used). If there was a spread of ratings, such as having as many “Ys” as “Ns”, then a middle rating of “Mixed” was given to the summary rating. The Team reviewed the summary ratings, discussed any ratings that seemed incongruous, and made adjustments as necessary. The SMEs reviewed each task with high ratings to consider whether there were other factors that made the task inappropriate for a public-private competition. In addition, the Team discussed the connectivity of tasks. For example, Task 1 could have a high rating and Task 2 a mid rating. However, if Task 1 is judged a candidate, it still may make sense to include Task 2 because of its connection to Task 1. The final ratings were not the sole determination of whether an activity was recommended for further study. Rather, the summary rating is only one indicator. A listing of summary ratings of each task/activity is in Table 7 (maximum rating is 36): Table 7: Communication Task/Activity Summary Ratings Est. Communication Products & Services Rating FTE Writing Newsletters 17 6.5 Website (Webmaster & posting materials) 16 5.4 Reports 31 6.5 30
    • Speeches 25 4.3 Brochures 23 9.7 Film scripts 23 3.2 Trade publication articles 23 3.0 Institutional ads 23 1.7 Product/technical collateral materials 30 6.5 Other writing 24 7.6 Editing Technical reports 24 5.4 Environmental reports 23 7.6 Peer review publications & GTR 30 10.8 Other editing 24 7.3 Creating communication with multi-media 29 6.7 A/V recording and editing 22 5.4 Preparing A/V presentations 23 5.4 Publication design 35 6.5 Creating artwork 35 3.7 Managing stock photos, audio and video tapes 13 2.6 Est. Press Office Rating FTE Print and broadcast news releases 17 8.6 Generating feature stories 18 3.5 Contacting news media 11 8.6 Developing magazine supplements 20 1.9 Developing list of ideas (pitch sheet) for freelance writers 19 2.4 Maintaining trade publication contacts 27 3.5 Serve as official spokesperson 15 9.7 Respond to media requests 17 9.7 Monitor news clipping services 21 6.5 Attend education board meetings 11 2.6 Maintain access to authoritative sources 19 4.3 Creating advertising 30 6.5 Est. Communications Research Rating FTE Public opinion gathering 28 0.6 Monitoring trends 23 0.6 Tracking emerging issues 24 0.6 Monitoring political climate and legislation 32 0.9 Monitoring media coverage 22 1.1 Monitoring special interest groups 23 0.6 Designing program research 20 0.5 Conducting surveys 27 0.5 Hiring research firms 20 0.5 31
    • Market research 21 0.5 Est. Management & Administration Rating FTE Reviewing and maintaining correspondence 9 8.6 Oversight of printing 11 6.5 Programming/planning 6 6.5 Determining needs 6 2.8 Establishing priorities 6 2.2 Administering personnel, budgeting & program schedules 2 13.0 Defining publics 8 1.5 Setting goals and objectives 6 2.4 Developing strategy and tactics 6 1.5 Operating the Forest Service history program 16 5.6 Administration of advisory committee services (RACs & FACA) 4 3.9 Handbooks and guides 12 1.9 Operating the FOIA and Privacy Act Program 9 11.2 Est. Counseling Rating FTE Advising top management on social, political and regulatory environments 2 18.4 Crisis communications management planning 4 16.2 Advise on strategies for managing or responding to critical or sensitive issues 4 21.6 Meeting management and facilitation 23 13.0 Issues and conflict management 13 14.0 Strategic communication planning to achieve agency goals 7 14.0 Est. Special Events Rating FTE Arranging and managing: News conferences 23 6.5 Open houses 16 5.4 Ribbon cuttings/grand openings 18 0.6 Anniversary celebrations 24 4.5 Other events 22 5.6 Visiting dignitaries (tours and briefings) 15 13.0 Contests 28 1.7 Roll-out plans 15 8.0 Coordinating incident and crisis communications (fire, natural disasters, shuttles) 3 7.1 Award programs and other employee meetings 12 1.7 Est. Speaking Rating FTE Appearing before groups 12 3.2 Coaching others 25 2.2 32
    • Managing speakers' bureau to provide platforms for the organization before important audiences 23 1.1 Est. Training Rating FTE Preparing executives to deal with media 20 1.9 Teaching writing and communication skills 21 2.8 Introducing changes in organizational culture, policy, structure and process 17 1.1 Facilitator training/customer service 30 1.9 Est. Contact and Relationships Rating FTE Liaison with community 8 13.0 Listening, negotiating, managing conflict, and reaching agreement as mediator between an organization and its important stakeholders 15 6.6 Retiree outreach / liaison 15 4.5 Liaison with internal/external groups 5 9.1 Managing conflict/mediation 17 6.7 Meeting and entertaining guests and visitors 0 5.4 Public involvement activities 9 11.4 Expert confidential advice to leadership 4 8.6 Front desk management 10 13.0 Est. Governmental Relations Rating FTE Bill drafting 14 1.2 Legislative liaison 3 10.8 State and local relations 6 6.5 Tribal relations 8 6.0 Drafting testimony 16 0.8 Hearing processes (field and WO) 10 1.6 Oversight of Congressional correspondence 8 5.4 Est. Conservation Education Rating FTE Develop lesson plans and materials 22 0.9 Train educators 28 1.9 Conduct field workshops 20 1.5 Conduct classroom visits 16 2.1 Est. Partnerships Rating FTE Administer Payments to Counties Act 15 17.3 Administer grants and agreements 8 19.4 Manage the volunteer program 18 17.3 33
    • Seek external sources of labor and funds 22 10.8 Build relationships 11 32.4 Est. Science Delivery Rating FTE Develop scientific posters 24 6.5 Develop science delivery planning 20 3.2 Support hyper text encyclopedias 29 3.7 Support online publications library 29 6.5 Science delivery to non-scientists 19 6.5 Oversee quality assurance and compliance 7 4.3 Report research priorities, advances and accomplishments 21 7.6 Coordinate distance learning 21 7.1 Est. Interpretive Services Rating FTE Frontline support to the public 12 25.9 Supporting campground programs 15 10.8 Providing visitor information services 15 17.3 Providing interpretive services 13 13.0 Rationale and Discussion The Team used the above ratings as a starting point and discussed the rating of most tasks/activities. Activities that fall within the Products and Services functional grouping received the highest scores, and is work that many offices currently contract, suggesting that these items are appropriate for a cost comparison. In addition, many of these services do not need to be conducted locally. Even when conducted in-house, these activities are often performed by a Regional Office or Station Headquarters, and not at the Forest or lab requesting the work, further supporting the argument for a cost comparison. In other instances, activities had a high rating, but a low number of FTEs actually performing the work. A good example of this involves the function Communication Research, which the Team estimated has less than ten FTEs. The Team excluded these tasks/activities because it would be more trouble and expense to compete and monitor performance than would be justified by a potential for savings. Additionally, functions such as Governmental Relations were available commercially, but it would limit the ability for the Forest Service to establish and nurture relationships with local and regional officials. Some areas were borderline in both ratings and number of FTEs, such as some tasks/activities that fall under The Press Office. In the end, the Team did not recommend these tasks/activities because it agreed there is high value in having Forest Service employees involved in building relationships with news media representatives. Some tasks received high marks for potential for commercial performance, but the Team believed that it was not prudent to contract fragments. Each of these tasks/activities provides an 34
    • opportunity to build a relationship. For instance, the Team expected Interpretive Services to be rated higher than it was, and discussed this area in some detail. The main barrier to competition with these tasks/activities is that the responsibility is highly fragmented; it is a small part of many positions. So even if contracted, there would be few, if any, abolished positions, and therefore no savings. In fact, costs for Interpretive Services would likely increase if contracted. In addition, the Team concluded that there is value to having a Forest Service employee with a good understanding of local issues directly interact with the public. Overall, the Team determined that while most activities have equivalent commercial entities available, it deemed several tasks unsuitable for commercial work. The reasons for an activity being unsuitable for commercial work could include: • It is inconvenient to use a commercial vendor even if available. For example, it would be inconvenient to rely on a commercial vendor like Kinko’s to send and receive faxes • The activity would be best performed locally (local press relations, for example) rather than remotely • The activity would be best performed by a government employee (requirement to be well versed in local issues, Forest Service culture, intended message, etc.) • The remote and rural nature of some Forests may not provide the same access to all service providers for all functions The Team discussed the Acquisition Strategy of a potential cost comparison. Historically, the Forest Service would probably have recommended a series of Streamlined Studies—one for each Region and Station. However, the Team concluded that a service-wide Standard Study would provide the opportunity for greatest creativity, savings, and performance improvements. It would also minimize study costs. The Team recommended following the common practice of including existing contracts in the scope of the study. This will allow the agency to deal with the entire Communication workload and increase the potential for savings. Management (or the MEO team if a cost comparison occurs) could decide to continue working with selected existing contracts that have exceptional price, products, or other characteristics, and exclude these contracts from study The Team also discussed the Performance Gaps Analysis, and how the noted gaps would be addressed by the Team’s recommendations. Communication Specialists often have many varied responsibilities. This makes it difficult to be an expert in any area. For instance, a Public Affairs Officer may have the skills to develop strategic planning, but because of the way Communication functions are structured, may not have time to devote to this activity. This becomes an issue when a role as critical to strategic planning is not completed. Strategic planning enables the agency to ensure resources are devoted to things such as predicting and then reaching emerging niche markets (Gap1). Recommendation 1 could result in removing some of the more routine tasks from PAOs or other line officers, allowing them to spend more time on the long-term strategic needs of the agency, or further developing specific skills (Gap 2). The BPR recommendation should also enhance the ability of the agency to communicate to target audiences (Gap 1). There currently is a lack of focused strategy to communicate to urban and non-traditional audiences. Currently in the WO, there is some effort to reach national or 35
    • urban audiences, i.e. some conservation education, fire education, and water education projects. In addition, Civil Rights and Human Resources have some recruiting efforts aimed at diverse populations, and Recreation is involved in an interagency project aimed at promoting public lands as a way for urban residents to pursue healthy activities. Still, there is no integration or strategic focus for these programs. If all Communication/outreach functions were better integrated and managed by a Communication Specialist, Communication could be much more effective in reaching urban and other populations. Both recommendations could also promote skill development (Gap 2), and encourage the use of new technologies (Gap 4). The MEO could develop a new organization that reduces fragmentation and allow employees to specialize in certain areas. It also could build in support of new technologies and could use MEO subcontracts to augment in-house skills. The Team believes that concerns with the organization structure of Communication (Gap 3) could be addressed with both recommendations. However, the Team does not expect radical organization changes such as occurred with the Forest Service Budget and Finance BPR. Both recommendations would support the goal to become more efficient (Gap 5). The Team also considered the Constraints cited in the Introduction when developing the recommendations and do not believe they will be major barriers. The cost to conduct the public- private competition should be well below the Congressional cap of $2.5 million, and the agency should be able to fund the studies. Neither recommendation should result in a major reorganization, such as occurred with Budget & Finance, so the implementation costs and HR workload should be manageable. Recommendations After a thorough review of the data, reports and analysis, and more than two months of meetings, conference calls, and extended discussion, the Team developed the following recommendations: 1. Perform a public-private competition of the following Communication tasks/activities (plus existing contracts that are used to create part or all of the following activities): a. Non-science writing, including newsletters, website, reports, speech preparation, brochures, film scripts, trade publication articles, institutional ads, product or technical collateral materials, and other writing services b. Technical, environmental and other editing services, including editing of peer review publications and general technical reports (GTR) c. Creating multi-media communication d. Recording and editing audio-visual material e. Preparing audio-visual presentations f. Publication design g. Creating artwork h. Managing stock photos, and audio and visual tapes i. Meeting management and facilitation 36
    • These activities are being performed by approximately 130 FTEs. If leadership decides to proceed with this recommendation, the preliminary planning team will further define the parameters of these tasks/activities. 2. Conduct a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) of the Programs, Legislation & Communication (PL&C) Deputy Area plus related programs (the Press Office, Conservation Education, Speechwriting, isolated positions) throughout all Deputy Areas performing Communication functions. Recommendation 1 Cost/Benefit Analysis. The Team prepared a Cost/Benefit Analysis, designed to ensure there is a compelling business case to support the recommendations. This analysis will compare the costs and benefits of all options for fulfilling the function’s technical, programmatic, compliance and management requirements to find the most cost-effective solution. Normally this information is determined once a decision is made to conduct an A-76 cost comparison, rather than in the phase to determine whether a task or activity is suitable for competition. The Team is concerned that this information may give external vendors a competitive advantage. It documents the agency’s baseline costs and possible MEO bid. It also reveals the support contractor estimate from one vendor. This would place this vendor at a disadvantage if the contract support work is competed. In the opinion of the Team, it is procurement sensitive information. The Team recommends that management redact all discussion of baseline costs and savings prior to any distribution of this report. Another concern is that this cost/benefit analysis makes many assumptions. For example, if the agency outsourced 25 percent of the workload of ten employees who work at ten separate locations, it would be inaccurate to assume 25 percent savings in salary, facilities, employee benefits, or overhead—even if the workload of each individual is reduced by 25 percent. The agency may need to keep all ten positions. The estimate will be more accurate if a greater percentage of a position is under study. As per the USDA guidance on feasibility studies, this analysis is composed of Cost, Benefits, and Savings Estimates. All estimates assume a five-year performance period: Cost Estimate. The costs that are included in this section include labor, employee benefits, materials and facilities to execute the functions, contractor expenses associated with preparing for competitive sourcing, and other miscellaneous costs associated with executing the competitive sourcing function. The Communication functions are performed by hundreds of employees and contractors at hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. For activities selected for a public-private competition, a data call will be necessary to be able to determine baseline costs more accurately. This will occur with the Performance Work Statement (PWS) development. During the Feasibility Study, the SMEs estimated the percent of time the agency spends on each of the 115 tasks/activities under consideration. Using the FAIR Inventory FTE figure of 37
    • approximately 750 FTEs of work in Public Affairs, the Team was able to estimate FTEs for each task/activity. The line numbers refer to lines on the Standard Competition Form as defined in Attachment C of Circular A-76. Personnel Costs (Line 1). The Team next consulted a report of all permanent employees and their grades in the GS-1001 and GS-1035 series and eliminated most GS-5 and GS-13 positions, and all GS-14 and above positions. The GS-13 and GS-14 and above positions were viewed as being inherently governmental and not affected by the study and the GS-5 and below positions were assumed to be mainly working in interpretive service or frontliner positions, which were also excluded from the recommendations. Using ratios, the Team determined the appropriate number of positions at each grade. The Study also used the “rest of the U.S.” salary chart, recognizing that it slightly underestimates the true cost, since some employees are in areas with greater locality adjustment. This Study includes these assumptions to estimate labor costs for the tasks/activities recommended for study. The government share of employee benefits was computed using the OMB Circular No. A-76 recommended factor of 32.85 percent. Materials and Supplies (Line 2). The Team assumed that there will be no savings in materials or supplies since the costs of these items would be the same regardless of who performed the work. In addition, it would have required a complex data call to determine these costs. This also assumes no savings for equipment such as computers or vehicles. Therefore, Line 2 is zero. Other Specifically Attributable Costs (Line 3). The Team used the OMB Circular A-76 direction to determine these costs. Based on the Line 1 amount, Compare computed [redacted] for Line 3, the cost of self-insurance. Overhead (Line 4). The Team used the OMB Circular A-76 direction to determine the overhead costs, 12 percent of Line 1. This was [redacted]. This is the cost of line and staff supervision, and administrative services like budget, pay, and human resources. Facilities. This report does not estimate the baseline or post-study facility costs. Doing so would have required a complex data call and estimation to determine the facility costs and another estimate to project savings. The Team decided to be conservative and assume no savings. The Feasibility Study savings projections are more defensible without this estimate. Still, the Team believes that there is potential for a small amount of savings in this area. The USDA guidance on feasibility studies does not require the costs of implementation for an A-76 cost comparison. In addition, the Forest Service uses hundreds of vendors to perform specific tasks such as binding, distribution, editing, CD creation, multimedia, graphics, etc. The Government Printing Office (GPO) produces millions of dollars of work for the Forest Service annually. The cost of work that is currently contracted or sent to the GPO is not included in the Feasibility Study. However, the Team believes that if certain tasks are selected for study, both the work conducted in-house and the contracted work should be included into the scope of the study. 38
    • The Team only requested data from the Washington Office, nine Regional Headquarters, seven Research Stations Headquarters, and Northeastern Area of State and Private Forestry as to the kind of work and value of the work that they contract. This gave an indication of what activities were appropriate for an OMB Circular No. A-76 study. The annual value of the contracts from these Communication offices exceeded [redacted] in products and services (this does not include GPO work or Forest contracts). The Team believes that there is potential for savings with these contracts and that once activities are selected for study, both the work currently conducted by employees and contractors should be included into the scope of the study. It is unclear whether the total cost of the service provided by Communication needs to be included in the baseline costs. For example, if a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) helps an employee locate a vendor to create 1,000 training course CDs, does the baseline cost include only the time it took the PAO to locate a vendor, or does the baseline cost also include the cost of the creating training course CDs? This will need to be clarified during the preliminary planning phase if leadership decides a cost comparison should be conducted. The Team included only the PAO time in its estimate. Below is a summary of the annual baseline costs based on labor and government share of benefit costs for the tasks/activities recommended for an A-76 study: Labor (Line 1 minus benefits) redacted Additional cost to government (e.g. benefits) redacted Materials and facilities (Line 2) redacted Other misc. costs. (Line 3 and Line 4) redacted Total: redacted Contractor Costs. The cost of preparing and conducting a competitive sourcing study can vary significantly depending on type of study, complexity, scope, geographical dispersion of services, length of the study, travel requirements, and the amount of government employee support. For the purposes of this estimate, the Team made the following assumptions: • Contractors would be involved in conducting a study, to include the three months of preliminary planning • A service-wide Standard Study is conducted • This will be a moderately complex study involving 21 tasks/activities • A decision will be made 12 months after formal announcement • Contractors will do most of the work, but will have SME support • One-half of all related meetings would be in the WO area The 15-month contractor expense, including travel, is estimated at between $700,000 and $1,200,000. Additional Costs. The agency will incur additional costs to prepare and conduct a competitive sourcing study. The principal expense is employee travel. The Team projects that the 39
    • incremental cost to conduct this study will be in the range of $100,000. This is based on the assumptions in the Contractor Cost section and that there will be three to four government employees on each team. Benefits Estimate. USDA guidance indicates that the Feasibility Study should make an estimate of the overall public-value added (in dollars) of performing the mission function. Communication functions within the Forest Service include federal, state, local and tribal government relations, as well as community relations, issues management, and employee relations. To help the Forest Service accomplish its goals, Communication provides support by helping develop recreational programs for the public; providing conservation education to students; communicating fire prevention messages; producing and disseminating scientific breakthroughs and information; developing press releases or other messages for the public, press, industry, schools, local governments, and Congress. These actions undoubtedly have value to the public, but no clear methodology exists for calculating these costs and benefits. There is value in studying Communication tasks for reasons other than dollar savings. Communication is one of the fastest changing technologies. The internet and email is a major and relatively new technology, but there are many other new developments as well, including greater use of audio, videos, distance learning, graphics, web meetings, online libraries, and teleconferences. Computers and related software are much more capable and complex, and the changes will accelerate in the future. Delivery methods for information have changed as well. Major recent changes in the way government communicates began with the advent of C-SPAN, quickly followed by 24-hour news channels, the upsurge in internet usage for news access, and most recently, blogging.3 Communication needs to help the agency take advantage of these changing technologies to better support the delivery of the Forest Service mission. This Feasibility Study could help. Savings Analysis. This analysis provides the relative “bottom-line” of each option. This includes current “As-Is” and “To-Be” operations performed by government employees, using consistent methodology for the comparisons. The analysis uses projected savings in today’s dollars, net-present value, break-even saving percentage, and return on investment financial calculations. • OMB has reported that Standard competitive sourcing studies generally result in savings of about 30 percent. o If the study results in 20 percent savings (a conservative estimate), the 21 tasks/activities recommended for study may result in an annual savings of about [redacted] per year. Over five years, this is over [redacted] in today’s dollars. • Assuming inflation of three percent, $1.1 million to conduct the study (contractor and agency costs), and savings of [redacted] annually, the net-present value savings estimate 3 Web logs – known as "blogs" – are web pages used for instant online publishing. The blog site creates opportunities to exchange ideas, share timely news, record events, update projects, show pictures or post writings. Additional information is often provided by posting reference links on the blog site. Readers respond to the blogger through comments made directly onto the blog page. Blogging can be used for play or work, and can be used for work, project posting, file sharing, related links, schedules, and an exchange of ideas on how to get something done. 40
    • is [redacted] over five years. There may be additional savings pertaining to facilities, materials, training, and travel. • The break even savings percentage over a five-year period is [redacted]. Any savings greater than [redacted] will be in excess of the cost to conduct the study. • The return on investment is [redacted] • If support contracts are included into the scope of the study, the potential annual savings is assumed another [redacted]. If the value of the contracts is [redacted] for these 21 tasks/activities, this will be another [redacted] of savings, or [redacted] over five years in today’s dollars. Assuming [redacted] of annual savings and an additional [redacted] in study costs to include contracts in the scope of the study, the net-present value savings estimate is an additional [redacted] in five years. • If additional tasks are added to the scope of the study, there is a potential for additional annual savings of about [redacted] per FTE of work. • If the savings are 10 percent, the annual savings are [redacted], the net-present value savings is [redacted], and the return on investment is [redacted]. Recommendation 2 Cost Benefit Analysis. If a BPR of PL&C functions within the Washington Office is conducted, the focus would be on developing a more effective and efficient operation. However, a savings estimate of 10 to 20 percent would result in [redacted] annually, based on the current salary and benefits for this Deputy area of [redacted]. Factoring in the cost to conduct and implement the study, we estimate that the contractor cost to conduct and implement a BPR would be between $.95 to $1.15 million. In addition, we estimate that there will be $200,000 to $300,000 of additional incremental costs to conduct and implement the study. Assuming $1.3 million in agency incremental and implementation costs (includes both agency and contractor costs) and 10 and 20 percent savings, the 5-year savings would be [redacted]. The 5-year net-present value savings would be [redacted]. The return on investment would be between [redacted] (10 percent savings) and [redacted] (20 percent savings). Acquisition Strategy If leadership proceeds with either recommendation, the Acquisition Strategy will help determine the resources needed to function competitively. This section discusses information such as performance period requirements, the type and scope of the competition, plan of action, performance monitoring, and other considerations. Strategy for Recommendation 1. For the first recommendation, to conduct a public-private competition of 21 Communication functions, the Team recommends the following strategy: • Conduct a single service-wide study • Use the OMB Circular No. A-76 to conduct a Standard Study • Include all existing contracts for similar work activities in the scope of the competition • Do not include Government furnished property • Competition should be a five-year contract (one year with four one-year options) • Structure contract as Indefinite Delivery with Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with fixed rate schedule 41
    • • Current Communication performance levels should be maintained • Metrics should be developed to address issues identified in Performance Gap Analysis • Develop approach to monitor service-wide performance The following describes these recommendations in more detail: Statement of Need: Recommendation 1 of this Feasibility Study calls for an A-76 Standard cost comparison on 21 Communication tasks and activities representing approximately 130 FTEs of work agency-wide. The purpose of this cost comparison is to compare commercial activities performed by the public and private sectors to determine the best value for these services. Responses will be subject to the cost comparison process as described in the OMB Circular No. A-76 (Revised), May 29, 2003. Performance Capability: The selected contractor, Inter Service Support Agreement (ISSA), or Most Efficient Organization (MEO, the government’s internal proposal) will be required to provide the tasks and activities listed in Table 7 in the Analysis and Recommendations section, and clarified in the Performance Work Statement. Delivery or Performance Period Requirements: Announcement of the results of the competition is scheduled for December 2007. The transition of work to contract, ISSA, or MEO is scheduled for six months after the announcement. Type of Competition. The Team concluded that a single, service-wide competition gives the agency the best opportunity to create a most efficient organization (MEO) based on the scale of operations, and allows the vendor to have a workload great enough to dedicate personnel to the agency’s needs. A single competition should also lessen duplication, complexity, and the cost of the competition. In a single competition, the bundle of Communication tasks would be considered as a single offering and national contractors sought to bid for the activities. At the same time, Forest Service leadership would commission a team of Communication employees to analyze the activities and propose the most efficient approach to maintaining these activities within the government Most Efficient Organization (MEO). The proposals would be compared based on criteria including lowest cost, highest efficiency and productivity With a single study of approximately 130 FTEs, a Standard competition is the only choice. Streamlined competitions would be possible if the agency conducts separate studies at Regional and Station levels, or if the tasks/activities were grouped into separate studies, e.g. one study of writing, another of editing, another of meeting facilitation, etc. Even though Streamlined Studies are easier and quicker to conduct, the Team believes that having multiple Streamlined Studies would increase costs and result in less savings. Scope of the Competition. Of 115 activities reviewed in the Feasibility Study, the Team recommends 21 be included in the scope of the public-private competition. As an option, management may delete or add activities to the scope of the competition. 42
    • In addition, some units use contractors to perform the 21 activities recommended for study. The Team recommends contracted work be included into the scope of the study. This increases options and potential savings. Type of Contract/Length: The preferred contract for A-76 is Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) with fixed unit price due to unpredictable workload quantities. The contract should be for one-year with four renewal periods, the agency could adjust the first period to have fiscal year performance periods. During the competition, a representative workload would be used to form the cost estimates. This workload would be used for comparison only, with the workload being multiplied by the fixed unit price to determine the competitive bid. After the competition, the actual workload would be multiplied by the fixed unit price to compensate the service provider. The contract may guarantee a minimum value to encourage a greater number of interested vendors. Other Considerations. A performance-based specification and work statement will allow offerors maximum opportunity to propose their own technical solution to satisfy the identified technical/performance requirements. The PWS Team should also develop the baseline costs of activities under study. In consideration with guidance on Inherently Governmental Positions (Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Policy Letter 92-1, Inherently Governmental Functions), the USDA/ Forest Service should only compete commercial activities in the cost comparison. The agency should create a monthly report that will specifically monitor the study schedule, performance, and costs. The solicitation should not provide any government provided equipment. This minimizes complexity should a contractor obtain the work and is fair since most vendors would not need additional equipment. It does increase the complexity of the study since the MEO will need to price all government-furnished equipment into its proposal. The solicitation should not provide facilities or workspace. This minimizes complexity should a contractor obtain the work and is fair since many vendors would not need the space. It does increase the complexity of the study since the MEO will need to price facilities and space. The government should not supply material or supplies for the completion of the work required by a public-private competition. This minimizes complexity should a contractor obtain the work. However, it is recommended that these materials not be included in the cost comparison. They should be considered a “wash cost” since the materials should cost the same no matter who prevails in the competition. This will also reduce complexity and data calls in regards to the competition. The Preliminary Planning and PWS teams should discuss the pros and cons of these recommendations. 43
    • Plan of Action. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and OMB Circular No. A-76 require the Contracting Officer (CO) to publicize the requirement in the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) at least three times in a 90 calendar-day period, with a minimum of 30 calendar days between each in an effort to locate commercial sources. The agency can determine at the conclusion of the third notice, if necessary, on whether to continue the cost comparison process (available sources) or cancel (no commercial sources) the cost comparison. Potential bidders should be provided information about the competition and be requested to provide their comments on how to improve the PWS and solicitation package. Following release of the Request for Proposal (RFP), the Government should hold a Pre-Proposal Conference to serve as a forum for an open flow of comments, questions, and ideas to improve industry's understanding of the solicitation. All documents related to the competition should be placed on a Forest Service website so that industry can stay abreast of all elements of the cost comparison. The competition between commercial firms/ISSA will be procured through full and open competition. The Government anticipates effective technical and cost competition for this acquisition. Draft versions of the PWS will be posted on the USDA/FS contracting website. The purpose of the draft solicitation will be to give industry the chance to comment before it is in final form. All comments will be reviewed and considered, and the Request for Proposal (RFP) will be released following the Acquisition Plan approval. Additionally, the Bidder's List will include those companies who have expressed interest in subcontracting. A listing of those companies expressing interest in this procurement will be placed on the USDA/FS contracting website so that potential subcontractors can contact potential prime contractors regarding subcontractor opportunities and vice versa. The RFP will also contain appropriate clauses to motivate potential large business offerors to provide subcontracting opportunities for small businesses, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions. While not an OMB Circular No. A-76 requirement, the Team recommends personnel who were not involved in the development of the PWS or MEO conduct a review of the MEO proposal. This is similar to the previous requirement for an independent review. Source Selection Procedures: The acquisition will be a comparison between contractor, ISSA, and MEO using the Tradeoff Source Selection Process described in OMB Circular No. A-76. This “best value” approach recognizes that cost is not the sole factor in source selection and may include evaluation factors like technical approach, integrated management, integrated logistics support, cost, and past performance. The Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB), charged with assuring the FAR and Circular A-76 requirements are met, will document the findings of each individual evaluation and provide summary documentation at the team level. The SSEB will prepare the preliminary and final SSEB Proposal Evaluation Report, which will include the strengths, weakness, and issues for discussion (if any) of each offeror's proposal. The SSEB will brief the Source Selection Authority (SSA) on the findings. 44
    • After the most advantageous proposal is determined, the procuring Contracting Officer will announce the offer selected to compete in the cost comparison and announce the tentative cost comparison decision. Upon conclusion of the public review period, the Contracting Officer will award the contract to the private sector offeror if the cost comparison favors contract performance. If the result of the cost comparison favors Government performance, interested parties will be notified of the result and upon completion of the public review period, the solicitation will be cancelled. Performance Monitoring. The agency must monitor performance regardless of which organization obtains the work. The agency must: • Monitor performance of all performance periods stated in the solicitation • Implement the quality assurance surveillance plan (QASP) • Retain solicitation and performance documentation • Maintain the currency of the contract file, letter of obligation (LOO), or fee-for-service agreement • Record the actual cost of performance by performance period • Monitor, collect, and report performance information The agency should identify the official responsible for performance monitoring. The following Project Lifecycle Schedule Section describes the major steps of the competition and key dates. The Acquisition Strategy, along with the following Project Lifecycle Schedule, will provide the information required for beginning the preliminary planning stage should management decide to proceed with a competitive sourcing study. Strategy for Recommendation 2. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) studies typically do not require an acquisition strategy. Responsibility for monitoring performance falls under the normal supervisory chain of command. Project Lifecycle Schedule The Team developed detailed project plans for the entire project lifecycle, from the Feasibility Study and progressing to all implementation options. This Feasibility Study includes plans for four options: a Standard A-76 cost comparison (12 months and 18 months), a Streamlined cost comparison, and a Business Process Reengineering (BPR). The plans for these distinct activities include all major activities and related tasks, sub-tasks, milestones, and timelines, and were created using Microsoft Project. These plans are located in Appendix V: Generic Plans for Competitive Sourcing and BPR Studies, and are based on working days. The schedules below are calendar days. Project Lifecycle Schedule for Feasibility Study Task Date Kickoff April 28, 2005 45
    • Team delivers Report to Deputy Chiefs (PL&C and OPS) June 30 Send Report to RF&Ds for comment July/August Discuss at various management meetings TBD Finalize Civil Rights Impact Analysis TBD Deputy Chiefs for PL&C and OPS send recommendations to ELT Dec. 2005/Jan.2006 Executive Leadership Team (ELT) makes decision Early FY 2006 If the ELT determines that a public-private competition or BPR is appropriate, the agency can begin preliminary planning for a competitive sourcing competition or the BPR. The following project lifecycle schedules show major deliverables for a 12-month Standard competition, an 18- month Standard competition, a Streamlined competition, and a BPR. The frame of reference for all scenarios is the Public announcement date, or “T date”: Schedule for Standard 12-month Competition (no extension) Task Duration Pre-planning T minus 90 days Public announcement in FedBizOpps.gov T date Develop solicitation T date to Day 120 Issue solicitation Day 121 Develop Agency Tender and commercial offers Day 122 to Day 210 Receive offers and tenders Day 211 Source selection process Day 212 to Day 300 Announce tentative decision Day 315 Final decision Day 365 Implement decision Day 550 Schedule for Standard 18-month Competition (extension) Task Duration Pre-planning (90 Days) T minus 90 days Public announcement in FedBizOpps.gov T date Develop solicitation T date to Day 180 Issue solicitation Day 181 Develop Agency Tender and commercial offers Day 182 to Day 360 Receive offers and tenders Day 365 Source selection process Day 366 to Day 550 Announce tentative decision Day 551 Final decision Day 600 Implement decision Day 780 Schedule for Streamlined Competition with MEO (135 days) Task Date Pre-planning (90 Days) T minus 90 days Public announcement in FedBizOpps.gov T date Develop streamlined and MEO T date to Day 120 Performance Decision Day 121 46
    • Schedule for Business Process Reengineering Task Date Planning (65 days) T-date to Day 65 High-level analysis of current organization (80 days) Day 66 to Day 146 As-Is determination (65 days) Day 147 to Day 210 To-Be development (90 days) Day 211 to Day 300 Announce decision (30 days) Day 330 Transition (180 days) Day 510 47
    • V. Concluding Remarks This Feasibility Study suggested that there is a cost-savings opportunity if the agency decides to conduct a Standard A-76 study on the recommended Communication functions. Additionally, the Team believes the agency would benefit greatly, in terms of improved efficiencies and communications, by conducting a BPR on the Washington Office PL&C Deputy Area and related activities. 48
    • Appendix I: Work Descriptions As discussed earlier in this Feasibility Study, the Team identified the major functions with and related tasks/activities performed by Communication. This section provides more detail on each of the 14 major functions: Communications Products and Services. This functional grouping consists of the production of communications material: writing, editing, art and A/V production, and printing services and oversight. Most of the products and services could be consolidated into a national service center using email and web. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A very low level of uniqueness. Press Office. The Press Office activity provides access, strategic Communication consultations, information, skill enhancement and event services to the Forest Service workforce and the media to help the public understand the Forest Service story. Press Office requires access at local levels, from the WO to the local forest and local research lab. An understanding of regional and local attitudes and environment is also required. The Press Office activity is accessed with regularity by the Forest Service leadership and the workforce on occasion. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A high level of uniqueness. Communications Research. This functional group monitors and researches media, public opinion, and other external information sources for specific information or trends. Most Communication Research can be conducted on a national level with localized input when needed; however, some of the work requires scientific review. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A moderate to high level of uniqueness. Management and Administration. This functional grouping provides supervision and personnel management, budgeting, scheduling, and goals and objectives work that support the Communication function but is not Communication or public relations specific. The number and type of employees locally employed tends to drive the Management and Administration functions. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A low level of uniqueness. Counseling. Counseling services provide advice on how to respond to a situation or issue, or to develop a program. The strongest demand is at the headquarters level, especially with legislative and 49
    • national perspectives involved. With improvements in communications technology, some counseling could be handled from the WO. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A high level of uniqueness. Special Events. The Special Events functional grouping handles the coordination and organization of events ranging from news conferences, visits, awards presentations, and visiting dignitaries. In practice, it is generally best to have local support for Special Events. Uniqueness to Forest Service: Moderate uniqueness. Speaking. Speaking encompasses the actual giving of speeches, coaching speakers and other related activities such as managing the speakers’ bureau. This role sometimes requires the speaker to have a thorough understanding of the Forest Service mission and issues. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A high level of uniqueness. Training. The delivery of training relates to speaking, writing, communications and group dynamics. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A low level of uniqueness. Contact and Relationships. Internal Relations The purpose of the Internal Relations Activity is to provide strategic communications, consultations, information, skill enhancement, visits and events services to the Forest Service workforce and retirees so they can understand Forest Service issues, effectively communicate to others, and perform their jobs more effectively. External Relations The External Relations function aims to advance the Forest Service mission by building relationships with a wide variety of interests ranging from environmental and industry groups to academics and professional societies, as well as the public. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A moderate level of uniqueness. Governmental Relations. The Governmental Relations activity provides coordination, consultation, information, and other services between the agency and governmental contacts such as Congress, staff members, other agencies, and state, local and tribal governments. The goal is to collaborate and jointly make informed decisions that help sustain the nation’s forests and provide benefits to the public. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A high level of uniqueness. 50
    • Conservation Education. Conservation Education activity provides science-based natural resource education services primarily to pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade students, but also to high school students and educators to build awareness, understanding and skills needed to sustain a healthy environment and find interest in natural resources professions. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A high level of uniqueness. Partnerships. The Partnership functional grouping builds relationships with community, business and industry, and other federal or state agencies to achieve mutual goals, realize benefits to people and communities, and contribute to the health, diversity and productivity of natural resources. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A high level of uniqueness. Science Delivery. This grouping has some elements in common with the Communications Products and Services function, such as technical writing, editing, and publications production, but has a different purpose and higher level of technical and policy review. It is also an expanding field that encompasses professional and public education. It is utilizing traditional technologies, such as publications and classroom training, but is also using emerging technologies such as distance learning, interactive websites, and online publications and encyclopedias. Uniqueness to Forest Service: There is a high level of uniqueness regarding the scientific content and policy review of materials. Other work has a low level of uniqueness, although some newer technologies are developmental and are not yet in widespread use. Interpretive Services. This group develops products used in visitor information at site- or Forest-level – aimed particularly to enrich and inform the public’s visit to National Forests. Interpretive Services provide scientific and historical information to the public, develop educational displays and signing, volunteer campground hosts, and special tours and programs. It includes seasonals and volunteers who provide campground programs and on-the-ground visitor contact. This group increases citizen awareness of and connection to the land and resource management. A sub- group includes “frontliners”: employees who regularly meet the public at information sites and reception areas. Frontliners are often the first people the public meets when visiting a National Forest or an administrative site. Uniqueness to Forest Service: A moderate level of uniqueness. 51
    • Appendix II: Location of Communication Employees UNIT SUBUNIT NUMBER DUTY STATION R-01 REGIONAL OFFICE 11 MISSOULA,MT 1 OROFINO,ID BEAVERHEAD-DEERLODG 1 BUTTE,MT 2 DILLON,MT BITTERROOT NF 2 HAMILTON,MT IDAHO PANHANDLE NF 1 COEUR D ALENE,ID CLEARWATER NF 2 OROFINO,ID 1 KAMIAH,ID CUSTER NF 1 RED LODGE,MT FLATHEAD NF 2 HUNGRY HORSE,MT 4 KALISPELL,MT 1 BIGFORK,MT GALLATIN NF 1 WEST YELLOWSTONE,MT 3 BOZEMAN,MT 1 LIVINGSTON,MT HELENA NF 4 HELENA,MT 2 TOWNSEND,MT KOOTENAI NF 2 LIBBY,MT LEWIS & CLARK NF 5 GREAT FALLS,MT 1 CHOTEAU,MT LOLO NF 3 MISSOULA,MT NEZ PERCE NF 2 GRANGEVILLE,ID DAKOTA PRAIRIE GRASS 2 BISMARCK,ND R-02 REGIONAL OFFICE 1 GOLDEN,CO 9 DENVER,CO 1 LAKEWOOD,CO BLACK HILLS NF 1 SUNDANCE,WY 2 CUSTER,SD 1 SPEARFISH,SD GR MESA, UNC & GUNN NF 1 COLLBRAN,CO 1 GRAND JUNCTION,CO 1 GUNNISON,CO 1 DELTA,CO MEDICINE BOW-ROUTT NF 2 LARAMIE,WY 2 STEAMBOAT SPGS,CO 2 YAMPA,CO 1 DOUGLAS,WY 1 KREMMLING,CO NEBRASKA NF 1 WALL,SD 2 CHADRON,NE RIO GRANDE NF 3 MONTE VISTA,CO 1 DEL NORTE,CO 1 CREEDE,CO 1 LA JARA,CO 1 SAGUACHE,CO 52
    • ARAPAHO & ROOSEVELT NF 4 IDAHO SPRINGS,CO 7 FORT COLLINS,CO 3 BOULDER,CO 2 GRANBY,CO 1 GREELEY,CO PIKE & SAN ISABEL NF 2 FAIRPLAY,CO 3 COLORADO SPGS,CO 1 SALIDA,CO 1 CANON CITY,CO 3 PUEBLO,CO 1 LA JUNTA,CO 2 MORRISON,CO 1 LEADVILLE,CO SAN JUAN NF 2 PAGOSA SPGS,CO 1 BAYFIELD,CO 3 DURANGO,CO 1 DOLORES,CO SHOSHONE NF 2 CODY,WY WHITE RIVER NF 1 RIFLE,CO 1 MINTURN,CO 1 ASPEN,CO 1 CARBONDALE,CO 1 SILVERTHORNE,CO 3 GLENWOOD SPGS,CO R-03 REGIONAL OFFICE 6 ALBUQUERQUE,NM 1 PHOENIX,AZ 1 FLAGSTAFF,AZ APACHE-SITGREAVES NF 1 ALPINE,AZ 1 SPRINGERVILLE,AZ CARSON NATIONAL NF 2 TAOS,NM CIBOLA NF 3 TIJERAS,NM 2 GRANTS,NM 1 MAGDALENA,NM 1 MOUNTAINAIR,NM 2 ALBUQUERQUE,NM COCONINO NF 3 FLAGSTAFF,AZ 1 HAPPY JACK,AZ 1 SEDONA,AZ 4 TUCSON,AZ 1 HEREFORD,AZ GILA NF 3 SILVER CITY,NM 1 MIMBRES,NM 1 QUEMADO,NM 1 RESERVE,NM 1 GLENWOOD,NM TRUTH OR 1 CONSEQUENCE,NM KAIBAB NF 3 WILLIAMS,AZ 2 FREDONIA,AZ 53
    • LINCOLN NF 1 ALAMOGORDO,NM 1 CAMP VERDE,AZ 1 PRESCOTT,AZ SANTA FE NF 1 JEMEZ SPRINGS,NM 1 SANTA FE,NM TONTO NF 2 PHOENIX,AZ R-04 REGIONAL OFFICE 1 BOISE,ID 6 OGDEN,UT ASHLEY NF 1 DUTCH JOHN,UT 1 GREEN RIVER,WY 1 VERNAL,UT BOISE NF 1 CASCADE,ID 4 BOISE,ID 1 IDAHO CITY,ID BRIDGER-TETON NF 2 PINEDALE,WY 3 JACKSON,WY DIXIE NF 1 PANGUITCH,UT 1 ESCALANTE,UT 1 CEDAR CITY,UT FISHLAKE NF 1 LOA,UT 1 RICHFIELD,UT 1 PRICE,UT PAYETTE NF 3 MCCALL,ID SALMON-CHALLIS NF 1 MACKAY,ID 4 SALMON,ID SAWTOOTH NF 4 KETCHUM,ID 1 STANLEY,ID 1 TWIN FALLS,ID CARIBOU TARGHEE NF 2 IDAHO FALLS,ID 1 ASHTON,ID 2 ST ANTHONY,ID HUMBOLDT-TOIYABE NF 2 ELKO,NV 3 SPARKS,NV 1 BRIDGEPORT,CA 1 LAS VEGAS,NV 1 CARSON CITY,NV UINTA NF 2 PROVO,UT WASATCH CACHE NF 2 LOGAN,UT 2 OGDEN,UT 1 SALT LAKE CITY,UT R-05 REGIONAL OFFICE 9 VALLEJO,CA 1 SACRAMENTO,CA ANGELES NF 1 GLENDORA,CA 1 SAUGUS,CA 3 ARCADIA,CA CLEVELAND NF 1 ALPINE,CA 2 SAN DIEGO,CA ELDORADO NF 2 PLACERVILLE,CA 1 CAMINO,CA INYO NF 2 MAMMOTH LAKES,CA 54
    • 1 VINING,CA 1 BISHOP,CA 1 LONE PINE,CA KLAMATH NF 1 MOUNT HEBRON,CA 1 HAPPY CAMP,CA 1 FORT JONES,CA 3 YREKA,CA LASSEN NF 2 CHESTER,CA 4 SUSANVILLE,CA 2 FALL RIVER MILLS,CA 1 HAT CREEK,CA LOS PADRES NF 3 GOLETA,CA 1 SANTA MARIA,CA 1 OJAI,CA 1 FILLMORE,CA 1 SANTA BARBARA,CA MENDOCINO NF 1 PASKENTA,CA 2 STONYFORD,CA 1 UPPER LAKE,CA 1 COVELO,CA 2 WILLOWS,CA MODOC NF 2 ALTURAS,CA 1 TULELAKE,CA 1 CEDARVILLE,CA SIX RIVERS NF 3 EUREKA,CA 1 ORLEANS,CA 1 WILLOW CREEK,CA 1 MAD RIVER,CA PLUMAS NF 1 BLAIRSDEN,CA 3 QUINCY,CA 1 OROVILLE,CA SAN BERNARDINO NF 2 MENTONE,CA 2 BIG BEAR CITY,CA 2 SAN BERNARDINO,CA 1 PALM DESERT,CA 1 SKYFOREST,CA 1 IDYLLWILD,CA 1 LYTLE CREEK,CA SEQUOIA NATIONAL FN 1 YOSEMITE NATL PARK,CA 3 SPRINGVILLE,CA 2 LAKE ISABELLA,CA 1 CALIF HOT SPRINGS,CA 1 DUNLAP,CA 2 PORTERVILLE,CA SHASTA-TRINITY NF 2 MOUNTAIN GATE,CA 1 BIG BAR,CA 1 WEAVERVILLE,CA 2 MOUNT SHASTA,CA 3 REDDING,CA SIERRA NF 2 PRATHER,CA 55
    • 3 CLOVIS,CA 2 NORTH FORK,CA STANISLAUS NF 3 PINECREST,CA 2 MI-WUK VILLAGE,CA 2 HATHAWAY PINES,CA 3 SONORA,CA TAHOE NF 5 NEVADA CITY,CA 1 TRUCKEE,CA 1 FOREST HILL,CA LAKE TAHOE BASIN MG 5 SOUTH LAKE TAHOE,CA REINVENTION LAB 1 EUGENE,OR 2 PRESCOTT,AZ 1 COLVILLE,WA 1 COTTONWOOD,AZ 1 MORENCI,AZ 1 PORTLAND,OR 1 BOISE,ID 1 BAINBRIDGE IS WINSLO,WA 1 SPOKANE,WA 1 NEVADA CITY,CA R-06 DESCHUTES NF 5 BEND,OR 1 SISTERS,OR FREMONT-WINEMA NF 2 KLAMATH FALLS,OR GIFFORD PINCHOT NF 3 VANCOUVER,WA 2 AMBOY,WA 1 RANDLE,WA 1 TROUTLAKE,WA MALHEUR NF 1 HINES,OR 3 JOHN DAY,OR MT. BAKER-SNOQUALIMIE NF 1 SKYKOMISH,WA 1 GLACIER,WA ENUMCLAW,WA 1 SEATTLE,WA 3 MOUNTLAKE TERRACE,WA MT. HOOD NF 4 SANDY,OR 3 ESTACADA,OR 1 MT HOOD,OR OCHOCO NF 2 PRINEVILLE,OR OLYMPIC NF 1 HOODSPORT,WA 1 FORKS,WA 2 QUILCENE,WA ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYO 2 CAVE JUNCTION,OR 1 GRANTS PASS,OR 1 GOLD BEACH,OR 1 ASHLAND,OR 3 MEDFORD,OR 1 BROOKINGS,OR SIUSLAW NF 1 HEBO,OR 56
    • 1 WALDPORT,OR 1 REEDSPORT,OR 2 CORVALLIS,OR 1 FLORENCE,OR UMATILLA NF 1 WALLA WALLA,WA 1 HEPPNER,OR 1 PENDLETON,OR UMPQUA NF 1 ROSEBURG,OR 1 COTTAGE GROVE,OR 1 TILLER,OR 2 ROSEBURG,OR WALLOWA-WHITMAN NF 3 BAKER CITY,OR 1 ENTERPRISE,OR 1 LA GRANDE,OR 1 UNITY,OR OKANOGAN-WENATCHEE NF 4 LEAVENWORTH,WA 3 NACHES,WA 2 CLE ELUM,WA 1 TONASKET,WA 2 ENTIAT,WA 5 WENATCHEE,WA 3 OKANOGAN,WA 1 WINTHROP,WA 1 CHELAN,WA WILLAMETTE NF 1 SWEET HOME,OR 1 DETROIT,OR 3 EUGENE,OR COLVILLE NF 1 REPUBLIC,WA 2 COLVILLE,WA 1 SPOKANE,WA COLUMBIA RIVER GRG 2 HOOD RIVER,OR REGIONAL OFFICE 8 PORTLAND,OR R-08 REGIONAL OFFICE 6 ATLANTA,GA NFS IN ALABAMA 1 CENTREVILLE,AL 1 ANDALUSIA,AL 1 TALLADEGA,AL 2 MONTGOMERY,AL DANIEL BOONE NF 2 STANTON,KY 1 LONDON,KY 1 MOREHEAD,KY 4 WINCHESTER,KY CHATTAHOOCHEE-OCONE NF 2 CLARKESVILLE,GA 4 GAINESVILLE,GA 1 BLAIRSVILLE,GA 1 CHATSWORTH,GA 1 LA FAYETTE,GA 1 DAHLONEGA,GA 57
    • 1 BLUE RIDGE,GA CHEROKEE NF 2 PARKSVILLE,TN 2 CLEVELAND,TN NFS IN FLORIDA 1 OLUSTEE,FL 3 TALLAHASSEE,FL 1 ALTOONA,FL KISATCHIE NF 2 PINEVILLE,LA NFS IN MISSISSIPPI 1 FOREST,MS 3 JACKSON,MS 1 MEADVILLE,MS 1 LAUREL,MS GEORGE WASH & JEFF NF 1 MARION,VA 1 NEW MARKET,VA 1 BLACKSBURG,VA 3 ROANOKE,VA 1 NATURAL BRIDGE STA,VA OUACHITA NF 1 JESSIEVILLE,AR 5 HOT SPGS NATL PARK,AR 1 TALIHINA,OK OZARK-ST. FRANCIS NF 1 FIFTYSIX,AR 3 RUSSELLVILLE,AR NFS IN NORTH CAROLINA 4 PISGAH FOREST,NC 4 ASHEVILLE,NC FRAN MARION & SUMTER NF 1 UNION,SC 2 MCCLELLANVILLE,SC 3 COLUMBIA,SC NFS IN TEXAS 3 LUFKIN,TX CARIBBEAN NF 6 RIO GRANDE,PR SAVANNAH RIVER STATION 3 NEW ELLENTON,SC LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES 6 GOLDEN POND,KY 1 DOVER,TN R-09 REGIONAL OFFICE 6 MILWAUKEE,WI CHIPPEWA NF 4 CASS LAKE,MN 2 DEER RIVER,MN HURON-MANISTEE NF 1 OSCODA,MI 4 CADILLAC,MI MARK TWAIN NF 1 DONIPHAN,MO 2 ROLLA,MO OTTAWA NF 1 ONTONAGON,MI 2 WATERSMEET,MI 2 IRONWOOD,MI SHAWNEE NF 4 HARRISBURG,IL SUPERIOR NF 3 ELY,MN 2 COOK,MN 1 AURORA,MN 2 TOFTE,MN 1 GRAND MARAIS,MN 1 DULUTH,MN HIAWATHA NF 1 ESCANABA,MI 58
    • HOOSIER NF 2 BEDFORD,IN CHEQUAM-NICOLET NF 2 RHINELANDER,WI 1 ASHLAND,WI WAYNE NF 1 MARIETTA,OH 2 NELSONVILLE,OH MIDEWIN NTGP 4 WILMINGTON,IL ALLEGHENY NF 4 WARREN,PA 1 BRADFORD,PA MARIENVILLE,PA GREEN MOUNTAIN & FL NFS 3 RUTLAND,VT MONONGAHELA NF 1 RICHWOOD,WV 2 ELKINS,WV WHITE MOUNTAIN NF 2 LACONIA,NH 1 PLYMOUTH,NH 2 CONWAY,NH 2 GORHAM,NH R-10 REGIONAL OFFICE 5 JUNEAU,AK CHUGACH NF 1 GIRDWOOD,AK 1 CORDOVA,AK 3 PORTAGE,AK 1 MOOSE PASS,AK 1 VALDEZ,AK 5 ANCHORAGE,AK TONGASS NF 2 PETERSBURG,AK 1 RED LODGE,MT 4 JUNEAU,AK 4 KETCHIKAN,AK 2 SITKA,AK 1 WRANGELL,AK 1 THORNE BAY,AK RMRS 3 OGDEN,UT 3 FORT COLLINS,CO NC RESEARCH STATION 3 FALCON HEIGHTS,MN NE RESEARCH STATION 5 NEWTOWN SQUARE,PA 1 HAMDEN,CT 1 DELAWARE,OH PNW RESEARCH STATION 1 BLUE RIVER,OR 4 PORTLAND,OR PSW RESEARCH STATION 2 ALBANY,CA 1 REDDING, CA FPL PRODUCTS LAB 8 MADISON,WI SRS RESEARCH STATION 3 ASHEVILLE,NC 1 NEW ORLEANS,LA 2 LINCOLN,NE NA S&PF AREA 1 FREEDOM,NH 3 NEWTOWN SQUARE,PA 59
    • 2 DURHAM,NH 4 MILFORD,PA 1 FALCON HEIGHTS,MN 5 MORGANTOWN,WV OFFICE OF WO COMMUNICATION 26 WASHINGTON,DC INFO RESOURCE MGT 1 COLVILLE,WA SENIOR,YOUTH & VOLUN. 1 ARLINGTON,VA 1 ANACONDA,MT ENGINEERING STAFF 2 SALT LAKE CITY,UT 3 MISSOULA,MT 2 SAN DIMAS,CA RECREATION,HRTG & W 1 WASHINGTON,DC ECOSYSTEM MGT STAFF 1 FORT COLLINS,CO WO-PL&C DEPUTY 1 WASHINGTON,DC FIRE & AVIATION MGT 3 BOISE,ID 1 MARANA,AZ 1 TUCSON,AZ URBAN & COMM FOREST 1 WASHINGTON,DC 60
    • Appendix III: Reference Material Documents consulted: • A Compendium of Studies on USFS Public Affairs and References on the Practice of Public Relations (1990) USDA Forest Service Public Communications National Steering Committee • Alaska Region Strategic Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2006-2008 • Bureau of Land Management Internal Communications Framework (November 2003) • Communication & Outreach Program – Integrated Program of Work Highlights for Regional Strategic Business Plan (Alaska Region, April 2005) • Communication & Outreach Revised Key Outcome and Output Measures (National PAO meeting, DC, January 2005) • Directors and Primary Staff of the Office of Communication (1898 – 1999) • Effective Public Relations (Cutlip) • Federal Acquisition Regulations • GAO: Forest Service – Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment brochure and video materials • Improving Communications and Working Relationships (1991) • National Implementation Plan for the Communications Task Force Report (1992) • Office of Communication Overview Briefing • OMB Circular A-76 • Organizational Assessment, Office of Communications, Washington Office (August 1997). i.e. The Jewell Report • Professional Development Guide for the Public Affairs Officer • Public Affairs Skills for the Developing Manager • Review of the Forest Service’s Office of Communications • Summary of Restrictions on Public Relations Activities Written into U.S. Code • USDA Forest Service Office of Communication: 125 Years of Information and Education • U.S. Forest Service Program/Activity Business Plan Elements (Region 10) • USDA Forest Service Competitive Sourcing Green Plan FY 2005-2009 • USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004-2008 • 2004 FAIR Act Inventory Websites Consulted: • Government Accountability Office: www.gao.gov • International Association of Business Communications: http://www.iabc.com/ • Public Relations Society of America: http://www.prsa.org/ • Society for Technical Communications: http://www.stc.org/about.asp • GSA: http://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/ElibHome • U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.bls.gov/ • Salary.com: http://www.salary.com/home/layoutscripts/homl_display.asp • O’Dwyer’s PR/Marketing Communications: www.odwyerspr.com • Federal Business Opportunities: www.FedBizOpps.gov 61
    • Appendix IV: Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) Certification of Civil Rights Director: As the Agency’s principal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) official, the Director of Civil Rights (CR) is responsible for administering a full range of EEO and Title VI Programs. The Director provides advice and technical guidance on CR matters to the USDA Forest Service Chief and other Agency management officials. This is certification that the Director of CR was actively involved in the planning and implementation of this FMIP study. Date: Director, Civil Rights Reviewed by: Robert Ragos, WO CR Staff; and the Communication Feasibility Study Team Prepared by: Thomas Fitzpatrick, Program Manager, CSPO Executive Summary. It appears women would be the primary group negatively impacted by a study of Communication. Almost three-fourths of those in the Communication occupational series are women. The CRIA recommends several alternatives be considered: • Do not conduct any study on Communication (A-76 or BPR). This would eliminate all potential negative civil rights impacts • Conduct a BPR rather than an A-76 study. This would guarantee that the work would stay in-house, even though positions may be abolished and some employees may be required to transfer to another duty station • Conduct the study on as few FTEs as possible. The smaller the study, the smaller the potential impact There are potential mitigations if a study is conducted: • Recommend an employment freeze on all Communication-related positions • Include existing contracts in the public-private competition • Allow affected employees the opportunity to comment or participate in the competitive sourcing study • Offer and approve early outs and buyouts to affected employees if fewer positions exist in the new organization in the series and grades for placement of the current workforce • Provide detailed information about the rights of employees under a transfer of function or directed reassignment, whichever is relevant • Early notification of Directed Reassignments, if any • Consider other employee assistance tools 62
    • Section 1: Description of Proposed Action. Purpose of CRIA. The overall purpose of this Civil Rights Impact Analysis is to assess the potential effect that conducting a public-private competition of selected tasks and functions in Communication/Public Affairs would have on its employees, and to develop alternatives or mitigations that could lessen any negative impact. This CRIA will be used for the purposes of providing pre-decisional information on potential civil rights impacts prior to the ELT decision concerning a public-private competition in the Communication area. Feasibility Study Plan. In May 2005, the Deputy Chiefs for PL&C and OPS commissioned a Team to conduct a Feasibility Study to determine if any communication tasks/functions could be competed in a public-private competition. The planned completion date was June 30, 2005. These recommendations will be reviewed by managers, union, affected employees, and others. After reviewing the input, the two Deputy Chiefs will make their recommendation to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) prior to December 31, 2005. The ELT will make the final decision on what, if anything, to compete. Communication Function and Tasks. These services are performed by approximately 750 FTEs within the Communication staffs and by others outside the staff. The agency creates thousands of communications products and services, and is involved with the press office, communication research, management, counseling, special events, speaking, training, contact/relationships, governmental relations, conservation education, partnerships, science delivery and interpretive services. These services are provided at all levels of the organization, but the largest staffs/sections are in Regional Offices, Station Headquarters, and the Washington Office. A detailed explanation of the Communication functions and tasks are contained in the Feasibility Study report. Feasibility and Decision Process. Over the past 15 years, there have been at least seven major reviews of Communication with all concluding there was a need for improvement. Several years ago, the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) recommended that the appropriate tasks/functions within Communication be a part of a public-private competition. The ELT estimated that this would be approximately 100 FTEs; this was documented in the Forest Service Green Plan that was sent to the Department in June 2004. In April 2005, the Deputy Chiefs for PL&C and OPS selected a Team to conduct a Feasibility Study of all Communication functions to determine if any tasks/functions should be a part of an OMB Circular No. A-76 public-private competition. The expected completion date for this study is June 30, 2005. 63
    • The Feasibility Study will make recommendations, which will be reviewed by the field, union and others after June 30, 2005. After reviewing comments and discussing the recommendations with others, the Deputy Chiefs for PL&C and OPS will present their own recommendation to the Chief and the Executive Leadership Team for a final decision. This decision is tentatively scheduled for December 2005 or January 2006. Feasibility Report Recommendation. The Feasibility Study report recommends that the Forest Service: • Conduct an A-76 public-private competition of 21 Communication functions. This includes writing products such as news releases, stories, newsletters, reports, etc., editing, and creating multi-media reports and presentations, artwork, and similar products. • Include in the competition both the work conducted by Forest Service employees and the similar work performed by contractors for the Forest Service. • Conduct a service-wide competition and include all activities into a single competition. • Conduct a business process reengineering (BPR) study of how all Communication functions and tasks are being performed in the Washington Office. This would not be limited to the PL&C Deputy Area. Workforce. The 2004 FAIR Act Inventory shows 750 FTEs in the Public Affairs function code Y515. It also shows 30 FTEs in Legislative Affairs (GS-Y620) and 571 FTEs in Administrative Support (GS-Y000) that includes clerical support to Public and Legislative Affairs. A majority of Communication employees are in the GS-1001 General Arts and Information, and GS-1035 Public Affairs occupational series. As of April 5, 2005, there were 747 permanent employees in these two series. These numbers do not include vacancies or employees in Communication or other occupational series. As of April 5, 2005, 203 of these employees were age 55 or above suggesting that these employees are at or near optional retirement. 85 additional employees were age 50-54 suggesting that most of these employees may qualify for an early retirement. Series Age 49 and < Age 50-54 Age 55 and > Total GS-1001 223 85 143 451 GS-1035 155 81 60 296 Combined 378 166 203 747 These two series are represented by 542 women. This is 73 percent of the combined two occupational series. Series Men Women Total GS-1001 114 (25%) 337 (75%) 451 GS-1035 91 (31%) 205 (69%) 296 Combined 205 (27%) 542 (73%) 747 Neither series is diverse from a race or national origin perspective. 64
    • Series Nat. Amer. Asian Black Hispanic White Total GS-1001 24 3 18 32 374 451 GS-1035 3 5 15 19 254 296 Combined 27 (4%) 8 (1%) 33 (4%) 51 (7%) 626 (84%) 747 These occupational series and the associated workforce potentially affected by the Feasibility Study by race, sex, national origin and disability (RSNOD) groups are presented below. Series RSNOD Groups Potentially Impacted * GS-1001 AIF, WF GS-1035 WF Demographic Employee Groups Affected: AIF – American Indian Female AIM – American Indian Male APF – Asian Pacific Female APM – Asian Pacific Male BF - Black Female BM – Black Male HF – Hispanic Female HM – Hispanic Male WF – White Females WM – White Males Section 2: Data Gathering/Employee Involvement. A feasibility study is a potential precursor to an intensive competitive sourcing study that involves a great deal of employee participation and data gathering. As a result, management decided to minimize data gathering and employee involvement during the Feasibility Study portion of the process. The Feasibility Study Team relied on the experience of four subject-matter-experts (SMEs), a large number of previous reviews, and a limited number of data calls on which to base its recommendations. After the Feasibility Study is released, employees and others will be given the opportunity to comment on the recommendations. After reviewing the comments, the Deputy Chiefs for PL&C and OPS will present their recommendations to the ELT. Section 3: Analysis and Net Civil Rights Impact. Public-private competitions could result in abolished positions if the work is transferred to an organization outside the agency. If the work is retained in-house, positions still could be abolished either if the government proposal has significantly fewer positions than the current organization or if the work is transferred to another geographical location. These abolished positions may result in reduction-in-force (RIF), early retirements, or buyouts. Fortunately, it is rare when permanent government employees lose jobs because of a public-private competition. Even if all employees are placed into positions, the overall reduction of positions minimizes opportunities to diversify the workforce. Women make up three-fourths of the occupational series (GS-1001 and GS-1035) and would therefore be the most negatively impacted group. 65
    • The other race and national origin groups would only be minimally impacted since they appear underrepresented in these two occupational series. Likewise, a study of Communication should not have a strong negative impact on persons with disabilities. Section 4: Alternatives and Mitigations. There are several alternatives to the recommendations listed in Section 1: • Do not conduct any study on Communication (A-76 or BPR). This would eliminate all potential negative civil rights impacts. • Conduct a BPR rather than an A-76 study. This would guarantee that the work would stay in-house, even though positions still may be abolished. In addition, employees may be required to transfer to another duty station. • Conduct the study on as few FTEs as possible. The smaller the study, the smaller the potential impact. If a study is conducted, there are several possible mitigations: • Recommend an employment freeze on all Communication-related positions. This restriction should start as soon as possible and stay in effect until the effects of the A-76 study or BPR is understood. • Include existing contracts in the public-private competition to determine if in-house employees can perform the activity more efficiently than contractors can. • Allow affected employees the opportunity to comment on recommendations. • Offer and approve early outs and buyouts to affected employees if there are fewer jobs in the series and grade in the new organization than exist in the workforce to be placed. • Provide detailed information about the rights of employees under a transfer of function or directed reassignment, whichever is relevant. • Early Notification of Directed Reassignments, if any. • Consider other employee assistance tools: o Career Transition Planning Workshops can assist employees to proactively deal with potential career changes. Sessions may include group workshops/individual counseling on retirement planning, how to write resumes, interview techniques, RIF/WRAPS (Reduction in Force/Workforce Restructuring and Placement System, a priority placement listing for displaced or surplus workers) rules, career transitions, outplacement opportunities, career counseling, small business transition information, etc.. o Regions could use Employee Assistance Program (EAP) contractors to conduct career transition sessions with affected employee groups for additional support. o Extensive communication of new services – A team should develop tools, including a website and designated communications liaisons in each region, to communicate the timeline, how jobs will be filled, and how employees will get services from the new organization. o Employees may volunteer for downgrades or reduced work scheduled in an effort to avoid separation. o Grade and/or pay retention will be used in appropriate placement situations involving employees who are involuntarily downgraded during this transition process. 66
    • o Highest Previous Rate (HPR) rules will be used in appropriate placement situations involving employees who voluntarily accept a change to a lower grade. o Formal retraining – The USDA Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides the authority to expend agency funds for the purpose of retraining affected employees to qualify for placement in other series. o When appropriate, local units may waive qualification requirements for non- professional positions in an effort to find placement opportunities for employees. o Transition planning – The process of implementing and staffing the new organization is guided by a transition plan currently being developed. Having a single standardized and documented transition approach that is centrally monitored and managed will help ensure that a consistent, coordinated, and fair approach is used to staff and implement the new organization. o Buyouts and early outs – A window of opportunity for employees to apply for buyout and early out will be available, with two cut-off dates for applying. One cut-off date will occur before transfer notices are sent to employees, and one cut- off date will occur after the notices have been sent out. o Pre-WRAPS – Local units may use pre-WRAPS processes for placements of employees during the reorganization. o WRAPS – The Workforce Restructuring and Placement System (WRAPS) is available for use in providing priority placement to affected employees with skills in additional areas other than Communication. o Outplacement opportunities are available to employees, such as eligibility under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) for priority consideration for local USDA vacancies, and eligibility under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) for priority consideration for local federal vacancies not limited to USDA. Employees are also encouraged to contact other federal agencies informally. State Employment Programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 are also available. o Opportunities for private sector and small business – The results of the feasibility may result in a reduction in federal workforce; it can also result in increased employment opportunities for those in the private sector job market. With Small Business Administration programs, a portion of these employment opportunities can be made available to small disadvantaged, minority-owned and women- owned small business. o Reasonable accommodation request policy and procedures – Region/Station/Area (R/S/A) reasonable accommodation request policy and procedures are in place to provide R/S/A guidance, support, and direction regarding retention and placement of persons with disabilities, in accordance with EEOC Management Directive 715 (ADA of 1990, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Reauthorization 1992). o Local reasonable accommodation requests from employees with disabilities will be considered during all phases of the placement process on a case-by-case basis to facilitate and reduce the effects of decisions resulting from competitive sourcing decisions. Consider Waiver of qualifications in the placement process for reasonable accommodations. o Training on the RIF/TOF/Directed Reassignment process – Human Resources (HR) and Civil Rights (CR) employees can attend training sessions about RIF, 67
    • Transfer of Function, and directed reassignment regulations so that they are able to counsel employees as to their options. o Use of End User Support Center (EUSC) – Persons with disabilities will benefit from the resources available through the EUSC (such as TTY devices, Sametime collaboration software, and remote management tools) that facilitate communication with people with disabilities. Section 5: Monitoring and Evaluation. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Chief for Programs, Legislation, and Communication to ensure that decision-makers are aware of this Civil Rights Impact Analysis and that the alternatives and mitigations are considered. It is also the Deputy Chief’s responsibility to monitor and evaluate the civil rights impact, and ensure that planned mitigations are implemented effectively. 68
    • Appendix V: Generic Plans for Competitive Sourcing / BPR Studies Standard Study (12 months) Standard CS Study (Dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Phase 1. Preliminary Planning 66 days Mon 10/3/05 Mon 1/2/06 Identify need for consultant support 10 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 10/14/05 Identify scope of the study 5 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 10/7/05 Develop business unit(s) 10 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/21/05 Develop project schedule 5 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 10/7/05 Identify/Develop data collection systems 30 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 11/18/05 Determine the type of competition 5 days Fri 11/18/05 Thu 11/24/05 Develop acquisition strategy 3 days Mon 10/10/05 Wed 10/12/05 Develop Source Selection Plan (SSP) Criteria 5 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/14/05 Identify positions under study 10 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/21/05 Identify the baseline costs 15 days Mon 11/21/05 Fri 12/9/05 Identify roles and responsibilities 5 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/14/05 Review pertinent directives, manuals, SOPs, etc., for 10 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/21/05 applicability Develop communications plan 10 days Tue 10/25/05 Mon 11/7/05 Identify CSO; start identifying ATO, CO, HRA, and 5 days Mon 12/12/05 Fri 12/16/05 members for SSA, SSEB, PWS, MEO teams Conduct PWS workshop planning 5 days Mon 12/19/05 Fri 12/23/05 Prepare and coordinate draft announcement 5 days Mon 12/19/05 Fri 12/23/05 Finalize public announcement 3 days Mon 12/26/05 Wed 12/28/05 Prepare briefings as necessary to keep interested parties 5 days Mon 12/19/05 Fri 12/23/05 informed of progress Notify incumbent service providers 3 days Thu 12/29/05 Mon 1/2/06 Phase 2. Public Announcement (Start Date) 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Place official announcement in FedBizOpps 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Notify national and local unions, if applicable 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Prepare individual letters for affected employees 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Provide information to the Public Affairs Office 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Phase 3. Develop and Issue Solicitation 90 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 5/8/06 Conduct PWS workshop kick-off 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Perform PWS workshop and training 5 days Wed 1/4/06 Tue 1/10/06 Begin workload data collection and analysis 66 days Wed 1/11/06 Wed 4/12/06 Perform an Activity Tree Analysis 10 days Wed 1/11/06 Tue 1/24/06 Perform an "As-Is" organizational analysis 30 days Wed 1/11/06 Tue 2/21/06 Document the organizational analysis 5 days Wed 2/22/06 Tue 2/28/06 Begin government furnished property inventory data 60 days Wed 1/11/06 Tue 4/4/06 collection Forecast workload for optional performance years 5 days Wed 3/1/06 Tue 3/7/06 Complete 1st PWS template 45 days Wed 2/22/06 Tue 4/25/06 Determine & insert task standards and acceptable level 5 days Wed 4/26/06 Tue 5/2/06 of quality 69
    • Standard CS Study (Dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Write PWS Section C-1-General Information 5 days Wed 2/22/06 Tue 2/28/06 Write PWS Section C-2-Acrynoms and Definitions 2 days Wed 2/22/06 Thu 2/23/06 Write PWS Section C-3-Government Furnished 3 days Fri 2/24/06 Tue 2/28/06 Property Write PWS Section C-4-Contractor Furnished Property 2 days Wed 3/1/06 Thu 3/2/06 Write PWS Section C-5-Recurring Tasks 30 days Wed 3/8/06 Tue 4/18/06 Write PWS Section C-6--Policies, Directives and 10 days Wed 4/19/06 Tue 5/2/06 Forms Submit draft for PWS Team Official for review 1 days Wed 3/8/06 Wed 3/8/06 Adjust PWS to include PWS Team Leader's comments 14 days Thu 3/9/06 Tue 3/28/06 Complete first draft of PWS using PWS template 5 days Wed 3/8/06 Tue 3/14/06 Develop performance requirement summary (PRS) 5 days Wed 3/8/06 Tue 3/14/06 Review technical data received 14 days Wed 3/8/06 Mon 3/27/06 Submit PWS for industry comments 30 days Wed 3/15/06 Tue 4/25/06 Answer industry questions 14 days Fri 2/24/06 Wed 3/15/06 Review PWS technical exhibits 30 days Thu 3/16/06 Wed 4/26/06 Amend PWS as required, assemble for PWS Team 3 days Mon 4/24/06 Wed 4/26/06 Leader Final PWS Team Leader review 5 days Tue 4/25/06 Mon 5/1/06 Final PWS assembly - deliver to Contracting Officer 2 days Fri 5/5/06 Mon 5/8/06 QASP Development 14 days Fri 2/24/06 Wed 3/15/06 First draft of QASP 10 days Fri 2/24/06 Thu 3/9/06 Brief QASP to government representative 1 days Fri 3/10/06 Fri 3/10/06 Finalize QASP 3 days Mon 3/13/06 Wed 3/15/06 Phase 4. Perform Source Selection 137 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 7/12/06 Determine Source Selection Process 2 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 1/4/06 Determine contract vehicle 2 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 1/4/06 Develop Source Selection POAM 3 days Tue 1/3/06 Thu 1/5/06 Review and finalize Source Selection Evaluation 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Develop SSEB Strategy 2 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 1/4/06 Complete Sections E, H, L, and M 10 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 1/16/06 Issue RFP 3 days Mon 5/8/06 Wed 5/10/06 Proposal submission period 45 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 7/12/06 Phase 5. Develop Offers and Tenders 82 days Mon 5/1/06 Tue 8/22/06 Conduct MEO workshop 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Begin data collection and analysis 45 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 7/12/06 Conduct "As-Is" assessment 10 days Mon 5/1/06 Fri 5/12/06 Perform organizational analysis 14 days Mon 5/1/06 Thu 5/18/06 Research industry standards 1 days Thu 5/11/06 Thu 5/11/06 Conduct process analysis 30 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 6/21/06 Gather historical workload information (e.g., 45 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 7/12/06 overtime) Workload forecasting 1 days Thu 5/11/06 Thu 5/11/06 Identify MEO alternate courses of action 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Prepare MEO course of action results/provide 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 recommendations Develop MEO first draft 10 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/24/06 70
    • Standard CS Study (Dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Conduct first government review 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Develop MEO second draft 3 days Thu 5/11/06 Mon 5/15/06 Conduct government second review 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Conducts Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) 14 days Thu 5/11/06 Tue 5/30/06 Finalize MEO and obtain approval from government 5 days Wed 8/16/06 Tue 8/22/06 Prepare In-House Cost Estimate 15 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/31/06 IHCE training 3 days Thu 5/11/06 Mon 5/15/06 IHCE information gathering 15 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/31/06 winCOMPARE2 data entry 4 days Thu 5/11/06 Tue 5/16/06 Generate COMPARE output 1 days Thu 5/11/06 Thu 5/11/06 Develop Phase-In Plan 10 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/24/06 Draft phase-in document 10 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/24/06 Government review 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Finalize phase-in plan 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Optional Independent Review 31 days Wed 7/12/06 Wed 8/23/06 On-site review 30 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 8/22/06 IRO revisions 15 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 8/1/06 Government review 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Finalize IRO revisions 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 ATO submits solicitations to CO with Letter of 1 days Wed 8/23/06 Wed 8/23/06 Obligation Phase 6. Receive Offers and Tenders 1 days Thu 8/24/06 Thu 8/24/06 Receive and review MEO and private sector offers 1 days Thu 8/24/06 Thu 8/24/06 Phase 7. Make Performance Decision (End Date) 93 days Fri 8/25/06 Tue 1/2/07 Perform source selection 66 days Fri 8/25/06 Fri 11/24/06 Tentative decision 1 days Fri 11/17/06 Fri 11/17/06 Public review period 30 days Mon 11/20/06 Fri 12/29/06 Contest period (Standard study only) 30 days Mon 11/20/06 Fri 12/29/06 Final decision 1 days Fri 12/29/06 Fri 12/29/06 Issue public announcement 1 days Mon 1/1/07 Mon 1/1/07 Perform offerors debriefing 2 days Mon 1/1/07 Tue 1/2/07 Phase 8. Award Contract or Issue Agreement 44 days Wed 1/3/07 Mon 3/5/07 Workforce RIF transition 44 days Wed 1/3/07 Mon 3/5/07 Service provider start date 44 days Wed 1/3/07 Mon 3/5/07 Implement the LOO 44 days Wed 1/3/07 Mon 3/5/07 Phase 9. Perform Post-Competition Accountability 88 days Tue 3/6/07 Thu 7/5/07 Document best practices and lessons learned 10 days Tue 3/6/07 Mon 3/19/07 Track execution of competition 10 days Tue 3/6/07 Mon 3/19/07 Prepare competitive sourcing quarterly report 3 days Tue 3/6/07 Thu 3/8/07 71
    • Standard Study (18 months) Standard Extended CS Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Phase 1. Preliminary Planning 66 days Mon 10/3/05 Mon 1/2/06 Identify need for consultant support 10 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 10/14/05 Identify scope of the study 5 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 10/7/05 Develop business unit(s) 10 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/21/05 Develop project schedule 5 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 10/7/05 Identify/Develop data collection systems 30 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 11/18/05 Determine the type of competition 5 days Fri 11/18/05 Thu 11/24/05 Develop acquisition strategy 3 days Mon 10/10/05 Wed 10/12/05 Develop Source Selection Plan (SSP) Criteria 5 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/14/05 Identify positions under study 10 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/21/05 Identify the baseline costs 15 days Mon 11/21/05 Fri 12/9/05 Identify roles and responsibilities 5 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/14/05 Review pertinent directives, manuals, SOPs, etc., 10 days Mon 10/10/05 Fri 10/21/05 for applicability Develop communications plan 10 days Tue 10/25/05 Mon 11/7/05 Identify CSO; start identifying ATO, CO, HRA, 5 days Mon 12/12/05 Fri 12/16/05 and members for SSA, SSEB, PWS, MEO teams Conduct PWS workshop planning 5 days Mon 12/19/05 Fri 12/23/05 Prepare and coordinate draft announcement 5 days Mon 12/19/05 Fri 12/23/05 Finalize public announcement 3 days Mon 12/26/05 Wed 12/28/05 Prepare briefings as necessary to keep interested 5 days Mon 12/19/05 Fri 12/23/05 parties informed of progress Notify incumbent service providers 3 days Thu 12/29/05 Mon 1/2/06 Phase 2. Public Announcement (Start Date) 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Place official announcement in FedBizOpps 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Notify national and local unions, if applicable 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Prepare individual letters for affected employees 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Provide information to the Public Affairs Office 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Phase 3. Develop and Issue Solicitation 135 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 7/10/06 Conduct PWS workshop kick-off 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Perform PWS workshop and training 5 days Wed 1/4/06 Tue 1/10/06 Begin workload data collection and analysis 88 days Wed 1/11/06 Fri 5/12/06 Perform an Activity Tree Analysis 10 days Wed 1/11/06 Tue 1/24/06 Perform an "As-Is" organizational analysis 30 days Wed 1/11/06 Tue 2/21/06 Document the organizational analysis 5 days Wed 2/22/06 Tue 2/28/06 Begin government furnished property inventory 88 days Wed 1/11/06 Fri 5/12/06 data collection Forecast workload for optional performance years 5 days Wed 3/1/06 Tue 3/7/06 Complete 1st PWS template 45 days Wed 2/22/06 Tue 4/25/06 Determine & insert task standards and acceptable 5 days Wed 4/26/06 Tue 5/2/06 level of quality Write PWS Section C-1-General Information 5 days Wed 2/22/06 Tue 2/28/06 Write PWS Section C-2-Acrynoms and 2 days Wed 2/22/06 Thu 2/23/06 Definitions 72
    • Standard Extended CS Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Write PWS Section C-3-Government Furnished 3 days Fri 2/24/06 Tue 2/28/06 Property Write PWS Section C-4-Contractor Furnished 2 days Wed 3/1/06 Thu 3/2/06 Property Write PWS Section C-5-Recurring Tasks 30 days Wed 3/8/06 Tue 4/18/06 Write PWS Section C-6--Policies, Directives and 10 days Wed 4/19/06 Tue 5/2/06 Forms Submit draft for PWS Team Official for review 1 days Wed 3/8/06 Wed 3/8/06 Adjust PWS to include PWS Team Leader's 14 days Thu 3/9/06 Tue 3/28/06 comments Complete first draft of PWS using PWS template 5 days Wed 3/8/06 Tue 3/14/06 Develop performance requirement summary 5 days Wed 3/8/06 Tue 3/14/06 (PRS) Review technical data received 14 days Wed 3/8/06 Mon 3/27/06 Submit PWS for industry comments 30 days Wed 3/15/06 Tue 4/25/06 Answer industry questions 14 days Fri 2/24/06 Wed 3/15/06 Review PWS technical exhibits 30 days Thu 5/18/06 Wed 6/28/06 Amend PWS as required, assemble for PWS Team 3 days Mon 6/26/06 Wed 6/28/06 Leader Final PWS Team Leader review 5 days Tue 6/27/06 Mon 7/3/06 Final PWS assembly - deliver to Contracting 2 days Fri 7/7/06 Mon 7/10/06 Officer QASP Development 14 days Fri 2/24/06 Wed 3/15/06 First draft of QASP 10 days Fri 2/24/06 Thu 3/9/06 Brief QASP to government representative 1 days Fri 3/10/06 Fri 3/10/06 Finalize QASP 3 days Mon 3/13/06 Wed 3/15/06 Phase 4. Perform Source Selection 202 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 10/11/06 Determine Source Selection Process 2 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 1/4/06 Determine contract vehicle 2 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 1/4/06 Develop Source Selection POAM 3 days Tue 1/3/06 Thu 1/5/06 Review and finalize Source Selection Evaluation 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Develop SSEB Strategy 2 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 1/4/06 Complete Sections E, H, L, and M 10 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 1/16/06 Issue RFP 3 days Fri 7/7/06 Tue 7/11/06 Proposal submission period 66 days Wed 7/12/06 Wed 10/11/06 Phase 5. Develop Offers and Tenders 114 days Wed 7/12/06 Mon 12/18/06 Conduct MEO workshop 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Begin data collection and analysis 45 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 9/12/06 Conduct "As-Is" assessment 10 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/25/06 Perform organizational analysis 14 days Wed 7/12/06 Mon 7/31/06 Research industry standards 1 days Wed 7/12/06 Wed 7/12/06 Conduct process analysis 30 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 8/22/06 Gather historical workload information (e.g., 45 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 9/12/06 overtime) Workload forecasting 1 days Wed 7/12/06 Wed 7/12/06 Identify MEO alternate courses of action 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Prepare MEO course of action results/provide 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 73
    • Standard Extended CS Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date recommendations Develop MEO first draft 10 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/25/06 Conduct first government review 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Develop MEO second draft 3 days Wed 7/12/06 Fri 7/14/06 Conduct government second review 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Conducts Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) 14 days Wed 7/12/06 Mon 7/31/06 Finalize MEO and obtain approval from 5 days Tue 12/12/06 Mon 12/18/06 government Prepare In-House Cost Estimate 15 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 8/1/06 IHCE training 3 days Wed 7/12/06 Fri 7/14/06 IHCE information gathering 15 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 8/1/06 winCOMPARE2 data entry 4 days Wed 7/12/06 Mon 7/17/06 Generate COMPARE output 1 days Wed 7/12/06 Wed 7/12/06 Develop Phase-In Plan 10 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/24/06 Draft phase-in document 10 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/24/06 Government review 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Generate Compare output 5 days Thu 5/11/06 Wed 5/17/06 Optional independent review 81 days Tue 8/29/06 Tue 12/19/06 Onsite review 30 days Tue 11/7/06 Mon 12/18/06 IRO revisions 15 days Tue 8/29/06 Mon 9/18/06 Government review 5 days Tue 8/29/06 Mon 9/4/06 Finalize IRO revisions 5 days Tue 8/29/06 Mon 9/4/06 ATO submits solicitations to CO with Letter of 1 days Tue 12/19/06 Tue 12/19/06 Obligation Phase 6. Receive Offers and Tenders 1 days Wed 12/20/06 Wed 12/20/06 Receives and reviews MEO and private sector 1 days Wed 12/20/06 Wed 12/20/06 offers Phase 7. Make Performance Decision (End Date) 139 days Thu 12/21/06 Tue 7/3/07 Perform source selection 1 days Thu 12/28/06 Thu 12/28/06 Tentative decision 1 days Thu 12/21/06 Thu 12/21/06 Public review period 30 days Mon 5/21/07 Fri 6/29/07 Contest period (Standard study only) 30 days Mon 5/21/07 Fri 6/29/07 Final decision 1 days Fri 6/29/07 Fri 6/29/07 Issue public Announcement 1 days Mon 7/2/07 Mon 7/2/07 Perform Offerors debriefing 2 days Mon 7/2/07 Tue 7/3/07 Phase 8. Award Contract or Issue Agreement 44 days Wed 7/4/07 Mon 9/3/07 Workforce RIF transition 44 days Wed 7/4/07 Mon 9/3/07 Service provider start date 44 days Wed 7/4/07 Mon 9/3/07 Implement the LOO 44 days Wed 7/4/07 Mon 9/3/07 Phase 9. Perform Post Competition 88 days Tue 9/4/07 Thu 1/3/08 Accountability Document best practices and lessons learned 10 days Tue 9/4/07 Mon 9/17/07 Track execution of competition 10 days Tue 9/4/07 Mon 9/17/07 Prepare competitive sourcing quarterly report 3 days Tue 9/4/07 Thu 9/6/07 Monitor performance with QASP/LOO 88 days Tue 9/4/07 Thu 1/3/08 74
    • Streamlined Study Streamlined Competition Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Preliminary Planning Completed 67 days Mon 10/3/05 Tue 1/3/06 Identify project scope and activities groupings 65 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 12/30/05 Assess project workload and data systems 45 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 12/2/05 Determine and document activity baseline costs 45 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 12/2/05 Develop and document initial project schedule 45 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 12/2/05 Determine participant roles and responsibilities 45 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 12/2/05 including support consultants Appoint competition officials and add statement 45 days Mon 10/3/05 Fri 12/2/05 to annual performance evaluation Announce competition in FedBizOpps 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Conduct workforce briefing 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Solicitation Developed and Issued 46 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 3/7/06 Designate and train PWS team members and 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 assign roles Develop Performance Work Statement (PWS) 40 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 2/27/06 Collect and refine requirements and workload 40 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 2/27/06 data Develop government furnished items list 40 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 2/27/06 Develop list of offered supplies 40 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 2/27/06 Develop performance measures and identify 40 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 2/27/06 performance requirements summary items Develop QASP 40 days Tue 1/3/06 Mon 2/27/06 Issue sources sought and pre-solicitation notices 1 days Mon 3/6/06 Mon 3/6/06 in FedBizOpps Prepare solicitation documents 1 days Tue 3/7/06 Tue 3/7/06 Issue solicitation 1 days Tue 3/7/06 Tue 3/7/06 Conduct pre-bidders conference and site visits 1 days Tue 3/7/06 Tue 3/7/06 Cost Estimate Developed 30 days Tue 3/7/06 Mon 4/17/06 Document labor, material and supplies, and 30 days Tue 3/7/06 Mon 4/17/06 other specifically attributable requirements Document costs for labor, material, supplies, 30 days Tue 3/7/06 Mon 4/17/06 and other specifically attributable costs Develop MEO 30 days Tue 3/7/06 Mon 4/17/06 Source Selection Activities Completed 10 days Tue 4/18/06 Mon 5/1/06 Designate and train Source Selection Evaluation 1 days Tue 4/18/06 Tue 4/18/06 Board (SSEB) members and assign roles Evaluate bids and offers 10 days Tue 4/18/06 Mon 5/1/06 Conduct oral presentations 10 days Tue 4/18/06 Mon 5/1/06 Conduct discussions/negotiations with offerors 10 days Tue 4/18/06 Mon 5/1/06 and evaluate final revisions Make source selection 10 days Tue 4/18/06 Mon 5/1/06 Prepare procurement summary and route to 10 days Tue 4/18/06 Mon 5/1/06 director for approval Performance Decision Made 89 days Tue 1/3/06 Fri 5/5/06 Conduct market research, issue solicitation, 87 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 5/3/06 or secure public reimbursable source price 75
    • Streamlined Competition Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Document proposed costs using COMPARE2 87 days Tue 1/3/06 Wed 5/3/06 Make FedBizOpps performance decision 1 days Fri 5/5/06 Fri 5/5/06 announcement Implement Performance Decision 60 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 7/24/06 Issue agency performance decision Letter of 1 days Mon 5/8/06 Mon 5/8/06 Obligation if agency prevails Issue solicitation, conduct solicitation period, 1 days Mon 5/8/06 Mon 5/8/06 and receive proposals if not already completed and agency does not prevail Make Award to Private Sector or Public 60 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 7/24/06 Reimbursable Source if Agency Does Not Prevail Initiate phase-in actions 60 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 7/24/06 Conduct reduction-in force actions (HRA) 60 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 7/24/06 Conduct right of first refusal actions 60 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 7/24/06 Post Competition Accountability Completed 90 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 9/4/06 Post lessons learned to SHARE A-76! 90 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 9/4/06 Update FAIR Act Inventory 90 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 9/4/06 Conduct tracking of competition in OPM 90 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 9/4/06 CAMIS Complete competitive sourcing quarterly report 90 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 9/4/06 Monitor Agency Tender performance if agency 90 days Tue 5/2/06 Mon 9/4/06 prevails 76
    • Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date PLANNING 65 days Fri 9/30/05 Thu 12/29/05 Acquire Contractor Support 31 days Fri 9/30/05 Fri 11/11/05 Determine level of contractor support 1 days Fri 9/30/05 Mon 10/3/05 Develop Statement of Work (SOW) 4 days Mon 10/3/05 Thu 10/6/05 Develop and issue solicitation 8 days Fri 10/7/05 Tue 10/18/05 Respond to requests for information 10 days Wed 10/19/05 Tue 11/1/05 Evaluate proposals 5 days Wed 11/2/05 Tue 11/8/05 Perform source selection 3 days Wed 11/9/05 Fri 11/11/05 Establish Core Team 7 days Fri 11/11/05 Tue 11/22/05 Establish roles 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Develop candidate list 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Contact candidates 5 days Mon 11/14/05 Fri 11/18/05 Coordinate selections 5 days Mon 11/14/05 Fri 11/18/05 Assign roles 5 days Mon 11/14/05 Fri 11/18/05 Notify selected 1 days Mon 11/21/05 Mon 11/21/05 Develop and send appointment memo to 1 days Mon 11/21/05 Mon 11/21/05 supervisor Send RFD memo 2 days Mon 11/21/05 Tue 11/22/05 Establish lotus notes team room 2 days Mon 11/14/05 Tue 11/15/05 Core team established 0 days Fri 11/11/05 Fri 11/11/05 Conduct Team Training 8 days Mon 11/14/05 Wed 11/23/05 Determine training requirements 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Schedule training 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Acquire facility 2 days Mon 11/14/05 Tue 11/15/05 Acquire supplies/equipment 2 days Mon 11/14/05 Tue 11/15/05 Develop training material 5 days Mon 11/14/05 Fri 11/18/05 Review training content 1 days Mon 11/21/05 Mon 11/21/05 Update training content 1 days Tue 11/22/05 Tue 11/22/05 Notify attendees 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Conduct training 1 days Wed 11/23/05 Wed 11/23/05 Develop Project Plan 19 days Mon 11/14/05 Thu 12/8/05 Determine project scope 3 days Mon 11/14/05 Wed 11/16/05 Develop objectives and critical success factors 1 days Thu 11/17/05 Thu 11/17/05 Develop project charter 7 days Mon 11/14/05 Tue 11/22/05 Develop project schedule 7 days Mon 11/14/05 Tue 11/22/05 Develop project budget 8 days Thu 11/17/05 Mon 11/28/05 Develop communications plan 4 days Mon 11/14/05 Thu 11/17/05 Develop project plan 3 days Tue 11/29/05 Thu 12/1/05 Coordinate plan 5 days Fri 12/2/05 Thu 12/8/05 Project plan approved 0 days Thu 12/8/05 Thu 12/8/05 Notify Public 5 days Fri 11/11/05 Fri 11/18/05 Develop communications vehicles (web, 5 days Mon 11/14/05 Fri 11/18/05 77
    • Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date newsletter, etc.) Draft employee announcement memo 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Draft general announcement memo 1 days Mon 11/14/05 Mon 11/14/05 Announcement issued 0 days Fri 11/11/05 Fri 11/11/05 Initial Data Collection 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 Compile/review prior OC efficiency study 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 reports Compile/review prior OC inspection reports 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 Compile/review OC personnel information 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 Compile/review OC organizational information 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 Compile/review OC workload information 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 Compile/review OC strategic plan 15 days Fri 12/9/05 Thu 12/29/05 Identify data requirements 1 days Fri 12/9/05 Fri 12/9/05 Identify current data collection sources/systems 3 days Fri 12/9/05 Tue 12/13/05 HIGH-LEVEL ANALYSIS 81 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 4/24/06 Define organization 4 days Mon 1/2/06 Thu 1/5/06 Identify current mission statement 1 days Mon 1/2/06 Mon 1/2/06 Identify current vision statement 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Identify current organizational goals 1 days Tue 1/3/06 Tue 1/3/06 Conduct SWOT analysis 3 days Tue 1/3/06 Thu 1/5/06 Define processes (high-level) 45 days Fri 1/6/06 Thu 3/9/06 Identify work activities and processes within 3 days Fri 1/6/06 Tue 1/10/06 activities Develop process descriptions 4 days Fri 1/6/06 Wed 1/11/06 Develop process maps 4 days Thu 1/12/06 Tue 1/17/06 Identify workload drivers 1 days Thu 1/12/06 Thu 1/12/06 Identify dependencies 1 days Thu 1/12/06 Thu 1/12/06 Develop data call 3 days Fri 1/13/06 Tue 1/17/06 Compile data call results 30 days Wed 1/18/06 Tue 2/28/06 Clarify inputs 3 days Wed 3/1/06 Fri 3/3/06 Determine As-Is process costs 4 days Mon 3/6/06 Thu 3/9/06 Conduct Benchmarking and Identify Best 15 days Fri 3/10/06 Thu 3/30/06 Practices Identify activities/processes to benchmarks 1 days Fri 3/10/06 Fri 3/10/06 Identify benchmarking partners 1 days Mon 3/13/06 Mon 3/13/06 Collect data 10 days Tue 3/14/06 Mon 3/27/06 Document gaps between As-Is organization and 3 days Tue 3/28/06 Thu 3/30/06 benchmarks Develop Quick Wins 8 days Fri 3/31/06 Tue 4/11/06 Identify process improvements 1 days Fri 3/31/06 Fri 3/31/06 Determine feasibility and cost of "quick wins" 2 days Mon 4/3/06 Tue 4/4/06 Determine impact 4 days Wed 4/5/06 Mon 4/10/06 Develop implementation methodology 5 days Wed 4/5/06 Tue 4/11/06 Determine implementation costs 5 days Wed 4/5/06 Tue 4/11/06 Develop Plan to Proceed 4 days Wed 4/12/06 Mon 4/17/06 Identify processes for further BPR study 4 days Wed 4/12/06 Mon 4/17/06 78
    • Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Develop rationale for further BPR study 4 days Wed 4/12/06 Mon 4/17/06 Identify competitive sourcing business unit 4 days Wed 4/12/06 Mon 4/17/06 Develop competitive sourcing rationale 4 days Wed 4/12/06 Mon 4/17/06 Develop Report 17 days Fri 3/31/06 Mon 4/24/06 Obtain project sponsor approval 1 days Fri 3/31/06 Fri 3/31/06 Develop business case 17 days Fri 3/31/06 Mon 4/24/06 Develop presentation 3 days Fri 3/31/06 Tue 4/4/06 Present business case to NLT 1 days Fri 3/31/06 Fri 3/31/06 Present business case to ELT 1 days Fri 3/31/06 Fri 3/31/06 Review Team Composition 4 days Mon 4/3/06 Thu 4/6/06 Review/reassign roles 1 days Mon 4/3/06 Mon 4/3/06 Identify new candidates 1 days Mon 4/3/06 Mon 4/3/06 Contact new candidates 4 days Mon 4/3/06 Thu 4/6/06 Coordinate selections 4 days Mon 4/3/06 Thu 4/6/06 Assign roles 1 days Mon 4/3/06 Mon 4/3/06 Notify selected 1 days Tue 4/4/06 Tue 4/4/06 Develop and send appointment memo to 1 days Mon 4/3/06 Mon 4/3/06 supervisor Conduct team training 5 days Tue 4/4/06 Mon 4/10/06 Determine training requirements 1 days Tue 4/4/06 Tue 4/4/06 Schedule training 1 days Tue 4/4/06 Tue 4/4/06 Acquire facility 1 days Tue 4/4/06 Tue 4/4/06 Acquire supplies/equipment 1 days Tue 4/4/06 Tue 4/4/06 Revise training material 2 days Wed 4/5/06 Thu 4/6/06 Notify attendees 1 days Fri 4/7/06 Fri 4/7/06 Conduct training 1 days Mon 4/10/06 Mon 4/10/06 Update project plan 2 days Tue 4/11/06 Wed 4/12/06 Update project schedule 2 days Tue 4/11/06 Wed 4/12/06 Update project budget 2 days Tue 4/11/06 Wed 4/12/06 Update communications plan 2 days Tue 4/11/06 Wed 4/12/06 AS-IS DETERMINATION 65 days Wed 4/12/06 Tue 7/11/06 Define processes (detailed) 65 days Wed 4/12/06 Tue 7/11/06 Expand process descriptions 10 days Wed 4/12/06 Tue 4/25/06 Expand process maps 10 days Wed 4/12/06 Tue 4/25/06 Develop data call 10 days Wed 4/26/06 Tue 5/9/06 Field compiles data 30 days Wed 5/10/06 Tue 6/20/06 Compile data call results 5 days Wed 6/21/06 Tue 6/27/06 Determine As-Is process costs 10 days Wed 6/28/06 Tue 7/11/06 TO-BE DEVELOPMENT 90 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 11/14/06 Review Strategic Direction 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Develop / Update mission statement 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Develop / update vision statement 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Develop / update organizational goals 5 days Wed 7/12/06 Tue 7/18/06 Revisit Benchmarking & Best Practices 24 days Wed 7/19/06 Mon 8/21/06 Research organizations 10 days Wed 7/19/06 Tue 8/1/06 Document best practices 10 days Wed 7/19/06 Tue 8/1/06 79
    • Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Study (dates for illustration only) Task Days Start Date End Date Site visit(s) to best practice organization(s) 4 days Wed 8/2/06 Mon 8/7/06 Identify gap between As-Is state and best 10 days Tue 8/8/06 Mon 8/21/06 practice Analyze Processes 25 days Wed 8/2/06 Tue 9/5/06 Identify efficiencies 10 days Wed 8/2/06 Tue 8/15/06 Research implementation feasibility and cost 10 days Wed 8/2/06 Tue 8/15/06 Document efficiencies 10 days Wed 8/2/06 Tue 8/15/06 Revise process descriptions 10 days Wed 8/16/06 Tue 8/29/06 Revise process maps 10 days Wed 8/16/06 Tue 8/29/06 Revise process costs 10 days Wed 8/16/06 Tue 8/29/06 Identify implementation requirements 10 days Wed 8/16/06 Tue 8/29/06 Conduct cost benefit analysis 5 days Wed 8/30/06 Tue 9/5/06 Analyze Technology 25 days Wed 8/2/06 Tue 9/5/06 Assessment of current technology "fit" 5 days Wed 8/2/06 Tue 8/8/06 Evaluation of new technologies 10 days Wed 8/9/06 Tue 8/22/06 Identify implementation requirements 10 days Wed 8/9/06 Tue 8/22/06 Conduct cost benefit analysis 10 days Wed 8/23/06 Tue 9/5/06 Analyze Organizational Structure & Staffing 16 days Wed 8/30/06 Wed 9/20/06 Organize processes into work groups 3 days Wed 8/30/06 Fri 9/1/06 Identify key skills required to perform work 3 days Wed 8/30/06 Fri 9/1/06 Classification decisions 8 days Wed 8/30/06 Fri 9/8/06 Analyze / revise organizational structure 5 days Mon 9/4/06 Fri 9/8/06 Analyze / revise organizational costs 5 days Mon 9/11/06 Fri 9/15/06 Identify implementation requirements 5 days Mon 9/11/06 Fri 9/15/06 Conduct cost benefit analysis 3 days Mon 9/18/06 Wed 9/20/06 Develop Recommendations 39 days Thu 9/21/06 Tue 11/14/06 Identify options 10 days Thu 9/21/06 Wed 10/4/06 Develop options 10 days Thu 9/21/06 Wed 10/4/06 Recommend performance measures 10 days Thu 10/5/06 Wed 10/18/06 Project sponsor review / approval 10 days Thu 10/19/06 Wed 11/1/06 Update business case 7 days Thu 11/2/06 Fri 11/10/06 Present business case to NLT 1 days Mon 11/13/06 Mon 11/13/06 Present business case to ELT 1 days Tue 11/14/06 Tue 11/14/06 ANNOUNCEMENT 1 days Fri 12/15/06 Fri 12/15/06 TRANSITION 180 days Mon 12/18/06 Fri 8/24/07 Develop continuous improvement plan 10 days Mon 12/18/06 Fri 12/29/06 Develop and execute training program 20 days Mon 1/1/07 Fri 1/26/07 Realign resources 149 days Mon 1/29/07 Thu 8/23/07 Operate new design 1 days Fri 8/24/07 Fri 8/24/07 80
    • Appendix VI: Abbreviations/Acronyms ABBREVIATION/ TERM ACRONYM A/V Audiovisual AMC Administrative Management Council B&F Budget and Finance BLM Bureau of Land Management BMP Best Management Practices BPR Business Process Reengineering CO Contracting Officer CRIA Civil Rights Impact Analysis CSPO Competitive Sourcing Program Office CTAP Career Transition Assistance Program DOL Department of Labor ELT Executive Leadership Team EUSC End User Support Center FACA Federal Advisory Committee Act FAIR Act Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act FAR Federal Acquisition Regulations FBO Federal Business Opportunities FS Forest Service FTE Full-Time Equivalent FY Fiscal Year GAO Government Accountability Office GPO Government Printing Office GS General Schedule GSA General Services Administration GTR General Technical Reports HR Human Resources ICTAP Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program IDIQ Indefinite Delivery with Indefinite Quantity IREMCG Inter-regional Ecosystem Management Coordination Group IRM Information Resources Management ISSA Inter Service Support Agreement LOO Letter of Obligation MEO Most Efficient Organization NA Northeastern Area of State and Private Forestry NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NFS National Forest Council NGO Non-governmental Organizations NLT National Leadership Team OFPP Office of Federal Procurement Policy OMB Office of Manpower and Budget 81
    • ABBREVIATION/ TERM ACRONYM OPS Business Operations PAO Public Affairs Officer PL&C Programs, Legislation & Communication PNW Pacific Northwest Research Station PRSA Public Relations Society of America PWS Performance Work Statement QASP Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan RACS Resource Advisory Committee R/S/A Region/Station/Area RFP Request for Proposal RSNOD Race, Sex, National Origin, and Disability RIF Reduction in Force S&PF State and Private Forestry SME Subject Matter Expert SSA Source Selection Authority SSEB Source Selection Evaluation Board USDA United Stated Department of Agriculture WO Washington Office WRAPS Workforce Restructuring and Placement System 82