1. INCOMING CORRESPONDENCE.
a. Upon receipt of incoming correspondence from the Board (other than Board
recommendations, which are addressed in Chapter 2), the Department addressee
must verify that the Departmental Representative is on the copy list or promptly
provide him/her with a copy. The Departmental Representative must review
incoming correspondence for required actions and initiate designations of
responsibility, consistent with input from the affected Secretarial Officers and the
Deputy Secretary. When a letter or staff issue report is addressed directly to a
Secretarial Officer or Operations/Area Office Manager, that individual must
assume lead responsibility for determining whether a response to the Board is
necessary and developing and coordinating that response. Responses are
appropriate when the Board requests a response, or when the Department wants to
clarify facts or issues associated with the incoming correspondence. For incoming
letters requiring response, the Departmental Representative's staff must track the
response as a deliverable in the Department's Safety Issues Management System.
b. The following guidelines should be used in responding to incoming
(1) The Responsible Manager should evaluate the implications of the
information contained in the letter or staff issue report on the subject
facilities and programs. Coordinating with the affected Departmental
elements, he/she should develop a coordinated response to the Board. The
Departmental Representative will assist the Responsible Manager with the
resolution of internal disagreements or conflicts, as requested.
(2) The Responsible Manager must describe commitments and noted actions
contained in the response in a manner consistent with the guidance on
making commitments (see Chapter IV, paragraph 2).
(3) The Responsible Manager must route the final version of the letter for
concurrence to those organizations affected by the commitments contained
in the response and to the Departmental Representative. Unless otherwise
specified by the Board letter or staff issue report, the coordinated response
should be transmitted to the Board within 45 days from the date of the
initiating letter or receipt of the issue report.
(4) For responses that require more than 45 days to prepare (or require more
preparation time than that specified by the Board in its information
request), the Responsible Manager should prepare and transmit a letter
acknowledging receipt of the initiating letter or staff issue report, and
providing the Department's plans and schedule for response.
(5) The Board routinely transmits staff trip reports and technical issue reports
to the Department, sometimes for action and sometimes for information
only. The Board's policy is to transmit these reports to the Department if,
in the Board's view, the reports contain safety information that might
prove useful to the Secretary, the Department, and site contractors in their
joint pursuit of safer conditions and practices at defense nuclear facilities.
The Board has been most interested in conveying information that will
accomplish one of the following purposes:
(a) stimulate line management self-assessment of questionable
practices or operations;
2. OUTGOING CORRESPONDENCE.
(b) assist in determining the root causes of specific safety problems; or
(c) aid in identifying generic problems at facilities that might benefit
from cross-transfer of remedial know-how from other facilities that
faced similar problems (see Chapter I, subparagraph 2c).
a. Each office and organization should take particular care in preparing and
reviewing outgoing correspondence to the Board to ensure that it is complete,
accurate, and consistent. To help achieve this objective, the originating
organization must provide for review of all applicable correspondence (with the
exception of responses to information requests) by the Office of the Departmental
Representative prior to transmittal to the Board.
b. The Responsible Manager must route outgoing correspondence containing
commitments to the Board for concurrence to those organizations affected by the
commitments and to the Departmental Representative. A copy of the outgoing
correspondence and the associated signature concurrences must be established and
maintained by the cognizant organization. The Departmental Representative's
staff will process commitments in accordance with the Safety Issues Management
c. The Responsible Manager must use the following approval guidelines to
determine the minimum approval level for outgoing correspondence to the Board.
|Type of Correspondence
|Correspondence establishing Departmental
commitments or policy, such as
recommendation responses, implementation
plans, responses to Board requests for
action, and responses to staff issue report
||Addressee on Board letter or
recommendation (typically, the Secretary or
|Production and delivery of existing
publications, documents, and letters
||Responsible Managers; points of contact;
3. DISTRIBUTION AND RETENTION.
d. The Responsible Manager should address formal correspondence to the Board to
the Board chairman (for example, The Honorable John T. Conway, Chairman)
with the salutation of "Dear Mr. Chairman:".
e. The Responsible Manager should provide an electronic copy of outgoing
correspondence to the Office of the Departmental Representative, which will post
this information on the Department's Information Archive of Board-related
a. The Departmental Representative is responsible for the internal distribution,
retention, and subsequent retrieval of incoming correspondence from the Board or
its staff. To accomplish this responsibility, the Departmental Representative's
(1) maintain standard distribution lists;
b. The originating office must distribute outgoing correspondence to the Board or its
staff. The Departmental Representative's staff can assist in distribution of
outgoing correspondence, if necessary.
(2) provide a weekly summary to interested parties;
(3) maintain an information archive of Board-related correspondence that is
accessible via the Internet; and
(4) provide timely and direct dissemination of Board-related correspondence
that contains time-sensitive or high-interest information.
c. Departmental elements may acquire copies of incoming or outgoing
correspondence by accessing the Information Archive on the Departmental
Representative's web site or by contacting the Departmental Representative's
4. INFORMATION ARCHIVE.
d. The Departmental Representative must review Board-related correspondence for
potential generic implications and transmit such documents to the appropriate
organizations for their review. Standard distribution of Board-related
correspondence by the Departmental Representative should include the Deputy
Secretary, Secretarial Officers, affected Operations/Area Office Managers, and the
corresponding points of contact. The points of contact should distribute
correspondence within their respective organizations.
e. Departmental elements that develop or identify Board-related information should
evaluate this information for potential generic applications to other Departmental
programs and sites. Points of contact should transmit information of generic
interest to the Departmental Representative, whose staff will make internal
distribution of this information, as appropriate.
a. The Departmental Representative must maintain the Department/Board
Information Archive of documents and letters to, from, by, or relevant to the
Department/Board interaction. The Information Archive is formatted for viewing
on the Internet using most Internet browsers. The user may also download (i.e.,
save to a file) many documents within the Information Archive. Departmental
personnel with questions regarding access to or contents of the Information
Archive should contact the Departmental Representative's office.
b. The following types of documents are included in the Information Archive:
(1) Board recommendations;
(2) Departmental responses and implementation plans;
c. The uniform resource locator (Internet address) for the Departmental
Representative's web site is http://www.hss.energy.gov/DepRep/.
(3) Departmental letters to the Board;
(4) Board letters to the Department;
(5) public meeting notices;
(6) policy statements and letters from the Secretary and the Board;
(7) Annual Reports to Congress from the Secretary and the Board concerning
(8) Board technical reports;
(9) resumes of the Board members;
(10) this Manual; and
(11) staff issue and trip reports provided to the Department by the Board.