[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 192 (Friday, October 3, 1997)]
[Pages 51896-51898]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-26265]



National Park Service

Notice of Availability of Director's Order Concerning 
Relationships Between the National Park Service and Cooperating 

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Public Notice.


SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is converting and updating its 
current system of internal instructions to a three-level system 
consisting of: (1) NPS Management Policies; (2) Director's Orders; and 
(3) Reference Manuals/Handbooks and other helpful information. When 
these documents contain new policy or procedural requirements that may 
affect parties outside the NPS, this information is being made 
available for public comment. Director's Order #32 establishes 
operational policies and procedural guidance concerning relationships 
between the NPS and Cooperating Associations. Cooperating Associations 
are private, nonprofit organizations that provide educational services 
in many areas of the National Park System.

DATES: Written comments will be accepted until November 3, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Glenn Clark, Servicewide Cooperating 
Association Coordinator, Room 7312, National Park Service, 1849 C 
Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

Glenn Clark at 202-565-1058.


Director's Order, #32: Cooperating Associations

1. Purpose and objective

    Cooperating Associations (Associations) are private nonprofit 
corporations established under state law. They support the educational, 
scientific, historical, and interpretive activities of the National 
Park Service (Service) in a variety of ways, under the provisions of 
formal agreements with the Service. For many years, Associations have 
been among the Service's most effective supporters. This Director's 
Order is intended to help ensure the success of the relationship 
between the Service and Associations by specifying operational policies 
and procedural requirements governing relationships between the Service 
and Associations. In combination with Reference Manual #32, it 
supersedes and replaces the Cooperating Associations Guideline (NPS-32) 
and instructional memoranda that have been issued in years past.
    This ``Level 2'' Director's Order is not intended to document all 
the NPS's policies, procedures, practices and requirements applicable 
to relationships with Associations. For a comprehensive compilation of 
those materials, employees must refer to the ``Level 3'' Cooperating 
Association Reference Manual issued by the Associate Director, Park 
Operations and Education. The ``Level 1'' NPS Management Policies 
remain applicable and serve as the basic foundation for the Level 2 and 
Level 3 documents.

2. Authorities

    16 U.S.C. Sec 1-3, 6, 17j-2(e).

3. Policies/Instructions/Requirements

    3.1  The Associate Director, Park Operations and Education is 
delegated the responsibility to issue a reference manual outlining 
specific procedures that support policy, mandatory requirements and 
operational procedures.
    3.2  Authority to designate associations. Where an Association 
serves one or more park areas within a region, authority to designate 
an Association is delegated to the regional director and may not be 
redelegated to superintendents. When an Association serves park areas 
in more than one region, designation authority resides with the 
Director, National Park Service.
    3.3  Tax exempt status. Associations must obtain and maintain 
recognition by the Internal Revenue Service of tax exemption under 
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to operate in areas of 
the National Park System.
    3.4  Service employee's role.
    3.4.1  Ethical conduct. In dealing with Associations, all Service 
staff must comply with 5 CFR Part 2635, ``Standards of Ethical Conduct 
for Employees of the Executive Branch.''
    3.4.2  Relation to boards. 3.4.2a  Service employees may not serve 
on Association boards, even in an ex-officio capacity, and may not 
participate in Association Decisions concerning the relationship of the 
Association to the Service, or represent the Association in business 
transactions or operations. However, as authorized by Public Law 79-
633, Service employees may assist Association operations.
    3.4.2b  Service representatives may attend Association meetings in 
an advisory, non-voting capacity, but may not participate in executive 
sessions of an Association board unless invited.
    3.5  The Associate Director, Park Operations and Education will 
develop a standard, non-negotiable Cooperating Association Agreement. 
This agreement will incorporate the policy and procedural requirements 
set forth in this Director's Order, the provisions listed below, and 
any additional requirements imposed by higher authorities or by the 
Associate Director, Park Operations and Education, where specifically 
authorized by this Director's Order. Service related activities 
performed by Associations not addressed in the Agreement must be 
addressed in supplemental agreements.
    3.5.1  Association responsibilities. 3.5.1a  Association boards of 
directors will notify the Service of board meetings and will invite 
appropriate Service representatives to board meetings and to 
appropriate committee meetings.
    3.5.1b  Association employees are not authorized to undertake any 
government function or activity on behalf of the Service beyond routine 
visitor information services or other activities authorized by the 
Cooperating Association Agreement, supplements to the agreement, or 
agreements for voluntary services.
    3.5.1c  If Association employees perform functions normally carried 
out by Service employees other than under 3.5.1b, they must do so as 
Service volunteers (VIPs).
    3.5.1d  Associations may not use the ``Agreement for Voluntary 
Services'' to circumvent any requirements for insurance coverage 
included in the Cooperating Association Agreement or in this Order.
    3.5.1e  Association employees may not engage in activities that 
would lead the public to reasonably conclude that they are government 
employees. Association employees who engage in public contact must wear 
some readily identifiable indication of Association affiliation, but 
Association employees may not wear Service or other government 
    3.5.2  Sales activities.  General Requirements.  Sales must support the purposes of Associations as stated 
in their articles of incorporation.  Associations must display a sign that identifies the 
sales outlet as a nonprofit activity of the officially approved 
Association for the site.
    3.5.3  Sales item approval.

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    3.5.3a  Items sold in park areas, through mail order catalogs, and 
at off-site sales outlets (excluding those sales outlets operated by an 
Association in partnership with other government entities) must be 
approved in advance by the superintendent for price, quality, 
interpretive value, and accuracy.
    3.5.3b  The sales of visitor convenience items must be conducted 
under the authority of the Concessions Policy Act and must be managed 
in the same manner as concession permits/contracts issued to 
concessioners. However, Associations must relinquish any preferential 
right to the renewal of those permits.
    3.5.3c  Associations may not sell material that violates 
conservation principles of the Service.
    The sale of original prehistoric or historic artifacts or 
paleontological specimens is prohibited. Replicas of such artifacts and 
specimens must be clearly labeled as such.
    3.5.3d  Craft items represented as being Indian-made shall be sold 
in accordance with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-
644 [104 Stat. 4662], November 29, 1990).
    3.5.3e  Paid advertising in sales items (i.e., journals with 
advertising) must be incidental to the interpretive value or message of 
an item. Advertising or vendor information may not imply endorsement by 
the Service.
    3.5.4  Off-site sales operations.
    3.5.4.a  Associations must obtain Service approval before 
commencing business operations in off-site sales outlets that do not 
serve other government entities.
    3.5.4b  An Association must consult with the Service when 
considering operating an off-site sales outlet for another government 
    3.5.4c  The superintendent will periodically review the off-site 
sales activities of Associations to ensure that Service interests are 
    3.5.5  Interpretive activities.
    3.5.5a  Interpretive activities conducted by Associations in parks 
must be approved in advance by the Service.
    3.5.5b  The Association and the superintendent of the affected park 
area will establish standard operating procedures for conducting 
interpretive programs and activities.
    3.5.5c  All interpretive programs conducted by Associations on 
behalf of the Service will be audited by the Service for content, 
accuracy, and effective delivery.
    3.5.5d  The Service will assist the Association in providing 
training to Association staff appropriate to their interpretive 
    3.5.5e  Any fees charged must first be approved by the park 
    3.5.5f  Collections of fees for fee interpretation must meet 
Service standards for accountability and security of funds.
    3.5.6  Facilities and equipment.
    3.5.6a  The Service will provide Associations with suitable sales 
areas and other facilities to conduct business. The Service reserves 
the right to relocate or withdraw any such facilities (upon reasonable 
notice) in order to meet the needs of the Service.
    3.5.6b  The Service will reserve the right to conduct inspections 
of provided facilities whenever it deems necessary.
    3.5.6c  The Service will provide Associations with routine 
maintenance and repair services and utilities such as water, 
electricity, heat, and air conditioning at each assigned facility, to 
the extent these services and utilities are required for the operation 
of the building for governmental purposes. Other maintenance and repair 
services and utilities will be provided by the Association or provided 
to the Association by the Service on a reimbursable basis.
    3.5.6d  The Service and Association will negotiate a maintenance 
and operations plan for those facilities governed by a supplemental 
    3.5.6e  All Association plans for construction, redesign, or 
renovation of in-park facilities must be approved in advance by the 
Service, and must be implemented in accordance with the Service's 
normal design and construction procedures.
    3.5.6f  If buildings are constructed on Service property by 
Associations, the buildings must be the property of the Service.
    3.5.6g  When the Service designs and constructs new facilities that 
will house Association activities, the Association will be included in 
the planning and design and will be given the opportunity to review and 
comment on preliminary and final design plans.
    3.6.6h  With prior approval from the superintendent, Associations 
are permitted incidental use of government-owned or leased vehicles, 
provided that the use is solely for work authorized under the 
Cooperating Association Agreement or associated supplemental 
    3.5.7  Postage.
    Associations may not use government postage.
    3.5.8  Administrative requirements.
    3.5.8a  Audit.
    A financial statement audit is required for Associations with 
annual gross revenue of $1,000,000 or more; a financial statement 
review is required for Associations with gross revenue of $250,000 to 
$1,000,000. For additional information refer to RM-32.
    3.5.8b  Annual Report.
    Each Association must submit an annual financial report consisting 
of the NPS Form 10-40, IRS Form 990 (or 990EZ and 990T, if 
appropriate), a copy of the year's audited or reviewed financial 
statement, and a brief narrative of the year's activities and 
    3.5.8c  Insurance.
    Each Association must carry adequate liability insurance with a 
minimum of $100,000.00 protection unless more is prescribed by the 
Service. In addition, The United States of America will be named as an 
additional insured on all such policies.
    3.6  Future cooperating association agreements
    The following provisions are effective immediately, and will be 
incorporated into the standard Cooperating Association Agreement when 
it is revised in 1999:
    3.61  Donations to associations.
    3.6.1a  Donations will be governed by Director's Order #21--
Donations and Fundraising.
    3.6.1b  Associations will accept donations only for the purposes 
described in their articles of incorporation.
    3.6.1c  When an Association accepts a donation on behalf of the 
Service, the Association is accountable to the donor for the use of the 
    3.6.2  Donations from associations.
    3.6.2a  The level of aid to the Service appropriate to each 
Association must be determined jointly by the Association and the NPS 
based upon the nature and extent of the Association's activities and 
the needs of the Service.
    3.6.2b  Regional Directors are delegated the authority and 
responsibility to approve donations in the following categories before 
they are accepted:

1. Major research projects
2. Land acquisitions
3. Interpretive/educational facilities
4. Historic preservation/restoration projects

    3.6.2c  Service managers will not accept donations from 
Associations to fund any government personnel salaries.
    3.6.2d  When the Service accepts a donation from an Association, 
timely completion of the funded project and fund accountability are 
required, and a report made to the Association upon request.
    3.6.3  Fundraising by cooperating associations.

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    3.6.3a  Fundraising by Associations will be governed by Director's 
Order #21--Donations and Fundraising.
Bob Huggins,
Acting Program Manager, Interpretation and Education Division.
[FR Doc. 97-26265 Filed 10-2-97; 8:45 am]