USGS National Water Quality Laboratory Work With Others Policy

In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 412                                   August 8, 2001


Subject: USGS National Water Quality Laboratory Work With Others Policy

This memo establishes a new policy (see attachment dated 6/1/01) for
negotiating agreements for work directly between the National Water Quality
Laboratory (NWQL) and a non-USGS customer. Based upon the designation of
the NWQL as a national USGS capability and inquiries from other Federal
agencies, non-Federal agencies, and sometimes private-sector entities, to
perform laboratory services that could produce data and information
valuable to the USGS, the NWQL and the Office of Water Quality (OWQ) have
developed specific guidance for handling such requests, preparing
proposals, finalizing agreements, and informing others about these

The new policy is called Work with Others (WWO) and is provided as
attachment 1. The policy details the expected outcomes of this mechanism
and clearly states the limitations and requirements for any agreement
contemplated between the NWQL and a non-USGS customer.  A draft policy was
reviewed by several District chiefs, regional program officers and
water-quality specialists, and the WRD senior staff in October 2000.
Senior staff granted approval for NWQL implementation for a one-year trial
basis.  Implementation of this policy begins immediately, and the policy's
success will be reported to senior staff at the end of fiscal year 2002.

The WWO policy is viewed as another avenue that can be used to help fulfill
the overall mission needs of the USGS while leveraging the resources of
external agencies and entities that make use of our laboratory expertise.
The coordination and communication requirements for such an agreement are
significant and final approval for any agreement rests with the Associate
Director or his designee, the Chief, Office of Water Quality.  The policy
is intended to provide a method for using the expertise and experience of
the NWQL when normal and customary business practices do not fit the need;
it is not intended to circumvent the current business model of program
development or execution used by the water Districts.

The NWQL strives to provide the very best analytical services to its
customers and to be a valued partner and team player in accomplishing the
mission of the USGS.  Initiation of a WWO project should not adversely
impact continuing NWQL commitments nor compete with the private sector. The
use of the NWQL by outside customers must, by design, have a benefit to the
USGS.  Therefore, the WWO policy is viewed as a win/win scenario for the
Bureau as a whole. Questions on this policy or its use should be directed
to Greg Mohrman (gmohrman), Chief, NWQL, or Janice Ward 
(jward), Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality.

                              Janice R. Ward /s/
                              Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality

This memorandum supersedes OWQ Technical Memorandum 93.13.

Distribution:  District Chiefs and District Water-Quality Specialists

cc:  Senior Staff, OWQ Staff, Tim Miller, Diana Rime for NWQL

(See attached file: WWO.attachment.6.1.01)

Janice Ward
Acting Chief, Office of Water Quality
US Geological Survey
Reston, VA