Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)
Chapter 0-500 LHWCA COMMUNICATIONS AND DIRECTIVES
1. Purpose and Scope. This Chapter describes the communications and directives system authorized for the DLHWC. It establishes responsibilities and procedures for the issuance of policies, procedures, guidelines, and staff instructions applicable to the preparation, clearance, approval, and publication of those directives.
a. Federal Property Management Regulation (FPMR) 101-11.209-3 requires, among other things, the establishment of agency directives programs that will:
(1) Establish and maintain a system for the classification, codification, and supplementation of agency directives.
(2) Document policies, standards, procedures, and standing instructions.
(3) Preserve directives as an integral part of agency documentation deserving permanent preservation.
(4) Describe in writing the standards, guides, and instructions developed for the preparation, clearance, and issuance of directives.
b. Departmental Regulations (DLMS 1-100 and OWCP AM 1-100 and 1-101) require the DLHWC to maintain a directives management program in compliance with statutory, regulatory, USDOL, and other requirements.
3. Authorized Directives. Authorized directives for the DLHWC are those established by Chapter 1-101 of the OWCP AM and include both internal and external releases as follows:
a. External directives which may consist of either formal or informal releases or other documents.
(1) Formal releases include Federal Register rules or notices pertaining thereto, and other written instructions which initiate or govern the actions, conduct, or procedures of the DLHWC and the public when involved with programs administered under the Authority of the Longshore Act as extended (20 C.F.R. Parts 701-704).
(2) Informal releases include Notices to Insurance Carriers and Self-Insured Employers. "One time" report requirements, notices of annual assessments and similar communications are also included.
b. Internal directives fall into three categories: permanent (or indefinite-until-superseded), temporary/one-time, and informational.
(1) Permanent directives include all standing instructions, policies, forms, form letters, guidelines, and procedures. They require specific performance or continuing activity and remain in force until rescinded or superseded and replaced. Included in this body of material are the following:
(a) LHWCA Procedure Manual (LHWCA PM), its component volumes, Parts, and supplements which are distributed by PM Transmittals.
(b) LHWCA Program Memorandums (LHWCA MEMOS) which provide case histories, background, judicial rationale, and other details inappropriate for inclusion in a manual of procedural directives. LHWCA MEMOS clearly cite the PM chapter provisions to which they refer. As new LHWCA MEMOs are issued, they are simultaneously accompanied by the issue of revised or new PM pages briefly stating the new decisions, criteria, or implementing procedures.
(c) Other guides include the DOL Correspondence Guide, DLMS Handbook 1-2, the GPO Style Manual, and other such guides as may be described in and authorized for use by the LHWCA PM.
(2) Temporary/one-time directives are issued as LHWCA Bulletins. They require or invite action from two or more district offices, may concern Longshore and other ESA personnel, and are effective only until the required action is completed. Bulletins may involve one-time or special reports, pilot procedures, arrangements for training classes or rotating assignments over a specified period of time, or specific instructions affecting an EC whose business extends into more than one district. Bulletins must always bear an expiration date upon issue and a reference to any PM chapters affected. They may be discarded when expired or when required action is completed. Bulletins are published on blue letterhead.
(3) Informational directives are issued as LHWCA Circulars. Circulars require no specific action and are used to transmit copies of preliminary legal decisions, announcements of personnel changes, interesting events or activities, or other items of informational value; to call attention to standing instructions or performance standards which may require compliance or improvement; to announce proposed plans or anticipated program changes; or to keep field offices informed of the activities and interests of the NO. Circulars are reproduced on white letterhead.
4. Records Required. The record copy of each directive issued by the DLHWC shall be retained in the Office of the Director, OWCP. The record copy shall be accompanied by essential supporting documents such as clearance forms and comments, and a copy of the document used to transmit the issuance, appropriately coded and cross-referenced in accordance with the standard subject matter correspondence classification codes established for the OWCP.
5. Style and Format. The style and format of the LHWCA PM shall follow that illustrated in this Chapter. (Also see PM 10-300, Exhibit 3 for the format of the Bulletin, Exhibit 4 for the LHWCA Circular, Exhibit 5 for the format of an LHWCA Transmittal, and Exhibit 6 for the LHWCA Notice.)
a. Margins. Margins are as illustrated on this page.
b. Page Headings. The name of the Manual, the Part number and title, and the chapter number and title appear at the top of each page.
c. Paragraphs. The primary breakdown of the Chapter is the paragraph. Within each Chapter, each paragraph is designated by an Arabic numeral followed by a period. Each paragraph should be identified by a title typed two spaces after the number, in upper and lower case, and underlined. Paragraphs are subdivided as follows:
a. First Subdivision
(1) Second Subdivision
(a) Third Subdivision
(ii) Fourth Subdivision
d. Exhibits. Forms will be arranged numerically in PM Chapter 10-200 of LHWCA PM. They are numbered at the lower right corner and are paginated only when an Exhibit consists of more than one page, see PM 10-300. Illustrations, graphics, reprints, charts, and other exhibits will be contained in PM 10-300.
e. Notices. The style and format of LHWCA Notices to Insurance Carrier and Self-Insured Employers Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act as Extended shall be as illustrated in Exhibit 6, PM 10-300.
6. Method of Issue. New and revised Chapters and pages of all Procedure Manuals are distributed by numbered PM Transmittals (Exhibit 5, PM 10-300) containing an explanation of the material transmitted, and filing instructions for the removal of any superseded pages and the insertion of new or revised pages. When the indicated actions have been completed, file the Transmittal sheet behind the checklist which is located at the end of the List of Chapters in the front of the LHWCA PM.
a. Changes. Avoid the use of pen-and-ink changes. Use them only to change reference or form numbers or to correct typographical errors. For language changes, either minor or substantive, re-issue the entire page or chapter.
b. Page Identification. Each page will include the Part of the Manual and the Chapter title and number.
7. Reproduction and Distribution. This is provided by the Office of the Director, OWCP. That office prepares the necessary printing requisitions and arranges for distribution to all manual holders. Distribution codes are structured to the number, level, and category of manual holders on a need-to-know basis.
8. Maintenance of Procedure Manuals. In each office or work place at which a Manual is maintained, one employee shall be given the responsibility of filing new material and maintaining it on an up-to-date basis.
a. Filing Instructions. Procedure Manuals are subdivided into and maintained in separate volumes or binders by Part, chapter, and paragraph. Pages are numbered beginning with "1" within each chapter. Exhibits are filed numerically in Part 10. Specific filing instructions for each new group of pages is included in the PM Transmittal.
b. Checklists. These are issued periodically identifying the chapters and pages currently in effect. Each checklist is cumulative and supersedes its previous editions. When a new checklist is received, the employee responsible for maintaining the PM shall:
(1) Remove and destroy PM pages not listed.
(2) Identify and obtain listed material which is not included in the Procedure Manual.
(3) Destroy the Transmittals which have accumulated behind the previous checklist. Keep only the latest checklist in the Manual.
a. Development, Preparation, and Updating. The Branch of Policies, Regulations, and Procedures is responsible for:
(1) Preparing and updating standing instructions, policies, and procedures within their respective areas of program or administrative jurisdiction.
(2) Preparing and submitting to the Director, DLHWC, periodically:
(a) Updated checklists identifying the directives currently in effect.
(b) A statement certifying that the directives for which they are responsible are accurate, complete, and current.
(3) Reviewing their various directives on a continuing and systematic basis to ensure that they are complete and up-to-date, identifying subject voids and recommending corrective action.
(4) Maintaining accurate and up-to-date statements of their assigned functions, polices, and procedures in the OWCP PM and the LHWCA PM.
(5) Preparing standing instructions that are easily understood, complete, up-to-date, and readily accessible on both a need-to-know and a need-to-act basis.
(6) Cooperating with the office of the Director, OWCP, in applying standards and achieving program objectives; soliciting comments and suggestions from field installations; consulting with SOL/EB when indicated; and coordinating with officials in other elements of the OWCP during the development or revision of material affecting their operations or instructions.
b. District Directors are responsible for ensuring that adequate copies of each appropriate Part of the LHWCA PM are available at work places where they are needed and that the designated employees keep the material up to date. They are also responsible for securing compliance with the provisions of the LHWCA PM within their respective areas of jurisdiction.
c. Individual employees of the DLHWC are responsible for following the procedures set forth in the LHWCA PM, and for recommending additions, corrections, or other changes that will improve content or coverage, or make these directives easier to understand and more useful. Suggested improvements should be forwarded through appropriate channels to the Director, DLHWC.
10. Clearance and Review.
a. Within DLHWC. Certain personnel at both the NO and the DOs will be given the opportunity to review and comment on proposed changes or additions to the LHWCA directives.
b. Outside the DLHWC. Officials who originate DLHWC directives are responsible for clearing and coordinating them with other elements of the OWCP regarding procedures that might affect their operations; with the office of the Director, OWCP in applying standards for uniformity and consistency (OWCP PM 1-100.6b)); and with other offices (Office of the Solicitor, Office of the Secretary, ESA, OALJ) and other agencies (OMB, HHS, etc.)
c. Federal Register. DLMS 1-113c states that "The Solicitor is responsible for reviewing and clearing proposed directives concerning matters which require publication in the Federal Register and proposed issuances of legal significance or implications."