Bureau of Reclamation Banner
This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide


pretty border

navigate in the page--What It Is

Policy is composed of the overall values*definition we use to determine courses of action within Reclamation.

Succcess: :)

Develop a single, overall policy and treat each issue and case using that policy. This will ensure a fair approach for all publics.

The decision process turns administrative policy*definition into working policy, implementation guidance, and actions.

Policy determines the parameters and ground rules for making decisions. The more we understand public policy, the more we can ensure that the decisions made in individual processes are in line with that overall policy. Policies (held by Reclamation, partners' , etc.) state the priorities that decisionmakers will use to decide which problems need to be addressed. Policies state preferences regarding how solutions will be decided upon and implemented. Implementation guidance goes hand in hand with policy to explain how to follow policy for various activities and decision processes. For example, administrative policy states a commitment to dam safety, and implementation guidance provides specific details on how to ensure dams are safe.

Reclamation's policy represents the public interest or public will as expressed by the three branches of government :

Policy can often be a moving target as administrations and Congress change in response to input from the people they represent. Policy letters and call letters for budget formulation are good indicators of these changes. Make your process flexible enough to accommodate these changes.

Use professional judgment in determining how to comply with changing policies and how to accommodate the corresponding changes in funding. Fundamental issues, such as anadromous fish survival, water supplies, and dam safety, will still need to be addressed under any policy. However, different priorities, aspects, and approaches may need to be incorporated into your existing processes.

Policymakers should be well versed in political realities. You may need to provide data about physical, fiscal, economic, and social realities to the policymaker to help him or her set workable policy. Understanding the complex technical aspects of Reclamation helps to project policy implications. If you view a particular policy as counterproductive, you may need to informally talk with the policymaker, explain your rationale, and suggest other policies that would better fit his or her overall goals.

If a policy changes , tell people that it has changed and explain why it changed.

pretty border

navigate in the page--Go On

click for comics

(Everyone comes first....)

Executive Summary Tour Take this car on a fast tour Politics <----> Agendas

Dragon Tour wide-eyed dragon on the loose Reclamation's Role <----> NEPA Compliance

pretty border

GeneralHip Pocket Concepts



Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.