Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tinkering under the hood: national VIP policies now available for public input

The National Park Service's Volunteers-in-Parks program is governed by a set of policies collectively called "Director's Order #7." This policy document is updated periodically to reflect current needs and issues. The last version was enacted almost ten years ago, in June of 2005. A new draft has just been released, and is now open for internal comment through November 10 and public comment through October 26. Here is the complete announcement from our national office (editorial clarifications added in [brackets]):


To:                   National Leadership Council
From:               Chief, Office of Policy
Subject:           Review of Director's Order #7:  Volunteers-in-Parks

The subject Director’s Order--which will supersede and replace the previous version approved by Director Mainella on June 13, 2005--is attached for your [internal] review and comment for a 45-day period, ending November 10, 2014.  

In FY 2012, 257,000 volunteers contributed 6.78 million hours of service to the National Park Service (NPS).  This contribution was valued at $21.79 per hour, for a total value of $148 million, equivalent to 3,260 FTEs.

This edition updates the 2005 Order as follows:
  • The Volunteers-in-Parks program is now administered by the Associate Director, Interpretation and Education.
  • Volunteer reimbursement procedures have been updated as a result of IRS audit findings and newly obtained information on volunteers and travel procedures, in such a way that reimbursements do not create tax liabilities for volunteers.
  • NPS volunteer agreement forms have been eliminated and replaced with an interagency volunteer agreement form, OF 301A.
  • HSPD-12 [Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12] information has been added with guidance for the conduct of background investigations.  Volunteer fee collectors operating a fee booth or station with a point-of-sales system will now be required to undergo an MBI background investigation.
  • Qualified volunteers will now be allowed to apply pesticides.

The draft Order is the subject of a Federal Register notice published on September 26, 2014, inviting comment from the public for a 30-day period.

Joy Pietschmann, the Service-wide VIP Program Manager, will field any comments or questions about the attached Order.  She can be contacted at or 202-513-7141.

The draft Order is available online at:

For comparison, the existing (active) Director's Order can be found at

No comments: