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Number: DAO 200-1
Effective Date: 2014-10-10


.01       This Order prescribes the policies and responsibilities for administering the Primary
Directives System of the Department of Commerce (the Department).

.02       This revision provides a general update and removes the reference to the Secretary's Circular Series, which are no longer issued.


Department Organization Orders (DOOs) and the Department Administrative Orders (DAOs) make up the primary system for publishing the basic management structure, organizational arrangements, and policies of the Department of Commerce.


.01      Purpose of Series.  DOOs shall be used to prescribe the basic management structure and organizational arrangements of the Department, namely:

a.        To establish, consolidate, abolish, -- or otherwise change in status or configuration -- offices comprising the Office of the Secretary (referred to as Departmental offices) and primary and constituent operating units (hereinafter, "operating units") of the Department;

b.        To establish the positions of certain Secretarial Officers, heads of Departmental offices, or heads of operating units, which are not otherwise established (i.e., by law);

c.        To delegate authority and/or assign duties and responsibilities to Secretarial Officers, heads of Departmental offices, and heads of operating units; and

d.        To prescribe the basic organizational structure and assignment of functions and authorities within the office of Secretarial Officers, Departmental offices, and operating units.

.02      Organizations and Officials to be Covered.

a.        Department Organization Orders shall be issued for each Secretarial Officer, Departmental office, and operating unit of the Department.

b.        For operating units, there normally will be two related DOOs as follows:

1.        One DOO, to be designated as the primary organization order (or "A" order), shall cover the actions stated in subparagraphs 3.01a., b., and c., above (e.g., establish organizations, delegate authorities, etc.).

2.        The second DOO, to be designated as the secondary organization order (or "B" order), shall cover the actions stated in subparagraph 3.01d., above (internal structure and the assignment of functions).

c.        Where the issuance of two separate DOOs would not be useful because of the limited size of a particular organization unit, the requirements of subparagraph b.2., above, may be included in the primary organization order.

.03      Issuance of DOOs.  For purposes of this Order, a DOO is "issued" (becomes an official directive) only after it has met prescribed requirements for preparation and internal clearance, and when signed by the authorized issuing official; and, where prescribed, when countersigned as approved by other specified officials, as provided below:

a.        The Secretary will issue the DOOs for Secretarial Officers, Departmental offices that report directly to the Secretary, and the primary organization orders for the operating units of the Department.

b.        Secretarial Officers, and other senior officials designated by the Secretary, shall issue DOOs for offices and/or secondary organization orders for operating units for which they are responsible. These issuances shall be subject to countersignature, as approved, by the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA).

c.        In the absence of a duly appointed head of an operating unit, or when otherwise determined by the Secretary, the DOO shall be issued by the Secretary, or Deputy Secretary if designated by the Secretary, for units reporting directly to one of those officials, or by the responsible official and the CFO/ASA for other operating units.

.04      In addition to internal clearances, covered in .03, above, certain revisions to DOOs will require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and/or the Senate and House Appropriations Committees.  The Office of Budget, under the CFO/ASA, will determine specific approval requirements, and take action to obtain the necessary approvals.


.01      Department Administrative Orders shall be used for continuing policies, standards requirements, and procedures prescribed by the Office of the Secretary for Department-wide application or for application to two or more major program areas of the Department.  Such instructions shall cover substantive program matters as well as administrative management, legal, or special staff functions.

.02       Secretarial Officers and heads of Departmental offices are authorized to issue DAOs on matters within their assigned areas of responsibility and scope of authority, subject to the countersignature, as approved, by the Secretary or the CFO/ASA.  Department Administrative Orders on matters exceeding areas of responsibility and authority shall be prepared for issuance by the Secretary, or Deputy Secretary if designated by the Secretary.

.03      The preparation, issuance, and control of all DAOs shall be subject to the provisions of DAO 200-3.


.01      The CFO/ASA shall be responsible for the management of the directives system prescribed in this Order, and shall develop and prescribe procedures for the numbering, preparation, clearance, publication, and dissemination of individual directives within each of the series of the primary directives.

.02      The Assistant Secretary for Administration shall be responsible for approving and controlling the initiation and maintenance of any other Department-wide directive series not prescribed herein.


This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 200-1 of February 2, 1982.

Signed by:Deputy Secretary of Commerce

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Privacy and Open Government

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Directives Management program to Directives@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


Page last updated:January 15, 2015