.01 Form SEC-285. The first page of a new, revised, or amended Department Administrative Order (DAO), or a Revocation Notice will be typed on Form SEC-285, "Department Administrative Order Series." This form may be obtained from the Office of Privacy and Open Government (OPOG). Subsequent pages will be typed on white bond paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

.02 Reproduction. The DAO preparing office will compile a reproducible original of the complete DAO, including exhibits and appendices. Reproduction requires quality (camera ready) copy. .03 GPO Style Manual. The GPO Style Manual governs all writing requirements, such as spelling, capitalization, compounding, and punctuation.


.01 All lines of text will commence flush with the left margin, except as otherwise provided in paragraph H.01 of this Appendix, and illustrated in .02, below.

.02 The exhibits to this Order, listed below, illustrate further how DAOs are prepared.

  • Exhibit 1 - Format for first page
  • Exhibit 2 - Format for even-numbered pages
  • Exhibit 3 - Signature page spacing
  • Exhibit 4 - Amendment illustrated
  • Exhibit 5 - Page Insertion Amendment
  • Exhibit 6 - Revocation Notice
  • Exhibit 7 - DAO Check List


.01 In structuring a DAO, (sections, paragraphs, etc.), preparing offices may arrange various provisions in a manner and sequence that best present the material -- except for certain standard requirements stated in this Appendix.

.02 The basic parts of each DAO are Sections, Paragraphs, and Subparagraphs. The format for each, and their relation to each other, follows.


Sections are the main elements of a DAO and identify the major subject matter divisions.

.01 Content. A section may consist of one or more paragraphs. Each paragraph covers one major topic within the subject matter of a section.

.02 Sequence. The sequence of sections within a DAO is determined by their logical reading continuity and specific provisions to be included, except that:

a. The first section of a DAO will always be titled "Purpose," and will explain the purpose of the directive. (Also see paragraph 6.03 of this Order, and Section G. of this Appendix.)

b. The last section of a DAO will always be titled "Effect on Other Orders" and state the DAO's effect on other directives. Omit this section if no such effects exist.

.03 Number and Title. Each section of a DAO shall have a number and title in underlined capital letters, in the following form: "SECTION 2. SCOPE."


Paragraphs are the basic units of text within each section of a DAO.

.01 Subordination.

a. When a paragraph contains a number of contingencies, alternative requirements, or conditions, it should be broken down into one or more subparagraphs.

b. Subdivided paragraphs may contain a brief introductory statement before commencing with the subdivided material (and associated number or letter symbols), or the subdivisions may begin immediately, as shown in .01, above.

c. Subordination or lengthy enumeration should not be used when it results in the final subparagraph being too far removed from the subject (heading) of the parent paragraph. The DAO will be difficult to read and retain. Avoid this condition by regrouping subparagraphs into two or more paragraphs.

.02 Headings.

a. Paragraphs may have headings (such as this one) if it is easier for DAO users to identify specific information, and they are concise.

b. Headings for paragraphs will be typed with initial capital letters, and underlined as in .02, above. Note that underlining in a heading excludes the period. In a DAO section, the underlining extends under the period.

c. If one paragraph in a section of a DAO has a heading, all will have headings.

d. When paragraph headings are used, the text may begin either on the same line as the heading, (as shown in .03, below), or on the next line.

.03 Numbering.

a. Paragraphs will be numbered in numerical sequence within each section of a DAO, using the following decimal system: .01, .02, .03.

b. A paragraph will not be numbered when it is the only one in a section, i.e., first paragraph (.01) is unnumbered when there is no paragraph .02.


Subparagraphs are subordinate parts of paragraphs.

.01 Headings.

a. Headings may be used, but they must be concise.

b. Headings for subparagraphs will be typed with initial capital letters and underlined.

c. If headings are used for one subparagraph within a paragraph, they must be used for all subparagraphs in that paragraph.

d. When headings are used for subparagraphs, the text will start on the same line.

.02 Identification. Subparagraphs are identified by numbers or letters in sequence for each successive level of subordination, as follows:

a. a., b., c.,

b. 1., 2., 3.,

c. (a), (b), (c),

d. (1), (2), (3), and

e. (i), (ii), (iii).


.01 Major text changes in DAO revisions and page insert amendments (see Exhibit 5 of this Order) will be highlighted for user convenience -- to show DAO users where major changes have occurred in the text, and explain them. As illustrated in this DAO, the highlighting system uses:

a. a written description of major changes in Section 1.

and, b. correlating asterisks in the DAO's right-hand margin of the page next to the first line of text where the change occurs in a section, paragraph, or subparagraph. (Note: Asterisks are not placed next to each line of changed text, nor at the beginning and end of changed text -- just at the first line. Also, the highlighting system does not asterisk words changed within a single line of text.)

.02 DAO preparing offices, with OPOG's assistance as requested, will determine which changes in a DAO are "major," and will be highlighted.

.03 Highlighting of text changes applies only to DAO changes issued in the form of a complete revision (including appendices and exhibits) or a page insert amendment. Text change highlighting will not apply to the standard type of amendment shown in Exhibit 4 of this Order -- only to page insert amendments.

.04 Revised DAOs and page insert amendments will include a written description of each major change. In the case of revised DAOs, the description will appear in Section 1., paragraph .02; and on the first page of page insert amendments in the "purpose" paragraph. In both cases, it is imperative that the written description of each major change(s) correlates with the highlighting asterisks in the DAO's text.

.05 When a DAO is revised a second time or thereafter, all text highlighting from the previous revision is removed. New highlighting is then incorporated, as applicable.

.06 If, in preparing a revision, 80% or more of its text is revised the highlighting requirements will not apply. Section 1., paragraph .02, will then state: "This revision represents a complete reissuance of this DAO, therefore, text change highlighting, as prescribed in Appendix A to DAO 200-3, is not shown."


.01 Other Material. If paragraphs or subparagraphs must be interrupted by an insertion, effort should be made to identify the insertion by a number or letter, and ensure that they appear in the proper format prescribed in this Appendix. Wherever possible, paragraphs and subparagraphs in DAOs will be identified by numbers or letters. However, listings or notes, such as in paragraph 5.01 of this Order, do not require a number or letter identification, but must be indented.

.02 Citations. Any citations of DAO provisions must be sufficiently detailed to ensure exact understanding. For example:

a. Within a section of a DAO: "Paragraph .01 of this Section" or "subparagraph .0la. of this Section."

b. Within a DAO: "Section 1. of this Order" or "paragraph 1.02 of this Order." (Note that "Order" is always capitalized)

c. Between DAOs: "Paragraph 1.02 of Department Administrative Order 200-1."

.03 The last section in a revised DAO is: "SECTION #. EFFECT ON OTHER ORDERS." This section cites any DAOs or other directives superseded, or otherwise affected, by the revision. This section is omitted if no such effects exist.

.04 Inserting the Office of Primary Interest (OPI). The OPI appears on the signature page of all new or revised DAOs, 2 spaces after the signature line (see Exhibit 3 to this Order).


.01 The first page of all amendments will be prepared on Form SEC-285, as shown in Exhibit 4. When preparing amendments:

a. Each page will be numbered in sequence (1, 2, 3, etc.).

b. Changes effected by the amendment will be explained in the standard opening statement. For example: "Department Administrative Order 200-XX, dated October 15, 19XX, is hereby amended as shown below. The purpose of this amendment is to add a new Section 3. covering definitions, and revise paragraph 4.03 to include requirements for close program coordination."

c. The words "hereby amended" above will be "hereby further amended" for the second amendment and thereafter.

.02 Amendments in the form of page insertions will explain concisely on the amendment sheet the significant changes contained in the new pages, and will provide instructions -- in a "Pages Changed" section at the bottom of the sheet -- regarding the pages to be removed and the pages to be inserted. These instructions must cover the page numbers on both sides of sheets being removed or inserted, (see Exhibit 5, page 1 of this Order). The first two pages of a DAO will not normally be amended by the page-insertion process.

a. Major text changes will be highlighted in accord with Section G. of this Appendix (also see Exhibit 5 of this Order). If text change highlighting is required, the explanation of changes in paragraph .02, above, must cover each asterisked change, (as in paragraph 1.02 of this Order).

b. When the text of a revised page extends to an additional page, the additional page will be numbered like the one from which the text is extended, with a letter added, e.g., "-9a-", "-9b-."

c. When the volume of text is less than a full page, the following should be typed immediately below the last line of the text: "(continued on page ___)."

d. The amendment's date and transmittal number will be entered by OPOG.


.01 Appendix. An appendix is a textual document, such as this one, which is issued as an adjunct to a DAO. Unless unsuitable for the material in the appendix, the system prescribed in this appendix for organizing and identifying elements of DAOs will be used. Sections in an appendix are lettered alphabetically using capital letters, but the word "section" is not used for section identification, as it is in the body or a DAO. (Note the difference between the contents of an appendix and an exhibit covered below.)

.02 Exhibit. An exhibit is a form, diagram, table, or similar illustration or data summary issued as an adjunct to a DAO. Exhibits are numbered serially (1, 2, 3, etc.). (See exhibits of this Order.)

Note: Copies of the Exhibits may be obtained by calling (202) 482-7873.

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Page last updated: October 21, 2020