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Number: DAO 201-10
Effective Date: 2009-04-08


.01 This Order prescribes the Department of Commerce (the Department) policies and procedures for the alert notification and mobilization of senior Department officials to respond to situations requiring immediate Departmental action during non-duty hours. Such situations are usually related to normal business activities, but are also intended to include events of national significance which impact the Department’s national and international business, operational, and security interests.

.02 This revision: (1) changes the title of the Order, (2) updates procedures for operating the Commerce Watch System, and (3) designates the Department's Office of Security, Continuity and Emergency Preparedness Division (CEPD) in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as the focal point for receiving all incoming non-duty hours communications.


The Department shall maintain a non-duty hours point of contact capability which ensures, as necessary, rapid and effective alert notification, mobilization, and action by senior management officials when any contact or notification of major importance is received by the Department. Such contacts will relate usually to normal business, but may also include events or emergencies concerning environmental, radiological, or technological disasters; diplomatic actions; ship or aircraft accidents; and other national security matters.


.01 Alert/Notification Process. Actions taken by the Office of Security’s CEPD Watch/Duty Officer in the EOC to notify Departmental offices, operating units, or bureaus of any business-related or emergency/urgent contact, request, issue, or incident that occurs when the Department is not operating on a normal, fully-staffed basis (nights, weekends, holidays, or during facility closures).

.02 Department of Commerce Watch System. The Department’s process for maintaining a non-duty hours referral system to receive, process, and transmit routine, urgent, and emergency telephonic communications so that an appropriate Department official can respond to an external caller or take appropriate action regarding a specific emergency event, situation, or request for information.

.03 Emergency Points of Contact. Designated duty agents within the Department’s offices, operating units, and bureaus, who receive, coordinate, process, and follow through on non-duty hours calls and issues for senior officials within the Department. These individuals will take immediate action to ensure an effective response on behalf of the Department.

.04 Non-Duty Hours. After regular working hours, i.e., 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., weekends, holidays, and closures, as determined by the Department’s senior official in the Office of Human Resources Management acting in conjunction with the Office of Personnel Management, due to weather, environmental, or security-related events.

.05 Watch/Duty Officer. Designated CEPD staff member, who is the on-duty officer for the Department during non-duty hours, can be reached via the official EOC duty phone at 202-482-5100.


.01 The Department’s CEPD is the focal point for receiving urgent telephone calls during non-duty hours through a designated Watch/Duty Officer. The CEPD maintains communications and contact capability on a 7-day, 24-hour basis. The designated Watch/Duty Officer will be responsible for relaying and coordinating all urgent inquiries or emergency alert notifications to the appropriate Department official.

.02 The Commerce Watch System was established to ensure rapid and immediate response to telephonic inquiries from outside the Department when events, incidents, situations, or activities require immediate action during non-duty hours.

a. The Commerce Watch System is staffed by a Watch/Duty Officer in the CEPD who will coordinate the Department’s response with emergency points of contact in Departmental offices, operating units, and bureaus.

b. If the Watch/Duty Officer cannot personally resolve a particular issue, he/she will immediately notify the appropriate senior Department official who will determine the course of action to be taken and, if necessary, assume personal responsibility for coordinating and directing appropriate action to resolve the issue.

.03 In the event of a diplomatic or foreign emergency situation requiring assistance, Department officials shall notify and assist the American embassy or consulate having jurisdiction.

.04 Department officials shall not provide information to the press or public regarding emergency situations which require a Departmental response during non-duty hours as covered by this Order. The Departmental Office of Public Affairs is responsible for releasing all such information, or coordinating its release with other affected government agencies.


.01 The Departmental Office of Security, CEPD, shall administer the Commerce Watch System and the provisions of this Order.

.02 Heads of Departmental offices, operating units, and bureaus will support the Department’s Office of Security to ensure that the requirements of this Order are carried out. Departmental offices, operating units, and bureaus are required to maintain an updated roster of designated duty agents and/or emergency points of contact and make it available to the CEPD.

.03 Designated duty agents and emergency points of contact will respond to the Department’s Watch/Duty Officer as necessary when required to provide information about their respective organization or respond to a question or call from an outside party during non-duty hours.


This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 201-10, dated May 11, 1990.

Signed by: Director for Security

Approved by: Acting Chief Financial Officer and
Assistant Secretary for Administration

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Security

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


April 7, 2010