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Number: DAO 202-299
Effective Date: 2009-04-27


.01 This Order prescribes minimum procedures for the clearance of an employee separating from a Department of Commerce (Department) operating unit by one of the following types of action: reassignment to another operating unit within the Department, transfer to another Federal agency, or leaving Federal service.

.02 This revision changes the title, provides a general update of the Order, and removes Exhibit 1.


.01 Each operating unit must: (a) supplement this Order by issuing internal operating procedures for its employees to clear their accountability for property, records, funds, and other matters; (b) use Form CD-126, “Separation Clearance Certificate,” (REV. 04-2020), to document these clearances; and (c) forward a copy of its internal operating procedures to the Director for Human Resources Management no later than 60 days from the date of issuance of this Order.

.02 Supervisors must initiate the clearance process no later than one week prior to the employee’s separation date from an operating unit.

a. Supervisors must complete Section I and Section IV of Form CD-126. The supervisor’s failure to comply with the requirements of Form CD-126 and/or the policies as stated in this Order may result in disciplinary action.

b. The supervisor, administrative officer, or other responsible official designated by the operating unit, must identify applicable items in Section II of Form CD-126 and any additional clearances, as indicated by the operating unit, which are appropriate for the separating employee. For those functions that are not appropriate for individual employee clearance, the supervisor must annotate “Not Applicable” on the Form CD-126.

c. To minimize delay in payments of monies due to a separating employee, supervisors must complete and certify the Form CD-529, “Lump Sum Leave or Compensatory Time Payments,” before attaching it to the Form CD-126. The employee’s final salary payment and/or annual leave lump-sum payment must be reduced by the value of any leave indebtedness (i.e., negative annual and/or sick leave) and other indebtedness to the Department.

d. Where ordinary procedures would result in delaying the arrival of the completed form in the servicing human resources office (SHRO) beyond the employee’s separation date, the required individual clearances (other than those by the employee and the SHRO in Sections III and V of Form CD-126) may be completed by telephone and signed by the supervisor and/or administrative officer.

e. In case of an employee’s death or failure to complete the clearance process, the responsible administrative official within the organizational unit must obtain the needed clearances and make arrangements with the SHRO for the release of the final salary and lump-sum leave payment.

.03 All separating employees must clear the applicable functions as determined by the supervisor in Section II of Form CD-126, as well as any other supplemental operating unit separation instructions.

a. Separating employees must certify, by signing and dating Section III of Form CD-126, that they do not have any Government property, records, or documents, including classified materials issued or furnished by the Department or reproduced by the employee, and that they are not otherwise indebted to the United States Government, except as noted on the clearance form.

b. Employees may not remove any “records” from the Department. Only papers that are solely personal in nature and certain non-record materials may be removed. Non-record materials consist of reference materials or copies of records maintained solely for convenience of reference. DAO 205-3, “Removal of Records and Other Documents,” explains the distinction between records, non-record materials, and personal papers and contains detailed guidelines regarding the disposition of records.

c. Employees wishing to keep any non-record materials must certify they have reviewed the materials and obtained the appropriate clearance required by DAO 205-12, “Public Information”. Employees wishing to photocopy more than a minimal number of documents should be charged for such copies at the established copy reproduction rate under the Freedom of Information Act. Employees should contact the Departmental Records Management Officer in the Office of the Chief Information Officer and/or the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration, General Law Division, with any questions regarding the removal of documents.

d. Upon receipt of all clearances and completion of Section III by exiting employees, the supervisor must complete Section IV of Form CD-126 and submit it to the SHRO.

.04 The responsible clearance official must certify that the employee has cleared a chargeable item listed on Form CD-126 by printing in and signing the applicable block with his/her full name, date and telephone number. If applicable, note the reason any chargeable item is not accounted for or returned, and if appropriate, indicate the dollar value of the unaccounted item.

.05 The separating employee’s supervisor may not certify the employee’s time and attendance record until all clearances are obtained. The SHRO may not authorize the release of the separated employee’s final salary payment, lump-sum leave payment, or any other payments until the official clearance process is completed.

.06 Collection of non-tax debts owed to Department of Commerce entities must be in accordance with the Department’s debt collection regulations, 15 C.F.R. Parts 12, 21, and 22; and 5 U.S.C. 5514.


This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 202-299, dated February 19, 1988, and any operating unit policy directives on these matters.

Signed by: Director for Human Resources Management

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

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Human Resources Management

Questions and Comments

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


November 4, 2020