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Number: DAO 206-5
Effective Date:  2008-02-29

Office name change update, effective 11-13-2014, per DOO 20-1, Director for Facilities and Environmental Quality.


.01 This Order provides guidelines and rules to be followed by Departmental offices and operating units in allowing the occasional use of public areas in Department-controlled public buildings as meeting places for cultural, educational, and recreational activities as provided by the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-541).

.02 This revision updates the Order in accordance with the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) at 41 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 102-74, Subpart D.


.01 Public building means any building and its grounds under the management or control of the Department of Commerce (the Department).

.02 Public area means any area of a public building or its grounds ordinarily open to members of the public. This includes areas such as lobbies, courtyards, auditoriums, meeting rooms, and other similar common areas.

.03 Building Manager means the employee of the Department designated to supervise the implementation of the occasional use provision of the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act within a particular public building and who is responsible for the maintenance and administration of that building. The Building Manager shall be designated by the Department Unit that has responsibility for maintenance and administration of the building in question.

.04 Department-controlled means Government-owned or Department-leased buildings or grounds under the exclusive control and management, by delegation or otherwise, of the Department.

.05 Department Unit Head means the head of the Departmental office, or the head of the operating unit, with responsibility for managing a particular Department-controlled building. This official will supervise the implementation of the occasional use provision of the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act for all Department-controlled buildings within his/her jurisdiction.

.06 Applicant means any non-Government person or organization that applies for a license to use a public area within a public building or its grounds.

.07 Licensee means any person or organization that has been granted a license to use a public area within a public building or its grounds.

.08 Cultural activities include, but are not limited to, film, dramatic, dance, and musical presentations, and fine art exhibits, whether or not intended for profit.

.09 Educational activities include, but are not limited to, the operation of libraries, schools, day care centers, laboratories, and lecture and demonstration facilities.

.10 Recreational activities include, but are not limited to, the operation of gymnasiums and related facilities.

.11 Commercial activities means activities undertaken for the primary purpose of producing a profit for the benefit of an individual or organization organized for profit. (Activities where commercial aspects are incidental to the primary purpose of expression of ideas or advocacy of causes are not commercial activities for the purpose of this directive.)

.12 Nonprofit organization means an organization, corporation, or foundation which qualifies for tax exempt status under sections 501 (c) (3), (c) (4), or (c) (5) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Department units occupying space under the jurisdiction of GSA shall submit applications for permits received from persons or organizations wishing to use public areas to the GSA Buildings Manager in accordance with 41 CFR 102-74, Subpart D.


Department Units occupying buildings that are not controlled by GSA may authorize the occasional use of public areas as provided in this Order.


.01 Any person or organization desiring to use a public area within Department-controlled space shall first obtain a license from the Building Manager. To obtain this license, an application must be submitted in accordance with 41 CFR 102-74.470 (information to be submitted with application); 41 CFR 102-74.475 (proposed use to solicit funds), if applicable; and this Order. Form CD-411, “Application for Use of Space in Public Buildings and Grounds,” shall be submitted 30 working days in advance of the requested date. One copy of the application will be retained by the Building Manager. A second copy will be forwarded to the appropriate Department security office where it will be reviewed for any potential threat to building security. Applications shall be filed during regular working hours in the Building Manager’s office. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for completion and re-submission.

.02 Licenses will be issued within 10 working days following the receipt of the completed applications, unless the license is disapproved and/or the security investigation requires additional time. Form CD-411A, “Revocable License for Non-Federal Use of Real Property,” shall be issued for Department-controlled space. It is recommended that users of space obtain their own insurance coverage in order to protect persons using the building for the stated purpose. All licensees must agree to abide by the Indemnification Clause included on Form CD-411A.

.03 Each license shall authorize the licensee to conduct the activity for the period of time requested; however, a license shall not be issued for a period of time in excess of 30 calendar days, unless specifically approved by the head of a Department unit or designee. After the expiration of the license, a new license may be issued to the former license holder upon submission of a new application. In such a case, applicants may be permitted to incorporate by reference any required information or documentation included in a previous application filed within the past year. Department Building Managers are authorized to require additional qualifications on the length, frequency, and contents of license issuances, provided they can be justified as serving a legitimate Government interest.

.04 If licenses are requested for the same public area for the same time period, the Building Manager will accommodate qualified applicants on a first-come-first-served basis.

.05 All reservations are subject to cancellation for security reasons by decision of the Department’s Director, Office of Security, or the appropriate Bureau Security Officer.

.06 The Building Manager shall disapprove any application or cancel any issued license for use of a public area if the proposed use:

a. Is a commercial activity as defined within this Order. However, merely because an applicant intends to collect an admission fee or other charge does not necessarily make the proposed activity a commercial activity if:

1. The applicant organization is nonprofit as defined within this Order, whether or not it expects to benefit from the profits of the proposed activity; or

2. The applicant is organized for profit and neither intends nor expects to benefit from any profit from the proposed activity, since any revenues are expected only to defray the expenses incurred in sponsoring, promoting, or conducting the activity; or

3. The applicant is organized for profit and expects to benefit from the proposed activity by receiving a profit, but such benefit is only incidental to the purpose of the proposed activity. Requests that come within this category should be referred to the Department’s Office of General Counsel for a decision on whether the application should be approved.

b. Obstructs the free access to or passage through the public building;

c. Damages or has the potential to damage the public building or any personal property;

d. Disrupts the official business of the Department Units occupying the public buildings;

e. Interferes with a tenant’s use of the property;

f. Interferes with a previously-approved use of the public area;

g. Is obscene within the meaning of obscenity in 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1461-65;

h. Is intended to influence or impede any judicial proceeding;

i. Violates the prohibition against political solicitations in 18 U.S.C. 607;

j. Is being conducted with a license issued in response to an intentionally false or incomplete application;

k. Levies an admission fee, indirect assessment or collection not authorized;

l. Is not in keeping with the type of function that properly should be held within a Federal structure;

m. Has a sponsor, promoter, or conductor who discriminates or advocates discrimination based upon race, religion, sex, age, color, or national origin;

n. Has a partisan political nature or purpose;

o. Involves the use of alcoholic beverages, unless an exemption in writing is granted in accordance with 41 CFR 102-74.405 for an appropriate official use. A copy of such exemption shall be provided to the office in charge of building security;

p. Involves gambling, games of chance, or lotteries, except as authorized by the Randolph Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. 107 et seq.); or

q. Is for soliciting alms (including money and non-monetary items), commercial or political
donations, vending merchandise of all kinds, displaying or distributing commercial advertising, or collecting private debts, except for the activities allowed under 41 CFR 102-74.410.

.07 Upon disapproving an application or canceling an issued license, the Building Manager shall:

a. Promptly notify the applicant or licensee in writing of the disapproval or cancellation and the reasons for this action; and

b. Inform the applicant of his or her appeal rights under 41 CFR 102-74.510.


.01 This Order shall not prevent the Building Manager from:

a. Reserving certain times for use of public areas for official Government business;

b. Setting aside certain days or times for maintenance, construction, or repair; or

c. Preempting an approved use of a public area for official Government business.

.02 Public areas may be used during or after the regular working hours. When public areas are used by licensees after normal working hours, all adjacent areas not approved for after hours use shall be locked, identified by signs, or physically barricaded, as appropriate, to restrict the participants' movements to the approved area(s). It is the responsibility of the Building Manager, or designee, in coordination with the appropriate Department security official, to ensure that all non-approved areas are properly secured and staffed, as necessary, by additional security personnel paid on a reimbursable basis.

.03 Except where security restrictions apply, photographs may be taken in entrances, lobbies, foyers, corridors, auditoriums, or other public places provided a license has been issued for that purpose or the photography is for news purposes.


.01 The Building Manager shall establish a method for determining the applicant’s necessary service level and the appropriate fee for services. The applicant is required to reimburse GSA or the Department for services provided over and above those normally provided during normal business hours unless the Building Manager determines that the cost is insignificant and it is in the public interest. Unless otherwise provided for by statute, any fees collected by the Department shall be deposited into the U.S. Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. One such statute is 40 U.S.C. § 581 (h)(3), which provides that fees collected from occasional users be deposited into GSA’s Federal Buildings Fund. If the applicant wants to provide its own services, this request shall be included in the application and must be approved by the appropriate head of a Department unit or designee.

.02 Licensees will not be allowed to operate Government-owned audiovisual equipment or any other specialized facility equipment. Also, licensees will not be allowed to rearrange furnishings. When such services are needed, authorized personnel will be furnished on a reimbursable basis by the Building Manager if notice for such services is given 10 working days in advance. The furnishing of any other special items needed for the proposed activity is the responsibility of the licensee. No electrical apparatus, special equipment or decorations may be used until approved by the Building Manager and no changes in fixtures and furnishings will be made without prior permission.

.03 There shall be no alteration to public areas used under this Order by persons, firms, or organizations, unless it is determined by the head of a Department unit or designee that changes to be made to the building are in the best interests of the Department, will aid in the Government's use of the facility or will aid in the proposed public use without adversely affecting the Government. The licensee must make adequate provisions for the:

a. Protection and safety of any user of the public area and of other facility occupants; and

b. Prevention of damage to the public building.

.04 The furnishing of any item necessary for the proposed activity, such as tickets, shall be the responsibility of the licensee.


.01 The licensee and attendees shall be subject to the rules and regulations governing public buildings and grounds in 41 CFR 102-74.365 through 102-74.455 (Conduct on Federal Property). In addition, and in accordance with 41 CFR 102-74.555, a licensee shall:

a. Not misrepresent his or her identity;

b. Not distribute any item without the prior approval of the Building Manager;

c. Not leave leaflets or other material unattended at any place in the public building;

d. Not conduct any activities in a misleading or fraudulent manner;

e. Not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, or national origin, in conducting the permitted activities;

f. Not engage in activities that would interfere with the preference afforded blind licensees under the Randolph Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. 107);

g. Not improperly dispose of rubbish, unlawfully take possession of property, create any hazard to person or things, or willfully destroy or damage any portion of the public buildings or grounds.

.02 At all times on GSA or Department-controlled property, licensees engaging in the solicitation of funds not prohibited by 41 CFR 102-74.475 shall provide and wear an identification badge containing the following: Name; Address; Telephone Number; and Name of Group or Organization.


In accordance with 41 CFR 102-74.560, the Department reserves the right to advise the public through signs or announcements of the presence of any licensees and of their non-affiliation with the Federal Government.


This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 206-5, dated December 9, 1986.

Signed by: Director for Administrative Services

Approved by: Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality

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


February 4, 2010