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Staff Paper

Public Health Service
Division of Indian Health
Silver Spring, Maryland


Effective Date: July 28, 1964



  1. PURPOSE.  To provide guidance for the development and preparation of Staff Papers within the Division of Indian Health.

  2. GENERAL.  The Staff Paper presents in written form a concise and accurate analysis of program problem or proposal with a recommended staff plan for action.

    The Staff Paper assists a program chief or other appropriate officer in documenting approval for a total program of actions and permits evaluation of planned objectives, costs and assignments.  The paper should:

    1. be brief with sufficient background information to permit an intelligent appraisal of the recommendation;
    2. indicate goal and objectives;
    3. provide a suggested timetable for action;
    4. provide, where funds are involved, an estimate of the cost and the recommended fundings;
    5. make specific assignment of tasks when a course of action is recommended.

    Upon approval the Staff Paper becomes an action document.

  3. FORMAT.  There is no mandatory format for a Staff Paper since items discussed by the Staff Paper will vary with the subject matter.  (See Exhibit A for a suggested Staff Paper)

    The subject headings and their order of listing illustrated by Exhibit A follow a general pattern which has been found effective.  Additional subject headings may be added or deleted according to subject matter or individual preference.

    Since succinctness is a prime requisite, the Staff Paper should not exceed three pages in length.  Detailed information may be made apart of the paper by attachments.

  4. COMMENTS.  Whenever possible and convenient comments initialled by the writer should be made directly upon the Staff Paper as a marginal note.  This procedure will save considerable time and will have the advantage of making the comments a part of the action document.  There will be situations, of course, where it may be necessary and appropriate to comment by formal memorandum.

  5. PROCEDURES.  A draft of the Staff Paper will be routed for review and coordination to those concerned with the contents of the paper.  Staff Papers with Division-wide applicability will be routed to the Indian Health Area Directors and Assistant Indian Health Area Directors for their review and comment.  Staff Papers applicable to a particular Area will be referred to the appropriate Indian Health Area Director for review and comment.

    All Staff Papers involving more than one Office or Area will be approved by the Division Chief.  Staff Papers involving only an Office will be approved by the Office Chief and Staff Papers involving only an Area Office will be approved by the Indian Health Area Director.

    Upon approval of the Staff Paper the initiator will make copies available to all those individuals who have been assigned tasks or who are otherwise concerned.  Individuals with assignment will proceed immediately to take appropriate action.

  6. SUPERSESSION.  This Circular supersedes Circular No. 63-4, Staff Paper, of February 21, 1963.

/Carruth J. Wagner, M.D./
Carruth J. Wagner, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General
Chief, Division of Indian health



Comment Draft
Reply due______


(Indicate type of draft)


GOAL: (State overall goal of paper.) To assist the Division Chief or other appropriate individual in arriving at a decision and to create the mechanism for coordinated action.
OBJECTIVES: (Matters which must be accomplished or resolved to obtain a desired goal.)  (1) To present information on the development and preparation of a Staff Paper.  (2) To provide justification for its use.  (3) to provide an illustrative format.
BACKGROUND: (Information necessary to the understanding of the problem under consideration.)  The Division staff has been much interested in the preparation, format and use of the Staff Paper as an administrative technique.
DISCUSSION: (Discuss what action or position is necessary to achieve objectives and goal of paper -- Include discussion of alternatives, coordination and major consideration influencing recommendation.)  The preparation of the Staff Paper was discussed at a policy committee meeting and it was the consensus that a statement be issued on the Staff Paper.  It was agreed that there would be no mandatory format.  It was also agreed that the Staff Paper recommending a course of action become upon approval an action document.  This requires individuals assigned tasks by the Staff Paper to proceed to institute appropriate action.
RECOMMENDATION: (State course of action or position.  If course action recommended indicates specific task assignments, these assignments should be coordinated with individuals receiving them.)  It is recommended that (a) the Management Appraisal Branch prepare a circular on the preparation and format of a Staff Paper, (b) that the draft circular be reviewed by the Branch Chiefs, and (c) that upon approval, the Management Appraisal Branch take steps to have the Circular duplicated and issued.

Approved_____________________________________________________          _____________________________________
                    Name                                        Date                                                Name                    Date

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