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Manual Circular - General Administration No. IH-4

Preparation and Utilization of Pre-Trip Staff Papers and Trip Reports




  1. Purpose
  2. Definitions
  3. Format
  4. Utilization
    1. General
    2. Sequence of Actions
  5. Supersession

Exhibit A.  Format For Pre-Trip Staff Paper
Exhibit B.  Format For Trip Report

  1. PURPOSE.  This circular establishes a procedure for the development of Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER and Trip Reports as well as indicating the procedures for the utilization of both.

    Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER is a written record of anticipated objectives or contacts and program areas of concern to the traveler, to certain of his contacts and to other members of the Division's staff which is to be prepared for all trips planned for conduct under Division authorization.  The Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER is prepared by all Headquarters personnel planning a trip and by all Area personnel planning a trip to Headquarters.

    Trip Report is a written record of trip purposes, significant contacts and business transacted, and conclusions or recommendations for individual, lateral, subordinate, or superior actions which is to be prepared by all individuals completing travel under Division authorization.

  3. FORMAT.
    1. The Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER should describe the objective or objectives to be met by the proposed travel.  Furthermore, it should set out the itinerary and significant contacts for the period of travel.  The document should be brief and trenchant but inclusive enough to permit effective utilization.  (See Section 4- Utilization)

      Where two or more persons are planning a joint trip and participate in similar business, a composite Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER may be prepared by the person in charge or his designee.  (See Exhibit A for an example of a Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER)

    2. The Trip Report in the form of a memorandum to the traveler's superior should contain the purpose for travel, a section on significant contacts, a concise discussion of major events or actions taken and a section setting forth conclusions and recommendations.  Conclusions are opinions which do not necessarily require definitive action, while recommendations are specific requests for individual, lateral, subordinate, or superior action.

      Where two or more persons join in a trip and participate in similar business, a composite report may be prepared by the person in charge or his designee.  (See Exhibit B for an example of a Trip Report)

    1. General.  The Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER is not intended to serve in place of Forms HEW-99, "Authorization to Attend Non-Government Sponsored Meeting", or HEW-l, "Travel Order", nor the established procedures to obtain authorization for travel or to attend meetings.  (See Travel Manual Chapter, IH: l-50)

      A copy of the Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER, except for emergency travel, will accompany the request for authorization to travel.  The STAFF PAPER is designed:

      1. To provide the traveler a basis for effective planning in advance of field trips;
      2. To provide, with the exception of emergency trips, an instrument to advise proposed contacts of the schedule, purpose and content of field visits.  While the broad timing of the visit may already be determined by mutual agreement of the prime contacts prior to seeking trip authorization, this document may serve as the tool for the development of the detailed schedule.  It also serves to provide the contacts with prior knowledge of what staff work must be done in advance of the trip;
      3. To provide other members of the staff, who may be concerned with the matters being dealt with in the visit, the opportunity to:
        1. Provide request backup material for use;
        2. Suggest other Division activities that may be conducted by the traveler during his visit in order to accrue a savings in resources; and,
        3. Recommend consideration of additional significant information which the traveler might not have been aware of.

        The Trip Report is designed:

        1. To provide the traveler with an instrument for making an official record of the trip;
        2. To provide the traveler with an instrument to record conclusions and to formally request actions;
        3. To provide the mechanism for lateral, subordinate and superior action and for follow through on all recommendations for action; and,
        4. To provide a formal means of communicating information of importance to other members of the staff.
    2. Sequence of Actions.
      1. The Pre-Trip STAFF PAPER will be distributed, except in emergency situations, at least one week in advance of the start of the trip to each individual concerned with the travel.
        1. In the case of visits of Headquarters personnel to Area Offices this distribution will include the Indian Health Area Director, and other program people within his office who are listed as significant contacts.
        2. For visits of field personnel to Headquarters the STAFF PAPER will be directed to the Division Chief, Executive Officer, and appropriate Assistant Chiefs and Branch Chiefs.
      2. Many trips of an emergency nature do not permit adherence to this time schedule in which case the requirement may be abridged.

        As noted in Section 4A(3), utilization, response to provide backup material, advice, or requests for concomitant action for another unit is anticipated.  Much of this type of material, information, or requests for action can be accomplished by notations on the STAFF PAPER itself which can then be returned to the sender.

      3. Trip Report.
        1. Except by special.arrangement, the final trip Report will be submitted to the traveler's superior within ten days after the travelers return.
        2. The original will serve as a continuing record of action on recommendations while the copies serve as a means of communicating information.

          In addition to the original and courtesy, the basic Division file requirements, and copies to meet the special needs of the originating office, carbon copies of the Trip Report will be prepared for all program chiefs having concern with the trip's content.

        3. Trip Reports resulting from travel by Headquarters personnel to Area Offices, or service areas under their jurisdiction, shall be forwarded to the appropriate Assistant Division Chief for approval prior to forwarding to the Area Offices concerned.

          When the original is forwarded to the Areas, a copy with such notations as indicated on the original shall be returned to the traveler for appropriate follow through action.  A copy of the final report will also be routed to the Chief, Deputy Chief, and the Executive Officer.  If the traveler wishes, he may leave a preliminary copy of the trip report, with the Indian Health Area Director prior to leaving the Area.

        4. The traveler's supervisor upon the receipt of the Trip Report is obligated to take action on each point noted as a recommendation.  This is in addition to any other actions which may be taken in relation to other portions of the report.

          Actions on items in the trip report should be expedited and facilitated by succinct notations on the original report indicating approval, disapproval, forwarding action, etc.  Notations should be identified with the initials of the individuals making them.  (See Exhibits A and B)

  5. SUPERSESSION.  This circular supersedes General Administration Manual Circular No. IH-3 of September 14, 1961.
    /Carruth J. Wagner/
    Carruth J. Wagner, M.D.
    Assistant Surgeon General
    Chief, Division of Indian Health

    Attachments - 2

    Exhibit A.  Format For Pre-Trip Staff Paper
    Exhibit B.  Format For Trip Report

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