NAO 200-1: NOAA Directives System

Issued: 03/18/2014; Effective: 01/09/2014; Reviewed Last:11/27/2018

NAO 200-1: NOAA Directives System PDF

NAO 200-1 58-1 Form




  1. .01 This Order prescribes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration (NOAA) Administrative Issuances System.
  2. This revision:
    1. Prescribes Workforce Management Office's (WFMO) continued responsibilities for the NOAA’s Circular Series, Delegation Series and Organization Handbook and eliminates coverage of its administrative aspects from this Order; and
    2. generally updates the Order.


  1. .01 The NOAA Administrative Issuances series listed below comprises the NOAA Administrative Issuances System. They provide for the management structure, delegations of authority, organizational arrangements, and administrative policies, responsibilities, and procedures.
    1. NOAA Administrative Order Series
    2. NOAA Circular Series
    3. NOAA Delegation Series
    4. NOAA Organization Handbook
  2. In addition, the following Departmental directives issuances are incorporated by reference and shall be considered a part of the NOAA Administrative Issuances System.
    1. Department Administrative Order (DAO) Series
    2. Department Organization Order (DOO) 10-15, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    3. DOO 25-5, National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration.


  1. NOAA Administrative Orders (NAOs) prescribe administrative management policies, responsibilities, and requirements that apply to one or more NOAA Line and/or Staff Offices. NAO 200-3B, The NOAA Administrative Order Series, describes the NAO series in detail and includes information on preparation, clearance, and issuance of NAOs. The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (OCAO) will maintain a website for electronic posting of NAOs;
  2. NOAA Handbooks and Manuals. NOAA handbooks and manuals are a sub-set of the NAO series.  These elements of the NAO series provide in-depth coverage of those subjects so complex or extensive as to benefit from coverage in the form of a handbook or manual.  NOAA handbooks and manuals cover specialized administrative requirements. For additional information, see the segment titled ''NOAA Handbooks and Manuals" within NAO 200-3B, The NOAA Administrative Order Series.  OCAO will incorporate appropriate information for accessing NOAA handbooks and manuals on the NAO website.


  1. NOAA Circulars provide for the dissemination of information covering a full range of administrative management matters.  NOAA Circulars may be issued to convey material similar to that identified for coverage in NAOs when intended for a limited audience or for a limited time period, such as location specific information, or to provide for the issuance of interim policy and responsibilities pending the development of more detailed, permanent materials for issuance in the NAO Series.  The protocol for format, preparation, clearance, and issuance generally mirrors that of NAOs. Subjects covered in the Circular series include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. citing specific information such as the locations of all NOAA Conference Rooms in a geographical location;
    2. establishing short-term programs;
    3. establishing interim procedures and responsibilities pending development of the durable items and their publication as an NAO or handbook/manual; and
    4. revising NOAA's organization and related code structures.
    OCAO will maintain a website for electronic posting of recent NOAA Circulars.

  2. NOAA's WFMO uses NOAA Circulars to announce and document organizational realignments within NOAA.  These issuances are developed within WFMO, signed by the Director, WFMO, and posted on the NOAA Circular website by OCAO.


  1. .01 Delegations of authority to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (UNSEC) are made and/or documented primarily in Department Organization Order (DOO) series or the Department of Commerce Administrative Orders (DAO) series.  DOO’s (specifically DOO 10-15 includes delegations from the Secretary of Commerce and other Departmental officials (e.g., the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration).  This DOO also may document situations in which authority to perform specified functions has been assigned directly to the Under Secretary by law.  Although DOO 10-15 is a component of the Department's directives system, Line/Staff Offices are responsible for initiating updates and shall coordinate with their servicing NOAA General Counsel representative.
  2. The NOAA Delegation Series is intended to cover delegations of authority made:
    1. at the NOAA Headquarters level;
    2. by Assistant Administrators;
    3. by Line/Staff Office Directors; and
    4. as re-delegations at any level.
  3. Whenever there is a new or revised authority and/or function within NOAA, including a delegation covered in   DOO 10-15 or an organizational change covered in DOO 25-5, there also may be a requirement for a new and/or revised delegation appropriate for issuance in the NOAA Delegation Series. Line/Staff Offices impacted by such changes shall coordinate with their servicing General Counsel in the development and approval of appropriate additions and modifications (including any revocations) to the NOAA Delegation Series.
  4. OCAO is responsible for administering the NOAA Delegation Series.  OCAO can provide guidance on formatting and clearance steps in the development and approval process for delegation documents.  After approval of a delegation of the type described in Section 5.02 of DOO 10-15, the originating office shall provide OCAO with both a hard-copy of the signed original delegation and an electronic copy in a word processing format.  OCAO will post additions and changes to the website for the NOAA Delegation Series and will maintain a file copy of all delegations and re-delegations in the Series.


  1. The NOAA Organization Handbook (OHB) is an authorized component of the NOAA Administrative Issuances System. The OHB prescribes the organization structure and assignment of functions within NOAA at organizational levels below those covered in DOO25-5.
  2. The Workforce Management Office (WFMO) is responsible for both content and administrative aspects of the OHB. NAO 200-7, Organization Management, provides information on reorganizations and restructuring and on the functionality of the OHB. Additional information on the OHB may be obtained directly from WFMO.


The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), is responsible for management and oversight of the components of the NOAA Administrative  Issuances System other than the OHB.  This includes responsibility for setting standards governing the preparation, clearance, and electronic publication of the various components of the NOAA Administrative Issuances System.


This Order supersedes NOAA Administrative Order 200-1, NOAA Directives System, dated September 11, 2008. 


Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
Administrative Issuance Staff