1.11.9  Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)

Manual Transmittal

December 04, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.9, Internal Management Documents, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

Scope

This IRM section provides clearance procedures for IRMs, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statements.

Material Changes

(1) This revision implements changes to the clearance process by shortening the clearance time frame to a maximum of 45 days and to redefine the scope of clearance to the review and concurrence of changed content.

(2) This IRM revision reflects the following substantive changes:

  1. IRM 1.11.9.1, Overview of IMD Clearance, and IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining Reviewers. Added instructions that the clearance process is only for reviewing changed IMD content.

  2. IRM 1.11.9.1.1, IMD Clearance Process. Revised subsection title and stages in the IMD clearance process to reflect changes made throughout IRM.

  3. IRM 1.11.9.2, Instances of Streamlined Clearance. Revised subsection title and reformatted content.

  4. IRM 1.11.9.3.1, Requesting Employee Feedback. Added a new subsection that provides for a five-day period to obtain employee feedback on IRM changes.

  5. IRM 1.11.9.3.2, Examples of When to Clear the IRM to Through Another Office . Clarified guidance for when an organization revises an IMD due to legislation, administrative, or operational changes, they must clear the IMD through the program office responsible for implementing the changes.

  6. IRM 1.11.9.5, Clearance Package Guidelines. Revised simultaneous and sequential clearance content to focus on the definition.

  7. IRM 1.11.9.5.1, Standard Clearance Time Frame. Shortened the clearance extension limit from 30 to 15 additional days.

  8. IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Forwarding the IRM for Clearance. Clarified the content and moved instructions for creating PDF files for review. Refer to instructions at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

  9. IRM 1.11.9.7, Guidelines for Reviewers. Revised procedures that reviewers review only changed IMD content. See IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section, for information on providing feedback on existing (unchanged) content.

  10. IRM 1.11.9.7.1, Review Assessment and Reviewer's Signature on Form 2061. Added requirement to provide reason for not concurring with IMD changes and clarified that the reviewer is making a review assessment on behalf of their reviewing office.

  11. IRM 1.11.9.8, Responding to Reviewers' Comments. Revised procedures that the author only responds to comments on revised content.

  12. IRM 1.11.9.8.1, No Response to a Clearance Request. Removed the requirement for authors to send follow-up emails to reviewers who do not respond to clearance requests.

  13. IRM 1.11.9.9, Resolving Disagreements. Revised the process for elevating disagreements.

  14. IRM 1.11.9.9.1, Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Discussed. Revised guidance on publishing the IRM while issues are still being resolved.

  15. IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library. Added guidance to send employee feedback to IRS Historical Research Library.

(3) IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers. Revised content under Specialized Reviewers to reflect program and operational changes, as follows:

  1. IRM 1.11.9.4.2, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure, and IRM 1.11.9.4.2.2, Clearance of Information about Privacy and Information Protection. W&I Office of Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight (IPSO) is now responsible for reviewing IMDs involving identity theft. PGLD's role is limited to ID theft matters affecting disclosure, OUO, privacy, and information protection.

  2. IRM 1.11.9.4.3, Taxpayer Advocate Service. Added content that TAS reviews IMDs to ensure they protect taxpayer rights as defined by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

  3. IRM 1.11.9.4.4, Workforce Relations. Clarified when to send an IMD to Workforce Relations for clearance.

  4. IRM 1.11.9.4.7, Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight. Added the W&I Office of Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight (IPSO) as a specialized reviewer for reviewing IMDs involving ID theft.

(4) Made editorial changes throughout the IRM for clarity. Revised titles, defined terms draft IMD and draft IRM, reorganized content (minor), and verified website addresses.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.11.9 dated April 7, 2014.

Audience

The IMD community: IMD authors, IMD/IRM coordinators, their managers, and those responsible for reviewing and clearing IMD material.

Effective Date

(12-04-2014)

Kathryn A. Greene
Director, Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research

1.11.9.1  (12-04-2014)
Overview of IMD Clearance

  1. Purpose. This IRM section describes the Internal Management Document (IMD) clearance process and provides procedures that support the process. This IRM section also contains guidelines for IRM reviewers.

  2. Definition. The clearance process is an established, formal process to review and comment on changes to the information in the IMD to ensure it is complete, correct, and does not conflict with another policy, procedure, or process.

  3. Audience. This IRM section is for the IMD community: IMD authors, IMD/IRM coordinators, and their managers. This material is also helpful to those responsible for reviewing and clearing IMD material.

  4. Scope. This IRM section provides clearance procedures for IRM, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statements. Other IRMs may provide additional clearance information for certain types of IMDs:

    Type of IMD Additional Source of Clearance Guidance
    Servicewide Policy Statement IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements
    Servicewide Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders
    Division/Function Delegation Order IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders
    Interim Guidance IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process
  5. Process Owner. The Clearance Process is owned by the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER).

  6. Contact Information. This IRM section is authored by the SPDER office, which may be contacted in either of the following ways:

    • Email at SPDER@irs.gov

    • Website at http://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/contact/

1.11.9.1.1  (12-04-2014)
IMD Clearance Process

  1. The clearance process occurs between the authoring and publishing processes. The author has conducted an informal review and has updated, revised, or written the IMD, and is now ready to send the document to affected offices, organizations and other stakeholders for their formal review and concurrence. This review is called the IMD clearance process.

  2. The table below describes the stages of the IMD clearance process, who is responsible for actions, and the actions taken during each stage. The term "draft IMD" refers to a new or revised IMD that is forwarded to reviewers for clearance.

    Stage Description Actions Taken IRM Reference
    1 Author prepares the draft IMD for review • Follow internal procedures before sending out for clearance.
    • Create PDF files of the updated IMD.
    IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Forwarding the IRM for Clearance
    2 Author determines reviewers • Identify programs affected by the revised guidance.
    • Identify specialized reviewers.
    • Obtain help from IMD/IRM coordinator or management, if necessary.
    IRM 1.11.9.2, Instances of Streamlined Clearance
    IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers
    IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers
    3 Author completes Form 2061 and distributes to reviewers • Complete Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, identifying the reviewers of your IMD.
    • Send the draft IMD, any revised graphics, and the Form 2061 to the identified reviewers.
    IRM 1.11.9.6, Description of a Clearance Package
    IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record
    4 Reviewer comments on draft IMD • Review the IMD and comment on changes if applicable
    • Request additional review time, if necessary.
    • Sign Form 2061 by the listed Response Due date.
    IRM 1.11.9.5.1, Standard Clearance Time Frame
    IRM 1.11.9.7, Guidelines for Reviewers
    5 Reviewer does not respond to clearance request • If no response received by clearance due date, annotate on Form 2061 that no response was received. IRM 1.11.9.8.1, No Response to a Clearance Request
    6 Author considers reviewers' comments • Consider proposed revisions to the IMD.
    • Revise the IMD based on reviewers' comments.
    • Document whether you agree with the changes and address disagreements on substantive comments.
    • Email reviewers to tell them the status of their comments and any changes that were made based on their comments.
    IRM 1.11.9.8, Responding to Reviewers' Comments
    IRM 1.11.9.9, Reconciling Disputes
    7 Author obtains program owner approval Send the final IMD to the program owner for their approval and signature. IRM 1.11.9.10.1, Approval by Program Owner
    8 Author ensures the IMD is ready for Publishing • Check to ensure there is signed Form 2061 from each reviewer.
    • Associate comments and documented actions on disagreements with related Forms 2061.
    • Send the clearance documentation package to IMD or designated IRM coordinator.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    9 IMD/IRM coordinator conducts a final review • Review clearance package for completeness.
    • Sign Form 2061.
    • Upload zip file to M&P.
    • Assemble the clearance package, including all Forms 2061, and send to IRS Historical Research Library.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    • IRM 1.11.5.4, Preparing the IRM Package for Publishing
    IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

1.11.9.2  (12-04-2014)
Instances of Streamlined Clearance

  1. This subsection describes situations where the clearance process is streamlined. The general requirements for clearance are described in IRM 1.11.9.3.

  2. The special cases described in this subsection are:

    • Making editorial updates.

    • Incorporating interim guidance into the IRM.

    • Incorporating Delegation Orders and Policy Statements into IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities.

1.11.9.2.1  (04-07-2014)
Editorial Updates

  1. Editorial changes do not affect the meaning of he content of the IRM. They require minimal review. Generally the program owner for that IRM and the IMD/IRM coordinator are the only reviewers. However, your organization may require additional levels of review. See IRM 1.11.2.8 , Editorial Update Process, for more information.

  2. The following is a list of examples of editorial changes:

    • Spelling, typographical, or grammatical errors

    • Updating organizational terms and titles

    • Adding, updating or correcting references, links, or citations

    • Adding verbal descriptions to graphics for Section 508 compliance

  3. To clear the IRM with only editorial changes, take the following actions:

    Stage Who is Responsible Actions Taken IRM Reference
    1 Author prepares the draft IMD for review • Follow internal procedures before sending out for clearance.
    • Create PDF files of the updated IRM.
    IRM 1.11.9.6.2, Forwarding the IRM for Clearance
    2 Author obtains program owner approval • Complete Form 2061, identifying the program owner, IMD/IRM coordinator and any other reviewer as determined by management.
    • Send the draft IRM, any revised graphics, and the Form 2061 to the identified reviewers..
    IRM 1.11.9.6, Description of a Clearance Package
    IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record
    IRM 1.11.9.10.1, Approval by Program Owner
    3 Author ensures the IMD is ready for Publishing • Gather all signed Forms 2061.
    • Send package to IMD or designated IRM coordinator.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    4 IMD/IRM coordinator conducts a final review • Review clearance package for completeness.
    • Sign Form 2061.
    • Upload zip file to Publishing.
    • Assemble the clearance package, including all Forms 2061, and send to the IRS Historical Research Library.
    IRM 1.11.9.10.2, Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator
    • IRM 1.11.5.4, Preparing the IRM Package for Publishing
    IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

1.11.9.2.2  (04-07-2014)
Incorporating Interim Guidance into the IRM

  1. IRM revisions can contain procedural guidance that was issued through interim guidance memoranda or Service Electronic Research Program (SERP) IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs). The clearance documents (such as Forms 2061, etc.) secured during the clearance of the interim guidance may suffice for the clearance of the revised IRM, according to the table below.

  2. Follow these guidelines when revising an IRM to incorporate interim guidance (interim guidance memoranda or IPUs):

    If: Then:
    1. The interim guidance has already been cleared and concurred through all affected offices and specialized reviewers within the past 12 months, and

    2. There are no other substantive changes.

    • Add the information from the interim guidance into the IRM.

    • Prepare a new Form 2061 for IRM publication

    • Obtain concurrence from the IMD/IRM coordinator and program owner/executive responsible for the program.

    • Send the clearance documents secured during clearance of the interim guidance to the IRS Historical Research Library.

    1. There are any new substantive changes to the IRM, or

    2. The interim guidance has unresolved issues pending from its clearance, or

    3. The interim guidance was not cleared and concurred through all affected offices and specialized reviewers, or

    4. The interim guidance was cleared more than 12 months ago.

    • Clear the IRM following the guidelines in IRM 1.11.9.3 and IRM 1.11.9.4.

    • Prepare a new Form 2061 for IRM publication.

  3. Refer to IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, for guidance on preparing and clearing interim guidance.

1.11.9.2.3  (04-07-2014)
Incorporating Delegation Orders and Policy Statements into the IRM

  1. SPDER is responsible for incorporating approved delegation orders and policy statements into the IRM. When Commissioner’s Delegations of Authority or Servicewide Policy Statements are published as part of the IRM 1.2, Servicewide Policies and Authorities, they are subject to the same clearance rules as other IRMs. Follow the guidance in IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

  2. See IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements, and IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders, for guidance on preparing, clearing, and publishing these IMDs.

1.11.9.3  (12-04-2014)
Determining Reviewers

  1. The subsection explains how authors determine who will review their IMD. A reviewer is a subject matter expert who is responsible for reviewing the IMD on behalf of their program office or organization.

  2. Reviewers provide comments on IMD content revised by the author. See IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section, for information about how to provide feedback on unchanged IRM content.

  3. Contact your IMD/IRM coordinator for help determining appropriate reviewers. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts.asp for a listing of IMD/IRM coordinators.

  4. To identify who should review your IMD, determine the impact the changes have on other offices, both internal and external, by considering whether the information changes their authorities, procedures, workload, workflow, or documents. There are three potential types of reviewers:

    • Internal reviewers

    • External reviewers

    • Specialized reviewers

  5. Internal Reviewer: An internal reviewer is an employee in the originating office or the originating IRS organization responsible for reviewing IMDs. This may include a subject matter expert (SME), executive assistant, or manager in your immediate program office or within your organization. Your organizational IMD/IRM coordinator is also considered an internal reviewer, and is required to review your IMD.

    Example:

    Material relating to penalties (Part 20) are owned by the Penalty and Interest office in the Small Business/Self Employed Division (SB/SE). When penalty procedures change, the information may affect the work processes and procedures of employees in other SB/SE offices such as Examination and Collection. Employees in SB/SE offices outside the Penalty and Interest office are "internal" reviewers.

  6. External Reviewer: When the new or changed content affects or changes the work process or procedures of the employees in another IRS organization, then review by the "external" organization is required.

    Example:

    SB/SE made changes to their penalty procedures, which affect the procedures and operations of other examination or examination-related functions in Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) and Appeals. In this scenario, TE/GE and Appeals are "external" reviewers because they will need to change their penalty procedures if SB/SE changes its penalty procedures.

  7. Specialized Reviewer: A "specialized" reviewer involves offices with program oversight in certain particular areas involving servicewide IRS operations. Depending on the circumstances, such specialized reviewers are required to review the IMDs that contain content within their particular area subject matter expertise. These reviewers are described in IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

  8. When placing an IMD into clearance, it is important to send it through the appropriate clearance point of contact. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp, for a current listing of contacts and specialized reviewers. If you send the IMD to a specific employee, copy the organizational IMD clearance point of contact.

    Note:

    A mere reference to a program in an IRM section, including a reference to their specific IRM section, does not require the organization to review that IRM during the clearance process.

  9. The following table summarizes actions the author takes to determine reviewers:

    Step Action
    1 Determine the impact that changes have on other offices, both internal and external, by considering whether the information:
    • Changes the authorities, procedures, workload, and/or workflow for another office so they are required to do something not previously done or to do something differently

    • Changes documents or files used by another office

      Note:

      A mere reference to a program in an IRM section, including a reference to their specific IRM section, does not require the function or organization to review that IRM during the clearance process.


    See IRM 1.11.9.3.2, Examples of When to Send an IRM to Another Office for Clearance, for details.
    2 Include individuals or offices that asked to provide input or that you asked to provide input, such as during an informal review. See IRM 1.11.2.11, Informal Review.
    3 Determine if one or more specialized reviewers must review it. See IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers.

1.11.9.3.1  (12-04-2014)
Requesting Employee Feedback

  1. Each organization will make the revised IRM available for feedback to employees who use the IRM. The feedback period is five business days.

  2. Each organization determines the feedback process.

  3. The author will include employee feedback comments in the historical IRM file. See IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.

  4. Use of the Form 2061 is not required to document the employees providing the feedback, their comments, or their concurrence.

1.11.9.3.2  (12-04-2014)
Examples of When to Clear the IRM Through Another Office

  1. If an organization "owns" a process or program, then it has the sole authority to set policy or create procedures to manage that process or program. Generally, when creating or revising policy or procedures, the organization who owns the process or program is the only organization that needs to clear an IRM.

    Example:

    Research, Analysis and Statistics (RAS) owns IRM 1.1.18, Organization and Staffing, Research, Analysis and Statistics Division. IRM 1.1.18 is only cleared within RAS (and through any appropriate specialized reviewers).

  2. If two organizations share responsibility for a program, then the authoring organization must clear the guidance with the organization who shares responsibility.

    Example:

    The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS) share responsibility for the Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP). CFO writes the guidance and clears it through AWSS.

  3. If an organization revises an IMD due to legislation, administrative, or operational changes, then they must clear the IMD through the office overseeing implementation of the changes.

    Example:

    If you are writing an IMD that relates to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), clear that IMD through the ACA office.

  4. If an organization authors an IRM section containing policies or procedures used by another organization's employees to do their jobs, the author should coordinate any changes that will change the authorities, procedures, or workflows used by another function or organization in the informal review process. The clearance of that IRM section goes through any function or organization that must change their authorities, procedures, and/or workflow because of those procedures.

  5. If the procedures change documents or files used by another function or organization, the organization that authors the IRM section must clear the IRM through the functions or organizations who use the documents or files.

  6. To facilitate the clearance of an IRM section through outside offices, contact your reviewers or subject matter experts during the development process. This can be accomplished by contacting affected offices before the IRM is placed in formal clearance. See IRM 1.11.2.7, Conducting an Informal Review, for information.

1.11.9.4  (12-04-2014)
Specialized Reviewers

  1. Clearance must include review and concurrence from specialized reviewers when the material addresses certain content. Specialized reviewers are those offices with expertise in a particular program area, as described below.

    When material contains: Then send the IRM to:
    Legal matters as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.1 Chief Counsel
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp
    Any of the following as described in IRM 1.11.9.4.2:
    • Content identified as Official Use Only (OUO)

    • Procedures, policies, or instructions relating to the disclosure or potential disclosure of official information

    • Procedures, policies, or instructions relating to privacy or information protection

    Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure via email to *PGLD IMD SPOC
    Changes to any sections in the following IRM parts:
    • Part 1 – Organization, Finance, and Management

    • Part 3 – Submission Processing

    • Part 4 – Examining Process

    • Part 5 – Collecting Process

    • Part 7 – Rulings and Agreements

    • Part 8 – Appeals

    • Part 20 – Penalty and Interest

    • Part 21 – Customer Account Services

    • Part 22 – Taxpayer Education and Assistance

    • Part 25 – Special Topics

    Exception:

    See special handling of SERP IPUs in IRM 1.11.10.7.1, Clearance and Approval of SERP IPUs.

    Taxpayer Advocate Service via email to *TAS IMD SPOC
    Changes to working conditions or job duties Workforce Relations Division
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp
    Any of the following information:
    • An IRS toll-free number

    • Instructions on developing or revising taxpayer notices or letters

    • Guidance on handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence

    Office of Taxpayer Correspondence
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp
    Procedures relating to:
    • Implementation of new legislation affecting tax administration, or

    • Interactions with Congress or a member of Congress (e.g., a U.S. Representative or a Senator)

    Legislative Affairs
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp
    Content relating to identity theft W&I Office of Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight
    Find contact information at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp

1.11.9.4.1  (04-09-2010)
Chief Counsel

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel reviews IMDs to ensure they are legally accurate. However, not all IMDs require review by Counsel.

  2. Authors must submit IMDs to Chief Counsel that are new or revised interpretations of:

    1. Federal law

    2. Treasury Regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Notices and Announcements

    3. Treasury Orders or Treasury Directives

    4. IRS wide Policy Statements or Servicewide Delegation Order

  3. Authors must submit an IMD to Chief Counsel for review and clearance when requested to do so by that office.

  4. When not to submit: Do not submit IRMs to Chief Counsel for review and clearance that:

    1. Are renumbered unless they meet the criteria above

    2. Relate exclusively to information technology, error resolution, batch or bulk processing, mail and transportation management, or work planning and control

    3. Do not present legal issues requiring their review (as determined by Office of Chief Counsel during its last review)

  5. When clearing filing season IRMs or any IRM section revised every year, send them to Chief Counsel if the new or revised text meets the criteria in (2) above. If the new or revised text does not meet the criteria in (2), submit to Chief Counsel based on the following schedule:

    1. Send Parts 1, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 21 to Chief Counsel in years ending with an odd number.

      Example:

      2015, 2017, 2019, etc.

    2. Send Parts 3, 4, 7, 13, 20, 22 and 25 to Chief Counsel in years ending with an even number.

      Example:

      2014, 2016, 2018, etc.

      Note:

      The review year for a filing season IRM is the year the IRM is effective.

  6. An interactive Chief Counsel Clearance Determination Tool is available to help determine if an IRM should be cleared through the Office of Chief Counsel. Find it at the SPDER web page at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/clearance/CounselClearance/.

  7. Send your clearance request to the Counsel clearance contact, listed at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp. Do not cc any attorneys or Chief Counsel SMEs in the email requesting clearance. In your email to Chief Counsel, state whether Counsel has informally reviewed your IRM or cleared interim guidance incorporated into your IRM and if so, list the case-mis tracking number on Counsel’s response or identify the attorney who provided assistance.

  8. Chief Counsel generally does not review or verify the following unless specifically requested:

    • Cross-references to forms, notices, other IRMs or other documents.

    • Transaction Codes (TC Codes).

    • Basic disclosure rules when an IRM is being cleared with PGLD.

    • Indexed figures in IRMs.

  9. Chief Counsel will generally provide comments on a Word Feedback Form. If you need comments in a different format, contact the docket attorney for the office assigned prime control of the clearance request.

1.11.9.4.2  (12-04-2014)
Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure

  1. Authors must submit all IMDs to Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) for review and clearance if they involve any of the following:

    1. Disclosure or potential disclosure of official information

    2. Official use only (OUO) information. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.1.

    3. Privacy or information protection. For additional information, see IRM 1.11.9.4.2.2.

    Note:

    PGLD is no longer responsible for IMDs relating to identity theft. See IRM 1.11.9.4.7, Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight, for IMDs relating to identity theft. If an identity theft IMD relates also to disclosure, OUO, privacy, or information protection, please send the IMD to both PGLD and the Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight office.

  2. Include a completed Form 13709, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure Checklist for IMD and Training Materials, with the clearance package sent to *PGLD IMD SPOC.

    Note:

    Please type either "Disclosure" , "PIP" , or "Disclosure/PIP" in the subject line of your email to *PGLD IMD SPOC, depending upon the items you have marked in section 9 of the Form 13709.

  3. For additional information, refer to the following resources:

    1. Disclosure site on IRWeb at:http://discl.web.irs.gov/Function/imd.asp

    2. IRM 11.3.12, Designation of Documents

1.11.9.4.2.1  (04-07-2014)
Clearance of Official Use Only Information

  1. To ensure content is properly designated as official use only (OUO), the Office of Disclosure within PGLD reviews IMDs for OUO information.

  2. The designation of information as OUO must be approved by an official who has the delegated authority per Servicewide Delegation Order 11-1 (formerly DO-89, Rev.10).

  3. Authors coordinate with management, not the Office of Disclosure, to determine what information is "official use only." The Office of Disclosure reviews the tagged OUO material and addresses any conflicts with the recommendations. Agreement must be reached prior to issuing the IMD.

    Note:

    The clearance file submitted to the IRS Historical Research Library must contain documentation outlining deviations from recommendations made by the Office of Disclosure.

1.11.9.4.2.2  (12-04-2014)
Clearance of Information about Privacy and Information Protection

  1. PGLD is responsible for ensuring consistency in all processes and procedures affecting the ways the Service handles privacy information protected by statute, regulation, Executive Order, or internal policy.

  2. Authors must submit all IMDs to PGLD that deal with any of the criteria below:

    Criteria: Description:
    General privacy and data protection compliance
    • Compliance with any privacy and data protection laws, regulations, and policies

    • References to IRM 10.5 and subsections

    Definition, use, or management of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other sensitive information
    • Appropriately protecting PII and other sensitive information in email or online, during shipping, while stored (hardcopy or electronic format), in Flexiplace, Telework, or Home as POD situations, or on SharePoint

    • Procedures related to Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) or Security Assessment and Accreditation

    • Elimination or reduction in use of Taxpayer Identification Numbers

    • Use of live data in training or developing systems

    Adoption or development of new technology; new uses for existing technology including, but not limited to:
    • Online services

    • Social media

    • Mobile devices

    Inadvertent/unauthorized disclosures or accesses
    • Data loss or breach prevention tools or procedures

    • Procedures related to preventing or addressing unauthorized access or inspection of taxpayer records (UNAX)

1.11.9.4.3  (12-04-2014)
Taxpayer Advocate Service

  1. Authors must submit IMDs to Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) for review and clearance as provided in IRM 1.11.9.4.

  2. TAS reviews IMDs to ensure they protect taxpayer rights as defined by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and to identify and mitigate IRS practices which might infringe on taxpayer rights or create undue burden to taxpayers.

    Caution:

    All employees must protect taxpayer rights when creating instructions to staff. This promotes effective tax administration within all organizations, helps to build trust and consistency, and improves voluntary compliance.

    In accordance with IRC 7803, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is to identify and propose changes in the practices of the IRS in order to mitigate taxpayer problems.

  3. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is published in Publication 1 and is available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Publication-1,-Your-Rights-as-a-Taxpayer-1.

  4. Email IRM clearance requests to the *TAS IMD SPOC mailbox, a mailbox shared by their IMD staff.

1.11.9.4.4  (12-04-2014)
Workforce Relations

  1. Clearing an IMD through the Human Capital Office (HCO), Workforce Relations, only applies to matters involving a change to working conditions (i.e., conditions of employment) of Bargaining Unit employees. Conditions of employment (COE) is a term used to refer to personnel policies, practices, and matters impacting a bargaining unit employee’s daily work life (e.g., work processes/assignments, schedules, overtime, equipment, office space/design, parking, type/placement of office furniture, relocation of an office). Some changes require formal notice and negotiations with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) before the change can be implemented.

  2. Authors must send their draft IMD to their Embedded Workforce Relations/Labor Relations (WR/LR) representative for help in determining the impact of any changes on working conditions of Bargaining Unit employees (e.g., NTEU notifications that are required or recommended as a courtesy). See the IMD Clearance Point of Contact (POC) listing at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp for your organizations Embedded WR/LR representative.

  3. All proposed changes affecting working conditions of Bargaining Unit employees must be submitted as a draft IMD via the Embedded WR/LR representative, with their COE analysis, to the HCO Workforce Relations, Labor Relations Strategy & Negotiations (LRSN) office, at WRD.Mailbox@irs.gov, for a final determination of bargaining obligations.

    Note:

    If your organization does not have an Embedded WR/LR representative, then contact the HCO IMD Coordinator as noted in the IMD Clearance POC listing.

  4. LRSN will work with the Embedded WR/LR representative or the IMD author, as appropriate, to advise if the change(s) requires notice and bargaining with NTEU.

    1. If the change(s) does not require notice and bargaining, the IMD author may proceed with the changes and the review/clearance process.

    2. If the change(s) does require notice and bargaining with NTEU, the IMD author must wait for an agreement and contact from LRSN before proceeding.

      Note:

      Following conclusion of the notice and bargaining process, LRSN will contact the Embedded WR/LR representative, the Area LRSN, or the IMD author, as appropriate, to advise that the change(s) to the IRM may proceed based on the agreement of the parties.

1.11.9.4.5  (11-01-2011)
Legislative Affairs

  1. Legislative Affairs is responsible for managing the IRS's relationship with Members of Congress and their staff; planning, developing, directing, and evaluating the legislative activities of the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. When enacted legislation becomes law, all IRS Business Operating Divisions must develop an implementation plan to make program changes required by new legislation requirements. Specific implementation actions typically include IRM updates.

  3. When a new IMD or change to an existing IMD relates to implementing new legislation affecting tax administration, or to official interactions with Members of Congress, the IMD must be sent to Legislative Affairs.

  4. Send your clearance request to the Legislative Affairs clearance point of contact, at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp.

1.11.9.4.6  (04-07-2014)
Office of Taxpayer Correspondence

  1. The Office of Taxpayer Correspondence reviews a document when it contains any of the following:

    • An IRS toll-free number

    • Instructions on developing, revising taxpayer notices or letters

    • Guidance on handling erroneous taxpayer correspondence

  2. Send your clearance request to the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence clearance point of contact, at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp.

1.11.9.4.7  (12-04-2014)
Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight

  1. W&I Identity Protection Strategy & Oversight (IPSO) reviews IMD content related to identity theft where there is a change in process or procedure or there is additional or eliminated guidance relating to identity theft.

  2. Send your clearance request to the clearance point of contact, at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp.

1.11.9.5  (12-04-2014)
Clearance Package Guidelines

  1. This subsection describes the rules and processes for sending an IMD through clearance. This subsection discusses:

    • The clearance time frames

    • The process for clearing an IMD

  2. After you determine your reviewers, email your IMD to identified reviewers. You can send your IMD either simultaneously or sequentially. The author should determine the appropriate method:

    1. Simultaneous Clearance: In simultaneous clearance, send the document to all reviewers at the same time.

    2. Sequential Clearance: In sequential clearance, complete the review in a certain order. List each reviewer on the clearance document in the order the review must occur. Once the first reviewer completes their review, they forward the document to the next reviewer, and so on until every reviewer completes the review.

1.11.9.5.1  (12-04-2014)
Standard Clearance Time Frame

  1. When an IMD is sent for clearance, the standard time allowed for the review is 30 calendar days. If this is a non-work day, the due date is the next business day.

  2. If the reviewer determines additional time is needed, they contact the clearance originator to request an extension. The originating office may extend their clearance period up to an additional 15 calendar days. The originator documents the discussion and revised time frame and retains it as part of the historical file sent to the IRS Historical Research Library. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.10.3, Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library.

  3. Clearance should not exceed 45 calendar days.

  4. If an IRM is not published within one year of the date clearance was initiated, it must be cleared again.

  5. To ensure consistency and clarity, use email templates when communicating with reviewers. The templates may be customized to address issues unique to the IRM. The sample templates are written for use with an IRM section and can be referenced on the SPDER website at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

  6. When placing an IRM section into clearance, it is important to send it through the appropriate clearance point of contact. This will ensure the appropriate party reviews the IRM. See http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/IMDClearancePOCList.asp, for a current listing of contacts and specialized reviewers. If you send the IMD to a specific employee, cc the organizational IMD POC as listed on this site.

    Note:

    Do not email an IRM clearance package directly to a Head of Office.

1.11.9.5.2  (04-07-2014)
Expedite Clearance Process

  1. With executive approval, authors may shorten the clearance time from the standard 30 calendar days using the expedite clearance process.

  2. To expedite clearance, the author checks block 3 of the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record to indicate expedite clearance. The author's executive then electronically signs block 3 to indicate their approval of the expedite clearance.

  3. Another method for quickly issuing IRM content is through interim guidance, which does not require executive approval. The standard clearance time for interim guidance is shorter than 30 days. However, the IRM is the single source of instructions to staff, so permanent guidance should be published directly in the IRM rather than issued as interim guidance when possible. See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

  4. If the reviewer has concerns or comments about the IMD, they must contact the originator to discuss them and do so within the set time frame. If comments are not resolved before the IMD is published, see IRM 1.11.9.9.1, Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Discussed.

1.11.9.6  (04-07-2014)
Description of a Clearance Package

  1. This subsection describes how to prepare a clearance package. A clearance package is the collection of documents emailed to the organizations who need to clear the IMD. A clearance package generally consists of:

    • Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record. See IRM 1.11.9.6.1, Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record.

    • Draft IMD in PDF format. See SPDER site at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp for instructions on converting a draft IMD to PDF format.

    • Background documents that provide additional information to the reviewers.

    • Graphics files. See IRM 1.11.2.8.7, Using a Graphic.

  2. A clearance package can also include a short (one-page) briefing paper highlighting the effect of a new program or changed procedures. Form 13839, Note to Reviewer, is a template for providing useful information to the reviewer.

1.11.9.6.1  (04-07-2014)
Form 2061 – Document Clearance Record

  1. This subsection discusses the use of Form 2061, Document Clearance Record. Download the form at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=61498.

  2. Form 2061 documents the review, concurrence, and approval of IMD changes. Specifically, it provides a historical record of reviewers' decisions and concurrences pertaining to each IMD.

  3. Before completing the Form 2061, contact your IMD/IRM Coordinator for organizational-specific guidance on identifying reviewers, as some organizations have an established reviewer listings identifying internal and external reviewers for each IRM section. See IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining Reviewers.

  4. Prepare a separate Form 2061 for each IMD.

  5. Fill out blocks 1-10, 14, and 15 of the form uniformly for each reviewer. Either the author or the reviewer can fill out block 11, which identifies the reviewer.

1.11.9.6.2  (12-04-2014)
Forwarding the IRM for Clearance

  1. When forwarding your IRM for clearance you must ensure your reviewers understand why you are asking them to review the IRM. The following information will ensure you provide the reviewer the necessary information.

  2. Clearly spell out the changes in the Material Changes portion of the Manual Transmittal:

    1. List all substantive changes.

    2. Prepare a general statement summarizing the types of editorial changes reviewed or revised. See IRM 1.11.2.9 , Authoring Step 4: Prepare the Manual Transmittal. See IRM 1.11.2.9 , Authoring Step 4: Prepare the Manual Transmittal.

  3. A file prepared using the IRM authoring tool cannot be viewed unless the reviewer also has the IRM authoring tool. A portable document file (PDF) format is the standard for reviewing the IRM.

    1. Convert the IRM file to PDF using Adobe Acrobat.

    2. Prepare a PDF file with tracked changes visible and a "clean" PDF file with all changes accepted.

      Note:

      If the Manual Transmittal clearly identifies the changes, the track changed version is optional.

    3. Follow instructions for creating a PDF file available on the SPDER site at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

  4. If a reviewer has the IRM authoring tool and requests the IRM XML file to complete their review, the originating office may provide a copy of the file to the reviewer.

  5. When forwarding your IRM for clearance, provide clear instructions in the email to your reviewers. Access the clearance email template at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

1.11.9.7  (12-04-2014)
Guidelines for Reviewers

  1. Reviewers are responsible for reviewing and providing comments on changes to an IMD.

  2. For the IRM, review the substantive (non-editorial) changes identified in the Manual Transmittal Material Changes. Identify inconsistencies between the changed content and your program's processes, procedures, and guidelines.

  3. Comments on existing content not revised by the author are handled outside of the IRM clearance process. Forward these comments to the author following the guidance in IRM 1.11.6.6 ,Providing Feedback About an IRM Section. Authors will follow IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4 ,Handling Requested Changes to the IRM for handling and addressing these comments.

  4. Focus the review on technical, legal, process, or program changes. Do not focus on editorial issues.

  5. Contact the author if you have questions or concerns about the revised content.

  6. If you propose to add or rewrite text, include suggested language to assist the author.

1.11.9.7.1  (12-04-2014)
Review Assessment and Reviewer's Signature on Form 2061

  1. To document completion of a review, a reviewer completes Form 2061, Document Clearance Record, Part III, Review Assessment and Signature. A reviewer selects one of four review assessment choices. They are below:

    Review Assessment Explanation Reviewer Actions
    I concur, no comment. The reviewing office agrees with draft IMD. No comments are provided. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Return signed Form 2061 to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
    I concur, with comments. The reviewing office agrees with changes in the draft IMD and provides comments. The originator is not required to incorporate the comments to publish the document. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Return signed Form 2061 and comments to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
    I do not concur, comments required. The reviewing office does not agree with changes in the draft IMD and provides the points of disagreement and an analysis of the issue. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Explain the specific reasons for not concurring and which issues must be addressed before your office can concur
    3. Return signed Form 2061, explanation and comments to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
    Decline review. No Impact The reviewing office provides no comments because document does not affect their program. 1. Select Review Assessment and sign Form 2061
    2. Return signed Form 2061 to the originator or as instructed in the clearance request
  2. Block 12: Reviewer's Management Official in Part III of the Document Clearance Record is an optional signature. Some offices require a manager to review IRMs in addition to the subject matter expert. The reviewing office determines if a manager needs to sign in this block.

  3. Parts III or IV can be signed by anyone with documented designation to sign Form 2061 on behalf of the individual listed in that block– Reviewer; Reviewer's Management Official; Approving Official.

1.11.9.7.2  (04-07-2014)
Options for Providing Comments

  1. Typically, the IMD author requests a specific method for reviewers to use for their comments. The following are the options to deliver comments:

    Type of Document Description
    PDF File The comment feature within Adobe Acrobat. The menu selection ToolsComment and Markup has tools to add sticky notes, make text edits, and highlight text.
    XML File The Track Changes and Comment features in the XML editor.
    Separate Document Use a separate Word document, Excel document, or email message to capture comments.
    Comment Matrix A table with headings for:
    • Reviewer name

    • IRM subsection or other identifying information

    • Comments to help keep the comments organized

    Download a sample feedback form at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp
    Within Form 2061, Document Clearance Record Part III of Form 2061 provides reviewers the ability to include comments within the form.

1.11.9.8  (12-04-2014)
Responding to Reviewers' Comments

  1. The author must consider comments on the revised or new content and respond timely.

  2. When a reviewer comments on the revisions made to the IRM section and the author agrees, the author incorporates the comments. As a courtesy, the author emails the reviewer to inform them that comments were incorporated and provides the revised wording to prevent any misunderstanding.

  3. In rare situations where the agreed changes require a significant amount of time to conduct additional research or write new content, the organization's executive may approve proceeding to publishing without delay. When this occurs, the author must notify the reviewer of possible delay with incorporating agreed- to changes. Once changes are ready to be made, the author incorporates changes, clears, and republishes the IRM.

  4. If the IRM is substantially revised during the clearance process, provide a courtesy copy of the revised IRM to reviewers. Reviewers should provide feedback to published IRM sections following guidance in IRM 1.11.6.6, Providing Feedback About an IRM Section.

1.11.9.8.1  (12-04-2014)
No Response to a Clearance Request

  1. If an identified reviewer does not respond to a request for clearance within the required time frame, no follow-up is required. Non-response will be treated as concurrence.

  2. If no response is received from a reviewer:

    1. Annotate "no response received" in block 11 of the Form 2061.

    2. Under "Reviewer name" , write the name of the reviewer or reviewing office.

    3. Under "Title" , write "No Response Received."

  3. Comments that are received after the agreed-upon deadline will be considered by the author following the procedures in IRM 1.11.2.5.1.4, Handling Requested Changes to the IRM.

1.11.9.9  (12-04-2014)
Resolving Disagreements

  1. An author must consider all reviewer comments on changed content.

  2. The reviewer may dispute the changes to content by indicating "Do not concur" on the Form 2061. When the reviewer indicates "Do not concur," the nonconcurrence represents the position of the reviewing office, not merely the position of a particular individual.

  3. If the reviewing office does not concur with changes in the draft IMD, they must identify the specific issue with which they do not concur, the rationale for their position, and which issues must be addressed before their office can concur

  4. If the author does not agree with the recommendations, the author, reviewer, management and other key personnel from both offices will discuss the differing views.

  5. If the disputing offices are unable to resolve the disagreement, the issue will be elevated to the Heads of Office for discussion with the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.

    Note:

    Heads of Office are those executives who directly report to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, and the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support.

  6. In situations where comments are initially rejected and subsequently resolved prior to publication, include documentation explaining why the comment was not accepted and how it was resolved as part of the clearance package sent to the IRS Historical Research Library.

1.11.9.9.1  (12-04-2014)
Issuing IRM While Disagreements are Discussed

  1. If necessary, the originating office may publish the IRM while differences are discussed so employees can perform their duties without unnecessary delays and/or incomplete or incorrect guidelines.

  2. The organization can proceed with publishing if the Head of Office agrees the information must be published to ensure operations continue in an efficient manner.

  3. The originating office notifies the reviewer via email 15 calendar days prior to the IRM being sent for publication, identifying which comments were not accepted and the reasons for its decision. For a sample 15-day notification email, refer to the SPDER website at: http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/authors/clear.asp.

  4. If a change is required after the matter is resolved through the Heads of Officet, the originating office will incorporate all agreed-upon changes into the IRM and send the IRM for clearance within 120 calendar days after the differences are resolved. Refer to IRM 1.11.9.3, Determining IRM Reviewers, and IRM 1.11.9.4, Specialized Reviewers, to determine clearance requirements.

1.11.9.10  (04-07-2014)
Final Stages of the Clearance Process

  1. This subsection describes the final stages in the clearance process, including:

    1. Approval by program owner

    2. Final review by IMD/IRM coordinator

    3. Disposition of the clearance package

1.11.9.10.1  (04-07-2014)
Approval by Program Owner

  1. After an IMD has been cleared by internal, external, and specialized reviewers, it is reviewed and approved by the program owner/executive of the originating office.

  2. The program owner signs the Form 2061 in block 13. This signature indicates that they approve issuing the IMD. For the IRM, this is the individual identified on the Manual Transmittal or their documented designee.

1.11.9.10.2  (04-07-2014)
Final Review by IMD/IRM Coordinator

  1. After the reviewers' comments are addressed and the program owner has signed the Form 2061, the author sends the final version of the document, along with all Forms 2061, reviewer comments and any other background information, to their IMD/IRM coordinator for a final review. The IMD/IRM coordinator is responsible for:

    1. Ensuring the documents are cleared through all affected offices and all specialized reviewers

    2. Reviewing the Forms 2061, Document Clearance Record, to ensure they contain the appropriate signatures

    3. Ensuring all significant comments affecting the content were addressed by the author

    4. Signing (as the last reviewer in block 11) the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record

  2. The IMD/IRM coordinator may use the Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet to assist their review.

1.11.9.10.3  (12-04-2014)
Clearance Documents Sent to IRS Historical Research Library

  1. The IRS Historical Research Library preserves the permanent record of changes made to the IRM through the Form 2061, Document Clearance Record (DCR), packages. The information serves to support IRM author inquiries, legal cases, investigations and response to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or General Accountability Office (GAO) inquiries.

  2. Retain all reviewer signatures and significant/non-editorial review comments to include as part of the clearance package sent to the library after the IRM is issued. Forms 2061 are reviewed by the library staff to ensure completeness of the clearance documentation. At a minimum, the completed forms must reflect:

    • Request Date

    • IRM Number and Title

    • Originator, IMD/IRM coordinator, Name and Title of Official or Reviewer with Office Symbols

    • Initials and date, or electronic signature of each reviewer listed in block 11

    • Initials and date, or electronic signature of Approving Official or documented designee in block 13

      Note:

      The library will contact the originating organization or return incomplete packages for correction if the signature is missing in block 13, Approving Official's Signature, or if a signed Form 2061 is not present for each reviewer checked on the form.

  3. When the IRM has been cleared for publishing, assemble the following items to send to the IRS Historical Research Library:

    1. Completed and signed Forms 2061.

      Reminder:

      Reviewers' comments and approvals must be identified by organization and grouped together for proper identification.

    2. Any significant comments affecting the content of the document, including a comment matrix, print-outs of emails, or individual pages of other documents that reflect significant comments.

      Note:

      Please refrain from sending a copy of the entire IRM section or other document pages that do not reflect significant comments.

    3. Feedback from front-line reviewers.

    4. Documents supporting comment discussions or deviations from recommendations made by a reviewer

    5. Interim guidance memoranda incorporated into the IRM

    6. Clearance documentation for any interim guidance memoranda that was issued within 12 months and incorporated into the IRM per IRM 1.11.9.2.2

    7. Any background material that supports why changes were made.

  4. Depending on your organization's established procedure, either the IRM author or the IMD/IRM coordinator submits the DCR clearance package to the library. The clearance package must be submitted within 30 days of submitting the IRM to Publishing. When emailing the clearance package, use identifying filenames. For instance, name each Form 2061 with the person or business unit that signed the form. In addition, only send one IRM clearance package per email. The clearance package may be emailed or mailed to the library using the information provided below.

    Note:

    The complete DCR clearance package must be sent via email or mail, not both.

    1. Email the clearance package to: IRMLibrary@irs.gov.

    2. Mail the clearance package to:

      Internal Revenue Service, RAS:SPDER
      1111 Constitution Avenue NW K-3189
      Washington, D.C. 20224

    Reminder:

    When sending materials containing OUO, follow the guidance in IRM 10.2.13, Information Protection.

  5. To contact the library visit: http://oldirm.web.irs.gov/.


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