1.11.1 Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities

Manual Transmittal

April 15, 2020

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.11.1, Internal Management Documents System, Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities.

Material Changes

(1) Editorial changes are made throughout to correct references, update terms, and add and revise links to resources.

(2) Organizational names changed throughout to reflect current conventions.

(3) IRM 1.11.1.1.2 Revised to clarify FOIA requirements and to focus on document creation rather than maintenance; maintenance and retention covered in IRM 1.15 Records and Information Management.

(4) IRM 1.11.1.2.1 Revised table to reflect that agreements and internal forms and documents are not considered IMD’s for the purposes of this program.

(5) IRM 1.11.1.3 Clarified instructions to staff and removed redundant reference to FOIA.

(6) IRM 1.11.1.4 Revised table to reflect the current categories of IMD’s.

(7) IRM 1.11.1.6.2 Added information regarding annual IRM certification.

(8) IRM 1.11.1.6.6 Revised to reiterate managers’ responsibility to ensure IMDs are current.

(9) Exhibit 1.11.1-1 Revised to clarify FOIA and E-FOIA requirements.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.11.1 dated October 5, 2017, is superseded.

Audience

All personnel responsible for Internal Management Documents including IRS Senior Leadership, Managers, IMD coordinators, IRM coordinators, Interim Guidance coordinators, authors, reviewers in all divisions and functions.

Effective Date

(04-15-2020)

James R. Bolling
Director, Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER)
Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS)

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) section provides an overview of Internal Management Documents and the IMD process, as well as general guidance for authoring IMD, including the following:

    1. Defines IMD, authorities and legal obligations relating to IMD

    2. Identifies IMD roles and responsibilities for IMD management

    3. Provides requirements and guidance for IMD management

    4. Provides a glossary of common IMD terms

    5. Provides a list of IMD resources

  2. Audience: The audience for this IRM section includes:

    • IRS Senior Leadership and managers

    • IRS management officials

    • IMD originators/authors

    • IMD/IRM/Interim Guidance (IG) coordinators

    • Other personnel responsible for the administration of the IMD program

  3. Policy Owner: The Director of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources owns the policy regarding the management of internal documents.

  4. Program Owner: The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources manages the Service's IMD process. See IRM 1.11.1.6.2, SPDER IMD Program Management, for additional information.

  5. Primary Stakeholders: All business units are stakeholders regarding IMD.

  6. Program Goals: The policies contained in this IRM will provide the business units with the foundation and structure needed to manage and create internal management documents. These policies and processes provide consistency throughout the Service.

  7. This IRM section is authored by the SPDER office. For more information, contact us:

    • E-mail at SPDER@irs.gov

    • Website at https://spder.web.irs.gov/Default.aspx (click on "Contact Us / Staff" )

Background

  1. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 resulted in a complete restructuring and reformatting of the IRM to align with IRS business processes. One of the primary goals of IRS modernization was to restore and maintain the IRM as the single, official compilation of IRS policies, procedures, and guidelines.

  2. In 1999, the IRS formed the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (formerly Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research). SPDER is responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring a strategic approach to managing and setting Servicewide policy for internal management directives.

Authority

  1. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue has authority under Treasury Order 150-10 to administer and enforce the Internal Revenue laws. The Commissioner provides subordinates certain authorities to act on his behalf by issuing Delegations of Authority. IRS directors throughout the IRS, with the authority and responsibility for a program, issue IMD to administer and enforce the Internal Revenue laws.

    Note:

    In this IRM the term "the Commissioner" refers to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The term "Deputy Commissioners" refers to the deputies of the Commissioner.

  2. Several laws define requirements pertaining to the issuance of IMD. For example federal agencies are required to document, publish, and maintain records of policies, authorities, procedures, and organizational operations. The table below identifies certain legal obligations:

    Law Obligations Relating to IMD
    Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552(a)(2)(C)):https://www.justice.gov/oip/blog/foia-update-freedom-information-act-5-usc-sect-552-amended-public-law-no-104-231-110-stat Known as FOIA, requires agencies to make available for public inspection (in accordance with published rules), in an electronic format (E-FOIA), administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.
    Federal Register Act (44 USC 1505): https://www.archives.gov/about/laws/cfr.html Section 1505(a) requires publication of three categories of documents in the Federal Register: (1) Proclamations and Executive Orders; (2) documents having general applicability and legal effect; (3) documents required to be published by Congress. Section 1505(b) requires publication of documents authorized to be published by regulations, excluding comments and news items.
    For example, The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 USC 553(b)) generally requires that the notice of proposed rulemaking for substantive rules be published in the Federal Register. Regulations covered by this requirement are commonly referred to as legislative regulations.
    44 USC 3101, Records Management by Federal Agencies: https://www.archives.gov/about/laws/fed-agencies.html Requires agencies to make and preserve records documenting organizational structure, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency.
    Regulations prescribed by the Federal Records Act and the National Archives and Records Administration (36 CFR 1222): https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/CFR-2012-title36-vol3/CFR-2012-title36-vol3-part1222 Requires that programs, policies, and procedures of the agency are adequately documented (36 CFR 1224.24 ).
    The Office of Management and Budget issued the Open Government Directive M10-06: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/open/documents/open-government-directive Directs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration set forth in the Memorandum.
    The Attorney General's Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) also underscores the government's commitment to transparency in government. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/ag/legacy/2009/06/24/foia-memo-march2009.pdf PDF
    Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Public Law 105-206: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/PLAW-105publ206 Defines penalties to an employee if policies or published administrative guidance (including the Internal Revenue Manual) are not followed.
  3. The IRM works as the foundation for fulfilling the legal obligations set forth in 5 USC 552(a)(2)(c), 44 USC 3101, and 36 CFR 1222 and is an essential component for tax administration and enterprise risk management.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The following table lists the executive and their responsibilities for the internal management document process:

    Director: Responsible for:
    Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics (RAAS) IMD program.
    Strategy and Business Solutions (SBS) Program Manager for SPDER.
    Media and Publications (M&P)
    • Composition reviews involving numbering, formatting and processing the IRM for publication.

    • Planning, developing, coordinating, administering and evaluating the policies, systems, procedures and standards to meet IRS publishing needs.

    each IRS organization Preparing, maintaining, and archiving IMD affecting their respective programs.
  2. RAAS and SPDER Management officials are responsible for:

    • Ensuring internal controls are outlined for each program, process, or activity.

    • Ensuring the instructions are communicated to and carried out by the proper officers and employees.

    • Supporting employees who prepare IMDs to clear them through all affected offices.

  3. The SPDER IMD Team manager is responsible for:

    • Providing internal controls relating to the IMD process.

    • Ensuring IMD policy is accurately reflected in the IRM.

    • Ensuring the consistency and usability of the IRM.

    • Ensuring each operating division has a point of contact within SPDER.

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Reports:

    • Annual IMD Program Risk Analysis

    • Annual Report on the Internal Management Documents (IMD) Program

  2. Program Effectiveness. The IMD Program Risk Analysis highlights areas that need improvement or have been improved upon within the last fiscal year. You can review reports from multiple years to identify trends related to IMD risks.

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. The following table lists the acronyms used throughout this IRM section.

    Acronyms

    Acronym Definition
    CCDM Chief Counsel Directives Manual
    CMA Content Management Application
    CROPP Core Repository Of Published Products
    E-FOIA Electronic Freedom of Information Act
    FOIA Freedom of Information Act
    PGLD Privacy, Governmental Liaison, and Disclosure
    IMD Internal Management Documents
    IMDDS Internal Management Document Distribution System
    IPU IRM Procedural Updates
    IRM Internal Revenue Manual
    LOU Letter of Understanding
    M&P Media and Publications
    MOU Memorandum of Understanding
    NDC National Distribution Center
    PDF Portable Document Format
    RAAS Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics
    SERP Servicewide Electronic Reseach Program
    SLA Service Level Agreement
    SPDER Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources
    USC United States Code
    VILLA Virtual IMD Learning Library Application

     

  2. A table of terms and definitions can be found in Exhibit 1.11.1-1.

Related Resources

  1. Additional websites and other resources can be found in Exhibit 1.11.1-2. Additional contacts can be found in Exhibit 1.11.1-3.

Internal Management Documents

  1. IMDs are official communications that designate authorities and/or provide instructions to staff for IRS officials and employees.

    Note:

    The terms directives, internal directives, and instructions to staff may be used interchangeably to describe IMDs.

  2. IMDs are based on the following sources:

    Primary Source Includes
    Legal Authorities
    • Law

    • Regulations

    • Court cases

    Administrative Guidance
    • Revenue Rulings

    • Revenue Procedures

    Business Unit Operations
    • Policy Statements

    • Delegations of Authority

    • Functional Statements

Types of IMD

  1. IMDs include different types of documents. The following table identifies the different types of IMD and the related IRM sections, if applicable:

    Type of IMD Description Related IRM Section(s)
    Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) The IRM is designed to serve as the single official source of "instructions to staff" . The IRM is based on policies, delegated authorities, procedures, instructions, and guidelines relating to the organization, functions, administration, and operations of the Service. Policy statements and delegation orders are often used in the IRM. IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, describes the process for authoring and maintaining the IRM.
    IRM 1.11.6, Using and Researching the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), describes how to locate information in and use the IRM.
    Servicewide Delegation Orders (also referred to as Delegations of Authority) Servicewide Delegation Orders are specific delegations of authority issued by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or on his behalf by either of the Deputy Commissioners, to subordinate officials, with or without restrictions. IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders, describes the process of creating, revising, and revoking delegation orders.
    Servicewide Delegation Orders are published in IRM 1.2.2, Servicewide Delegations of Authority.
    Division/Function Delegation Orders Division Commissioners, Chiefs, National Taxpayer Advocate, and equivalent level executives issue these orders to re-delegate authorities delegated to them or their subordinates by the Commissioner or through the Commissioner. IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders, provides procedures and guidelines on the development, clearance, and publication of Division/Function Delegation Orders.
    Division/Function Delegation Orders are published in the IRM 1.2.6X series.
    Policy Statements Policy Statements generally advise IRS employees and the public of the IRS’ commitment to an ideal or value. They are authorized by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners. These statements can form the basis for procedures and instructions in the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). IRM 1.11.3, Policy Statements, contains instructions on preparing, clearing, and publishing Policy Statements.
    Policy statements are published in IRM 1.2.1, Servicewide Policy Statements.
    Interim Guidance Interim guidance is issued by an IG memo or a SERP IRM Procedural Update (IPU).
    The business unit issues IG to:
    • Convey critical time sensitive instructions to staff

    • Provide interim, temporary or emergency guidance or procedures


    IG modifies information in an IRM section for immediate distribution to employees.
    IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, describes processing procedures.
    Operating Level Directives These directives are instructions to staff issued by Head of Office Executives. Examples include:
    • Division/Function Delegation Orders

    • organizational operating policies

    None

Instructions to Staff

  1. The IRM contains instructions needed to perform duties within the IRS.

  2. All instructions to staff will be contained in the IRM, except as detailed below:

    1. Guidance for pilot programs, temporary procedures, and deviations are issued through interim guidance. See IRM 1.11.2.2(7).

    2. Local guidance or supplemental guidance where the primary instructions are in an existing IRM section. See IRM 1.11.2.2.1.

  3. Instructions to staff are based on legal or administrative guidance. See IRM 1.11.1.2 (2) for those sources.

Transparency of Instructions to Staff

  1. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC 552, provides public access to agency records unless protected from disclosure by an exemption or exclusion under 5 USC 552(b). FOIA, 5 USC 552(a)(2)(C) requires "administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public" be available to the public. FOIA, as amended in 1996, requires disclosure to the public in an electronic form. This provision of the law requiring electronic disclosure is referred to as the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (E-FOIA).

  2. The IRS maintains the FOIA Library web page on IRS.gov. Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff, such as the IRM, are posted to the FOIA Library.

    Note:

    Official Use Only (OUO) content is removed as it is exempt from public disclosure under 5 USC 552(b).

  3. Organizations that issue instructions to staff outside of the IRM, such as interim guidance, are responsible for identifying instructions to staff that meet the conditions under FOIA and posting documents on the FOIA Library. See IRM 1.11.1.3.1.1, Complying with E-FOIA, and IRM 1.11.1.3.1.2, E-FOIA Criteria for Instructions to Staff.

Complying with E-FOIA
  1. Most instructions to staff are included in an IRM which triggers automatic FOIA release for all text NOT tagged as Official Use Only. The IRM and other types of IMD maintained in the Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) are posted to the FOIA Library page on IRS.gov by Media & Publications as part of the publishing process.

  2. SPDER posts recently issued Policy Statements and Servicewide Delegation Orders to the FOIA Library on IRS.gov.

  3. The program owner is responsible for ensuring that all other instructions to staff that meet E-FOIA criteria, e.g. interim guidance memoranda and Servicewide Electronic Research Program IRM Procedural Updates (SERP IPUs), are posted to the FOIA Library web page.

  4. See IRM 1.11.10.5.4.1, Posting IG Memoranda to the IMD Tracking System and to the FOIA Library on IRS.gov, for specifics on how to comply and post instructions to staff meeting E-FOIA to the FOIA Library.

  5. A web-based E-FOIA Decision Tool is available on the Internal Management Documents Community site to assist users in determining whether guidance meets E-FOIA criteria and requires posting on the FOIA Library on IRS.gov.

  6. Consult a Disclosure Advisor when uncertain if E-FOIA applies. Disclosure contacts are found at the Disclosure and Privacy Knowledge Base.

E-FOIA Criteria for Instructions to Staff
  1. All of the following conditions must exist for the internal management documents to meet 5 USC 552(a)(2)(C) for disclosure to the public and posting to the FOIA Library on IRS.gov:

    1. The guidance is procedural and communicates direction, guidelines, or standards to employees in the performance of their assigned duties.

    2. The guidance affects how a member of the public files, pays, complies with their tax requirements, or interacts with the Service.

    3. The guidance is not exempt from disclosure under 5 USC 552(b). See IRM 1.11.1.3.1.3, Disclosure Exemptions for Instructions to Staff.

  2. If the document restates procedures already available in full on the FOIA Library, then it is not necessary to post the document.

Disclosure Exemptions for Instructions to Staff
  1. Instructions to staff that affect a member of the public must be made public unless the information is exempt under 5 USC 552(b). IRM 11.3.13.7.2, Exemptions lists the nine FOIA exemptions.

  2. Of the nine exemptions, generally only 5 USC 552(b)(7)(E) applies to instructions to staff. 5 USC 552(b)(7)(E) exempts content which if disclosed could reasonably be expected to permit circumvention of the law by a member of the public. This content is designated by the Service as Official Use Only (OUO) and does not require disclosure.

  3. If internal management documents contain OUO information and non-OUO information, the OUO information is redacted (removed); the remaining non-OUO content is accessible to the public unless the remaining content is meaningless. See IRM 11.3.12.2.1, Official Use Only.

    Note:

    OUO content must be properly marked by the author, reviewed by the Office of Disclosure and approved by the official as outlined in Delegation Order 11-1, Administrative Control of Documents and Material found in IRM 1.2.2, Servicewide Delegations of Authority.

IMD Signature Levels

  1. Signature authority may be delegated down in certain instances. The delegation must be in writing and kept by the delegating office. See IRM 1.11.4, Delegation Orders, for additional information on documented designees.

    Caution:

    When an IRM author changes an OUO designation or adds new OUO information, the individual authorized by Delegation Order 11-1 must approve that IRM. This authority cannot be delegated below a field director level. See IRM 1.2.2, Servicewide Delegations of Authority for Delegation Order 11-1.

  2. The table below lists the approval level for each IMD.

    Internal Management Document Approving Signature Level
    Internal Revenue Manual Director level or above (or documented designee) for their respective program area. See caution above.
    Delegation Order The Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners
    Division/Function Delegation Orders Head of Office (Division Commissioner; Chief; Executive Director; National Taxpayer Advocate; Chief Counsel) or equivalent level position.
    Policy Statement The Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners
    Interim Guidance Director level or above (or documented designee) for their respective program area. See caution above.

IMD Numbered by Business Process

  1. IRS business processes are categorized by a unique number for identifying related IMD. The table below names and describes the IMD business processes. Each category is assigned a business process number.

    Business Process Number Business Process Category Description of Content
    1 Organization, Finance, and Management Strategic planning, budgeting, servicewide policies, delegations of authority, and functional statements.
    2 Information Technology Development, implementation, and maintenance of IRS information systems.
    3 Submission Processing Processing of paper returns, electronic submissions, tax payments, and refunds.
    4 Examining Process Activities related to conducting examinations of small business, self-employed, large case, employee plans, exempt organizations, and government entities.
    5 Collecting Process Activities related to collecting delinquent taxes and securing delinquent tax returns.
    6 Human Resources Management Policies, guidelines, and procedures related to workforce issues such as training, hiring, personnel matters, labor relations, etc.
    7 Rulings and Agreements Pre-filing agreements, private letter rulings, technical advice, determination letters, and compliance programs.
    8 Appeals Administrative appeals processes involving taxpayers’ disputes with the IRS.
    9 Criminal Investigation Criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes.
    10 Security, Privacy, and Assurance All security, safeguard, assurances, and privacy information.
    11 Disclosure, Communications, and Liaison Internal and external communications, governmental liaison and disclosure, legislative affairs, and public liaison activities.
    13 Taxpayer Advocate Service Processes and activities that assist taxpayers who encounter problems not resolved through normal IRS systemic and/or business processes.
    20 Penalty and Interest Assessment and abatement of penalties and interest.
    21 Customer Account Services Customer technical and account inquiries received via telephone, e-mail, other written correspondence, and walk-in service.
    22 Taxpayer Education and Assistance Processes and activities associated with customer outreach in the operating divisions.
    25 Special Topics Processes and procedures that apply to and are used by employees of more than one division or function.
    30–39 Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM) Processes and activities associated with the Office of the Chief Counsel.

Numbering IMD

  1. The numbering structure identified above applies to certain IMD. The table below identifies and describes the numbering schema for each type of IMD with an example.

    Note:

    In these examples, each document belongs to the organization, finance, and management process, business process number 1. The location of '1' in the Example Number reflects where the business process number is found for each type of IMD.

    Internal Management Document Example Number Title
    IRM 1.32.14 Gainsharing Travel Savings Program
    Delegation Order DO-1-30 Authorization and Approval of Official Travel within the United States
    Policy Statement P-1-48 Reimbursement of Travel Expenses is Authorized for a Guest Attending an Awards Ceremony
    Division/Function Delegation Orders WI 1-30-1 Approval of Travel Advances, Travel and Transportation Services, and Travel Vouchers
    Interim Guidance CFO-01-0713-0005 Interim Guidance on the Approval Process for Event-Related Spending

IMD Roles and Responsibilities

  1. All Divisions and Functions share responsibility for managing IMD. The information below describes the IMD roles and responsibilities of:

    • IRS Senior Leadership

    • Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER)

    • M&P Offices of Publishing and Distribution

    • IMD Oversight Council

    • IRS Managers

    • IMD coordinators

    • IRM coordinators

    • IG coordinators

    • IRM Authors

IRS Senior Leadership IMD Responsibilities

  1. Senior Leadership is responsible for the content and management of IMD affecting their business programs. Executives are expected to institute an effective process to manage their IRM material and other instructions to staff. They must ensure that policies, authorities, procedures, and organizational operations for their business area are documented and published per legal requirements. See IRM 1.11.1.1.2, Authority, for legal authorities.

  2. Executives must establish clear expectations to subordinate offices and/or an empowered IMD staff. These expectations should promote:

    1. Successful overall management of instructions to staff.

    2. Employees’ ability to find critical information.

    3. Adherence to IRM Chapter 1.11 requirements.

    4. Mitigation of potential risks in the IMD program.

    5. Internal control for programs.

  3. To establish an effective IMD program, executives should:

    1. Appoint an IMD coordinator who has the authority to manage the process on the leader's behalf.

    2. Establish a network of employees to support the IMD coordinator within the embedded functions.

    3. Develop and implement procedures and measures to ensure that IMD reflect current operations, policies, procedures, and guidance.

    4. Establish internal controls to make certain that IMD are received and followed by appropriate personnel.

    5. Ensure employees with IMD responsibilities are trained to perform their duties.

SPDER IMD Program Management

  1. The Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Resources (SPDER) sets the policy for and oversees the Service's IMD process relating to the Internal Revenue Manual, Policy Statements, Delegations of Authority, and Interim Guidance. SPDER’s IMD program management responsibilities are:

    1. Communicating policies, procedures, and information regarding the IMD process.

    2. Serving as principal advisor to IRS personnel on IMD issues.

    3. Leading the IMD Oversight Council and establishing other cross functional councils or steering committees to work on issues related to IMD.

    4. Coordinating with all Divisions and Functions to resolve IMD issues.

    5. Participating in decisions related to publishing IMD materials.

  2. SPDER manages online resources for the IMD community as described in the following table.

    Description Website Address
    IRM Online – provides the IRM on a searchable database https://irm.web.irs.gov/
    ReferenceNet – provides servicewide legal and tax research services to staff https://rnet.web.irs.gov/
    SPDER IMD Community site – provides resource material to the IMD community https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd
    VILLA (Virtual IMD Learning Library Application) – provides short training modules about the IMD process as technical support for the IMD community https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/V
    IMD Tracking System – IMD Tracking System - provides a database of recently published interim guidance, policy statements, and delegation orders http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.aspx
    IMD Community of Practice site - provides information on current projects, special topics, and resource material https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/ras/spder/IMD_COP/SitePages/Home.aspx
  3. Each year SPDER conducts a review of the Internal Management Document (IMD) process to assess the overall state of the IRM and other instructions to staff. Findings from these annual reviews are shared with IRS leaders and the IMD community to recognize achievements and mitigate potential risks in the IMD program. SPDER posts the annual report on the IMD program home page https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/.

  4. Each year SPDER facilitates the certification of every IRM section as “current as published,” ”current with IG/IPU,” “in clearance,” or “not current,” and produces a report based on the findings. See IRM 1.11.2.1.5, Program Controls.

SPDER IMD Team
  1. The SPDER IMD team is responsible for IMD Process Management. The IMD Team in SPDER monitors and strives to enhance the IMD process relating to the Internal Revenue Manual, Policy Statements, Delegations of Authority, and Interim Guidance by:

    1. Establishing requirements and policy for the IMD process.

    2. Identifying and implementing business process improvements for the IMD process.

    3. Providing oversight through reviews and analysis of the IRM, at least annually.

    4. Evaluating compliance with FOIA requirements.

    5. Posting recently issued Policy Statements and Servicewide Delegation Orders to the Electronic Reading Room on IRS.gov.

    6. Posting interim guidance meeting FOIA requirements on IRS.gov.

  2. Members of the SPDER team provide coordination and guidance. They ensure conformance with IMD procedures by:

    1. Developing and communicating uniform instructions and procedures related to the IMD process.

    2. Maintaining current IMD process and procedures in the IRM.

    3. Providing guidance and training to IMD/IRM coordinators, authors, and management officials.

    4. Initiating or providing substantive review, evaluation, and coordination of new and revised Policy Statements and Delegation Orders prepared for the approval and signature of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners.

    5. Providing virtual workshops and other forms of training when needed.

  3. A listing of SPDER points of contact can be found at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts/Default.aspx.

M&P Offices of Publishing and Distribution

  1. Media and Publications (M&P) IRM Team and Distribution coordinators are responsible for publishing and distributing all IRS published products. See IRM 1.1.13.6.1.3, Publishing, and IRM 1.1.13.6.1.4, Distribution.

  2. The IRM Publishing Team is the initial contact for printing and publishing services for all media types. They are responsible for:

    1. Reviewing and processing Form 1767, Publishing Service Requisition, to print and distribute IMD.

    2. Administering the IRM Upload tool, which is used to submit IRMs for publication.

    3. Administering the IRM composition and printing contract.

    4. Managing the electronic IMD files in the CROPP.

    5. Establishing the annual IRM Filing Season Production Schedule.

    6. Coordinating with SPDER to incorporate IRM program and customer requirements into the publishing system.

    7. Distributing the electronic IMD files.

    8. Publishing all non-OUO and redacted IRMs on IRS.gov.

    9. Funding all publishing costs associated with the IRM.

  3. A listing of M&P's IRM Team members is available at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html.

  4. M&P's distribution coordinators provide planning and distribution services for all IRS printed products, including the Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS.11.1.6.3(4)Note - Change link to http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddcoor.html). They provide guidance on the development of distribution patterns for all Internal Management Documents.

    Reminder:

    National IMDDS coordinators are listed at: http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddteam.html.

IMD Oversight Council

  1. The IMD Oversight Council (Council) provides a strategic direction for identifying and recommending improvements to the IMD process relating to the Internal Revenue Manual, Policy Statements, Delegations of Authority, and Interim Guidance. The Council is responsible for the following:

    1. Collaborating on and implementing strategies related to the IMD program.

    2. Identifying IMD program needs such as training requirements, delivery of training, IRM content, etc.

    3. Representing concerns from users of the IRM or other IMD related activities.

    4. Promoting ownership and team building among its members.

    5. Supporting the IRS goal to ensure the IRM is the official source of all procedures, policy, directives, delegations, and guidelines.

    6. Monitoring and measuring progress achieving the IRM goals.

  2. The Council is chaired by SPDER. Members include one or more representatives from each division/function along with representatives from the M&P IRM Team, and SERP. Generally division/function IMD coordinators are members of the council.

  3. The Council meetings provide a forum for this cross-agency body to make decisions related to the IMD process.

General Management Responsibilities

  1. All IRS managers must ensure that their employees have access to IMD defining the policies and procedures necessary to perform their jobs. This begins with an understanding of the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM).

  2. All managers must ensure employees understand:

    • How to access the IRM, paper or electronic version

    • Where to find interim guidance or SERP updates

    • How policies and delegations affect their duties

  3. It is the responsibility of all IRS Managers to support the IMD program and require the use of applicable IRM sections. Managers should also encourage employees to provide feedback regarding the IRM to the authors.

    Note:

    Each manager may choose whether IRM feedback goes directly to the author or through the manager’s review.

Managers with IMD Oversight

  1. A manager with IMD responsibilities supervises employees who issue IMDs.

  2. IRS managers who are responsible for establishing the program policy, process, and procedures necessary to implement and manage a program area for the Service are program owners. They are responsible for:

    1. Reviewing IRM content for accuracy and completeness on a yearly basis.

    2. Analyzing issues that may provoke a change to the IRM, such as new or revised legislation, court opinions, issuance of regulations, changes in procedure that result from other factors (organizational, operational, technology, etc.).

    3. Determining and prioritizing changes to the IRM.

    4. Approving the issuance of instructions to staff, such as in IRMs, interim guidance, and local procedures.

    5. Complying with FOIA requirements for interim guidance and other IMD.

    6. Ensuring adequate records management for all IMDs.

    7. Responding to disagreements elevated from the clearance process.

    8. Ensuring a good-faith effort to resolve disagreements that arise during clearance.

  3. IRS managers who manage employees with IMD duties are responsible for:

    1. Verifying that IMDs are issued and maintained in accordance with IRM 1.11.2, IRM 1.11.3, IRM 1.11.4, IRM 1.11.5, IRM 1.11.9, and IRM 1.11.10.

    2. Ensuring IMDs reflect current operations and processes.

    3. Communicating and promoting the importance of the IRM in office business goals.

    4. Confirming IMD comply with the E-FOIA requirements of electronic public availability and records management guidelines. See IRM 1.11.1.3.1, Transparency of Instructions to Staff.

    5. Ensuring IRM authors and/or coordinators have proper training.

    6. Ensuring internal control information is included in each IRM section.

    7. Devoting adequate resources to support the IMD program.

    8. Developing, as needed, internal procedures on managing instructions to staff and communicating them to staff.

    9. Evaluating employees with collateral duties in support of the IMD program, including IRM authors, IMD/IRM coordinators, IG coordinators and other management officials, on their performance of these duties.

IMD Coordination

  1. Organizations appoint coordinators to manage and support the IMD program within their organization. Each office reporting to a division/function may designate an individual to serve as an IRM coordinator and/or IG coordinator for that office. These coordinators and other management officials, as needed, assist the IMD coordinator in the management of the IMD/IRM program.

    Note:

    The number of coordinators established in an organization depends on the structure of the organization and the volume of IMD activity.

  2. Management Officials support IMD coordination and management of the IMD program. They provide assistance to:

    • Communicate and promote the importance of the IRM in office business goals.

    • Comply with legal requirements to document operations and promote transparency to the public.

    • Develop internal procedures on managing instructions to staff and communicating them to staff.

  3. All employees with IMD responsibility should include these responsibilities in their work plans or commitments to ensure that this work is appropriately evaluated as part of their performance appraisal.

IMD Coordinator
  1. IMD coordinators are members of the IMD Oversight Council. Members of the IMD Oversight Council are responsible for:

    1. Serving as a Division/Function representative for employees managing and using IMDs.

    2. Attending IMD Council meetings, workshops and training classes.

    3. Communicating information and guidance to division/functional IRM coordinators, authors, and management officials.

    4. Assisting with marketing and communications plans within their divisions/functions.

    5. Participating in workgroups to address IMD related issues.

  2. IMD coordinators are responsible for administering the divisional/functional IMD Program. These responsibilities include:

    1. Coordinating the processing of IMD, including IRM materials, interim guidance memoranda, Delegation Orders, and Policy Statements.

    2. Coordinating IRM review assignments from within and outside their divisions (with IRM coordinators or subject matter experts).

    3. Facilitating elevated issues between IRM authors and reviewers.

    4. Instituting mechanisms to ensure the interim guidance is timely incorporated into the IRM.

    5. Evaluating current IMD to update and/or remove obsolete information.

      Note:

      The IMD coordinator shares responsibility for overseeing internal directives with each Division/Function. IRM coordinators designated within subordinate offices will assist them in this endeavor.

    6. Monitoring the development of functional IMD to ensure that they are authored and published correctly.

    7. Providing division/function specific training to IRM coordinators and authors.

    8. Communicating and educating division/function employees with Servicewide IMD/IRM changes and IMD resources to improve IMD/IRM products.

      Example:

      Alerting employees to updated instructions, new guidelines, and/or training material

     

  3. IMD coordinators are responsible for Coordination and Guidance. This is done by:

    1. Keeping IRM coordinators, IMD authors, and management officials informed of all instructions and guidelines issued by SPDER and Headquarters offices.

    2. Ensuring, as a final reviewer of IMD, that a completed package is assembled and forwarded for printing and distribution based on procedures outlined in IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs), and IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM).

    3. Ensuring interim guidance is cleared, numbered, and controlled.

    4. Ensuring interim guidance memos meeting FOIA requirements are identified and published on IRS.gov. See IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, for detailed instructions.

    5. Facilitating updates using the Editorial Update Process. See IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, for detailed instructions.

  4. IMD coordinators are listed on the SPDER intranet site at http://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts.asp.

IRM Coordinator
  1. IRM coordinators are responsible for providing guidance to IRM/IMD authors by:

    1. Serving as the first point of contact for IRM/IMD authors under their respective areas.

    2. Serving as the liaison between the authors, IG coordinator, and the division/functional IMD coordinator.

  2. IRM coordinators are responsible for providing assistance by:

    1. Providing support to the IMD coordinator on IRM/IMD issues.

    2. Facilitating issues between IRM authors and reviewers.

    3. Reviewing IRM packages for conformance with the format and procedures provided in IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, and IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), prior to forwarding to their IMD coordinator or authorized approver.

IG Coordinator
  1. Interim Guidance (IG) coordinators are responsible for providing guidance to IG originators/IRM authors by:

    1. Serving as a contact for IG originators under their respective areas.

    2. Serving as the liaison between the authors and the division/functional IMD coordinator.

  2. IG coordinators are responsible for:

    1. Providing assistance to originators of interim guidance on issuance, format, review, approval, and E-FOIA compliance in accordance with IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, and organizational requirements.

    2. Facilitating issues between originators and reviewers.

    3. Ensuring interim guidance is current and follows IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process.

IMD Authors

  1. IRM authors must follow the IMD process contained in the IRM. The following table lists the IMD IRM sections.

    IRM Title
    1.11.1 Internal Management Document (IMD) Program and Responsibilities
    1.11.2 Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process
    1.11.3 Policy Statements
    1.11.4 Delegation Orders
    1.11.5 Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM)
    1.11.9 Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs)
    1.11.10 Interim Guidance Process
  2. IRM authors must also:

    1. Follow the IRM/IMD authoring rules and processes.

    2. Ensure the information in the IMD is current and accurate.

    3. Contact the IMD/IRM/IG coordinator for coordination and guidance. IMD coordinators are listed on the SPDER intranet site at https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/IMDContacts/.

    4. Collaborate with stakeholders when processes or procedures affect another business unit, group, or external stakeholders.

  3. When creating or managing IRM content, the author must:

    1. Prepare IRM content using the IRM authoring tool (see IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process, for authoring instructions).

    2. Identify and mark Official Use Only (OUO) text that is embedded in an IRM section.

      Caution:

      When changing OUO designation or adding new OUO material, ensure the change is cleared by the authority listed in Delegation Order 11-1.

    3. Review the document for section 508 compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  4. When clearing IMD, the author must:

    1. Follow procedures in IRM 1.11.9, Clearing and Approving Internal Management Documents (IMDs).

    2. Coordinate with all stakeholders and resolve any stakeholder concerns.

    3. Prepare an IMD clearance package and secure approval (clearance) of the IMD through affected organizations.

    4. Send the document clearance records to the IRS Historical Research Library.

  5. IRM/IMD authors must follow the IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), when preparing an IRM package for printing and distribution. When determining publication requirements for interim guidance IRM 1.11.10, Interim Guidance Process, must be followed.

  6. IRM authors should include these collateral responsibilities in their work plan or commitments to ensure that this work is appropriately evaluated as part of their performance appraisal.

  7. Contractors developing IMD materials are subject to the same requirements as any IMD originator/author. It is the responsibility of the contractor liaison to ensure the guidelines and processes are followed.

Glossary of Terms

The table below defines some key terms used in the IMD process:

Term Definition
Abstract A summary of a file or information posted on IRS.gov.
Affected Organizations Affected organizations are organizations or offices whose policies or procedures may be changed by the originator's IMD procedures and revisions. Affected organizations include the originator's organization, the mandatory reviewers, and the other organizations/offices/functions that are affected by the changes.
Alternate (Alt) Text Text associated with a graphic that serves the same purpose and conveys the same essential information as the graphic.
Authorizing Official An authorizing official is the person who gives the final approval to implement the procedures, guidelines or policy contained in the originator's IMD.
Background Information Background information is documentation on why the IMD changes were made, such as legislative, organizational, or management decisions, including interim guidance and disposition of reviewer comments.
Business Rules Policies and procedures that describe the operation of a business in achieving its goals.
Catalog Number A unique 5-digit number plus one alpha character assigned by the IRM Publishing Team.
Clearance An established, formal process that provides organizations affected by an IMD an opportunity to review, comment, and approve that IMD to ensure it is complete, correct, and does not conflict with another policy, procedure, or process.
Clearance Priority Clearance priority refers to the time frame (routine or expedited) allowed for the review and approval of an IRM.
Content Management Application (CMA) A content management application is a computer application used to post content on IRS.gov.
Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) The CROPP (commonly referred to as the core repository) is accessed on the Electronic Publishing website. The site provides the extensible markup language (XML) version for the current published IRM section, and IRM portable document format (PDF) file(s) dating back to 1996.
Distribution The act of delivering the IRM to its users either in hardcopy (paper) or electronic format (PDF). This process is handled by the printing contractor.
Distribution Pattern A distribution pattern is a list of offices who request to receive a printed copy of the IRM, along with the number of copies.
Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide Document 12835 establishes standards and promotes consistency for the IRM. The style guide is intended for use by IRM authors to help improve the quality of writing and to increase the efficiency of the writing process.
Document 13000, IRM Package Check Sheet Document 13000 is a check sheet used when forwarding an IRM publishing package. It ensures specific items are completed prior to forwarding for printing and distribution.
E-FOIA CMA Coordinator A coordinator in each Division/Function who is assigned and responsible for uploading instructions to staff on the content management application (CMA) program to post on the FOIA Library on IRS.gov.
E-FOIA Decision Tool An "interactive" flowchart that helps determine if "instructions to staff," including interim guidance, should be made available to the public. Available on the IMD Community site.
Electronic Publishing Website The Electronic Publishing website provides links to the official core repository of IRS products including the IRM, publishing production time frames for IRMs, IRM production information, FAQs, and other publishing information.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) The content markup language used in the IRM authoring tool that identifies the content type and maintains the required structure of the IRM format.
FOIA and E-FOIA The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 USC 551, et seq., requires that an agency keep the general public informed about its operations and record-keeping practices. Section 552 of the APA, known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that provides public access to agency records unless protected from disclosure by an exemption. PL 89-487 (1966) which was codified in 5 USC 552 by PL 90-23 (1967). For exemptions, see IRM 11.3.13.7.2, Exemptions.
FOIA also requires disclosure to the public in an electronic form, referred to as the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (E-FOIA).
Form 13709, Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD) Checklist for Internal Management Documents and Training Materials Form 13709 is a checklist used to identify disclosure and OUO issues for review by the Office of Disclosure when clearing an IMD.
Form 1767, Publishing Services Requisition Form 1767 is used to request the publishing, printing, and distribution of an IRM section.
Form 2061, Document Clearance Record Form 2061 is used to facilitate review and clearance of all Internal Management Documents (IMD). This form serves as a control, routing slip, and official record of review and clearance for all types of IMD.
IMD Community All personnel responsible for Internal Management Documents in any capacity – Managers, IMD coordinators, IRM coordinators, authors, reviewers, etc.
IMD Coordinator The IMD coordinator is designated by a division/function executive to serve as a coordinator of internal management documents for the entire organization. For a listing of IMD coordinators, see the SPDER website’s IMD Council listing.
Instructions to Staff Instructions to staff are guidelines and procedures issued by program owners.
Interim Guidance A type of internal management document that conveys critical time sensitive instructions to staff; provides interim, temporary or emergency guidance or procedures; and requires immediate dissemination to employees.
Interim Guidance Coordinator The IG coordinator is an individual designated by a division/function within each office to serve as liaison between originators of interim guidance and the division/functional IMD coordinator and provide support to the IMD coordinator, IRM authors, and IG originators.
Internal Control Internal control provides an overview of a program, including authorities, program goals and reports, roles and responsibilities, and other pertinent information.
Internal Management Document (IMD) Official communications that designate authorities and delineate instructions to staff for IRS officials and employees. Refer to IRM 1.11.1.2.1 for the specific types of IMD.
Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS) Internal Management Documents Distribution System controls and manages the distribution of internal management documents of the Service.
Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) The Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) is the primary source of official IRS policies, procedures, guidelines, and delegations. The IRM contains information available to the public and embedded Official Use Only (OUO) information.
IRM Authoring Tool The tool used by IRM authors to create and maintain IRM content.
IRM Clearance Package The IRM clearance package is an organized packet of documents presented in a designated order to clear/obtain concurrence of IRM content with the identified reviewers listed on Form 2061, Document Clearance Record.
IRM Coordinator The IRM coordinator is an individual designated by a division/function within each office to serve as liaison between the authors and the division/functional IMD coordinator and to provide support to the IMD coordinator and IRM authors.
IRM Decision Tool An interactive flowchart to help determine if the information is instructions to staff and should be incorporated into the IRM. The online tool is found at: https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/resources/decide/.
IRM Publishing Package The IRM publishing package is an organized packet of documents presented in a designated order and used to request publication of an IRM. Refer to IRM 1.11.5, Publishing the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM).
IRM Section A standalone unit of the Internal Revenue Manual that covers a single topic or substantive matter about a program, process or activity.
IRS Historical Research Library The IRS Historical Research Library is a repository of IRS organizational history, IRMs from inception in 1952, including background and clearance information, both in electronic and paper format. The online resource is found at: https://oldirm.web.irs.gov/.
Manual Transmittal A transmittal page that provides information on procedural and organizational changes made when an IRM section was published.
National Distribution Center (NDC) A central location for fulfilling orders and distributing published products to IRS internal and external customers.
National IMDDS Coordinators National Internal Management Documents Distribution System (IMDDS) coordinators administer the distribution system for internal management documents and are the key contacts for IRM distribution.
Official IRM File The electronic IRM files and graphics housed in the Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) are the source files used to deliver the IRM in both electronic and paper to internal and external users.
Official Use Only (OUO) OUO is a designation for materials used to protect information of an instructional or procedural nature, whose release would hinder the law enforcement process with respect to one or more categories of persons. Refer to IRM 11.3.12, Designation of Documents.
Originator The originator is usually the IMD author. This person is the key contact to address any technical questions about content that occur during the clearance process.
PDF PDF is a computer file format used to create IRM graphics. Portable Document Format (PDF) is the Adobe Acrobat file format.
Program Owner The organization/office responsible for establishing the program policy, process, and procedures necessary to implement and manage a program area for the Service.
Publish To prepare and issue printed and electronic material (the IRM) for distribution to employees, vendors and other users. The official IRM is "published" by a printing contractor who creates the final version and packages the material for distribution.
Redacted IMD A redacted IMD is an IMD where OUO content is removed by an exemption or exclusion under 5 USC § 552(b) before release to the public. The redacted version commonly is referred to as a sanitized version.
Section 508 Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 USC 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (PL 105-220), requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

Related Websites

(1) The following resources provide additional information and tools pertaining to procedures for the issuing and maintaining IRM/IMD material:

Resource Location Description
SPDER IMD Website https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/ Provides IMD information and access to important memoranda relating to administration of the IMD program.
Provides access to training plans and information to strategically manage the IMD program.
IRM Online https://irm.web.irs.gov/ Provides the currently effective Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) for research.
IMD Tracking System http://imdtrack.web.irs.gov/search.aspx Provides a database of recently published interim guidance, policy statements, and delegation orders.
SPDER IMD Training Website https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/training/Default.aspx A complete list of IRM-related training can be found on the SPDER web site.
Link Creation Tool https://irm.web.irs.gov/tools/CreateLink/Default.aspx An interactive tool to assist document authors in creating hyperlinks to IRM Online content. The tool generates a URL that links directly to an IRM section or subsection hosted on IRM Online.

Note:

The tool does not validate the generated link. Users should test the generated link to ensure the content exists.

ReferenceNet https://rnet.web.irs.gov/ Provides servicewide legal and tax research services to staff.
Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP) https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html Houses the official IRM, including the electronic IRM files and graphics, used to deliver electronic and hardcopy IRM sections to sites internal and external to IRS.
The CROPP contains both Portable Document Format (PDF) and Extensible Markup Language (XML) versions for each IRM Section.
IRM Upload Tool https://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/irm/japple?PAGE=gov.irs.publish.irm.Upload The IRM Upload page is provided to support the submission of IRM packages for publishing and the submission of source files used in the development of IRM graphics.
IRS Published Product Notification https://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html Any IRS employee may sign up to receive an e-mail notifying them when a revised IRS published product is issued. This feature is available from M&P's Product Catalog Information page for each individual IRM section, in the box entitled, "Availability."
M&P IRM Program https://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irm.html Provides overview of M&P IRM program along with links to related IRM publishing and distribution tools.
Organizational IRM/IMD Websites http://irm.web.irs.gov/imd/other/ Some organizations maintain their own IRM/IMD information pages.

Related Contacts and Help Resources

Resource Location/URL Description
IMD Community Mailing Lists https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/News/Default.aspx Subscribers receive e-mail alerts on topics related to the IMD program.
There is a separate mailing list available for managers of IMD authors or coordinators.
SPDER IMD Team Members http://spder.web.irs.gov/officeinfo/contact/ Contact information for members of SPDER's IMD Team.
Members of the IMD Oversight Council https://spder.web.irs.gov/imd/Resources/IMDContacts/Default.aspx?org=None&role=IMD Council Includes Division/Functional IMD/IRM coordinators, NTEU, members of the SPDER IMD Team, and the IRM Publishing Team.
M&P IRM Publishing Team Members http://publish.no.irs.gov/pubsys/irm/irmteam.html Contact information for members of the IRM Publishing Team.
XML/SGML Help Desk http://xmlhelpdesk.web.irs.gov/ The XML/SGML Help Desk provides answers to questions about XML/SGML and the IRM authoring tool.
M&P National IMDDS Coordinators http://publish.no.irs.gov/distsys/imdds/imddteam.html Contact information for M&P National Internal Management Document Distribution System (IMDDS). IMDDS is used to manage IRM distribution requirements.
Document 12835, The IRM Style Guide http://publish.no.irs.gov/cat12.cgi?request=CAT2&itemtyp=D&itemb=12835&items= Document 12835 establishes standards and promotes consistency for the IRM. The style guide is intended to help IRM authors improve writing quality and increase the efficiency of the writing process.