Mission Processes; Roles and Responsibilities

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Note: Please refer to the training section for short-format training materials. See the “laws regulations and policies section” for links to the Automated Directives System (ADS) sections related to environmental compliance processes, roles and responsibilities.

General USAID staff roles and responsibilities

USAID's ADS 204 assigns to Agreement Officers’ Representatives (AORs) and Contract Officers’ Representatives (CORs) primary responsibility for environmental compliance of the projects and activities under their purview. Mission Environmental Officers (MEOs), by contrast, serve as environmental review gatekeepers and environmental compliance advisors and resources within the mission.

  • Training Presentation: Environmental Compliance: Roles, Responsibilities, Reporting & Resources - PDF (1 MB). An overview of how environmental compliance requirements are “mainstreamed” into the ADS, and the compliance roles and responsibilities of different staff functions, including A/CORs and Activity Managers, MEOs, REAs (Regional Environmental Advisors), and BEOs (Bureau Environmental Officers).

Mission Environmental Officer (MEO) Role and Responsibilities

As noted, MEOs serve as environmental review gatekeepers and environmental compliance advisors and resources within the mission. They do NOT have primary responsibility for developing 22 CFR 216 documentation of assuring environmental compliance of activities; that is the role of the A/COR.

  • MEO Handbook (forthcoming, currently in update) PDF (1 MB) - A “how-to” guide for Mission Environmental Officers. Developed for Africa Bureau, but broadly applicable to other Bureaus and operating units.
  • Model MEO Appointment Memo Word (49 KB) - Consistent with the MEO Handbook, the ADS, and the Model Environmental Compliance Mission Order. The Appointment Memo clarifies the MEO's role and responsibilities and generally elevates the profile of compliance and management efforts within the mission.

Mission capacities and processes underlie environmental compliance and environmentally sound design.  Resources on best practices are provided below:

  • Mission environmental compliance “best practice standard.” This non-mandatory standard covers both the processes and capacities (staff training, awareness) that support environmental compliance within the mission. While developed by Africa Bureau, the standard has proven applicable across regions, and for pillar bureaus.
  • Environmental Procedures Best Practices Review (BPR). The BPR is a voluntary review of a mission and its portfolio against the Best Practice Standard. A BPR is conducted as a mix of desk review, interviews with mission staff and IPs, and project site visits. BPRs are undertaken at the joint request of missions and Bureau Environmental Officers or Regional Environmental Advisors. For more information, read the
  • The model Mission Order on Environmental Compliance  (forthcoming, in revision)  is consistent with the Best Practice Standard, supporting life-of-project compliance across a mission’s full portfolio. It reproduces the content of the Environmental Procedures Briefing for Mission Staff

Bureau Environmental Officers Roles and Responsibilities

Per ADS 204, BEOs oversee and monitor compliance with Agency environmental procedures across all operating units in their Bureau, review and as specified in 22 CFR 216, concur with or approve 22 CFR 216 documents, and work to ensure awareness and training of all Bureau staff to support environmental procedures compliance.

Last updated: October 25, 2019

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