2 FAH-1 H-100 

2 FAH-1 H-110 


(CT:FPH-6;   04-13-2011)
(Office of Origin:  A/GIS/DIR)


2 FAH-1 H-111.1  This Handbook’s Objective

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. This handbook’s objective is to guide you in drafting clearly written directives for the Foreign Affairs Manual and the Foreign Affairs Handbooks (FAMs and FAHs).  The intent is more than just to provide you with rules of grammar and formatting guidelines.  This handbook seeks to redefine how the Department of State writes its directives.  Consequently, the focus is on you, the drafter.  You must understand and adopt the new concepts for the Department to achieve its objectives.

b. Concepts:

(1)  Write for the reader.  Remember, directives provide instructions or guidance;

(2)  Write directives in plain language whenever possible.  Section 2 FAH-1 H-112.2 introduces plain language techniques;

(3)  Describe the intent of the directive.  Give the reader a clear sense of what you want the reader to do or not to do;

(4)  Specify the laws, regulations, Executive orders, etc. (collectively called authorities) that underlie the directive you are writing.  Section 2 FAH-1 H-114.4 describes how to accomplish this by using hyperlinks; and

(5)  Specify (by title or office name/symbol) the person or entity responsible for taking, authorizing, or prohibiting actions.  Specify in detail the authority such persons or entities have to execute their responsibilities; and

(6)  Clearly specify whether and how the reader has authority to exercise discretion to deviate from instructions or guidance you are providing.  Section 2 FAH-1 H-112.3 describes how to do this.

c.  The Office of Directives Management (A/GIS/DIR) is responsible for the contents of this handbook.  Send questions to the Office of Directives Management e-mail address, EFAM@state.gov

2 FAH-1 H-111.2  Scope

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

These procedures apply to the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and its supplemental Foreign Affairs Handbook series (FAH).  (References in this handbook to the “FAM” also apply to “FAHs” unless otherwise specified.)  See also Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR).  The Assistant Secretary for Administration chairs the Standing Committee on Directives, which consists of designated representatives from the Department.  It meets as necessary to provide guidance and direction on FAM/FAH issues and resolve other significant issues concerning FAM material.

2 FAH-1 H-111.3  Authorities

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

Authorities include:

(1)  Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993) states that regulations shall be “easy to understand” and recognizes Federal agencies as “responsible for developing regulations and assuring that the regulations are consistent with applicable law . . . .”;

(2)  The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) states that each agency should strive to:  “provide agency managers with the means to convey written instructions to users and document agency policies and procedures through effective directives management; provide agency personnel with the information needed in the right place, at the right time, and in a useful format; . . . .”  41 CFR 102-193.25;

(3)  The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) (Public Law 105-277, Title XVII (44 U.S.C. 3504, note)) requires agencies to “provide—(1) for the option of the electronic maintenance, submission, or disclosure of information, when practicable as a substitute for paper; and (2) for the use and acceptance of electronic signatures, when practicable”;

(4)  The Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, which implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d), generally require agencies to provide comparable access to electronic information to individuals with and without disabilities, unless providing access to persons with disabilities imposes an undue burden on the agency; and

(5)  Certain FAM changes may impact labor-management relations, which are addressed primarily in Chapter 10 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended (22 U.S.C. 4101 – 22 U.S.C. 4118) (regarding Foreign Service employees) and 5 U.S.C. 71 (regarding Civil Service employees).  (See also 3 FAM 5110, Labor-Management Relations.)

2 FAH-1 H-111.4  What Triggers an Update to the FAM or FAHs?

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

Changes to the Department’s organizational structure or the way it conducts U.S. Government business will usually trigger the need to update the FAM or FAHs.  Examples of various triggers and the probable items needing updates are:


Items needing updates

Change to a bureau/office name, structure, or function


New functions, programs, or organizational units

office symbol, title, or organization code

program or activity description/definition

reporting structure

operational procedures

Change to, or the interpretation of, a law, statute, or regulation (e.g., U.S.C., CFR, E.O., FAR)

citations thereto or to:  MOU, MOA, or Delegations of Authority

relevant FAM instruction and/or guidance

Out-of-date information

policies, procedures, job titles, equipment names, contact information, form names, protocol, terminology, etc.

2 FAH-1 H-111.5  Writing Concepts

(CT:FPH-5;   03-03-2011)

a. When writing new or revised material for FAM and FAH, you are providing instructions and guidance for the reader.  Your instructions and guidance may address topics such as:

(1)  Carrying out a law, Executive Order, or provision of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR);

(2)  Accomplishing a task or making a decision; or

(3)  Understanding why some action is required and when an exception can be granted (see 2 FAH-1 H-112.3).

b. Write in plain language (see 2 FAH-1 H-112.2), as if you are talking directly to the reader.  Put yourself in the place of the reader.  Ask yourself, “What do I need to understand?”  Then write the answer to that question.  What you write should be clear, concise, and easily understood.

c.  Each subchapter should describe its overall purpose.  Define what the subchapter intends to accomplish.  Be clear on the intent.

d. List the specific legal authorities relevant to your subchapter.  However, to avoid issues as to whether the list is exclusive, include the preface “Authorities include:” preceding the list.  For statutes, include U.S. Code citations where available.  Create hyperlinks so that the reader can go directly to the authorities if necessary.  See 2 FAH-1 H-114.4 for details on adding hyperlinks.

e. Let the reader know what discretion is available to accomplish the intent of the subchapter, what authorities exist to make exceptions and use this discretion, and which person or entity (e.g., by title or office name/symbol) is authorized to approve this exception.  This is critical.  If the reader has no discretion, then say so, and identify any legal or policy authority constraining the reader’s actions.

f.  Link responsibilities to a person (by title) or entity (by office name/symbol).

g. Include contact information for readers who do not understand the information, or who wish to seek additional guidance.  The preferred method is a hyperlink to an office e-mail box established for that purpose (see 2 FAH-1 H-114.4).  If this is not feasible, provide the name of the program office.  Keep this information current.

h. A/GIS/DIR offers templates to help you format your document.

i.  Generally, your document should contain the following sections if they apply:



Policy and objectives

Describe what you intend the reader to do.  Make sure this section is clear.

Scope and applicability

Describe to whom and under what circumstances the instructions and guidance apply.


Cite statutes, Executive orders, etc., that are the sources of the directive.

Individual authority and responsibilities

Describe the authority the individual exercises in carrying out his or her job (for example, “The budget management officer certifies funds for payment”).  This individual authority derives from policy authorities above.  Indicate in this section whether the reader has discretion to deviate from the instructions.  See 2 FAH-1 H-112.3 for details on which auxiliary verbs to use as you draft.


Define terms that do not have clear or obvious meanings.

Specific headings for the subject matter

The reader may have to cite all or part of your directive.  Use headings to break up subject matter and divide instructions and guidance into smaller paragraphs.

j.  During the drafting and clearance process, drafters must use the “Track Changes” function to indicate proposed FAM/FAH edits.  In all cases, use the approved FAM/FAH template styles for new or revised material.


2 FAH-1 H-112.1  Subchapter:  FAM’s Basic Unit

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

The FAM’s basic unit of publication is the subchapter.  When making changes to an existing FAM or FAH, review the entire subchapter and bring it up to existing guidelines for content and style.  Updated references and links also should be checked to ensure their accuracy and relevancy.

2 FAH-1 H-112.2  Use Plain Language

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. Use plain language to improve the reader’s comprehension.  However, you have discretion to deviate from plain language when the following applies:

(1)  Using the language of authorities (laws, Executive orders, treaties, etc.);

(2)  Using prior FAM text that has a meaning defined by court decision, other adjudicatory body, or longstanding Department usage; and

(3)  Technical material designed specifically for subject-matter experts such as consular officers, security agents, information management officers, human resources specialists, budget and financial management officers, etc.

b. The following are the most notable differences between plain language and other writing styles:

(1)  Pronouns as subjects—Whenever possible, use the second person “you.”  (“You” may be implicit, as it is in this paragraph.)  Be certain the reader understands to whom a pronoun refers.  Use a noun if a pronoun would be ambiguous;

(2)  Voice—Use the active voice (e.g., “The executive office grants extended leave requests.”) rather than the passive voice (e.g., “Extended leave requests are granted by the executive Office.”).  Passive voice may often leave unstated one of the more critical regulatory questions—who is responsible for taking action or who received the action (e.g., “Extended leave is authorized.”);

(3)  Verbs—Use strong verbs to drive the desired action required in a sentence.  Avoid weak verbs that need the support of additional modifiers.  For example, “The GSO assists the ICASS council” is short, direct, and preferable to “The GSO provides assistance to the ICASS council”;

(4)  Precise verbs—Precision is critical when writing FAM directives.  Use definitive verbs to avoid misinterpretation.  In some cases misinterpretation of FAM provisions could lead to lawsuits against the Department;

      NOTE:  See 2 FAH-1 H-112.3 for examples of precise verbs.

(5)  Avoid words and constructions that cause confusion.  Common sources of confusion include:

(a)  Two different terms used for the same thing (e.g., car, vehicle, auto, conveyance—choose one);

(b)  Giving an obscure technical or legal meaning to a word commonly understood to mean something different (e.g., defining “car” to include trucks);

(c)  Strings of nouns forming complex constructions (e.g., surface-water quality protection procedures); and

(d)  Pronouns that don’t clearly refer to specific nouns;

(6)  Word placement—To reduce ambiguity, keep subjects and objects close to their verbs.  You can easily confuse the reader if you put a word in the wrong place in a sentence.  For example, “Only the ambassador can authorize extended leave” and “The ambassador only can authorize extended leave” can have different meanings.  In the first sentence the ambassador is clearly the sole official who can “authorize extended leave.”  But in the second sentence the meaning is ambiguous, and the reader could conclude that the ambassador authority is limited to approving “extended leave” versus other types of leave.  In addition to the word “only,” be careful with the placement of other modifiers, such as “always” and “just”;

(7)  Sentence length—Keep your sentences as short as possible.  The ideal maximum is 15 to 20 words.  For clarity and better understanding, consider breaking long sentences into lists or tables;

(8)  Visual presentation—Plain language recommends using visual presentation techniques, such as:

(a)  Informative headings;

(b)  Short sections;

(c)  One issue per paragraph; and

(d)  Vertical lists.

(9)  Tables—Use tables to display complex relationships more clearly.  Their arrangement helps writers and readers alike to sort out multiple options, steps, conditions, and choices.  (For a sample table, see 2 FAH-1 H-111.5i)  To create a table, DO NOT USE the “Borders and Shading” command under the Format menu.  Instead, choose MSWord’s Table menu command—

1.     Select “Table” from Menu Bar;

2.     Choose “Insert > Table . . . “;

3.     Insert the number of rows and columns desired; and

4.     Click “OK.”

c.  For more information on using plain language, see these Web sites:

·         The Plain Language Action and Information Network

·         National Archives Plain Language Tools

·         Writing User-Friendly Documents

·         NIH Plain Language Training (on line)

2 FAH-1 H-112.3  How To Indicate Whether the Reader Has Discretion To Deviate From the Instructions

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

Remember as you draft your directive that you are giving instructions and guidance to the reader.  The information must be clear, and the discretion of the reader to deviate from instructions must be clear.  Use sentences with the auxiliary verbs “must,” “should,” and “may” to describe the level of discretion.  Avoid using the verb “shall.”  Its various definitions tend to confuse rather than clarify your intent.  Where appropriate, use “must” instead:

(1)  Mandatory:  Use “must” to advise the reader that he or she has no discretion to deviate from the instructions.  In some cases, the reader will have no discretion, but another person or entity can grant authority to deviate from the instruction.  If so, identify the person (by title) or office (by name/symbol) with authority and the circumstances under which the authority may be exercised.  (See 2 FAH-1 H-111.5, paragraph f.);

(2)  Recommended:  Use “should” to advise the reader that the instruction you are providing is the Department’s preferred approach.  However, the word “should” permits the reader to deviate if the reader can accomplish the objective in another way.  Clearly specify how much discretion the reader has, and advise the reader if he or she must justify any deviations.  Use the term “recommended” if you believe the word “should” will not convey these points adequately in the context of the sentence.  Either define the word “should” or hyperlink to this definition at the beginning of subchapters in which the word appears; and

(3)  Advisory:  Use “may” to advise the reader that he or she has the option to pursue alternative courses of action.  Use “may” when neither law, regulation, nor management policy dictates which of several options to follow.

2 FAH-1 H-112.4  Drafting Informative Headings

(CT:FPH-2;   09-08-2006)

a. After good organization and active voice, informative headings are the most helpful way to guide readers through your document.  Don’t use vague or nondescript headings, such as “general” or “training.”  Instead, create headings that provide a synopsis of what information follows, such as “Transferring Maintenance Responsibilities.”

b. Use short descriptive headings in internal guidance documents if your internal documents are highly organized and consistent.  You may also use questions (such as “How many hours of training must I have?”) for headings if they may make it easier for the user to find materials.


2 FAH-1 H-113.1  Format

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. The FAM’s format is designed to meet E-Government objectives.  This format affords speed and flexibility in finding material and the benefit of linking to supporting documentation.

b. Write or revise FAM subchapters using the official Department FAM/FAH template.  This template is available from the Office of Directives Management FAM supervisor (EFAM@state.gov).  Sections 2 FAH-1 H-113.1-1 and H-113.1-2 refer to organizing and formatting your FAM subchapters properly (including handbook sections).

c.  To revise a subchapter, you must download the most current Microsoft Word version from the DIR Web site.  Review the entire subchapter.  In rare circumstances, A/GIS/DIR will publish specific changes to a section without reviewing the entire subchapter.  For guidance in these instances, contact the relevant DIR volume analyst (EFAM@state.gov).

d. Place the most important information first, then follow with your supporting material.  This encourages the reader to take specific actions, learn about a change, or to read more.

e. Upon completion of the clearance process, and before sending your original draft to A/GIS/DIR, go through the entire “final draft” and follow these procedures:

(1)  Highlight in yellow each word, phrase, sentence, or reference that has changed since the last published version;

(2)  Remove track changes; and

(3)  E-mail the final draft, along with any clearances, to A/GIS/DIR (EFAM@state.gov).

f.  A/GIS/DIR will convert the revised or new text to italics and dark magenta™.  When revisions to a subchapter total 50 percent or more, changes will not be indicated in italic darkmagenta™.  (See 2 FAH-1 H-115.3.)

2 FAH-1 H-113.1-1  Volume Structure

(CT:FPH-2;   09-08-2006)

a. The FAM divides major functions of the Department of State into volumes.  Within each FAM volume are chapters, subchapters, and sections.  Each chapter number and title appears above its first subchapter.  Chapter and subchapter numbers vary by volume.  Generally, chapter numbers are 000, 100, 200, etc.  For example, Chapter 100 has subchapters 110, 120, 130, etc.  Subchapter numbers and titles appear centered, in all capitals, at the top of the subchapter’s first page.  Each subchapter can have major subdivisions: for example sections 121, 122, 123, etc.  An example of chapter-through-section numbering follows.

    NOTE:  Type style specification codes are noted to the right of the examples that follow.)


                  0 FAM 100                H22
              CHAPTER TITLE           H22

                   0 FAM 110               H20
             SUBCHAPTER TITLE      H20

0 FAM 111  SECTION TITLE                    H18

b. Below the section level are subsections.  These begin at the .1 level; the next subdivision at .1-1.  The FAM refers to all section subdivisions as “sections.”  Below the first section level (that is, after the decimal point), numbers larger than nine are permissible (for example, 121.35, or 121.1-13).  The FAM can have two further subdivisions, but these are rarely used.  All heading numbers and titles are bold and darkblue, as noted in the following subsection example.


0 FAM 111.1  Section Title                             H16

0 FAM 111.1-1  Section Title                                    H14

0 FAM 111.1-1(A)  Section Title                               H14

 0 FAM 111.1-1(A)(1)  Section Title                          H14

c.  Foreign Affairs Handbook structure is the same as FAM structure, except that each chapter, subchapter, section, etc., takes an “H-” in front of each number.


0 FAH-1 H-113.5-3  Section Title                               H14

2 FAH-1 H-113.1-2  Paragraph Structure

(CT:FPH-6;   04-13-2011)

a. If a section has more than one paragraph, identify each paragraph by a letter designation.  If a section has only one paragraph, or one paragraph followed by two or more subordinate paragraphs (identified as subparagraphs), do not identify the single (main) paragraph with a letter.  Do, however, identify subparagraphs by numbers or letters in parentheses, depending on their degree of subordination.


Descending order of paragraphs and subparagraphs

Single paragraph level                                                    Text

a.  lettered paragraph level                                             Text abc

(1)  first subparagraph level                                      Text 123

(a)  second subparagraph level                            Text (a)

    NOTE:  FAM section titles and paragraphing structure must follow the “two or more” rule; i.e., you can’t have “a” without “b”, or “(1)” without “(2)”.

b. Notes to paragraphs are part of, and have the same style as, the paragraphs they follow.  The word “NOTE” is in all caps bold type and is followed by a colon.


NOTE:  Follow this handbook’s instructions.                           Text

c.  Exception to paragraph structure.  In a Definitions section, each definition paragraph remains unlettered and unnumbered:

(1)  List defined terms in alphabetical order;

(2)  The term defined is in bold type followed by a colon and two spaces; and

(3)  The definition is in “Text abc” paragraph style.


Approving official (AO):  An individual who is officially established in the purchase card program through a written delegation memorandum and who has daily oversight responsibility for each cardholder under his or her purview.

Junior officer candidate:  All Foreign Service officer candidates in the categories covered by 3 FAM 2241.3, subparagraphs (1) and (3).

2 FAH-1 H-113.1-3  Change Transmittal (CT) Lines

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. A/GIS/DIR issues changes to the FAM through a change transmittal (CT) issuance—formerly known as a transmittal letter (TL).  The CT indicates when the last update was made and includes a summary of the changes.  A/GIS/DIR maintains copies of all changes.  If you need to know what text was in effect on a specified date, contact the Office of Directives Management (EFAM@state.gov).

b. When the FAM volume coordinator (VC) or program office submits updates to A/GIS/DIR, it must include a summary of the changes to be included in the CT.

c.  Place the CT line (italics, centered, and in parentheses) below each subchapter title.  (Subchapter head is style H20 and CT line is style CT Centered.)

    NOTE:  In addition to the CT line, each subchapter head also requires an Office of Origin reference.  (Use the CT Centered style for the Office of Origin line).


           0 FAH-1 H-110           H20
        SUBCHAPTER TITLE      H20

(CT:GEN-969;   01-16-2004)    CT Centered
(Office of Origin:  A/GIS/DIR)   CT Centered

d. Place the CT line below any section or subsection title that has text immediately beneath it, and specify its issuance date.


0 FAH-1 H-113.1-3  Change Transmittal (CT) Lines

(CT:GEN-969;   01-16-2004)                                                CT Flush

e. Unless otherwise noted, FAM changes become effective on the issuance date of the change transmittal (CT).  When the effective date of a FAM section differs from the CT date, specify the effective date on a line immediately below the section or subsection heading (italic, flush left, and in parentheses).


0 FAH-1 H-113.1-3  Change Transmittal (CT) Lines

(CT:GEN-969;   01-16-2004)                                                CT Flush
(Effective Date:  01-05-2004)                                               CT Flush

f.  When FAM sections apply to other agencies, identify their scope immediately below the section or subsection title, including, in parenthesis, additional requests for each agency.


0 FAH-1 H-113.1-3  Change Transmittal (CT) Lines

(CT:GEN-969;   01-16-2004)                                               CT Flush
(Uniform State/USAID (See MOA V-480)/USAID)                      CT Flush
(See ADS 566.3.8)/Commerce/Agriculture)                          CT Flush

g. When FAM sections apply to specific types of personnel such as the following, identify their scope immediately below the section or subsection title (italics, flush left, and in parentheses):

(1)  Foreign Service employees;

(2)  Overseas Employees/Locally Employed Staff, e.g., Foreign Service Nationals and U.S. citizens paid under the Local Compensation Plan;

(3)  Eligible Family Members paid under the FP schedule;

(4)  Not Ordinarily Resident employees paid under the FP schedule;

(5)  Civil Service employees; or

(6)  Some combination of this group.

NOTE:  For definitions of each specific type of personnel, see 3 FAM 7120.


0 FAH-1 H-113.1-3  Change Transmittal (CT) Lines

(CT:GEN-969;   01-16-2004)                                                CT Flush
(Uniform State/USAID)                                                         CT Flush
(Applies to Foreign Service Nationals and U.S. citizens paid under the Local Compensation Plan)                                                     CT Flush

2 FAH-1 H-113.2  Headers and Footers

2 FAH-1 H-113.2-1  Page Headers

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

Each FAM and FAH subchapter has a page header, inserted by A/GIS/DIR.  The header contains the following:

(1)  U.S. Department of State;

(2)  Foreign Affairs Manual or Foreign Affairs Handbook;

(3)  Volume number (FAM) or volume number and handbook number (FAH); and

(4)  Title of volume (FAM) or handbook (FAH).

Example of FAM Header

U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 2—General


Example of FAH Header

U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 Handbook 2—
Protection Handbook

NOTE:  Text style for page headers is 10-pt Verdana centered.

2 FAH-1 H-113.2-2  Page Footers

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

Each FAM and FAH subchapter has a page footer inserted by A/GIS/DIR.  The footer contains the following:

(1)  The FAM or FAH volume number;

(2)  Handbook number (for FAHs only);

(3)  Subchapter number; and

(4)  Page number

Example of FAH Footer

12 FAH-2 H-210  Page 1 of 15 


Example of FAH Footer

12 FAH-2 H-210  Page 1 of 15 

NOTE:  Text style for the page footer is 10-pt Verdana flush right.

2 FAH-1 H-113.2-3  Classification Level Indicators

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

For the placement of the overall document classification level, the FAM follows the guidelines set forth by Executive Order 13526 and ISOO Implementing Directive No. 1, and illustrated by ISSO’s “Marking Classified National Security Information.”  Specifically, the overall classification [for Secret and Confidential FAMs and FAHs] must conspicuously appear at the top and bottom of each page, as illustrated on page 5 of ISOO’s booklet.  Classifications should appear in Boldface All Caps 12 text, centered top and bottom on each page.  No other document text should appear above the top, or below the bottom, of the classification indicators.

Example of Classification Header and Footer


U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 11—Legal and Political Affairs (U)


     (U)  Main text appears here; main text appears here; main text appears here; main text appears here; main text appears here.


     (C)  Main text for classified text; main text for classified text; main text for classified text; main text for classified text 11 FAM 010  Page 1 of xx



(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

The Department generally follows the standards published in the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Style Manual (the GPO Style Manual).  For exceptions to the GPO Style Manual rules, see the Executive Secretariat’s Office of Correspondence and Records “Ready Reference Guide.”

NOTE:  As an aid to the reader, references to the specific sections of the GPO Style Manual have been added to several rules of grammar, capitalization, punctuation, etc.

2 FAH-1 H-114.1  Abbreviations

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

In general, refer to the GPO Style Manual (Chapter 9) for accepted forms of abbreviations, acronyms, and letter symbols.  For exceptions and short forms specific to the Department of State, see the Ready Reference Guide.

(1)  State Department Offices:  Spell out the full title the first time you use it and place its office symbol acronym in parentheses directly after it.  Reintroduce the full title of the acronym the first time you use it in each section, or more often if needed for clarity:


Assistant Director for International Programs (DS/IP)

regional security office (RSO)

(2)  U.S. and United States:  Use “U.S.” only as an adjective, and spell out “United States” when used as a noun:


The United States announced the closing of a consular office.

(3)  Department of State:  Do not use “DOS” for the Department of State.  Use “State” or “the Department”;

(4)  Public Law:  Spell out both words; do not abbreviate;

(5)  U.S.C:  Abbreviate the U.S. Code using periods; and

(6)  CFR, FAM, FAH, and U.S. Government Departments and Agencies Other Than the Department of State:  Abbreviate without periods (e.g., DOD).

2 FAH-1 H-114.2  Capitalization

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

In general, follow the examples below for capitalizing names and titles.



Capitalize formal titles and organized bodies or entities.

      The GPO Style Manual 3.17

Ambassador Smith briefed the Marine security guards in the Embassy courtyard.

Do not capitalize generic or functional titles.
     The GPO Style Manual 3.34

regional security officer;  ambassador;  consular officer

Capitalize names of regions, localities, and geographic features.
      The GPO Style Manual 3.21

the Far East;  the North Pole;  Middle Eastern;  the Western Hemisphere;  the Midwest

Capitalize Internet, Intranet, and the Web, but lower case the word “site.”
           The GPO Style Manual 4

The Department has an Internet Web site as well as an in-house Intranet site.

Capitalize the proper or full names of organizations, bureaus, or offices.
      The GPO Style Manual 3.17

The front offices for the Bureau of Administration and the Office of UN Political Affairs are on the sixth floor.

Capitalize official designations of countries, national domains, and their principal administrative divisions.
      The GPO Style Manual 3.19

United States, the Republic, the Nation, the Union, the Government, the Federal Government, the State of Maryland, and the State (referring to one of the 50 U.S. States).

2 FAH-1 H-114.3  Citing FAM-Related Materials

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. Where a section references material outside the FAM, identify that material so that DIR can provide a hyperlink to it.  (See 2 FAH-1 H-114.4.)

b. How you cite a FAM/FAH reference depends on the document:

(1)  Volumes use volume number and acronym, plus section or subsection:


1 FAM 123
6 FAM 469.3-2

(2)  Handbooks use volume number, handbook acronym and number (separated by a hyphen), then the section or subsection number (preceded by an “H-”):


5 FAH-1 H-456

(3)  Exhibits and appendices use the volume or handbook style from above, “Exhibit,” “Appendix,” “Notes,” or “Procedural Notes,” with the section or subsection number followed by a comma, then the document title:


4 FAM Exhibit 225.2
4 FAH-3 Exhibit H-525
9 FAM  Appendix K

c.  Do not start a sentence with a numerical reference.  Precede the reference with at least one word or article.  For example:  “See 2 FAM 010 for the scope of…” or “Consult 22 CFR . . . .”

d. You may let the formatting split a reference by having one part begin near the end of the line and continuing on the next line.

2 FAH-1 H-114.4  Hyperlinks

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. A hyperlink is an electronic link providing direct access from one electronic document to another.  Clicking on a keyword or key phrase in one source (e.g., the FAM) opens another electronic source.  The location of these electronic sources is called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) (i.e., a Web address).

b. Hyperlinks do not exist in all published versions of the FAM and FAH:

(1)  The links exist and work only in the OpenNet html version (ClassNet has FAM links only);

(2)  The links do not exist in the public, Internet version (which is in pdf format); and

(3)  The links do not exist in the Word™ document version (on the OpenNet) that some drafters use to revise the FAM and FAH.

c.  Just before publishing on the OpenNet, A/GIS/DIR uses a computer program that does two things:

(1)  It “cleans” the document by removing links, redundant versions, bookmarks, comments, etc. (which all reduces document size), and turns off the track changes feature in the document; and

(2)  It then adds links to the associated keyword or key phrase within the document.  It adds links throughout the HTML version by simply adding the URL portion to the associated keyword or keyphrase, leaving the visible text unchanged.  This saves time for everyone involved in the revision process.

d. A/GIS/DIR then adds custom links where the drafter has supplied URLs.

e. The following sections tell you how to prepare your citations for the system to link your text to the reference.

2 FAH-1 H-114.4-1  Automatic Links

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

The system automatically groups FAM links into categories, including the following:  Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), U.S. Code (U.S.C.), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars, and the FAM and FAH.  The system will add these links if and only if you format the citation as shown in this section.

Example:  CFR—Code of Federal Regulations Links

Correct:  22 CFR 40.9


(1)  22 CFR 40: The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) site, the source for the CFR, will not link to this level.  The GPO site only recognizes citations at the subsection level.  This is GPO’s limitation, not the Department’s; and

(2)  Code of Federal Regulations Title 5, Chapter I, Part 723, Section 130—The program does not recognize the long-hand version citation.  Written as 5 CFR 723.130, this citation will result in a link.


Example:  U.S.C.—United States Code Links


(1)    22 U.S.C. 2651a(a)(3)(A)

(2)    5 U.S.C. 302


Title 5 U.S.C., Part I, Chapter 3, Section 302(b)(1):  the program does not recognize the long hand version citation.  The same citation written as 5 U.S.C. 302(b)(1) will result in a link.


Example:  OMB Circular Links

The program will automatically link to the OMB Circulars when the citation is in the correct format, as shown below.

a. Correct:  OMB Circular A-130

b. Incorrect:

(1)  Circular 130

(2)  OMB A-130

(3)  Office of Management and Budget Circular 130


Example:  FAM and FAH Links

The program will automatically create FAM and FAH links when the citation is in the correct format.  The citation can be for any section level and must match the section number as it appears in the volume.  When citing a paragraph within a section, leave a space between the FAM citation and the paragraph number or letter or insert the word ‘paragraph’ between the citation and the paragraph number.

a. Correct:

(1)  4 FAM 620;

(2)  6 FAM 923.4-6;

(3)  7 FAM 842 paragraph b; and

(4)  3 FAH-1 H-426 g(2).

b.     Incorrect:

(1)  Volume 5 subchapter 620 of the FAM; and

(2)  5 FAH-3 H-421f

2 FAH-1 H-114.4-1(A)  INA—Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. A/GIS/DIR does not link directly to the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 (INA) because there is no complete, current version of the Act on the Web that reflects all its amendments and edits.  So DIR had to find another way to provide the most current version of the Act’s information.

b. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 is incorporated into the U.S. Code (U.S.C.), which is available online.  To cite a section of the Act, follow these examples (important if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) changes its system and DIR can create direct links).  The program will automatically provide the U.S.C. links as outlined in 2 FAH-1 H-114.41.

Example:  INA—Immigration and Naturalization Act

a. Correct:

(1)  INA 212(a)(1)(B)

(2)  INA 101(b)

(3)  INA 201

b. Incorrect:

(1)  INA201:  Needs a space between “INA” and the section number;

(2)  INA 101 (b):  Space after the section number “101” ends the citation; this link will go to INA 101 and not directly to the paragraph (b) under it.  This will require users to scroll to find the cited paragraph; and

(3)  INA title II chapter 3 section 223:  The program does not recognize the long-hand version citation.  This same citation written as INA 223 will produce a link.

c.  A/GIS/DIR has a chart with the sections of the INA and their U.S.C. equivalents on its OpenNet site.

2 FAH-1 H-114.4-1(B)  Foreign Service Act of 1980

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. A/GIS/DIR does not link directly to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 because there is no version of the Act on the Web that reflects all its amendments and edits.  So we had to find another way to provide the most current version of the Act’s information.

b. The Foreign Service Act of 1980 is incorporated into the U.S. Code, which is available online.  To cite a section of the Act, place the U.S. Code equivalent in parenthesis immediately after the citation.  The program will automatically make the U.S.C. links as outlined in 2 FAH-1 H-114.4-1.  For example: under the authority of Sections 309 and 311(a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended (22 U.S.C. 3949, 22 U.S.C. 3951(a)).

c.  A/GIS/DIR has a chart with the sections of the Foreign Service Act and its U.S. Code equivalents on its OpenNet site.

2 FAH-1 H-114.4-2  Custom Links

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. The FAM can link to other Web sites, such as other U.S. Government agencies and organizations.  You need to provide a key word or phrase and the URL for the link.  Make sure the key word or phrase:

(1)  Refers to the actual page—Use the actual page or site title to refer to a page.  Avoid referring to a specific page on a site by citing the home page and vice versa.  The key phrase should match the actual page linked;

(2)  Is unique—Use a unique phrase.  Choosing a common word or phrase could result in the link appearing in many places throughout the volume and accompanying handbooks; and

(3)  Is consistent—Use same phrase every time you want the reader to go to that particular source.  (It may help to check the page itself for a good key phrase to use.) Do not use multiple phrases to link to the same URL.  This could cause confusion when several different citations link to the same page.

Examples of Custom Links:

a. Correct:  Phrase:  American Red Cross Guide for Families Affected by Transportation Disasters
The phrase cites a specific item on a site and the URL links directly;

b. Incorrect:

(1)  Phrase: American Red Cross
URL: http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/keepsafe/transportation.html
Broad phrase, specific item link—users would expect to go to the home page of the Red Cross and not to any specific page or item within the site; and

(2)  Phrase: Guide for Families Affected by Transportation Disasters
URL:  http://www.redcross.org/
Specific phrase, general link—users would expect to go to the specific page or item of the guide itself, not the Red Cross home page.

2 FAH-1 H-114.4-3  No Hyperlinks

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. A/GIS/DIR does not link to the following, for a variety of reasons:

(1)  Executive Orders (EOs):  There is no known current and complete source for these; many, but not all, are available on the National Archives Web site.  Moreover, a simple, direct link will not tell the reader if the order has been modified, superseded, or revoked; and

(2)  Public Laws:  There is no complete, current version of them available on the Web that reflects all their amendments and edits.

2 FAH-1 H-114.5  Using Numbers

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

Follow these guidelines when citing numbers and numerical form.  See the GPO Style Manual 12.1 to 12.29.



Spell out numbers below 10 in a sentence.

The program places emphasis on three vital areas.

Use figures for numbers 10 and above.

A committee of 15 RSOs rewrote 21 subchapters.

For two or more numbers in a sentence, if one is above 10, then use figures for each number.

The embassy constructed 14 staff houses and 6 guard towers.

Spell out ordinal numbers first through ninth for time or location.

The first meeting convenes on the third floor in the second week of June.

Use figures for units of measurement, time, or money.

In the first 8 hours, over 40 percent of the officers donated at least $75 each.

Use figures for monetary amounts less than 1 million.

The court distributed the remaining $250,000 to 100 stockholders.

Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence.

When possible, recast the sentence in the active voice.

Twelve years passed before he returned to the bureau.

He returned to the bureau 12 years later.

Use figures to express mixed fractions, but spell out fractions standing alone.

The report was 9-1/2 pages long, but the synopsis was only one-tenth of that.

For percentages, use a figure and spell out the word “percent.”

There is a 30-percent chance of rain tomorrow.

With two separate figures, use “percent” only once.

There is a 20- to 25-percent chance of rain today.

Use the words “million,” “billion,” and “trillion” for large numbers.

150 million people, $12.5 billion,  6.5 trillion stars

Use numerals rather than letters for figures or illustrations.

The graph in Figure 2 displays the rate of increased compensation.

Use numerals to explain sequential steps, especially when giving instructions.

1.     Type in the Web address.  This will bring you to our home page.

2.     Mouse click on “Contact Us.”

3.     Type in your message.

2 FAH-1 H-114.6  Time of Day

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

Follow these guidelines when citing time of day.  See the GPO Style Manual, 12.9b.



Use a.m. and p.m. with a 12-hour clock cycle.

Send us your report by 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Omit minutes when citing time on the hour.

Send us your report by 10 a.m. Monday.

Always write “noon” and “midnight” (and not “12 p.m.” or “12 a.m.”).

The passport office must receive the application by noon tomorrow.

2 FAH-1 H-114.7  Dates

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. Write out specific dates within sentences or as part of a heading.  See the GPO Style Manual, 12.9c.



Date within a sentence

We received advanced notice of the inquiry on June 15, 2003.

Date in a heading

January 15, 2003

The Director of Operations
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C.  20520

b. Use figures when referring to specific dates.  See the GPO Style Manual 12. 9c.


the 4th of April (specific month)

but, the fourth day of the month (nonspecific month)

2 FAH-1 H-114.8  Punctuation

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. Apostrophe:  See the GPO Style Manual 8.3 to 8.18.  Use an apostrophe to show possession:

(1)  Place an “s” at the end of a singular word, or at the end of a plural word that does not end in “s.”:


The Court’s decision on the women’s claim is under review.

(2)  Place the apostrophe only at the end of plural words ending in “s”:


We updated our analysts’ research strategies this quarter.

(3)  With a possessive involving two subjects, determine whether both parties own the item together or separately:


State and AID’s policy regarding . . . .

      NOTE:  In the above case, State and AID share the same policy.  In the next example, we have two different administrations.


Carter’s and Reagan’s administrations were  . . .

      Exception:  Don’t place an apostrophe after names of countries or organized bodies ending in “s.”


A United Nations meeting;  the United States policy

b. Bullets:  Use bullets to highlight key thoughts or for a short list of items.  Bulleted items should not be complete sentences.


Any proposed new organizational structure should strive to achieve a proper balance among:

Mission needs

Efficiency of operations

Effective employee utilization

c.  Colon:  See the GPO Style Manual 8.23 to 8.33.

d. Comma:  See the GPO Style Manual 8.34 to 8.49.  Use a comma:

(1)  To join two complete sentences with “and,” “or,” “but,” “yet,” and so on:


State enacted needed improvements, and these actions benefit all U.S. Government agencies at posts abroad.

(2)  After introductory words and phrases:


By July 1998, the new program was ready for review.

Furthermore, policy alone cannot revoke this decision.

(3)  Between two or more consecutive adjectives instead of the conjunction “and”:


The program is a simple, cost-effective method of purchasing.

(4)  Before the word “and” or other conjunctions in lists of three or more words, letters, phrases, or figures:


We have more control, lower turnover, and better relations.

(5)  With nonessential or secondary information:


They studied the best data-gathering practices, sending questionnaires across the world, and presented the findings and recommendations to management.

(6)  In dates, between the day and the year:


You must submit the complete report by May 22, 2004.

      NOTE:  Do not use a comma when the day is missing, or when referring to a specific year (See the GPO Style Manual 8.52).


The new program began in May 2004.

This policy will expire in the Year 2004.

e. Em dash:  See the GPO Style Manual 8.60 to 8.68.  Use an em dash to give a longer pause than a comma, although two hyphens are also acceptable.  Also use the em dash:

(1)  To interrupt a thought:


We agreed that we could provide a more pleasing environment than a separate building—away from headquarters.

(2)  To emphasize a point, or to separate your emphasis from the main part of the sentence:


Employee satisfactions rates rose to 85 percent—meeting our internal goal—with the survey return rate reaching 55 percent.

(3)  To summarize a series of items at the end of your sentence:


A second attempt would require additional office space—fully supplied with costly furniture and equipment.

f.  Hyphen:  See the GPO Style Manual 8.86 to 8.90:

(1)  Use a hyphen:

(a)  With a prefix, if the first letter of the base word is capitalized:


pro-Marxist,   anti-American

(b)  With compound modifiers:


We had a face-to-face meeting.

Our reviewer is a part-time contractor.

(2)  Do not hyphenate:

(a)  Compound modifiers using “very” and adverbs ending in “ly”:


The Department participated in very long meetings.

A quickly forgotten decision is no decision at all.

(b)  Compound predicate adjectives:


Our reviewer works full time.

g. Semicolon:  See the GPO Style Manual 8.145 to 8.147.


2 FAH-1 H-115.1  FAM Template

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. The FAM/FAH template is, generally, already embedded in MS Word-version subchapters that you retrieve from the DIR Web site.

b. To update an existing subchapter:

(1)  Access the subchapter that needs updating from the A/GIS/DIR Web site and save a copy to your desktop;

(2)  Make any needed additions, deletions, or changes to the entire subchapter text;

(3)  If the template is not embedded in the subchapter, obtain a copy of the FAM/FAH template by contacting the Office of Directives Management (A/GIS/DIR) FAM supervisor (202-312-9600 or EFAM@state.gov); and

c.  A few older FAM Volumes may contain chapters that were created as one entire electronic file, instead of separate files for each subchapter.  For consistency and ease of updating, break these single files into separate subchapter documents.

2 FAH-1 H-115.2  Fonts and Typefaces

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. The official versions of the FAM and FAHs use electronic-based fonts for their publishing standards.

b. The FAM uses Verdana for both heads and text.  Body text and CT lines are 12 points; table text can be 10 or 12 points; and heads vary from 14 to 22 points within chapters.  (The FAM/FAH Templates include preformatted styles for both heads and text and are available as toolbar buttons and from the application’s Style dropdown menu.)

    NOTE:  You may use footnotes in FAM documents.  Use 10 point font for footnotes.

c.  As a visual aid to readers, place two letter spaces between sentences in normal text.

d. Bold:  Use bold for emphasis.

e. Italic:  Do not use italics for emphasis, titles of publications, or foreign words.  (See the GPO Style Manual for additional guidance on the use of italics.)

f.  Text styles are flush left, single-spaced, with 6 points of space before and after each paragraph.  The text styles most frequently used are:

(1)  FAM Body Text (Text):  The paragraph style following a section or subsection heading; used when only one main paragraph is needed;

(2)  FAM Body Text abc (Text abc):  The basic style for the initial lettered paragraph level; used for multi-paragraph text following a section or subsection heading; and

(3)  FAM Body Text 123 (Text 123):  A numbered first subparagraph level style; used as a subset of the FAM Body Text or FAM Body abc paragraphs.

g. Section 2 FAH-1 H-113.1-1 identifies the various FAM heading styles.  Chapter and subchapter headings are centered and section and subsection headings are flush left.  All headings have two letter spaces between the number and title.

h. Underline:  Do not underline text in a FAM or FAH document.

2 FAH-1 H-115.3  Using Color

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. The FAM structure uses color to enhance the user’s reading and retention of information and to help the reader visualize information.  When printing in black and white, the color text prints as black or dark gray.

b. A/GIS/DIR uses color text as an additional signal to identify specific FAM information.  The Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, which implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d), prohibit using color alone to identify information (see 36 CFR 1194.21(i)).

c.  RGB refers to a color model in which red (R), green (G), and blue (B) values are used to reproduce a set of standard colors.

d. Standard FAM colors:

(1)  Heads are darkblue™ (R0,G0,B139).  This contrasts with standard text, which is black.  (Heads are in bold and vary from 14 points to 22 points.  Use template buttons H14 to H22 to set style and color.)

(2)  New or revised material is darkmagenta™ (R139,G0,B139) and in italic.  For example:  published changes are shown in both darkmagenta™ and italic.

NOTE:  This does not apply to new or revised heads.  They remain darkblue™, bold, and no italic.

(3)  Change transmittal (CT) lines (formerly transmittal letter (TL) lines) are saddlebrown™ (R139,G69,B19) and in italic. (Use template buttons CT Centered and CT Flush to set style and color.)

(4)  The color firebrick™ (R178,G34,B34) is used for emphasis beyond bolding or for contrast in figures or charts.  (Use the template button Emphasis to set style and color.)

NOTE:  The four colors chosen here were taken from the Browser Safe Web Pallet to meet 508 requirements and do not precisely match the standard Windows Pallet™.



2 FAH-1 H-116.1  Drafting Bureau or Office Clearances

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. Senior management of each bureau or independent office typically assigns responsibility for obtaining directives clearances to the volume coordinator, who may in turn assign this responsibility to the various drafting officers.  If you do not know how this clearance process works in your organization, contact your volume coordinator or senior management.  For the names of volume coordinators, go to A/GIS/DIR’s Web site under “Office Directory.”

b. Generally, you (as a drafting officer) will seek clearances for new or revised directives within your bureau or office before seeking other office clearances.  However, depending on your circumstances, you may seek the views of subject matter experts outside your organization as you draft.  In the case of personnel regulations or directives, or any other regulations that may affect the terms and conditions of employment, the drafting officer may wish to contact DGHR/PC/LM early in the drafting and clearance process with respect to consultation or negotiation with employee unions.  (See also 2 FAH-1 H-116.5.)  Your bureau or office may or may not have a policy on this.  Check with your volume coordinator to be sure.

c.  Upon obtaining all drafting bureau or office clearances, the volume coordinator is ready to seek required clearances from outside the organization—i.e., other Department bureaus or offices, and possibly other agencies.  In most organizations, the volume coordinator is responsible for obtaining all clearances.

2 FAH-1 H-116.2  Internal Department Clearances

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. Volume coordinators or their designated representatives initiate the internal Department clearance process.

b. After you have obtained clearances from your own (drafting) office and bureau, work with A/GIS/DIR to obtain clearances from all other Department clearers.  For SBU or unclassified document clearances, begin by sending an e-mail to EFAM@state.gov on the unclassified network.  For classified document clearances, you must begin by sending a classified e-mail to each of the Department offices you are asking to clear.  Send a copy of the classified email directly to the appropriate A/GIS/DIR coordinator responsible for the volume of the FAM/FAH that is being updated.  Do NOT send an email to EFAM@state.gov for any classified document clearances:

(1)  Attach a copy of the draft subchapter in the required format (see 2 FAH-1 Exhibit H-110).  Reviewers must clearly indicate revised material using the track changes function; and

(2)  On a separate page, list all Department offices you are asking to clear and indicate if any of those have already cleared—L and OIG must be included.  (OIG is a mandatory reviewer but does not “clear” Department directives.)

c.  For unclassified and SBU document updates, A/GIS/DIR will post the draft on the FAM Clearance Web site and immediately alert representatives from all Department bureaus that a proposed directive is available for review and comment.  For classified document updates, A/GIS/DIR will post a notice that the subchapter is being updated, but not post the document, on the FAM Clearance Web site. The posting period is normally 30 calendar days.

d. The representative from the executive office or other office responsible for obtaining bureau clearances must alert everyone in their organization who may wish to comment on the posted draft.  The representative or the volume coordinator for the clearing bureau or office must compile and consolidate all comments received.  This is an important function.  Consolidation establishes one bureau or office position on the draft and speeds the clearance process:

(1)  The bureau representative then sends an e-mail to EFAM@state.gov stating in the first sentence that the organization either clears or does not clear. If the organization does not clear; then consolidated comments should be listed after the first sentence.  DIR will immediately send the comments to the drafting bureau’s volume coordinator and post the comments to DIR’s Clearance Web site;

(2)  After the allotted time for review has passed, and only after all mandatory reviews have been received, the Office of Directives Management will request the drafting office to review and respond to those comments, and work out any differences and obtain final clearances.  Submission of the final draft for codification indicates that these differences have been resolved to the satisfaction of the commenter.  The drafting office or originating volume coordinator may determine that additional time (up to an additional 30 days) is necessary to obtain required clearances.  The drafting office or originating volume coordinator must notify A/GIS/DIR that additional clearance time is required, and DIR will adjust the clearance end date on the A/GIS/DIR Web site; and

(3)  If clearances are not completed in 60 calendar days from the original posting of the draft (see 2 FAH-1 H-116.2, paragraph b), A/GIS/DIR will report the impasse to the Standing Committee on Directives, and post the impasse issues on DIR’s FAM Clearance Web site.

2 FAH-1 H-116.3  Other Agencies (External) Clearances

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

a. Obtaining clearance from external agencies is the responsibility of the drafting office:

b. External reviews occurring after the 30-day review period may result in substantive changes to the draft text.  In the event of substantive changes, the drafting office must resubmit the revised draft to A/GIS/DIR for an additional posting.  Normally, this posting period is 30 calendar days.  However, the drafting office may request an expedited internal review.

c.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provides a central contact point for clearance of uniform directives. Clearance requests must be sent to the following e-mail address:  USAIDexternalclearance@usaid.gov

2 FAH-1 H-116.4  Expedited Reviews

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. The drafting bureau or office volume coordinator may request an expedited review if:

(1)  The subject matter is not controversial and;

(2)  The directive requires immediate publication.

b. The A/GIS/DIR FAM supervisor can set an expedited review period after discussing the matter with the volume coordinator.  Normally the expedited review period is 10 business days.

c.  A/GIS/DIR will alert all volume coordinators by e-mail that it has posted an expedited request requiring all clearances by the date specified.

d. Any clearing bureau or office may request to extend the expedited review period.  Submit requests to the originating office or volume coordinator.  The originating office or volume coordinator will notify A/GIS/DIR of the revised review period, and A/GIS/DIR will then update the Clearance Website.

2 FAH-1 H-116.5  Final Steps

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. If the draft would modify personnel policies or practices, or affect terms and conditions of employment for employees who are represented by a labor union, the volume coordinator is responsible for providing the draft to the Chief, Labor Management Relations (HR/PC/LM) following the internal and external clearance process but in advance of publication.  The draft provision may not be published until DGHR/PC/LM has cleared it.  (See 3 FAM 5112.1, paragraph b.)

b. When the draft is fully cleared and the volume coordinator has given final approval by signing the Form DS-809, Clearance Request, A/GIS/DIR will codify the FAM subchapter.

2 FAH-1 H-117  moving existing material

(CT:FPH-4;   08-18-2010)

a. When moving material from one subchapter to another, the volume coordinators must inform A/GIS/DIR to insure that the material from the previous subchapter is removed at the same time the new material is published.  Examples of when material may move:

(1)  The subject matter now relates more closely to subject matter in another volume;

(2)  The subject matter has expanded in both content and scope to such an extent that it is sufficient to establish a new volume; or

(3)  The subject-matter content has changed due to new and/or evolving technologies.

b. There are several ways to revise material during a move:

(1)  Move the material as is from one subchapter to another without making any substantive changes.  If you make the move this way, no clearances are required;

(2)  Update the material prior to or in the process of moving it.  This requires normal department clearances prior to the move; and

(3)  In instances where an entire subchapter is not moved, the subchapter with the remaining material must be updated and published in conjunction with the subchapter with the moved material.

c.  When moving existing material from one volume to another, both volume coordinators must coordinate the development of a crosswalk.  A crosswalk lists the location of the material before and after a move.  DIR will publish the crosswalk on the FAM Web site.


FAM Crosswalks

This move took place on 01/01/2009 in conjunction with CT:XXX-xxx and CT:XXX-xxx.

Volume From

6 FAM 610

6 FAM 620

6 FAM 630

Volume To

14 FAM 230

14 FAM 340

14 FAM 510

2 FAH-1 Exhibit H-110  
FAM Format

(CT:FPH-5;   03-02-2011)

0 FAM 000  Purpose of Standards

(CT:FPH-1;   08-16-2004)
(Uniform State/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)

Please note that the FAM style and layout, including fonts and select colors, are designed primarily for electronic use.  Printing the material in either color or in black and white will produce a legible copy.

0 FAM 000.1  Using Color

(CT:FPH-3;   06-16-2009)
(Uniform State/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)

a. The FAM structure uses color to enhance the user’s reading and retention of information and to help the reader visualize information.  When printing in black and white, the color text prints as black or dark grey.

b. A/GIS/DIR uses color text as an additional signal to identify specific FAM information.  The Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, which implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d), prohibit using color alone to identify information (see 36 CFR 1194.21(i)).  Standard FAM colors:

(1)  Heads are darkblue™ (R0,G0,B139).  This contrasts with standard text, which is black.  (Heads are in bold and vary from 14 points to 22 points.  Use template buttons H14 to H22 to set style and color.)

(2)  New or revised material is darkmagenta™ (R139,G0,B139) and in italic.  For example:  published changes are shown in both darkmagenta™ and italic.

(3)  Change transmittal (CT) lines (formerly transmittal letter (TL) lines) are saddlebrown™ (R139,G69,B19) and in italics. (Use template buttons CT Centered and CT Flush to set style and color.)

(4)  The color firebrick™ (R178,G34,B34) is used for emphasis beyond bolding or for contrast in figures or charts.  (Use the template button Emphasis to set style and color.)

NOTE:  The four colors chosen here were taken from the Browser Safe Web Pallet and do not precisely match the standard Windows Pallet.

0 FAM 000.2  Fonts

(CT:FPH-2;   09-08-2006)
(Uniform State/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)

a. The FAM uses the electronic-based font Verdana for both headers and text.

b. As a visual aid to readers, place two letter spaces between sentences in normal text.

0 FAM 000.3  FAM Styles

(CT:FPH-2;   09-08-2006)
(Uniform State/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)

a. The selected FAM styles contain formatting that will work in most cases.  (To see FAM styles, go to the “Format” menu, and select “Style….”)  FAM drafting officers should begin by creating a separate draft using one style (“normal”) for all their text.  Then, using the templates that DIR has provided, copy and paste changes into the template.  Finally, format the new material using the FAM styles from the FAMFAHTemplate style pallet.

b. You can find specifications for FAM styles by viewing them in the Style window under the “Format” menu, or in section 2 FAH-1 H-115.2 of this handbook.”

c.  The predominant text styles are FAM Body Text, FAM Body Text abc (such as this lettered paragraph), or FAM Body Text 123—indented and numbered in parentheses.  Styles for a lower level, centering text, text with bullets, and table text are also available.