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Review

    This page provides resources for project delivery teams related to study reviews, including review guidance, review plans, District Quality Control, Agency Technical Review, Independent External Peer Review, Policy and Legal Compliance Review, review tools and processes, and review training and best practices.

    Guidance
    • Civil Works Response to the Engineer Inspector General “Inspection of USACE Civil Works Review Processes”
        Direction and Action Plan for HQUSACE and MSCs to in response to the EIG Inspection of Civil Works Review Processes report and recommendations endorsed by the Chief.
    • Director's Policy Memorandum 2019-01: Policy & Legal Compliance Review
        This memorandum establishes procedures for implementing Director’s Policy Memorandum, DPM Civil Works 2018-05: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities), 3 May 2018 to ensure consistency across USACE and all MSCs in the conduct of policy and legal compliance review. This memorandum is applicable to all specifically authorized planning studies supporting project authorization or budget decisions, or that require an action by the Chief of Engineers, the Secretary of the Army acting through the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)) or the Congress.
    • Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Water Resource Policies and Authorities, Review Policy for Civil Works
        This Circular establishes an accountable, comprehensive, life-cycle review strategy for Civil Works products by providing a seamless process for review of all Civil Works projects from initial planning through design, construction, and Operation, Maintenance, Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation (OMRR&R). It also provides the procedures for ensuring the quality and credibility of USACE decision, implementation, and operations and maintenance documents and work products.
    • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100: Planning Guidance Notebook, Appendix H - Amendment #1, Policy Compliance Review and Approval of Decision Documents
        This appendix prescribes policy compliance review and approval procedures for the following decision documents: section 905(b) analyses, feasibility reports, limited and general reevaluation reports, post-authorization change reports, and other reports supporting project authorization or budget decisions.
    • Engineer Regulation 1110-1-8159: Dr. Checks
        This regulation updates the policy and procedures for managing the Design Review and Checking System (DrChecks) initially established 10 May 2001 with current website address and technical contact information.
    • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-502: Resources Policies and Authorities; Delegation of Review and Approval Authority for Post-Authorization Decision Documents
        This regulation provides guidance on delegated review and approval of Post-Authorization Decision Documents.
    • Interim Guidance on Streamlining Independence External Peer Review (IEPR) for Improved Civil Works Product Delivery
        This memorandum summarizes the current guidance on delegated IEPR authorities to the field, and provides updated guidance on IEPR mandatory triggers. In particular, it streamlines the mandatory triggers to reflect only the statutory requirements for Type I IEPR. When the statutory requirements for IEPR were first introduced in the WRDA 2007, USACE adopted a broad application of these reviews. In the nearly 12 years since, USACE improved its quality management and strengthened all layers of review. IEPR remains an important aspect of USACE's overall quality management strategy for producing sound federal investment decisions and projects. In a resources constrained environment, USACE must focus its IEPR implementation on the most complex, highest cost projects, as well as those that pose a high risk to public safety, the economy, and the environment.
    • Planning Bulletin 2019-04: Incorporating Life Safety into Flood and Coastal Storm Risk Management Studies
        This Planning Bulletin provides information on the use of life safety in the planning process. Risks to human life are a fundamental component of all facets of flood and coastal storm risk management and must receive explicit consideration throughout the planning process. The bulletin augments, but does not supersede, the procedures in Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100, Planning Guidance Notebook and Engineer Regulation 1105-2-101, Risk Assessment for Flood Risk Management Studies. This document applies to all flood and coastal storm risk management feasibility studies, including those conducted under the Continuing Authorities Program and studies conducted by non-federal interests under Section 203 of WRDA 2986, as amended. Note: the POC for the Dam and Levee Senior Oversight Groups is Brad Arcement, MVK.

    Review Plans
    • Review Plan Template Package
        The Review Plan Template Package provides detailed information related to the development and approval of Review Plans for Civil Works decision documents. The items in this package are intended to assist Project Delivery Teams in preparing Review Plans as required in Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-217 - Review Policy for Civil Works. Collectively, these documents offer a roadmap for teams to use in drafting and submitting Review Plans for approval. The package includes: an overview of Civil Works review; a guide for review plan preparation; a review plan template; a checklist of required elements of a Review Plan; the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for review plan development and approval.
    • Review Plan Template  Corps Castle
        The Review Plan Template is a MS Word document, containing all of the required elements of a Review Plan and following the new guidance in EC 1165-2-217 and recent changes contained in Mr. Dalton's policy memo issued in May 2018 (DPM-CW 2018-05). The template was developed to serve any phase of a project from study to design work to operations activities.
    • Review Plan Checklist
        A checklist in MS Excel format to assist Project Delivery Teams and Major Subordinate Commands in assessing if a Review Plan includes all of the required elements as outlined in EC 1165-2-217. The checklist should be completed and included in the formal transmittal of the draft Review Plan from the District to the MSC for approval
    • Review Plans by District or Division
        This link redirects to the USACE Headquarters website for district and division review plans.

    District Quality Control (DQC)

    Agency Technical Review (ATR)

    FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series
    The Review Process Webinar Series, prepared by the Flood Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise, is applicable to all Civil Works Feasibility studies. The goal of this series, which consists of short 5-10 minute videos on specific topics, is to provide some tools and tips to make reviews more efficient and effective and make the guidance for review more accessible for project delivery teams.
    • Webinar 0 - The Review Process Overview
        Review is an important aspect of the study process and is best understood within the context of the planning process itself. This webinar highlights the sequencing of reviews within a typical study. It also provides an outline for follow-on webinars focused on more specific topics.
    • Webinar 1.0 - The Review Plan
        The review plan guides the review throughout the study and provides a strategic path for engagement with review teams. This webinar provides study teams with information on the role of the Review Plan, why it is needed and tips for writing one.
    • Webinar 2.0 - District Quality Control (DCQ)
        DQC is the process by which the framework and foundation of a study are evaluated. This webinar discusses the DQC process and provides study teams with best practices for conducting an efficient and effective DQC.
    • Webinar 3.0 - Agency Technical Review Comment Response and Backcheck
        ATR documentation supports a risk informed decision to move forward with the project and continued Federal investment so it is important to document review comments and their resolution in a clear and concise manner. This webinar focuses on the comment resolution process and some best practices to help teams successfully complete ATR.
    • Webinar 3.1 - ATR Charge
        The "charge" to reviewers contains the instructions to the review team regarding the objective of the review and the specific advice sought. This webinar provides guidelines for developing the charge, including key considerations and tips on creating a better ATR charge statement.

    Independent External Peer Review (IEPR)

    Policy and Legal Compliance Review
    • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100: Planning Guidance Notebook, Appendix H - Amendment #1, Policy Compliance Review and Approval of Decision Documents
        This appendix prescribes policy compliance review and approval procedures for the following decision documents: section 905(b) analyses, feasibility reports, limited and general reevaluation reports, post-authorization change reports, and other reports supporting project authorization or budget decisions.
    • Director's Policy Memorandum (DPM 2019-01): Policy and Legal Compliance Review
        This webinar addressed the recently released Directors Policy Memorandum (DPM 2019-01): Policy and Legal Compliance Review. Mr. Michael Hallisy (Economics Section Chief, Los Angeles District) provided an overview of of DPM 2019-01, which establishes procedures to ensure consistency in the conduct of policy and legal compliance reviews across USACE. It was developed to aid implementation of DPM 2018-05: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery, which delegated policy and legal compliance review for draft and final planning decision documents to the MSCs. The webinar described the purpose, key provisions, and anticipated benefits associated with the implementation of DPM 2019-01, as well as potential challenges and next steps.
    • Feasibility Study Vertical Team Coordination: Key HQ and MSC Tasks
        This document summarizes key Vertical Team and Headquarters tasks associated with feasibility study coordination, review, milestone meetings, report approval and processing the final report package in preparation for a signed Chief's Report or Director's Report. It includes tasks delegated to the MSCs that have previously been a HQ responsibility associated with policy and legal review and milestone decision making. It does not include tasks/activities such as District Quality Control, Quality Assurance, technical reviews (Agency Technical Review or Independent External Peer Review), etc.
    • Overview of QC/QA and Policy & Legal Compliance Review Procedures
        This webinar discussed the review process which USACE has developed to address the Information Quality Act and the OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review. Ms. Karen Miller (Regional Technical Specialist for LRD, CELRH) presented information on Quality Control and Quality Assurance, including some best practices. Ms. Fay Lachney (Plan Formulation Team Lead for the Office of Water Project Review, HQUSACE) presented an overview of the Legal and Policy Compliance and State and Agency reviews. The presenters also provided an overview of EC 1165-2-217 and ER 1105-2-100, which establish the procedures to ensure the quality and credibility of USACE decision and implementation documents.
    • Policy and Legal Compliance Review Manager Roles and Responsibilities (19 March 2019)  Corps Castle
        This document provides a detailed outline of Review Manager roles and responsibilities related to Policy and Legal Compliance Review, and also includes procedures for processing Chief's and Director's Reports at Headquarters in addition to templates for Project Guidance Memoranda and Documentation of Review Findings memos.

    Review Tools and Processes
    • Dr. Checks  Corps Castle
        DrChecks℠ is the designated enterprise tool for conducting technical reviews. The web-based tool is one of the ProjNet℠ suite of tools. Reviewers enter comments in the system, and PDT members respond to the comments. DrChecks℠ facilitates and documents the issue identification and resolution process.
    • Revised Delegation of Authority in Section 2034(a)(5)(A) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA 2007), as amended (33 U.S.C. 2343)
        Section 2034 of WRDA 2007, as amended, requires Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) of studies or projects with an estimated total cost of more than $200 million unless the Chief of Engineers determines that the study is exempt from an IEPR. This memorandum allows delegation of authority to the MSC Commanders to determine if a study is excluded from IEPR and puts into effect that delegation. This authority may not be further delegated.
    • USACE Quality Management System (QMS) Site  Corps Castle
        The USACE Quality Management System (QMS) Portal is a collection of libraries and documents, providing access to a toolbox of uniform processes to support delivery of superior products and service.

    Training and Best Practices

    Webinars

      2020
    • FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 0 - The Review Process Overview (11 June)
      Review is an important aspect of the study process and is best understood within the context of the planning process itself. This webinar highlights the sequencing of reviews within a typical study. It also provides an outline for follow-on webinars focused on more specific topics.
    • FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 1.0 - The Review Plan (11 June)
      The review plan guides the review throughout the study and provides a strategic path for engagement with review teams. This webinar provides study teams with information on the role of the Review Plan, why it is needed and tips for writing one.
    • FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 2.0 - District Quality Control (DCQ) (11 June)
      DQC is the process by which the framework and foundation of a study are evaluated. This webinar discusses the DQC process and provides study teams with best practices for conducting an efficient and effective DQC.
    • FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 3.0 - Agency Technical Review Comment Response and Backcheck (11 June)
      ATR documentation supports a risk informed decision to move forward with the project and continued Federal investment so it is important to document review comments and their resolution in a clear and concise manner. This webinar focuses on the comment resolution process and some best practices to help teams successfully complete ATR.
    • FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 3.1 - ATR Charge (11 June)
      The "charge" to reviewers contains the instructions to the review team regarding the objective of the review and the specific advice sought. This webinar provides guidelines for developing the charge, including key considerations and tips on creating a better ATR charge statement.

      2019
    • Type I Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) - Detailed Process Briefing for Supplemental Studies (11 June)
      This webinar provided an overview of recent guidance changes to IEPR processes and reviewed the 2019 IEPR SOP, which has updated and replaced the 2016 version. The webinar was presented by Anastasiya Kononova (NAB) and Andrew MacInnes (MVN). Please note: while this presentation focused on FY2018 Emergency Supplemental studies requiring an IEPR and discussed dates and timelines specific to those studies, the concepts and requirements addressed apply to all feasibility studies requiring an IEPR
    • Overview of QC/QA and Policy & Legal Compliance Review Procedures (4 April)
      This webinar discussed the review process which USACE has developed to address the Information Quality Act and the OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review. Ms. Karen Miller (Regional Technical Specialist for LRD, CELRH) presented information on Quality Control and Quality Assurance, including some best practices. Ms. Fay Lachney (Plan Formulation Team Lead for the Office of Water Project Review, HQUSACE) presented an overview of the Legal and Policy Compliance and State and Agency reviews. The presenters also provided an overview of EC 1165-2-217 and ER 1105-2-100, which establish the procedures to ensure the quality and credibility of USACE decision and implementation documents.
    • Director's Policy Memorandum (DPM 2019-01): Policy and Legal Compliance Review (21 February)
      This webinar addressed the recently released Directors Policy Memorandum (DPM 2019-01): Policy and Legal Compliance Review. Mr. Michael Hallisy (Economics Section Chief, Los Angeles District) provided an overview of of DPM 2019-01, which establishes procedures to ensure consistency in the conduct of policy and legal compliance reviews across USACE. It was developed to aid implementation of DPM 2018-05: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery, which delegated policy and legal compliance review for draft and final planning decision documents to the MSCs. The webinar described the purpose, key provisions, and anticipated benefits associated with the implementation of DPM 2019-01, as well as potential challenges and next steps.

      2018
    • Quality Management in Civil Works (29 November)
      Mr. Leighton Quon (NASA) provided an overview of his recent Civil Works Quality Management Review task sponsored by SPD Planning and Policy Division. Mr. Quon is completing a six-month detail coming from NASA that started 4 June 2018 with the Planning and Policy Division at SPD, via the President's Management Council (PMC) Interagency Rotation Program. Using various USACE Quality Management Plans as a starting point, he assessed how well the Corps is meeting its quality standards. Mr. Quon also observed all aspects of Civil Works studies being conducted within SPD, including evolving guidance, district quality control processes, vertical engagement, and report writing. During the webinar, Mr. Quon reported on his observations (whats good and what could be improved) and his recommendations for improving the quality of our feasibility products and the way we work together to deliver them.
    • Policy and Legal Compliance Review (28 November)
      Mr. Jeremy LaDart (HQ Office of Water Project Review) and discussed the rollout of the One Policy Review team policy and the new policy and legal review Planning Bulletin 2018-01. The webinar addressed roles and responsibilities of One Policy Review team members (both MSCs and Headquarters), expectations for review comments, and how to deal with issues when they arise.
    • EC 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Guidance Policy (3 May)
      Ms. Karen Miller, Huntington District Plan Formulation Regional Technical Specialist and Planner, gave an overview of EC 1165-2-217 which was released on 1 May 2018. The EC provides updated guidance for Civil Works Review and supersedes expired EC 1165-2- 217 Civil Works Review. The webinar highlighted the changes and provided a review of the major elements of responsibility for ensuring quality products are being produced throughout the Civil Works program.
    • Agency Technical Review Document Templates (15 February)
      This webinar, presented by Mr. Miki Fujitsubo with the Flood Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise, includes an overview of the types of ATR, roles and responsibilities, and how to document the review. ATR is a key component of ensuring the technical quality of our products. The presentation will also share some new templates for documenting ATR - the ATR Work Plan and ATR Summary Report.

      2017
    • Civil Works Review Policy Update - Draft EC 1165-2-217 (18 May)
      Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-217 will provide updated guidance for Civil Works Review and supersedes expired EC 1165-2-214, Civil Works Review. The new EC is undergoing routing for approval at HQ, but is not yet published. Most areas of content have not been significantly changed with the exception of District Quality Control. This webinar highlights the changes and the major elements of responsibility for ensuring quality products are being produced throughout the Civil Works program. The webinar was presented by Ms. Karen Miller, a Plan Formulation Regional Technical Specialist and Planner from the Huntington District, and Mr. John Clarkson with the Risk Management Center.
    • Civil Works Review Board Process: A Jacksonville District Perspective (4 May)
      Matt Schrader, Stacey Roth, and Patrice Morey from Jacksonville District shared tips and experiences related to preparing and presenting to the Civil Works Review Board for the St. Johns County, Florida, Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Study.
    • Dealing With Costs (2 March)
      Mr. Jeremy LaDart, Economist from the HQ Office of Water Project Review (OWPR) covered cost guidance, cost basics and terminology, and cost share ratios. Mr. LaDart discussed how and where to obtain costs and common cost issues.

      2016
    • Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) & Template Updates (17 November)
      This webinar discusses Independent External Peer Reviews (IEPR) and was presented by Anastasiya Hernandez (NAB), Andrew MacInnes (MVN) and Miki Fujitsubo (SPK). The presenters are all IEPR leads for the Planning Centers of Expertise. The discussion highlighted the newly updated IEPR Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and provided information on cost, scope and timing of reviews. The presentation shares lessons learned regarding the IEPR Exclusion Process and preparation of Agency Responses to IEPR.
    • A District's Perspective on Civil Works Review Boards: Tips for Success and Lessons Learned (21 January)
      Gail Saldana (Portland District) and Rachel Mesko (Seattle District) shared their experiences and lessons learned preparing for two successful Civil Works Review Boards (CWRBs) in 2015. In FY15, the Portland and Seattle Districts completed successful Civil Works Review Boards on the Lower Willamette River Environmental Dredging and Ecosystem Restoration Project and Skokomish River Basin Ecosystem Restoration, respectively. This webinar will share lessons learned applicable to all CWRB presentations as well as lessons learned specific to ecosystem restoration projects.

      2015
    • How to Effectively Write and Respond to Review Comments (3 December)
      Camie Knollenberg from MVDs Regional Planning Division North, and Eric Thaut of the FRM-PCX, encouraged good habits for reviewers and reviewees, including understanding and using the 4-part comment structure; key components of comment responses; and tips for discussing and back-checking comments.

      2013
    • SMART Planning: Different Perspectives on Concurrent Review (6 June)
      This webinar panel on concurrent review included three presentations: the Pilot Review Experience of Jordan Creek FRM study (Anslow); Planning Centers of Expertise Perspective (Thaut and Creswell); and the role of Headquarters reviews and reviewers (T. Hughes).
    • USACE Responses to IEPR (12 March)
      Bruce Carlson

      2012
    • An Update on Current and Upcoming Review Tools (18 December)
      Miki Fujitsubo

      2011
    • Lessons Learned During Washington Level Review (9 June)

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