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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 Regulation 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy
        This Engineer Regulation (ER) establishes policy and procedures for a comprehensive accountable review strategy for Civil Works by providing a seamless process for review of all projects throughout the lifecycle. This ER will ensure the quality and credibility of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) decision, implementation, and other work products. It reinforces quality and comprehensive review are equal to cost and schedule compliance. This ER supersedes Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Water Resource Policies and Authorities, Review Policy for Civil Works which expired on 31 March 2020.
    • 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.
        Note: Exhibit H-11, Model Report Summary has been updated and replaced by the November 2021 Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide. Planners are required to use the format specified in the Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide.
    • 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 years since, USACE improved its quality management and strengthened all layers of review. 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 1986, 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. Please note this template may be out of date due. Please reference ER 1165-2-217 to ensure all requirements are followed.
    • 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. Please note this template may be out of date due. Please reference ER 1165-2-217 to ensure all requirements are followed.
    • Review of Civil Works Projects: Planning SMART Guide
        High level overview of internal review processes conducted as part of USACE feasibility studies and project development.
    • Review Plan Checklist  Corps Castle
        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. Please note this template may be out of date due. Please reference ER 1165-2-217 to ensure all requirements are followed.
    • 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)

    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.
        Note: Exhibit H-11, Model Report Summary has been updated and replaced by the November 2021 Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide. Planners are required to use the format specified in the Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Review Tools and Processes
    • Feasibility Study Vertical Team Coordination: Key HQ and MSC Tasks
        This document summarizes the 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 from Headquarters 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, etc.
    • Policy and Legal Compliance Review Manager Roles and Responsibilities
        This document provides a general guide on the specific roles and responsibilities of the Policy and Legal Compliance Review Manager throughout the duration of the feasibility study, including the completion of the Chief's or Director's Report.
    • DORF Template  Corps Castle
        Template for a Documentation of Review Findings (DORF). It covers policy compliance review findings, as well as the review history for a project and policy review comments.
      • Example DORF Transmittal Memo
        Template for a brief memo that transmits the documentation of policy compliance review finings for the subject study and provides point(s) of contact.
    • PGM Template  Corps Castle
        Template for a Policy Guidance Memorandum (PGM). It covers the final review and draft review comments on the draft and final report.
      • Example PGM Transmittal Memo for DRAFT Report
        Template for a brief memo that transmits the policy and legal compliance review findings for a PGM on a particular study. It briefly identifies concerns and a general timeline for discussing a path forward to resolve the named issues, and provides point(s) of contact.
      • Example PGM Transmittal Memo for FINAL Report
        Template for a brief memo that transmits the policy and legal compliance review findings for a PGM on a particular study. It indicates if there are unresolved comments from the draft report, identifies new comments, states if a team needs to meet to discuss resolving any outstanding concerns before the final report is approved, and provides point(s) of contact.
    • 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.

    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 (DQC)
        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.

    Training and Best Practices

    Webinars

      2022
    • Feasibility Study Templates, Checklists & SOPs (1 September)
      This webinar provided an overview of a number of new and updated templates for Chief's Reports and Director's Reports, Review Manager and Vertical Team Roles and Responsibilities guides, and Study Issue checklists. Jeff Lin, Plan Formulation Team Lead (HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review) discussed the purpose and intent of each of the new templates, guides, and checklists.
    • Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) – Updated Standard Operating Procedures (21 April)
      This webinar provided a detailed overview of the updated Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), along with real examples of some of the process steps required to complete IEPR for studies. The 2019 IEPR SOP previously made available to planners has been revised to reflect current guidance and policies. Presenters Andy MacInnes (MVN) and Anastasiya Kononova (NAB) highlighted noteworthy IEPR concepts for all study teams, including the important and time sensitive steps that study teams need to be aware of in order to ensure that IEPR is started at the appropriate time to coincide with concurrent reviews.

      2021
    • Overview and Use of the Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide (2 December)
      This webinar provided an overview of the Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide – a new tool that has been produced by a team of experts within USACE for nationwide use. Presenter Ray Wimbrough (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor) discussed the contents of the guide, which contains a suggested format, typical content for each section and subsection, and general notes for development of reports. The guide is envisioned to be helpful to beginner as well as experienced planners, provides a general starting point for any feasibility study, and can also be used as a reference/checklist to assist in technical and/or policy review.
    • ER 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Guidance Policy (10 and 17 June 2021) (10 June)
      The 10 and 17 June 2021 Planning CoP Webinars addressed updates to the Civil Works Review Guidance Policy recently published in Engineer Regulation (ER) 1165-2-217 (dated 1 May 2021) and was presented by the primary authors: Ms. Karen Miller (Planning Regional Technical Specialist, Huntington District); John Clarkson (Senior Reviewer, Risk Management Center); and Erica Reinsel (Quality Manager, Jacksonville District). ER 1165- 2-217 provides updated guidance for Civil Works Review and supersedes the expired Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy. This webinar highlighted the overall purpose of the policy and significant changes from the EC to the ER, and reminded planners of the major elements of responsibility for ensuring quality products throughout the Civil Works program.
    • Office of Water Project Review (OWPR): Who We Are and What We Do (22 April)
      This webinar provided an overview of the Headquarters Office of Water Project Review (OWPR). Presenters Wes Coleman (OWPR Chief) and members of the team Judy McCrea (Plan Formulation), Fay Lachney (Plan Formulation Team Lead), Chris Bouquot (Economics), and Jeff Lin (Plan Formulation) discussed the history of OWPR origins and provided insight on the current organization of the office and its people. In addition to discussing OWPR staff policy review roles and responsibilities, the presenters shared other ongoing OWPR initiatives.
    • Getting to the Finish Line – Preparing for a Successful Final Report and Chief’s or Director’s Report (4 March)
      This webinar discussed common issues in final report submittal packages and Washington-level review and processing. Members of the Office of Water Project Review (OWPR) and the Regional Integration Teams (RITs) shared a list of final report content and processing problems that have caused significant delays for studies as they work towards approval and authorization, and provided observations and tips to help study teams avoid these pitfalls. The webinar was presented by Quana Higgins (NWD/POD RIT Planner), Judy McCrea (OWPR Plan Formulation Team member), Fay Lachney (OWPR Plan Formulation Team Lead), and Charles Wilson (SPD RIT Planner).

      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 (DQC) (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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.

      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.

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