United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway AdministrationSkip to content FHWA Home Feedback
Orders > Correspondence Manual > Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5. PREPARATION OF MEMORANDUMS

Word Version - A viewer is available from Microsoft® for Word files.

PDF Version - To view PDF files, you can use the Acrobat® Reader®.

Par.

  1. What is a memorandum form?
  2. How do I prepare a memorandum form?
  3. What unit of measurement should be used in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports and correspondence?
  1. What is a memorandum form? A memorandum form is used for informal correspondence throughout FHWA and with all other organizational elements of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The electronic template is accessible through the Correspondence Site on StaffNet at: http://staffnet/informs/tn0002.htm.

    NOTE: Special logos at the bottom of the letterhead templates are not shown in the Correspondence Manual as they may change between updates.

  2. How do I prepare a memorandum form?

    1. Assembling a memorandum for signature. When assembling a memorandum for signature, keep together all items belonging with the original memorandum (the memorandum that is to be signed), all items belonging with the Official File Copy (referred to as the "grid" throughout the rest of this chapter), and all items belonging with the information copies.

    2. Stapling and mailing an original memorandum. The original memorandum and any attachments should not be stapled before it has been signed. Attachments should be placed under the original memorandum in sequential order. Secure the original memorandum and the attached to the correspondence package with two binder clips at the top. If a memorandum is to be mailed, include an appropriate size, addressed envelope in the correspondence package under the original memorandum and attachments. Transmission of memorandum via email is preferred.

    3. Voiding grid copies. Any grid copies voided by revision or retyping should be retained, and attached under the current or active grid with the oldest version at the bottom. Draw a diagonal line through voided grid copies so they are not confused with the active or current grid. Neatly type "previous concurrences valid" in the upper right-hand corner or along side of the active grid. If there are significant changes made to a memorandum, then begin the approval process over from the beginning, still keeping all previous versions with the package.

    4. All memorandums regardless of subject matter or signature level should be in the appropriate correspondence folder.

  3. What unit of measurement should be used in FHWA reports and correspondence? The mandatory use of metric measurements in FHWA documents has been rescinded per the November 25, 2008, (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/1108metr.cfm) memorandum from the Executive Director. The inch-pound measurements are the practical form of measurement to use in FHWA's documents including letters, memoranda, publications, reports, and information on FHWA Web sites.

NOTE: Figures 5.1 - 5.25 provide samples of memorandum forms with further instructions.

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MARGINS, DATE, AND ROUTING SYMBOL

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Margins,
Date, and In Reply Refer To:
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

Memorandums are used for informal correspondence throughout FHWA and with all other organizational elements of DOT. Use the printed memorandum form or the electronic template available on StaffNet. The link to the letterhead templates is in the first paragraph of page 1 of this Chapter.

  1. Use Microsoft Word.

  2. Fonts: Times New Roman 12 pt.

  3. The margins for a memorandum are 1" on the right, bottom and left margins. The top margin is 0.3". The margins are pre-set on the electronic template.

  4. Right justification is not acceptable.

  5. Once a memorandum is signed by an HOA principal, the date is typed by Exec Sec. Memorandum signed by someone else in FHWA can be dated by typing in the date or using a date stamp two blank spaces after the Date: caption. If typed, spell out the month and show the date and year in numerals. Do not use st, th, or rd with the numerals.

  6. Example:

    Date: February 28, 2010

  7. In Reply Refer To: Type the routing symbol of the action office one space down, and flush right.

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

SUBJECT: LINE

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Use of Subject: Line
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line
  1. The Subject: line is typed two blank spaces after the Subject: caption. Keep the subject of the memorandum short. If more than one line is needed, type the succeeding lines flush left under INFORMATION: or ACTION:. Capitalize the first letters of all words except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions. The Subject: line must include one of the following captions: ACTION: (an action is required of the addressee), or INFORMATION: (information is being provided and no action is required of the addressee).

    Example:
    INFORMATION: FHWA Correspondence Manual Response to Incoming Memorandums

  2. Reference the incoming memorandum: When responding to an incoming memorandum, reference it in the Subject: line in as few words as possible.

    Example:
    INFORMATION: Welfare and Recreation Board
    (Your memorandum, 1/21/10, copy attached)

  3. When responding to a memorandum from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), always attach a copy of the incoming memorandum or request (do not include the incoming attachments) to the original of the reply and note this in the Subject: line.

    Example:
    INFORMATION: Welfare and Recreation Board
    (Your memorandum, 1/21/10, copy attached)

    Figure 5.2-1

  4. Reference previous outgoing memorandums: When writing to the same person before a reply from them has been received, reference the previous memorandum in the Subject: line and attach a copy.

    Example:
    INFORMATION: Welfare and Recreation Board
    (Our memorandum, 7/21/10, copy attached)

  5. Include required due dates: Memorandums requiring an answer or other action by a specific date shall contain the due date as part of the Subject: line.

    Example:
    ACTION: Improved Staffpower Management Report
    (Reply Due: 8/15/10)

blank line
Attachment

Figure 5.2-2

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

FROM: LINE

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Use of From: Line
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

Memorandums from and to FHWA/OST officials and officials of other operating administrations will be signed according to comparable organizational level.

  1. Title: The name and title of the signing official will be shown on the From: line. The title goes on the line below the name.

  2. When a memorandum will be signed by two or more FHWA officials or DOT modal administrators, the originator of the memorandum's name and title shall be listed first.

  3. When an individual is detailed to a vacant position on a temporary basis, use the term "Acting" before the title on the From: line.

    Example:
    From: John A. Smith
    Acting Chief, Management Programs
    and Analysis Division

  4. When an individual is signing for an official who is temporarily out of the office (official travel or leave, for instance), the From: line will reflect the title of the incumbent, and the authorized person will sign for the absent incumbent.

Figure 5.3

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

TO: LINE

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Use of To: Line
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

Memorandums to and from FHWA/OST officials and officials of other OAs will be prepared according to comparable level. If the memorandum is going to someone in another Federal agency or to someone outside of government, the memorandum should signed by someone of equal authority as to whom the memorandum is addressed. The addressee's name is on the To: line. The addressee's title and routing symbol is on the line below the name. Show the addressee's office routing symbol in parenthesis one space to the right of the title. When initiating a memorandum, show the routing symbol of the addressee's office. When replying to an incoming memorandum, use the routing symbol shown on the incoming.

  1. THROUGH: Line. Occasionally a memorandum will be routed through an office for clearance or approval. Use of the THROUGH: line requires a signature before transmittal to the addressee. When the THROUGH: line is used, type as shown:

    To: John Smith,
    Administrator (HOA-1)
    THROUGH: Jeffrey F. Paniati
    Executive Director (HOA-3)

  2. ATTENTION: Line. Avoid an ATTENTION: line whenever possible by sending it directly to a person and copying others. Use of a THROUGH: Line may be a better choice. If an ATTENTION: line must be used, follow the example below: ATTENTION: is in line with the addressee's name and title.

    To: John A. Adams
    Chief, Bridge Division (HXX-XX)
    ATTENTION: Mr. Paul Smith
    (Title) (HXX-XX)

    NOTE: When using a THROUGH: line, be sure a copy is included in the package for the THROUGH: addressee(s).

Figure 5.4

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MEMORANDUMS ADDRESSED TO MULTIPLE PEOPLE

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Memorandums Addressed to Multiple Individuals
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: See Addressees
blank line
blank line

To: For memorandums addressed to multiple people, prepare one original (unless specifically instructed otherwise by Exec Sec) to be reproduced after signature.

When the To: Line requires the notation "See Addressees," type "Addressees:" at the left margin two spaces below the last line of the body of the memorandum, creating a one blank line. On the next line, list the name, title and the routing symbol of the addressees. If the list requires more than one page, type the all of the addressee names, titles and routing symbols on a separate sheet of paper and attach it to the back of the memorandum. Use the same format on the separate sheet as used in the example below.

Example:

Addressees:
Name, Associate Administrator for Research
  and Development (HRT-1)
Name, Associate Administrator for Infrastructure (HIF-1)
Name, Associate Administrator for Civil Rights (HCR-1)

Figure 5.5

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

PARAGRAPHING AND SUCCEEDING PAGES

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Body of a Memorandum, Outlining, and Succeeding Pages
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

Begin the body of a memorandum three spaces down after the last line of the To: Line creating two blank lines. Begin each main paragraph flush with the left margin. Single space the body of the memorandum with be one blank line between paragraphs. Double space (one blank line between typed lines) one-paragraph memorandums consisting of ten lines or less.

  1. There are no specific formatting rules for outlines and subparagraphs other than using the same format throughout a document. However, using the following guidelines will add clarity and neatness to your outline and subparagraphs.

  2. When a paragraph is subdivided, it must have at least two subdivisions. Each successive subdivision a paragraph is indented.

  3. Indents should be set at every half inch.

  4. When a paragraph is subdivided, each subdivision is numbered and lettered for clarity. Place periods after letters or numbers in an outline format. Omit the periods when the letters or numbers are enclosed in parenthesis or are underlined.

    1. Alternate use of numbers and letters.

    2. Single space within a paragraph, and space down two times to create one blank line between paragraphs.

    3. Bullets, dashes, etc., may also be used to separate talking points in briefings, items in a list, or ideas to add clarity.

      Figure 5.6-1

      1. Open your bank statement.

        1. Put canceled checks in sequence.

          1. (1) Correct any mistakes in register.

            1. (a) Mark off check number on the statement.

              1. 1 Verify amount on check.

                1. a Highlight discrepancies on statement.

  5. Cited paragraphs. When a paragraph is cited in correspondence, the reference numbers and letters are typed without periods or spaces.

    Example: (1)(a)(1)(a)

  6. Carry-over paragraphs. A paragraph may be split at the end of the page only if two or more lines of the paragraph can be carried over to the next page. There must be at least two lines of the paragraph at the bottom of a page before it can be split.

  7. Succeeding pages. Continue the body of the memorandum two spaces down creating one blank line below the page number. When using memorandum template, the succeeding pages are automatically added and numbered.

Figure 5.6-2

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

ATTACHMENTS

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Attachments
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

The notation "Attachment" is reserved for memorandums. Do not use "Enclosure" as it is reserved for letters. Type "Attachment" flush with the left margin two spaces down from the end of the body of the memorandum to create one blank line. When more than one attachment is involved, identify each attachment by number; e.g., Attachment 2. When there is more than one lengthy attachment, use tabs to identify each attachment by number.

  1. Attachment(s) identified in the body of the memorandum are noted as follows:

    Attachment or 2 Attachments
  2. Attachment(s) not identified in the body of the memorandum are noted as follows:

    Attachment
    List of Specific Revisions
    Current Highway Programs
    Issues Book
    or 2 Attachments
    List of Specific Revisions
  3. If some attachments are identified within the body of the memorandum and some are not, follow the format of number 2 above and list all of the attachments.

  4. Identify multiple copies of the attachment(s) identified in the body of the memorandum in parentheses as follows:

    Attachment (2) or 2 Attachment (2)

    Figure 5.7.1

  5. Identify multiple copies of the attachment(s) not identified in the body of the memorandum in parentheses after identification of the attachment as follows:

    Attachment
    List of Specific Revisions (2)
    Current Highway Programs
    Issues Book
    or 2 Attachment:
    List of Specific Revisions
  6. If document(s) or other materials are being sent separately, type "Separate Cover:" flush with the left margin, and two spaces down from the attachment notation to create one blank line (two spaces down from the response block of the memorandum if there is no attachment). Go down one space and type the titles or descriptions of the documents that are being separately sent. The documents are identified here, whether or not they were identified in the text, as follows:

    Separate Cover:
    Updated Data Disk
    List of Specific Revisions (2)
    Current Highway Program Issues Book

  7. When an attachment is sent, and additional material is to be sent separately, follow the directions as set forth in paragraphs 1 and 2 then type the separate cover notations two spaces down from the attachment notation as follows to create one blank line:

    2 Attachments
    blank line
    Separate Cover:
    Updated Data Disk
    List of Specific Revisions (2)
    Instruction Manual (2)

  8. When the material is mailed separately, include a copy of the memorandum.

Figure 5.7-2

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

DELIVERY NOTATIONS

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Delivery Notations
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line
  1. Increasingly, correspondence is delivered in a manner other than first-class mail. Delivery notations are not required, but may be useful information for the file copy. The following examples as provided in The Gregg Reference Manual, 10th edition, show different types of notations as well as the order in which they should appear with attachments and copies.

  2. Delivery notations are indicated by typing the method type of delivery flush with the left margin and two spaces down from the body of the memorandum to create one blank line.

    Examples:
    By fax
    By email

  3. Special instructions when using a delivery notation.

    1. The fax number, or email address are not included on the outgoing memorandum, but should be included on the grid as a record on the file copy.

      Example:
      By fax (202-366-3244)
      By email (email address)

    2. Correspondence that is to be scanned and sent by email will be returned to the originating office for distribution. The Exec Sec prepares and distributes copies for OST and other DOT modal administrations listed in the distribution area.

Figure 5.8

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

RESPONSE BLOCK

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Response Block
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

A response block is provided when a decision is required. The possible responses and a date line are typed in capital letters flush with the left margin with one blank line between each possible response and the date. Begin the response block two spaces down from the body of the memorandum or Attachment notation to create one blank line. Follow each response with a typed line ending at the same point for neatness. Two possible response blocks are listed in the Examples below.

Examples:

2 Attachments
blank line
 
APPROVED:
blank line
 
DISAPPROVED:
blank line
 
DATE:

 
WILL ATTEND:
blank line
 
WILL NOT ATTEND:
blank line
 

Do not type any notations parallel with the response block on the right-hand side of the page. Leave this space blank for any comments by the addressee.

Figure 5.9

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

COURTESY COPY NOTATIONS

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Courtesy Copy Notations
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line
  1. Courtesy copy distribution notations are shown on the original memorandum only if the addressee has a need to know who received a copy of the memorandum. Always show the courtesy copy distribution on the internal information copies including the grid.

  2. "Courtesy copy" is indicated by typing "cc:" flush with the left margin and two spaces down from body of the memorandum, attachment notation, or separate cover notation to create one blank line followed by the titles and/or routing symbols of the recipients.

    Example:
    cc: HSA-1
    HIF-1
    HPA-1

  3. To avoid starting a new page, courtesy copy notations may be listed across the page.

    Example:
    cc: HSA-1, HIF-1, HPA-1

  4. When attachments are not furnished to recipients of courtesy copies, indicate as follows:

    Example:
    cc: HSA-1
    HIF-1 w/o attachments
    HPA-1

Figure 5.10

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

WRITER'S IDENTIFICATION FILE LOCATION AND DISTRIBUTION INFO

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Writer's Identification, File Location, and Distribution Information
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line
  1. The Writer's Identification, Control Numbers, File Location and Distribution Information are indicated on the grid of all memorandums. The writer's identification line consists of the FHWA identification, routing symbol of originating office, writer's first name initial and last name, typist's initials, writer's telephone number, and the date. The Paper and Electronic File Location information consists of the hard copy file name located in the originating office, followed by the fileserver name, path, and filename of the electronic document. This information is typed at the bottom of the grid.

    Note: Electronic documents should be stored on a shared directory so that documents can be accessed by others if changes are needed and the writer is unavailable. If the document is not accessible and it needs to be sent, the originating office will be asked to retype the memorandum.

    Example:
    Writer's Identification Line: FHWA:HIF-1:KGee:rw:64856:1/31/10
    Control Numbers: 100127-001-2004 (show control number(s) as indicated on control sheet.)
    Paper and Electronic File Location: Location:F:/HIF-1/pasys.doc
    Distribution Information: cc: (List all information copies, reading file, etc.)

  2. If the memorandum is rewritten or retyped, this should be indicated directly below the first identification line.

    Example:
    FHWA:HIF-1:KGee:rw:64856:9/4/10
    Rewritten:HIF-1:RFWeingroff:rw:64856:9/5/10

    Figure 5.11-1

  3. Any grid copies voided by revision or retyping should retained and attached behind the current or active grid with the oldest version at the bottom. Draw a diagonal line through voided grid copies so they are not confused with the current or active grid. When the edits or changes are not significant, then neatly type "previous concurrences valid" in the upper right-hand corner or along side of the active grid (examples shown on Grid in Figure 5.21). If there are significant changes made to a memorandum, then you need to begin the approval process over from the beginning, still keeping previous versions and edits with the package.

Figure 5.11-2

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MAKING COPIES

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Making Copies
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX

If the memorandum was signed in the Federal Highway Administrator's Office, Exec Sec makes all of the HOA and OST copies and returns the signed version to the originating office. Exec Sec will return one signed, clean copy of the original. The originating office is then responsible for making all other copies listed in the distribution block. The distribution information as described on Figure 5.11-1-2 should be typed separately on plain copier paper and cut to fit at the bottom or where appropriate.

NOTE: Where instructed by Exec Sec, copies will be distributed electronically to the appropriate offices.

Figure 5.12

Type of folder to use:

  1. Red and White Striped Folders: This type of folder should be used for memorandums going to:
    Memorandum to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, and Modal Administrators.

    Reports to Congress -

  1. Blue and White Polka Dot Folder: This type of folder should be used for memorandums to:
    Information Memorandum

Figure 5.13

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Office of the Administrator

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.
Washington, DC 20590

{Date}

ACTION MEMORANDUM TO THE SECRETARY
blank line

From:

blank line

Full Name, Administrator
X60650

Prepared by:

blank line

{Full Name}, {Title}
{XPhone ext.
Re:
blank line
{Subject)

ACTION REQUIRED
blank line
State the action or decision you are asking the Secretary of Transportation to take. (In effect, tell him/her why he/she is reading your memo.)
blank line
blank line
SUMMARY
blank line
Give a brief description of the subject matter of the memo. Please include a brief listing of the consultations you have made in arriving at your recommended action. This should include the clearances obtained with the DOT and FHWA and, where applicable, the stakeholders who have been consulted.
blank line
blank line
BACKGROUND
blank line
Describe the background for the decision. Be sure to describe any objections you have received during the consultations you referenced in the summary section, and your responses to them.

Figure 5.14-1

RECOMMENDATION
blank line
Clearly state the action you are recommending the Secretary of Transportation to take. Close with the following signature/clearance block:
blank line
Attachments
blank line
The Secretary
blank line

APPROVED:
blank line
 
 
DISAPPROVED:
blank line
 
 
COMMENTS
blank line
 
 
DATE:

 
 

Figure 5.14-2

FORMAT FOR EVENT BRIEFING FOR THE SECRETARY
Please use bullet points at 14 or 13 point font Please keep to one page

MEMORANDUM

TO: Secretary Ray LaHood
FROM: Senior DOT Official
CC: Administrator or Assistant Secretary
DATE: Date of Event
RE: Name of Group or Individual S1 is Speaking To

EVENT OVERVIEW

TOPIC OF PURPOSE OF EVENT

NOTABLE BACKGROUND

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
SENIOR DOT OFFICIAL at (202) 366-0000 direct or (202) 366-0001 cell.

Figure 5.15

FORMAT FOR MEETING BRIEFING FOR THE SECRETARY

 

Please use bullet points at 14 or 13 point font Please keep to one page

MEMORANDUM

TO: Secretary Ray LaHood
FROM: Senior DOT Official
CC: Administrator or Assistant Secretary
DATE: Date of Event
RE: Name of Group or Individual S1 is Speaking To

MEETING OVERVIEW

TOPIC OF MEETING & TALKING POINTS

NOTABLE BACKGROUND

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
SENIOR DOT OFFICIAL at (202) 366-0000 direct or (202) 366-0001 cell.

Figure 5.16

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Office of the Administrator

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.
Washington, DC 20590
FORMAT FOR AN INFORMATION MEMORANDUM TO THE SECRETARY

{Date}
blank line
INFORMATION MEMORANDUM TO THE SECRETARY
blank line

From:

blank line

{Full Name}, Administrator
X60650

Prepared by

blank line

{Full Name}, {Title}
{XPhone ext.}
Re:
blank line
{Subject}

blank line
blank line
SUMMARY
blank line
Give a brief description of the subject matter of the memo. Where applicable, briefly state any circumstances where it may be particularly important for the Secretary to have this information (i.e., an organization may be having a conference in town and its members are particularly concerned, a member of Congress has expressed great interest in the issue and may raise it with the Secretary, etc.).
blank line
blank line
BACKGROUND
blank line
Body of the memo.
blank line
blank line
FOLLOW-UP
blank line
Describe your plans for tracking the issue your memorandum discusses and the timeline for any further developments you expect (i.e., a recommendation for action that will be made within a given time frame, the time frame for any additional developments you expect, discussions you intend to undertake, etc.).
blank line

Figure 5.17-1

Close with the following signature/clearance block:
blank line
Attachment
blank line
The Secretary
blank line
REVIEWED:
blank line
 
 
COMMENTS:
blank line
 
 
DATE:
blank line
 
 
cc:

 
 

Figure 5.17-2

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MEMOS TO THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Memorandum
Addressed to the Deputy Administrator or
the Executive Director
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
Deputy Administrator (HOA-2) or
Executive Director (HOA-3)
blank line
blank line
  1. When a memorandum is addressed to the Deputy Administrator or the Executive Director, use one of the following terms as the first word in the Subject: line: ACTION:or INFORMATION:

  2. If needed, provide a response block to indicate approval or disapproval in ACTION: memorandums addressed to the Deputy Administrator or Executive Director. Type the possible responses and a date line are in capital letters flush with the left margin and with one blank line between each possible response and the date. Begin the response block two spaces down from the body of the memorandum or Attachment notation to create one blank line. Follow each response with a typed line ending at the same point for neatness. Follow each response with a typed line, with all lines of equal length.

  3. Do not provide the Federal Highway Administrator with a copy unless the action office determines that he/she should be informed of the subject. If the Federal Highway Administrator is to receive a copy, indicate it on the original. Also, indicate on the original when information copies are sent to other program offices if the addressee needs to know.

  4. Do not type any notations parallel with the response block on the right-hand side of the page. Leave this space blank for comments by the Deputy Administrator or Executive Director. Forward the original memorandum and the grid copy to Exec Sec. Copies will be made from the original memorandum after action has been taken by the Deputy Administrator or Executive Director.

blank line
Attachment
 
 
APPROVED:
blank line
 
 
DISAPPROVED:
blank line
 
 
DATE:

 
 

Figure 5.18

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

TO ADMINISTRATOR THROUGH DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Subject ACTION: Memorandum Addressed to the Federal Highway Administrator Through the Deputy Administrator and Executive Director
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-XX
To: To: (Name)
Administrator (HOA-1)
THROUGH: (Name)
Deputy Administrator (HOA-2)
(Name)
Executive Director (HOA-3)
  blank line
blank line
Follow the instructions for preparing a memorandum addressed to the Federal Highway Administrator.
blank line
2 Attachments
blank line
cc:
blank line
  APPROVED:        
  blank line
  DISAPPROVED:        
  blank line
  DATE:        

Figure 5.19

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

FOLDER ASSEMBLY

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Folder Assembly
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-1
To: To: (Name)
To: (Full Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))
blank line
blank line

This section shows the correct way to assemble a memorandum in a logical, neat package for signature. Keep all items together that belong with the original memorandum, and all items that belong with the grid. Use two binder clips on each side to assemble packages.

  1. Right side of folder. Only items that are part of the original memorandum should be on the right side of a correspondence folder. Attach the original memorandum and any attachments on the right side of the folder. Do not staple attachments. Do not include a writer/distribution block on this side of the package. Attachments should be clipped (not stapled) to the original in the sequence they are mentioned in the memorandum.

    1. Executive Correspondence plastic cover sheet. This sheet is used to protect the original memorandum.

    2. Original outgoing memorandum. The original memorandum, even when there are several pages, is never stapled.

    3. Attachment(s). Attachments are clipped (not stapled) in the sequence in which they are referenced in the memorandum, suitably captioned or tabbed.

    4. Envelope. If the memorandum is to be mailed, an appropriate size, addressed envelope should be attached.

  2. Left side of folder. Official file documents are assembled in the following order with the summary sheet on top.

    1. Summary Sheet: One-page summary of the issue/problem/request and rationale of position taken in response (see Figure 5.25 for a Summary Sheet Form).

      Figure 5.20-1

    2. Grids: The grid (Form DOT F 1320.65) is placed under the yellow Concurrence tab (Form FHWA-222B). The grid should be the same version as the original memorandum on the right side of the folder.

    3. Voiding Grid Copies: Voided grid copies should be differentiated from the active or current grid with a diagonal line drawn through them. Neatly type "previous concurrences valid" above or along side the active concurrence grid (example shown in Figure 5.21).

    4. Incoming: Staple a copy of the Correspondence Control Sheet on top of the incoming correspondence (if any) and place it under the pink Incoming Tab, Form FHWA 222C.

    5. Background: Include a copy of sections of legislation that are referenced in the memorandum and any other clarifying documents. Place the background material under the blue Background Tab, Form FHWA-222A.

    6. Edits: ALWAYS retain all edits made by offices other than the action office and place them behind the background material. Edits made by an Action Office before it goes to other offices for review do not need to be retained with the correspondence package.

Figure 5.20-2

  Grid Copy Previous
Concurrences
Valid
In Reply Refer to:
HXX-XX
Subject:s
Subject: INFORMATION: or ACTION:
Memorandum Addressed to Multiple Groups

Previous Concurrences Valid. Image of GRID form 1320.65

GRID

From

From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)

To:

To: (Full Name)
(Title and Routing Symbol (HXX-XX))

  1. Official File Copies have been replaced by the Grid. The Grid, along with the contents of a correspondence package, will be retained by the originating office according to their retention schedule.

  2. Exec Sec permanently retains a hard copy of the signed correspondence with its files as well as a scanned version on the electronic tracking system.

  3. The originating office should retain any markup versions that were not included in the correspondence package until the outgoing correspondence has been signed and the package returned by Exec Sec.

  4. Examples of where "Previous Concurrences Valid" can be typed or written.

 

 

Sincerely yours,

(Name & Title)

Figure 5.21

Form DOT F 1320.65
Supersedes previous edition

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MEMORANDUM ADDRESSED TO MULTIPLE GROUPS

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Memorandum Addressed to Multiple Groups
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-1
To: To: Associate Administrators
Chief Counsel
Chief Financial Officer
Director, Innovative Program Delivery
Directors of Field Services
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers
Director of Technical Services
Division Administrators
blank line
blank line
  1. For memorandums addressed to multiple groups, prepare one original (unless specifically instructed otherwise by Exec Sec) to be reproduced or sent via email after signature. Prepare one grid copy.

  2. The originating office that prepared the memorandum to multiple groups will be responsible for sending the signed memorandum via email. When sending memorandum via email, scan the signed memorandum and attach it to the email. In the email Subject: line, enter the topic of the memorandum and in the body of the email refer to the subject of the memorandum and that it is attached.

  3. Memorandums requiring a reply or other action should contain the word ACTION: capitalized, bolded, and underlined) in the Subject: line. If a due date is requested, it should also be included in the Subject: line.

    Example:

    ACTION: Improved Staffpower Management Report
    (Reply Due: 3/15/09)

  4. Memorandums requiring no action should contain the word INFORMATION: (capitalized, bolded, and underlined) in the Subject: line.

    Figure 5.22-1

    blank line

  5. If a memorandum addressed to multiple groups is signed by an FHWA Official other than the Federal Highway Administrator, Deputy Administrator, or Executive Director, then HOA-1, HOA-2, HOA-3 and Exec Sec should receive a copy. Indicate on the original as shown below. Show Exec Sec on the distribution block, so that they receive a copy.

    Example:

    cc: HOA-1, HOA-2, HOA-3

    Figure 5.22-2

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MEMORANDUM FOR SIGNATURE BY TWO OR MORE ADMINISTRATORS

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Memorandum for Signature by Two or More Administrators
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name), Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
blank line
(Name), Administrator
National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration
blank line
(Name), Administrator
Federal Transit Administration
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HOA-1
NOA-1
TOA-1
To:

To: Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs
blank line
blank line
Typing of the titles in the From: line on memorandums prepared specifically for the signatures

of two or more Administrators may be done before obtaining their signatures. The

originating Administrator should be listed first with the other Administrators following.

Figure 5.23

DOT triscalion logo

U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration

Memorandum

MEMORANDUM TO FHWA FIELD OFFICES

Subject :INFORMATION: or ACTION: Memorandum to FHWA Field Offices
blank line
Date  
From: From: (Name)
(Title of Signing Official)
blank line
In Reply Refer To:
HXX-1
To:

To: Mr. (Full Name)
Division Administrator (HDA-XX)
(City, State)
blank line
blank line

  1. Memorandums to the FHWA field offices are always addressed to the Division Administrator. However, a memorandum or a formal letter may be written directly to an individual for the purpose of extending a personal invitation, expressing appreciation, or thanks. A copy should be made for the Director of Field Services and the Division Administrator as appropriate.

  2. When replying to an incoming memorandum, use the routing symbol shown on the incoming memorandum.

  3. Memorandums requiring a reply or other action should contain the word "ACTION: (capitalized, bolded and underlined) in the Subject: line. Memorandums requiring no action should contain the word INFORMATION: (capitalized, bolded and underlined) in the Subject: line.

  4. Complete field distribution as shown on the copies for the Director of Field Services and Division Administrator. Attach a copy of the incoming correspondence to each field copy.

    Example:

    cc: DFS-NO
    HDA-NY (2)

  5. Two copies are sent directly to the Division Administrator. One copy should include the field distribution information, and the second copy should be a clean copy on FHWA letterhead and without distribution information. The unmarked copy is for the Division Administrator to forward to anyone he/she feels should receive a copy.

  6. Attachment (if any)

    Figure 5.24

SUMMARY SHEET

(Limit Information to 1-Page)

SUBJECT: State the title of the action/issue.
Blank Line
ISSUE: Clearly state the issue, problem, or request the writer/requester is asking FHWA to solve, fund, or assist them with solving.
Blank Line
FHWA POSITION: State in two or three sentences our response/action/proposed solution to the issue/problem/request.
Blank Line
BACKGROUND: Provide key facts that summarize the issue/problem/request and rationale for our position. Use this space to refer to specific tabs for detailed information highlighted on specific pages of accompanying documents.
Blank Line
POINT OF CONTACT: Include the name, routing symbol, and telephone number of individual preparing the response to the document.
Blank Line
SUPERVISOR: Include the name, routing symbol, and telephone number of Program Office Director or Division Chief.

This sheet should be placed inside the folder on the left side on top of the yellow Concurrence tab. The incoming correspondence should be placed under the pink Incoming tab. Any background material should be placed under the blue Background tab.

Figure 5.25

Previous: Chapter 4 - Preparation of White House Correspondence Next: Chapter 6 - Electronic Transmission of Correspondence

FHWA Home | Directives | Orders | Feedback
FHWA