Functional Statements > Office
of Communications and Outreach
FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OCO COMPONENTS
The Management Unit is focused on providing communication services to Principal Offices throughout the Department, collaborating with other federal agencies, and leading Department employee engagement efforts. The unit also provides administrative support services for the Office of Communications and Outreach to ensure the efficient running of the office and that office policies and procedures follow federal standards and regulations.
Management and Employee Engagement
Management and Employee Engagement provides customized services to ED Principal Offices and, in particular, to the Office of the Secretary. The unit serves as the administrative arm of OCO, performing the “inherently governmental” work of managing clearances and overseeing adherence to policy, accuracy of communications content, and program improvement. The unit is responsible for OCO’s Organizational Performance Review, as well as employee quality of life by conducting activities to keep employees informed about the initiatives of the Department and conveying information through the connectED intranet site. The group works across the Department to create teams to manage a variety of long-term and short-term, high visibility events and communications efforts. These projects are often one-time, fast-turnaround outreach vehicles produced through interagency coordination. The work includes administration of the Federal Interagency Committee on Education and development of interagency commemorative activities, as well as work pertaining to Memoranda of Understanding among federal agencies and requests from the White House. In addition, the team works with private companies and organizations to manage and oversee contributions to the Department to support various programs, events and functions where government funds may not be used. With the Communications Development and Digital Strategy units, the office is responsible for compliance with the Plain Writing Act. The office is headed by a Director who reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management.
- OCO Services
OCO Services provides administrative support to the units across the Office and on behalf of OCO for the Department, including intranet site posting, Congressional request management in coordination with the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Freedom of Information Act request management, records management, Executive Secretariat clearances, grant document clearances, acquisitions management, and internal controls. To coordinate projects across OCO, the unit also provides logistics, outreach, mail management, data entry, planning and implementation services, as well as travel and time and attendance guidance.
- Internal Communications
Internal Communications Team plays a key Department role by advising senior leaders on strategies to engage, inform, and educate employees. The team develops and implements internal communications plans in collaboration with senior leaders and ED Principal Offices. The team supports efforts to engage employees in the overall mission of the Department, improve the work culture to enhance employee satisfaction, and convey information about Department initiatives to ED employees. In collaboration with the Office of the Chief Information Officer, it manages the homepage of the connectED intranet site and is responsible for writing the Inside ED weekly blog for employees, writes the Secretary’s monthly message, plans the Secretary’s All-Staff Meetings and produces the Policy Briefing Series in response to employees’ and management’s needs.
- Conference Policy and Operations
Conference Policy and Operations serves as the Department’s authority on conference management and provides internal controls for expenditures on meetings and conferences. The unit ensures fiscal responsibility by reviewing event plans and schedules from ED Principal Offices to assure cost effectiveness and content integrity. In doing this, it coordinates with the Offices of the Deputy Secretary and the General Counsel, as well as with the Contracts Office. As a service unit to the Department, it provides events management expertise, including event planning, venue selection, transportation, logistics, on-site registration, customer service, and project evaluation to create high-quality conferences and meetings that communicate national educational priorities and explain the Department’s programs and policies.