Attachment to ASL 00-09

ARB Forms Management Program

Policy and Procedures


The State Administrative Manual (SAM) Section 1700 describes the State Forms Management program objectives, agency responsibilities and statutory requirements of the State FMP contained in Government Code Section 14770, et. seq.


Government Code 14772 requires the head of each state agency to appoint a forms management representative (coordinator) to provide the necessary assistance to establish and maintain an active continuing program for the economical and efficient management of the forms of the agency. The Management Services Branch (MSB), Administrative Services Division (ASD), has the overall functional responsibility forms management within the Board.

Each division chief is delegated responsibility for the FMP within his/her division and will appoint a Division Forms Management Coordinator (FMC) to interact with the Board Forms Management Coordinator.

The Division FMC will have the responsibility to:

  • Be familiar with the operations of the division as it relates to forms management.
  • Review all division forms to ensure compliance and conformity to forms design standards prior to submitting to the Board FMC for final approval.
  • Assign form numbers, according to the Board's established procedures, to all division-created forms, maintain a list of numbers assigned and an inventory of all current division forms.
  • Maintain division form masters for use on reorders and revisions.
  • Submit an annual fiscal year report to the Board FMC of all the forms designed, revised or determined obsolete during the previous fiscal year. The annual report will include copies of all new and/or revised division forms to be included into the Board's central inventory collection.


Forms: Forms are any preprinted or electronic documents, containing fixed messages or requests that are used repeatedly. Variable data or fill-in spaces may or may not be included. This definition applies to all temporary or permanent forms. It applies whether a form is printed by the Office of State Publishing or on Board duplicating equipment. It includes such items as form letters, tags, labels, continuous forms, tab cards and envelopes. Data entry screens and reports from data bases are not included in this definition. All ARB forms must be reviewed by all organizations affected by the forms, the appropriate Division FMC(s), and the Board FMC prior to publication.

Approved Board Forms: All Board forms must contain "State of California," Board name, form title, an assigned numeric identification and a creation or revision date. The numeric identification may include the Board logo, a prefix comprised of the division and branch acronyms and, if appropriate, the section/unit name. Example of the form identifier:

California Environmental Protection Agency
ASD/MSB-1234 (NEW 2/00)
Business Use Form/Report: Any form/report used by state agencies to solicit information (including signatures) from any business entity.

Business: A business is any partnership, corporation, organization, business trust, or any nongovernmental entity or representative thereof, who supplies the state with information by filling out a form.

Public Use Forms: State forms used to collect and/or solicit information from the public.

STD. Forms: Forms developed by the FMC for use by all agencies to carry out common administrative functions.

Electronic Forms: A form designed or filled out on electronic media. Electronic forms must meet the same requirements as all other forms.

External Forms: Forms sent to individuals, businesses or organizations outside of the Board.

Internal Forms: Forms used exclusively within the Board for reporting, processing and control purposes.

Letterhead: Forms used for correspondence with individuals, businesses or organization outside the Board.

Memorandum: Forms used for correspondence within the Board and with other California State departments.

New Forms: Proposed ARB or division forms that have no immediate precedent. Once approved and prior to any revisions, these forms will include the following identifier: (NEW, and the form creation date) after the numeric identification. [Example: ASD/BSB-Contracts Section-1234 (NEW 2/00)]

Prefix: As a prefix to the assigned numeric identification, the division and branch acronyms and, if applicable, also the section/unit name, are used as part of the form identification.

Revised Forms: Proposed revisions of existing forms. Once approved, these forms will include (REV, and the form revision date) after the numeric identification. [Example: ASD/PMB-Labor Relations-1234 (REV 2/00)]


Prior to publication, new and revised ARB forms are to be reviewed by all organizations affected by the forms, the appropriate Division FMC(s) and the Board FMC. In addition, all external new and revised forms may be reviewed by staff in the Office of Legal Affairs, Office of Communications and/or the Information Practices Act Coordinator.

All internal forms prepared for the purpose of requesting information from the Board's employees and requiring the employee's signature will also be reviewed by the Information Practices Act Coordinator.


When designing a form, ARB staff should use the forms design standards, criteria, and techniques presented in the Forms Design Handbook available from the Board FMC.

All Board forms must show certain identifying information and contain "State of California," Board name, a form title, a form number, and a form creation or revision date. Board forms are forms created and used specifically by an the Board. The Audit Section of DGS conducts periodic audits of ARB's form management practices.

  1. The form identification shall appear on each page of a multiple page form, however, the continuation pages should be identified by the sequence. [Example: SSD/Strategy Evaluation Section-1234 (NEW 2/00) (Page 1 of x) (Page 2 of x) (Page 3 of x)]
  2. Forms that are to be copied with a reverse side are to be noted as such. [Example: SSD/Strategy Evaluation Section-1234 (NEW 2/00) (reverse side)]
  3. Reproduce forms on standard size paper whenever possible to avoid waste. An 8 1/2 x 11 page yields one standard form or two 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 forms or four 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 forms with no wasted paper.
  4. Allow correct spacing as determined by the manner in which the form will be completed (computer-generated, typewritten or handwritten).
  5. Binding requirements must be considered to allow adequate margin spacing.
  6. Orders for route slips and other internal convenience forms should not exceed a two month supply to avoid having to use obsolete forms or destroying quantities of stock.
  7. Forms will not be printed on colored paper stock, unless compelling reasons to do so. This is in the interest of paper conservation and support of the State Recycling Program.
  8. Forms will be printed on both sides of the paper whenever feasible.
  9. The names of employees shall not be printed on a form, unless compelling reasons to do so.
  10. Reproduction of forms in excess of 25 copies should be sent to the reproduction unit rather than reproducing on office copiers.


Forms can be designed on, stored in, filled out, and transmitted by electronic media. It is important to note that the management principles applied to paper forms also include and be applied to electronic forms. Forms designed and generated via electronic media should conform to the design standards recommended in the Forms Design Handbook.

All electronic forms, including those determined appropriate for the forms page on ARBInside, must be reviewed and initially approved by the appropriate Division FMC and submitted on a diskette to the Board FMC for final approval. Approved forms will be placed on the server to be accessed from the ARBInside forms page. Users of forms stored in electronic media, specifically ARBInside forms, are not to make changes to any of the forms without appropriate review and approval. See "Information on How to Build and Edit Forms (Step-by-Step Process using MS Word 97 and Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Exchange 3.0)."


Whenever possible, STD forms are to be used instead of creating Board forms. The FMC has developed STD forms in electronic media and can be found at DGS, Office of State Publishing, Forms Management Center web site.

If an agency creates an electronic version or modifies a STD form it must meet specific criteria as defined in the handbook and it's addendum and be approved by the Center before the electronic or modified STD form can be used. The form must identify the generating agency and the fact it has been generated electronically, such as "STD.15 (REV. 2/00) ARB Electronic)


On an annual basis, ARB is required to review one-third of its non-mandated forms/reports on its Business Use inventory. Additionally, the Board must identify forms used by the public and keep an index and inventory listing of them.


FMC has written helpful handbooks, guidelines and an addendum in the administering of their program. They are available from the Board FMC in the Management Services Branch/ASD.

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