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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG 3220.3





Transmittal Number 88-83 -- Date: 06/03/1988

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Background
 3. Reference
 4. Definitions
 5. Responsibilities
 6. Procedures


This guide sets forth objectives, policies, standards, and responsibility for the organization, development, and implementation of a comprehensive telecommunications management program within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This program includes the management, direction, planning, and operation of all FDA telecommunications networks and systems currently in operation, and those scheduled for future implementation.


Various types of telecommunications facilities and services are currently installed and being utilized at headquarters, in all FDA Field and District Offices, as well as certain other man-hour field activities. These facilities and services are being utilized for rapid communications exchange between headquarters, all FDA field activities, other Federal agencies, state agencies, institutions, commercial firms, and private individuals in the conduct of official U.S. Government business.


Part 201-21 of the Federal Information Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR), prescribes policies and procedures regarding administrative programs for the planning, organizing, and controlling of resources for agency telecommunications requirements.


Telecommunications services include, without limitation, the transmission, emission or reception of signals, signs, written images, sounds, or intelligence of any nature, by wire, radio, visual, or other electrical or electromagnetic means. Telecommunications facilities include equipment used for such modes of transmission and reception as telephone, facsimile, electronic mail, data, radio, audio and video, and the associated transmission circuitry connecting these systems.


The Division of Information Resources Management (DIRM), Office of Management Operations, has the overall responsibility for the management and coordination of telecommunications management including:

A. Development and implementation of an ADP and telecommunications plan and budget.

B. Development of standards to assist in linking data and systems across Center and program lines.

C. Design, acquisition, management, and evaluation of all Agency telecommunications systems.

D. Review and approval of all Agency Procurement Requests, contract proposals, Interagency Agreements, and requisitions involving telecommunications and automated systems.

E. Consultation and technical assistance in the selection and use of telecommunications equipment and services.


A. Telecommunications Planning Criteria.

Guidelines and criteria for planning telecommunications services are as follows:

1. Telecommunications planning requires:

a. Analysis of the communications needs of the activity.

b. Selection of services that can be applied to meet these needs.

c. Selection of communications media providing these services with a link bridging time and distance.

2. Telecommunications needs analysis will include the following components:

a. Function. Determine the type of activity the telecommunications systems will accommodate, the type of information being moved, and the travel distance from origin to destination of the information.

b. Distribution. Determine the number of places involved in moving the information.

c. Volume. Identify the amount of information to be moved, including the length and number of messages.

d. Urgency. Determine the time frame or speed required for delivery and/or receipt of information when designing and selecting communications systems and equipment.

e. Accuracy. Establish an error ratio which will be acceptable in the transmission of a message.

f. Cost. Develop cost parameters based on the preceding functions to ensure efficient use of resources and technology.

B. Major Changes or New Installations Preclearance with GSA.

Major changes or new installations of telecommunications facilities include the following:

1. Telephone Service. This service includes:

a. Acquisition of telecommunications switching facilities and services at building locations served under GSA's Primary Services Program.

b. Installation or removal of tielines between private branch exchanges.

c. Installation of Centrex telephone service on the Agency's premises.

d. Installation, changes, or termination of telecommunications facilities and services affecting the Federal Telecommunications System (FTS).

e. Acquisition of telecommunications facilities or services with total contract costs in excess of $250,000 over the life of the contract.

f. Installation of voice facilities interconnecting service points located in separate exchange areas, including Wide Area Telephone Service (WATS).

2. Facsimile Service. Installation, relocation, and/or removal of facsimile transmission and reception equipment.

3. Data Transmission. Installation or removal of intercity data transmission channels or equipment including but not limited to the FTS, normal telephone company provided dial service, and leased-line private wire services.

4. Video and Audio Service. Installation or removal of video or audio program service (closed circuit or conventional).

5. Communication Security Service. A security service will include:

a. Installation, relocation, or removal of one or more pieces of communications security and related equipment.

b. Commencement or discontinuance of maintenance support arrangements (including repair and rebuilding) for communications security and related equipment.

C. Submission of Requirements.

Information required pertaining to major changes and new installations shall be submitted in writing to the Division of Information Resources Management (HFA-80), sufficiently in advance to permit full review and clearance with other departments and agencies concerned. The Division of Information Resources Management has the responsibility for negotiations with DHHS, GSA, and other Federal agencies for telecommunications requirements within the FDA No commitment concerning a proposed change or installation shall be made until DIRM has provided clearance of the proposed change or installation, and has issued appropriate work orders.

D. Justifications of Major Changes and/or New Installations.

A justification is required for each contemplated major change, installation, relocation, or removal of communications facilities (which includes FTS and non FTS facilities) and services. The information to be included in the justification is as follows:

1. Telephone Service. Determine local telephone service by analyzing specific program requirements, traffic engineering surveys, telephone traffic, and system and line requirement tables. Intercity telephone service is determined by the nature of the requirement, the average number of messages per business day, average conversation time per message, and percentage of messages during the busy hour based on five working days.

2. Facsimile Service. Provide a description of the facsimile service required including the primary program the facsimile equipment will support, current facsimile equipment and service supporting the program, requirements of the facsimile facilities and services to be acquired, the intercity requirements, and the average number of messages to be transmitted/received per day.

3. Radio Service. Submit all proposed new systems or changes to the Division of Information Resources Management (HFA-80) for coordination with DHHS and the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) on HHS Form 636 or HHS Form 635 as appropriate.

4. Data Transmission Service. Provide a description of the required system. Include the speed, amount and type of data to be transmitted, points of connection, and the program the system will support.

5. Video and Audio Service. Identify the purpose for which the service is required including a brief description of the system, a listing of the major equipment items, a listing of the terminal locations of the system, the transmission mode (radio or cable), the hours of service, and the estimated cost of the system.

E. Processing of Requests of Requirements.

Requests or requirements for installation of new telecommunications services and facilities, excluding requests for day-to-day telephone services, generally require 90-120 days processing time by FDA, PHS, DHHS, GSA, and the telecommunications vendors involved with the service. Removals and/or relocations generally require 30 days processing time. All requests or requirements for telecommunications services or facilities must be forwarded through administrative channels.