Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Departmental Manual 3300-005

Office of the Chief Information Officer

Policies for Planning and Managing Wireless Technologies in USDA


The widespread adoption of wireless technologies within USDA represents a paradigm shift from telecommunications landline technologies. This shift introduces management challenges due to the pervasive availability of wireless consumer products in the marketplace and the tendency for USDA to treat wireless acquisitions as commodity buys. The most significant business challenges associated with a commodity approach to buying wireless technologies occur when the lack of a central acquisition strategy results in fractionalized purchases of non-standard products and services. Each wireless hardware purchase such as a cellular telephone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) also requires a service plan. Once established, service plans automatically renew each year with little oversight. As this practice continues, the Department loses visibility and control of wireless assets. This Departmental Manual (DM) has been developed to promote policies that encourage a more strategic, centralized management of wireless assets enterprise-wide. It provides a series of chapters, which span a broad range of wireless telecommunications topics. The online version is available at: h