SUBJECT:    Service Center Technology Modernization Project (SCTMP) Information Technology (IT) Policy Issuances



May 15, 2005


OPI: Office of the Chief Information Officer  (OCIO) Service Center Technology Modernization Project












1                         PURPOSE


This Regulation establishes the framework for SCTMP IT policy issuances, and describes the structure, general issuance authority, policies, responsibilities, standards, and procedures for issuing SCTMP Policies.  The SCTMP covers infrastructure Information Technology (IT) activities of the Service Center Agencies (SCA): Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Rural Development mission area, and OCIO International Technology Services (ITS).




a           Effective Date.  The SCTMP IT Policy Issuances system will become effective immediately upon approval.  Any policy issued on or after the approval date will meet the criteria established by this manual.


b          Series Replaced.  Not applicable.


c           Directives Rescinded.  The following portions of existing SCA directives that apply to infrastructure IT activities are superseded by this manual and are hereby rescinded:


NOTE: Existing SCA directives that apply to IT activities will be rescinded when new directives are released and published under the SCTMP IT Policy Issuances, and will be identified in this section of the new directive.



3                         POLICY


The 3900 Series of the Departmental Directives System is the primary means to issue SCTMP policies.  NOTE: Program and non-IT Administrative directives issued within each specific established agency will continue to be used, as they presently exist.  There will be no change to current agency Program and non-IT Administrative Directives.

4                         AUTHORITY/REFERENCE


a           DR 0100-01, Departmental Directives System


b          ASAR 3040-1, File Plan and Disposition Schedule


c           DM 3020-1, Departmental Forms Manual


d          DR 1010-01, Reorganization




5                         SCOPE


If there is any question of the extent or coverage of a function, a section may be added on its scope.  The Service policy under which the function is to be performed should be stated, especially if there may be a variety of interpretations.




6                         ISSUING AUTHORITY


The issuing authority is the OCIO-ITS.




7                         RESPONSIBILITIES


a           Directives Management –


The OCIO SCTMP Executive Project Manager (or successor), through delegation from the OCIO is responsible for managing the SCTMP IT Policy Issuances, which includes:


(1)           Ensuring adherence to directives standards by reviewing, analyzing, and editing proposed directives.


(2)           Soliciting advice and assistance from the Service Center Agencies in the development of common directives.


(3)           Ensuring that no duplication, overlap, or conflict exists in a directive or with other directives in the system.


(4)           Issuing a checklist of all current Directives.


(5)           Maintaining the working copy of all Directives.


(6)           Assisting originators in planning, developing, consolidating, and coordinating directives from the draft stage to completion and distribution.


(7)           Advising originators in, and/or reviewing, the selection of the appropriate subject classification codes.


(8)           Controlling the assignment of sequential numbers for directives.


(9)           Interpreting and application of the directives system requirements.


b          Originator’s Responsibilities-


Officials and staff members of originating offices are responsible for ensuring that their directives:


(1)           Are consistent with established format and instructions of the System.


(2)           Contain current instructions for proper administration.


c           Clearing and Approving Officials-


(1)           Verify that the proposed directive provides the most efficient, effective and economical instructions for accomplishing the desired objective.


(2)           Withhold final approval until a proposed directive has been cleared by other applicable offices.






a           Permanent.   SCTMP policies are written communications that initiate or govern actions, conduct, or procedures.


b          Directives include:


(1)           Guidance or instructions that describe, establish, or explain policy, organizational methods, or procedures.


(2)           Documents that require action or improvement to the workload.


(3)           Written information that is essential to the operation of the SCTMP.





c           Directives Do Not Include:


(1)           Rules, Regulations, and Rulemaking document.


(2)           Publications issued primarily to and for the public.


(3)           Letters or correspondence to individuals or to a single organization or several organizations.


(4)           Emergency, technical, personal reports.


(5)           User Handbook for SCA Processing Systems.


d          Temporary:


Departmental Notices (DN) are temporary directives to transmit material that is to be retained no longer than one year.  All 3900 Series DN containing requests for information must allow 30 calendar days.  Any exception will be approved by the Executive Project Manager (or successor) only.




9                         SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION CODES


a           Numbering for these directives will be assigned by using the SCTMP Subject Classification Codes and is a 7 digit identifier.  The first 4-digit identifier is 3900 for SCTMP Manuals, Directives and Notices.  The last digit in the 4-digit identifier will be changed to identify a subject class within SCTMP (i.e. 3901 for Administration, 3902 for Security).  The last 3-digit identifier is an assigned sequential number.  For example: 3900-001 is this Departmental Regulation, 3900-002 will be the first general Directive released under this system, and 3900-003 will be the first general Notice released under this system.




10                     FORMAT


Refer to DR 0100-01, Departmental Directives System for format.




11                     ORGANIZATION OF CONTENT


Refer to DR 0100-01, Departmental Directives System for organization of content.






a           General.   The SCTMP is responsible for coordinating and obtaining formal clearance of proposed directives with affected organizations, particularly when policy or legal implications are involved.  Proper coordination and clearance eliminate inconsistencies, conflicts, and duplication and assures agreement on policy, legal, and management concerns.  Clearance officials should confine their comments to those matters within their functional areas.


b          Informal Coordination.   Informal coordination of proposed directives can greatly speed the formal clearance process.  SCTMP will make use of this technique when feasible.


c           Methods Used in Clearing a Directive.   Clearance can be handled by whichever of the following methods is most appropriate for the particular directive being cleared:


(1)           Simultaneous Clearance.   Simultaneously send a separate copy of the draft to each office on the clearance form.


(2)           Sequential Clearance.   Route a single copy of the draft to each clearance office in turn.


d          Clearance Procedures.


(1)           Simultaneous Clearance.   The SCTMP will attach a copy of the clearance form to each copy of the directive, identifying the particular addressee by making a checkmark next to a name and title on the clearance form.  The clearance official indicates the date the directive package was received and the date it was returned to the SCTMP.  The clearance official also initials the appropriate column of the clearance form denoting concurrence/ nonconcurrence and returns the directive, the clearance form, and any comments to the SCTMP.


(2)           Sequential Clearance.  The SCTMP will attach a clearance form to the directive identifying each clearance office in routing sequence and forwards the package to the first clearance office.




13                     MANDATORY CLEARANCES


a           All SCTMP Directives shall be sent to the Information Technology Working Group (or its successor) for review, and the SCA CIOs for approval or concurrence.


(1)           Drafts released for comments shall be signed by the originator.  This authority may be redelegated to the SCTMP Program Management Office (PMO).


(2)           The originator shall ensure that the required levels of approval are identified and secured.


b          All directives that may have legal implications shall be referred to the Office of General Counsel (OGC) for legal clearance.


c           All directives shall be routed to Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA) for clearance.


d          All directives that may require civil rights clearance shall be routed to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).


e           All directives will be routed though the Departmental Directives Manager.




14                     DISTRIBUTION


Distribution of the 3900 Series will be initiated by the Departmental Directives Manager to OCIO-ITS, who will in turn provide electronic notification of policy issuance to all affected personnel.