NAO 212-10: Telecommunications Planning, Acquisition, and Management

Issued 08/28/92; Effective 08/13/92 Last Reviewed: In Process



.01 This Order provides the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) telecommunications policy and guidance to NOAA program managers charged with planning and managing telecommunications resources and to administrative staffs responsible for acquiring them.

.02 This Order describes the methodology for documenting, updating, and distributing current information about telecommunications policy and authorizes NOAA's official telecommunications guidance, herein referenced as the Telecom Handbook (Handbook), to be issued separately.

.03 This Order implements the policies and procedures prescribed in the Federal Information Resources Management Regulations (FIRMR), Chapter 201, dated April 29, 1991, and the Department of Commerce (DOC) policies issued in the Information Technology (IT) Management Handbook.


.01 This Order applies to all NOAA Staff Offices (SO) and Line Offices (LO) and provides a framework for the effective management of telecommunications resources. Specific or more detailed management, operational, and security guidance shall be issued and updated in the Handbook.

.02 The Handbook shall implement the General Services Administration (GSA) and the DOC policy guidance in NOAA by defining specific procedures and requirements for the life cycle of telecommunications management including planning, acquisition, use, and funding of telecommunications resources throughout NOAA.


  1. Public Law 99-500, Title VIII, The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1986 as amended [44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.].
  2. OMB Circular No. A-11, "Major Information Technology Acquisition Plans."
  3. Public Laws 100-440 and 101-136, which mandate the use of the Federal Telecommunications System FTS2000 contract and subsequent laws mandating the same.
  4. Public Law 100-235, Computer Security Act [40 U.S.C. 759].
  5. Public Law 99-506, Section 508, Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986.
  6. The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended [18 U.S.C. 2510 et seq.].
  7. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 [50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.]
  8. United States Intelligence Activities, Executive Order 12333.
  9. The Federal Information Resources Management Regulations [41 CFR, Chapter 201].
  10. Information Technology Management Handbook, Department Administrative Order (DAO) 212-2, Management of Information Technology, dated June 12, 1986.
  11. OMB Guidance on Privacy Act Implications of Call Detail Programs to Manage Employees' Use of the Government's Telecommunications Systems [52 FR 12990], dated April 20, 1987.
  12. NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 212-2, Telecommunications Resources - Telephone Usage Policy, dated August 25, 1989.


.01 Call Detail Records. Call Detail Records are records or reports from telephone companies and common carriers which list all calls made during the billing period for a particular telephone number or numbers, as well as the date, time, duration, telephone numbers called, and cost for each completed call.

.02 Campus Facility. A campus facility is two (2) or more buildings on common property managed by a DOC/NOAA agency.

.03 Designated Agency Representative (DAR). A DAR is a NOAA FTS2000 representative for all services acquired through the FTS2000 contract. A DAR:

  • approves, orders, and accepts NOAA's FTS2000 services;
  • maintains FTS2000 inventories;
  • facilitates FTS2000 bill certification and payment; and
  • assists NOAA in planning for future needs and maximizing cost savings possibilities through consolidation of requirements.

.04 FTS2000 Services. These are services offered under GSA's mandatory contract with American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) and Sprint.

a. Switched Voice Service (SVS). SVS is long-distance dial-up or analog data transmission up to 4.8 kilobits per second (kbps) including a variety of additional special services.

b. Switched Data Service (SDS). SDS is synchronous, full-duplex digital transmission at 56 or 64 kbps available at on-net locations.

c. Dedicated Transmission Service (DTS). DTS are point-to-point, private line service using analog, digital, or T1 circuits capable of up to 9.6 kbps transmission for analog service, 64 kbps for digital, and 1.544 megabits per second (mbps) for T1.

d. Packet Switched Service (PSS). PSS includes electronic mail, which is a fully integrated digital data transfer service supporting a variety of protocols at speeds up to 56 kbps via dial-up, dedicated, analog, or digital access methods. A number of features and protocols are supported.

e. Video Transmission Service (VTS). VTS includes compressed or near full-motion terrestrial-based service at 384 kbps and high-resolution wideband full-motion video service over satellite facilities.

f. Switched Digital Integrated Service (SDIS). SDIS is a capability allowing integration of voice, data, image, and video services using digital connectivity and interfaces to Integrated Services Digital Services (ISDN) and T1 at on-net locations only.

.05 Information Technology Coordinator (ITC). An ITC is an individual designated by a SO/LO to serve as the liaison between that office and the administrative offices responsible for Information Resources Management (IRM). An ITC:

  • provides IRM guidance to their offices;
  • formulates and submits the annual Information Technology Plan; and
  • reviews Requirements Initiatives and may be delegated authority to give IRM approval for procurements of information technology resources that have met documentation requirements. The latter delegation is made by the NOAA Senior Official for IRM or the Senior Official's designee.

.06 Local Tariffed Telecommunications Services. These services are also called Dial Tone. They are voice-grade services generally acquired through the local exchange carrier whether or not they are ultimately connected to the FTS2000 network. These services are frequently referenced as "commercial services."

.07 Private Branch Exchange (PBX). PBX is a switch usually for voice services that includes access to the public switched network.

.08 Regional Telecommunications Manager for NOAA Offices in the National Capital Area. This manager performs functions traditionally performed in the National Capital Area that include ordering all new or changed local service, features, and equipment; monitoring and tracking expenditures; forecasting costs; preparing budget requests; certifying bills; keeping inventories; and managing major service changes.

.09 Requirements Initiative (RI). An RI is an official document required to support the acquisition of any Federal Information Processing resource. The RI documents the existing information processing problem, the analysis of the options considered to solve the problem, and the reason for selecting the specific resources to be acquired. The RI must receive IRM approval before a procurement can take place. (See NAO 212-6, Information Technology Planning System; NAO 212-7, Information Technology Requirements Inititiatives, for additional information.)

.10 Telecommunications Resources. These resources include the equipment, facilities, and services necessary for the transmission, emission, or reception of signals, writings, images, and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, visual, or other electro-magnetic systems.


.01 The Director, Information Systems and Finance Office (OA1), Office of Administration, is responsible for developing and issuing policy guidance enabling NOAA to plan for, acquire, manage, and use its telecommunications resources.

.02 The Chief, Telecommunications and ADP Security Branch (OA124), Systems Division, Information Systems and Finance Office, Office of Administration, is responsible for:

a. implementing DOC telecommunications policies in NOAA by:

  1. developing guidance and procedures to plan for, acquire, and manage telecommunications resources throughout the telecommunications life cycle;
  2. disseminating telecommunications operating policy, guidance, and procedures;
  3. developing and issuing IRM guidance on preparing justification documentation; (Examples are feasibility analyses and cost-benefit studies.)
  4. developing and issuing guidance on using, maintaining, evaluating, and servicing telecommunications systems; and
  5. developing and maintaining the Handbook.

b. reviewing for clearance and approving all telecommunications requirements or requests for actions requiring DOC or GSA approval as described in the FIRMR and/or the DOC IT Management Handbook;

c. coordinating and monitoring SO/LO submissions to the DOC for approval;

d. coordinating with and assisting SO/LOs on network plans, requirements, and inter-operability objectives;

e. distributing approved plans and initiatives to interested parties;

f. reviewing and analyzing telecommunications systems and networks for potential cost savings and technological alternatives supporting DOC and NOAA mission requirements and IRM objectives;

g. serving as the focal point for interagency telecommunications matters by:

  1. responding to DOC requests for information and distributing information about NOAA, DOC, and government-wide telecommunications programs to NOAA SO/LOs; and
  2. representing NOAA on DOC and interagency telecommunications councils as requested;

h. keeping the Administrative Support Centers (ASC) advised on telecommunications matters in support of their client service programs; and

i. serving as the Regional Telecommunications Manager for NOAA offices located in the National Capital Area. (See Section 4.07 of this Order.)

.03 SO/LOs are responsible for:

a. managing their telecommunications resources efficiently by establishing suitable controls and signatory authorities as delegated by appropriate authorities;

b. assuring compliance with the provisions of this Order and with other NOAA policy including:

  1. NAO 212-1, Information Technology Management - General, dated May 30, 1991;
  2. NAO 212-2, Telecommunications Resources - Telephone Usage Policy, dated August 25, 1989;
  3. NAO 212-4, Senior Official for Information Resources Management, dated May 30, 1991;
  4. NAO 212-6, Information Technology Planning System, dated May 30, 1991;
  5. NAO 212-7, Information Technology Requirements Initiatives, dated May 30, 1991;
  6. NAO 212-9, Data Processing Hardware Management, dated May 30, 1991;
  7. NAO 212-11, Acquisition of Information Technology Resources, dated May 30, 1991;
  8. NAO 212-12, ADP and Telecommunications Standards, dated May 30, 1991; and
  9. NAO 212-13, Information Technology Security Management, dated August 6, 1990.

c. participating in NOAA's short-term and long-term planning efforts;

d. describing requirements for telecommunications resources and equipment necessary to support individual programs in consideration of cost-effective operations and technology advances;

e. documenting telecommunications requirements in a formal RI format; (See NAO 212-6, Information Technology Planning System; NAO 212-7, Information Technology Requirements Initiatives, for a description.)

f. verifying that prior to the acquisition of telecommunications resources a formally approved RI covering the intended acquisition is on file and that funds are available;

g. maintaining a current inventory of telecommunications resources that supports local management of telecommunications assets and provides accountability for resources expended;

h. certifying telecommunications bills and reviewing call detail reports; (See NAO 212-2, Telecommunications Resources - Telephone Usage Policy, for the requirements for compliance.)

i. providing coordination support on the installation, testing, and certification of telecommunications resources;

j. developing appropriate justification to support acquisition of resources as required;

k. adhering to and maintaining copies of the Handbook; and

l. periodically, but not less frequently than annually:

  1. reviewing leased telecommunications resources to assure that they are cost-effective and still satisfy a verifiable requirement;
  2. ensuring that the service does not unnecessarily duplicate other service; and
  3. ensuring that FTS2000-like commercial services acquired prior to the acquisition of FTS2000 are converted to FTS2000 or an exception is obtained formally from the GSA through the DOC.

.04 ASCs are responsible for:

a. serving as the Regional Telecommunications Coordinator (RTC) for the ASC service area by:

1. serving as the NOAA DAR who shall be responsible for:

  • (a) the FTS2000 contract for NOAA;
  • (b) the FTS2000 contract for non-NOAA bureaus, as delegated;
  • (c) ordering and facilitating the installation of FTS2000 intercity telecommunications services at consolidated locations; and
  • (d) interacting with local representatives at the site;

2. facilitating FTS2000 bill certifications;

3. maintaining FTS2000 inventory information;

4. providing guidance to field offices on verification of local service procedures and requirements;

5. providing technical guidance to NOAA SO/LOs in the specification of telecommunications products and services;

6. maintaining cognizance of regional requirements for telecommunications resources;

7. recommending and facilitating NOAA's consolidation and coordination of requirements where appropriate;

8. advising non-NOAA bureaus on consolidation of requirements;

9. providing leadership on consolidation and ensuing administrative activities;

10. reviewing all orders for telecommunications resources prior to procurement action in order to ensure technical and financial soundness, compliance with DOC and GSA policy, and consistency with regional and organizational telecommunications plans; and

11. providing guidance on the FIRMR, the DOC's IT Management Handbook, NAOs for interested parties, and providing advice on administrative requirements that are part of the telecommunications management life cycle.

b. reviewing Handbook updates and providing support as described in the Handbook and Office of Administration policy.


.01 Planning for Telecommunications Resources.

a. All levels of program offices within the SO/LOs shall participate in NOAA's short-range and long-range planning efforts to understand, forecast, and prepare for technological changes that support mission requirements.

b. NOAA's long-term planning efforts shall reflect mission requirements, technology advances, national security and emergency preparedness needs, and budget constraints. Plans shall be updated as needed.

c. NOAA's long-term planning shall derive from requirements analyses which shall support telecommunications acquisitions.

d. NOAA's IT Plans shall include individual Concept Studies which, when endorsed, shall reflect the technological embodiment of NOAA's mission, information technology needs, and infrastructure.

.02 Acquisition of Telecommunications Resources.

a. In accordance with the FIRMR, the mandatory FTS2000 contract must be used for all domestic voice, data, and video telecommunications services unless the telecommunications requirement is unique and the GSA specifically and individually approves an exception to the use of FTS2000 or the exception to the use of the FTS2000 contract is otherwise authorized by law.

b. In accordance with the FIRMR, the GSA's mandatory Consolidated Local Telecommunications Services shall be used where available unless a specific and individual exception to the use of these services is authorized.

c. All requests for telecommunications resources and equipment must be documented in a RI which shall reflect an endorsed Concept Study describing the context for the proposed action. The RI number shall be cited on the Form CD-435, Procurement Request, or a similar NOAA Form. All requests shall be reviewed technically and administratively by the SO/LO ITC in accordance with delegated authority prior to the procurement process.

1. Procurement requests for resources described in RIs that have been prepared by program offices must be approved by the SO/LO ITC. A DAR may provide IRM approval on RIs prepared by the Office of Administration if authorized by the SO/LO ITC.

2. Resources which require Delegations of Procurement Authority (DPA) as well are described in the Handbook.

d. Requests for switching auxiliary and related telecommunications equipment and local service shall be ordered by procurement offices or others as delegated.

e. Requests for FTS2000 intercity services shall be approved and ordered by a DAR who is available to assist SO/LOs in planning for and identifying FTS2000 requirements and costs. The DAR shall also track and certify all FTS2000 orders, facilitating FTS2000 billing certifications.

f. Intercity Telecommunications Services outside the FTS2000 contract shall be acquired by procurement offices only after DAR approval and an approved exception to FTS2000 has been obtained formally from the GSA through NOAA and the DOC by the SO/LO.

.03 Management of Telecommunications Resources.

a. All NOAA telecommunications resources shall be obtained and used cost-effectively. This shall be done in a manner that is the most advantageous to the Government. Resources shall be shared wherever possible. Excess equipment shall be used when it supports NOAA's mission accomplishment and saves unnecessary expenditures.

b. SO/LO managers shall use telecommunications resources cost-effectively and keep adequate cost records and inventories for accountability.

c. All NOAA telecommunications equipment shall be protected against loss or abuse. Security of systems with sensitive information shall be maintained in compliance with all DOC National Security requirements for communications security (COMSEC).

d. All call detail records are subject to Privacy Act provisions and shall be protected accordingly.

e. NOAA shall use GSA mandatory telecommunications services and equipment as specified in the FIRMR and in the Handbook. Optional GSA-provided services shall be used when they satisfy NOAA's mission needs and are cost-effective.

f. Government telephone systems shall be used for official business only and for purposes NOAA determines are in the best interests of the government. (See NAO 212-2, Telecommunications Resources - Telephone Usage Policy, for information.)

g. In accordance with DOC policy, no eavesdropping or recording of telephone conversations is allowed except as permitted by law and approved in advance by the DOC.

h. Any toll-free telephone service ordered for government employees and/or the public shall be controlled and reported to NOAA.

i. Records of activities supporting the life cycle of telecommunications resources management shall be kept and maintained in accordance with approved DOC and NOAA disposition schedules.

j. Telecommunications resources shall be acquired to provide equivalent access for employees with disabilities in the performance of their duties.

.04 Handbook.

a. The Handbook shall be updated annually with the publication of any necessary changes. Interim changes shall be issued as needed in memoranda form by the Chief, Information Systems and Finance Office after coordination with the ASCs and their functional equivalents in the Office of Administration.

b. The Handbook shall not duplicate other publications and shall cross-reference related chapters.


This Order supersedes NOAA Directives Manual (NDM) 46-10, NOAA Telecommunications Services and Facilities - General Policy, dated January 11, 1985; NOAA Circular 76-07, filed as NDM 46-14, Telephone Number Change Notice, dated January 15, 1976; NDM 46-15, NOAA Telephone Communications, dated August 31, 1979; NDM 46-17, Use of Facsimile Units in NOAA, dated July 20, 1979; and NDM 46-21, Listening-In and Recording of Telephone Conversations, dated July 1, 1980.


Director, Office of Administration

Office of Primary Interest:
Telecommunications and ADP Security Branch (OA124)
Systems Division
 Information Systems and Finance Office
Office of Administration