NB_270_21_1 - NB 270-21-1 IRM – Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call
NB 270-21-1 IRM – Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call
National Bulletin: 270-21-1 Date: March 18, 2021
Subject: IRM – Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call

Action Required By:  April 9, 2021
Purpose.  To request fiscal year (FY) 2021 workstation information technology (IT) investment data.   
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
Background.  In order to comply with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) of 2014, manage the agency IT cap, and adhere to the acquisition approval request (AAR) limits, NRCS Management and Strategy (M&S) Deputy Area’s Strategic Support Services Division (SSSD) will be partnering with the FPAC Business Center to request and track IT investment requests each fiscal year.

The intent is to have one AAR in place for NRCS for FY 2021, eliminating the need for States to submit separate AAR requests for requirements exceeding $25,000. NRCS has an IT spend cap and line items and corresponding AAR’s for workstation and nonworkstation purchases. Collecting estimates and assembling a plan enables effective and transparent planning, programming, budgeting, and execution for IT resources across the agency. It provides appropriate visibility and involvement of the FPAC Assistant Chief Information Officer and NRCS leadership in the management and oversight of IT resources to support the successful implementation of cybersecurity policies to prevent interruption or exploitation of program services.

Explanation.  The SSSD will partner with the FPAC Business Center Information Solutions Division to collect and track the IT investment data for workstation and nonworkstation/other IT. This national bulletin is focused on workstation purchases. Guidelines for nonworkstation purchases will follow in a subsequent national bulletin.

The FPAC Business Center has provided a baseline estimate for ordering your workstations in FY 2021 and placed it in a Microsoft Teams channel by region. The assistant State conservationists for M&S (ATSCMs) and National Headquarters (NHQ) chiefs of staff are initially assigned as the points of contact (POCs) and will be added to their respective channels. A notification from Teams when the data is ready to be reviewed will follow this bulletin. POCs will coordinate the review of the refresh data and make necessary corrections in the channel.

Once the spreadsheet can be viewed, the POC will conduct:

1.  Data Clean Up.—NRCS is charged for all computer units that are assigned to someone. Review the attached user data and make notes directly in Teams channel post regarding machines that do not need to be replaced and machines needed but not currently in the data. Reasons may include temporary or retired employee no longer working in NRCS, a person with multiple machines assigned to them, new hire, etc.

2.  Machine Type Assessment.—The type of machines requested must match the job assignments (i.e., a high-end device is assigned only to those whose duties require it). The machine each person is to receive, and the cost, is listed in the data. Consider replacing desktops with laptops to accommodate teleworking. Personnel requiring more than one machine assigned should be kept to a minimum. High-performance machines should be limited to GIS specialists only, and no one person should have more than one high-performance machine. The option to remote into a high-performance machine from a standard machine should be utilized.

3.  FY 2021 Workstation Refresh Estimate.—Your Teams channel post will contain your allocation for last year and the FPAC Business Center estimate for this year.  In the post section of Teams, annotate the amount you estimate after completing the analysis in steps 1 and 2 above.

Note:  This estimate should only include the purchase of computers.  All other accessories fall under the forthcoming nonworkstation IT data call.

4.  Spending caps will be established for the organizational units to ensure agency budgetary caps are adhered to once the data is collected and analyzed using the fund codes from the initial allocation letter. NHQ will create reports of actual spending throughout the remainder of the fiscal year using these codes.

Reminder.  A national bulletin will follow for the nonworkstation/other IT orders with guidelines for how to track them. Requests for workstations that fall outside the timeline of this data call should be submitted through your regular IT ticket system for single machines, and to the FPAC Business Center for bulk buy orders at FPAC.AssetManagement@usda.gov.

Contact.  Please contact FPAC.AssetManagement@usda.gov with POCs for your area. For questions, change requests to permissions, or more information regarding this data call, please post your questions directly in your Teams channel. Teams channels are monitored for activity. The deadline for data submission is COB April 9, 2021.


Deputy Chief for Management and Strategy

Regional Conservationist, Northeast

Regional Conservationist, Southeast

Regional Conservationist, West

Regional Conservationist, Central
Assistant Chief Information Officer
FPAC Information Solutions Division                  

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