NB_270_21_3 - NB 270-21-3 IRM – Supplemental Guidance for NB 270-21-1, “Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call”
NB 270-21-3 IRM – Supplemental Guidance for NB 270-21-1, “Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call”
National Bulletin: 270-21-3 Date: April 9, 2021
Subject: IRM – Supplemental Guidance for National Bulletin 270-21-1, “Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call”

Action Requested By:  April 23, 2021 and May 15, 2021


Purpose.  To supplement the information and extend the deadline established in National Bulletin (NB) 270-21-1, “Fiscal Year 2021 State Information Technology Investment Request Data Call,” posted March 18, 2021.   


Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021


Background.  This guidance supplements the information in NB 270-21-1 for selecting computers that meet the employee needs and to ensure that new employees have computer access as close as possible to their enter-on-duty date. This bulletin also provides clarification on ordering and establishes a 2 week deadline extension.

NRCS and FPAC Business Center leadership recently learned that State acquisition plans have not considered recent direct hire employees to be onboarded now to the end of the fiscal year. If direct hires were not considered in your response to NB 270-21-1, this new bulletin provides an opportunity to do so. This bulletin clarifies the process to acquire new computers. However, it is important to note there is an enhanced worldwide demand for computers and supply is limited. While there is some recovery in the supply chain from last year, there are still logistical hurdles when ordering and deploying new laptops. With the new hiring surge scheduled for this year, States must prepare for a slight delay in getting new devices to the new employees.

Within NRCS, options exist to ensure that direct hires have access to computers as quickly as possible:

1. Contact your IT Group Manager.—Determine whether any computers exist in the current inventory. Retain equipment that would ordinarily be returned as a part of the refresh if it has some warranty remaining or has only recently gone out of warranty. Once the new laptops have arrived, the older ones should be replaced and returned to the Client Experience Center (CEC). You can work with your local CEC representative or contact the FPAC Information Solutions Division (ISD) Asset Management group via email address listed below to determine what equipment in your area is available for redeployment.

2. In the event the State does not have enough computers and has concerns that new computers will not arrive when needed, complete the attachment, “Direct Hire Template,” at the State/deputy level, and return to FPAC.AssetManagement@usda.gov by May 15, 2021.


Explanation.  This guidance supplements NB 270-21-1 to provide additional guidance for selecting the computer that meets employee needs.

When ordering devices for your employees, consider the following guidelines to ensure that job roles and configurations are being matched appropriately. The FPAC ISD Asset Management group worked extensively with customers across the mission area to develop a few standard configurations that should meet most of your use cases. Choosing these configurations will help to standardize the inventory and reduce the need for special ordering moving forward. The configuration list has been updated in the “WIN EQUIP DESCRIPTION” tab of the Excel inventory document in all Teams channels under “Files.” Guidelines are as follows: 

  • Most nontechnical/scientific roles (i.e., a standard user or an administrative role) can easily make use of the “standard” laptop build. 
  • The “performance” build was designed with software developers in mind; however, power users working with the occasional large spreadsheet or data set but are not in a data analyst role (for example) could also benefit from this one. 
  • The “Super Performance” build was designed with the help of NRCS to fit the need of the heavy-duty user. It has more space and processing power (and cost) than the “performance” build. It should be reserved for those that have a need to process large data sets or use intensive hardware. 
  • The “Extreme Performance” build was designed with the GIS user in mind. It can also be used by those that have a need for the increased power of the “Super Performance” build but also need the enhanced graphics.

Include any machines that had warranty expiration before 2021 in your data call response. Post-deadline analysis will determine how many machines can be purchased and will be communicated to you as spend caps.

Finally, all computer orders can be placed as before, or, FPAC ISD Asset Management (and not your geographic contracting support section) can facilitate the computer order and all associated paperwork on your behalf. Once the request is submitted, someone from the FPAC ISD Asset Management team will contact you for additional discussion and guidance regarding requisition submission, additional approvals (like acquisition approval requests), etc. Whether you complete your own order, or it is coordinated through asset management, include all dollars and inventory changes or selections in the Teams channel for tracking and specify in your notes who will accomplish the purchasing. The deadline for completion of this communication is extended to April 23, 2021.


Contact.   For questions, or more information regarding this data call, post your questions directly in your Teams channel. Requests for permissions changes and spending cap adjustments should be submitted in the Teams channel. The Teams channels are being monitored for activity. Submit workstation data by COB April 23, 2021, and direct hire template if necessary, by May 15, 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  


Attachment - Direct Hire Template
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