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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

120.8 - Information Systems Division


OPR: Information System Division

1. General Functions. The Information Systems Division (ISD) renders guidance and advice to the Director, the Department of the Interior, external agencies, and to all Divisions of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on all matters relating to Bureau information technology and automated data processing (ADP). ISD is responsible for planning and policy development, and program coordination and review for USGS information systems and ADP technology. Functional areas include: information systems policy development, planning, and life-cycle management; database administration; ADP security; voice and data communications management; information-related technology assessment; ADP acquisition management; and the provision of selected information systems related services, such as user assistance, data processing and telecommunications services, and support of scientific/ technical application systems.

Computational, data processing, systems analysis and design, and user assistance services are provided to other Department of the Interior bureaus and offices when requested.

2. Headquarters Organization. The Division headquarters is located in Reston, Virginia, and consists of the Office of the Assistant Director for Information Systems and four subordinate offices.

A. The Office of Assistant Director for Information Systems consists of the Assistant Director for Information Systems (Division Chief) and a Deputy Assistant Director who exercise the general authority delegated by the Director in planning, scheduling, and executing the Bureau's information systems management activities. Within the Office is a Policy Planning and Coordination Staff responsible for enhancing delivery of earth science information; developing standards for earth science data; developing and implementing ADP standards; providing Division input to Bureau information systems policy, and coordinating Bureau responses to external authorities. The Staff develops policy and procedures for the Bureau's ADP security program. The Staff is also responsible for internal planning, coordinating, and monitoring of Division activities. The Staff serves as the USGS focal point for management of data through the Bureau Data Administrator who is responsible for coordinating research and development related to data storage and interdivisional development of information technologies.

B. The Office of Management Services is responsible for Division administrative policy and procedures, managing the allocation and control of Division resources, and providing centralized administrative and management services to ISD. As the Division Program Office, monitors program accomplishments and costs, and prepares Division budget proposals; develops, maintains, and operates Division management information systems; develops and operates utilization and billing systems for all Service Center services; serves as the prime contact for all billing inquiries; and manages bureauwide information resources management inventories.

(1) The Management Information Branch is responsible for design, development, and installation of comprehensive management information systems. It reviews and evaluates interrelationships of the Division's management information systems with Bureau and Department management systems to assure compatibility and effectiveness, and collects, processes, and formats data for the preparation of graphics and management reports. The Branch develops, maintains, and operates computerized utilization and billing systems for all Service Center services; serves as the focal point for all billing-related inquiries; and manages the Bureau ADP Equipment Inventory.

(2) The Budget and Administration Branch is responsible for coordination of the Division's compliance with all regulations and directives; preparation of budget proposals, estimates, and justifications; and coordination of budget and administrative matters with other Divisions, the Office of the Assistant Director for Programs, and the Department. The Branch provides centralized Division administrative and management services including billing of non-USGS users of ADP and other services, the preparation and analysis of financial data; development of financial plans; personnel support services to include recruitment, classification, training, performance standards and appraisals, and employee relations advice and assistance; ADP and physical security; space; office support services; records management; and the negotiation of interagency and intra- agency customer agreements.

C. The Office of Field Services, located in Denver, Colorado, is responsible for the technical and administrative management of all activities of the Division Field Service Centers and providing configuration management of field hardware and software systems. The Office is responsible for facility planning, development of computer operation standards and procedures at the Field Service Centers, providing user assistance to USGS Divisions at the Field Service Centers; providing field support for telecommunications operations and developing recommendations for enhancing the Bureau telecommunications network configuration. The Office represents the Assistant Director for Information Systems by providing a wide range of support to USGS programs in the field; manages ISD activities at Denver, Colorado, Menlo Park, California, and Flagstaff, Arizona; coordinates field activities with headquarters counterparts for those having divisionwide application or impact; formulates plans for field systems and interfaces with headquarters personnel for inclusion into Bureau application planning; and represents the Assistant Director for Information Systems for interaction with other USGS divisions in the field locations.

The three Field Service Centers (Denver, Colorado; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Menlo Park, California) provide technical support and administrative assistance for ADP procurement, systems planning and management, data administration, digital communications, and mission systems operations. The Centers are organized as follows:

(1) The Office of the Chief is responsible for the overall management, technical, and administrative support provided by the Center.

(2) The Customer Services Section assists users of the computer systems operated by ISD; consults with and provides advice to USGS personnel on the application of computer techniques in solving scientific, engineering, administrative, and management problems, provides post-award technical contract monitoring support to USGS project managers; provides first level requirements analysis; registers users for access to the computers and computer subsystems; and provides tutorial activities acquainting all visitors or novice users with information resources facilities in the USGS. The Customer Services Section is responsible for the planning and operation of the Technology Information Center located at each field center. In the case of Denver, this Center also provides support to other Interior bureaus.

(3) The Computer and Communications Section administers, manages, and maintains the computer systems software used on the computers operated by the Center; installs system software; manages configurations by monitoring system performance, and reconfiguring when appropriate to achieve optimum performance; analyzes and corrects system software problems; prepares system operating instructions; and prepares documentation for users explaining means of utilizing system functions. Provides technical support for voice and data communications in the area served. Coordinates telecommunications requirements within the departmentwide system.

D. The Office of Customer Services reviews and makes recommendations regarding approval of all USGS requests for acquisition of information systems resources. The Office monitors the resource acquisition process; serves as liaison with the Department and the General Services Administration for ADP resource acquisition; provides technical support for the acquisition of software, hardware, and ADP services; serves as the focal point for information about computer and telecommunications technologies; provides technical guidance and support to Bureau project managers in the development and operation of information systems throughout their life cycle; conducts research in computer science and automated systems methodology, investigating and evaluating hardware and software to assess applicability to USGS programs; and provides technical advice to scientists, engineers, and managers who require assistance in information technology areas, including office automation. As the coordinator of the Technology Information Centers nationwide, the Office plans and coordinates ADP training, distributes technical reference information, user guides, and manuals; and publishes the Division newsletter. In addition, the Office performs systems analysis, prototype development and programming support to the Bureau; provides support services for designated operational scientific/technical production systems and is responsible for planning, scheduling, operating, maintaining, and improving those systems.

(1) The Branch of Acquisition Support provides instruction and advice on acquisition procedures, regulations, and policies. Reviews, analyzes, and coordinates all USGS requests for acquisition of information systems resources; and performs liaison functions with the Department and General Services Administration for all regulatory approvals required for resource acquisition. Responsible for the Department 5-year procurement plan; the ADP portion of the USGS advance procurement plan; and ADP equipment reutilization for the USGS nationwide. As requested, assists in the preparation of technical specifications, statements of work, development of technical evaluation criteria for resource evaluations, and evaluates proposed technical resources. Also provides guidance and assistance to all divisions in performing system life-cycle management activities.

(2) The Branch of Technology Assessment is responsible for investigations into advanced technology for the purposes of assessing suitability for applications within the USGS. Emphasis is placed on linkages with existing or strong potential applications within the Survey as opposed to general research. Serves as the research area of the Division. Transfers the results of these technology assessments to all organizational units throughout the USGS. Keeps abreast of the state-of-the-art through literature and with technological developments in the marketplace.

(3) The Branch of Applied Technology provides technical advice to scientists, engineers, and administrators who require assistance in information technology and applications. Performs systems analysis and prototype development support. Identifies areas for software research relevant to current and future USGS application areas. Develops new generalized application software, mathematical statistical techniques, and analytical methods; and supports software package evaluations, information, user consultation, and application. Interacts with and supports the system life-cycle management process. This includes feasibility studies, requirements analysis, and detailed functional systems development. In addition, the Branch administers, maintains, and operates application systems including the Earth Science Data Directory, the Earth Sciences Information Network, and the National Coal Resource Data System. This includes analyzing, designing, and implementing changes to application systems; development and maintenance of documentation for application systems; plans, develops, and presents briefings and training for application systems. Manages the ISD graphics laboratory providing assistance in the application of graphics technology, and helps in the use of the graphics laboratory for production work.

(4) The Branch of Technology Information serves as the focal point, or first level customer assistance, for computer information and communications technologies. Provides day-to-day management operation of Reston Technology Information Center, and its activities, assisted by technical personnel within the branch and office; coordinates field Technology Information Centers located in Menlo Park, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Denver, Colorado. Provides information regarding training in computers, information, and communications technologies; and, in concert with the Administrative Division, coordinates the ADP training programs, and coordinates ADP training programs with field sites. Provides program sharing services; orders, maintains, and distributes vendor documentation, and the printing and distribution of in-house developed documentation. Responsible for the publication of the ISD newsletter; the development and updating of ISD technical publications, including user guides and manuals. Provides ISD input to Survey publications, including the Yearbook and Mission book.

E. The Office of Computer and Communications Services coordinates the planning and evaluation of the Bureauwide computer and telecommunications network. The Office is responsible for the coordination and execution of all phases of technical management associated with the Division contracts nationwide. As manager of the computer systems operated by the Division in Reston, Virginia, the Office maintains information systems to track reliability of installed equipment; provides facility planning, facilities management, contract monitoring, and installation and maintenance of operating system and proprietary software at headquarters. The Office has overall Bureau responsibility for telecommunications services, including telephone data and radio communications. The Office is responsible for the management and evaluation of USGS networks including telecommunications resources planning; monitoring and reviewing present technology and projected trends in digital voice and data communications; and providing technical advice and assistance to USGS management, users, and other technical personnel in communications hardware and software capabilities. As manager of USGS telecommunications services, the Office is responsible for planning, directing, and managing voice and data telecommunications operations. The Office tests and installs new equipment and services at Reston, Virginia. The Office is responsible for ensuring that decisions on facilities operated by the Field Service Centers are consistent with the overall Bureau telecommunications network strategy, and that equipment and services are compatible with other USGS operations. The Office maintains a nationwide inventory of installed equipment. The Office has the authority and responsibility to manage and monitor (analyze, plan, implement) the USGS nationwide telecommunications network service contract to support communications networking needs of the USGS and other departmental bureaus on a departmentwide, nationwide basis.

(1) The Branch of Telecommunications Services has overall responsibility for all Bureau telecommunications services, including telephone, data, and radio communications. The Branch is responsible for developing and implementing the Bureau telecommunications network strategy. It monitors and reviews present technology in communications relative to USGS program and information processing requirements; formulates policies, goals, objectives, and actions for communications resources and their usage; analyzes and evaluates network requirements; detects trends and patterns of technical problems; and prepares technical documentation for the acquisition of USGS communications resources. As manager of USGS telecommunications services, the Branch is responsible for planning, directing, and managing voice and data telecommunications operations. The Branch installs and tests communications equipment; maintains a nationwide inventory of installed equipment; analyzes system malfunctions and deficiencies; implements actions to resolve problems; and provides technical advice and assistance on communications hardware and software capabilities. The Branch is responsible for ensuring that decisions on facilities operated by the Field Service Centers are consistent with the overall Bureau telecommunications network strategy, and that equipment and services are compatible with other USGS operations. The Branch has the authority and responsibility to manage and monitor (analyze, plan, implement) the USGS nationwide telecommunications network services contract to support communications networking needs of the USGS and other departmental bureaus on a departmentwide, nationwide basis.

(2) The Branch of Computer Services manages the computer systems and the physical data center facilities operated by the Division in Reston, Virginia. The Branch is responsible for providing a wide variety of computing services and support functions appropriate to client requirements which encompass all Divisions within the Bureau. Services include computing resource and applications support provided to other bureaus within the Department of the Interior (DOI), as well as other departments within the Federal Government. The Reston Data Center operates as a reimbursable General Purpose Computer Center (GPCC) within the DOI, providing computing facilities for the research, scientific, and administrative activities of the DOI and other Federal agencies. The Branch's facilities comprise the majority of largescale computing and data storage activities operated by the USGS, including the Bureau mainframe computer. The Branch irresponsible for formulating operational policies, goals, objectives, and actions to ensure the provision of adequate computing resources and services in carrying out its responsibilities as a GPCC and in supporting Washington Administrative Service Center (WASC) needs for largescale administrative computing and other associated administrative processing services to the entire DOI. The Branch reviews present and advanced technology relative to GPCC and WASC requirements. It manages and monitors contract services supporting the day-to-day operations of the Data Center, as well as data entry and process control services associated with WASC administrative applications residing within the Data Center. The Branch is responsible for the acquisition, installation, and maintenance of a wide variety of systems and applications software and database services supporting both production applications and other types of research and developmental activities of clients. The Branch provides for access to its facilities from a variety of wide-area and local-area communications network environments nationwide. The Branch monitors and controls both physical and electronic access to Data Center facilities and resources. The Branch analyzes and evaluates new hardware and software necessary to support and improve client requirements, and evaluates proposed systems relative to integration with existing systems within the Data Center. The Branch maintains information systems used for tracking reliability, usage levels, and performance of hardware and software, measures and devises methods for improving the performance of hardware and software systems, analyzes and resolves system problems, and facilitates solutions to user problems associated with either Data Center facilities and systems or interfaces with client applications. The Branch is responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of its data center facility and develops services and operational procedures for backup, archive, and recovery of Bureau scientific and administrative data and programs. It develops alternative methods for maintaining operations in the event of disaster or loss of local resources. Finally, the Branch is also responsible for maintaining hardware and software facilities supporting nationwide electronic mail activities.

3. Field Organization. The Information Systems Division, through the Office of Field Services, manages and operates Service Centers in Denver, Colorado; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Menlo Park, California. These centers provide a full range of comprehensive user and ADP services to all USGS divisions in their service areas. (See 120.8.2C for details.)

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 19-Dec-2012@10:41 (kk)
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