Survey Manual

313.12 - Telephone Equipment

This Chapter establishes policy, responsibilities, standards and procedures for the procurement, installation, or change of telephone equipment.


OPR: Information Systems Division

1. Purpose. This Chapter establishes policy, responsibilities, standards and procedures for the procurement, installation, or change of telephone equipment. For utilization and payment for telephone service, see SM 313.6 and SM 403.9.

2. Authority. The Federal Information Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR), Part 201-39, Major Changes and New Installations of Telecommunication Resources, prescribes policy and procedures concerning procurement, acquisition, utilization and major changes in telephone equipment.

3. Policy. It is USGS policy to cooperate with the General Services Administration (GSA) in the procurement, utilization, or change of telephone equipment consistent with requirements for capacity, operational efficiency, reliability of service, security, and programmed activities.

4. Definitions of the Principal Types of Telephone Equipment are as follows:

A. Special Features and Equipment. The several telephone companies offer a wide variety of special features and equipment. These range from flashing light signals on key-type instruments to special amplification systems, loud bells, chimes, transmitter cut-off switches, and recorded announcement equipment. Included among these features are seldom required and often expensive systems that automatically answer, hold, and stack incoming calls when the called line is busy, then put calls through in the approximate order of their receipt when the line is available.

These special features and equipment are usually relatively inexpensive on an individual basis, but may require other features which could result in an unexpectedly large total billing.

B. Major Changes as defined by the Department of the Interior (DOI) include but are not limited to the following:

(1) Local Telephone Service. Installation, relocation, modification, or removal of private branch exchanges (PBX).

(2) Addition of Switch or Line Capacity to any switchboard system, manual or dial, or addition of central office trunks.

(3) Installation of Any Telephone Station Equipment which deviates from the standards provided in FIRMR, Part 201-39, and paragraph 7 of this Chapter.

(4) Any Key, Button, or Multiline Telephone System Consisting of More Than Twelve Telephone Instruments, served by more than four lines and any intercommunicating line with more than one talking path, when all stations have access to all services.

(5) Systems and Devices.

(a) Systems or devices which automatically distribute incoming calls.

(b) Automatic answering machines or any device designed to offer automatic answering or automatic telephone announcing, or recording.

(c) Call diverters or any device designed to automatically transfer incoming telephone calls to another predetermined telephone number.

(d) Telephone conference equipment, i.e., any device that provides the capability of simultaneous conversation on two or more lines.

(6) Installation of Any Wire Telecommunication Service facility or equipment involving a minimum contract period of 1 year or more.

(7) Intercity Telephone Service. The installation of voice facilities interconnecting service points located in different exchange areas, such as Foreign Exchange Service, dedicated four wire service, and Wide Band Telephone Service (WATS), requires a full justification based on reduction of existing cost through the use of this type of service; specific short-term need for public input to environmental impact statement; special projects or emergency situations.

(8) Requests for Connection to the long distance voice network portion of FTS2000 where such service cannot be provided locally by the GSA Regional Office, or where provision of such service incurs consolidated switchboard common distributable charges (CDC).

5. Procedures.

A. Minor Changes.

(1) Headquarters. Requests for installation, move, addition, service, change, or disconnect of telephone equipment are to be submitted to the Branch of Telecommunication Services (BTS), MS-809, at the National Center (including other locations in the Washington Metropolitan area) on Part 1 of USGS Form 9-2073, Telecommunications Service Request and Directory Information (see Figure 1). Form 9-2073 is a two-part form with five available hard-copies. Therefore, data entered on this form should be typed, whenever possible, or clearly printed. If printed, press firmly with pencil or ball point to ensure legibility on all five copies. Note that Part 2 of this form must also be completed if the service request requires a change in room number, mail stop code, electronic mail address, or phone number.

(2) Denver. Each Division or office submits their telephone service requirements on SF 145B, Telephone Service Request, to GSA.

(3) Menlo Park. Requests for installation, move, addition service change or disconnect of telephone equipment are to be submitted to the Information Systems Division (ISD), MS-870 at the Western Region Center (including other states within the Western Region) on Part 1 of USGS Form 9-2073, Telecommunications Service Request and Directory Information (see Figure 1). Form 9-2073 is a two-part form with five available hard-copies. Therefore, data entered on this form should be typed, whenever possible, or clearly printed. If printed, press firmly with pencil or ball point to ensure legibility on all five copies. Note that Part 2 of this form must be completed if the service request requires a change in name, organizational code, room number, mail stop, phone number, electronic mail address, building assignment or employment status (newly employed or termination of employment within the Western Region Menlo Park Center).

(4) Field Offices. Requests for installation, relocation, modification or removal of telephone equipment may be requested directly from the local GSA office or telephone company using normal procurement procedures.

(5) Bureauwide. Part 2 of USGS Form 9-2073 is to be used bureauwide for any updating of Directory Information such as change of name, room number, mail stop code, electronic mail address, or if new information is being input.

B. Major Changes and New Installations. Requests for new installations and major installations originating in the regions will be submitted through the Regional FTS2000 Designated Agency Representative (DAR) for concurrence and/or comment. The DAR will then forward the request to the Chief, BTS, 809 National Center. BTS is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from the Department and the GSA.

6. Responsibilities.

A. General. Each employee authorized to order or procure telecommunications services or equipment will be responsible for adhering to standards contained in FIRMR, Part 201-39; Interior Property Management Regulations (IPMR) 114-35.2; and for the application of standards and guidelines in paragraph 7 of this Chapter.

B. Program Management. The Chief, BTS, ISD, is responsible for developing the policy, providing guidance and direction of telecommunications systems and for the acquisition of major telecommunications resources and major changes at USGS locations. Requests for FTS2000 long lines and data transmissions should be forwarded to this office for Bureau approval and submission to DOI and GSA. Reports regarding FTS2000 and commercial usage and cost effectiveness are to be forwarded to this office for review and analysis.

C. Program Administration. The Chief, BTS, at the National Center and Regional DARs are responsible for the daily administration of wire and radio communications and the enforcement of Bureau, Department, and GSA policies, regulations, and management practices for telecommunications and related equipment at USGS centers and locations. Requests for additional telecommunications services, removal, rearrangement of existing service, inclusion of special features, and the preparation of related reports is the responsibility of these officials, except when the requested action constitutes a major change as described in paragraphs 4B and 5B of this chapter.

7. Standards and Guidelines. Since the function of an office will determine requirements more accurately, the following standards and guidelines will be applied in preparing requisitions for installation or change of equipment, in analyzing such requests, and in conducting utilization surveys.

A. Telephone Instruments.

(1) Telephones should be provided only for those employees whose duties require official telephone calls. In open-office space where routine operations are performed and only occasional office calls are made or received, each instrument should be shared by as many employees as possible.

(2) An office occupied by only one employee should contain one instrument unless special operational needs justify an additional instrument.

B. Key Stations should be provided only where traffic volumes and work methods require an instrument to have access to more than one line, and at secretarial locations to permit answering of calls for several persons on more than one line. When secretarial service is not provided for a group of persons, individual calls often can be channeled into a number of lines which is less than the number of individual stations. Where the normal six-button key station will not provide a sufficient number of lines, key equipment, which provides greater button capacity, may be required to provide adequate coverage. The need for this equipment often can be eliminated by limiting the lines appearing on each station or by providing external buttons for in-office signaling. The type of station to be installed should be determined on the basis of which equipment will satisfy the need at the least cost.

C. Automatic Dialing Equipment. Generally, automatic dialing equipment should be provided only when the need justifies the additional cost.

D. Speakerphones should be provided only in those offices where there is frequent need for group participation in telephone conversations. Locations having a need for this facility may require acoustical treatment to obtain satisfactory results. The use of speakerphones in noisy locations should be avoided. See SM 313.10 for further explanation on listening in.

E. Main and Extension Lines.

(1) The number of lines available on a given instrument should be limited to the number essential for conduct of assigned functions. Call volume, rather than individual preference or grade level, should determine the number of lines provided. An employee should not be provided with more than one line for the performance of his/her individual duties without justification.

(2) The total number of lines available to employees within an organizational unit should meet only the normal functional needs of the office. Where more than one line is necessary, the use of rotary numbers will provide for a considerable increase in call-handling capability over the same number of individual, non-rotary lines. Extension stations should be provided for only those employees requiring service.

(3) Telephone instruments will be connected to the nearest PBX on which lines are available.

F. Special Lines.

(1) Individual Business Lines. Business lines should be installed when there is no requirement for FTS2000 service or long distance dialing. Individual business lines are also installed in management command centers where essential service status ensures priority continuation/restoration of service in the event of a major disaster (such as an earthquake, hurricane or flooding).

(2) Intercommunicating Lines should be provided only where necessary for distribution of incoming calls to a group of stations sharing the same lines or between points with an extremely high volume of traffic.

(3) Automatically Ringing Private Lines (hot lines) may be installed only where, on an emergency use basis, immediate uninterrupted service is essential.

G. Special Features and Equipment.

(1) Auto-Call Devices, such as the Bell-Boy, should be provided only for use with emergency activities and in unusual operating situations.

(2) Automatic Answering Devices may be installed only when there is a valid need to leave a message on unattended telephones.

(3) Listening In and Recording Devices. See SM 313.10. Listening in and/or recording of telephone conversations is not permitted, except as outlined in SM 313.10.

(4) Color Telephones are permissible only where required to identify emergency or security telephone lines or where no additional costs are involved.

8. Application of Standards.

A. Since payments by the Government for telephone services and equipment add up to millions of dollars annually, it is important that the standards and guidelines described be applied throughout the USGS and that all appropriate steps be taken to control these costs.

B. Because telephone tariffs vary from State to State, it is not possible to prescribe in full detail the least-cost method of meeting specific requirements in each region. Whenever any special type of installation is planned, review should be made of aggregate charges for items making up the total cost of the installation. All USGS activities are urged to consult with the Regional Designated Agency Representative, and the Branch of Telecommunications Services during the planning phase of any proposed installation.

C. Requests which represent deviations from standards and guidelines must include justifications which document the special requirements for the particular location in which a deviation is requested, full statements of the special conditions deemed to warrant the deviation, and alternative solutions.

D. All requests for deviations and supporting justifications must be submitted to the Chief, Branch of Telecommunications Services, Information Systems Division, in accordance with the procedures described above in paragraph 5 of this Chapter.