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313.6 - Federal Telecommunications System (FTS2000)

This chapter provides policy and guidelines governing the use of long-distance telephone facilities.


OPR: Information Systems Division

1. Purpose. This chapter provides policy and guidelines governing the use of long-distance telephone facilities. It also provides some general instructions for USGS employees and references to additional detailed operating instructions provided by the General Services Administration (GSA).

2. Policy. The Federal Telecommunications System (FTS2000) and other Government-provided long-distance telephone services are for official Government business only. These networks are to be used for placement of calls instead of the commercial toll network to the maximum extent practical. Use of Government facilities for personal reasons is prohibited (except as noted in Paragraph 5.A) and could result in an employee being fined, suspended, or dismissed (Federal Information Resources Management Regulations, Part 201-38.006).

3. Responsibilities. The FTS2000 network is under the overall direction and management of the GSA and provides voice, record, data, video and facsimile services over point-to-point and switched networks. The Branch of Telecommunications Services, Information Systems Division, is responsible for providing policy, guidance, and technical assistance to USGS offices on all FTS2000 matters. The Branch of Telecommunications Services also reviews, recommends, and approves all requests form USGS offices for additions and/or changes to the FTS2000 network.

4. Billing. The Office of the Secretary, Branch of Telecommunications (PIR) receives the FTS2000 charges from GSA. The USGS portion of the DOI FTS2000 bill is received in the Branch of Telecommunications Services and charges are made to the USGS divisions and offices based on percentages provided by the Telecommunications Advisory Committee (TAC).

5. Guidelines for Control of Telephone Usage. To assure that commercial long-distance telephone service and FTS2000 service are used only for essential and official calls, the following criteria are established:

- A. Personal Calls. Government long-distance telephone facilities are for the conduct of official business except under specific conditions. Department of the Interior employees are authorized to make reasonable, but limited use of government telephone facilities for necessary calls that are consistent with the following:

(1) An employee traveling on Government business may utilize FTS2000 to place unofficial telephone calls under the following circumstances:

(a) Employee while in travel status may notify family of travel delays due to official business or transportation delays.

(b) Employee traveling for more than one business day in the U.S. may make a brief (5 minutes or less) daily call to his or her residence.

(2) Employee may make calls to his/her residence within the local commuting area of his/her duty station to:

(a) Notify family, doctor, etc., when employee is injured on the job.

(b) To speak with spouse or minor children (or those responsible for their care).

(c) An employee may make brief calls to location within the commuting area that can be reached only during working hours. Examples include calls to a physician, local government agencies, or to a repair service.

B. Commercial Long-Distance Toll Calls.

(1) Commercial long-distance telephone facilities may be used for official Government business, in lieu of FTS2000, only when:

(a) FTS2000 lines are busy, and calls are of such an urgent or emergency nature that the call must be placed immediately to complete a priority business transaction or solve an urgent problem.

(b) When GSA has restricted FTS2000 calling within a local dialing area. Such blocking by GSA on the FTS2000 network means a local toll call is less than an FTS2000 call.

(2) Collect telephone calls should be accepted only under unusual circumstances. Calls should be prepaid by the calling party.

6. Certification of Long-Distance Toll Calls. Payment for all long-distance toll calls, other than through the FTS2000 network, must be reported by a certification in accordance with SM 403.9. Each division/office is responsible for identifying and certifying commercial long-distance toll charges made from lines assigned to that particular office.

7. General Instructions for FTS2000 Use. FTS2000 "on net" calls can be made to all other Government offices in the continental United States by dialing 8, waiting for the dial tone, and then dialing the desired seven digit FTS2000 number. It is important to remember to use both your own FTS2000 number and that of the office being called and not the commercial telephone numbers.

8. Specialized Instructions. Detailed instructions affecting your specific calling needs may change from time to time. For timely information, please consult the local USGS Telephone Directory.

9. Telephone Calling Cards.

A. Authorization. The Director, USGS, or his/her representative is responsible for authorizing the use of telephone calling cards by USGS employees.

(1) Headquarters personnel will submit a justification to their Administrative Officer (AO) for telephone calling cards. The AO will forward the request, with a note of concurrence, to the Branch of Telecommunications Services, MS 809, National Center, for issuance.

(2) Field Personnel will submit a justification through normal approval channels to the appropriate Regional FTS2000 Designated Agency Representative (DAR) for issuance.

B. Issuance. Upon approval, telephone calling cards will be issued to Headquarters personnel through their respective AO and to field personnel through the appropriate DAR.

C. Certification for Payment. Commercial long-distance toll calls may be made only in accordance with the guidelines contained in SM 313.6.5B. Such calls must be certified as required by 31 U.S.C. 680a and SM 403.9.

D. Other Costs and Information.

(1) Telephone calling cards should be protected by the person(s) assigned to use a card. Any lost or stolen calling card should be reported immediately to the appropriate AO or DAR. The AO or DAR will then notify the responsible telephone company.

(2) Users of calling cards should keep in mind the following:

(a) There is a minimum charge of one (1) minute for calls made to any of the 50 states; and a minimum of three (3) minutes for overseas calls.

(b) A service charge is included in the total cost of the call, based on mileage.

(3) If a wrong number is dialed, a poor connection, an accidental disconnect, or any other problem, call the operator immediately to get creit for the call. Request and note the operator number in order to ensure credit is received.