SUBCHAPTER C - MANAGEMENT AND USE OF FEDERAL INFORMATION PROCESSING (FIP)
201-17.001 Predominant Considerations
The policies prescribed in subchapter C are designed to promote success in
the acquisition, management, and use of Federal Information Processing (FIP)
resources by emphasizing the importance for agencies to-
(a) Develop and annually revise, in coordination with budget activities,
a 5-year plan to meet the agency's information technology needs;
(b) Base requirements for FIP resources on agency mission, programs, and
related information needs;
(c) Consider the potential for deploying projected technological advances of
FIP resources to enhance future performance of programs and operations in
support of the agency mission;
(d) Acquire FIP resources that result in the most advantageous alternative
to the Government after consideration of-
(1) Sharing and reuse of existing FIP resources,
(2) Use of General Services Administration (GSA) services, and
(3) Acquisition of agency resources by contracting;
(e) Establish responsibility through a designated senior official (DSO) when
contracting for FIP resources under a delegation of GSA's exclusive
(f) Assign an individual (such as a Trail Boss) responsible for coordinating
programmatic, technical, and contracting functions when acquiring FIP
(g) Achieve full and open competition to the maximum extent practicable;
(h) Acquire resources that comply with Federal standards;
(i) Provide for security of resources, protection of information about
individuals, continuity of operations, and national security and emergency
[(j) Provide individuals with disabilities (employees and others who use the
agency's electronic office equipment) equivalent access to electronic office
(k) Provide telecommunications access to hearing and speech impaired
(l) Review and evaluate existing resources and related management and
acquisition activities on an ongoing basis; and
(m) Replace outdated resources that are no longer the most advantageous
alternative for satisfying the agency's requirements.
PART 201-18 - PLANNING AND BUDGETING
(a) 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(8) (the Paperwork Reduction Reauthorization Act of
1986) requires executive agencies to develop and annually revise a 5-year
plan for meeting the agency's information technology needs.
(b) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-130 requires
executive agencies to establish multiyear strategic planning processes
for acquiring and operating information technology that meet program and
mission needs, reflect budget constraints, and form the basis for their
(c) OMB Circular No. A-11 requires executive agencies to prepare and
submit annual agency-wide "Major Information Technology Acquisition
(d) The Computer Security Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-235, 40 U.S.C. 759
Note) requires agencies to identify each FIP system that contains
sensitive information and prepare a plan for the security and privacy of
each such system.
[(e) Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986 (Public Law
99-506) requires the Federal Government to adopt guidelines for
electronic equipment accessibility designed to ensure that individuals
with disabilities may use electronic office equipment. This Act requires
that agencies comply with such guidelines. FIRMR Bulletin C-8 provides
guidance on planning for the FIP resources accommodation needs of
individuals with disabilities.]
(f) The General Services Administration (GSA) helps agencies with their
IRM planning by issuing handbooks, bulletins, and other guidance
documents. IRM planning services are available, on a cost-reimbursable
basis, through GSA's Office of Technical Assistance.
(g) GSA reviews agency IRM plans and the planning process as part of the
Information Resources Procurement and Management Review Program described
in part 201-22. Agencies' IRM planning is a factor in delegating
procurement authority for FIP resources.
(a) Agencies shall develop a 5-year plan for meeting the agency's information
technology needs. This plan shall-
(1) Reflect current and future program and mission needs;
(2) Consider the potential for deploying projected technological advances
of FIP resources to enhance future performance of programs and operations
in support of the agency mission;
(3) Consider FIP resources needed to meet the national security and
emergency preparedness needs of the agency;
(4) Reflect budget constraints;
(5) Form the basis for the agency's budget requests to OMB;
(6) Serve as the foundation for requirements analyses; and
(7) Be updated as needed, but at least annually.
(b) Agencies shall ensure that the IRM planning process includes the
participation of each of the agency's program areas, as well as those
organizations responsible for IRM (including records management),
contracting, and budget preparation.
[(c) Agencies shall adopt electronic equipment accessibility
guidelines similar to those described in FIRMR Bulletin C-8 and C-10 in
their planning process.]
(d) Agencies shall ensure that acquisition of FIP resources is in accordance
with the updated 5-year plan.
201-20.103-7 Accessibility requirements for individuals with disabilities.
[(a) Agencies shall provide equivalent access to electronic office
equipment for individuals with disabilities (employees and others who use
the agency's electronic office equipment) to the extent both present and
future needs for such access are determined by the agency.
(b) Agencies shall provide telecommunications access to hearing and
speech-impaired individuals to the extent both present and future needs
for such access are identified in the requirements analysis.
Telecommunications access for hearing and speech impaired individuals
shall include education and training on the services and features of the
GSA relay service.
(1) Agencies shall publish access numbers for TDD and TDD-related devices
in telephone directories and provide such agency numbers to GSA for
inclusion in the Federal TDD Directory.
(2) Agencies shall display in their buildings or offices the standard
logo specified by GSA for indicating the presence of TDD or TDD-related
(c) Agencies shall consider the guidance contained in FIRMR Bulletins C-8
and C-10 on the subject of accessibility requirements for individuals
Due to the importance of the timely provision of equipment for persons
with disabilities, the FIRMR contains an exception to the policy on
deviations from the FIRMR as follows:
Deviations from the FIRMR shall be kept to a minimum consistent with the
specific needs and statutory authorities of each agency. Individual and
class deviations may be authorized by GSA's Commissioner, Information
Resources Management Service, or the officials designated by the
Commissioner for this purpose.
[(a) For an acquisition limited solely to providing electronic office
equipment accessibility for employees with disabilities, an individual
deviation from the FIRMR may be authorized by the agency's DSO or the
DSO's authorized representative. This deviation authority is limited to
those FIRMR provisions that--
(1) Are not specifically prescribed by statute or executive order;
(2) Do not change the level of procurement authority delegated from GSA
to the agency; and
(3) Impede or obstruct the acquisition of technology for employees with
(b) A deviation authorized under paragraph (a) of this section may be
granted immediately upon a written determination by the agency,
identifying those FIRMR provisions impeding or obstructing the
acquisition of technology for employees with disabilities. Agencies shall
promptly provide a copy of each determination and deviation to: General
Services Administration, Policy and Regulations Division (KMP), 18th & F
Streets, NW., Washington, DC 20405.]
(a) The agency head or designee shall prescribe an agency procedure for
the control of requests for deviations from the FIRMR. The procedure
should include coordination with the agency DSO as appropriate. Agencies
shall provide a copy of this procedure upon request to the address in
(b) Each request shall explain the nature of and the reasons for the
(c) Agencies shall forward requests for deviations to the address in
For readers unfamiliar with the FIRMR, the following excerpt concerning FIRMR
201-1.000 Scope of part.
This part prescribes the extent to which the Federal Information
Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR) applies to the creation,
maintenance, and use of Federal records and the acquisition, management,
and use of Federal Information Processing (FIP) resources by Federal
agencies. It also discusses the basic authority for the FIRMR.
The FIRMR applies to-
(a) The acquisition, management, and use of FIP resources by Federal agencies.
(b) Any Federal agency solicitation or contract when either paragraph (b)(1),
(b)(2), or (b)(3) applies:
(1) The solicitation or contract requires the delivery of FIP resources for
use by a Federal agency or users designated by the agency.
(2) The solicitation or contract explicitly requires the use by the
contractor of FIP resources that are not incidental to the performance
of the contract. FIP resources acquired by a contractor are incidental
to the performance of a contract when:
(i) None of the principal tasks of the contract depend directly on
the use of the FIP resources; or
(ii) The requirements of the contract do not have the effect of
substantially restricting the contractor's discretion in the
acquisition and management of FIP resources, whether the use of
FIP resources is or is not specifically stated in the contract.
(3) The solicitation or contract requires the performance of a service or
the furnishing of a product that is performed or produced making
significant use of FIP resources that are not incidental to the performance
of the contract. Significant use of FIP resources means:
(i) The service or product of the contract could not reasonably be
produced or performed without the use of FIP resources; and
(ii) The dollar value of FIP resources expended by the contractor to
perform the service or furnish the product is expected to exceed
$500,000 or 20 percent of the estimated cost of the contract,
whichever amount is lower.
(c) The creation, maintenance, and use of records by Federal agencies.