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FHWA Order M1740.1B

Classification Code Date
M1740.1B September 30, 1998  


  1. Purpose

  2. Cancellation

  3. Authority

  4. Responsibilities

  5. Definitions

  6. Telecommunications Services

  7. Telecommunications Equipment

  8. General FHWA Policies

  1. PURPOSE.This document prescribes policies for implementation of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) telecommunications services program.

  2. CANCELLATION. FHWA Order M1740.1A, "Telecommunications Services Management Manual," dated June 12, 1986, is canceled.


    1. Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 1600.17B, "Use of Recording or Monitoring Equipment, Practices, and the Listening-in or Recording of Telephone Conversations," dated September 21, 1990. This Order prescribes the policy of DOT and implements Title 41 CFR, Part 201-6.2, with regard to the use of listening, recording or monitoring equipment or practices, and the listening-in or recording of telephone conversations.

    2. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), 48 CFR 12. This part prescribes policies and procedures unique to the acquisition of commercial items. It implements the Federal Government's preference for the acquisition of commercial items contained in Title VIII of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-355) by establishing acquisition policies more closely resembling those of the commercial marketplace and encouraging the acquisition of commercial items and components;

    3. Department of Transportation Acquisition Regulations (TAR), 48 CFR 12. This part contains DOT policy and procedures which may impact contractors and potential offerors;

    4. Telecommunications Act of 1996. The purpose of this Act is to provide for a pro-competitive, de-regulatory national policy framework designed to rapidly accelerate private sector deployment of advanced telecommunications and information technologies and services to Americans by opening all telecommunications markets to competition, and for other purposes;

    5. 41 CFR Part 101-35, "Telecommunications Management Policy." This part prescribes policies and procedures on the procurement, use, and management of telecommunications resources;

    6. The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) "Guidance on the Privacy Act Implications of 'Call Detail' Programs to Manage Employees' Use of the Government's Telecommunications System" (52 FR 12990, 4/20/87). This guidance explains how the Privacy Act of 1974 affects any records generated during the course of call detail programs;

    7. Executive Order (EO) 12472 (49 FR 13471, 3 CFR, 1984 Comp., p.193) "Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) Telecommunications Functions." This EO provides for the consolidation of assignment and responsibility for improved execution of national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications functions;

    8. Section 629 of Public Law (P.L.) 104-52 (109 Stat. 468, 504, 11/19/95). This section generally prohibits funds appropriated by this or any other Act to procure any product or service that is available under FTS2000;

    9. General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Standard 1037C, "Telecommunications: Glossary of Terms," dated August 7, 1996. This glossary provides standard definitions for the fields that fall under the umbrella discipline of telecommunications;

    10. OMB Circular A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources," dated February 8, 1996. This circular provides uniform government-wide information resources management policies as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, as amended by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35;

    11. DOT Order H1350.2, "Department of Transportation Information Resources Management Manual (DIRMM)" dated March 31, 1993 (Chapter 8, "Telecommunications Management"). This chapter establishes policy for the management of telecommunications systems, equipment, and services in DOT;

    12. OMB Memorandum M-97-15, "Local Telecommunications Services Policy," dated June 12, 1997. This memorandum adopts a consensus policy governing the acquisition of telecommunications services by Federal agencies to serve their locations throughout the nation;

    13. Information Technology Management Reform Act, P.L. 104-106. This Act authorizes appropriations to reform acquisition laws and information technology management of the Federal Government.


    1. The Office of Information and Management Services, Management Services Division (HMS-20), is responsible for the following:

        (1) review, approval, and processing of telecommunications requests, including voice, modem (data) and local area network (LAN) cabling, voice equipment, and cellular telephones and paging devices with proper justification and subject to availability of funding, for Headquarters (Nassif Building and Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center);

        (2) development and dissemination of voice telecommunications policy for FHWA;

        (3) approval and procurement of all FTS-related voice telecommunication requests, including long-distance service calling cards, and toll-free numbers for all FHWA offices.

    2. The Office of Information and Management Services, Information Systems and Programs Division (HMS-40) is responsible for procurement and coordination of data communication services and equipment, including wide area network (WAN) data lines, local electronic data sharing (EDS) lines to external partners, and videoconferencing.

    3. The Office of Safety and Traffic Operations Research and Development, Intelligent Systems & Technology Division (HSR-10) is responsible for maintenance of and FHWA's use of the radio spectrum through coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Communications Systems, Spectrum Management Division (G-SCT2).

    4. Resource Centers, Field Divisions, Federal Lands, the National Highway Institute, National Training Center, and the Office of Motor Carrier Licensing and Insurance Division are responsible for the review, approval, and processing of telecommunication requests including voice, modem (data) and local area network (LAN) cabling, voice equipment, telephone systems, cellular telephones and paging devices and reporting field telephone number changes, additions, and/or deletions to the Management Programs and Analysis Division (HMS-10) for inclusion in the Key Field Directory.

    5. Headquarters administrative coordinators are responsible for coordinating telecommunications services for their respective offices and for providing information to HMS-10, HMS-20, and HMS-40, upon request.

    6. The Office of Engineering, Federal-Aid and Design Division (HNG-10) is responsible for procuring and implementing emergency communications systems in accordance with FHWA's Emergency Preparedness Program, FHWA Order 1910.2B, October 21, 1997.


    1. Federal Technology Service (FTS). The Federal Technology Service (FTS) is a vendor-provided network of circuits interconnecting the Federal Government offices in the U.S. This service, intended primarily to service the Federal Government's voice and data requirements, is provided through the General Services Administration (GSA).

    2. Local service. Services include dial tone, local voice communications, wireless telephone services (e.g., cellular and paging), and those services necessary for efficient operation and management of a telecommunications system.

    3. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD or Text Telephone). Machinery or equipment that employs interactive graphic (i.e., typed) communications through the transmission of coded signals across the standard telephone network.

    4. Telecommunications Equipment. For purposes of this Order, telecommunications equipment is limited to telephones, telephone systems, voice mail, facsimile machines, TDD's, wireless and personal communication systems (e.g., cellular telephones and pagers).

    5. Telecommunications Services. Services that include, without limitation, the transmission, emission, reception, and/or electronic storage of signals, signs, writing, images, sounds, or intelligence of any nature, by wire, cable satellite, fiber optics, laser, radio, visual, or other electronic, electric, electro-magnetic, or acoustically coupled means.


    1. Local Telecommunications Services. Local telecommunications services should be acquired in a manner that is most cost effective for FHWA and in accordance with P.L. 104-106, the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996, and Executive Order 13011, Federal Information Technology.

    2. Long-Distance and Intercity Access Services. Use of FTS is mandatory for voice telecommunication services for FHWA. FTS calling cards are available to frequent travelers and telecommuters and are for use when an FTS-serviced telephone is not available.

    3. International Calling. While local procedures may vary, international calls can be placed with appropriate approval from office management. Unlike other long distance calls, such calls will be billed locally. For those whose work requires international travel, international FTS calling cards are available.

    4. Data Communications Services. Requirements for data transmission services and related equipment should be cleared with the Office of Information and Management Services, Information Systems and Programs Division (HMS-40).

    5. Conferencing Services

        (1) Audioconferencing. Audioconferencing services for Headquarters employees are available from the Transportation Administrative Service Center (TASC) Telecommunications Operations Division (SVC-171) for up to 30 participants. Audioconferencing services are available from FTS to both Headquarters and the field for up to 50 participants. For audioconferences of more than 50 participants, AT&T commercial audioconferencing services may be requested, subject to review and approval by HMS-20. FTS shall be used whenever possible, using an FTS calling card. These charges are billed to the FTS account. The usage of services from any other provider is discouraged. Funding for usage other than FTS is the responsibility of the office that uses the service. Information on FTS audioconferencing is included with FTS calling cards. Arrangements for FTS audioconference calls may be made by calling (700) 288-2000 from any FTS-serviced telephone, or by calling (800) 433-3273 and dialing 700-288-2000 at the prompt.

        (2) Videoconferencing. Videoconferencing services are available to the FHWA and are coordinated and funded through HMS-40 in Headquarters. Arrangements for videoconferences may be made by contacting HMS-40.

    6. TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) Information Relay Service. For those offices that do not have their own TDD, there are several Information Relay Services available to communicate with individuals with hearing or speech impediments. Each state has its own relay service. There is also a Federal Information Relay Service. Callers are advised to wait on the line through the TDD beeps until a voice operator comes online. The Federal Information Relay Service number is 800-877-8339.


    1. General.

        (1) Procurement Considerations. Mandatory considerations to be used in the selection of telecommunications equipment are cost, performance, and analysis of alternatives. All acquisitions shall be in accordance with FAR, 48 CFR 1 and TAR, as applicable. Generally, purchases of telecommunications equipment, operational questions, and repairs for equipment located in Headquarters offices are coordinated and paid for by HMS-20. Budget requests for most purchases of telecommunications equipment and repairs for field offices will be submitted to HFS-10 and shall be coordinated with the annual budget call. HMS-20 shall review major telecommunication acquisitions or lease contracts. This review is required when an FHWA field office replaces its entire telephone system or makes other major telecommunications changes. Those responsible for field acquisitions should consult with appropriate HMS-20 staff in advance of a purchase decision.

        (2) Technical Assistance and Support. Operational and other questions for Headquarters should be directed to HMS-20. Operational and other questions for the field offices may be directed to HMS-20 or regional GSA offices.

    2. Equipment and Features.

        (1) Telephones. A single-line telephone is the standard for most employees. Telephone systems typically include some standard code-activated software features such as hold, call park, call transfer, call forward, etc. Additional features must be justified based on operational needs. If justified, these requests will be filled if funds are available.

        (2) Facsimile (fax) machines.

          (a) Facsimile transmission is a nonsecure means of communication. Copies of 47 USC 605 and 501 shall be conspicuously posted near each FHWA controlled facsimile machine.

          (b) Facsimile machines shall be used only in connection with activities in the interest of FHWA.

          (c) The locations of FHWA-controlled facsimile machines are shown in the Key Field Personnel Directory. HMS-10 in Headquarters is to be notified immediately when a Headquarters or field facsimile machine is added or deleted or when a telephone number is changed.

        (3) TDD Machines (Text Telephones). Offices that conduct a high volume of telephone business with the general public should purchase TDD machines to communicate with individuals with hearing and speech disabilities.

        (4) Other Equipment. Cellular telephones, satellite-based telephones, Personal Communications Service (PCS) devices, paging devices, and other wireless communications devices and services shall be purchased only when a justifiable need is shown, and using the same purchasing criteria mentioned in 7(a)(1). Classified information that is to be electronically transmitted or discussed during telephone conversations must be protected by use of National Security Agency (NSA) approved type 1 cryptographic equipment and/or software. Acquisition, operation, and control of this equipment is regulated by NSA. Sensitive, but unclassified information, such as information that is required to be protected by the Privacy Act (e.g., personnel files, contract data) may be protected by NSA-approved equipment, or by cryptographic technology that has been approved by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce.


    1. Personal Use of Telecommunications Equipment. Personal use of voice telecommunications equipment shall be minimized. Managers are responsible for monitoring telephone usage by employees. FHWA guidelines on personal use of equipment and services is provided in the attachment.

    2. Work-at-Home Telecommuting Program. Requests for voice telecommunications equipment or services in support of work-at-home telecommuting initiatives will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Personnel and Training (HPT-1), and if applicable, the Office of Motor Carrier Field Operations (HFO-1).

    3. Use of Government Telephone Systems During Official Travel. DOT Travel Guiding Principles Section 301-6.4 allow employees on official travel to use commercial long-distance services for brief calls to residence or family member, reimbursable up to $5.00 per day if FTS service is not available. A brief call is defined as being five (5) minutes or less in duration. In addition, FHWA-issued FTS calling cards may also be used for brief calls as defined in the travel regulations. Travelers should recognize that it is more cost-effective to use FTS telephones when available, rather than hotel phones, to place needed brief calls to residence or family members. (See DOT Travel Guiding Principals, Chapter 301- Travel Allowances)

    4. Use of Recording or Monitoring Equipment, Practices, and the Listening-in or Recording of Telephone Conversations. FHWA personnel, in the conduct of their duties, shall not engage in, attempt to influence any person to engage in, or acquiesce in the clandestine, surreptitious, or other covert use of recording, listening, or monitoring devices or practices, except as provided by DOT Order 1600.17B, dated September 21, 1990, or subsequent revision. The purpose of the Order is to assure the integrity of Departmental operations and safeguarding the rights to privacy of Departmental personnel and the public and shall be followed by FHWA personnel.

Original signed by:
George S. Moore, Jr.
Associate Administrator
for Administration

Personal Use of Telecommunications Equipment

  1. Local and Local Long-Distance Calls. Examples of appropriate calls include the following:

    1. Calls to arrange for medical care;

    2. Brief calls to speak to spouse or minor children or those responsible for child care;

    3. Calls that can only be placed during working hours;

    4. Calls to arrange for emergency repair; or

    5. Calls approved in advance by the employee's supervisor.

  2. Long-Distance Calls. Software blocks to unapproved area codes (e.g., 900) shall be programmed whenever possible on FHWA owned/leased telephone systems. All long-distance calls, except those in paragraph 1 above, not relating to assigned duties that must be made during normal working hours shall be:

    1. Charged to an individuals home or other non-government telephone number;

    2. Made to a toll-free number;

    3. Charged to a personal credit card, or;

    4. Made as a collect call.

  3. Accepting Collect Calls. Collect calls shall be avoided. They may be permitted in limited circumstances where there is an urgent need to conduct FHWA business. Personal collect calls may not be accepted on an FHWA line.

  4. Requirements For All Personal Calls. Each Office should establish procedures to maintain adequate control of telephone calls. Employees making calls not meeting the above guidelines may face disciplinary action and/or be required to reimburse FHWA for the charges. All calls, both local and long distance, placed under the provisions of this policy:

    1. Must not adversely affect an employee's performance of official duties;

    2. Must be of reasonable duration and frequency;

    3. Could not have been made during non-working hours.
Page last modified on October 19, 2015
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