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1824.1 OGP P GSA Forms Management Program Handbook

Date: 07/01/2011
Status: Validated
Outdated on: 07/01/2021

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

     WASHINGTON, DC 20417

OGP P 1824.1

June 22, 2011

GSA ORDER

SUBJECT:  HB, GSA Forms Management Program   

1.  Purpose.  This order transmits the revised Handbook, GSA Forms Management Program.

 

2.  Cancellation.  OAD P 1824.4B is canceled.

 

3. Explanation of changes.  This handbook prescribes and updates the requirements, responsibilities, standards, policies, and procedures for the GSA Forms Management Program.

 

4. Forms.  The forms prescribed for use in this handbook and how to obtain supplies are listed in Figure 1 of this order.

 

 

/s/

Kathleen M. Turco

Associate Administrator

for Governmentwide Policy

Attachment

 

                                       GSA Forms Management Program Handbook   
                                          Figure 1.  Forms referred to in this order

                                              

Form Number:

 Form Title:   

       Obtain From:
GSA 50 Requisition for Reproduction Services http://www.gsa.gov/forms
GSA 2192 Request for Forms Management Services http://www.gsa.gov/forms
SF 1 Printing and Binding Requisition to the Public Printer http://www.gsa.gov/forms
SF 1C Printing and Binding Requisition for Specialty Items http://www.gsa.gov/forms
OMB 83 Request for OMB Review http://www.gsa.gov/forms
SF 152 Request for Clearance or Cancellation of a Standard or Optional Form http://www.gsa.gov/forms

 

                                       GSA FORMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
                                           GENERAL TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER 1.       INTERNAL FORMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

CHAPTER 2.       OPERATING PROCEDURES

CHAPTER 3.       ELECTRONIC FORMS

CHAPTER 4.       RESERVED

 

                                                     TABLE OF CONTENTS
                  CHAPTER 1.  INTERNAL FORMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

     

PART 1.  GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Paragraph

Titles

Paragraph

Numbers

 

Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

1

Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Program goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Approval responsibilities for classes of forms . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Reserved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7 thru 10

 

Figure 1-6.  Approval responsibilities for classes of forms

PART 2.  ORGANIZATION FOR FORMS MANAGEMENT

 

 

General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

11

Assigned responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Forms Approval . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Reserved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 thru 16

 

 PART 3.  ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS

 

 

Forms development, approval, and covering directives  . . . . . .

 

17

Administrative limitations . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Periodic review of forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Reserved 20 thru 24

 

PART 4.  PROGRAM AWARENESS, TRAINING, AND EVALUATION

SECTION 1.  GENERAL

 

 

General

 

25

Reserved 26 thru 31

 

SECTION 2.  PROGRAM AWARENESS

 

 

Publicity

 

32

Reserved 33 thru 37

 

                                          CHAPTER 2.  OPERATING PROCEDURES

 

General 1
Internal Approvals 2
Requirements for canceled forms 3
Notification of transfer of forms responsibility 4
GSA Forms Management Program processing functions 5
Responsibilities for replenishment, distributing, and stocking new or revised forms 6
Handling of GSA-issued Standard forms prescribed under an interim regulation 7
Review of existing forms 8
Graphic images on forms 9
Disposal of accountable forms 10
Reserved 11 thru 15

 

Appendix A.  Forms Design Guidelines, Techniques, and Instructions

 

                                          CHAPTER 3.  ELECTRONIC FORMS

                                        

General 1
Software supported by GSA 2
Approval of other software purchases 3
Approval of electronic images not created by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel 4
Use of electronic form images or data collections without prior approval 5
Print-on-Demand of cutsheet forms 6
Legislation 7
Reserved 8 thru 13

 

                                                        CHAPTER 4.  RESERVED

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

                             CHAPTER 1.  INTERNAL FORMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

 

PART 1.  GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.   Purpose.  This handbook prescribes the standards, methods, techniques, and operating procedures for the GSA Forms Management Program.

2.  Applicability.  This handbook covers the management of all GSA forms.   

3.  Definitions.  The GSA Forms Management Program uses the following terms:

     a.  Form.  A fixed arrangement of captioned blank spaces designed for gathering, processing, transmitting, and approving prescribed information quickly and efficiently.   A form is considered a record and complies with all regulations cited in Federal Management Regulation (FMR) Part 102-94, (41 CFR 102.194) 44 U.S.C. § 3101 and 36 U.S.C. § 1220.30.

  

b.  Electronic form.  An officially prescribed set of data residing in an electronic medium that can be used to produce an image of the officially prescribed form; or prescribed fields used to collect data ("data collection") that can be integrated, managed, processed, and/or transmitted through an organization's information processing systems.  There are basically two types of electronic forms - one that is part of an automated transaction and one where the image/data elements reside on a computer.

  c.  Digital signature.  An electronic signature based upon cryptographic methods of originator authentication, computed by using a set of rules and a set of parameters such that the identity of the signer and the integrity of the data can be verified.

  d.  Electronic signature.  A computer data compilation of any symbol or series of symbols executed, adopted, or authorized by an individual to be the legally binding equivalent of the individual's handwritten signature.

e.  GSA form.  A form prescribed and used by the General Services Administration.   

  f.   Specialty form.  A form usually produced by special manufacturing equipment beyond the capability of ordinary printing equipment.  Some of the more commonly used terms to designate specialty forms are:  chemical transfer paper snapout sets, optical or mark read scannable forms, labels, tags, or continuous marginally punched sets.

  g.  Cutsheet form.  A single sheet of paper printed on one or both sides of the sheet.

  h.  Standard form.  A fixed or sequential order of data elements, assigned a Standard form number, prescribed by a Federal agency through regulation, and approved by GSA for mandatory Governmentwide use.  See FMR 102-194.30 for developing and procuring Standard forms.

  i.  Optional form.  A form developed by a Federal agency for use in two or more agencies and approved by GSA for non-mandatory Governmentwide use.  See FMR 102-194.30 for developing and procuring Optional forms.

  j.  Exceptions to Standard forms.  An issuing or sponsoring agency approved a change to the content, format, or printing of a Standard form.

  k.  Other Federal agency form.  A form numbered and issued by another Federal agency for use by GSA and other agencies.  Examples of these forms are: Treasury Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and OGE Form 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report.   

  l.   Other forms.

     (1)  Accountable form.  A serially numbered form that denies access to unauthorized persons by a governing directive and provides record of receipt, transfer, loss, cancellation, or destruction.

     (2)   Common use form.  A form used by two or more Central Office services or staff offices, and in the regions.  This type of form needs a 50/50, 55/45, 60/40, or 65/35 usage ratio to quality as common use.

     (3)   Internal use form.  A form solely used by GSA.

 

   (4)   External use form.  A form used by other Federal agencies, industry or the public in which a transaction is only received by GSA.

     (5)   Public use form.  A form completed by nongovernment entities (the "Public") that follows Federal laws and regulations.

  m.  New form.  A form created for the first time and approved by the Forms Policy and Management Team.

  n.    Revised form.  A form with changes in content, content arrangement, format, paper, size, or any other characteristic.

  o.   Standards.  The use of forms design and specifications to make forms easier to use and understand.  The use of standards results in canceling unnecessary forms, combining several forms used for the same purpose, or improving necessary forms.  When the maximum use of standards is accomplished, increased productivity and improved use of resources may greatly exceed the cost of the form.

4.  Program goals.

     a.  The Forms Management Program's primary goal is to provide the necessary forms to help offices in accomplishing their mission.

     b.  The specific goals of the program are to:

      (1)  Ensure the privacy, security and accessibility of all official GSA, Standard and Optional Forms;

      (2)  Establish and issue procedures, within the provisions of FMR 102-194;

      (3)  Simplify, improve, and standardize paperwork and automated systems and procedures involving data collection use;

      (4)  Develop required new forms and revise existing forms to provide better service;

      (5)  Cancel unnecessary and duplicate forms and combine those serving similar functions or used by several GSA components;

      (6)  Eliminate the use of unauthorized or unnecessary forms;

      (7)  Relate forms to directives governing their use;

      (8)  Review work processes to determine whether requirements are subject to forms development;

      (9)  Identify and develop forms having an application for automated workflow processing and help in the system design and implementation;

      (10)  Promote the conversion of paper-based systems to electronic forms applications;

      (11)  Promote the most advantageous and economical method of producing, procuring, distributing, storing and replenishing forms;

      (12)  Remove unnumbered and untitled forms; and

        (13)  Achieve benefits in the use of personnel and equipment through well-designed forms.

  5.   Controls.  As more work processes become automated and data collected through the Internet, it is important that the information collected thru these forms be controlled.  Regardless of format, Forms are expensive to develop and maintain.  This is true not only for their printing and procurement costs, but even more so in administrative and personnel costs incurred during their development and use.  Without controls, new forms could be created that duplicate or overlap existing forms.  Also, the type and design of the form best suited for each job might not be achieved.  The major control features of the GSA Forms Management Program include a thorough analysis of all new and revised forms and related procedures before implementation and a periodic review of the continued need for existing forms.

  6.  Approval responsibilities for classes of forms.  Figure 1-6 illustrates the responsibility for approval of the several classes of GSA-issued forms.

  7 thru 10.  Reserved.

 

Classes of forms: Reference: Responsibility for Clearances:
  GSA forms    
        Agencywide use:    
               Public use report Federal Reports Act of 1942 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511)

GSA Reports Management Officer

and

Office of Management and Budget*

 

Standard and Optional forms   (issued by GSA):

   
                Public use report Federal Reports Act of 1942 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511)

GSA Reports Management Officer

and

Office of Management and Budget*

Classes of forms:

Reference:

Responsibility for Clearances:

  GSA forms

 

 

        Agencywide use:

 

 

               Public use report

Federal Reports Act of 1942 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511)

GSA Reports Management Officer

and

Office of Management and Budget*

 

Standard and Optional forms   (issued by GSA):

 

 

                Public use report

Federal Reports Act of 1942 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511)

GSA Reports Management Officer

and

Office of Management and Budget*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Only the reporting forms which come under the provisions of the Federal Reports Act of 1942 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511) must be cleared by the Office of Management and Budget.

   Figure 1-6

 

PART 2.  ORGANIZATION FOR FORMS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

11.        General.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel exercise overall authority for GSA's Forms Management Program.  Each service and staff office and regional office has specific program responsibilities.  All services, staff offices and regional offices must use GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel to ensure the effectiveness of the program.  These procedures cover both printed and electronic versions of forms.

12.  Assigned responsibilities.

 

   a.  Services and staff offices.  The services and staff offices are responsible for:

 

       (1)  Developing and issuing new and revised GSA, Standard, and Optional forms for Central Office, GSA-wide, or Governmentwide use within their authority;

 

      (2)  Providing recommendations or information to other offices about forms in which they have mutual interests;

 

      (3)  Determining the need and content of the form;

 

      (4)  Making sure all new and revised GSA forms and GSA-sponsored Standard and Optional forms conform to the requirements of the GSA Privacy Act Program and the Paperwork Reduction Act when necessary;

 

     (5)  Ensuring that all form images designed/created by a vendor adhere to the established design standards as outlined in Appendix A.  The final image must be approved by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel.

 

     (6)  Making sure all electronic forms are approved by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel;

 

     (7)  Preparing necessary procedures for using a proposed form; ensuring the covering GSA directives include a forms paragraph on distribution and availability; ensuring the forms referred to in the directive are current, the numbers and titles are accurate, and non-GSA numbered forms are properly identified with the appropriate prefix, such as Standard, SF, or other symbols; and notifying GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel when the covering directive is signed for necessary release action on the form;

 

    (8)  Requesting comments from regional counterparts on forms used by the regions before Central Office approval of new, revised, or canceled GSA forms;

 

    (9)  Requesting appropriate approvals for reporting and accounting forms;

 

   (10)  Ensuring the technical content of forms is accurate and follows the required laws, regulations, and GSA directives;

 

   (11)  Preparing and submitting GSA Form 2192, Request for Forms Management Services; a draft of the proposed form; and if appropriate, a GSA Form 50, Requisition for Reproduction Services (if a new or revised form); and when canceling a form, copy of directive, letter, etc. informing all using offices of the action to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel;

 

   (12)  Continuously reviewing and evaluating prescribed forms for improvement or prompt cancellation;

 

   (13)  Serving as liaison with the regions, other Federal agencies, and industry for adequacy and need for issued forms;

 

   (14)  Serving as liaison with GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel on developing, revising, distributing, stocking, using and canceling both printed and electronic versions of forms;

 

   (15)  Reviewing and taking final action on employee suggestions on the content of forms issued by that office; and

 

   (16)  Requesting approval from the issuing office for exceptions to or deviations from that service or staff office's GSA form, Standard form or Optional Form.

 

 b.  GSA Forms Management Program.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel are responsible for:

          (1)  Developing, administering, and evaluating a comprehensive, agencywide forms management program covering all forms (both paper and electronic/automated) issued for use by GSA and the Standard and Optional forms issued by the Administrator for Governmentwide or national use, under FMR 102-194.

 

      (2)  Providing technical advice and assistance in the following areas to all GSA offices and certain GSA-supported Presidential commissions, boards, committees, and small agencies;

 

            (a)  Initiating, justifying, developing, standardizing, designing, constructing, reproducing, procuring, distributing, and managing forms, including systems, procedures, and equipment for their use, and;

                (b)  Preparing and approving GSA directives issuing forms;

 

     (3)  Promoting the use of electronic forms systems applications when it is advantageous for the user to complete the form(s) electronically on a computer;

 

      (4)  Participating in agency and interagency conferences and meetings for developing new or revised Standard or Optional forms, and reconciling agency comments and recommendations received during the formal Governmentwide approval of these forms;

 

      (5)  Updating this handbook to guide all employees engaged in any phase of the forms management program;

 

      (6)  Managing the image of GSA forms and GSA-issued Standard and Optional forms in accordance with established design standards;

 

      (7)  Serving as a contact point with the services and staff offices, regional offices, other Federal agencies, and industry on how GSA forms are used and how they can be further standardized and improved.  The Regulatory Secretariat Division, Office of Acquisition Policy, OGP (MV), is responsible for maintaining liaison with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on GSA public use reporting forms subject to the Federal Reports Act of 1942, FMR Part 102-94, (41 CFR 102.194)    (44 U.S.C. § 3501-3511) and OMB Circular A-130 (Revised).  For Standard and Optional forms, GSA Forms Policy and Management personnel serve as contact points for this program.  Copies of related correspondence and approval forms are provided to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel for the forms historical record file.

 

      (8)  Conducting or taking part in management surveys and automated workflow procedures studies to review forms, data collections, and related procedures and making recommendations for improvements;

 

      (9)  Evaluating the overall effectiveness of the Forms Management Program and recommending needed changes; and

 

      (10)  Maintaining the GSA forms web site and insuring that the forms available on the site are the current official version.

13.  Forms Approval.

 

    a.  GSA forms.  Final approval of forms needed for each GSA program rests with the Central Office service or staff office having the program responsibility.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel approves all proposed new forms, revisions to existing forms, and their prescribing directive before approval.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel also approve all electronic forms.

 

    b.  Standard and Optional forms issued by Federal agencies.  Approval by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel is required for all Standard and Optional forms issued by Federal agencies.  FMR 102-194 governs this approval.  Standard Form 152, Request for Clearance or Cancellation of a Standard or Optional Form, is used for requesting an approval.  The issuing office approves all exceptions to Standard and Optional forms that are submitted to them thru the GSA Forms Management Program.

 

    c.  Public burden forms.  Approval from the Office of Management and Budget is required for all new and revised forms which request from the public information on identical items from 10 or more respondents.  The Federal Reports Act, FMR Part 102-94 (41 CFR 102.194) [44 USC § 3501, et seq].  The Regulatory Secretariat Division, Office of Acquisition Policy, OGP (MV), acts as liaison with OMB for all public reporting requirements for GSA forms and Standard and Optional forms issued by GSA.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel assist offices on all requests for new or revised forms before submitting to OMB.  A copy of related correspondence and approval forms is provided to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel for the historical record file.

 

14 thru 16.  Reserved.

PART 3.  ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS

17.   Forms development, approval, and covering directives.

       a.  Forms development and approval.  Each service and staff office is responsible for developing and approving the forms necessary for its operation.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel provide assistance in developing and preparing these forms.  In cases where it is desirable for the program office to contract out for forms development and design services, the vendor must maintain the established design procedures as outlined in Appendix A.

       b.  GSA directives prescribing the use of forms.

            (1)  The use of each new or revised GSA form MUST be prescribed by an internal directive or external regulation.  Internal directives contain identification numbers prescribed in the Handbook, The GSA Internal Directives System (ADM P 1832.1).  External regulations contain identification numbers prescribed in Handbook, Writing GSA External Directives (CAO P 1812.1).  The directive/regulation should include:

                   (a)  Complete instructions on using forms; i.e., who prepares them, specific information on specific blocks; the number of copies to prepare, and how to submit them.

                  (b)  An initial reference to a form by designation, form number, and complete title that appears on the form; e.g., GSA 14, Routing Slip.  Later references are made by designation and number only; i.e., GSA 14.

                 (c)  A description of the filing system used if records are kept in a specific way (in locked safes, in a specific database, etc.).

                 (d)  A forms paragraph for internal directives according to ADM P 1832.1 and regulations according to CAO P 1812.1 as to the source of supply.

         (2)  A copy of the proposed directive accompanies each new or revised GSA form  submitted to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel for review and approval.

         (3)  The responsible Central Office service or staff office issues the use of Standard, Optional and GSA agency forms as described in subparagraph (1) above.

        (4)  The use of GSA forms issued in the covering directive is mandatory unless otherwise specified or unless a special exception is authorized by subparagraph (5) below.

        (5)  Any necessary deviations or exceptions to the provisions of an issuing directive involving the mandatory use of forms is specified in the directive or based on written authorization from the Central Office service or staff office having primary responsibility for the form.  Authorization for deviation or exception is coordinated with and a copy of the authorization furnished to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program Personnel.  Central office and regional components are not authorized to use forms other than the Standard, Optional, and GSA agency forms issued by the Central Office without specific provisions in the directive or written authorization.

     c.  Use and level of signatures on GSA forms and GSA-issued Standard and Optional forms.  All program offices must consider what would be legally required and appropriate for acceptance of a form when signed.  There are four levels of assurance to consider when deciding whether a form or collection of data needs a signature:

         (1)  Level 1:  Little or no assurance is needed about the identity of the user, such as a citizen logging on to a customized Web page.

        (2)  Level 2:  It is highly probable that the user’s identity is accurate, such as a federal employee taking courses through an online education site.

        (3)  Level 3:  There is a high degree of confidence that the user is authentic, such as a lawyer who provides patent data to the Patent and Trademark Office.

        (4)  Level 4:  It is absolutely necessary that the user’s identity is accurate, such as a law enforcement official accessing a federal database of criminal records.

18.  Administrative limitations.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel must review the form, and assign a form number and edition date before elements of GSA are authorized to reproduce, distribute, and/or use a new form.

19.  Periodic review of forms.  The services and staff offices or regional offices are responsible for the forms they originate and use.  Each office should schedule an annual review of their forms.  This review should ensure that all forms remain current by requiring necessary revisions and cancelling discontinued forms.  Forms requiring revision or cancellation should be submitted to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel in accordance with the procedures contained in Chapter 2, paragraphs 2 and 3.   

20 thru 24.  Reserved.

 

PART 4.  PROGRAM AWARENESS, TRAINING AND EVALUATION

SECTION 1.  GENERAL

25.  General.  This section prescribes the standards, guidelines, and instructions on program awareness, training, and evaluation for the GSA Forms Management Program.  For a successful program, not only top management, but also all services and staff offices should accept the principles of the program.

26 thru 31.  Reserved.

 

SECTION 2.  PROGRAM AWARENESS

32.  Awareness.

       a. Top management, staff officials, and directors of operational programs should be aware of the goals of the GSA Forms Management Program.  This is done to:

          (1)  Ensure understanding of program objectives;

          (2)  Encourage broader participation in the program, especially in the areas of electronic forms/data collection;

          (3)  Ensure awareness of the program's impact on administrative activities;

          (4)  Show that better forms and forms management means better performance under GSA's operating programs, less effort, lower costs and contributes to GSA’s goal of Zero Environmental Footprint (ZEF); and

          (5)  Ensure that all official GSA, Standard and Optional Forms comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973       (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220).

      b.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel should also participate or be informed of all automation of any type of process at the beginning of the project and throughout its progress.

     c.  Use all available media -- recurring and special reports, displays, leaflets, news bulletins and forms of social media to send out information on the forms management program.  Information should include illustrations of improvements and benefits.  Case histories and examples showing situations before and after improvement help show the relationship between costs and benefits.  Give credit to the contributions of all participating persons and offices.

33 thru 37.  Reserved.

 

                                                         CHAPTER 2.  OPERATING PROCEDURES

 

1.  General.  This part prescribes the operating procedures used by services and staff offices, GSA Forms Management Program, GSA Printing Staff and the distribution activity in Pueblo, Colorado.

2.  Internal approvals.  Any new or revised GSA form or GSA-issued Standard or Optional form is subject to the forms approval procedures prescribed below.

     a.  For new and revised internal forms.  First, copies of forms that are available electronically may not be printed except in limited circumstances (forms that are used by field personnel, i.e., soldiers, inspectors and others who don't have immediate access to computers).  Also, specialty items which could not be adapted for the web, forms that have security features incorporated while being printed, accountable, security sensitive, and uniquely constructed forms will be printed as little as possible.   We continue to monitor usage reports and look for opportunities to further reduce the inventory of stocked items.

 

 b.  Planning and requisitioning documents.  Service and staff office program officials, Central Office only (unless nationwide program is prescribed by a region) must start requests for forms analysis/design service, approval, and if applicable, printing of forms in advance of their need.  Consideration is given to emergency requests, but program officials need to keep these requests to a minimum.  The service or staff office program official submits the following documents with each proposed new or revised GSA agency form for action and approval:

         (1)  A completed copy of GSA Form 2192, Request for Forms Management Services, signed by the approving official (division director or above).

         (2)  A draft copy of the proposed new form or revision to an existing form if GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will prepare the image.  This copy should be sent to the GSA Forms Management Program as soon as possible to start the creation/approval process.  If an advance copy of the proposed form is sent to the GSA Forms Management Program, include a description of the form’s use.  For forms where data is collected only through a database and/or web site, include a list of all data elements in the collection.  If the originating office prepares the image, an electronic file in portable document format (pdf) is submitted for review.  The originating office must follow the design standards outlined in Appendix A of this chapter.

        (3)  A copy of the directive/regulation that prescribes the use of the form.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel must receive the signed copy of the directive before the form/data collection can be released for use.  The regulation must be one issued by GSA.

       (4)  GSA Form 50, Requisition for Reproduction Services, only for those forms that are not cutsheet construction, will be stocked by the National Forms and Publications Center, Pueblo, CO.  The completed GSA Form 50 should also include distribution instructions (where the forms will go with complete mailing address and quantity of forms to each address), special instructions, and any other information that is important about the form.

     c.  For new and revised GSA-issued Standard or Optional forms.  When GSA develops and issues a form for other Government agencies' use that is prescribed by a regulation, the service or staff office program official follows the provisions stated in FMR 102-194.30(l), Standard and Optional Forms Management Program.  Service and staff office program officials should start a request for forms management service, approval and printing of forms in advance of their needs.  The program official submits the following documents with each proposed new or revised Standard or Optional form:

 

    (1)  A completed Standard Form 152, Request for Clearance or Cancellation of Standard or Optional Form signed by the approving  official;

 

    (2)  A draft copy of the proposed new form or revision to an existing form.    When the form is part of a new or revised regulation and will be published with the regulation, the draft should be sent to GSA Forms Management Program personnel as soon as possible for preparation of camera copy;

 

   (3)  A copy of the final draft regulation (if applicable).  NOTE:  The final regulation must be published in the Federal Register before the form/data collection can be released for use.   

 

 d.  For GSA forms used by other Government agencies.  Service and staff program officials should follow the procedures outlined in subparagraphs a(1)(a) thru (d) above, except that a final draft regulation will be submitted instead of the directive.  Follow the schedule stated in subparagraph b and the instructions in subparagraph  b(2) above.

     e.  For GSA internal directives, regulations, and other forms of communications.

All Central Office Services and Staff Offices must not illustrate, provide, or issue formats, exhibits, specimens, facsimiles, samples or narrative requirements in GSA internal directives or regulations that will cause GSA offices or other Government agencies to develop their own new forms.  In preparing new and revised internal directives or regulations, the originating service or staff office coordinates this proposed directive/regulation with GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel to develop Central Office issued GSA forms or GSA sponsored Standard Forms.  This coordination permits other offices to meet their requirements without developing and reproducing their own forms.

     f.  Privacy Act.  Data of a personal nature solicited from individuals and retrieved by a personal identifier falls under the Privacy Act.  A statement must appear on the form telling the individual why the data is being collected and what will happen to it.  If the form falls into this category, the GSA Privacy Act Officer must review and approve the statement before sending to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel.   

3.  Requirements for canceled forms.

     a.  For GSA forms (see Chapter 1, par 3e for definition).  To cancel an existing form, the responsible program official prepares and submits a GSA Form 2192 along with a copy of the form to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel.

     b.  For Standard and Optional forms.  The responsible program official:

         (1)  Submits a completed Standard Form 152, Request for Clearance or Cancellation of a Standard or Optional Form.

         (2)  Includes a brief statement explaining why the form is being cancelled.

         (3)  Includes a copy of the final regulation canceling the requirement to collect the data if the form is a Standard Form only.

         (4)  Sends the completed SF 152 package to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel.

4.  Notification of transfer of forms responsibility.  When functions transfer from one program office to another, the following action takes place:

     a.  Losing office.  Prepares a memo to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel transferring form to the new responsible office.

     b.  Gaining office.  Makes sure there is a continuing need for the transferred form.

          (1)  If the form is no longer needed and you are no longer collecting the data prescribed on the form, prepare and submit a GSA 2192 to GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel.

          (2)  If the form is a Standard or Optional Form no longer needed, submit a completed SF 152 package to GSA Forms Policy and Management personnel.   

5.  GSA Forms Management Program processing functions.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel:

     a.  Review and complete the documents received and checks the Forms Catalog System for any forms that may duplicate the requested proposal.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will not approve requests for new forms that duplicate existing GSA, Standard or Optional forms.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will analyze the draft form and contact the issuing office to discuss any problems.

     b.  Makes sure of conformity with appropriate goals and responsibilities outlined in Chapter 1.

     c.  Prepares, if necessary, printing specifications or any additional documents required.  

     d.  Prepares the proof/camera copy if not provided by the issuing office for their approval.  When an approved proof is received by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel, two things can happen:

         (1)  If the form needs printing, the necessary paperwork goes to the Government Printing Office through GSA’s Office of Communications and Marketing, Creative Services Division, Printing Team, for processing; or

         (2)  If the form is of cutsheet construction, no stock is printed.  These forms are for local reproduction or "Print on Demand" and are maintained on the GSA forms web site http://www.gsa.gov/forms.

6.  Responsibilities for replenishment, distributing, and stocking new or revised GSA forms.  The National Forms and Publications Center, Region 7, Pueblo, Colorado has operational responsibility for the national replenishment, stocking, and distribution program.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel provide policy, guidance, and management oversight for the ordering, printing, storing, and distributing of GSA forms.

     a.  Procedures for replenishing GSA forms.  Forms stocked in the National Forms and Publications Center are replenished as follows:

         (1)  A GSA 50, Requisition for Reproduction Services is received in the issuing office from the GSA Forms Management Program.

         (2)  Coordinate with the GSA Office of Communications and Marketing, Creative Services Division, Printing Team to complete the GSA 50.   

The Government Printing Office in Washington, DC does all printing.  

After the GSA 50 is approved and has funds, return it to the GSA Office of Communications and Marketing, Creative Services Division, Printing Team for printing.  Keep a copy for your records.

     b.  Ordering GSA forms.  Paper copies of GSA forms can be ordered from the GSA Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, Office of the Federal Citizen Information Center’s distribution facility in Pueblo, Colorado in one of three ways:

          (1)  Email:  Email requests to pueblo@gpo.gov

          (2)  Fax:  Fax requests to (719) 948-9724

          (3)  Telephone:  Call (719) 295-2675

Please include form number, title, and quantity needed when ordering.   

     c.  Ordering Standard and Optional forms.  Most Standard and Optional forms are available on the Internet.  Some are still stocked by the Federal Acquisition Service, GSA Global Supply.  These forms can be ordered in one of two ways:

         (1)  Telephone:  1-800 525-8027 (Select Option 3 on the phone menu)

         (2)  Internet:  http://www.gsaadvantage.gov (enter the National Stock Number (NSN) or Form number in the search box.  

7.  Handling of GSA-issued Standard forms prescribed under an interim or proposed regulation.  Forms issued in regulations published in the Federal Register as interim rules with comments or proposed regulations will be processed as follows:

     a.  Submit the same paperwork as described in subparagraph 2b above.

     b.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will prepare the camera copy but will NOT assign the edition date.  When the comment period ends and there are no comments, GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel assigns an edition date to the form and the issuing office publishes it in a Federal Register notice.  If there were comments, the revision process continues until there is a fully approved form.

8.  Review of existing forms.  On an ongoing basis GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel review all existing GSA forms and GSA-issued Standard and Optional forms for current use.  For Standard and Optional Forms, If the Federal Acquisition Service deems the form low demand (not producing revenue of $5,000 or more yearly), GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel sends the issuing office a memo requesting status on the form.  The office is usually given three choices for making a decision on the form:

 

   (1)  The form is current and the issuing office will stock and distribute;

      (2)  The form is current but can be authorized for local reproduction; or

      (3)  The form can be cancelled.   

9.  Graphic images on forms.  No graphic images should be on forms unless it is used to collect the prescribed data (i.e., street diagram for an accident).   

10.  Disposal of accountable forms.  Shred all completed forms that are ready for disposal or any blank, unused forms.  Keep a list of each number destroyed.

11 thru 15.  Reserved.

 

             APPENDIX A.  FORMS DESIGN GUIDELINES, TECHNIQUES, AND INSTRUCTIONS

 

FORMS DESIGN

GENERAL

These are suggested guidelines for designing your forms:

1.  Line Rule Weights:

     a.  Border (or heavy line):                                                1/32"

   b.  Lines dividing primary sections (or medium line):   1/72"

   c.  Fill-in boxes (or light line):                                           1/144"

2.  Fonts:

     a.  Captions:                                                                7/8 pt. Arial

   b.  Section/Part Titles:                                                9/10 pt. Arial Bold/Regular

   c.  Form Title:                                                              11/12 pt. Arial Bold

   d.  Form Identification:

      (1)  Agency Name or Acronym:                             9/10 pt. Arial Bold

      (2)  Form Number:                                                  9/10 pt. Arial Bold

      (3)  Form Edition Date:                                          7/8 pt. Arial

   e.  Data or Fill:                                                             10 pt. Arial

      (Use 6 or 8 pt. font only when necessary due to

        box size)

3.  Margins:

     a.  Form (This is the blank space that surrounds the image):

      (1)  Left:                                                        .4"

      (2)  Right:                                                      .4"

      (3)  Top:                                                        .5"

      (4)  Bottom:                                                  .6667"

     b.  Boxes:

     (With captions or text):

     (1)  Left:                                                         .02"

     (2)  Right:                                                       .00"

     (3)  Top:                                                         .00"

     (4)  Bottom:                                                   .00"

         If text is centered in box, margins are .00" all the way around.

        (Fillable with no caption):

    (1)  Left:                                                        .05"

    (2)  Right:                                                      .05"

    (3)  Top:                                                        .00"

    (4)  Bottom:                                                  .00"

4.  Spacing:

   a.  Text (i.e., instructions):                             Fixed point size of font

     b.  Boxes:

      (1)  Single entry:                                         Single

      (2)  Multiple lines:                                       Fixed point size of font, if

                                                                          no caption; with caption,

                                                                          single.

5.  Check boxes:

   a.  Justification:

      (1)  Design:                                                Left, Top

      (2)  Fill:                                                       Center, Middle

     b.  Fill:                                                              One character, automatic

                                                                           tab, checkbox format.

     c.  Margins:                                                     .00" on each side.

     d.  Check boxes help save time and effort in completing forms, and speed up the review of completed data.  However, avoid overuse of check boxes, which causes confusion and defeats their purpose.

6.  Tables:  Line rule weights and fonts mentioned above apply to tables.

     a.  Margins:

          (1)  Column headings:                                        .00"  all the way around

          (2)  Fill entry:

                (a)  Centered:                                                .00"  all the way around

                (b)  Left/Top or Bottom:                                Left - .05"

                                                                                       .00" for remaining margins

               (c)  Right/Top or Bottom:                                Right - .05"

                                                                                         .00" for remaining margins

     b.  Tables are used if there is only one set of captions.  Otherwise each box is a

separate fill box.

     c.  If a table has tiered captions, design table with no column headings.  Do captions as separate text boxes.

 7.  Text:  Do not use roman numerals on form.

Hierarchy arrangement of groups of data (following format prescribed in the GSA Directives System handbook): 

 

 Section #.  [Title]

     Part #.  [Title]

     Item #.  [Caption]

     (lower case letter) or [Caption] (lower case letter):  For column headings.

8.  Intelligence:

     a.  Provide calculations, where possible, in appropriate fields.  Result of calculation is a "no overwrite" field.

     b.  Currency Fields (only applies when field is part of a total):

          (1)  Length:                                                        Fixed (number only)

          (2)  Decimal points:                                          2

          (3)  Justification (fill):                                        Right, bottom

     c.  Naming Conventions:

          (1)  Do NOT use spaces and ONLY use strange characters, any punctuation

marks or symbols that are acceptable under your operating system

          (2)  Length of Field Name:  8 characters (this will allow interaction with any type

of database)

          (3)  Use descriptive names and type with initial caps.  A good rule is

adjective/noun.

     d.  Dates:

          (1)  Format:                                             MM/DD/YYYY (or

                                                                             YYYYDDMM, if military),

                                                                             automatic fill-in (where

                                                                             applicable (i.e., current

                                                                            date, etc.)

          (2)  Length:                                              10 characters (8

                                                                             characters for military)

     e.  Signature fields:  Make sure there is a field or separate block for the signer's name.  This requirement is from the National Archives and Records Administration.

     f.  Names:  Make sure that First Name, Middle Initial, and Last Name, are separate fields for data collection purposes.   

    g.  Telephone numbers.  Use the following format:  (XXX) XXX-XXXX Ext. XXXX (where "X" is the actual number).

     h.  Instructions.  Write in "Plain Language."  A carefully planned and well designed form is self-explanatory.  When necessary, proper instructions aid the user in accurately answering or efficiently processing the form.  Set the text of lengthy instructions in two or more columns, depending upon the width of the form, with at least 1/4" of space between each column.

9.  Miscellaneous:

          Text Format:

     a. Capitalize the first letter in "Region" when referring to a GSA Region.  Capitalize "The" when referring to the region's name; ex., The Heartland Region.

     b. Capitalize the first letter in "Service" when referring to a GSA Service (i.e., PBS).

     c. Capitalize the first letter in each word of "Staff Office" when referring to a GSA Staff Office.

     d. OMB Control Numbers on forms should have a Border box around the Control Number and Expiration Date as required by OMB.   

SAMPLE PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average __hours [or minutes] per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.  Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the U.S. General Services Administration, [name of service/office], ([correspondence symbol]), Washington, DC 20405.   

ACCESSIBILITY AND SECTION 508

When designing forms, refer to Section 508 for applicable provisions to ensure the data elements in those forms (checkboxes, text fields, etc) are accessible.   

                                                                                        

 

                                                        CHAPTER 3.  ELECTRONIC FORMS

 

1.  General.  This chapter prescribes specific internal procedures used by the services and staff offices, and GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel for controlling the electronic forms program.  Even if the form is created and controlled by a computer or the Internet, the procedures throughout this handbook still apply.

2.  Software supported by GSA.

     a.  Forms are important tools in organizing, collecting, and transmitting information quickly and efficiently.  Many commercial software packages are now available for automating the creation and processing of forms electronically.  GSA Forms Management Program will support the use of the prescribed package for GSA forms to provide standards and ensure that electronic forms are properly maintained.  Files of most of the forms are distributed via the GSA forms website.

     b.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel must approve all electronic forms and electronic collections of data for use in updating and maintaining a forms library of electronic files.  All forms will be added to the web site as needed.

3.  Approval of other software purchases.  In order to take full advantage of future technological improvements, it is essential that standardization of forms be maintained.  GSA’s Forms Management Program ensures standardization throughout the agency to preclude the proliferation of unauthorized forms.  Acquisition of other electronic forms design and mapping software is prohibited unless a request for deviation is submitted to and approved by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel before procurement.  Only under rare circumstances will such an approval be granted.  The requesting office must understand that GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will not support any other software outside of the prescribed agency package.

4.  Approval of electronic images not created by GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel.  All forms images or controlled data collections used within GSA must be approved through the GSA Forms Management Program prior to their use.  Provide GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel with the name of the software used to create the image/collection and a copy of the electronic form or web address where it is located.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will coordinate this request with the issuing office responsible for the form and notify the office requesting approval (if different than the issuing office) of the decision.

5.  Use of electronic form images or data collections without prior approval.  The use of unauthorized electronic form images or data collections is prohibited.  Offices should ensure that the form/collection they are completing or processing is the officially prescribed form.

6.  Print-on-demand of cutsheet forms.  Cutsheet forms with the construction capability of being reproduced on a laser printer are electronically stored on the GSA Forms web site at http://www.gsa.gov/forms.  GSA Forms Policy and Management Program personnel will identify cutsheet forms authorized for local reproduction.

7.  Legislation.

     a.  Government Paperwork Elimination Act (Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat 2681).  GSA will promote the use of electronic forms within the agency by following what the Government Paperwork Elimination Act prescribes, all guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, other responsible agencies and GSA.  This guidance will promote the use of electronic transactions and electronic signatures.

     b.  Electronic Signatures Act of 2000 (Public Law No: 106-229).  All signatures must be reviewed for need and level of security (to protect validity of data being collected).  These levels are as follows:

          (1)  Little or no assurance is needed about the identity of the signature;

          (2)  Highly probable that the signature is accurate;

          (3)  High degree of confidence that the signature is authentic; or

          (4)  Absolutely necessary that the signature is accurate.

     c.  Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220).  Forms placed on the web are compliant with this Act.

     d.  Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. §552a).  Forms placed on the web are compliant with this Act thru the assurance of protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and other types of data deemed sensitive by this Act.   

     e.  Paperwork Reduction Act (5 CFR 1320).  Forms placed on the web are compliant with this Act.  They reduce, minimize and control burdens and maximize the practical utility and public benefit of the info created, collected, disclosed, maintained, used, shared and disseminated.   

8 thru 13.  Reserved.

 

                                                            CHAPTER 4.  RESERVED