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Subchapter G—Administrative programs
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Part 102-194—Standard and Optional Forms Management Program

§102-194.5—What is the Standard and Optional Forms Management Program?

The Standard and Optional Forms Management Program is a Governmentwide program that promotes economies and efficiencies through the development, maintenance and use of common forms. The General Services Administration (GSA) provides additional guidance on the Standard and Optional Forms Management Program through an external handbook called Standard and Optional Forms Procedural Handbook. You may obtain a copy of the handbook from:

Standard and Optional Forms Management Office

General Services Administration

(Forms-XR)

1800 F Street, NW.; Room 7126

Washington, DC 20405–0002

(202) 501–0581

http://www.gsa.gov/forms

§102-194.10—What is a Standard form?

A Standard form is a fixed or sequential order of data elements, prescribed by a Federal agency through regulation, approved by GSA for mandatory use, and assigned a Standard form number. This criterion is the same whether the form resides on paper or purely electronic.

§102-194.15—What is an Optional form?

An Optional form is approved by GSA for nonmandatory Governmentwide use and is used by two or more agencies. This criteria is the same whether the form resides on paper or purely electronic.

§102-194.20—What is an electronic Standard or Optional form?

An electronic Standard or Optional form is an officially prescribed set of data residing in an electronic medium that is used to produce a mirror-like image or as near to a mirror-like image as the creation software will allow of the officially prescribed form.

§102-194.25—What is an automated Standard or Optional format?

An automated Standard or Optional format is an electronic version of the officially prescribed form containing the same data elements and used for the electronic transaction of information in lieu of using a Standard or Optional form.

§102-194.30—What role does my agency play in the Standard and Optional Forms Management Program?

Your agency head or designee’s role is to:

(a) Designate an agency-level Standard and Optional Forms Liaison representative and alternate, and notify GSA, in writing, of their names, titles, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses within 30 days of the designation or redesignation.

(b) Promulgate Governmentwide Standard forms under the agency’s statutory or regulatory authority in the Federal Register, and issue procedures on the mandatory use, revision, or cancellation of these forms.

(c) Ensure that the agency complies with the provisions of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) (Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681), Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 74d), as amended, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) Standards (36 CFR Part 1194), and OMB implementing guidance. In particular, agencies should allow the submission of Standard and Optional forms in an electronic/automated version unless the form is specifically exempted by 102-194.40.

(d) Issue Governmentwide Optional forms when needed by two or more agencies and announce the availability, revision, or cancellation of these forms. Forms prescribed through a regulation for use by the Federal Government must be issued as a Standard form.

(e) Obtain GSA approval for each new, revised or canceled Standard and Optional form, 60 days prior to planned implementation. Certify that the forms comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Provide an electronic form unless exempted by 102-194.40. Revised forms not approved by GSA will result in cancellation of the form.

(f) Provide GSA with both an electronic (unless exempted by 102-194.40) and paper version of the official image of the Standard or Optional form prior to implementation.

(g) Obtain the prescribing agency’s approval for exceptions to Standard and Optional forms, including electronic forms or automated formats prior to implementation.

(h) Review annually agency prescribed Standard and Optional forms, including exceptions, for improvement, consolidation, cancellation, or possible automation. The review must include approved electronic versions of the forms.

(i) Coordinate all health-care related Standard and Optional forms through GSA for the approval of the Interagency Committee on Medical Records (ICMR).

(j) Promote the use of electronic forms within the agency by following what the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) prescribes and all guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget and other responsible agencies. This guidance will promote the use of electronic transactions and electronic signatures.

(k) Notify GSA of the replacement of any Standard or Optional form by an automated format or electronic form, and its impact on the need to stock the paper form. GSA’s approval is not necessary for this change, but a one-time notification should be made.

(l) Follow the specific instructions in the Standard and Optional Forms Procedural Handbook.

§102-194.35—Should I create electronic Standard or Optional forms?

Yes, you should create electronic Standard or Optional forms, especially when forms are used to collect information from the public. GSA will not approve a new or revision to a Standard or Optional form unless an electronic form is being made available. Only forms covered by 102-194.40 are exempt from this requirement. Furthermore, you should to the extent possible, use electronic form products and services that are based on open standards. However, the use of proprietary products is permitted, provided that the end user is not required to purchase a specific product or subscription to use the electronic Standard or Optional form.

§102-194.40—For what Standard or Optional forms should an electronic version not be made available?

All forms should include an electronic version unless it is not practicable to do so. Areas where it may not be practicable include where the form has construction features for specialized use (e.g., labels), to prevent unauthorized use or could otherwise risk a security violation, (e.g., classification cover sheets), or require unusual production costs (e.g., specialized paper or envelopes). Such forms can be made available as an electronic form only if the originating agency approves an exception to do so. (See the Standard and Optional Forms Procedural Handbook for procedures and a list of these forms).

§102-194.45—Who should I contact about Standard and Optional forms?

For Standard and Optional forms, you should contact the:

Standard and Optional Forms Management Office

General Services Administration

(Forms-XR)

1800 F Street, NW.; Room 7126

Washington, DC 20405–0002

(202) 501–0581

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Subchapter, G,Administrative, Programs, FMR