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Electronic Transmission of Central Personnel Data Files

Thursday, March 2, 2000
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
From: 
CAROL OKIN ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR MERIT SYSTEMS OVERSIGHT AND EFFECTIVENESS
Subject: 
Electronic Transmission of Central Personnel Data Files

We're pleased to announce our new procedures for receiving your Central Personnel Data File submissions electronically. A number of you expressed an interest in having this option and we hope that all of you will be able to use it as soon as possible. We believe that making your Central Personnel Data File submissions electronically will be more efficient both for you and for us.

The process involves sending encrypted submissions over the Internet. To make sure that the process works correctly in each case, we're asking for an initial test period where you will send your submissions electronically and on cartridge or diskette. Once these parallel tests verify that the process works, we'll ask you to discontinue sending the submissions on cartridge or diskette. We've attached detailed information about the electronic transmission process. The basic steps are these --

1. Decide how you want to encrypt your submissions.

2. Let us know when you are ready to conduct parallel testing.

3. Complete the parallel tests successfully.

4. Start sending your submissions electronically and stop sending cartridge or diskettes.

If you have any questions, please call Linda Brick on (202) 606-1126. If you prefer, you can email her at LMBRICK@OPM.GOV.

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How will the electronic transmission of Central Personnel Data File submissions work?

Our Technology Support Center has a public FTP site. You may send Central Personnel Data File submissions to that site via the Internet.

No. You don't change any data that's in the Central Personnel Data File submissions. The fields, the format, and the timing of the submissions are the same whether you send them electronically or on cartridge or diskette.

What do I have to do before I can send my Central Personnel Data File submissions electronically?

You must:

  • Decide how you will encrypt the submissions;
  • Request permission to send your submissions electronically; and
  • Complete parallel testing of your electronic transmissions successfully.

The Central Personnel Data File submissions contain personal information. The Privacy Act requires that we protect personal information. Encryption is the way we are protecting the Central Personnel Data File personal information while it's being transmitted over the Internet.

Are you taking other security measures in the Central Personnel Data File electronic transmission process?

Yes. We will provide user-ids and passwords for anyone who sends us data.


Attachment

ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF CENTRAL PERSONNEL DATA FILES

What options do I have for encrypting my submissions?

Depending upon how you plan to submit your files, four options are available. They are:

  • PGP Security, Inc. products. You can use PGP E-Business Server for mainframe-to-PC transfers or PGP Data Security for PC-to-PC transfers. You must purchase this software for your site. To obtain more information on this option, please see HTTP://WWW.PGP.COM.
  • AT&T SecretAgent software. SecretAgent is for PC-to-PC transfers. You must purchase this software for your site. To obtain more information on this option, please see HTTP://WWW.ATT.COM/SECURE_SOFTWARE/SA_SW.HTML. (There are underlines between SECURE and SOFTWARE and between SA and SW.)
  • Firewall-based Virtual Private Network connection. This connection is for firewall-to-firewall transfers. You must use a firewall that supports the Internet Protocol Security standard for encryption and authentication and the Sun Microsystem's SKIP protocol (v2) for key management. You must exchange the SKIP keys manually. You can get more information on this option from Charles Cheek at CLCHEEK@OPM.GOV.
  • Our own encryption software. You can use this software for mainframe-to-mainframe transfers. This software is written in COBOL For OS390 & VM (Language Environment), Release 2.1. You must have a compatible mainframe. We'll give you a copy of the link module at no cost. You can get more information on this option from Mark Adams at MAADAMS@OPM.GOV or Carol Goodroe at CWGOODRO@OPM.GOV.

Send an email to LMBRICK@OPM.GOV. You must include:

  • Your agency or office name;
  • The names of the agencies and offices that will be included in your submissions;
  • The names, phone numbers, and email addresses for those who will be working on electronic transmission in your agency;

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ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF CENTRAL PERSONNEL DATA FILES

  • How you're going to encrypt your submissions; and
  • When you'll be ready to begin parallel testing.

Do I need to send separate requests for each type of submission?

No. You don't need to send separate requests for the Status submissions, Dynamics submissions, and Organizational Component Translation submissions.

What happens after I send you my request?

We'll call you to make sure we understand everything in your request. Once we do, we'll schedule your parallel testing. We'll confirm the test schedule and the filenames for your submissions by email. Our Technology Support Center will give you specific instructions for downloading your submissions to our public FTP site. The instructions will include the user-id, password, directory information, and the appropriate filenames.

What does parallel testing involve?

Parallel testing means you must send the same submissions electronically that you send on cartridge or diskette. The test files must be exact copies of the regular Central Personnel Data File submissions. Both Status and Dynamics submissions must be tested. We don't need to do a separate test for the Organizational Component Translation submissions.

How will we know if the testing is successful?

We'll consider the testing successful if it meets all of the following conditions.

1. We're able to receive and decrypt the test submissions.

2. The filename for each of the test submissions is correct.

3. We receive the transmittal on the same day we receive the submission. The transmittal must include the filename and, if it's a Status or Dynamics submission, the record count.

4. The test submission matches the regular submission exactly on a field by field comparison.


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ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF

CENTRAL PERSONNEL DATA FILES

NEW REQUIREMENTS

Do you have any new or different requirements for submissions that I send electronically?

Yes. The filename that you use on submissions you make electronically is different. The way you notify us that you've made a submission is different. Instead of sending us a form, you'll send us an email transmittal.

What filename should I use for submissions I send electronically?

The filename contains 11 or 13 characters, depending on the length of the agency code. The three character extension shows how you encrypted the submission. The filename consists of the following information in the following order:

The file identifier - one character identifying the type of submission - S for Status, D for Dynamics, or O (letter O, not number zero) for Organizational Component Translation;

  • The "as of" date - six characters identifying the "as of" date for the submission in year/month order, for example, 199903, 199906, 199909, 199912;
  • The sequence number - one numeric character. For most agencies, it's zero (0) for Status and Organizational Component Translation; it's one (1) for Dynamics. For those few cases where you send part of your records in one submission and another part in another submission, we'll assign you different sequence numbers for each portion of your records;
  • The agency code - either two or four alphanumeric characters identifying the agency making the submission - these codes are listed in the Operating Manual, The Guide to Personnel Data Standards, and can be found on our website at HTTP://WWW.OPM.GOV/FEDDATA/HTML/DATASTAN.HTM;
  • The resubmission indicator - one numeric character identifying whether this is the original submission or a resubmission. Use zero for the first submission for each "as of" date. Each time you resubmit, that is send a new, corrected submission for the same "as of" date, increase this value by one; and
  • The extension - whether or not you use an extension depends on how you've encrypted your submission. If you're using a PGP product or SecretAgent to encrypt your submission, a three character extension identifying the way you encrypted the data - .(dot) PGP for the PGP products or .(dot) SA5 for SecretAgent. If you're not using either a PGP product or SecretAgent, don't use an extension.


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ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF CENTRAL PERSONNEL DATA FILES

Can you give me some examples?


If the filename is:


The submission is:

S1999030NV0

Status submission, because the first character is "S";

"as of" March 1999, because the next six characters are the year and month, 199903;

the only Status submission expected for the agency because the sequence number is zero;

submitted by the Department of the Navy, because the agency code is "NV";

the original submission because the resubmission indicator is zero.

encrypted using a Virtual Private Network connection because there is no extension.

D1999111AG1.PGP

Dynamics submission, because the first character is "D";

"as of" November 1999, because the next six characters are the year and month, 199911;

the only Dynamics submission expected for the agency because the sequence number is one;

submitted by the Department of Agriculture, because the agency code is "AG";

the first resubmission, because the resubmission indicator is one;

encrypted using PGP products, because the extension is PGP.

O1999090DD070.SA5

Organizational Component Translation submission, because the first character is "O" (the letter "O," not the number zero);

"as of" September 1999, because the next six characters are the year and month, 199909;

the only Organizational Component Translation submission expected because the sequence number is zero;

submitted by the Defense Logistics Agency, because the agency code is "DD07";

the original submission, because the resubmission indicator is zero;

encrypted using SecretAgent software, because the extension is SA5.


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ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF CENTRAL PERSONNEL DATA FILES

What can go wrong with filenames?

A filename is wrong if it:

  • Doesn't match the required eleven or thirteen character structure (file identifier, "as of" date, sequence number, agency code, and resubmission identifier);
  • Uses an extension that doesn't match the encryption you selected;
  • Contains an invalid "as of" date, such as 200004 (April 2000) for a Status submission; or
  • Duplicates a filename you've already submitted. If you submitted S2000060NV0, you can't make another submission with the same filename. If you've corrected the submission and are sending it again, you must change the filename by increasing the resubmission indicator by one. The correct filename for the second June 2000 Status submission is S2000060NV1.

What happens if I use the wrong filename?

We can't process a submission with the wrong filename. We'll call or email you to notify you of the problem and will hold your submission until we receive a corrected filename.

When I send my Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) cartridges, I send a CPDF Transmittal Form. Do I continue to send that Form when I send my submissions electronically?

No. We don't need the paper CPDF Transmittal Form, OPM Form 1101, if you send your submissions electronically. We do need an email transmittal that lets us know you have sent the submission. You must send the email transmittal the same business day that you make the submission. The email transmittal must include:

  • The filename; and
  • If it's a Status or Dynamics submission, the record count.

If you're sending a Status or Organizational Component Translation submission, send your email to CPDF_STATUS@OPM.GOV. (There is an underline between CPDF and STATUS.) If you're sending a Dynamics submission, send your email to CPDF_DYNAMICS@OPM.GOV. (There is an underline between CPDF and DYNAMICS.)

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ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF CENTRAL PERSONNEL DATA FILES

Can you give me some examples?


If you're sending your:


Then send the email transmittal to:

 

March 2000 Status submission

CPDF_STATUS@OPM.GOV

"I sent file S2000030NV0 today. The record count is 135,267."

April 2000 Dynamics submission

CPDF_DYNAMICS@OPM.GOV

"I sent file D2000041AG0.PGP today. The record count is 26,789. The records are for the period March 26, 2000 thru April 22, 2000."

September 2000 Organizational Component Translation submission

CPDF_STATUS@OPM.GOV

"I sent file O2000090DD070.SA5 today."

You may include any other information that would help us process your submission.

"We're now making submissions for Agency XYZ. Agency XYZ's records are in this submission."

We check to see that we are getting records from each agency we expect and only those agencies. If we know that you've added a new agency, we don't have to stop processing your submission to ask.

"As of March 2000, we are no longer submitting for Agency XYZ. That Agency will be serviced by the Department of the Interior."

We check to see that we are getting records from each agency we expect and only those agencies. If we know that you're no longer submitting records for an agency, we don't have to stop processing your submission to ask.

"We had a major reorganization last month. Half of the employees in organization ABC moved to organization EFG."

We check on significant changes in your records. If we know that the changes are valid, we can evaluate and accept your submission quickly.

"Dynamics records for the April 2000 submission cover pay periods 7 & 8, March 26 thru April 22."

We evaluate the timeliness of your Dynamics submission. A timely record is one with an effective date no more than 30 days prior to the end of the submission period. We treat the end of the submission period as the end of the month, unless you tell us something different. If we know that your April Dynamics goes from March 26 to April 22, we'll count all the actions with effective dates on or after March 26 as timely. If we didn't have this information, we'd assume the records covered April 1 thru 30 and count only actions with effective dates in April as timely.

What if I forget to send the email transmittal or to include the record count?

We can't process your Status or Dynamics submission without an email transmittal that includes the record count. We'll call or email you to correct the problem and hold your submission.

How will I know when I can stop sending submissions on cartridge or diskette?

We'll work with you to resolve any problems that come up during testing. When we complete the testing, we'll jointly set a date after which you may make your regular submissions electronically and stop sending cartridges or diskettes.

Will I have to retest after I've started making submissions electronically?

If you want to change the way you encrypt your submissions, you'll need to let us know at least 30 days before you want to use the new encryption method. We'll work with you to make sure the process goes smoothly.

We encourage you to send your Central Personnel Data File submissions electronically. The steps you need to take are these -

1. Decide how you want to encrypt your submissions.

2. Let us know when you are ready to conduct parallel testing.

3. Complete the parallel tests successfully.

4. Start sending your submissions electronically and stop sending cartridge or diskettes.

If you have any questions, please call Linda Brick on (202) 606-1126. If you prefer, you can email her at LMBRICK@OPM.GOV.