OCC Bulletin 2003-13| March 27, 2003

Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) Program: FBIIC Policy on Sponsorship of TSP for Private Sector Entities


Chief Executive Officers of National Banks, Federal Branches and Agencies, Service Providers, Software Vendors, Department and Division Heads, and All Examining Personnel

Attached is the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC) policy for the sponsorship of critical private sector entities' access to the Telecommunication Service Priority (TSP) Program administered by the National Communications System (NCS). This document explains the circumstances under which qualifying institutions may seek federal sponsorship for the TSP Program.

NCS was established in 1963 to provide better communications support to critical government functions during emergencies. The NCS's TSP program assigns qualifying institutions priority treatment for the restoration or provisioning of telecommunication services in emergencies. Private-sector use of TSP must be sponsored by an authorized federal agency. The agency must first determine that the private-sector entity is considered critical to the performance of national security or emergency preparedness (NS/EP) functions. For financial institutions, an NS/EP finding can be supported if the functions performed by the institutions are considered necessary to maintain the national economic posture during any national or regional emergency.

The attached FBIIC policy explains the TSP program in more detail and sets out the criteria to be used by FBIIC agencies to determine whether a private-sector entity, supervised by an FBIIC member agency, qualifies for federal sponsorship. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is working with the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) to use their established procedures for the sponsorship of qualified institutions. OCC-supervised entities should contact the FRB directly to request sponsorship. The request may be by phone or in writing and should be directed to:

Assistant Director
Information Technology
Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Washington, DC 20551
Telephone: (202) 452-3646
Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD) only: (202) 263-4869

Based on its understanding of the TSP program and its applicable standards, the OCC believes that only some national banks or technology service providers supervised by the OCC will qualify for TSP sponsorship. However, consideration will be given to all requests for sponsorship from any such entity that demonstrates that it can make a case for qualification under one or more of the criteria set out in the FBIIC or FRB policies on TSP sponsorship.

For your reference, both policies are attached. The FBIIC policy is available electronically at [http://www.fbiic.gov/policies.htm]. The FRB policy can also be found at [http://www.federalreserve.gov/BoardDocs/Press/other/2002/20021203/default.htm].

Any questions regarding this issuance should be directed to Bank Information Technology Operations at (202) 649-6340.

Ralph E. Sharpe
Deputy Comptroller for Technology

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