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United States Department of Agriculture

National Finance Center

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What is SFTP?

SFTP is the acronym for Secure File Transfer Protocol, a more secure version of File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which is used to transfer data between end points.

Why is SFTP needed?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has mandated that all data transmitted must occur via the SFTP method.

How is SFTP implemented?

Agencies will work with the National Finance Center (NFC) and establish a project team, considering roles, responsibilities, and skill sets required. Agencies will also identify Points of Contact (POCs) and vendor/contract support, and communicate the roles and responsibilities to their project team.

The complete process can be found on NFC’s SFTP Resource page by selecting SFTP Bulletin from the SFTP Resources menu.

What is required to implement SFTP?

Agencies must submit their SFTP requirements to NFC via Form AD-3003, Software Change Request (SCR). In addition, Form AD-3113, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) File Transmission Request, must be completed to provide all file-related information. Both forms can be found on NFC’s SFTP Resource Page. The NFC-assigned project number must be included in all subsequent correspondence related to the project. Once NFC receives forms from the Agency, NFC will schedule a meeting to review the request with the Agency technical team. If an outside contractor or servicing Agency manages the actual FTP process, they must participate as well.

When is SFTP conversion required?

There is no specific time frame to have all transmissions converted to SFTP. NFC processes each request in the order received.

Who is required to convert to SFTP?

All entities requiring connections to NFC, including Agencies or their third party vendors, must implement SFTP.

Where can I find more information?

To learn more about the SFTP Process, as well as NFC’s Data Center Migration, please visit the National Finance Center’s (NFC) Homepage.

Last Updated / Reviewed: January 28, 2020