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National Finance Center

U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Update

Please be aware of the following reminders and updates regarding the USDA-mandated Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) initiative. Please share this information with your technical staffs.

The primary objective of this mandate is to convert existing File Transfer Protocol (FTP) transfers to SFTP and establish new transfers for SFTP; therefore, Connect:Direct transfers will be converted to SFTP only if Connect:Direct will no longer be supported by the customer.

To ensure that these file transfers are implemented as quickly as possible, no file changes will be allowed during the conversion process.

If there is a possibility that files will be overwritten after transfer, customers may opt to include the transfer date or pay period and year within the destination file name.

Files transferred via SFTP are available for pickup on the National Finance Center’s (NFC) servers for a maximum of 24 hours. Please ensure that files are retrieved in a timely manner.

Files not retrieved within the 24-hour time frame will be re-transmitted only after submission of a ticket via ServiceNow.

Note: A Software Change Request and an Interagency Agreement will be required for repeated requests, requests for multiple files, or requests for files transmitted prior to the current pay period.

Failed transfers should be reported via submission of a ServiceNow ticket, during the pay period of the failure, if possible, with file names (mainframe and server), project number, system-generated messages, etc. NFC is currently enhancing system-generated messages on file transfers to make them more descriptive.

Agency SFTP points of contact (POC) will now be required to have their Agency Security Officers (ASO) submit a form AD-3100-P, Payroll Personnel Request for Security Access via ServiceNow to begin the process to exchange security keys to enable creation of an SFTP account. ASOs should also manage these security keys to prevent their expiration and the resulting inability to transfer data.

Form AD-3113, File Transmission Request, has been modified and posted on this web site. All pertinent forms and information related to SFTP can be found on this web site.

Last Updated / Reviewed: August 20, 2021