for Agency and Service TSP Representatives
Interconnection Security Agreement (ISA) Updates
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Bulletin 21-1 introduced the Converge Program (or Converge), a new recordkeeping contract charged with bringing changes and improvements to the TSP and day-to-day operations to serve federal employees and fulfill our mission-essential duties. This bulletin also included a commitment to provide more detailed guidance and direction on specific actions required from each agency/service to prepare for Converge go-live.
The first set of changes that will require action from applicable agencies include:
- Review and approval of all Interconnection Security Agreements (ISA)1 between the agency and FRTIB because of the new recordkeeping system; and
- Changes in the secure connection between the agency to direct payroll files to the new recordkeeping system.
- An ISA is an agreement established between the organizations that own and operate connected IT systems to document the technical requirements of the interconnection. With the change in TSP recordkeeper and underlying systems, the connection between current agency IT systems and the new TSP recordkeeping system will fundamentally change, resulting in the need for a revised ISA. This ISA—for purposes of interacting with the new recordkeeper—will be in addition to the annual ISA refresh process with the current recordkeeper.
As part of the plan to implement the new recordkeeping system, the Converge team completed a detailed review of all interconnections agreements in place and the current ISA template. As a result, a revised ISA template was established for use with agencies. The Converge team is in the process of updating all current ISAs and will provide initial drafts to agencies for review so that any initial questions can be addressed in advance of final ISA approval (expected in early 2022). At a later date, the Converge team will provide a separate, signed agreement outlining the agency’s role in approving users to access the new agency portal leveraged by the new recordkeeping system.
In addition, a new secure connection must be established between applicable agencies and the new recordkeeping system to enable successful transfer of payroll files when the new recordkeeping system goes live in FY Q3 2022. While payroll file formats and method to transmit files will not change as a part of Converge, the destination for files will change.
Once an agency’s ISA is available for review, an email from Converge will ask confirmed agency representatives to take the following steps:
- Contact the phone number provided to receive the passcode to open your draft ISA.
- Download your draft ISA from the secure, zipped attachment within the email.
- Save a copy of your draft ISA to a location available to all necessary parties within your agency.
- Work with your IT and security teams to review the draft ISA and track any questions or comments within the draft ISA.
- Once your review is complete, return a secure, zipped copy of the draft ISA, including tracked changes, to the email address provided by the date communicated.
- Contact the phone number provided to communicate the passcode to the Converge team to open your draft ISA with tracked changes.
As the above steps occur, agencies will receive detailed information related to the secure connection to the new recordkeeping system, including expected transmission method, new IP address, transmission key, targeted testing period, and technical support contact information.
After the Converge team reviews the agency draft ISA with tracked changes, they will schedule a follow-up discussion with each agency’s defined contacts to address any open questions or comments related to their ISA or establishing a new connection. Agencies will also have an opportunity to ask questions related to these changes through a series of “Ask Me Anything” sessions with the Converge team in FY Q2 and Q3 2021.
Following Authority to Operate-currently planned for FY Q2 2022-a final draft ISA will be provided to all parties for future reference and final approval. Approved ISAs and updated, confirmed connections are imperative for training activities scheduled for FY Q2 and Q3 2022 in preparation for the Converge go-live.