Guidance Documents

In order to increase the quality and transparency of agency guidance practices and to comply with Executive Order (EO) 13891 of October 9, 2019, “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents,” and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) implementing memorandum M-20-02 (PDF, 5.8 MB) of October 31, 2019, Rural Development is providing the information below on its guidance documents.  The term guidance document means an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue: 

  • Please note that these documents Guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or incorporated into a contract; and 
  • The agency may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on the website existing under the EO, except to establish historical facts.

If you wish to contact Rural Development regarding any significant guidance document, please do so by sending an email to comments@usda.gov or by mailing a letter to the following office:

Division Director
Innovation Center - Regulations Management Division

Rural Development
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250

Document ID:       Title of Document: Date of Issuance: Date Posted: Topic: Summary:
RD-GD-1960-01 415-1 10/25/1977 07/09/2020 sale of property The revisions have resulted from the necessity to accommodate the sample documents covered in REA Bulletin 415-1.
RD-GD-1969-02 2-1 08/15/1969 07/09/2020 REA policy To set forth policy concerning the relationship between the REA and its borrowers.
RD-GD-1972-03 345-54 08/07/1972 07/09/2020 REA specification To announce the revision of Page 1 of REA SpecificationPE-52 for Telephone Cable Splicing Connectors.
RD-GD-1977-04 183-1 01/01/1978 07/09/2020 depreciation rates This bulletin is issued to aid borrowers in their accounting for depreciation.
RD-GD-1979-05 345-83 10/07/1982 07/09/2020 surge arresters To announce the issuance of a new REA Specification for Gas Tube Surge Arresters.
RD-GD-1980-06 345-78 07/01/1980 07/09/2020 carbon arresters assemblies To announce the issuance of revised REA Specification PE-78.
RD-GD-1981-07 345-3 10/08/1981 07/09/2020 acceptance of standards To set forth policies and procedures for the determination of standards acceptable for the telephone program.
RD-GD-1986-08 50-4 11/20/1986 07/09/2020 specifications and drawings To announce the issuance of REA Standard D-801.
RD-GD-1988-09 320-12 09/01/1988 07/09/2020 Fedwire deposit system To provide instructions for preparing an FDS wire message using the new format.
RD-GD-1992-10 1770-1 07/16/1992 07/09/2020 REA work order To provide a uniform system for accumulating and distributing work order construction costs.
RD-GD-1992-11 1770B-1 11/12/1991 07/09/2020 system of accounts This bulletin sets forth the FCC Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) for
Telecommunication Companies.
RD-GD-1993-12 1753F-205 06/04/1993 07/09/2020 filled telephone cables This specification covers REA requirements for filled telephone cables.
RD-GD-1993-13 1753F-208 06/04/1993 07/09/2020 filled telephone cables This specification covers REA requirements for filled telephone cables with expanded insulation intended for direct burial installation.
RD-GD-1994-14 1753F-206 01/14/1994 07/09/2020 filled buried wires This specification covers REA requirements for filled buried wires intended for direct burial as a subscriber drop and/or distribution wire.
RD-GD-1994-15 1753E-002 04/26/1994 07/09/2020 software license agreement This bulletin provides a user-friendly reformatting of the uniform Telecommunications Software License Agreement.
RD-GD-1994-16 1753F-207 07/14/1994 07/09/2020 terminating cables This specification covers REA requirements for terminating cables.
RD-GD-1995-17 1753F-401 03/03/1995 07/09/2020 splicing cables This standard describes approved methods for splicing plastic-insulated copper and fiber optic cables.
RD-GD-1996-19 1753E-001 01/23/1996 07/09/2020 central office equipment This revision removes the requirement for multiparty service and associated features and services.
RD-GD-1996-20 1753F-204 08/22/1996 07/09/2020 aerial service wires This specification covers RUS requirements for aerial service wires intended for aerial subscriber drops.
RD-GD-1996-21 1753E-201 1996 07/09/2020 acceptance test This bulletin provides acceptance tests that demonstrate compliance with the requirements of RUS Form 522.
RD-GD-1996-22 1753F-302 07/03/1996 07/09/2020 outside plant housings This specification informs of the engineering and technical requirements that are considered necessary for satisfactory performance in outside plant environments.
RD-GD-1997-23 1753F-201 08/26/1997 07/09/2020 telecommunications plant This standard covers RUS acceptance tests and measurements to be performed on installed copper and fiber optic cable telecommunications plant.
RD-GD-1997-24 1780-14 07/30/1997 07/09/2020 general conditions This bulletin is issued to describe the RUS Supplemental General Conditions.
RD-GD-1997-25 1780-15 07/30/1997 07/09/2020 construction contract documents This bulletin is issued to outlay the documents in a construction contract.
RD-GD-1997-26 345-72 10/18/1985 07/09/2020 filled splice closures To announce the issuance of a revised REA Specification PE-74.
RD-GD-1998-27 1710B-1 02/24/1998 07/09/2020 financing bank loans This bulletin is a guide to assist electric and telecommunications borrowers in understanding the terms, conditions, and options of RUS guaranteed loans made by the Federal Financing Bank (FFB).
RD-GD-1998-28 1728F-803 12/15/1998 07/09/2020 line construction To set forth requirements, specifications and standards for the construction of 24.9/14.4 kV overhead electric distribution lines and associated equipment and construction assembly units.
RD-GD-1998-29 1728F-800 12/16/1998 07/09/2020 assembly unit numbers This bulletin explains and documents the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) construction assembly unit numbering scheme.
RD-GD-1999-30 1780-6 06/04/1999 07/09/2020 processing checklist

This bulletin is issued to outline the documents needed for water and waste processing.

RD-GD-1999-31 1728F-810 04/09/1999 07/09/2020 electric transmission specs To provide general construction requirements for representative wood pole structures and assemblies for 34.5 through 69 kV transmission lines.
RD-GD-1999-32 1728F-811 04/09/1999 07/09/2020 electric transmission specs To provide general construction requirements for representative wood pole structures and assemblies for 115 through 230 kV transmission lines.
RD-GD-1999-33 1724E-104 09/23/1999 07/09/2020 rural distribution lines This bulletin covers the principal considerations applicable to reduced size neutral conductors and outlines a procedure for their selection and installation.
RD-GD-2000-34 1780-10 03/20/2000 07/09/2020 letter of agency commitment This bulletin is issued to confirm certain understandings on behalf of RUS.
RD-GD-2000-35 1780-10A 03/20/2000 07/09/2020 letter of agency commitment This bulletin is issued to confirm certain understandings on behalf of RUS.
RD-GD-2000-36 1780-17 04/21/2000 07/09/2020 water program audit This bulletin is issued to audit water programs.
RD-GD-2000-37 1780-32 09/05/200 07/09/2020 Appalachian Regional Commission This bulletin provides the MOA between the Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Under Secretary of RD.
RD-GD-2001-38 1744-2 03/05/2001 07/09/2020 financial and statistical reports To provide instructions for all Telecom borrowers required to submit operating reports to RUS (Form 479).
RD-GD-2001-39 1724E-153 04/25/2001 07/09/2020 line guys and anchors This guide bulletin provides information needed to properly design guying for conductors attached to wood distribution poles.
RD-GD-2001-41 1753F-151 08/21/2001 07/09/2020 construction of underground plant This specification provides assembly unit descriptions, materials, construction and installation, and drawings for underground plant associated with RUS Form 515.
RD-GD-2001-42 1753F-152 08/21/2001 07/09/2020 construction of aerial plant This specification provides assembly unit descriptions, materials, construction and installation, and drawings for aerial plant associated with RUS Form 515, .
RD-GD-2001-43 1753F-153 08/21/2001 07/09/2020 service installations This specification provides assembly unit descriptions, materials, construction and installation, and drawings for service installations at customer access locations associated with RUS Form 515.
RD-GD-2001-44 1753F-801 09/11/2001 07/09/2020 customer access locations This standard covers RUS service installation practices at permanent or mobile home customer access locations.
RD-GD-2002-45 1717B-2 02/14/2002 07/09/2020 financial and statistical reports To provide instructions to all electric distribution borrowers required to submit operating reports to RUS.
RD-GD-2002-46 1751F-643 08/28/2002 07/09/2020 underground plant design This bulletin provides RUS borrowers, consulting engineers, contractors and other interested parties with
information on the design and construction of underground plant facilities.
RD-GD-2002-47 1751F-644 08/28/2002 07/09/2020 underground plant construction This bulletin provides RUS borrowers, consulting engineers, contractors and other interested parties with
information on the construction of underground plant facilities.
RD-GD-2003-48 1724E-152 07/30/2003 07/09/2020 overhead distribution line conductors To present and explain:The equations needed to calculate ruling spans and conductor sags and tensions, the guidelines for preparing or selecting sag-tension tables, and, the characteristics, behavior, installation and aeolian vibration of distribution line conductors.
RD-GD-2003-49 1724E-154 07/30/2003 07/09/2020 distribution conductor clearances This bulletin presents information and the equations needed to determine the maximum span lengths that will meet NESC mid-span and supporting structure clearance requirements between conductors.
RD-GD-2004-50 1726I-602 02/19/2004 07/09/2020 attachments to contract forms This is a new bulletin which provides attachments that can be used with RUS electric program standard contract forms.
RD-GD-2005-51 1730B-2 01/07/2005 07/09/2020 emergency restoration plan This guide bulletin contains information to assist RUS electric borrowers in the development of a vulnerability and risk assessment (VRA) and an Emergency Restoration Plan (ERP).
RD-GD-2005-52 1717M-2 02/09/2005 07/09/2020 sale or transfer of capital assets To set forth Rural Utilities Service guidelines to be followed in the sale of capital assets of electric borrowers.
RD-GD-2005-53 1780-33 03/21/2005 07/09/2020 value engineering studies This bulletin is available to assist Rural Development (RD) Staff and Water and Waste Program applicants in conducting a Value Engineering Study.
RD-GD-2006-54 1717B-3 05/17/2006 07/09/2020 financial and statistical reports To provide instructions to all borrowers required to submit operating reports to RUS.
RD-GD-2008-55 1724E-302 01/24/2008 07/09/2020 oil spill prevention This publication aids the electric borrower in interpreting Federal regulations and developing the necessary documents and oil retention systems to meet these regulations.
RD-GD-2008-56 1767B-1 09/17/2009 07/09/2020 uniform system of accounts This bulletin sets forth, in a more user-friendly format, the RUS Uniform System of Accounts (USoA) and accounting interpretations for electric borrowers. .
RD-GD-2009-57 1724E-301 03/04/2009 07/09/2020 large power transformer losses This bulletin provides guidelines for evaluating transformer losses and including such losses in bid evaluations.
RD-GD-2009-58 1730A-119 03/24/2009 07/09/2020 service continuity objectives To provide guidance on recording and reporting service interruptions and outages, the calculation of industry standard indices for measuring distribution system performance and promotion of consistent outage recordkeeping and reporting among borrowers.
RD-GD-2009-59 1724D-105 05/22/2009 07/09/2020 voltage conversion considerations This bulletin recommends that system planners include an evaluation of whether it would be beneficial to convert some system circuits to a different voltage energization level.
RD-GD-2009-60 1767B-1 09/17/2009 07/09/2020 uniform system of accounts This bulletin sets forth, in a more user-friendly format, the RUS Uniform System of Accounts (USoA) and accounting interpretations for electric borrowers.
RD-GD-2009-61 1753F-601A 12/22/2009 07/09/2020 minimum performance specification This bulletin updates the fiber optic cable specifications to meet current industry standards.
RD-GD-2009-62 1753F-601B 12/22/2009 07/09/2020 minimum performance specification To update current specifications to meet current industry standards.
RD-GD-2010-63 1724D-106 08/03/2010 07/09/2020 replacing storm damaged conductors  This bulletin provides guidelines that will assist Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers to expediently make this decision.
RD-GD-2010-64 1753F-150 09/29/2010 07/09/2020 direct buried plant This specification provides industry-created assembly unit descriptions, materials, construction and installation, and drawings for direct buried plant associated with RUS Form 515.
RD-GD-2012-65 1777-2 08/21/2012 07/09/2020 project selection criteria To provide a worksheet for Section 306C WWD Loans and Grants Project Selection Criteria.
RD-GD-2012-66 1777-3 08/21/2012 07/09/2020 transmittal memorandum To provide a memorandum for requesting funds from the National Office.
RD-GD-2012-67 1724D-113 05/16/2012 07/09/2020 voltage levels This bulletin provides recommended voltage levels and limits to serve as guidelines in the design and operation of electric distribution systems.
RD-GD-2012-68 1724E-102 10/23/2012 07/09/2020 sectionalizing distribution lines This bulletin provides guidance and assistance in sectionalizing distribution lines to protect them from faults.
RD-GD-2012-69 1724D-101B   07/09/2020 system planning guide The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance to borrowers and engineers in the preparation of construction work plans (CWPs) for electric systems.
RD-GD-2013-70 1780-2 04/04/2013 07/09/2020 preliminary engineering reports The State Office staff is familiar with the use of the documents in their States and can answer specific questions on Agency requirements.
RD-GD-2013-71 1730B-121 08/13/2013 07/09/2020 wood pole inspection To furnish information and guidance in establishing a continuing program of pole maintenance.
RD-GD-2013-72 1780-34 09/05/2013 07/09/2020 competitive sealed bids This bulletin assists Rural Development staff in providing information and guidance to applicants and professional consultants in appropriate procedures for using the Competitive Sealed Bids process.
RD-GD-2013-73 1726-601 10/28/2013 07/09/2020 electric system policies and procedures The purpose of this bulletin is to clarify certain requirements of 7 CFR 1726, Electric System Construction Policies and Procedures. This revision includes additional interpretations.
RD-GD-2014-74 1778-1 01/27/2014 07/09/2020 imminent community water assistance To provide project selection criteria for Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grants.
RD-GD-2014-75 1778-2 01/27/2014 07/09/2020 imminent community water assistance To provide the transmittal memorandum used to request funds from the National Office for ECWAG grants.
RD-GD-2014-76 1780-12 01/27/2014 07/09/2020 grant agreements To provide the grant agreement to be used for Water and Waste System Grants, Exhibit A, and for Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants, Exhibit B.
RD-GD-2014-77 1724E-150 08/14/2014 07/09/2020 unguyed distribution poles This guide bulletin presents equations, data, and other information.
RD-GD-2015-78 1724E-200 12/21/2015 07/09/2020 high voltage transmission lines This guide publication is a reference containing fundamental engineering guidelines and basic recommendations on structural and electrical aspects of transmission line design, as well as explanations and illustrations.
RD-GD-2016-79 1724E-203 02/01/2016 07/09/2020 upgrading RUS transmission lines This bulletin provides engineering personnel with information for upgrading transmission lines.
RD-GD-2016-80 1724E-151 02/23/2016 07/09/2020 mechanical loading To furnish design information needed to determine the permitted mechanical loading on wood distribution crossaims and crossarm assemblies.
RD-GD-2016-81 1724E-216 07/27/2016 07/09/2020 prestressed concrete transmission This bulletin provides a basis for procuring standard class prestressed concrete poles.
RD-GD-2016-82 1724D-107 08/09/2016 07/09/2020 economic evaluation of transformers This bulletin explains the total owning cost (TOC) method for conducting present worth dollar analysis of the cost of owning a transformer over its useful life.
RD-GD-2016-83 1724E-206 08/09/2016 07/09/2020 prestressed concrete poles This bulletin provides a basis for procuring prestressed concrete poles and concrete pole structures.
RD-GD-2016-84 1730-1 09/23/2016 07/09/2020 electric systems operations and maintenance This bulletin contains guidelines related to electric borrowers' operation and maintenance (O&M) and outlines the Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) standard practices with respect to review and evaluation of O&M practices.
RD-GD-2017-85 1724D-101A 02/16/2017 07/09/2020 long range planning guide The purpose of this guide is to highlight the key engineering principles and methods used in the preparation of long-range plans that will assure sound, long range economic conclusions for owners, engineers, and consultants.
RD-GD-2017-86 1724E-205 05/02/2017 07/09/2020 preliminary embedment depths This bulletin provides engineering information concerning selection of preliminary embedment depths, along with final embedment design criteria, for steel and concrete transmission poles subject to large overturning moments.
RD-GD-2017-87 1724E-220 05/09/2017 07/09/2020 non-ceramic composite insulators This bulletin provides a basis for procuring non-ceramic composite insulators for voltage class 34.5 kV and above.
RD-GD-2017-88 1780-35 08/30/2017 07/09/2020 American Iron and Steel requirements This Bulletin assists RD staff in providing information and guidance to applicants, professional consultants, general contractors, and manufacturers regarding the AIS Requirements.
RD-GD-2020-89 1780-26 06/16/2020 07/09/2020 engineers joint contract documents This Bulletin assists Rural Development staff in providing information and guidance to applicants and professional consultants.
RD-GD-2017-90 1724D-114 12/04/2017 07/09/2020 voltage regulator application This bulletin provides fundamental information about voltage regulators, their controls, and their application on rural distribution systems for Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers and others.
RD-GD-2018-91 1773-1 04/30/2018 07/09/2020 policy on audits This bulletin sets forth, in a more user-friendly format, the codified policies and procedures found in Title 7 CFR Part 1773, RUS Policy on Audits of RUS Borrowers and Grantees.
RD-GD-2018-92 1724D-112 10/04/2018 07/09/2020 applications of capacitors To provide Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers and others guidance on the use, characteristics, and benefits of power factor correction capacitors on rural distribution systems.
RD-GD-2018-93 1728F-806 10/11/2018 07/09/2020 underground electric distribution This bulletin contains complete specifications settings forth the RUS requirements for constructing rural underground electric distribution systems.
RD-GD-2019-94 1724D-104 02/14/2019 07/09/2020 computer workbook procedure This bulletin describes the Rural Utilities Service engineering economics computer application.
RD-GD-2019-95 1724E-204 04/09/2019 07/09/2020 steel single pole and H-frame structure This bulletin provides guidance that should assist borrowers in procuring steel pole and steel H-frame structures.
RD-GD-2019-96 1724E-214 04/09/2019 07/09/2020 class steel transmission pole This bulletin provides guidance for procuring standard class steel poles for transmission applications.
RD-GD-2019-97 1728F-700 04/15/2019 07/09/2020 wood pole, stubs, and anchor logs To describe: (1) The minimum acceptable quality of wood poles, stubs; and anchor logs permitted to be purchased by or for RUS borrowers; and (2) the plans of procurement under which these wood products may be purchased.
RD-GD-2019-98 1724E-224 05/07/2019 07/09/2020 steel pole construction This guide bulletin provides general construction requirements for representative steel pole structures and assemblies for 34.5 through 230 .kV transmission lines.
RD-GD-2019-99 1724E-226 05/07/2019 07/09/2020 concrete pole construction This guide bulletin provides general construction requirements for representative concrete pole structures and assemblies for 34.5 through 230 kV transmission lines.
RD-GD-2020-100 1780-29 01/29/2020 07/09/2020 poverty guidelines This bulletin provides field offices with revised poverty guidelines.
RD-GD-2020-101 1780-5 03/12/2020 07/09/2020 fund allocations This staff instruction informs field offices of allocation levels and related information for FY 2020.
RD-GD-2020-102 1780-1 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 selection criteria To lay out how priority points are awarded for Water and Waste projects.
RD-GD-2020-103 1780-7 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 legal services agreement To outline the legal agreement between attorney and owner(s).
RD-GD-2020-104 1780-8 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 minimum suggested contents To outline the minimum suggested contents of management agreements.
RD-GD-2020-105 1780-9 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 water users agreement A users agreement between a member and an Association.
RD-GD-2020-106 1780-11 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 loan grant docket This bulletin is issued only for use by State Program Officials in the preparation of documents which will inform applicants and RUS personnel on the items to be included in the docket.
RD-GD-2020-107 1780-18 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 daily inspection report Daily inspector report conducted by an inspector and submitted to borrowers.
RD-GD-2020-108 1780-19 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 letter of conditions The bulletin is issued to establish conditions which must be understood and agreed to by you before further consideration may be given to the application.
RD-GD-2020-109 1780-20 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 bylaws This bulletin is issued to outlay the Bylaws for purposes for which a corporation is formed, and the powers which it may exercise are set forth in the articles of incorporation of the corporation.
RD-GD-2020-110 1780-22 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 eligibility certification This bulletin is issued to outline the eligibility requirements for commercial credit and outstanding judgments.
RD-GD-2020-111 1780-23 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 project management agreement This bulletin is issued to outline the agreement between the Rural Utility Service and the Regional Commission.
RD-GD-2020-112 1780-24 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 public works assisted by agency loan This bulletin is issued to establish a memorandum of understanding between the Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce, and Department of Agriculture.
RD-GD-2020-113 1780-25 07/09/2020 07/09/2020 public works and development facilities This bulletin is issued to establish a memorandum of understanding between the Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce, and Department of Agriculture regarding supplementary grant assistance.