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Evidence-based Technical Assistance for Multistakeholder, Community-based Quality Collaboratives

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SECTION H—SPECIAL CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS

H.1 RELEASE AND USE AND COPYRIGHT OF DATA FIRST PRODUCED FROM WORK PERFORMED UNDER THIS CONTRACT

(a)  Release and Use—Data first produced in the performance of the Contract.  As permitted in FAR 52.227-17, the provisions of this Section H.1 shall apply to any release or use of data first produced in the performance of the Contract and any analysis, tools, methodologies, or recorded product based on such data.

(b)  Release and Use—Requirements related to confidentiality and quality.  To ensure public trust in the confidentiality protections afforded participants in Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-supported research, AHRQ requires and monitors compliance by its contractors with section 934(c) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) (42 U.S.C. 299c-3(c)), which states in part that

No information, if the establishment or person supplying the information or described in it is identifiable, obtained in the course of activities undertaken or supported under this title, may be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was supplied unless such establishment or person has consented...to its use for such other purpose.  Such information may not be published or released in other form if the person who supplied the information or who is described in it is identifiable unless such person has consented...to its publication or release in other form.

In addition to this requirement, section 933(b)(1) of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 299c-2(b)(1)) requires AHRQ to assure that statistics and analyses developed with Agency support are of high quality, comprehensive, timely, and adequately analyzed.  Accordingly— 

(1)  prior to the release or use of data based upon work performed under this Contract, the Contractor agrees to consult with the Project and Contract Officers regarding the proposed release or use.  The Contractor will in good faith consider, discuss, and respond to any comments or suggested modifications that are provided by AHRQ within two months of receiving the proposed release or use.

The purpose of such consultation is to assure that:

(A) identifiable information is being used exclusively for the purpose(s) for which it was supplied or appropriate consents have been obtained;

(B) the confidentiality promised to individuals and establishments supplying identifiable information or described in it is not violated; and

(C) the quality of statistical and analytical work meets the statutory standards cited above.

(2) The Contractor must satisfy conditions (1)(A) and (1)(B).  At the conclusion of any consultation required by paragraph (b)(1) above, if AHRQ and the Contractor cannot agree that a proposed use or release satisfies condition (1)(C) above:

(A) the research professional at the Contractor responsible for the quality of the Contract work will, in advance of any release or use of such data, certify in a letter to the Contracting Officer what differences of opinion cannot be resolved regarding the statutory standards referenced in condition (1)(C) and the basis for Contractor assertions that these standards have been met; and

(B) the Contractor must print prominently on the release or other product, or on any portion that is released, or state prior to any oral presentation or release of such material, the following disclaimer:

THIS PRESENTATION/ PUBLICATION/OR OTHER PRODUCT IS DERIVED FROM WORK SUPPORTED UNDER A CONTRACT WITH THE AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY (AHRQ) CONTRACT# . HOWEVER, THIS PRESENTATION/ PUBLICATION/OR OTHER PRODUCT HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY THE AGENCY.

(c) Required Statement Regarding Protected Information.  On all written material or other recorded products, or preceding any presentation or other oral disclosure, release or use of material based on identifiable information obtained in the course of work performed under this contract, the Contractor shall make the following statement:

IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ON WHICH THIS REPORT, PRESENTATION, OR OTHER FORM OF DISCLOSURE IS BASED IS PROTECTED BY FEDERAL LAW, SECTION 934(c) OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT, 42 U.S.C. 299c-3(c).  NO IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY INDIVIDUALS OR ENTITIES SUPPLYING THE INFORMATION OR DESCRIBED IN IT MAY BE KNOWINGLY USED EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR PRIOR CONSENT.  ANY CONFIDENTIAL IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION IN THIS REPORT OR PRESENTATION THAT IS KNOWINGLY DISCLOSED IS DISCLOSED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT WAS PROVIDED.

(d)  Copyright—Data first produced in the performance of the Contract.  Subject to the terms of this Section regarding release and use of data, AHRQ, through its Contracting Officer, will grant permission under FAR 52.227-17(c)(1)(i) to the Contractor to establish claim to copyright subsisting in scientific and technical articles based on or containing data first produced in the performance of this contract that are submitted for publication in academic, technical or professional journals, symposia proceedings or similar works.  When claim to copyright is made, the Contractor shall affix the applicable copyright notice of 17 U.S.C. 401 or 402 and acknowledgment of Government sponsorship (including contract number) to the data when such data are delivered to the Government, as well as when the data are published or deposited for registration as a published work in the U.S. Copyright Office.  In such circumstances, the Contractor hereby agrees to grant to AHRQ, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up, nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license for all such data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of AHRQ.  A description of this license will be incorporated into the copyright notices required above.

(e) Subcontracts.  Whenever data, analyses, or other recorded products are to be developed by a subcontractor under this Contract, the Contractor must include the terms of H.1 in the subcontract, without substantive alteration, with a provision that the subcontractor may not further assign to another party any of its obligations to the Contractor.  No clause may be included to diminish the Government's stated requirements or rights regarding release or use of products or materials based on data derived from work performed under this contract.

H.2 LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR RELEASE OR USE

Failure to submit materials for statutorily mandated confidentiality and statistical and analytic quality reviews as required by Section H.1 of this contract will be viewed as a material violation and breach of the terms of this contract, as the requirements of this provision are necessary for AHRQ to carry out its statutory obligations and responsibilities.  Records of the Contractor's performance, including the Contractor's performance pertaining to this Contract, will be maintained in AHRQ's Contracts Management Office and will be considered as an element of past performance which is part of all subsequent competitive contract proposal reviews. 

H.3 SUBCONTRACTS

Award of any subcontract is subject to the prior written approval of the Contracting Officer upon review of the supporting documentation.  Failure to obtain prior written approval of the Contracting Officer may result in disallowance of use of Federal funds to cover services under the subcontract. The contractor must include in any subcontracts executed or used to provide the support specified in this contract the terms of requirements H.1, H.2, H.7, H.9 and H.10.  These requirements are to be included without substantive alteration, and no clause may be included to diminish these requirements. If approved, a copy of the signed subcontract shall be provided to the Contracting Officer.

H.4  LATE PAYMENTS TO THE GOVERNMENT

Late payment of debts owed the Government by the Contractor, arising from whatever cause, under this contract/order shall bear interest at a rate or rates to be established in accordance with the Treasury Fiscal Requirements Manual.  For purposes of this provision, late payments are defined as payments received by the Government more than 30 days after the Contractor has been notified in writing by the Contracting Officer of:

  1. The basis of indebtedness.
  2. The amount due.
  3. The fact that interest will be applied if payment is not received within 30 days from the date of mailing of the notice.
  4. The approximate interest rate that will be charged.

H.5 PRIVACY ACT

The Privacy Act clauses cited in Section I (FAR 52.224-1 and 52.224-2) are applicable to the consultant records kept by the Contractor for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

You are hereby notified that the Contractor and its employees are subject to criminal penalties for violations of the Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(i)) to the same extent as employees of the Department.  The Contractor shall assure that each Contractor employee is aware that he/she can be subjected to criminal penalties for violations of the Act.  Disposition instructions:  Records are to be destroyed after contract closeout is completed and final payment is made and in accordance with IRS regulations.

H.6 PRO-CHILDREN ACT of 1994

The Pro-Children Act of 1994, P.L. 103-227, imposes restrictions on smoking where certain federally funded children's' services are provided.  P.L. 103-227 states in pertinent part:

PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and to promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In addition, P.L. 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early childhood development services are provided to children."  

H.7 SALARY CAP GUIDE NOTICE 

Pursuant to the applicable HHS appropriations acts cited in the table below, the Contractor shall not use contract funds to pay the direct salary of an individual at a rate in excess of the salary level in effect on the date the expense is incurred as shown in the table below.

For purposes of the salary limitation, the terms direct salary, salary, and institutional base salary have the same meaning and are collectively referred to as direct salary in this clause. An individual's direct salary is the annual compensation that the Contractor pays for an individual's appointment whether that individual's time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Direct salary excludes any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of duties to the Contractor. Direct salary also excludes fringe benefits, overhead, and general and administrative expenses (also referred to as indirect costs or facilities and administrative [F&A] costs).

The salary rate limitation also applies to individuals performing under subcontracts. However, it does not apply to fees paid to consultants. If this is a multiple-year contract, it may be subject to unilateral modification by the Contracting Officer to ensure that an individual is not paid at a rate that exceeds the salary rate limitation provision established in the HHS appropriations act in effect when the expense is incurred regardless of the rate initially used to establish contract funding.

Public law Period Covered Salary Limitation
(based on Executive Level I)
P.L. 110-161, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 1/1/08—Until revised $191,300

Executive Level salaries for the current and prior periods can be found at the following Web site: http://www.opm.gov/oca/05tables/html/ex.asp.  Go to "Salaries and Wages" and then scroll to the bottom of the page to select the desired period.

H.8 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND AWARD FEE

The contract will be awarded and managed as a Performance-Based Service Contract (PBSC), using the Award Fee mechanism.

1. Performance Evaluation Factors

The Government will evaluate the following factors of the Contractor's performance:

Performance Factor Related
SOW Tasks
Weight
(Year 1)
Weight
(Years 2-5)*
1.  Perform administrative and planning activities. Task 1 25% 25%

2.  Maintain and update private Web site for CVEs.

Task 2

15%

15%

3. Convene Webinar series.

Task 3

25%

25%

4. Convene two in-person meetings per year for approximately 175 persons each.

Task 4

25%

25%

5. Convene Workgroup on standard report elements.

Task 5

10%

10%

6. Facilitate including new CVEs in CVE Learning Network. (optional)

Task 6

**

**

7. Convene one or more other workgroups on topics specified by AHRQ. (optional)

Task 7

** **

8. Provide one-on-one consulting to address CVE TA needs. (optional)

** ** **

9.  Refine or develop a demand-driven, applied, evidence-based tool or product. (optional)

Task 9

** **

*  Weights for out years may be adjusted depending on potential changes in priorities.

** Weights for un-priced optional tasks (Tasks 6-9) will be specified as options are exercised. These may require adjustments in weights for Tasks 1-5.

2.Performance Requirements Summary

Exhibit 1 summarizes the performance standards and Government surveillance methods for each of the above performance factors.

3. Award Fee Plan

(Note to Offerors: The Government anticipates a Cost-Plus-Award-Fee (CPAF) contract to result from this solicitation. In this type of contract, the Contractor will receive a small base fee. In addition to the base fee, award fee will be tied to the evaluation of specific products and services in accordance with Attachment 4- Performance Requirements Summary.

The Agency's decision to pay or not to pay Award Fee in no way alters the Contractor's responsibilities to perform any services or produce any deliverables required by this contract. The Agency's decision to pay or not to pay Award Fee in no way alters the Agency's obligation to pay the Contractor for satisfactory deliverables in accordance with this contract.

Award Fee is available for services and products identified below.

Annual Amounts Available for Award Fee (to be evaluated semi-annually):

Contract Year

Performance Evaluation Factor % of Award Fee Poola

Year 1
______
Years 2-5

Award for Evaluation Unsatisfactory

Rating score of below 60 reduces Base Fee by 50% for rating period.

Award for Evaluation Satisfactory

60-79 score
40%

Award for Evaluation Exceeds Expectations

80-89 score
80%

Award for Evaluation Outstanding

90-100 score
100%

Perform administrative and planning activities.

25%

______

25%

       
Maintain and update private Web site for CVEs.

15%

______

15%

       
Convene Webinar series.

25%

______

25%

       
Convene two in-person meetings per year for approximately 175 persons each. 25%
______
25%
       
Convene Workgroup on standard report elements. 10%
______
10%
       
Facilitate including new CVEs in CVE Learning Network. (optional) b
____
b
       
Convene one or more other workgroups on topics specified by AHRQ. (optional) b
____
b
       
Provide one-on-one consulting to address CVE TA needs. (optional) b
____
b
       
Refine or develop a demand-driven, applied, evidence-based tool or product. (optional) b
____
b
       

a  Weights for out years may be adjusted depending on potential changes in priorities.

bWeights for un-priced optional tasks (Performance Factors 6-9) will be specified as options are exercised. These may require adjustments in weights for Performance Factors 1-5.

On a semi-annual basis, the Contractor's products and services will be evaluated in terms of the above performance factors by an Award Fee Evaluation Group (AFEG). The AFEG will consist of the Project Officer, the Contracting Officer or his/her designee, and, as appropriate, other Government officials selected by the Project Officer (depending on specific expertise) and approved by the Contracting Officer.

Each member of the Award Fee Evaluation Group will evaluate the Contractor's performance against the performance standards of quality and timeliness listed in Exhibit 1.

A numerical rating scale of 0 to 100 will be used. The scale is defined as follows:

Definition of Rating Adjective Rating Numerical Rating Fee %

Outstanding—Contractor's performance exceeds standards by substantial margin; the performance monitor can cite few areas for improvement, all of which are minor. Required rework is minimal.

Outstanding 90-100 100%

Exceeds Expectations—Contractor's performance exceeds standards, and although there may be several areas for improvement, these are more than offset by better performance in other areas. Required rework is limited.

Exceeds Expectations

80-89

80%

Satisfactory—Contractor's performance is generally satisfactory, and areas for improvement are approximately offset by better performance in other areas. Required rework is moderate.

Satisfactory

60-79

40%

Unsatisfactory—Contractor's performance is less than standards by a substantial margin, and the performance monitor can cite many areas for improvement which are not offset by better performance in other areas.  Required rework is extensive.

Unacceptable

Below 60

Base Fee Reduced by 50%

Each member of the AFEG will give each performance factor a numerical rating, and those ratings will be averaged. An average score of less than 60 (Unsatisfactory) will result in a reduction in the base fee of 50% for the performance factor for the rating period.  An average score of 60-79 (Satisfactory) will result in award of 40% of the Award Fee for the performance factor. An average score of 80-89 (Exceeds Expectations) will result in award of 80% of the Award Fee, and an average of 90-100 (Outstanding) will result in award of 100% of the Award Fee for the performance factor. The Award Fee determinations are not subject to the disputes clause.

H.9  SECURITY AND PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS

1.0 In compliance with OMB Circular A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources," the Contractor shall prepare an IT Security Plan that will include a control process to ensure that appropriate management, operational and technical safeguards are incorporated into all AHRQ IT Applications.  The Contractor shall use the guidance provided in the documentation standards of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; NIST Special Publication 800-18 Rev. 1 "Guide for Developing Security Plans for Information Technology Systems" when developing the IT Security Plan.

In addition, the contractor shall comply with the IT Application(s) security requirements needed for the contract as set forth in the Statement of Work. The Contractor further agrees to include this provision in any subcontract awarded pursuant to the prime contract.  The draft and final IT Security Plan will be submitted as a deliverable to the Agency for Healthcare and Research (AHRQ) Project Officer for review and approval.

1.1  The Contractor shall insure that PII (Personally Identifiable Information, defined by FOIA II) data is never allowed on a system with public (Internet) access.

1.2  The Contractor shall conduct and maintain a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) as defined by Section 208 of the E-Government Act of 2002 and FAR Clause 52-239-1.  Periodic reviews shall be conducted to determine if a major change to the system has occurred, and if a PIA update is needed.

1.3  Contractor shall abide by all requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 and FAR Clause 52-239-1.  Pursuant to those requirements, contractor will publish a System of Record (SOR) notice in the Federal Register when a new System of Records is to be created and will publish an updated SOR notice following a "major change" as defined by Office of Memorandum and Budget Memorandum 03-22 or subsequent replacement guidance.

2.0 Information Systems Security Training:

AHRQ and HHS policy requires contractors receive security training commensurate with their responsibilities for performing work under the terms and conditions of their contractual agreements.

The contractor will be responsible for assuring that each contractor employee has completed the Security Awareness Training as required by AHRQ prior to performing any contract work, and on an annual basis thereafter, during the period of performance of the contract.  The contractor shall maintain a listing of all individuals who have completed this training and shall submit this listing to the Project Officer.

2.1 Additional security training requirements commensurate with the position may be required as defined in NIST Special Publication 800-16, Information Technology Security Training Requirements (http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html).  The document above provides information about information security training that may be useful to potential offerors. The contractor shall maintain a list of all individuals who have significant security responsibilities that have completed the AHRQ_Combined_Security_Training and submit the list to the Project Officer.

3.0 Access to HHS electronic mail:

All Contractor staff that have access to and use of HHS electronic mail (E-mail) must identify themselves as contractors on all outgoing E-mail messages, including those that are sent in reply or are forwarded to another user.  To best comply with this requirement, the contractor staff shall set up an E-mail signature ("AutoSignature") or an electronic business card ("V-card") on each contractor employee's computer system and/or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) that will automatically display "Contractor" in the signature area of all E-mails sent.

4.0  Commitment to Protect Departmental Information Systems and Data

Contractor Agreement: The Contractor shall not release, publish, or disclose Departmental information to unauthorized personnel, and shall protect such information in accordance with provisions of the following laws and any other pertinent laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of sensitive information:

-18 U.S.C. 641 (Criminal Code: Public Money, Property or Records)
-18 U.S.C. 1905 (Criminal Code: Disclosure of Confidential Information)
-Public Law 96-511 (Paperwork Reduction Act)

4.1 Contractor-Employee Non-Disclosure Agreements:

Each contractor employee who may have access to sensitive Department information under this contract shall complete Commitment to Protect Non-Public Information—Contractor Agreement. A copy of each signed and witnessed Non-Disclosure agreement shall be submitted to the Project Officer prior to performing any work under the contract.

References

(1)  HHS Information Security Program Policy:
http://www.hhs.gov/ocio/securityprivacy/

(2) HHS Personnel Security/Suitability Handbook:
http://www.hhs.gov/ohr/manual/pssh.pdf [PDF Help]

(3) NIST Special Publication 800-16, Information Technology Security Training Requirements:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html
Appendix A-D: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(4)  NIST SP 800-18, Guide for Developing Security Plans for Information Technology Systems:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(5) NIST SP 800-60, Guide for Mapping Types of Information and Information Systems to Security Categories, Volume I:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(6) NIST SP 800-60, Guide for Mapping Types of Information and Information Systems to Security Categories, Volume II:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(7)  NIST SP 800-37, Guide for Security Certification and Accreditation of Federal Information Systems:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(8) Recommended Security Controls for a Federal Information System:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(9) NIST SP 800-26, Security Self Assessment Guide for Information Technology Systems:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(10) NIST SP 800-64, Security Considerations in the Information System Development Life Cycle:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html

(11) Federal Information Processing Standards, Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips199/FIPS-PUB-199-final.pdf [PDF Help]

(12) Federal Information Processing Standards, Minimum Security Requirements for a Federal Information System:
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips200/FIPS-200-final-march.pdf [PDF Help]

(13)  AHRQ will provide in electronic format the AHRQ_Combined _Security Training slides.

H.10 SECTION 508 COMPLIANCE

This language is applicable to Statements of Work (SOW) or Performance Work Statements (PWS) generated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that require a contractor or consultant to (1) produce content in any format that could be placed on a Department-owned or Department-funded Web site; or (2) write, create or produce any communications materials intended for public or internal use; to include reports, documents, charts, posters, presentations (such as Microsoft PowerPoint) or video material that could be placed on a Department-owned or Department-funded Web site.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) requires Federal agencies to purchase electronic and information technologies (EIT) that meet specific accessibility standards. This law helps to ensure that federal employees with disabilities have access to, and use of, the information and data they need to do their jobs. Furthermore, this law ensures that members of the public with disabilities have the ability to access government information and services.

There are three regulations addressing the requirements detailed in Section 508. The Section 508 technical and functional standards are codified at 36 CFR Part 1194 and may be accessed through the Access Board's Web site at http://www.access-board.gov. The second regulation issued to implement Section 508 is the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). FAR Part 39.2 requires that agency acquisitions of Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) comply with the Access Board's standards. The entire FAR is found at Chapter 1 of the Code of Federal Register (CFR) Title 48, located at http://www.acquisition.gov. The FAR rule implementing Section 508 can be found at http://www.section508.gov. The third applicable regulation is the HHS Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR).

Regardless of format, all Web content or communications materials produced for publication on or delivery via HHS Web sites—including text, audio or video—must conform to applicable Section 508 standards to allow federal employees and members of the public with disabilities to access information that is comparable to information provided to persons without disabilities. All contractors (including subcontractors 1) or consultants responsible for preparing or posting content intended for use on an HHS-funded or HHS-managed Web site must comply with applicable Section 508 accessibility standards, and where applicable, those set forth in the referenced policy or standards documents below. Remediation of any materials that do not comply with the applicable provisions of 36 CFR Part 1194 as set forth in the SOW or PWS, shall be the responsibility of the contractor or consultant retained to produce the Web-suitable content or communications material.

1- Prime contractors may enter into subcontracts in the performance of a Federal contract, but the prime remains obligated to deliver what is called for under the contract.

References:

HHS Policy for Section 508 Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) (January 2005):
http://www.hhs.gov/od/Final_Section_508_Policy.html

HHS Section 508 Web site: http://508.hhs.gov/

HHS ASPA Web Communications Division Web site:
http://www.hhs.gov/web/policies/webpolicies/

US General Services Administration (GSA) Section 508 Web site:
http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm

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