AFLCMC Data Operations CSO1.0 OverviewThis Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) is intended to be a streamlined vehicle to allow for the establishment of a modern Data Operations (DataOps) solution supporting a variety of critical national security systems. This CSO authority is established under section 803 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 (Pub. L. 117-81) and Class Deviation 2022-O0007. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) programs require the utilization and leveraging of the latest technology advances from a large variety of prospective Contractors. AFLCMC invites innovating technical approach proposals addressing all aspects of DataOps focusing on the below objective areas. However, these enumerated focus areas are minimum requirements, and AFLCMC is open to the identification of technologies useful for modernizing DataOps for sophisticated security and weapon systems. This requires delivering an enduring, secure, robust,
efficient, responsive, agile, elastic, and extensible classified DataOps solution. This CSO will focus on existing and emerging technologies and platforms across AFLCMC, Department of the Air Force (DAF), Department of Defense (DoD) and the Intelligence Community, as well as leveraging commercial markets to perform an integrated analysis of the capabilities of varying technologies that support our critical national security systems and prioritize investments over time.The CSO may result in the award of FAR Part 12 Contracts or Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) under 10 USC 4022, through Calls via Amendments to the CSO. The Government anticipates future Calls to be competitively solicited. These Calls will contain specific Areas of Interest, User Stories and/or Problem Statements related to program specific DataOps Focus Areas. These specific Areas of Interest are what prospective Contractors shall focus their solutions towards. The Government reserves the right to issue separate Calls for each DataOps Focus Area or combine several Focus Areas under an individual Call.Disclaimer: No proposals or white papers are being requested at this time. Those will be requested via Calls published under the CSO solicitation.AFLCMC is not obligated to make any awards from any publicized Call, and all awards under this CSO are explicitly subject to the availability of funds and successful negotiations. The Government is not responsible for any monies expended by any vendor prior to the issuance of any awarded contract/agreement. AFLCMC reserves the right to modify the solicitation requirements of this CSO and each subsequent Call at its sole discretion.This CSO seeks to fund innovative technologies that propose new solutions to expand AFLCMC’s capabilities as it relates to modern DataOps Focus Areas. AFLCMC is interested in capabilities from all interested vendors to include, but not limited to, traditional defense contractors, nontraditional defense contractors, large businesses, small businesses, and research institutions (collectively referred as vendors). It should be noted, many of the critical national security systems operate in varying classification environments, including highly classified environments – such as collateral, Sensitive Compartmentalized Information, and Special Access Program. Though some DataOps Focus Areas may require unclassified work, respondents should be aware that vendors cleared to work, or the ability to be cleared to work, in highly classified environments will be necessary for any award. The CSO is a streamlined acquisition process that seeks to reduce acquisition timelines and acquire new, innovative solutions that vendors can bring forth to meet the stated Areas of Interest detailed in each Call.2.0 DataOps Technology Focus AreasAFLCMC is seeking capabilities to prove out end-to-end DataOps for representative modern embedded weapon systems. The desired end-state is a DataOps capability/prototype that enables a weapon system to exploit data across the full lifecycle of an embedded weapon system (development, integration, test, deployment, operations and sustainment) across all classification levels. An ideal partner has first-party ability to directly modify underlying commercial hyperscale and edge cloud fabric to meet the project’s requirements across all classification levels and supporting partners would be considered as enabling providers supporting specific aspects of the potential solution.Each Technology Focus Area identifies an area where prospective vendors can bring substantial value to meet the DataOps mission. These focus areas are meant to be read expansively and are not limited to the enumerated Focus Areas. Additional Focus Areas may be included via amendments to this CSO. AFLCMC prefers to bucket several Focus Areas into singular Calls, which means vendors that can optimize several Focus Areas will be preferred. AFLCMC requires provider(s) to deliver an innovative state-of-the-art commercial solution that innovates all or some of the following capability areas.Whether using a single vendor or using multiple vendors, AFLCMC’s intended Minimum Viable Product (MVP) should contain the following Six Foundational Attributes:1. Hybrid Cloud IaaS, PaaS, SaaS:AFLCMC seeks solutions for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (Saas) that can be hosted in a hybrid cloud architecture. For the purposes of this CSO, “hybrid cloud” is defined as: a virtual environment provided to a single customer that combines private cloud compute, storage, and services running on-premises with compute, storage, and services running in a public cloud along with the ability to move information seamlessly and transparently between them. All offerings will be templated, extensible, and elastically scalable on converged and/or hyperconverged infrastructure. All offerings will support “bring your own ‘X’,” such that AFLCMC can re-host existing workloads without interruption. All offerings will comply with relevant Department of Defense instructions, regulations, and policies such that they will be readily accreditable and interoperable with existing DoD networks and information systems at the Unclassified, Secret, and Top-Secret classification levels. Additionally, all offerings will be accredited or readily accreditable to handle Special Access Program (SAP) and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) handling caveats at the Secret and Top-Secret classification levels.2. Information Transport AFLCMC is seeking solutions for information transport that complies with relevant Department of Defense instructions, regulations, and policies such that any transport solution offering will be readily accreditable and interoperable with existing Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN). Information Transport offerings will also be required to interoperate with the hybrid IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions offered under technology focus area (1). All Information Transport offerings must operate in multi-level classification environments, enabling multi-modal connectivity from anywhere in the Continental United States (CONUS) via a high-bandwidth/low-latency transport solution. Cryptographic transport shall meet National Security Agency (NSA) Type 1 encryption products or equivalent cryptographic solutions. Further, AFLCMC requires capability to support edge resources to operate in disconnected, intermittently connected or low-bandwidth (DIL) environments. Initial connectivity shall encompass Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Edwards AFB, Tinker AFB and an off-base facility in the Dayton, Ohio greater metropolitan area.3. Fielding OperationsAFLCMC is seeking solutions to rapidly deploy the solutions acquired under focus areas (1) and (2). To support our system program offices, AFLCMC desires rapid “full network/crypto” deployability to new locations within 30 days from award. Connections should include all enterprise capabilities such as NIPR, SIPR, JWICS, existing classified, SAP capable, hyper-elastic cloud regions and other program networks. Moreover, AFLCMC seeks automated disaster recovery functionality to support Continuity of Operations (CoOPS).4. Crypto-Net Managements/Commercial Solutions for ClassifiedAFLCMC requires innovative commercial products to be used to protect classified data, including both data-in-transit (DIT) and data-at-rest (DAR). To the maximum extent practicable, technologies for AFLCMC shall be procured in accordance with requests Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) services to comply with the Committee on National Security Systems Policy (CNSSP) No. 11, National Policy Governing the Acquisition of Information Assurance and IA-Enabled Information Technology Products.”5. Network Operations Center (NOC) / Security Operations Center (SOC)AFLCMC is seeking solutions to support, enable, and augment network administration and cybersecurity operations for solutions acquired under focus areas (1) and (2). Solutions will include services that enable real-time and near real-time metering, auditing, logging, monitoring, and status reporting of the entire virtual environment.6. Help DeskAFLCMC requires a customer support help desk to assist end-users in navigating, utilizing and accessing data within the cloud environments. AFLCMC envisions a software-as-a-service that can manage all communication and network channels, establish performance metrics and monitoring, and is maximally available to meet mission requirements.AFLCMC is interested in additional focus areas beyond the above six (6) Foundational DataOps focus areas. AFLCMC may issue Calls against the below supplemental focus areas. These supplemental focus areas are meant to be read expansively and not limited to the enumerated areas. Additional Focus Areas beyond those enumerated below may be included via an individual Call against this CSO. Vendors that meet some or all the above Focus Areas may also identify capabilities for the additional focus areas.I. Secure Access Service EdgeAFLCMC has a requirement to provide consistent, fast and secure access to dispersed end users operating in permanent military installations as well as forward operating base. Services should establish identity-driven security compliant with US Government security parameters for all classification levels (Unclassified, Secret, Top Secret and SAP programs).II. Software-Defined Networking (SDN)AFLCMC has a requirement to explore implementing SDN for fully networked Command, Control and Communications (C3) functionality, particularly in day-to-day Military Operating Base (MOB) and sustainment missions. SDN should contain a high degree of network programmability and reconfigurability to meet the needs of different government systems and emphasize advantageous situational awareness for faster response times. Further, AFLCMC is interested in other ways SDN can be applied to military environments while preserving data security.III. Edge Hyper-Converged InfrastructureAFLCMC anticipates migrating away from discrete, hardware-defined systems toward software-defined environments permitting all functionality through commercial service platforms while protecting data at all classification levels (unclassified, secret, top secret, SAP).IV. Zero Trust ArchitectureGiven the security posture of many programs, AFLCMC requires zero trust security architecture by “never trusting, always verifying” network security. AFLCMC desires strong identity verification, validation of device compliance before granting access and ensuring least privilege access.V. Infrastructure as Code (IaC)Infrastructure as code is the process of managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools. AFLCMC seeks partners who would be able to expedite the onboarding process for new players by inflating an IaC instance within a cloud environment, enabling immediate executability of licenses, cloud resource management, and other capabilities.VI. Cloud Native DesignOn-premises (on-prem) infrastructure comes with an immense number of limitations as well as a high threshold for entry for new players in terms of hardware investments and schedule lead times. Utilization of cloud native designs for all network mapping, tooling, IaaS, etc. is of extreme interest to AFLCMC.VII. Software defined perimeter enabling classified data processingAFLCMC participates in work ranging from CUI all the way up to TS/SAR/SCI. Having cloud native, logically defined perimeters around separate enclaves that exist at various classification levels is critical to mission success. Organizations should be prepared to provide a body of evidence to demonstrate logical controls that safeguard information at different impact levels (ILs).VIII. Augmented and virtual reality capabilities (e.g., training, maintenance, etc.)AFLCMC requires commercial augmented and virtual reality capabilities to assist USAF maintenance and service technicians to interface with USAF systems. Applications should have practical maintenance applications as well as training capabilities.IX. Data Encryption (at rest, in motion, FIPS 140-3)Experience with encrypting and safeguarding data is critical to DoD success and cybersecurity. FIPS 140.3 is the standard that shall be used in designing and implementing cryptographic modules that federal departments and agencies operate or are operated for them under contract. The standard provides four increasing, qualitative levels of security intended to cover a wide range of potential applications and environments. The security requirements cover areas related to the secure design, implementation, and operation of a cryptographic module. These areas include cryptographic module specification; cryptographic module interfaces; roles, services, and authentication; software/firmware security; operating environment; physical security; non-invasive security; sensitive security parameter management; self-tests; life-cycle assurance; and mitigation of other attacks. Organizations with familiarization and expertise with establishing and maintaining compliant data encryption could be of use to the DoD.X. Cyber, Secure ProcessingDue to the sensitive nature of the USAF mission, the ability to leverage cyber secure processing, compliant with DoD standards for all impact levels is required.XI. Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) data factoriesAFLCMC seeks to find new and innovative ways to deploy and enable AI/ML to identify areas of interest within large data sets. These data factories should be able to pinpoint concerns, operational or safety threats, and shall help alleviate Human in the loop (HITL) man hours currently required to analyze data sets.XII. Big Data capability (data warehousing, data lakes, restructured data engineering)Test sets drive a requirement to capture, transport, and analyze massive amounts of data in near-real-time, as well as a requirement to host portions of that data for an indefinite amount of time. AFLCMC has interest in organizations that have experience with long-term data lakes, and data storage with the ability to enable petabyte and exabyte transport at high speeds between various CONUS and OCONUS locations.XIII. Continuous Integration (CI)/Continuous Development (CD) software pipelineAFLCMC utilizes a DEVSECOPS framework for many of its projects. CI/CD pipelines enable ALFCMC to adapt to emerging threats. Entities with experience in optimization and automation of CI/CD pipelines would be of particular use to the DoD.XIV. Application Development + application refactoring for cloud deploymentAFLCMC sees a future use case of being able to pull data developed from another DoD organization to be easily digested and absorbed from a cloud environment and then re-tooled to meet mission requirements. AFLCMC requires a cloud-based platform to host both the outputs of application development (IE app store) as well as a toolkit to refactor an applications targeted use.XV. Existing capability refactoring/integration for Application Programming Interface (API) microservice architectureAFLCMC has a potential future requirement to establish a microservice architecture to iteratively build new applications/capability without impacting availability of systems. AFLCMC requires microservice refactoring within designated cloud-based platforms.XVI. Reverse EngineeringAFLCMC has a potential future requirement for reverse engineering services. In instances where AFLCMC lacks sufficient engineering data for varying aircraft or supporting system parts, AFLCMC desires the ability to conduct reverse engineering services to produce underlying engineering data necessary for alternate sourcing of parts or manufacturing of the parts.XVII. Additive ManufacturingAFLCMC desires additive manufacturing services with the capacity for potential on-premises manufacture of varying parts. AFLCMC seeks commercial application of 3d printers and other technologies that permit immediate production of parts to reduce mission incapable awaiting parts (MICAP) status of critical systems/assets.3.0 CSO with CallsThis CSO is a hybrid solicitation against which both Closed Calls and/or Open Period Calls can be published via amendments to the CSO. All Calls issued under this CSO will include specific instructions including dates, Areas of Interest/Focus Areas, evaluation criteria and proposal instructions to offerors. While each offer shall adhere to this CSO, the Calls may contain other information of which the proposing vendors should also strictly adhere. Each Call will be announced on the Government Point of Entry (beta.SAM.gov), which may result in the award of a FAR Part 12 contract or an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) under 10 USC 4022.3.1 Closed Calls (One-Step or Two-Step)Over the period of this CSO, Calls may be issued to request white papers and/or proposals for specific Areas of Interest/Focus Areas. It will be determined on a Call-by-Call basis whether the announcement is for a one-step (proposals only) or a two-step process (White Paper first, then Proposals by invite-only). The submission for white papers and proposals shall be submitted at a specific date and time as set for in each particular Call. White papers and/or proposals may not be reviewed if submitted after the stated date and time.3.1.1 One-Step CallsStep 1: Proposal due date and time will be provided in Calls issued against this CSO. AFLCMC will make selections from vendor proposals only in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in the Call.3.1.2 Two-Step CallsStep 1: White Paper due date and time will be provided in Calls issued against this CSO. AFLCMC, at its sole discretion, may or may not request a presentation or discussion with Government personnel about the White Paper.Step 2: Proposal due date and time will be provided in Requests for Proposal (RFPs) sent to offers that submit White Papers who are evaluated favorably in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in each Call.3.2 Open Period Calls (Two-Step)This CSO may also have Open Period Calls. Open Period Calls will only be issued under a two-step process (see 3.1.2 above). After an Open Call is published, white papers may be submitted at any time during an Open Period for the Areas of Interest/Focus Areas detailed within the Call. It is important to note that only white papers submitted in response to specific Areas of Interest/Focus Areas detailed in the Call will be considered.Step 1: White Paper due date and time will be provided in Calls issued against this CSO. AFLCMC, at its sole discretion, may or may not request a presentation or discussion with Government personnel about the White Paper.Step 2: Proposal due date and time will be provided in Requests for Proposal (RFPs) sent to offers that submit White Papers who are evaluated favorably in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in each Call.4.0 DefinitionsCSO with Calls: This allows for the publication of an umbrella CSO solicitation that contains overarching information but does not request white papers or proposals. The CSO functions as a framework identifying the technical areas and giving the basic terms and administrative information of the CSO. The requests for white papers and/or proposals are done by issuing Calls that are published via amendments to the CSO. Calls can be issued at any time during the period of performance of the CSO. Each Call will be tailored to best fit the acquisition approached identified by the Government. The Calls may also include specific terms and/or conditions that apply to that particular Call such as technical details, security requirements and/or other pertinent clauses. Proposals or white papers are submitted only when Calls under this CSO are published.Open Period Calls: This type of Call allows for white paper and proposal submittals at any time within a specified period as set forth in the subsequent Call.Closed Calls: This type of Call allows for white paper and/or proposal submittals at a specified date and time as set forth in the subsequent Call. This process and the dates associated with it are more structured than Open Period Calls.Areas of Interest/ Focus Areas: These are specific requests for innovative solutions that AFLCMC will detail in each subsequent Call and will derive from the Technology Focus Areas (2.0 above). Vendor’s innovative solutions should focus on addressing the specific Technology Focus Areas contained within a specific Call.White Paper: A brief (usually 2-5 pages) summary of the proposed technical approach with an accompanying rough order of magnitude (ROM) price.Pitch Day: Pitch Day is a tool that can be used as part of the Call process. When used, Pitch Day gives vendors an opportunity to meet AFLCMC personnel in-person and provide a Pitch of their proposed technology. If a Pitch Day is utilized, specific details explaining the process and evaluation methods will be contained within a specific Call.Other Transaction: Refers to the type of Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) that may be placed as a result of this CSO and associated Calls. This type of OT is authorized by 10 USC 4022 for prototype projects directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense (DoD), or for the improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces. This type of OTA is treated by DoD as an acquisition instrument, commonly referred to as an “other transaction” for a prototype project or a Section 4022 “other transaction.”Prototype Project: Can generally be described as a proof of concept, model, reverse engineering to address obsolescence, pilot, novel application of commercial technologies for defense purposes, agile development activity, creation, design, development, demonstration of technical or operational utility, or combinations of the foregoing. A process, including a business process, may also be the subject of a prototype project. Although assistance terms are generally not appropriate in OT agreements in 10 U.S.C. 4022, ancillary work efforts that are necessary for completion of the prototype project, such as test site training or limited logistics support, may be included in prototype projects. A prototype may be physical, virtual, or conceptual in nature. The quantity of prototypes/commercial solutions should generally be limited to that needed to prove technical or manufacturing feasibility or evaluate military utility.Innovative: This refers to any technology, process, or method, including research and development that is new as of the date of proposal submission; or any new application of an existing technology, process or method as of the proposal date.Nontraditional Defense Contractor: As defined in 10 U.S.C. 2302(9) as an entity that is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation of sources by the DoD for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the DoD that is the subject for full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1502 and the regulations implementing such section. This includes all small business concerns under the criteria and size standards in 13 C.F.R. Part 121.Small Business Concern: Defined in the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632) and 13 C.F.R. Part 121.5.0 Contract/Agreement DetailsAs stated in the Overview Section, Calls issued under this CSO can result in the award of either a FAR Part 12 Contract or an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) under 10 U.S.C. 4022. Regardless of the contract instrument, AFLCMC chooses to pursue the Contract/Agreement type for all as Fixed Price, which includes Firm Fixed Price (FFP) and Fixed Price Incentive (FPI). Future solicitations are not accepting offers for grants or cooperative agreements as the purpose of this CSO is to transfer something of value directly to the Government.The Government will be the sole decision authority on whether to pursue a FAR Part 12 Contract, an OTA or no award at all. The Government reserves the right to award some, all or none of the proposal from the responses to each Call. The Contracting/Agreements Officer reserves the right to negotiate directly with the offeror on the terms and conditions prior to execution of the resulting contract/agreement on behalf of the Government. Be advised that only a Contracting/Agreements Officer has the authority to enter into, or modify, a binding contract/agreement on behalf of the United States Government.5.1 PrototypingThis CSO may result in the award of prototype projects, which include not only commercially available technologies fueled by commercial or strategic investment, but also concept demonstrations, pilots, and agile development activities that can incrementally improve commercial technologies, existing government-owned capabilities, and/or concepts for broad defense and/or public application. The Government reserves the right to award a FAR Part 12 contract or an Other Transaction (OT) under 10 U.S.C. 4022 agreement (including an OT for a prototype project and a follow-on OT or contract for production), or a no award at all. Calls issued under this CSO constitute competitive procedures. AFLCMC may competitively award OTs for prototype projects that provide for the award or a follow-on production contract or OT for production to participants in the OT for prototype projects without the use of further competitive procedures, if the participant in the OT for prototype projects successfully completes the prototype project, as permitted by 10 USC 4022(f).5.1.1 Iterative PrototypingA contract or OT for a prototype awarded under this CSO shall allow for an iterative prototyping process. An iterative prototyping process will allow the Government to modify, by mutual agreement, the scope of a prototype contract or OT to allow for the adaptation and modification of the technology being prototyped to meet additional unique and discrete purposes/mission sets. The sequential prototype iterations may result in a separate prototype project rather than a modification of the original prototype contract or OT. These additional unique and discrete purposes/mission sets can be generated by AFLCMC or originate within any organization that AFLCMC supports.5.1.2 Successful Completion of a PrototypeA prototype project is complete upon the written determination of the appropriate approving official (program manager and Contracting/Agreements Officer) for the matter in question that the efforts conducted under a prototype contract or OT: (1) met the key technical goals of a project; (2) met the metrics incorporated into the prototype contract or OT; or (3) accomplished a particularly favorable or unexpected result that justifies the transition to a production contract or OT. Furthermore, prior to successful completion of a prototype project under this CSO, the Government can transition any aspect of the prototype project determined to provide utility into production while other aspects of the prototype project have yet to be completed.5.1.3 Follow-on Production of a PrototypeAfter award of a prototype using OT authority, the Government and vendor may negotiate a follow-on contract or OT for production or solution integration with or without further competition. Any concept/technology/solution successfully proven through a Prototype OT can be transitioned to a production contract. The Government reserves the right to award a follow-on contract or OT before the prototype is compete, under competitive procedures as provided in 10 U.S.C. 4022.Any Call posted by the Government under this CSO could result in the potential award of a follow-on production or solution integration contract or OT.The Government reserves the right to extend the performance to all, some or none of the selected solutions and decisions will be made based on the availability of government funds.5.2 Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) SpecificsIn accordance with 10 U.S.C. 4022(c), if an Agreement for a prototype is utilized and if that Agreement provides for payments in a total amount in excess of $5M, the Agreement will include a mandatory clause that provides for the Comptroller General the ability to examine the records of any party to the agreement or any entity that participates in the performance of the agreement. The $5M amount includes the base agreement plus any options.Additionally, to enter into an OT for a Prototype agreement under 10 U.S.C. 4022, one of the following conditions must be met:There is at least one nontraditional defense contractor or nonprofit research institution participating to a significant extent in the prototype project.All significant participants other than the Federal Government are small business concerns or nontraditional defense contractors.Parties to the transaction other than the Federal Government must pay at least one third of the prototype total cost.The senior procurement executive determines that exceptional circumstances justify the use of an OT to provide an innovative business arrangement not feasible under a contract or to expand the defense supply base in a manner not practical under a contract.All OTAs awarded under this CSO will contain prohibitions on the use of certain telecommunications devices in accordance with DFARS 52.204-25. Further specifics and requirements as it relates to OTs may be applicable and included in subsequent Calls published under this CSO.6.0 Closed CallsThis CSO will have Close Calls that consist of either a one-step or two-step process, which will be specified in each individual Call. For a one-step Call, only proposals will be solicited. For a two-step Call, white papers will be solicited first and then, consistent with this section, subsequent Requests for Proposals may follow after the Government reviews the White Paper.Any part of this process may be modified or altered by AFLCMC in the Calls or through an amendment to this CSO. It is important to note that at no stage is AFLCMC obligated to make any awards and all awards are subject to the availability of funds and successful negotiations. The Government is not responsible for any monies expended by vendors prior to the issuance of any contract/agreement award.6.1 One-Step Closed Call Process6.1.1 Call PublishedAFLCMC intends on publishing a Call via an amendment to this CSO. The Call will specifically state the CSO Call type (Closed, One-Step). This Call will provide a required date and time for submission of the proposal. The Call would also detail the specific Areas of Interest being solicited for, required proposal content, evaluation criteria and detailed requirements unique to that particular Call.6.1.2 Proposals ReceivedProposals that are received on time will be evaluated consistent with the evaluation criteria identified within the Call. After this technical review is complete, AFLCMC will notify each prospective vendor as to whether their proposal was selected to proceed to the Contract Negotiations and Fact-Finding Stage.6.1.3 Contract Negotiations and Fact FindingIf a vendor is notified that it has been selected to proceed to the next stage, then contract negotiations and fact-finding will occur. This includes contract formation, scope, cost/price and any other terms and conditions the Contracting/Agreements Officer requires discussion. It is important to note that at this stage AFLCMC is not required to make an award, which is expressly contingent upon successful negotiation of cost/price, terms and conditions and the availability of funds.6.1.4 Award DecisionAfter Contract Negotiations and Fact-Finding are complete, AFLCMC will render a decision(s) whether or not to enter into a Contract/Agreement with the prospective vendor.6.2 Two-Step Closed Call Process6.2.1 Call PublishedAFLCMC would publish a Call via an amendment to this CSO. The Call would specifically state that the CSO Call type is a two-step, closed Call. This Call will provide a specific state and time when prospective vendors may submit their white papers. The Call would also detail the specific Areas of Interest being solicited for, required white paper content, evaluation criteria and details any other requirements unique to that particular Call.6.2.2 White Papers ReceivedAFLCMC will review submitted white papers in accordance with the evaluation criteria specified in the Call. If a vendor’s white paper is evaluated favorably by AFLCMC, the Government will send initially selected vendors a Request for Proposal (RFP). Invited vendors will proceed to preparing and submitting a proposal for evaluation. Additional details will be included within the RFP.6.2.3 Incorporate Sections 6.1.2-6.1.4After the submission of the white papers and issuance of RFPs to favorably evaluated white papers, the remaining process is the same as the one-step, closed Call. Therefore, Sections 6.1.2, 6.1.3 and 6.1.4 are hereby incorporated by Reference.7.0 Open Period CallsThis CSO may have Open Period Calls that consist only of a two-step process. For this Call type, the process will mirror the process articulated in 6.2 above; however, with the important distinction that white papers will be accepted at any time during the stated time period on the Call. This is in contrast to a Closed Call where all proposals are required to be submitted at a specific date and time together and follow a standard timeline for all participants. For Open Period Calls, the timelines are usually less structured and broader in nature. Typical turn-around times that Vendors can expect are usually stated in the Call. AFLCMC reserves the right to modify or alter any of these instructions in each individual Call.8.0 Evaluation CriteriaThe evaluation criteria for White Papers and Proposals will be explicitly detailed in each individual Call. Solutions will be evaluated on the basis of the merit of the proposed concept in addressing the Areas of Interest and not against other vendor’s solution briefs submitted in response to the same Area of Interest.Disclaimer: No proposals or white papers are being requested at this time. Those will be requested via Calls published under the CSO solicitation.9.0 General Proposal Information9.1 Proposal ContentBelow is the typical structure and required volumes for proposal submission. AFLCMC reserves the right to alter or change the structure and required content for each proposal submission as specified in a particular Call.Title Page (does not count against page limit) including Company Name, CAGE Number (if applicable), Title, Point of Contact Name, Date, Email, Address, Phone, Organization/Office Symbol (if applicable). Identify if you or a proposed subcontractor are a small business such as 8(a), small, disadvantaged business, woman-owned business, HUBZoned small business, Veteran-owned business, service disabled veteran owned business, historically black college of university and minority institution. Identification of potential sponsor(s) organizations.Volume 1: Technical Volume: This will typically contain a page limit and require specific technical details the Government requires all prospective vendors to address.Volume 2: Cost Volume: This section is where vendors shall detail the proposed cost by breaking down the overall proposed price into specific cost categories (ex. Direct Labor, Overhead, Direct Materials, Other Direct Costs, Profit). The Government reserves the right to specify a cost volume format in any particular Call.9.2 Proprietary InformationInformation constituting a trade secret, commercial or financial information, confidential personal information, or data affecting national security must be clearly marked. It shall be treated in confidence to the extent permitted by law. This restriction does not limit the Government’s right to use information contained if it is obtained from another source without restriction. AFLCMC assumes no liability for disclosure or use of unmarked data and may use or disclose such data for any purpose. If a vendor is awarded a contract as a result of or in connection with the submission of proprietary data in the proposal, the Government shall have the right to duplicate, use or disclose the data to the extent provided in the resulting contract/agreement.Proposals containing data that is not to be disclosed to the public for any purpose or used by the Government except for evaluation purposes shall include the following sentences in accordance with FAR 52.215-1(e)(1) and (2) on the cover page:“This proposal includes data that shall not be disclosed outside the Government and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed—in whole or in part – for any purpose other than to evaluate this proposal. If, however, a contract is awarded to this offeror as a result of – or in connection with – the submission of this data, the Government shall have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extend provided in the resulting contract. This restriction does not limit the Government’s right to use information contained in this data if it is obtained from another source without restriction. The data subject to this restriction are contain in sheets [insert numbers or other identification of sheets].”Each restricted data sheet should be marked as follows:Use or disclose of data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this proposal. 9.3 Classified ProposalsClassified whitepapers/proposals will not be accepted under this CSO unless otherwise stated in the Call. If topics require classified work, the proposing vendor must have a facility clearance in order to perform the work.9.4 SecuritySecurity classification will be determined for each Call/Award. If classified data will be accessed or generated, a facility and storage clearance, at the required classification level, will be required and the proposal will discuss appropriate personnel and facility clearances.If a vendor has any reason to believe their concept may reference ideas or operations that require special protection, the vendor should immediately contact the Contracting/Agreements Officer for further instruction.Additionally, if a DD254 is applicable for a Call/Award, vendors must verify their Cognizant Security Office information is current with Defense Security Service (DSS).9.5 Promotional MaterialPromotional and non-project related discussion is discouraged, and additional information provided via Universal Resource Locator (URL) links or on computer disks, CDs, DVDs, video tapes or any other medium will not be accepted or considered in the proposal evaluation unless otherwise directed by the Call or the Contracting/Agreements Officer. This also means that unnecessarily elaborate brochures or proposals are not desired.9.6 Small BusinessFAR-based contracts awarded pursuant to this CSO shall include FAR 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns (Oct 2018). FAR-based contract awarded pursuant to this CSO which meet FAR Subpart 19.7 criteria for small business subcontracting plans shall include FAR 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan (March 2020).Vendors shall address plans to comply with these requirements as part of their proposals if seeking OTs which provide for follow-on non-competitive production contracts. Vendors not seeking either instrument in the preceding sentence shall clearly state so as part of their proposal and shall address these requirements as part of the competition for follow-on production contracts. In the event that any follow-up production contracts are required to have small business subcontracting plans and are negotiated using FAR 15, DFARS 215.304(c) Small Business Participation Plan shall be required.9.7 Export-Controlled ItemsDepending on the proposal, it may be subject to Export Control (International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) 22 CFR 120-131, or Export Administration Regulations (EAR) 15 CFR 710-774). If the effort is subject to export controls, then a Certified DD Form 2345, Military Critical Technical Data Agreement, will be required to be submitted with proposals. DFARS 252.225-7048, “Export Controlled Item (JUN 2013)” clause shall be contained in all resulting contracts.9.8 Data RightsAll proposal submissions shall include Data Rights Assertions, if applicable. This will be an essential element of each proposal submission.AFLCMC reserves the right to negotiate data rights as part of the Contracting/Agreement process. Additionally, each Call may have specific data rights considerations associated with it. Should this be the case, the specific rights AFLCMC is requesting will be detailed in each Call. AFLCMC also reserves the right to tailor the data management approach for each individual effort based on the needs for each situation.9.8.1 FAR Part 12 ConsiderationsIn accordance with DFARS 227.7102-1, AFLCMC seeks to acquire the technical data that is customarily available on a commercial basis. As a result, DFARS clauses 252.227-7015 and 252.227-7037 will be included on each FAR Part 12 Contract awarded as a result of this CSO or any of its Calls. If additional data rights are considered warranted, AFLCMC reserves the right to negotiate these with prospective vendors as part of the contracting process.If the Government pays for any portion of the development costs, DFARS 252.227-7013 will be included to govern the associated technical data for the portion of the Commercial Items that was developed using Government funds. For the portion of Commercial items that was developed exclusively at private expense, DFARS 252.227-7015 will still govern the technical data to the extent is commercial.Companies whose effort originated under the SBIR program will maintain standard SBIR Data Rights in accordance with DFARS 252.227-7018 (Class Deviation 2020-O0007).Additional clauses may be applicable depending on the technology and requirements associated with it.10.0 Other Information10.1 Unique Item IdentificationFor hardware deliverables, Item Unique Identification in accordance with DFARS 252.211-7003 may be required. Vendors may contact the Contracting/Agreements Officer for additional information.10.2 Foreign-Owned BusinessesForeign-owned businesses may independently submit a solution or do so as part of a teaming agreement with one or more United States-owned businesses. However, the ability to obtain a contract/agreement based upon a submission may depend upon the ability for the foreign-owned business to obtain necessary clearances and approvals to obtain prescribed information.10.3 Within Scope ModificationsPotential vendors are advised that awards resulting from the Calls under this CSO may be modified during the performance to make within scope changes. Only a Contracting/Agreements Officer can legally bind a contract/agreement modification on behalf of the United States Government.10.4 Non-Government Advisors and Source Selection InformationNon-Government Advisors may participate in the evaluation of all submissions and shall have a signed non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the Government. Non-Governmental Advisors may also serve in administrative and assistance support capacities. The Government understands that information provided in response to this CSO is presented in confidence and may contain trade secrets or commercial or financial information, and it agrees to protect such information from unauthorized disclosure to the maximum extent permitted or required by Law.AFLCMC will treat all submissions to Calls published against this CSO as source selection information. During the evaluation process, submissions may be handled by Non-Government Advisors for administrative purposes and/or technical evaluations. All Government support contractors are bound by appropriate NDAs. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise stated in the Call.10.5 Multiple White Paper/Proposal SubmissionsVendors may submit multiple submissions in response to any single Area of Interest detailed in each Call if each submission represents a separate and distinct concept. However, for each individual submission, prospective Vendors may only address one distinct technical solution per submission unless otherwise permitted in the individual Call.10.6 Fraud and False StatementsKnowingly and willfully making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations may be a felony under the Federal Criminal False Statement Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) punishable by a fine or up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.10.7 DUNS and SAM RegistrationVendors must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and must register in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to receiving an award or agreement. Vendors must not be suspended or debarred from award by the Federal Government nor be prohibited by Presidential Executive Order and/or law from receiving an award.10.8 WAWF RegistrationAs specified in a particular Call, Vendors may be required to be registered in the prescribed government invoicing system (Wide Area Work Flow). If not specified, the Call will explain how invoicing will be handled.10.9 Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS)In order to receive a DoD Contract, every vendor will be required to perform a Basis NIST SP 800-171 DoD Assessment. That process is described here.Once the Basic NIST 800-171 DoD Assessment is complete, each contractor will need to follow the instructions here to enter the results in SPRP on the PIEE website.10.10 Cost Sharing or MatchingCost sharing or matching will be considered based on the solutions proposed and details associated with each Call. AFLCMC has final decision authority on whether to enter into a cost sharing or matching agreement.