A look at statistics showing how the insurance industry fared in consumer class action settlements.
Notice Type: Combine Solicitation
Posted Date: 16-JUN-14
Office Address: Department of Veterans Affairs;Network Contracting Office 9;1639 Medical Center Parkway;Suite 400;Murfreesboro TN 37129
Subject: D-- Service Contract for software and remote support for Gambro Exalis
Classification Code: D - Information technology services, including telecommunications services
Solicitation Number: VA24914Q0608
Contact: Matthew CoxMatthew.Cox@va.gov mailto:Matthew.Cox@va.gov [email@example.com]
Setaside: Total Small BusinessTotal Small Business
Place of Performance (address): Lexington VA Medical Center;Cooper Division;1101 Veterans Drive;Lexington, KY
Place of Performance (zipcode): 40502
Place of Performance Country: United States
Description: Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in FAR subpart 12.6 - streamlined procedures for commercial items, in conjunction with far subpart 13 and as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This is a Total Small Business Set-Aside requirement only qualified offerors may submit bids.Solicitation VA-249-14-Q-0608 is issued as a Request for Quotation (RFQ) and constitutes the only solicitation, a written solicitation will not be issued.
NAICS Code is 541511and size standard is $25.5M. Any firm that does not meet the capability and size standard under this NAICS code should not submit a response to this notice.
Contract Type: The government anticipates awarding a Firm Fixed Price base period of (12) month, plus four (4), twelve (12) month option year contract. Award will be made to the lowest price quote which conforms to the requirements within this solicitation.
In order to be considered for a government award, the firm must be registered in SAM @ www.sam.gov.
Note: To receive consideration as SDVOSB or VOSB, the firm must be registered and verified in the VIP database at www.vip.vetbiz.gov. In accordance with VAAR 852.219-11, any SDVOSB/VOSB submitting a quote for this action must be verified for ownership and control and is so listed in the vendor information pages database (http://www.vetbiz.gov) - upon submission of quote.
Description of Services: This requirement is for the VAMC Lexington. The Department of Veterans Affairs, Network Contracting Office located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee intends to issue a firm fixed priced base and four (4) option year contract The contractor shall provide service and maintenance which includes but not limited to: Gambro Exalis (EE# 39987) System, including remote support, telephone configuration assistance, and development assistance. Coverage will be 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year. Service will be scheduled with the COR in accordance with Statement of Work below. The quote/proposal should be broken down as follows:
Base Year: 10-01-2014 - 09-30-2015 $
Option Year 1: 10-01-2015 - 09-30-2016 $
Option Year 2: 10-01-2016 - 09-30-2017 $
Option Year 3: 10-01-2017 - 09-30-2018 $
Option Year 4: 10-01-2018 - 09-30-2019 $
Total: Base & Option Years $
Quote Submission: Contractor shall submit their quote on company letterhead and shall include unit price, total , unit quantity and item description as specified above, as offered discounts, proposed delivery time, name, address, and telephone number of the offeror, firm's DUNS# and ORCA document in SAM at www.sam.gov, terms of any express warranty, unit price, overall total price, applicable shipping charges, completed copy of 52.212-3 Offerors Representations and Certifications- Commercial Items, and ORCA document. All prospective bidders must include appropriate references which must include all applicable company information. In addition, the prospective bidders should provide all applicable certifications and copies of training certificates to perform the work required within the Statement of Work for the Gambro Exalis Systems.
The offeror shall provide sufficient evidence that they possess adequate resources, capability, experience, responsibility and integrity to meet the technical capabilities to comply with the requirements of the resulting contract.
The offeror should provide past performance evidence. Past performance will be evaluated on an "acceptable" or "unacceptable" basis using the ratings in the table below based on the answers to the above capabilities questionnaire. The past performance evaluation results is an assessment of the offeror's probability of meeting the minimum past performance solicitation requirements. This assessment is based on the offeror's record of relevant and recent past performance information that pertain to the products and/or services outlined in the solicitation requirements.
Past performance information may be obtained through other sources known to the VA and the Federal Government.
In the case of an offeror without a record of relevant past performance or for whom information on past performance is not available or so sparse that no meaningful past performance rating can be reasonably assigned, the offeror may not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on past. Therefore, the offeror shall be determined to have unknown past performance. In the context of acceptability/unacceptability "unknown" shall be considered "acceptable."
All questions regarding this solicitation must be submitted to the Contract Specialist in writing by e-mail to Matthew.Cox@va.gov no later than 8:00 AM CST, June 18, 2014. All responses to questions will be incorporated into a written amendment posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.fbo.gov).
Amendments to this Solicitation: Offerors' are encouraged to monitor the Federal Business Opportunities website with respect to this solicitation because any amendments to this Solicitation will be posted on that website (www.fbo.gov).
Quotes must be received June 27, 2014 by 4:00 PM CST. Email your quote to Matthew.Cox@va.gov. The subject line must specify VA-249-14-Q-0608 - Service for Gambro Exalis System for VAMC Lexington.
Solicitation document and incorporated FAR and VAAR provisions and clauses apply to this acquisition:
52.204-9, Personnel Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel (Jan 2011)
52.212-1, Instructions to Offerors-Commercial
52.212-2, Evaluation-Commercial Items
52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications-Commercial Items
52.212-4, Contract Terms and Conditions-Commercial Items
52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required To Implement Statutes or Executive Orders-Commercial Items
52.217-8, Option to Extend Services (Nov 1999)
52.217-9 Option to Extend the Term of the Contract (Mar 2000)
52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting (Nov 2011)
52.232-40, Providing Accelerated Payments to Small Business Subcontractors (Dec 2013)
52.237-2, Protection of Government Buildings, Equipment, and Vegetation
52.219-6, Notice of Total Small Business Set-Aside
52.228-5, Insurance - Work on a Government Installation (Jan 1997)
852.203-70, Commercial Advertising (Jan 2008)
852.203-71, Display of Department of Veterans Affairs Hotline Poster (Dec 1992)
852.232-72, Electronic Submission of Payment Requests (Nov 2012)
852.237-70 Contractor Responsibilities (Apr 1984)
SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
In accordance with FAR 28.307-2 and FAR 52.228-5, the following minimum coverage shall apply to this contract:
(a) Workers' compensation and employer's liability: Contractors are required to comply with applicable Federal and State workers' compensation and occupational disease statutes. If occupational diseases are not compensable under those statutes, they shall be covered under the employer's liability section of the insurance policy, except when contract operations are so commingled with a Contractor's commercial operations that it would not be practical to require this coverage. Employer's liability coverage of at least $100,000 is required, except in States with exclusive or monopolistic funds that do not permit workers' compensation to be written by private carriers.
(b) General Liability: per occurrences.
(c) Automobile liability: per person; per occurrence and property damage.
(d) The successful bidder must present to the Contracting Officer, prior to award, evidence of general liability insurance without any exclusionary clauses for asbestos that would void the general liability coverage.
VAAR 852.233-70 PROTEST CONTENT/ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (JAN 2008)
(a) Any protest filed by an interested party shall:
(1) Include the name, address, fax number, and telephone number of the protester;
(2) Identify the solicitation and/or contract number;
(3) Include an original signed by the protester or the protester's representative and at least one copy;
(4) Set forth a detailed statement of the legal and factual grounds of the protest, including a description of resulting prejudice to the protester, and provide copies of relevant documents;
(5) Specifically request a ruling of the individual upon whom the protest is served;
(6) State the form of relief requested; and
(7) Provide all information establishing the timeliness of the protest.
(b) Failure to comply with the above may result in dismissal of the protest without further consideration.
(c) Bidders/offerors and contracting officers are encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures to resolve protests at any stage in the protest process. If ADR is used, the Department of Veterans Affairs will not furnish any documentation in an ADR proceeding beyond what is allowed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
(End of Provision)
PLEASE NOTE: The correct mailing information for filing alternate protests is as follows:
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Logistics,
Risk Management Team, Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20420
Or for solicitations issued by the Office of Construction and Facilities Management:
Director, Office of Construction and Facilities Management
811 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
DISCLAIMER AND IMPORTANT NOTES: The government is in no way obligated to do business with or enter into the award a contract to any firm or its affiliates or otherwise pay for the information provided in this synopsis.
STATEMENT OF WORK
BACKGROUND: The Gambro Exalis System is unique due to the proprietary software that it utilizes to interface with the various VA Medical Center Lexington hospital-wide computer systems and the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VISTA) imaging system.
SCOPE OF WORK: The Contractor shall provide all services, materials, labor, travel, parts, and necessary to provide software support services for the Gambro Exalis (EE #39987) system.
REQUIREMENTS: The Contractor shall also provide software maintenance services which includes remote desktop support (troubleshooting, preventive maintenance), telephone support (direct & standard), configuration assistance, troubleshooting, replacement of worn parts, calibration/adjustment, cleaning and lubricating in accordance with the manufacturer specifications. The Contractor must have a business associate agreement and be capable of using a VPN to remote access the system when requested by the VA.
EQUIPMENT: Gambro Exalis (EE# 39987, Serial# ES0364) system.
CONFORMATION STANDARDS: Contractor shall ensure that all equipment functions in conformance with original manufacturer specifications and the latest published editions of NFPA-99 and OSHA. This shall include performance standards and specifications utilized when the Gambro Exalis were procured and any upgrades / updates thereafter.
SERVICES REQUIRED: The contractor will provide Lexington VAMC with qualified service staff, necessary test equipment, and connectivity necessary to provide routine system maintenance services.
" Remote Desktop Support: The vendor will utilize Virtual Private Network (VPN) for remote desktop support. With the assistance and permission of the Customer's IT department, the contractor may be given Remote Desktop access to the Customer's Exalis computers in order to perform remote training, troubleshooting, or preventative maintenance. If Remote Desktop is unavailable, then direct phone contact with a designated customer contact will be used instead to accomplish the same tasks.
" Remote Troubleshooting: Using the remote Desktop Support above, the customer can call in with an Exalis issue and Gambro will connect to their computer and resolve the issue and train the staff as required.
" Remote Preventative Maintenance: Using the remote Desktop Support above, Gambro will provide periodic preventative maintenance of the Exalis software. Examples include database archiving and backup on a regular schedule, bi-weekly or monthly. Inspection/repair of other Exalis components, unused log files.
" Remote In-service: Repeat clinical in-service training by telephone for existing staff and new staff.
" Telephone Support: Contractor will provide access to telephone support through a customer support number during normal operating hours, and may also provide extended hours telephone support via Exalis technical specialists.
" Configuration Assistance: Assistance by remote desktop or telephone for the configuration of Exalis-related settings, including network settings, flow sheet customizations, medications and events, and new modules as necessary.
" Developer Assistance: Assist customer to develop functionality as required to provide data export services and/or report development.
" Support for special installations including archived database access, virtual PC/server environments, and multiple site operations.
" Reduced labor rates for special tasks that are not part of the normal service contract, including on-site visits where required.
A. The Contracting Officer (CO), Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COR), or Designated Using Service Representative (DUSR) has the authority to request a service call during contract hours.
B. Response Time: Telephone response time for the contractor will be within 2 hour of the official notification.
C. Software Support: The contractor is required to be able to support and update as required the Gambro Exalis server/workstation software. The contractor must be able to provide support to ensure that the Exalis interface software to CPRS is operational. The contractor must update the Exalis software to remediate any issues when CPRS patches are installed creating issues with the interface.
PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Lexington VA Medical Center; 1101 Veterans Drive; Lexington, KY 40502
HOURS OF OPERATION: The contractor will perform services required during the hours of 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday - Friday, except holidays.) Services may be provided via telephone support or on-site support at times agreeable by both parties.
U.S LEGAL HOLIDAYS: The following is a list of U.S. Government holidays. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the proceeding Friday is observed as the holiday; if the holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is observed as the holiday.
New Year's DayJan 1
Martin Luther King's Birthday 3rd Monday in Jan
President's Day 3rd Monday in Feb
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence DayJuly 4
Labor Day 1st Monday in Sep
Columbus Day 2nd Monday in Oct
Veterans DayNov 11
Thanksgiving Day 4th Thursday in Nov
Christmas DayDec 25
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation shall include detailed descriptions of the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance procedures performed. Procedures used for PM inspections shall be submitted with each report. In addition, each service representative must at a minimum document the following data legibly and in complete detail:
" Name of Contractor
" Name of service representative who performed the service
" Date and time during which services were rendered
" VA PO#(s) covering the call
" Description of problem reported
" Identification of equipment to be serviced
" Itemized description of services performed (including costs of items to be billed)
" Total cost to be billed
" Signatures of service representative and of VA employee who witnessed service
CONDITION OF EQUIPMENT: The contractor accepts responsibility for the equipment described in this specification in "as is" condition. Failure to inspect the equipment prior to contract award will not relieve the contractor from performance of the requirements of this contract.
COMPETENCY OF PERSONNEL SERVICING EQUIPMENT: All personnel servicing this equipment must have been trained by the equipment manufacturer or by an accredited training institution on the specific equipment listed in these specifications.
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: The contractor shall provide an activity log on a monthly basis to the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR), and will include brief description of all trouble calls to include a list of solutions.
TRAVEL: Work that cannot be accomplished by remote access or via telephone support will require on-site support. Transportation to and from Government facilities will be the responsibility of the contractor. All of their travel, accommodations, meals, rental cars, etc. are solely the responsibility of the Contractor.
VA INFORMATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM SECURITY/PRIVACY:
Contractors, contractor personnel, subcontractors, and subcontractor personnel shall be subject to the same Federal laws, regulations, standards, and VA Directives and Handbooks as VA and VA personnel regarding information and information system security.
ACCESS TO VA INFORMATION AND VA INFORMATION SYSTEMS:
a. A contractor/subcontractor shall request logical (technical) or physical access to VA information and VA information systems for their employees, subcontractors, and affiliates only to the extent necessary to perform the services specified in the contract, agreement, or task order.
b. All contractors, subcontractors, and third-party servicers and associates working with VA information are subject to the same investigative requirements as those of VA appointees or employees who have access to the same types of information. The level and process of background security investigations for contractors must be in accordance with VA Directive and Handbook 0710, Personnel Suitability and Security Program. The Office for Operations, Security, and Preparedness is responsible for these policies and procedures.
c. Contract personnel who require access to national security programs must have a valid security clearance. National Industrial Security Program (NISP) was established by Executive Order 12829 to ensure that cleared U.S. defense industry contract personnel safeguard the classified information in their possession while performing work on contracts, programs, bids, or research and development efforts. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not have a Memorandum of Agreement with Defense Security Service (DSS). Verification of a Security Clearance must be processed through the Special Security Officer located in the Planning and National Security Service within the Office of Operations, Security, and Preparedness.
d. Custom software development and outsourced operations must be located in the U.S. to the maximum extent practical. If such services are proposed to be performed abroad and are not disallowed by other VA policy or mandates, the contractor/subcontractor must state where all non-U.S. services are provided and detail a security plan, deemed to be acceptable by VA, specifically to address mitigation of the resulting problems of communication, control, data protection, and so forth. Location within the U.S. may be an evaluation factor.
e. The contractor or subcontractor must notify the Contracting Officer immediately when an employee working on a VA system or with access to VA information is reassigned or leaves the contractor or subcontractor's employ. The Contracting Officer must also be notified immediately by the contractor or subcontractor prior to an unfriendly termination.
VA INFORMATION CUSTODIAL LANGUAGE:
a. Information made available to the contractor or subcontractor by VA for the performance or administration of this contract or information developed by the contractor/subcontractor in performance or administration of the contract shall be used only for those purposes and shall not be used in any other way without the prior written agreement of the VA. This clause expressly limits the contractor/subcontractor's rights to use data as described in Rights in Data - General, FAR 52.227-14(d) (1).
b. VA information should not be co-mingled, if possible, with any other data on the contractors/subcontractor's information systems or media storage systems in order to ensure VA requirements related to data protection and media sanitization can be met. If co-mingling must be allowed to meet the requirements of the business need, the contractor must ensure that VA's information is returned to the VA or destroyed in accordance with VA's sanitization requirements. VA reserves the right to conduct onsite inspections of contractor and subcontractor IT resources to ensure data security controls, separation of data and job duties, and destruction/media sanitization procedures are in compliance with VA directive requirements.
c. Prior to termination or completion of this contract, contractor/ subcontractor must not destroy information received from VA, or gathered/ created by the contractor in the course of performing this contract without prior written approval by the VA. Any data destruction done on behalf of VA by a contractor/subcontractor must be done in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) requirements as outlined in VA Directive 6300, Records and Information Management and its Handbook 6300.1 Records Management Procedures, applicable VA Records Control Schedules, and VA Handbook 6500.1, Electronic Media Sanitization. Self-certification by the contractor that the data destruction requirements above have been met must be sent to the VA Contracting Officer within 30 days of termination of the contract.
d. The contractor/subcontractor must receive, gather, store, back up, maintain, use, disclose and dispose of VA information only in compliance with the terms of the contract and applicable Federal and VA information confidentiality and security laws, regulations and policies. If Federal or VA information confidentiality and security laws, regulations and policies become applicable to the VA information or information systems after execution of the contract, or if NIST issues or updates applicable FIPS or Special Publications (SP) after execution of this contract, the parties agree to negotiate in good faith to implement the information confidentiality and security laws, regulations and policies in this contract.
e. The contractor/subcontractor shall not make copies of VA information except as authorized and necessary to perform the terms of the agreement or to preserve electronic information stored on contractor/subcontractor electronic storage media for restoration in case any electronic equipment or data used by the contractor/subcontractor needs to be restored to an operating state. If copies are made for restoration purposes, after the restoration is complete, the copies must be appropriately destroyed.
f. If VA determines that the contractor has violated any of the information confidentiality, privacy, and security provisions of the contract, it shall be sufficient grounds for VA to withhold payment to the contractor or third party or terminate the contract for default or terminate for cause under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 12.
g. If a VHA contract is terminated for cause, the associated BAA must also be terminated and appropriate actions taken in accordance with VHA Handbook 1600.01, Business Associate Agreements. Absent an agreement to use or disclose protected health information, there is no business associate relationship.
h. The contractor/subcontractor must store, transport, or transmit VA sensitive information in an encrypted form, using VA-approved encryption tools that are, at a minimum, FIPS 140-2 validated.
i. The contractor/subcontractor's firewall and Web services security controls, if applicable, shall meet or exceed VA's minimum requirements. VA Configuration Guidelines are available upon request.
j. Except for uses and disclosures of VA information authorized by this contract for performance of the contract, the contractor/subcontractor may use and disclose VA information only in two other situations: (i) in response to a qualifying order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or (ii) with VA's prior written approval. The contractor/subcontractor must refer all requests for, demands for production of, or inquiries about, VA information and information systems to the VA contracting officer for response.
k. Notwithstanding the provision above, the contractor/subcontractor shall not release VA records protected by Title 38 U.S.C. 5705, confidentiality of medical quality assurance records and/or Title 38 U.S.C. 7332, confidentiality of certain health records pertaining to drug addiction, sickle cell anemia, alcoholism or alcohol abuse, or infection with human immunodeficiency virus. If the contractor/subcontractor is in receipt of a court order or other requests for the above mentioned information, that contractor/subcontractor shall immediately refer such court orders or other requests to the VA contracting officer for response.
l. For service that involves the storage, generating, transmitting, or exchanging of VA sensitive information but does not require C&A or an MOU-ISA for system interconnection, the contractor/subcontractor must complete a Contractor Security Control Assessment (CSCA) on a yearly basis and provide it to the COR.
INFORMATION SYSTEM DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT:
a. Information systems that are designed or developed for or on behalf of VA at non-VA facilities shall comply with all VA directives developed in accordance with FISMA, HIPAA, NIST, and related VA security and privacy control requirements for Federal information systems. This includes standards for the protection of electronic PHI, outlined in 45 C.F.R. Part 164, Subpart C, information and system security categorization level designations in accordance with FIPS 199 and FIPS 200 with implementation of all baseline security controls commensurate with the FIPS 199 system security categorization (reference Appendix D of VA Handbook 6500, VA Information Security Program). During the development cycle a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) must be completed, provided to the COR, and approved by the VA Privacy Service in accordance with Directive 6507, VA Privacy Impact Assessment.
b. The contractor/subcontractor shall certify to the COR that applications are fully functional and operate correctly as intended on systems using the VA Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC), and the common security configuration guidelines provided by NIST or the VA. This includes Internet Explorer 7 configured to operate on Windows XP and Vista (in Protected Mode on Vista) and future versions, as required.
c. The standard installation, operation, maintenance, updating, and patching of software shall not alter the configuration settings from the VA approved and FDCC configuration. Information technology staff must also use the Windows Installer Service for installation to the default "program files" directory and silently install and uninstall.
d. Applications designed for normal end users shall run in the standard user context without elevated system administration privileges.
e. The security controls must be designed, developed, approved by VA, and implemented in accordance with the provisions of VA security system development life cycle as outlined in NIST Special Publication 800-37, Guide for Applying the Risk Management Framework to Federal Information Systems, VA Handbook 6500, Information Security Program and VA Handbook 6500.5, Incorporating Security and Privacy in System Development Lifecycle.
f. The contractor/subcontractor is required to design, develop, or operate a System of Records Notice (SOR) on individuals to accomplish an agency function subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, (as amended), Public Law 93-579, December 31, 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and applicable agency regulations. Violation of the Privacy Act may involve the imposition of criminal and civil penalties.
g. The contractor/subcontractor agrees to:
(1) Comply with the Privacy Act of 1974 (the Act) and the agency rules and regulations issued under the Act in the design, development, or operation of any system of records on individuals to accomplish an agency function when the contract specifically identifies:
(a) The Systems of Records (SOR); and
(b) The design, development, or operation work that the contractor/ subcontractor is to perform;
(1) Include the Privacy Act notification contained in this contract in every solicitation and resulting subcontract and in every subcontract awarded without a solicitation, when the work statement in the proposed subcontract requires the redesign, development, or operation of a SOR on individuals that is subject to the Privacy Act; and
(2) Include this Privacy Act clause, including this subparagraph (3), in all subcontracts awarded under this contract which requires the design, development, or operation of such a SOR.
h. In the event of violations of the Act, a civil action may be brought against the agency involved when the violation concerns the design, development, or operation of a SOR on individuals to accomplish an agency function, and criminal penalties may be imposed upon the officers or employees of the agency when the violation concerns the operation of a SOR on individuals to accomplish an agency function. For purposes of the Act, when the contract is for the operation of a SOR on individuals to accomplish an agency function, the contractor/subcontractor is considered to be an employee of the agency.
(1) "Operation of a System of Records" means performance of any of the activities associated with maintaining the SOR, including the collection, use, maintenance, and dissemination of records.
(2) "Record" means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and contains the person's name, or identifying number, symbol, or any other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a fingerprint or voiceprint, or a photograph.
(3) "System of Records" means a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual.
i. The vendor shall ensure the security of all procured or developed systems and technologies, including their subcomponents (hereinafter referred to as "Systems"), throughout the life of this contract and any extension, warranty, or maintenance periods. This includes, but is not limited to workarounds, patches, hotfixes, upgrades, and any physical components (hereafter referred to as Security Fixes) which may be necessary to fix all security vulnerabilities published or known to the vendor anywhere in the Systems, including Operating Systems and firmware. The vendor shall ensure that Security Fixes shall not negatively impact the Systems.
j. The vendor shall notify VA within 24 hours of the discovery or disclosure of successful exploits of the vulnerability which can compromise the security of the Systems (including the confidentiality or integrity of its data and operations, or the availability of the system). Such issues shall be remediated as quickly as is practical, but in no event longer than 5 days.
k. When the Security Fixes involve installing third party patches (such as Microsoft OS patches or Adobe Acrobat), the vendor will provide written notice to the VA that the patch has been validated as not affecting the Systems within 10 working days. When the vendor is responsible for operations or maintenance of the Systems, they shall apply the Security Fixes within 15 days.
l. All other vulnerabilities shall be remediated as specified in this paragraph in a timely manner based on risk, but within 60 days of discovery or disclosure. Exceptions to this paragraph (e.g. for the convenience of VA) shall only be granted with approval of the contracting officer and the VA Assistant Secretary for Office of Information and Technology.
INFORMATION SYSTEM HOSTING, OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, OR USE:
a. For information systems that are hosted, operated, maintained, or used on behalf of VA at non-VA facilities, contractors/subcontractors are fully responsible and accountable for ensuring compliance with all HIPAA, Privacy Act, FISMA, NIST, FIPS, and VA security and privacy directives and handbooks. This includes conducting compliant risk assessments, routine vulnerability scanning, system patching and change management procedures, and the completion of an acceptable contingency plan for each system. The contractor's security control procedures must be equivalent, to those procedures used to secure VA systems. A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) must also be provided to the COR and approved by VA Privacy Service prior to operational approval. All external Internet connections to VA's network involving VA information must be reviewed and approved by VA prior to implementation.
b. Adequate security controls for collecting, processing, transmitting, and storing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), as determined by the VA Privacy Service, must be in place, tested, and approved by VA prior to hosting, operation, maintenance, or use of the information system, or systems by or on behalf of VA. These security controls are to be assessed and stated within the PIA and if these controls are determined not to be in place, or inadequate, a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) must be submitted and approved prior to the collection of PII.
c. Outsourcing (contractor facility, contractor equipment or contractor staff) of systems or network operations, telecommunications services, or other managed services requires certification and accreditation (authorization) (C&A) of the contractor's systems in accordance with VA Handbook 6500.3, Certification and Accreditation and/or the VA OCS Certification Program Office. Government- owned (government facility or government equipment) contractor-operated systems, third party or business partner networks require memorandums of understanding and interconnection agreements (MOU-ISA) which detail what data types are shared, who has access, and the appropriate level of security controls for all systems connected to VA networks.
d. The contractor/subcontractor's system must adhere to all FISMA, FIPS, and NIST standards related to the annual FISMA security controls assessment and review and update the PIA. Any deficiencies noted during this assessment must be provided to the VA contracting officer and the ISO for entry into VA's POA&M management process. The contractor/subcontractor must use VA's POA&M process to document planned remedial actions to address any deficiencies in information security policies, procedures, and practices, and the completion of those activities. Security deficiencies must be corrected within the timeframes approved by the government. Contractor/subcontractor procedures are subject to periodic, unannounced assessments by VA officials, including the VA Office of Inspector General. The physical security aspects associated with contractor/ subcontractor activities must also be subject to such assessments. If major changes to the system occur that may affect the privacy or security of the data or the system, the C&A of the system may need to be reviewed, retested and re- authorized per VA Handbook 6500.3. This may require reviewing and updating all of the documentation (PIA, System Security Plan, and Contingency Plan). The Certification Program Office can provide guidance on whether a new C&A would be necessary.
e. The contractor/subcontractor must conduct an annual self -assessment on all systems and outsourced services as required. Both hard copy and electronic copies of the assessment must be provided to the COR. The government reserves the right to conduct such an assessment using government personnel or another contractor/subcontractor. The contractor/subcontractor must take appropriate and timely action (this can be specified in the contract) to correct or mitigate any weaknesses discovered during such testing, generally at no additional cost.
f. VA prohibits the installation and use of personally-owned or contractor/ subcontractor-owned equipment or software on VA's network. If non-VA owned equipment must be used to fulfill the requirements of a contract, it must be stated in the service agreement, SOW or contract. All of the security controls required for government furnished equipment (GFE) must be utilized in approved other equipment (OE) and must be funded by the owner of the equipment. All remote systems must be equipped with, and use, a VA-approved antivirus (AV) software and a personal (host-based or enclave based) firewall that is configured with a VA-approved configuration. Software must be kept current, including all critical updates and patches. Owners of approved OE are responsible for providing and maintaining the anti-viral software and the firewall on the non-VA owned OE.
g. All electronic storage media used on non-VA leased or non-VA owned IT equipment that is used to store, process, or access VA information must be handled in adherence with VA Handbook 6500.1, Electronic Media Sanitization upon: (i) completion or termination of the contract or (ii) disposal or return of the IT equipment by the contractor/subcontractor or any person acting on behalf of the contractor/subcontractor, whichever is earlier. Media (hard drives, optical disks, CDs, back-up tapes, etc.) used by the contractors/ subcontractors that contain VA information must be returned to the VA for sanitization or destruction or the contractor/subcontractor must self-certify that the media has been disposed of per 6500.1 requirements. This must be completed within 30 days of termination of the contract.
h. Bio-Medical devices and other equipment or systems containing media (hard drives, optical disks, etc.) with VA sensitive information must not be returned to the vendor at the end of lease, for trade-in, or other purposes. The options are:
(1) Vendor must accept the system without the drive;
(2) VA's initial medical device purchase includes a spare drive which must be installed in place of the original drive at time of turn-in; or
(3) VA must reimburse the company for media at a reasonable open market replacement cost at time of purchase.
(4) Due to the highly specialized and sometimes proprietary hardware and software associated with medical equipment/systems, if it is not possible for the VA to retain the hard drive, then;
(a) The equipment vendor must have an existing BAA if the device being traded in has sensitive information stored on it and hard drive(s) from the system are being returned physically intact; and
(b) Any fixed hard drive on the device must be non-destructively sanitized to the greatest extent possible without negatively impacting system operation. Selective clearing down to patient data folder level is recommended using VA approved and validated overwriting technologies/methods/tools. Applicable media sanitization specifications need to be pre-approved and described in the purchase order or contract.
(c) A statement needs to be signed by the Director (System Owner) that states that the drive could not be removed and that (a) and (b) controls above are in place and completed. The ISO needs to maintain the documentation.
SECURITY INCIDENT INVESTIGATION:
a. The term "security incident" means an event that has, or could have, resulted in unauthorized access to, loss or damage to VA assets, or sensitive information, or an action that breaches VA security procedures. The contractor/ subcontractor shall immediately notify the COR and simultaneously, the designated ISO and Privacy Officer for the contract of any known or suspected security/privacy incidents, or any unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information, including that contained in system(s) to which the contractor/ subcontractor has access.
b. To the extent known by the contractor/subcontractor, the contractor/ subcontractor's notice to VA shall identify the information involved, the circumstances surrounding the incident (including to whom, how, when, and where the VA information or assets were placed at risk or compromised), and any other information that the contractor/subcontractor considers relevant.
c. With respect to unsecured protected health information, the business associate is deemed to have discovered a data breach when the business associate knew or should have known of a breach of such information. Upon discovery, the business associate must notify the covered entity of the breach. Notifications need to be made in accordance with the executed business associate agreement.
d. In instances of theft or break-in or other criminal activity, the contractor/subcontractor must concurrently report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement entity (or entities) of jurisdiction, including the VA OIG and Security and Law Enforcement. The contractor, its employees, and its subcontractors and their employees shall cooperate with VA and any law enforcement authority responsible for the investigation and prosecution of any possible criminal law violation(s) associated with any incident. The contractor/subcontractor shall cooperate with VA in any civil litigation to recover VA information, obtain monetary or other compensation from a third party for damages arising from any incident, or obtain injunctive relief against any third party arising from, or related to, the incident.
LIQUIDATED DAMAGES FOR DATA BREACH:
a. Consistent with the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 5725, a contract may require access to sensitive personal information. If so, the contractor is liable to VA for liquidated damages in the event of a data breach or privacy incident involving any SPI the contractor/subcontractor processes or maintains under this contract.
b. The contractor/subcontractor shall provide notice to VA of a "security incident" as set forth in the Security Incident Investigation section above. Upon such notification, VA must secure from a non-Department entity or the VA Office of Inspector General an independent risk analysis of the data breach to determine the level of risk associated with the data breach for the potential misuse of any sensitive personal information involved in the data breach. The term 'data breach' means the loss, theft, or other unauthorized access, or any access other than that incidental to the scope of employment, to data containing sensitive personal information, in electronic or printed form, that results in the potential compromise of the confidentiality or integrity of the data. Contractor shall fully cooperate with the entity performing the risk analysis. Failure to cooperate may be deemed a material breach and grounds for contract termination.
c. Each risk analysis shall address all relevant information concerning the data breach, including the following:
(1) Nature of the event (loss, theft, unauthorized access);
(2) Description of the event, including:
(a) Date of occurrence;
(b) data elements involved, including any PII, such as full name, social security number, date of birth, home address, account number, disability code;
(3) Number of individuals affected or potentially affected;
(4) Names of individuals or groups affected or potentially affected;
(5) Ease of logical data access to the lost, stolen or improperly accessed data in light of the degree of protection for the data, e.g., unencrypted, plain text;
(6) Amount of time the data has been out of VA control;
(7) The likelihood that the sensitive personal information will or has been compromised (made accessible to and usable by unauthorized persons);
(8) Known misuses of data containing sensitive personal information, if any;
(9) Assessment of the potential harm to the affected individuals;
(10) Data breach analysis as outlined in 6500.2 Handbook, Management of Security and Privacy Incidents, as appropriate; and
(11) Whether credit protection services may assist record subjects in avoiding or mitigating the results of identity theft based on the sensitive personal information that may have been compromised.
d. Based on the determinations of the independent risk analysis, the contractor shall be responsible for paying to the VA liquidated damages in the amount of $37.50 per affected individual to cover the cost of providing credit protection services to affected individuals consisting of the following:
(2) One year of credit monitoring services consisting of automatic daily monitoring of at least 3 relevant credit bureau reports;
(3) Data breach analysis;
(4) Fraud resolution services, including writing dispute letters, initiating fraud alerts and credit freezes, to assist affected individuals to bring matters to resolution;
(5) One year of identity theft insurance with $20,000.00 coverage at $0 deductible; and
(6) Necessary legal expenses the subjects may incur to repair falsified or damaged credit records, histories, or financial affairs.
SECURITY CONTROLS COMPLIANCE TESTING: On a periodic basis, VA, including the Office of Inspector General, reserves the right to evaluate any or all of the security controls and privacy practices implemented by the contractor under the clauses contained within the contract. With 10 working-days' notice, at the request of the government, the contractor must fully cooperate and assist in a government-sponsored security controls assessment at each location wherein VA information is processed or stored, or information systems are developed, operated, maintained, or used on behalf of VA, including those initiated by the Office of Inspector General. The government may conduct a security control assessment on shorter notice (to include unannounced assessments) as determined by VA in the event of a security incident or at any other time.
a. All contractor employees and subcontractor employees requiring access to VA information and VA information systems shall complete the following before being granted access to VA information and its systems:
(1) Sign and acknowledge (either manually or electronically) understanding of and responsibilities for compliance with the Contractor Rules of Behavior, Appendix E relating to access to VA information and information systems;
(2) Successfully complete the VA Cyber Security Awareness and Rules of Behavior training and annually complete required security training;
(3) Successfully complete the appropriate VA privacy training and annually complete required privacy training; and
(4) Successfully complete any additional cyber security or privacy training, as required for VA personnel with equivalent information system access [to be defined by the VA program official and provided to the contracting officer for inclusion in the solicitation document - e.g., any role-based information security training required in accordance with NIST Special Publication 800-16, Information Technology Security Training Requirements.]
b. The contractor shall provide to the contracting officer and/or the COR a copy of the training certificates and certification of signing the Contractor Rules of Behavior for each applicable employee within 1 week of the initiation of the contract and annually thereafter, as required.
c. Failure to complete the mandatory annual training and sign the Rules of Behavior annually, within the timeframe required, is grounds for suspension or termination of all physical or electronic access privileges and removal from work on the contract until such time as the training and documents are complete.