HHS Buyers Club tees up second RFP

Shutterstock image (by reportman): designing a website.

(Image: Reportman / Shutterstock)

The Department of Health and Human Services Buyers Club procurement initiative has released its second request for proposals, seeking help for the Office of Population Affairs to develop a public-facing web site for Title X family planning programs.

Buyers Club awarded its first contract under an initial RFP in September 2014. At the time of that award, procurement adviser Mark Naggar told FCW that his organization was looking to take on larger projects as soon as the fiscal 2015 appropriations process played out and agencies had resources to move ahead.

The most recent RFP is for a new OPA website and support. OPA advises the HHS secretary and department staff, and also provides public information on Title X family planning programs and reproductive health issues.

Naggar said in an email to FCW that the RFP will be similar to the first, including a “two-stage down-select process to better vet offerors while easing the burden for small businesses by crafting stage one so that it isn’t inherently burdensome to submit concept papers."

"Given the success [the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation] had with their RFP, award and agile development to date, other groups within HHS are following their lead by pursuing similar approaches, where it makes sense," he said.

The winning contractor for the OPA RFP will develop and deploy a new website aimed at the Title X community, reproductive health professionals and the general public, while maintaining the current site as development work is done. The new site will also include a Title X clinic database and locator app.

The contractor will also develop web content and a Twitter account aimed at the public, health care professionals and OPA-funded grantees.

Along with the web content development, the contract awardee should also develop a media, marketing, and outreach management strategy for the office leveraging OPA’s new website, Title X clinic database and any related tools to the target audiences.

For its first project, on the last day of fiscal 2014, the Buyers Club selected Akira Technologies to provide the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation with help in implementing a platform and technical infrastructure for its websites, databases and software development environments; implementing a Web content management system and software package; redesigning public and intranet websites; and migrating those websites and databases into the content management system.

At the time, Naggar told FCW in an interview that the ASPE project was the result of the initiative's non-traditional process, which allowed the department to quickly narrow its choices by requiring potential vendors to work with looser objectives and provide working prototypes before a final selection was made.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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