News Column

Combine Solicitation - R-- COURT REPORTER

February 21, 2014

Notice Type: Combine Solicitation

Posted Date: 20-FEB-14

Office Address: Department of Veterans Affairs;Central Alabama Veterans Health Care;215 Perry Hill Road;Montgomery AL 36109-3798


Classification Code: R - Professional, administrative, and management support services

Solicitation Number: VA24714Q0355

Contact: Quincy AlexanderPurchasing Agent 334-727-0550 x3519

Description: Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Central Alabama Health Care System (Montgomery)

Department of Veterans Affairs Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System



a. The Contractor shall furnish the necessary personnel, materials, and services, and otherwise do all things necessary for and incidental to the verbatim reporting and transcription of proceedings conducted by or pursuant to orders of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, Montgomery/Tuskegee, AL.

b. Contractor shall be able to provide a Reporter within 48 hours notice to transcribe accurate deposition/sworn statements without the use of tapes. No back-up tapes are to be used or created.

c. If testimony must be retaken as a result of mechanical breakdown of the transcribing equipment, or as a result of negligence by the Contractor or any subcontractor, the Contractor shall provide the services necessary to retake the testimony at no additional charge to the Department of Veterans Affairs or to any party to the litigation. In addition, the Contractor shall bear all transportation and subsistence costs, to be computed in accordance with travel regulations governing employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, incurred by Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, Montgomery/Tuskegee, AL, the parties and their witnesses and attorneys in attending or testifying at such retaking of testimony.

d. The Contractor agrees that the assigned reporter shall perform all work in a business-like manner and according to the best standards of the reporting profession; and the Contractor, at all times, shall provide promptly at the time, date, and place designated, as many competent reporters and stenographers and maintain such staff and equipment at such times as may be necessary for the prompt recording of proceedings and the furnishing of satisfactory transcripts which shall conform to the requirements of this contract.

e. The Contractor shall furnish complete transcripts, which accurately reflect the full and complete verbatim record of the proceedings. When the presiding official determines that there are errors in the transcript, he/she may require the Contractor to correct the errors and furnish the corrected transcript within five (5) calendar days after receipt of notification and without additional cost to the Government for the same, regardless of the delivery time the original order specified.

f. The Contractor shall furnish transcripts which are legible. In the event the presiding official finds one or more copies of transcripts to be illegible, the Contractor shall correct and replace the same with acceptable copies within one (1) business day after receipt of notification from the presiding official and without additional cost for such replacement.


a. An original, two copies and one mini-condensed version of all transcripts ordered, shall be delivered double sealed, via Fedex, UPS, or U.S. certified mail, during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays) with postage or other transportation charges fully prepaid by the Contractor as follows to the following address:

Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System

ATTN: EEO/Director's Office (00)

215 Perry Hill Rd

Montgomery, AL 36109

1. Regular copy - Regular copy of transcripts (original and two copies) and one mini-condensed copy shall be delivered within fourteen (14) calendar days after conclusion of the proceedings. Computation of this period shall commence on the calendar day following conclusion of the proceeding.

2. Accelerated copy - Daily copy of transcripts (original and 2 copies) shall be delivered within three (3) days after the conclusion of each day of the proceedings. Computation of this period shall commence immediately upon conclusion of each day of the proceedings.

b. The contractor will determine within a reasonable time, normally within 48 hours of the time the request for services was made, whether or not a reporter will be available. If this determination is not received, the Department of Veterans Affairs reserves the right to obtain the service from another source and to charge the Contractor with any excess cost which may result there from. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be the sole judge in determining when to order service from another source.

3. WORK HOURS: The contractor shall provide the services during the hours of 8:30am thru 4:30pm, March 18th & 19th, 2014 at 215 Perry Hill Road, Montgomery, AL.

MARCH 12, 2010 VA HANDBOOK 6500.6





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.


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 HANDBOOK 6500.6 MARCH 12, 2010




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 on site 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.

MARCH 12, 2010 VA HANDBOOK 6500.6



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

VA HANDBOOK 6500.6 MARCH 12, 2010



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 COTR.


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 COTR 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

VA HANDBOOK 6500.6 MARCH 12, 2010



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.


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);

MARCH 12, 2010 VA HANDBOOK 6500.6



(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:

(1) Notification;

(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.

VA HANDBOOK 6500.6 MARCH 12, 2010




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 D 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 COTR 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.

VA Acquisition Regulation Solicitation Provision and Contract Clause

(October 2008)

SUBPART 839.2 - Information and Information Technology Security Requirements

839.201 Contract clause for Information and Information Technology Security

Due to the threat of data breach or loss of information that resides on either VA-owned or contractor-owned systems, and to comply with federal laws and regulations, VA has developed an Information and Information Technology Security be used when VA information is used, stored, generated, transmitted, or exchanged by and between VA and a contractor, subcontractor or a third party in any format (e.g., paper, microfiche, electronic or magnetic portable media).

In solicitations and contracts where VA Information and/or Information Technology will be accessed or utilized, the contracting officer shall insert the clause found at 852.273-75, Security Requirements for Unclassified Information Technology Resources

852.273-75 - Security Requirements for Unclassified Information

Technology Resources (interim- October 2008)

As prescribed in 839.201, insert the following clause:

The contractor and their personnel shall be subject to the same Federal laws, regulations, standards and VA policies as VA personnel, regarding information and information system security. These include, but are not limited to Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Appendix III of OMB Circular A-130, and guidance and standards, available from the Department of Commerce'sNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This also includes the use of common security configurations available from NIST's Web site at:

To ensure that appropriate security controls are in place, Contractors must follow the procedures set forth in "VA Information and Information System Security/Privacy Requirements for IT Contracts" located at the following Web site :

(end of clause)


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