HHS Contract Will Offer AI Tech, Support to All of Government

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The new Intelligent Automation/Artificial Intelligence contract will be housed in Health and Human Services but available to any agency looking for AI solutions.

The Health and Human Services Department sees value in integrating automation and artificial intelligence technologies into its workflows and is building a contract vehicle to help other agencies, as well.

The Program Support Center, a shared services agency within Health and Human Services, released a request for proposals Thursday for the Intelligent Automation/Artificial Intelligence, or IAAI, contract. The five-year, $49 million contract vehicle will offer a host of automation and AI technologies and support services, including robotic process automation, machine and supervised learning and machine vision.

“PSC believes that IAAI solutions will be doing everything from reducing backlog and cutting costs to performing functions, such as predicting fraudulent transactions and identifying critical suspects via facial recognition, which are considered difficult for an individual to complete on their own,” contracting officers wrote in the RFP.

The center’s efforts fall in line with the administration’s policy of shifting federal employees from low-value to high-value work by automating rote processes that can be digitized. The Office of Personnel Management expects automation could cut the workloads of 60 percent of federal employees by up to 30 percent and make 5 percent of jobs redundant entirely.

Last year, the Program Support Center established the Advanced Technologies Program to identify “disruptive, breakthrough, incremental and sustaining” emerging tech. Once awarded, the IAAI contract will be the procurement arm for that effort.

“This contract is the next logical step to integrating IAAI technologies into all phases of government operations,” the contracting docs state, “providing federal agencies opportunities to share critical insights and information regarding technologies and suppliers, learn from an abundance of small-scale tests and implementations, and find solutions that ‘create a lean, accountable and more efficient government that works for the American people.’”

In order to be considered for a spot on the contract, vendors must demonstrate past success working on government projects in at least three of four functional areas:

  • applied ideation and design support;
  • engineering and process engineering support;
  • systems design;
  • and engineering, prototyping and model making support.

The final contract will include another six function areas, including test and evaluation, quality assurance, user training and logistics, operations and maintenance support.

The center plans to award multiple spots on the contract to cover each functional area, though the total number of awards and how vendors will be divided among the areas was not set out in the RFP.

Once established, Health and Human Services components will be able to issue task orders through PSC, as will other federal agencies and programs, for a small surcharge.

Contracting officers expect individual task orders to be around $300,000, though they could be as high as $8 million depending on the mix of functional areas.

Questions on the solicitation must be sent by email no later than 12 p.m. Jan. 16. Bids are due by 8 a.m. Jan. 30, also through email.