FHFA Wants an App to Guide Employees During Emergencies

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The housing finance agency aims to streamline its protocols into one intuitive smartphone app.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency wants a mobile app that provides instantaneous, in-hand instructions regarding what to do during active shootings and other dangerous situations, according to a recently released request for quotations

The app will also be equipped with intuitive guides that can strengthen emergency response practices across the agency’s workforce.

“The electronic guides will be used ... to facilitate understanding of the agency’s incident response training program and to ensure personnel are provided with a wide range of emergency scenarios and the appropriate steps to take to safeguard individuals, reduce the possibility of injury to persons and damage to FHFA Headquarters at Constitution Center,” FHFA officials said in the announcement.

Though the RFQ was originally published in late July, it was amended this week to extend the deadline for responses from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12. 

Established by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, FHFA provides oversight and regulates America’s 11 federal home loan banks and the mortgage loan companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In an effort to help employees make better decisions during emergency events, the agency wants a standalone smartphone app that can be used on all iOS and Android phones and tablets. 

The platform will enable personnel to reference the best practices and protocols hosted in the agency’s electronic guides and other emergency planning documents. 

FHFA wants the vendor to provide a solution that provides unlimited downloads of up to 10 terabytes of traffic per year and has robust security as some of the information to be hosted on the app is not accessible to the public. It will provide electronic guidelines across three categories: active shooter response, family emergency preparedness, and workplace violence prevention and response. 

The solution must also be “supported by a password-protected, web-based portal through which FHFA administrators will be able to update, customize, and manage the mobile app without intervention from contractor or a third party,” officials said in the RFQ.

The app will also need to include multiple modules such as a news module where users can continuously scroll through relevant news articles, a text module with custom introductory messages, and one that helps them access answers to frequently asked questions. 

FHFA also wants the capability for users to save content to access once their devices are offline and for the solution to provide privileged agency insiders with the ability to audit how users interact with the app. 

The vendor is expected to submit the app to Google Play and the Apple App Store and provide technical support for the entirety of the contract, which will include one base year and up to four option years.