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Mickdu

Electronic Submission of data

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I am looking for information either from the FAR or other source that states a contractor cannot submit data via a private server that requires the Government employee to create a username and password. If anyone could help me with this I'd greatly appreciate it. I have always been told that contractors must use Government approved sites to submit data and cannot demand any one Government employee to create a username and password to access a contractor's private site for submission documents either prior to or after contract award.

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I found no such prohibition in the FAR System. I know that some agency lawyers use Westlaw, and the company that owns that site requires that a government user created a username and password. I am pretty sure that there are other such contracted subscription services that require usernames and passwords.

If there were such a prohibition or requirement applicable to contractors, I would expect to find it in a contract term, such as a clause or statement of work.

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I don't know that a contractor can "demand" a government employee to do anything, much less access a contractor-owned system. Since the solicitation is required to state how a potential offeror shall submit their proposal (and accompanying data), I would not think that a contractor can require the government to utilize their system (unless such an arrangement is allowed for within the solicitation). The solicitation is the "source" that you seek. What does it say?

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What alternative are you proposing for the contractor to submit the requested/required documents? Having just dealt with issues regarding the transmission of sensitive and proprietary information from Contractors it makes sense that they have concerns over the medium in which they are delivered (especially if you're just requesting they email them to you). As a potential solution to your problem, I've had great experiences with AMRDEC SAFE, which is a secure file transfer system for US Government related business. Everything you need to know about it can be found at https://safe.amrdec.army.mil.

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Jut to clarify, you are talking about deliverables, reports, etc.? You're not talking about submitting proposals/bids/offers, correct?

If deliverables/reports: there may be a document management reason why they don't want to keep paperwork on your server (I'd guess FOIA).

If proposals/bids/offer: the offer needs to be under the Government's control.

You asked for policy inforamtion about why your customer is behaving in a certain way- answer may depend on what that data is that you refer to . . .

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Read the question: "for submission documents either prior to or after contract award." The question is whether any "source" prohibits a contractor from requiring that a government employee create a username and password. The answer is going to be yes or no and should be accompanied by an authoritative reference.

The question should have been addressed to one of those persons who has "always" told the OP that there is such a prohibition.

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Are you referring to official pre-contract submittals and submittals of contract deliverables? If so, the government should host, control and specify the software to be used for submittals in the solicitation and contract stages, in my opinion.

Are you referring to contractor work products that are in progress that the government wants to be able to view and/or comment on?

I developed performance specifications that have been included in standardized US Army Corps of Engineers design-build contracts for billions of dollars worth of Army MILCON and BRAC design-build projects, beginning in 2006 or so. We use the Construction Specifications Institute's MasterFormat in lieu of tthe Unified Contract Format (UCF) for D-B contracts. Spec section 01 33 16 "Design After Award" covers the development of the D-B team's design, based upon the government's design criteria and the contractor's contract design proposal. As part of the design development process, we offer to participate in a voluntary "Over the Shoulder Review" process using mutually acceptable processes that allow the D-B team to share and the government's technical team to view the design as it develops before formal deliverable submissions and the parties interact in order to facilitate a faster design development and to avoid surprises or conflicts during the later formal design reviews. We allow the D-B to post its design on the contractor's sites for reviews and communications by those registered government reviewers. We conduct telephonic meetings on a regular basis for the two teams to ask, answer and discuss design details, make suggestions, etc.

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Some contractors maintain their accounting system in electronic form. I know that DCAA frequently wishes to have direct access to data that is contained in the contractor's electronic accounting system. Therefore, it is necessary for the DCAA auditor to have a user ID and password to gain access to the electronic accounting system. See, FAR 52.215-2(a).

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By definition, to "submit" means to present or give something (document, etc.) to someone for review, approval, etc.

Allowing or requiring government personnel to sign up or register and obtain a password to view, act on, approve, review etc. isn't "submitting".

The government should possess, control access to and maintain the integrity of submittals - after the contractor submits them.

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