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GSA's Federal Technology Service Issues ACES RFP

GSA #9550

January 7, 1999
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231, or
Judith Spencer (202) 708-5600

Washington, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration, Federal Technology Service (FTS), Office of Information Security has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for its Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES) contract.

ACES is intended to provide identification, authentication, and non-repudiation via the use of digital signature technology as a means for individuals and business entities to be authenticated when accessing, retrieving, and submitting information with the government. The contract is aimed at providing a common public key infrastructure for enabling the American Public electronic access to privacy related government information and services.

"The American people should have easy electronic access to government information. They can only do this if we make sure their privacy is protected. This solicitation will help achieve that goal," said David Barram, GSA Administrator. "By developing a governmentwide solution, this service will allow the government to present a common face to the public promoting convenience and user friendliness."

The Federal government is striving to increase efficiency, productivity, and citizen access to government information and services through the introduction of modern information technologies. As stated in the Federal Public Key Infrastructure Steering Committee report Access With Trust: "It is hoped that the ACES Project can be used to evaluate the adoption of a uniform and simple identity certificate, thus promoting interoperability among agency implementations."

Rich Guida, GITS Security Champion and Chair of the Federal PKI Steering Committee said, "ACES is aiming right at the heart of what Access America is trying to do -- deliver government services electronically to the citizen."

This presents new challenges relating to the integrity and availability of information gathered, stored, processed, and transmitted by the government. One such challenge is to ensure that access to an individual's personal information is restricted to the individual in question, and that the integrity of the information is protected when transmitted using public networks like the Internet. It is therefore necessary that the individual citizen and the government be able to mutually authenticate each other's identity, and ensure the integrity of the information being transmitted and received.

Proposals are due February 19, 1999. Written comments are requested no later than January 20, 1999. Contract awards will be executed in accordance with prescribed Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) rules. MAS non-mandatory firm-fixed price contracts are intended with a base period of performance not to exceed two years and with two, two-year renewable option periods. Small businesses are encouraged to participate. ACES services are intended to be available within six months of a contract award.
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The Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES) Request for Proposals (RFP) has been digitally signed by Melanie H. Lewis, Procurement Contracting Officer (PCO) for ACES, to assure integrity of the documents. GSA also seeks to ensure the authenticity of the electronic proposals submitted in response to the ACES RFP. Therefore, all bids will be submitted electronically and digitally signed.

The ACES solicitation (#TIBA98003A) is available via Internet at http://www.gsa.gov/aces. For information about the ACES contract call Jon D. Faye at (202) 708-6099.