Notice ID 2032H8-21-R-124899
Related Notice RFI_EDCMO_IRS_SCaaS
“Introduction and Goals
The federal government struggles at times with identifying ways to test, purchase, and deploy innovative technology solutions. A large function of this is how long it takes to not only purchase the actual solution, but also test it, provide feedback, and ultimately decide how (and whether) to deploy the solution. In other words, this is not simply a ‘how quickly can we buy it’ question, but also a ‘how do we test it and decide whether or not to fund it for deployment’ question. There are also times when the federal government prescribes a specific approach to a solution, and then asks who can do it best, and for the lowest price. This can limit innovation and is often not the best approach when looking for emerging technologies and how their inclusion can benefit the government and the American taxpayers.
Pilot IRS has three goals: to 1) promote innovative responses to challenges; 2) broadly communicate areas of interest in the innovative solutions and technologies arena; and, 3) create a streamlined progression from concept to prototype, testing, and limited deployment that allows for incremental funding decisions for promising solutions and technologies.
Goal 1 – Promote Innovative Responses to IRS Challenges Pilot IRS is predicated on the concept that a major hurdle to doing business with the federal government is a perceived (or otherwise) lack of pertinent information and a lack of direct and nearterm feedback on technologies and proposals. In order to promote innovative responses to the challenges that the government faces, Pilot IRS will focus on providing information throughout the process regarding its requirements (to include direct engagement with various end-users), and providing direct feedback on proposals in a matter of weeks rather than months.
Goal 2 – Broadly Communicate Challenges and Technologies that Interest IRS Prior to any funding decisions, Pilot IRS will broadly communicate the challenges it is facing, as well as any initial thoughts on promising solutions/technologies/approaches. Because of its mission, the federal government cannot share all of the information about how it addresses these challenges, but it can share more about its efforts so firms can make more informed decisions about whether and how to pursue business with the federal government. Throughout the entire process, the IRS will post information regarding the outcomes, lessons learned, and potential applications. This information will be publicly available and will not include any intellectual property or proprietary information.
Goal 3 – Streamlined Progression from Concept to Prototype, Testing, and Limited Deployment A frequent problem within the federal government occurs, ironically, when a pilot technology/solution has been particularly successful within an agency. Federal procurement rules preclude (with some exceptions) identifying a particular technology or firm for funding based on a previous, separate contractual arrangement, regardless of how successful it may have been. By identifying streamlined submission/evaluation procedures and a structured progression from concept to prototype, testing, and limited deployment using phases, Pilot IRS seeks to avoid many of these issues…”
“Solution Challenge (SC) Six: Digitalizing Paper Files
The IRS receives paper documents that can range from a single page to hundreds of pages in length. These documents are typically 8.5” by 11”, but may be 8.5” by 14”, single- or double-sided, typed or handwritten, and attachments may include dissimilar size documents or photographs. The documents may be bound; examples include, but are not limited to, two-prong metal fasteners, spiral bindings, rubber bands, binder clips, and staples. Documents may also include tabs, separators, and sticky notes, and envelopes.
This solicitation is for innovative solutions to digitalize paper documents and transmit the digital files back to the IRS via a digital channel. At times, this solution will be limited to scanning paper and transmitting digital files (digitizing). On other occasions, the solution may be expanded to extracting machine-readable data (digitalizing). The initial focus will be on scanning paper documents. The volume contemplated is significant, with the initial potential use case having upwards of 1 billion pages.
There are no specific solutions or approaches that are being requested; rather, any approach that is focused on the four goals of the solicitation will be considered.
The four goals of this SC are:
- Receive, prepare, reproduce, sort, validate, store, return and transfer 300 and 400 dots per inch (DPI) Portable Document Format (PDF) (or comparable formats to be determined at a later date by the IRS, e.g., Extensible Markup Language (XML), etc.) digital copies of various sized paper records, pictures, and forms, potentially in very large volumes, with impeccable accuracy, high level of speed, and low levels of manual activity. 2
- Meet all IRS Minimum Technical Digitization Specifications, Minimum Metadata Elements for IRS Records, and Minimum Quality Assurance, Control and Review Standards. These standards can be found in the Attachment to RFP 2032H8-21-R-124899.
- Interface and be compliant with IRS systems, cybersecurity requirements, hardware and software, etc. Interfaces and schemas included in potential solutions would need to be approved for use by the IRS Chief Information Officer.
- Validate and report on the accuracy of scanned digital copies against the original records (paper etc.). Transfer the digital copies to downstream processes such as data extraction that may be hosted within IRS systems and/or third-party extraction solutions through industry standard interface mechanisms.
IRS will consider any reasonable approach or solution. No approach is preferred over another. When responding, please make sure to address all four SC goals…”