PERIOD OF PROPOSAL SUBMISSION ENDS: January 11, 2013
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (hereafter "the Commission") invites submission of proposals to provide a one-time unclassified report on cloud computing in China, with particular emphasis on the role of the Chinese government and state-owned enterprises in developing China's cloud computing industry; how the social, legal, and regulatory environment in China may affect foreign consumers of Chinese cloud services; and risks or security issues for U.S. users of Chinese cloud computing services, including how information stored by Chinese cloud computing services might be susceptible to theft or exploitation, or how cloud computing infrastructure might be used to launch or enable cyber attacks.
ABOUT THE COMMISSION. The Commission was established by Congress in 2000 to monitor and report to Congress on the economic and national security dimensions of the United States' trade and economic ties with the People's Republic of China. Further details about the Commission are available on its website at: www.uscc.gov.
The Commission solicits this research pursuant to its Congressional mandate (contained in 22 U.S.C. 7002), which states that "The Commission...shall investigate and report exclusively on...
"UNITED STATES-CHINA BILATERAL PROGRAMS.-Science and technology programs, the degree of non-compliance by the People's Republic of China with agreements between the United States and the People's Republic of China on prison labor imports and intellectual property rights, and United States enforcement policies with respect to such agreements."
"FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.-The implications of restrictions on speech and access to information in the People's Republic of China for its relations with the United States in the areas of economic and security policy."
ABOUT PROPOSALS. The Commission solicits proposals from organizations and individuals capable of providing a one-time unclassified report on cloud computing in China, with particular emphasis on the role of the Chinese government and state-owned enterprises in developing China's cloud computing industry; how the social, legal, and regulatory environment in China may affect foreign consumers of Chinese cloud services; and risks or security issues for U.S. users of Chinese cloud computing services, including how information stored by Chinese cloud computing services might be susceptible to theft or exploitation, or how cloud computing infrastructure might be used to launch or enable cyber attacks.
Key issues and questions to be addressed by the report are:
1. Briefly define cloud computing. Is this term used the same way in the United States and China? Are there any differences between the countries' (i.e., in government or industry) views on the role and prospects for cloud computing?
2. Detail the development of China's cloud computing efforts. Key questions include: When did they start? What is their level of capability vis-à-vis U.S. and other foreign providers? How does China's cloud deployment/penetration compare to the United States? How have U.S. firms helped in the development of China's cloud computing efforts (and vice versa, if applicable)? What roles have the Chinese government and Chinese state-owned enterprises played in China's cloud computing development?
3. Explain the extent to which U.S. consumers use: 1) American- or Chinese-owned or operated cloud infrastructure in China, and 2) Chinese developed, owned, or operated cloud infrastructure outside of China. In each case, is information about China's role in this infrastructure transparent or available to consumers? To what extent are decisions to utilize this infrastructure made directly by consumers versus services providers? How do current market trends affect these decisions?
4. Describe, from the perspective of a U.S. consumer, potential risks and security issues associated with the utilization of Chinese cloud infrastructure. Do Chinese firms offering cloud services provide information assurance services comparable to U.S. and other foreign counterparts? How does the social, legal, and regulatory environment in China affect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information stored or transmitted by Chinese cloud operations? How can cloud infrastructure be used for the purposes of censorship or to launch or enable cyber attacks? To what extent is information stored or transmitted by Chinese cloud systems susceptible to theft or exploitation? In each case, how do these potential risks and security vulnerabilities compare to services available from U.S. or other foreign providers?
5. Assess the prospects for cloud computing in China. Will the technology become more widespread? If so, at what rate? How innovative are Chinese firms operating in the cloud market? Beyond the technology alone (i.e., also accounting for legal, regulatory, and market factors, such as potential subsidies), are U.S. firms favorably positioned to compete against Chinese firms in this sector?
Additional Requirements of the Commission:
1. Prior to the award of any contract, the contractor must be registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM).
2. Once a contractor has been selected for this project by the Commission and a contract signed, public notice of this will be made on the Commission's website.
3. The Commission's goal is to have a report prepared for review in a timely fashion. In ordinary circumstances, once a contractor has been selected by the Commission and a contract signed, a draft of the report must be submitted to the Commission for review no later than 120 days from the date of issuance of the contract. The Commission will then endeavor to provide comments and requests for adjustments within 30 days; subsequently, the final report must be submitted within 30 days of formal receipt of the Commission's comments. The Commission recognizes that, under certain circumstances, a contractor may wish to have more time to prepare the first draft of the report under the contract. The contractor, in their initial submission, should stipulate the time frame for submissions of the initial review draft. It is to be understood, however, that time is of the essence in completing research contracts for the Commission.
4. As work on the report progresses, the Commission's Research Coordinator shall act as a representative of the Commission in monitoring the progress, quality, and responsiveness of the report to the major issues of concern identified in the Request for Proposals (RFP). The Research Coordinator shall, on request to the contractor, be entitled to informal briefings on the status of the research work and to readings of the draft in progress.
5. The report shall conform to the Chicago Manual of Style. Upon receipt of all drafts, the Commission will inspect the document for typographical errors or other deviations from the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines. At the discretion of the Commission, if a draft contains excessive deficiencies, the Commission will return the draft to the contractor with notice that the draft does not conform to the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines, and request the contractor cure the draft of deficiencies within five (5) working days (not counting weekends and Federal holidays). Upon resubmission of the draft by the contractor to the Commission, should deficiencies remain, the Commission, at its discretion, will submit the draft to its technical editor for correction, the cost of which ($55 per hour for text, $65 per hour for endnotes) will be deducted from the final cost of the contract. The contract shall be subject to termination if the Commission deems that the work is of unsatisfactory quality.
6. At the Commission's discretion, the report procured via this RFP may be posted on the Commission's website.
7. Each organization or individual responding to this request must warrant that they will perform this work solely for the Commission, and that the resulting report will not be shared with other parties without the prior written consent of the Commission.
8. The Commission expects contractors to identify all personnel working on the contract, and that there will not be any delegation of responsibilities to other parties without prior written approval of the Commission.
9. After completion of the report, the Commission staff, in consultation with the Contractor, will prepare a short summary of the research for posting on the Commission's web site and other media. The Commission staff shall consult with the contractor in preparing said document.
10. At the discretion and request of the Commission, the contractor shall agree to participate in up for four (4) separate briefings, and up to one (1) public hearing, held by the Commission, of up to two (2) hours each in the Washington, D.C. area, supported by at least one (1) individual affiliated with the Contractor identified as "key personnel." This could include, but not necessarily be limited to, briefing the content of the research to Commissioners and Commission staff, appearing as witnesses at a public hearing held by the Commission, and briefing the content of the research to Members of Congress and/or their staff. No additional remuneration will be provided to the Contractor for these briefings or a hearing. The Commission will make a good faith effort to schedule briefings and a hearing at times that are subject to mutual agreement.
Primary Selection Criteria:
1. The Commission will determine which organization or individual responding to this request will be awarded the contract based on a comprehensive "best value" analysis of the proposals received, to include costs, technical value, and ability to complete the work satisfactorily and on time, and past performance with the Commission, if applicable.
2. The primary weighting criterion in selection shall be the assessed qualifications and ability of an organization or individual to address the fundamental research points enunciated above ("Key issues and questions to be addressed by the report").
3. The cost and amount of time necessary to complete the report will also be considered as criteria in the selection process.
Proposal submissions should include:
1. A statement of the applicant's relevant qualifications to satisfy the terms of this RFP, to include curricula vitae for personnel intended for work on the project.
2. Identification of the principal researchers who will be responsible for the preparation of the report. It is understood that the designation of the researchers is a critical element of the proposal, and any changes regarding which individuals will be involved in the report's preparation must be approved by the Commission in advance and in writing.
3. A description of the research methodology the applicant proposes to employ. In describing methodology, the submission should provide detailed descriptions of the sources and methods that will be used to research the report's topic and the extent to which Chinese language sources, if any, and other primary materials will be used.
4. An estimate of the time the applicant will need to complete the required work.
5. The price the applicant will charge to the Commission to complete the work set forth in this RFP.
Organizations and individuals wishing to submit a proposal in response to this RFP must ensure that the response arrives at the location noted below by 5:30PM (EST) on January 11, 2013, or it will not be accepted or considered.
Electronic submissions are acceptable.
Proposals, as well as inquiries or any other correspondence related to this matter, should be directed to:
Caitlin Campbell Research Coordinator U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hall of the States, Suite 602 444 North Capitol Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 phone: 202-624-1480 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org