Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The title of this post is not so secret...

The Harmonization RFP that I tallked about in "The title of this post is a secret..."  was posted publically on John Halamka's blog today.  After reading through this RFP, what I find interesting is that HITSP already did some very similar work which I discussed in Data Mapping and HITSP TN903.  I hope we aren't paying for a redevelopment of this effort, and that the selected contractor takes advantage of what is already done.

The low point in the RFP (on page 15) is this sentence:  The harmonization process shall include the function of reviewing, reconciling, developing, setting and maintaining standards.  These latter functions are of course the function of consensus standards development organizations, not government contractors or contracts.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) directs government (or so I'm told) to use standards that are adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.  OMB Circular A119 clarifies that here.  Should contractors under this RFP be responsible for developing, setting or maintaining standards, I will be interested in seeing the ONC/HHS report to NIST on the standards they do that for, and why.

One high point did appear in the first full paragraph on page 16:  ...to include relevant COIs [ed. note: COI = communities of intererest] ... The contractor shall also establish domain governance for the healthcare domain with participation from all relevant stakeholders...

Well, at least I know what it says, now we'll see how the contractors respond.  It is still entirely possible that the selected response could wind up looking very much like the Candadian model, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that idea.

I have just one final question.  What was there in this RFP that prevented the public from being able to view it three months ago.  I may never know the answer to that question, but at least another veil has been lifted.


  1. Keith, the reason the RFP's are not "public" is that they are only open for review and bidding to CIO SP-2 holders (prime contractors) and subcontractors who work with the prime contractors on their teams responding to these RFP's.

    There is no "classified material" in the TORFP, they are only announced as available to CIO SP2 prime contract holders (there are 48)

  2. Erik: Why use that process in the first place? Why not open it up like the first HITSP contract was. You cannot tell me they didn't know when it was going to expire years ahead of time. There are a lot of answers ciruculating to that question, and none of them are anything I like or even want to repeat here.

    I know who the possible contractors are, I found that out months ago.

    What I didn't know until now was the content of the RFP they've been asked to bid on. I have a stake in that process from at least four different directions, first and foremost as a patient and taxpayer. Why shouldn't I or any other stakeholder in this game have been able to know what the content of that RFP was back on March 11, after the submission deadline passed?

    There is a lot of momentum building behind what HITSP accomplished. Hopefully this new effort won't derail that train.