Janus BAA Questions

#QuestionAnswerDate Posted
001 Many common questions are covered in the IARPA frequently asked questions page. Please see http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/faqs for these questions. 11/29/13
002 Please explain the apparent difference between the cover sheet requirements in the BAA and the attachments. Separate Cover Sheet templates are required for each volume. As called out in the BAA Section 4.B.1.1, the cover sheet template in Appendix B is for Volume 1 Technical Management Details and contains 15 items. As called out in the BAA Section 4.B.2 the cover sheet template in Appendix C is for Volume 2 Cost Proposal and contains 21 items. 11/29/13
003 Are there any limits with regards to page margins? 1" margins are required and an amendment to the BAA implementing that change will be posted. 11/29/13
004 Can the government recommend potential teaming partners? While IARPA encourages potential offerors to team, we cannot make recommendations for specific teaming partners. It is the responsibility of the offeror to determine the appropriate teaming arrangement in support of their proposed approach. 11/29/13
005 BAA Section 4.B.1.2, Paragraph E (Project contributors) states that participants are expected to dedicate no less than 20% of their time, whereas BAA Section 4.B.1.3, Paragraph I (Detailed Management Plan) states that participants are expected to dedicate at least 50% of their time. Could you please clarify this discrepancy? As stated in Section 4.B.1.3, Paragraph I, "Participation by key industry personnel and significant contributors is expected to meet or exceed 50% of their time. Participation by key academic personnel and significant contributors is expected to meet or exceed 25% of their time." Offerors have the discretion to propose the appropriate mix of labor and key personnel to support the proposed technical approach.
As stated in Section 4.B.1.2, Paragraph E, "Interested parties are encouraged to leverage personnel that are dedicated to BAA requirements no less than 20% of their time. If any participant is scheduled for less than 20% of his/her time, the offeror will provide a clear and compelling justification as to how benefit can be gained from that person‘s participation at the specified level of effort." This requirement applies to proposed personnel other than the key personnel proposed.
11/29/13
006 The BAA recommends that the proposal include an Academic Institution Acknowledgement Letter for each U.S. academic organization that is on the team. Do you need such a letter from a foreign academic institution that is part of our team? See IARPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) B10. FAQs are found at http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/faqs. 11/29/13
007 Will the government-furnished datasets provided to developers by the Janus program be releasable to non-U.S. persons? Specifically, will we be able to provide those datasets to university partners who may have foreign students/researchers supporting the program? Government furnished datasets provided by the program are releasable to non-US participants in the program. 11/29/13
008 For Section 4.B.1.3.F, "Cost, Schedule, Milestone," Ref: Cost requirements: …including estimates of cost for each deliverable delineated by the primes and major subcontractors, total cost, and company cost share, if any. Where the effort consists of multiple portions that could reasonably be partitioned for purposes of funding, these should be identified as options with separate cost estimates for each. Would the Government please define "cost", is it $, hours, or a synopsis of the Vol 2 Pricing data? The cost estimates should be in US dollars, covering the breakouts specified within Section 4.B.1.3.F. 11/29/13
009 For Section 4.B.1.3.F, "Cost, Schedule, Milestone," Would the Government please consider removing the ‘Cost’ requirements from the Technical Volume so that a compliant response can be provided within the page limit? A brief summary of costs is still required in the Technical Volume as stated in Section 4.B.1.3.F. 11/29/13
010 For Section 4.A.1, "Proposal Information," Reference contractor evaluators (expert advice), would the Government please clarify if the Government or Offeror is to provide the Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) with the Evaluation Contractors (Scitor Corporation, RAI Government Services, LLC, and Nobis)? Pursuant to Section 4.A.1, all evaluators are required to sign government NDAs. An NDA with the Offeror is not required. 11/29/13
011 For Sections 4.B, 4.B.1.2.E, and 4.B.1.4, reference Letters Commitment for Consultants, are letters required from every consultant to every team member, or only consultants to the Prime? A letter is required for every consultant whether to the prime contractor or to a subcontractor. 11/29/13
012 What is the min/max size for an award per year? See IARPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) B1. FAQs are found at http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/faqs. 11/29/13
013 How many research grants will be awarded? See IARPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) B2. FAQs are found at http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/faqs. 11/29/13
014 How many will be awarded to University versus Defense Contractor primes? As stated in Part One, "Awards based on responses to this BAA are considered to be the result of full and open competition." There is no predetermined type of organization that can be a prime under this BAA. 11/29/13
015 Who will be evaluating the proposals? As stated in Section 4.A.1, "Only Government personnel will make evaluation and selection for negotiation determinations." Also in Section 4.A.1, "The Government intends to use employees of Scitor Corporation, and its sub-contractor, RAI Government Services, LLC, and Noblis to provide expert advice regarding portions of the proposals submitted to the Government." Please note, Booz Allen Hamilton will be added to the list in Section 4.A.1 of employees from contractor organizations providing expert advice. This change will be implemented through an amendment to the BAA that will be posted. 11/29/13
016 Can raw data be used at all points during analysis assuming there is no impact on the search and matching performance? As stated in Section 1.A.1, "The Janus program will demonstrate that such representations will encapsulate the full human facial essence far better than the conventional "bag of frames" approach that simply sub-samples frames from a video." Raw data should not be the dominant form of search and matching, but it could be used to corroborate search results. 11/29/13
017 Will we have to work with anything other than visible data (ie. Near IR, SWIR, etc)? Section 1.B.3 of the BAA states that during Phase 3, "The definition of what constitutes a dataset will be expanded to include video originating outside of the visible light spectrum (e.g., near infrared).” 11/29/13
018 Is there a 30 day window for self-reporting after the delivery of DS0? Section 1.B.6 requests that beginning with the delivery of DS1 in Phase 1, performers shall provide the government within 30 calendar days with test results from a performer-conducted evaluation of the provided GFI dataset. Figure 1 agrees with that requirement except it requires self reporting test results for DS0 after 30 days as well. As stated in Section 1.B.6, self-reporting begins with DS1 in Phase 1. The reference to DS0 in Figure 1 refers to data delivery. 12/13/13
019 Page 7 of the BAA states that "offerors shall propose a representation to allow index-based searching". What types of categories or searches are to be indexed? The continuation of that sentence on page 7 requires the "representation to allow index-based searching through all the subjects present in datasets consisting of videos and photos." See footnote 2 and the fourth Paragraph of Section 1.B.2. 12/13/13
020 Do PowerPoint business briefings qualify as relevant papers in Attachment 5 since they have been disclosed to a limited audience? Only published papers are acceptable as part of Attachment 5. 12/13/13
021 Will the GFI data sets contain facial photos in images as large as the 40 megapixels which are now available from some smart phones? As stated in Section 1.A.5., "(Datasets) will intrinsically be heterogeneous in terms of … imaging quality (e.g., amateur cell phone videos, professionally developed studio broadcasts)." 12/13/13
022 Can you elaborate more on how the framework should support splitting representations of an individual into multiple representations of different individuals? Should the representation be self-contained such that it can be split into multiple representations without the need of referring to original media used for constructing the representation? In Section 1.A.1, "Offerors shall also describe their approaches to representation association and/or merging." Offerors are free to define how associations such as merging and splitting apply for their representations. Approaches requiring reference to the original media to accomplish splitting and merging operations are not excluded. 12/13/13
023 The Publication Approval requirement in Section 6.B.6 of the BAA provides that in some cases pre-publication approval may be required in Section 6.B.6 of the BAA it states that, "A courtesy soft copy of any work submitted for publication must be provided to the IARPA Program Manager and the Contracting Officer Representative (COR), at least two weeks prior to submission, and a final copy must be provided upon publication." This language infers that pre-publication approval could be required for "any work submitted for publication". Does IARPA agree that universities performing fundamental research will not be subject to any publication approval requirement? In situations where publication approval is required, when is that determination made? Does it occur once the publication is submitted to the Program Manager and COR or at some other point? As stated in Section 6.B.6., "[i]t is anticipated that research funded under this Program will be unclassified research that will not require a pre-publication review." However, pre-publication approval of certain information may be required if it is determined that release may result in the disclosure of sensitive intelligence information. In all case "[a] courtesy copy of any work submitted for publication must be provided to the IARPA Program Manager and the Contracting Officer Representative (COR), at least two weeks prior to submission, and a final copy must be provided upon publication." In any instance where pre-publication review is required it will occur once the courtesy soft copy is provided to the Program Manager and COR. 12/17/13
024 Will the Government Furnished Information (GFI) data sets be International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) restricted? Will any protection of the government datasets be required (e.g., limited access)? It is not anticipated that Program provided GFI data sets will be subject to export control. In cases where they are, see Section 6.B.7. Any distribution of the datasets outside of the Program must be approved by the Program Manager. 12/17/13
025 If an Offeror will deliver any ITAR restricted data to the Government during contract performance does the Government require advanced notification or require a specific legend to be included on the ITAR restricted data when delivered? See Section 6.B.7, Export Control. 12/17/13
026 Please clarify how asserting SBIR, Limited, or Restricted rights in deliverables will be evaluated as a significant weakness to the Offeror’s proposal? Reference Section 4.B.1.3.E. See Section 5.A.3., and the final paragraph of Section 5.A.2. Government Purpose Rights are described in the footnote on BAA page 10. 12/17/13
027 We are looking to clarify what limitations IARPA expects would exist on the team's ability to sell commercial versions of the solution to potential customers within government and commercially. We understand and expect that the prototype solution developed under the program would be made available with unlimited GPR, but are unclear where the boundaries are between unlimited GPR on that prototype solution and the ability to commercially market a solution. Government Purpose Rights are described in the footnote on BAA page 10. 12/17/13
028 The BAA requires that cost be broken out by fiscal year. Is that the Government's fiscal year or the contractor's fiscal year? Fiscal year refers to the Government’s fiscal year. In addition, see Section 4.B.2 which elaborates on a base period and option year cost element breakdown aligned with Program phases.. 12/17/13
029 Can a type of agreement be used that doesn't require the use of the FAR Part 31 cost principles as the funding agreement? Examples include firm fixed price, level of effort, term contracts and "Section 845 other transaction agreement for prototypes." The Janus BAA is for procurement contracts. See part 10 of the Cost Proposal coversheet description in Section 4.B.2. for award instruments. Please note, IARPA will not entertain OTAs or grants for this BAA. 12/17/13
030 Can I participate in two independent proposals at the same time? Are there consequences I have to consider? See IARPA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) T1. FAQs are found at http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/faqs. 12/17/13
031 Do the export control laws and regulations mentioned in the BAA apply to all phases of the research on the Janus program? The Offeror is responsible for all U.S. export control laws and regulations as outlined in Section 6.B.7. 12/17/13
032 Can foreign nationals at universities work on Janus? As stated in Section 3.A, "Foreign participants and/or individuals may participate to the extent that such participants comply with any necessary Non-Disclosure Agreements, Security Regulations, Export Control Laws and other governing statutes applicable under the circumstances." 12/17/13
033 Section 4.B.1.3, Subsection I "Detailed Management Plan" (BAA Pg. 17) states that "Project /function /subcontractor relationships (including formal teaming agreements), Government research interfaces, and planning, scheduling and control practices should be described." Are formal Teaming Agreements required, or would a Letter of Intent that will indicate a university subcontractor’s intent to be a part of this project be acceptable instead of a Teaming Agreement? Section 4.B.1.3, Subsection I states formal agreements shall be described. 12/17/13
034 With regards to the IARPA-BAA-13-07 program's Meeting and Travel Requirements, the solicitation section 6.B.4 (page 35) states there is to be a Kickoff during the first month of the Program and then Program-level workshops every twelve months. "Table 3 - Program Timeline" (page 17), however, also states that there are to be Kickoff meetings at the start of Phase 2 and Phase 3. Since these are not listed in 6.B.4, would you please confirm if the Phase 2 and Phase 3 Kickoff meetings should be attended via teleconference? Performer PIs are expected to attend Program Kickoffs in person. 12/17/13
035 Is the limit of 2 pages for the Summary Section a hard stop, even if the overall requirement for 30 pages maximum for Volume 1 is met? Given the 2 page limitation, could the biographical sketches reference Attachment 6? Yes, the limit for the Summary section is 2 pages. The "brief biographical sketches" should stand alone and can reference BAA attachments. See Paragraph E of Section 4.B.1.2. 12/17/13
036 Section 4.B.1.2 states that a justification is required for participants scheduled for less than 20% of their time. A similar statement is made for key personnel at 50%. Is this percentage over the duration of the program or can it be applied to a specific task, where the overall duration is less than a program phase? Participation is measured as percent of an individual’s time, and applies for each phase that individual is involved in the program. 12/17/13
037 Do foreign participants (research centers, companies, etc) need to submit any other additional administrative documents apart from the NDAs? The BAA’s proposal instructions do not specify an NDA for Offerors. 12/17/13
038 Would you please clarify the term "fringe benefits" and "profit/fee" within the cost table of appendix E, in order to be able to fill in the correct information. Please refer to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) available from www.acquisition.gov for clarification on these terms. 12/17/13
039 Is there any commercial or scientific restriction on the exploitation of the project outcome by any of the team members? Please see Question 027. 12/17/13
040 Are we allowed to charge software items licenses such as those listed below to the contract if they are to be used for the contract during development but will not be delivered (i.e. license) to the customer after the contract? 1) Matlab licenses, toolboxes (signal, image, statistics, database, wavelets, computer vision, etc), and renewals 2) Visual studios C/C++ 3)Any other software Please see Section 5.A.5, which states that "Equipment, software, and data collection expenses must be well justified, and will be a consideration in cost realism." 12/17/13
041 Do Janus team members who team with multiple Prime teams have to declare a potential OCI and provide a subcontractor Mitigation Plan that outlines how the company will firewall potential multiple Janus teaming efforts if awards are made to 2 or more Primes the company teams with? As stated in Section 3.C.1., "Specific content, communications, networking and team formations are the sole responsibility of the participants." 12/17/13
042 Can you elaborate more on the role (active or passive) of the analyst in the JANUS framework? How should the system accommodate for the presence or absence of the analyst? The following sections offer guidance on the role of the analyst in the Janus program: Section 1.A.1, "Janus is not focused on … the development of advanced interfaces for facial analysis," Section 1.A.3, "Offerors shall consider the impact of uncertainty on matching performance, how such uncertainty can be communicated to the analyst, and how their approach will support the analyst decision-making process." 12/17/13
043 Page 29, 4.B.2. Volume 2: Cost Proposal {No Page Limit}, Section 2: Estimated Cost Breakdown, Paragraph 1, Third Sentence, includes the following text: "Subcontractor proposals should include Interdivisional Work Transfer Agreements (IWTA) or similar arrangements." How should an Offeror address this requirement if a subcontractor does not have multiple divisions? An IWTA only needs to be included when appropriate. 12/17/13
044 I would like to request a one-month extension to the proposal due date, for the Janus Program proposals. As stated on BAA page 21, Section 4.A.1., "Proposals must be received by the time and date specified in Section 4.C.1, (Due Dates), in order to be considered during the initial round of selections. IARPA may evaluate proposals received after this date for a period of up to one year from the date of initial posting on FedBizOpps." 12/17/13
045 Are executables and libraries a valid option for deliverables or is source code required? For all software deliverables, the performer shall include source code produced in the course of software development for the delivered version of software. In addition to source code, these deliverables must include appropriate scripting, subordinate libraries, release notes, and other necessary components, data, and documentation. (See BAA Section 4.B.1.3.E). 12/19/13
046 Are deliverables without at least government purpose rights (GPR) a valid option? See the BAA, including Section 4.B.1.3.E, which states "The Government requires at a minimum GPR for all deliverables; anything less will be considered a significant weakness in the proposal." and "To the greatest extent feasible, offerors should not include background proprietary technical data and computer software as the basis of their proposed technical approach. If offerors desire to use proprietary technical data or computer software or both as the basis of their proposed approach, in whole or in part, in Attachment 2 they should: 1) clearly identify such data/software and its proposed particular use(s); 2) explain how the Government will be able to reach its program goals (including transition) within the proprietary model offered; and 3) provide possible nonproprietary alternatives in any area that might present transition difficulties or increased risk or cost to the Government under the proposed proprietary solutions." 12/19/13