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Digitization and Management of Authoritative Resources


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Applicants must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Applicants are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: There are many documents developed during the procurement of Air Force systems. They provide technical and operational instructions/policies that evolve throughout time. In some cases, it is difficult to determine which document is the authoritative resource (the most current policy/guide). Authoritative resources are a significant factor in the success of developing and integrating tools and infrastructure to facilitate the adoption of Digital Engineering. We are seeking alternatives to establish digitization of such tools and practices. These efforts require resource models and a general way to provide precise descriptions of how to manage such resources. Digitization also requires that the notion of a document and its elements can be distributed, but still be authoritative. The theme may include published reports, patents and lessons-learned materials. The mechanisms, including distributed versioning and tagging and security levels, need to be specified and be part of the resource model. Tooling should allow business rules to be defined around the resource model to establish required and best practices during and maintaining the resource lifecycle. Additionally, resources that are authoritative must be accessible to a variety of stakeholders. These stakeholders desire different views of the resource representing their needs and concerns. For example, the warfighter maintaining a system in the field may utilize a Technical Order (TO) to determine what kind of screwdriver is needed to accomplish the task. However, that information is not relevant to a general officer at the Pentagon who is reviewing TOs to evaluate mission readiness. Other stakeholders may or may not require information on required tools; being able to view resources in multiple ways will greatly increase efficiency in acquisition, operations, and sustainment. At the end of Phase II, we anticipate the development of a system that meets these considerations. This system will process resources used by AFNWC, preserve authority and security, and be accessible to a variety of users. DESCRIPTION: Examples of resources used by AFNWC will be provided to aid development and for verification and validation. The system will be developed with security in mind, but no classified information will be processed during Phase II. Authority to Operate (ATO) will be pursued from the start of the Phase II contract, as it will be critical to transitioning the finished system. A system developed for general use will require adaptations for AFNWC needs. These adaptations will be needed to address security concerns, resource management, and record keeping, among other topics. Extensive testing will be conducted to verify system effectiveness for resources used within AFNWC. Successful development will enable the system to be deployed in AFNWC acquisition programs. AFNWC needs a contractor to develop or modify an application for digitization and management of authoritative resources. The application will be tailored to process AFNWC data, provided at the start of the contract. ATO will be achieved by the end of Phase II. Training on use of the application will be provided, and demonstration of the application at the end of Phase II will be used to facilitate transition to Phase III. Status meetings will occur at least monthly, with quarterly written reports submitted. PHASE I: This is a D2P2, and as such, no Phase I awards will be made. In order to meet the D2P2 Topic requirement, applicants must show feasibility by demonstrating familiarity with technology used to digitize paper-based documents in to a format that is understandable by computers. This is not simply scanning and Optical Character Recognition; information captured should be able to be utilized in areas such as system models. A working platform is desirable. Modifications to the platform will be needed in order to meet AFNWC needs. PHASE II: Phase II will focus on adapting an existing solution to be used in AFNWC-specific areas. Example resources used by AFNWC will be provided. These will be used to guide development; additional resources will be used for verification and validation of the solution. A successful Phase II solution will be able to process AFNWC resources into a fully digital form, while preserving authority and security. This digital form will be accessible to a wide variety of stakeholders. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III efforts will be centered around transitioning the product to a program of record for use in real-world situations. The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the ITAR, 22 C.F.R. Parts 120 - 130 or the EAR, 15 C.F.R. Parts 710 - 774. REFERENCES: 1. “Accelerate Change or Lose,” General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., United States Air Force, August 2020. KEYWORDS: Digitization; Digital Transformation; Authoritative Source of Truth;
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