The Department of State (DoS) Office of Acquisition Management (A/LM/AQM) is conducting this acquisition for digital electronic reading devices (“e-Readers”) on behalf of the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R). Nature and/or description of the action being approved: New single-award indefinitedelivery indefinite-quantity contract for, for a base year and four (4) one-year options, on a sole-source basis to Amazon. A description of the supplies or services required to meet the Department’s needs: The DoS has an ongoing, repetitive requirement for e-Readers and content meeting certain key specifications, including an immediate need for approximately 2,500 eReaders and 50 titles of content. The DoS has identified the Amazon Kindle as the only e-Reader on the market that meets the Government’s needs, and Amazon as the only company possessing the essential capabilities required by the Government, as identified below. The Government’s essential requirements include: Central Management System: The DoS requires a secure, centrally managed content distribution and management platform to centrally manage an unlimited number of ereader/tablet devices. The platform must also be able to perform centralized content purchases, management and dissemination for any number of or subset of Department of State devices (e.g., Apple iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle, RIM Blackberry, PC, and MAC) deployed around the world. e-Reader Device: The DoS requires an e-Reader device that provides at least a 6" diagonal E Ink display, optimized with proprietary waveform and font technology, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale. The device must hold up to 1,400 books or have at least 2GB of internal memory. The device must be accessible to public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS); and does not connect to WPA and WPA2 secured networks using 802.1X authentication methods; and does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks. The device must include a front light feature. The e-Reader may also have video and audio capabilities. All audio and video files, both USG-produced and 3rd party materials, must be downloadable to the e-Reader device located in the United States and overseas. International 3G Services: The DoS requires an e-reader device that can access and download content via 3G (cellular network) and Wi-Fi connections. Cellular connectivity must conform to the GSM mobile wireless standard. Costs associated with downloading content either via 3G or Wi-Fi must be not separately priced (NSP). International services are required because the devices will be deployed worldwide in American Spaces including libraries, cultural centers, reading rooms and other



Justification and Approval for Other Than Full and Open Competition – Amazon e-Reader IDIQ

partnership institutions such as Bi-National Centers as well as being used as a tool for the Department’s English Access Microscholarship Program (ACCESS). Text to Speech: The e-reader will be used as a classroom tool for English language programs globally. The e-reader must have text to speech capability in English so that English language students are able to listen to content on the e-reader. A Voice Guide feature for menus and book listings and support for audio books is preferred since this feature will assist not only English language students, but also those visitors to the American spaces who want to practice their English. Battery Life: The e-reader will be used in locations where access to reliable power sources is unavailable or limited. Therefore, an extended battery life is paramount. The e-reader must have a battery life no less than approximately 8 hours of continuous reading or approximately 7.5 hours of video playback. Portability: The e-Reader must be light, compact, portable, and durable with reinforced screens. Preferred specifications: weight equal to or less than 15 ounces, and approximate dimensions of 8 Due to worldwide distribution and being handled by multiple users in the American Spaces, portability and durability are essential. Dictionary: As an English-language instruction tool, the e-Reader must have a built-in and integrated English language dictionary. Foreign Languages: The e-Reader must support the display of foreign language script and texts since USG content that is a part of the project must be able to be displayed. File Formats: e-Readers will be loaded with third party content as well as DoS published materials. Existing DoS content can be found in the following file formats: PDF, TXT, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC(X), JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP. The e-Reader must support the display of these file formats. Sharing: To reduce content procurement costs, the e-reader must provide book sharing across multiple devices not separately priced. Content: The DoS requires a public-facing, online bookstore of third party content. The Contractor must provide an exclusive, private document repository from which the DoS can distribute USG public domain material. When third party content providers have granted the Contractor the right to distribute their content at a specific price to the DoS, the Contractor shall distribute that content, at prices including said discount, to e-Readers designated by the DoS. Adjustable Font Size: Large font size must be available to meet user needs. e-Reader updates: The Contractor shall be responsible for upgrading and phasing in updated versions of the e-Reader product at least every two years so that the technology stays up to date for users. Help-Desk: The Contractor must be able to provide a dedicated 24/7 help desk to support inquires from the DoS and its partners. Warranty: The Contractor must include at least a two-year warranty for the e-Reader device, to provide replacement for any device failures, coverage against accidental damage, and the warranty must include free shipping both ways, for the damaged and replacement device. Disable Features: The Contractor must be able to disable certain standard features for the e-Reader.
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Justification and Approval for Other Than Full and Open Competition – Amazon e-Reader IDIQ

International Power Adapters: The e-reader must be shipped with appropriate country/region-specific power adapter. Evaluation and Metrics: The Contractor must provide data on how content is accessed on the e-reader. The information will include content accessed, content not accessed, length of time that content is viewed, e-reader features used and content downloaded. The Contractor must provide support in the installation and use of user surveys, whether they are proprietary or third party. The Contractor will advise on the appropriate format and timing of surveys. The format for reporting will be developed with and approved by the DoS but will include reporting by country and e-reader serial number. Shipping: The Contractor is responsible for labeling, configuring, and shipping the devices to the locations identified by the DoS with the requested content in coordination with the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The DoS will provide separate shipping addresses and points of contact. The Contractor is responsible for all aspects of shipping the devices via commercial couriers (e.g., FedEx, DHL, UPS, airline cargo etc.) All special shipping instructions provided by the DoS must be followed exactly to avoid customs delays and fees. To ensure efficient receipt, the Contractor must supply all Airway Bills, tracking numbers and commercial invoices to the DoS’ Bureau of International Information Programs within one business day of shipping. 4. An identification of the statutory authority permitting other than full and open competition: 41 U.S.C. 253(c) (1) and FAR 6.302-1: only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. A demonstration that the proposed contractor’s unique qualifications or the nature of the acquisition requires use of the authority cited: As documented by the market research described below, the Amazon Kindle is the only e-Reader device on the market that can provide text to speech capability, extended battery life, and international power adapters required by the DoS, as described above, which precludes consideration of all other brands. Furthermore, although there are commercial resellers of the Kindle, Amazon is the only provider of the Kindle who, as the patent and trade-secret holder and manufacturer of the devices, can meet the DoS’ requirements for a centrally managed registration and content distribution platform, enforced disabling of device features, and the bulk registration of new devices. A description of efforts made to ensure that offers are solicited from as many potential sources as is practicable: A sole source award synopsis will be publicized on FedBizOpps as required by FAR Subpart 5.2, and any proposals or capability statements will be considered in accordance with FAR 6.302-1(d)(2). A determination by the Contracting Officer that the anticipated cost to the Government will be fair and reasonable: Prior to making contract award under this acquisition, the Contracting Officer shall evaluate the sole source proposal received, in accordance with FAR Subpart 15.4, as applicable, and make a fair and reasonable price




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Justification and Approval for Other Than Full and Open Competition – Amazon e-Reader IDIQ

determination. As required by FAR 16.505(b)(3), when placing orders, if the contract did not establish the price for the supply or service, the contracting officer shall establish prices for each order using the policies and methods in FAR Subpart 15.4. 8. A description of the market survey conducted and the results or a statement of the reasons a market survey was not conducted: See attached comparison matrix. Other eReaders such as the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Sony Reader Daily and Kobe e-Reader cannot provide the text to speech requirement, the long-lasting battery life and the free Wi-Fi with a global network (which is a firm requirement since all devices are to be used overseas). Additionally, the portability and durability of the Kindle is unique, and is required by the government due to overseas shipment requirements and use in public facilities by students. Although the Apple iPad offers features that meet many of the requirements of this project it falls under the tablet/computer segment versus a single function e-reader device. The additional features are not only unnecessary, but also present unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project. Critically, the Apple iPad falls short on two requirements: the centrally managed platform for registration and content delivery, and battery life. 9. Any other facts supporting the use of other than full and open competition: The Kindle has been identified as the only product that will meet the DoS’ requirements as part of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs’ (R’s) efforts to globally scale e-Reader use as a tool for the DoS’ English Access Microscholarship Program (ACCESS), and also placement in DoS’ many American Spaces housed in libraries, cultural centers, reading rooms and other partnership institutions such as BiNational Centers. Recognizing the success of previous small scale Kindle pilot programs over other e-Reader purchases by Public Affairs Sections around the world, R would like to expand this success through a centralized mechanism to make it more cost effective for the DoS. Currently, the R family of bureaus coordinates information outreach and English language activities each year to more than 6 million young people in over 800 publicly accessible American spaces and local community centers overseas. Moreover, R was approved by the Under Secretary for Management to expand e-reader content and technology applications with Amazon and other private sector companies through publicprivate partnerships. R sought approval for a public-private partnership because a coordinated public-private partnership to deploy e-reader devices with access to appropriate content in programs around the world would serve to underscore America’s image as a technology leader. Also, it would deliver USG and third party content efficiently and potentially more economically to global users. Ultimately, e-readers can provide timely access to U.S. news, literature, and information not possible under traditional “hard copy” procurement and distribution methods. 10. A listing of sources, if any, that expressed, in writing, an interest in the acquisition: N/A
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Justification and Approval for Other Than Full and Open Competition – Amazon e-Reader IDIQ


A statement of the actions, if any, the agency may take to remove or overcome any barriers to competition before any subsequent acquisition for the supplies or services required. In accordance with FAR 5.102(a)(6) and 6.305(b), this J&A for other than full and open competition shall be posted with the solicitation on FedBizOpps. Throughout the contract period and at least prior to exercise of each option period under this contract, the DoS shall conduct market research in accordance with FAR Part 10 and FAR 17.207(d), to ensure that continued use of the contract is the most advantageous method of fulfilling the Government’s need, price and other factors considered, and that changes to the marketplace do not warrant new competition to fulfill ongoing needs, in consideration of Government regulation and policy objectives.

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