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Procurement Language

Scenario A

Agency uses the below text as the scope of work for a task within a larger system creation/maintenance contract. This task could be included from the start or added as a modification to the contract.

The scope of work for this task includes the following activities:

Scenario B

Agency includes the below text as part of its requirements for a contract, in order to ensure the API access to a specific system or dataset that the contractor is tasked to maintain.

The Contractor shall provide the technical capability that creates access to the data sources listed in task [##] via one or more APIs (Application Program Interface), web services solution (i.e., a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network), or other relevant or useful Internet protocol (e.g., HTTP). Batch downloading of data source may [optional: ‘should’] be available but may not be the sole access; real-time, machine-readable access must be provided for all core data sources.

Where applicable and available, core platform infrastructure and capabilities may be provided through third-party services or providers. Such providers must meet specific contractual requirements for availability, reliability, and all Government requirements for security, terms of services, privacy, 508 compliance, etc.

Scenario C

Agency includes the below text as part of a general services IT contract, ensuring that the production and maintenance of APIs is part of the overall capabilities that the agency acquires.

The Contractor shall provide a complete information platform solution for purposes of supporting defined, directly-supported systems; increased use of information via open data and Web 2.0 strategies; and to support all activities in this SOW. The tasks to be performed include, but are not limited to, the following:

Scenario D

Agency includes the below language in the Statement of Objectives for a services vendor procurement in order to require qualifying vendors to provide an API for the agency’s uses.

Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs)

Scenario E

Agency already has a general services IT contract in place that provides developer resources capable of producing APIs. Further guidance to the contractor includes:

Scenario F

Agency includes the following text in its requirements listing for a general IT services contract, so as to have resources available for any agency API production or consumption needs.

The work will be planned and implemented in design and development of specific projects and enhancements, per planned releases and projects:

Scenario G

Agency modifies an existing contract which has been used to build and maintain a specific system, using the below text to add a requirement that the contractor build an API for the system.

The goal of this addendum to incorporate an Optional Services task in Section [##] of the SOW, Software Engineering – Web Development to design, develop, test, document, and deploy an API (application programming interface) for the [Name of System]. Due to restrictions with the Government hosting facility, this API should be developed using the [XX] programming language. Additionally, the Government will provide an XML-formatted version of the content to be made accessible via the API as well as the current codebase used to create the [Name of System].

Specifically, this modification will require the following tasks to be performed:

Scenario H

Agency has an existing website with substantial amounts of data within it. They are now adding a deliverable to the existing contract behind the system to add a requirement for a read/write API.


1.1 The [NAME OF PROGRAM] Program manages [WEBSITE NAME, WEBSITE URL] and its associated [SYSTEM NAME, SYSTEM URL] in a collaborative effort to make [xxxxxx] opportunities and data available to the American and International public. These efforts meet the intentions of the Open Government and Data initiatives. This is an in-scope add-on to Contract # xxxxxxxxxx and Order # yyyyyyyyyyyy.

2.0 SCOPE:

This effort involves the development of a robust Application Programming Interface (API) that will give consumers easier and more manageable access to all [SYSTEM] data. The API shall be designed and developed to allow fully automated access to [SYSTEM] data by all interested consumers, as well as flexibility to filter and limit only subsets of the data as desired. The following elements and functionality shall be included in the development and delivery of the API:

2.1 Requirements/Discovery:

Customer interviews shall be conducted to learn more about their data needs. Use cases and mockups will be developed and presented to the [SYSTEM] COR for review and enhancement.

2.2 API Development:

2.3 API Testing:

A comprehensive test suite shall be developed in order to fully test all API functions.

2.4 Technical Documentation:

The API should be straightforward and easy to use, and written documentation shall be developed explaining the features and benefits. The documentation will be publically available on the [SYSTEM] website.

2.5 Goals (consistent with the Open Data Initiative):

2.6 Schedule:

The Contractor shall propose a schedule of development and delivery of all requested items above that includes associated milestones and final delivery date.

2.7 Timeframe:

The Government requests all deliverables be completed and delivered by MM-33-YYYY.


3.1 GFE: [SYSTEM] Database/Servers

3.2 Government Furnished Materials: [SYSTEM] data

4.0 DELIVERABLES: The table below provides a listing of deliverables, the media with the number of copies, and the recipients.

4.1 Deliverable #1 - Requirements use cases/mock ups from user interviews

4.2 Deliverable #2 – API Test Environment

4.3 Deliverable #3 – Fully developed and functional API: Containing the following features as described in Scope section 2.0: Registration, authentication, search/filter interfaces, logging and reporting

4.4 Deliverable #4 – API Technical Documentation

4.5 Deliverable Table: (milestone dates are negotiable – Contractor may propose an alternative schedule and milestones with approval by the Contracting Officer (CO) and Contracting Officer’s Representative [COR])

Para Deliverable Due Deliver To
4.1 Requirements use cases/mock ups from user interviews (milestone) MM-DD-YYYY [Name/Email of COR]
4.2 API Test Environment (milestone) MM-DD-YYYY [Name/Email of COR]
4.3 Fully developed and functional API (final) MM-DD-YYYY [Name/Email of COR]
4.4 API Technical Documentation (final) MM-DD-YYYY [Name/Email of COR]

Assorted Modification Snippets

For use (or “ingesting”) API’s:

The Contractor must be able to deliver and maintain a solution that dynamically integrates both static and dynamic content into web and mobile site templates to provide a personalized user experience based on customer preferences, search results or user navigation choices. This combined content may come from multiple data sources (external API data feeds, widgets, internal database feeds, customer profile data, manual content entered via an internal content management system by staff or partners), as is done for registered users with stored preferences.

For creation of API’s:

Contractor shall expand [WEBSITE]’s ability to create machine readable data (for example, application programming interfaces (API’s) from other Federal agency web platforms as well as other web entities for the addition of content and data (including but not limited to programs, provisions and other various information).

To address code rights:

As part of this mutually agreed upon modification, in accordance with FAR 52.227-17, the contractor agrees that copyright ownership in all data/intellectual property, including but not limited to source code, text and images, first produced under the contract and incorporated in the deliverables on the updated Deliverables Schedule (date), is transferred to the agency name without restriction.

For any data/intellectual property not first produced under the contract and incorporated on the updated Deliverables Schedule (date), the contractor agrees that it has not, nor shall not, without prior written permission of the Contracting Officer, incorporate in such deliverables any data not first produced in the performance of this contract and that contain the copyright notice of 17 U.S.C. 401 or 402, unless the Contractor identifies such data and grants to the Government, or acquires on its behalf, a license of the same scope as set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of FAR 52.227-17.

General Guidance for any API procurement - From a presentation by Mulesoft


HABIT #1: Apply an API-First design approach

  1. RUN APIs

HABIT #2: Choose a solid API runtime


HABIT #3: Create A Central Service Repository to allow people to easily find APIs

HABIT #4: Manage Services Through Versions, Policies and Contracts * Security and throttling policies * Carefully managing consumers of those APIs

HABIT #5: Promote and socialize your API * Establishing a developer portal that is really easy for a developer to come in and use the API

HABIT #6: Monitor and Assess API usage * Reviewing analytics metrics

HABIT #7: Refactor API to improve consumer experience & productivity

A Project of 18F