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NASA ARC Internal Memo: Message from the Deputy Director - RLEP Mission 2 Competition

Status Report From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Centerwide Announcement
Subject: Message from the Deputy Director - RLEP Mission 2 Competition

Message from the Deputy Director
RLEP Mission 2 Competition

A recent centerwide message was sent from the Center Director that announced the assignment to NASA Ames Research Center of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program Office (RLEP). RLEP is a coordinated series of missions to orbit or land on the moon, in order to develop technologies and reduce risk for follow-on Human Exploration missions. The second RLEP mission (RLEP Mission 2), a lunar lander mission, will be assigned by NASA Headquarters to a NASA Center for implementation through directed work after a short competitive process.

Ames Research Center has chosen to enter into competing partnerships for the RLEP Mission 2. The mechanism to select the RLEP Mission 2 proposal is not yet known, but we must treat that competition as if it were a competitive solicitation. To prevent the sharing of intellectual property or other "proprietary" information which could result in any Ames or external proposal team gaining an advantage in competition due to that information, we are implementing a firewall policy similar to those already implemented for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and CEV Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) proposal teams.

As of this date, Ames has identified staff assignments for the RLEP Program Office and the ARC Proposal Teams associated with known Mission 2 Proposals. In particular, staffs have been assigned to proposal teams as study managers, lead scientists, and lead technologists. RLEP Mission 2 proposal teams will be supported by a common group of technical staff consisting of engineers, scientists, technicians, and crafts personnel. This technical pool will only give pricing information in response to general non-proprietary technical requests from the proposal teams. The technical pool will not be involved in conceptual design and under no circumstances will they receive proprietary or sensitive data. All requests to the technical pool will be communicated through the ARC Proposal Team Managers associated with the respective RLEP Mission 2 Proposal Teams. These managers will both insure that no proprietary or sensitive information is passed on to the technical pool and act as gatekeepers. In instances where the proposal teams make the same request for information, the same information will be provided to each of them. Both RLEP Proposal Teams will be informed of what common facilities and technical expertise will be available to both teams.

Proprietary and competition-sensitive information is to be kept in confidence and is to be used only for the applicable Mission 2 Team proposal preparation. Do not share information outside of your proposal team. Specially, do not share information with a competing proposal team or the RLEP Program Office. Any person assigned to a specific RLEP Mission 2 proposal team is prohibited from sharing any proposal-sensitive or proprietary information with anyone currently assigned to a competing RLEP Mission 2 proposal team. Additionally, anyone assigned to an RLEP Mission 2 proposal team is prohibited from sharing any proposal-sensitive or proprietary information with anyone currently assigned to the RLEP Program Office. Anyone currently assigned to the RLEP Program Office is likewise prohibited from sharing any proposal-sensitive or proprietary information with anyone currently assigned to a RLEP Mission 2 proposal team. In addition, anyone assigned to the RLEP Program Office is cautioned that information related to Headquarters' direction, mission architectures, requirements, solicitation schedule, and/or funding must be formally released to all potential proposal parties and cannot be shared informally or with only one proposal team. The technical, scientific, and administrative staff in support of any proposal is prohibited from sharing any proposal-sensitive or proprietary information between the two proposal teams.

The ARC Proposal Team Managers associated with their respective RLEP Mission 2 Proposal Teams will act as both gatekeepers of their respective team's proprietary and sensitive information and as principal points of contact. Branch and Division line organization managers are to implement functional firewalls to prevent the direct and/or inadvertent sharing of any proposal-sensitive or proprietary information within the staffs of their organization during the preparation of each competitive proposal.

Only Ames Research Center organizational directors and senior Center management with a "need to know" will be allowed access to any proposal information. The Deputy Director, in consultation with the ARC RLEP Mission 2 Proposal Team Managers, will determine on a case by case basis the individuals with a "need to know" until such time as a Contracting Officer is identified. Under no circumstances will any proposal-sensitive or proprietary information be communicated to any RLEP Mission 2 proposal team. As of this date, the Ames organizational directors and senior Center management staff are not participating in the Mission 2 team selection by NASA Headquarters.

Please make your organizations immediately aware of this firewall policy for the RLEP Mission 2 proposal process. If more information and/or guidelines are needed, please contact: Dan Bufton, Chief of Project Management Office (Code PX) at 650-604-4107 (Daniel.M.Bufton@nasa.gov) or Wendy Dolci, Chief of New Business Office (Code PS) at 650-604-6358 (Wendy.W.Dolci@nasa.gov).

For Ames Research Center to effectively manage the RLEP for NASA Headquarters, and maintain its competitive position during the preparation period for the RLEP Mission 2 proposals, it is absolutely essential that all managers and supervisors implement and maintain an auditable firewall system to prevent possible contamination of either technical or business proprietary information.

Again, please call Dan Bufton or Wendy Dolci if you have any questions on distributing this information or the above policy.

Stan Newberry
Deputy Center Director

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