Steps to Becoming a Web Vendor

On January 9, 2012, the Committee on House Administration approved new policies governing how private vendors are to provide public web services to the offices of the House.  All vendors—including vendors who have previously provided web services to House offices or who are currently providing web services to House offices—must comply with these policies no later than February 1, 2012, as a condition of being eligible to do business with the House.  The new policies supersede all previous policies governing the provision of web services to offices of the House and supersede any previous agreements made between vendors and any office of the House.

The following is a summary of the stages that all vendors are now required to perform in order to provide web services to offices of the House.  For more information, contact the HIR Vendor Management staff at web.vendors@mail.house.gov or at (202) 226-2140.

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Step 1: Non-Disclosure Agreement

Each vendor must sign and submit to HIR Vendor Management a new Non-Disclosure Agreement.  All vendors—including those who have previously filed any Non-Disclosure Agreements (or Affirmations of Non-Disclosure Forms) with HIR Vendor Management, the CAO, or other offices of the House—must file this new NDA. 

Step 2: Master Web Services Agreement and related material

Once HIR Vendor Management has received the signed Non-Disclosure Agreement (and CAO Acquisitions Management has executed the NDA), HIR Vendor Management will provide the vendor with a fully executed copy of the NDA, a copy of the Master Web Services Agreement, and the documents that are referenced in the Master Web Services Agreement. The Agreement is a contract between the vendor and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House, acting on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Agreement sets out the rules for providing web services to offices of the House.  As a condition for being eligible to provide web services to any office of the House, the vendor must sign the Master Web Services Agreement and send it to HIR Vendor Management. The Master Web Services Agreement must be signed by the vendor and the CAO before it becomes effective.

When filing the signed Master Web Services Agreement with HIR Vendor Management, the vendor should also indicate what platform(s) they intend to use.  Drupal (version 7) is the preferred platform for providing web services to offices of the House.  Other platforms may be used in certain circumstances (for more information, contact HIR Vendor Management).

Vendor may also provide material describing the services that vendor proposes to provide to House offices.  HIR Vendor Management will endeavor to make this material available to interested House offices.

Step 3: Technical Briefing

Once HIR Vendor Management receives the signed Master Web Services Agreement and the other material mentioned in Step 2, above, HIR Vendor Management will make arrangements to provide the vendor with a technical briefing.  All vendors must have received this briefing before doing work for an office of the House.

Step 4: Client Work Orders

Once a vendor has received the technical briefing, the vendor may enter into agreements with individual House offices to provide web services. The only vehicle that may be used for this purpose is the Client Work Order which is an attachment to the Master Web Services Agreement. Client Work Order specifies the scope of work and the fees charged.

Once a Client Work Order has been signed by the office and the vendor, the vendor must send a copy to HIR Vendor Management.  The vendor may not perform any work for an office of the House until the Client Work Order has been received by HIR Vendor Management.

Note:  In certain circumstances, the vendor may not begin work until the Client Work Order has been reviewed and approved by the Administrative Counsel of the Chief Administrative Officer of the House.  For more information, contact HIR Vendor Management.

First Client Work Order: The first time that a vendor submits a Client Work Order, the vendor must also submit a signed Automated Clearing House (ACH) Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form to HIR Vendor Management.

Step 5: Background Checks

When a vendor sends a copy of the Client Work Order to HIR Vendor Management, the vendor must also provide HIR Vendor Management with a list of the employees of the vendor who will need access to any House technology or confidential resources.  If any of those employees do not have a current U.S. Capitol Police background check, such a check will need to be performed.  HIR Vendor Management will coordinate such background checks with the vendor and the Capitol Police.

Note:  Vendors may not use subcontractors to provide web services to House offices without the permission of the Chief Administrative Officer of the House.  Vendors who wish to use subcontractors should contact HIR Vendor Management before engaging subcontractors.

Step 6: Billing and Payment

Vendors are to request payment by submitting an invoice to the office with which they have a Client Work Order (with a copy to HIR Vendor Management). Each invoice must include:

  • the name of the Client;
  • the dates of service;
  • the name, address, phone number and contact person of the Vendor;
  • the invoice number;
  • a description of work performed or product delivered (that distinguishes between one-time and recurring services or deliverables), and corresponding cost(s);
  • the Client Work Order number; and
  • a copy of the Client Work Order.

Note: If the invoice is for any of the following, the work product must have successfully passed a security audit before vendor may submit an invoice:

  • creation, development, and/or coding of a new website;
  • new physical or virtual server installed;
  • new web server engine installation (e.g., Apache);
  • new database server installation;
  • new CMS system installation;
  • new CMS module added; or
  • new form or form modification that collects Personally Identifiable Information.