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VA Seeks Sources for SPRUCE IT IDIQ Vehicle

Justin Siken

The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking sources for the Secure, Performant, Reliable, and User-Centered Experiences (SPRUCE) IDIQ


VA Seeks Sources for SPRUCE IT IDIQ Vehicle

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a Request for Information for the Secure, Performant, Reliable, and User-Centered Experiences (SPRUCE) IDIQ with responses due April 21, 2023. The SPRUCE vehicle aims to provide a platform for the VA to acquire high-quality digital products and services to support modernization efforts in line with the principles of the VA Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Although the solicitation does not currently specify a set-aside, the VA's forecasting system anticipates a likely SDVOSB set-aside.  The RFI also does not indicate an expected ceiling but notes that the vehicle is designed to potentially support larger contracts than the existing $247 million CEDAR IDIQ, which has already used up most of its initial ceiling two years into its five year period of performance.  

SPRUCE Supports VA's Digital Modernization Efforts

SPRUCE will support the VA's digital modernization efforts by ensuring streamlined access to modern commercial services required for delivering products to both internal and external VA users. 

The draft PWS outlines five functional areas:

  1. Software Development and Operation: Develop, enhance, innovate, and manage custom, open-source products across the OIT ecosystem. Utilize existing VA infrastructure and platforms, including VA Enterprise Cloud,, Clinical Decision Support, Lighthouse Application Programming Interfaces (API) Gateway, and more. This may involve responsive web applications, API prototypes and SaaS pilots, mobile applications, and internal claims processing and health applications.
  2. Technical Advising and Architecture Planning: Provide expert technical guidance and IT operations support to OIT personnel in executing their portfolio or product line priorities. Provide architecture planning services and establish operational frameworks for delivery. This may involve supporting innovation from commercial practices, engineering operations, analysis of alternatives, and systems and boundaries disambiguation.
  3. Service Design and User Research Studies: Assess outline service delivery landscape and develop plans implementing VA digital services. This may involve problem definition, ethnographic studies, and qualitative and quantitative research.
  4. Data Science Data Analytics: Define and implement data access, integration, and organization systems to exchange critical data between VA systems. This may involve data modeling, machine learning, and natural language processing.
  5. Product Support Operations: Provide product and program level support for VA systems, primarily for internal user applications. Support may include program planning, business case analysis, user management and permissions, onboarding and training, and internal helpdesk support.

SPRUCE Builds on Existing CEDAR Vehicle

The draft RFP indicates that the SPRUCE vehicle aims to build on the success achieved in the current Customer Experience, DevOps, and Agile Releases (CEDAR) IDIQ while expanding access to exceptional vendors with diverse skillsets and enabling larger contracts as needed. The CEDAR vehicle, awarded in 2021, has four awardees and a shared $247 million ceiling, with $118 million obligated so far on $171 million in awards issued under 23 different task orders.

Some notable existing contracts under that vehicle include the $10 million Veteran-Facing Services Content Management System, multiple contracts for the product teams, and a $10 million clinical decision support application contract.

CEDAR Obligations by Year

CEDAR Obligations by YearHigherGov Analysis

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Justin Siken
Justin is the founder of HigherGov and specializes in government contracting and grant strategy, data, and market intelligence.