The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial corporations to bid on building a huge genealogy database, starting first with persons with roots in Washington and Oregon. The goal is to create a Genealogy Medical Phenotype Resource Database.
The request is to create 10 million NEW individual genealogies per year in electronic format for persons with roots in Washington and Oregon. If successful, the project will be continued a second year to add 10 million more individual genealogies. The VA proposed the ultimate creation of a U.S. genealogy of 100-200 million individuals, linked to the entire VA system (25 million individuals). This service contract will last for three years, through the duration of the MERIT review grant.
Quoting from the solicitation: “The VA computerizes vast amounts of data on diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. When paired with genealogical data, the VA resource will exceed other similar resources that exist, or are being created, in any other country. This resource will allow better understanding of the heritable contribution to many different disease and health traits in the VA population and will form the basis for many VA genetic studies.”
The solicitation also proposes, “This will be the first population-based genetic resource of its kind for the US. This VA Biomedical/Genetics Resource, the utilities we create, and the analyses we perform will allow many hypotheses to be tested, and will result in additional hypotheses for further investigation. The resource could someday provide the basis for individual relative risk estimations, segregation studies, disease association studies, pharmacogenomic studies, gene expression studies, directed clinical trials and more for the VA population and perhaps the world. The VA hypothesizes that the VHA will one day use it to identify and better understand many health-related predisposition genes. A better understanding of the genetic contribution to all aspects of health will lead to improvement in health care.”
I am confused by the wording of the solicitation for bids. The heading of the solicitation states the goal is to create “10 million NEW individual genealogies per year in electronic format” and yet the body of the solicitation states, “The Contractor shall provide approximately 10,000 genealogies per year in an electronic format for persons with roots in Washington and Oregon over the three years allotted to this study.”
Maybe someone who is well versed in reading government requests for bids can explain the difference between “10 million NEW individual genealogies per year” as stated in the heading versus ” approximately 10,000 genealogies per year” as stated later in the same document. I cannot explain the difference in numbers. Whatever the number, this might be the “Full Employment Act for Genealogists of 2015.”
The solicitation also states, “The Department of Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City VA Health Care System is seeking to enter into a firm fixed price contract with a genealogy investigative service company.” I have to wonder which companies are prepared to bid on this contract. The solicitation does state, “This solicitation is a small business set-side.”
Details may be found in the FedBizOpps.gov web site at http://goo.gl/AgTqIJ.