The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is seeking information and sources for a Virtual Data Enclave (VDE) for managing data in a protected environment with a tool to share restricted microdata with researchers authorized to access the data.

BLS makes available multiple files and data extracts from roughly 20 different surveys to researchers working on approved projects through written agreements and the data from those surveys is made available through three types of environments with different physical and virtual access and security.

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Through this request for information (RFI), BLS details its interest in changing to a virtual data enclave approach for outside researchers to securely access restricted BLS confidential information research files protected from unauthorized disclosure.

“The previously awarded contract was utilized to procure a pilot virtual data enclave for two of the twenty datasets that will be included in the future VDE to test if a virtual environment could adequately support researcher needs,” said the RFI.

“The BLS looks forward to expanding the use of a virtual data enclave, and is interested in industry input on the potential expansion, refinement, and alteration of the Performance Work Statement (PWS) including, but not limited to, the feasibility of requiring up-to-date versions of software listed in the current PWS and allowing for the addition of updated versions of data sets on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis,” DOL added.

Responses to the RFI are due May 6, 2022, by 4:00 p.m. EST.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.