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Eligibility APIs Initiative

Procurement resources for agencies

Build flexibility and reuse into your procurement language

If your program would benefit from systems that are more flexible and easier to update, consider embedding API-driven development into your procurement language.

These Sample System Requirements and sample Quality Assessment Surveillance Plan (QASP) elements may help you guide vendor teams towards flexible and reusable software development.

Consider embedding API-oriented criteria like these into every phase of the process, from the initial RFP, to evaluation and eventual post-award surveillance.

Sample Requirement

The System must:

  • Incorporate an application programming interface (API) strategy to promote system flexibility and interoperability.
    • The API strategy should specify:
      • How APIs will connect major system components internally
      • What public or private APIs the system will support
      • Initial users of public or private APIs
      • Potential future users of public or private APIs
    • The API strategy should be iterative and updated based on changing requirements and user needs.

Sample Quality Assessment Surveillance Plan (QASP) element

Deliverable Performance Standard(s) Acceptable Quality Level Method of Assessment
API-driven Any public or private APIs developed as part of the project will be well-documented and semantically versioned. All API endpoints, parameters, defaults, and outputs documented and updated at the end of every applicable sprint. Semantic versioning will be kept up to date at the end of every applicable sprint. All API endpoints, parameters, defaults, and outputs documented and updated at the end of every applicable sprint.

Download the Sample System Requirement and Sample QASP element as a Microsoft Word Document.

These sample elements are starting points for requiring API-driven development. Depending on the nature and needs of the project, additional QASP elements could include:

  • API usability testing with developers
  • API availability requirements
  • API design requirements

Additional resources

For more information on procurement approaches that reduce risk, see the De-risking Government Technology Field Guide from 18F.

If you could use additional assistance with technology procurement from the 18F Acquisitions team, get in touch at

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