RFP-DCS-03-43 Amendment 3
AMENDMENT OF SOLICITATION/MODIFICATION OF CONTRACT
11. THIS ITEM ONLY APPLIES TO AMENDMENTS OF SOLICITATION
|STANDARD FORM 30 (REV. 10-83)|
14. RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR CLARIFICATION
- Is this a re-solicitation or a new solicitation?
- This is a new solicitation
- In Section C.3 the RFP states: The processing centers must be located no more than a maximum of 30 miles (commuting distance) from the DOL Regional Office located in the following cities:
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and 2. Dallas, Texas
In order to allow for more flexibility on the part of the Service Provider will the Government amend this Section to read as follows? The processing centers must be located no more than a maximum of 45 miles (commuting distance) from any of DOL's Regional Offices located in the following cities:
- Boston, MA
- New York, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
- Atlanta, GA
- Chicago, IL
- Kansas City, KS
- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CA
- Seattle, WA
- San Francisco, CA
- The Department gave careful consideration to the locations of the backlog reduction centers and is firmly committed to Dallas and Philadelphia.
- Were there any other companies involved with the pilot, other than TMS?
- There were no other companies other than TMS involved in the pilot.
- This solicitation requests the two processing centers (Dallas, Texas and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) be located within reasonable commuting distance (maximum of 30 miles) from the current Department of Labor Regional offices. Please verify the addresses of the two current Department of Labor Regional offices to be used as reference points for the 30 mile radius.
- Philadelphia Regional Office
The Curtis Center
Suite 825 East
170 South Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3315
Dallas Regional Office
525 Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202
- Philadelphia Regional Office
- On October 7, 2003, the Small Business Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals decided that the appropriate NAICS code for this solicitation was 561110, Office Administrative Services, with a $6 million annual receipts size standard.
- The level of effort for this project is $16-18 million.
- Department of Labor cannot guarantee appropriations; it is therefore the responsibility of the offeror to negotiate leasing agreements that minimize loss or penalties if DOL does not receive appropriations or received reduced appropriations for the backlog elimination.
- The minimum requirements for each component are as follows:
Dual Intel Pentium III processors running at 1 GHz or better
2 GB System RAM
RAID 5 SCSI Disk Storage
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Operating System
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Database
Intel Pentium III processor running at 1 GHz or better
1 GB System RAM
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Operating System
Microsoft IIS Web Server
Intel Pentium III processor running at 1 GHz or better
512 MB System RAM
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Operating System
Microsoft Office Professional
There is no intra-center interconnection or synchronization requirement as CAPS is run at a single site with no database replication. Access to the web application is provided over a 128-Bit encrypted SSL connection. The publicly accessible web server is hosted on a DMZ network segment and connects to the LAN hosted databaseserver through a stateful packet inspection firewall.
Scaling the system to the projected number of users at the two proposed centers would require redundancy and system backup facilities for the one location where the CAPS system is hosted in order to ensure disaster recovery capabilities and maximum availability for system access. Additionally, the Internet connection provided at the CAPS host site should be a T1 or better circuit.
- The web-based CAPS system contains integrated authentication and access security. User accounts are defined in the CAPS database by a system administrator. Unauthorized users are denied access.
- The PMSC contract was awarded September 30, 2003. One of the PMSC's assignments will be to conduct the necessary evaluation and tests of the CAPS system to resolve any issues with operating CAPS at the processing center scale. The PMSC will provide advice and assistance to the processing center contractor during implementation and start-up on installing and operation of the system, including training of all staff. It is expected that the processing center contractor will have on their staff individual(s) to provide routine maintenance, however changes to program source code should only be performed in collaboration with the PMSC's technology specialist. The PMSC will be available throughout the project to provide advice and assistance as needed.
- No, as described in the scope-of-work under Task 4(d) and Task 5 the quantity and schedule for transferring applications from the state workforce agencies to the processing centers will be determined during the implementation phase. For the purposes of estimating the costs of filing and storage of the paper applications and transportation from the SWAs to the processing centers offerors should base their estimates on an inventory of 45,000 applications at each center during the first year.
- DOL anticipates that shipments will be phased to the extent necessary to maintain an orderly process, however a sizeable inventory as described above is also anticipated. DOL's objective is to have the applications transferred to the processing centers as soon as possible after start-up. This will enable the PCC to start data entry and send out initial letters in a timely manner. This is important because of the relatively lengthy cycle times involved in some of the application processing. As noted in the scope-of-work at Task 5, a sufficient number of applications should be in the database in order to test processing initiatives and team approaches. As also noted under Task 5, DOL is interested in offerors suggestions and recommendations in this area.
- As described in Task 4, the PCC will be responsible for collecting and transporting the applications from the SWA's to the processing centers. The SWA's will place the applications in boxes for collection, and affix shipping labels depending on the PCC's procedures for collecting applications.
- Please see the answer to question no. 11. For the purposes of planning and cost estimating offerors should assume equal distribution between the two centers.
- Shipping costs shall be included in the offerors business proposal.
- The PCC will arrange for collection of the boxes of applications from the SWA's and transportation to the processing centers. The PMSC will assist the PCC in coordinating with the SWA's. The locations and number of applications to be collected from specific SWA's will be finalized during the 60 day implementation and start-up phase - Task 4 (d).
- How to best organize and conduct the transfer will be finalized during the planning and implementation phase. The PCC will clearly have a responsibility to supervise the transfer process. It is expected that the PCC will have on board sufficient staff at this juncture to assist in the transfer process. The offeror should propose a reliable and cost-effective procedure to be used for the collection of applications, e.g., engaging the services of a shipping company to collect and to transport the applications. The applications will be placed in boxes and labeled by the SWA's.
- It was originally thought that CAPS would be the system for the inventory. However, because CAPS was not designed for this purpose, i.e., a quick turnaround inventory system, CAPS might not be appropriate. Offerors are welcomed to make suggestions however; DOL wants to avoid creating a burdensome and potentially duplicative requirement, i.e., requiring a quick turnaround inventory in a separate system prior to entering the applications in the CAPS database. Therefore, DOL proposes to suspend this requirement until discussions can be held during the planning and implementation phase. One possible solution is that the states prepare and hand over an inventory from their tracking systems. We do not believe the issue will have a significant if any impact on proposed costs. At the time that transfer of applications to the processing centers begins, the contractor must have significant numbers of project dedicated staff on board. It is a question of efficient use of their time.
- The current policy in effect for file retention and archiving requires that closed files or applications be held for two years from the date of the final determination. After two years the files can then be shipped to the National Archives and Records Administration. Files closed by the PCC will not be returned to the SWA's and therefore must be boxed and stored by the PCC. The current policy is based on a fairly old policy directive. ETA will review this policy and determine if changes can be made to the length of time the files are stored prior to transferring to the records center. However, for the purposes of proposal preparation the current policy shall be followed. Details on the actual archiving process and preparation will be provided; it basically consists of labeling the boxes and preparing a transmittal form. Documents to be retained include the ETA 750, amendments to ETA 750, recruitment information, correspondence, and the final determination.
- Both the PMSC and the COTR are located in Washington D.C.
- During the implementation phase it is anticipated that the PMSC will have a fairly continuous presence at the processing centers. Permanent office space is not required; however, a temporary office or area such as a conference room or other common space would suffice.
- Yes, please provide references for past performance and descriptions for experience using Attachment J.7, Past Performance Reference Information Sheet.
- Offerors should submit a list of five "relevant" contract and major subcontracts completed during the past three years. Of the five references, three should be from the prime contractor.
- The offeror is required to submit one original and three copies of the technical proposal.
- In Part 1, offerors should submit an original and two copies of completed Standard Form 33, Solicitation, Offer and Award, Original and two (2) signed copies of Section K, the Representations, Certifications and other Statements of Offerors and all attachments thereto except those items required in Part 2 and 3, which will be submitted as outlined in their respective parts. The attachments that are required in Part 2 and 3 are detailed in the instructions for those parts.
- Based on the PwC report, the age of applications varies considerably by regions and may be as much as three to four years old. The PwC report contains a fairly detailed description of the backlog. This is most the definitive description available.
- The size of the application package varies by traditional and RIR applications. Traditional applications average about seven or eight pages, while RIR applications can run to 18 to 20 pages. For planning purposes, the government suggests using an average of 13 pages.
- The format is consistent. There have been no changes during the relevant period.
- For locations of the application backlog, please see the PwC report which describes the number of cases by region or city. There are some 54 state workforce agencies. As noted in the PwC report, there is considerable variation in how the state agencies conduct the process. Therefore, we cannot with certainty state how the applications are stored and identified. Applications are "paper intensive" (see PwC report page 23) and usually kept in folders or jackets. When the applications are collected from the SWA's, the folders or jackets will be placed in boxes by the SWA employees.
- Please see the answer to question no. 13.
Philadelphia District Office
US Dept. of Labor
ESA Wage & Hour Division
US Custom House, Room 400
Second & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Please see the answer to question no. 4.
Dallas District Office
US Dept. of Labor
ESA Wage & Hour Division
The Offices @ Brookhollow
1701 E. Lamar Blvd., Suite 270, Box 22
Arlington, TX 76006-7303
- Please see the answer to question no. 4.
- We do not know the kind or the extent of training across the various state workforce agencies or regional offices: however the PMSC will be responsible for designing and delivering training to the PCC staff.
- See answer to questions no. 33.
- The expectation is that the PCC analysts and data entry specialists will be productive after receiving the four-day on-site training provided by the PMSC. "Full productivity" should be attained through a combination of the training and experience gained through a few weeks of operation, i.e., about one month after the start of the backlog reduction processing.
- DOL does not think it is possible to say at this time. However, as noted previously it is our plan to try and resolve any issues between now and the time of award of the PCC contracts in order that implementation and start-up will proceed quickly.
- The PMSC will finalize the training manual and conduct the training, including CAPS training. Training on operation of the CAPS system will be embedded in the training of the PCC staff.
- The duration of the training will be determined during the implementation phase. See the SOW, Task 4 (1b).
- The RFP does not prohibit consideration of each entity's past performance. The RFP essentially paraphrases FAR 15.305(a) (2)(iii). Thus, the Government shall be evaluating the JV based on the past performance of each of its constituent companies, and more particularly, the Government shall pay attention to which company will perform which part of the work, so that the past performance of that party is relevant to the work it will perform.
- The anticipated date for PERM implementation is April or May 2004.
- The existing application backlog must be processed under the existing regulations.
- Under the proposed PERM regulations, employers may withdraw their applications under the existing system and re-file under PERM. The potential impact to the backlog of re-filing under PERM is not known at this time.
- In general the backlog or number of applications filed will continue to increase until the PERM system is operational. There is no existing data on the number or percentage of applications that will be completed by DOL and the SWAs during the contract period. However, the PWC report may be a source for estimating and does include some projections of backlog growth and reduction.
- The staffing cost provided in the PwC review on page 26 states it is for both DOL and the SWA offices.
- DOL has not formally accepted or approved any of the recommendations. DOL is interested in considering the recommendations in both the PwC report and the above referenced report to enhance the certification process, see Task 5 of the SOW.
- Yes, DOL will consider any proposed process improvements that can be demonstrated to improve timeliness and cost-effectiveness of application processing and is consistent with law and regulation.
- DOL is open to discussion of any techniques for improving the process.
- Please see the answer to question no. 46.
- The O*Net Code connector is available on-line to the contractor at www.onetcodeconnector.org.
- The question is not clear, if the question refers to staff retention at the SWA level we are not aware of any information or studies.
- See answer to question no. 19.
- These methods can be used but the simulation has shown that the results are not always reliable or definitive.
- Professional personnel is defined as all staff excluding consultants, administrative staff and analysts.
- Due to the large number of requests for clarification, the Contracting Officer has determined that a pre-proposal conference will not be held.
- The answer to both questions is yes, for space and equipment planning, offerors should consider eight federal staff, fulltime. One office space, for the senior federal official at each location, shall be an enclosed office of approximately 150 square feet. Office space for non-senior federal officials is set at 72 square feet.
- Please submit cost for the Base Year as well as for Option Years 1 through 3.
- The General Service Administration no longer prescribes or regulates office square footage by grade, position. The DOL's expectations are that the office space will be comfortable, in new condition, but modest. Modular furniture is typical and generally required at DOL for all positions or grades relevant to this project. Each center should have one enclosed office for the senior federal staff person of 150 square feet. The standard space allocation for a non-senior level federal staff person is 72 square feet.
- Please see above responses to questions nos. 12, 13, 15, 16, and 17.
- As noted in the SOW, the final disposition of an application, whether certified or denied, must be made by a federal certifying officer. The certifying officer will review each application after processing by the PCC staff and submittal to the certifying officer for certification. Discussion, clarification, or rejection of the file as submitted by the PCC may be necessary; therefore it is critical that the certifying staff be on-site. The federal staff will most likely be current employees of the Dallas and Philadelphia regional offices. The contractor will provide office space, equipment and furnishings for the federal staff. These costs shall be included in the offerors business proposal.
- In preparing their business proposal, the offeror should assume that no GFE of any kind will be provided with the exception of CAPS. The difference in size and number of work stations between the simulation contract and the processing center(s) contract is so substantial that any GFE would be minimal at best.
- Please see answer to question no. 19.
- The offeror is required to submit 5 past performance references (three for the prime and two references for major subcontractors).
- The estimated level of effort for both processing centers combined is $16 to $18 million.
- The anticipated date of award for this solicitation is the first Quarter of calendar year 2004.
- The page limit is extended to 30 pages. Any tables, charts and matrices as well as an executive summary must be included in that 30 page limit.
- Yes, appendices are allowed for resumes, and past performance information.
- Please see the answer to question no. 7.
- Please see the answer to question no. 54.
- Please see the answer to question no. 150.
- Section H.3 is corrected to specify that a total of 10 paid Holidays will be observed.
- Senior or general managers or consultants are not permitted to make any part of the oral presentation. However, the Government is aware that in small businesses corporate officials are often the individuals designated to manage the contracts. Our concern is corporate officials or others making the oral presentation that will not manage the projects or will be not part of the performance team. If a company senior manager is proposed as the Project Manager/Director, or other key personnel and is designated in the budget for the requirement, then yes, that person will be allowed to present at the oral presentation.
- The 30 page limitation only pertains to the technical approach and is not inclusive of resumes.
- All key staff must adhere to the required educational experience. However, analysts may have three years of relevant experience and/or two years with the educational experience.
- Please see the answer for question no. 5.
- The closing date for the RFP is December 12, 2003. Please see the answer to question no. 54.
- The Management and Support contract was awarded on September 30, 2003, to TATC Consulting, Washington, D.C.
- Part 2 is the technical proposal, which is inclusive of the technical approach, all resumes and past performance reference information. Offerors are required to include an original and three copies of the resumes and an original and three copies of the past performance reference information.
- The page limitation pertains only to the technical approach section of the technical proposal (Part 2).
- The space and pitch requirements pertain only to text.
- No, the simulation contractor is a subcontractor to TATC, the PMSC, and is therefore ineligible to bid.
- Please see the answer to question no. 82.
- There will not be GFE for the Regional officers working on the site.
- Government envelopes and stationary will be used for correspondence. However, offerors shall include estimated postage costs in their business proposal for mailing letters/correspondence. A basis for estimating is to assume that every application will require at least one letter (See question No. 84). Offerors shall also include postage costs for at least one mass mailing to all applicants in the database for the purpose of processing initiatives. The use of certified or overnight mail is rare and generally at the expense of the applicants.
- Letters were mailed to 100% of the applicants.
- The Cycle time and level of effort breakdown presented on page 21 of the PwC report describes the current process in which the initial information gathering is performed by the SWA, and the determinations are issued by the ETA Regional Offices. The Simulation Project and the backlog elimination effort combine both phases of the process at a single location, therefore, the cycle time and level of effort breakdown does not exactly reflect the processing that will take place at the Processing Centers; however, ranges provided for cycle time and level of effort have been shown to be generally accurate in the conduct of the Simulation. The cycle times are relatively fixed by the regulations guiding the administration of the program; however, the Simulation has disclosed that technology can be used effectively to reduce levels of effort.
- There is no standard "size of each box of Applications". However, a size frequently used by the states that participated in the simulations was 16 inches long, 12 inches wide and 11 inches deep.
- See previous responses. The average weight of the boxes described in the response to question #86 is 26 pounds. It holds approximately 100 traditional applications or 50 RiR applications.
- This question is not possible to answer without knowing the complexity of the changes, the degree of impact to the database schema, the number of screens and programs impacted, the length of time required for requirements analysis and design process etc. The PMSC will work closely with the PCC to expedite the process as much as possible.
- The simulation project is still operating and improving CAPS is an on-going process that will continue until the processing centers start operating. The PCC contractor's staff will be trained with the most recent version. After award of the PCC contract improvements will be joint efforts.
- The PMSC is responsible for evaluating the scalability of the CAPS System and ensuring that the system is fully capable of handling the volume of applications to be processed by the PCC. If the existing CAPS program fails the stress/load test and is deemed not scalable, the source code will be modified to provide a tool capable of handling the increased workload.
- The CAPS program does not store a copy of any document created and mailed to the applicants/employers. A paper copy is printed and added to the application file.
- The plan is to host the CAPS system at the Philadelphia location. Philadelphia users will access the CAPS system locally from within a corporate or campus LAN. Dallas users will access the CAPS system remotely over the public Internet. A T1 or better Internet connection is highly recommended for optimum performance for remote users. All maintenance for the CAPS system is the responsibility of the PCC.
- Please see the scope-of work at Task 4 (d) and the PwC report.
- There is no requirement for citizenship. All employees must be have legal residence in the U.S.
- Please see the answer to question no. 54.
- The start date of the simulation was October 1, 2002
- The anticipated end date of the simulation is December 31, 2003.
- TMS is a subcontractor under the Project Management Support Contract and therefore may not "bid" on this RFP.
- 58 percent of the applications processed during the simulation by TMS were Supervised Recruitment.
- 42 percent of the applications were RIR.
- The length of time required to process the average basic application ranged from 150 days to 200 days.
- The length of time to process the average RiR application was less than 60 days.
- The information is not available nor relevant to this project.
- No, we are not aware of any conflict of interest or other basis of ineligibility.
- The Project Support Contract was awarded to TATC Consulting.
- Please see the answer to question no. 98.
- Please see the answer to question no. 7. Any partial or full termination will be subject to the termination clauses.
- The GSA site states that GSA no longer establishes standards for space requirements. It further states that in estimating overall space requirements it recommends 200 square feet per person including all common space and other space requirements.
- Clearly, the rate at which the backlog can be reduced or eliminated is related to the funding level. The uncertainties surrounding funding levels are one of the factor that was considered in establishing option years.
- Yes, the objective is to provide good customer service and at the same time allow the analyst periods of uninterrupted time to process applications.
- Contractors under a cost-reimbursement contract with the government are permitted to make purchases from GSA schedule contracts with the authorization of the contracting officer.
- TATC Consulting of Washington D.C. was awarded the Management and Support contract.
- Footnote 4 and the reference under Task 4 to processing inefficiencies refer to the offeror being ready to begin the actual processing of applications within the stated time frame and in accordance with the offerors implementation plan. The type of issues DOL is concerned with is the offerors failure to secure space, order equipment, or timely complete other critical tasks items within its control that would delay start-up. The DOL recognizes that there will be a learning curve associated with the number of applications processed per month, week, etc. by the analyst. The DOL's intention is that within four to six months after the contract award date the PCC, DFLC/COTR, and the PMSC will be able reach agreement on reasonable and fair productivity standards and that the PCC will measure their staff's performance against the standards and take appropriate action for habitual under-performers. Financial penalties are not under consideration for the application processing standards; application processing will be a measure of performance.
- The COTR and other officials of the Division of Foreign Labor Certification will review and evaluate the training program prior to delivery. That being said, it is noted that the PMSC is an experienced training contractor and we are confident that the training will be delivered in an informative and professional manner.
- An insurance company must notify the contractor and the government 35 days prior to canceling its insurance. The insurance policy must contain such an endorsement.
- The government sees no need for the use of privately owned vehicles in conjunction with this contract. Should there be a need for approved travel using privately owned vehicles the government mileage rate would apply. Any such use would require prior approval or agreement by government.
- The government does not see any need for leased vehicles used solely for this contract. Please see the answer to question no. 116.
- We are not certain of the question, however see question no. 120.
- We are not certain of the reference. The need for training manuals is currently being reviewed by the PMSC and it is likely other training materials will be developed.
- The proposed training guide for prevailing wage issues has not been prepared. If it is determined by DOL that a guide is needed, it will be prepared and delivered as part of the training.
- The Government maintains that a cost plus fixed fee type contract is contemplated.
- Major subcontractors includes any subcontractor who holds a substantial or critical role in the performance of the contract.
- No, the Government will not accept an offerors approved GSA hourly rates in lieu of detailed cost and pricing data.
- Please see the answer to question no. 79.
- There are no additional attachments to Section J. Page L-7 refers to Section C, the Statement of Work.
- The technical proposal referred to on L-8 is the same as the technical proposal referred to on page L-8. Please see the answer to question no. 79.
- Resumes are required for all professional staff exclusive of administrative staff and analysts.
- Under Factor C Administrative Staff will not be evaluated.
- TMS is precluded form bidding on this solicitation because they are a subcontractor to the Management and Support prime contractor.
- As of 10/16/2003, approximately 3,325 45-day letters have been prepared over a 10 month period under the simulation, an average of 333 letters per month for 3,083 cases.
- Each letter takes anywhere from five minutes up to one hour to prepare depending on the types and number of issues being addressed in the letter. An average would be about 10 - 15 minutes.
- Approximately 22 percent of cases have required a Notice of Findings.
- TMS has not had to participate in case preparation to-date. Appeals, and therefore case preparation, are the exception and infrequent in occurrence. The references in the RFP were for information purposes and did not mean to imply that case preparation was a significant activity.
- Please see the answer to question no.133.
- Please see the answer to question no. 101.
- Please see the answer to question no. 102.
- The evaluation of CAPS is the responsibility of the PMSC, and any opportunities for improvement in the system will be recommended by the PMSC and executed by that contractor prior to the start up of the processing centers.
- Please see the answer to question no. 138.
- The statement of work references implementation of the PERM program sometime in 2004, there are no other pending programs under consideration that may affect this RFP.
- It would be reasonable to assume that the offeror will segregate closed files and periodically prepare them for storage in boxes and eventual transfer to a federal records center.
- The transparencies are included in the technical proposal; however, the 30 page limitation refers only to the technical approach section of the technical proposal (Part 2).
- Block 5 of SF 33 should reflect September 5, 2003.
- Yes, a small business, qualifying under the $6 million size standard is permitted to subcontract up to 49% of the labor effort to a non-small business. FAR 52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting, states, "At least 50 percent of the cost of contract performance incurred for personnel shall be expended for employees of the concern."
- No, there is not more current information available as it relates to the size of the current backlog.
- No, the reports referenced in the RFP are the only reports available at this time.
- Yes, assuming that is the offerors existing company policy.
- No, DOL will not consider using a plug number for ODCs.
- The DOL is currently operating under a continuing resolution. The estimated cost range in the RFP is the estimated level of funding.
- The RFP is not covered by the Service Contracting Act, therefore, DOL will not incorporate Wage determinations for various areas.
- The anticipated target date is two years, however this date is subject to the productivity achieved, implementation, the impact of the PERM program and the level of funding made available in DOL's budget by the Congress. Offerors must recognize that adjustments in the level of effort may have to be made and that ETA cannot with any certainty predict the future funding levels.
- Offerors must recognize, as stated in the RFP, that the simulation was conducted on a small scale and the opportunity for enhancements to the process was therefore limited.
- PERM is scheduled for implementation in April or May of 2004. The backlog will likely continue to be sent to the contractor.
- DOL believes that it is not necessary for potential bidders to visit the simulation site. Ample information on the simulation has been provided in the documents attached to the RFP and in the responses to these requests for clarification. To attempt to arrange and escort possible multiple visits would be both disruptive and impractical. Further, the difference in scale and size between the simulation and the proposed processing centers is so large as to make any comparisons of limited value.
- No. DOL feels that there is no need for potential bidders to visit the California SWA. The California office is responsible only for the state component of the process, whereas the PCC will be responsible for both the state and regional office functions; therefore, a visit to that office would be of limited value. It's operations are effectively summarized in the PriceWaterhouse report.
- No, DOL will not allow contractors to substitute years of work experience for a college degree where Key personnel are concerned. Please see the answer to question no. 73 for analysts.
- It has not been determined.
- At this time it is not anticipated that the federal staff's computers will be configured any differently that the contractor's. There may be a additions concerning ETA's automated time and attendance system or similar administrative applications but it is not known for certain. Such applications would be provided by DOL.
- Please see the answer to question no. 11. The files currently at the simulation contractor's site will likely be transferred to the centers for storage and disposal.
- Not that we are aware.
- A schematic of the CAPS network architecture does not yet exist. The database will reside at one of the processing centers, most likely Philadelphia. The PMSC will provide a schematic of the CAPS network architecture and other related specifications to the successful offeror.
- Please see answer to question no. 8.
- Yes, a pitch smaller than 12 may be used for graphs and tables.
- Resumes (an original and three copies) should be included in the technical proposal (Part 2).
- Past Performance information (an original and three copies) should be included in the technical proposal (Part 2).
- Yes, the offeror is required to address the last four sections separately and distinctly.
- No, offerors are required to use transparencies and are limited to those slides that were submitted in their technical proposal (Part 2).
- Offeror Representations, Certification and Acknowledgements are to be provided in Part 1 of the proposal, not with the resumes.
- All professional staff excluding analysts and administrative staff are required to submit resumes.
- The management contract was awarded to TATC Consulting of Washington D.C. on September 30, 2003.
- Please see the response to question no. 54.
- The PMSC started operating on September 30, 2003. With the extension of the due date for proposals to December 12, 2003, the awardee will have ample time to complete its initial transition period.
- DOL will consider any proposed process improvements.
- Yes, the contractor will be responsible for the complete process except for certification or denial and will be trained accordingly.
- Because of the schedule it will not be possible. Also see responses to related questions.
- See previous response at question no. 163. DOL believes ample information has been provided to offerors in the form of the scope-of-work, the PwC report, the simulation reports, and the clarifications provided here, to insure an "effective" and fair competition.
- Please review the statement of work. There will be considerable and continuing interface, the role of the parties will change as the project progresses. As noted in the RFP, the management contractor will, in addition to providing technical assistance during start-up, monitor, on behalf of the government, the processing center contractor's performance.
- The estimated number is 300,000. Adjustments in this number may be made but it is not possible to state what the adjustments will be at this time. As noted in the RFP, continually assessing the backlog and ways to eliminate it are seen as a continuing process.
- The closing date for the RFP is December 12, 2003.
- Please see the answer to question no. 54.
- The period of performance shall be twelve (12) months from the date of contract execution plus three 1-year options to be exercised at the Government's discretion.
- The offeror must submit price and cost information in Part 3 of the proposal. Please see Section L.9 of the solicitation.
- Please see answers to questions nos. 162 and 177.
- The PMSC will be responsible for performing the appropriate testing of CAPS for the larger processing environment prior to award of the processing center RFP.
- We are not certain that there is a question, however see previous responses related to the section quoted.
- Again, we are do not understand the question, however there are several questions and responses related to the section cited that may address the offerors concerns.
- During the planning and implementation sessions.
- Please see the answer to questions Nos. 12, 13, 15, 16, and 17.
- Please see the answer to question No. 11.
- Sufficient information to identify the name of the applicant and employer, assigned priority date if there is one, location of the processing center, where shipped from (SWA), and possibly other elements. Final agreement on the level of detail will be determined during the planning sessions. Also see the answer to question No. 18.
Hardware, including servers, workstations, storage devices, peripherals, scanners
Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software, including production, test and development software (e.g., compilers, development environments, configuration management tools)
CAPS source code and supporting software products (e.g., requirements, design, test, and training documentation) required to ensure rapid start-up and successful production, test, and development use
- Please see the answer to question no. 8.
- Please see the answer to question no. 138.
- Yes, the offeror will be responsible for the maintenance of the entire CAPS system.
- CAPS will be used and maintained primarily by the offeror, the PMSC and the COTR may use CAPS as a reporting and monitoring tool.
- The CAPS system provides integrated security so that only authorized users of the system have access to Privacy Act applicable data.
- Please see the answer to question 185.
- Scanned images stored in CAPS are in a PDF format.
- Currently, CAPS provides a status report that counts cases by status assigned queue. Because the DBMS is Microsoft SQL Server 2000, queries and reports can easily be generated by Microsoft products and other 3rd party tools as required.
- Attachment J.2, Cost and Price Analysis is required for the base and all option years.
- We do not understand the question, however, see a previous responses regarding this area, (question no.18).
- DOL agrees and has revised the requirement in accordance with question No. 18. DOL recognizes that circumstances and details may change or be revised on this issue as detailed plans are developed. The purpose of the inventory is to protect all the parties by having a record of what was received and know where applications are located.
- Please see the answer to question no. 155.
- The estimate we are using is 300,000, the government does not have an estimate of the percentage withdrawn or cancelled as of the expected transition date.
Please provide a list of all edits performed by CAPS on the data entered by Team 1(a).
- During the original data entry activity for every case, there are 56 data elements that require information from the ETA Form 750. There are 28 additional data elements associated with other documents in the case folder that may be completed during the initial data entry activity.
- Determination of completeness is a two step process. The first step, "Computer Evaluated Requirements", is computer generated based upon values in the database previously entered by users. The second step, "Manual Analysis Requirements", is subjective and is based upon existence of other documents and compliance of those documents with requirements. The resulting 45-day letter is system generated; however, there are times when the computer generated letter must be edited to communicate special circumstances to the employer and request specific information. The case analyst converts the computer generated document to a Microsoft Word document and performs the required editing.
- This is true. Each scanned ETA 750 application is associated with the corresponding database record via the ETA Case Number, which is a computer generated number. The scanned image file is named based upon this number and a hyperlink is created based upon the .PDF file name.
- Most of the time, the cases are automatically routed within the workflow environment. The CAPS workflow system is based upon activities. Activities are assigned to members of teams. The activity assignments can be changed at any time. Each activity has a queue and the cases are automatically assigned to these queues. Therefore, CAPS users pull cases from activity queues by clicking the ETA Case Number on the screen. With few exceptions, CAPS users do not have to manually retrieve cases to process them. Every case is always assigned to one and only one queue.
- "Tickler" dates for letters are maintained automatically by CAPS. Team members do not have to maintain them individually?
- The intent is to have a representative sample of the cases run through the quality control process. The percentage will be determined when the volume of applications processed by each center is determined. The routing system for this feature is not fully developed or tested but the objective is to have the routing automatically done by CAPS.
45 day letters
unsolicited correspondence from employers
- The ETA Case Number for every letter automatically generated by CAPS is electronically placed in the Incoming Mail Activity Queue immediately after the letter is printed and processed. Every day, the Incoming Mail Activity Queue is automatically scanned for cases that have been in the queue beyond the required waiting period. Aged cases are automatically routed to the Inactivation Letter Activity Queue. When a response to an outstanding letter is received, the analyst user retrieves the case from the Incoming Mail Activity Queue, processes it accordingly, and routes it to the appropriate queue based upon the response received. An analyst user may retrieve and route a case to the Withdrawal Letter Activity Queue at any time regardless of its currently assigned queue. Any case can be retrieved and updated as a result of unsolicited communication from the employer; however, the case remains in its currently assigned queue.
- The expected data accuracy will be established by the PMSC working in cooperation with the DFLC.
- At this time there is no specification for how data maintained in electronic data systems should be transitioned/provided to DOL at the end of the contract.
Based on data input, does the system automatically, through the application of appropriate business rules, determine (1) if the standard to be used is 95% or 100%, and (2) make the calculations and determination as to whether the wage meets the criteria?
- Yes, the system automatically, through the application of appropriate business rules, determines (1) if the standard to be used is 95% or 100%, and (2) makes the calculations and determination as to whether the wage meets the criteria?
- As previously noted and as stated in the scope-of-work the final determination is made by the federal certifying officer. While we recognize the intent of the question we think the appropriate response is that the question relates to the PCC's analysts and supervisory staff gaining experience and familiarity with the application process and the certifying officers expectations as measured against the criteria on page 17 and 18 of the Draft Training Manual. We do not believe that the criteria are subjective but certainly the list beginning on page 17 is examples only.
- The contractor is solely responsible for the recruitment of contractor staff in accordance with the requirements in the scope of work.
- The analyst has to verify that the advertising occurred; however, CAPS handles the 30-day recruitment period assessment. In general, the system takes care of triggering actions based upon deadlines.
- It will be one of limited consultation but certainly as the PCC's staff gain experience there should and must be less need for consultation. The federal staff is on-site to certify or deny applications and cannot assume the role of trainers. The objective, through training and experience, is that the PCC's staff will work independently.
- CAPS maintains a transaction history and a letter history for each case. These history records include dates. CAPS automatically routes a case to the Inactivation Untimely Letter Activity Queue when the required wait time has expired. CAPS tracks all requirements and maintains a record of discrepancies associated with the requirements. Compliance processing related letters sent to employers include a computer generated list of discrepancies that is maintained in the database. During the simulation, no duplicate applications were received. The fact that the process can only be initiated by the receipt of an original, signed version of the ETA 750 makes it unlikely that a duplicate would be filed. If it did occur, any sort on the employer's or the alien's name would turn up the duplicate entry. A withdrawal can be based on a fax but not a phone call; the file must contain correspondence in writing to document the action.
- Yes, all checklist are a part of the CAPS system's business rules.
- DOL will require monthly work and management reports.
- Please review the scope of work. The scope of work and the clarifications provided in this amendment should provide the additional detail requested. Offerors may also review the solicitation/scope of work for the management support contract on the DOL/ETA web site for a description of the management support contractor's responsibilities in relation to the processing center contract.
- Please see the answer to question no. 83.
- Please see the answer to question no. 19.
- The contractor will receive and assume responsibility for CAPS. The PMSC will be available throughout the project to assist in problem resolution but the primary responsibility will be the PCC's.
- The DOL has made it clear that it welcomes proposed suggestions or proposed initiatives to improvements, including CAPS. Prior consultation and agreement however is a must. It is important and required that there will be a continuing dialogue between DOL, the PMSC, and the PCC on process improvements.
- Not at this time.
- The subcontractor is required to submit an SF 8555 for the base and all option years.
- PwC is not precluded from submitting a proposal due to a conflict of interest arising out of its contact with DOL to provide the "Permanent Labor Certification Process Management Review." Also, be advised that PWC/IBM is a large business and this solicitation is a total small business set-aside.
- Please see the answer to question no. 54.
- Submission of a contact name and number are sufficient, however, if the contact cannot be reached in a reasonable amount of time, the offeror will be deemed non compliant on this matter.
- Please see the answer to question no. 5.
- Please see the answer to question no. 40.
- Please see the answer to question no. 157.
- Physical security or access to the processing centers should be controlled by a receptionists or similar position to monitor visitors to the center and identify authorized staff. The facility must be secure (locked) at night and we anticipate the contractor's will have a system in place for controlling opening the facility in the morning and closing at night. Other than usual and prudent practices DOL does anticipate at this time special security requirements.
- Potential offerors may submit requests for clarification after the RFC closing date; however, answering the questions is the discretion of the Contracting Officer.
- Please see the answer to question no. 64.
- Please see the answer to question no. 73.
- The PCC.
- Please see the response to question no. 8.
- The CAPS system is a web based application so client workstations would not require any software licensing for utilizing the system. The contractor would be responsible for providing server licenses for all applicable connections.
- The Management and Support contract was awarded September 30, 2003 to TATC Consulting of Washington, D.C.
- after the PCC award is made, the PMSC will arrange a meeting among the PCC, DFLC and the PMSC to work out the details of the training. Generally, there is an expectation that first-day sessions would be in a facility large enough to handle the entire staff of the center, i.e., 80 - 100 individuals. This could be a rented facility close to the center. Offerors should include costs in their proposal for the large scale session, one per center, for a maximum of two days. After that, there would be more intense specialized instruction by processing team. Depending upon the configuration of the processing center, this team-based instruction could be delivered at the work areas of the teams using their regular work stations.
- Please see previous responses to this subject starting at question No. 19. For the two year retention period it is assumed that closed files will be stored at the processing centers. ETA will review the retention requirements with the objective to determine if a shorter retention period is possible i.e., prior to transferring to a federal records center, but offerors shall operate under the current policy of two years retention for the purposes of planning storage.
- The reference to critical positions in Footnote 4 refers to staff other than managers, supervisors, and analyst whom the offeror proposes and must have on board to ensure a successful start-up and operation. They could be technical positions, administrative, purchase agents, bookkeeping/accounting etc.
- Indirect Rate ceilings are limits for G&A and Overhead that are set by offerors through an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement. Indirect Cost Rate Agreements are reviewed and approved by an offerors cognizant agency.
- Please see the answer to question no. 62.
- Please see the answer to question no. 23.
- The Government Evaluation Panel will evaluate your oral presentation. Please see Section L.8, Oral Presentation of the solicitation.
- Both the prime and all major subcontractors are required to have an Accounting System Certification.
- The anticipated response date for Requests for Clarification was October 27, 2003.
- No, see the statement-of-work at C.4, Other Staff, Note.
- Based on the scope-of-work it is the government's intent that the contractor's responsibility fall under the High category. The contractor is to perform the complete application process up to certification or denial by the federal certifying officer.
- This approach is consistent with current state/regional office practices, however, since federal Certifying Officers will be on-site at the processing centers, DFLC may require that one or more of the letters referenced above be signed by the Certifying Officer.
- Please see the answer to question no. 70.
- The contracting officer will review any requests for increases in the total cost of the contract during the contract term.
- The contract language which indicates that contract funds cannot be used to pay for audits for which DOL is responsible simply means that when DOL does the audit, the agency funds and not contract funds pay for the audit. Costs can either be charged directly or indirectly through the indirect cost pool.
- This clause applies to indirect cost increases that exceed the indirect cost ceiling. Provisional billing rates are used when a contractor does not have an approved Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (IDCRA). In the instance where the contractor does not have an IDCRA, provisional rates may be used. The contractor may not exceed those provisional rates and has 90 days to get an approved IDCRA.
- Please see the answer to question no. 7.
- One version of the technical approach is required in the submission of the technical proposal (Part 2).
- The Government will collect responses to the Past Performance Evaluation Questionnaire by contacting the references the offeror supplied in Part 2 of its proposal.
- There are two types of elapsed times referenced in the PwC chart: internal processes and external processes. The 4 weeks - 4 months elapsed time for a supervised recruitment is an example of an external process in which the elapsed time is attributable to response time allowed to the applicant by regulations and program guidlelines. These external process elapsed times will impact the backlog processing centers as well as the state offices. The "easily approved" RIR elapsed time of 1 day - 1 month is an example of an internal process elapsed time. In most cases, they are a function of the small size of the state staff dedicated to the processing of the applications, e.g., 3 or 4 staff. A single analyst could have hundreds of RIR applications in the queue, and, while each review takes only 30 minutes to an hour, it could take the analyst a month or more to review all the applications in the queue. Since the backlog centers will have much more staff and be more fully automated, these internal process elapsed times should disappear.
- Please see the answer to question no. 8.
- Please see the answer to question no. 92.
- The 30 page limitation refers only to the technical approach part of the technical proposal. The limitation however is inclusive of figures, charts, etc in the technical approach section of the proposal.
- It is acceptable to include the contact name and number for the agency to call to verify/confirm, however, if the contact cannot be reached in a reasonable time, the offeror will be non-compliant on this matter.
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4600 East-West Hwy., Suite 900
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