April 22, 2002
NOTICE TO ALL OFFERORS
REFERENCE: AMENDMENT NO. 1
Additional information has been requested by prospective offerors and it has been determined by the Contracting Officer that this information be made available to all bidders. The closing date and time for the receipt of proposals has been extended to May 14, 2002, by 2:00 p.m. local time.
Keith A. Bond
KEITH A. BOND
14. RESPONSES TO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
- We just came across the RFP for the Evaluation of the WIA Performance Measurement System, and are curious if Cornell University would be eligible to respond to the RFP. They have more than 500 employees. The statement that this solicitation is a Total Small Business Set-Aside has raised the question with us.
a. Only Small Profit Making Businesses are allowed to submit proposals for RFP-DCS-02-20. Small Business can have small/large businesses and/or non-profit organizations as subcontractors. Also, please Section K.5 for definition of a Small Business.
- Has any work been done on this area to date? If yes, internal or by a vendor? If a vendor, who?
a. No, there is no incumbent, this is a new competition.
- Have key project stakeholders and representatives been established? From States? WIA?
a. The key stakeholders in the evaluation are WIA policymakers and the State and local workforce investment boards that implement the WIA performance measurement system. No specific representatives have been identified.
- Does WIA technical documentation currently exist? What documentation exists? (i.e. methodology, data dictionary, workflows, business process diagrams.) Is it accessible in both soft and hard copy?
a. Technical documentation is available on our website, https://www.doleta.gov. Click the Search button at the top of the screen and enter the topic you wish information about.
- Are prior performance measure results documented?
a. Results are documented in the states annual plans. Although these plans are currently unavailable to the public, they should be accessible once the evaluation is underway.
- Will the WIASRD (WIA Standardized Record Data) be accessible? Can we get access to the data electronically? Can we query the data?
a. Yes. Arrangement will be made to provide WIASRD data after award.
- Is it acceptable for the role of Principal Investigator to be filled by a subcontractor?
a. Yes. Although it is acceptable, it is preferred that the Principal Investigator's role is not filled by a subcontractor.
- Is it acceptable to have Co-Principal Investigators, whose time taken together equals 40%?
a. Yes. That is acceptable.
- On what basis is the percentage of time calculated? 240 days? 260 days (includes vacation, holidays, etc.)? Some other basis?
a. The time commitment for the key personnel is based on 2080 hours inclusive of vacation, holiday and sick leave. However, because this project has a period of performance of twenty-four months, then the commitment would be based on 4,160 hours.
- Is there a contractor currently conducting an evaluation of the WIA Performance System, and if so, is that contactor eligible to bid?
a. There is currently no contractor conducting an evaluation of the WIA Performance System.
- Section L.6. (A), Part 1 calls for a Small Business Subcontracting Plan. Since this RFP is a small-business set-aside, are we obligated to subcontract with other small businesses?
a. That is an error. This RFP is let as a Total 100% Small Business Set-Aside and therefore, subcontracting plans are not required.
- Section L.6 (A), Part 3 states that "the Government intends to award a contract without discussions." Section L.7 states: "PLEASE NOTE: Letters of Commitment will be required from ONLY those offerors who make the competitive range." Please clarify which, if any, letters of commitment should be included with the proposal?
a. If the government decides to award without discussions, letters of commitment for key personnel will be required prior to award. None. If the government decides to have discussions with offerors who made the competitive range, then offerors will be required to submit Letters of Commitment for the proposed key personnel.
- Section L.7, No. 1 refers to "all proposed key personnel listed in Section M.3.B." Is this supposed to be Section M.2.B?
- Can you clarify the intent of this evaluation. I understand it as an evaluation of the programs from a federal/national perspective without particular emphasis on the State to State measurement inconsistencies.
a. The intent of the evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of the WIA performance measurement system as it relates to continuous improvement in workforce investment activities and to identify alternative measures that might more effectively accomplish the system's aims. Specific objectives of the evaluation are to:
- Determine the intended and unintended consequences of the performance measurement system.
- Examine whether the measures specified in WIA are appropriate.
- Identify other measures that should be used.
- Determine whether the measures are consistent across programs.
- Examine how the measures can support program improvements.
Measurement inconsistencies from State to State as they relate to the effectiveness of the overall system are also an issue for the evaluation.
- Is it correct to assume that the level of effort estimated at 4.5 - 5.5
professional person years is the total for the entire 24 months of the project?
- How do we obtain the past performance evaluation questionnaire?
a. Offerors are to submit their past performance information using the Past Performance Reference Information Sheet (Attachment J.7). The Government will use the information provided on Attachment J.7 to contact references to fill out the Past Performance Evaluation Questionnaire (Attachment J.6). Offerors should not send the questionnaire to their former clients.
- Who will be the DOLETA project manager(s) and where are they located? Is it anticipated that there will be a requirement for personnel to be physically located with the project manager for the duration of the contract?
a. ETA national office staff will manage the project. There are no requirements for evaluation personnel to be physically located at the ETA national office.
- Are there any currently established milestones for the project or other known events such as legislative or budgetary reporting requirements either internal or external to DOL for this project?
- What is the anticipated date for the performance to begin?
a. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2002.
- Is the current WIASRD data centrally reported to DOL? If so, how is the WIASRD data captured, e.g., paper reports, automated databases at DOL?
a. Yes. ETA's Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 7-01 provides specific information on submission procedures for the WIA Annual Report and the WIASRD. It can be found on our website, https://www.doleta.gov.
- It appears implicit in the RFP that the evaluation of the effectiveness of the performance measurement system is focused exclusively on Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Title I, measures. Is this an accurate assumption?"
a. While this evaluation primarily focuses on WIA and Title I measures, one of the stated objectives is to determine whether the measures are consistent across programs.
- Regarding the above RFP, has similar work been completed within the past 1-2 years and if so, by whom? If yes, would you provide me with the company's name, telephone number and the name of the project manager.
a. No, similar work has not been completed within the past 1-2 years.
- Are there any incumbents to this contract?
- Can this be sole sourced?
a. No, the RFP has been released as a competitive Total Small Business Set-Aside.
- How much money is allocated to this contract?
a. As stated in Section F.3 - Level of Effort, this project is estimated at between 4.5 and 5.5 professional person years. A professional year is estimated between $90,000 and $100,000.
- What contract vehicle you are planning on using for this vehicle. If GSA contract vehicle is available would there be a preference?
a. The Government intends to award a Cost Plus Fixed-Fee Type Contract using the acquisition procedures in FAR Part 15 - Contracting by Negotiation.
- What does Total Small Business Set-Aside Mean? Emphasis on Total...
a. A "Total Small Business Set-Aside" is the reserving of an acquisition exclusively for participation by small business concerns and is open to all small businesses. The purpose of small business set-asides is to award certain acquisitions exclusively to small business concerns.
b. A small business concern means a concern, including its affiliates, that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which it is bidding on government contracts, and qualified as a small business under the criteria and size stands in 13 CFR part 121 (See FAR Part 19.102).
- Explain the $6 million size standard?
a. Small business size standards are applied by classifying the product or service being acquired in the industry whose definition, as found in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Manual (available at http://www/census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html).
b. The Small Business Administration (SBA) establishes the size standard for that industry and by specifying the size standard in the solicitation, offerors can appropriately represent themselves as small or large.
c. Size standards define the maximum size that a firm, including all of its affiliates, may be for eligibility as a small business concern for most SBA programs. The SBA has established two widely used size standards - 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $6.0 million in average annual receipts for most nonmanufacturing industries. However, many exceptions exist. For the applicable size standard, see the SBA's Small Business Size Regulations, 13 CFR § 121 or the Table of Small Business Size Standards matched to NAICS codes for which SBA has established standards. (SBA periodically changes a size standard for an industry.)
d. Annual Receipts - Gross receipts are averaged over a firm's latest 3 completed fiscal years to determine its average annual receipts. "Receipts" means the firm's gross or total income, plus cost of goods sold, as defined by or reported on the firm's Federal Income Tax return. The term does not include, however, net capital gains or losses, nor taxes collected for and remitted to a taxing authority if included in gross or total income. The firm may not deduct income taxes, property taxes, cost of materials or funds paid to subcontractors. Travel, real estate and advertising agents, providers of conference management services, freight forwarders and customs brokers may deduct amounts they collect on behalf of another. If a firm has not been in business for 3 years, the average weekly revenue for the number of weeks the firm has been in business is multiplied by 52 to determine its average annual receipts.
e. For the purpose of bidding on Federal contracts that are set aside for small business, the concern must self-certify to be a small business under the appropriate size standard set forth in the solicitation. The size of the concern at the time of self-certification prevails for that contract. A concern may grow above the size standard before or after award without loss of eligibility to perform on that contract.
- Can the small business issue a subcontract to a large business.