Additionally each of these options presents their own set of pros and cons. For instance, while an MOU may be far quicker than procuring, one has to be sure the agency who is contracted with is the best vendor for the job. But there’s only one proposal to evaluate, so how can you be sure it’s the best one? And if things go wrong you’re left to procure anyway.
The difference between these and a standard RFP is that there’s no bidding involved. A contract is being entered into with one entity in all three cases, just for different reasons. Additionally each of these options presents their own set of pros and cons. For instance, while an MOU may be far quicker than procuring, one has to be sure the agency who is contracted with is the best vendor for the job. But there’s only one proposal to evaluate, so how can you be sure it’s the best one? And if things go wrong you’re left to procure anyway.
This could take longer if issues arise. It’s always best to add in some buffer time to avoid disappointment.
It’s hard to overestimate how important the scope of work is. Suffice to say that an RFP is mostly template language and the scope probably accounts for 95% of original language contained in an RFP.
This, too, is where plenty of time will be spent making sure you’re explicit in communicating to offerors how the work they perform will be evaluated.
After RFP is posted and bids are received this committee will be convened to score bids and find the most suitable vendor.
- Which means that even if the prime contractor is a minority-owned business that will not preclude the need for an MBE goal
Procurement Presentation for Health Policy Analysts
Procurement: Getting it done in three easy steps. (Not really.) March 13, 2013 John S. Wilson Health Policy Analyst Meeting 1
What is it?• How the state acquires, rents, or purchases supplies, services, and real property• Essentially four types analysts are likely to encounter – Request for Proposal (standard RFP) – Sole Source – Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – Emergency Contract 2
Contract Types• Sole Source: a situation when only a single entity can provide the good or service that is required• Emergency: sudden and unexpected occurrence that will lead to negative effect in services or loss of funds if not corrected• MOU: - Used when another agency of government at any level – state, local or federal- will actually provide what is needed 3
Timeline• 6 to 9 months is the usual timeframe for all parts of the procurement process over $200,000 – Includes preparation of specifications – Procurement process – All approvals, including Board of Public Works (BPW), required for contracts over $200,000 4
Contents of an RFP• Background- This is your introduction. The goal is to convey information that potential offerors need to better understand their role in the context of the business or technical environment. Be brief.• Scope of Work - Foundation of the RFP. Includes all specifications, technical and business requirements, deliverables, IT architecture and environments, installation requirements, acceptance test procedures, and project stakeholders. – Focus on enabling offerors to clearly understand the requirements and specifications. Leave as little as possible open to interpretation. Allow offerors to submit high quality technical proposals. 5
Contents of an RFP (cont’d)•Establish a baseline for other parts of the RFP, particularly the evaluationcriteria, technical proposal instructions and developing accurate financialproposals• Deliverables - How will you use and measure the quality of thedeliverables? Are you engaging a consultant to capture data andanalyze a situation? If so, will the deliverable be an excel file thatcontains the data, or in a format that can be further manipulated?Are you expecting a fully operational application that satisfiesspecific requirements and that is built to defined specifications? 6
Contents of an RFP (cont)• As you’re writing you may need to get many others, particularly programmatic staff involved to answer key questions. Ideally, they will have had input from the beginning.• What if an RFP of this scope or area of interest hasn’t yet been done? – A decision memo may help to determine what are the available options, pros and cons, and expected stakeholder feedback. – Moreover such a memo can provide a “true north,” or compass if you will, that can assist in honing in on the problem the RFP seeks to solve in case the process becomes unwieldy. (See Paul’s IRO example.) • After the writing is complete, the real work just begins… 7
Contract Fulfillment Team (CFT)• Allows for the RFP to be reviewed from a variety of perspectives by different personnel including legal, procurement, and technical (typically RFP author and program staff), and the MBE coordinator.• Usually meets 3-4 times and will finalize the RFP so it can progress to the Procurement Review Group (PRG) then DBM for posting.• The CFT shouldn’t be scheduled until the RFP is fairly complete and ready to move forward to post.• PRG – Meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month and is tasked with signing off on MBE, VSB, and SBR. Without a good justification for exceptions, the PRG will ask questions and suggest changes. 9
Evaluation Committee• Evaluator Experience: An evaluation committee should be comprised of individuals who are experienced in proposal review. Must also maintain confidentiality so as to decrease risk of vendor influence in process.• Objectivity: Objectivity of the requirements and performance criteria to ensure an adequate number of proposals were received.• Key thing to keep in mind:– Reference Checks: Carefully check offeror references. Susan has a great story about an offeror who listed a current DHMH contract as a reference yet was performing poorly. (Hint: They weren’t awarded the new contract.) 10
Small Business Reserve• Designated procurements can only be awarded to certified small businesses• Businesses have to average no more than $2 million per year in sales/business (certain other limitations)• Non-profit entities cannot participate as a small business• The scope and complexity of the RFP, knowledge of the industry, and availability of sufficient contractors in the area of interest that you’re targeting will help determine when an SBR-only release is appropriate. 11
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)• MBE goals can only be met by subcontracting to certified MBE companies• If there’s no opportunity for subcontracting, then a 0% MBE goal is appropriate. However, the majority of projects and services include subcontracting opportunities.• The MBE coordinator will assist in finding the right goal during the contract fulfillment team process - If goal is below 25% specific subcategories (women, specific ethnicities, etc) do not need to be quantified• MBEs can be found on eMaryland Marketplace 12
Veteran’s Small Business Enterprise• Gives preference to subcontractors who are veterans of the armed forces• The goal required is typically a fraction of the MBE goal set• How do I find VSBs? – VetBiz.org, which is run by the Veterans Department – Doesn’t require registration, but does require extreme patience. Searches are incredibly general. 13
eMaryland Marketplace• Where open bid procurements are posted by state agencies• Used to search for and categorize vendors (e.g., SBR, MBE, and VSB)• Requires registration to access fully• Offerors must be listed on eMaryland prior to contract award 14