Frequently Asked Questions
Request for Proposal (RFP) #10-013: New York State Education Department
1. What amount of funding is allocated for the purchase of online job resource tools?
NYSED is not providing this information. This is a Best Value competitive procurement, with 25% of the final aggregate score based on the total amount of the cost proposal. Bidders are encouraged to submit cost proposals that are reasonable and cost-effective.
2. Please confirm the date the start date for the term. Page #1 says the term is July 1, 2011 and ending April 30, 2013. Page #8 states that the RFP will be for a term beginning April 1, 2011 and ending March 31, 2013.
The dates on Page 1 are correct. Page 8 is in error and should read July 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.
3. Project Timeline – 1) What is the purpose for the one day meeting in July?
The purpose of the July meeting is to develop an implementation plan according to the RFP timeline.
4. Project Timeline – 2) states by August 1st job resource software will be operational in “appropriate” New York libraries. Does “appropriate” refer to all the libraries included in Task #1 or Task #2? Or does “appropriate” refer to a different subset of libraries. As of August 1st will the job resources be made available to all patrons?
“Appropriate” refers to whether Task 1 or Task 2 has been awarded. As of August 1st, the vendor should be ready to make the resource available to patrons.
5. If a company is contemplating not subcontracting the work, does it need to satisfy the M/WBE requirements? If not, how does it prepare and submit the required M/WBE documents?
Bidders are required to comply with NYSED’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) participation goals. The goals are 17% Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and 12% Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).
The M/WBE goals can be met by subcontracting or by purchasing goods and services from certified firms. See www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov for a listing of currently certified M/WBEs.
M/WBE documents will document the Minority and Women-Owned firms chosen by bidders to meet the requirements of this RFP.
6.a) If the company itself is an M/WBE, does it need to subcontract?
6.b) If not, what does the company need to provide to satisfy the M/WBE requirements and how does it prepare and submit the required documents?
The bidder will submit the documentation of their certification with New York State. The M/WBE bidder would complete and submit the Staffing Plan only.
7. What if there are no subcontractors listed as currently certified M/WBE’s that provide the specialized services, or components of the services, specified in this RFP? In other words, how does a company meet the M/WBE requirement if it is unable to find a subcontractor from listing of currently certified M/WBEs?
The required Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation includes any or all services, materials and supplies purchased from over 8,000 New York State certified minority and women owned firms. You may contact the MWBE Contact person for a listing of certified firms based on the category provided.
8. Because there will be two quotes for Task 1, and Task 2, do we prepare and send out two sets of M/WBE documents?
9. Is a company required to subcontract, even if it has nothing to subcontract? In other words, if a company already provides the specialized services, and components of the services, specified in this RFP, is it required to subcontract?
Yes, bidders are required to comply with NYSED’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises participation goals. Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation includes any or all services, materials and supplies purchased from New York State certified minority and women owned firms.
10. Does the live online support have to be 24x7x365 or just during “business hours”? Weekends?
The vendor should describe the available extent of live online user assistance. There is no min/max stipulation.
11. Do you have any estimates of the number of users that will be enrolled on a monthly basis? Any idea how many people may need the “live support “services?
NYSED cannot provide an estimate of users, nor of those seeking live online assistance.
12. For Task 1 and Task 2, how many sites are included in the program? Is it an “opt in “situation or is it going to be delivered to ALL libraries in either the 41 or 62 counties?
Task 1: All public libraries in the 41 upstate New York counties in which the public computer centers are located. All types of libraries located in all 62 New York counties (Task 2). The vendor should have the capacity to deliver to all libraries in either Task 1 or Task 2.
13. Are the public computer centers located in the 30 public libraries and 5 e-mobile units of Task 1 a subset of and fully included in Task 2?
14. Task 1 appears to include access for the New York State Library in Albany which allows online access to all New York citizens. Please clarify how the access through the New York State Library in Task 1 differs from the access provided by all types of libraries in the 62 counties in New York State in Task 2.
In Task 1, the New York State Library is included as one of the grant –designated PCCs. Access would be provided on-site and to registered borrowers of the State Library. In Task 2, access is available as in Task 1 for the New York State Library and the other libraries in the grant, plus through the novelnewyork.org site which has a NYS driver’s license or non-driver ID authentication option.
15. Task 2 states that it covers all types of libraries on a state-wide basis. Does this include high school and academic college level libraries?
16. In addition to the practice tests and exams listed on page #4, is the NYSED interested in providing patrons with additional preparation for some of the most popular career certification exams for high growth careers such as Medical Assisting, Information Technology, ASE certified auto and truck repair, cosmetology, etc?
The vendor will determine what content to offer in their bid to meet the stated goals of the RFP.
17. To what extent is NYSED interested in providing tools which evaluate academic skills related to reading and math as well as providing remediation?
The emphasis of the proposal is on job and career information and skill development. The vendor will determine what content to offer in their bid to meet the stated goals of the RFP.
18. Deliverable 1) a. i calls for a job search and career advancement resource. Is the intent to provide a state/regional job search or a national job search? Does “job search” include all of the tools typically made available in a full feature job board?
The vendor should determine the nature and scope of the links or content offered in their bid. Deliverable 1.c) does specify that links to other NYS agencies offering job and career assistance (described in the Background section) be addressed in the proposal.
19. Deliverable 1) a, vii requires access to practice Civil Service tests. Please define what types of tests are considered “Civil Service”. Are there specific Civil Service exams that the practice resources must cover?
Civil service tests qualify applicants for positions in civil branches of government. No specific tests are required.
20. Deliverable 1) b. requires multiple language support. Are there specific languages that must be supported?
21. Deliverable 1) g. requires a free 30 day trial period once the contract is awarded. Will specific evaluation criteria be provided before the start of the 30 day trial?
The 30-day trial will commence after the contract is awarded. No evaluation criteria beyond what is already stated in the RFP will be provided.
22. Deliverable 3) c. calls for training for administrators to customize the user interface. To what extent will administrators be able to customize the interface?
The vendor will describe the customization available in their product; at a minimum, the type of customization described in Deliverable 1.f)
23. a) Deliverable 4) a. Marketing Materials – states that all libraries will receive a minimum amount of 10,000 pieces of marketing materials. Does this apply to every library or just those libraries over a specific size? Is the requirement that each library receive material customized specifically for that library? Or, is it that each library will receive copies of material, designed at the state level, which is the same for all libraries.
This sentence in the RFP was unclear. A total of 10,000 pieces are to be produced for the participants. Material produced by the vendor will be distributed by the State Library. The pieces will be a single design with accommodation for individual branding.
b. For pricing the print costs of the marketing material, will the vendor be allowed to dictate the format of the brochure (i.e., a 4 color tri-fold brochure) to come up with a set cost and then work with the State Library to customize the content? Or should the pricing be for baseline materials, which may get more or less expensive depending on the final choice of the Library?
Vendors should budget for baseline materials.
c) Is there a place to associate cost with this request?
If provided in-house, the costs may be charged to the appropriate budget category - personal service, supplies and materials, etc. The cost of these materials could be included under purchase of services, if provided by a subcontractor.
24. In Deliverables - 1.A.ii - When access is stated, is it implied the job resource tool would provide these tools as part of the product or links to services such as government services? If they are part of the product, in respect to education, what are the desired skills to be addressed (basic skills such as reading or math or other – please define).
The vendor should determine the nature and scope of the links or content offered in their bid. The focus of the grant is on job readiness.
25. With regards to user interface customization and statistical reporting at the individual library level, the RFP states that the job search resource will be promoted via Novelnewyork.org. It is our understanding that the user has three options to access resources/online databases 1- links to local library web site to access, 2 – user enters library card or 3 – user uses Driver License. Is this correct?
From novelnewyork.org, a user may link to their local library web site and input their library card number to access the resource, or enter a NYS driver license or non-driver ID and proceed with a search.
26. If a patron uses a drivers license or NY State Library card, it is our understanding that the user would access a generic (top level state branded) version of the job resource tool instead of an individual library configuration and all usage statistics for users who access the database using a driver’s license or NY State Library Card would be reported at the top level. Is this correct and/or acceptable?
The New York State Library account is the same as an individual library and is captured separately. A novelnewyork.org account would record NYS driver license or non-driver ID access.
27. In Deliverables, 1.G, requests a 30 day free trial period to evaluate the product once a contract is awarded. Is this trial for the committee use only, or is it for patron use as well and do we need to submit trial account login and access with our proposal?
Trial account and log-in is not required with the proposal. Access during the trial will include patron use.
28. What is the frequency in which NYSL envisions individual libraries receiving usage statistics? Would they be included as part of the quarterly statistical reports discussed in the project timeline?
Yes, quarterly is sufficient.
29. Is there any place where I can find the listing of libraries included in the BTPO grant? Or at least have an approximate number to base the licensing and printing needs on?
The libraries participating in the BTOP grant may be found at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/nybbexpress/xprs_map.htm
30. Is there any requirement that users of the system be formally affiliated with a library (i.e., with a library card), or is just visiting the web site enough to allow them to register.
In Task 1, people who visit the Public Computer Centers created under the grant will be able to use the product on-site. For remote use, they will need a library card. In Task 2 the same situation would apply, and in addition, NYS residents may access the resources through novelnewyork.org using a NYS driver license or non-driver ID.
31. Is the requirement for assistance with resume writing, practice tests, etc. mentioned in section 2a just to help users who are having technical trouble using those sections of the system? Or, does the online user assistance requirement necessitate a career counselor or coach to guide the user's responses within the system?
The live online user assistance should include both kinds of help.
32. Is there any requirement for users to be able to change their home library?