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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Resource Center for Health IT (NRC)

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SECTION L—INSTRUCTIONS, CONDITIONS AND NOTICES TO OFFERORS (continued)

L.13 BUSINESS PROPOSAL

The offeror shall submit as part of the proposal a separate enclosure titled "Business Proposal" for each Domain for which a proposal is being submitted. The Business Proposal shall clearly indicate the Domain number for which the offeror is submitting a proposal and shall include the Cost/Price Proposal and Other Administrative Data in accordance with the following: 

  1. Cost/Price Proposal

    A cost proposal, in the amount of an original and five (5) hard copies, plus two electronic copies on CD, shall be provided only to the extent that it shall include:

    1. Certified, unloaded, labor rates for individuals expected to work on a project of this size and nature. Go to the attached Domain Proposal Specifications which provides a list of the specific labor categories for each Domain. Labor rates or ranges of rates shall be indicated for each labor category for the specific Domain for which the offeror is submitting a proposal.
    2. A statement certifying that the offeror has a cost accounting system in place which allows for the collection, tracking and reporting of all costs under a cost reimbursement-type contract.
    3. Certified documentation that the offeror has a current indirect cost rate agreement in place with a federal agency or that is in the process of obtaining or revising such an agreement. A copy of the indirect cost rate agreement or the proposed rate agreement shall be provided.

  2. Other Administrative Data
    1. Terms and Conditions: The proposal shall stipulate that it is predicated upon the terms and conditions of the RFP. In addition, it shall contain a statement to the effect that it is firm for a period of at least 120 days from the date of receipt thereof by the Government.

      Minimum Bid Acceptance Period (April 1984)

      1. "Acceptance period," as used in this provision, means the number of calendar days available to the Government for awarding a contract from the date specified in this solicitation for receipt of bids.
      2. This provision supersedes any language pertaining to the acceptance period that may appear elsewhere in this solicitation.
      3. The Government requires a minimum acceptance period of 120 days.
      4. A bid allowing less than the Government's minimum acceptance period may be rejected.
      5. The bidder agrees to execute all that it has undertaken to do, in compliance with its bid, if that bid is accepted in writing within (i) the acceptance period stated in paragraph (3) above, or (ii) any longer acceptance period stated in paragraph (4) above.
    2. Authority to Conduct Negotiations: The proposal shall list the names and telephone numbers of persons authorized to conduct negotiations and to execute contracts.
    3. Property:
      1. It is HHS policy that contractors will provide all equipment and facilities necessary for performance of contracts. Exception may be granted to furnish Government-owned property, or to authorize purchase with contract funds, only when approved by the contracting officer. If additional equipment must be acquired, you shall include the description, estimated cost of each item and whether you will furnish such items with your own funds.
      2. You shall identify Government-owned property in your possession and/or property acquired from Federal funds to which you have title, that is proposed to be used in the performance of the prospective contract.
      3. The management and control of any Government property shall be in accordance with HHS Publication (OS) 74-115 entitled, "Contractor's Guide for Control of Government Property" 1990, a copy of which will be provided upon request.
    4. Royalties: You shall furnish information concerning royalties which are anticipated to be paid in connection with the performance of work under the proposed contract.
    5. Commitments: You shall list other commitments with the Government relating to the specified work or services and indicate whether these commitments will or will not interfere with the completion of work and/or services contemplated under this proposal.
    6. Financial Capacity: You shall provide sufficient data to indicate that you have the necessary financial capacity, working capital, and other resources to perform the contract without assistance from any outside source. If not, indicate the amount required and the anticipated source. (Financial data such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash forecasts, and financial histories of your organization's affiliated concerns should be utilized.)
    7. Performance Capability: You shall provide acceptable evidence of your "ability to obtain" equipment, facilities, and personnel necessary to perform the requirements of this project. If these are not represented in your current operations, they should normally be supported by commitment or explicit arrangement, which is in existence at the time the contract is to be awarded, for the rental, purchase, or other acquisition of such resources, equipment, facilities, or personnel. In addition, you shall indicate your ability to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule taking into consideration all existing business commitments, commercial as well as Government.
    8. Representations and Certifications: Section K, "Representations and Certifications and Other Statements of Offerors" shall be completed and signed by an official authorized to bind your organization. This section shall be made a part of the original business proposal.

  3. Small Business Subcontracting Plan:

    All offerors except small businesses will be required to submit a subcontracting plan in accordance with the Small Business Subcontracting Plan, FAR 52.219-9, incorporated in this solicitation for any task orders that are estimated to be above $550,000. The plan will only be required when a Request for Task Order Proposal is issued that is estimated to be above $550,000 and does not need to be submitted as part of this proposal. A copy of a model subcontracting plan is available at http://www.hhs.gov/osdbu/read/SampleSubcontractingPlan.doc. If the model plan is not used, all elements outlined must be addressed in the offeror's format. If the offeror is not a small business and fails to submit a subcontracting plan when requested by a specific Request for Task Order proposal, the offeror will be considered nonresponsive and their proposal will be returned without further consideration.

    This provision does not apply to small business concerns. This provision does apply to all other offerors, including large business concerns, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations.

    The term "subcontract" means any agreement (other than one involving an employer-employee relationship) entered into by a Federal Government prime contractor or subcontractor calling for supplies or services required for the performance of the original contract or subcontract. This includes, but is not limited to, agreements/ purchase orders for supplies and services such as equipment purchase, copying services, and travel services.

    The offeror understands that:
    1. No task order above the threshold will be awarded unless and until an acceptable plan is negotiated with the Contracting Officer. The plan will be incorporated in to the task order.
    2. An acceptable plan must, in the determination of the Contracting officer, provide the maximum practicable opportunity for small business concerns and small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged persons to participate in the performance of the task order.
    3. If a subcontracting plan acceptable to the Contracting Officer is not negotiated within the time limits prescribed by the contracting activity and such failure arises out of causes within the control and with the fault or negligence of the offeror, the offeror shall be ineligible for award. The Contracting Officer shall notify the Contractor in writing of the reasons for determining a subcontracting plan unacceptable early enough in the negotiation process to allow the Contractor to modify the plan within the time limits prescribed.
    4. Prior compliance of the offeror with other such subcontracting plans under previous contracts will be considered by the Contracting Officer in determining the responsibility of the offeror for award of the contract.
    5. It is the offeror's responsibility to develop a satisfactory subcontracting plan with respect to small business concerns and small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and women-owned small business concerns, and that each such aspect of the offeror's plan will be judged independent of the other.
    6. The offeror will submit, as required by the Contracting Officer, subcontracting reports in accordance with the instructions thereon, and as further directed by the Contracting Officer. Subcontractors will also submit these reports to the Government Contracting Officer or as otherwise directed, with a copy to the prime Contractor's designated small and disadvantaged business liaison.
    7. For this particular acquisition, the AHRQ recommended goal (as a percentage of total contract value for the base period) is 20% for Small Businesses, which shall include at least 5.5% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Small Disadvantaged Businesses, at least 5% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Women-Owned Small Businesses, and at least 3% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for HUBZone Small Businesses and at least 3% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. These goals represent AHRQ's expectations of the minimum level for subcontracting with small business at the prime contract level. Any goal stated less than the AHRQ recommended goal shall be justified and is subject to negotiation.

L.14 SELECTION OF OFFERORS

  1. The acceptability of the technical portion of each contract proposal will be evaluated by a technical review committee.  The committee will evaluate each proposal in strict conformity with the evaluation criteria of the RFP, utilizing point scores and written critiques.  The committee may suggest that the Contracting Officer request clarifying information from an offeror.
  2. The business portion of each contract proposal will be subjected to a limited cost review, management analysis, etc.
  3. Past performance of the technically acceptable offerors will be evaluated by AHRQ staff.
  4. The Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan will be evaluated by AHRQ staff.
  5.  A competitive range will be determined. The competitive range will consist of those offers which are highly rated, based upon the technical, past performance, business, and Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan evaluation. Written discussions will be conducted with all offerors in the competitive range, if necessary. A cost analysis will be performed by AHRQ’s Cost Analyst. All aspects of the proposals are subject to discussions, including cost, technical approach, past performance, and contractual terms and conditions. Final Proposal Revisions may be requested with the reservation of the right to conduct limited negotiations after submission of Final Proposal Revisions.
  6. A final best-value analysis will be performed taking into consideration the results of the technical evaluation, cost analysis, past performance, and ability to complete the work within the Government's required schedule. The Government reserves the right to make an award to the best advantage of the Government, technical merit, cost, past performance, and other factors considered.
  7. The Government reserves the right to make a single award, multiple awards, or no award at all to the RFP.

L.15 NAICS Codes by Domain

Domains NAICS Code
1 – Support for Health IT Program Management, Guidance, Assessment and Planning 541611
2 – Health IT Technical Assistance, Content Development, Program Related Projects and Studies 541611
3 – Health IT Dissemination, Communication and Marketing 541990
4 – Health IT Portal Infrastructure Management and Website Design and Usability Support 541512

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SECTION M—EVALUATION FACTORS FOR AWARD

TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA

Selection of an offeror for contract award will be based on an evaluation of proposals against four factors. The four factors are: scientific technical merit, past performance, small disadvantaged business participation plan and cost. The scientific technical merit of the proposals will receive paramount consideration for this acquisition.

THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AN AWARD WITHOUT DISCUSSION

All proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the governing regulations and AHRQ policies and procedures. The technical proposal and past performance will be evaluated in terms of the offeror's responses to each of the evaluation factors. The proposal will be evaluated on the likelihood of meeting the Government's requirements. The evaluation will be based on the technical and administrative capabilities in relation to the needs of the program and anticipated tasks. The Government reserves the right to make an award to the best advantage of the Government.

The evaluation factors and assigned weights which will be used in the overall review of the offeror's proposal are outlined below. Separate evaluation factors and weights are associated with each of the four separate Domains. Refer to the attachment for Domain Proposal Specifications which lists the evaluation factors and weights for each Domain. The technical proposal shall consist of the responses to the evaluation criteria for the specific Domain for which the offeror is submitting a proposal. The offeror should show that the objectives stated in the proposal are understood and offer a logical program for their achievement. The criteria will be used to evaluate the proposal and will be weighted as indicated in establishing a numerical rating for all proposals submitted. Factors facilitating the evaluation of each criteria below are referenced in the corresponding criteria found in Section L of this solicitation:

Technical Proposal Evaluation 100 points
Past Performance Evaluation 25 points
(TO BE RATED ONLY AFTER A DETERMINATION OF TECHNICAL ACCEPTABILITY OF THE OFFEROR'S PROPOSAL, BASED ON THE ABOVE TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA)

The offeror's past performance will be evaluated after completion of the technical evaluation. Only those offerors determined to be technically acceptable will be evaluated. Each offeror will be evaluated on its performance under existing and prior contracts for similar products or services. Performance information will be used for both responsibility determinations and as an evaluation factor against which offeror's relative rankings will be compared.

Attached to this solicitation is a questionnaire which is to be copied and provided to customers for current and recently completed (within the past year) projects for work related to this requirement. Please provide this questionnaire to your customers to complete and return to AHRQ no later than February 19, 2009. Questionnaires received after that date will not be evaluated. Offerors should also send this questionnaire to proposed major subcontractors so that they may also have their clients submit completed questionnaire to AHRQ for evaluation.

The Government reserves the right to evaluate relevant past performance information not specifically provided by the offeror.

Assessment of the offeror's past performance for AHRQ, as well as other agencies and organizations, will be one means of evaluating the credibility of the offeror's proposal and relative capability to meet performance requirements. The past performance evaluation will be conducting using information gathered from questionnaires and information received from the offeror's previous and current clients. Evaluation of past performance will often be subjective based on the consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. Information utilized will be obtained from the questionnaires received and from the references listed in the offeror's proposal, other clients known to AHRQ and others who may have useful and relevant information. Past performance will also be considered regarding subcontractors and key personnel.

The Government will assess the relative risks associated with each offeror. Performance risks are those associated with an offeror's likelihood of success in performing the acquisition requirements as indicated by the offeror's record of past performance.

If the offeror or the proposed employees for the offeror, do not have a past performance history relative to this acquisition, or past performance not relative to this acquisition, the offeror will not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on this factor. A neutral rating will be determined.

In evaluating past performance the Government, will consider the offeror's effectiveness in quality of products or services; timeliness of performance; cost control; business practices; customer satisfaction, and key personnel past performance.

NOTICE: Past Performance questionnaires are to be provided to the Contracts Office NO LATER than the closing date and time of this solicitation. It is the offeror's responsibility to ensure that these documents are forwarded to the contracting office.

Small Disadvantaged Business Subcontracting Plan Evaluation 5 points
(TO BE RATED ONLY AFTER A DETERMINATION OF TECHNICAL ACCEPTABILITY OF THE OFFEROR'S PROPOSAL, BASED ON THE ABOVE TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA)

The evaluation will be based on information obtained from the Small Disadvantaged Business Subcontracting Plan provided by the offeror, the realism of the proposal, other relevant information from named SDB concerns, and any information supplied by the offeror concerning problems encountered in SDB participation.

Evaluation of the SDB Participation Plan will be a subjective assessment based on consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. It will not be based on absolute standards of acceptable performance. The government is seeking to determine whether the offeror has demonstrated a commitment to use SDB concerns for the work that it intends to perform as the prime contractor.

 The assessment of the offeror's SDB Participating Plan will be used as a means of evaluating the relative capacity and commitment of the offeror and the other competitors. Thus, an offeror with an exceptional record of participation with SDB concerns may receive more points and a more favorable evaluation than another whose record is acceptable , even though both may have acceptable technical proposals

SDB participation will be scored with offerors receiving points from 0 to 5, with 5 being the most favorable.

TOTAL AVAILABLE EVALUTION POINTS.............................................................................130 points

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