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Maintenance of AHRQ Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan (AHRQ-2009-10022)

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Questions and Answers

  1. Is this a new requirement or is there an incumbent currently providing similar services? If so, who is the incumbent and are they eligible to bid?
  1. Incumbent contractor is L-3 Services (formally named Titan Corp.). The contract number is HHSA 290-2005-0004 for a total dollar amount (including all option periods) of $408,466. The incumbent is NOT eligible to submit a proposal, because this acquisition is a Total Small Business Set-Aside.
  1. How many FTE consultants are currently supporting AHRQ's COOP? How many FTE consultants does AHRQ anticipate requiring for this project? What is the estimated Level of Effort (labor hours, number of full-time staff, etc..) for the requirements described in the RFP?
  1. This is proprietary information and is not releasable. Potential offerors need to develop staff FTE and consultant expectation based on scope of work
  1. The FedBizOpps website listed 27 vendors which where included on an "Interested Vendors List" for this funding solicitation. Can organizations not on this list submit an application in response to this solicitation? Would applicants who are not on this list be at a competitive disadvantage compared to applicants who are on this list?
  1. Yes, organizations not on "interested vendors list" can still compete for this acquisition. Those that are posted on list will receive the amendment containing answers to these questions, but amendment will also be posted on the www.ahrq.gov website as well. Competitive advantage vs disadvantage is unknown.
  1. Page 1 of the solicitation states that this is a "total small business set aside". Does this mean that all project collaborators, including sub-contractors, need to meet the criteria of a small business?
  1. No. Only the prime contractor must be a small business.
  1. Is the applicant required to request a waiver for every FAR clause that is believed to not be applicable for this solicitation?
  1. No. However, if the offeror believes that a clause doesn't apply to their organization, then they can state that in their proposal.
  1. Can organizations that do not have a federally-approved indirect cost rate serve as the lead offeror on this solicitation? Also, can organizations that do not have a federally-approved indirect cost rate claim indirect costs on Federal grants or contracts?
  1. Yes to both questions.
  1. Page 31 of the solicitation states that "Any contract in excess of $500,000 resulting from this solicitation will be subject to the requirements of the Cost Accounting Standards Board" Do you anticipate that the contract will be subject to the requirements of the Cost Accounting Standards Board?
  1. The base period of the contract will not exceed the $500,000 threshold, but if option periods are exercised, it may be possible. Please complete your Cost Accounting Standards, Notices and Certifications portion of either your Annual Representations and Certifications (REPS & CERTS), or submit the complete the written REPS & CERTS included in the RFP package.
  1. What is the anticipated date of the contract award?
  1. Late November to Mid December.
  1. Page 47 of the solicitation states that offerors shall submit "A list of the last five (5) contracts and subcontracts completed during the past three years and all contracts and subcontracts currently in process." Is this a total of 5 contracts that should be listed by both the offeror (lead applicant) and any subcontractors, or should the offeror (lead applicant) submit a list of its last 5 contracts, and each subcontractor also submit a list of its last 5 contracts?
  1. The offeror should submit ONLY past performance information on the Prime Contractor.
  1. There are several inconsistencies throughout the RFP regarding numbers of copies for different parts/sections of the proposal. How many copies of each part are required?
  1. Technical Proposal = Original plus 8 copies and 1 electronic copy/CD. Past Performance Information = Original and 4 copies Business Proposal = Original and 4 copies and 1 electronic copy/CD
  1. Para M.1 indicates Technical Evaluation Criteria totaling 100 points. Please clarify since the points for subparagraphs A through E total only 95 points. Where are the remaining 5 points attributed?
  1. Total points for criteria A through E equal 100. Organizational/Corporate Experience should be 20 points instead of 15 points.
  1. Would it be possible to receive a copy of the full solicitation in MS Word Format?
  1. Yes. Go to www.ahrq.gov then click on Funding Opportunities, then Contracts and then Request for proposal. Word format (along with other formats) are there and available for download.
  1. Is Task 3 (Conduct Coop Orientation Training) intended to serve as training of new, recently appointed or replacement COOP personnel in contrast to Task 4 (Conduct COOP Training Course) to meet AHRQ's annual Training Requirements?
  1. There are two types of training required: 1) training for new COOP personnel which is referred to as COOP Orientation Training, and 2) annual COOP exercise training for the entire COOP team which is referred to s the COOP Training Course.
  1. Are there any other AHRQ business functions that are conducted at any Location other than the Eisenberg Building that is expected to be supported under this contract?
  1. No
  1. Could you please provide the current list of PMEFs and MEFs performed by AHRQ. (Task 2)?
  1. These documents are for official use only.
  1. Is there any expectation to evaluate AHRQ's compliance with NCS Directive 3- 10?
  1. No.
  1. Is there any expectation to propose or provide solutions to any identified deficiencies? (Task 6)
  1. No.
  1. What is the current alert and notification software being used by AHRQ?
  1. The current alert system is the Enterprise Notification System (ENS)
  1. Is the Alert and Notification process actually conducted by AHRQ or for AHRQ by other elements with PHS? (Task 7)
  1. AHRQ inputs data into the ENS and conducts the tests.
  1. Please list the security clearance level required of the contract personnel.
  1. Security Clearances are not required.
  1. The updating of plans after the review is specified in the RFP. Will AHRQ provide the review or is performing the annual plan review a requirement of the contract? If the contractor is responsible, is there a methodology that must be utilized? (Task 2)
  1. AHRQ and contractor collaborate in conducting the review. There is no set methodology.
  1. Regarding the annual submission of identified PMEFs and MEFs, is the submission limited to the administrative functioning of formatting and function this information or is the annual review and subsequent drafting of proposed revisions or any other requirement contained in Annex D of FCD-1 the responsibility of the contractor? (Task 2)
  1. This is a shared response between AHRQ and the contractor.
  1. Paragraph C.1.B. notes GFI and paragraph L.8.1.(4).E mentions adequate contractor facilities, and the RFP is moot as to AHRQ supplying office work space, telephone and computer services. Is this indicative of the desire for contractor to work off site, and will AHRQ provide adequate workspace and equipment for on-site staff at AHRQ? Is the work to be performed at the contactor's site or the government site?
  1. With the exception of conducting training sessions, exercises, and meeting with the AHRQ's Project Officer and Coop Manager, all work is performed at the contractor's worksite. AHRQ will provide adequate workspace and equipment on-site for contractors during meetings, training, etc.
  1. If there is an incumbent contractor, how many FTE consultants are currently supporting AHRQ's COOP? How many FTE consultants does AHRQ anticipate requiring for this project?
  1. This is proprietary information. Potential offerors need to develop FTE and consultant expectation based on scope of work
  1. Is it the preference of AHRQ to have full time dedicated resources assigned to the project or intermittent consultants?
  1. Intermittent.
  1. When was AHRQ's COOP completed?
  1. Latest print date was October 2008 and will be updated by the end of October 2009.
  1. Page 4 of the solicitation says that the Statement of Work (SOW) relates to the "continued development, training and maintenance of its Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and Pandemic Flu Plan for the John M. Eisenberg Building." Can copies of these plans be made available to applicants for this solicitation? If not, can you provide some overall descriptive information of the current plans, such as the number of pages of the plans, are they base plans with supporting annexes, etc.?
  1. No. This is for official use only. This is not relevant.
  1. In order to predict revision costs, can you tell us the length of time and the mode (e.g. paper, CD) of the current COOP training course?
  1. The training varies and usually takes the form of simulated scenarios and is a combination of paper, cds, and internet. (the length of time varies between 1 to 3 hours).
  1. Please define the "COOP Team", "COOP Working Group", "COOP-AG" and "CERG" mentioned in the Task Descriptions; for the COOP Team and COOP Working Group, please include the number of individuals making up those groups.
  1. COOP Team - identified as mission essential staff - approx. 40 COOP Working Group - one representative from each Office and Center - approx 9 COOP Advance Group - advance group is part of the mission essential staff that set up COOP site - approx. 7 COOP Emergency Relocation Group - another term for mission essential Staff (COOP team) - approx. 40
  1. Can AHRQ provide some additional detail as to its "concept" of training, in terms of suggested length of COOP Orientation Training and the COOP Training Course?
  1. Varies from 1- 3 hours
  1. Does AHRQ have any preferences related to training modality utilized (face-to- face, online or some form of asynchronous delivery)?
  1. Face to face and internet training is desired.
  1. How many participants will receive the COOP Orientation Training (Task 3)?
  1. For new COOP members only - approx. 25-30 in FY 2010
  1. How many employees will receive the COOP Awareness Training materials (Task 5) and who has responsibility for producing and disseminating this material?
  1. For new COOP members only - approx. 25-30 in FY 2010. The contractor is responsible for producing and disseminating the materials for Awareness Training.
  1. Can you please provide a figure for the number of participants for the Functional Exercise to enable us to calculate material production costs?
  1. Approx. 40
  1. For the COOP Trainings (COOP Orientation Training and the COOP Training Course) will AHRQ provide the venue for the trainings?
  1. Yes
  1. Will SimCell and exercise locations, logistics and refreshments for the Functional Exercise be provided by AHRQ or the contractor?
  1. AHRQ will provide exercise locations and logistics. AHRQ does not serve or provide refreshments during training.
  1. Page 7 of the solicitation states that the offeror will need to "Conduct and monitor the exercise in accordance with FCD Directives and HHS Test, Training and Exercise Program." Internet searches we performed did not seem to find any information on this program. Can you provide any descriptive information about the HHS Test, Training and Exercise Program?
  1. This information is provided by Headquarters at the Health and Human Services COOP team from the Department.
  1. Can you provide any links that would have information on this program?
  1. Possible the HHS internet, but this may be proprietary information.
  1. Can you provide information as to how this program compares to, is related to, or contrasts with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)?
  1. Possible the HHS internet, but this may be proprietary information.
  1. Are there any other AHRQ business functions that are conducted at any location other than the Eisenberg Building that is expected to be supported under this contract?
  1. No other locations.
  1. Could you please provide the current list of PMEFs and MEFs performed by AHRQ. (Task 2)?
  1. No. This is for official use only.
  1. Please provide a copy of the current "AHRQ COOP Plan" and "Pandemic Flu Plan" that will be revised as part of Task 2 for the base 12 month period.
  1. No. This is for official use only.
  1. Please provide copies of all current document versions for deliverables listed in RFP Section F.2.
  1. No. This is for official use only.
  1. Please identify the regular working facilities covered by the RFP.
  1. Six-floor government leased building - 540 Gaither Rd., Rockville, MD.
  1. Please identify the location of all remote sites covered by the RFP including the Emergency Relocation Site facilities. If these data are classified, please state the distance from 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850.
  1. This information is for official use only. The close site is approx. 5 miles and the distant site is approx. 150 miles.
  1. Please define the work performance location for the contractor tasks described in the RFP.
  1. All work that is not performed offsite is to be performed at 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD.
  1. For the work that needs to be performed at the government site, please describe all the facilities available for use by the contractor in performing the duties required in the RFP (e.g. access to network resources, training rooms, etc.).
  1. All work that is not performed off-site is to be performed at 540 Gaither Rd., Rockville, MD. Contractors will have access as needed to network resources, training rooms, etc.
  1. Please describe the current IT disaster recovery capabilities of the systems and services utilized by the agency.
  1. This information is for official use only.
  1. Does the government intend on participating in the Eagle Horizon exercise? If so, can this constitute as the functional exercise in the SOW?
  1. Possibility and yes could constitute functional exercise in the SOW.
  1. Is the ERS testing intended to be conducted for facilities outside the National capital Region?
  1. No.
  1. Will the John Eisenberg building be the only location? It mentions this site, but sometimes you reference other sites (ex. USACE HQ and Ft Belvoir)
  1. Yes. The John Eisenberg Building is AHRQ's sole location.
  1. Is the IT Disaster Recovery Plan included?
  1. No. This is a separate plan developed by IT.
  1. Are there existing communications and IT infrastructure in place for the alternate site, and if so, will we need to work with the incumbent on comm./IT.
  1. Yes, but will not be working with the incumbent on Comm/IT.
  1. How many departments/business units are there in the Eisenberg bldg?
  1. AHRQ is the only Federal Agency in the Eisenberg Building.
  1. Does AHRQ have an internal COOP Coordinator?
  1. Yes.
  1. How much time will we have to review existing COOP and Pandemic Influenza plans?
  1. There will be allowances for a sufficient transition between current contractor and new contractor.
  1. Is the COOP for leadership staff, essential personnel or all staff members?
  1. The COOP team is comprised of leadership staff and other staff deemed essential.
  1. Does the current COOP include an existing alternate work site? yes
  1. Yes.
  1. Will the contractor be required to travel to the 10 regions to conduct training on- site?
  1. No, AHRQ's location is the only one.
  1. Can AHRQ provide a specific list of equipment to be tested in support of the COOP Program?
  1. This is not applicable to the scope of work.
  1. The RFP requires a quarterly "COOP Working Group" meeting. Will the Working Group consist of representatives from only the Director's Office plus the other eight Centers/Offices (i.e., 9 entities that will have to be coordinated with in scheduling the meetings)? Yes If there are more entities that will be involved in t he quarterly meetings, would you please advise how many and where we can find out more information about them?
  1. N/A.
  1. Has the current COOP Plan been tested previously?
  1. Yes.
  1. When was the last time the Pandemic Flu Plan was updated?
  1. April 2009
  1. Has the current Pandemic Flu Plan been tested?
  1. No.
  1. Do you currently have a COOP training course?
  1. No.
  1. The RFP requires on a quarterly basis, that 25% of the COOP Team be trained. How many individuals does 25% of the COOP Team consist of (i.e., how many people will we be required to train in a session)?
  1. Approximately 25% of 40 per session.
  1. The RFP requires on a quarterly basis, that the Emergency Relocation Site (ERS) be tested. Is there only one ERS for the AHRQ COOP Plan? If there is more than one, how many ERS's are there?
  1. There are two.
  1. Will the COOP Awareness Training for AHRQ employees be conducted monthly? (or is there a weekly new employee training that it will be part of - i.e., will the awareness training be conducted weekly?)
  1. Approximately quarterly or as needed.
  1. Has the AHRQ participated in individual or Departmental level COOP and/or Pandemic Plan exercises?
  1. Yes.
  1. Has the AHRQ performed a "Continuity Requirements and Metrics" self assessment of the requirements listed in HSPD 20, paragraph 11? If so, how many of the categories were scored red, yellow and green?
  1. No, therefore, scoring not applicable.
  1. Are any Pandemic Plan exercises anticipated?
  1. Yes.

 

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