DHHS Home Page NC DHHS On-Line Manuals
     DHHS Manual Home Manual Admin Letters Change Notices Archive Search Index Help Feedback

Previous PageTable of ContentsNext Page

DHHS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Chapter VII: Procurement and Contracts Services

Title: Requests for Applications, Request for Information and Requests for Proposals

Effective Date: 12/18/03

Revision History: 8/1/02

Original Effective Date: 8/1/02

Definitions

Request for Applications:

Request for Information:

Request for Proposals:

Organization of this Chapter

RFAs

  1. RFA Approval Form (with instructions)

  2. Recommended RFA Processing Time

  3. Pre-application Conference Guidelines

  4. RFA Form

  5. The Procurement Process

  6. General Information on Submitting Applications

  7. Procedures for Developing Evaluation Criteria, the Evaluation Process and Establishing Evaluation Committee for RFAs

  8. Procedures for Awarding RFA to Offeror

  9. RFA Approval Form
    The RFA Approval Form shall be executed and attached to all RFAs.

  10. Instructions for Completing RFA Approval Form

    1. Instructions


      1. RFA # - Enter the assigned internal tracking number.


      2. RFA Title - Indicate the title of the RFA (e.g., Business Analysis, Market Rate Study, Child Care Resource and Referral).


      3. Brief Purpose - Enter a brief purpose for conducting the RFA (e.g., to contract with outside source to conduct pre-licensing workshops for potential child day care providers).


      4. RFA Submitted - Indicate to which sector the RFA is being submitted (can be more than one).


      5. Funding Source - Indicate the funding source. Check to ensure that the funding source permits the RFA activity and check to determine what agency (public, private non-profit, or private for profit) may receive the funding. For example, a funding source may limit funding to 501(c)(3) agencies; therefore public agencies or private for profit agencies would not be able to participate.


      6. Fund Type/Co #/Acct/ Center/Amount - Enter the FUND TYPE (source). Enter the CO # - (company number assigned to the division). Enter the ACCOUNT and CENTER codes whenever possible. These budget codes will apply to contract(s).


      7. FUND TYPE : SSBG CO # 2XXX ACCT 53XXXX CENTER 1XXXXXXXXX AMOUNT $200,000.00. If codes are unknown enter the FUND TYPE and AMOUNT available for contracting.


      8. Services - Indicate what type of service would be purchased. Direct: Services provided directly to client(s). Indirect: Services not provided directly to client(s). Both: A combination of services would be provided.

    2. Routing/Required Approval Signatures


      1. Initiator - Initiator of the project needs to sign and date the form. Attach the DRAFT RFA and all attachments to the completed approval form.


      2. Section/Program Chief - Section/program chief should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section and return to the initiator. If approved forward package to contract office.


      3. Contract Office - Contract office should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section and return to the initiator. If approved, the package will be forwarded required offices.


      4. Budget Officer - Budget officer should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section. Return package to the contract office.


      5. Division Director/Designee - Division director/designee should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section. Return package to the contract office.

  11. Recommended RFA Processing Time Frame

    This is an estimate of time that it normally takes from drafting the RFA to signing the contract(s). The RFA is issued for direct services and does not require DHHS Procurement and Contracts approval or the Division of Budget, Planning and Analysis' approval before issuing.

#

Step

Responsibility

Estimated Work Days

1

Prepare Draft RFA

Division

30

2

Route for Internal Review & Feedback on Draft

Division

5

3

Revise Draft

Division

5

4

Route Through Approval Process

Division

10

5

Issue RFA

Division

2-10

6

Pre-application Bidders Conference

Division

10

7

Response Deadline

Division

10-20

8

Evaluation of Applications

Division

10

9

Develop Contract(s) and Justification Memorandum

Division

5-15

10

Route Contract(s) Through Approval Process

Division & DHHS Procurement and Contracts (if required)

10

11

Execute Contract

Division

10

 

Total

 

135

Pre-Application Conference Guidelines

The Procurement Process

    1. RFAs are being sent to prospective agencies and organizations.

    2. All prospective agencies and organizations are ENCOURAGED to attend the BIDDER'S CONFERENCE. A written summary of all questions and answers will be mailed to all agencies and organizations sent a copy of the RFA.

    1. Written questions concerning the RFA specifications will be received until the date specified on the cover sheet of this RFA. A summary of all questions and answers will be mailed to all agencies and organizations sent a copy of the RFA.

    2. Applications in one original and (at least two (2)) copies will be received from each agency or organization. The original must be signed and dated by an official authorized to bind the agency or organization.

    3. All applications must be received by the funding agency not later than the date and time specified on the cover sheet of the RFA.

    4. At that date and time the applications from each responding agency and organization will be logged in. Budgets will be included as part of the application.

    5. At their option, the evaluators may request additional information from any or all applicants for the purpose of clarification or to amplify the materials presented in any part of the application. However, agencies and organizations are cautioned that the evaluators are not required to request clarification: Therefore, all applications should be complete and reflect the most favorable terms available from the agency or organization.

    6. Applications will be evaluated according to completeness, content, experience with similar projects, ability of the agency's or organization's staff, cost etc. The award of a grant to one agency and organization does not mean that the other applications lacked merit, but that, all facts considered, the selected application was deemed to provide the best service to the state.

    7. Agencies and organizations are cautioned that this is a request for applications and the funding agency reserves the unqualified right to reject any and all applications when such rejections are deemed to be in the best interest of the funding agency.

General Information on Submitting Applications

    1. Award or Rejection

      All qualified applications will be evaluated and award made to that agency or organization whose combination of budget and service capabilities is deemed to be in the best interest of the funding agency. The funding agency reserves the unqualified right to reject any or all offers if determined to be in its best interest.

    2. Decline to Offer

      Any agency or organization that receives a copy of the RFA but declines to make an offer is requested to send a written "decline to offer" to the funding agency. Failure to respond as requested may subject the agency or organization to removal from consideration of future RFAs.

    3. Cost of Application Preparation

      Any cost incurred by an agency or organization in preparing or submitting an application is the agency's or organization's sole responsibility; the funding agency will not reimburse any agency or organization for any pre-award costs incurred.

    4. Elaborate Applications

      Elaborate applications in the form of brochures or other presentations beyond that necessary to present a complete and effective application are not desired.

    5. Oral Explanations

      The funding agency will not be bound by oral explanations or instructions given at any time during the competitive process or after awarding the grant.

    6. Reference to Other Data

      Only information that is received in response to this RFA will be evaluated; reference to information previously submitted will not suffice.

    7. Titles
      Titles and headings in this RFA and any subsequent RFA are for convenience only and shall have no binding force or effect.

    8. Form of Application

      Each application must be submitted on the form provided by the funding agency, and will be incorporated into the funding agency's performance agreement (contract).

    9. Exceptions

      All applications are subject to the terms and conditions outlined herein. All responses will be controlled by such terms and conditions. The attachment of other terms and condition by any agency and organization may be grounds for rejection of that agency or organization's application. Funded agencies and organizations specifically agree to the conditions set forth in the performance agreement (contract).

    10. Advertising

      In submitting its application, agencies and organizations agrees not to use the results therefrom or as part of any news release or commercial advertising without prior written approval of the funding agency.

    11. Right to Submitted Material

      All responses, inquiries, or correspondence relating to or in reference to the RFA, and all other reports, charts, displays, schedules, exhibits and other documentation submitted by the agency or organization will become the property of the funding agency when received.

    12. Competitive Offer

      Pursuant to the provision of G.S. 143-54, and under penalty of perjury, the signer of any application submitted in response to this RFA thereby certifies that this application has not been arrived at collusively or otherwise in violation of either federal or NC antitrust laws.

    13. Agency and Organization's Representative

      Each agency or organization shall submit with its application the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) with authority to bind the agency or organization and answer questions or provide clarification concerning the application.

    14. Subcontracting

      Agencies and organizations may propose to subcontract portions of work provided that their applications clearly indicate the scope of the work to be subcontracted, and to whom. All information required about the prime grantee is also required for each proposed subcontractor.

    15. Proprietary Information

      Trade secrets or similar proprietary data which the agency or organization does not wish disclosed to other than personnel involved in the evaluation will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by NCAC TO1:05B.1501 and G.S. 132-1.3 if identified as follows: Each page shall be identified in boldface at the top and bottom as "CONFIDENTIAL." Any section of the application that is to remain confidential shall also be so marked in boldface on the title page of that section.

    16. Participation Encouraged

      Pursuant to Article 3 and 3C, Chapter 143 of the NC G.S. and Executive Order No. 77, the funding agency invites and encourages participation in this RFA by businesses owned by minorities, women and the disabled including utilization as subcontractor(s) to perform functions under this RFAs.

    17. Contract

      A contract will be issued between the funding agency and the recipient of a grant. The agency's or organization's application will be included by reference.

Procedures for Developing Evaluation Criteria, the Evaluation Process and Establishing valuation Committee for RFAs

    1. Evaluation Criteria:


      1. Establishing the evaluation criteria should be accomplished during the writing of the RFA and is usually included (at least in part) in the RFA document.


      2. The criteria should be based on the degree of importance of the different requirements of the RFA. Decide what the requirements and deliverables are and establish which are mandatory and which are not. Obviously, the RFA should reflect these criteria.


      3. "Weigh" the criteria from most important to least important and use this to formulate your evaluation methodology. If points are used, the relative value of the various sections can be assigned appropriate points to reflect such.


      4. Evaluate all qualified applications whose combination of budget and service capabilities is deemed to be in the best interest of the funding agency.

    2. Evaluation Committee:


      1. Select an odd number of participants that have the appropriate credentials and expertise needed to properly evaluate the applications.


      2. Send a letter from the division director to selected committee members outlining their duties and the time frames proposed for the evaluation.


      3. Ensure participants' names are kept confidential and express need for confidentiality to committee members.


      4. Inform committee members to avoid contact with any of the offerors.


      5. Keep as close as possible to the established time frames for the completion of the evaluation process.

    3. Evaluation Process:


      1. At the stated time, date and place for the receipt of the applications, the funding agency will open the applications and eliminate those not meeting the mandatory requirements. All applications meeting the mandatory requirements will be referred to the evaluation committee.


      2. Establish a timetable for the evaluation committee; include in this timetable a "reconciliation meeting" to answer any questions from the committee and to discuss any big variances in their opinions. Evaluators may adjust their evaluations at the reconciliation meeting.


      3. After the committee has completed the evaluation of the applications, a narrative of the process must be developed. The narrative should include the approximate number of potential offerors receiving the RFA, the date of the pre-application conference, the mailing date of written responses to questions asked during the pre-applications conference, the names of the potential offerors evaluated, and a description of the evaluation process and how proposals were eliminated from consideration.


      4. This narrative is kept on file in the division.

Procedures for Awarding RFA to Offeror

    1. Present final evaluation with recommendation to contract to the division director or designee. All evaluation material should be kept confidential and there should be no contact with offerors until the award(s) is/are made.

    2. When appropriate approvals are received, send award notice to the successful vendor and another notice to the unsuccessful vendors.

    3. Develop and process contracts according to proper contracting procedures as outlined in chapters I and II.

RFIs

RFPs

  1. RFP approval form (with instructions) and RFP endorsement letter

  2. Instructions for Completing RFP Approval Form

  3. Recommended RFP Processing Time Frame

  4. Pre-proposal Conference Guidelines

  5. Request for Proposals

    Link to RFP outline; includes the following:

    1. Proposal Requirements

    2. Evaluation Process (for use in RFP)

    3. The Procurement Process (for use in RFP)

    4. Cost Proposal/Execution of Proposal

    5. Contract Requirements

    6. NC General Contract Terms and Conditions

    7. DHHS Supplemental Terms and Conditions

  6. RFP Attachments; includes the following:

    1. Certification Regarding Lobbying

    2. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility...

    3. Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

    4. Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke

    5. Conflict of Interest Policy for Private Not-for-Profit Agencies

    6. Verification of 501(c)(3) Status

  7. Documentation Required for Posting RFPs to the State Web-page

  8. Internet RFP Notice

  9. The Procurement Process (discussion)

  10. Procedures for Developing Evaluation Criteria, the Evaluation Process and Establishing Evaluation Committee for RFPs

  11. Procedures for Awarding RFP to Vendor

    These are discussed immediately below.

  12. RFP Approval Form and Endorsement Letter

    The RFP approval form shall be executed and attached to all RFPs. The endorsement letter following thereafter shall be executed, signed by DHHS Secretary, and attached to RFPs for consultant services. Note that approval by the NC Governor's Office may be required in the case of certain consulting contracts. Guidance is contained in NCAC T01:05D.0203, reproduced below:

    .0203. REQUESTS FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT WITH CONSULTANTS


  1. Instructions for Completing RFP Approval Form

    1. Instructions


      1. DIVISION #
        Division #--Enter the assigned internal tracking number.


      2. RFP #
        RFP #:--Number will be assigned by DHHS Procurement and Contracts Office. Leave blank.


      3. RFP TITLE
        Indicate the title of the RFP (e.g., Business Analysis, Market Rate Study, Child Care Resource and Referral).


      4. BRIEF PURPOSE
        Enter a brief purpose for conducting the RFP (e.g., to contract with outside source to conduct pre-licensing workshops for potential child day care providers).


      5. RFP SUBMITTED TO
        Indicate to which sector the RFP is being submitted (when issuing RFP, must submit to the public sector first, if available).


      6. FUNDING SOURCE
        Indicate the funding source. Check to ensure that the funding source permits the RFP activity.


      7. FUND TYPE/CO #/ACCT #/CENTER #/AMOUNT
        Enter the FUND TYPE (name of fund). Enter the CO # -(company number assigned to the division). Enter the ACCOUNT and CENTER codes whenever possible. These budget codes will apply to contract(s). Example: FUND TYPE : SSBG CO # 2XXX ACCT 53XXXX CENTER: 1XXXXXXXXX AMOUNT $200,000.00. If codes are unknown enter the FUND TYPE and AMOUNT available for contracting.


      8. SERVICES
        Indicate what type of services would be purchased. Direct: Services provided directly to client(s). Indirect: Services not provided directly to client(s). Both: A combination of services would be provided.

    2. Routing/Required Approval Signatures


      1. Initiator

        Initiator of the project should sign and date the form. Attach the following documents to the completed RFP approval form 1)RFP and Attachments, 2) 12-point Justification, 3) Endorsement letter (if consulting) and 4) Internet Notice.


      2. Section/Program Chief

        Section/program chief should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section and return to the initiator. If approved forward package to contract office.


      3. Contract Office

        Contract office should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section and return to the Initiator. If approved, the package will be forwarded required offices.


      4. Budget Office

        Budget officer should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section. Return package to the contract office.


      5. Division Director/Designee

        Division director/designee should sign, date and check approved or disapproved. If disapproved provide reason in comments section. Return package to the contract office.

    3. DHHS Procurement and Contracts must approve all division RFPs. (This does not apply to institution and school RFPs unless state procurement and contracts approval is required.)

Recommended RFP Processing Time Frame

#

Step

Responsibility

Estimated Work Days

1

Prepare draft RFP and “12-point” justification

Division

30

2

Route for internal review & feedback on draft

Division

5

3

Revise draft

Division

5

4

Route through approval process

Division & DHHS Procurement and Contracts

10

5

Revise draft

Division

5

6

If consultant services, forward draft & justification to DHHS Secretary’s Office for approval (endorsement Letter)

Division

5

7

If consultant services, to state procurement and contracts and governor’s office for approval; request vendor list & mailing labels OR

DHHS Procurement and Contracts

 

8

If non-consultant, state procurement and contracts and/or DHHS Procurement and Contracts may review all other RFPs depending on complexity; request vendor list and mailing labels

DHHS Procurement and Contracts

20

9

Issue RFP

Division

2

10

Pre-proposal bidders conference

Division

10

11

Response deadline

Division

10-20

12

Evaluation of technical proposals--written justification from evaluation committee

Division

10

13

Open cost proposals

DHHS Procurement and Contracts & Division

2

14

Prepare justification & route contract through approval process

Division

10

15

DHHS Procurement and Contracts & state procurement and contracts approval of selection & contract

DHHS Procurement and Contracts

5-20

16

Sign contract

Division

5-10

 

Total

 

164

Pre-Proposal Conference Guidelines

Request for Proposals

RFP Attachments

Label attachments as “ATTACHMENT I”, etc.

Use attachments and fill in same as needed

  1. Certification Regarding Lobbying

  2. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility...

  3. Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

  4. Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke

  5. Conflict of Interest Policy for Private Not-for-Profit Agencies

  6. Verification of 501(c)(3) Status

Documentation Required for Posting RFPs to the State Web-Page

Prior to DHHS Procurement and Contracts posting the RFP on the state web-page, the following is required:

  1. RFP document in WORD.

  2. A completed RFP approval form.

  3. A completed 12-point justification.

  4. A completed endorsement letter from the DHHS Secretary if a consulting RFP.

Internet RFP Notice

The Procurement Process

Procedures for Developing Evaluation Criteria, the Evaluation Process and Establishing Evaluation Committee for RFPs

    1. Evaluation Criteria:


      1. Establishing the evaluation criteria should be accomplished during the writing of the RFP and is (at least in part) in the RFP document.


      2. The criteria should be based on the degree of importance of the requirements of the RFP. Decide what the requirements and deliverables are, establish which are mandatory and which are not. Obviously, the RFP should reflect these criteria.


      3. "Weigh" the criteria from most important to least important and use this to formulate your evaluation methodology. If points are used, the relative value of the various sections can be assigned appropriate points to reflect such.


      4. Establish a point at which a vendor meets the committee's minimum requirement in order to advancing to the cost proposal evaluation. (Such as a certain number of points.) This step is extremely important because most "marginal" technical proposals present the lowest cost proposals. The contract is usually awarded to the vendor with the lowest cost proposal that meets the minimum requirements. However, a contract may be awarded to another vendor with a higher cost if their proposal results in a better value to the state and can be justified. Make certain the committee is willing to contract with any vendor that meets the minimum requirements of the technical proposal. This is most important prior to opening the cost proposal ( if using a two-step process).


      5. Establish the relative value of the technical proposal to the cost proposal (such as 60/40) so there will be a pre-established committee evaluation process. This must be explained in the RFP to the offerors so they will know what they will be evaluated against.


      6. Develop an evaluation criteria document (sample attached) that will be used by each committee member. This document should correspond with the criteria established in the RFP and have space for each evaluator to take notes as the proposal is read.

    2. Evaluation Committee:


      1. Select an odd number of participants that have the appropriate credentials and expertise needed to properly evaluate the proposals. They must all be department employees. Any exception to this should be requested in writing and sent to the DHHS Procurement and Contracts Officer.


      2. Send a letter from the division director or designee to selected committee members outlining their duties and the time frames proposed for the evaluation.


      3. Ensure participants' names are kept confidential and express need for confidentiality to committee members.


      4. Inform committee members to avoid any contact with any potential offerors.


      5. Keep as close as possible to the established time frames for the completion of the evaluation process.

    1. Evaluation Process:


      1. At the stated time, date and place for the receipt of the proposals, DHHS Procurement and Contracts will open the technical proposals (two-step process), keeping one original and one copy, and releasing the other original and copies to the evaluation committee. The cost proposal remains sealed and kept in DHHS Procurement and Contracts until the technical evaluation is completed. At this point only the costs of the vendors that met the technical requirements are opened. The names of those presenting proposals for this RFP will become public upon request. In a one-step process the entire proposal will be released to the committee. A one-step is when the cost and technical is evaluated together.


      2. Establish a timetable for the evaluation committee; include in this timetable a "reconciliation meeting" to answer any questions from the committee and to discuss any big variances in each member’s opinion. Evaluators may adjust their evaluations at the reconciliation meeting.


      3. After the committee has completed the evaluation of the technical proposals, a narrative memo (see below) of the process must be developed. This should be addressed to the DHHS Procurement and Contracts Officer. The narrative should include the approximate number of vendors receiving the RFP or the date the RFP was posted on the internet, a copy of the RFP that was posted, the date of the (mandatory or non-mandatory) preproposal conference, a copy of the sign in sheet at the conference, the mailing date or date posted on the internet of written responses to questions asked during the preproposal conference, a copy of the questions and answers, the names of the vendors evaluated and a description of the evaluation process and how proposals were eliminated from consideration. This should be developed from the evaluation document referred to in #7 above. The narrative memo should include the following about each offeror:

        1. List each vendor and summarize what the committee members had documented on their individual evaluation sheets.

        2. List what requirements each did meet and ones they didn’t meet.

        3. List strengths and weaknesses.

        4. Make references to the reference number being evaluated in the proposal. For example: The vendor did not supply a list of names that would be assigned to the project as required in 5.1. and all references listed in 4.1 were contacted. All references were excellent.

        5. Compare each offer with requirements in RFP and never compare offerors with each other.

        6. Do not use points or percentages unless they were explained in the RFP to the vendors.


      1. This narrative is sent to DHHS Procurement and Contracts for approval. If approved, DHHS Procurement and Contracts opens the cost proposal (if using a two-step process) and releases to the evaluation committee. A committee representative should be present when the cost proposals are opened.


      2. All cost proposals that meet the minimum requirements of the RFP should be listed from lowest to highest cost. Award the highest points to the lowest cost proposal and award prorated points to the other proposals according to cost.


      3. Combine the technical evaluations and the cost evaluations (if using a two-step process). Draft a recommendation to DHHS Procurement and Contracts requesting approval of the selected vendor. If the recommendation is not the lowest offeror, include a narrative that justifies the recommendation. Once DHHS Procurement and Contracts approves, they will forward to the division procurement and contracts for approval, if applicable.

Procedures for Awarding RFP to Vendor

    1. Present final combined evaluation (technical and cost) with recommendation to contract to DHHS Procurement and Contracts for approval. All evaluation material should be kept confidential and there should be no contact with offerors until the award is made. DHHS Procurement and Contracts submits for concurrence to the state procurement and contracts, if applicable.

    2. The RFP approval form will be returned to the division once the award is made. At the bottom of the form the DHHS Procurement and Contracts Office would have signed off on the award. The vendor name, not to exceed and the contract period will be filled in. The division should get the Division Budget Office and DHHS Budget, Planning and Analysis to sign off on the funds that will be needed for this contract.

    3. The award will be posted on the internet and a letter of award/execution of proposal page is signed by the division and then sent to the successful vendor once the budget offices have approved the funds. Once the award is posted, the division is free to contact the specified vendor. Vendors not awarded the contract are not sent a letter. The posting on the internet is their notification of the award.

    4. The RFP sample contract found in this manual, should be issued to the vendor. It should not contain any issues that were in the RFP or vendor’s proposal. This contract is only used as an agreement to clarify the not to exceed amount and the date the work will start and end.

    5. The division should develop and process contracts according to proper contracting procedures as outlined in chapters I and II.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page



 


     DHHS Manual Home Manual Admin Letters Change Notices Archive Search Index Help Feedback