District Data Coordinator Technical Assistance Center
Note: The Request for Proposal and Submission Documents have been updated to correct any discrepancies in the contract/budget period and the scoring of proposals. The contract period is July 1, 2011- June 30, 2014. Up to 70 points are available for the technical score and up to 30 points are available for the cost score.
- Is the expectation that the “Center” be a physical place where district data coordinators and other SED officials could visit? Or is having training locations available during necessary times sufficient? Essentially, is a ‘Virtual Center’ acceptable if it accomplishes all the necessary objectives?
Answer: A virtual center is acceptable provided it complies with all remaining requirements.
- In relation to Item #9 under “Responsibilities of the Center”, can the State describe potential reasons for change in the requirements?
Answer: The State regularly adopts changes to its data collection process. Usually this involved the addition of a new data domain, hence a need to change the requirements.
- Does any form of the Center (regardless of how small) exist currently?
- In relation to Item #2 under “Responsibilities of the Center”, we understand the Center will be open for business during normal business hours and will be staffed to handle incoming calls. Is there any way to anticipate the volume of inquiries that might occur on a daily basis?
Answer: Unfortunately, since there is no Center now, this would be difficult to predict. It is likely, however, that volume of calls will not follow a straight-line trend. Volume will likely increase when a major data collection or verification process is imminent.
- The staffing of the Center outlined in the RFP includes 4 FTEs. Is it reasonable to assume that additional professional equivalents will be required in planning, development and launch of the Center?
Answer: The 4 FTEs were suggested as a guideline, in lieu of providing the funding level for the Center. Due to budget constraints, bidders are cautioned about exceeding 4 FTE’s. Such bids could surpass the funding available for the Center.
- What are the basic qualifications for the Project Manager?
Answer: The Program Manager should have experience in supervising a team focused on professional development. Additionally, the Program Manager should be familiar with the NYS SIRS process as explained in the NYS SIRS manual.
- What are the basic qualifications for the programmer(s)?
Answer: It is anticipated that most, if not all, of the training experiences will be delivered electronically. The programmers should have expertise in web-based development tools.
- What are the basic qualifications of the professional developers?
Answer: The Professional Developers should have experience in creating training experiences related to the collection, transmission, error analysis, and verification of data in an SLDS environment.
- Do all training activities and supporting materials require SED approval prior to implementation? If yes, what is the approval process and who or what department is the point of contact?
Answer: There will be a primary contact person in SED. This person will have final approval over all materials. The successful respondent and SED will mutually develop the process for this approval.
- What is the anticipated turn-around time for departmental approval of training activities and supporting materials?
Answer: This will be mutually developed by the successful respondent and SED.
- What is the structure of the quarterly report and what information must be contained in the report?
Answer: The successful respondent and SED will mutually develop the structure of the quarterly report. Generally speaking, however, the report will provide metrics on number of persons taking part in training experiences, the nature of those experiences, and the distribution of those experiences across the state, etc.
- If non-profits apply as a consortium, are all members considered “subcontractors” to the filing entity (LEA) or can there be “partners” in an application, where neither is considered a “subcontractor” to the other?
Answer: Consortium applications are not permitted. One entity must be responsible for management of the contract. Other entities with delegated duty are subcontractors. Subcontracting is subject to the 40% cap set forth in the RFP.
- What are the basic qualifications of the Help Desk and staff? Are Help Desk staff expected to provide 1st level support?
Answer: Help desk staff will assist District Data Directors in resolving any problems related to a data submission, or data verification. Additionally, help desk staff should be well versed in the general operation of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), including knowledge of deadlines.
- Are there any software requirements for the “Calendar”, “Documentation” or “Performance Measurement”?
- Define “normal business hours.”
Answer: Most schools and school districts operate from approximately 7am to 4pm.
- Page 8 references “… the Center’s products, both physical and electronic, will be distributed through the network of Regional Information Center in the State”. Does this also refer to non-publics? Does this also refer to the Big 5?
Answer: The Regional Information Centers serve all the public LEAs, the non-publics, and 3 of the Big 5. Distribution to New York City and Yonkers will be arranged through their level 1 provider.
- Page 9 references “The Center’s services should become fully operational within six months of the contract award”. Does this mean training products, as well as staffing?
- Are there any specifications for the formatting of the Technical Proposal narrative or the Cost Proposal? (i.e., font, margin, header, footer, page numbering, table of contents, page limits, etc.)
Answer: There are no formatting requirements for the technical proposal. The cost proposal is part of the submission documents and is already formatted.
- If the programming requirements are satisfied by a subcontractor, can the staffing requirements to hire a 1 FTE programmer be modified to best suit the project?
- Are there any regulations regarding the use of charts or color in the proposal?
- In the proposal submission are appendices acceptable and is there any limit?
Answer: Appendices are permitted. There is no guideline for the number or length of appendices, but please do not include promotional/ marketing materials that aren’t pertinent to the RFP.
- In the proposal submission is the department seeking examples of training materials?
- We understand that 2 eligible applicants can submit a proposal as partners, is that correct?
Answer: A partnership is a single legal entity. Joint applications are not permitted.
- The Center will be open during normal business hours but the staff at the Center is not seen as replacing the support that districts across the state receive from their local RIC, correct? Can you expand on the relationship of The Center proposed and the continuing role of the RIC's?
Answer: That is correct. The RICs are local entities and the state has no control over any training they may choose to provide at a fee. The Center will provide all services on an equitable basis with no charge to local districts.
- If a BOCES is the applicant, the program director can be a direct employee of that BOCES?
- Is there a page limit on the Operational Proposal section?
- Can the 1.0 Program Director take on additional private consulting work if he/she desires?
Answer: Full time requires a complete commitment to the management of the Center. Private consulting work must be approved by NYSED in advance at its sole discretion. The consulting work must not interfere with or present a conflict of interest with the Center.
- Is there any requirement that the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) be located within the state of New York?
Answer: No, but all face to face training experiences must be located in the State of New York.
- Do the Regional Information Centers, local BOCES, and other entities that may be in a position to effectively support the TAC’s products have any requirements to collaborate and cooperate with the TAC? Is it expected that the Regional Information Centers and local BOCES will view the TAC as competing with their work, or as a partner making their work easier?
Answer: There is no obligation to collaborate. NYSED will use efforts to ensure that RIC’s and BOCES collaborate and cooperate with the TAC.
- Is this opportunity viewed as one that could be led by a Regional Information Center, a local BOCES, or a collaboration of these entities?
Answer: BOCES are legally permitted to submit an application. As noted above, consortium applications are not permitted. One entity must be responsible for management of the contract. Other entities with delegated duty are subcontractors.
- Is there an established communication network that will be available for use by the TAC to communicate with its customers, or will the TAC need to create its own capabilities to electronically communicate with its customers? If such a communication network exists, can you explain its capabilities (e.g. - Email, document transfer, web assistance, etc.)?
Answer: It is expected that the TAC will host its own solutions and leverage any number of existing state networks for distribution purposes. All the RICs have networks for support of District Data Directors. There are also staff development networks, most notably Staff and Curriculum Development Network (SCDN). NYSED also provides information to LEAs through its SED Delegated Account System (SEDDAS) portal. The successful respondent will work with the state to develop distribution standards and a distribution chain.
- Are there any formed groups (formal or informal) being utilized as a means of getting input and feedback relative to the required work of the district coordinators, reporting scope and standards, etc.?
Answer: Feedback is regularly gathered by both SED and the RICs. All the RICs conduct monthly CIO meetings for the sharing of information. NYSED meets approximately every six weeks with the RIC teams providing services to LEAs; in addition there are several state listserv used to gather questions from LEAs.
- NYSED is currently expanding the data being collected and placed in its data warehouse. Will this expansion have any impact on the data elements that are currently being collected?
Answer: Yes. The emergence of data for teacher evaluation and the likelihood of a statewide instructional support system will require changes in data collection.
- The RFP states, 'The Center’s services should become fully operational within six months of the contract award.' This seems somewhat vague. Can you elaborate on specifically what functional services and training/support services need to be?
Answer: After a period of planning, some initial services will be rolled-out. The extent and nature of these services will be mutually agreed upon between the successful respondent and SED.
- Regarding 10-016, does the scope of work request through this RFP represent a new requirement, or is there an incumbent? If there is an incumbent, could you tell me the following information? -incumbent vendor-incumbent duration and value
Answer: It is a new requirement.
- Are we able to budget funds for the services that a university partner will be providing to the Center not just “indirect costs” but direct costs like the use of our IT backbone and support services, which will be substantial?
Answer: Yes, include subcontractor costs in the Purchased Services section of the TAC Budget.
- Can we charge "tuition" or registration fees for any of the training sessions or services we provide?
- The RFP refers to multiple initial contract periods between 3 and 5 years. (ex. a. "The contract resulting from this RFP will be for a period beginning July 1, 2011 under terms of this procurement, and ending June 30, 2014. ” b. “This contract will be in effect from the implementation date of a contract, estimated to be June 1, 2011, through May 31, 2015” and c. “The Financial Criteria portion of the RFP will be scored based upon the grand total of the five year budget summary.”) What is the anticipated contract period and for what period should the budget summary be prepared?
Answer: The correct contract period is July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. The Request for Proposal and Submission Documents have been updated to correct any discrepancies in the contract/budget period.
- Is software exempt from the 40% subcontract portion?
Answer: Purchases of existing software products are considered purchases of supplies and are not considered subcontracting.
- The Financial Criteria is described as worth “30 points” in some places under Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award, and worth “20 points” in other places in the same section of the RFP. Please clarify the amount of points for the Financial Criteria.
Answer: The technical proposal is worth up to 70 points and the cost proposal is worth up to 30 points. The Request for Proposal has been updated to correct any discrepancies in the point allocation.
- In the Cost Proposal section, a “Five Year Budget” is mentioned, but the TAC Budget Summaries form in the Submission Document only reflects three years. Should we modify the form or are we only meant to present a three year budget?
Answer: A three year budget. The Request for Proposal and Submission Documents have been updated to correct any discrepancies in the contract/budget period.
- Under cost of proposal consideration will be given to more applicants then just the lowest bidder?
Answer: Provided a bidder meets the minimum technical score, the bidder’s submitted budget will be scored in accordance with the section of the RFP entitled “Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award.” The bidder with the lowest overall cost will receive 30 points The remaining budgets will be awarded points based on a calculation that computes the relative difference of each proposal against the lowest budget submitted. The resulting percentage is then applied to the maximum point value of 30 points.
- Is the budget submitted to contain 3 years of costs June 1,2011 May 31, 2013?
Answer: Three years of costs for July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. The Request for Proposal and Submission Documents have been updated to correct any discrepancies in the contract/budget period.
- Is there an estimated value for the contract resulting from RFP 10-016?
Answer: This RFP is a competitive procurement. NYSED is not going to disclose the amount budgeted for the project. However, the suggested staffing level of 4 FTE’s should assist in determining the budget for the project.
- If a subcontractor is a RIC, is it necessary to complete the paperwork related to NYSED’s Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) participation goals?
- Are the vendor(s) required to have their MBE and/or WBE certifications in New York at the time of the RFP response due date? Or, is it sufficient that the vendor(s) have submitted their MBE and/or WBE certification requests by that time?
Answer: All firms utilized to meet M/WBE goals must be certified with the NYS Division of Minority and Women Business Development before beginning any work on this contract.
The M/WBE goals can be met by utilizing certified firms for services, materials and/or supplies. See www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov for a listing of currently certified M/WBE firms.
- If the prime vendor responding is both MBE and WBE certified in New York, does the prime vendor have any requirement to subcontract any portion of the work to another M/WBE subcontractor?
- What percentage of the mandatory professional developer FTEs can be fulfilled by one or more subcontractors who may be M/WBE?
Answer: There is no fixed percentage. The maximum amount of subcontracting cannot exceed the 40% subcontracting cap.