Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education

RFP #10-027

Technical Assistance Center for the Universal Service Discount (e-Rate) Program

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of District Services (ODS) and the New York State Library (NYSL) are seeking proposals for the provision of technical assistance and planning services related to the implementation of the Universal Service Discount (E-Rate) Program for schools and libraries in New York State. Eligible applicants are organizations with experience in the administration of the E-Rate Program.

Subcontracting will be limited to forty percent (40 %) of the annual contract budget. Subcontracting is defined as non-employee direct personal services and related incidental expenses, including travel. 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). Please see the section on M/WBE Mandatory Requirements for information regarding NYSED’s Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise Procurement Policy.

NYSED will award one contract pursuant to this RFP. The contract resulting from this RFP will be for a term beginning October 1, 2011 and ending September 30, 2016.

Service Area: New York State

Mandatory Requirements

See Mandatory Requirements section of the RFP.

Components contained in RFP #10-027 are as follows:

  1. Description of Services to be Performed
  2. Submission
  3. Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award
  4. Assurances
  5. Submission Documents

Questions and Answers are now posted.

Contact Information for Questions

Program Matters

Fiscal Matters

M/WBE Matters

Teh-Yuan Wan Richard Duprey Joan Ramsey
rfp10027@mail.nysed.gov rfp10027@mail.nysed.gov rfp10027@mail.nysed.gov
  (518) 486-1588  

The following documents must be submitted in separately sealed envelopes, as detailed in the Submission section of the RFP, and be received at NYSED no later than May 27, 2011 by 3:00 PM:

  • Technical Proposal labled Technical Proposal - RFP #10-027 Do Not Open
  • Cost Proposal and electronic version labeled Cost Proposal – RFP #10-027 Do Not Open
  • M/WBE Documents labeled M/WBE Documents—RFP #10-027 Do Not Open

The mailing address for all the above documentation is: [Enter additional mailing info if needed]

NYS Education Department
Bureau of Fiscal Management
Attn: Richard Duprey, RFP#10-027
Contract Administration Unit
89 Washington Avenue, Room 505W EB
Albany, NY 12234

Facsimile copies of the proposals are NOT acceptable.

Issue Date: April 15, 2011

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Description of Services to be Performed

Work Statement and Specifications

This section of the bid package details the services and products to be acquired. Please note that the contract process also includes general New York State administrative terms and conditions, as well as terms and conditions required by New York State law. These terms and conditions address issues related to both the submission of bids and any subsequent contract; they are included separately in this bid package for your information. Please review all terms and conditions.

Mandatory Requirements

The eligible bidder must agree to the Mandatory Requirements found below and must submit the Mandatory Requirements Certification Form located in Submission Documents, signed by an authorized person:

  1. The bidder must appoint a project manager (minimum .5 Full Time Equivalent) to be responsible for the project. The responsibilities of the project manager are set forth in the section “Contractor Responsibilities.” A resume of the proposed project manager must be included in the bid response.
  2. The bidder must be certified by the Universal Service Administrative Company to approve technology plans.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Mandatory Requirements

The bidder is required to use New York State certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) for an amount greater or equal to seventeen percent (17%) Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and twelve percent (12%) Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) of the total dollar amount of the contract. Bidders are required to comply with NYSED’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise goals by completing and submitting M/WBE 100, Utilization Plan, M/WBE 102, Notice of Intent to Participate and EEO 100, Staffing Plan. These forms can be found at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/fiscal/MWBE/forms.html. All firms utilized must be certified with the NYS Division of Minority and Women Business Development before beginning any work on this contract. For additional information and a listing of currently certified M/WBEs, see http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov external link icon.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation includes any and all services, materials and supplies purchased from New York State certified minority and women owned firms. Utilizing Minority and Women-Owned firms will be applied toward the goals.

All payments to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise subcontractor(s) must be reported to NYSED M/WBE Program Unit using M/WBE 103 Quarterly M/WBE Compliance Report. This report must be submitted on a quarterly basis and can be found at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/fiscal/MWBE/forms.html.


The purpose of this RFP is to retain a contractor (the “Contractor”) to administer the E-rate program for a five year period in New York State on behalf of ODS and the NYSL. For ODS, this applies to the E-rate programs of approximately 795 school districts, 177 charter schools, 2,000 non-public school buildings and 800 Headstart programs. For NYSL, this applies to the State Library E-rate coordinator and 32 library systems in New York State. Individual libraries receive technical assistance from their library system.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 created a program for providing discounts on telecommunication services (e.g. high speed internet, voice services) to schools and libraries as a component of the universal service provisions of the Act. More information about the program can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/tapd/universal_service/schoolsandlibs.html external link icon. This program is known as the E-rate program.

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), a non profit organization (http://www.usac.org external link icon), has been appointed by the FCC as the overall administrator of Universal Service Fund collection and distribution.

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of USAC is responsible for administering the E-Rate program for libraries and schools nationwide. This program provides the opportunity for substantially reducing the cost of telecommunications and internet connection services to educational entities including public schools, public and private libraries, charter schools, non-public schools, and Headstart programs. E-rate discounts return between $350-$450 million dollars each every year to New York’s schools and libraries.

While this E-Rate Program has fundamentally and substantially supported our schools and libraries in their telecommunication and internet broadband connectivity, the program requires state education agencies to facilitate and coordinate the program implementation process including:

  1. Helping determining eligibility of applicants;
  2. Reviewing, approving and certifying applicant’s technology plan against the USAC requirements;
  3. Disseminating information on program guidelines, requirements, and updates/changes;
  4. Conducting technical assistance workshops on how to effectively participate in the program and leverage the E-Rate funding;
  5. Providing assistance to USAC’s reviewers of the application and technology plan in resolving issues involving New York applicants; and
  6. Participating in state education agencies coordination meetings on program policy and procedure improvement.

Schools, school districts, and libraries that want to apply for Schools and Libraries support, i.e. E-rate, must first prepare a “technology plan”. Beginning with FY2011, technology plans are required only for Priority 2 services (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections). An approved technology plan sets out how information technology and telecommunications infrastructure will be used to achieve educational goals, specific curriculum reforms, or library service improvements. See http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step02/technology-planning/default.aspx external link icon.

E-rate program rules are complex and nuanced. With the publication of the National Broadband Plan (http://www.broadband.gov/plan/ external link icon), which calls for better use of communications, and pressure from changing telecommunications technology, universal service programs are undergoing frequent revisions that will require even more State efforts to inform and guide schools and libraries to go through thorough and intense preparation to complete effective and successful applications.

Recipients of E-rate discounts for Priority 2 services (schools and library systems) are required to file a technology plan every three years.

ODS is responsible for the oversight of technology plans for the registered 795 school districts, 177 charter schools over 2,000 non-public school buildings and 800 Headstart programs. NYSL is responsible for the review of technology plans for 32 library systems. As with schools, the new plans for library systems are submitted on a three year cycle.

On an annual basis, this review cycle equates to approximately 200 non-public schools, 30-40 charter schools, and 150 Headstart programs. The review and approval of technology plans will be the duty of the Contractor. Approval letters are issued by ODS.

The review and approval of school district technology plans is performed by 12 regional information centers (RICs). The plans are submitted by the RIC’s to ODS who is responsible for issuing a certification letter.

The New York State Library is responsible for overseeing the E-rate program for libraries. The 32 library systems in New York State provide the first line of assistance and perform technology plan reviews for any of the 1100 public library outlets applying for E-rate. The system plans are submitted to the Contractor for review. The NYSL issues a certification letter for each approved system plan, and certification letters for any individual library plans approved by the system.

Project Deliverables

The summary of services set forth below are required to be performed by the Contractor. In each area the contractor will work collaboratively with New York State agencies, Federal agencies and their designees:

  1. Provide technical assistance and training to schools including school districts and regional service agencies (such as BOCES and the RICs) as well as non-public schools, charter schools and non-public school consortium organizations such as the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York or the Archdiocese of New York, libraries and library systems Individual libraries will receive some assistance from library systems offices, but library system staff and the state library E-rate coordinator have made use of the Contractor’s technical assistance in the past. The E-rate program is, by its nature, highly technical and applicants benefit from deeper expert advice. In addition, the applications have many legal certifications and assurances that may be challenged by USAC’s Program Integrity Assurance reviewers or auditors, and the Contractor will provide technical assistance in creating a complete and satisfactory response.
  2. Review and approve technology plans for private schools, charter schools, Headstart programs, and library systems.
  3. Creation of a website to communicate regularly with the E-Rate Community
  4. Collaborate with NYSED to assure that the E-Rate program policies are fair and equitable and meet the needs of New York State.
  5. Provide assistance to USAC’s reviewers for resolving issues involving New York applicants.
  6. Alert individual applicants in danger of missing E-rate form submission deadlines.
  7. Participate in the State E-Rate Coordinators’ Alliance (“SECA”).
  8. Prepare and submit FCC filings on E-rate issues.
  9. Coordinate state master contracts with NYS OGS.

Each of these areas is described below in detail. Appropriate specific deliverables and approximate timeframes are provided.

  1. Provide technical assistance and training to schools, Regional Information Centers and libraries.

    A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 seminar sessions are to be conducted in each year of the contract throughout New York State to provide schools and libraries with an understanding of E-Rate and the processes for obtaining these funds. Historically, BOCES or RICs have provided the space at no charge for the sessions. The contractor is responsible for notifying potential attendees.

    The following is the list of seminar sessions conducted in 2010:

    2010 Seminar Sessions





    Oct. 16

    Western NYS

    West Seneca


    Oct. 29




    Nov 2

    Public Libraries

    Rotate yearly


    Nov. 9 or 10   


    Agudath Israel


    Nov. 13

    New York City


    200 (plenary session)
    25 (concurrent session)

    Nov. 16

    NYS Non-public Schools



    Nov. 17

    Northeastern NYS



    Nov. 18

    Central NYS



    Nov. 29

    Long Island



    These seminars will provide basic information for new applicants and updates on changes to existing grantees. At least 2 sessions will be held at a library or library system site.

    Telephone conference calls with the 32 library system staff with E-rate responsibilities will be held as needed before critical E-rate program due dates, not to exceed three a year. These conference calls can serve to highlight the major application process errors resulting in denial of funds to NYS applicants.

    The contractor will also be available to participate in at least two New York State school or library conferences to provide E-rate assistance. For example, in 2010, the E-rate vendor participated in the annual statewide non-public education conference in Albany, NY where the vendor presented on updates, concerns and changes in the E-rate program.

    In addition, the contractor shall be available by telephone, e-mail and/or other such electronic media to assist individual applicants with questions concerning all aspects of E-Rate. This service is to be available Monday through Friday from 9:00AM - 5:00PM Eastern Time, excluding State holidays.

  2. Review and approve technology plans for private schools and library systems.

    The contractor shall review annually all required technology plans from approximately 200 non-public schools, 25-30 charter schools, and 40-50 Headstart programs. All 32 library systems in New York State are reviewed all at once every three years. Once the contractor determines that these plans meet the requirements of the E-Rate program, a copy of the plan shall be forwarded to ODS (schools) or the NYSL for final approval. The contractor will maintain files of all technology plan approvals issued by ODS (update the records on the database and keep the status record accurate and current.)

  3. Create a website to communicate regularly with the E-Rate Community

    In addition to conducting the informational seminars described above, the contractor will create and maintain a web site dedicated to the E-Rate funding process in New York State. This includes timely updates of the site with information regarding E-Rate and periodic modernizations of the site structure. In addition, the contractor will distribute a weekly update of funding status, progress and changes associated with E-Rate program operation to e-Rate newsletter subscribers via e-mail.

    The website will serve other functions as specified below.

  4. Collaborate with NYSED to assure that the E-Rate program policies are fair and equitable and meet the needs of New York State.

    1. The contractor will provide ODS with weekly updates of E-Rate program activities (including tech plan reviews, status of E-Rate applications, issues associated with E-Rate program auditing and specific changes and clarifications on the rules and guidelines of the program implementation) and will have bi-monthly meetings to discuss problems and plans. These bi-monthly meetings may be by telephone or video conference, but two meetings per year will be held at ODS offices in Albany. The contractor may be called upon to represent ODS at specified meetings (on the nature, scope and impact of the E-Rate program for schools and libraries). Such representation shall be at the discretion of ODS and occur only upon written instructions from NYSED. These meetings will occur no more than three (3) times annually, and may require travel to Washington, D.C. The trips cover a period of 1 day each.

    2. Prior to each bi-monthly meeting with ODS, the contractor will submit a project update report on activities conducted during the previous two month period.

  5. Provide assistance to USAC’s reviewers for resolving issues involving New York applicants.

    The contractor will review, and respond as required, to all copies of warning letters sent by USAC reviewers to ODS and NYSL advising them of applicants in danger of missing deadlines for submission of additional application review documentation. The contractor will respond to every direct request by USAC reviewers for entity validation and other assistance requested with New York applicants (eligibility of applicant, calculation of discount rate based on its Free and Reduced Lunch Enrollment rate, a proper process of bidding for contracted services and products, appropriate cost allocation of requested services, existence of approved tech plan). Entity validation is required mostly for non-public schools due to the frequency of their closing.

    As an aid to both USAC reviewers and New York applicants, the Contractor will maintain online databases indicating technology plan approval expirations, providing access to NYSED technology plan approval letters, and validating multi-location schools. Approval letters will be digitized. These databases will be accessible via the website the contractor will maintain.

  6. Alert individual applicants in danger of missing E-rate form submission deadlines.

    The contractor will develop online tools and notification procedures to alert applicants in danger of missing Form 486 and invoicing deadlines. E.g., “Form 486 must be filed by XXXXXX with XXXXXX to accomplish the following: To authorize the payment of invoices from the service provider and to indicate approval of Technology Plans, as required See http://www.sl.universalservice.org/reference/8form486.asp external link icon for more information on Form 486”. As a courtesy, the contractor will provide advance notification of significant funding and FCC appeal decisions to New York applicants.

  7. Participate in the State E-Rate Coordinators’ Alliance (“SECA”).

    Under the New York State E-Rate Coordinator’s direction (ODS), the contractor may serve as New York’s representative to the State E-Rate Coordinators’ Alliance (“SECA”). SECA participation includes being on the active listserv to share E-rate problems and solutions, weekly teleconferences (including a monthly one with the SLD and FCC), and semi-annual out-of-state meetings in Washington D.C. Bidders should budget for membership fees and travel costs.

  8. Monitor FCC rulings and prepare and submit FCC filings on E-rate issues.

    The contractor will monitor FCC orders, requests for comments, and appeal decisions. The contractor will assist NYSED in preparing or file on behalf of NYSED comments on FCC proceedings affecting New York State applicants. In the past year or so, as the FCC has been trying to change the rules and process of how to run or reshape the E-Rate program and seeking public feedback, the contractor did commit days of work to help NYSED as well as the local entities to understand proposed changes and implications, etc.)

  9. Coordinate state master contracts with NYS OGS.

    Many of the State’s telecommunications and IT equipment contracts can be used by NY E-rate applicants. As NYSED’s E-rate coordinator, the Contractor will work with OGS to make sure that OGS contracts are considered eligible and that NY applicants know how to use those contracts for E-rate purposes. This has several components:

    1. A special portion of the OGS Web site has been set up to list potentially E-rate eligible contracted services and equipment. See: http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/purchase/snt/wiredindex/nywired.asp external link icon. Since the contract expiration dates of these contracts do not generally coincide with the E-rate funding year, the Contractor may have to work with OGS to negotiate limited extensions for E-rate applicants.
    2. Each year, OGS must submit a Form 470 to make these contracts E-rate eligible. Under E-rate, the Form 470 acts as a quasi-RFP. It is posted on the USAC Schools and Libraries Web site making bidding information available to service providers nationwide. The Contractor will have to prepare the annual Form 470s, enter them on line, and coordinate the required OGS certification. In some cases, E-rate related questions received by OGS by potential service providers will be referred to the Contractor if questions involve E-rate.
    3. OGS, with the help from the Contractor will maintain another Web page reviewing the use of OGS contracts for E-rate purposes and providing a list of historic Form 470 numbers and effective dates. See: http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/purchase/snt/wiredindex/default.asp external link icon.

No additional services are requested beyond those listed above. Any additional activities will not be reviewed or scored.

Staffing Level

It is expected that the duties described above may be fulfilled by one full time equivalent. The Contractor must appoint a Project Manager, minimum .5 FTE.

Plan of Operation

The plan of operation should describe how the applicant intends to implement the tasks outlined in the Project Deliverables section including program activities, schedule of implementation, and performance indicators used to measure success. The plan must be specific enough to establish evaluation criteria and benchmarks for each activity, responsibility, or service. A template for the plan of operation is provided in Submission Documents.

Contractor Responsibilities

  1. The contractor must designate a Project Manager who will:
    1. Maintain work schedules and assignments of staff. It is suggested that the work contemplated by this RFP can be achieved by 1FTE.
    2. Submit required reports to NYSED, including:
      1. Monthly status reports, with summaries of project expenditures.
      2. Documentation of all interactions with NYSED project management staff, related advisory committee members, and other principal organizations e.g., Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Education associated with project activities.
      3. Meeting summaries.
    3. Participate in bi-monthly status meetings with NYSED. These meetings may be by telephone or video conference, but two meetings per year will be held at NYSED offices in Albany.
    4. Assume overall responsibility for successful and timely completion of all project deliverables.
  2. The contractor will provide a Yearly Work Plan that will define tasks and responsibilities. The Work Plan will provide detailed projections of start and end dates and will be revised, as needed, as part of the bi-monthly status meeting with NYSED.
  3. The contractor will assume, and not transfer, fiduciary responsibility for all funds awarded pursuant to this project. All project funds must be accounted for using straightforward, clearly delineated procedures for documenting all project expenditures.
  4. Reports and other outputs as specified in the project deliverables will be submitted to NYSED in hard copy and/or in electronic form in formats used by NYSED (e.g. Word, Access, and Excel). These reports and outputs will become the exclusive property of NYSED.

NYSED Responsibilities

  1. NYSED will assign a staff person from ODS as the primary contact for this contract. That individual will be responsible for oversight and management of all components of the project, including the work of the Contractor. NYSED will also designate a staff person from the NYSL as the Contractor's contact for library-related program and applicant issues.
  2. NYSED will provide to the contractor, as necessary, documentation needed to proceed with all aspects of project work. Access to NYSED staff and other organizations will be facilitated by NYSED to ensure adequate engagement of individuals and organizations necessary to successfully complete all project tasks.
  3. NYSED will review all project deliverables and provide written sign-offs (either acceptance or rejections) to the contractor within 45 days of receipt by NYSED.


Eligible applicants are organizations with experience in the administration of the E-Rate Program.

Contract Period

NYSED will award one (1) contract with a term of five (5) years. The contract will run from October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2016.

At the end of any contract term otherwise provided for herein, if a replacement contract has not yet been approved in accordance with State law, any contract awarded hereunder may be extended unilaterally by the State, upon notice to the contractor, at the same terms and conditions, including all contract pricing, for a period of one month. Additionally, this extension may be for a period of up to three months with the concurrence of the contractor. However, any extension will terminate immediately upon approval of the replacement contract except where a period for transition of contractors has been previously provided for.

Subcontracting Limit

Subcontracting will be limited to forty percent (40%) of the annual contract budget. Subcontracting is defined as non-employee direct personal services and related incdental expenses, including travel.

If the vendor proposes to change subcontractors during the contract period, NYSED must be notified prior to the change. NYSED reserves the right to reject any replacement subcontractors proposed by the vendor and reserves the right to approve all changes in subcontractors. The Subcontracting Form located in the Submission Documents must be updated annually and submitted to NYSED. Using this form, the vendor must also report to NYSED, on an annual basis, actual expenditures incurred for all subcontractors and indicate which subcontracting costs are associated with M/WBE.

Consultant Staff Changes

The Contractor will maintain continuity of the Consultant Team staff throughout the course of the contract. All changes in staff will be subject to NYSED approval. The replacement Consultant(s) with comparable skills will be provided at the same or lower hourly rate.

Electronic Processing of Payments

In accordance with a directive dated January 22, 2010 by the Director of State Operations - Office of Taxpayer Accountability, all state agency contracts, grants, and purchase orders executed after February 28, 2010 shall contain a provision requiring that contractors and grantees accept electronic payments. Additional information and authorization forms are available at the State Comptroller’s website at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/epay/index.htm external link icon.

Accessibility of Web-Based Information and Applications

Any web-based information and applications development, or programming delivered pursuant to the contract or procurement, will comply with New York State Enterprise IT Policy NYS-P08-005, Accessibility of Web-Based Information and Applications as such policy may be amended, modified or superseded, which requires that state agency web-based information and applications are accessible to persons with disabilities. Web-based information and applications must conform to New York State Enterprise IT Policy NYS-P08-005 (see http://www.cio.ny.gov/Policy/NYS-P08-005.pdf external link icon) as determined by quality assurance testing. Such quality assurance testing will be conducted by the contractor, and the results of such testing must be satisfactory to NYSED before web-based information and applications will be considered a qualified deliverable under the contract or procurement.


In an effort to eradicate barriers that have historically impeded access by minority group members and women in State contracting activities, Article 15-A, of the New York State Executive Law §310-318, (Participation By Minority Group Members and Women With Respect To State Contracts) was enacted to promote equality of economic opportunities for minority group members and women.

The New York State Education Department (“NYSED”) has enacted its policies Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action and on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Procurements, consistent with the requirements as set forth under the provisions of Article 15-A (the “Article”) incorporated by reference, requiring Contracting Agencies to implement procedures to ensure that the “Contractor” (as defined under Article 15-A, §310.3 shall mean an individual, a business enterprise, including a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, a not-for-profit corporation, or any other party to a state contract, or a bidder in conjunction with the award of a state contract or a proposed party to a state contract, complies with requirements to ensure Equal Employment Opportunities for Minority Group Members and Women, in addition to providing Opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises on all covered state contracts.

In keeping with the intent of the Law, it is the expectation of the Commissioner and the responsibility of all contractors participating in and/or selected for procurement opportunities with NYSED, to fulfill their obligations to comply with the requirements of the Article and its implementing regulations.

In accordance with these requirements, the contractor hereby agrees to make every good faith effort to promote and assist the participation of certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (“M/WBE”) as subcontractors and suppliers on this project for the provision of services and materials in an amount at least equal to the M/WBE goal (Included in the procurement document) as a percentage of the total dollar value of this project. In addition, the contractor shall ensure the following:

  1. All state contracts and all documents soliciting bids or proposals for state contracts contain or make reference to the following provisions:
    1. The contractor will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, gender, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic disposition or carrier status and will undertake or continue existing programs of affirmative action to ensure that minority group members and women are afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination. For purposes of the Article, affirmative action shall mean recruitment, employment, job assignment, promotion, upgrading, demotion, transfer, layoff or termination and rate of pay or other forms of compensation.
    2. The contractor shall request each employment agency, labor union, or authorized representative of workers with which it has a collective bargaining or other agreement or understanding, to furnish a written statement that such employment agency, labor union or representative will not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, gender, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic disposition or carrier status and that such union or representative will affirmatively cooperate in the implementation of the contractor’s obligation herein.
    3. The contractor shall state in all solicitations or advertisements for employees, that, in the performance of the State contract, all qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, gender, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic disposition or carrier status.
  2. The contractor will include the provisions of subdivision one of this section in every subcontract as defined under §310.14, except as provided under §312.6 of the Article, in such a manner that the provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor as to work in connection with the State contract.
  3. Contractors or subcontractors shall comply with the requirements of any federal law concerning equal employment opportunity, which effectuates the purpose of this section.
  4. Contractors and subcontractors shall undertake programs of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity as required by this section . In accordance with the provision of the Article, the bidder will submit, with their proposal, Staffing Plan (EEO 100). Notice – Contractors are provided with notice herein, NYSED may require a contractor to submit proof of an equal opportunity program after the proposal opening and prior to the award of any contract. In accordance with regulations set forth under Article 15-A §312.5, contractors and/or subcontractors will be required to submit compliance reports relating to the contractor’s and/or subcontractor’s program in effect as of the date the contract is executed.
  5. Certified businesses (as defined under Article 15-A, §310.1 means a business verified as a minority or women-owned business enterprise pursuant to §314 of the Article) shall be given the opportunity for meaningful participation in the performance of this contract, to actively and affirmatively promote and assist their participation in the performance of this contract, so as to facilitate the award of a fair share of this contract to such businesses. Should the contractor identify a firm that is not currently certified as an M/WBE, it should request that the firm submit a certification application to the NYSED M/WBE Program Unit by the deadline for submission of proposals for eligibility determination. NYSED will work with ESD to expedite the application, however, it is the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that a sufficient number of certified M/WBE firms have been identified in response to this procurement, in order to facilitate full M/WBE participation.
  6. Contractor shall make a good faith effort to solicit active participation by enterprises identified in the Empire State Development ("ESD") directory of certified businesses, which can be viewed at: http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov external link icon
  7. Contractor shall agree, as a condition of entering into said contract, to be bound by the provisions of Article 15-A, §316.
  8. Contractor shall include the provisions set forth in paragraphs (6) and (7) above, in every subcontract in a manner that the provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor as to work in connection with this contract.
  9. Contractor shall comply with the requirements of any federal law concerning opportunities for M/WBEs which effectuates the purpose of this section.
  10. Contractor shall submit M/WBE Utilization Plan (M/WBE 100) as part of their proposal in response to NYSED procurement. A Utilization Plan, as defined under Article 15-A, shall mean a plan prepared by a contractor and submitted in connection with a proposed state contract. In developing the Utilization Plan bidders should consider the goals and established time frames needed to achieve results which could reasonably be expected by putting forth every good faith effort to achieve the overall prescribed M/WBE participation percentage (%) goals as set forth under the procurement.
  11. The percentage goals established for this RFP are based on the overall availability of M/WBEs certified in the particular areas of expertise identified under this RFP. These goals should not be construed as rigid and inflexible quotas which must be met, but as targets reasonably attainable by means of applying every good faith effort to make all aspects of the entire Minority and Women-Owned Business Program work.
  12. Contractor shall ensure that enterprises have been identified (M/WBE 102) within the Utilization Plan, and the contractor shall attempt, in good faith, to utilize such enterprise(s) at least to the extent indicated in the plan, as to what measures and procedures contractor intends to take to comply with the provisions of the Article.
  13. Contractor shall upon written notification from NYSED M/WBE Program Unit as to any deficiencies and required remedies thereof, the contractor, within the period of time specified, will submit compliance reports documenting remedial actions taken and other information relating to the operation and implementation of the Utilization Plan.
  14. Where it appears that a contractor cannot, after a good faith effort, comply with the M/WBE participation requirements, contractor may file a written application with NYSED M/WBE Program Unit requesting a partial or total waiver (M/WBE 101) of such requirements setting forth the reasons for such contractor’s inability to meet any or all of the participation requirements, together with an explanation of the efforts undertaken by the contractor to obtain the required M/WBE participation.

For purposes of determining a contractor’s good faith efforts to comply with the requirements of this section or be entitled to a waiver, NYSED shall consider at the least the following:

  1. Whether the contractor has advertised in general circulation media, trade association publications and minority-focused and women-focused media and, in such event;
    1. Whether or not the certified M/WBEs which have been solicited by the contractor exhibited interest in submitting proposals for a particular project by attending a pre-bid conference; and
    2. Whether certified businesses solicited by the contractor responded in a timely fashion to the contractor’s solicitations for timely competitive bid quotations prior to the contracting agency’s deadline for submission of proposals.
  2. Whether there has been written notification to appropriate certified M/WBEs that appear in the Empire State Development website, found at: http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov external link icon

All required Affirmative Action, EEO, and M/WBE forms to be submitted along with bids and/or proposals for NYSED procurements are attached hereto. These forms are to be submitted without change to goals specified in the RFP. All M/WBE firms are required to be certified by Empire State Development (ESD) or must be in the process of obtaining certification from ESD.

Failure to comply with the requirements of Article 15-A as set forth under this procurement and in conjunction with the corresponding contract, will result in the withholding of associated funds and other enforcement proceedings set forth under Article 15-A.

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Documents to be submitted with this proposal

This section details the submission document or documents that are expected to be transmitted by the respondent to the State Education Department in response to this RFP. New York State Education Department shall own all materials, processes, and products (software, code, documentation and other written materials) developed under this contract. Materials prepared under this contract shall be in a form that will be ready for copyright in the name of the New York State Education Department. Any sub-contractor is also bound by these terms. The submission will become the basis on which NYSED will judge the respondent’s ability to perform the required services as laid out in the RFP. This will be followed by various terms and conditions that reflect the specific needs of this project.

Project Submission:

The proposal submitted in response to this RFP must include the following documents:

  1. Technical ProposalFive - (5) copies (one bearing an original signature in blue ink)
  2. Cost Proposal - Three (3) copies (one bearing an original signature in blue ink)
  3. Microsoft Word (CD format) — One (1) electronic version with both the technical and cost proposals
  4. M/WBE Documents - Three (3) copies (one bearing an original signature in blue ink)

The proposal must be received by May 27, 2011 by 3:00 PM at NYSED in Albany, New York.

Proposals should be prepared simply and economically, avoiding the use of elaborate promotional materials beyond those sufficient to provide complete presentation. If supplemental materials are a necessary part of the proposal, the bidder should reference these materials in the technical proposal, identifying the document(s) and citing the appropriate section and page(s) to be reviewed.

The proposal must communicate an understanding of the deliverables of the RFP, describe how the tasks are to be performed and identify potential problems in the conduct of the deliverables and methods to identify and solve such problems.

Bidders should specify all details and dates required to evaluate the technical proposal and should limit aspects of the project plan which are to be determined only after the award of a contract. No optional deliverables to be provided only at an additional cost should be included and will not be considered in the evaluation of the technical proposal. Contractual terms, conditions and assumptions are inappropriate for inclusion in the proposal.

Any proprietary material considered confidential by the bidder must specifically be so identified, and the basis for such confidentiality must be specifically set forth in the proposal.

Technical Proposal (70 Points)

The original plus four copies of the completed Technical Proposal must be mailed in a separate envelope labeled RFP #10-027-Technical Proposal-Do Not Open and must include the following:

Transmittal Instructions

After completing all the required parts of the RFP, assemble your Technical Proposal in the following order:

  1. Response Sheet for Bids
  2. Certifications and Assurances located in Submission Documents Signatures Required
  3. TAC Certification Form located in Submission Documents Signature Required
  4. Project Description including documentation of applicant’s experience with the E-rate program and application process
  5. Plan of Operation for all four Deliverables (located in Submission Documents)

Applications must be unbound, paginated, and signed as appropriate. Please submit five (5) copies of the Technical Proposal (one bearing an original signature) and three (3) copies of the Cost Proposal (one bearing an original signature). Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Supplementary materials such as videotapes, CD-ROMs, files on disks, publications, press clippings, testimonial letters, etc. will not be reviewed nor will they be returned to the applicant.

Cost Proposal (30 Points)

The original plus two (2) copies of the completed Cost Proposal must be mailed in a separate envelope labeled RFP #10-027-Cost Proposal-Do Not Open and must include the following:

Index of Documents to be completed and submitted with Cost Proposal:
  1. TAC Budget—Year One
  2. Budget Summary—Year One
  3. Budget Summaries for Years 2-5
  4. Five Year Budget Summary Signature Required
  5. Subcontracting Form
  6. M/WBE Subcontracting/Purchasing Form

The Financial Criteria portion of the RFP will be scored based upon the grand total of the five year budget summary.

M/WBE Documents

  1. M/WBE Cover Letter Signature Required
  2. M/WBE 100 Utilization Plan
  3. M/WBE 102 Notice of Intent to Participate
  4. EEO 100 Staffing Plan

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Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award

This section begins with the criteria the agency will use to evaluate bids, and closes with the “method of award” or how the contractor will be selected. This will be followed by various terms and conditions that reflect the specific needs of this project as well as New York State contract guidelines and requirements.

Criteria for Evaluating Bids

All complete proposals received by the deadline will be reviewed using the following criteria and ratings. Applicants must ensure that all components of this application request have been addressed, the required number of copies has been provided, all forms and assurances have been completed, and the original signatures in blue are included as required.

An evaluation committee of NYSED staff will complete a review of all proposals submitted. The committee will review each proposal to determine compliance with the requirements described in the RFP. The committee retains the right to determine whether any deviation from the requirements of this RFP is substantial in nature and may reject in whole or in part any and all proposals, waive minor irregularities and conduct discussions with all responsible bidders.

Proposals receiving at least sixty percent (60%) of the points available for the technical proposal (a total of 42 out of 70 points) will move to the next step of the process. Proposals with a score of less than 42 points in the Technical Proposal section will be eliminated from further consideration.

Technical Criteria (70 Points)

Project Description (30 Points)

This section must include:

  • Experience with the E-rate program and application process. Bidders should document their experience in providing staff development and/or technical assistance to the education community including public and non-public K-12 institutions, BOCES, colleges and universities, libraries, and/or other cultural institutions. (15 points)
  • An analysis and assessment of the capacity of the applicant to establish partnerships with other organizations to ensure the efficient delivery of all services and products with RICs, library systems, Big Fives, non-public entities or consortia and SLD. (5 points)
  • A narrative description of the program’s organizational structure, governance, and lines of communication. Project staffing and supervision plan. Include the qualifications and experience of key personnel. (10 Points)
Supporting materials to be included with project description:
  1. Organizational chart
  2. Job descriptions for all staff identified in the budget
  3. Resume for the Project Manager
  4. Resume for any other staff
Plan of Operation (40 Points)

The Plan of Operation for the Technical Assistance for the Universal Service Discount (E-Rate) Program (located in Submission Documents) describes how the organization intends to implement Items 1-4 outlined in Project Deliverables. That plan must include program activities, schedule of implementation, and benchmarks used to measure success. The plan of operation must be specific enough to establish evaluation criteria and benchmarks for each activity, responsibility, or service.

Financial Criteria: (30 Points)

The Financial Criteria portion of this RFP will be scored based upon the grand total for the five year budget summary.

  • The financial portion of the proposal represents thirty points of the overall score and will be awarded up to thirty points pursuant to a formula. This calculation will be computed by the Contract Administration Unit upon completion of the technical scoring by the technical review panel.
  • The agency reserves the right to request best and final offers.
  • The submitted budget will be awarded points pursuant to a formula which awards the highest score of 30 points to the budget that reflects the lowest overall cost. 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.

Method of Award

The aggregate score of all the criteria listed will be calculated for each proposal received.

The contract issued pursuant to this proposal will be awarded to the vendor whose aggregate technical and cost score is the highest among all the proposals rated.

In the event that more than one proposal obtains the highest aggregate score, the contract will be awarded to the vendor in that group of highest aggregate scores whose budget component reflects the lowest overall cost.

NYSED’s Reservation of Rights

NYSED reserves the right to: (1) reject any or all proposals received in response to the RFP; (2) withdraw the RFP at any time, at the agency’s sole discretion; (3) make an award under the RFP in whole or in part; (4) disqualify any bidder whose conduct and/or proposal fails to conform to the requirements of the RFP; (5) seek clarifications of proposals; (6) use proposal information obtained through site visits, management interviews and the state’s investigation of a bidder’s qualifications, experience, ability or financial standing, and any material or information submitted by the bidder in response to the agency’s request for clarifying information in the course of evaluation and/or selection under the RFP; (7) prior to the bid opening, amend the RFP specifications to correct errors or oversights, or to supply additional information, as it becomes available; (8) prior to the bid opening, direct bidders to submit proposal modifications addressing subsequent RFP amendments; (9) change any of the scheduled dates; (10) eliminate any mandatory, non-material specifications that cannot be complied with by all of the prospective bidders; (11) waive any requirements that are not material; (12) negotiate with the successful bidder within the scope of the RFP in the best interests of the state; (13) conduct contract negotiations with the next responsible bidder, should the agency be unsuccessful in negotiating with the selected bidder; (14) utilize any and all ideas submitted in the proposals received; (15) unless otherwise specified in the solicitation, every offer is firm and not revocable for a period of 90 days from the bid opening; (16) require clarification at any time during the procurement process and/or require correction of arithmetic or other apparent errors for the purpose of assuring a full and complete understanding of an offerer’s proposal and/or to determine an offerer’s compliance with the requirements of the solicitation; (17) to request best and final offers.

Post Selection Procedures

Upon selection, the successful bidder will receive a proposed contract from NYSED. All terms set forth in the selected bidder's technical proposal will be final. The selected bidder may be given an opportunity to reduce its cost proposal in accordance with the agency's right to request best and final offers. The contents of this RFP, any subsequent correspondence during the proposal evaluation period, and such other stipulations as agreed upon may be made a part of the final contract prepared by NYSED. Successful bidders may be subject to audit and should ensure that adequate controls are in place to document the allowable activities and expenditure of State funds.

Debriefing Procedures

All unsuccessful bidders may request a debriefing within five (5) business days of receiving notice from NYSED. Bidders may request a debriefing letter on the selection process regarding this RFP by submitting a written request to the Fiscal Contact person at:

NYS Education Department
Contract Administration Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Room 505W EB
Albany, NY 12234

The Fiscal Contact person will make arrangements with program staff to provide a written summary of the proposal’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommendations for improvement. Within ten (10) business days, the program staff will issue a written debriefing letter to the bidder.

Contract Award Protest Procedures

Bidders who receive a notice of non-award may protest the NYSED award decision subject to the following:

  1. The protest must be in writing and must contain specific factual and/or legal allegations setting forth the basis on which the protesting party challenges the contract award by NYSED.
  2. The protest must be filed within ten (10) business days of receipt of a debriefing letter. The protest letter must be filed with:

    NYS Education Department
    Contract Administration Unit
    89 Washington Avenue
    Room 505W EB
    Albany, NY 12234

  3. The NYSED Contract Administration Unit (CAU) will convene a review team that will include at least one staff member from each of NYSED’s Office of Counsel, CAU, and the Program Office. The review team will review and consider the merits of the protest and will decide whether the protest is approved or denied. Counsel’s Office will provide the bidder with written notification of the review team’s decision within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the protest. The original protest and decision will be filed with OSC when the contract procurement record is submitted for approval and CAU will advise OSC that a protest was filed.
  4. The NYSED Contract Administration Unit (CAU) may summarily deny a protest that fails to contain specific factual or legal allegations, or where the protest only raises issues of law that have already been decided by the courts.

Vendor Responsibility

State law requires that the award of state contracts be made to responsible vendors. Before an award is made to a not-for-profit entity, a for-profit entity, a private college or university or a public entity not exempted by the Office of the State Comptroller, NYSED must make an affirmative responsibility determination. The factors to be considered include: legal authority to do business in New York State; integrity; capacity- both organizational and financial; and previous performance. Before an award of $100,000 or greater can be made to a covered entity, the entity will be required to complete and submit a Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire. School districts, Charter Schools, BOCES, public colleges and universities, public libraries, and the Research Foundation for SUNY and CUNY are some of the exempt entities. For a complete list, see: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/vendrep/resources_docreq_agency.htm external link icon.

NYSED recommends that vendors file the required Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire online via the New York State VendRep System. However, vendors may choose to complete and submit a paper questionnaire. To enroll in and use the New York State VendRep System, see the VendRep System Instructions available at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/vendrep/vendor_index.htm external link icon or go directly to the VendRep System online at https://portal.osc.state.ny.us external link icon. For direct VendRep System user assistance, the Office of the State Comptroller’s Help Desk may be reached at 866-370-4672 or 518-408-4672 or by email at ciohelpdesk@osc.state.ny.us. Vendors opting to file a paper questionnaire can obtain the appropriate questionnaire from the VendRep website http://www.osc.state.ny.us/vendrep/ external link icon or may contact NYSED or the Office of the State Comptroller’s Help Desk for a copy of the paper form.

Note: Bidders must acknowledge their method of filing their questionnaire by checking the appropriate box on the Response Sheet for Bids (Submission Documents).

Procurement Lobbying Law

Pursuant to State Finance Law §§139-j and 139-k, this solicitation includes and imposes certain restrictions on communications between the New York State Education Department (“NYSED”) and an Offerer/bidder during the procurement process. An Offerer/bidder is restricted from making contacts from the earliest notice of the solicitation through final award and approval of the Procurement Contract by NYSED and, if applicable, Office of the State Comptroller (“restricted period”) to other than designated staff unless it is a contact that is included among certain statutory exceptions set forth in State Finance Law §139-j(3)(a). Designated staff, as of the date hereof, is identified below. NYSED employees are also required to obtain certain information when contacted during the restricted period and make a determination of the responsibility of the Offerer/bidder pursuant to these two statutes. Certain findings of non-responsibility can result in rejection for contract award and in the event of two findings within a four year period, the Offerer/bidder is debarred from obtaining governmental Procurement Contracts. Further information about these requirements can be found at the following web link: http://www.oms.nysed.gov/fiscal/cau/PLL/procurementpolicy.htm.

Designated Contacts for NYSED
Program Office – Teh-Yuan Wan
Contract Administration Unit – Richard Duprey
M/WBE – Joan Ramsey

Consultant Disclosure Legislation

Effective June 19, 2006, new reporting requirements became effective for State contractors, as the result of an amendment to State Finance Law §§ 8 and 163. As a result of these changes in law, State contractors will be required to disclose, by employment category, the number of persons employed to provide services under a contract for consulting services, the number of hours worked and the amount paid to the contractor by the State as compensation for work performed by these employees. This will include information on any persons working under any subcontracts with the State contractor.

Chapter 10 of the Laws of 2006 expands the definition of contracts for consulting services to include any contract entered into by a State agency for analysis, evaluation, research, training, data processing, computer programming, engineering, environmental, health, and mental health services, accounting, auditing, paralegal, legal, or similar services.

To enable compliance with the law, State agencies must include in the Procurement Record submitted to OSC for new consultant contracts, the State Consultant Services Contractor’s Planned Employment From Contract Start Date Through the End of the Contract Term (Form A external link icon - see link below). The completed form must include information for all employees providing service under the contract whether employed by the contractor or a subcontractor. Please note that the form captures the necessary planned employment information prospectively from the start date of the contract through the end of the contract term.

Form A: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/gbull/g226forma.doc external link icon

Chapter 10 of the Laws of 2006 mandates that State agencies must now require State contractors to report annually on the employment information described above, including work performed by subcontractors. The legislation mandates that the annual employment reports are to be submitted by the contractor to the contracting agency, to OSC and to the Department of Civil Service. State Consultant Services Contractor’s Annual Employment Report (Form B external link icon - see link below) is to be used to report the information for all procurement contracts above $15,000. Please note that, in contrast to the information to be included on Form A, which is a one-time report of planned employment data for the entire term of a consulting contract on a projected basis, Form B will be submitted each year the contract is in effect and will capture historical information, detailing actual employment data for the most recently concluded State fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).

Form B: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/gbull/g226formb.doc external link icon

For more information, please visit the OSC web site for G-Bulletin 226 at: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/gbull/g-226.htm external link icon.

Public Officer’s Law Section 73

All bidders must comply with Public Officer’s Law Section 73 (4)(a), as follows:

4. (a) No statewide elected official, state officer or employee, member of the legislature, legislative employee or political party chairman or firm or association of which such person is a member, or corporation, ten per centum or more of the stock of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such person, shall (i) sell any goods or services having a value in excess of twenty-five dollars to any state agency, or (ii) contract for or provide such goods or services with or to any private entity where the power to contract, appoint or retain on behalf of such private entity is exercised, directly or indirectly, by a state agency or officer thereof, unless such goods or services are provided pursuant to an award or contract let after public notice and competitive bidding. This paragraph shall not apply to the publication of resolutions, advertisements or other legal propositions or notices in newspapers designated pursuant to law for such purpose and for which the rates are fixed pursuant to law.

  1. The term "state officer or employee" shall mean:
    1. heads of state departments and their deputies and assistants other than members of the board of regents of the university of the state of New York who receive no compensation or are compensated on a per diem basis;
    2. officers and employees of statewide elected officials;
    3. officers and employees of state departments, boards, bureaus, divisions, commissions, councils or other state agencies other than officers of such boards, commissions or councils who receive no compensation or are compensated on a per diem basis; and
    4. members or directors of public authorities, other than multistate authorities, public benefit corporations and commissions at least one of whose members is appointed by the governor, who receive compensation other than on a per diem basis, and employees of such authorities, corporations and commissions.

Public Officer’s Law Section 73 can be found at http://www.nyintegrity.org/law/ethc/POL73.html external link icon.

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Appendix A – Standard Clause for all New York State Contracts will be included in the contract that results from this RFP. Vendors who are unable to complete or abide by these assurances should not respond to this request.

The documents listed below are included in Submission Documents, which must be signed by the Chief Administrative Officer. Please review the terms and conditions. Certain documents will become part of the resulting contract that will be executed between the successful bidder and the NYS Education Department.

Appendix A – Standard Clause for all New York State Contracts contains the following three (3) certifications:

  • Non-Collusion Certification
    (Signature Required - the form is included in Submission Documents)
  • MacBride Certification
    (Signature Required - the form is included in Submission Documents)
  • Certification-Omnibus Procurement Act of 1992
    (Signature Required - the form is included in Submission Documents)

Certification Regarding Lobbying; Debarment and Suspension; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Signature Required - the form is included in Submission Documents)

Offerer Disclosure of Prior Non-Responsibility Determinations (Signature Required - the form is included in Submission Documents)

M/WBE Documents – the forms below are included in Submission Documents). Each set must include the following:

  1. M/WBE Cover Letter (Signature Required)
  2. M/WBE 100 Utilization Plan
  3. M/WBE 102 Notice of Intent to Participate
  4. EEO 100 Staffing Plan

Appendix A - Standard Clauses for NYS Contracts

Appendix A-1

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Submission Documents

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Last Updated: May 11, 2011 9:44 AM