Technical Assistance Center for the Universal Service Discount (E-Rate) Program
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Educational Design and Technology (ED&T) within the P-12 Program Area is 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. NYSED encourages entities experienced in consulting for educational institutions on the utilization of E-Rate funding to respond to this Request for Proposals.
The New York State Education Department is part of the University of the State of New York (USNY), one of the most complete, interconnected systems of educational services in the United States. The mission of NYSED is to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York. The vision is to provide leadership for a system that yields the best educated people in the world. The Educational Design and Technology unit of NYSED helps guide the effective integration of technology to transform learning environments statewide. It harnesses information, communication, and professional networks to support innovations that maximize school and learner success.
Digital learning technologies and the importance of the Internet in connecting students, teachers, and consumers to jobs, life-long learning, and information have created the demand for increasing bandwidth in schools and libraries. Mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission in 1997, the Schools and Libraries program, also known as the E-rate program, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries in America. The E-rate provides discounted telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries, funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF). Comprehensive changes were made to the E-rate program beginning in Funding Year 2015. Navigating through the process for any applicant is very complex and strenuous, and requires a high level of expertise in knowledge of the E-rate program. Revised rules and regulations require all applicants now to submit information online, and these changes and any additional changes the FCC decides on in the future will affect New York districts, schools, libraries, and other E-rate eligible consortia. Many schools and libraries don’t have the resources they need to research the ever-changing E-rate eligibility rules or develop and maintain processes to ensure compliance with E-rate program requirements.
NYSED’s goal with this RFP is to attract and retain expert consultancy services to ensure that school districts, libraries, and all eligible New York entities receive the maximum reimbursement rate and a full spectrum of support for managing the entire E-rate funding and program compliance processes. The anticipated program beneficiaries will be the students, teachers, staff, and patrons of New York State schools and libraries and other E-rate program beneficiaries. The successful applicant will have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the E-Rate application cycle and reimbursement criteria for the contract years and will provide professional services as they relate to applying for E-Rate reimbursement with schools, districts, libraries and other New York State E-rate eligible entities. The vendor will provide their professional knowledge and experience as it pertains to technology, education and E-rate guidelines.
Subcontracting/Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE)
Subcontracting will be limited to thirty percent (30%) of the total 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 for this RFP through one of three methods. Compliance methods are discussed in detail in the Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Participation Goals section below.
Terms of Contract
NYSED will award one contract pursuant to this RFP. The contract resulting from this RFP will be for a five (5) year term, anticipated to begin November 1, 2017 and end October 31, 2022.
New York State
Please see the Mandatory Requirements section of the RFP.
Components contained in RFP Proposal #17-029 are as follows:
- Description of Services to Be Performed
- Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award
- Submission Documents (separate document)
Questions and Answers
Questions regarding the request must be submitted by E-mail to ERateTACrfp@nysed.gov no later than the close of business on April 4, 2017. Questions regarding this request should be identified as Program, Fiscal or M/WBE. A Questions and Answers Summary will be posted here no later than April 13, 2017.
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 April 28, 2017 at 3:00pm.
- Submission Documents labeled Submission Documents – RFP #17-029 Do Not Open
- Technical Proposal labeled Technical Proposal – RFP #17-029 Do Not Open
- Cost Proposal labeled Cost Proposal – RFP #17-029 Do Not Open
- M/WBE Documents labeled M/WBE Documents – RFP #17-029 Do Not Open
- CD-ROM containing the technical, cost, submission and M/WBE proposals submitted using Microsoft Word. Place in a separate envelope labeled CD-ROM-RFP#17-029 Do Not Open.
The mailing address for all the above documentation is:
NYS Education Department
Bureau of Fiscal Management
Attn: Nell Brady, RFP# 17-029
Contract Administration Unit
89 Washington Avenue, Room 501W EB
Albany, NY 12234
(Facsimile copies of the proposals are NOT acceptable)