The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is seeking proposals to identify and engage expert informatics technical staff to work individually and/or within a team setting with APHL and other contractors, partners and key stakeholders, to support the current work plan of the APHL Informatics Program.
Specific objectives include the delivery of technical assistance, including development of IT solutions, technical support and project coordination, to public health laboratories (PHLs), public health agencies (PHAs), and other messaging partners.
Project team members will work together to follow agreed upon project processes and provide deliverables within project constraints of cost, scope, quality, customer satisfaction, risk and time. APHL may request that the contractor provide information management consultations regarding appropriate technologies that may include but are not limited to, enterprise, systems and data architecture, HL7 data exchange, integration broker solutions, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and open-source technologies, database development methodologies and models, as well as project management expertise
This is an open and competitive process. General requirements include:
- Five years of relevant on the job experience or advanced technical training or experience in health informatics. A bachelor’s degree in informatics, health information technology, or public health health/laboratory field is a plus;
- Excellent client relations, presentation, organizational, writing, and communication skills;
- Familiarity with MS Office Suite including MS Excel, MS SharePoint, MS Outlook, MS Visio, MS Project, and MS Access and familiarity with statistical software a plus;
- Experience gained by working with Federal agencies, public health agencies and laboratories, or member-based organizations;
- Self-directed and highly organized, and team-player commitment to the provision of quality customer service;
- Capable of working under tight deadlines and handling multiple projects;
- Ability to communicate with a broad array of individuals from varying technical aptitudes, professional backgrounds and affiliations;
- Ability to record and deliver information, to explain procedures, and to contribute to the broad range goals of delivering overarching technical assistance initiatives while capitalizing on historical efficiencies and reusability when possible.
At this time, APHL anticipates the following schedule:
April 18, 2016 – RFP issued
April 25, 2016 – Letter of intent due by 5PM ET to APHL (see Confirmation of Intent to Respond below)
April 28, 2016 – Last day to submit questions (exceptions may granted)
May 18, 2016 – RFP responses due by 5pm EST to APHL (the RFP Due Date) - now closed!
June 13, 2016 – Evaluation team completes proposal review and follow-up
June 20, 2016 – Final review completed; APHL will notify successful candidate(s) by July 15, 2016
Request for Proposal Materials
The Request for Proposal: Informatics Technical Assistance and Services provides details on how to complete the proposal. The
RFP contains a copy of the criteria that APHL will used for evaluation of proposals.
APHL requests that prospective bidders submit a brief email statement indicating an intent to submit a proposal. This must be received by
5:00 pm ET on April 25, 2016.
TA RFP Questions
Q: Are there formatting and page number requirements for the proposal?
A: There is no designated response format or outline for responding to the RFP; a format of the applicant’s choice is welcome. Regardless of chosen format, however, an applicant’s proposal must be limited to 15 pages of narrative and visuals. If an application exceeds this 15-page limit, only the first 15 pages will be sent to the evaluation team and review scores will be based solely on the portion of the proposal submitted for review. An application should have a font size of 11 points or larger and page margins of at least 0.5 inches.
Q: The RFP appears to contain no page limitation on technical responses. To provide for reasonable timeliness of response review and development, we would suggest a page limit of 3 pages per bid task area (items 1 through 7) in the scope of work, not counting resumes, attachments, and cost proposal. This suggestion would result in a 21 page total technical response page limit, if a bidder were submitting for all task areas (1-7).
A: Please see above
Q: What are the expectations in how a response is presented? For instance number and purpose of volumes (e.g., separate files for Technical Proposal, Pricing Proposal, Transition Plan, etc.)
A: There is no set expectations for how a response will be formatted, aside from the guidance given above.
Q: For the price proposal, are there particular formats that are required?
A: There are no set price proposal formats required.
Q: Is the resume page number limit, provided in the RFP, per resume? (Technical Approach and Capabilities—2C)
Q: Are resumes included in page count?
A:No – resumes are excluded from the page count of the RFP response.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of resumes?
A: No - there is no limit to the number of resumes to submit.
BUDGET AND COSTS
Q: Should any travel costs be reflected, or is it assumed that travel will be reimbursed including an administrative fee?
A: No – travel costs do not need to be included unless the respondent would like to include this information for demonstrative purposes in the context of the technical assistance work.
Q: Will travel be handled as a quoted ODC or will APHL be managing the travel expense on a per case basis?
A: APHL will manage travel according to APHL’s travel policy.
Q: Will APHL be managing travel costs similar to what was done in the past?
Q: What data points does APHL need to evaluate pricing?
A: No strict formula is required for pricing, but APHL would appreciate cost estimate ranges for hourly rates when considering budgets.
Q: Initial budget period : Can you specify the dates for the initial budget period referenced on page 5 off RFP under section Range of Funding Available
A: This RFP award is for one year with the possible annual extensions/expansions of the work for a period of up to three additional years (with each additional funding year running from July 1 to June 30) for a total of four years
Q: Please confirm that the scope of the awarded contract is for four years (understanding the funding is only known year-by-year). (Project Period)
A: See above response.
MULTIPLE VENDORS AND TEAM COLLABORATION
Q: How does APHL see TA Teams being formed and maintained? For instance, what is the expected normal Team Composition (i.e., number of people)?
A: Team numbers will vary and all team members are expected to work collaboratively as a larger team.
Q: What is the anticipated load for team members (e.g., % utilization, is the work steady or cyclical)?
A: This percentage will be determined at the time of project initiation, and can adjust as funding or project directives change.
Q: Can APHL share the expected process around forming teams? What will the expected turnaround for staffing requests be?
A: We expect to have ongoing staffing requests on a revolving basis based on funding or as new projects are identified.
What will be the evaluation process for submitted staff?
A: Please see Evaluation of Responses Section on page 9 of the RFP.
Q: Will balance between contract awardees be a factor in staffing decisions?
A: is to be determined.
Q: What is to be the expected scope of a team? Is it by task time frames, message mapping guide, and jurisdiction?
A: Usually the scope of team members are based on technical initiatives and expertise needs within each project. Project lines can be comprised of various technical SMEs. Often, project scope does include multiple components such as project coordination, technical architecture, as well as terminology. As the universal technical assistance and services continues to grow and expand, we anticipate that the team make-up may alter to fit the best solution for the project or sponsor needs.
Q: Assuming this is a multi-award, once the vendor(s) have been chosen, how does APHL anticipate evaluating and allocating the work across teams? How to anticipate evaluating across the awardees?
A : This is to be determined.
Q : On page 5 of the RFP, it says that “APHL anticipates that a selected applicant would only perform duties related to the skill set(s) for which that selected applicant applied.” Will APHL have the option of making a partial award to a vendor? In other words, if a vendor submits for all 7 areas described in the scope of work, does APHL have the option to award the vendor less than 7 areas?
A : Partial awards are allowed and APHL welcomes all vendor applicants and there is no minimum or maximum skill areas.
SCOPE OF WORK
Q: How does database development and administration relate to technical assistance to a jurisdiction? (Scope of work:6)
A: Database development and administration may be implemented to tap into existing systems at the jurisdictional site for the accessing or warehousing of electronic disease surveillance data. Alternatively, there may be a need to stand up an internal database to support certain aspects of the project such as Reference Center submitter listings that is hosted on AIMS for all team members to access and use.
Q: Current state: Is APHL offering these Technical Assistance and Services currently? If yes, how ere/are these procured and/or fulfilled?
A: Yes. These services are currently being offered through several active vendor contracts and are directed by APHL Informatics Program staff members.
Q: APHL TA Method: Is it possible to share details of "APHL TA Method" referenced under section "Project Management and Coordination" on page 16 of RFP.
A: The APHL TA Method is a collaborative working model where all SMEs work cohesively together to meet the end goals of the project while working on behalf of APHL, which may or may not involve travel to client sites of approximately four days in length for each
Q: Level playing field with incumbents: What mechanisms are in place to level the field for new proponents compared to incumbents/existing service providers. For example, expertize gained on the job by the incumbents over the past periods on specific projects, visibility into pricing etc.
A: This is a free and open request for proposal.
Q: Sub-contractor: Under "Organizational Experience and Past Performance" What if our services and expertize are offered as a sub-contractor, so far. We will not have all the information requested above with respect to an overall contract. We certainly have and can demonstrate the Overall Experience and Past Performance in this context without going into that level of details. What is the guidance in this context?
A: Please submit as much information as possible, following the formatting guidelines.
Q: Open Source: As these efforts are funded by Federal funds, does APHL release all deliverables from these efforts under Open Source and free usage license? If yes, under what license?
A: All activities are funded using federal funds but APHL isn't placing any solutions developed under an open source license at this time. All solutions are reused to the extent possible in other jurisdictions and otherwise made freely available to all jurisdictions. APHL may consider using an open source license in the future.
Q: We understand APHL has a well-considered timeline for this process to ensure timely selection and award. Given any possible changes to page limits or other resulting input from the Q&A period, would APHL consider extending the response submission due date to 5pm on 5/23?
A: Given the funding cycles time constraints, APHL is unable to move the response submission due date.