The APHL informatics program has released this Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit bids from qualified applicants to support the advancement of informatics initiatives across public health stakeholders. This RFP is broken into two separate scopes of work.
Although we encourage applicants to respond to both scopes of work, applicants have the choice to limit their response to a single scope area. APHL will award each scope area independently and may select one or multiple awardees per scope area.
This is an open and competitive process.
Anticipated RFP Schedule
The following dates are set forth for informational and planning purposes. APHL will communicate any modification to this anticipated schedule on APHL's procurement website (www.aphl.org/rfp) and via email to all applicants that submitted a letter of intent.
Note: All due dates have a
5:30pm EDT deadline unless otherwise indicated.
|10/12/2021||Informational Teleconference (Optional)|
10/14/2021 ||Letter of Intent
Due Date (Required)|
10/27/2021||Final Questions or Clarifications
|11/10/2021||Proposal Review and Evaluation Complete (follow-up interviews if needed)|
|11/19/2021 ||Final review completed, and awardee(s) selected and notified|
|TBD ||Contract awarded – dependent on final contract review and ratification by all parties.|
RFP Point of Contact
APHL will manage all RFP communication with applicants through APHL's central email inbox:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the title of the RFP in the subject line of all email correspondence.
The Official RFP Document will provide detailed information, please read it on its entirety. APHL will post all RFP-related documents, current schedule information and answers to all submitted questions and clarifications on APHL's procurement site,
RFP Questions and Clarifications
This RFP is designed to provide the necessary information applicants need to prepare competitive proposals for the work described; it is not intended to be comprehensive. Each applicant is responsible for determining all the factors and information necessary to submit a comprehensive bid proposal to APHL. APHL invites applicants to submit questions and requests for clarification regarding the RFP.
Applicants must submit all questions and requests for clarification via email to by close of business October 27, 2021.
RFP Informational Teleconference (Optional)
APHL held an optional teleconference on
Tuesday October 12, 2021at 3:00 pm ET.
During this call, APHL reviewed the RFP scope of work and allowed potential applicants to ask clarifying questions ahead of the
letter of intent due date.
Informational Teleconference Call-in Information:
Topic: APHL RFP Informational Teleconference: Informatics Technical Support and eCR Services to Public Health Agencies
Informatics Technical Support and Services to Public Health Stakeholders Informational Teleconference
Informational Teleconference Call Recording:
Response Submission Deadlines
RFP Letter of Intent
To allow for appropriate review process planning, APHL requires that prospective applicants submit a brief email statement indicating an intent to submit an RFP response, the scope area(s) they responding to, along with the identity and contact details of their primary contact(s).
RFP Final Submissions
Applicants must submit responses to
APHL, with a copy to Leslie McElligott:
email@example.com. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the proposal is received at APHL by this deadline.
Applicants must address the required proposal elements for the response to qualify as "complete". APHL may terminate or modify the RFP process at any time during the response period. APHL will acknowledge the receipt of the applicant's RFP response via email within 48 hours of submission. If you do not receive an acknowledgment, please email
APHL to confirm receipt. APHL must receive complete applicant responses no later than 5:30 pm EDT on
November 1, 2021.
Questions and Answers
Question about the proposal page limit: On the bottom of page 8 it says that each proposal area is limited to "10 pages of narrative and visuals." The table on the bottom of page 10 then describes in a little more detail what might be in the proposal in four areas (Management Approach, Technical Approach, Organizational Background, Transition). This table does not precisely line up with the proposal requirements in the eCR subject area. Is it APHL's intention that all this content (as described here and in the subject areas) fit into ten pages (for each project area)?
A: The table entitled “General Evaluation Criteria Guidance” describes general guidance the respondents can use to respond to the two scopes of work outlined in the document. The eCR team has identified specific details they would like to see addressed as part of an applicant’s response; however, these can align with or in some instance can replace the general guidance.
One example: a. Language from general guidance: “Describe the proposed programmatic or technical approach (i) to comply with or satisfy requirements specified in the respective scope of work sections the applicant is applying for.” This might align and fit under the eCR response requirement related to: “a. Implementation plan reflecting direct assistance to PHAs in use of eCR data including making it available to local health jurisdictions” and “Overall PHA roadmap for eCR implementation model.” We expect a high response rate for this RFP, as such we must limit each scope area 10 pages of narrative and corresponding visuals –
each respondent may include additional information as part of an appendix.
Question about including resumes: If we include resumes can they be excluded from the page count?
A: Under the general evaluation criteria (page 11, last bullet) the RFP states: “Applicants may include resumes, as attachments to the response (not included in page count)”.
Question about structuring the price proposal: How does APHL want respondents to structure the price proposal? Is it included in the page count? Would a rate table with labor categories be sufficient?
A: Since this is a human resource/expertise focused RFP, we would expect the cost proposal to be based on a time and materials basis. We do not have a preferred format; however, we feel that it would make the most sense for any known (named individual) or blended rate (labor category) pricing for the initial contract period (through June 2022) be included as part of the staffing/role matrix discussed in the general evaluation criteria (page 11, last sub-bullet). You are free to identify your own proposed labor categories/approach.
In addition, we encourage applicants to identify any general yearly percentage increase of rates post the initial contract period and any direct costs you would expect APHL to reimburse for (that are not already built into your projected rates).
We will allow the cost proposal/resource matrix to be included as an attachment, and it will not be included in the 10-page narrative limit.
Question about developing the price proposal: The RFP documents references a price evaluation and price realism as possible secondary evaluation criteria on page 12. Is pricing required during with the proposal submittal on November 1, 2021? If so, would APHL provide instructions to the vendors regarding the format and specifics required for the pricing submittal? Is each vendor to define their own labor categories? Are the labor category hourly rates required for all possible years of the contract or just the initial year? In addition to labor rates, does APHL expect any other direct costs that should be included in a vendor’s pricing.
A: Yes, a cost proposal is expected, but since this work is focused on teams/individuals, we would expect that the cost be on a time and materials basis. There is no preferred format; however, the fixed or blended cost might make the most sense included as part of the staffing/role matrix discussed in the general evaluation criteria.
To further clarify:
- Include either known (named individual) or blended rate (labor category) for the initial contract period – you are free to identify your own proposed labor categories/approach
- Identify the general/organization-wide percent increase on rates post the initial contract period
- Identify any non-labor direct costs you would expect APHL to reimburse for (that are not already built into your projected rates).
Question about the proposal structure and content: The Informatics section lacks any instructions for proposal structure and content, including budget/rates. Can APHL provide some guidance?
A: Since this section is more akin to an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract where we are still identifying the key roles and projects associated with this work. We do not have further response guidance to provide. Our goal is to identify and create strong contractual relationships with organizations with the expertise and organizational capacity to meet a broad range of needs.
Question about the eCR vendor team role: Under Process, will the vendor team be leading content development? Participating? If so, what can you tell us about how many artifacts there will be and the level of effort to develop/help develop them?
A: The vendor team will participate in content development as directed by APHL eCR leadership. We are expecting that this will be done under time and materials considerations. The vendor team will develop the number of artifacts necessary to meet the needs specified in the RFP. There may also be ongoing needs for this content development as Public Health Agencies (PHAs) ask new questions and where new circumstances, system configurations, and business needs are encountered.
Question about the number of anticipated eCR jurisdictions: How many jurisdictions will the project team be expected to work with to help understand level of effort required?
A: The number of jurisdictions will be determined by the number that request support and in the context of coordination with other successful RFP respondents. We expect time and materials proposals for this RFP and APHL eCR leadership will allocate resources in coordination of the asks, needs, and priorities.
Question about eCR technical implementation/integration at Public Health Agencies (PHAs): Under making eCR content available, it includes "planning and strategy roadmaps, security and information models, set-up and configuration, and database and mapping implementations." Is the contractor expected to provide actual technical implementation services on existing PHA platforms and systems in the agencies as implied by this sentence?
A: The contractor(s) will provide technical implementation and integration services at PHAs with direction from APHL eCR leadership and in accordance with PHA needs. Regarding the COVID pandemic, working remotely on PHA needs can be utilized where possible.
Question about the eCR scale of work: For RFP Scope One: Advancement of Electronic Case Reporting at Public Health Agencies, is there a specific amount of work to quote in terms of number and type of PHAs to assist? Any guidance on the scale of work required that can be used by to inform effort estimates is appreciated.
A: The number of jurisdictions will be determined by the number that request support and in the context of coordination with other successful RFP respondents. We expect time and materials proposals for this RFP and APHL eCR leadership will allocate resources in coordination of the asks, needs, and priorities. Our goal is to provide support to the largest number of PHAs for 1) integrating eCR data into their surveillance systems 2) and other data stores as necessary and 3) providing access to local PHAs. The number and sequence of requests including size and scheduling will depend on PHA communications and coordination that is yet to happen.
Question about proposal-based project team models: Is APHL open to proposal-based project team models where vendor teams own delivering on the scope for one or more PHAs? We are wondering APHL requires proposals to instead fit into staff augmentation framework where responsibility is at the individual staff member level rather than vendor team level.
A: For Scope One: the work will be directed by the eCR team. Where possible a team implementation approach will be supported, but there may be needs for staff augmentation as well. For Scope Two: yes, APHL is open to a project team model. However, based on the changing needs of our stakeholders, we also see the need for staff augmentation to keep our approach as nimble as possible.
Question about message transformation and processing: For RFP Scope One task area 5d on page 20 there is reference to, “Management of payload transformations and version compatibility should be considered.” Would APHL provide details on the message transformation and processing expected to be completed by the vendor team?
A: The goal is to support ingestion of eCR data into 1) PHA surveillance systems and 2) related data stores and to 3) support access by local PHAs. This may involve transformations from CDA eICR 1.1, 3.0 and / or FHIR 2.0 to intermediate formats associated with mapping into a variety of systems. There will be need to update mappings and formats to make use of, and migrate to, newer specifications.
Question about eCR incumbent: For the eCR proposal, is there an incumbent already performing that work?
A: No, the scope of PHA support of eCR work is new.
Question about the eCR budget: For the eCR proposal, is there an anticipated yearly budget for the task orders?
A: There is not. We look forward to proposed rate costs in RFP applications. We anticipate an annual expenditure range up to $12 million split among multiple awards with the hope of continued cooperative agreement funding. Your bid should include work to be done on a time and materials basis (see response re: structuring the price proposal).
Question about multiple awards: Will there be multi awards for each of the scope efforts?
A: Both Scopes 1 and 2 anticipate multiple awardees under each.
Question about preparing the response: If responding to both scopes, should the responder prepare two completely separate submission documents (with their own cover sheets, appendices, etc.) or combine them into one submission document?
A: Although some content will be similar/redundant, the two RFP scope areas will be evaluated by separate teams. Because of this we ask that you submit two separate documents to ensure your complete and unchanged response is seen by the appropriate evaluation team.
Question about the evaluation approach: During the Information Teleconference a refence was made to the approach APHL will take to evaluate the proposals and additional materials would be provided. Will those still be posted?
A: Yes, by COB Tuesday (10/26/21), we should have the weighted criteria approved for both scopes of work and ready to post.
Question about responding to the eCR scope 1 approach: On page 22 of the RFP, pertaining to Scope 1 ECR, proposers are requested to provide “Potential technical approaches”. Please clarify that proposers are to provide technical approaches to the 8 items listed under the Scope of Work section beginning on page 17: 1. Process, 2. ECR Consultancy, 3. ECR Payload Receipt and Transmission, 4. Make eCR and related content available to local PHAs, 5. Consume eICRs and RRs, 6. Data integration and support services, 7. Training and education, 8. Facilitate PHA communication and education.
A: The RFP asks that you describe technical approaches that you would employ in doing the work of the RFP. You should address those approaches in the context of any RFP content that may suggest specific technical needs.