II. RULES GOVERNING COMPETITION

 

{Please Note: For purposes of this RFP, Section II has been modified from the traditional version used in EDP & Telecommunications RFP documents. Please read this section carefully.}

 

 

A.      Identification and Classification of RFP Requirements

 

1.         Requirements

The State has established certain requirements with respect to submissions by prospective contractors. In this RFP the use of "shall", "must" or "will" (except to indicate simple futurity) indicates a requirement or condition from which a deviation, if not material, may be waived by the State. A deviation from a requirement is material if the deficient response is not in substantial accord with the RFP requirements, provides an advantage to one Bidder over other Bidders, or has a potentially significant effect on the delivery, quantity or quality of items proposed, amount paid to the Bidder, or on the cost to the State. Material deviations cannot be waived.

 

2.         Desirable Items

The words "should" or "may" in the RFP indicate desirable attributes or conditions, but are nonmandatory in nature. Deviation from, or omission of such a desirable feature, even if material, will not in itself cause rejection of the proposal.

 

B.      Bidding Requirements and Conditions

 

1.         General

This RFP, the evaluation of responses, and the award of any resultant contract shall be made in conformance with current competitive bidding procedures as they relate to the procurement of goods and services by public bodies in the State of California. A Bidder's Final Proposal is an irrevocable offer for one hundred and eighty (180) days following the scheduled date for the contract award specified in Section I, Key Action Dates. A Bidder may extend the offer in writing in the event of a delay of contract award.

 

2.         RFP Documents

This RFP includes, in addition to an explanation of the State's needs which must be met, instructions which prescribe the format and content of proposals to be submitted. The model of the contract to be executed between the State and the successful Bidder can be found in Appendix A.

If a Bidder discovers any ambiguity, conflict, discrepancy, omission, or other error in this RFP, the Bidder shall immediately notify the State of such error in writing and request clarification or modification of the document. Modifications will be made by addenda issued pursuant to Paragraph B.8., Addenda, below. Such clarifications shall be given by written notice to all active Bidders, without divulging the source of the request for same. Insofar as practicable, the State will give such notices to other interested parties, but the State shall not be responsible therefore.

If a Bidder fails to notify the State, prior to the date fixed for submission of proposals, of an error in the RFP known to the Bidder, or an error that reasonably should have been known, the Bidder shall bid at its own risk, and if awarded the contract, shall not be entitled to additional compensation or time by reason of the error or its later correction.

 

3.         Examination of the Work

The Bidder should carefully examine the entire RFP and any addenda thereto, and all related materials and data referenced in the RFP or otherwise available to the Bidder, and should become fully aware of the nature and location of the work, the quantities of the work, and the conditions to be encountered in performing the work. Specific conditions to be examined may be listed in the RFP section on Administrative Requirements.

 

4.         Questions Regarding the RFP

Bidders requiring clarification of the intent or content of this RFP or on procedural matters regarding the competitive bid process may request clarification by submitting questions, with the envelope clearly marked "Questions Relating to RFP HWDC-6001" to the Department Official listed in Section I. Question and answer sets will be provided to all currently qualified Bidders without identifying the submitter.

A Bidder who desires clarification or further information on the content of the RFP, but whose questions relate to the proprietary aspect of that Bidder's proposal and which, if disclosed to other Bidders, would expose that Bidder's proposal, may submit such questions in the same manner as above, but also marked "CONFIDENTIAL". The Bidder must explain why any questions are sensitive in nature. If the State concurs that the disclosure of the question or answer would expose the proprietary nature of the proposal, the question will be answered and both the question and the answer will be kept in confidence. If the State does not concur with the proprietary aspect of the question, the question will not be answered and the Bidder will be so notified.

If the Bidder believes that one or more of the RFP requirements is onerous, unfair, or imposes unnecessary constraints to the Bidder in their effort to propose less costly or alternate solutions, the Bidder may request a change to the RFP by submitting, in writing, the recommended change(s) and the facts substantiating this belief and reasons for making the recommended change. Such request must be submitted to the Department Official (see Section I, Introduction and Overview of Requirements,Paragraph F, by the date specified in Section I, Key Action Dates, for submitting a request for change. Oral answers shall not be binding on the State.

 

 

5.         Bidders' Conference

A Bidders' Conference will be held, during which Bidders will be afforded the opportunity to meet with State personnel and discuss the content of the RFP and the procurement process. Notification of the time and place of such conference, is contained in Section I, Key Action Dates. Written requests for information and questions received more than four (4) working days prior to the conference will be answered at the conference without divulging the source of the query.

The State will accept oral questions during the conference and will make a reasonable attempt to provide answers prior to the conclusion of the conference. A transcript of the questions and appropriate answers will be transmitted within approximately five (5) working days to all Bidders furnished this RFP for bidding purposes. If questions asked at the conference cannot be adequately answered during the discussion, answers will be provided in the transcribed data. Oral answers shall not be binding on the State.

 

6.         Bidder's Intention to Submit a Proposal

Bidders who have been furnished copies of the RFP for bidding purposes are asked to state their intention to bid by the date specified in Section I, Key Action Dates, with respect to submission of proposals. The State is also interested in a Bidder's reasons for not submitting a proposal; as, for example, requirements which cannot be met or unusual terms and conditions which arbitrarily raise costs.

If Bidders have indicated significant problems with the RFP requirements, the State will examine the stated reasons for the problems and will attempt to resolve any issues of contention, if not contrary to the State's interest, and will amend the RFP if appropriate. All Bidders who have been furnished copies of this RFP for bidding purposes will be advised by the State of any actions taken as a result of the Bidder's responses. If after such actions, a Bidder determines that the requirements of the RFP unnecessarily restrict its ability to bid, the Bidder is allowed five (5) working days to submit a protest to those RFP requirements or the State's action, according to the instructions contained in Paragraph E.1. of this section.

Hereafter, for the purposes of the instructions of this RFP, all Bidders who have indicated their intent to submit a Proposal and who were qualified by the State as Bidders are called participating Bidders until such time that the Bidder withdraws, the Bidder list is reduced to a qualified Bidder list, or other facts indicate that the Bidder has become nonparticipating.

 

7.         Bidder's Qualification Response

Bidders must submit a detailed response to the Bidder’s Qualifications items identified in Section V, Administrative Requirements. A minimum score has been set in this RFP for the Bidder to continue in the selection process. Bidders receiving less than the minimum score will not be allowed to submit Draft and Final Proposals.

 

8.         Addenda

The State may modify the RFP prior to the date the Contract Negotiations begin by issuance of an addendum to all parties who are participating in the bidding process at the time the addendum is issued, unless the amendments are such as to offer the opportunity for nonparticipating Bidders to become participating, in which case the addendum will be sent to all parties receiving the RFP for bidding purposes. Addenda will be numbered consecutively. If any Bidder determines that an addendum unnecessarily restricts its ability to bid, the Bidder is allowed five (5) working days to submit a protest to the addendum according to the instructions contained in Paragraph E.1. of this section.

8.1       Submission of Best and Final Cost Proposal

The State may call for Best and Final Cost Proposals in the event that the State Evaluation Team determines that it is in the best interest of the State to do so. If a Best and Final Cost Proposal is called for, a Confidential Discussion will be held with each bidder that received an Oral Presentation Score. Each bidder will have ten (10) State Working Days after the conclusion of the Confidential Discussion to submit a complete new Cost Proposal to the State. This submission must include a cover letter committing the bidder to the information contained in the Best and Final Cost Proposal for at least the period of time contained in the Final Proposal, and an electronic copy of the Cost Tables. One copy of the submission must be marked as the Master Copy. When the State is evaluating a Bidder’s Best and Final Cost Proposal, the Evaluation and Selection Team may request the Bidder to clarify any area of the Proposal that the Evaluation and Selection Team feels is unclear.

 

9.         Questions

            The State will accept questions during the Bid process up until the cutoff date identified in Section I, Key Action Dates, the questions and appropriate answers will be transmitted within approximately fifteen (15) working days to all Bidders that have submitted Intent to Bid letters. Oral answers shall not be binding on the State.

 

10.       Removal of Names from Bidders List

The Department of General Services may remove the name of any Bidder from its lists of prequalified Bidders under any one or more of the following conditions:

a.         A Bidder does not respond by bid to three consecutive calls for bids on equipment, software, or service which such Bidder has previously requested opportunity to bid.

 

b.         A Bidder's past performance on State contracts has demonstrated a lack of reliability in complying with and completing such contracts.

 

11.       Discounts

In connection with any discount offered, except when provision is made for a testing period preceding acceptance by the State, time will be computed from date of delivery of the supplies or equipment as specified, or from date correct invoices are received in the office specified by the State if the latter date is later than the date of delivery. When provision is made for a testing period preceding acceptance by the State, date of delivery shall mean the date the supplies or equipment are accepted by the State during the specified testing period. Payment is deemed to be made, for the purpose of earning the discount, on the date of mailing the State warrant or check.

Cash discounts of less than twenty (20) days or less than one half of one percent will not be considered in evaluating offers for award purposes unless otherwise specified by the State in the bid invitation; however, offered discounts of less than twenty (20) days or less than one half of one percent will be taken if payment is made within the discount period, even though not considered in the evaluation of offers.

 

12.       Joint Proposals

A joint proposal (two (2) or more Bidders quoting jointly on one proposal) may be submitted and each participating Bidder must sign the joint proposal. If the contract is awarded to joint Bidders, it shall be one indivisible contract. Each joint Bidder will be jointly and severally responsible for the performance of the entire contract, and the joint Bidders must designate, in writing, one individual having authority to represent them in all matters relating to the contract. The State assumes no responsibility or obligation for the division of orders or purchases among the joint Bidders.

 

13.       Air or Water Pollution Violations

Unless the contract is less than $5,000.00 or with a sole source contractor, Government Code Section 4477 prohibits the State from contracting with a person, including a corporation or other business association, who has been determined to be in violation of any state or federal air or water pollution control laws. Government Code Section 4481 requires the State Water Resources Control Board and the Air Resources Board to notify State agencies of such persons.

Prior to an award, the State shall ascertain if the selected Bidder is a person included in notices from the Boards by reference to notices. In the event of any doubt of the low Bidder's identity or status as a person who is in violation of any state or federal air or water pollution law, the State will notify the appropriate Board of the proposed award and afford the Board the opportunity to advise the State that the low Bidder is such a person.

No award will be made to a person who is identified either by the published notices or by advice, as a person in violation of state or federal air or water pollution control laws.

 

14.       Fair Employment and Housing Commission Regulations

The California Government Code Section 12990 requires all State contractors to have implemented a Nondiscrimination Program before entering into any contract with the State. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) randomly selects and reviews State contractors to ensure their compliance with the law. DFEH periodically disseminates a list of Bidders who have not complied. Any Bidder so identified is ineligible to enter into any State contract.

 

C.      Bidding Steps

 

1.         General

The procurement process to be used in this acquisition is composed of three phases of bid development. The First phase requests Bidders interested in this project to submit information which allows the State to determine the Bidders who are the best qualified to participate in the bid process. The second phase requests qualified Bidders to submit bid proposals which are final in all respects except that cost information is not included. These proposals will be evaluated. The State will hold Confidential Discussions with the Bidders who submit Draft Proposals. At the Confidential Discussion the Bidders will be asked to provide an overview of their proposals to the State. During this overview the State will work with the Bidder to identify areas of the proposal that are not fully compliant with the requirements of the RFP. The third phase requests Bidders to submit Final Proposals and costs to the State for Evaluation.

Cost submitted in other than a separate envelope as part of the Final Proposal may preclude the Bidder from continuing in the process.

 

2.         Bidder’s Qualification Response

The Bidder’s Qualification Response must be submitted by the Bidder, by the date specified in Section I, Key Action Dates. The response must be structured per the response format indicated in Section VIII Proposal Format. These responses will be evaluated and scored by the Evaluation Team.

 

3.         Draft Proposal

            The Draft Proposals must be submitted by the Bidder, by the date specified in Section I, Key Action Dates. The proposals must be complete in all respects except that cost information must not be included. These proposals will be evaluated and scored by the Evaluation Team.

 

4.         Draft Proposal Evaluation

            The Evaluation Team will review the proposals. They will evaluate the Administrative requirements and Technical requirements in accordance with Section IX, Evaluation. This review is intended to identify items in a Bidder’s proposal which, if submitted in the Final Proposal, would make the response non-responsive to the requirements of the RFP.

 

5.         Confidential Discussion

            The Evaluation and Selection Team will meet with each Bidder for the purpose of discussing their proposal in detail. The Bidder may bring to the discussion the Bidder Contract Manager and those persons that may be required to answer questions or commit to changes as well as the other key people who will be working on the project. As the first order of business, the Bidder will be asked to give a short proposal overview. To the maximum extent practical, the Bidder will address the major concerns of the evaluation team, and should be prepared to answer any questions that may arise as a result of the presentation. The participants will then proceed to discuss the details of the proposal.

            If any discussion items have a bearing on, or affect the content of the proposal, such matters may be discussed in an effort to reach an agreement. (As a subsequent activity, the Bidder and the State will work together to negotiate the proposed contract which will become operative when the Bidder's Final Proposal is accepted by the State. Further discussion of the contractual aspect of this procurement is contained in paragraph D, Contractual Information.)

            If, after full discussion with a Bidder, the State is of the opinion that the Bidder's proposal cannot be restructured or changed in a reasonable time to satisfy the needs of the State, and that further discussion would not likely result in an acceptable proposal in a reasonable time, the Bidder will be given written notice that the proposal has been rejected and that a Final Proposal will not be accepted.

 

6.         Final Phase

The purpose of the Final Phase is to obtain proposals that are responsive in every respect to the requirements of the RFP.

The Final Proposal must be complete, including all cost information and required signatures as required in the RFP Section VIII, Proposal Format. The Section VII, Cost data (as identified in the above referenced section) must not be submitted until Final Proposals are due, and when submitted must be in a separate, sealed container which is properly identified.

           

7.         Confidentiality

FINAL PROPOSALS ARE PUBLIC UPON BID OPENING; HOWEVER, THE CONTENTS OF ALL PROPOSALS, CORRESPONDENCE, AGENDA, MEMORANDA, WORKING PAPERS, OR ANY OTHER MEDIUM WHICH DISCLOSES ANY ASPECT OF A BIDDER'S PROPOSAL SHALL BE HELD IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE UNTIL NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD. THE CONTENT OF ALL WORKING PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS RELATING TO THE BIDDER'S PROPOSAL SHALL BE HELD CONFIDENTIAL INDEFINITELY UNLESS THE PUBLIC INTEREST IS BEST SERVED BY AN ITEMS DISCLOSURE BECAUSE OF ITS DIRECT PERTINENCE TO A DECISION, AGREEMENT OR THE EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSAL. ANY DISCLOSURE OF THIS SUBJECT BY THE BIDDER IS A BASIS FOR REJECTING THE BIDDER'S PROPOSAL AND RULING THE BIDDER INELIGIBLE TO FURTHER PARTICIPATE. ANY DISCLOSURE BY A STATE PERSON IS A BASIS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION, INCLUDING DISMISSAL FROM STATE EMPLOYMENT, AS PROVIDED BY GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 19570 ET SEQ. TOTAL CONFIDENTIALITY IS PARAMOUNT; IT CANNOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED.

 

8.         Submission of Final Proposal

Ten (10) State Working days after the conclusion of the Confidential Discussion, the required and agreed-to changes must be submitted by the Bidder in the Final Proposal. The Bidder must submit a complete Final Proposal including cost information. When the State is evaluating a Bidder’s Final Proposal, the Evaluation and Selection Team may request the Bidder to clarify any area of the Proposal that the Evaluation and Selection Team feels is unclear.

 

9.         Submission Instructions

a.         Bidder’s Qualification Response

The response must include that which is required in Section VIII, Proposal Format Section B.

b.         Draft Proposal

The purpose of the Draft Proposal is to provide the State with an "almost final" bid in order to identify any faulty administrative aspect of the bid which, if not corrected, could cause the Final Proposal to be rejected for ministerial reasons.

The Draft Proposal must be complete in every respect as required by the RFP Section VIII, Proposal Format, for the Final Proposal, with XXX's replacing any cost figures or percentages that may allow a cost to be calculated. The inclusion of cost information in the Draft Proposal is a basis for rejecting the proposal and notifying the Bidder that he may not participate further in the procurement.

REVIEW OF THE DRAFT PROPOSAL BY THE STATE IS NOT INTENDED TO INCLUDE ANY ASSESSMENT OF ITS RESPONSIVENESS TO THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP. The State will notify the Bidder of any defects it has detected in the Draft Proposal, or of the fact that it did not detect any such defects. Such notification is intended to minimize the risk that the Final Proposal will be deemed defective; however, the State will not provide any warranty that all defects have been detected and that such notification will not preclude rejection of the Final Proposal if such defects are later found.

c.         Final Proposal.

Proposals are to be prepared in such a way as to provide a straightforward, concise delineation of capabilities needed to satisfy the requirements of this RFP. Expensive bindings, colored displays, promotional materials, etc., are not necessary or desired. EMPHASIS SHOULD BE CONCENTRATED ON CONFORMANCE TO THE RFP INSTRUCTIONS, RESPONSIVENESS TO THE RFP REQUIREMENTS, AND ON COMPLETENESS AND CLARITY OF CONTENT.

Before submitting each document, the Bidder should carefully proof it for errors and adherence to the RFP requirements.

d.         Bidder's Cost

Costs for developing proposals are the responsibility entirely of the Bidder and shall not be chargeable to the State.

e.         Completion of Proposals

Proposals must be complete in all respects as required by the RFP Section VIII, Proposal Format. A Final Proposal may be rejected if it is conditional or incomplete, or if it contains any alterations of form or other irregularities of any kind. A Final Proposal must be rejected if any such defect or irregularity constitutes a material deviation from the RFP requirements. The Final Proposal must contain all costs required by the RFP Sections VII, Cost, and Section VIII, Proposal Format, setting forth a unit price and total price for each unit price item, and a total price for each lump sum price item in the schedule, all in clearly legible figures. As required in the RFP Section VIII, Proposal Format, cost data (as identified in the above referenced section) must be submitted under separate, sealed cover.

At the end of Section II, the Exhibit #II - 1 entitled "Competitive Bidding And Bid Responsiveness", emphasizes the requirements of competitive bidding and contains examples of common causes for rejection of proposals. Bidders are encouraged to review this exhibit.

f.          False or Misleading Statements

Proposals which contain false or misleading statements, or which provide references which do not support an attribute or condition claimed by the Bidder, may be rejected. If, in the opinion of the State, such information was intended to mislead the State in its evaluation of the proposal, and the attribute, condition, or capability is a requirement of this RFP, it will be the basis for rejection of the proposal.

g.         Signature of Bidder Qualification Response, Final Proposal and Best and Final Cost Proposal

A cover letter (which shall be considered an integral part of the submission) shall be signed by an individual who is authorized to bind the bidding firm contractually. The signature must indicate the title or position that the individual holds in the firm. An unsigned Bidder Qualification Response or Final Proposal shall be rejected.

h.         Delivery of Bidder Qualification Response and Proposals

1)         Bidder Qualification Response

The Bidder Qualification Response must be sealed and plainly marked "Bidder Qualification Response for RFP HWDC - 6001". Mail or deliver proposals to the Department Official listed in Section I. If mailed, use certified or registered mail with return receipt requested. Proposals must be received in the number of copies stated in the RFP Section VIII, Proposal Format and not later than the dates and times specified in Section I, Key Action Dates, and in the individual schedules provided the Bidders. One copy must be clearly marked "Master Copy". Bidder’s Qualification Responses not received by the date and time specified in Section I, or not sealed, will be rejected.

2)         Draft Proposal

All copies of proposals must be under sealed cover which is to be plainly marked "Draft Proposal for RFP HWDC - 6001". The sealed cover shall also state the scheduled date and time for submission. Bidder Cost information must not be submitted with the Draft Proposal.

3)         Final Proposals

All copies of proposals must be under sealed cover which is to be plainly marked "Final Proposal for RFP HWDC - 6001". Final Proposals not received by the date and time specified in Section I, or not sealed, will be rejected. As required in the RFP Section VIII, Proposal Format, all cost data (as identified in the above referenced section) must be submitted under separate, sealed cover and clearly marked "Cost Data for RFP HWDC - 6001". If cost data is not submitted in this manner, the proposal will be rejected. Proposals submitted under improperly marked covers may be rejected. If discrepancies are found between two or more copies of the proposal, the proposal may be rejected. However, if not so rejected, the Master Copy will provide the basis for resolving such discrepancies. If one copy of the Final Proposal is not clearly marked "Master Copy", the State may reject the proposal; however, the State may at its sole option select, immediately after bid opening, one copy to be used as the Master Copy.

i.          Withdrawal and Resubmission/Modification of Proposals

A Bidder may withdraw its Final Proposal at any time prior to the proposal submission time specified in Section I by submitting a written notification of withdrawal signed by the Bidder or agent authorized in accordance with Paragraph C.8.g., Signature of Bidder Qualification Response and Proposals. The Bidder may thereafter submit a new or modified proposal prior to such proposal submission time. Modification offered in any other manner, oral or written, will not be considered. Final Proposals cannot be withdrawn after the time designated for receipt of the Final Proposal. The State may choose to accept less than a Bidders entire proposed solution and may end up contracting for additional goods and/or services not proposed or evaluated during the bid process.

 

10.       Rejection of Proposals

The State may reject any or all proposals and may waive any immaterial deviation or defect in a proposal. The State's waiver of any immaterial deviation or defect shall in no way modify the RFP documents or excuse the Bidder from full compliance with the RFP specifications, if awarded the contract.

 

11.       Evaluation and Selection Process

Final Proposals will be evaluated according to the procedures contained in the RFP Section IX, Evaluation. The Evaluation Team will determine if the Final Proposals that were received were responsive to the requirements of the RFP.

 

12.       Demonstration

This procurement requires a demonstration of each qualified Bidder's response to specific requirements, during the Final Proposal evaluation process, in order to verify the claims made in the Bidder’s proposal, corroborate the evaluation of the proposal, and confirm that the hardware and software are actually in operation. The Bidder must make all arrangements for demonstration facilities at no cost to the State. The location of the demonstration will be determined by the Bidder; however, its performance within California is preferred and will be attended at the State's expense. Demonstration outside California will be attended only if the Bidder agrees to reimburse the State for travel and per diem expenses. The State reserves the right to determine whether or not a demonstration has been successfully passed.

 

13.       Oral Presentation  

An Oral Presentation will be made by each of the Bidders submitting a responsive Final Proposal. The interview panel will consist of high-level State Officials and other members of the Evaluation Team. It is anticipated that there will be approximately four high-level panel members. The high level State officials will score the Bidder’s Oral Presentation in accordance with the criteria in Section IX, Evaluation. The decision will be based on an up to two (2) hour presentation by the Bidder. After all Oral Presentations have been made by all Bidders and these presentations scored, the State will have a public Cost opening. Costs will be read. The Evaluation Team will then validate the cost information and score it. This score will be combined with the Oral Presentation score to produce a Bidder’s Final Evaluation Score; these two evaluation criteria will be weighted equally.

                       

14.       Errors in the Final Proposal

An error in the Final Proposal may cause the rejection of that proposal; however, the State may at its sole option retain the proposal and make certain corrections.

In determining if a correction will be made, the State will consider the conformance of the proposal to the format and content required by the RFP, and any unusual complexity of the format and content required by the RFP.

(1)       If the Bidder's intent (as determined by the State) is clearly established based on review of the complete Final Proposal submittal, the State may at is sole option correct an error based on that established intent.

(2)       The State may at its sole option correct obvious clerical errors.

(3)       The State may at its sole option correct discrepancy and arithmetic errors on the basis that if intent is not clearly established by the complete proposal submittal the Master Copy shall have priority over additional copies, the proposal narrative shall have priority over the cost sheets, and within each of these, the lowest level of detail will prevail. If necessary, the extensions and summary will be recomputed accordingly, even if the lowest level of detail is obviously misstated. The total price of unit-price items will be the product of the unit price and the quantity of the item. If the unit price is ambiguous, unintelligible, uncertain for any cause, or is omitted, it shall be the amount obtained by dividing the total price by the quantity of the item.

(4)       The State may at its sole option correct errors of omission and, in the following four situations, the State will take the indicated actions if the Bidder's intent (as determined by the State) is not clearly established by the complete proposal submittal.

(a)       If an item is described in the narrative and omitted from the contract and cost data provided in the proposal for evaluation purposes, it will be interpreted to mean that the item will be provided by the Bidder at no cost.

(b)       If a minor item is not mentioned at all in the Final Proposal and is essential to satisfactory performance, the proposal will be interpreted to mean that the item will be provided at no cost.

(c)        If a major item is not mentioned at all in the Final Proposal, the proposal will be interpreted to mean that the Bidder does not intend to supply that item.

(d)       If a major item is omitted, and the omission is not discovered until after contract award, the Bidder shall be required to supply that item at no cost.

(5)       If a Bidder does not follow the instructions for computing costs not related to the contract (e.g., State space costs), the State may reject the proposal, or at its sole option, recompute such costs based on instructions contained in the RFP.

(6)       The determination of whether an item is minor or major will be the responsibility of the State.

If the recomputations or interpretations, as applied in accordance with this section, subparagraph d, result in significant changes in the amount of money to be paid to the Bidder (if awarded the contract) or in a requirement of the Bidder to supply a major item at no cost, the Bidder will be given the opportunity to promptly establish the grounds legally justifying relief from its proposal.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT BIDDERS CAREFULLY REVIEW THE COST ELEMENTS IN THEIR FINAL PROPOSAL, SINCE THEY WILL NOT HAVE THE OPTION TO CHANGE THEM AFTER THE TIME FOR SUBMITTAL.

 

15.       Award of Contract

Award of contract, if made, will be in accordance with the RFP section on Evaluation to a responsible Bidder whose Final Proposal complies with all the requirements of the RFP documents and any addenda thereto, except for such immaterial defects as may be waived by the State. Award, if made, will be made within one hundred and eighty (180) days after the scheduled date for Contract Award specified in Section I; however, a Bidder may extend the offer in writing beyond one hundred and eighty (180) days in the event of a delay of the intended award.

            The State reserves the right to determine the successful Bidder on the basis of all items included in its RFP, unless otherwise expressly provided in the State's RFP. The State reserves the right to modify or cancel this RFP in whole or in part.

Written notification of the State's intent to award will be made to all Bidders. If a Bidder, having submitted a Final Proposal, can show that its proposal, instead of the proposal selected by the State, should be selected for contract award according to the rules of Paragraph C.11., the Bidder will be allowed five (5) working days to submit a protest to the Intent to Award, according to the instructions contained in Paragraph E.1. of this section.

 

16.       Debriefing

A debriefing may be held after contract award at the request of any Bidder for the purpose of receiving specific information concerning the evaluation. The discussion will be based primarily on the administrative, technical and cost evaluations of the Bidder's Final Proposal. A debriefing is not the forum to challenge the RFP specifications or requirements.

 

D.      Contractual Information

 

1.         Contract Form

The State has contract forms to be used by the State agencies when contracting for EDP or Telecommunications goods and services. The contract provisions appropriate for the specific requirements of this RFP is in Appendix A. It is the responsibility of the Bidder to review the contract because it will be used as the basis for contract negotiation.

The form of the contract permits, where appropriate, the substitution and/or insertion of Bidder-specified language by the Bidder. All such substitutions and insertions must be approved by the Department of General Services. The Department of General Services may request the Department of Information Technology's concurrence on the approval of changes involving significant issues. Terms and conditions which do not comply in substance with all material requirements of the RFP, which are contrary to the best interests of the State, or which are in opposition to State policy will not be accepted.

 

2.         Specific Terms and Conditions / Contract Negotiations

            Specific terms and conditions will be negotiated with the intended awardee once the Evaluation Team has determined which Bidder solution it intends to accepted. The contract negotiation must be completed and the final contract document agreed upon by the Bidder and the State no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the onset of contract negotiation, prior to the issuance of the Notification of Intent to Award. If the contract document is not agreed upon by the Bidder and the State no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the onset of contract negotiation this shall be a material deviation.

 

3.         Contract Award

            Upon approval of the Department of General Services, Procurement Division, the Notification of Intent to Award will be released.

 

4.         Term of Contract

The State intends to retain the required goods and services for at least the period specified elsewhere in this RFP. Ideally, the term of the contract will be for the specified period. If the State requires the contract to be terminated during the contract period, such a requirement will be specified in the RFP section on Administrative Requirements or in the Model Contract. The State will accept a contract for a longer period than specified if, at the sole option of the State, the contract may be terminated at the end of the period specified with or without the payment of termination charges. Such termination charges, if any, must be included in the evaluated cost of the bid.

 

E.      Other Information

 

1.         Protests

                        a.         Qualified Bidder Selection

            In the event that a Bidder is not selected to participate in the Final Proposal phase of the bid, they may protest this exclusion if they can demonstrate that they were improperly evaluated. The demonstration must be solely in reference to the scoring of the Bidder’s proposal only. In such cases, a protest may be submitted according to the procedure below. Protests must be submitted within 5 State working days from the date on the letter notifying the Bidder that they have been excluded from submitting further proposals on this RFP. Protests regarding this issue will be heard and resolved by the Deputy Director of the Department of General Services’ Procurement Division whose decision will be final.

b.         Final Selection

            Before a protest is submitted regarding any issue other than selection of the "successful Bidder", the Bidder must make full and timely use of the procedures described in this Section II to resolve any outstanding issue(s) between the Bidder and the State. The procurement procedure is designed to give the Bidder and the State adequate opportunity to submit questions and discuss the requirements, and proposals before the Final Proposal is due. The protest procedure is made available in the event that a Bidder cannot reach a fair agreement with the State after exhausting these procedures. In such cases, a protest may be submitted according to the procedure below. Protests regarding any issue other than selection of the "successful Bidder" will be heard and resolved by the Deputy Director of the Department of General Services’ Procurement Division whose decision will be final.

If a Bidder has submitted a Final Proposal which it believes to be totally responsive to the requirements of the RFP and to be the proposal that should have been selected according to the evaluation procedure in Section IX, Evaluation and the Bidder believes the State has incorrectly selected another Bidder for award, the Bidder may submit a protest of the selection as described below. Protests regarding selection of the "successful Bidder" will be heard and resolved by the State Board of Control whose decision will be final.

All protests must be made in writing, signed by an individual authorized under Paragraph C8g, Signature of Proposal, and contain a statement of the reason(s) for protest; citing the law, rule, regulation or procedures on which the protest is based. The protester must provide facts and evidence to support the claim. Protests must be mailed or delivered to:

Street Address:                              Mailing Address:

Deputy Director                                 Deputy Director

Procurement Division                       Procurement Division

1823 14th Street                               P.O. Box 942804

Sacramento, CA 95814                   Sacramento, CA 94204-0001

All protests to the RFP or protests concerning the evaluation, recommendation, or other aspects of the selection process must be received by the Deputy Director of the Procurement Division as promptly as possible, but not later than the respective times and dates specified in Section I, Key Action Dates, and Section II, Rules Governing Competition for such protests or the respective date for protest contained in the Notification of Intent to Award, whichever is later. Certified or registered mail must be used unless delivered in person, in which case the protester should obtain a receipt of delivery.

 

2.         News Releases

Any publications or news releases relating to a contract resulting from this RFP shall not be made without prior written approval of the Department Official listed in Section I.

 

 

3.         Disposition of Proposals

All materials submitted in response to this RFP will become the property of the State of California and will be returned only at the State's option and at the Bidder's expense. The Master Copy shall be retained for official files and will become a public record after the date and time for Final Proposal submission as specified in Section I, Key Action Dates. However, confidential financial information submitted in support of the requirement to show Bidder responsibility will be returned upon request.

 

4.         Site Visits

Bidders will be given the opportunity to visit a working County Welfare Office and the central data processing site after the Bidder’s Qualification Responses have been evaluated. These visits are for purposes of familiarization and evaluation of the current processes. Visits shall be permitted at other times to the extent that they do not unduly interfere with the conduct of State or County business.

Oral communications of State officers and employees concerning this RFP shall not be binding on the State and shall in no way excuse the Bidder of any obligations set forth in this RFP.

 

F.      EXHIBIT

1.         Exhibit #II - 1  COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND BID RESPONSIVENESS

 

EXHIBIT II-1

COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND BID RESPONSIVENESS

The purpose of competitive bidding is to secure public objectives in the most value-effective manner and avoid the possibilities of graft, fraud, collusion, etc. Competitive bidding is designed to benefit the public body (the State, in the present context), and is not for the benefit of the Bidders. It is administered to accomplish its purposes with sole reference to the public interest. It is based upon full and free bidding to satisfy State specifications, and acceptance by the State of the most value-effective solution to the State's requirements, as determined by the evaluation criteria contained in the RFP.

Competitive bidding is not defined in any single statute but is more in the nature of a compendium of numerous court decisions. From such court decisions, the following rules have been evolved, among others:

a.         Invitations for Bids must provide a basis for full and fair competitive bidding among Bidders on a common standard, free of restrictions tending to stifle competition.

b.         The State may modify the RFP, prior to the date fixed for submission of bids, by issuance of an addendum to all parties who have been furnished with the RFP for bidding purposes.

c.         To have a valid bid, the bid must respond and conform to the invitation, including all the documents which are incorporated therein. A bid which does not literally comply may be rejected.

d.         For a variance between the request for bids and the bid to be such as to preclude acceptance (the bid must be rejected) the variance or deviation must be a material one.

e.         State agencies usually have the express or implied right to reject any and all bids in the best interests of the State. Bids, cannot however, be selectively rejected without cause.

f.          Bids cannot be withdrawn after the time designated for the receipt of Amended Proposals and Sealed Bid Costs and the opening thereof.

g.         A competitive bid, once opened and declared, is in the nature of irrevocable option and a contract right of which the public agency cannot be deprived without its consent, unless the requirements for rescission are present. All bids become public documents.

h.         Bids cannot be accepted "in part", unless the invitation specifically permits such an award.

i.          Contracts entered into through the competitive bidding process cannot later be amended, unless the Invitation for Bids includes a provision, to be incorporated in the contract awarded, providing for such amendment.

Since competitive procurement became the required method for securing certain EDP goods or services, the State has received a number of bids which were deemed to be nonresponsive to the Invitation for Bids or which could not be considered as valid bids within the competitive bidding procedures. Nonresponsive bids or bids which contain qualifications must be rejected. Many of the causes for rejection arose from either an incomplete understanding of the competitive bidding process or administrative oversight on the part of the Bidders. The following examples are illustrative of the more common causes for rejection of bids. These examples are listed to assist potential Bidders in submission of responsive bids.

1.         A bid stated, "The prices stated within are for your information only and are subject to change."

2.         A bid stated, "This proposal shall expire thirty (30) days from this date unless extended in writing by the _____________ Company." (In this instance award was scheduled to be approximately 45 days after bid submittal date.)

3.         A bid for lease of EDP equipment contained lease plans of a duration shorter than that which had been requested in the IFB.

4.         A bid for lease of EDP equipment contained a contract which differed in substance from that previously approved by the State as being acceptable.

5.         A personal services contract stated, " _________ , in its judgment, believes that the schedules set by the State are extremely optimistic and probably unobtainable. Nevertheless, __________ will exercise its best efforts ...."

6.         A bid stated, "This proposal is not intended to be of a contractual nature."

7.         A bid contained the notation "prices are subject to change without notice".

8.         A bid was received for the purchase of EDP equipment with unacceptable modifications to the Purchase Contract.

9.         A bid for lease of EDP equipment contained lease plans of a duration longer than that which had been requested in the IFB with no provision for earlier termination of the contract.

10.       A bid for lease of EDP equipment stated, " ...... this proposal is preliminary only and the order, when issued, shall constitute the only legally binding commitment of the parties.

11.       A bid was delivered to the wrong office.

12.       A bid was delivered after the date and time specified in the IFB.

13.       An IFB required the delivery of a performance bond covering 25 percent of the proposed contract amount. The bid offered a performance bond to cover "x" dollars which was less than the required 25 percent of the proposed contract amount.