Opportunity Detail

Questions and Answers

New Hire Reporting Center Services
Document #:  JFSR1617098088


Question:   Section 1.4, page 2: Can the state support SFTP (ftp over ssh) for secure data transmission?

Answer:   Yes. The state supports SFTP.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34327


Question:   Contact informatIon: George French. Stellarware Corporation. 781-986-1400. email: gfrench@stellarware.com Page 15. Section IV. 4.8. Minority Business Enterprise. Do minority business enterprises that are certified with the City of Columbus, Ohio (as opposed to being certified with the State of Ohio) meet the requirements as defined in this section of the RFP?

Answer:   No, a vendor must be certified by the State of Ohio through an on-line application process at the following web address: http://das.ohio.gov/Divisions/EqualOpportunity/MBEEDGEContractingOpportunityToolKit.aspx

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34325


Question:   Company Representative is George French. Stellarware Corporation. 781-986-1400. Email is GFrench@Stellarware.com. Can the State provide a copy of the RFP in MS Word format? RFP Number. What RFP number does the State want referenced throughout the Vendors response and labeled on the proposal and CDs? * The cover page and state procurement site list JFSR1617098088 * Section V. 5.1 has R1617098088 * C. Cost Proposal has R-1617-09-8088 Will the State explain how the evaluation committee is selected and the roles/functions of the committee members? Will the State provide a list of the vendors that submitted questions pertaining to this RFP? Will the State provide the number of wage assignments established from new hire reports for the State Fiscal Years of SFY2012, SYF2013, and SFY2014 as well as the amount of child support collected from those assignments? Page 24, 5.1 Proposal Submission Information identifies the proposal delivery address. However, Federal Express requires a point of contact and phone number for delivery. Can the State provide this information? Page 26, Attachment A, Section II clearly indicates the Standard Affirmation and Disclosure Form is required. However, no such form exists in the RFP. Can the State provide a copy? In the event the Vendor has questions regarding this form after the Q&A timeframe has elapsed, where can they expect to direct those questions? Page 33, Attachment A, Section I, 3a: How can a vendor determine if they have an existing OAKS ID#? Page 55-58, Attachment D: The "multiplied by annual volume" for SFY20 differs from the annual volumes for SFY16-SFY19. Please clarify if this is intentional.

Answer:   The State’s posting website will only permit us to post documents in PDF format. Any one of these numbering sequences would be accepted; the use or omission of the dashes and use of ‘JFSR’ or merely ‘R’ are inconsequential variations. The Proposal Review Team is made up of State employees (some county agency employees might be utilized on some projects) with program-related knowledge; they are selected by managers within the program office. The review team members are provided with copies of the proposals to read and consider independently prior to team meetings in which the team members discuss each proposal’s responses on each score sheet criterion, and by consensus, decide on the appropriate scores. The review team creates only one score sheet for each vendor proposal, and that score sheet records the scores that all team members agreed with in the consensus process. All questions, with identification of the submitter, and the ODJFS answers to the questions, are posted for all vendors to view by using the “View Q and A” button on the bid announcement. As stated in Section 5.2, C, the State’s best possible estimates at this writing on volumes of records, either generally or by record type, are presented in the RFP and on the Cost Proposal Form. Also, as stated in Section 1.7 on the Q&A process, vendors are to base their RFP responses, and the details and costs of their proposed projects, on the requirements and performance expectations established in this RFP for the future contract, not on details of any current or past related contract. Vendors are to recognize that the actual payment to the selected vendor will be for the actual number of electronic and non-electronic new hire reports processed under the contract. The ODJFS Office of Contracts and Acquisitions, RFP Unit, 30 E. Broad St., 31st Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215 - phone number 614/728-5693. Attachment A, Section II contains the Location of Business Form, which previously had been referred to as the Standard Affirmation and Disclosure Form. The title of the form was not updated consistently throughout the RFP, and we apologize for the confusion, but the required form is the Location of Business Form, and it is present in the RFP in Section II of Attachment A. If a contractor has previously performed work for Ohio State government, or is currently doing so, the contractor should have an OAKS Vendor ID number. For further clarification, vendors may check with Ohio Shared Services at: Ohio Shared Services Contact Center at 614.338.4781 or 1.877.OHIOSS1 (1.877.644.6771), or: http://ohiosharedservices.ohio.gov/Home.aspx All figures are uniform and this error has since been corrected.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34315


Question:   Section 3.1.11, page 12: Can the contractor replace U.S. mail notifications with email notifications, both for the quarterly wage matching and the informational mailings? section 3.1.2, page 9: Does the current contractor use secure FTP? If so, will information regarding the employers who currently report via FTP (names, contacts, email addresses and phone numbers) be transitioned to the new vendor? Section 4.8, page 15: Section 4.8 of the RFP strongly suggests the contractor subcontract 15% of the total contract price to a MBE vendor, but the sample contract requires 15% MBE. Please clarify if this is required, or just suggested. Section 3.1.2, page 8: Please provide the number of reports and electronic reporting rate for each year of the current contract term, broken down by employee and independent contractor status.

Answer:   Yes, the current contractor uses secure FTP. Yes, all employer contact information will be made available. The contract will reflect the RFP language strongly suggesting that the selected vendor, through competitive selection of certified Ohio MBE vendors, set-aside 15% of the contract award. It is not a requirement for this particular contract. As stated in Section 5.2, C, the State’s best possible estimates at this writing on volumes of records, either generally or by record type, are presented in the RFP and on the Cost Proposal Form. Vendors are reminded that they are to base their RFP responses, and the details and costs of their proposed projects, on the requirements and performance expectations established in this RFP for the future contract, NOT on details of any current or past related contract.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34296


Question:   section 3.1(9), page 11: What is the average number of 2nd letter notifications sent out to employers? Section 3.1(10), page 11: Please provide estimates for when ODJFS plans to implement compliance penalties, along with estimated numbers of letters and payments the contractor would process each month. Can ODJFS provide more detail on the planned process, specifically addressing MSE employers and employers who report new hires and quarterly wage using different FEINs? Section 3.1(10), pages 11 - 12: The reports listed below are related to financial fees. The number and name of employers who were sent notification of financial penalties - The employers who forwarded the fees, including the amount - The employers who challenged the fees - The number of employers found liable for the civil penalty of $500.00 (conspiracy penalty) and, - The amount of funds forwarded to ODJFS for the reporting quarter. If this option is not required will the reports still be required? How is conspiracy proven for employers purposely neglecting to report their newly hired employees? Section 3.1(13), page 12: Will the existing P.O. Box also be transferred to the bidder when phone and fax numbers are transferred? Does the State “own” the PO Box, or is the box paid for by the contractor? Section 4.8, page 15: Does 15% MBE apply to total contract bid or work billed at conclusion of contract? Section 5.1, page 20: Is there a preference on how ODJFS would like the document to be secured? “The entire vendor technical proposal should be converted into one single secure PDF document, if possible, saved to the technical proposal CD-ROM submitted to ODJFS?”

Answer:   Second letter notifications are rarely required. No decision has been made regarding this process. Ohio law allows for imposing financial sanctions for those employers that fail to report newly hired employees. Under the direction of OCS, the contractor may also be responsible for imposing these statutory sanctions pursuant to ORC 3121.8910. In the event that ODJFS decides to begin fining employers, the agency will create instructions that describe the manner in which payments may be made, and how and when the monies will be transmitted to ODJFS, and at that point, the task of tracking payments, sending payment notices and monitoring compliance will be the contractor’s responsibility. ODJFS would ask vendors to acknowledge this potential in their proposals, but no outline of how the vendor would perform the work is needed in vendor proposals, and cost proposals should not reflect this work. These reports would only be required if the State of Ohio decides to impose financial sanctions pursuant to ORC 3121.8910 for those employers that fail to report newly hired employees. In the event that ODJFS decides to begin fining employers, the agency will create instructions that describe the manner in which payments may be made, and how and when the monies will be transmitted to ODJFS, and at that point, the task of tracking payments, sending payment notices and monitoring and reporting on compliance will be the contractor’s responsibility. If at a later date these financial fees and penalties are imposed, a contract amendment will be initiated by OCS and negotiations will take place with the New Hire Reporting contractor for the additional work, including the corresponding reporting responsibilities. ODJFS would ask vendors to acknowledge this potential in their proposals, but no outline of how the vendor would perform the work is needed in vendor proposals, and cost proposals should not reflect this work. The contractor will be responsible for securing the PO Box. This applies to the total contract award(15%MBE). Section 5.1 discusses the appropriate proposal submissions. The vendor is to submit their entire proposal including their cost proposal on a non-writeable CD-ROM along with the required number of paper copies. Yes. Both U.S. mail notifications and email notifications are acceptable for both the quarterly wage matching and informational mailings.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34295


Question:   section 3.1(2), page 9: What is the average number or reports returned for missing or incomplete “length of time the independent contractor will be performing services for the employer”? Can correcting these records be done by mail/email?

Answer:   Very few documents are rejected as incomplete. For those few documents that might need corrections or completions, employers are immediately contacted as the contractor is keying the document. This helps resolve any issue immediately and negates the need to return documents to the employers.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34294


Question:   section 3.1.6, page 10: How many employers are registered to use the New Hire website?

Answer:   Approximately 150,000 employers are registered.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34293


Question:   section 3.1.2, page 8: Please provide record volumes per month for the period 2011 through 2014.

Answer:   As stated in Section 5.2, C, the State’s best possible estimates at this writing on volumes of records, either generally or by record type, are presented in the RFP and on the Cost Proposal Form. Also, as stated in Section 1.7 on the Q&A process, vendors are to base their RFP responses, and the details and costs of their proposed projects, on the requirements and performance expectations established in this RFP for the future contract, not on details of any current or past related contract. Vendors are to recognize that the actual payment to the selected vendor will be for the actual number of electronic and non-electronic new hire reports processed under the contract.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34292


Question:   section 3.3.12, page 12: This requirement states that “Upon the termination of the contract with ODJFS, the contractor will be required to return all electronic and/or hard copy records to ODJFS at the discretion of ODJFS.” Please confirm that this is only records within the six-month retention period.

Answer:   The appropriate records retention period for the contract is seven years’ retention for data and three years’ retention for reports. If any records are destroyed prior to the date as determined by the appropriate records retention schedule, contractor agrees to pay all costs associated with any cause, action or litigation arising from such destruction.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34291


Question:   section 3.3.11, page 12: Is the current contractor collecting employer email addresses? If so, for approximately how many employers do they currently have email addresses? Can the successful vendor email informational notices to employers for whom there are email addresses?

Answer:   Yes. The current contractor has an email address for the majority of the employers. Yes, informational notices may be emailed to employers.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34290


Question:   section 3.3.2, page 9: How many independent contractors are reported each month? How many of these records must be rejected due to incomplete data?

Answer:   Given the nature and the turnover of independent contracting, we are unable to give an accurate figure of how many are operating in Ohio. (On average, 3,148 independent contractors report each month.) As stated in Section 5.2, C, the State’s best possible estimates at this writing on volumes of records, either generally or by record type, are presented in the RFP and on the Cost Proposal Form. Vendors are reminded that they are to base their RFP responses, and the details and costs of their proposed projects, on the requirements and performance expectations established in this RFP for the future contract, NOT on details of any current or past related contract.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34289


Question:   (1) Whether companies from Outside USA can apply for this ?? (From India or Canada) (2) Whether we need to come over there for meetings ?? (3) Can we perform the tasks (related to RFP) outside USA ?? (From India or Canada) (4) Can we submit our proposals via email ?

Answer:   No. See Section 4.24 of the RFP, which is entitled Prohibition Against Services Performed Outside the United States. Ohio’s Executive Order 2011-12K prohibits state cabinet level agencies (e.g., ODJFS) from contracting for services provided from outside the U.S. The required Attachment A to this RFP addresses this, also. Refer also to Section 2.1.c. of the RFP stating the contractor’s proposed project operation must be physically located in central Ohio. If not currently located in central Ohio, contractors must provide concrete plans for establishing a location in central Ohio. Yes. Attendance for meetings would be a requirement. See also answer above. No. See answer above. No. See Section 5.1, Proposal Submission Information, which states that Faxes or e-mailed submissions will not be accepted.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34226


Question:   RFP section 3.3.1, page 13, requires an office in the central Ohio area. Will the State please define what it considers as the "central Ohio area"?

Answer:   The Central Ohio area would be defined as the area of Columbus, Ohio, which is located within Franklin County, as well as all neighboring counties.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34128


Question:   RFP 4.21, page 18, says proposal must state the location (city, county, state) where work will be performed. Attachment A, section II, asks for the same items plus a street address. Is naming the city, county, and state sufficient? May bidders propose more than one location and then select the final location upon contract award?

Answer:   Yes. The city, county and state are sufficient answers. RFP section 3.3.1, page 13, requires an office in the central Ohio area. Yes, bidders may propose more than one location IN THE CENTRAL OHIO AREA and select their final upon award of the contract.

Date: 3/20/2015

Inquiry: 34127


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Inquiry period ended:  3/13/2015 8:00:00 AM