Opportunity Detail

Questions and Answers

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and Electronic Payment Card (EPC) Systems RFP
Document #:  0A1296


Question:   Attachment Nine & RFP Pg. 32 - 33 says, "Cost Proposal (must be a separately sealed package). This RFP includes a Cost Proposal in Microsoft Word format. Offerors may not reformat the State’s Cost Proposal. Each offeror must complete the Cost Proposal in the exact format provided. The State may reject any Proposal with a reformatted Cost Proposal or that is not separately sealed. (See: Part Three: General Instructions, Proposal Submittal.) The Cost Proposal must not include exceptions, additional terms and conditions, or assumptions." Please provide instructions where bidders may include pricing for optional services or alternative pricing approaches that may be of benefit to the State?

Answer:   The Offeror must complete the Cost Summary as is with no changes.
The Offeror may include value added services in tab 19 of the proposal.

Date: 10/18/2021

Inquiry: 90451


Question:   Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.1 Card Conversion, page 81. For the Mass Card Replacement, will the PIN be carried over from the old card to the new card?

Answer:   Yes

Date: 10/18/2021

Inquiry: 90450


Question:   Supplemental 1, 4.8.12, Page 84. The requirement references , " The Contractor must maintain a minimum of 200,000 cards to be issued in the event of a health emergency". However, the states average quantity of cards needed for a pandemic in 2020 and 2021 was 751,575. It is correct that the vendor only needs to inventory 200,000?

Answer:   Yes

Date: 10/18/2021

Inquiry: 90449


Question:   Supplemental 1, 4.8.12, Page 84. Of the total pandemic cards issued in 2020 and 2021, how many were issued to new non-existing households and how many were issued to existing SNAP households?

Answer:   Approximately 40% of eligible children were matched and issued to active SNAP households. Remaining 60% were issued to non-existing households.

Date: 10/18/2021

Inquiry: 90448


Question:   Supplemental 1, 4.8.12, Page 84. The State’s current caseload is approximately 775,000 . With the 2020 pandemic issuance of 793,150 and the 2021 issuance of 710,000, did the State add over 700K pandemic cases to the existing 775K cases, hence, almost doubling the case load?

Answer:   Cards mailed in 2020 was for a one-time payment to non-SNAP households. New cards issued in 2021 were sent to students on school lunch program that were not active SNAP. Communication was provided in 2021 to retain pandemic cards as they would be used for future monthly issuances.

Date: 10/18/2021

Inquiry: 90447


Question:   Supplemental 1, 4.8.12, Page 84. Based on the total pandemic cards issued in 2020 ((793,150) and 2021 (710,000) averaging 751,575, should the bidder assume 750,000 new cards will need to be issued on an annual basis for the contract term, one pandemic per year for 10 years?

Answer:   The vendor should anticipate at least one or more pandemic events during the life of the contract.

Date: 10/18/2021

Inquiry: 90446


Question:   Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. For a pandemic event, is it correct for the bidder to assume the State will reissue cards, not use existing active cards?

Answer:   ODJFS wants the flexibility for either scenario, a decision will be made at the time the pandemic response begins. In 2020 and 2021, ODJFS did not issue new cards for pandemic benefits if the client was an existing SNAP recipient. ODJFS issued new cards for non-SNAP recipients only.

Date: 10/14/2021

Inquiry: 90407


Question:   Supplemental 1, 4.19, Page 134. Is the requirement for a mobile app to support SNAP and EPC cardholders required to be one combined application offering information on both programs or it acceptable to offer two mobile apps one for SNAP and one for EPC?

Answer:   The preference is one app but we are willing to negotiate during Contract negotiations.

Date: 10/14/2021

Inquiry: 90406


Question:   RFP Supplement 1, Section 2.6.3.1.e, Page 40. Please confirm all fulfillment items, like PIN mailers, envelopes, stickers, training materials (languages) etc., will be required for the replacement of 100% of the active cards.

Answer:   Yes.

Date: 10/8/2021

Inquiry: 89371


Question:   When is the final due date for you to receive bids?

Answer:   11/10/2021

Date: 10/8/2021

Inquiry: 90394


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. In the event the bidder is to include the cost of pandemic implementation into the proposed CPCM in the Cost Proposal, how many pandemic events should be included on an annual basis over the life of the contract? If the State prefers an annual price, please consider modifying the Cost Proposal, Attachment Nine, to include a separate table for annual Pandemic implementation and full service CPCM pricing.

Answer:   The Contractor should anticipate at least one pandemic event.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89370


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. How many PEBT cards were issued in 2021?

Answer:   Approximately 710,000.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89369


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. Is the State expecting to use only vault cards for pandemic or will there be some mailed issuance for the PEBT cards? If there maybe mailed issuance, what percentage would you anticipate of the 200,000 cards would be mailed issuance vs. vault OTC issuance?

Answer:   In the event of a pandemic, Ohio would expect pandemic cards to be mailed.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89368


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. Are the Pandemic cards to be of a special card stock or can they be white generic plastics as used in 2020 and 2021?

Answer:   Cards need to be standard EBT stock and distinguished as pandemic card with unique pandemic PAN.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89367


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. How many pieces of training materials per language will be required for the pandemic vault cards?

Answer:   Card mailing and training materials need to be sufficiently available in each of the languages listed for each primary card holder. Ohio’s most common languages are English, Spanish, Somali.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89366


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.8.12, Page 84. What is meant by "Separate Mailers"? Please confirm if this represents a card with a pin mailer, envelope and training materials?

Answer:   Pandemic cards should have specific card mailers and training material specific to pandemic cards.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89365


Question:   RFP Supplemental 1, Section 4.4.5, Page 74. The following statement can be interpreted in many different ways. " If the implementation of a required additional benefit would affect the Cost per Case Month (CPCM) cost, it would be negotiated into the CPCM cost with the assistance of FNS. Support Pandemic P-EBT for Natural Free and Reduced School Lunch programs to eligible students." Could you please verify if this statement means that the bidder should include the cost of future anticipated pandemic events in the proposed CPCM, as reflected in the chart for Active EBT Caseloads within Cost Proposal, Attachment Nine? Or does this statement mean that if there is a forthcoming pandemic, the bidder will negotiate the implementation and all supporting costs with the State and FNS at a that time?

Answer:   The Contractor should anticipate the continued operation of PEBT as well as the other programs in the CPCM. Future pandemic expenses that are not current anticipated would negotiated at a future time.

Date: 9/28/2021

Inquiry: 89364


Question:   Will the State extend the opening date by one month?

Answer:   The state has negotiated with FNS and has agreed to extend the inquiry end date and opening dates by one month.

Date: 9/22/2021

Inquiry: 89355


Question:   RFP Part One, Dates. As there are currently five State Requests for Proposal for similar services open at this time with due close extremely close to the due date of Ohios procurement, would the State consider adding at least a 30- or even 45-day extension to the published due date of October 8, 2021? Such an extension would be in Ohios best interest by allowing all bidders sufficient time to address Ohios requirements.

Answer:   The state has negotiated with FNS and has agreed to extend the inquiry end date and opening dates by one month.

Date: 9/22/2021

Inquiry: 89264


Question:   Attachment 8- Affirmation and Disclosure Form - RFP Language: The Contractor shall provide all the name(s) and location(s) where services under this Contract will be performed and where data is located in the spaces provided below or by attachment...Name/Principal location of business of subcontractor(s): QUESTION: On Attachment Eight Form for items 1 and 2 there are only 2 areas for subcontractors to be listed. Can the offeror modify this form to add additional lines for additional subcontractors?

Answer:   Yes.

Date: 9/21/2021

Inquiry: 89335


Question:   Attachment 8- Affirmation and Disclosure Form RFP Language: The Contractor shall provide all the name(s) and location(s) where services under this Contract will be performed and where data is located in the spaces provided below or by attachment.3.Location where state data will be located, by Contractor: QUESTION: For security reasons, we do not disclose the address of our Data Center operations to the public may we leave that off or just indicate the city/state of our operation?

Answer:   City and State is acceptable.

Date: 9/21/2021

Inquiry: 89334


Question:   Supplement 3: Is the PCI requirement inclusive of the contact centers?

Answer:   Please resubmit this inquiry with more details.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89205


Question:   Supplement 1, 3.1.3.5 (a): What action is to be taken related to the sixty (60) day warning indicator?

Answer:   This is an indicator on a report.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89194


Question:   Supplement 1, 3.1.3.5 (a): How many Replacement Card Notices are sent each month (to cardholders requesting 4th and subsequent cards)?

Answer:   Month\Year EBT Excessive card replacements issued
May-21 2,545
Jun-21 2,692
Jul-21 2,732
3 Month Average = 2,656

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89193


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.3.1 (h): This section includes various deliverables for both the EBT and EPC programs, including Data Conversion plans. Because a debit card BIN cannot be converted from one issuer to another, it is the industry practice for balances on EPC cards to be drawn down with the incumbent Issuer and a new account be established with the new Issuer that will accept the next benefit deposit once the program is live. This process also eliminates the need for a blackout period where the balance on the existing card couldnt be used in order to allow time for any outstanding transactions against the balance to be settled. Would the State please confirm what data is to be included in the EPC conversion?

Answer:   Demographic (name, primary address, mailing address, phone number, authorized rep, etc.), case number, recipient ID/payee, account balance, transactional history, account status. This is not an official inclusive list for conversion.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89182


Question:   RFP Reference: 4.8.3 Card Issuance (pg. 82) Card issuance for new cardholders is driven by appearance on the Ohio Benefits Account Maintenance File. The Contractor must assign an account, PAN, and issue an EBT card to the cardholder. The card must be encoded and embossed with the PAN and meet the requirements specified above. All cards must be issued to cardholders by mail. EBT cards are not to be forwarded. Mailers for EBT cards must be annotated “Do Not Forward, Return Service Requested.” Each EBT card mailed must include the following materials in English, English, Arabic, Hindi, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean, Burmese, Polish, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Chinese: Question: Can the State please provide EBT enrollment volumes by language required for 1. Arabic 2. Hindi 3. Croatian 4. Hungarian 5. Korean 6. Burmese 7. Polish 8. Russian 9. Somali 10. Spanish 11. Swahili 12. Ukrainian 13. Vietnamese 14. Chinese 15. English

Answer:   The available data is in the file "Supplement 1-4 18 data" on the details page for this solicitation on the procurement website.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89253


Question:   RFP Reference: 5.3.2 Card Issuance ( pg. 138) • e. All cards must be issued to cardholders by mail. EPC cards are not to be forwarded. Mailers for EPC cards must be annotated “Do Not Forward, Return Service Requested.” Each EPC card mailed must include the following materials in English, Arabic, Hindi, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean, Burmese, Polish, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Chinese: a) Card Mailer b) Instructional Brochure and c) Disclosure Statement. The Account Maintenance File will include an indicator to determine the language of the card mailer materials. The English and Spanish card materials can be combined into one document with the languages separated on front/back of the card mailer materials. Question: Can the State please provide EPC enrollment volumes by language required for 1. Arabic 2. Hindi 3. Croatian 4. Hungarian 5. Korean 6. Burmese 7. Polish 8. Russian 9. Somali 10. Spanish 11. Swahili 12. Ukrainian 13. Vietnamese 14. Chinese 15. English

Answer:   The available data is in the file "Supplement 1-4 18 data" on the details page for this solicitation on the procurement website.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89251


Question:   RFP Reference: 5.9.1 Cardholder Customer Service (pg155, document page 287) 4.18.2 (e) (pg XX) and 4.18.5(d) (pg xx) o) Identity Protection There must be clearly worded information warning cardholders about identity theft and phishing scams, both at log on and at log off. Recommendations for protecting identity and documents must also be provided, as well as information on how to report any suspected identity theft or misuse of the EPC card 4.18.2 Cardholder Web Portal The Contractor must provide EBT cardholders a web portal to access their EBT accounts. The web portal must be secured and provide 24-hour access, 365 days a year. The web portal must include a website hit counter to track usage of the site. If the web portal serves several states, a method must be provided for the cardholder to ensure they enter the account for the correct State (dropdown list or icon) e) Identity Protection There must be clearly worded information warning cardholders about identity theft and phishing scams, both at log on and at log off. Recommendations for protecting identity and documents must also be provided, as well as information on how to report any suspected identity theft or misuse of the EBT card 4.18.5 Retailer Web Portal The Contractor must provide the Ohio EBT-only retailers a web portal to access their EBT accounts. The web portal must be secured and provide 24-hour access, 365 days a year. The web portal must include a website hit counter to track usage of the site. The web portal must include a method for the merchant to ask questions and receive answers. If the web portal serves several states, a method must be provided for the retailer to ensure they enter the account for the correct State (dropdown list or icon). d) Identity Protection There must be clearly worded information warning retailers about identity theft and phishing scams, both at log on and at log off. Recommendations for protecting identity and documents must also be provided, as well as information on how to report any suspected identity theft or misuse of an EBT card. Question: For both EPC and EBT, we respectfully request the requirement to post before and after log in to the portal be removed as access to the site is a public URL. Due to the likelihood of end users having pop-up blocker functionality enabled on their browsers, would the State accept other means of providing this information.

Answer:   Requirements in the RFP will not be changed however, the State will discuss and consider during negotiations additional and alternative security features for the URL. Keep in mind that these requirements can not be changed and the State reserves the ultimate decision.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89254


Question:   RFP Reference: 5.2.3 EPC Systems Processing (pg. 137) • The Contractor sends an EPC card, known as the Ohio EPPICard™, to the recipient for new EPC accounts. Upon receipt of the card, the cardholder is required to contact the IVR to select a PIN. At that point the cardholder can shop at any FNS certified retailer/merchant location. All replacement cards (lost, stolen, and damaged) must be initiated by the customer by calling the IVR. Question: We respectfully request the State to remove ‘. At that point the cardholder can shop at any FNS certified retailer/merchant location’ as this is not applicable to the branded debit card. EPC cards can be used at any merchant location that accepts MasterCard.

Answer:   Requirements in the RFP will not be changed.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89250


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.16.7 (b): The last sentence of this requirement simply says "Should." Please provide the missing requirement language.

Answer:   Should discrepancies be discovered the contractor must respond to requests from ODJFS or USDA-FNS and assist in prompt research and resolution of the discrepancies.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89203


Question:   Supplement 11, EBT Card Production and Replacement Statistics: Please confirm if Supplement 11, EBT Card Production and Replacement Statistics, includes Pandemic and or Disaster cards? If so, can you please separate the card volumes by program: SNAP, Pandemic (P-EBT) and Disaster. Please see new card issuance volumes for May and September of 2020 as a reference to this question.

Answer:   Yes, the data includes new SNAP cards, Pandemic and Disaster.
May 2020:
Pandemic cards: 498,931
September 2020:
Pandemic cards: 294,219

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89208


Question:   RFP Reference: Supplement 1 (pg 158) The offeror must provide a detailed staffing plan as tab 21 of the Proposal. The staffing plan must include resumes of the key staff identified above. Question: Attachment 3, page 29 lists the staffing plan as tab 20. Please confirm tab 20 is correct.

Answer:   Tab 20 is correct.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89248


Question:   RFP Reference: Supplement 1 (pg 63) The offeror must include a detailed Project Plan as tab 22 of the Proposal. The Project Plan must include the schedule for all activities and deliverables. Question: At the end of Supplement 1, Section 2.10 the RFP text refers to the project plan as Tab 22 but in Attachment 3, page 29 it lists is as tab 21. Please confirm tab 21 is correct.

Answer:   Tab 21 is correct

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89247


Question:   RFP Reference: Supplement 3 (pg. 6) 1.1 The Offeror’s Responsibilities The offeror’s responsibilities with respect to security services include the following, where applicable: …… Question: Unlike other sections, there is no response area for the section of the Offeror’s responsibilities. Please confirm this is correct.

Answer:   That is correct.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89249


Question:   RFP Reference: Part Three General Instructions (pg 9) The package with the technical section of the Proposal must be sealed and contain one (1) originally signed technical section and ten (10) additional copies of the technical section, and the package with the cost section also must be sealed and contain three (3) complete copies of the cost section of the Proposal. Question: The process of printing/compiling printed proposals is a hands-on process that requires multiple persons in close proximity no way to social distance. In the interest of both sustainability and preventing spread of illnesses, please consider a change of delivery requirements from hard copy to an all-electronic submission, preferably via email or Portal upload. If not possible, we recommend 1 original in print with multiple USBs.

Answer:   At this point, the State does not accept electronic submissions for this solicitation.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89245


Question:   RPF Reference: Attachment Three: Requirements for Proposals (pg 28) The offeror’s proposal submission must be submitted using the Microsoft Word version of the RFP to provide responses to the RFP. An identifiable tab sheet must precede each section of a Proposal, and each Proposal must follow the format outlined below. All pages, except pre printed technical inserts, must be sequentially numbered. Question: Can Bidders number the pages by major section (i.e., A-1, B-1)?

Answer:   Offerors should make efforts to sequentially number all pages for ease of reference by evaluators.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89244


Question:   RFP Reference: Attachment Three: Requirements for Proposal (pg28) The offeror’s proposal submission must be submitted using the Microsoft Word version of the RFP to provide responses to the RFP. An identifiable tab sheet must precede each section of a Proposal, and each Proposal must follow the format outlined below. All pages, except pre printed technical inserts, must be sequentially numbered. Question: Can Bidders exclude each of the following from the sequential numbering requirement: a) signed forms b) attachments c) tables of contents d) tabs

Answer:   Offerors should make efforts to sequentially number all pages for ease of reference by evaluators.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89243


Question:   RFP Reference: Attachment Three: Requirement for Proposal (pg 28) To aid Offerors in the creation of the most favorable depiction of their responses, alternative formats are acceptable that use typefaces, styles or shaded backgrounds, so long as the use of these formats are consistent (font size 10) throughout the Offeror’s response and readily distinguishable from the baseline RFP. Question: The RFP requires Bidders to respond using 10-point font. May Bidders use a smaller, still readable font for each of the following: a) headers and footers b) requirement text c) exhibits/figures/graphics d) tables

Answer:   The use of smaller fonts is acceptable for a. and c.
b. and d. should follow the requirements.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89242


Question:   Attachment 3 Requirements for Proposals (pg 28) The State will electronically compare Offeror responses to the baseline RFP and deviations or alterations to the State’s RFP requirements may result in a rejection of the Offeror’s Proposal. Question: How do we mark P&C in the Supplement 1-3? May we add “Confidential and proprietary” to the footer of P&C pages in the Supplements? Can we alter the page layout from portrait to landscape in Supplement pages?

Answer:   Due to the State's Freedom of information requirements, the use of “Confidential and Proprietary” is very limited in scope. Specific information that the offeror determines is protected should be clearly marked as such. Placing “Confidential and Proprietary” in the footer of Supplements would not be acceptable.
Supplements should not be reformatted.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89241


Question:   RFP Part Five, Attachment 1, Scored Criteria: Please clarify the criteria for an Offeror to obtain an Exceeds score.

Answer:   In general, if an offeror provides information that shows that the offeror is providing something more than the minimum requirement.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89178


Question:   Attachment Nine, Cost Proposal: Please provide the current CPCM for SNAP cases for all tiers under the current contract?

Answer:   See the file "Current Fee Structure" on the details page for this solicitation on the procurement website.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89214


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.18: Please provide monthly volume by language for each of the 15 required language for the following: - Card mailers - Cardholder training brochures - Cardholder wallet cards - Cardholder IVR calls per month - Retailer IVR calls per month - Cardholder CSR calls per month - Retailer CSR calls per month - Video

Answer:   See the file "Supplement 1-4 18 data" on the details page for this solicitation on the procurement website.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89175


Question:   Attachment Nine, Cost Proposal: Please provide the current EPC cardholder fee schedule.

Answer:   There are no fees for EPC.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89215


Question:   Attachment Nine, Cost Proposal: If the Wireless EBT-Only POS devices are to be included in the CPCM, please confirm if the data wireless service is to be included and for what period of time (i.e., seasonal, 12 months, etc.).

Answer:   The CPCM does not include the cost for POS devices.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89213


Question:   Attachment Nine, Cost Proposal: Please confirm if the cost for exempt wireless EBT-only POS devices are to be included in the CPCM?

Answer:   The CPCM does not include the cost for POS devices.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89212


Question:   Attachment Nine, Cost Proposal: Please confirm if the cost for exempt EBT-only POS devices are to be included in the CPCM?

Answer:   The CPCM does not include the cost for POS devices.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89211


Question:   Supplement 14, SLAs: When does the State audit period end as it relates to the EBT Audit Reports?

Answer:   The state audit period includes the previous state fiscal year.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89210


Question:   Supplement 14, SLAs: Would the State consider a maximum monthly cap that would cover all deficiencies rather than imposing up to a 10% reduction of the next scheduled payment for 20 separate performance standards?

Answer:   The State does not negotiate during the inquiry process. The offeror may place recommendations via redlines in the Supplement.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89209


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.18.3: Please provide an average number of retailer calls by each of the required 15 languages needing translation assistance.

Answer:   Currently only English and Spanish are offered. Snap for the month of June 2021:
English: 89
Spanish: 7

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89206


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.18.1 (d): What is the average monthly volume of cardholder calls that transfer out of the IVR for a replacement card and address update? Please provide a breakout of these calls per language.

Answer:   At this time, data is only available for English and Spanish.
For the month of June 2021:
Total calls handled by the IVR: 5,025,004
Opted out of IVR: .55%
Calls offered to a CSR:
English: 22,684
Spanish: 525

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89204


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.12: How will the Contractor know which contract to send to the exempt retailer (English, Spanish or Somali)?

Answer:   The welcome letter could be sent to retailers requesting which version of the contract they would like to receive: English, Spanish, Somali.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89202


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.12: How many retailers require Somali and Spanish language contracts?

Answer:   Data is not available however, Spanish and Somali are the second and third most spoken languages in Ohio.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89201


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.9.1 (j): How many users would be authorized to access this query/report?

Answer:   Approximately 10 users.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89200


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.9.1 (j): Is the query/report required to be customizable by user?

Answer:   This report should be in a standard, consistent format and that allows state staff the ability to export and sort the data.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89199


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.9 (a):Does the State currently use single-sign on with current vendor? If yes, are there multiple user profiles defined for user authorization to limit access for users?

Answer:   No.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89198


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.7.5 (c ): What percentage of calls are calls requesting password assistance?

Answer:   This data is not available.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89197


Question:   Supplement 1, 4.3.1 (c ): Due to the risk of fraud, will the State consider removing the requirement for CSRs to accept address updates from cardholders?

Answer:   No, CSR’s should be prepared to accept and process address updates from cardholders upon proper verified authentication.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89196


Question:   Supplement 1, 3.1.3.5 (a): Does the State expect a 274-day warning indicator to be in compliance with the new FNS regulations for expungement?

Answer:   Yes, expungement requirements must be compliant with federal regulations and are outlined in 4.7.4 .

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89195


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.10.5.a: This section references instructor-led training, but the RFP also requires Train-the-Trainer services to be provided. Please clarify the method by which ODJFS and CDJFS staff can be trained.

Answer:   All trainings will be instructor led regardless of the audience and in-person or virtual format.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89192


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.10.5: Training at regional locations is required by the State. Are these staff currently working in offices or are they working remotely due to the ongoing pandemic?

Answer:   The State of Ohio and eighty-eight county departments of job and family services are currently working at home, hybrid or in the office.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89191


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.10.1: Will the State allow the required staff training to be conducted via webinar?

Answer:   This would be negotiated based on the then current public health orders in Ohio.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89190


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6.3.2: Out of the total authorized Direct Marketing Farmers , how many wireless EBT-only devices are required?

Answer:   In 2021, Ohio has approximately 80 participating Farmer’s Markets registered in the annual directory. The number of specific devices is not available.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89189


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6.3.2: Out of the total authorized Farmers Markets, how many wireless EBT-only devices are required?

Answer:   In 2021, Ohio has approximately 80 participating Farmer’s Markets registered in the annual directory. The number of specific devices is not available.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89188


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6.3.2: Please confirm the number of EBT-Only POS systems to be provided to the exempt retailers. There is a reference to 5,444 total EBT-Only terminals, how many of these align to exempt retailers only?

Answer:   Data for exempt-only retailers is not available, see Supplement 9.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89187


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6.3.2: Of the 1,736 EBT-only retailers, how many are exempt retailers?

Answer:   This data is available in the RFP, page 41. As of September 2020, there were 177 exempt retailers.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89186


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6.1 (d): Deliverable 15 references a Settlement and Reconciliation Procedures Manual for EBT and EFT. However requirement 2.4 (o) references the Settlement and Reconciliation Procedures Manual applies to EBT only. Could the State modify this requirement to clarify this manual is only applicable to the EBT program?

Answer:   The Settlement and Reconciliation Procedure Manual applies to both EBT and EPC.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89185


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6: The State requires a detailed Transition Plan to be provided 12 months prior to execution. Given the State has defined a 12-month transition phase, this plan would be due upon award. Will the State modify this requirement to state the Transition Plan is due 30 days following contract execution to allow time for the kick-off meeting and necessary JAD sessions?

Answer:   The transition must begin August 15, 2022, no shorter than 12 months without USDA-FNS approval.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89184


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.3.1 (m): Please confirm that administrative materials are only required to be provided in English.

Answer:   Yes. The RFP provides guidance on languages required for different documents and communication outward facing to the recipient. ODJFS would expect administrative materials between the vendor and ODJFS to be in English.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89183


Question:   Supplement 1, 1.5.b: This section indicates the State wishes to have the option to combine the SNAP Programs and/other ODJFS programs on the current co-branded debit card or a separate co-branded card. Does "co-branded" here mean a card that would comply with both Question as well as association (Visa or MasterCard) rules? If not, please provide the states expectation of a "co-branded" card.

Answer:   Dependent on the type of cash benefit being added to the card, compliance regulations would need to be met. ODJFS doesn’t anticipate that SNAP would be included.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89181


Question:   Supplement 1, 1.5: Are all cash program benefit placed on a debit card? Or do cardholders have a choice to place cash benefits on their EBT card, receive via ACH or on a debit card? If cardholders has options, please share how many cards hold SNAP, how many ACH and how many debit cards?

Answer:   Currently, cash benefits are issued on EPC cards. There is no option for the cardholder to add cash benefits to their EBT card.

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89180


Question:   Supplement 1, 1.5. c: If the State has the right to use a third party, should the CPCM not include training materials?

Answer:   Yes

Date: 8/25/2021

Inquiry: 89179


Question:   Supplement 1, 2.6.3.1 (e): Only the incumbent could efficiently conduct a mass conversion of cards no later than 15 calendar days (or any time period) prior to the database conversion. Conducting a card conversion means, among other things, that: - The incumbent would have to provide a block of card numbers to the new processor because the new processor wouldn’t have access to tie the new card number to the recipient’s account in the incumbent’s system. - While the new processor is conducting the mass conversion, a recipient with a lost card will contact the incumbent for a replacement cards causing recipient confusion (as they would receive a replacement card from the incumbent and a new card from the new processor). - The converted cards couldnt be used until the database conversion were complete because the converted card number would not be tied to the recipient’s active account maintained in the incumbent’s system. A significant number of newly converted cards will likely be lost by the recipients if they have the new card weeks or more before it can finally be used once their active account is converted to the new processor’s system. - Call volume for the State and the incumbent will increase due to the confusion caused by recipients having 2 cards in their possession. Will the State allow the mass card conversion to be conducted following the database conversion?

Answer:   This requirement has been put in based on a previous failure by an EBT/EPC vendor. This provision was put in place to protect the State of Ohio and its clients in case of technology failure or other issues that come up during conversion. If cutover cannot occur on time or seamlessly, Ohio needs a solution to protect and provide services to clients. When data conversion failed, cards were not issued. Without cards, clients were unable to use or receive benefits. ODJFS is not reconsidering this requirement but during contract negotiations the State may consider solutions that provide a similar level of protection to the State and its clients.

Date: 8/23/2021

Inquiry: 89174


Question:   Regarding the Ohio Works First Cash Assistance, Ohio Works First Work Allowance, and Refugee Cash Assistance EPC programs, could the State please advise on the number of cards receiving funding (by month) in 2019, 2020 and through July 2021, along with the total dollar amount loaded per program?  Please break down the response by individual programs (i.e. Ohio Works First Cash Assistance, Ohio Works First Work Allowance, etc.).  See example of information we are requesting below.  Ohio Works First Cash Assistance: January 2019 # of Active EPC receiving funding Total $ amount loaded per EPC February 2019 # of Active EPC receiving funding Total $ amount loaded per EPC March 2019 # of Active EPC receiving funding Total $ amount loaded per EPC (etc. through July 2021) Ohio Works First Work Allowance January 2019 # of Active EPC receiving funding Total $ amount loaded per EPC February 2019 # of Active EPC receiving funding Total $ amount loaded per EPC March 2019 # of Active EPC receiving funding Total $ amount loaded per EPC (etc. through July 2021)

Answer:   See the TANF EPC spreadsheet that was added to the details page for this solicitation on the State of Ohio procurement website.

Date: 8/20/2021

Inquiry: 89147


Question:   Do the EPC programs have any restrictions or merchant category code (MCC) blocks that restrict the cards from being used at certain merchant locations?

Answer:   Ohio EBT staff monitor the EPPIC report of all Point of Sale (POS) transactions at any location with an MCC code of 5921 (Package Stores-Beer, Wine, and Liquor) or 7995 (Betting/Casino Gambling). We also complete research of the locations identified by MCC code 6011 (Financial Institutions- Manual Cash Disbursements) and submit this list to the vendor for manual blocking, if appropriate. Codes 5921 and 7995 are automatically blocked, 6011 codes are researched for manual blocking.

Date: 8/20/2021

Inquiry: 89146


Question:   RFP Part Five, Attachment Four, Part Four, Limitation of Liability: Would the State consider a letter of credit or performance bond in place of the stated limitation of liability?

Answer:   The State does not negotiate during the inquiry process. The offeror may place recommendations via redlines in the Attachment.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89173


Question:   RFP Part Five, Attachment Four, Part Four, Limitation of Liability: Will the State negotiate a cap to the Limitation of Liability with the intended Awardee for the following? (i) any obligation of the Contractor to indemnify the State against claims made against it (ii) (ii) disclosure/breach of State Data including personally identifiable information or State sensitive information, (iii) or for (iii) damages to the State caused by the Contractor’s negligence or other tortious conduct."

Answer:   The State does not negotiate during the inquiry process. The offeror may place recommendations via redlines in the Attachment.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89172


Question:   "RFP Part Five, Attachment Four, Part Four, Limitation of Liability: This section states that neither party will be liable to the other for direct or other damages in excess of $100,000,000, and further that the limitation does not apply to several situations. Will the State negotiate this $100M clause with the intended Awardee?

Answer:   The State does not negotiate during the inquiry process. The offeror may place recommendations via redlines in the Attachment.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89171


Question:   RFP Part Five, Attachment Three, # 15: This section states that Federal clauses are non-negotiable. Where in their proposals are Offerors to identify other provisions they wish to negotiate within Special Provisions and Supplement 14 for SLAs and Damages?

Answer:   The State does not negotiate during the inquiry process. The offeror may place recommendations via redlines in the Attachment.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89170


Question:   RFP Part Three: Where in their proposals should Offerors include recommended modifications to terms and conditions?

Answer:   The State does not negotiate during the inquiry process. The offeror may place recommendations via redlines in the Attachment.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89169


Question:   RFP Part One, RFP Process: If the initial contract term ends upon conversion to the new EBT processor, and there is no implementation cost allowed in the pricing tables, please clarify the reference to "and the Contractor is paid".

Answer:   This is standard Contract language. In this case there is no payment prior to go-live.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89168


Question:   RFP Part One, RFP Process: Could the State please clarify if the initial contract term will only be for 12 months, which is from the award date of July 2022 to the successful conversion to the new EBT processor anticipated to be on July 1, 2023?

Answer:   The initial term of the Contract includes the transition period and two years of production services through June 30, 2025.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89167


Question:   RFP Part One, RFP Process: The third paragraph of this section states that the term of the contract will be from the award date until the project is completed to the States satisfaction and the Contractor is paid or June 30, 2025, whichever is sooner. Please confirm the State will complete negotiations and obtain FNS approval prior to the award date?

Answer:   Yes, the State will complete negotiations and FNS approval prior to award.

Date: 8/19/2021

Inquiry: 89166


Question:   Is the EPC a new requirement? If not, who is the current vendor and was it procured alongside the EBT solution previously?

Answer:   No, the State has had the EPC card for many years. Conduent is the current provider of the EPC card.

Date: 7/20/2021

Inquiry: 88007


Question:   1. What is the estimated funding source, or budget for this project?
2. Has funding been secured, or is that expected to take place at a later date?

Answer:   1. The funding is a mixture of federal and state funding. Part of the funding is from the TANF block grant and that will solely fund the EPC portion. EBT will be funded based on a approved budget and IAP to USDA- FNS. Funding for EBT is 50% federal and 50% state. Funding appropriation is determined by the state budget. A dollar amount is available in funding and appropriation by State Fiscal Year.
2. This RFP has been authorized and funding will be available. The EBT program will be funded. Per fiscal year appropriation is dependent on state budgets.

Date: 7/13/2021

Inquiry: 87920


Question:   Who is the incumbent for this RFP?
What is the percentage of MBE participation for this current RFP?

Answer:   Conduent State & Local Solutions, Inc
This is a federal FNS governed Contract. MBE-aside is not permitted.

Date: 7/12/2021

Inquiry: 87913


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Inquiry period ended:  10/18/2021 8:00:00 AM