MiCTA TISA 2013 RFP Questions and Concerns

This is a continually updated list of questions and concerns about the TISA 2013 RPF process and responses. If your question is not posted on this list, please send your question(s) to rfp@mictatech.org.

Q: The RFP states that vendors are warned against changing the formatting, etc. of the document.  We typically utilize our own template and styles for proposal responses.  I wanted to find out if there are macros or Meta tags in the word document you’ve provided that might be affected, or if the intent is to ensure a consistent response that aligns with the format (numbering, etc.) requested.

A: Regarding formatting, the intent is to ensure a consistent response that aligns with the format (numbering, etc.) requested. Vendors can receive a lower score if readers have to hunt for a response, or miss it because of a format issue

Q: Will any questions be answered prior to the posted 2/21 response date? Can answers be provided as questions arise and you’re able to address them?

A: The intent is to ensure a consistent response that aligns with the format (numbering, etc.) Regarding the time to respond to questions, we posted the RFP earlier than usual to give vendors adequate time to send questions. We urge vendors to ask early and not wait until the week before the proposal is due. All Q&A will be posted to a FAQ (without noting the source of a question), weekly, as they come in.

Q: There is the “Intent to Respond” form as part of the RFP and on the MiCTA website there are two additional “Intent to Respond” for Priority 1 and 2. Do responders to the RFP need to complete all three forms?

A: Yes, the two ITR’s for Priority 1 & 2 that appear on the MiCTA web site are for the Federal E-Rate Program process which MiCTA must adhere to as part of the agreed upon procedure with the FCC. The other ITR which appears in the TISA RFP is for MiCTA’s Internal RFP process.

Q: If the proposed MICTA seller Portal is inoperative, or malfunctions, is there a means otherwise to deliver our sales results, or would MICTA simply wait until the Portal is operable?

A: If the portal is not operating, standard spreadsheet reports will be accepted.

Q: Can we see a copy of the Sample Report referred to by D.2 of the RFP?

A: A copy of the Sample Report is available upon request. 

Q: Could you please clarify your expectation of access pricing delivered in the RFP and if an ICB response for the access portion would be acceptable? (RFP Sections 5.1.4, 7.3.4, and Section 7 - IP Services)

A: ICB pricing is allowable, but the explanation of why ICB is used should be included in the response. Also, if any standard discount for access is possible for MiCTA members that would be helpful.

Q: Are there any specific pricing sheets or workbooks needed for the RFP that are required by MiCTA?

A: The only pricing sheets provided by MiCTA are for the Schedules for Section 5of the RFP. For all other parts of the RFP, you are to use your own pricing sheets. 

Q: Who is eligible for MiCTA Membership?

A: In order to be eligible for MiCTA membership the organization must be…

·        A not-for-profit

·        State Funded School

·        Government Entity (State, County, City)

·        Or designated as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) with the IRS

Q:Where are Sections 1.23 and 1.24 located within “Section 1 – Introduction”? Can we assume that there is no content and therefore is not included with the RFP?

A: Sections 1.23 and 1.24 are not included in the RFP due to a simple numbering error. There is no content and is not included in the RFP

Q:Do all customer references have to be participating members of a competing consortium?

A:No, customer references do not have to come from members of a competing consortium. We will accept general customer references.

Q: In the third paragraph, it references "Attachment C - Sample of the Member Participation Agreement," however, we're only able to locate "Appendix C - Sample Member Participation Agreement" at the end of the RFP. Is Appendix C the same as Attachment C mentioned in Section 1.2?

A:Appendix C is the same as the referenced Attachment C. Please note that this is a “sample” Master Service Agreement included within the RFP document.

Q: Would non-compliance to certain sections of the RFP disqualify us or significantly reduce our chances of being included on the MiCTA contract?

A:Master Service Agreements are negotiated after a recommendation for a contract award is made by the evaluation committee. Recommendations are made based on the total points awarded by the committee. Points are deducted if a vendor does not agree to the terms and conditions stated in the RFP.

The "sample" Master Service Agreement is intended to let the vendor know what to anticipate in the contract negotiations.

Q: Will we be provided location information required to determine access, availability and IXC cost?

A: MiCTA is a group purchasing organization and we negotiate pricing for our members, but we do not purchase services for them directly.  Our members come from all 50 states, and it would be impossible for us to provide station numbers/location information/point-to-point information for the private line circuits described in Schedule 5.

Q: We require that ADSL locations have full address and telephone number to determine availability.

A: With regard to ADSL/MPLS service availability, the RFP does ask respondents to provide information regarding the geographic limitations on its services, and the availability of service would be one of the first questions a member would ask. It is understood in the context of your response that any pricing a vendor offers applies only to those areas in which a service is actually available at the time a member seeks to place an order.

Q: How should we indicate where a MiCTA Member will identify itself as being eligible for pricing under the MiCTA program if it's not within the New Account Application Form?

A: All MiCTA members receive a member ID upon joining and are in our internal records. That number is to be used with the New Account Application. Also, non MiCTA members are to be registered with MiCTA at the time the sale is made.

Q:For the "Revenue as Percent of Sales" section, our organization reports Annual Net Sales Revenue, not gross - will this satisfy the requirements of this section?

A:Yes, we will accept Annual Net Sales Revenue. However, we ask that you note in your response that your response is “net” rather than “gross”

Q:We would like clarification why "Vendor's form 10-K is not an acceptable substitute for the requested financial reports"? Please clarify your request is for the last three years (i.e. 2012, 2011, 2010).

A:We will accept the vendor form 10-k but we do prefer the last three years of audited financial reports as stated in the RFP.

Q:For the "Security and Exchange Commission Certification Reports" request, can you please explain exactly which years of the report you are requesting? Please clarify your request is for the last three years (i.e. 2012, 2011, 2010).

A:Yes, our request is for the SEC Certification from the last three years, which would be 2010, 2011 and 2012. The years requested in the RFP are a typo, our mistake.

Q:Our Organization’s preference is to limit services in US domestic only; would MiCTA consider this compliant for the purposes of this response?

A:Yes, US domestic only is acceptable.

Q:Please define what is included or expected within your term "equipment setup services” in Section 4.11.6 in the RFP.

A:“Equipment Setup Services” are in reference to delivery, installation and testing. If you do not provide the services yourself, please identify who is responsible for such services (i.e. third party provider).

Q:In the RFP the Sales/Commission Reports details states “must minimally, for each Member taking service include the customer name, contact name/number, city, state, estimated volume, estimated commission, estimated cost savings, and estimated delivery date.”

A:All that is necessary is what we have included in the Sample Sales Report. We will not require anything more from your organization.

Q:For the "Company minority status" portion within Section 14, can we get more clarification around the plan being "certified by a state or federal division of civil rights," as it associates to the Affirmative Action Plan?

A:Some states require that a vendor file an Affirmative Action plan with it, another state or the federal government before a vendor can do business with that state or any of its political subdivisions. If the respondent has an Affirmative Action Plan, we request that the respondent identify the state(s) that have certified the plan, or that the plan has been certified by the Federal government. Not all respondents will have an Affirmative Action plan on file. Please indicated if your organization has one or not.

Q:Can you please provide a link and/or additional details and requirements of MiCTA's online ordering system as referenced in section 4.3.1?

A:Some vendors provide the ability for MiCTA members to order products and/or services online, but MiCTA does not require vendors to make online ordering available. We are simply asking if the vendor will provide this capability to MiCTA members.

Q:Can you please confirm that the "fee" mentioned in section 1.4 is the same as "commissions" mentioned in Attachment D?

A:Yes, it is the same.

Q:For the "Research and Development" section, for "Total R&D Staff as of December 31, 2009" were you looking for the total R&D Staff of 2013 instead? Or did you want us to provide the total number of staff for only 2009?

A:The question should have requested the total R&D Staff as of December 31, 2012. (This RFP was issued prior to the end of 2013.) However, if it is easier, you may include the total number of R&D staff as of 2013. If you choose to report your 2013 R&D staffing level, please indicate that the staffing level refers to 2013.

Q:We are not bidding on certain service sections of the RFP.  Once we state in our response that we are not bidding on a section, can we eliminate the questions of that section (so long as we do not alter the numbering of the document)?


Q:In the electronic version of the proposal, may we submit multiple files?  Or should all supporting files be in the same document as the main RFP response?  Do you want just one document to review?

A: We prefer one document but will accept multiple files.

Q:While we recognize that MiCTA did grant a lot of time to respond, it would be very helpful to our team to have two additional weeks for final review. May we request an extension?

A:Due to the volume of responses and issues of equality, we cannot grant an extension.

Q:Can you please clarify whether the fee payable on a product or service ordered is one time or a recurring monthly fee?

A:The fee payable is a recurring administrative fee based on when the vendor bills the customer.

Q:What is meant by Private 9-1-1 Emergency Answering Point?

A: Private 9-1-1 Emergency Answering Point” - An authorized answering point operated by non-public safety entities with functional alternative and adequate means of signaling and directing response to emergencies. Includes training to individuals intercepting calls for assistance that is in accordance with applicable local emergency telecommunications requirements. Private 9-1-1 Emergency Answering Points are an adjunct to public safety response and as such must provide incident reporting to the public safety emergency response centers in accordance with state or local requirements.

Q: Could you provide any information on what the process is to become an “associate member” and if there are any fee’s associated with that membership? This requirement is referenced in the MSA 1.4.2?

A: MiCTA Associate membership is automatic, after a Master Service Agreement (MSA) has been signed. The membership fee has been $500.00/year, but not assessed until after the vendor has made sales to MiCTA members. MiCTA may also choose to postpone the fee, or waive it entirely, based on vendor performance. It would be a negotiable item at the time of MSA discussions.