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Finding, Bidding and Winning Government Contracts Welcome to FISPALIVE Atlanta 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding, Bidding and Winning Government Contracts Welcome to FISPALIVE Atlanta 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding, Bidding and Winning Government Contracts Welcome to FISPALIVE Atlanta 2014

2  Today you are going to get a lot of information.  Some of it will stick, some of it will not.  Your handout contains all the information we are going to cover.  Use it and refer back to it as you go after Government RFPs. 2 Finding, Bidding and Winning Government Contracts

3 Contents Why should you go after Government Contracts? There are Millions of Dollars being spent This may keeps your business alive The paper work may keep competitors out Somebody’s going to get it, shouldn’t it be you? 3

4  Funding Year USAC will release FY2013 Wave 54 FCDLs on June 12, This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 requests at all discount levels. As of June 6, FY2013 commitments total over $2.07 billion. Service Provider Forum 2013

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6 2000 L Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC Phone: (202) Fax: (202) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 8, 2014 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will release wave one of funding commitment decision letters (FCDLs) to Funding Year 2014 (FY 2014) school and library applicants on May 15, USAC will send over 14,600 letters committing over $607 million in universal service support. (That is $41, average per commitment.) (That’s 292 average commitments per State) AC provides support for high cost companies in rural areas, eligible consumers, rural health care providers, schools, and libraries. For more information, please visit: Contact: Eric Iversen, Director External Relations (202)

7 Service Provider Forum /8/2014– USAC Issues First Funding Wave for FY2014 On Thursday, May 15, USAC will issue notification letters for the first funding wave for Funding Year (FY) This wave will include over $607 million in Priority 1 funding commitments for over 14,600 applications. This compares to over $128 million in funding commitments issued in the first funding wave for FY2013 on May 29, (That’s a 374% Increase 2014 over 2013) Also, the first FY2014 wave will contain over six times the number of applications requesting broadband services compared to the first wave of FY2013, and will include commitments to large, medium and small applications for both schools and libraries.

8 Before You Begin  First review the description of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program and the application process flow chart. These documents provide an overview of the program and the sequence of activities your potential customers (referred to as “applicants” in the E-rate program) must complete to receive funding. You can also look up unfamiliar acronyms and terms.description of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Programapplication process flow chartacronyms and terms Service Provider Forum 2013

9  Step 1 Obtain a SpinObtain a Spin  A Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned to your company by USAC. You may want more than one SPIN if you have business units separated by state, type of service, or for other reasons, but you need at least one SPIN to participate in the Schools and Libraries Program. Service Provider Forum 2013

10  FCC Form 498  To apply for a SPIN you must complete an FCC Form 498 (Service Provider Identification Number and Contact Information Form) and submit it to USAC. This form collects contact, remittance, and payment information for service providers in all four programs administered by USAC.FCC Form 498 Service Provider Forum 2013

11  After you complete this form, USAC will set up a user name and password for you to access the E-File system, a portal that allows you to update your FCC Form 498 online, set up permissions for other users in your company to access functions on the E-File system, and view or approve certain applicant-filed forms and form attachments.  Applicants can view some of the contact information on the FCC Form 498 using the SPIN Search tool on the USAC website, so it is also helpful to keep your information current in case an applicant needs to contact you. Service Provider Forum 2013

12  FCC Forms 499-A/Q  If you provide telecommunications services and/or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, you must also complete the FCC Forms 499-A/Q (Annual and Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets) and receive a Filer ID. The FCC Forms 499-A/Q Filer ID will be tied to your SPIN.FCC Forms 499-A/Q  You can refer to the Service Providers section or the Contributors section of the USAC website for more detailed information on these forms and instructions.Service Providers section Contributors section Service Provider Forum 2013

13  Next Step  Once you have a SPIN, and, if necessary, an FCC Filer ID, you will be ready to submit bid responses to applicants that have opened competitive bid processes under the E-rate Program.  Note that service providers that do not yet have a SPIN or FCC Filer ID can still submit bids and be chosen by applicants to provide services. However, USAC will not be able to complete the review of an applicant's request for support and make a funding commitment without a SPIN. Service Provider Forum 2013

14  The link to find E-Rate committed money in your area  Service Provider Forum 2013

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16  Step 2 Responding to BidsResponding to Bids  To open a competitive bidding process, applicants post one or more FCC Forms 470 to the USAC website. Service providers can review and respond to bids based on the information contained in an FCC Form 470 and, if one is issued, a Request for Proposal (RFP) or similar bidding document.  The entity that will run the competitive bidding process – the applicant, a state procurement agency, or another entity authorized to negotiate on the applicant's behalf – must ensure that the competitive bidding process is open and fair and must be prepared to receive and evaluate bids and negotiate with service providers.competitive bidding process is open and fair Service Provider Forum 2013

17  RFPs are not required for Schools and Libraries Program purposes, but applicants must issue them if they are required by state or local competitive bidding rules. Applicants may also choose to issue RFPs to provide more information than they can fit on an FCC Form 470 or for other reasons. If an applicant issues an RFP, the associated FCC Form 470 must indicate where the RFP is available. Service Provider Forum 2013

18  Reviewing the FCC Form 470  There are two ways for service providers to review FCC Form 470 information:  The FCC Form 470 Search Posted tool allows you to specify one or more criteria (e.g., state, zip code, applicant type) and then perform a search. The search results will show all FCC Forms 470 that match the criteria you selected. You can then review the forms one by one from the list of results.FCC Form 470 Search Posted tool Service Provider Forum 2013

19  The FCC Form 470 Download Reports tool provides a means to download most of the information from posted FCC Forms 470 into a spreadsheet.FCC Form 470 Download Reports tool  You must be in compliance with all program rules and all applicable state and local procurement rules and regulations, including any competitive bidding requirements. You should also review the FCC Form 470 and RFP for specific requirements related to the competitive bidding process and make sure to follow them. Service Provider Forum 2013

20  The Service Provider's Role  Your actions must not compromise the competitive bidding process. You should avoid conduct that gives the appearance that the competitive bidding requirements have been compromised. Service Provider Forum 2013

21  You can provide product demonstrations and other information to applicants about the products and services you provide in advance of an applicant's posting of an FCC Form 470. After the FCC Form 470 is posted, you should limit yourself to requests for information needed to submit responsive bids. Note that requests for information should not be generic s or other communications soliciting business but should be specific and related to posted FCC Forms 470 and RFPs where the available information is not sufficient for you to submit a responsive bid. Service Provider Forum 2013

22  You should not assist applicants with the creation of their technology plans.  You must not prepare, sign, post, or certify an FCC Form 470. You cannot serve as a contact on this form, nor can your contact information appear on this form. Service Provider Forum 2013

23  Gifts from service providers or potential service providers are prohibited. There are limited exceptions to the gift prohibition, which mirror federal government regulations. You should also be aware of the prohibition of free services.prohibition of free services Service Provider Forum 2013

24  The services you provide may be eligible, ineligible, or partially or conditionally eligible. Your bid responses (and contracts, if you are chosen as the service provider) should clearly identify ineligible services and provide cost allocations for services that are partially or conditionally eligible.cost allocations Service Provider Forum 2013

25  Next Step after you win the bid  If your bid is chosen as the most cost effective by an applicant, you and the applicant can negotiate a contract (for services other than those provided under tariff or a month-to-month arrangement), and you can prepare to assist the applicant as needed with filing the FCC Form 471 and undergoing application review. Service Provider Forum 2013

26  Eligible Services Overview  Each year, before the FCC Form 471 application filing window opens, the FCC releases an Eligible Services List (ESL) for the upcoming funding year. This list contains a description of the products and services that will be eligible for discounts, along with additional helpful information such as a list of ineligible products for each category of service and a glossary of terms. We suggest that you review this list before you prepare your technology plan (if one is required) and before you file an FCC Form 470 to open your competitive bidding process.Eligible Services List Service Provider Forum 2013

27  Categories of Service  The ESL has five sections listed that fall in one of two funding priorities: Priority 1  Telecommunications Services  Telecommunications  Internet Access  Priority 2  Internal Connections (eligible products)  Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections (repair and upkeep of eligible products) Service Provider Forum 2013

28  Telecommunications Services The “Telecommunications Services” section covers the criteria for discount eligibility. These include: local and long distance wired telephone service; interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); cellular phone service, including text messaging and voic ; and Centrex service. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Primary Rate Interface (PRI), T-1, T-3, and satellite services are also eligible.Voice over Internet Protocol Service Provider Forum 2013

29  Telecommunications The telecommunications category was added in Funding Year (FY) This section covers lit or dark fiber and certain maintenance and installation costs that are not provided by a telecommunications carrier. Dark fiber is eligible if the applicant lights the dark fiber immediately; however, the costs for purchasing modulating electronics necessary to light the dark fiber are not eligible. Service Provider Forum 2013

30  Internet Access The “Internet Access” section of the ESL covers information about discounts for basic conduit access to the Internet, but not on content, equipment purchases, or other services beyond basic conduit access. However, selected services that are an integral component part of an Internet access service and other services designated as eligible by the FCC may be eligible (e.g., interconnected VoIP, service, and web hosting). Service Provider Forum 2013

31  Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections The “Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections” section of the ESL covers the repair and upkeep of eligible products. Eligible repair and upkeep services include hardware, wire, and cable maintenance, along with basic technical support and configuration changes. The products must be eligible for discounts in order for their associated repair and upkeep services to be eligible. Service Provider Forum 2013

32  Repair and upkeep services must be for actual work performed and parts repaired or replaced. Unbundled warranties or fixed price contracts are not eligible for reimbursement, unless the ineligible portions can be cost-allocated (this exception does not apply to software upgrades and patches, including bug fixes and security patches and online and telephone-based technical assistance and tools). Service Provider Forum 2013

33  Link for Forms you will need Service Provider Forum 2013

34  Construct an Evaluation  When an applicant examines and evaluates the bids received for eligible services, it must select the most cost-effective bid. The price of the eligible products and services must be the primary factor in the evaluation, but does not have to be the sole factor. Service Provider Forum 2013

35  Other relevant evaluation factors may include: prior experience including past performance; personnel qualifications including technical excellence; management capability including schedule compliance; and environmental objectives. Note that the most heavily weighted price factor cannot include ineligible costs, although those can be included in an evaluation as long as they are in a separate price factor that is weighted less heavily (see the second example below). Service Provider Forum 2013

36 Example 1 Service Provider Forum 2013

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42  13 Common Pitfalls/Issues 1.Did not consider the evaluation criteria in building a response to a solicitation. 2.Did not communicate with proposed references regarding their participation in the review process. 3.Submit incomplete or incorrect contact information for references. 4.Incumbent contractor assumes that details requested in response aren’t necessary as agency knows the quality of work provided Service Provider Forum 2013

43 5.Do not participate in mandatory meeting/site visit. 6.Submit incomplete or unsigned documents in response to a solicitation. 7.Submit a response as a “prime contractor” and agreed to serve as a “subcontractor” in another response. 8.Fail to use updated forms or submit signed addenda. Service Provider Forum 2013

44 9.Rely on something heard rather than getting information in writing. 10.If you think that an error exists in the specifications/requirements, submit a question on the issue. 11.All communication regarding the solicitation must be directed to the Procurement Officer established in the solicitation. Service Provider Forum 2013

45 12. If using an overnight delivery service, provide sufficient time to address delivery problems, should one exist. 13. Don’t use the language contained in the solicitation as your response to the solicitation. Service Provider Forum 2013

46  GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL WRITING CHECKLIST Preparing to respond to a government RFP can be very time-consuming and intimidating if you don ’ t know what ’ s involved or how to best prepare for the proposal writing process. Before you even dig out a pencil or start typing out a draft of your government proposal, it ’ s important to get organized in order to get things done right in the first place. Consider the following to help you prepare for your government proposal writing process: Service Provider Forum 2013

47 Reread the RFP. Create an outline of the RFP and delegate people to handle different sections. If you are the sole person responsible for writing the RFP, be sure to take notes on where you need to gather and prepare the required information. Create a timeline or calendar where you set goals and deadlines for each section of the proposal. Service Provider Forum 2013

48 Contact the buying office and ask for the evaluation criteria that the office uses to measure proposals. While you have the buyer or contracting official on the phone, clarify any questions you may have and ask if there is anything else you need to know. Once you decide that you want to go after the government contract and prepare for a government proposal, you can begin planning for the content. There are some common criteria that evaluators look for when reviewing proposals that you should keep in mind when writing your proposal: Service Provider Forum 2013

49 Is the proposal formatted according to the instructions? Have you presented a plausible solution in the proposal? Is the proposal organized and does it respond to the basic layout requirement? Are all other proposal requirements met? Have you provided an acceptable delivery schedule? Have you demonstrated your capability to perform? Service Provider Forum 2013

50 How have you demonstrated your related experience or past performance history? Is your financial situation stable? Are you proposing a reasonable price for the project? Are your costing methods credible? Will you need the help of subcontractors? If there is a part of the contract for which you will need assistance from an outside source, be sure to outline it in your proposal. Service Provider Forum 2013

51  What NOT to do  Miss a mandatory pre-bid meeting  List Deviations  Leave out a page  Leave out a # in a line  Leave off a signature  Leave off a mandatory page  Follow up with your References  Leave off the Addendums  Forget the final Page by Page double check  Lobby  Deliver your bid after the closing of the bid  Not fill out the envelope correctly  Make sure the proposal is sealed  And last and not the least most important not to do  Let this info just sit on a shelf and not use it Service Provider Forum 2013

52  Gary Teaney  Transformational Consulting for Business  4204 Meadow Hill Dr.  Tampa, FL  Office  Cell   Service Provider Forum 2013

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