The Climate Protection Campaign is soliciting proposals from web designers to develop and maintain a site for the Cool School eCO2mmute program that will provide a contemporary web application to track student travel and encourage awareness of school travel choices to reduce carbon emissions and improve personal health for Sonoma, Alameda and San Mateo County High Schools. Please use the link below for the PDF of the full Request for Proposals (RFP).
RFP Questions from Applicants and Responses
(All questions about this proposal will be answered for all applicants on this web page)
1. Can we tell you more about the grant?
The Scope of Work, proposal guidelines and key dates are all included in the scope of work in the RFP. If you have specific questions about any of these things we will be happy to answer them. Our program is part of Climate Initiatives Program which was adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in December 2009 It is an effort that aims to educate, inspire and empower youth and their families to make transportation-related behavior changes that reduce vehicle miles traveled and associated greenhouse gas emissions. We are federally funded through Caltrans. While Caltrans deals primarily in large transportation infrastructure grants and we are considered a non-infrastructure (small education transportation mode shift) grant we still have to abide by the same rules and regulations as infrastructure grants do.
2. Can we tell you about the budget for this project?
One of the stipulations of a federal Caftans grant is that the budget remains undisclosed. The thinking (by Caltrans) is that if we state our budget then every proposer will just work at the top of the budget. In fairness to proposers we are also prohibited from looking at the budget you submit until after we have evaluated all the proposals on the merit of their content. That prevents us from just automatically choosing the lowest bid. Please check section L #4 in the RFP on budget guidelines for the proposal.
3. Can you call us to talk about the grant?
Because this is a publicly funded all communication needs to be open to the public. We cannot give different information to different proposers. For this reason we request that all queries be via email. Email is easy to document and duplicate. It is also an easy way to insure that a single proposer is not getting preferential treatment. Please submit your questions by the December 16th deadline. We will be publicly post responses to all questions submitted before that date by December 23rd at the latest. Please see sections D & E in the RFP for more information regarding communication and questions about your proposals.
4. Time line
We understand that the time line is tight. We have had some funding delays that have set back the time line for our program. We are hoping that we will be able to use this tool in the current school year for our Earth Day- May eCO2mmute program. We also understand this may not be possible and are flexible. Please do not let this deter you from applying but submit an alternate time line that feels realistic for you and your organization.
5. ‘CPC requires that the professional who signs the proposal as the manager of the professional contract with CPC, shall certify that he or she will be present at all meetings requested by CPC staff members and will fully participate in the day-to-day management of the contract.’ Could you provide input on the likely frequency of such meetings, where they will be held and whether webex type participation is acceptable rather than in person attendance?
I am currently unsure of the frequency of these meetings. I think a minimum of two meetings with the allowance for additional meetings as needed. Good communication when it comes to planning, information sharing and organizing are key to a successful working relationship. Because this is a web based project there is no reason why all of the meeting need to be in person. I am comfortable with both SKYPE and phone meetings. I am unfamiliar with webex but not opposed.
6. Please clarify how your agency would like to see DBE utilization for this RFP. Does proposer need to do any general outreach to DBE firms prior to proposal submission or if selected, under contract?
Because there was a very low number of qualified DBE contractors interested in this project the DBE goal was set at 0%. There does not need to be any general outreach to DBE firms prior to submission. Should the opportunity arise the contractor selected should use a good faith effort to use DBE firms for any subcontracting necessary.
7.What is the length of the contract?
Please review the key dates for the time line of development and review. The length of the grant is two years.
8. Would you consider hiring a company from overseas?
It states in in section H4. we will be requiring some face-to-face meetings during the development of our program. It will be a minimum of two but really we will require, as many meetings as we feel are necessary to develop the site. Time differences and distance do play a factor in ease of meeting and cost effectiveness. I do not believe an out of country firm would be able to meet these requirements. Further more I do not know if there are grant stipulations regarding the use of federal taxpayer money for non-US businesses.
9. RFP Section L, page 8, item 4 states: A budget and budget narrative. The budget and budget narrative should be developed in accordance with the Funding Guidelines (Section N) and Scope of Work (Section J) in this RFP. Template and instructions attached as Attachment B. Place one (1) original budget document in a sealed envelope before submitting with the proposal. The budget documents will not be reviewed until the selection committee chooses its top candidate.
Should this instruction reference Attachment D (which is the Budget Template and Instructions) instead of Attachment B (which is the Scope of Work)?
The instruction reference should be Attachment D Budget and Template Instructions. The reference to Attachment B in this section is a typo.
10. RFP Section C, Proposal Submittal instructions: specifies a delivery address that is a PO Box. Can CPC please provide a street address for FedEx (or UPS) deliveries?
Our street address is 520 Mendocino Ave. Suite 260 Santa Rosa CA 95401
11. RFP Section L.1 specifies the proposal is to be produced in 12 point font. May a smaller font be used in tables and graphics, provided it is legible?
You can use a smaller font for tables and graphics if necessary and if it is still legible. Please conform to the font size for proposal text.
12. RFP Section L.4 states the Budget and Budget Narrative are to be submitted as a separate document. Are the contents of this section included in the 25-page limit?
The budget and budget narrative would be considered forms and are not part of the 25-page limit.
13.Is your agency looking for a software provider who can customize the web based tools based on feedback throughout the project or an existing out-of-box application?
I am not sure I understand the question. There are two dates included in the time line for updates and improvements. Our assumption is that some changes and adaptations will be necessary after piloting the program with students in the spring of 2012 and the spring of 2013. There will be site administrators who need to be able to input information about challenges and incentives and need to be able to input school and team data.
14. Is your agency planning to use/promote 511 School Ridematching application?
While it is our goal to integrate the trip tracking program with 511 and other transportation mode shift programs already created by our partner organizations funding for this is not included in our current scope of work.
15. Is there a need for iphone/ipad application?
We are very curious about this as a future extension or application but our current funding does not include this in the budget. If a proposer were to include budgeting information for such an application we would consider it for future use but it should not be a focus of significant time or resource.
16. Does your agency prefer a price based on licensing of web based tool or own the web based tools developed by the contractors? Your response to this question will help determine if we need to provide the intellectual property insurance coverage.
Our original thinking was that we would own the program. We understand this might not be possible within our budget and we would like to have unlimited license to the site. If you are able to include pricing for both we would be able to choose the option that best fits our budget.
17.What is a challenge or contest? Exactly how does it work? Who needs what abilities with regard to the site? What does the site need to do?
Different schools have different incentives to encourage participation. This depends on the school and local business donations. Some schools raffle off a bicycle, some schools give away gift cards, burrito coupons or things I have not even thought of yet. ECO2mmute leaders (named Administrators in the Scope of Work) need to be able to communicate challenges and incentives to participants. An example of a challenge is students who log x number of miles in a week get a frozen yogurt from a local shop. Another could be students who eliminate x number of single occupancy car trips during the eCO2mmute challenge time are eligible for a bike raffle. The team that saves the greatest amount of CO2 wins a pizza party. There will be different administrators for different schools and each school should have its own page to communicate to its participants. Please look at some of the recommended web sites to see other examples of challenges or incentives.
18.What exactly do students do to enter trip information, what is displayed as part of that process, and how is this aggregated into other displays?
It should be as simple and streamlined as possible for students to enter trip information. They should be able to go directly to their school site and it should be fast and easy, once entered it should show how much CO2 they have saved and it should keep track of their total number of trips and distance. This information should aggregate with information about their team and their school. Please look at some of the recommended web sites to see other examples of trip tracking tools.
19. Section 1. A. Purpose page 3 …through April 12, 2012 (initial web site launch), with future web site review and updates in June 2012 and June 2013…Can you explain these deadlines Can these be negotiated, or are these hard dates?
These deadlines are dictated by the scholastic calendar. We would like schools to be able to use the sites during the school year and be able to provide feedback after their event. Updates are scheduled during the summer months to maximize the number of schools able to provide input as to desired changes. If the suggested time line does not work for your company propose an alternate with a rational. Please review the answer to question #4 in the RFP questions and responses.
20. Will Climate Protection Campaign (CPC) consider extending the submission deadline? More specifically, would CPC consider adding a pre-bid meeting/call to allow vendors to ask clarifications for specific scope requirements, timeline constraints, messaging, etc?
CPC considered a pre-bid meeting but felt it would be unfair to companies for whom distance is an issue. By keeping the question and answer period on line we are assuring that all proposers have equal access to both the asking of questions and the answers. Please review the answer to question #4 in the RFP questions and responses.
21. Administrators should also be able to create and manage the blog, pages, slideshows, events, contests, and users.Would CPC consider a web solution that is hosted in an off-the-shelf Content Management System (ie: WordPress) that allows for embedding disparate components (ie: blog, widgets, forums, links).
22. The following features will also be part of the site: a forum for teachers; integration of Google Maps for trips or route finding; extending some of the contests to support simple fundraising; and some level of Facebook integration.Some of these requirements are not defined to the extent needed to properly scope the effort required. Would CPC consider a pre-bid meeting/call for clarifications ?
See the answer to #22 above.
23. More clarification on quantities and locations of any Barcode tags and scanners.
Barcodes, tags and scanners would have to be purchased individually by schools interested in using that technology to track student participation. CPC is interested solely in the prospective cost of including programing that would allow interested schools to use barcode technology and the cost of any ongoing service that would need to be provided with that technology.
25. What is the minimum software liability insurance limit required.
In the case of open source software, the professional liability insurance will cover whatever coding the contractor does or chooses to utilize, if the contractor is using a commercial product then that product should come with some insurance. So long as you have a professional liability requirement built into your proposal, the software liability insurance can be negotiated. Insurance requirements are listed in Attachment A Service Agreement Section XIII.
26.Would CPC accept a solution that allows administrators to self-maintain online (web browser interface) editable page content?
We want a solution that allows administrators to edit content however we want proposers to suggest solutions that they feel best meets our goals. We understand there may multiple approaches to solving or doing this project.
27. Does CPC have any specific capabilities that are desired on devices such as smartphones, or is the intent to provide access to the full site via WAP enabled phones?
Please see the answer to #14 in the RFP question and responses section. Right now we do not have a specific goal regarding apps for smart phones, however we would like the site to be accessible as possible. If the cost of enabling smart and WAP enabled phones is significant it should be included as a separate line item in the budget.
28. “Green goals or challenges can be integrated onto school sites. Goals can be climate, distance, time or health related. Community business sponsors should be able to support contests and challenges at different school sites.” –This would probably be a visual thing only, only represented on the homepage for the school. From that point of view it would be possible. But to make this as economical efficient as possible, minimal changes beyond the homepage would be required, so they would not see these targets beyond the homepage, unless it was in editable content
We would like to see that each school has its own home page that has goals challenges and general performance statistics that anyone can access. We would also like to see more detailed information about teams and individual participation that is only accessible to participants from that school. Site administrators would have access to their schools home page and input data and edit information on their home page. Participants have access to information and are able to input personal data only. We anticipate a template for all school home pages.
29. Is contractor expected to provide routine maintenance of the site other than one year intervals?
Yes. The one-year review dates are for updates and revisions after the end of the academic year when schools have had a chance to pilot the site and provide feedback. Routine maintenance will need to provided as needed.
30. Is the contractor expected to provide data analysis and reports to evaluate expected outcomes? If so, what is the expected number or frequency of reports needed.
The contractor is expected to provide a program that aggregates data for an individual, teams, schools and all participating entities. The data should include the amount of CO2 saved and the VMT saved (Vehicular Miles Traveled) and the number of trips traveled by alternative methods. Data may also include the number of calories burned and the amount of time spent exercising. The data should be updated as close to real time as possible.
31. We recommend that CPC adopt industry guidelines, whereby the CONTRACTOR would notify the client in the event they receive a cancellation notice, or when there is a material change in a policy, which affects the requirements in the contract.
We have consulted our insurance provider and they have recommended no changes at this time.
32. RFP Attachment A, page 22, Article XIII.E: The last sentence in this article states that: “Also CLIENT has the right to demand, and to receive within a reasonable time period, copies of any insurance policies required under this Agreement.” We request this requirement be eliminated. Certificates are generally sufficient to document the required coverage.
We have consulted our insurance provider and they have recommended no changes at this time.