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SNAP EBT Farmers Markets Support Services

General Information

Document Type:MOD
Posted Date:Nov 29, 2017
Category: Technical Representative Services
Set Aside:N/A

Contracting Office Address

Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Contract Management Branch, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 228, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302

Description

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) P-18-011 PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, NO SOLICITATION FOR PROPOSALS EXISTS AT THIS TIME. This Request for Information (RFI) Notice is for small businesses only. The purpose of this RFI notice is to determine the interest and feasibility of a small business set-aside for the following requirement: Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) on behalf of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to provide Farmers Market Support Services. This synopsis is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the U.S. Government, nor will the U.S. Government pay for information solicited. The information from this notice will help the FNS plan their acquisition strategy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) intends to issue a procurement for the subject requirement(s) in Fiscal Year 2018 and is seeking statements of capability from potential offerors. Preference will be given to small businesses with experience and staffing to perform the requirement as demonstrated in their capability statement. The USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is seeking responses from qualified vendor sources capable of providing performance-based contractual support for the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Equipment Program to administer the distribution of EBT equipment and services to eligible SNAP-authorized farmers markets (FM) and Direct Marketing Farmers (DMF); and to provide promotional and reporting services related to this support. The FNS is conducting a market survey to determine the availability and technical capability of qualified small businesses, including small disadvantaged businesses (SDB), 8(a) small businesses, woman-owned small businesses (WOSB), veteran owned small businesses (VOSB), service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB), and Historically Under-utilized Business Zone (HUBZone) small businesses capable of providing performance-based contractual support for the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Equipment Program to administer the distribution of EBT equipment, including accepting applications, tracking, and monitoring status for equipment orders via an online portal, and related services to eligible SNAP-authorized farmers markets (FM) and Direct Marketing Farmers (DMF); and to provide promotional and reporting services related to this support. This RFI seeks responses from qualified vendor sources outlining their approach, methodologies, technologies and techniques in meeting the below listed tasks for the SNAP objectives effectively and efficiently. The responses shall include providing all necessary and pertinent personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, transportation, tools, materials, supervision, other items and non-personal services necessary to perform the services outlined in this RFI listed below, except for those items specified as Government furnished property and services. All responding small business firms are requested to identify their firms size and type of business to the anticipated North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code. For this acquisition, the NAICS code is 522320-Financial Transactions processing and the Small Business Standard is $38.5 Million. Teaming arrangements and joint ventures will be considered for any subsequent procurement based on the Governments market research, provided the prime contract is awarded to an applicable small business and that small businesses provide fifty percent or more of the support. The FNS is conducting market research to identify small business sources that can demonstrate their experience, skills, and qualifications with projects of similar scope and size completed within the last three (3) years, and explain in appropriate detail how they intend to demonstrate approach and competency in each of the items outlined in the RFI. Clarity and completeness is paramount. Responses should not merely restate the requirements without describing the approach, experience, examples, etc. Submission requirements: 1. Limit the length of the response package to 20 pages single sided. Note: Packages over 20 pages will not be considered. 2. 1 inch margins (top, bottom and sides) 3. Times New Roman font - 12 point 4. Page limitation does not include appendices, 1 cover page, 1 letter of introduction page, and 2 pages for your questions, concerns or issues. 5. Do not include promotional materials. Interested firms responding to this market survey must provide a capability statement demonstrating their experience, skills and capability to fulfill the Governments requirements outlined in the RFI in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 19.502-2(b). The capability statement shall be in sufficient enough detail, but not exceed twenty (20) pages total so that the Government can determine the experience and capability of your firm addresses the requirements outlined in the RFI. Resource information such as data concerning level of effort and categories, materials, subcontracts, etc. shall be included in the response package so that the contractors understanding of the RFI may be considered. Please specify one primary and one alternate Point of Contact (POC) within your firm, including telephone numbers and email addresses. Only electronic copies of response packages will be accepted. Responses are to be emailed to Tset Wong, Contract Specialist tset.wong@fns.usda.gov and cc to Matthew Horn, Contracting Officer at matthew.horn@fns.usda.gov. No telephone inquiries will be accepted. The e-mail shall contain the following subject line: Response to RFI Notice - P-18-011 SNAP Farmers Markets EBT Support Services. Any clarifying questions are due by FRIDAY DECEMBER 01, 2017 at noon Eastern Time. RFI Responses may be received anytime but not later than FRIDAY DECEMBER 15, 2017 at noon Eastern Time. There is no formal solicitation at this time. A determination by the Government to proceed with the acquisition as a set-aside is within the discretion of the Government. If RFI response packages are not received from at least two responsible small businesses or if the Government determines that no small business concerns are capable of performing this requirement based upon an assessment of the response packages submitted, the Government may proceed with a full and open competition. This RFI does not commit the Government to pay any cost incurred in the submission of the proposal or in making necessary studies of designs for the preparation thereof, nor to contract for services or supplies. FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO PROVIDE FARMERS MARKET SUPPORT SERVICES RFI reference number P-18-011 DRAFT Performance Work Statement (PWS) INTRODUCTION The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is seeking responses from qualified vendor sources capable of providing performance-based contractual support for the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Equipment Program to administer the distribution of EBT equipment and services to eligible SNAP-authorized farmers markets (FM) and Direct Marketing Farmers (DMF); and to provide promotional and reporting services related to this support. This RFI seeks responses from qualifies vendor sources outlining their approach, methodologies, technologies and techniques in meeting the below listed tasks for the SNAP objectives effectively and efficiently. The responses shall include providing all necessary and pertinent personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, transportation, tools, materials, supervision, other items and non-personal services necessary to perform the services outlined in this PWS, except for those items specified as Government furnished property and services. BACKGROUND USDA is committed to supporting local food systems and expanding access for SNAP participants to healthy foods. Therefore, USDA has made it a priority to help more farmers markets and direct-marketing farmers to become SNAP-authorized and actively participate in the SNAP program. This FNS provides wireless EBT equipment to FMs and DMFs to markets currently participation, as well as markets yet to participate with the SNAP. SCOPE/OBJECTIVES Services include facilitating the distribution of wireless EBT equipment to eligible SNAP-authorized FMs and DMFs, providing FMs/DMFs with technical assistance in applying for this program, ordering, setting-up, and operating their EBT equipment, creating materials to publicize the availability of EBT equipment, and generating reports on EBT equipment distribution that meet the collection and reporting requirements of FNS. The period of performance will be for one year from the contract award date, with four additional 1-year options, subject to funding availability. 4.0 REQUIRED TASKS 4.1 Distribute wireless EBT Equipment to qualified FMs and DMFs The Contractor shall perform the following activities under this task: Create, procure, or already possess a secure, online portal that can be used to accept and track applications for equipment from authorized FMs/DMFs. If the portal is created by the Contractor, it must be as a stand-alone product that will be delivered to FNS at the end of the period of performance. As part of the application process, provide two (2) equipment options to qualified FMs and DMFs, and allow the applicant to choose. In each instance the option identified must be the lowest cost option that will provide full functionality. One equipment option will accept only SNAP. The second option will accept SNAP EBT, and commercial debit and credit. To the extent that cellular service needs may vary in different areas of the country, the contractor shall identify the best and most cost effective option for each area. Ensure that EBT equipment orders are accurately processed so that eligible FMs and DMFs receive the correct piece of equipment without unnecessary delay. Review applications based on eligibility requirements established by FNS. FNS currently defines "eligible FMs/DMFs" as those that: 1) Are SNAP-authorized; 2) Do not have functional SNAP EBT equipment; 3) Have a verifiable capacity to attract SNAP customers as determined by FNS; 4) Did not previously receive equipment through this program before May 2, 2012; 5) For DMFs, are farmers that participate in at least one market. Criteria to determine "verifiable capacity to attract SNAP customers" and "functional SNAP EBT equipment" will be established by FNS and provided to the Contractor. Maintain accurate and comprehensive informational materials comparing the available equipment options. Work with FNS to determine a process to require equipment recipients to return their device to the provider, if the FM or DMF does not start redeeming SNAP or other FNS program benefits within a particular time period to be determined by FNS. 4.2 FMs/DMFs Technical Assistance The Contractor shall perform the following activities under this task: Provide technical assistance to applicant FMs and DMFs, including, helping to complete the online application, responding to applicant inquiries regarding order and delivery issues, or otherwise assisting applicants in communicating with their chosen equipment provider. Conduct two webinars with FNS during the period of performance to provide guidance to interested FMs/DMFs on equipment program options and the application process. 4.3 Promotion and Reporting The Contractor shall perform the following activities under this task: Create materials promoting the availability of EBT equipment to the FM/DMF community and collect information regarding the use of those materials on a quarterly basis, including (a) how many FM/DMFs have viewed the materials as a percentage of all eligible FM/DMFs and (b) how many hardcopy materials were distributed or posted publicly. Create and provide cumulative monthly reports through which FNS can monitor monthly, fiscal year to date, and fiscal year to fiscal year progress in the program. The reports must be clearly written and provide relevant data comparison points. Generate an annual report summarizing program activities for the previous period of performance. The annual reports must include graphs, maps, and narrative explanations, as needed, to demonstrate Program activity across FNS regions. In all instances, the reports should follow a standard format to be created by the Contractor and approved by FNS, so it is simple to compare progress over time. 5.0 DELIVERABLES Deliverable Format Acceptance Criteria Due Date Orientation meeting Conference call 100% participation of all key FNS and contractor staff Within 10 business days of contract award Monthly status calls Conference Call/Monthly Participation of all Key program and contractor Staff Schedule to be determined at Orientation Meeting Monthly report template Written Word document submitted via email Reviewed and accepted by COR and program staff Draft: 15 business days after Orientation Meeting Monthly equipment report Written Report (PDF and Word) submitted via email/1 Reviewed and accepted by COR and Program staff. The 15th of each month during the period of performance. If the 15th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the report shall be due on the next business day. Technical assistance webinars (2 per year during performance period) Online, via a webinar service agreed upon by FNS and Contractor Participation of key contractor and FNS program staff TBD Annual equipment report Written Report (PDF and Word) submitted via email/1 Reviewed and accepted by COR and Program staff. One year after the submittal of the Baseline Equipment report, and at the end of each option year after that for the duration of the contract. Online Application Portal Internet-based application site Reviewed and accepted by FNS program staff No later than 30 calendar days after orientation meeting Final Program Report Written Report (PDF and Word) submitted via email Reviewed and accepted by COR and Program staff. 30 days after the completion of the period of performance DELIVERABLE STANDARDS All reports shall be clearly written in straightforward sentences using proper grammar; and reflect strong professional standards regarding the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. Formatting shall adhere to templates created at the onset of the project. Outreach materials shall feature consistent formatting with clear, engaging graphics and photos, and clearly indicate that this is a USDA program being administered by the vendor under contract with FNS. Webinars and presentations shall be clear and well-rehearsed. Presentations require at least one run through prior to going live. USDA and FNS logos and branding materials will only be used when explicitly approved by FNS. 5.0 Performance Requirement Summary Table PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS APPLICABILITY PERFORMANCE STANDARD AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) SURVEILLANCE FREQUENCY SURVEILLANCE METHODS Quality of Products or Services As stipulated in the PWS Timeliness & quality complete & accurate 95% of all deliverables are error free (grammar, formatting, content) Ad hoc, for one-time products; quarterly and annual for reports 100% inspection Schedule As stipulated in the PWS Timeliness 95% of all deliverables are on-time; schedules may be modified by FNS as needed. Monthly, final, and ad hoc. 100% inspection Business Relations PWS Professionalism 95% of verified customer feedback are positive Ad hoc Customer feedback/complaints Management of Key Personnel PWS Professionalism timeliness & quality 95% of verified customer feedback are positive Ad hoc Customer feedback/complaints

Original Point of Contact

POC Tset Wong, Phone: 7034577794, Matthew L. Horn, Phone: 7033054380

Place of Performance

Address:
3101 Park Center Drive, Room 228, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302, United States
22302,
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