Request for Qualifications

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS TO SUPPORT THE COLUMBIA BASIN WATER TRANSACTIONS PROGRAM

March 14, 2016

Requesting Organization: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 950, Portland, Oregon. Contact: Scott McCaulou, Program Director, Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program, 503-417-8700 x6004; scott.mccaulou@nfwf.org

1. OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) invites interested not-for-profit and for-profit individuals and organizations to submit statements of qualification that will be used to establish a pool of qualified consultants for NFWF to choose from to provide assistance for successful implementation of the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program (CBWTP or Program). The CBWTP will draw on this pool of qualified consultants to provide appraisals, legal services, transaction support, strategic planning, communications, and other contractual support related to overall implementation of the Program. We anticipate using this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to establish a pool of contractors that can be utilized at any time over the next five years.

2. PROGRAM BACKGROUND

The Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program is the nation’s first effort to restore the health of tributaries on a regional scale. The Program’s focus is on enhancing streamflows to benefit the fish, wildlife and communities that depend on them. The Program provides financial and technical support for partnerships with nonprofit organizations, state water agencies and tribes. Together, with financial support from the Bonneville Power Administration and in close coordination with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, the CBWTP works with ranchers, farmers, municipalities and irrigation districts on voluntary, market-based approaches to bring water use into balance, so streams stay wet and working landscapes remain productive. Water transactions offer financial opportunities for agricultural producers to change management practices in ways that respect their livelihoods and enhance the health of waterways they care about. The Columbia Basin includes portions of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The CBWTP is at work across this region, completing strategic transactions in tributaries that will provide the most significant biological benefits.

For more information about the Program, please visit our website at www.CBWTP.org.

3. DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS

To assist the CBWTP in its work, this RFQ is seeking qualified entities who can serve as independent contractors to NFWF and who have specific expertise in the following areas:

A. Legal: including, but not limited to, general legal counsel, review of proposed water transactions and associated agreements and state change orders, assistance with state and federal water law and policy, review and development of grant agreements and contracts, guidance on federal regulations and the Northwest Power Act, provide trainings to Program participants, strategic communication with the Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, federal and tribal partners, and advise on issues of strategic importance to the program.

B. Communications and Public Outreach: including, but not limited to, production of an annual programmatic report, website content development and related program communications, public engagement, collaborative processes, and advice on the development of infographics and strategic communications.

C. Economics and Water Transactions Valuations: including, but not limited to, tracking and reporting water market data in relevant subbasins, provide analysis of CBWTP transactional data relating to water costs, advising the program on appropriate policies and procedures for the establishment of valuation standards, review cost-effectiveness of proposed water transactions, provide transaction-specific valuation services, and provide informational presentations and trainings to Program participants.

D. Strategic Program Planning: including, but not limited to, assistance in the establishment and evaluation of program effectiveness measures relating to program outputs, development of training manuals and other materials, provide training courses to Program participants, draft and review program documents, and advise on issues of strategic importance to the program.

E. Transaction Effectiveness Evaluation: including, but not limited to, assistance with analytical assessments of aquatic systems to quantify the efficacy of the Program’s restoration actions, with emphasis in stream temperature modeling, water quality monitoring, fisheries monitoring, hydrologic monitoring, hydrologic modeling, and hydraulic engineering.

Contractors who are selected through this RFQ will become part of a pool of pre-qualified consultants or partners whose assistance will be requested as needed by the Program, and may be asked to submit a quote or proposal as may be warranted. Those selected will stay in the pool for up to five years, but selection does not imply an immediate contract.

4. CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS

Application Instructions

A. Address each item in the “Application Outline” below.

B. Limit your application to a maximum of six (6) pages, also please minimize supplementary materials. (We will follow-up as needed.)

C. E-mail a Word or PDF version of your application to ryan.vandermeulen@nfwf.org; in the subject line, please indicate Response to RFQ for CBWTP Support – [name of respondent].

D. Applications must be e-mailed no later than 5:00 PM PDT on April 14, 2016

Application Outline

Your description (in no more than six (6) pages) of your and/or your organization’s qualifications should include the following elements:

A. Contact information: Please provide a Primary Contact Person, Entity Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Website, and EIN or SSN.

B. Organizational mission and profile: Please describe your and/or your organization’s mission, expertise and experience. Please include geographic service area, number of clients, how long you have been in business, and your annual budget. If you have an annual report, please include as an attachment. If you have a website or Facebook page, please provide that information as well.

C. Your niche: Please list the type(s) of work you and/or your organization provides and explain what makes you particularly successful in this/these area(s). Describe your niche in meeting the needs of the CBWTP. You are not expected to be able to provide assistance in all topic areas listed above. If you respond to more than one topic area, please rank topic areas in order of your expertise and preferences.

D. Key staff: Please provide names and brief biographies of key staff. You may attach resumes of key staff as appropriate.

E. Past experience: Please detail your experience in providing contractual services similar to those required by the Program and for which you have expressed interest. List recent (last two-five years) accomplishments, events and previous services related to the expertise you will be offering.

F. Method of evaluation: Describe how you currently evaluate the effectiveness of the services you provide to other clients/partners and how you will evaluate the effectiveness of the services you provide through this Program.

G. Fee structure: Estimate the program/service fees and describe the fee structure for each of the services you provide. Include hourly rates and job titles for individuals that may support the provided services. Please highlight any non-profit discounts on the services you provide.

H. References: Please include contact information of three references (clients or partners) that have benefited from your services as described above.

Selection Criteria

Statements of Qualifications will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria:

A. Knowledge and track record: Applicants must demonstrate expertise and experience in those areas described in the RFQ for which they have indicated interest

B. Experience in CBWTP region: Preference will be given to providers who have experience working in or are otherwise familiar with the Columbia River Basin and specifically within sub-basins that have been identified as priorities for flow and fisheries restoration by federal, Tribal, and state agencies.

C. Capacity and flexibility to deliver services: Providers must demonstrate that they have a degree of flexibility in how and where services are delivered, and that they have the ability to tailor content and delivery methods to meet the specific needs of the CBWTP.

5. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Eligible applicants are individuals, institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state and Indian tribal governments. If multiple institutions are involved, they should be handled through sub-awards and sub-contracts.

By submitting a Statement of Qualifications in response to this solicitation, the offeror warrants and represents that it does not currently have any apparent or actual conflict of interest, as described herein. In the event an offeror currently has, will have during the life of the contemplated contract, or becomes aware of an apparent or actual conflict of interest, in the event an award is made, the offeror must notify NFWF in writing in the Statement of Qualifications, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the Statement of Qualifications) of such apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the contractor, the contractor’s employees, or the contractor’s subcontractors in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the award and any other outside interests, or otherwise. Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the offeror, the offeror’s employees, or the offeror’s future subcontractors in the matter. Upon receipt of such a notice, the NFWF Contracting Officer will determine if a conflict of interest exists and, if so, if there are any possible actions to be taken by the offeror to reduce or resolve the conflict. Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies NFWF may result in the proposal not being selected for award.

By submitting a Statement of Qualifications in response to this solicitation, the Offeror warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a Contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:

Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an Contract with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension, ” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other Contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions can be found at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.

STATEMENT OF QUALIFICATIONS SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND RFQ/RFP DEADLINES

​March 25 ​Offerors should submit questions regarding this RFQ via email to Ryan VanderMeulen (ryan.vandermeulen@nfwf.org). NFWF will post all the questions and responses to all questions so that all offerors have access to them at the same time. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be received by NFWF no later than 5:00 PM PDT on March 25, 2016.
​April 14 ​Statements of Qualifications must be received electronically as an email attachment by Ryan VanderMeulen (ryan.vandermeulen@nfwf.org) by 5:00 PM PDT. Statements must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF.
​April 29 ​NFWF will notify all RFQ Offerors of their status (acceptance or rejection) and execution of initial contractors will begin.
 

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