Request for Quotation Bin Evaluation

​DEADLINE:  May 8, 2017

OVERVIEW: 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) invites qualified contractors to submit quotations for the evaluation of the Fishing for Energy Bin Program as outlined in this Request for Quotations (RFQ).
 

BACKGROUND:

The Fishing for Energy Partnership launched in 2008 through a collaboration among Covanta, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc (“Partners”). Its purpose is to provide a cost-free solution to commercial fishermen (“Primary Stakeholder Group”) for the disposal of old, derelict or unusable fishing gear, thus reducing the impact of derelict fishing gear on U.S. marine wildlife and habitats.  The Partnership works closely with state and local agencies, community groups, the fishing industry and local ports to achieve these goals.
 
The Fishing for Energy Partnership has serviced nearly 50 ports across ten states (“Communities”) and collected more than 3 million pounds of gear through the program since 2008.  As the Partnership enters its ninth year, the Partners are interested in determining the benefits and deficiencies of the bin program.  While dramatic inroads in establishing disposal opportunities across the country have been made, there are still key geographies that lack access to the program. There is additional uncertainty about the efficiency of the program, success of outreach efforts, use of the bins, and whether the program is providing the intended benefits. 
 
The Fishing for Energy Partnership has encountered a number of challenges regarding outreach, security, turnover of key contacts, and bin access.  These challenges have led to a piecemeal, customized program that serves the varying needs of a wide-variety of port locations and partners.  As we look to continually expand the program to new communities, we would like to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the current program and identify opportunities to improve.
 

SCOPE OF WORK:

Preliminary Evaluation Goals
The evaluation will seek to answer the following questions, although the selected contractor will be tasked to refine and finalize them, subject to approval by the Fishing for Energy Partners.
 
A. Has the Fishing for Energy Partnership bin program met the intended purpose of providing a no-cost solution for gear disposal for the commercial fishermen in the communities that it serves?
 
B. Have stakeholder attitudes about derelict gear, gear disposal, or the Partners changed in any discernable way as a result of this program? How are attitudes of stakeholders in Communities with bins different from those in nearby communities that do not have bins?
 
C. What perceptions exist about the program and what outcomes have been achieved in the Communities that the program has served?  Have there been any changes in the awareness or perceptions of marine debris due to the program?  
 
D. What factors and practices have led to the most successful bin locations, and how can those be applied to other Communities going forward?
 
E. What factors and practices have hindered successful implementation of the bin program and what steps can be taken to address them and/or increase efficiency?
 
Task 1: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the bin program from the points of view of the 1) bin contacts for current and historical Fishing for Energy bin locations, 2) hauling companies 3) partner facility managers, and 4) Partners.  This assessment should identify opportunities to improve efficiency, fill unmet needs, and identify additional needs or concerns within groups responsible for project implementation and logistics. 
 
Task 2: Understand the perceptions of commercial fishing communities, both within and outside of the of the Fishing for Energy network regarding their 1) awareness of the program and its partners, 2) awareness of disposal requirements, 3) standard practices for disposing gear (including alternative disposal options and costs), 4) their utilization of the program, 5) value they place on the program, and 6) general concerns.  This task should also seek to understand how fishermen learn about opportunities like the Fishing for Energy program and how the program could be improved to increase fishermen awareness and participation. 
 
Task 3: Gain an understanding from the two groups identified in Tasks 1 and 2 regarding how 1) outreach grants that the Partnership has supported and 2) Partners’ participation in local events affect knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of the program.
 
Deliverables:
• Draft assessment report providing results of document review and surveys (including data analysis of social and environmental impact; relevant quotes from bin contacts, stakeholders, Partners and others involved in the program regarding the program; and recommendations for modifications to the program, including expanding in  new locations); and
• Final assessment report and presentation to partners.
 
NFWF will provide the selected contractor with the following information:
• Copies of the partnership documents that describe the purpose of the bin program;
• Outreach materials used by the bin program;
• Records and contact information for participating bin locations, dates of participation, volume and frequency, type of partner, etc.;
• Information on grant projects that supported outreach for Partnership or the bin program in or near participating Communities; and
• Other information pertinent to the evaluation.
 

SUBMISSION CRITERIA:

1. Work plan:  The quotation must contain a work plan that includes details on how the offeror intends to approach the project and identifies key questions to be investigated. The proposed technical approach for conducting the evaluation should clearly describe the proposed evaluation methods in detail for each of the research questions. The section must demonstrate that those methods are robust and appropriate for conducting the evaluation and identify and address any areas of difficulty or uncertainty associated with answering the research questions.
 
2. Schedule:  The contract period of performance is expected to last 8-12 months, with a target start date in June 2017. To avoid schedule over-runs we are asking offerors to propose a project schedule that is appropriate to complete the tasks outlined in this RFQ.  The schedule should delineate work on key tasks and identify draft and final deliverable dates – please allow at least 30 days between the draft and final report submissions. 
 
3. Budget:   The quotation must contain a budget that represents the all-inclusive costs associated with completing the tasks and deliverables of this RFQ in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request.  Budgets should be completed using the budget template provided (see link).
 

 

4. Qualifications:  (1-2 pages, not including CVs)   Quotations must include both biographies and resumes/CVs for each person working on the project. The section should clearly describe which evaluation tasks each member of the team will conduct and how their training and experience provide the requisite experience to do so successfully. The quotation should also describe relevant professional experience in the following areas: 


a. evaluation study design and implementation, including experience using the research methods proposed for this evaluation; experience conducting surveys should be addressed directly if a survey is proposed for this evaluation;
b. experience working with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as national and local NGOs involved with conservation; experience working with local governments and the commercial fishing industry should be addressed directly; and
c. conducting and disseminating research involving humans as subjects.

 
5. Other:  Offeror’s legal name, Federal Tax Identification Number, Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and a primary point of contact.  NFWF also welcomes offerors to submit information or comment on the type of contract contemplated (e.g., firm-fixed price, time and materials, etc.).
 

COMMUNICATIONS EXPECTATIONS

A successful evaluation of the Fishing for Energy bin program will require significant ongoing communication with NFWF staff. Although this RFQ provides our thinking to date on the general scope of work to be addressed by the evaluation, the evaluation design needs to remain flexible to address additional questions that will emerge through consultation with program stakeholders.  Therefore, significant collaboration between the selected contractor and NFWF will be required throughout the evaluation to ensure that the necessary questions are being posed and answered satisfactorily. The selected contractor can expect bi-weekly or monthly meetings with NFWF’s Marine and Coastal Program Director and other member of the program team to provide updates on the evaluation’s progress. NFWF will also review and provide feedback on the draft report and presentations prior to the evaluation’s completion. 
 

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested parties should submit quotations via email in PDF format to Michelle Pico (pico@nfwf.org).  In the subject line of the email, please include: FfE Bin Program Evaluation – [name of offeror].   The deadline for submission is May 8, 2017.
 

ELIGIBLE OFFERORS

By submitting a quotation 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 below.  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 quotation, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission) 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 offeror, the offeror’s employees, or the offeror’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, NFWF 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 quotation not being selected. 
 
By submitting a quotation 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 a 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/.
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