Contract to Provide Support for the Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies RCPP Project

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS 

Proposal Due Date:   Thursday, March 30 by 6:00 PM Central Time
Requesting Organization: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005.
Contact: Caroline Oswald, Senior Manager, 612-564-7253; caroline.oswald@nfwf.org.  

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified contractor to provide support in facilitating NFWF’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies, with partners across nine states. The successful contractor will be selected through a single stage competitive process. The contract is expected to run through 9/30/2019 with the possibility of extension.

PROGRAM BACKGROUND

The RCPP promotes coordination between U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners to deliver conservation assistance through financial and technical assistance to producers and landowners. In 2016 NFWF was awarded an RCPP grant, Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies to address priority natural resource concerns in the Monarch Butterfly migration corridor of the U.S. 
 
The objective of the project is to increase monarch habitat on private lands within the monarch butterfly corridor. The project will cover nine states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin. Emphasis will be on restoring lands so that they contain ample milkweed and nectar plants as well as improving habitat management using best management practices. This increase in habitat will occur through the enrollment of privately owned acreage in rangeland, cropland, and other eligible lands in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Technical assistance to producers and landowners to engage in conservation planning and enrollment will be provided by pre-selected technical assistance partners, such as state Soil and Water Conservation Districts.  

CONTRACT SCOPE

NFWF seeks a cost-competitive contractor who can work with NFWF to facilitate project delivery in all nine states. Specific activities included in the scope of work include, but may not be limited to:
  • ​Communicating with NRCS on behalf of NFWF;
  • Working with NFWF and state conservationists in each state to set eligible EQIP and CSP activities benefiting monarch habitat;
  • Assisting with gathering data for NRCS reporting and producing portions of reports to NRCS;
  • Providing analysis services to ensure technical assistance partners and NFWF are delivering stated conservation outcomes;
  • Acting as a liaison between the technical assistance partners and NFWF, identifying issues, assisting with problems, and supporting technical assistance partners achieve state CSP and EQIP goals. 
​To be successful, the approach for the Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies project will require significant ongoing communication with NFWF staff. Although this RFP provides our thinking to date on the general scope of work to be addressed by the contract, the approach needs to remain flexible to address issues that will emerge as the work proceeds. The contractor can expect bi-weekly or monthly meetings with NFWF to provide updates on the contract’s progress. NFWF will also review and provide feedback on the deliverables.

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS

Proposals will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria. Offerors should organize their proposals based on the following sections. Please include sections 1-3 in a single file, and submit sections 4 and 5 in separate files. For section 4, you must use the Contractor Budget Template provided. Offerors may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award.
  1. Understanding of the Scope of Work. The Scope of Work must identify which of the Program Goals are addressed by this proposal and demonstrate an understanding of the goals of the contract and the activities involved. It should also demonstrate an understanding of RCPP, NRCS, state EQIP programs, state CSP programs, and, if applicable, monarch butterfly recovery efforts. This section should also include a description of how you will communicate with NFWF and program stakeholders and report on progress, results, and deliverables. Weight: 25%
  2. Qualifications of Proposed Personnel. The section should clearly describe which tasks each member of the team will conduct and how their training and experience provide the requisite experience to do so successfully. Resumes and/or Vitae of the principal investigator(s) should be included with the proposal. The proposal should describe relevant professional experience in the relevant areas. Weight: 25%
  3. Record of Past Performance/References. The applicant needs to showcase its experience working cooperatively with NRCS. The proposals should identify at least three past engagements conducting similar work for NFWF or other organizations, identifying the offeror’s quality of work, timeliness, and cost control. The Statement should include names, postal and email addresses, and telephone numbers of points of contact for the referenced engagements. If the offeror anticipates retaining sub-contractors for the proposed work information should be provided that demonstrates their past performance as well. Weight: 25%
  4. Budget. The cost proposal budget should be cost effective and maximize the value for monies requested in the offeror’s budget. The proposed budget should be itemized in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request. You must use the attached Contractor Budget Template (see link). You may add columns to the template for additional tasks if needed, but should not make any other changes. Weight: 20% 
  5. Corporate Capacity. The offeror shall provide proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements or balance sheets. Weight: 5%

ELIGIBLE OFFERORS

Eligible offerors include non-profit and for-profit organizations. Only one award will be made for this contract. If multiple institutions are involved, they should be handled through sub-awards and sub-contracts.

By submitting a proposal 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 proposal, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the proposal) 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 proposal 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 agreement 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/

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Submission requirements will include three distinct and separate documents: 1) Proposal; 2) Budget Proposal; and 3) Evidence of Corporate Capability.

Interested parties will submit proposals via an email attachment to Caroline Oswald (caroline.oswald@nfwf.org). Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF. Budgets should be attached as an Excel worksheet using the template provided (see link). Please include the following email subject with submissions: ‘Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies Facilitation RFP – [name of Offeror]’.  The proposals must provide the information as described below:

  1. Proposal (7-page limit for entire Proposal), to include:
    • Narrative - Concise (6-page limit) description of the work plan to include the following sections from the Criteria for Competitive Applications: Understanding of the Scope of Work, Qualifications of Proposed Personnel, and Record of Past Performance/References.
    • Contact Information - Primary contact person, company name, address, phone, email, website, and Federal ID#.
  2. Cost Proposal: The Cost Proposal includes the proposal budget and budget justification. The cost proposal must be submitted using the 2017 Contractor Budget Template. The 2017 Contractor Budget Template is available for download on NFWF’s website, see link.
  3. Evidence of Corporate Capacity. The offeror shall provide proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements or balance sheets.

QUESTIONS

Applicants should submit questions regarding this RFP via e-mail to Caroline Oswald (caroline.oswald@nfwf.org). NFWF will respond to all offerors at the same time and with the same answer. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be received by NFWF no later than March 10, 2017 6:00 pm Central Time and will be answered via a NFWF Response to Offerors’ Questions document. The Offerors’ Questions document will be available for viewing on March 14, 2017 at NFWF’s website, www.nfwf.org/monarch.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES

  • March 10, 2017 Deadline to submit questions about the RFP to NFWF.
  • March 14, 2017 The Offerors’ Questions document will be available for viewing at NFWF’s website, www.nfwf.org/monarch.
  • March 30, 2017 Proposals Due
    • Proposals must be submitted electronically as an email attachment as per the above stated Submission Requirements by 6:00 PM CST on Thursday, March 30th.
  • April 21, 2017 All Offerors will be informed of their status. Notice of award to selected contractor. 
  • May 9, 2017 Anticipated contract start date
 

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