Request for Qualifications: Delaware Program Circuit Rider

Proposal due date: October 31, 2019 at 5:00PM EST

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified Contractor to provide field support for the Delaware River Watershed and the grant programs within this region. The Delaware River Program is designed to restore the fish and wildlife habitats and water quality of the Delaware River and its tributaries. You can obtain a copy of the Program’s Business Plan on NFWF’s website, www.nfwf.org/delaware. The contractor will provide support for one-year (with the option to renew for up to four additional years) and report to Rachel Dawson, Director of NFWF’s Delaware River Programs.

BACKGROUND

While the program includes a variety of goals, the scope of work under this contract is for field liaison and circuit rider support for NFWF grantees and staff. NFWF manages two annual funding opportunities in the Delaware River Watershed. Grant programs under NFWF’s Delaware River Program include the Delaware River Restoration Fund and the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund. Over time, the funding levels, projects, scope, reach, and audience of the programs have grown significantly.  The need for effective field support has grown as well, to assist potential grantees in developing proposals that are aligned with NFWF’s priorities, to troubleshoot grant implementation, and to help form networks among grantees to facilitate shared learning. The majority of technical assistance will be provided to grantees and partners in the Delaware River Restoration Fund, however, given the close nexus between the two programs, it is expected that Circuit Rider time will also benefit projects under the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund.

SCOPE OF WORK 

Tasks The purpose of the contemplated contract is to:
  • ​Assist prospective applicants and current NFWF grantees in establishing, strengthening, and sustaining regional‐scale partnerships and collaborative approaches to advance NFWF’s Delaware River Watershed Business Plan;
  • Conduct outreach and offer assistance to potential grantees in targeted geographies to understand NFWF funding priorities, develop restoration project concepts, identify potential partnerships, and identify funding opportunities;
  • Occasionally conduct post-award site visits to trouble-shoot potential challenges with project implementation; conduct pre-project monitoring assessments; and collect photo documentation
  • Connect with grantees regarding post-project monitoring assessments; obtain lessons-learned or NFWF program feedback; collect photo documentation; provide guidance regarding projects’ long-term maintenance and stewardship plans; and, to scope potential next phases of projects with grantees
  • Liaise between NFWF grantees and NFWF staff, and between NFWF grantees and collaborative watershed initiatives; enhance communication between grantees and key stakeholders, such as NFWF and the Delaware River Watershed Initative 
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning among grantees through field tours, site visits, workshops and other venues
  • Facilitate collaborative initiatives around NFWF priorities in the designated region
  • Assist in grant proposal review for annual funding opportunities
Deliverables – 
  • ​Semiannual written and ongoing verbal progress reports
  • Final report summarizing lessons learned at contract completion
  • Comprehensive written reviews of grant proposals
These deliverables may be expanded or refined during the contract negotiation.

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS 

Proposals will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria.  Offerors should organize their Statement based on these sections:
  1. Understanding of the Scope of Work. A statement of no more than one page demonstrating an understanding of the challenges faced by the program(s) with which the offeror purports to work, including a comprehension of the geography, communities, partners and their dynamics. This section should include a description of how you will communicate with NFWF and program stakeholders and report on progress, results, and deliverables. Weight: 25%
  2. Technical Approach.  The proposed technical approach of no more than one page should clearly describe a proposed technical approach for facilitating the success of grant investments and overall program strategy and improvement. Weight: 25%
  3. Qualifications of Proposed Personnel.  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. Resumes and/or Vitae of the principal investigator(s), including any subcontractors, describing relevant professional experience in the following areas:  (a) experience working with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, national and local NGOs involved with conservation; (b) any experience with Foundations and grants management; (c) on-farm agricultural experience (d) experience with stream or other restoration projects. There is no page limit associated with this element of the Statement of Qualifications. Weight: 20%
  4. Contractor’s Past Performance.  The Statement of Qualifications 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 also include communication experience writing reports, conducting webinars and delivering presentations to different types of audiences. The cumulative statement of past performances should not exceed 1 page. The Statement should include names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of points of contact for the referenced engagements.  If the offeror anticipates retaining subcontractors for this task, information should be provided that demonstrates their past performance as well. Weight: 15%
  5. Budget. The proposed budget should itemize work in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request. You must use the Contractor Budget Template. You may add columns to the template for additional tasks if needed, but should not make any other changes. Please include the proposed budget for equipment purchase in the proposal separate from the Contractor Budget Template. Weight: 15%

ELIGIBLE OFFERORS & CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state and Indian tribal governments.

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 Statement of Quotations, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the Statement of Quotations) 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 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 instructions can be found here.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS 

Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinctly labeled and separate documents: 1) Technical Proposal, 2) Budget, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability.  Interested parties should submit proposals electronically to NFWF (Claire Flynn, claire.flynn@nfwf.org) using the requirements below:
  1. ​Technical Proposal.
    • ​​Format: Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF with a font size no smaller than 11 pt.
    • Contact information: Primary contact person, company name, address, phone, email, website, DUNS number, and EIN/Taxpayer ID#.
    • Narrative: Concise description of the understanding of the scope of work, technical approach, and a summary of the applicant’s expertise and experience. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments and previous services related to the technical expertise offered. 
    • Biographies: Resumes and/or Vitae of key staff and their role in the proposed work area.
    • References: List three clients who have received services from the applicant that is similar in nature to the proposed work; include names, phone numbers, and email address. 
  2. ​Budget. The budget proposal must be submitted using the following NFWF budget template.
  3. Evidence of Financial Stability. The applicant shall provide with the RFP response, proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements, credit ratings, a line of credit, or other financial arrangements sufficient to demonstrate the applicant’s capability to meet the requirements of this RFP.

SELECTION PROCEDURE 

A panel of NFWF staff will review the full proposals. Offerors may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award.  Only one award will be made for this project.  If multiple institutions are involved, they should be handled through sub-awards and sub-contracts.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES

October 1, 2019​​ ​​Request for Qualifications (RFQ) released. Q&A period begins. All questions of general interest will be answered publically and must be received by October 15.
October 15, 2019 ​Deadline for questions about the solicitation to NFWF. 
Offerors should submit questions regarding this solicitation via email to Claire Flynn (claire.flynn@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 on October 15, 2019.
October 31, 2019 ​Deadline for receipt by NFWF of proposals. Proposals must be received electronically as an email attachment to Claire Flynn (claire.flynn@nfwf.org​) by 5:00PM on October 31, 2019. Proposals must be provided in Word format or
searchable PDF with a font size no smaller than 11pt.
November 8, 2019 ​NFWF will notify all RFQ offerors of their status and successful offerors will be either invited to interview or to complete a scope of work and budget.
November 18, 2019 ​Contractors’ anticipated start date​.
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