Request for Proposals: Northeastern Region Grantee Technical Assistance for Federal Compliance

Proposal Deadline:  June 29, 2018

OVERVIEW

The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified contractor to provide technical guidance and compliance review support for the Northeastern Region and the programs within this region. 

BACKGROUND

NFWF manages a variety of grant programs in the northeastern United States. Projects selected for funding through these programs often are subject to federal compliance requirements. NFWF is seeking a qualified contractor to provide technical assistance to grantees in meeting such compliance requirements, including the following:

  • ​Documentation to support Federal assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Documentation of compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (state and federal)
  • Consultations required under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)
  • Development of Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) if a project involves monitoring, data collection or data use. 

Over time, as the funding levels, projects, scope, reach and audience of programs under NFWF’s Northeastern Region have grown, the need for effective technical guidance and support has grown as well. We are seeking to learn how a professional environmental consultant or company may be able to assist potential grantees with the necessary compliance documentation.

SCOPE OF WORK

The selected party will perform the following activities for select programs under NFWF’s Northeastern Regional Office. Programs will include the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, and may also include the New England Forests and Rivers Fund, the Delaware River Restoration Fund, the Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund.

  1. ​NEPA/ESA/NHPA related compliance
    • ​​Review, and characterize for NFWF, individual projects by compliance type informed by a formal understanding of NEPA/ESA/NHPA.
    • Provide a justification and rationale for project characterization to support compliance review by a federal agency.
    • Provide guidance and support of individual grantees to develop information and materials required for NEPA/ESA/NHPA and related consultations.  
      • ​​​​​Prepare for grantees lists of materials needed to support compliance review by the federal agency, including the types of required information (e.g. project details/description of the action, design drawings, plan-views, maps, photos, land-use history/environmental setting, existing surveys/database information, IPaC, etc.).
  2. ​​QAPP related compliance
    1. Provide guidance to and support of individual grantees to organize and develop information needed to prepare QAPP templates for review by NFWF and/or EPA.
    2. Assist grantees as needed to develop clarifying responses if questions arise or comments made during EPA quality assurance review.

NFWF anticipates the following project compliance needs  in the coming year:

  1. NEPA/ESA/NHPA related compliance: 
    • ​​Five consultations or less for projects that include environmental planning, assessments and coordination where no on-the-ground activity will take place. 
    • Five consultations or less for projects that include minimal or standard activities, and universally accepted Standard Operating Procedures and conservation measures are already incorporated into the project. 
    • Five consultations or less for projects likely to have a significant effect (either positive or negative) on an aspect of the environment; and which will require a complete compliance review.  Projects might include on-the-ground work, ground-disturbing activities with potential Tribal consultation or State Historic Preservation Act review needed, or other potential effects to the human environment.  
  2. QAPP related compliance
    • ​​Approximately 20 consultations as described above. 

In addition to the consultations and documentation, the contract deliverables will also include maintaining a tracking spreadsheet and providing information/updates upon request.  

This list above outlines the general scope of work to be addressed under this RFP; however, it is subject to change in response to additional similar task orders as needed.

The period of performance will be one year from the date of the award to the selected party with an option to extend for an additional four years, to be exercised at NFWF’s discretion. 

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS

The evaluation criteria listed below will be used to evaluate proposals for the purpose of ranking them based on how fully each proposal meets the requirements of this RFP. The contract award recommendation of the review panel will be determined based on the applicant with the highest scoring submitted proposal. Proposals will be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria:

  1. ​Understanding of the Scope of Work. The proposal must demonstrate a thorough understanding of federal compliance requirements (NEPA/ESA/NHPA, QAPP, etc.), and the processes for developing and compiling the materials grantees need to meet such requirements.  Weight: 20%
  2. Technical Approach. The proposed technical approach for fulfilling the scope of work must demonstrate familiarity and proficiency in federal compliance consultations.  Weight: 20%
  3. Qualifications of Proposed Personnel. The proposal should describe 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) proven track record of success in supporting conservation projects with specific federal compliance requirements. Weight: 20%
  4. Past Performance/References.  The proposal should include information about past performance related to the technical expertise offered. Specifically, the proposal should identify at least two past engagements conducting similar work for NFWF or other organizations, identifying the applicant’s quality of work, timeliness, and cost control. Weight: 20%
  5. Cost Proposal. The budget should be cost effective and should maximize the value for monies requested in the applicant’s budget. Please break various tasks into separate line items. Proposal costs should be the minimum necessary to adequately achieve the stated scope of work. Profit/profit margin must be separately itemized in the budget. Applicants must use the attached budget template. Weight: 15%
  6. Corporate Capacity.  The applicant shall provide proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements or balance sheets.  Weight 5%

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses and individual consultants. Qualified, certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) (small, minority and women-owned businesses) are strongly encouraged to apply.   

SELECTION PROCEDURE 

A panel of NFWF staff will review proposals submitted in response to the RFP. The panel will assess each proposal according to the project description and evaluation criteria provided in this RFP.  Applicants may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award.  One contractor will be selected to meet the scope of work. Specific funding amounts will be negotiated with the Foundation and additional funding will be considered annually based upon the expressed needs of the programs. If multiple institutions are involved, they should be handled through subcontracts.  

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinct and separate documents:  1) Technical Proposal, 2) Cost Proposal, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability.  Interested parties should submit proposals electronically to NFWF (Jessica Lillquist, Jessica.Lillquist@NFWF.org) following the requirements below:

  1. ​Technical Proposal: 
    • ​​Format: Statements 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 (5-page limit) description of the work plan and a summary of the applicant’s expertise and experience. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments, events 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 of two clients who have received services from the applicant that is similar in nature to the proposed work; include names, postal and email addresses, and telephone numbers.
  2. ​Cost Proposal: The Cost Proposal includes the proposal budget and budget justification. The cost proposal must be submitted using the attached 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.

Applicants should submit questions regarding this RFP via e-mail to Jessica Lillquist (Jessica.Lillquist@NFWF.org​). NFWF will respond to all applicants 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 June 5, 2018.

RFP DEADLINES (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

​​5/17/2018
​Request for Proposals (RFP) released. Q&A period begins. All questions of general interest will be answered publically and must be received by June 5, 2018
6/05/2018
​Deadline for Questions. FAQ will be posted to this site within 48 hours.
6/29/2018
​Proposals must be received electronically as an email attachment by Jessica Lillquist (Jessica.Lillquist@NFWF.org​) by 11:00 PM EDT.
8/01/2018
​​Contractors’ anticipated start date. 

 

SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. ​Conflicts of Interest
    Applicants must notify NFWF in writing of any apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest, that are known at the time of this proposal or that may arise during the life of this award, in the event an award is made.  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 applicant, the applicant’s employees, or the applicant’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 applicant 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.  Any such notice shall be included with the Evidence of Financial Stability submission.   

  2. Additional Responsibility Matters
    By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the applicant 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 sub-award, 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/. 

REQUESTING ORGANIZATION:  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005

CONTACT:  Jessica Lillquist; 202-595-2612; Jessica.Lillquist@NFWF.org  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

 Related Documents

 
 

 DUE DATES

 
6/5/2018
Question Submission Deadline 

6/29/2018
Proposal Deadline
 

 Contact