Request for Proposals

Cat 6 Cabling

for New Castle Area School District

Croton Pre-Kindergarten

Due Date: March 12, 2019 2:00 PM

New Castle Area School District Central Office

420 Fern Street, New Castle, PA  16101


Invitation to Submit Proposals

New Castle Area School District (“District”) issues this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the supply and installation of structured category 6 cabling at one of the district’s buildings.  The district intends to apply for discounts on the items listed in the RFP through the federal E‐rate program.  Several criteria and restrictions pertinent to the E‐rate program are included herein and must be met by the successful vendor in order for the proposal to be considered a Qualified Proposal.

The Issuing Office is the primary point on contact for  New Castle Area School District with regards to all matters relating to the services described herein during the procurement process.  

The Issuing Officer is:

James Foster

Technology Coordinator

New Castle Area School District

420 Fern Street

New Castle, PA  16101

e‐mail: jfoster@ncasd.com

 


Timeline for the Procurement Process

February 4, 2019  RFP available to interested respondents; E‐Rate Form 470 posted.

February 12, 9AM walkthrough.

February 15, Last date for vendor questions relating to RFP by 3PM EDT
March 12, 2019  RFP bid proposals due from service providers by 2 PM EDT 
Mid-March 2019*  RFP anticipated award date
April 2019*    Final Contract Approved
July 1st 2019*    Target services delivery start‐date

* These are target dates. Dates may change at the sole discretion of the  New Castle Area School District.

Prospective Vendors must direct and confine all inquiries and communications concerning this RFP to the Issuing Officer and correspondence is required to be via e‐mail.  The District encourages prospective Vendors to submit any questions they may have by the due date specified in the procurement timeline. Questions are required to include “Croton Cabling Project” in the subject line to ensure that the issuing officer identifies the email as relating to this procurement.  Any questions asked will be answered and posted to the district website and on the for 470 as an addendum.

RFP Proposals will be held in confidence; and, except for the selected RFP proposal will not be revealed or discussed with competitors, except as required by law.  All other material submitted with the RFP proposals becomes the property of the  New Castle Area School District and may be returned only at the  New Castle Area School District’s option.   RFP proposals submitted to the  New Castle Area School District may be reviewed and evaluated by any person other than the competing venders at the discretion of the  New Castle Area School District.

The  New Castle Area School District has the right to use any or all ideas presented in any RFP proposal.  Selection or rejection of the RFP proposal does not affect this right.  Any financial information disclosures that are considered of a proprietary and confidential nature by the vendor shall be returned to any non‐winning vendor upon written request by that vendor.

Final submission should include two (2) complete hard copies and a flash drive of the proposal that shall be delivered in a sealed envelope clearly marked, “Sealed Proposal – Croton Cabling Project”. All proposals will remain sealed and will be opened at the  New Castle Area School District Bid Opening Meeting on Thursday March 13, 2019. The meeting with begin at 2:00 PM in the New Castle Area School District office conference room..  The  New Castle Area School District retains the right to reject any or all proposals.

Representatives of the  New Castle Area School District will review and evaluate the bids.  The final recommendation will be presented to the  New Castle Area School District Board of Directors for E‐Rate contract approval.  In addition, acceptance of any proposal is contingent upon receipt of E‐Rate funding.  The selected vendor will be advised of selection by the  New Castle Area School District through issuance of a notification of award email.  Unsuccessful vendors will also be notified via email.

All vendor proposals should be prepared simply and economically, providing straightforward, concise description of the vendor’s ability to meet the RFP requirements.  The proposal must include a signed copy of the attached Appendix A ‐ “E‐RATE SUPPLEMENTAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS” and Appendix B – “PRICE SHEET”. The vendors should include verbiage that that the contract date for this project is July 1st 2019 through September 30th 2020.

Vendors who submit an RFP proposal may be required to make an oral presentation to the  New Castle Area School District. All presentations will be scheduled by the issuing officer.  Such presentations provide an opportunity for the vendors to clarify the proposals to ensure thorough mutual understanding.  Vendors must submit a written amendment to their RFP proposals to confirm change made during oral presentations.

Scope of Services Requested in this Request for Proposal

Contractor/Installation Requirements

The vendor should attend the walkthrough on 12 February 2019 at 9AM at Croton Pre-Kindergarten Center, 420 Fern Street, New Castle, PA 16101.

On‐site work at the school sites cannot commence until the provider has obtained all relevant certifications, licenses, permits and/or required qualifications for its workers and has presented required documentation for the personnel to work in the District’s locations.

Proposal Requirements/Information

Each vendor should include the following in their proposal:

 

The District is exempt from Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax and has other federal and state tax exemptions afforded to public school entities and/or similar political subdivisions.  This notice shall serve to satisfy any notification required by the provider to these tax exemptions.  Vendors must ensure that their costs proposals specifically include all applicable taxes, fees, and surcharges from which the District is not exempt or that is imposed or assessed by the Vendor.

Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act Requirement ‐ In accordance with Section 753 of the Public School Code of 1949 as amended and Section 165‐1 to Section 165‐17 of the Prevailing Wage Act, the Vendor shall pay all wage rates required by said Acts and comply with all reporting requirements of said Acts or any regulations issued pursuant thereto so as to insure that the laborers and mechanics employed to perform the work specified under the contract shall be paid at the rates required.

Proposal Evaluation Requirements

In accordance with applicable state law and e‐rate rules, the District is required to select the proposal of the “lowest responsible bidder” in the event that the District decides to award a contract.   In order for a bidder to be considered a “responsible” bidder, the bidder must comply with the following:

 


APPENDIX “A” – E‐RATE SUPPLEMENTAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Signed copy to be returned with bid response.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 established a fund by which Schools and Libraries across the Country could access discounts on eligible telecommunications products and services.  The program is commonly known as the E‐rate Program.  The eligibility for discounts on internet access, telecommunications products and services, internal connection products, services and maintenance is determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Funding is made available upon application approval by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which was established by the Act. The amount of discount is based on the numbers of students receiving free and reduced price meals.

1) E‐RATE CONTINGENCY

The project herein [is/may be] contingent upon the approval of funding from the Universal Service Fund’s Schools and Libraries Program, otherwise known as E‐rate. Even after award of contract(s) and/or E‐rate funding approval is obtained, the District may or may not proceed with the project, in whole or in part. Execution of the project, in whole or in part, is solely at the discretion of the District.

2) SERVICE PROVIDER REQUIREMENTS

The District expects Service Providers to make themselves thoroughly familiar with any rules or regulations regarding the E‐rate program.

a. Service Providers are required to be in full compliance with all current requirements and future requirements issued by the SLD throughout the contractual period of any contract entered into as a result of this RFP.

b. Service Providers are responsible for providing a valid SPIN (Service Provider Identification Number). More information about obtaining a SPIN may be found at this website: https://www.usac.org/sl/service-providers/step01/default.aspx

c. Service Providers are responsible for providing a valid Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Registration Number (FRN) at the time the bid is submitted. More information about obtaining an FRN may be found at this website:  https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do

d. Service Providers are responsible for providing evidence of FCC Green Light Status at the time the bid is submitted. Any potential bidder found to be in Red Light Status must provide an explanation of the steps it is undertaking to be removed to Red Light Status and the expected timeframe for resolution. A Service Provider's sustained Red Light Status may be grounds for contract termination as it could prohibit the Service Provider from providing E‐rate discounts in a timely manner which would cause harm to the Applicant. More information about FCC Red and Green Light Status may be found at this website: http://www.fcc.gov/debt_collection/welcome.html

e. Products and services must be delivered before billing can commence.  At no time may the Service Provider invoice before July 1, 2019.

f. Prices must be held firm for the duration of the associated E‐rate Funding Year(s) or until all work associated with the project is complete (including any contract and USAC approved extensions).

g. Goods and services provided shall be clearly designated as “E‐rate Eligible”. Non‐eligible goods and services shall be clearly called out as 100% non‐eligible or shall be “cost allocated” to show the percentage of eligible costs per SLD guidelines.

h. Within one (1) week of award, the awarded Service Provider must provide the District a bill of materials using a completed USAC “Item 21 Template”.  Subsequent schedules of values and invoices for each site must match Item 21 Attachment or subsequent service substitutions. A summary sheet must also be provided to provide the cumulative amount for all sites.

i. In the event of questions during an E‐rate pre‐commitment review, post‐commitment review and/or audit inquiry, the awarded Service Provider is expected to reply within 3 days to questions associated with its proposal.

j. The awarded Service Provider is required to send copies of all forms and invoices to the District prior to invoicing USAC for pre‐approval. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the District placing the vendor on an “Invoice Check” with the USAC https://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step06/invoice-check.aspx

k. Services providers must comply with the FCC rules for Lowest Corresponding Price ("LCP"). Further details on LCP may be obtained at USAC's website: http://www.usac.org/sl/service‐providers/step02/lowest‐corresponding­price.aspx

 

3) SERVICE PROVIDER ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

a. The Service Provider acknowledges that no change in the products and/or services specified in this document will be allowed without prior written approval from the district and a USAC service substitution approval with the exception of a Global Service Substitutions.

b. The Service Provider acknowledges that all pricing and technology infrastructure information in its bid shall be considered as public and non‐confidential pursuant to §54.504 (2)(i)(ii).

c. The Service Provider acknowledges that its offer is considered to be the lowest corresponding price pursuant to § 54.511(b). Should it not be the lowest corresponding price, the service provider must disclose the conditions leading to the applicant being charged in excess of lowest corresponding price.

d. This offer is in full compliance with USAC’s Free Services Advisory http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step02/free‐services‐advisory.aspx. There are no free services offered that would predicate an artificial discount and preclude the applicant from paying its proportionate non‐discounted share of costs. The service provider agrees to provide substantiating documentation to support this assertion should the applicant, USAC, or the FCC request it.

4) STARTING SERVICES/ADVANCE INSTALLATION – Category 1 Services

The annual E‐rate Funding Year begins on July 1 and expires on June 30 of each calendar year. Regardless of the contract “effective date”, E‐rate eligible goods and/or services requested in this RFP shall be delivered no earlier than the start of the 2019 funding year (July 1, 2019). If Category 1 services (Telecommunication Services and Internet access) will begin on or shortly after July 1 of a funding year, the service provider, in some cases, may need to undertake some construction and installation work prior to the beginning of that funding year. Within the limitations indicated below, the infrastructure costs of a service provider can be deemed to be delivered at the same time that the associated Category 1 services begin. That is, if services begin on July 1, then the delivery of service provider infrastructure necessary for those services can be considered as also delivered on July 1. However, NO INVOICING can take place prior to July 1 of the associated Funding Year.

EARLY FUNDING CONDITIONS

Category 1

There are four conditions that must be met in order for USAC to provide support in a funding year for Category 1 infrastructure costs incurred prior to that funding year.

For more information, please refer to the FCC Order involving the Nassau County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (DA 02‐3365 , released December 6, 2002). This FCC decision only applies to Priority 1 services (telecommunications services and Internet access).

The complete text can be found at the following URL: http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/installation.aspx

 

Category 2

There is one condition that allows USAC to provide support in a funding year for Category 2 installation costs incurred prior to that funding year.

For more information, please refer to the FCC Report and Order and Further Notice of  Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 14‐99 , released July 23, 2014). This FCC decision only applies to Category 2 services (Internal Connections).

However, NO INVOICING can take place prior to July 1 of the funding year.

5) INVOICING

a. The Service Provider agrees to bill and receive a portion of the payment for the provisions of goods and services described herein directly from USAC via the Form 474 Service Provider Invoice (SPI). The District will only be responsible for paying its non‐discounted share of costs and does not intend to use the BEAR process (Form 472). The maximum percentage the District will be liable for is the pre‐discount amount minus the funded amount as shown on the FCC Form 471 Block 5 and any identified ineligible costs. Upon the successful receipt or posting of a Funding Commitment Decision Letter from the SLD and submission, certification and USAC approval of Form 486, the District shall pay only the discounted amount beginning with the billing cycle immediately following said approval. Alternatively, should the District decide that it is in the best interest of the District to file a Form 472, the District will inform the Service Provider of its intent.

b. All Service Provider invoicing to USAC must be completed within 120 days from the last day of service. Should the Service Provider fail to invoice USAC in a timely manner, the District will only be responsible for paying its non‐discounted share.

 

6) FCC/SLD AUDITABILITY

The E‐rate program requires that all records be retained for at least ten (10) years from the last date of service provided on a particular funding request. Respondent hereby agrees to retain all books, records, and other documents relative to any Agreement resulting from this RFP for ten (10) years after final payment. The District, its authorized agents, and/or auditors reserves the right to perform or have performed an audit of the records of the Respondent and therefore shall have full access to and the right to examine any of said materials within a reasonable period of time during said period.

 

7) PROCUREMENT OF ADDITIONAL GOODS AND/OR SERVICES/COTERMINOUS EXPIRATION

During the term of any Agreement resulting from this RFP, the District may elect to procure additional or like goods and/or services offered by the Respondent. Such services shall be negotiated and obtained via an official amendment to this Agreement and approval by the District’s Governing Board. All terms, conditions, warranties, obligations, maintenance and support of said goods or services shall have a coterminous expiration date with the original date of this Agreement. The District shall not enter into a separate Agreement for said goods or services. Respondents must state in their proposal that they acknowledge, accept and are in agreement with coterminous expiration conditions.

SPECIAL NOTE: It is the expectation of  New Castle Area School District (NCASD) that any respondent to this solicitation familiarize themselves with the impact that any as yet unknown tariff(s) imposed upon particular manufacturer’s products and are appropriately accounted for in the respondent’s fee proposal. NCASD presumes a 25% tariff will be imposed on any manufacturer’s networking equipment manufactured abroad and will be applicable at the time of purchase throughout the term of any agreement resulting from this solicitation (including any mutually agreed upon extensions). PLEASE INCLUDE THIS 25% TARIFF WHEN COMPLETING THE PRICING ATTACHMENT AS PRESENTED. It is also the expectation of  New Castle Area School District that should the presumed tariff be LESS than 25% or not ultimately be imposed upon the manufacturer’s product, the cost saving will be passed along to NCASD and, in turn, the FCC’s E‐Rate program as well. It should also be presumed by respondents that should any tariff imposed upon a particular manufacturer’s product be higher than 25% at the time of purchase, NCASD will appropriately compensate the service provider for the full cost incurred at the time of purchase without regard to E‐Rate eligible invoicing.

I, the undersigned, as an authorized agent of ______________________________ (Service Provider Name), hereby certify that I have read the E‐rate Supplemental Terms and Conditions, am fully compliant and intend to cooperate with the E‐rate process as outlined above.

Signature: _______________________________ Title: _______________________________

Phone Number: __________________________   Email: _____________________________

Service Provider Name: _________________________________________________________


APPENDIX “B” – PRICE SHEET

Please complete and return with proposal

Service Provider Name: _________________________________________________________

 Signature: _______________________________ Title: _______________________________

Phone Number: __________________________   Email: _____________________________

SPECIAL NOTE: It is the expectation of  New Castle Area School District (NCASD) that any respondent to this solicitation familiarize themselves with the impact that any as yet unknown tariff(s) imposed upon particular manufacturer’s products and are appropriately accounted for in the respondent’s fee proposal. NCASD presumes a 25% tariff will be imposed on any manufacturer’s networking equipment manufactured abroad and will be applicable at the time of purchase throughout the term of any agreement resulting from this solicitation (including any mutually agreed upon extensions). PLEASE INCLUDE THIS 25% TARIFF WHEN COMPLETING THE PRICING ATTACHMENT AS PRESENTED. It is also the expectation of  New Castle Area School District that should the presumed tariff be LESS than 25% or not ultimately be imposed upon the manufacturer’s product, the cost saving will be passed along to NCASD and, in turn, the FCC’s E‐Rate program as well. It should also be presumed by respondents that should any tariff imposed upon a particular manufacturer’s product be higher than 25% at the time of purchase, NCASD will appropriately compensate the service provider for the full cost incurred at the time of purchase without regard to E‐Rate eligible invoicing.

Item

Description

Total Cost

Anticipated
Tariff %

1

Croton Pre-Kindergarten 

  1.  Data Drops (150)

      B.  Cabling Hardware

      C.  Installation

      D.  Core Drilling Costs

PROPOSAL TOTAL:


APPENDIX “C” – FLOORPLANS


Walk through Questions and Answers:

  1.  Are vendors to provide patch cables?
  1. No.
  1. Are cables terminated in ceiling to be mounted in a box with a faceplate?
  1. Yes.
  1. Should core drilling be a separate line item in the bid?
  1. Yes.
  1. Is there any asbestos?
  1. Not that I am aware of, but this is an opinion, not a statement of fact.
  1. How exact do locations on drawing need to be to reality in the gymnasium area?
  1. Within practical limits.
  1. Do covers need to be provided for WAP in Gymnasium area?
  1. No.