The Legal Services Corporation (LSC or Corporation) is seeking a consultant to evaluate and streamline the reporting process for its Office of Compliance and Enforcement (OCE), and to develop electronic reporting templates. This Request for Proposal (RFP) is intended to answer some basic questions about each RFP participant’s experience, pricing, and approaches. The anticipated deliverables for this work will include an assessment as to the standard critical elements to include in OCE reports, an electronic template for individual and team reports, and assistance in training staff on the use of the templates.
II. ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION
LSC is a private, non-profit corporation established by Congress in 1974 to promote equal access to justice and to provide grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation is headed by a bipartisan board of directors whose 11 members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. LSC currently distributes almost 95 percent of its total funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 800 offices that provide legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in every county in the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Micronesia.
LSC awards grants through a competitive process to ensure program quality and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements as well as with restrictions that accompany LSC funding, and provides training and technical assistance to its grantees. LSC encourages its grantees to leverage limited resources by partnering and collaborating with other funders of civil legal aid, including state and local governments, Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts programs, state access to justice commissions, the private bar, philanthropic foundations, law schools, and the business community.
LSC grantee programs are administered by local governing or policy bodies, a majority of whose members are appointed by state and/or local bar associations, and at least one-third of whose members are eligible clients. They provide legal assistance to individuals in civil matters pursuant to locally-established priorities that respond to pressing community needs. The most common categories of cases handled by LSC recipients are family, housing, income maintenance, consumer, health and employment. Case types frequently encountered include evictions, debt collection, foreclosures, divorce matters, child custody, child support, spousal abuse, child abuse or neglect, access to health care, and benefit claims such as unemployment, disability, food stamps and public assistance.
III. OCE BACKGROUND
The OCE conducts on-site reviews, of varying types and duration, to a limited number of LSC grantees each year. The objective of these reviews is to ensure grantee compliance with provisions of the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts and any other laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines or other directives of LSC. After completion of the on-site review, a draft report containing the review team’s findings, recommendations, and required corrective actions is issued to the reviewed grantee. The grantee is afforded an opportunity to respond to the draft report and then a final report, which incorporates the grantee’s comments, is issued and publically posted on lsc.gov.
A June 2010 Government Accountability Office Report entitled “Improvements Needed in Controls over Grant Awards and Grantee Program Effectiveness” found, in part,that LSC did not complete timely site visit reports which hindered LSC’s ability to effectively oversee grantees. LSC seeks to simplify the OCE report writing process in order to issue those reports in a more timely and useful manner.
IV. STATEMENT OF WORK
Critical to the successful restructuring of the OCE report process is a thorough understanding of OCE’s current and optimal report writing processes, as well as the importance of the onsite review process and the resulting reports. In describing the approach to executing the tasks outlined below, please indicate your organization’s experience with compliance and enforcement components of grant-making organizations and describe your familiarity with structuring and drafting compliance related reports.
Specifically, LSC is seeking to engage a consultant to make recommendations as to how OCE can improve and streamline its report writing process, in addition to developing an electronic report template(s). Completion and implementation of this process should include the following components:
The electronic template(s) and instructions shall be delivered to LSC in a written report, and should include electronic versions.
V. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE
The period of performance for this effort shall not exceed four to eight weeks from the execution of a contract.
The successful contractor shall engage in the following:
The successful contractor shall complete and submit the following:
A written assessment regarding what should be considered critical information for inclusion in OCE team reports, as well as the information which can be omitted.
Electronic report template(s) for both individual and team reports, and instructions for use.
Training plan for staff, to include at least one (1) onsite training session on use of the template(s).
VII. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE
The work will be performed at the contractor’s site and LSC offices, as appropriate.
VIII. PAST PERFORMANCE
The proposal must provide the general background, experience, and qualification of the offeror’s organization, including the number of years in business and the number of employees. The offeror shall submit three (3) samples of relevant work performed in the last three years. The required information shall include the name of the client, the contracted amount, the tasks accomplished under the project, the period of performance for the contract, and contact information (i.e., telephone number and e-mail address) of the contracting entity.
IX. PERSONNEL QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERTISE
The offeror will describe the qualifications and experience of key personnel. The proposal must include a list of names and proposed duties of professional personnel. The offeror must submit resumes for all individuals proposed to fill key positions.
In addition to the information listed above, please indicate if the proposed personnel are employees or independent contractors, and provide the turnover rate in your company for the last three (3) years.
The contract awarded will be a firm fixed price. Please provide the hourly rates and level of effort for the proposed personnel.
Level of Effort
XI. PROPOSAL PREPARATION
Proposals should be prepared in such a manner as to provide clear answers to the questions posed in this RFP.Proposals shall be submitted electronically via email.If additional materials, such as pamphlets and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) are responsive to this RFP, then they should also be included as part of the proposal as attachments, not linked to other locations (e.g., if a web site provides answers to numerous FAQs attach an electronic copy (PDF or text) to the answers, preferably with relevant information clearly denoted and question numbers referenced).
XII. EVALUATION CRITERIA
XIII. PROPOSAL CONTACT AND DELIVERY
Proposals should be delivered electronically via email on or before 5:30 p.m., EDT, on August 22, 2014. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a rolling basis, and LSC may select a successful candidate prior to the close of the application period. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Send proposals to:
Lora M. Rath
Director, Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Legal Services Corporation
3333 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 295-1524
Applicants are required to indicate whether they qualify as a small, disadvantaged business under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (13 CFR Part 124).
Applicants are solely responsible for ensuring that proposals are delivered on time. Late proposals will not be accepted.Delays caused by any delivery service will not be grounds for extension of the proposal due date and time. Proposals received after the deadline may be rejected.
All costs incurred in preparing proposals shall be borne by the applicant. Any final contract awarded will not provide for costs of the proposal to the applicant.
XIV. CLARIFICATION AND INFORMATION REQUESTS
Requests for further information or clarification of the information in this RFP should be submitted by email to Lora M. Rath at email@example.com. The deadline for further questions and clarifications is 5:30 p.m., EDT, on August 15, 2014. Answers to these requests will be copied to all RFP recipients that inform LSC that they are participating, prior to August 15, via email to Lora Rath.
XV. ACCEPTANCE OF PROPOSALS
LSC may accept or reject any or all proposals submitted in response to this RFP.
LSC and the RFP participants hereby acknowledge that, in the course of fulfilling their respective obligations under this engagement, LSC and the RFP participant may be given access to the other party’s confidential or proprietary information. Neither party shall use such proprietary information for the benefit of any third party, whether or not for consideration, and shall not sell, rent, loan, copy or make available any of the other party’s proprietary information to any person or entity. Neither party shall disclose or otherwise communicate any of the other party’s proprietary information to others, in whole or in part, except to such limited number of that party’s employees, agents, and consultants and only to the extent that is reasonably necessary to enable that party to fulfill its obligations and exercise its rights under this engagement until such time as the proprietary information becomes available to the public as non-confidential information through no act or fault of that party.
XVII. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the associated LSC regulations may require the release to the public, upon request, of certain documents held by LSC, including portions of proposals submitted to LSC by RFP participants. In general, LSC will not release any documents that are exempt from disclosure because their release would cause competitive harm to the RFP participant. If a FOIA request for such documents is received, LSC will contact the RFP participant prior to any release of material. Nonetheless, RPF participants are encouraged to label information considered confidential as such in proposals at the time of submission.