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Request For Information/Market Research Questionnaire (MRQ) SNAP Retailer Integrity Project - Phase I

Solicitation Number: AG-3198-S-13-0007
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service
Location: Contract Management Branch
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AG-3198-S-13-0007
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Sources Sought
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Added: Jan 10, 2013 12:09 pm
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering using a three-phase approach to identify and solicit qualified sources for an FNS Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) requirement - the SNAP Retailer Integrity Project. Please refer to the accompanying draft "Statement of Objectives" (SOO) for background and specific requirements regarding the subject matter.

FNS is seeking leading industry sources capable of (1) performing the scale and scope of work as outlined within the accompanying Statement of Objectives (SOO) for the SNAP Retailer Integrity requirement and (2) participating in a market research study to demonstrate that they have a viable solution which could be used to establish the accuracy of prospective Offerors' proposed solutions using limited sample data that FNS may provide such Offerors. The qualified vendors shall be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to comply with the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) guidelines, use the sample data FNS may provide such vendors and demonstrate the viability and accuracy of their proposed solutions. Such vendors will also be required to destroy all sample data FNS provides them once the market research study has been completed and a report has been submitted to FNS.


FNS is establishing the subject SNAP Retailer Integrity Project that will consist of three phases. This announcement constitutes a Request for Information (RFI) as well as a Sources Sought Request (SSR) for Phase I of the SNAP Retailer Integrity Project. It is issued solely for informational and planning purposes and does not constitute Request for Quotes/Proposals. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Additionally, the US Government will not provide reimbursement for any information that may be submitted in response to this RFI. Respondents are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI. Further, FNS offers no assurance that any solicitation will result from the information provided in response to this RFI.


Please note that the collection of this data does not obligate the US Government to incorporate the solicited comments nor does it obligate the Government to procure the services. Proprietary information should not be included in the RFI response. Responses to this RFI will not be returned.


FNS is expecting to solicit quotes for its SNAP Retailer Integrity requirements. The period of performance will be for a period still to be determined. A Firm Fixed Price contract type is anticipated. This will be a best value source selection using tradeoffs. A multi-phased approach in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.202 Advisory Multi-Step Process may be conducted.


PURPOSE: The purpose of the subject RFI Notice is to solicit Phase I "Capability Statement" responses to the attached Market Research Questionnaire (MRQ) from interested sources. All sources are eligible to respond to this Notice. FNS shall evaluate all responses to the attached MRQ using the evaluation criteria below.


Evaluation Criteria for Phase I:

1. The Capability Statement clearly describes a vendor's existing solution.
2. The Capability Statement lists all of the data elements that the proposed solution uses and describes how the data elements would be used to link the previously disqualified store owners to stores that are applying for SNAP, stores undergoing reauthorization, and all other stores currently SNAP authorized.
3. The Capability Statement lists all of the data elements that the proposed solution uses and describes how the data elements would be used to detect store owners who have certain criminal convictions, committed fraud, violated certain laws, or have shown a lack of business integrity in other government programs and who are applying for SNAP, undergoing reauthorization, and all other stores currently SNAP authorized.
4. The Capability Statement shows that the use of the proposed solution has in the past projects proved to be accurate resulting in "zero" or "near-zero" false positives.


FNS will use prospective Offerors' response to the MRQ to determine their viability for Phase II of the study. The response to the MRQ should also include a nominal price, at or below the micro-purchase threshold, for participating in Phase II of the study and demonstrating the viability of the proposed solution(s) using the sample data for approximately 200 retailers selected by FNS. The sample data will consist of a mixture of both previously disqualified retailers as well as eligible retailers that have no record reported to FNS of criminal convictions or finding of administrative fraud in a Government program. FNS is seeking for one solution that will address all requirements listed in the Executive Summary of the Statement of Objectives, but will accept two separate solutions for the requirements. FNS shall evaluate the viability of the proposed solution(s) using the evaluation criteria below.


Evaluation Criteria for Phase II:
1. If one (1) solution is proposed that will address all requirements:
a. The solution will be able to seek out and identify all previously disqualified owners in the sample data who have misrepresented their identity or have an undisclosed relationship to a new owner.
b. The solution will be able to seek out and identify all owners in the sample data who have certain criminal convictions, committed fraud, violated certain laws, or shown a lack of business integrity in other government programs.


2. If two (2) solutions are proposed that will address each requirement individually:
a. The first solution will be able to seek out and identify all previously disqualified owners in the sample data who have misrepresented their identity or have an undisclosed relationship to a new owner.
b. The second solution will be able to seek out and identify all owners in the sample data who have certain criminal convictions, committed fraud, violated certain laws, or shown a lack of business integrity in other government programs.


Payment under Phase II, system demonstrations, is deemed to be an allowable expense under FAR 31.205-18, Bid and Proposal Costs, for applied research to improve technology. The Agency will use the results of system assessments to make an informed decision on viability of a solution and whether or not it is feasible to release a solicitation. However, the Agency will only pay to the selected firms a nominal amount, less than the micro-purchase threshold, and as agreed to by both parties, allowable costs to demo the system.


These costs shall be broken down in the firm's Phase I response. The Agency intends to pay the selected vendors via Visa card or purchase order for the system demonstration and documented results.


The purpose of conducting the market research is to gain an understanding of the capabilities and qualifications that exist in the current marketplace as well as to formulate a performance-based acquisition strategy. The Government intends to use such information gathered as part of the competitive process to identify the most viable sources for the follow-on, Phase II of the competition. However, if FNS concludes that no viable solutions exist, it may not pursue Phases II and III of the competition.


Respondents will be classified as being "Viable" or "Non-viable" using their Capability Statement and above evaluation criteria. A maximum of 3-5 most-highly rated viable respondents will be invited to participate in the resultant Phase II of the competition. Based on assessment of Phase II results and acquisition strategy decision, firms participating in Phase II will again be formally notified if they are deemed viable or non-viable, and viable firms may be invited to participate in Phase III of the competition for the full-scale solution implementation. However, respondents who have not been considered as viable competitors, notwithstanding the evaluations of Phases I and II, may request to participate in the resultant competitive acquisition of Phase III along with other vendors based on the final acquisition strategy decision.


Your firm is hereby invited to complete the information requested on the attached questionnaire. Please note that your response shall be limited to 10 pages, including past performance descriptions and all attachments, but excluding a cover page and a table of contents. The formatting should utilize 1" margins and a font size no smaller than or equal to 12 pitch.


The required due date for submission of the completed information package is no later than: 5:00 PM EST, Friday, February 08, 2013 submitted via e-mail to: David.Lum@fns.usda.gov

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RFI/MRQ SNAP Retailer Integrity Project - Phase I

Type:
Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Label:
RFI/MRQ SNAP Retailer Integrity Project - Phase I
Posted Date:
January 10, 2013
Description: Market Research Questionnaire - SNAP Retailer Integrity Project
Description: Statement of Objectives - SNAP Retailer Integrity Project
:
3101 Park Center Drive, Room 228
Alexandria, Virginia 22302
:
David W. Lum,
Contracting Officer/Team Lead
Phone: 7033052991