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Economic Impact Analysis on Proposed Regulations for Living Conditions for Organic Poultry

Solicitation Number: APHIS-515352
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Location: Administrative Services Division/Contracting
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APHIS-515352
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Sources Sought
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Added: May 18, 2011 3:52 pm
Statement of Work
Economic Impact Analysis on Proposed Regulations for Living Conditions for Organic Poultry
Agricultural Marketing Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

1. BACKGROUND


The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations at 7 CFR Part 205 sets forth the national standards for production and handling of organic agricultural products. The NOP requires an economic analysis related to organic poultry production for the development of rule making, policies, guidance and statutory amendments. The NOP regulations were first published in 2000 and were updated in February 2010 to include a substantial practice standard amendment regarding access to pasture for livestock. The following sections regulate livestock living conditions as they apply to poultry: § 205.238 (Livestock health care practice standard), § 205.239 (Livestock living conditions).


The NOP regulations do not set specific stocking rates for either inside housing or the outside access areas, and it is clear that further elaboration is needed to ensure consistent regulatory implementation and enforcement. The NOP issued a general policy memo in October 2002 that affirmed that outside access areas are required, but it did not specify size or other details. The NOP subsequently provided a memo regarding exemption to outside access for purposed of biosecurity, as well as a decision that outside access could be provided in a fenced, roofed, and floored outside area (a "porch" attached to a poultry house). To obtain organic certification, poultry producers must submit an Organic System Plan (OSP) describing outside access to NOP. The OSP is subsequently reviewed by USDA-accredited certification agents, who then interpret the regulations, review the OSP for sufficiency, and conduct on-site inspections to verify compliance by organic operations. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the NOP's citizen advisory panel, made recommendations in April 2002, November 2009. The NOSB also proposed further changes in April 2011 concerning appropriate living conditions for poultry. The NOP intends to publish a regulatory amendment to 205.239 in accordance with NOSB final recommendations that will clarify requirements for outside access and indoor and outdoor stocking densities.


2. OBJECTIVES
The NOP requires professional consulting services for an independent economic impact analysis on proposed rules for the living conditions for organic poultry. The NOP will provide a draft outline of proposed regulation changes, highlighting areas of change from the present rule. This draft will be provided to the contractor by July 1. This draft may also include more than one option for regulatory text.
The contractor will provide a sound analysis, including a justification of its methodology. The analysis will estimate the cost and benefits of implementing the proposed rule, in comparison to alternatives (as per Exec. Order 12866). Alternatives will include (1) no change to existing rule, or (2) other options to be developed by NOP. All work will comply with the USDA Information Quality Activities Regulatory Guidelines. Final deliverable must be in the format for publication in the Federal Register.
3. SCOPE


The contractor shall provide professional consulting services necessary to develop an economic impact analysis for purposes of proposed rule publication regarding amendment to the requirements for poultry living conditions at 7 CFR 205.239. The contractor shall employ a proven methodology, based on past experience. The contractor shall gather input from relevant parties, such as agricultural economists, animal scientists, and biostatisticians, as well as individuals with first-hand knowledge of organic poultry production. This information will be used to analyze the predicted economic impact of the proposed rule. The status of baseline data on the organic poultry industry is unknown. The contractor should have the expertise to develop assumptions and economic models of potential impacts of the rule, if needed. Available data on organic production is limited; therefore, the contractor will be responsible for determining appropriate sources and methodology.


4. TASKS AND DELIVERABLES
This project will have three phases. Although the contractor may recommend additional steps or sub-tasks in its proposal, the proposal must demonstrate an ability to complete the following tasks:
Phase I
Evaluate and document a baseline scope of the industry. The contractor shall conduct data gathering on the following items, as well as any other topics deemed relevant to the regulations:
a) The volume and dollar value of current production of organic poultry products (eggs, broiler chickens, turkeys, other species);
b) The number of organic poultry operations (including a breakout of pullet and laying operations);
c) Range of scale of production (including a breakout of housing types by scale of production (e.g. aviary, or those enclosed structures currently providing outdoor access)
d) The geographic areas of production/distribution;
e) Marketing methods used for the product;
f) Cost of production, including infrastructure investments;
g) Trends in sales data over time;
h) information/data gaps; and
i) The confidence level of the estimates produced from the data.
Phase II
Establish an analysis of the economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities and evaluate whether alternative proposals can accomplish same effects without unduly burdening small entities.
Phase III
Prepare the economic analysis for inclusion in proposed regulations.
5. DELIVERABLES
Phase I: baseline report defining the economic landscape that the rulemaking will affect. Due August 1st, 2011.
Phase II: paper outlining an analysis of the economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities, and evaluate whether alternative proposals can accomplish same effects without unduly burdening small entities or erecting barriers that would restrict their ability to compete in the market, as per the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Due September 6th, 2011.
Phase III: written analysis for the inclusion in proposed rules, formatted for publication in the Federal Register. Due October 3rd, 2011.
Deliverable Review
NOP shall have 15 working days to review each draft and final deliverable. NOP shall have the right to reject or require the correction of any deficiencies found in the deliverables. In the event of rejection of any deliverables, the contractor shall be notified in writing and shall have 15 working days to correct the deficiencies at no additional cost to NOP. NOP shall have 15 working days to review corrections of any rejected deliverables. NOP will notify the contractor in writing that the required documents are sufficient to meet the above SOW requirements. Approvals of deliverables shall not be considered valid until the deliverables are approved in writing by NOP. In order to avoid problems with expectations of products, the contractor is encouraged to submit a draft document to NOP at 7 business days prior to final delivery to ensure acceptance criteria of products are met.
The Contractor shall formally respond to all written review comments from NOP within 5 business days of receipt or sooner. This response should indicate agreement/disagreement, and how the concern will be addressed within the next submission or resubmission. The final deliverable shall also include a traceability matrix indicating final disposition of all written review comments received.
All work products will become the intellectual property of USDA. The contractor may retain copies of scheduled reports and any deliverables that are available to the public. The contractor may not retain copies of any other deliverable.
Performance Monitoring
Performance will be monitored using the following methods:


• In Process Review: The contractor shall be prepared to present periodic costs and performance information while in process. The focus shall be on identifying costs and schedule variances in completion of tasks.
• Monthly Status Reports: The contractor shall provide a monthly status report via email for the project(s) within 5 days of the end of the month to the Federal Project Manager.


The following information is required for each monthly status report:


a) Hours and dollars billed per project, to include balance per project;
b) Summary of costs for each cost element (labor, travel, subcontracts, consultants, other direct costs, indirect costs) incurred during the period.
c) Activities achieved during the period based on agreed upon categories;
d) Status of deliverables during that period;
e) Estimate to complete all work remaining on the project, and projected monthly expenditures by project area to the completion date; and
f) Any other issues that need attention.


6. REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
The contractor should have educational background in economic analysis, and be able to conduct research in current literature regarding economic status and trends of the organic marketplace. The ability to create new baseline data or to make assumptions using current economic models is necessary. The contractor should be able to demonstrate prior knowledge of the Organic Foods Production Act (enacted under Title 21 of the 1990 Farm Bill) and USDA organic regulations (7 CFR part 205). The contractor should be familiar with the regulatory drafting process, including compliance with Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.


7. PERIOD/PLACE OF PERFORMANCE
The period of performance is May 1- September 1, 2011. The agreement may be extended for up to 3 months beyond the end of the period of performance, dependent upon satisfactory performance and due to unforeseen delays in project completions, and/or substantial changes in the specifications.


The contractor may perform the work anywhere in the United States, but must be accessible by electronic mail and telephone. The NOP will provide workspace when travel to Washington DC from another location is necessary for this assignment. The government will provide all documentation related to the study and access to AMS resources/staff. Workspace in the NOP office will be provided as needed for meetings or occasional visits. No other equipment will be provided.


8. EVALUATION CRITERIA
The proposals will be evaluated on the likelihood of meeting the NOP's objectives. The evaluation will be based on the technical capabilities of the CONTRACTOR in relation to the needs of the project and the reasonableness of costs in relation to the work to be performed. Proposals will be based on the following factors: personnel to be assigned to the project, past performance, and price.
A. Key Personnel (50 points)
The proposal should indicate the adequacy of the proposed staff to implement the requirements of the Statement of Work, specifically evidence of qualifications, availability, competence, and experience.
B. Past Experience and Past Performance Factors (30 points)
Please note that the past experience and past performance is related to the company as an entity and not to work done by particular individuals within the company. In the event that the NOP receives a quote from a contractor that does not have a past performance or for which past performance information is not available, the firm will not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on that basis. References other than those included in firm's quote may be contacted by the NOP to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation of the contractor's past performance.
i. Past experience conducting economic analyses, statistical analyses, data collection, and writing. (20 points)
ii. Prior experience working with an agricultural agency, particularly with a focus on sustainable agriculture. (10 points)
C. Price (20 points)
The proposal shall be evaluated for the cost to the NOP to meet the objectives.
9. TOTAL AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION
The NOP is soliciting bids for this project. The available budget for this project is $100,000.


10. ADMINISTRATION


A) Government Officials
1) Local Contact: Betsy Rakola, Grants Management Specialist
2) Technical Contact: Emily Brown Rosen, Agricultural Management Specialist
3) NOP Federal Project Manager: Ruihong Guo, Acting Associate Deputy Administrator


B) Meetings:


1) NOP and the contractor will mutually determine, at the beginning of the project, the frequency of meetings. Examples are kick-off, close-out meetings, and review meetings.
2) Periodic progress conference calls may be held to set and clarify project goals and policies, project constraints, submission schedule, and other relevant project information. Frequency of conference calls will be mutually determined by NOP and contractor.
3) The contractor will coordinate all meetings and visits with NOP prior to visit. If applicable, the contractor will coordinate and develop a meeting agenda.


C) Payment
Funds obligated by this contract will be managed through the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service Budget Office. AMS Budget Office will process transfer of funds in connection with this statement of work. The contractor invoices for work performed will be processed for payment when the work products have been reviewed and approved by NOP.



Interested sources are encouraged to complete and return Attachment 1 to the contracting office. Telephonic inquiries will not be honored. Please email all questions regarding subject item(s) prior to Sources Sought closing date to Carol.Dingess@aphis.usda.gov. Small Business concerns are encouraged to participate. This is not a request for competitive proposals, but instead a market research method to determine interested sources. A determination by the Government not to compete this requirement based on responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. Information received will be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement. No requests for capability briefings will be honored as a result of this notice however USDA/APHIS Procurement welcomes any questions or suggestions regarding item info if received by email to Carol.Dingess@aphis.usda.gov or fax# 612-336-3550 on or before closing date. Interested sources who submit data are responsible for appropriately marking information if it is proprietary in nature. Please provide Tax I.D. Number, Duns Number, and point of contact information. The Government will not award a contract based on the information received, nor reimburse participants for information or samples they provide. Information or materials provided is strictly voluntary.


Please Email or Fax Attachment 1 to Carol Dingess at Carol.Dingess@aphis.usda.gov. fx# 612-336-3550 Email is the preferred method of communication. Telephonic inquiries will not be honored. Closing date for submissions of Statement's of Capability is June 03, at 4:00PM CT.


Anyone interested in doing business with the USDA must also obtain a Dunn and Bradstreet number. If your company does not have a DUNS number, you may contact Dun and Bradstreet directly to obtain one by calling 1- 866-705-5711 or via the following website:
http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
or at ccr.dnb.com/ccr/pages/CCRSearch.jsp.



Anyone interested in doing business with the USDA must complete a Representations and Certifications electronically at http://orca.bpn.gov and be listed in the government's Central Contractor Registrar.


You may register on line with www.ccr.gov. or by calling Central Contractors Registration @ 1-866-606-8220


 

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Washington, District of Columbia 20250
United States
:
Carol R. Dingess,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 612-336-3208
Fax: 612-336-3550