|Agency:||University of Arkansas|
|Type of Government:||State & Local|
|Posted Date:||Oct 27, 2020|
|Due Date:||Jan 22, 2021|
|Bid Source:||Please Login to View Page|
|Contact information:||Please Login to View Page|
|Bid Documents:||Please Login to View Page|
|closing date||information||award scoring & tabulation||award status|
102720 - Benefits Consulting Services
Request for Proposal (RFP)
RFP No. 102720
Benefits Consulting Services
PROPOSAL RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2020
PROPOSAL DUE DATE: January 22, 2022*
PROPOSAL DUE TIME: 2:30 PM CST*
SUBMIT ALL PROPOSALS TO: University of Arkansas
2404 North University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72207
Attention: Steven Wood
Assoc VP Employee Benefits and Risk Services
Signature Required For Proposal
Respondent complies with all articles of the Standard Terms and Conditions documents as counterpart to this RFP document, and with all articles within the RFP document. If Respondent receives the University’s purchase order, Respondent agrees to furnish the items and/or services listed herein at the prices and/or under the conditions as indicated in the RFP.
City, State, Zip:
Authorized Signature: _______________________________________ Date: ______________
Typed/Printed Name of Signor: ________________________________ Title: ______________
Under no circumstances will late bids be accepted. Failure to deliver by overnight carriers or other such methods shall not be taken into consideration. Bids MUST arrive and be time-stamped at the University System Office, 2404 North University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72207, prior to the time and date specified in the Request for Proposal. VENDOR NAME, BID NUMBER, AND BID OPENING DATE MUST BE CLEARLY NOTED ON OUTSIDE OF PACKAGE IN ORDER FOR BID TO BE ACCEPTED.
COVID-19 TEMPORARY CONSIDERATIONS:
• Information on joining a virtual bid opening (currently scheduled as a conference call dial-in) will be posted on HogBid prior to the bid opening date.
Questions and clarifications regarding this RFP should be directed to:
Director of Administrative Services
University of Arkansas System
2404 North University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72207
Contact is available by email only. No telephone discussions will be accepted. Questions received and responses, with vendor identification redacted, will be posted on the HogBid website.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL/COOPERATIVE USE OF COMPETITIVELY BID PROPOSALS AND CONTRACTS:
In accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated § 19-11-249, any State public procurement unit may participate in any contract resulting from this solicitation with a participating addendum signed by the contractor and approved by the chief procurement officer of the procurement agency issuing this solicitation.
MINORITY AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS (MWOB) POLICY:
It is the policy of the State of Arkansas to support equal opportunity as well as economic development in every sector. In accordance with the Minority and Women-Owned Business Economic Development Act, UA shall support to the fullest all possible participation of companies owned and controlled by minority persons and women in state-funded and state-directed public programs and in the purchase of goods and services to meet an annual goal of fifteen percent (15%) of the total expended.
Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 19-11-229, 19-11-230 the State of Arkansas encourages all small, minority, and women owned business enterprises to submit competitive sealed bids and proposals for University projects. Encouragement is also made to all general contractors that in the event they subcontract portions of their work, consideration is given to the identified groups.
A. Minority-Owned Business is defined by Arkansas Code Annotated § 15-4-303 as a business that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one (1) or more minority persons who are lawful permanent residents of the State of Arkansas:
• African American
• Hispanic American
• American Indian
• Pacific Islander American
• Asian American
• A Service-Disabled Veteran as designated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
B. Women-Owned Business is defined by Act 1080 of the 91st General Assembly Regular Session 2017 as a business that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one (1) or more women who are lawful permanent residents of the State of Arkansas.
C. Eligibility and Certification
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) conducts a certification process for minority-owned and women-owned businesses. Increase the opportunity for your minority or women-owned business to sell products and services to the State of Arkansas: https://www.arkansasedc.com/community-resources/Minority-and-Women-Owned-Business-Enterprise-Resources/detail/get-certified . Certification indicates that your company has undergone a review process to show that it is 51% or more owned, controlled and operated by a minority or woman as defined above. Certification is granted for two years and allows participation in the procurement process as a MWOB.
If certified, the Prospective Contractor’s Certification Number should be included on the Proposal/Response Signature Page.
D. Recommended Resources
• Doing Business with UA
o Vendor registration: https://businessservices.uark.edu/doing-business-at-university.php
• Doing Business with the State
o Registering your company with the Office of State Procurement as a vendor allows you to do business with the State of Arkansas: https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/procurement/vendor-information/
o Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center assists Arkansas small businesses to succeed in obtaining government contracts: https://www.uaex.edu/business-communities/arkansas-ptac/default.aspx
General Background for the University of Arkansas System
The University System is composed of 20 campuses, divisions and units across Arkansas including the state’s 1871 flagship, land-grant research university at Fayetteville; UAMS, Arkansas’s premier institution for medical education, treatment and research; a major metropolitan university; an 1890 land-grant university; two regional universities serving southern and western Arkansas; seven community colleges; two schools of law; a presidential school; a residential math and science high school; a 100 percent-online university and divisions of agriculture, archeology and criminal justice. The University’s benefits-eligible employment exceeds 20,000 employees and the health plan provides coverage for approximately 36,000 eligible participants.
1. DESCRIPTION AND OVERVIEW OF RFP
The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas is seeking bid proposals from qualified and reputable vendors to provide employee benefits programs consulting and brokerage services pursuant to the specifications, terms and conditions stated in this RFP (“Proposal(s)”).
UA is seeking to award a term contract for seven (7) years (with an initial term of up to four years) to the vendor that can provide the best overall value to the University. This value will be determined by UA based on the overall competence, compliance, format and presentation of each RFP response and in-person presentation, as necessary. Respondents may submit a proposal for all the services entailed in this RFP or may submit a proposal for a specific service identified in this RFP. Note also that the award may be split between vendors for each of the services for which bidding is requested.
A vendor presentation day may be held following the bid due date. Projected timeframe for when presentations could occur is specified in the “Projected Timetable of Activities” section of this RFP. Please keep these dates open to schedule a presentation if you are selected to present.
UA expects to achieve the following goals (at minimum) through the selected Respondent(s):
1. Obtain system-wide actuarial, consulting, brokerage and employee communications services in support of the University’s self-funded health and dental plans and insured employee benefits offerings.
2. Ongoing and timely access to benefits compliance review, updates and recommendations.
3. Accountability and desire to work together to form a mutually beneficial long-term partnership.
4. Communication and proactive follow up on issues and work to find areas of improvement and savings.
5. Maintain competitive employee benefits programs which are sustainable, affordable and which support the recruiting and retention needs of the University.
2. SCOPE OF WORK
The successful respondent(s) will provide (at minimum) the following services and support for the University:
1. The firm(s) selected will be expected to provide a broad range of timely consulting, compliance and operational support for the University’s employee benefits programs including self-funded and fully insured offerings with an awareness of the varying resources, priorities, timelines and employee demographics across the diverse campus membership of the University System. Specific duties and activities will include but are not limited to:
2. Actuarial projections, plan design evaluation and premium recommendations for the University’s self-funded health (including pharmacy) and dental plans.
3. Federal and State compliance review and recommendations for existing and proposed employee benefits programs, one-time actions or exceptions and program changes.
4. Monitoring and evaluating the potential impact of proposed legislative and regulatory actions on the University’s benefits programs.
5. Participation in development and support of employee benefits communications materials and distributions and benefits website maintenance.
6. Monitoring the full scope of paid and ancillary benefits programs (including, but not limited to, paid leave, wellness, tuition incentives and family support services) in higher education and relevant competitive markets and recommending employee benefit updates reflecting the University’s benefits objectives and philosophy.
7. Assembling bid and evaluation materials for the University’s consideration for fully insured offerings such as life and disability insurance and for specialty secondary coverage such as stop-loss insurance.
8. Assembling bids and evaluation materials for the University’s consideration for self-funded health, pharmacy and dental programs including detailed evaluation and projection of network contracts pricing and discounts.
9. Participation in and support for system-wide benefits meetings.
10. Coordination of data exchange and analyses with TPAs and plan vendors and third-party support services providers.
11. Support for the University in review of TPA and vendor performance and administrative services pricing.
3. COSTS / PRICING
Respondents must provide detailed/itemized retail pricing for each individual component, and/or the overall services, as listed on the Official Bid Price Sheet provided within this RFP document (see Appendix I). If pricing is dependent on any assumptions that are not specifically stated on the Official Price Sheet, please list those assumptions accordingly on a separate spreadsheet and show detailed pricing.
Any additional pricing lists should remain attached to the Official Price Sheet for purposes of accurate
evaluation. Pricing must be valid for one hundred twenty (120) days following the bid Proposal due date
and time. Upon bid award, all pricing and/or discounts must be firm for a period of two (2) years.
UA will not be obligated to pay any costs not identified on the Official Price Sheet. Respondents
must certify that any costs not identified by the Respondent, but subsequently incurred in order to achieve
successful operation of the service, will be borne by the Respondent. Failure to do so may result in
rejection of the Proposal.
The University will require that pricing identify any service hours allocation expectations or limitations and for the full disclosure of any commissions, reimbursements, incentives or payments of any kind received as a result of placement or continuation of insured products placed with the University.
4. RESPONDENT REFERENCES
Respondents must provide a minimum of three (3) references, preferably in higher education, (including the organization’s name, address, persons to contact, telephone numbers, and email addresses) located in the continental United States currently served by respondent. References are to be parties who can attest to the qualifications relevant to providing services requested. UA reserves the right to contact any references provided to evaluate the level of performance and customer satisfaction. See Appendix II for format.
5. RESPONDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO READ RFP
It is the Respondent's responsibility to thoroughly examine and read the entire RFP document, including any and all appendices. Failure of Respondents to fully acquaint themselves with existing conditions or the amount of goods and work involved will not be a basis for requesting extra compensation after the award of a Contract. This engagement is separate from any other engagement bidder may be currently pursuing with the University of Arkansas. Interpretation by and of the University of Arkansas is final.
6. PROJECTED TIMETABLE OF ACTIVITIES
The following schedule will apply to this RFP, but may change in accordance with the UA's needs:
10/26/20 RFP released to prospective respondents
11/15/20 4:00 PM CST - Last date/time UA will accept questions
12/1/20 Last date UA will issue an addendum
1/22/21 Proposal submission deadline 5:00 PM CST
Note: Attendance at RFP opening is not available. No award will be made. Only names of respondents, and a preliminary determination of proposal responsiveness, will be made at this time.
Week of 2/22/21 Vendor Presentations (if necessary)
Week of 3/8/21 Notice of Intent to Award
Upon Intent to Award TBD* Contract Negotiations Begin
Upon Contract Approval: Service to Commence (upon final legislative approval, if applicable)
*UA places a value on all elements of this RFP. As such, after evaluation of Proposals and selection of Contractor(s), the UA reserves the right to further negotiate with the selected respondent on any or all elements, and to award accordingly.
7. CONTRACT TERM AND TERMINATION
The term (“Term”) of any resulting Contract will begin upon date of Contract award. If mutually agreed upon in writing by the Contractor and UA, the term shall be for an initial period of up to four (4) years, with option to renew for up to three (3) additional years for a combined total of seven (7) years (or 84 months). The University of Arkansas may terminate this Agreement without cause, at any time during the Term (including any renewal periods), by giving the other party thirty (30) days advance written notice of termination. Additionally, in the event of non-appropriation of funds necessary to fulfill the terms and conditions of this Agreement during any period of the Term (including any renewal periods), the parties agree that this Agreement shall automatically terminate without notice.
a) If at any time the services become unsatisfactory, UA will give thirty (30) days written notice to the Contractor. If at the end of the thirty (30) day period the services are still deemed unsatisfactory, the Contract shall be cancelled by UA, Office of Business Affairs. Additionally, the Contract may be terminated, without penalty, by UA without cause by giving thirty (30) days written notice of such termination to Contractor.
b) Upon award, the agreement is subject to cancellation, without penalty, either in whole or in part, if funds necessary to fulfill the terms and conditions of this Contract during any biennium period of the Term (including any renewal periods) are not appropriated.
c) In no event shall such termination by UA as provided for under this section give rise to any liability on the part of UA, its trustees, officers, employees or agents including, but not limited to, claims related to compensation for anticipated profits, lost business opportunities, unabsorbed overhead, misrepresentation, or borrowing. UA’s sole obligation hereunder is to pay Contractor for services ordered and received prior to the date of termination.
The terms, conditions, representations, and warranties contained in the Contract shall survive the termination of the Contract.
8. GENERAL INFORMATION FOR RESPONDENTS
8.1 Distributing Organization
This RFP is issued by the University of Arkansas System Office. The contact listed on page 1 of this document is the sole point of contact during this process. Only written communication is considered formal and can be supported throughout this process.
Respondent Questions and Addenda: Respondent questions concerning all matters of this RFP should be sent via email to:
Director of Administrative Services
University of Arkansas System
Questions received via email will be directly addressed via email, and compilation of all questions and answers (Q&A), as well as any revision, update and/or addenda specific to this RFP solicitation will be made available on HogBid, the UA bid solicitation website: http://hogbid/ . During the time between the bid opening and contract award(s), with the exception of Respondent’s questions during this process, any contact concerning this RFP will be initiated by the issuing agency and not Respondent. Specifically, the persons named herein will initiate all contact.
Respondents shall not rely on any other interpretations, changes, or corrections. It is Respondent's responsibility to thoroughly examine and read the entire RFP document and any Q&A or addenda to this RFP. Failure of Respondents to fully acquaint themselves with existing conditions or information provided will not be a basis for requesting extra compensation after the award of a Contract.
8.2 Agency Employees and Agents
Contractor shall be responsible for the acts of its employees and agents while performing services pursuant to the terms of any Contract. Accordingly, Contractor agrees to take all necessary measures to prevent injury and loss to persons or property while on the UA premises. Contractor shall be responsible for all damages to persons or property on and off campus caused solely or partially by Contractor or any of its agents or employees. Contractor’s employees shall conduct themselves in a professional manner and shall not use UA’s facilities for any activity or operation other than the operation and performance of services as herein stated. UA reserves the right to deny access to any individual. The following conduct is unacceptable for Contractor’s employees and agents: foul language, offensive or distasteful comments related to age, race, ethnic background or sex, evidence of alcohol influence or influence of drugs, refusal to provide services requested, refusal to make arrangements for additional services needed and general rudeness. Contractor shall require standard criminal background checks on all employees of the Contractor’s business in advance of the performance of any on-campus duties. Employees whose background checks reveal felony convictions of any type are to be either removed from all support activities on the UA campus or reported to UA for review and approval in advance of the performance of any on-campus duties.
8.3 Tobacco Free Campus
Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products) by students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors, are prohibited at all times on and within all property, including buildings, grounds, and facilities, owned or operated by UA, including all vehicles on UA property.
Contractor and UA agree that they will attempt to resolve any disputes in good faith. Contractor and UA agree that the State of Arkansas shall be the sole and exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any litigation or proceeding that may arise out of or in connection with any Contract. The Respondent acknowledges, understands and agrees that any claims, demands, suits, or actions for damages against UA may only be initiated and pursued in the Arkansas Claims Commission, if at all. Under no circumstances does UA agree to binding mediation or arbitration of any disputes or to the payment of attorney fees, court costs or litigation expenses.
8.5 Conditions of Contract
Contractor shall at all times observe and comply with federal and Arkansas State laws, local laws, ordinances, orders, and regulations existing at the time of or enacted subsequent to the execution of the Contract which in any manner affect the completion of work. Contractor shall indemnify and hold harmless UA and all its trustees, officers, employees, volunteers, students, and agents against any claim or liability arising from or based upon the violation of any such law, ordinance, regulation, order or decree by an employee, representative, or subcontractor of the Contractor.
To the extent Contractor shall have access to, store or receive student education records, Contractor agrees to abide by the limitations on use and re-disclosure of such records set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and 34 CFR Part 99. Contractor agrees to hold student record information in strict confidence and shall not use or disclose such information except as authorized in writing by UA or as required by law. Contractor agrees not to use the information for any purpose other than the purpose for which the disclosure was made. Upon termination, Contractor shall return all student education record information or provide evidence that it was destroyed within thirty (30) days.
When procuring a technology product or when soliciting the development of such a product, the State of Arkansas is required to comply with the provisions of Arkansas Code Annotated § 25‐26‐201 et seq., as amended by Act 308 of 2013, which expresses the policy of the State to provide individuals who are blind or visually impaired with access to information technology purchased in whole or in part with state funds. Contractor expressly acknowledges and agrees that state funds may not be expended in connection with the purchase of information technology unless that system meets the statutory requirements found in 36 C.F.R. § 1194.21, as it existed on January 1, 2019 (software applications and operating systems) and 36 C.F.R. § 1194.22, as it existed on January 1, 2019 (web‐based intranet and internet information and applications), in accordance with the State of Arkansas technology policy standards relating to accessibility by persons with visual impairments.
ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACTOR SHALL EXPRESSLY REPRESENT AND WARRANT to the State of Arkansas through the procurement process by submission of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (“VPAT”) or similar documentation to demonstrate compliance with 36 C.F.R. § 1194.21, as it existed on January 1, 2019 (software applications and operating systems) and 36 C.F.R. § 1194.22, as it existed on January 1, 2019 (web‐based intranet and internet information and applications) that the technology provided to the State for purchase is capable, either by virtue of features included within the technology, or because it is readily adaptable by use with other technology, of:
‐ Providing, to the extent required by Arkansas Code Annotated § 25‐26‐201 et seq., as amended by Act 308 of 2013, equivalent access for effective use by both visual and non‐visual means;
‐ Presenting information, including prompts used for interactive communications, in formats intended for non‐visual use;
‐ After being made accessible, integrating into networks for obtaining, retrieving, and disseminating information used by individuals who are not blind or visually impaired;
‐ Providing effective, interactive control and use of the technology, including without limitation the operating system, software applications, and format of the data presented is readily achievable by nonvisual means;
‐ Being compatible with information technology used by other individuals with whom the blind or visually impaired individuals interact;
‐ Integrating into networks used to share communications among employees, program participants, and the public; and
‐ Providing the capability of equivalent access by nonvisual means to telecommunications or other interconnected network services used by persons who are not blind or visually impaired.
If the information technology product or system being offered does not completely meet these standards, the Respondent must provide an explanation within the VPAT detailing the deviation from these standards.
State agencies cannot claim a product as a whole is not reasonably available because no product in the marketplace meets all the standards. If products are reasonably available that meet some but not all of the standards, the agency must procure the product that best meets the standards or provide written documentation supporting selection of a different product, including any required reasonable accommodations.
For purposes of this section, the phrase “equivalent access” means a substantially similar ability to communicate with, or make use of, the technology, either directly, by features incorporated within the technology, or by other reasonable means such as assistive devices or services which would constitute reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or similar state and federal laws. Examples of methods by which equivalent access may be provided include, but are not limited to, keyboard alternatives to mouse commands or other means of navigating graphical displays, and customizable display appearance. As provided in Arkansas Code Annotated § 25-26-201 et seq., as amended by Act 308 of 2013, if equivalent access is not reasonably available, then individuals who are blind or visually impaired shall be provided a reasonable accommodation as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 12111(9), as it existed on January 1, 2019.
If the information manipulated or presented by the product is inherently visual in nature, so that its meaning cannot be conveyed non-visually, these specifications do not prohibit the purchase or use of an information technology product that does not meet these standards.
8.6 Contract Information
Respondents should note the following regarding the State’s contracting authority and amend any documents accordingly. Failure to conform to these standards may result in rejection of Respondent’s bid:
A. The State of Arkansas may not contract with another party to perform any of the following:
1. Pay any penalties or charges for late payment or any penalties or charges which in fact are penalties for any reason.
2. Indemnify or defend that party for liability or damages. Under Arkansas law UA may not enter into a covenant or agreement to hold a party harmless or to indemnify a party from prospective damages.
3. Pay all sums that become due under a contract upon default.
4. Pay damages, legal expenses, attorneys’ fees or other costs or expenses of any party.
5. Conduct litigation in a place other than the State of Arkansas.
6. Agree to be subject to or bound by governing law, jurisdiction, or venue of any state, country or province other than the State of Arkansas.
7. Agree to any provision of a contract that violates the laws or constitution of the State of Arkansas.
B. A party wishing to contract with UA should:
1. Remove any language from its contract which grants to it any remedies other than:
• The right to possession.
• The right to accrued payment.
• The right to expenses of de-installation.
2. Include in its contract that the laws of the State of Arkansas govern the contract and that the State of Arkansas is the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any and all claims, disputes, actions or suits between the parties or related to the Contract.
3. Include in its Contract that the UA is an instrumentality of the State of Arkansas entitled to sovereign immunity from suit and that all claims, demands, suits, or actions for loss, expense, damage, liability or other relief, either at law or in equity, against UA or its trustees, officers, employees, volunteers, students, agents or designated representatives acting within the official scope of their position, must be brought before the Claims Commission of the State of Arkansas.
4. Include in its Contract all other terms and conditions stated in this RFP.
5. Acknowledge in its contract that contracts become effective when awarded by UA Purchasing Official.
This RFP does not commit UA to award a contract, to pay costs incurred in the preparation of a Proposal to this request, or to procure or contract for services or supplies. UA reserves the right to accept or reject (in its entirety), any Proposal received as a result of this RFP, if it is in the best interest of UA to do so. In responding to this RFP, respondents recognize that UA may make an award to a primary Respondent; however, UA reserves the right to purchase like and similar services from other agencies as necessary to meet operation requirements.
8.8 Qualifications of Respondent
UA may make such investigations as it deems necessary to determine the ability of Respondents to meet all requirements as stated within this RFP, and Respondent shall furnish to UA all such information and data for this purpose that UA may request. UA reserves the right to reject any bid if the evidence submitted by, or investigations of, such Respondent fails to satisfy UA that such Respondent is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the Contract.
8.9 Non Waiver of Defaults
Any failure of UA at any time, to enforce or require the strict keeping and performance of any of the terms and conditions of the Contract shall not constitute a waiver of such terms, conditions, or rights, and shall not affect or impair same, or the right of UA at any time to avail itself of same.
8.10 Independent Parties
Contractor acknowledges that under the Contract it is an independent vendor and is not operating in any fashion as the agent of UA. The relationship of Contractor and UA is that of independent contractors, and nothing in this contract should be construed to create any agency, joint venture, or partnership relationship between the parties.
8.11 Governing Law
This RFP, any resulting Contract and all performance thereunder, transactions and subsequent amendments thereto between Respondent(s) or Contractor(s) and UA shall be governed and construed in all aspects in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas without regard to its choice of law principles (including without limitation any and all disputes, claims, counterclaims, causes of action, suits, rights, remedies, promises, obligations, demands, and/or defenses related thereto that may be asserted by either party). The parties agree that the State of Arkansas shall be the sole and exclusive venue and jurisdiction for any litigation or proceeding that may arise out of or in connection with this RFP or any Contract with UA. The parties waive any objection to the laying of jurisdiction and venue of any claim, action, suit or proceeding arising out of the Contract or any transaction contemplated hereby, in the State of Arkansas, and hereby further waive and agree not to plead or assert that any claim, action, suit or proceeding has been brought in an inconvenient forum. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed or construed as a waiver of any immunities to suit available to UA or its trustees, officials, employees and representatives. In no event shall UA or any of its current and former trustees, officials, representatives and employees (in their official or individual capacities) be liable to Respondent(s) or Contractor(s) for special, indirect, punitive, or consequential damages, attorneys’ fees or costs or any damages constituting lost profits or lost business opportunities.
8.12 Proprietary Information
Proprietary information submitted in response to this bid will be processed in accordance with applicable UA procurement procedures. All material submitted in response to this RFP becomes the public property of the State of Arkansas and will be a matter of public record and open to public inspection subsequent to bid opening as defined by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Respondent is hereby cautioned that any part of its bid that is considered confidential, proprietary, or trade secret, must be labeled as such and submitted in a separate envelope along with the bid, and can only be protected to the extent permitted by Arkansas law.
Note of Caution: Respondents should not attempt to mark the entire Proposal as "proprietary" or submit letterhead or similarly customized paper within the proposal to reference the page(s) as "Confidential" unless the information is sealed separately and identified as proprietary. Acceptable proprietary items may include references, resumes, and financials or system/software/hardware manuals. Costs and pricing terms are not considered as proprietary.
A. Contract and Grant Disclosure
Disclosure is a condition of the resulting Contract and UA cannot enter into any contract for which disclosure is not made. Arkansas’s Executive Order 98-04 requires all potential contractors disclose whether the individual or anyone who owns or controls the business is a member of the Arkansas General Assembly, constitutional officer, state board or commission member, state employee, or the spouse or family member of any of these. If this applies to Respondent’s business, Respondent must state so in writing.
B. Respondent Conflict of Interest Form
Only when applicable, for any RFP that requires the disclosure of existing conflict of interest circumstances, Respondent should complete the Bidder Conflict of Interest Form and submit with bid Proposal. It is the responsibility of Respondent desiring to be considered for a bid award to complete and return this form, along with the Contract and Grant Disclosure and Certification Form. The purpose of these forms is to give Respondent an opportunity to disclose any actual or perceived conflicts of interest. The determination of UA regarding any questions of conflict of interest shall be final.
8.14 Proposal Modification
Proposals submitted prior to the Proposal opening date may be modified or withdrawn only by written notice to UA. Such notice must be received by the UA Purchasing Official prior to the time designated for opening of the Proposal. Respondent may change or withdraw the Proposal at any time prior to Proposal opening; however, no oral modifications will be allowed. Only letters or other formal written requests for modifications or corrections of a previously submitted Proposal that are addressed in the same manner as the Proposal and that are received prior to the scheduled Proposal opening time will be accepted. The Proposal, when opened, will then be corrected in accordance with such written requests, provided that the written request is contained in a sealed envelope that is clearly marked with the RFP number and “Modification of Proposal”. No modifications of the Proposal will be accepted at any time after the Proposal due date and time.
8.15 Prime Contractor Responsibility
Single and joint Respondent bids and multiple bids by Respondents are acceptable. However, the selected Respondent(s) will be required to assume prime contractor responsibility for the Contract and will be the sole point of contact with regard to the award of this RFP.
8.16 Period of Firm Proposal
Prices for the proposed services must be kept firm for at least one hundred twenty (120) days after the Proposal Due Date specified on the cover sheet of this RFP. Firm Proposals for periods of less than this number of days may be considered non-responsive. The Respondent may specify a longer period of firm price than indicated here. If no period is indicated by the Respondent in the Proposal, the price will be firm for one hundred twenty (120) days or until written notice to the contrary is received from the Respondent, whichever is longer.
8.17 Warranty NA, Left blank intentionally.
8.18 Errors and Omissions
The Respondent is expected to comply with the true intent of this RFP taken as a whole and shall not avail itself of any errors or omissions to the detriment of the services. Should the Respondent suspect any error, omission, or discrepancy in the specifications or instructions, the Respondent shall immediately notify the UA Purchasing Official, in writing, and UA shall issue written instructions to be followed. The Respondent is responsible for the contents of its Proposal and for satisfying the requirements set forth in the RFP.
8.19 Award Responsibility
The UA Purchasing Official will be responsible for award and administration of any resulting Contract(s). UA reserves the right to reject any or all bids, or any portion thereof, to re-advertise if deemed necessary, and to investigate any or all bids and request additional information as necessary in order to substantiate the professional, financial and/or technical qualifications of the Respondent(s).
Contract(s) will be awarded to the Respondent(s) whose Proposal adheres to the conditions set forth in the RFP, and in the sole judgment of UA, best meets the overall goals and financial objectives of UA. A resultant Contract will not be assignable without prior written consent of both parties.
8.20 Confidentiality and Publicity
From the date of issuance of the RFP until the opening date, the Respondent must not make available or discuss its Proposal, or any part thereof, with any trustee, official, employee or agent of UA. The Respondent is hereby warned that any part of its Proposal or any other material marked as confidential, proprietary, or trade secret, can only be protected to the extent permitted by law. All material submitted in response to this RFP becomes the property of UA.
News release(s) by a Respondent pertaining to this RFP or any portion of the project shall not be made without prior written approval of the UA Purchasing Official. Failure to comply with this requirement is deemed to be a valid reason for disqualification of the Respondent’s bid. The UA Purchasing Official will not initiate any publicity relating to this procurement action before the Contract award is completed.
Employees of the Contractor may have access to records and information about UA processes, employees, including proprietary information, trade secrets, and intellectual property to which UA holds rights. Contractor agrees to keep all such information strictly confidential and to refrain from discussing this information with anyone else without written authorization from an authorized official of UA.
8.21 Respondent Presentations
UA reserves the right to, but is not obligated to, request and require that final contenders determined by
the Evaluation Committee provide a formal presentation of their Proposal at a date and time to be
determined by the Evaluation Committee. Respondents are required to participate in such a request if the
UA chooses to engage such opportunity.
8.22 Excused Performance
Notwithstanding any other provisions in this RFP or any resultant Contract, in the event that the performance of any terms or provisions of this RFP or any resultant Contract shall be delayed or prevented because of compliance with any law, decree, or order of any governmental agency or authority, either local, state, or federal, or because of riots, war, acts of terrorism, public disturbances, unavailability of materials meeting the required standards, strikes, lockouts, differences with workmen, fires, floods, Acts of God, or any other reason whatsoever which is not within the control of the party whose performance is interfered with and which, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, such party is unable to prevent (the foregoing collectively referred to as “Excused Performance”), the party so interfered with may at its option suspend, without liability, the performance of its obligations during the period such cause continues, and extend any due date or deadline for performance by the period of such delay, but in no event shall such delay exceed six (6) months.
8.23 Funding Out Clause
If, in the sole discretion of UA, funds are not allocated to continue any resultant Contract, or any activities related herewith, in any future period, then UA will not be obligated to pay any further charges for services, beyond the end of the then current period. Contractor will be notified of such non-allocation at the earliest possible time. No penalty shall accrue in the event this section is exercised. This section shall not be construed so as to permit UA to terminate any Contract awarded in order to acquire similar service from a third party.
The Respondents and the Contractor acknowledge and agree that UA owns the rights to its name and its other names, symbols, designs, and colors, including without limitation, the trademarks, service marks, designs, team names, facilities images, uniforms, nicknames, abbreviations, city/state names in the appropriate context, slogans, logo graphics, mascots, seals, color schemes, trade dress, and other symbols associated with or referring to UA that are adopted and used or approved for use by UA (collectively the “Indicia”) and that each of the Indicia is valid. Neither any Respondent nor Contractor shall have any right to use any of the Indicia, derivative, or any similar mark as, or a part of, a trademark, service mark, trade name, fictitious name, domain name, company or corporate name, a commercial or business activity, or advertising or endorsements anywhere in the world without the express prior written consent of an authorized representative of UA. Any domain name, trademark or service mark registration obtained or applied for that contains the Indicia or any similar mark upon request shall be assigned or transferred to UA or its Board of Trustees without compensation.
8.25 RFP Interpretation
Interpretation of the wording of this document shall be the responsibility of UA and that interpretation shall be final.
8.26 Time is of the Essence
Respondent and UA agree that time is of the essence in all respects concerning this RFP and any Contract and performance therein.
8.27 Formation of the Contract
At its option, UA may take either one of the following actions in order to create a Contract between the UA and the selected Respondent:
A. Accept a Proposal as written by issuing a written notice to the selected Respondent, which refers to the Request for Proposal and accept the Proposal submitted in response to it.
B. Enter negotiations with one or more Respondents in an effort to reach a mutually satisfactory written agreement, which will be executed by all parties and will be based upon this Request for Proposal, the Proposal submitted by one or more Respondents and any negotiations concerning these documents.
Because UA may use alternative (A) above, each Respondent shall accept the contents of this RFP which will be incorporated into any final Contract documents and will include standard UA terms and conditions.
If the Respondent submits standard terms and conditions with the bid, and if any section of those terms is in conflict with the laws of the State of Arkansas, the State laws shall govern. Standard terms and conditions submitted may need to be altered to adequately reflect all the conditions of this RFP, the Respondent’s Proposals and Arkansas State law.
Notwithstanding any terms or conditions to the contrary, nothing within the Contractor’s proposal shall constitute a waiver of any immunities to suit legally available to UA, its trustees, officers, employees or agents, including, but not limited state and federal constitutional and statutory sovereign immunity of the State of Arkansas and its officials.
NOTE: The successful bidder may be required to enter into a Professional Services or Technical/General Services Contract that will require approval prior to any work conducted. See the following link for reference: http://procurement.uark.edu/_resources/documents/TGSForm.pdf . (Additional processing time must be allotted if subsequent contract is subject to this requirement).
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