RFP 7306 Veterinary Medical Services

Agency: Merced County
State: California
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541940 - Veterinary Services
  • 621111 - Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists)
Posted Date: Jun 11, 2019
Due Date: Jul 16, 2019
Solicitation No: 7306
Bid Source: Please Login to View Page
Contact information: Please Login to View Page
Bid Documents: Please Login to View Page
Bid Number: 7306
Bid Title: RFP 7306 Veterinary Medical Services
Category: Administrative Services - Purchasing
Status: Open

Description:
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services (MCSO Animal Services) has been using an independent contractor to handle all the animal medical needs required at the shelter. This arrangement has been, and continues to be, beneficial to the County.
Publication Date/Time:
6/11/2019 8:00 AM
Closing Date/Time:
7/16/2019 4:00 AM
Pre-bid Meeting:
No
Contact Person:
Kim Nausin, Purchasing Manager
Email: kim.nausin@countyofmerced.com
Phone: 209.385.7513
Download Available:
Yes
Business Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
Related Documents:

Attachment Preview

Test Title

Mark A. Cowart

Chief Information Officer

2222 M Street

Merced, CA 95340

(209) 385-7331

(209) 725-3535 Fax

www.co.merced.ca.us

Equal Opportunity Employer

DEPARTMENT OF

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

PURCHASING

Issue Date: 06.11.19

COUNTY OF MERCED

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

NUMBER 7306

FOR

VETERINARY MEDICAL SERVICES

Notice is hereby given that proposals will be received at the Merced County Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing Division for performing all work necessary in accordance with the “REQUIREMENTS” and other related documents provided herein. Please carefully read and follow the instructions.

Responses shall be presented under sealed cover with the Proposal Number and the Proposal Submittal Close Date clearly marked on the outside and forwarded to:

County of Merced

Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing

2222 M Street, Room 1

Merced, California 95340

Attn: Kim Nausin, Purchasing Manager

Email: kim.nausin@countyofmerced.com

Any Bidder who wishes their response to be considered is responsible for making certain that their response is received in the Merced County Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing Office by the closing date.

RESPONSES RECEIVED AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE REJECTED WILL BE RETURNED TO THE BIDDER UNOPENED.

CLOSING DEADLINE DATE: 4:00 P.M., July 16, 2019

RESPONSES WILL BE CONSIDERED LATE WHEN THE OFFICIAL DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES-PURCHASING DIVISION TIME CLOCK READS 4:01 P.M.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cover Page 1

Table of Contents 2

SECTIONS:

1 – Introduction 3

2 – Timetable and Checklist 4

3 – Requirements 6

4 – Response Format and Content 8

5 – Basis of Award, Selection Process and Evaluation Criteria 13

6 – Terms and Conditions 17

Definitions 29

ATTACHMENTS:

A – Signature Page 32

B – Local Vendor Preference Certification 33

EXHIBITS: (If Applies)

1 - Sample Agreement 34


SECTION 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 INTENT OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services (MCSO Animal Services) has been using an independent contractor to handle all the animal medical needs required at the shelter. This arrangement has been, and continues to be, beneficial to the County.

1.2 AGREEMENT TERM

The Agreement term shall be for a period three (3) years with the option or extend the Agreement for an additional two (2) one (1) year terms.

A Sample Agreement is included as an attachment to this proposal. This Agreement will become part of the final Agreement with the successful Bidder. Any exceptions to the terms and conditions as stated herein and in the Sample Agreement must be identified separately within the submitted response. An Agreement with the successful Bidder is executed only upon final approval by the County's Board of Supervisors.


SECTION 2

TIMETABLE AND CHECKLIST

2.1 SUBMITTAL CHECKLIST

All items are required. This checklist is provided to assist you in ensuring you submit a complete response.

a. _____Signature Page (Attachment A)

b. _____Acknowledgement of Amendment(s) (If any)

c. _____Bond(s) (If any)

d. _____Cover Letter

e. _____Table of Contents

f. _____Executive Summary

g. _____Exceptions

h. _____Approach

i. _____Bidder's Qualifications

j. _____Cost Proposal

k. _____Local Vendor Preference Certification (Attachment B)

2.2
SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES

To the extent achievable, the following schedule shall govern the review, evaluation and award of the proposal. The County reserves the right to modify the dates below in accordance with its review process.

Activity Estimated Schedule Date________

2.2.1

Availability of the Request for Proposal

06/11/2019

2.2.1

Deadline for submission of interpretation and/or written questions in relationship to the Request for Proposal.

Questions submitted after this date will not be answered. The closing date will not be extended for questions submitted after this date.

06/20/2019

2.2.1

Closing date for the Request for Proposal

A list of respondents will be posted to the web at close of RFP

07/16/2019

2.3 NUMBER OF COPIES TO BE SUBMITTED

2.3.1 Please submit one (1) original signature hard copy to be signed in blue ink (original copies marked as such) and three (3) exact copies of the original and one soft copy via thumb drive.

2.3.2 Disclosure of any Self Insured Retention (SIR) associated with the insurance requirement in the Sample Agreement.


SECTION 3

REQUIREMENTS

3.1 SCOPE

Bidder shall provide veterinary medical services in accordance with the terms and conditions stated herein. Bidder’s services are limited to the following:

3.1.1 Maintain current premise permit as required by §2030 of the California Code of Regulations.

3.1.2 Maintain a current DEA issued Controlled Substance Permit and periodically review logs for proper documentation and compliance with regulations.

3.1.3 Perform surgical sterilization of adopted animals three (3) days per week as needed.

a. Bidder will establish the number and type of animals to be scheduled.

b. Bidder will provide own technician to assist with surgery and maintaining the surgical site.

c. County will provide administrative support as needed.

d. The Bidder is expected to be available on-site a minimum of three (3) days per week, not exceeding twenty-four (24) hours within a week, excluding County Holidays.

3.1.4 Bidder to oversee the County’s wellness program for sheltered animals. This may include but not limited to:

a. Routine vaccinations on intake, rabies vaccinations, addressing health issues or prescribing medications.

b. County agrees to perform administrative tasks resulting from this service.

c. County to provide all medications, medical instruments, supplies and materials needed by the Bidder in performance of these duties.

d. County to provide on-site space for medical services.

e. Bidder will be responsible to review records and documentation to ensure compliance with State and Federal Regulations.

3.1.5 Under no circumstances, shall the Bidder provide any medication, diagnostic test materials or medical supplies to the public, non-profit group or any other agencies, except at the express written consent between both parties.

3.1.6 All medical services provided are to be limited to animals under the care, custody or control of Merced County.

3.2 SPECIFIC COMPLIANCE

The Bidder awarded the Agreement derived from this proposal will be required to abide by all applicable local, Federal and State laws and regulations, including, but not limited to:

• California Code of Regulations Section 16 CCR §2030

• DEA Controlled Substance Permit


SECTION 4

RESPONSE FORMAT AND CONTENT

4.1 GENERAL INFORMATION

This section describes the required response format and content. The response should contain the requested information organized by the prescribed section and subsection numbers and titles. Any information provided beyond that required in the response should be contained in a section entitled "Optional Exhibits and Attachments”.

Each Bidder shall submit a complete response, along with requested copies, providing all information requested and a complete description of the functional operation of the program/project proposed. Failure to follow the prescribed format may result in rejection of your response.

Responses must be complete in all aspects. A response may be rejected if it is conditional or incomplete, or if it contains any alteration of form or other irregularities of any kind. A response may be rejected if any such defect or irregularity constitutes a material deviation from the proposal requirements. The response must contain all costs required by the proposal.

Responses must be clearly marked as stated herein and must be received by the date and time specified.

The response must be typed. Every part of the response must be legible and of sufficient print clarity to allow copying of the document. Mistakes/Errors may be crossed out and corrections typed or printed adjacent to the mistake/error and initialed in ink by the person signing the response.

Special bindings, colored displays, etc., are not necessary. A single three-ring binder divided into sections by labeled tab index sheets is sufficient. Attachments that are not included in the binder should be clearly labeled according to the sections and titles provided therein. The response should be clear, complete and consistent with the proposal content requirements.

4.2 RESPONSE FORMAT

The response must be developed on the forms provided in this package, or must follow the proposal content requirements in the order in which they appear in the proposal. Responses that do not conform to this format may not be considered for evaluation. Responses must be typewritten and submitted on standard 8 1/2" by 11" paper. Each page must be clearly and consecutively numbered. All responses must be submitted in the name of the legal entity or authorized agency. Responses must be signed in ink by the officer or officers legally authorized to bind the company, partnership or corporation.

The content and sequence of the response will be as follows:

4.2.1 Signature Page (Attachment A)

4.2.2 Signed Amendment(s) (If any)

4.2.3 Bond(s) (If any)

4.2.4 Cover Letter

4.2.5 Table of Contents

4.2.6 Executive Summary

4.2.7 Exceptions

4.2.8 Approach

4.2.9 Bidder's Qualifications

4.2.10 Cost Proposal

4.2.11 Local Vendor Preference Certification (Attachment B)

4.2.1 Signature Page

Bidder must complete and return the enclosed Signature Page (Attachment A, “Signature Page”). The Signature Page must be signed in blue ink by the officer or officers legally authorized to bind the company, partnership, or corporation.

4.2.2 Signed Amendment(s)

Bidder must sign, in blue ink, and include a copy of any amendments to the RFP.

4.2.3 Bond(s)

Bidder must enclose any bonds as required in the RFP.

4.2.4 Cover Letter

The Cover Letter must be a maximum of a one (1) page introducing the Bidder. The Cover Letter must include the Bidder’s name and address.

4.2.5 Table of Contents

The Table of Contents must be a comprehensive listing of the contents included in your response. This section must include a clear definition of the material, exhibits and supplemental information identified by sequential page numbers and by section reference numbers.

4.2.6 Executive Summary

The Executive Summary shall condense and highlight the contents of the Bidder’s Business Response to provide the Evaluation Committee with a broad understanding of the Bidder’s approach, qualification, experience and staffing.

4.2.7 Exceptions

This portion of the response will note any exceptions to the requirements and conditions taken by the Bidder. Exceptions should clearly explain why the Bidder is taking exception to the requirements. If exceptions are not noted, the County will assume that the Bidder's response meets those requirements as specified herein and that the Bidder accepts and intends to abide by all stated terms, conditions, and requirements. Exceptions will be considered by the County, and will form a part of any resulting Agreement, only if the County explicitly so states in writing.

Exceptions shall be noted as follows:

• Exceptions to the Scope of Work

• Exceptions to General Provisions

• Exceptions to Special Provisions

• Exceptions to Instructions for Submitting Response and Proposal Content Requirements

• Exceptions to any other part of this RFP

• Exceptions to terms in the Sample Agreement

4.2.8 Approach

The Bidder’s response shall clearly describe in detail how the Bidder will meet the requirements of this proposal and perform the Requirements. Additionally, the response should provide any special or unique qualifications which the Bidder believes it possesses to meet the requirements of this proposal. Only those levels of performance the Bidder actually believes can be accomplished should be stated as measurable objectives. Each of the major tasks, or activities to be undertaken, as a means of reaching such objectives, must be specifically identified. Display the essential points of activity in a time sequence showing the amount of time allotted to each activity.

The merit of each response received in response to this proposal will be judged largely on the basis of each Bidder’s narrative description as described in the Approach of their response. It is important that your response contain all information required for an effective review process. The response should be written in such a manner to provide sufficient detail to enable the Evaluation Committee members to know what is planned at every stage, and to make a judgment as to the probable success of the proposed effort.

(A benchmark chart may be completed to display the time frame for achieving and accomplishing each major program/project task or activity. Flowcharts and other related graphics may accompany this section.)

4.2.9 Bidder's Qualifications

Bidder shall provide a concise statement demonstrating that the Bidder’s company has the qualifications, experience, and capability to perform the requirements of this proposal. The following sections must be included:

a) History

Provide a brief history of your company, including the number of years in business. State whether your organization is an individual proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or private nonprofit organization, and the date your company was formed or incorporated. Provide a statement as to any judgment, litigations, licensing violations, or other violations, outstanding or resolved, against your company in the past five (5) years.

b) Background and Experience

A summary of relevant background information describing your company’s experience of major accomplishments and/or activities similar to the requirements set forth under this proposal, which demonstrates your company's ability to provide the service described in your response.

c) References

Provide a list of at least five (5) customer references. Include the firm’s name; the name, title, and telephone number of a contact person; the dollar amount of the Agreement; and the dates that these services were completed. Bidder may provide sample material of your company's work to substantiate your previous experience.

d) Staff Assignment

A brief description of the experience and qualifications of the proposed key staff members assigned to this program/project and what percentage of their time will be devoted to the program/project. Show their function, level of education, degree and license, if appropriate, and a detailed resume for each person. Additionally, the Bidder must specify where the staff will be located and identify the program/project manager.

4.2.10 Cost Proposal

It is essential that all responding Bidders include and clearly detail all costs, payment schedules, categorization of line items, and/or other related costs associated with your response. All responses must have a narrative providing a thorough and clear explanation of your costs.

4.2.11 Local Vendor Preference Certification

If the Bidder meets the criteria and would like to be considered for Local Preference consideration, Bidder must complete and return the enclosed Local Vender Preference Certification Form (Attachment B). The Local Vendor Preference Certification Form must be signed in blue ink by the officer or officers legally authorized to bind the company, partnership, or corporation.


SECTION 5

BASIS OF AWARD, SELECTION PROCESS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA

5.1 BASIS OF AWARD

Award will be made to the Bidder whose response demonstrates to be the most qualified, responsive and advantageous to the County. The County shall not be obligated to accept the lowest cost response, but will make an award in the best interests of the County after all factors have been evaluated (“most responsive response”).

THE COUNTY RESERVES THE RIGHT, AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TO REJECT ANY OR ALL RESPONSES OR ANY PART THEREOF, OR TO WAIVE ANY INFORMALITIES IN THE RESPONSE AND MINOR IRREGULARITIES, TECHNICAL DEFECTS OR CLERICAL ERRORS, TO MAKE AN AWARD ON THE BASIS OF SUITABILITY, QUALITY OF SERVICE(S) TO BE SUPPLIED, THEIR CONFORMITY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS AND FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED, AND NOT CONFINED TO COST ALONE. THE COUNTY SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY COSTS INCURRED BY THE BIDDER IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF THIS OR ANY OTHER RESPONSE.

False, incomplete, or nonresponsive statements in connection with the response may be deemed sufficient cause for rejection. The County shall be the sole judge in making such determination. The County reserves the right to cancel or discontinue with the response process and reject any or all responses in the event it determines that there is no longer a requirement for the furnishing of such items, materials, equipment and/or services, funding is no longer available for this proposal, or it is otherwise in the County's best interest to cancel the proposal process.

5.2 SELECTION OF EVALUATION COMMITTEE

An Evaluation Committee consisting of selected personnel will be established to evaluate the responses. It is the intent of the Evaluation Committee to select an apparent successful Bidder with a recommendation to initiate Agreement negotiations. Selection will not be made on cost alone, but will be based upon the most responsive response.

5.3 EVALUATION CRITERIA

The Evaluation Committee will consider only those responses which have been considered responsive to the proposal. Any response which fails to meet the requirements of the proposal will be considered non-responsive and may be rejected. Responsiveness includes attention to detail in following the proposal format. The Evaluation Committee may also contact and evaluate the Bidder’s and the Sub-Contractors references; contact any Bidder to clarify any response; contact any current users of a Bidder’s services; solicit information from any available source concerning any aspect of a response; and seek and review any other information deemed pertinent to the evaluation process. The Evaluation Committee shall not be obligated to accept the lowest priced response, but shall recommend such response that is the most qualified, responsive and cost-effective response and in the best interest of the County (“most responsive response”).

Responses shall be ranked on a score of 1 to 10, with a score of 6 to 10 as exceeds requirements; a score of 5 as meets requirements; and a score between 1 and 4 does not meet requirements.

Criteria

Points

1.

Does the Bidder's response meet the requirements of Section 3 - Requirements?

30

2.

Bidders experience providing similar services

20

3.

Does the Bidder have experienced and qualified staff to provide the required services?

25

4.

Cost proposal

25

Total possible points

100

5.4 NOTICE OF INTENT

A "Notice of Intent to Negotiate" with the successful Bidder will be sent to all participating Bidders upon Evaluation Committee recommendation to initiate Agreement negotiation. This “Notice of Intent to Negotiate” will be sent to all participating Bidders by U.S. postal mail and/or email.

A “Notice of Intent to Award” with the successful Bidder will be sent to all participating Bidders upon completion of the Agreement negotiation and the Agreement is on the Board of Supervisors agenda. This “Notice of Intent to Award” will be sent to all participating Bidders by U.S. postal mail and/or email.

5.5 NEWS RELEASES

News releases by the Bidder pertaining to the award resulting from this proposal shall not be made without prior written approval of the County.

5.6 DEBRIEFING

A debriefing shall be held before the award of the Agreement upon the timely request of an unsuccessful Bidder for the purpose of receiving information concerning the evaluation of the Bidder’s response. The request must be in writing, dated, signed either by the Bidder or a legally authorized individual on behalf of the Bidder and be received by the County’s Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing at 2222 “M” Street, Merced, California 95340 within three (3) working days following the County’s transmission, by U.S. postal mail or facsimile, of the “Notice of Intent to Negotiate”. Each requesting Bidder will be allotted a maximum of one hour for any debriefing conference. The information provided by the County will be based on the Evaluation Committee determinations of your company’s submitted response as it relates to the evaluation criteria as stated herein above. The debriefing may be held, in the discretion of the County, by telephone conference call. The debriefing is not the forum to challenge the proposal’s specification, requirements, or the selection criteria. The debriefing procedure provided herein to all requesting and unsuccessful Bidders to the County’s Request for Proposal is the exclusive and sole remedy and means of receiving information regarding the respective Bidder’s evaluation and preliminarily challenging the award of the Agreement.

5.7 PROTEST

Should an unsuccessful Bidder request a debriefing, and believes its response to be the most responsive to the County’s proposal and that the County has incorrectly selected another Bidder for award, the appealing Bidder may submit a protest of the selection as described below:

All protests must be made in writing, dated, signed by the Bidder or an individual authorized to sign Agreements on behalf of the protesting Bidder, and contain a statement of the reason(s) for protest; citing the law(s), rule(s) and regulation(s) or procedure(s) on which the protest is based. The protesting Bidder must have gone through the debriefing process described above, and must provide facts and evidence to support the protest.

Protest(s) to County’s Intent to Award must be sent either by U.S. mail, postage prepaid, or by personal delivery to:

County Executive Officer

County of Merced

2222 M Street

Merced, California 95340

All protests in relationship to the County’s intended award decision must be received by the County Executive Officer no later than seven (7) working days following the County’s transmission, by U.S. postal mail or facsimile, of the “Notice of Intent to Award” to the Bidder.

5.8 PROTEST PROCEDURES

A Bidder protesting the results of any of the processes described herein must follow the procedures set forth herein. By submitting a “Letter of Intent to Protest”, the Bidder has agreed that the protest procedures herein shall precede any action in a judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal regarding this proposal. Protests that do not follow these procedures shall not be considered. The protest procedures constitute the sole administrative remedy available to the Bidder under this procurement. Upon exhaustion of this remedy no additional recourse is available with the County of Merced.

Upon receipt of the formal protest, the County Executive Officer, or his/her designee, will attempt to resolve the protest. If the protest has not been resolved, the Bidder will have an opportunity to address the Board of Supervisors stating their concerns. The decision of the Merced County Board of Supervisors constitutes the final step of the Bidder’s administrative remedy.

A protest shall be disallowed when, in the judgment of the County Executive Officer, or his/her designee, or the County Board of Supervisors, it has been submitted: (1) as a delay tactic; (2) for the purpose of posturing the protester advantageously for future procurement; (3) in a form that deviates from the one prescribed; (4) without adequate factual basis or merit; or (5) in an untimely manner.

In the event that a protesting Bidder does not appear at the protest hearing as scheduled by Merced County, the protest will be disallowed.


SECTION 6

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

6.1 REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL CLOSING DATE

Responses must be received in the Merced County Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing on or before 4:00 p.m. on date specified on each separate proposal. The time specified will be as defined by the official time clock in the office of the Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing, 2222 “M” Street, Room 1, Merced, California 95340. It is the sole responsibility of the submitting Bidder to ensure that its response is received before the submission deadline.

Response must be labeled as:

Merced County Request For Proposal No. 7306

Responses shall be presented under sealed cover and clearly identified on the outside to read:

• Name of the bidder

• Address of the bidder

• Subject of the Response

• Request for Proposal Number

• Proposal Submittal Deadline Date

Without law or policy to the contrary, if the Bidder took reasonable steps to submit the response in due time, and failure of the response to be on hand at the time of closing was not the result of negligence or other fault of the Bidder, but was the result of negligence by the County, the County reserves the right to accept such response.

All responses shall remain firm for at least one hundred twenty (120) days following the proposal closing date. The County reserves the right to withhold an award of the proposal for one hundred twenty (120) days from date of closing.

All responses and accompanying documentation submitted by the Bidders, with the exception of Financials, will become the property of the County and will not be returned. Responses shall be based on the material contained in the proposal. Bidders are instructed to disregard any prospective oral representations it may have received prior to the solicitation of the proposal.

Cost for developing and preparing the response is solely the responsibility of the Bidder whether or not any award results from this solicitation. Further, the cost of developing and preparing responses to the proposal will not be allowed as direct or indirect charges under any resulting Agreement.

No alteration in any of the terms, conditions, delivery, price, quality, quantities, or specifications will be effective without prior written consent of the County.

THE COUNTY RESERVES THE RIGHT, AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TO REJECT ANY OR ALL RESPONSES OR ANY PART THEREOF, OR TO WAIVE ANY INFORMALITIES IN THE PROPOSAL AND MINOR IRREGULARITIES, TECHNICAL DEFECTS OR CLERICAL ERRORS, TO MAKE AN AWARD ON THE BASIS OF SUITABILITY, QUALITY OF SERVICE(S) TO BE SUPPLIED, THEIR CONFORMITY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS AND FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED, AND NOT CONFINED TO PRICE ALONE. THE COUNTY SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY COSTS INCURRED BY THE BIDDER IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF THIS OR ANY OTHER PROPOSAL.

6.2 ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESPONSES

All responses received by the published date and time for submission will be publicly announced at the Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing at 2222 “M” Street, Merced, California 95340. The name of each Bidder will be publicly read and recorded. All other information contained in the responses shall be confidential to avoid disclosure of contents prejudicial to competing Bidders during the evaluation process. Representatives from organizations submitting responses may be present, but attendance at the announcement of the responses is not mandatory. No award decision, pricing, or exchange of views will be discussed at the response announcement.

6.3 INTERPRETATION, CORRECTIONS AND AMENDMENTS

The Bidder must carefully examine the specifications, terms and conditions provided in the Request for Proposal and become fully informed as to the requirements set forth therein. If anyone planning to submit a response discovers any ambiguity, conflict, discrepancy, omission or error in the proposal, has any questions in relationship to the “REQUIREMENTS”, or any other related matters, Bidder shall immediately notify the contact person as shown on the cover page of this RFP of such concern in writing and request clarification or modification of the document(s) no later than the Question and Answer deadline as set forth under Section 2.2, “SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES". No further requests for clarification or objections to the proposal will be accepted or considered after this date. Any change in the proposal will be made only by written amendment, issued by the Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing to each vendor on the Bidders list as well as posted on the County website, and shall be incorporated in the proposal. The Bidder shall sign and date the amendment and submit same with the response. Any oral communication by the County’s designated contact person or any other County staff member concerning this proposal is not binding on the County and shall in no way modify this proposal or the obligations of the County or any Bidders.

The Bidder may e-mail questions to the Buyer whose name is specified on the RFP, or mail to:

Merced County Department of

Administrative Services-Purchasing

2222 M Street, Room 1

Merced, California 95340

Attention: Request For Proposal Information 7306

All inquiries shall be directed to the designated County staff person shown on the RFP. Contact with any other County personnel or any undue “badgering” of such County personnel by the Bidder is prohibited. Failure to comply with this request may be considered cause for disqualification of your response.

6.4 DISCUSSION WITH RESPONSIBLE BIDDERS AND CLARIFICATIONS TO PROPOSAL

The County may, in its sole discretion, conduct discussions with Bidders who submit responses determined to be responsive and have the potential of being selected for an award, for the purpose of clarification to assure full understanding of, and responsiveness to, the solicitation requirements. Such clarifications may be permitted after submission of responses and prior to award. In conducting discussions, there shall be no disclosure of any information derived from responses submitted by competing Bidders to anyone outside the Evaluation Committee. The purpose of such discussions shall be to examine Bidders:

• Qualifications

• Proposed method of performance

• Proposed personnel and facilities

• Compensation

All Bidders submitting a response for consideration agree that their company will be willing to enter into a final Agreement if awarded this proposal. The County may, in its sole discretion, negotiate certain terms and conditions of such final Agreement after identification of the apparent successful Bidder. However, Bidders should not assume that any terms of this RFP or other applicable terms and conditions are subject to later negotiation, and should instead assume that all such terms and conditions are mandatory conditions of participation in this RFP process. Negotiated changes, if any, will not change the “Requirements”.

6.5 ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPARENT SUCCESSFUL BIDDER

Based upon the qualifying and respective evaluations, the Evaluation Committee will recommend commencement of Agreement finalization. The Board of Supervisors will officially decide to select or reject the negotiated Agreement.

6.6 FALSE OR MISLEADING STATEMENTS

Responses which contain false or misleading statements, or which provide references which do not support an attribute or condition claimed by the Bidder, may be rejected. If, in the opinion of the County, such information was intended to mislead the County in its evaluation of the response, and the attribute, condition or capability is a requirement of this proposal, it will be the basis for rejection of the response.

6.7 RULES FOR WITHDRAWAL OR REVISION OF RESPONSES

A response which is submitted prior to the deadline may be withdrawn or revised any time prior to, but not after, the deadline for receipt of responses provided that the request for withdrawal or revision is in writing and executed by the Bidder’s duly authorized representative. The request for withdrawal or revision of the response must be filed with the County of Merced, Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing, before the deadline for the receipt of responses. The withdrawal of a response shall not prejudice the right of a Bidder to submit a new response, provided the Bidder can submit the new response by the deadline stated herein.

6.8 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR

It is expressly understood that in the performance of any services resulting from this proposal, Bidder is an Independent Contractor and is not an agent or employee of the County and warrants that all persons assigned to the program/project are employees, or subcontractors, of the Bidder. In the event the awarded Bidder shall employ others to complete or perform the services provided, Bidder shall be solely responsible and hold the County harmless from all matters relating to the payment of such person(s).

It is mutually understood and agreed that no employee-employer relationship will be created between County and Bidder or County and Bidder’s employees, and that the awarded Bidder shall hold County harmless and be solely responsible for withholding, reporting and payment of any federal, state or local taxes, contributions or premium imposed or required by workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, social security, income tax or other statutes or codes applying to Bidder, or its sub-Contractor(s) and employees, if any. It is mutually agreed and understood that the Bidder, its Sub-Contractor(s) and employees, if any, shall have no claim under any Agreement that may result from this proposal or otherwise against County for vacation pay, sick leave, retirement or social security benefits, occupational or non-occupational injury, disability or illness, or loss of life or income, by whatever cause.

6.9 EXPLANATION OF USE OF SUB-CONTRACTORS

Any Bidder using a Sub-Contractor(s) must clearly explain the use of the Sub-Contractor(s) and list the name(s) of the Sub-Contractor(s) providing work under this proposal. The selected Bidder will be fully responsible for all work performed under this proposal and will be considered as the Prime Contractor. Any Sub-Contracting, or other legal arrangements made by the Bidder are the sole responsibility of the Bidder. Any Agreement that is entered into between the selected Bidder and the Sub-Contractor(s) shall contain provisions for federal and state access to the books, documents, records, and inspection of work. Bidder awarded any Agreement as a result of this proposal shall obtain County written approval of sub-contractors identified in Bidder submittal prior to execution of Agreement.

6.10 JOINT VENTURES

In the event a response is submitted jointly by more than one organization, one legal entity must be designated as the Prime Contractor. All other participants shall be designated as Sub-Contractors.

6.11 CONFIDENTIALITY

The contents of all responses, correspondence, agenda, memoranda, or any other medium which discloses any aspect of a Bidder’s response shall be held in the strictest confidence until after negotiations for the contract are negotiated. If you contend that any submission contains trade secrets or proprietary data, please be advised that the County cannot and does not give any assurances or guarantees that such information will not be released under the California Public Records Act. The Bidder should clearly mark any of the information within their response that is proprietary, however, the County will be guided by the California Public Records Act and the definition of Trade Secrets under California Civil Code Section 3426.1, but in no case will the following be considered proprietary: a) the final cost of the bid or response; b) information that is not clearly marked as proprietary in nature; c) information that, though marked as proprietary, is not actually proprietary d) information that is otherwise generally available as information or technology within the subject trade, industry or profession.

BIDDER SHALL NOT DESIGNATE THE ENTIRE RESPONSE AS PROPRIETARY. SUCH ATTEMPTED DESIGNATION WILL NOT BE HONORED.

Submission of a response by a Bidder shall constitute an agreement to the provision for public announcement. The County shall not be obligated to release information contained in any Bidder’s RFP submittal that has been marked as proprietary, without the written consent of the Bidder. Any agency requesting such information so marked as proprietary must obtain such written authorization directly from Bidder and forwarded to County.

County shall not be required to contact any Bidder for information on behalf of any requesting agency. Merced County shall have the sole discretion and exclusive authority to determine if any other party has properly obtained the right to have access to proprietary information.

6.12 PUBLIC AGENCY PARTICIPATION

Any public agency, i.e., city, district, public authority, public agency, municipality and other political subdivision or a public corporation (hereinafter referred to as Public Agency) shall have the option of participating in any award made as a result of this proposal at the same prices, and terms and conditions. The County is not an agent, partner, or representative of the Public Agency, and is not obligated or liable for any financial responsibility in connection with purchase orders issued by any Public Agency. The Public Agency shall accept sole responsibility for placing orders or payments to the successful Bidder.

6.13 PRICING CONDITIONS

All responses shall remain firm for at least one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after RFP Submittal Deadline unless otherwise specified. Within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the RFP Submittal Deadline opening, a purchase order and/or an Agreement may be awarded by the County, as it may deem proper, in its absolute discretion. The time for awarding a purchase order and/or an Agreement may be extended at the sole discretion of the County, if required to evaluate responses or for such other purposes as the County may determine.

6.14 DETERMINATION OF BIDDER’S RESPONSIBILITY

• Responsible Bidder

A responsible Bidder is a Bidder who has demonstrated the attribute of trustworthiness, as well as quality, fitness, capacity, financial strength, and experience to satisfactorily perform the Agreement. It is the County’s policy to conduct business only with responsible Bidders.

• Non-responsible Bidder

The County may declare a Bidder to be non-responsible for purposes of this proposal for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed below. This is not an exclusive list - reasons may include the following but are limited to the below:

• Committed any act or omission which negatively reflects on the Bidder’s quality, fitness, financial strength, or capacity to perform any Agreement that may be derived from this proposal with the County or an Agreement with any other public entity, or engaged in a pattern or practice which negatively reflects on same; or

• Committed an act or omission which indicates a lack of business integrity or business honesty; or

• Made or submitted a false claim against the County or any other public entity; or

• Submitted false, incomplete or unresponsive statements or omitted requested documentation in connection with this proposal.

6.15 PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

All public records of the County are available for disclosure except the contents of the responses received in response to an RFP, which are not open for public review until the contract between the awarded Bidder and the County is agendized with the Board of Supervisors. In the event that an unsuccessful Bidder files an official request to view the awarded Bidder’s response, the County must comply with appropriate public disclosure procedures. However, if information specifically designated in the response as proprietary is requested County may attempt to notify Bidder should Bidder wish to pursue protections against disclosure, at its own cost, so that the information will not be made available.

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, Government Code Sections 6250 et seq., any contract that eventually arises from this Request for Proposal is a public record, in its entirety. Also, all information submitted in response to this Request for Proposals is itself a public record without exception, and will be disclosed upon request, but only after negotiations are complete. Submission of any materials in response to this Request for Proposals constitutes your consent to release materials, and a waiver of any claim that the information is protected from disclosure. Furthermore, by submitting materials, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Merced County for release of such information.

6.16 QUALIFICATIONS OF BIDDER

The County may make such investigation as it deems necessary to determine the ability of the Bidder to provide the services requested herein, and the Bidder shall furnish to the County all information and data for this purpose as the County may request. The County reserves the right to reject any response should the evidence submitted by, or investigation of, the Bidder fails to satisfy the County that such Bidder is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the proposal and to complete the requirements contemplated therein.

6.17 DISQUALIFICATION OF BIDDER

A Bidder may be disqualified and the response rejected, in addition to any other cause for rejection as set forth elsewhere in this proposal, for any of, but not limited to, one of the following reasons:

• Proof of collusion among Bidders, in which case all responses involved in the collusive action will be rejected and any participant to such collusion will be barred from future bidding until reinstated as a qualified Bidder.

• Lack of responsibility or cooperation as shown by past work or services provided to the County or others.

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