Added: Feb 05, 2019 2:23 pm
This announcement constitutes a Sources Sought Notice. THIS IS NOT a Request for Quote (RFQ) or a Request for Proposal (RFP). This announcement is for information and planning purposes only and is not to be construed as a commitment by the government, implied or otherwise, to issue a solicitation or award a contract.
The Department of Veteran Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, is seeking qualified sources to furnish all necessary labor, material, equipment and supervision to perform Grounds Maintenance
Services at Chattanooga National Cemetery 1300 Bailey Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404.
The purpose of this notice is to determine interest and capability of potentially qualified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small-Businesses (VOSB) relative to the North American Industry Classification code (NAICS) 561730 Landscaping Services. The Small Business Size Standard is $7.5 million.
To make an appropriate acquisition decision for this requirement, the Government will use responses to this sources sought synopsis. The type of solicitation issued and the manner of advertisement will also depend on the response to this source sought synopsis.
Scope of Work:
The contractor shall provide all personnel, equipment, tools, supervision, and other items and services necessary to ensure that grounds maintenance is performed at Chattanooga National Cemetery in a manner that will maintain healthy grass, trees, shrubs, and plants and present a clean, neat, and professional appearance throughout.
All work shall be done during normal Federal workdays in daylight hours and may require work on selected Federal Holidays or weekends.
Grounds maintenance services including, but not limited to:
Grounds Cleanup, Trash & Debris removal
Cleaning Streets, sidewalks, shelter and pavilion
National cemeteries are a resting place for our nation's heroes and as such, the standards for management, maintenance and appearance of these cemeteries have been established by the National Cemetery Administration to reflect this nation's concern and respect for those interred there. The overall responsibility of the Contractor is to plan, coordinate, organize, manage, and perform the activities described herein, which are required to maintain an acceptable appearance of the cemetery grounds.
The Chattanooga National Cemetery is located at 1200 Bailey Ave Chattanooga TN 37404. The cemetery is comprised of 121 acres. The cemetery contains the remains of 57,882 veterans, spouses and dependent children. National Cemeteries are National Shrines. The standards of maintenance and appearance at these cemeteries must reflect this nation's concern for those interred there. For this reason, strict adherence to the specifications is required as well as National Cemetery Administration standards.
The Southeast District (SED) Office, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Area Office, 1700 Clairmont Road., 4th Floor, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4032, has the responsibility for the National Cemeteries. The administration of this contract will be by the Contracting Officer. The Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) for the contract will be designated in a separate letter under the direction of the Director, Chattanooga National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
All work shall be performed during the normal working hours (07:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except with the written permission of the COR(s).
In the event climate or weather conditions become unsuitable for work or may induce an environmental hazard, the entire work shall be rescheduled to a date and time satisfactory to the contractor, COR, and Cemetery Management. Postponement due to climate or weather conditions shall not be cause for penalties to the Contractor nor additional costs to the Government.
The Contractor shall phase all work in such a manner as not to impact on or interfere with cemetery operations. Contractor shall cease work within 100 yards of any committal service in progress while performing under the contract. Contractor and contractor's employees shall cease work upon arrival of the funeral party at the committal shelter and shall not start back to work until the funeral service is completed while performing under the contract. The COR may direct and arrange the contractor s performance in specific areas of the cemetery to coordinate with the cemetery s mowing operations and/or committal services.
CONTRACTOR STAFFING REQUIREMENTS:
Contractor will supply a minimum of one (1) grounds employee and one (1) Site Supervisor dedicated to performing all services outlined in this SOW.
Contractor employee work may be supplemented with additional employees to accomplish ALL CLIN items successfully in a timely manner if required.
The Contractor shall be responsible for maintaining satisfactory standards of personnel conduct and work performance and shall administer disciplinary action as required. The Contractor shall remove employees for cause, to include, but not limited to, misconduct in performance of duty under these specifications and/or conduct contrary to the best interests of the Government.
SITE SUPERVISOR REQUIREMENTS:
Site Supervisor: A competent and experienced English-speaking Site Supervisor shall be provided by the Contractor at all times work is being performed. The Site Supervisor shall be knowledgeable in all areas of the contract and shall direct all work being performed as part of the contract and shall have direct supervision over all contractor employees. The Site Supervisor shall provide daily onsite quality control over all work performed as part of the contract. The Site Supervisor shall have regular communication with the COR s and shall submit daily, weekly and monthly inspection reports to the COR s.
The Site Supervisor must have at least three (3) years of experience as a direct supervisor of grounds maintenance operations that included mowing, trimming, edging, and cleanup in industrial, commercial or public sites.
The Site Supervisor shall ensure all specifications are being met, ensure contract work does not conflict with ceremonies and funerals, and ensure employees are adequately supervised and proper conduct is maintained.
Site Supervisor shall prevent any disruption to the cemetery operations, including funerals, visitor privacy, internal traffic, and utilities
Contracted grounds maintenance employees must have
Contractor shall provide employees with at least 1-year of experience in landscaping maintenance operations, experience working in a National Cemetery Grounds Maintenance contract or similar projects. Employees shall have demonstrated education or experience in turf grass maintenance, horticulture and headstone maintenance.
Employees shall be fully trained in safe equipment operations, proper turf grass maintenance techniques such as mowing and trimming and Cemetery etiquette.
The Contractor shall be aware of the intensive labor and equipment requirements needed to meet contract specifications. The Contractor shall be responsible to provide all labor and equipment as necessary to meet deadlines. The Contractor will provide all necessary resources to complete the efforts assigned under the scope of this contract.
Employee Identification: The Contractor s employees shall wear visible Company and employee name identification always while on the premises of the Cemetery.
Training: The Contractor shall also be responsible for training and safety precautions for Contractor employees performing work under these specifications. OSHA standards shall be observed by the Contractor in all work performed. Appropriate safety equipment shall be furnished by the Contractor to Contractor personnel and shall be used as prescribed by OSHA standards, including hard hats, safety shoes, safety glasses, and hearing protection devices. The following OSHA and NFPA standards and codes are to be adhered to:
1. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): 10-1998 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910 Safety and Health
Regulations for Personal Protection, Safety Color Codes, Portable Power Tools, Electrical Safety and Portable Electric Equipment.
3. Site and Building Access: Maintain free and unobstructed access to facility emergency services and for fire, police and other emergency response forces in accordance with NFPA 241.
STANDARDS OF EMPLOYEE CONDUCT:
A. Contractor and Contractor personnel, to include all contractors temporary workers, shall be required to adhere to the following standards of dress and conduct while performing work in the National Cemetery. These standards and regulations are enforceable under CFR-2017-Title 38 Vol 1- Sec 1-218 See Attachment A.
An approved uniform consists of:
Long slacks or pants and shirt, buttoned up from neck to waist. Shirt shall have company name and or logo and Employee name. Hats shall be plain or bear the company name or logo only. Clothing shall be clean each day. Any soiled clothing should be cemetery work-related to that day. No ripped or torn clothing shall be worn. T-shirts and/or tank tops as outer garments are prohibited as are any garments which have a message or slogan affixed thereto. Shoes/boots shall have no holes or loose soles. Steel-toed shoes shall be required in accordance with OSHA requirements. Contractor employees shall maintain personal hygiene.
Contractor personnel must maintain a neat and professional appearance throughout the workforce, vehicles, equipment, and staging areas. Matching uniforms (pants and shirt, plus jacket in the cool season) for all employees are required- in addition to all state and federally mandated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliant protective gear.
Contractor personnel shall not engage in loud or boisterous behavior or use profane or abusive language. Shall show proper reverence during committal services.
Contractor personnel shall not eat or drink beverages except water or non-alcoholic drinks while in work area nor in site of committal shelter during a service. Use of intoxicating beverages and/or drugs is strictly prohibited.
Contractor personnel shall not lean, sit or stand on or against headstones or monuments. No tools, equipment or other items shall be placed or leaned on headstones or monuments.
The only designated tobacco use areas for the Chattanooga National Cemetery is located by the Contractor Staging area. All other areas to include all interment sections are designated as tobacco free, this includes vaping and all forms of electronic cigarettes.
PARKING, AND VA REGULATIONS:
It is the responsibility of the Contractor to ensure his employees park in the appropriate designated parking areas. Contractor employees may park privately owned vehicles in the area designated for parking by the COR at their own risk. The Cemetery will not invalidate or make reimbursement for parking violations of the Contractor s employees under any conditions. Tobacco use is prohibited inside any buildings at the Cemetery. Possession of weapons is prohibited. Enclosed containers, including tool kits, shall be subject to search. Violations of VA regulations may result in citation answerable in the United States (Federal) District Court, not a local district, state, or municipal court.
USE OF CEMETERY FACILITIES:
The Government will not be responsible for any loss, damage, or theft of Contractor items, nor shall free telephone service be provided. Contractor shall be responsible for acceptable standards of housekeeping and custodial maintenance of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities used by Contractor's employees.
The Government may allow space in the spoils area on the cemetery site for optional use by the Contractor to store supplies and equipment. However, the Government will not be responsible for any damage to or loss of the Contractor's equipment and supplies stored on the Government's premises. The Contractor shall be responsible for maintaining fire extinguishers and other safety equipment. Should the spoils area become unavailable, the Contractor will be given a minimum of 60 days from the notice of building unavailability to find storage off the cemetery grounds. The Contractor would then be responsible for delivering and removing all necessary equipment and supplies daily. Inability to use the spoils area will in no way alter the contract.
While utilizing the spoils area the contractor shall maintain the space to NCA Standards. Building and restrooms shall be cleaned daily and documented on required checklists that shall be maintained by the contractor and sent to the COR on a weekly basis. Daily Cleaning shall include sweeping the floor, emptying trash, removing cobwebs from all areas, sanitizing sinks, toilets and floors, cleaning mirrors, windows and glass tops and of the like etc. All items stored in service building shall be in a neat orderly safe fashion.
The Contractor shall be responsible for safely storing any chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, cleaning solutions, etc. in accordance with manufacturers recommendations. An SDS (Safety Data Sheet) is required for all chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and cleaning solutions.
Only the designated restroom facilities in maintenance shop will be available to Contractor personnel. Locations will be COR identified at time of contract award.
Electricity and water will be furnished by the Government except for any additional water needed other than on site water.
CONTRACTOR S RESPONSIBILITIES AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS:
The Contractor shall obtain all necessary licenses and/or permits required to perform this work. The Contractor shall take all precautions necessary to protect persons and property from injury or damage during the performance of this contract. The Contractor shall be responsible for any injury to themselves, their employees, or others, as well as for any damage to personal or public property that occurs during the performance of this contract that is caused by their or their employees fault or negligence. Further, it is agreed that any negligence of the Government, its officers, agents, servants and employees, shall not be the responsibility of the Contractor hereunder with the regard to any claims, loss, damage, injury, and liability resulting therefrom. The Contractor shall maintain workmen s compensation, personal liability, automobile liability, and property damage insurance, as prescribed by the laws of the state of Tennessee, and in accordance with FAR 52.228-5, Section B. Evidence of coverage is required before commencing work under this contract (copy of Certificate of Insurance), and it may not be changed or cancelled without thirty calendar days prior written notice to the Contracting Officer.
INSPECTION AND CLEANING OF CEMETERY FACILITIES:
The Contractor shall perform a weekly inspection. During this inspection the appearance of the cemetery will be observed, and any deficiencies noted within the scope of the contract will be documented by the COR on a weekly inspection sheet. Any deficiencies or ratings of marginal or unsatisfactory noted in the weekly inspection sheet shall be corrected by the contractor within the following time:
Grounds Maintenance (i.e. mowing, removal of leaves and debris, sweeping or blowing off roads and walkways, trash removal 2 business days after receipt of weekly inspection sheet.
Sunken Grave Repair 5 business days after receipt of weekly inspection sheet. Any graves deemed safety hazards shall be secured for safety or repaired by close of the same business day noted.
Items that need correcting outside the scope of the contract will be reported to the Contracting Officer or his representative.
The Contractor shall be required to submit inspection reports and work accomplished to the COR weekly. The inspection forms will document date, location and type of work completed, certification of inspection for quality control by site supervisor and weather or other issues.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER:
The Contracting Officer s Representative (COR) shall be under the supervision of the Foreman and Director, Chattanooga National Cemetery. Only the Contracting Officer can make changes in the scope of work. The Contractor shall contact the Contracting Officer on all matters pertaining to administration. Only the Contracting Officer is authorized to make commitments or issue changes, which will affect the price, quantity or delivery terms of this contract.
MAINTENANCE DURING CEMETERY FUNCTIONS:
Contractor personnel shall not operate motorized equipment or conduct other commercial activities during interment services. The COR or his/her representative shall furnish the Contractor with a schedule of all interments and/or ceremonies no later than the close of business of the day prior to the scheduled internment, and a minimum of three (3) days before any ceremonial events.
CONTRACTOR S QUALITY CONTROL PLAN (QCP):
(a) The Contractor shall establish and maintain a complete QCP to assure the requirements of this contract are provided as specified. This QCP will be forwarded to the CO along with the requested initial proposal. The CO will review the QCP and list any needed clarifications, and return to Contractor for response, if necessary. The Contractor s QCP shall include the following or have incorporated into during performance of contract, at a minimum:
(b) An inspection plan covering all services required by this contract. The inspection plan must specify the areas to be inspected on either a scheduled or unscheduled basis, how often inspections will be accomplished and documented, and the title of the individual(s) who will perform the inspections.
(c) On-site records of all inspections conducted by the Contractor noting necessary corrective action taken. The Government reserves the right to request copies of any and/or each inspection.
(d) Incorporation of either active or established internal policy and procedures for updating equipment and procedures, that may affect performance of contract.
(e) The methods for identifying and preventing deficiencies in the quality of service performed, before the level of performance becomes unacceptable, and organizational functions noting intermediate supervisory responsibilities and overall management responsibilities for ensuring total acceptable performance.
(f) On-site records identifying the character, physical capabilities, certifications and ongoing training of each employee performing services under this contract.
(g) A log to account for all requests for immediate service. The log shall indicate the date and time of services, and description of results and completion of these services and a name and signature of the person inspecting and certifying the work as completed.
(h) On-site records of any complaints or problems, with procedures taken to allow for corrections and/or elimination before effects caused interruption of performance of contract.
Contract Discrepancy Report (CDR)
The issuance of a Contract Discrepancy Report (CDR) shall be issued when work is found to be below the Minimally Acceptable Level listed in the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan or if found to be unsafe, or in violation of Contract Requirements.
The CDR will require the Contractor to explain in writing why performance was unacceptable, how performance will be returned to an acceptable level, and how recurrence of the problem will be prevented in the future. The Contractor will not be paid for services not rendered in accordance with the standards set forth in this contract.
If the Government created any of the discrepancies, these will not be counted against the Contractor's performance. When the Government has caused the Contractor to perform in an unsatisfactory manner, the COR will forward a written notice to the responsible organizational element requesting corrective action be taken.
Normally, the COR will verbally advise or give a written inspection report to the Contractor of discrepancies the first time they occur and ask the Contractor to correct the problem. A notation will be made on the COR checklist of the date and the time the deficiency was discovered and the date and time the Contractor was notified. Failure to correct discrepancies in the required time frame or repeated occurrences of discrepancies will result in issuance of a CDR.
When the Contractor is not meeting the limits of satisfactory performance, a CDR will be issued to the Contractor. The seriousness of the failures should govern whether to issue CDR at the end of the period, or as soon as the limits of satisfactory performance are exceeded.
A CDR will be prepared by the COR and forwarded to the CO and Contractor.
The Contractor shall respond to any complaints and/or ratings of deficient performance within five (5) calendar days, after receipt of the report.
All visitor complaints deemed by the COR to require a written response to the Contractor, or administrative action, will be forwarded to the CO, as soon as possible, for action.
When a CDR is issued for a service, the Contracting Officer must deduct from the periodic payment, a percentage of that payment as indicated in the Performance of Work Requirements Summary as attached hereto.
If the Contractor does not achieve satisfactory performance by the end of the next period or agreed suspense date, another CDR will be issued and the appropriate amount deducted from the periodic payment.
A third CDR will be the cause for a Cure Notice. However, the Contracting Officer may issue a Cure Notice at any time he/she deems appropriate. Depending on the overall performance of the Contractor, an unsatisfactory reply to the Cure Notice should require a Show Cause letter to be issued, followed by consideration of termination of the contract.
Where the Contractor or any of the Contractor's employees, prior to, or during the service work, are advised of or discover any possible archeological, historical and/or cultural resources, the Contractor shall immediately notify the COR verbally, and then with a written follow up.
SALES OF COMPANIES OR NAME CHANGES:
The Contractor, gaining award of the contract, shall notify the Contracting Officer in writing immediately upon entering an agreement (either oral or written) to sale or transfer all or part of its stock or other ownership interest to any other party. This Contractor shall also contact the Contracting Officer immediately in writing in the event a company name change will happen, with information as to the reasons and/or determinations causing this action.
Submission requirements for responses to this sources sought synopsis:
VOSB/SDVOSB offerors interested in submitting a quote for this project, if it is formally advertised, must be registered and be verified in the www.vip.vetbiz.gov website and must provide the correct NAICS code to include the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) number, name of the firm, address, phone and point of contact.
Where to send responses:
Point of Contact: Tracy Williams
Response Deadline: February 11, 2019, 4:00 PM, EST