1MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
AGENCY CONTROL NO. DHR OS/MLSP-15-001-S
Legal Representation Services For
Children Involved in Child in Need Assistance (CINA),
Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) and
311 West Saratoga Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Friday, May 1, 2015
PRESENT FROM DHR:
Kristin Leonard, Procurement Officer
Audre Davis, Director of Legal Services Program
Aretha Ector, Assistant Attorney General for DHR
Tracey Paliath, Deputy Secretary of Programs
Teminka Rawlings, Deputy Director of MLSP
Greg James, Deputy Secretary of Operations
Nneka Willis-Gray, DHR
Juanita McGill, DHR
Sharon Stell-Smith, Program Administrator MLSP
Allison Troxley, DHR
Deborah P. Austin, DHR
A.J. Andou, Office of Hiring Agreements
Lisa Dameron, Contract Compliance Officer MLSP
Scott C. Moore, Esquire, Office of Attorney General
Christopher Robinson, Esquire, Children’s Legal
Services of Baltimore, LLC
Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr., Maryland Legal Aid
Joan Little, Esquire, Maryland Legal Aid
Denise C. McCain, Maryland Legal Aid
Losmin Jimenez, Maryland Legal Aid
Jamie Mahaney, Maryland Legal Aid
Linda A. Holmes, Esquire
Darlene Wakefield, Esquire
Michael Katz, Esquire
Stephanie Franklin, Esquire
David L. Moore, Esquire
Christopher Palmer, Donahue Law Group
Kelly Donovan-Mazzulli, Esquire, Child Advocacy
Project of the Eastern Shore
Nathan Hoyle, Esquire
Ronna Lazarus, Esquire, Lazarus Legal Group
Nickola N. Sybblis, Esquire, Sybblis Law Firm
Patricia Patton, Esquire
William Kenneth Freienmuth, CPA, Maryland Legal Aid
Reported by: Chris Hofer, Notary Public
Hunt Reporting Company, Glen Burnie, Maryland
P R O C E E D I N G S
MS. LEONARD: I think we’re going to go ahead and get started, it’s five minutes after 10:00. We might get some stragglers coming in, but I think we’re going to go ahead and start.
I’d like to welcome you all this morning. Good morning. My name is Kristin Leonard and it’s my pleasure to welcome you.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: What’s your name?
MS. LEONARD: Hold on, let’s do this. Okay. Can you all hear me pretty well now? Is that good? Okay.
My name is Kristin Leonard, I am the Procurement Officer. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Human Resources this morning.
In case anyone needs to use the restroom during the conference, I want to direct your attention to the door underneath the exit sign. You want to go through that door and, let’s see, it’s on the left -- make a left and then go to your left-hand side. I actually have not used that restroom, but I’m going to assume that it’s in working condition.
Today we will share information with you concerning the Request for Proposals entitled Legal Representation for Children Involved in Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), and Related Proceedings.
Hunt Reporting is transcribing this conference, recording and transcribing.
There will be a questions-and-responses section at the end of the presentation. I ask that you all please hold any questions that you may have until then. Thank you.
I would also like to introduce at this time my fellow panel members. This is Ms. Audre Davis, she’s the Director of Maryland Legal Services Program.
MS. DAVIS: Good morning.
MS. LEONARD: And to her right is Ms. Teminka Rawlings, she is the Deputy Director of Maryland Legal Services Program.
MS. RAWLINGS: Hello.
MS. LEONARD: And Aretha Ector, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Human Resources.
MS. ECTOR: Good morning.
MS. LEONARD: Now I’d like to make a gesture for introductions in the room of the attendees. We’re going to go around the room, and just state your name and the organization you represent. And I guess we can start on this side of the room at the front.
MR. PALMER: Chris Palmer, the Donahue Law Group.
MS. LAZARUS: Ronna Lazarus, Lazarus Legal Group.
MR. KATZ: Michael Katz, Law Office of Darlene Wakefield.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Darlene Wakefield, Law Office of Darlene Wakefield.
MS. DONOVAN-MAZZULLI: Kelly Donovan-Mazzulli, Child Advocacy Project of the Eastern Shore.
MR. ROBINSON: Chris Robinson, Children’s Legal Services of Baltimore.
MS. SYBBLIS: Nickola Sybblis, Sybblis Law Firm.
MS. TROXLEY: Allison Troxley, Department of Human Resources.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: (Indiscernible).
MR. MILLER: John Miller, DHR.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: (Indiscernible).
MS. AUSTIN: Deborah Austin (indiscernible).
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: (Indiscernible) DHR Procurement.
MS. PATTON: Patricia Patton, Law Offices of same.
MS. HOLMES: Linda Holmes, Law Offices of the same.
MR. MOORE: David Moore, Law Offices of the same.
MS. MAHANEY: Jamie Mahaney, Legal Aid.
MS. LITTLE: Joan Little, Legal Aid.
MS. McCAIN: Denise McCain, Maryland Legal Aid.
MS. JIMENEZ: Losmin Jimenez, Maryland Legal Aid.
MR. FREIENMUTH: Ken Freienmuth, Maryland Legal Aid.
MR. JOSEPH: Wilhelm Joseph, Maryland Legal Aid.
MS. DAMERON: Lisa Dameron, Maryland Legal Services.
MS. FRANKLIN: Stephanie Franklin, Franklin Law Group.
MS. LEONARD: Does that cover everyone?
I’d like to at this time also welcome Gregory James. Mr. James? He is our -- DHR’s Deputy Secretary of Operations. As well as Ms. Tracey Paliath, the DHR Deputy Secretary of Programs. Welcome this morning.
Once again, just to reiterate, this is the pre-proposal conference addressing the CINA/TPR and Related Proceedings Request for Proposals. The Agency Control No. is OS/MLSP-15-001-S. The publish date of the RFP was on April 20th, 2015. The closing date of this RFP will be May 20th, 2015.
I’d like to make a special note that no proposals shall be accepted beyond the 3:00 p.m. local time submission deadline on May 20th.
Contracts will be awarded in accordance with the competitive sealed proposals method under COMAR Section 21.05.03.
I’d also like to make a special note that -- and just be advised, the Procurement Officer, meaning me, will be the sole point of contact until award determinations are made. Please do not contact any other state representatives about this RFP until award determination time.
We will now review the highlights of the RFP sections, beginning with Section 1, Important Information. General information regarding this Request for Proposals begins on page 7 of the RFP document.
Section 1.1.1 states, “The objective of this RFP is to provide legal representation services throughout the State of Maryland to Children in Need of Assistance, Termination of Parental Rights, and Related Proceedings.”
1.1.2. “It is the State’s intention to obtain services as specified in this RFP from contracts between selected offerers and the State. The anticipated duration of services to be provided under these contracts is three years with two one-year options to renew.”
The Department intends to allow contractors that currently have contracts with the Department to provide CINA/TPR services the opportunity to keep their current cases. Each offerer that is currently a contractor with the Department for CINA and TPR services shall indicate its desire to retain its current cases in the executive summary section of the technical proposal.
Please note, if an offerer that is a current contractor does not intend to seek new cases, but wishes to continue providing services for its currently assigned caseload, that offerer must still submit a proposal in response to the RFP in order to maintain its currently assigned state cases and must demonstrate that it intends to comply with the requirements of this RFP, including payment terms.
For final award determinations for existing caseloads only, preference will be given to current providers who submit a proposal to keep their current caseload, provided that it is determined to be in the best interest of and most advantageous to the State after evaluation of proposals.
At this time I would like to introduce Mr. A.J. Andou. He will be reviewing the hiring agreement requirement.
MR. ANDOU: Thank you. Good morning, everyone.
(Chorus of good mornings.)
MR. ANDOU: I’m A.J. Andou, I oversee the Office of Hiring Agreement, and I’m going to make this a little short and brief for you.
You should all have a package, a black folder. Mine is green, but yours should be black. And in it, it’s pretty self-explanatory. On the left-hand side you will see the references for the statute and a copy of what the contract looks like.
So pretty much in a nutshell, a hiring agreement is an agreement entered into by the Department and the local social services and a contractor, hopefully one of you guys, doing business with the State under which the DHR and the contractor agree to work cooperatively in an effort to identify and hire current and former Family Investment recipients, the children, foster youth and obligors to fill job openings as a result of the contractor -- of the procurement contract.
Pretty much what it means is that to declare DHR the first source for job openings and give first preference to DHR and LDSS candidates, as long as they are qualified for the position. So I must say that. And pretty much give us three business days to refer candidates for the position and provide us with feedbacks on hiring decisions, and comply with the hiring agreement.
Pretty much in a nutshell, the other information on the back of the package are just the procedures, the procedures to follow, as well as the tax incentives. And that’s it for me.
MS. LEONARD: Thank you, A.J.
At this time I’d like to introduce Ms. Juanita McGill, who will review with you the living wage requirement.
MS. MCGILL: Good morning. Maryland law requires that contractors meeting certain conditions pay a living wage to covered employees on state service contracts over $100,000. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation requires that a contractor subject to the living wage law submit payroll records for covered employees and a signed statement indicating that it paid a living wage to covered employees and a signed -- excuse me, or receive a waiver from living wage reporting requirements.
If subject to the living wage law, the contractor agrees that it will abide by all living wage requirements including, but not limited to, reporting requirements in COMAR 21.11.10.05.
The contractor understands that failure of the contractor to provide such documents is a material breach of the terms and conditions, and may result in contract termination, disqualification by the State from participating in State contracts, and other sanctions.
Additional information regarding the State’s living wage requirement is contained in Attachment G. Offerers must complete and submit the Maryland living wage requirements affidavit of agreement, Attachment
G-1 with their proposal. If an offerer fails to complete and submit the required documentation, the State may determine an offerer to be not responsible under State law.
Contractors and subcontractors subject to the living wage law shall pay each covered employee at least the minimum amount set by law for applicable tier area. The specific living wage rate is determined by whether a majority of services take place in a Tier 1 area or Tier 2 area of the State.
The Tier 1 area includes Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore County and Baltimore City. The Tier 2 area includes any county in the State not included in the Tier 1 area.
In the event that the employee -- the employees who perform the services are not located in the State, the head of the unit responsible for a State contract shall assign the tier based upon where the recipient of the services are located.
The contract resulting from the solicitation will be determined to be a Tier 1 contract or a Tier 2 contract depending on the location or locations from which the contractor provides 50 percent or more of the services. The offerer must identify in its proposal the location or locations from which services will be provided, including the location or locations from which 50 percent or more of the contract services will be provided.
If the contractor provides 50 percent or more of the services from a location or locations in the Tier 1 jurisdiction, the contract will be a Tier 1 contract. If the contractor provides 50 percent or more of the services from a location or locations in a Tier 2 jurisdiction or jurisdictions, the contract will be a Tier 2 contract. If the contractor provides more than 50 percent of the services from an out-of-state location, the State agency determines the wage tier based on where the majority of the service recipients are located.
Information pertaining to reporting obligations may be found by going to the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, DLLR, Web site.
Please note, the living wage may change annually. However, the contract price may not be changed because of a living wage change.
MS. LEONARD: Thank you, Ms. McGill.
At this time, I’d like to advise you of the minimum qualifications. I’ll be directly referencing Sections 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 of the RFP.
Offerer minimum qualifications. The offerer shall provide proof with its proposal that the following minimum qualifications have been met.
At least one attorney in the offerer’s office that is assigned to represent children under the contract shall have a minimum of two years of Maryland-specific child welfare legal experience. Child welfare legal experience means that the attorney was a member of the Maryland State Bar and was engaged in the practice of child welfare representation. Time spent, for example, as a law clerk or a paralegal will not count towards the minimum two years’ experience requirement.
As proof of meeting its minimum requirement, the offerer shall provide with its proposal a copy of the resume of the attorney relied on to meet this requirement, along with any references that may be able to be provided to substantiate the experience.
The scope-of-work requirements will be presented now by Maryland Legal Services Program. This section begins on Page 25 of the RFP. Ms. Davis will go over the scope of work and Ms. Rawlings subsequently will go through invoicing, payment terms and the contractor’s project managers section.
MS. DAVIS: Good morning. The scope of work is large, so I’m only going to address the issues that are substantially different from the previous contracts.
The first thing I’d like to draw your attention to is the attorney-client ratio. The attorney-client ratio for this solicitation is one attorney to 100 clients. That is a change from previous procurements.
The continuing legal education requirement has been reduced to a minimum of 12 hours of continuing legal education. That is a change from the previous requirement. There’s also a monetary penalty associated for noncompliance of $150 per month, that is an addition from previous solicitations.
The third issue are client contacts. Client contacts are required by the assigned attorney before each hearing and at a minimum every six months.
The appeals process. The appellate process has not changed, the requirements have not changed significantly. However, we would encourage full participation by all lawyers in the appellate process if it is in your client’s interest or at the direction of your client.
Lost data policy. This is in addition to the previous procurement processes. Please familiarize yourself with the statutory requirements that are noted in the solicitation. There are two additional requirements that the Department is requesting. That you notify the State project manager if there is a lost data issue or an incident in writing within 24 hours of you getting knowledge that there’s been a breach, and that you identify the details of the lost data, the steps that you plan to take, and the time line that you plan to complete those steps within.
Postponements. This I have -- I’m covering not because it’s not been articulated in previous solicitations, but just as a reminder. Please, postponements are not billable events. Whatever term of art that’s used in your jurisdiction, whether it is
a request to hold the case sub curia and come back or postponements, that is not a billable event.
The seventh major change is the minimum salary requirement. Historically, the minimum salary for hiring attorneys has been $50,000, this solicitation requires a $60,000 annual minimum salary.
Next are the annual financial audits. The Department is requesting that each successful contractor provide the Department with a financial audit which tracks the contract funds within 90 days of the end of the contract year. That audit must be provided by a certified public accountant.
The final issue is the transitioning of cases. Should there be an event in which you must transition your cases back to the Department, we are requiring that the files be produced within 30 days of receipt of written notice by the State project manager.
Thank you, that’s all I have.
MS. LEONARD: Thank you, Audre.
I’d like to introduce now Teminka Rawlings for the balance of the scope-of-work presentation.
MS. RAWLINGS: Hello. I just want to add that it’s 150 per day, Audre. We wanted to mention that.
MS. DAVIS: That’s the monetary penalty?
MS. RAWLINGS: Yes, that’s the monetary penalty.
Okay. Section 3.6, invoicing. It’s important, so I’ll highlight some of the major areas. At this point, it says that you can submit your invoices via U.S. mail or electronically. We’re going to do an amendment to give some more clarity on that, but at this point that’s how we’re specifying. And also appointment orders via U.S. mail and electronically.
Invoices must be submitted for services rendered for one specific month. It shouldn’t be a combination of months because you’ve omitted client names in a previous month, it should be only for one specific month. So instead you can use the Attachment U to invoice for clients that were previously omitted.
The client case list, Attachment U-1, that will accompany your invoice must represent cases that you are billing for that month. Specifically, if you had hearings for cases that are not eligible for billing, do not put them on Attachment U-1.
Invoices must be checked for accuracy. That means that you check your calculations, that means that the amount that you are billing matches the number of cases that you are submitting on your client case list. That means that the numbers match, that the numbers make sense. And that’s times your case rate, your per-case rate.
Please note that invoices submitted without the required information and supportive reports will not be processed for payment until the contractor provides the required information.
Invoices are due on the 20th of the month for the prior month activities. Please note that there will be no more reminders or requests for invoices and reports, MLSP will just document that your firm is in noncompliance.
Section 3.6.2, invoice submission schedule. Please fully read this section.
Section 3.6.3, payment terms. The contractor shall only bill one time annually for each CINA/TPR case upon completion of any of the listed proceedings, slash, hearings. That list is included in this section and voluntary placements have been added. A contractor may only submit a bill for active cases, not inactive or closed, active cases during any contract year after a proceeding, slash, hearing has been conducted. The one-time annual billing shall be for the entire case amount.
Also I’ll reiterate, there is no billing for postponements for any reason.
Please note that the State and the Department will not pay for ancillary proceedings.
The failure of a contractor to perform required case activities for the remainder of the contract year after receipt of an annual case payment will be a factor in whether that contractor is assigned future CINA/TPR cases and may result in termination of the contract.
The Department also reserves the right to reduce or withhold contract payments or suspend new case assignments in the event that a contractor does not provide the State project manager with all required reports within the time frame specified in the contract, or fails to perform required activities for the remainder of the contract year after receipt of an annual case payment, or in the event that a contractor otherwise materially breaches the terms and conditions of the contract.
Section 3.7, project manager. Please note that DBM requirements have changed, so familiarize yourself with the contract requirements.
Section 3.7.3, selection of new contractors project manager. The contractor shall follow the procedure outlined in Section 1.2.3, substitution of personnel. These changes need to happen, but they also need to happen with the participation of the project manager, and that means you need to notify the project manager prior to making the changes. You don’t just make the change and then notify us that it’s been made.
Section 3.8, post-award kickoff meeting. That will occur two weeks after -- I’m sorry, that will occur within two weeks after all appropriate approvals and prior to the contract start date.
That’s all I have.
MS. LEONARD: Thank you, Teminka. And thank you, Audre.
I just want to clarify before moving on about that monetary penalty that Ms. Rawlings had mentioned earlier. It can be referenced specifically on page 26 of the RFP, Section 3.2.2, letter E. It is a $150-per- month penalty, just to be clear.
We are now going to review Section 4 of the RFP for proposal format. This section can be found on page 42 of the RFP.
The proposal is a two-part submission. Offerer shall submit proposals in separate volumes. Volume 1 is to include the technical proposal, Volume 2 is to include the financial proposal.
I’ll begin with the review of the technical proposal language, Section 4.2.1. It is preferred that the name, email address and telephone number of the offerer be included on the outside of the packages for each volume. Each volume shall contain one original so identified and four copies.
It is preferred that the two sealed volumes -- actually, I guess I’m still talking about both volumes, but both need to be submitted together in a single package, including a label bearing the following. RFP title and number, jurisdiction relevant to the proposal, name and address of the offerer, and closing date and time for the receipt of proposals.
Once again, I will emphasize that the proposals are due to me by May 20th, no later than 3:00 p.m. local time, to the address listed in Section 1.5 of the RFP.
Proposals can be submitted in person or by mail. The Department recommends that if you’re going to be sending the packages by mail that you use USPS, United States Postal Service, Express, Priority or certified mail, as these are the forms for which both the date and time of receipt can be verified by the Department. Any proposals received after the date and time specified will not be accepted.
Please note for the technical proposal, no pricing information is to be included in Volume 1. Pricing information is only to be included in the financial proposal, otherwise known as Volume 2.
Section 4.2.2 states that only one technical proposal shall be provided regardless of the number of jurisdictions proposed to be served. If there are variations in service delivery based on jurisdictional nuances in court practices or in client needs, those variations shall be described in detail on a separate page or pages for each jurisdiction affected. In addition, separate requested caseload forms -- and I’ll reference Attachment F-2 -- and projected staffing forms, Attachment S, must be included with the technical proposal for each jurisdiction proposed to be served.
Going down to Section 4.4.2, this section describes the order of the sections provided in the technical proposal. So this is for your organizational purposes.
Tab A is the title page and table of contents; Tab A-1, claim of confidentiality; Tab B, transmittal letter; Tab C, executive summary; Tab D, minimum qualifications documents; Tab E, offerer technical response to RFP and proposed work plan; Tab F, offerer qualifications and capabilities; Tab G, experience and qualifications of proposed staff, including proposed subcontractors; Tab H, references; Tab I, list of current or prior State contracts; Tab J, financial capability. Please reference Attachment Y, financial stability worksheet.
Please also note, the offerer may supplement its response under the financial capability tab, Tab J, with one or more of the following. A, Dunn & Bradstreet rating; B, Standard & Poor’s rating; C, lines of credit; D, evidence of a successful track record; and, E, evidence of adequate working capital.
Moving on to Tab K, certificate of insurance; Tab L, subcontractors; Tab M, legal actions summary; Tab N, additional required technical submission, which includes first the bid, slash, proposal affidavit, and you would reference Attachment B, and a completed Maryland living wage requirement affidavit of agreement, and that is Attachment G-1.
Moving on to the financial proposal. The financial proposal should be in a sealed envelope separate from the technical proposal and clearly identified in the format provided to you in Section 4.2. The offerer shall submit an original and four copies -- please identify what’s the original -- and an electronic version in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel of the financial proposal. And you can reference Attachment F-1, CINA/TPR proceedings pricing proposal, which shall contain all price information in the format specified in this attachment and shall not exceed the $1,450 of the fully loaded fixed unit price -- I’m sorry, fully loaded fixed unit capped price -- capped price, correct -- for the base period and $1,500 as the fully loaded fixed unit price capped for the option years.
I’ll restate that just to be clear. Shall not exceed the 1,450 of the fully loaded fixed unit price capped for the base period and 1,500 as the fully loaded fixed unit price capped for the option years.
Now I’d like to go to the section for evaluation committee, evaluation criteria and selection procedure, starting on page 50.
First, the evaluation committee. Evaluation of proposals will be evaluated in accordance with COMAR 21.05.03 by a committee established for that purpose and based on the criteria set in the RFP Sections 5.2 and 5.3.
Technical and financial proposal evaluation criteria. Please reference Section 5.2. The criteria of the technical proposal will be evaluated in the following order and I will list in order of importance. Note that any sub-criteria will be given equal weight.
First, offerer’s technical response to the RFP requirement and work plan; second, experience and qualification of proposed staff; and, third, offerer qualification and capabilities.
Section 5.3, financial proposal evaluation criteria. All qualified offerers will be ranked from the lowest, slash, most advantageous to the highest, slash, least advantageous price based on the total proposal price in the stated guidelines in the RFP and as submitted on Attachment F-1, the financial proposal form, for the particular jurisdiction proposed.
Selection procedures. The contracts will be awarded in accordance with the competitive sealed proposals method. The State may conduct discussion with all offerers that have submitted proposals that are determined to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for contract award or potentially so. However, the State reserves the right to make an award without holding discussions. In either case, the State may determine an offerer not to be responsible or a proposal not to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for an award. If that’s the case, that offerer’s financial proposal will be returned if the financial proposal is unopened at the time of that determination.
When in the best interest of the State, the Procurement Officer may permit qualified offerers to revise their initial proposals and submit in writing best and final offers.
Award determination. The Department intends to make contract awards for new CINA/TPR cases based -- I’m sorry, for new CINA/TPR cases based single provider. The offerer with the highest overall ranking will be awarded that jurisdiction’s new cases and existing cases, if applicable.
Upon completion of the technical proposal and financial proposal evaluations and rankings, each offerer will receive an overall ranking. The Procurement Officer will recommend award of the contract or contracts to the responsible offerer or offerers that submit a proposal or proposals determined to be the most advantageous to the State considering price and evaluation factors set forth in this RFP. And you may reference COMAR 21.05.03.03-F, as in Frank.
Please note, in making the most advantageous proposal determination, technical factors will receive greater weight than financial factors.
Also, in order to maintain continuity of representation, preference will be given to offerers that are current providers who wish to keep their current caseload and wish to take on new cases, provided that award recommendations to such offerers are determined to be in the best interests of and most advantageous to the State.
One final note regarding the award determination process. Any new contracts awarded to providers that currently have contracts with the Department to provide CINA/TPR services, but do not intend to seek new cases and only wish to continue providing services for their currently assigned caseload for the Department shall not count towards the number of providers needed for each jurisdiction.
This concludes the review of the RFP and I believe we are -- Audre and Teminka, are we ready to take questions?
I’m going to quickly state that when asking a question please identify yourself and your practice or your organization that you’re affiliated with for the record. A transcript of this conference will be available on the eMaryland and DHR Web site. Please note that we will take your questions down and a response will be posted to eMaryland and DHR’s Web site.
If any questions that are asked during this conference are responded to during the conference, please be advised that the responses to each question will also be posted. Should there be a discrepancy between responses given here today during the conference and written responses provided subsequently, the written responses shall prevail.
And I will open the floor to questions.
MS. DAVIS: I apologize, I just want to make two quick clarifications. With regard to the continuing legal education compliance issue, the $150 a day -- the $150 penalty is per month. With regard to invoice compliance issues, the penalty is $150 per day, per report for noncompliance. CLE, 150 a month; invoice, 150 per day.
And there’s one other issue I believe that I -- I’m not sure if it was received correctly. An offerer who is an incumbent provider who wishes to keep their cases will receive preference with regard to those cases only. There will be competition for all new cases in every jurisdiction whether you’re new or whether you’re an incumbent. The incumbents who have cases that wish to keep them will receive preference for the purpose of continuity of representation, that’s it. The new cases are out on the free market.
Okay. So are you -- am I --
MS. LEONARD: (Indiscernible).
MS. DAVIS: Are you going to talk to them?
MS. LEONARD: Yeah. Yes, please?
MS. DONOVAN-MAZZULLI: I have a question that ties in.
MS. LEONARD: Okay.
MS. DONOVAN-MAZZULLI: This is Kelly Donovan-Mazzulli from the Child Advocacy Project of the Eastern Shore. In regards to firms that currently have contracts, are the -- is there a new contract awarded to those firms for keeping the new clients and are we paid under those -- the proposal or are we paid under the $75-per-hour provision that I cannot find the section at this point in time here that I’m referring to.
MS. LEONARD: I’m going to let Audre address that.
MS. DAVIS: So whether you keep your old cases or you have new cases, this solicitation applies to both. There is no separate bill. There’s the one-time fully loaded fixed unit price that’s capped that you will be paid for old cases and new cases, all the same.
MS. LEONARD: Thank you.
MR. ROBINSON: Chris Robinson, Children’s Legal Services. For incumbent providers who keep their cases, but do not request new cases, would they still get siblings of existing clients or their old clients back if those people came in under a position?
MS. LEONARD: Do we have a section of the RFP that addresses siblings?
(Chorus of nos.)
MS. DAVIS: Mr. Robinson, we’ll address that in writing just to make sure that it’s very clear.
MS. LEONARD: Any other questions? Are there any other -- yes, Darlene?
MS. WAKEFIELD: Darlene Wakefield. I just -- I had submitted some questions and I had some followup that I am still seeking clarification. Concerning the criminal background check requirement, are we required to submit the criminal background results along with the proposal or -- I don’t see how we’ll have time to do that -- or is it we have to have them submitted prior to the start date of the contract if awarded a contract?
MS. LEONARD: I think people are saying prior to the start of the contract date.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Okay, okay.
MS. ECTOR: And just for clarification, you have to submit the affidavit. We don’t -- the Department does not give the actual report or results, but an affidavit. And if there are any concerns or findings, then that would be recorded in the affidavit, which is an attachment --
MS. WAKEFIELD: Attachments, okay.
MS. ECTOR: -- to the RFP.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Okay. Another question I have, it’s going back to this appointment order requirement. I understand with the new invoices under the new contract we have to submit an appointment order, but there’s also a reference in the RFP stating that we have to submit appointment orders for all existing cases at the time we submit the proposal, in addition to an attachment which lists all the names of all the children of our current cases. In my case, it’s a lot of copies. Are you going to allow us to submit it on some kind of electronic, a flash drive or something like that? I can’t imagine making copies of all these appointment orders and submitting it with the technical proposal in our case and I can only imagine for the -- I won’t speak for them, but is that something you would consider changing, not requiring that appointment order? The answer that I got was it was because of audit and I’m at a loss as to why we would need that at the time of the submission of the proposal.
MS. DAVIS: So the answer to the question is that, the questions that were submitted -- the questions and responses are in the back --
MS. WAKEFIELD: I know.
MS. DAVIS: -- so some of the answers have been provided in writing. But the answer to the question is, our preference would be to receive it electronically, but we will give the option to any of the incumbents to provide it, you know, in paper form if they wish to.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Okay, then that’s fine. When I read the answer, I still was not clear. I thought the electronic submission referred to the invoicing from now on under the new contract, but you’re saying we can submit electronically period with the technical proposal. Is that what you’re saying to me?
MS. DAVIS: Yes.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Okay.
MS. DAVIS: Yes.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Okay. We don’t have to give you paper copies.
MS. DAVIS: We’d prefer if you didn’t.
MS. WAKEFIELD: Right, and I would prefer that.
MS. LEONARD: Yes?
MS. WAKEFIELD: Thank you.
MS. LAZARUS: Ronna Lazarus, I have a question. Attachment U-2, you want us to use that exact attachment to provide the information? Because it needs to be modified, we can’t insert any information on the attachment.
MS. LEONARD: Okay.
MS. LAZARUS: And please check all of the other attachments that we’re supposed to provide information on to make sure we can insert the information on them.
MS. LEONARD: All right, we’ll make sure that the attachments that require you to add information have the appropriate fill forms for you. And those will be re-posted.
Any other questions at this time? Okay. Yes?
MR. JOSEPH: This is Wilhelm Joseph. Where did you say the projected caseloads can be found?
MS. RAWLINGS: There is a projected caseload chart, Attachment BB. There’s a projected caseload chart for out-of-state placements and voluntary placements, that would be Attachment BB-1 and BB-2.
MR. JOSEPH: Is that information already on?
MS. RAWLINGS: Yes.
MR. JOSEPH: Next question. An audit is required 30 days after the end of the contract -- or 90 days, I think it is -- 90 days, I think it is. The contract ending date varies over the past several years, we’ve had all kinds of moving dates when the contract ends. If you are looking at the -- some organization like ours, prepare a very comprehensive combined audit consistent with the federal government, they want all monies, but it does not necessarily follow the contract to the end. For example, it’s going to fiscally end in December. So within April through December of any following year, they have a comprehensive on all funds. The question is, is that acceptable? Are you requiring some separate order and separate expense and separate (indiscernible), which is a huge expense. That is not -- that’s something the government has gotten away from. It used to be every time, every audit, now the government wants you to do one comprehensive A-133.
MS. DAVIS: The Department is requesting exactly what you have articulated. We’re not requesting that you submit a copy of you’re A-133, we’re asking that you submit an independent audit of only the Department contract funds. And we do recognize that it is -- the start date of the contracts do not mirror State or federal fiscal year cycles, but that’s the Department’s request for this contract.
MS. LEONARD: Are there any other questions before we come to a close?
MR. JOSEPH: One more question.
MS. LEONARD: Yes?
MR. JOSEPH: You list the proposition that technical will carry more weight than the financial; is that correct?
MS. LEONARD: Correct.
MS. DAVIS: That’s correct.
MR. JOSEPH: How much more weight?
MS. ECTOR: There are no points or measurements assigned to the RFP, so we cannot tell you that it will be 70-30, 60-40. There are no points assigned to each of the criteria. However, the technical portion of the proposal will be considered more heavily than your financial.
MR. JOSEPH: Okay, you’re saying no points will be assessed what?
MS. ECTOR: The criteria. There’s no points, there are no scoring, there are no specific weight assigned in this RFP.
MR. JOSEPH: Either to the technical nor the fiscal?
MS. ECTOR: Correct.
MR. JOSEPH: But you just also stated in the fiscal part it will be ranked according to price.
MS. ECTOR: Correct.
MR. JOSEPH: But that’s not consistent with what you just said.
MS. ECTOR: A ranking is from lowest to highest. If there are five offerers with financial proposals, they would be ranked from the lowest offerer’s proposal to the highest, one, two, three, four, five. That’s all.
MR. JOSEPH: The ranking is based on the unit of dollars in the technical side?
MS. ECTOR: Correct.
MR. JOSEPH: As to the technical side now, how do you rank from best to worst under what system?
MS. ECTOR: If there are five offerers, the best technical proposal would be ranked number one, the second-best proposal would be ranked number two, three, four, five and so on. Then there would be an overall ranking considering the technical and the financial, and then we will get an overall ranking one through five. And that’s because in my example there were five offerers.
MR. JOSEPH: How are you going to figure out which technical overrides what price, if you have top rank at a higher price, how are you going to figure that out?
MS. ECTOR: We will consider all of the factors in the RFP, all of the criteria, and determine which proposal is in the best interest of the State and provides the most advantageous price for the services offered.
MR. JOSEPH: I just alert you to the fact that you’re going down a road that you’ve been before with a roadblock. And I’ll say nothing more.
MS. LEONARD: Thank you.
Are there any other questions before we close?
MS. WAKEFIELD: If you check your Web site, I think it says 10:00 a.m. for the proposal date and time due, and you said 3 o’clock on here.
MS. LEONARD: Yeah, it should say -- it should be -- it’s 3 o’clock.
MS. WAKEFIELD: I think on the eMaryland Marketplace, unless I was tired when I read it last night, I thought it said 10:00 a.m., but --
MS. LEONARD: Thank you, Darlene. We will double check that.
MR. JOSEPH: There is a period of written -- continuing written questions, is that correct?
MS. LEONARD: Yes, that is correct.
MR. JOSEPH: Okay. Thank you.
MS. LEONARD: Yes. Please do submit them in writing, if you have them, and they will be responded to and posted to the respective Web sites, eMaryland Marketplace and DHR’s Web site.
Thank you for attending today. As a reminder, please have your proposals submitted by the due date and time specified in the RFP. Late submissions will not be accepted.
And if you have not already done so, ladies and gentlemen, please complete the sign-in sheet in the back, so we can have a record of your attendance. And take a copy of Amendment No. 1 to the RFP, which will be also posted to eMaryland Marketplace and the DHR Web site.
This now concludes the pre-proposal conference for Legal Representation Services for Children in CINA, TPR and Related Proceedings.
Please enjoy the rest of your day.
(At 10:56 a.m. the conference was concluded.)
CERTIFICATE OF NOTARY I, CHRIS HOFER, the officer before whom the foregoing testimony was taken, do hereby certify that the witness whose testimony appears in the foregoing transcript was duly sworn by me; that the testimony of said witness was taken by me by stenomask means and thereafter reduced to typewriting by me or under my direction; that said testimony is a true record of the testimony given by said witness; that I am neither counsel for, related to
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This certification is expressly withdrawn and denied upon the disassembly or photocopying of the foregoing transcript of the proceedings or any part thereof, including exhibits, unless said disassembly or photocopying is done by the undersigned court reporter and/or under the auspices of Hunt Reporting Company.
Notary Public in and for the
State of Maryland
My Commission Expires: