REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Information Technology Consultant
Receiving Date: 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Receiving Place: Office of Purchasing Agent
Town of Ashland
121 Thompson Street
P. O. Box 1600
Ashland, Virginia 23005
Requests for information regarding this proposal shall be directed to:
Town of Ashland
P.O. Box 1600
Ashland, VA 23005
The Town of Ashland is soliciting proposals from interested consulting firms who have experience in computer network service and desktop/laptop maintenance and support. The Town seeks to employ a single firm.
For existing network configuration and applications as well as current IT staff, see Attachment A.
During the performance of any contract pursuant to this RFP, the Consultant agrees as follows:
A. The Consultant will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, sex, or national origin, except whereas necessary to the normal operation of the contractor. The Consultant agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices setting forth the provisions of this non-discrimination clause. The Consultant, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Town or a sub-contractor, will state that such is an equal opportunity employer.
B. Notices, advertisements, and solicitations placed in accordance with federal law, rule or regulation shall be deemed sufficient for the purpose of meeting the requirements of this section.
III. SCOPE OF SERVICES
A. The consultant shall be under contract to provide all services in accordance with all terms and conditions listed herein. The services will include any necessary technical support services required by the Town of Ashland.
- The services may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Onsite and remote desktop support and technology assistance for the Town of Ashland’s employees in the use of the Town’s information technology. A minimum of twelve (12) hours each week should be conducted onsite at one of the Town’s listed locations. Attendance at afterhours meetings of the Town’s public bodies may be requested for special events. Afterhours support will be billed to the Town as used, not included in the base contract.
- Support the Town of Ashland’s servers and network infrastructure. This includes switches, firewalls, UPS, VPN, and other misc. peripherals.
- 24 x 7 Network Monitoring with response times as indicated below.
- Vendor Management – The service provider should act as a central point of contact for other technology vendors (for example ISP, website host, cybersecurity, copier, audio-visual, and/or phone systems vendors).
- Patch Management for Microsoft and other third-party software applications including antivirus.
- In addition to the general services listed above, the following specific services will be expected of the chosen Consultant:
- Antivirus, Spyware, and other malware removal.
- Recommendations on intrusion detection/prevention services
- Backup administration
- Laptop/Desktop Imaging
- Surge Protector/UPS checkup
- Support for Town-provided mobile devices
- Project support for Town initiatives. Town personnel will carry out these projects, but recommendations on hardware, software and troubleshooting may be beyond the capabilities of our staff. Any project completed by the Consultant will be compensated based on time and materials following the approval of a statement of work.
- In addition to the specific project and task-oriented items above, the selected Consultant should proactively provide overall information technology philosophy recommendations to Town staff. This may include policy and procedure recommendations regarding mobile devices and VPN practices.
IV. DELIVERABLES/DELIVERY/MEETING SCHEDULES
The purpose of the services will be to ensure a minimum network down time during the normal daily Town hours. Service requests will be based on three criteria, and service response may be conducted remotely when possible:
- The contractor shall be responsible to provide service response within four (4) business hours after notification by the Town within the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and within the hours 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Friday for any major system failure. A major system failure is defined as a failure that prohibits five or more users from using the network.
- The consultant shall be responsible to provide service within eight (8) hours after notification by the Town within the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and within the hours 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Friday for any minor system failure. A minor system failure is defined as a failure, which prohibits four or less users from using the network.
- The consultant shall be responsible to provide service within two (2) hours after notification by the Town within the hours 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for any failure related to public safety systems, and within four (4) hours after notification outside of those hours. A public safety system failure is defined as a failure which prohibits sworn personnel from remotely accessing the police department’s information system.
V. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS
Consultants are to provide written proposals, which present the Consultant's proposed approach, estimated cost of services and qualifications to conduct such work. The proposal should include all information the Consultant considers pertinent. At a minimum, the following information should be provided:
- Name, address, and phone number of the Consultant, including the identification of the office that will actually perform the work.
- Demonstration showing the level of expertise and experience in automation technology support services as listed herein.
- Resumes of firm personnel to be assigned to the Town. Resumes should include education background and experience, copies of training class certificates and dates attended, and any other certifications held by the individual assigned. The assigned personnel will undergo a criminal background investigation and must complete CJIS certification (coordinated by the Town).
- References for similar services only, performed for entities similar to the Town. A minimum of three references is required.
VI. INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING PROPOSALS
- Submission of Proposals
1. The Purchasing Office will not accept oral proposals nor proposals received by telephone or FAX machine.
2. All erasures, interpolations, and other changes in the Proposal shall be signed or initialed by the Consultant.
3. The Proposal must be signed in order to be considered. If the Consultant is a firm or corporation, the Consultant must print the name and title of the individual executing the proposal.
4. The Proposal, the proposal security, if any, and any other documents required, shall be enclosed in a sealed opaque envelope.
- All proposals shall be submitted in a sealed envelope bearing the company name and address with "SEALED PROPOSAL – RFP #21-01 – IT Consultants 1:00 p.m., March 3, 2021" printed in the lower left corner.
6. The time proposals are received shall be determined by the date stamp and written time in the Purchasing Office. Consultants are responsible for ensuring that the Purchasing Office stamps their proposal by the deadline indicated. It is the responsibility of the Consultant to deliver his or her proposal to the Town prior to the time of opening and in accordance with the instructions contained within the enclosed request for proposal package. Any proposal received after the specified opening date and time will not be considered and will be returned unopened. Consultant shall limit the size of the proposal to twenty (20) single sided 8 ½ x 11" pages, excluding front and back cover.
B. Consultants Representations
1. Each Consultant, by submitting a proposal in response to this Request for Proposal, represents that the Consultant has read and understands the Scope of Services and has familiarized itself with all federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations that in any manner may affect the cost, progress or performance of the contract work.
2. The failure or omission of any Consultant to receive or examine any form, instrument, addendum, or other documents, or to acquaint itself with conditions existing at the site, shall in no way relieve any Consultant from any obligations with respect to its proposal or to the contract.
3. Exceptions to the terms and conditions of the RFP must be set forth under the Consultant's letter of transmittal to warrant consideration. This RFP does not commit the Town to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a response to this request or to procure a contract for services.
C. Trade Secrets/Proprietary Information
Trade secrets or proprietary information submitted by a Consultant in response to this Request for Proposal shall not be subject to public disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; however, the Consultant must invoke the protection of this section prior to or upon submission of data or materials, and must identify the data or other materials to be protected and state the reasons why protection is necessary (Section 11.52D of the Code of Virginia).
D. Modification of Proposal
1. A proposal may be modified or withdrawn by the Consultant any time prior to the time and date set for the receipt of proposals. The Consultant shall notify the Purchasing Office in writing of its intentions.
2. Modified and withdrawn proposals may be resubmitted to the Purchasing Office up to the time and date set for the receipt of proposals.
3. No proposal can be withdrawn after the time set for the receipt of proposals and for sixty (60) days thereafter.
E. Acceptance of Proposals:
- The Town reserves the right to waive informalities, to reject any or all proposals and to award a contract that will be in the best interest of the Town. No proposal may be withdrawn for a period of sixty (60) days subsequent to the opening of the proposals. The procedure for the withdrawal of proposals shall be in accordance with 11.54(i) of the Virginia Public Procurement Act.
- All late proposals will be returned to the sender unopened by the Purchasing Office.
3. Proposals shall be open to public inspection only after award of the contract. Proprietary information will be redacted from the proposal.
VII. GENERAL CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS
A. Award of Contract
1. The successful Consultant shall, within fifteen (15) calendar days after prescribed documents are presented for signature, execute and deliver to the Purchasing Office the contract forms and any other forms or bonds required by the RFP.
2. The contract documents shall be subject to any regulations governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any dispute arising out of the contract documents, their performance, or their interpretation shall be litigated only in the Circuit Court of the County of Hanover, Virginia.
3. Any contract resulting from the RFP is not assignable.
B. Consultant’s Performance
1. The Consultant agrees and covenants that its agents and employees shall comply with all local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations applicable to the business to be conducted under the contract.
2. The Consultant shall ensure that its employees shall observe and exercise all necessary caution and discretion so as to avoid injury to person or damage to property of any and all kinds.
3. The Consultant shall cooperate with Town officials in performing the contract work so that interference with normal programs will be held to a minimum.
4. The Consultant shall be an independent Consultant and shall not be an employee of the Town.
The consultant shall be compensated on a monthly basis for any work completed within that time period. Statements of Work will be negotiated for any special projects (i.e. server replacement). Afterhours support requested by authorized Town personnel shall be billed with the monthly service.
D. Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
The Town of Ashland actively solicits both minority and women-owned businesses to respond to all Invitations for Bids and Requests for Proposals, and if not already on the Town's bidders/Consultants mailing list, you may request inclusion on the list. Should you be interested, please contact the Purchasing Office at (804) 798-9219.
VIII. SELECTION CRITERIA
The selected consultant shall possess a minimum of three (3) years experiences in network integration, service and support of networking equipment, service and support of employee PC’s and workstations, including a remote workforce. The consultant’s staff shall possess the following credentials:
1. Microsoft Certified System Engineer
2. Certified Information Systems Security Professional
3. A+ Certified Technicians
4. Knowledge of CJIS protocols
Copies of all listed certifications and authorizations shall be included as part of the proposal submitted in response to this request.
These criteria are to be utilized in the evaluation of qualifications for development of the shortlist of those proposers to be considered for interviews and/or potential negotiations. Individual criteria may in all probability be assigned varying weights at the Town’s discretion to reflect importance. Proposers are required to address each evaluation criteria in the order listed and to be specific in presenting their qualifications.
- Experience of Firm. Proposer’s experience with contract for services similar in scope.
- History of Firm
- Demonstrated ability of the proposer to provide all services required by the Town.
- Years in business and location of office that will service the Town.
- History of completing work/services within budget.
- Resumes of only those persons that will be assigned to the Town.
- Proposed services available
- Depth and variety of staff disciplines available
- Certifications of staff
- Availability of support service when needed, including proposed response terms and assignment to a single team
- Samples of scopes of work performed for similar entities.
- References of similar contract.
- Cost. A detailed schedule of all rates and related fees and costs are to be furnished on its own sheet in a separate sealed envelope marked Rates, separate from the responses to Section 1-4.
Existing network configuration and applications
The network for the Town of Ashland currently serves 4 Locations:
1. Town Hall has one file server, a utility server, and a web server. There are approximately 22 desktops and laptops located at this location.
The Town uses Office 365 for email.
2. Ashland Police Department (APD) has 4 servers (1 file server, 1 SQL Server, 1 Remote Access/Utility Server & 1 Server for State Police related functions) APD has approximately forty devices to include desktops, Panasonic Toughbooks, and laptops.
3. Town Maintenance Shop has 4 desktops and 1 laptop connected to Town Hall via a VPN.
5. Visitor Center has 1 desktop connected to Town hall via VPN.
Also, Town Council has four tablets for access to the Town of Ashland web site and other Town business. These machines do not access the network.
The desktops and laptops are predominantly Dell Optiplex or Latitude, and Microsoft Surfaces.
Comcast is the Town’s ISP.
Other machines and software installed but not covered by this RFP:
- One IBM AS400 used by the Treasurer’s office for BAI accounting software with client installations on some of the desktops.
Current IT Staff
The Town currently has four staff members who act as liaisons for their respective departments responsible for limited IT functions. These individuals have other, non-IT responsibilities as well. The abilities of these employees are limited to very basic helpdesk issues.
The Town is currently under contract with a firm that handles our IT management support services.