U.S. Department of Commerce

2010 DRIS
Census Responses to Vendor Questions regarding the Draft RFP

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February 15, 2005


Updated Responses

  1. QUESTION: Question on the Service Contract Act: Our interpretation of the Service Contract Act (FAR Clause 52.222-41) is that it is not applicable in contracts where the Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act applies. Based on our understanding of the scope of work, we believe the Walsh-Healy Act does apply. Should the Service Contract Act not be applicable to this solicitation? In addition, we believe the same conclusion applies with respect to the Davis-Bacon Act. Our interpretation of the Service Contract Act (FAR Clause 52.222-41) is that it is not applicable in contracts where the Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act applies. Based on our understanding of the scope of work, we believe the Walsh-Healy Act does apply. Should the Service Contract Act not be applicable to this solicitation? In addition, we believe the same conclusion applies with respect to the Davis-Bacon Act.

    REVISED RESPONSE: The Service Contract Act does not apply to work (not entire contract) that is performed under Walsh-Healy. However, there is substantial, severable work that the Service Contract Act does apply to. That exemption does not apply to work performed under the Davis Bacon Act. Therefore all of these Acts apply to the contract.


  2. QUESTION: Question on Patent Indemnity: FAR 52.227-3, Patent Indemnity, applies to contracts where specific components are required, including spare parts and services, and where minor modifications are expected to products typically sold or offered for sale to the public in the commercial open market. Based on our understanding of the scope of work, this provision may not be consistent with the proscribed conditions identified in the clause. Is our interpretation of applicability of the scope of work to this clause correct?

    REVISED RESPONSE: This clause does apply to the DRIS contract.


  3.  3. M.3.2.1 Past Performance (How well the Contractor has performed) and Similar Experience (What contracts the Contractor has performed)(1) Past Performance (a) ... In addition to information obtained from references, the Government may use other sources of information to assess past performance, such as Government past performances databases, Inspector General reports, General Accounting Office reports, and information in the media concerning Offerors. And M.3.3 Key Personnel: Other sources of information concerning key personnel may include technical journals, Government past performance databases, Inspector General reports, General Accounting Office reports, and information in the media concerning key personnel.

    QUESTION: There appears to be no reasonable way to either guarantee a fair and balanced sampling of media information or to determine the accuracy of assertions made regarding companies or individuals in the general media. Offeror recommends that BOC not consider "information in the media concerning offerors' as valid evaluation criteria. Will BOC consider this recommendation and revise the requirement?

    REVISED RESPONSE: If we use media information during the evaluation process, we will notify the offeror and give the offeror a chance to respond to the specific information in the media.


Responses to New Questions

  1. Reference: RFP Section L.16.2.1.5, Impromptu Government Provided Scenarios

    QUESTION: Are there "rules" associated with the 3rd day of orals? For example, is the orals team allowed to make contact (via telephone, e-mail) with other members of the proposal team who are not direct participants in the orals? Is the team restricted from using e-mail or having access to the Internet, and/or internal corporate information systems? Will the team be restricted from access to a computer to assist in the preparation of the response?

    RESPONSE: We have modified the schedule for orals in Section L so that the scenarios will be given at the end of the 2nd day. The offeror can then use whatever resources are needed to prepare for the presentation on Day 3. However, once the presentation begins on the 3rd day, external communications will be restricted.


  2. Reference: RFP Section L.16.2 (d)
    This section states "Offerors shall present the oral presentation slides (8.5x11 inch) provided with the proposal during their oral presentations. No new presentation slides or alterations to submitted slides will be permitted."

    QUESTION: On the days of oral presentation, will the Government allow addition of agenda slides and title slides introducing the topic of each presentation session?

    RESPONSE: No new slides can be included during the first two days of orals. The agenda and title slides should be included with the proposal but will not count towards page limitations.


  3. Reference: RFP Sections L.16.1.4.8 and L.16.1.5.3
    These section state "No chart text shall be smaller than 18 point."

    QUESTION: Will the Government accept a font smaller than 18 point if it is in a graphic embedded in a slide?

    RESPONSE: Yes.


  4. Reference: RFP Section B.3.4.2 Telephone, paragraph (b)
    This section states "The Offeror shall assume up to nine million (9,000,000) calls with a peak period of March 16 through March 30, 2010 with six million four hundred thousand (6,400,000) calls received."

    QUESTION: It is not clear whether the 6,400,000 calls received refers to total inbound call activity for March 1, 2010 through June 30,2010 (9,000,000 calls - 2,600,000 outbound calls) or whether this quantity of calls refers to calls received during the peak period of March 16, 2010 through March 30, 2010. Could the Government please clarify?

    RESPONSE: We will modify this wording as follows: "Assume a telephone call volume of 9,000,000 incoming calls for the duration of 2010 Census operations. Of this number, 6,400,000 calls will come in during the time period of March 16, 2010 through March 30, 2010."


  5. Reference: RFP Section B.3.3.2 Telephone, paragraph (d)
    This section states "The Offeror shall monitor qualified agents for one (1) interactive call per shift."

    QUESTION: Could the Government please define what it intends by "interactive"? We interpret this to mean that feedback is provided. Is this interpretation correct?

    RESPONSE: The interactive call constitutes an agent speaking with a caller. Additionally, we expect call monitors to provide timely feedback to agents.


  6. Reference: RFP Section C.4.4.4 Outbound Operations, paragraph 3.3
    This section states "Resolution of an outbound case requires contacting a Government-designated eligible respondent for the specified household within the allowed number of call attempts and timeframe..."

    QUESTION: Could the Government clarify the number of allowable call attempts and the allowable timeframe?

    RESPONSE: The contractor shall propose a call strategy that minimizes call attempts while maximizing case resolution.


  7. Reference: RFP Section C.10.4.1 Facility Access Control, paragraph 2
    This section states: The Contractor shall provide facility access controls. Examples of security controls used during 2000 Census include:

    • Intrusion detection devices
    • Closed circuit television or other security camera systems
    • "Smart badge" systems
    • Parking permits: and
    • X-ray and metal detectors


    QUESTION: While we understand that this was the case for the Data Capture Centers, does this design also apply to call center locations?

    RESPONSE: Yes.


  8. Reference: RFP Section C.12.2 Archiving Requirements, paragraph 1
    This section states "The Contractor shall Archive DRIS images, respondent data, and metadata designated as "permanent" by NARA."

    QUESTION: We interpret this to mean that voice or data captured as part of daily quality assurance, quality control and training operations is not subject to archiving requirements and therefore does not need to be stored. Are we correct in this interpretation?

    RESPONSE: Voice or data captured as part of quality assurance, quality control and training operations data are not designated as permanent records for storage by NARA so they are not part of the archiving storage requirement. However, they may be needed for operational reporting or evaluations. This will be determined during Phase I.


  9. Reference: DRIS Library - IVR Scripts

    QUESTION: The Internet forms for the 2003 and 2004 test screens are posted and available on the DRIS site -- are the IVR scripts that were used in Census 2000 possibly available and could they also be posted?

    RESPONSE: Yes. They are included in the February 15, 2005 web posting.


  10. Reference: Section B.3.4.2 Telephone
    Proposal States: -- "(b) The Offeror shall assume up to nine million (9,000,000) calls with a peak period of March 16, 2010 through March 30, 2010 with six million four hundred thousand (6,400,000) calls received." and "(e) For outbound telephone agent follow-up, the Offeror shall assume two million six hundred thousand (2,600,000) cases spanning a two-month period (after inbound peak period) and a call duration of three hundred sixty seven (367) seconds per completed interview."

    QUESTION: We assume that 6,400,000 calls are inbound and 2,600,000 are outbound calls. Is this a correction assumptions?

    RESPONSE: Yes.


  11. Reference: Section B.3.4.2 Telephone
    Proposal States: "(c) For telephone IVR, the Offeror shall assume a four hundred thirty-two (432) second duration call with a peak calling day of one million one hundred thousand (1,170,000); a busy hour of one hundred thirty-five thousand (135,000); and a sixty percent (60%) transfer rate to a telephone agent." However in the Tables for Attachment J8 IVR there is a Table #14 included where the IVR time is 2:21 or 141 seconds.

    QUESTION: We assume that 432 seconds is the total duration of the call with 141 seconds being IVR and the remaining 291 seconds agent time. Is this a correct assumption?

    RESPONSE:No. The tables in J8 represent Census 2000 data. For pricing purposes for DRIS, we estimate 432 seconds in the IVR.


  12. Reference: Section B.3.4.2 Telephone
    Proposal States: "(c) For telephone IVR, the Offeror shall assume a four hundred thirty-two (432) second duration call with a peak calling day of one million one hundred seventy thousand (1,170,000); a busy hour of one hundred thirty-five thousand (135,000); and a sixty percent (60%) transfer rate to a telephone agent."

    QUESTION: We assume this to mean that the 40% that are not transferred to the agent are "self-serviced" in IVR. Is this a correct assumption?

    RESPONSE: Yes.



Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Acquisition Division

Created: 2/11/2005
Last Revised: March 17, 2010