Third-party independent review shows RFP Process was fair, open and transparent
Today, the Department of Administration (DOA) issued a Notice of Intent to Award letter for the Statewide Student Information System (SSIS) project. DOA issued the letter to Infinite Campus, Inc., which was the highest scoring proposer in the SSIS competitive Request for Proposal process. The state will now move into contract negotiations with Infinite Campus for the company to establish and maintain DPI’s student information system for more than 440 school districts and non-district public charter schools in Wisconsin.
Cari Anne Renlund of the DeWitt, Ross & Stevens Law Firm conducted an extensive observation of the procurement, evaluation and selection process of the SSIS. Her report concluded:
1) The SSIS procurement, evaluation and selection process was open, fair, impartial and objective, and consistent with the RFP criteria;
2) The State and the Evaluation Team carefully followed the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the procurement process;
3) All proposing vendors were afforded an equal opportunity to compete for the contract award; and
4) The procurement, evaluation and selection process satisfied the goals and objectives of Wisconsin’s public contracting requirements.
Further, Renlund stated the Request for Proposal (RFP) “was drafted to identify the best possible vendor for the job at the best possible price.”
The report states, “the vendor that received the highest technical score also proposed the lowest cost, and therefore received the highest cost score. Added together, the vendor with the highest total score was the clear winner. The Evaluation Team unanimously recommended that the SSIS contract be awarded to the highest scoring proposer. The vendor recommendation was fair to all vendors, and consistent with the RFP and applicable state law.”
In addition, the selection process included “an exhaustive qualitative review of the proposals submitted against pre-written benchmarks and an objective cost component. Finally, based upon my observations, the Evaluation Committee did not appear to be subject to any outside influence on the selection process.”
DOA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) on May 2, 2012. Vendor proposals were due on July 10, 2012, and proposals underwent an exhaustive review process to ensure that the selected proposer was in the best interest of the taxpayers.
Other key findings in the independent review include:
· Each Evaluation Team member was very familiar with the RFP, the goals of the RFP, and the selection criteria to be applied.
· The five Evaluation Team members that made the procurement recommendation for the SSIS had the knowledge and experience to do the job. The report states, “I observed each member painstakingly review the vendor response and evaluate the proposals against pre-determined benchmarks.”
· Due to the breadth, scope and complexity of the RFP and SSIS, subject matter experts including school nurses, school district IT professionals, special education teachers, regular education and advanced learning teachers, principals, superintendents and administrative support staff were asked to provide input into the development of the RFP and during the vendor demonstrations.
· DOA took appropriate action to ensure there was no appearance of bias when the impartiality of an evaluator came into question.
· Seven proposals were submitted by vendors, and two of the proposals failed to satisfy a number of pass/fail requirements. Those two vendors were removed from further consideration in the evaluation process.
· Reference checks were conducted on the two vendor finalists.
· The Evaluation Team scored the vendors based upon technical scores (quality), while the DOA Bureau of Procurement evaluated and scored the cost proposals. The two scores were added together for vendor final scores.
· The Evaluation Team unanimously recommended that the SSIS contract be awarded to the highest scoring proposer.
The unsuccessful vendors were also notified today. These vendors have the opportunity to review the winning proposal and the materials used during the selection and evaluation process. A vendor has 10 business days to protest the decision made by the Evaluation Team. That deadline is February 15, 2013.
· DOA Issues Notice of Intent for Student Database System to Move Into Contract Negotiations
o Notice of Intent to Award letter
o Independent Procurement Process Observation Report