Purchasing Solutions Alliance (PSA), a nationwide non-profit cooperative purchasing program of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG), is soliciting proposals from experienced and qualified vendors to provide Office Supplies and Related Products and Services to PSA Members and/or prospective Members.
There is considerable potential sales value in being awarded a competitively bid public sector cooperative contract. PSA contractors have the advantage of promoting sales to governmental/educational entities without the need for the buyer to issue an RFP. This saves the buyer time and money from duplicating the competitive bidding process and managing the resulting contract. Many of our existing PSA contractors have been able to gain new customers because of the cooperative contracts.
The resulting contract from this RFP will be able to be used by local government agencies, certain state agencies, school districts, higher education, and non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations nation-wide.
We believe a PSA contract would enhance your competitive position in the government marketplace, and we are eager to work with you to promote the best interests of our participating local governments and qualifying non-profit organizations.
PSA is a “Government-to-Government” procurement service for Local Governments, Districts, Political Subdivisions, Authorities, Schools, Universities, and qualifying Not-for-Profit Corporations. These agencies become Members of Purchasing Solutions Alliance by executing an Interlocal Purchasing Agreement, which is free of cost and imposes no minimum spending requirements. PSA, acting on behalf of Members, solicits competitive offerings for the furnishing of products and/or services, as described elsewhere, which MAY be purchased by any of our member local governments, districts, and other public agencies across the nation during the contract term. Members using the Program issue purchase orders directly to PSA contractors.
Visit www.psabuy.org and click on the Membership tab in the main menu to view and/or download a list of PSA member agencies that have currently entered into Cooperative Interlocal Purchasing Agreements with PSA, eligible to participate in any subsequent contract.
The sole Point of Contact (POC) for purposes of this RFP prior to the award of any contract is Purchasing Director, Susan Lightfoot. Contact with any other PSA employee or official is prohibited without prior written consent from the POC of this RFP. Failure to observe this requirement may be grounds for rejection of the proposal.
PSA reserves the right to change the dates in the schedule of events below.
This solicitation is being performed as a Request for Proposals (RFP), whereby Offerors submit competitive sealed proposals. The following paragraphs provide information about the RFP process.
Vendors may ask questions regarding this RFP until the Question Deadline, Thursday, June 10, 2021. Submit all questions about this RFP through the ProcureNow portal associated with this RFP. All questions will be answered in ProcureNow throughout the RFP process, and no later than Thursday, June 17, 2021.
Upon examination of this RFP document, Offerors should promptly notify PSA of any ambiguity, inconsistency, or error they discover in writing. Interpretations, corrections, and changes to this RFP will be considered by PSA through a written addendum. Interpretations, corrections, or changes that are made in any other manner are not binding, and Offerors must not rely on them.
In the event of a needed change in the published RFP documents, Offerors should understand that all the foregoing terms and conditions and all performance requirements will apply to any published addendum. Addenda are written instruments issued by PSA that modify or interpret the RFP. All addenda issued by PSA become part of the RFP. Addenda will be posted through the ProcureNow portal associated with this RFP. PSA accepts no liability in connection with the delivery of any addenda. It is the sole responsibility of the Offeror to check for any addenda pertaining to this RFP during the proposal submission period. All Offerors must acknowledge their receipt of all addenda in their proposal response.
Requests for changes to the requirements or specifications herein must be in writing and must be received by PSA no later than the deadline established in the RFP Schedule. PSA will review such requests, but may or may not accept changes. Responses which are qualified with conditional clauses, or alterations of or exceptions to any of the terms and conditions in this RFP may be deemed non-compliant at the sole discretion of PSA. Changes to the RFP, if any, are made only by written Addendum and posted to ProcureNow. In any event, it is the Offeror's sole responsibility to ensure that any and all Addendums, which may have been issued, have been received and addressed.
During the evaluation process, PSA reserves the right to request additional information or clarifications from proposers. Each proposal must designate the person(s) who will be responsible for answering technical and contractual questions in the Offeror Acknowledgement & Certification form, provided as an attachment to this RFP. Preliminary negotiations may be conducted with responsible Offeror(s). At the discretion of PSA, all responsible Offerors may be given an opportunity to interview with the Evaluation Committee.
By submission of a response, Offeror expressly understands and agrees that all terms and conditions herein will be part of any subsequent contract that is executed pursuant to this RFP.
It is Offeror’s sole responsibility to thoroughly examine and review all documentation associated with this RFP, including any Addendums, and to ensure that any response submitted complies in every respect with all requirements.
Offeror shall make all investigations necessary to become thoroughly informed regarding any plan and/or infrastructure that may be required to support delivery of any Product or Service covered by this RFP. No plea of ignorance by Offeror stemming from failure to investigate conditions that may now or hereafter exist, shall be accepted as a basis for varying PSA requirements, or Offeror's/Contractor's obligations or entitlements.
PSA shall not be liable for Offeror's incomplete documentation. Additionally, all components of any Response become the property of PSA.
There is no expressed or implied obligation for BVCOG or PSA to reimburse responding firms for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this Request for Proposal. Neither BVCOG nor PSA will reimburse responding firms for these expenses, nor will they pay any subsequent costs associated with the provision of any additional information or presentation, or to procure a contract for these services.
All proposals, plans, specifications, schematics, content, maps, design, workflow or any other documents, and any work product prepared, created or obtained under this RFP including electronic media, hard copy documents, web-based systems, solutions and files shall be delivered to, and shall become the property of the PSA. This paragraph applies to all Offerors, whether successful or not.
The intent of this RFP is to award to the Offeror whose proposal offers the Best Value to PSA members. In determining the best value, the following may be considered:
PSA reserves the following rights with regard to the RFP:
PSA reserves the right to waive any or all irregularities, formalities, or other technicalities, to be the sole and independent judge of quality and suitability of any products/services offered, and may accept or reject any proposal in its entirety, or may reject any part of any proposal without affecting the remainder of that proposal, and may award the individual items on this proposal in any combination or in any way to best serve the interests of PSA as it perceives those interests to be in its sole discretion.
This RFP is not meant to restrict competition, but rather is intended to facilitate open, fair and unrestricted competition.
PSA is committed to obtaining its products and services at the lowest price possible without compromising quality. Therefore, in order to accomplish this objective/goal, it is not the intention of PSA neither to exclude particular vendors or manufacturers nor to create restrictive situations in this RFP.
Any vendor’s/manufacturer's names, trade names, brand names, price list numbers, technical data, products, services, etc. used in the RFP and any relevant documents are there for the sole purpose of establishing and describing general performance, quality levels, type and dimensions and such references are not intended to be restrictive.
Alternate bids on similar or comparable products and/or services of any manufacturer or vendor equal or equivalent to the products and/or services described in the RFP are invited and will be given careful consideration provided the alternate can accomplish the same task.
This section describes the administration of the awarded contract resulting from this RFP solicitation.
This contract shall become effective from date of acceptance and approval by the BVCOG Board of Directors or designee. It shall remain in full force and effect for a period of three (3) years. The contract shall be in effect throughout this period and thereafter until such time as any outstanding orders against the contract have been fulfilled.
The contract may be extended if deemed by PSA to be in the best interests of PSA, its members, and the Vendor. The contract may be extended for two (2) one-year terms. This action does not require specific BVCOG Board of Directors’ approval. Contracts are extended upon mutual agreement of both the Vendor and PSA.
In the event a new contract cannot be executed at the anniversary date of the original term or any renewal term, the contract may be renewed month-to-month until a new contract is executed. Non-appropriations for renewal of contract will also be in accordance with the Local Government Code 271.005 (b) concerning non-appropriation clauses for multi-year contracts.
Contractor shall assign a dedicated Contract Administrator whose duties shall include but not be limited to:
PSA reserves the right to require a change in the Contract Administrator if the assigned Contract Administrator is not, in the opinion of PSA, adequately serving the needs of the cooperative purchasing program.
PSA shall have the right to make changes to the resulting contract of this RFP for the purpose of clarification or inclusion of additional specifications, qualifications, conditions, etc. Any such changes shall be made in writing and agreed upon by Contractor and PSA prior to issuance of Addendum to the Contract.
The specific number and product mix featured in this contract may change during the course of the Agreement as Contractor introduces new products and discontinues others. When possible, any contract changes will occur on the anniversary of the contract.
In the event a product is discontinued, or if the Contractor makes a change that affects the price of a product, the Contractor is required to immediately notify the PSA of the circumstances. Discontinued items are automatically considered to be deleted from the contract with no penalty to Contractor. PSA, at its sole discretion, may allow the Contractor to provide a substitute for the discontinued item through a contract amendment.
Requests for product SUBSTITUTIONS shall be accompanied with the following information:
Requests for product ADDITIONS shall be accompanied with the following information:
PSA may at its sole discretion elect to make a contract award to the next low Offeror for a discontinued item, or take any other action deemed by PSA to be in the best interests of End Users.
Since this is a cooperative contract, there is no estimated usage amount. PSA is an optional use cooperative, with no minimum purchase amount, and usage is dependent on PSA cooperative members’ actual needs and available funding.
The Offeror is expected to solicit new business with the resulting contract from this RFP. Every city, county, school district, university, special districts and other local government agencies throughout the US are eligible to become PSA members and potentially use this contract. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations will also be eligible for this contract. PSA membership is free, and requires only an Interlocal Purchasing Agreement to be signed between PSA and the joining agency. Federal agencies are excluded from using purchasing cooperatives other than GSA.
The following definitions, abbreviations and acronyms may be found in these specifications, and shall be interpreted herein as specified below.
A public notice put in a local newspaper of general circulation, containing information about a Request for Proposal.
The act of entering into contract with a vendor for providing specified goods and services to PSA members.
A political subdivision of the State of Texas that serves as a vehicle for local governments to cooperatively identify needs, develop responses, implement solutions, eliminate duplication and promote the efficient and accountable use of public resources, and to improve the quality of life. PSA is a program of BVCOG.
A transparent purchasing process in which proposals from competing vendors are requested by openly advertising the scope, specifications, and terms and conditions of the proposed contract as well as the criteria by which the bids will be evaluated. Competitive Procurement aims at obtaining goods and services at the lowest prices by stimulating competition and by preventing favoritism.
An agreement between PSA and a Vendor to furnish goods and/or services to PSA members over a designated period of time, during which purchases are made of the commodity specified.
The contracted business entity responsible for fulfilling a contract executed pursuant to this RFP.
A purchaser or customer having the responsibility for the ordering and acceptance of Product or Service. For the purposes of this RFP, End Users are also PSA Members.
Free on Board (FOB); the vendor pays freight charges to the destination; title to goods passes to buyer at his receiving dock; freight claims must be filed and handled by the seller. Ownership of the goods transfers from seller to buyer at the destination.
Free on Board (FOB); shipment terms indicate that the buyer must pay to have the goods delivered; freight charges may be prepaid and added to the invoice; ownership of the goods passes to buyer at the shipping dock of seller; freight claims must be filed and handled by buyer.
A generic term that includes all types of property to be purchased by PSA members, such as equipment, supplies, materials, component, and repair parts.
Authorized Participant in the PSA Purchasing Program. Generally, any qualifying public, governmental, educational or non-profit entity which has executed an Interlocal Agreement for cooperative purchasing services with PSA. Eligible participants include municipalities, counties, school districts, and state agencies, non-profits performing a governmental function, special districts, political subdivisions and higher education institutions.
Any entity that submits a competitive proposal to a Request for Proposals (RFP).
A formal, binding, legal agreement issued by a PSA member. A purchase order is requested by a departmental requisition that details the merchandise or services required. When accepted by a vendor without qualifications within a specified time period, the agreement becomes a contract. A Purchase Order grants the vendor the authority to deliver the goods or services and invoice for the same. It is the PSA member’s commitment to accept the goods or services and pay for them at the agreed price.
A document that defines the need for goods and/or services. It is an internal document and does not constitute a contractual relationship with any external party.
A cooperative purchasing program for public agencies nationwide established by the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG) under the Interlocal Cooperation Act of the State of Texas.
A formal written document requesting from vendors a proposal for various goods and/or services and includes a request for proposed prices and fees. Unlike an invitation for bids, the proposals received in response to a RFP can and will be negotiated with the top ranked vendor.
A generic term to include all work or labor performed by a vendor for PSA members under the established PSA vendor contracts.
A generic term applied to individuals and companies alike, who provide goods and services to PSA members.
Purchasing Solutions Alliance (PSA), a non-profit cooperative purchasing program of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG) is soliciting proposals from experienced and qualified vendors to provide Office Supplies and Related Products and Services to PSA Members and/or prospective Members.
This contract will enable the agencies to purchase on an “as needed” basis from a competitively awarded contract with high-performance vendors.
PSA prefers to award an exclusive contract to the company who is most able to:
Provide highly competitive pricing; and
Provide value-added and superior customer services.
Responses shall be considered only from Offerors that have established excellent reputations in their markets, and who furnish satisfactory evidence of ability to supply the products/services specified herein.
It is the intent of this solicitation that other governmental organizations and agencies throughout the continental United States may purchase identical items at the same unit pricing and the same general terms and conditions, subject to the applicable state and federal laws. PSA reserves the right to award multiple contracts based on geographic area or by designated segments of products/services solicited in this RFP.
PSA intends to contract to provide comprehensive Office Supplies and Related Products and Services to current and potential PSA members. PSA members will be able to utilize the services awarded in a contract either individually or in any combination thereof through the execution of a Supplemental Agreement.
Offerors are to propose the broadest possible selection of Office Supplies and Related Products and Services and Solutions they offer. A Contract resulting from this RFP may include, but not limited to, the following types of service categories:
Offerors may respond to some or all of the services described above. In addition to the services described, responding Offerors may submit proposals that include related services that are frequently included with Office Supplies and Related Products and Services that might prove beneficial to PSA End Users. These offerings will be considered and evaluated. PSA reserves the right to accept any or reject additionally proposed products or services in the best interest of BVCOG, PSA, and its participating member entities.
Offerors are encouraged to propose incentive and rebate programs they intend to offer that will provide added benefit to End Users. PSA requests, but does not require, the following rebate structure:
Any exclusions or changes to the rebate must be stated very clearly in the response.
Any variance in the specifications or performance of Products offered shall be acceptable to PSA and the End User only insofar as it MEETS or EXCEEDS the specifications and requirements of this RFP.
In the case of physical goods (e.g. equipment, material, supplies, as opposed to services), all Products offered must:
Except as contained herein, the specifications or solutions for this RFP shall be those accepted guidelines set forth by the Office Supplies and Related Products and Services industry, as they are generally understood and accepted within that industry across the nation. Deviations from industry standards must be identified by the Offeror and explained how, in their opinion, the equipment/products and services they propose will render equivalent functionality, coverage, performance, and/or related services. Failure to detail all such deviations may comprise sufficient grounds for rejection of the entire proposal.
Products and/or equipment offered herein are to be proposed based upon being delivered and operational at the PSA Member’s site. Exceptions to “delivered and operational” must be clearly disclosed.
If applicable, each Product delivered under a PSA contract, and any applicable options thereto, shall be supplied with at least one (1) copy of a safety and operating manual. The cost of any such manuals must be included in the base price for the product.
Unless otherwise addressed, the following Warranty requirements shall apply:
PSA is NOT the owner of Products sold pursuant to this RFP, but acts only in the capacity of purchasing agent. In that regard, Contractor accepts sole responsibility for ensuring that notices and mailings, such as Safety Alerts, Safety Recall Notices and Customer Surveys, are sent directly to the End User of record.
It is the intent of PSA to always provide the best price and value to its members. The successful vendor must be able to provide a pricing methodology for its products and services that will ensure that PSA is always getting the best and most competitive price available.
Pricing structure for the contract shall have two aspects: a Core Product List and Category Discounts. Use the attached Microsoft Excel file named "Cost Proposal" in your response. The Cost Proposal spreadsheet contains two sheets, one for the Core Products List and one for the Category Discounts, both of which are described in more detail below.
All pricing submitted to PSA shall be inclusive of the administrative fee to be remitted to PSA by the successful vendor. All stocking fees, packaging, delivery, freight charges, and all other fees must be clearly identified in Offeror’s response.
PSA requests that potential Offerors respond to this RFP only if they are able to offer a wide array of products and services at lower prices and with better value than what they would ordinarily offer to a single eligible entity.
This RFP requests pricing for an indefinite quantity of products or related services with potential national sales distribution and service. While most RFP categories represent significant sales opportunities, PSA makes no guarantees about the quantity of products or services that members will purchase.
The Core Product List shall be composed of 400 specific items. PSA has entered the first 125 items of the Core List based on Usage from the current contract. Offeror shall list an additional 275 items (for a total of 400 items) that are commonly used in most offices and will be beneficial to both the Offeror and the PSA members. These should be the items you feel will be most desirable to government agencies, schools, and universities based on your previous experience.
Since different companies offer different pack sizes of the same product, the spreadsheet is designed to reduce prices to the unit price to five decimal values. Use the formulas already provided in the spreadsheet to calculate unit price rather than entering manually to avoid mistakes.
Respondents must indicate the 2021 Quarter 2 S.P. Richards' list price for all products. Where there is no S.P. Richards' list price available (i.e., a product is not available through S.P. Richards), the product manufacturer's MSRP shall be listed. If the item is a generic item (e.g., private label), then the Respondent is considered the product manufacturer and the Respondent's established, reasonable price shall be listed.
All items not contained in the Core Product List shall be priced by a Category Discount. Each Category is described in the table below. The percentage discount shall be applied to all products in each category for the PSA end users.
Offeror will use the second sheet within the Cost Proposal spreadsheet to enter the Category Discounts. Offeror shall also indicate the basis for the pricing, such as S.P. Richards list price, MSRP, or any other set pricing applicable to the Offeror. Offeror must provide a means to audit the pricing, so that PSA can verify the correct percentage discounts are applied to member purchases.
All pricing must be verifiable and auditable. To that end, customers should be able to verify contract pricing for ANY past invoice received under this contract. For example, suppose a customer receives an invoice in December 2021. In March 2024, the customer should be able to compare that invoice to the contract and any published price lists from December 2021 to verify that the correct pricing was invoiced per this contract.
The prices shall be considered “Not to Exceed” pricing. Contractor is allowed to negotiate lower pricing for individual PSA members. Individual pricing negotiations shall be equal to or lower than the PSA contract pricing on all items.
Each year, PSA shall perform a price audit to verify that prices charged to customers reflect the contract pricing. Price audits shall be performed in the following manner. At PSA’s request, vendor shall provide PSA actual customer invoices from a single month in the preceding year. The month of the invoices shall be specified by PSA. Invoices shall indicate the product number, quantity, price, and any other fees that were charged. PSA will compare the invoice pricing to the contract pricing. If PSA finds any pricing higher than the contract pricing, Contractor shall refund the difference to the end user. PSA may ask for additional invoices at its own discretion.
The Vendor is expected to charge any applicable state and/or local taxes on items for which a valid tax exemption certification has not been provided. Each PSA member is responsible for providing verification of tax-exempt status to the Vendor. When ordering, PSA members must indicate that they are tax-exempt entities. Except as set forth herein, no party is responsible for taxes imposed on another party as a result of or arising from the transactions under a Contract resulting from this RFP.
All shipping and restocking fees must be identified in the price proposal. Proposals will be evaluated not only on the actual cost of shipping, but on the relative flexibility extended to PSA members regarding any restocking fees, shipping errors, customized shipping requirements, the process for rejecting damaged or delayed shipments, and similar subjects that impact overall value of the Contract.
Delivered products must be properly packaged. Damaged products may be rejected. If the damage is not readily apparent at the time of delivery, the Vendor must permit the products be returned within a reasonable time at no cost to the PSA member. PSA and PSA members reserve the right to inspect the products at a reasonable time subsequent to delivery where circumstances or conditions prevent effective inspection of the products at the time of delivery.
The Vendor must deliver Contract-conforming products in each shipment and may not substitute products without the express approval of the PSA member.
Throughout the term of the Contract, Offeror agrees to pay for the return shipment on products that arrive in a defective or inoperable condition. Offeror must arrange for the return shipment of the damaged products.
This RFP will result in a cooperative purchasing contract. As such, the contract defines all pricing and terms and conditions that will be used when each PSA member makes a purchase based on this contract. The contract is competitively procured according to the rules set forth in 2 CFR Part 200; consequently, it satisfies the procurement guidelines of most federal funding agencies as well as Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for K-12 schools.
For a local government, school, or nonprofit to use this contract, they must be a member of PSA. Membership is based on a mutually signed Interlocal Purchasing Agreement, which can be found on the psabuy.org website. There is no cost to membership, and there are no future purchasing commitments.
All responses to this RFP will be evaluated and ranked on each of the published evaluation criteria. The highest-ranked Vendor(s)s will be awarded the cooperative contract. As government agencies, schools, and nonprofits make purchases based on the cooperative contract, the vendor will submit monthly reports and administrative fees to PSA according to the terms outlined below.
There shall be no requirements associated with this contract for minimum order, maximum frequency or quantity of orders. End Users are not required to utilize, nor purchase products from the contract. End Users have the option (no obligation) to purchase products based on the resulting contract.
In general, orders and payments will be handled as described below. Established procedures may be changed at any time by PSA as may be dictated by efficient business practice. The particulars of any sale (e.g. specific products, pricing, delivery, warranty, etc.) will be in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of this RFP and the specific contract awarded to Contractor. The following requirements apply:
All invoices are to be sent directly to the customer’s billing department. The invoice includes at a minimum the customer’s purchase order number, department/division name and cost center, total amount due and each item’s description, quantity, and price, as well as the statement, “In accordance with PSA Contract No. 21-202”. Special invoicing and payment terms may be requested by each member and agreed upon with the successful vendor.
All invoices are to be paid in full net thirty (30) days after satisfactory delivery and billing, whichever is the later. All invoices shall be submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions, and discounts as stated in the contract. Invoices shall not contain work or items that are not satisfactorily completed and/or delivered.
Delivery time shall be the period elapsing from the time the individual order is placed until that order is received by each End User at the specified delivery location. The delivery date indicates a guaranteed delivery at the End User’s unique location. Unless otherwise addressed, the following requirements shall apply:
An Administration Fee shall be collected by PSA from the Contractor for all sales which are based on a PSA contract. Unless negotiated otherwise, the fee on all Contractor sales made pursuant to the PSA contract is to be calculated by multiplying the total monthly invoice amount by 3%. Contractor will remit the total Administrative Fee due with the monthly report described below.
All proposed prices, fees and discounts shall consider the required PSA Administration Fee and shall be all inclusive prices. Offerors are encouraged to propose alternative methods of assessing and calculating administrative fees to PSA based on industry standards and company policy. In no case shall End Users be invoiced any amount or fee that exceeds the Contractor’s proposed and finally negotiated contract pricing/fee schedules. More specific instructions and information regarding handling of purchase orders and the administrative fee may be provided after contract award. The established procedures for payment and reporting sales stated within this RFP may be changed at any time by PSA as may be dictated by efficient business practice.
Any exclusions to the PSA Administrative Fee must be stated very clearly in the response.
Contractor agrees to submit written monthly reports and payment to PSA for all transactions/sales during the previous month. Such reports shall include, but are not limited to the following
Reports must be provided to PSA in an Excel or other acceptable electronic format. Reports shall be submitted with the PSA Administrative Fee by the 20th day of the month following the applicable month being reported. If Contractor fails to submit to PSA in a timely and satisfactory manner any such payment, report or documentation, or otherwise fails to satisfactorily render performance hereunder, such failure may be considered cause for termination of this Contract.
Initiation and submission of the Sales Report is the responsibility of the Contractor without prompting or notification from PSA. If no orders are received during the period, the contractor must submit a report stating that there was no activity.
PSA may require additional ad hoc reports such as usage reports or special report requests. The Contractor shall submit these specific ad hoc requests as requested by PSA in a timely manner.
Contractor shall appoint a dedicated and qualified Customer Service Representative(s) to be the contact person(s) and focal point for all matters relating to member quotations and orders.
Contractor shall ensure that the Customer Service Representative promptly responds to communications from PSA and its members. Phone calls will be promptly returned, in any event not later than the next business day. The only acceptable failure will be due to Force Majeure.
PSA requires Contractors to "market" the contract, and provide information and artwork to be used in published promotional materials. Any publicity or published material released by Contractor referencing the contract, whether in the form of a press release, flyer, brochure, photographic coverage, or verbal announcement, shall be copied to PSA. In addition, the Contractor will be required to provide the items and/or services listed herein.
The intent of these requirements is to form a basis through which the successful Contractor and PSA can jointly and effectively market the Contract. The successful Contractor will be consulted on a regular basis and asked to evaluate the on-going marketing plan and to submit recommendations for improvements. The objective is to maintain a cost efficient and highly productive means of marketing the Contractor, PSA and a high-value contract.
The following marketing items shall be required during the term of the contract:
The Contractor may use the PSA logo in the promotion of the contract to customers with the following stipulations: (1) the logo may not be modified in any way, (2) when displayed, the size of the PSA logo must be equal to or smaller than the Vendor logo, (3) the PSA logo is only used to communicate the availability of products and services under the contract to customers, and (4) any other use of the PSA logo requires prior written permission from PSA.
PSA may use the Contractor’s name and logo in the promotion of the contract to communicate the availability of products and services under the contract to customers. Use of the logos may be on the PSA website or on printed materials. Any use of Contractor’s logo by PSA must comply with and be solely related to the purposes of the contract and any usage guidelines communicated to PSA from time to time. Nothing contained in the contract will give PSA any right, title, or interest in or to Contractor’s trademarks or the goodwill associated therewith, except for the limited usage rights expressly provided by the Contractor.
PSA is committed to ensuring that Contractor provides effective and efficient service to all Participants in the cooperative purchasing program, and expects that certain performance conditions must be met. Failure to meet these conditions may result in contract termination. In that regard, Contractor shall:
Maintain sufficient qualified staff to promptly process all orders and communications from PSA and its members, and to efficiently, effectively and accurately service all requirements of the contract.
The following instructions apply to all proposals and become a part of terms and conditions of any proposal submitted to PSA, unless otherwise specified elsewhere in this proposal request.
Offeror is advised that all PSA contracts are subject to the legal requirements established in any applicable Local, State, or Federal statute.
Offeror must be in compliance with all licensing, permitting, registration, and other applicable legal or regulatory requirements imposed by this RFP and any pursuant contract with PSA having jurisdiction. It is the Offeror’s responsibility to ensure that this requirement is met, and to supply to PSA upon request, copies of any license, permit or other documentation bearing on such compliance.
PSA reserves the right to:
No oral comment, utterance or response made by any employee, member, or agent of PSA shall be considered factual or binding with regard to this RFP, or any contract awarded as a result of this RFP. Valid and binding terms, conditions, provisions, changes or clarifications, or requests thereof, shall ONLY be communicated in written form.
There may be times either party shall be wholly or partially prevented from the performance of any contractual obligation or duty by reason of or through strikes, stoppage of labor, riot, fire, flood, acts of war, insurrection, accident, order of any court, act of God, or specific cause reasonably beyond the party's control and not attributable to its neglect or nonfeasance. In such event, the time for the performance of such obligation or duty shall be suspended until such disability to perform is removed.
In the event of conflict between this document and any references or documents cited herein, this document with any published amendments shall take precedence prior to contract award. With authority granted by the BVCOG Board of Directors, a written contract shall be presented to the highest ranked, successful Offeror and shall be subject to acceptance by the successful Offeror within ten (10) calendar days after presentation by PSA. If a contract is not executed within ten (10) calendar days, PSA may rescind the contract offer and award a contract to the next Offeror in order of rank as determined by PSA.
The Contract shall consist of the documents identified herein and in order of precedence:
No activities or services included as a part of this RFP and/or the contract made pursuant hereto, may be subcontracted to another organization, firm, or individual without the written consent of the PSA's Executive Director, and may be subject to cancellation if such consent is not requested. Such intent to subcontract should be clearly identified in the Offeror’s response to this RFP. It is understood that the contractor is held responsible for the satisfactory accomplishment of the service or activities included in a subcontract.
Contractor shall, to the extent permitted by law, defend and hold harmless BVCOG, PSA, any and all PSA members and BVCOG’s board members, officers, agents, officials, employees, from any and all claims, costs, expenses (including reasonable attorney fees, actions, causes of action, judgments, and liens) arising as a result of Contractor’s negligence, fraud, criminal acts, omissions, willful misconduct or third party intellectual property infringement of the indemnified party under this Contract. Contractor shall notify PSA of the threat of lawsuit or of any actual suit filed against Contractor relating to this Contract. THIS PARAGRAPH IS NOT INTENDED TO AND SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE CONTRACTOR TO INDEMNIFY OR HOLD HARMLESS THE BVCOG OR PSA OR ANY PARTICIPANT FOR ANY CLAIMS OR LIABILITIES RESULTING FROM THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF THE PSA OR ANY PARTICIPANT OR THEIR EMPLOYEES.
The Offeror is responsible for obtaining all permits, licenses and bonding, to comply with the rules and regulations of any state, federal, municipal or county laws applicable
Offeror shall provide notice to its employees and sub-contractors, as required under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. A copy of Contractor's Drug-Free Workplace policy shall, on request, be furnished to PSA.
The Offeror certifies that it conforms to the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended and where applicable.
The Offeror does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law relating to discrimination in employment. The Offeror, in all solicitations and/or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Offeror, shall state that such Offeror is an equal opportunity employer. The Offeror does not discriminate against a qualified job applicant or employee because of a disability and ensures that all existing and new facilities provide easy access for people with disabilities.
The term “HUB” refers to a historically underutilized business that is a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, or supplier contract formed for the purpose of making a profit in which at least 51 percent of all classes of the shares of stock or other equitable securities are owned by one or more persons who (1) are socially disadvantaged because of their identification as members of certain groups, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, Asian Pacific Americans, and Native Americans, and have suffered the effects of discriminatory practices or similar insidious circumstances over which they have no control; and (2) have a proportionate interest and demonstrate active participation in the control, operation, and management of the business entity’s affairs.
To satisfy Texas' statutory requirements [Government Code, Chapter 2161, Subchapter D], PSA requires all Offerors to supply information in any bid/proposal response listing (1) the total number of subcontracts, and (2) the total number of HUB contracts applicable to the services offered in the response. For purposes of information availability and where applicable, Offeror is encouraged to include subcontracts with HUBs that provide services related to the delivery of a service.
This contract gives no preference for HUB status; however, HUB status should be in the Offeror’s response for inclusion in the resulting contract.
PSA and the successful Offeror, or Contractor, agree that the contract awarded from this RFP shall be governed by the laws of the State of Texas. The parties agree that performance and all matters related thereto shall be in a state court of competent jurisdiction in Brazos County, Texas and further that neither party will seek to remove such litigation to the federal court system by application of conflict of laws or any other removal process to any Federal Court or court not in Texas.
Disputes between PSA members and Contractor are to be resolved in accordance with the law and venue rules of the state of purchase. Contractor shall immediately notify PSA of such disputes.
Offeror is required to fully complete and sign the attached Acknowledgment and Certification form. It must show full firm name and mailing address of Offeror and be manually signed by an authorized sales or quotation representative of the Company. Submission of a signed Acknowledgment and Certification form will be interpreted to mean that the Company hereby agrees to all terms and conditions set forth in all of the sheets which make up this RFP and to execute the sample contract attached herein.
As required by Texas Civil Statutes in the award of contracts, an Offeror which is not a Texas resident business must determine if its state of residence prohibits award of government contracts to Texas resident Offerors without penalty. If Offeror’s resident state DOES penalize Texas Offerors, Offeror must provide this information along with a copy of its applicable resident state’s statute in the Response.
Resolution of Protested Solicitations and Awards: Any actual or prospective Offeror or Contractor who is aggrieved in connection with a purchase transaction may file a grievance. The grievance may be filed during any phase of the procurement. The grievance must be based on an alleged violation of State or Federal law (if applicable). Failure to receive a procurement award from PSA in and of itself does not constitute a valid grievance. Upon receipt of grievance, the BVCOG Deputy Director will initiate the informal resolution process. The BVCOG Deputy Director shall contact the complainant and all interested parties and attempt to resolve the allegations informally within ten (10) working days from date of receipt of the complaint. If the allegations are successfully resolved by mutual agreement, documentation will be forwarded to all parties of the resolution with specifics on each point addressed in the original complaint. In order for an above mentioned party to enter the grievance process, a written complaint must be sent to the Deputy Director of the BVCOG by certified mail which identifies the following:
Appeals: The complainant may appeal the BVCOG Deputy Director's decision by submitting a written appeal, within five (5) working days, to the Executive Director of BVCOG. The Executive Director, upon receipt of a written notice of appeal, shall contact the complainant and schedule a hearing within ten (10) working days. The Executive Director of BVCOG has the option of appointing a Hearing Officer to preside over the hearing. If appointed, the Hearing Officer shall conduct a hearing and forward a summary and recommended resolution to the Executive Director. The decision reached by the Executive Director or his designee shall be final and conclusive. This decision will be forwarded to the complainant in writing within thirty (30) working days. The Offeror or Contractor may, if it elects to do so, appeal the final and conclusive decision of the Executive Director to a Court of competent jurisdiction located in Brazos County, Texas.
Breach of Contract/Default: Upon breach or default, PSA shall give the Contractor written notice of default. If the default is not remedied, within a reasonable specified time from date of notification, to the satisfaction and approval of PSA, default will be declared. Upon breach of contract or default, PSA may exercise any and all of its rights afforded by law, including but not limited to those referenced herein.
Solicitations or Awards in Violation of the Law: Contracts awarded in violation of the competitive process or otherwise in violation of the law are voidable by the PSA.
Unless otherwise stipulated, Contractor must have the following insurance and coverage minimums and strictly adhere to the following requirements. The policies hereunder, shall contain a waiver of transfer of rights of recovery against PSA, BVCOG, its agents, representatives, officers, directors, officials, employees and member entities for any claims arising out of Contractor’s work or service. Brazos Valley Council of Governments doing business as Purchasing Solutions Alliance is to be named as an additional insured and a waiver of subrogation.
Limit of liability not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 annual aggregate. Contractor agrees to maintain Commercial General Liability providing coverage for, but not limited to, Bodily Injury and Property Damage, Premises/Operations, Products/Completed Operations, Independent Contractors. Additional insured endorsement required.
Contractor shall maintain workers compensation insurance for statutory limits and employer’s liability insurance with limits not less than $500,000 each accident and $500,000 by disease. Contractor waives all rights against BVCOG for recovery of damages to the extent these damages are covered by the workers compensation and employer’s liability or umbrella liability insurance obtained by Contractor. Contractor shall provide evidence of this by Waiver of Subrogation in favor of the BVCOG.
Contractor shall maintain Business Automobile Liability Insurance with a limit of not less than $1,000,000 each accident. Business Auto Liability shall be written on a standard ISO version Business Automobile Liability, or its equivalent, providing coverage for all owned, non-owned and hired automobiles. Contractor waives all rights against the BVCOG for recovery of damages to the extent these damages are covered by the business auto policy or umbrella liability insurance obtained by Contractor or under any auto physical damage coverage. If the Contractor does not own the automobiles and furnishes satisfactory evidence of this, then this requirement may allow the Contractor to agree to maintain only Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability. This amended coverage requirement may be satisfied by way of endorsement to the Commercial General Liability, or separate Business Auto policy.
Contractor’s insurance shall be deemed primary with respect to any insurance or self-insurance carried by BVCOG for liability arising out of operations under the contract.
Contractor shall agree to be fully and solely responsible for any costs or expenses as a result of a coverage deductible, coinsurance penalty, or self-insured retention; including any loss not covered because of the operation of such deductible, coinsurance penalty, or self-insured retention.
PSA reserves the right to review these requirements and to modify insurance coverage and their limits when deemed necessary and prudent. Furthermore, BVCOG reserves the right, but not the obligation, to review and reject any insurer providing coverage because of poor financial condition.
Contractor shall agree to cause each subcontractor employed by Contractor to purchase and maintain insurance of the type specified, provided the Contractor’s insurance does not afford coverage on behalf of the subcontractor.
Contractor shall furnish PSA with a certificate(s) of insurance, executed by a duly authorized representative of each insurer, showing compliance with the insurance requirements. The certificate must be from a company with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better and/or otherwise acceptable to PSA. Certificates must be submitted using the ACORD form and all endorsements must be included with the submittal. The certificate(s) shall contain a provision that coverage under such policies shall not be cancelled or non-renewed until at least thirty (30) days prior written notice, or ten (10) days notice for cancellation due to non-payment of premiums, is given PSA.
In the event PSA is notified that a required insurance coverage will cancel or not renew during the contract period, the Contractor shall agree to furnish prior to the expiration of such insurance, a new or revised certificate(s) as proof that equal and like coverage is in effect. PSA reserves the right, but not the obligation, to withhold payment to Contractor until coverage is reinstated. If the Contractor fails to maintain the required insurance, PSA shall have the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the required insurance at Contractor’s expense. Insurance coverage shall be in effect for the length of any contract made pursuant to this RFP, and for any extensions thereof, plus the number of days/months required to deliver any outstanding order after the close of the contract period.
The PSA proposal evaluation committee will evaluate proposals received based on the criteria and point system detailed below. The following conditions apply:
In evaluating RFP responses, PSA has no obligation to consider information that is not provided in the Offeror's response. PSA may, however, consider additional information outside of the Offeror's response. This research may include such sources as the Offeror's website, industry publications, listed references and user interviews.
Category discounts should provide benefit to the end user. Higher discounts should be offered for the highest-volume categories.
The Core List should consist of 400 commonly purchased items. Pricing should be better than the category discounts on these select items. Additional points will be awarded if customers can add products to their own Core List.
Offeror should provide a wide range of commonly needed office supplies and related services. Office supplies should be of high quality with quality assurance steps in place for customer orders.
Full points are awarded for electronic ordering systems showing fully auditable PSA pricing with punch-out capability.
Full points are awarded for (1) next business day delivery for orders that meet a specified cutoff time, (2) no delivery fees other than a minimum order fee, and (3) controls are in place for order accuracy/discrepancy.
Points are awarded based on the reasonableness of the return policy. Full points are awarded to an offeror who can give 100% credit on any returned item within 60 days without shipping or restocking fees.
Offerors are encouraged to pay customer rebates based on a percentage of the customer’s annual spend amount. Points are awarded based on the potential value of the rebates.
Offeror must have extensive experience in supplying products to government agencies, schools, and/or universities to score all available points.
The Offeror’s staff assigned to this contract must be well qualified to maintain the account and provide appropriate service to customers
The Offeror must be financially sound, to provide reasonable certainty the company will have the ability to provide excellent service through the life of the contract.
Points are awarded based on the expected value of the resulting contract to PSA. The following areas may be taken into consideration:
- Offeror can show how this resulting contract will be significantly better in some area than Offeror's existing cooperative contracts, or Offeror has no other contracts with other purchasing cooperatives.
- Effectiveness of the Marketing proposal.
- Likelihood of Offeror to generate additional sales through the use of the resulting contract.
Offerors are encouraged to list and provide detailed descriptions of any additional products and/or services you intend to provide that will enhance and add value to this Contract for PSA participating member entities. These offerings will be considered and evaluated. PSA reserves the right to accept any or reject additionally proposed products or services in the best interest of PSA and its participating member entities. Examples include incentive programs, prompt payment discounts, and training programs.
This section contains instructions for compiling and submitting a proposal response to this RFP. All Offerors must examine the entire RFP package to seek clarification of any item or requirement that may not be clear and to check all responses for accuracy before submitting a proposal
By submitting the Response, Offeror represents and warrants that the individual submitting this document and the documents made part of this Response is authorized to sign such documents on behalf of the Offeror and to bind the Offeror under any contract that may result from the submission of this Response.
Unless otherwise addressed within the RFP, the following requirements shall apply:
Due to the complexity of responses and to aid in evaluation, the Response should contain ALL required information in clearly outlined sections as detailed below. Vendors must provide the sections listed below or the response may be rejected. Omission of any required form or information will be sufficient grounds for PSA to consider your response to be non-compliant.
Title Page: The proposal should begin with a title page bearing the name and address of the vendor and the name and number of this RFP.
Section 1 - Executive Summary: Vendors must condense and highlight the contents of the proposal in a separate section titled “Executive Summary.” The summary must identify any exceptions the vendor has taken to the requirements of this RFP, the contract or any other attachments.
Section 2 - Vendor Qualifications: Briefly describe your company’s history and experience in the industry. Describe your core values and business philosophy. Indicate what differentiates your company from its competitors. Indicate why your Office Supplies and Related Products and Services are superior to other services available on the market. Describe the staff proposed to manage a potential PSA contract and their experience supporting similar scopes of work.
Additionally, disclose the following: a) Bankruptcies filed; b) Litigation, mediation, and arbitration history over the last five (5) years; c) Any material (in excess of $50,000) claims, judgements, arbitrations, investigations, or lawsuits pending; d) Any criminal actions, suits, proceedings, arbitrations investigations against or involving the Offeror or its employees (in their capacities as employees) occurring during the past five years.
Section 3 - Product Offerings: Fully describe the Office Supplies and Related Products and Services offered in your proposal. Discuss any optional features/services. Also describe your policy for paying customers rebates. Include information on how the rebates are calculated, any exclusions from rebates, and how the rebates are paid.
Section 4 - Vendor Qualifications: This section will include detailed descriptions of all sales coverage and customer services offered by the vendor. Describe your sales and customer service policy, and include a description of how this is applied with public agencies. How do you ensure superior customer service? Provide a detailed Return Policy. Discuss how problems are resolved should they arise from such instances of incorrect product deliveries, damaged goods, etc. Describe the Company's commitment and procedures to initiate first contact with a prospective customer and follow-up services to set-up a new account timely and satisfactorily.
Section 5 - Return Policy: Offerors shall provide a detailed Return Policy. Include specifications for customer ordering wrong products and customer cancelling an order. Discuss any time limits from order date to return date, and requirements for billing credits. Furthermore, describe how problems are resolved shall they arise from such instances of incorrect product deliveries, damaged goods, etc.
Section 6 - Marketing Strategy: Describe in detail how you will effectively market any potential PSA contract nationally and meet the requirements outlined in the RFP.
Address each element of your marketing strategy by describing timelines, methods, and/or presenting reference marketing materials PSA can expect to be produced and maintained by your organization throughout the life of any potential contract.
Section 7 - PSA Administrative Fee: Confirm the percentage amount and calculation of the PSA Administrative Fee. Offerors are encouraged to propose alternative methods of assessing and calculating administrative fees to PSA based on industry standards and company policy.
The following attachments are required with your proposal submission:
1. Ethics Policy: Offeror shall include their employee ethics policy.
2. Cost Proposal: The Cost Proposal shall be completed using an approved pricing format as described in the Pricing Section of this RFP. Use the attached Excel document "Cost Proposal" to enter your cost proposal.
3. References: Offeror shall list the names of at least three (3) public/government agencies which have purchased from Offeror products or services similar to those covered by this RFP, within the last two (2) years. PSA reserves the right to determine if such products or services are appropriately similar. Other information, including criticism however learned, may be used by PSA in evaluation of responses. Each reference shall be a public, government, or education agency and include the following:
4. Offeror Acknowledgement & Certification: Complete and sign the Offeror Acknowledgement & Certification that was provided as an attachment to this proposal.
5. Conflict of Interest Questionnaire: Chapter 176 of the Texas Local Government Code requires vendors and consultants contracting with PSA to file a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire (CIQ) if they have an employment or other business relationship with a PSA officer or an officer’s close family member. PSA is a program of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, whose officers include The Honorable Byron Ryder, Chair, The Honorable Kavon Novak, 1st Vice Chair, The Honorable Joe Fauth, III, 2nd Vice Chair, The Honorable Tony Leago, Secretary, The Honorable Duane Peters, Immediate Past Chair.
6. Form 1295 Certificate of Interested Parties: Pursuant to the Texas Legislature House Bill 1295, Offeror must complete a Form 1295 through the Texas Ethics Commission website www.ethics.state.tx.us and submit a signed and notarized copy of the form to PSA with the RFP response.
7. End User Service Agreement: Include a copy of all service agreements that may be required for the end users.
8. Proposer Certifications: Complete and sign the Proposer Certifications form that was provided as an attachment to this proposal.
9. All Addenda: For paper responses only, Offerors must list all addenda for this RFP that were issued for this RFP through ProcureNow. The list must be signed to acknowledge receipt. If no addenda were issued for the RFP, this section may be omitted. Responses that are submitted electronically through ProcureNow acknowledge addenda as part of the submission process.
Once received by PSA, responses may be modified or withdrawn prior to the submission deadline only if the request to do so is in writing and on Offeror’s formal letterhead. Responses and requests for modification received after the submission deadline will not be accepted.
PSA uses its best efforts to follow the intent of Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, the Public Information Act (the “Act”) in regards to information, documentation, and other material in connection with this solicitation. If Offeror's proposal contains material noted or marked as “confidential” and/or “proprietary”, and that material in PSA’s sole opinion meets the disclosure exemption requirements of the Act, then that information will not be disclosed pursuant to a request for public documents. If PSA does not consider such material to be exempt from disclosure under the Act, the material may be made available to the public regardless of the notation or markings. If an Offeror is unsure if its confidential and/or proprietary material meets the disclosure exemption requirements of the Act, then it shall not include such information in the proposal.
Any terms and conditions attached to a Response will not be considered unless specifically referred to in the Response.
Offeror shall use this section to upload all requested files. Specific instructions for the contents of each file can be found in the section #Instructions for Preparing Proposal.
Please upload your response here in one PDF document containing all 7 sections that are described in the "Instructions for Preparing Proposal " section.
Please upload your ethics policy here.
Please upload your Cost Proposal file here in Excel format.
Upload company references here.
Please upload completed Offeror Acknowledgement and Certification form here.
Please upload the completed Conflict of Interest Questionnaire here.
Please confirm that you filed this form online at www.ethics.state.tx.us/File.
Please upload a copy of the submitted Certificate of Interested Parties form.
Please upload the Proposer Certfications here.
Please upload any End User Service Agreements that may be required of the PSA Members.
Please confirm here that you have read and acknowledged all addenda related to this RFP.