Actuarial Services For The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System and The Tennessee Baccalaureate Education System Trust

Agency: State Government of Tennessee
State: Tennessee
Level of Government: State & Local
Category:
  • R - Professional, Administrative and Management Support Services
Opps ID: NBD13285706466997327
Posted Date: Feb 8, 2019
Due Date: Feb 25, 2019
Solicitation No: RFP?30901-40719
Source: Members Only
Document ID&Hyperlink Posted or Updated Event Title
RFP 30901-40719
Amendment 1
Exhibit 1 Sample New ER Study
Exhibit 2 Common Benefit Improvements
Exhibit 3 Contract
Exhibit 3 Contract Amendment 1
Active Lives Layout
Retired Lives Layout
Employeer Assets
2/08/2019-UPDATED Actuarial Services For The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System and The Tennessee Baccalaureate Education System Trust

Attachment Preview

Test Title

STATE OF

TREASURY DEPARTMENT

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

FOR

ACTUARIAL SERVICES FOR THE TENNESSEE CONSOLIDATED RETIREMENT SYSTEM AND THE TENNESSEE BACCALAUREATE EDUCATION SYSTEM TRUST

RFP # 30901-40719

RFP CONTENTS

SECTIONS:

1. INTRODUCTION

2. RFP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

3. RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS

4. GENERAL CONTRACTING INFORMATION & REQUIREMENTS

5. EVALUATION & CONTRACT AWARD

ATTACHMENTS:

6.1. Response Statement of Certifications & Assurances

6.2. Technical Response & Evaluation Guide

6.3. Cost Proposal & Scoring Guide

6.4. Reference Questionnaire

6.5. Score Summary Matrix

6.6. Pro Forma Contract

Contract Attachment 1

Contract Attachment 2

6.7. Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System Program Description

Appendix 1 to RFP Attachment 6.7

Appendix 2 to RFP Attachment 6.7

6.8 Employer Assets and Provisions Layout

6.9 Active Lives Layout with Logic

6.10 Retired Lives Layout with Logic

1. INTRODUCTION

The State of Tennessee, Treasury Department, hereinafter referred to as “the State,” issues this Request for Proposals (RFP) to define minimum contract requirements; solicit responses; detail response requirements; and, outline the State’s process for evaluating responses and selecting a contractor to provide the needed goods or services.

Through this RFP, the State seeks to procure necessary goods or services at the most favorable, competitive prices and to give ALL qualified respondents, including those that are owned by minorities, women, service-disabled veterans, persons with disabilities and small business enterprises, an opportunity to do business with the state as contractors, subcontractors or suppliers.

1.1 Statement of Procurement Purpose
Background

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) is a public employee retirement system comprised of defined benefit pension plans covering for four large groups of public employees: K-12 public school teachers, higher education employees, state employees, and local government (also called political subdivision) employees. Local governments voluntarily decide whether to be a participating employer in TCRS. There are three defined benefit pension plans with the TCRS. The Public Employee Retirement Plan is an agent, multiple employer defined benefit pension plan for state government employees and for political subdivisions. The Teacher Legacy Pension Plan is a cost-sharing, multiple- employer defined benefit plan for teachers of local education agencies (LEAs) that is closed to new membership effective June 30, 2014. The Teacher Retirement Plan is a cost-sharing, multiple-employer defined benefit plan for teachers of LEAs hired after June 30, 2014.

There following are each a separate coverage group in TCRS for actuarial purposes:

(1) State and Higher Education employees hired prior to July 1, 2014;

(2) State and Higher Education employees hired after June 30, 2014;

(3) K-12 public school teachers hired before July 1, 2014;

(4) K-12 public schools teachers hired after June 30, 2014;

(5) State judges and other officials hired before July 1, 2014;

(6) State judges and other officials hired after June 30, 2014;

(7) State public safety officers bridge benefit;

(8) At June 30, 2018, there were over 550 separate political subdivisions actively participating in TCRS. Each political subdivision is valued separately and each political subdivision may elect to participate in one of the following plans within TCRS and may under the terms of the respective plan, change from such plan to one of the following plans on a prospective basis:

(i) TCRS Legacy Plan as defined and established in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 8, Chapters 34 – 37;

(ii) Local Government Alternate Defined Benefit Plan as defined and established in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 8-35-255;

(iii) Local Government Hybrid Plan as defined and established in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 8-35-256; and

(iv) Hybrid Retirement Plan for State Employees and Teachers as defined and established in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 8, Chapter 36, Part 9; and

There are over 550 separate political subdivisions participating in TCRS as of June 30, 2018 and each will have a separate valuation.

The BEST Prepaid Plan was created in 1995 and launched in 1997 to allow parents or other interested persons or entities to purchase tuition units on behalf of a designated beneficiary. Each tuition unit purchased under a prepaid tuition contract entitles the designated beneficiary to an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the weighted average tuition at Tennessee’s four-year public colleges and universities during the academic term in which the tuition unit was/is used for the payment of that beneficiary's undergraduate, graduate and professional tuition, and other qualified higher educational expenses. The unit value is determined based on the statutory calculation provided in T.C.A. §49-7-807. The BEST Prepaid Plan was established to be self-supporting; however, fluctuating financial market conditions and continued increase in educational expenses and tuition costs has placed tremendous financial pressure on the BEST Prepaid Plan. As a result, on November 22, 2010 the Board of Trustees elected to stop selling new tuition units, and on August 20, 2015 the Board of Trustees voted to terminate the BEST Prepaid Plan and the tuition contracts, in accordance with T.C.A. §49-7-824, effective November 30, 2015, because the BEST Prepaid Plan is financially unfeasible and is not beneficial to the citizens of the State of Tennessee or to the State itself. Although the BEST Prepaid Plan has been terminated, certain tuition contracts specified in T.C.A. §49-7-824 may remain in effect. The Board adopted rules outlining a September 1st annual deadline by which participants must certify their beneficiaries’ eligibility to remain in the plan. By February 2019, there are projected to be fewer than 600 contracts eligible to remain in the plan, and each year, the number of eligible contracts will decrease as beneficiaries no longer meet the eligibility requirements to remain in the plan. As of November 5, 2018, the value of the units held by those eligible to remain in the plan was approximately $12,751,270.

Services requested in this RFP:
The State intends to secure a contract for:

Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System

a. Annual actuarial valuations based on (1) the assets and liabilities for each coverage group as defined 1.1 above, (2) the demographic data provided by TCRS, (3) the actuarial assumptions and tables adopted by TCRS, and (4) such other data and/or information necessary to perform the respective actuarial valuation in accordance with the then current standards of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, hereinafter referred to as “GASB”, and the laws and regulations governing TCRS.

b. Annual cost summary of common benefit improvements for support of legislative initiatives.

c. GASB and Financial Reporting Information for Participating Employers in TCRS and for the TCRS Pension Plans.

d. TCRS actuarial experience study to involve an actuarial investigation into the tables and assumptions (demographic and economic) used in the operation of TCRS.

e. Calculation of initial TCRS employer contribution rate for political subdivisions considering participation in TCRS. A separate calculation shall be performed for each such political subdivision based on all of the following plans: (1) TCRS Legacy Plan, (2) Local Government Alternate Defined Benefit Plan, (3) Local Government Hybrid Plan, and (4) the Hybrid Retirement Plan for State Employees and Teachers, which shall include for such Plan the cost controls and unfunded liability controls.

f. Calculation of subsequent TCRS prior service options desired by political subdivisions participating in TCRS.

g. Identification of TCRS members whose retirement allowance is in excess of Internal Revenue Code (“IRS”) limits. TCRS has established a Qualified Excess Benefit Arrangement (“QEBA”) plan in accordance with federal law (26 U.S.C. §415(m)) and corresponding state law (§8-36-213).

h. Other actuarial services to include changes in benefit or funding provisions of the plan, reviews of proposed legislation that impacts TCRS, reviews of the various administrative factors used by TCRS and proposing any changes, if needed, to such factors, and any other actuarial services that is necessary to provide for the proper operation and administration of TCRS.

TCRS will provide the demographic data necessary for the Contractor to perform the services sought through this RFP in the format examples attached to this RFP as RFP Attachments “6.8”, “6.9” and “6.10”.

Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST)

a. Potential actuarial valuation of the BEST prepaid college tuition during the term of this Contract based on the assets and liabilities of the plan, the demographic data provided by the State, and the actuarial assumptions and tables adopted by BEST in effect on the valuation date executive summary.

b. BEST experience study at the State’s request to involve an actuarial investigation into the tables and assumptions (demographic and economic) used in the operation of BEST.

c. Other BEST actuarial services as needed for the proper operation of BEST including preparing an amortization schedule for any surpluses or deficits; and analyzing and providing estimated cost/savings in to any aspect of the BEST plan provisions or funding provisions of the plan; reviews of proposed legislation that impact BEST; and other actuarial services that are necessary to provide for the proper operation and administration of BEST.

The detailed requirements for actuarial services for the TCRS and BEST can be found in the RFP Attachment 6.6, Pro Forma Contract.

1.2. Scope of Service, Contract Period, & Required Terms and Conditions

The RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract details the State’s requirements:

• Scope of Services and Deliverables (Section A);

• Contract Period (Section B);

• Payment Terms (Section C);

• Standard Terms and Conditions (Section D); and,

• Special Terms and Conditions (Section E).

The pro forma contract substantially represents the contract document that the successful Respondent must sign.

1.3. Nondiscrimination

No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in the performance of a Contract pursuant to this RFP or in the employment practices of the Contractor on the grounds of handicap or disability, age, race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, or any other classification protected by federal, Tennessee state constitutional, or statutory law. The Contractor pursuant to this RFP shall, upon request, show proof of such nondiscrimination and shall post in conspicuous places, available to all employees and applicants, notices of nondiscrimination.

1.4. RFP Communications

1.4.1. The State has assigned the following RFP identification number that must be referenced in all communications regarding this RFP:

RFP # 30901-40719

1.4.2. Unauthorized contact about this RFP with employees or officials of the State of except as detailed below may result in disqualification from consideration under this procurement process.

1.4.2.1. Prospective Respondents must direct communications concerning this RFP to the following person designated as the Solicitation Coordinator:

Dawn Rochelle
Treasury Department

13th Floor, Andrew Jackson State Office Building
502 Deaderick Street

Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-253-8770

Dawn.Rochelle@tn.gov

1.4.2.2. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Prospective Respondents may alternatively contact:

a. staff of the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise for assistance available to minority-owned, woman-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, businesses owned by persons with disabilities, and small businesses as well as general, public information relating to this RFP (visit https://www.tn.gov/generalservices/procurement/central-procurement-office--cpo-/governor-s-office-of-diversity-business-enterprise--godbe--/godbe-general-contacts.html for contact information); and

b. the following individual designated by the State to coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of the State of Tennessee, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and associated federal regulations:

LaToya Bailey
State of Tennessee, Treasury Department
13th Floor, Andrew Jackson State Office Building
502 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
Telephone: 615-253-8769
E-mail address: latoya.bailey@tn.gov

1.4.3. Only the State’s official, written responses and communications with Respondents are binding with regard to this RFP. Oral communications between a State official and one or more Respondents are unofficial and non-binding.

1.4.4. Potential Respondents must ensure that the State receives all written questions and comments, including questions and requests for clarification, no later than the Written Questions & Comments Deadline detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events.

1.4.5. Respondents must assume the risk of the method of dispatching any communication or response to the State. The State assumes no responsibility for delays or delivery failures resulting from the Respondent’s method of dispatch. Actual or digital “postmarking” of a communication or response to the State by a specified deadline is not a substitute for the State’s actual receipt of a communication or response.

1.4.6. The State will convey all official responses and communications related to this RFP to the prospective Respondents from whom the State has received a Notice of Intent to Respond (refer to RFP Section1.8).

1.4.7. The State reserves the right to determine, at its sole discretion, the method of conveying official, written responses and communications related to this RFP. Such written communications may be transmitted by mail, hand-delivery, facsimile, electronic mail, Internet posting, or any other means deemed reasonable by the State. For internet posting, please refer to the following website: https://www.tn.gov/generalservices/procurement/central-procurement-office--cpo-/supplier-information-/request-for-proposals--rfp--opportunities.html .

1.4.8. The State reserves the right to determine, at its sole discretion, the appropriateness and adequacy of responses to written comments, questions, and requests related to this RFP. The State’s official, written responses will constitute an amendment of this RFP.

1.4.9. Any data or factual information provided by the State (in this RFP, an RFP amendment or any other communication relating to this RFP) is for informational purposes only. The State will make reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of such data or information, however it is the Respondent’s obligation to independently verify any data or information provided by the State. The State expressly disclaims the accuracy or adequacy of any information or data that it provides to prospective Respondents.

1.5. Assistance to Respondents With a Handicap or Disability

Prospective Respondents with a handicap or disability may receive accommodation relating to the communication of this RFP and participating in the RFP process. Prospective Respondents may contact the Solicitation Coordinator to request such reasonable accommodation no later than the Disability Accommodation Request Deadline detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events.

1.6. Respondent Required Review & Waiver of Objections

1.6.1. Each prospective Respondent must carefully review this RFP, including but not limited to, attachments, the RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract, and any amendments, for questions, comments, defects, objections, or any other matter requiring clarification or correction (collectively called “questions and comments”).

1.6.2. Any prospective Respondent having questions and comments concerning this RFP must provide them in writing to the State no later than the Written Questions & Comments Deadline detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events.

1.6.3. Protests based on any objection to the RFP shall be considered waived and invalid if the objection has not been brought to the attention of the State, in writing, by the Written Questions & Comments Deadline.

1.7. Pre-Response Teleconference

A Pre-response teleconference will be held at the time and date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events. Pre-response teleconference attendance is not mandatory.

To participate in the teleconference, contact the Solicitation Coordinator, Dawn Rochelle, at (615) 253-8770 or via e-mail at Dawn.Rochelle@tn.gov for further instructions.

The purpose of the teleconference is to discuss the RFP scope of goods or services. The State will entertain questions, however prospective Respondents must understand that the State’s oral response to any question at the Pre-response teleconference shall be unofficial and non-binding. Prospective Respondents must submit all questions, comments, or other concerns regarding the RFP in writing prior to the Written Questions & Comments Deadline date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events. The State will send the official response to these questions and comments to prospective Respondents from whom the State has received a Notice of Intent to respond as indicated in RFP Section 1.8 and on the date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events.

1.8. Notice of Intent to Respond

Before the Notice of Intent to Respond Deadline detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events, prospective Respondents should submit to the Solicitation Coordinator a Notice of Intent to Respond (in the form of a simple e-mail or other written communication). Such notice should include the following information:

• the business or individual’s name (as appropriate);

• a contact person’s name and title; and

• the contact person’s mailing address, telephone number, facsimile number, and e-mail address.

A Notice of Intent to Respond creates no obligation and is not a prerequisite for submitting a response, however, it is necessary to ensure receipt of any RFP amendments or other notices and communications relating to this RFP.

1.9. Response Deadline

A Respondent must ensure that the State receives a response no later than the Response Deadline time and date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events. The State will not accept late responses, and a Respondent’s failure to submit a response before the deadline will result in disqualification of the response. It is the responsibility of the Respondent to ascertain any additional security requirements with respect to packaging and delivery to the State of Tennessee. Respondents should be mindful of any potential delays due to security screening procedures, weather, or other filing delays whether foreseeable or unforeseeable.

2. RFP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

2.1. The following RFP Schedule of Events represents the State’s best estimate for this RFP.

EVENT

TIME
(central time zone)

DATE

1. RFP Issued

January 15, 2019

1. Disability Accommodation Request Deadline

2:00 p.m.

January 18, 2019

1. Pre-response Teleconference

10:30 a.m.

January 22, 2019

1. Notice of Intent to Respond Deadline

2:00 p.m.

January 23, 2019

1. Written “Questions & Comments” Deadline

2:00 p.m.

January 30, 2019

1. State Response to Written “Questions & Comments”

February 8, 2019

1. Response Deadline

2:00 p.m.

February 25, 2019

1. State Completion of Technical Response Evaluations

March 11, 2019

1. State Opening & Scoring of Cost Proposals

.

March 12, 2019

1. State Notice of Intent to Award Released and
RFP Files Opened for Public Inspection

March 15, 2019

1. End of Open File Period

March 22, 2019

1. State sends contract to Contractor for signature

March 25, 2019

1. Contractor Signature Deadline

2:00 p.m.

April 1, 2019

2.2. The State reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to adjust the RFP Schedule of Events as it deems necessary. Any adjustment of the Schedule of Events shall constitute an RFP amendment, and the State will communicate such to prospective Respondents from whom the State has received a Notice of Intent to Respond (refer to section1.8).

3. RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS

3.1. Response Form

A response to this RFP must consist of two parts, a Technical Response and a Cost Proposal.

3.1.1. Technical Response. RFP Attachment 6.2., Technical Response & Evaluation Guide provides the specific requirements for submitting a response. This guide includes mandatory requirement items, general qualifications and experience items, and technical qualifications, experience, and approach items all of which must be addressed with a written response and, in some instances, additional documentation.

NOTICE: A technical response must not include any pricing or cost information. If any pricing or cost information amounts of any type (even pricing relating to other projects) is included in any part of the technical response, the state may deem the response to be non-responsive and reject it.

3.1.1.1. A Respondent must use the RFP Attachment 6.2., Technical Response & Evaluation Guide to organize, reference, and draft the Technical Response by duplicating the attachment, adding appropriate page numbers as required, and using the guide as a table of contents covering the Technical Response.

3.1.1.2. A response should be economically prepared, with emphasis on completeness and clarity. A response, as well as any reference material presented, must be written in English and must be written on standard 8 ½” x 11” pages (although oversize exhibits are permissible) and use a 12 point font for text. All response pages must be numbered.

3.1.1.3. All information and documentation included in a Technical Response should correspond to or address a specific requirement detailed in the RFP Attachment 6.2., Technical Response & Evaluation Guide. All information must be incorporated into a response to a specific requirement and clearly referenced. Any information not meeting these criteria will be deemed extraneous and will not contribute to evaluations.

3.1.1.4. The State may determine a response to be non-responsive and reject it if:

a. the Respondent fails to organize and properly reference the Technical Response as required by this RFP and the RFP Attachment 6.2., Technical Response & Evaluation Guide; or

b. the Technical Response document does not appropriately respond to, address, or meet all of the requirements and response items detailed in the RFP Attachment 6.2., Technical Response & Evaluation Guide.

3.1.2. Cost Proposal. A Cost Proposal must be recorded on an exact duplicate of the RFP Attachment 6.3., Cost Proposal & Scoring Guide.

NOTICE: If a Respondent fails to submit a cost proposal exactly as required, the State may deem the response to be non-responsive and reject it.

3.1.2.1. A Respondent must only record the proposed cost exactly as required by the RFP Attachment 6.3., Cost Proposal & Scoring Guide and must NOT record any other rates, amounts, or information.

3.1.2.2. The proposed cost shall incorporate ALL costs for services under the contract for the total contract period, including any renewals or extensions.

3.1.2.3. A Respondent must sign and date the Cost Proposal.

3.1.2.4. A Respondent must submit the Cost Proposal to the State in a sealed package separate from the Technical Response (as detailed in RFP Sections 3.2.3., et seq.).

3.2. Response Delivery

3.2.1. A Respondent must ensure that both the original Technical Response and Cost Proposal documents meet all form and content requirements, including all required signatures, as detailed within this RFP, as may be amended.

3.2.2. A Respondent must submit original Technical Response and Cost Proposal documents and copies as specified below.

3.2.2.1. One (1) original Technical Response paper document labeled:

“RFP # 30901-40719 TECHNICAL RESPONSE ORIGINAL”

and six (6) digital copies of the Technical Response each in the form of one (1) digital document in “PDF” format properly recorded on its own otherwise blank, standard CD-R recordable disc or USB flash drive labeled:

“RFP # 30901-40719 TECHNICAL RESPONSE COPY”

The digital copies should not include copies of sealed customer references, however any other discrepancy between the paper Technical Response document and any digital copies may result in the State rejecting the proposal as non-responsive.

3.2.2.2. One (1) original Cost Proposal paper document labeled:

“RFP # 30901-40719 COST PROPOSAL ORIGINAL”

and one (1) copy in the form of a digital document in “PDF/XLS” format properly recorded on separate, blank, standard CD-R recordable disc or USB flash drive labeled:

“RFP # 30901-40719 COST PROPOSAL COPY”

In the event of a discrepancy between the original Cost Proposal document and the digital copy, the original, signed document will take precedence.

3.2.3. A Respondent must separate, seal, package, and label the documents and copies for delivery as follows:

3.2.3.1. The Technical Response original document and digital copies must be placed in a sealed package that is clearly labeled:

“DO NOT OPEN… RFP # 30901-40719 TECHNICAL RESPONSE FROM [RESPONDENT LEGAL ENTITY NAME]”

3.2.3.2. The Cost Proposal original document and digital copy must be placed in a separate, sealed package that is clearly labeled:

“DO NOT OPEN… RFP # 30901-40719 COST PROPOSAL FROM [RESPONDENT LEGAL ENTITY NAME]”

3.2.3.3. The separately, sealed Technical Response and Cost Proposal components may be enclosed in a larger package for mailing or delivery, provided that the outermost package is clearly labeled:

“RFP # 30901-40719 SEALED TECHNICAL RESPONSE & SEALED COST PROPOSAL FROM [RESPONDENT LEGAL ENTITY NAME]”

3.2.4. A Respondent must ensure that the State receives a response no later than the Response Deadline time and date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events at the following address:

Dawn Rochelle

RFP Coordinator
13th Floor, Andrew Jackson State Office Building
502 Deaderick Street

Nashville, TN 37243

3.3. Response & Respondent Prohibitions

3.3.1. A response must not include alternate contract terms and conditions. If a response contains such terms and conditions, the State, at its sole discretion, may determine the response to be a non-responsive counteroffer and reject it.

3.3.2. A response must not restrict the rights of the State or otherwise qualify either the offer to deliver goods or provide services as required by this RFP or the Cost Proposal. If a response restricts the rights of the State or otherwise qualifies either the offer to deliver goods or provide services as required by this RFP or the Cost Proposal, the State, at its sole discretion, may determine the response to be a non-responsive counteroffer and reject it.

3.3.3. A response must not propose alternative goods or services (i.e., offer services different from those requested and required by this RFP) unless expressly requested in this RFP. The State may consider a response of alternative goods or services to be non-responsive and reject it.

3.3.4. A Cost Proposal must be prepared and arrived at independently and must not involve any collusion between Respondents. The State will reject any Cost Proposal that involves collusion, consultation, communication, or agreement between Respondents. Regardless of the time of detection, the State will consider any such actions to be grounds for response rejection or contract termination.

3.3.5. A Respondent must not provide, for consideration in this RFP process or subsequent contract negotiations, any information that the Respondent knew or should have known was materially incorrect. If the State determines that a Respondent has provided such incorrect information, the State will deem the Response non-responsive and reject it.

3.3.6. A Respondent must not submit more than one Technical Response and one Cost Proposal in response to this RFP, except as expressly requested by the State in this RFP. If a Respondent submits more than one Technical Response or more than one Cost Proposal, the State will deem all of the responses non-responsive and reject them.

3.3.7. A Respondent must not submit a response as a prime contractor while also permitting one or more other Respondents to offer the Respondent as a subcontractor in their own responses. Such may result in the disqualification of all Respondents knowingly involved. This restriction does not, however, prohibit different Respondents from offering the same subcontractor as a part of their responses (provided that the subcontractor does not also submit a response as a prime contractor).

3.3.8. The State shall not consider a response from an individual who is, or within the past six (6) months has been, a State employee. For purposes of this RFP:

3.3.8.1. An individual shall be deemed a State employee until such time as all compensation for salary, termination pay, and annual leave has been paid;

3.3.8.2. A contract with or a response from a company, corporation, or any other contracting entity in which a controlling interest is held by any State employee shall be considered to be a contract with or proposal from the employee; and

3.3.8.3. A contract with or a response from a company, corporation, or any other contracting entity that employs an individual who is, or within the past six (6) months has been, a State employee shall not be considered a contract with or a proposal from the employee and shall not constitute a prohibited conflict of interest.

3.4. Response Errors & Revisions

A Respondent is responsible for any and all response errors or omissions. A Respondent will not be allowed to alter or revise response documents after the Response Deadline time and date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events unless such is formally requested, in writing, by the State.

3.5. Response Withdrawal

A Respondent may withdraw a submitted response at any time before the Response Deadline time and date detailed in the RFP Section 2, Schedule of Events by submitting a written request signed by an authorized Respondent representative. After withdrawing a response, a Respondent may submit another response at any time before the Response Deadline. After the Response Deadline, a Respondent may only withdraw all or a portion of a response where the enforcement of the response would impose an unconscionable hardship on the Respondent.

3.6. Additional Services

If a response offers goods or services in addition to those required by and described in this RFP, the State, at its sole discretion, may add such services to the contract awarded as a result of this RFP. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Respondent must not propose any additional cost amounts or rates for additional goods or services. Regardless of any additional services offered in a response, the Respondent’s Cost Proposal must only record the proposed cost as required in this RFP and must not record any other rates, amounts, or information.

NOTICE: If a Respondent fails to submit a Cost Proposal exactly as required, the State may deem the response non-responsive and reject it.

3.7. Response Preparation Costs

The State will not pay any costs associated with the preparation, submittal, or presentation of any response.

4. GENERAL CONTRACTING INFORMATION & REQUIREMENTS

4.1. RFP Amendment

The State at its sole discretion may amend this RFP, in writing, at any time prior to contract award. However, prior to any such amendment, the State will consider whether it would negatively impact the ability of potential Respondents to meet the response deadline and revise the RFP Schedule of Events if deemed appropriate. If an RFP amendment is issued, the State will convey it to potential Respondents who submitted a Notice of Intent to Respond (refer to RFP Section 1.8). A response must address the final RFP (including its attachments) as amended.

4.2. RFP Cancellation

The State reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel the RFP or to cancel and reissue this RFP in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

4.3. State Right of Rejection

4.3.1. Subject to applicable laws and regulations, the State reserves the right to reject, at its sole discretion, any and all responses.

4.3.2. The State may deem as non-responsive and reject any response that does not comply with all terms, conditions, and performance requirements of this RFP. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the State reserves the right to waive, at its sole discretion, minor variances from full compliance with this RFP. If the State waives variances in a response, such waiver shall not modify the RFP requirements or excuse the Respondent from full compliance, and the State may hold any resulting Contractor to strict compliance with this RFP.

4.4. Assignment & Subcontracting

4.4.1. The Contractor may not subcontract, transfer, or assign any portion of the Contract awarded as a result of this RFP without prior approval of the State. The State reserves the right to refuse approval, at its sole discretion, of any subcontract, transfer, or assignment.

4.4.2. If a Respondent intends to use subcontractors, the response to this RFP must specifically identify the scope and portions of the work each subcontractor will perform (refer to RFP Attachment 6.2., Section B, General Qualifications & Experience Item B.14.).

4.4.3. Subcontractors identified within a response to this RFP will be deemed as approved by the State unless the State expressly disapproves one or more of the proposed subcontractors prior to signing the Contract.

4.4.4. After contract award, a Contractor may only substitute an approved subcontractor at the discretion of the State and with the State’s prior, written approval.

4.4.5. Notwithstanding any State approval relating to subcontracts, the Respondent who is awarded a contract pursuant to this RFP will be the prime contractor and will be responsible for all work under the Contract.

4.5. Right to Refuse Personnel or Subcontractors

The State reserves the right to refuse, at its sole discretion and notwithstanding any prior approval, any personnel of the prime contractor or a subcontractor providing goods or services in the performance of a contract resulting from this RFP. The State will document in writing the reason(s) for any rejection of personnel.

4.6. Insurance

The State will require the awarded Contractor to provide a Certificate of Insurance issued by an insurance company licensed or authorized to provide insurance in the State of Tennessee. Each Certificate of Insurance shall indicate current insurance coverages meeting minimum requirements as may be specified by this RFP. A failure to provide a current, Certificate of Insurance will be considered a material breach and grounds for contract termination.

4.7. Professional Licensure and Department of Revenue Registration

4.7.1. All persons, agencies, firms, or other entities that provide legal or financial opinions, which a Respondent provides for consideration and evaluation by the State as a part of a response to this RFP, shall be properly licensed to render such opinions.

4.7.2. Before the Contract resulting from this RFP is signed, the apparent successful Respondent (and Respondent employees and subcontractors, as applicable) must hold all necessary or appropriate business or professional licenses to provide the goods or services as required by the contract. The State may require any Respondent to submit evidence of proper licensure.

4.7.3.    Before the Contract resulting from this RFP is signed, the apparent successful Respondent must be registered with the Tennessee Department of Revenue for the collection of Tennessee sales and use tax. The State shall not award a contract unless the Respondent provides proof of such registration or provides documentation from the Department of Revenue that the Contractor is exempt from this registration requirement.  The foregoing is a mandatory requirement of an award of a contract pursuant to this solicitation. For purposes of this registration requirement, the Department of Revenue may be contacted at: TN.Revenue@tn.gov.

4.8. Disclosure of Response Contents

4.8.1. All materials submitted to the State in response to this RFP shall become the property of the State of Tennessee. Selection or rejection of a response does not affect this right. By submitting a response, a Respondent acknowledges and accepts that the full response contents and associated documents will become open to public inspection in accordance with the laws of the State of .

4.8.2. The State will hold all response information, including both technical and cost information, in confidence during the evaluation process.

4.8.3. Upon completion of response evaluations, indicated by public release of a Notice of Intent to Award, the responses and associated materials will be open for review by the public in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-504(a)(7).

4.9. Contract Approval and Contract Payments

4.9.1. After contract award, the Contractor who is awarded the contract must submit appropriate documentation with the Department of Finance and Administration, Division of Accounts.

4.9.2. This RFP and its contractor selection processes do not obligate the State and do not create rights, interests, or claims of entitlement in either the Respondent with the apparent best-evaluated response or any other Respondent. State obligations pursuant to a contract award shall commence only after the Contract is signed by the State agency head and the Contractor and after the Contract is approved by all other state officials as required by applicable laws and regulations.

4.9.3. No payment will be obligated or made until the relevant Contract is approved as required by applicable statutes and rules of the State of .

4.9.3.1. The State shall not be liable for payment of any type associated with the Contract resulting from this RFP (or any amendment thereof) or responsible for any goods delivered or services rendered by the Contractor, even goods delivered or services rendered in good faith and even if the Contractor is orally directed to proceed with the delivery of goods or the rendering of services, if it occurs before the Contract Effective Date or after the Contract Term.

4.9.3.2. All payments relating to this procurement will be made in accordance with the Payment Terms and Conditions of the Contract resulting from this RFP (refer to RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract, Section C).

4.9.3.3. If any provision of the Contract provides direct funding or reimbursement for the competitive purchase of goods or services as a component of contract performance or otherwise provides for the reimbursement of specified, actual costs, the State will employ all reasonable means and will require all such documentation that it deems necessary to ensure that such purchases were competitive and costs were reasonable, necessary, and actual. The Contractor shall provide reasonable assistance and access related to such review. Further, the State shall not remit, as funding or reimbursement pursuant to such provisions, any amounts that it determines do not represent reasonable, necessary, and actual costs.

4.10. Contractor Performance

The Contractor who is awarded a contract will be responsible for the delivery of all acceptable goods or the satisfactory completion of all services set out in this RFP (including attachments) as may be amended. All goods or services are subject to inspection and evaluation by the State. The State will employ all reasonable means to ensure that goods delivered or services rendered are in compliance with the Contract, and the Contractor must cooperate with such efforts.

4.11. Contract Amendment

After Contract award, the State may request the Contractor to deliver additional goods or perform additional services within the general scope of the Contract and this RFP, but beyond the specified Scope, and for which the Contractor may be compensated. In such instances, the State will provide the Contractor a written description of the additional goods or services. The Contractor must respond to the State with a time schedule for delivering the additional goods or accomplishing the additional services based on the compensable units included in the Contractor’s response to this RFP. If the State and the Contractor reach an agreement regarding the goods or services and associated compensation, such agreement must be effected by means of a contract amendment. Further, any such amendment requiring additional goods or services must be signed by both the State agency head and the Contractor and must be approved by other state officials as required by applicable statutes, rules, policies and procedures of the State of Tennessee. The Contractor must not provide additional goods or render additional services until the State has issued a written contract amendment with all required approvals.

4.12. Severability

If any provision of this RFP is declared by a court to be illegal or in conflict with any law, said decision will not affect the validity of the remaining RFP terms and provisions, and the rights and obligations of the State and Respondents will be construed and enforced as if the RFP did not contain the particular provision held to be invalid.

4.13. Next Ranked Respondent

The State reserves the right to initiate negotiations with the next ranked Respondent should the State cease doing business with any Respondent selected via this RFP process.

5. EVALUATION & CONTRACT AWARD

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