Request for Proposals
One Stop Operator
Questions and Answers from the One Stop Operator Bidder's Conference
Jim Ellis – EDSI
Sue Pilon – DCC
Patricia Henisse – DCC
Julie Grassi – TIC
Susan Zanley – TIC
Pat Chatman – HFC
Jan Artushin – HFC
Hachen Ossieran – ACCESS
STAFF Gregory Pitoniak - CEO
Sonya Grant - COO
Bill Hellar - CIO
Tamara Norrix – Executive Assistant
QUESTION – Do the responsibilities include procuring any services?
ANSWER – No.
QUESTION – Pertaining to format, I note the RFP requires five pages of narrative. Any specific format?
ANSWER – No, there is no specific formal approach.
QUESTION – Following up on the format question, double spaced or single spaced?
ANSWER – I don’t think it matters, but double space is always nice.
QUESTION – Budget and Budget Narrative, is it included in the five-page narrative?
ANSWER – It is not.
QUESTION – Is there any particular budget format you want us to use or can we use one of our own?
ANSWER – We have not specified and you are free to present your own.
QUESTION – Section 6, Bullet 4 it says “recommendations for partnership development and improvement as well as continuous improvement.” Are you requiring any specific approach like six sigma or would any methodology be fine?
ANSWER – We are not specifying so you are free to give us your ideas.
QUESTION – Also on page 6, under Expectations “Avoid Conflicts of Interest when possible and disclose and recuse from unavoidable Conflicts of Interest.” You have a room full of providers here, is that something you can expand on for us? Let me give you an example, a couple of years ago, DCC was attempting to work out some Memorandum of Understanding issues and because everyone was in that same boat it was difficult.
ANSWER – This has been a challenge all across the country. As recent as last Wednesday or Thursday, the US Department of Labor held a webinar with over 800 participants in which they are trying to answer some of the questions you are asking of us. It is new and this Conflict of Interest emphasis they have throughout their TEGL and other guidance, it is a little bit tricky. So I suppose your bottom line question is can a current provider perform this role? I find it difficult, and I don’t know how we avoid conflict of interest. We are struggling with it, but when you think of the role in the context of the multiple centers and you are in one of them as a provider, right? I am not being definitive on it, because we are looking for every insight we can get from the state or feds right now to understand this.
QUESTION – Based on the RFP language, you are not prohibiting it, but somebody has to make their case on how they can do it?
ANSWER – That is an excellent way to put it, yes. We are aware that some other Michigan Works! agencies have bid this out and some have gotten no bids, some have gotten just 1 or 2, and virtually none of them are of current providers if they have that kind of set-up. I’m just stating that to give you insight as to how confusing this is across the state and country; people are trying to figure it out.
QUESTION – There are entities too, I see ACCESS is represented here and DCC, people who may have some workforce experience but are not tied to the system and perhaps, you know….
ANSWER – That’s right. That is one way to make a case. The term that they use is firewalls.
QUESTION – Does it involve any kind of facility role, maintaining the building/structure itself.
ANSWER – In a sense that making sure all is appropriately done, yes; but it is not the One Stop Operators (OSO) role to manage the facility.
QUESTION – What about partnerships. If we are partnering with anyone, any particulars we need to know if we are working with another entity?
ANSWER – No, other than the full awareness of the high emphasis on the Conflict of Interest. We are not in any way restricting you from considering whatever partnerships may make sense.
QUESTION – The MOU format, is that something that SEMCA will develop, the MOU document?
ANSWER – Yes. We are working on that right now as we speak. That is another major requirement with more specificity than ever under WIOA and the policy issuances/TEGL’s that are coming down. That is the next wave and those will be in place by June 30, 2017; so if you are selected for this role, you would start on July 1, 2017.
QUESTION – How do you perceive the selected provider working with SEMCA staff to achieve all of these things?
ANSWER – Just stay in close touch with us. Will have some initial meetings to understand the role more clearly and how it will be executed, partly based upon what the actual proposal says and what we learn between now and then. It will be highly interactive in the end.
QUESTION – The things that the selected OSO will put together in terms of reports and MOU’s and all those type of things, there may be recommendations in terms of general operations like how the center is staffed between the various programs and the providers. Would those strictly be recommendations from the OSO, meaning they would not have the authority to dictate things directly to the providers already in the centers?
ANSWER – Correct. In the end it is about getting input from all of the providers and partners and making recommendations at times about ways to improve the One Stops, but it is more of a consensus model and the ultimate decision would be with SEMCA.
QUESTION – What if we find out after six months into the contract that the OSO does in fact have a conflict of interest, then what happens?
ANSWER – Clearly we would have to negate the contact and rebid it. We are going to have to make a determination on conflict of interest at the time of awarding the bid.
QUESTION – Adding to that, I personally did meet with all of the SEMCA providers because we run ES and came up against walls, so who is going to be the mediator to look over those decisions? Will it be SEMCA? ANSWER – Yes, the OSO will not be a decision maker so it will be SEMCA.